Dr. Maxwell Straus finally warms up to his new nurse
Eric Hollis, a 30-year-old personal aide to Dr. Maxwell Straus, knocked on his boss's door before entering, "Cabot has you by the balls on this one."
"Goddammit. For the last time, No! How much more paperwork am I going to have to fill out now to make them go away," Maxwell Straus replied.
"There may be no away out of this one. The budget for all our supplies and medications now go through his office. The governor signed a new order giving the Oregon Department of Health more control," Eric said.
"But I've already told them we just need the medical goodies, no undertrained nurses walking around wreaking havoc," Maxwell said, "Maybe I'll call up my old friend Dr. Ellery to see if we can get out of it."
"Dr. Ellery won't be able to do anything, his hands are tied by Cabot. That guy is like a czar in the department. Listen, I know you like running everything one way but perhaps having another nurse here won't be so bad," Eric said.
"I like to run my office my way. The right way! You know, that way we actually save lives instead of destroy them."
"I should have told you this first, but there's a nurse coming Monday. Her name is Katie and she just graduated from University of Oregon's nursing program."
"Just let me call Dr. Ellery. He has friends in high places."
Dr. Straus knew he was fighting a losing battle. He was of the opinion that there was a right way to do things and to compromise, just one bit, was a loss of moral character. In the last 7 years he had become more adamant about his personal code of ethics. He grew up in North Falls, Oregon but attended UCLA on a football scholarship and later went to medical school there as well. As soon as he became a doctor, he married his high school sweetheart Paula.
They promised each other they'd move back to North Falls as soon as he paid off the remaining medical school loans. Maxwell took a job in a doctor's office in Beverly Hills. He hated it. All he had wanted to do was save lives but here he was, in the most over-medicated zip code in the country, getting paid to subscribe skin creams to young models who would throw a panic attack over one blemish.
The money was fantastic. Within a few years he had pocketed a million dollars and his wife was pregnant. They would have their child, a son, and move back to North Falls.
But as her due date approached everything kept going wrong. Paula became sick and tired. After a week in the hospital labor came, but Maxwell's son was stillborn. Maxwell was heartbroken and Paula's sickness was worsened. She got infected during labor and within a week she was dead. It was a freak accident. In America, only one-fourth of one-percent of all pregnancies result in the mother dying. And even of those, most are women with some type of pre-existing condition such as diabetes or hypertension. Paula was fine.
Maxwell blamed the nurses that surrounded her up to labor. Infections were preventable. He couldn't pinpoint it, and maybe it was just random chance, but it was the nurses who killed his wife. Maxwell had been the one fixing errors of those nurses when he was just there to support his wife emotionally.
He quit his job immediately, took his million, and returned to North Falls. After six-months of doing nothing but staring at the stars he took over the private practice of a retiring doctor. That was seven and a half years ago. He threw himself completely into his work. He had no interest in finding a woman he was with Paula, eternally. North Falls was small, a few thousand people in the remote eastern-Oregon. Maxwell's clinic was the only medical office the people of North Falls could get to without driving for almost an hour. His neighbors relied on him.
"So, how's it going Fred?" Maxwell spoke with a feigned excitement. It was Fred Ellery, a former professor of Maxwell in medical school. Now Dr. Ellery worked for the state of Oregon and was Maxwell's one contact when dealing with bureaucracy. But as Maxwell begged Dr. Ellery to help him out, it was clear there was nothing they could do. Oregon's Department of Health was adamant that smaller communities start taking in new nurses to help deal with the excess of young nurses. Maxwell had one nurse in his clinic, a 50 year old, named Hannah, whom he trusted implicitly. He just didn't want a 22-year old.
"Alright, well, thanks Fred. I appreciate you taking my call."
Maxwell's stubbornness had not gotten him what he wanted and it only made him leave work even more frustrated. It was a Saturday night and he was not working the next day. It had nothing to do with the fact it was a Sunday. Maxwell had worked every Sunday for the last three months. There were only a few days Maxwell took off every year, and they weren't even Thanksgiving or Christmas. He never worked on May 14, the day he and his wife got married, and July 2, the day she died. Tomorrow was July 2.
To say Katie Grays was nervous was an understatement. Six months ago she had no idea she would end up in Eastern Oregon. Who wanted to live in such a small and backward place? Katie grew up in Portland before going to the University of Oregon. Her plan was to move in with her boyfriend back in Portland and find a job at a hospital there.
When she made a surprise visit to his apartment, and found him having sex on the couch with a girl he later claimed he had met the night before, she was crushed. Despite a heated argument in which her boyfriend threw every excuse he could think of at her, she drove away blocking his number and e-mail. She hadn't heard from him since that day and didn't want to.
Any man would argue that her boyfriend made a mistake. She was gorgeous with natural dark blonde hair that went to her shoulders and the most unforgettable hazel eyes. While she was often insecure whenever she looked in a mirror, Katie kept her trim figure. She was blessed with breasts similar to her mothers, round C cups. After the break-up she had only been to the gym more often, hoping it would be a way to get her mind off her boyfriend. Her waist had slimmed down and the squats made her butt even more eye-catching.
As she made the drive east to North Falls trying to appear attractive was the last thing on her mind. When she realized she didn't want to live in the same city as her ex-boyfriend, she signed up for a state program for new nurses. It would be a good entry point into the medical system but she didn't get to pick where she ended up. As it turned out, the state picked North Falls for her.
Maxwell Straus sat at his desk at 6:00 AM on Monday morning looking over the medical records of the patients he would be seeing later that day. He heard a knock on his door but it wasn't his aide Eric or his trusted nurse Hannah. It was Katie.
"Dr. Straus? Hi. I'm Katie Collins, the new nurse," she said as she reached out her hand for a professional handshake.
"You can sit down," Maxwell said. He had taken a day off, but his anger didn't lessen at all. He spent it flipping through old photo-books filled with he and his wife. A picture of them on his graduation day, and another one of them at their wedding. His favorite photo of the two of them was taken at DisneyLand. He had asked a stranger to take a picture of them together as they posed with all their ridiculous Disney loot, Mickey Mouse ears and a Goofy stuffed animal. As the stranger was about to take the picture, Paula let go of her Mickey balloon by accident and they both laughed as they reached out unsuccessfully trying to grab it. The stranger had pressed click just as the two extended one arm to snag the balloon, with the other still wrapped around each other in embrace. The laughter bursting out of the photo was undeniable, and it still brought a smile to Maxwell today.
"So. You want to be a nurse here for six months? You've never worked anywhere else before this?" Maxwell said.
"Well, I've shadowed and I've assisted nurses. But yes, this is my first real nursing job."
"Listen, I don't do surgeries around here. It's mostly check-ups and diagnosis, but I still take things seriously. If you mess things up people will be hurt. So, just because you're new doesn't mean you get any get out of jail free cards," Maxwell said.
Katie was instantly taken aback. Her new boss did not sound fun at all. He was a hard-ass. At the same time, she was compelled by his seriousness. She got into nursing to save lives. It wasn't fun hanging around the sick and old all day. Maxwell was in his mid 30s, Katie guessed, but carried himself as if he was much older. He was tall, 6'2, and well-built. He was wearing a shirt, but it was clear he had a build much more similar to a lumberjack than a typical doctor.
"Well, I'm here to do my best. I can't wait," Katie said with a smile. She knew she sounded naive and overly-friendly to Dr. Straus but she could not help herself.
"Good," Maxwell said. There was a lingering pause between them two. Maxwell took in the entire aura of Katie. Maxwell couldn't help but notice her beauty. He had not been with a woman since Paula. Women were not usually on his mind, even if he saw movie with a blonde-bombshell running around in a bikini. But as he looked at Katie he thought of how cute she was, and how her eyes looked a bit like his wife's. "How are you enjoying North Falls?"
"It's ok. It's quiet. Like...real quiet," Katie said.
"It is. I grew up here. That's what I like about it. There's no phonies here, just nice people. Are you from near at all?"
"Not at all. I'm from Portland and went to school in Eugene. I've never even been this far east in Oregon."
"Why'd you pick it then?" Maxwell asked.
"Well, I didn't. I just signed up for the program and they chose for me. I can't say I was jumping up and down when I found out I would be working out here," Katie said.
"I guess that makes two of us."
The first week of work for Katie was a bore. A part of her took that as a good thing. She didn't have too many stressful moments that her nursing textbooks had prepared her for. Maxwell had given her the duty of weighing patients and asking them some preliminary questions before he could see them himself. She sometimes got to conduct a blood test. But for all the more intense duties Maxwell stuck with his older nurse, Hannah. Katie was delegated to a second-tier position. She was the youngest, but she wondered how soon she would go crazy in North Falls.
"Here's the results from the morning tests," Katie said as she walked into Maxwell's office.
"Great. Thanks. That was my last patient of the day if you need to head home now."
"Are you sure you don't want me to stick around a bit longer? I can help you enter those tests and start to setup up follow-ups with the patients that need one."
"That's ok. Thanks though," Maxwell said.
"When I worked as a nursing assistant before, I got good at filling out the Medicaid forms. Are you sure you don't want me to do that?" Katie offered. If she had been in a city she might be willing to take off for home sooner. But given there was not much awaiting her in the small empty house she was renting she wanted to be as productive as possible at work.
"I'll fill it out myself. I have ever since I took over this practice. It's worked well," Maxwell said, pausing before speaking the last sentence in clear and loud language. It was clear he wanted Katie to leave the office by his tight body language. His thick forearms forced on his desk, with pen in hand, as his eyes remained glanced up at Katie.
"Ok. Well, I guess I'll see you Monday."
The weekend for Katie was dull. She explored North Falls as much as one could. There were a couple antique stores she had fun walking around, examining every old handmade chair and picture frame built 100 years ago, but there was little she had any interest in buying. At home she called some friends from back home and chatted, but most of them were off to eat at restaurants and having cookouts at night. They were too busy to spend too much time on the phone with Katie and she began to wonder if she could last six months.
The house Katie was renting sat at the bottom of the hill, near a stream, and during the day she went on a few walks. It was quiet and beautiful, but the isolation only made it scarier at night. As she laid in bed alone she wondered if anyone was within 100 yards of her. What was she doing in North Falls?
She knew that Dr. Straus was working over the weekend. Maybe she'd stop in and see if he needed help? No, that was not a good idea. He was the type of man who did not enjoy being undermined or even surprised. There was just nothing else for Katie to do except watch television and read her book on Eleanor Roosevelt her mom had bought her.
On Monday morning she showed up to the office at 6:00 AM.
"Hello Dr. Straus. How was your weekend?"
"It was good. Why are you here so early? You know my first patient doesn't get here until 8:00 AM," Maxwell said.
"Well, I just figured I'd come in a bit ahead of schedule to see if you needed help with anything."
"I don't," Maxwell said, realizing he was being overly harsh on his new nurse, "but thanks."
Maxwell reflected on Katie. She was eager and had a flawless first week. Things were smoother in his office with an extra pair of hands and though Katie was young, she was at least good at the limited tasks he had assigned her. She would get to keep doing them, he decided, since she was so good at them. There was no chance of her getting in the middle of the flow that he had with Hannah, his trusted nurse.
"Oh ok. Well, I guess I''ll just wait in my office until eight then," Katie said.
She turned around and began to walk out the door. Maxwell noticed her butt looking nice in her tight jeans. Katie hadn't put on her nursing uniform yet.
"Wait," Maxwell said, "Here! You don't have to if you'd rather wait until 8:00 AM to start the day, but here's some of the files from today's patients. If you really want to help out how about you go through them and figure out what tests we'll likely need to order."
"Of course," Katie said, "I'll get right on it."
Maxwell handed her some files and she began to flip through them examine their contents.
"Check to make sure you have all my AM patients in there," Maxwell said.
Katie began to peer at the papers making sure she had seen this type of record before. She had, and was relieved she wouldn't have to come back to Dr. Straus for clarification.
She looked at him and caught him staring at a picture on his desk. It was tilted away from Katie, so she could only get a glance at it, but it was a picture of a young Dr. Straus and a woman with arms wrapped around each other. Was it his girlfriend? Katie wondered. The other nurse, Hannah, had mentioned in passing to Katie that Maxwell wasn't married and didn't have kids but perhaps he still had a companion.
"Got it all?" Maxwell asked as he tilted his head up.
"Yes. I'll have these ready in no time."
Katie was in her "office", a small room about the size of a closet, that was barely big enough for her desk. She began reading over the medical records. All she had to do was figure out which patients were due for immunizations, or a certain test, or anything else that the doctor would need to know before meeting with each person. It wouldn't take long. Usually these checklists were just gone over right before the patient arrives. Doing them early might save Dr. Straus some time, and more importantly it would help Katie prove to him she could handle more responsibility.
By 7:40 AM she was back in Dr. Straus' office.
"Here you go," Katie said, "It looks like your 9:30 will need a mammogram - the guidelines have changed in recent years so it was missing from there. Everything else looks good but I marked down all the blood tests that needs to go."
"Hmm. Great. Well, thanks Katie," Maxwell said. He was starting to warm up to having her around. Hannah was invaluable during the day, and cared about all the patients, but didn't have quite the same hustle that Katie had been showing.
"No problem Dr. Straus," Katie said.
"You can just call me Maxwell."
Once the day started, Katie was back into her more routine work and didn't get too much time with the patients during examination. But, when Maxwell passed her in the hallway, he gave a smile instead of the more intimidating stare down he had giving for lots of last week. It's not like he wasn't still intimidating to Katie in many ways. He was a full 8 inches taller than her and his sturdy frame compared to her petite one made for a physical mismatch that translated to a psychological level. Even though he was now smiling, he was still so serious. His practice was his life.
At the end of the day, Katie offered to go over the files for the patients for the next morning. That way neither she nor Maxwell would have to get in early. He agreed. In a way, his compulsion to do everything in his office and have total control was not just about maintaining good medical standards. It was about filling time. He had nothing to do outside of work. Even though he felt at home in North Falls, he had no one to explore it with and no one outside of his office. Both his parents had passed away.
Katie was looking over the files, mostly just going through a checklist of standard tests, when she opened up the notes that the doctor had taken that day. One of the patients, a 51 year old man, had blood in his urine. Maxwell had ordered tests for kidney infection but Katie was unsure. He didn't have fever or the chills which accompany most kidney infections. And when she looked at the records from his standard physical six months ago, he had constipation and dribbling urine. Those were symptoms that sounded common, but taken altogether sounded like the possibility of prostate cancer to Katie.
"Uh. Dr. Straus, can I talk you for a minute about this patient. The four o'clock," Katie said, sitting down in his office.
"I thought I told you to call me Maxwell," he said.
"Oh. Sorry. It's just...do you think you should order some tests for him to check to see if he has prostate cancer."
"What? Why? He had blood in his urine. I think it's probably a kidney infection by the way he was talking about his pain."
"Well, you know he's over 50. Look at his last physical. He said he was waking up in the middle of the night to pee and was dribbling urine. I don't know," Katie said.
"I don't think so," Maxwell said. He sat straight up in his chair, now towering over Katie from afar. His hands motioned in the air and he shook slightly his head as he spoke, "No pain in the thighs, no problems otherwise with his manhood. There's no reason for the test."
"It's just that-"
"You handle the paperwork Katie. I'll handle the tests."
After Katie left, Maxwell began to go through the paperwork he had in front of him. This weekend he was working at a clinic about 50 minutes north of North Falls. It was for a Native American reservation that didn't have access to medical care. They didn't have extensive medical files, but he was reviewing notes from his last visit so he could be prepared.
He glanced at the folder Katie had left on his desk. She had some nerve coming in and suggesting a test that he hadn't ordered. Hannah had never done that in the more than seven years she had worked with him. Maxwell had ordered tests for prostate cancer hundreds of times. If he thought the symptoms had matched to today, he would have ordered test for prostate cancer himself.
Without thinking he pushed the notes from the Native American visit aside and picked up his patients files. He began to pour through all the notes and his tests on the man from the last several years.
"Son of a gun," Maxwell said to himself.
The next morning Katie pulled her car into the doctor's office right before 8:00 AM. She had already prepared everything Maxwell would need and she wasn't sure that he would want her around the office before that. In the morning she had gotten so confident. She thought she had broken free from the first week's boredom. It didn't appear to be the case anymore. Dr. Straus had taken her down a notch.
As she walked through the waiting room, she froze. It was the man who had been here yesterday at four o' clock. What was he doing back here? He wasn't scheduled for any more tests.
She kept walking back to her office, walking by Maxwell's door. She didn't go in, or even stick her head in, but as Maxwell saw her tight body walk by he flagged her down.
"Katie. Come in here for a second," Maxwell yelled out his door.
She sat down. The doctor put down his pen and sat up in his chair. The top button on his dress shirt was unbuttoned and she was able to peer at the top of his chiseled chest.
"I just wanted to let you know I changed my mind. That was a good call about the prostate cancer check. You can never be to sure these days," Maxwell said.
"Oh. I guess that's why he's out front," Katie said.
"Yeah. He could only do the morning. I'm sorry I reacted so strongly it's just I'm not used to being told by nurses what I should be dong," Maxwell said.
"I completely understand. I just remember it from one of my classes on cancer symptoms and it just jumped out at me."
Katie couldn't help but smile. Maxwell's moodiness was getting under her and she felt it dictating her own emotions. When he was happy with her work, she became happy. When he was angry with her, she was sad.
"I'm going up north to a Native American reservation on Saturday. I volunteer there once a month because they can't afford standard health care and they can't travel. There will be other nurse volunteers there, but do you want to come?"
"Oh. This Saturday?"
"Yes. I could use someone I can trust. If you have other plans I understand. It's not part of your work commitment."
"No, no, no," Katie said, "I'd love to. That sounds great. I'll come with you."
"Great. Meet here at 8:00 AM and we'll drive up together."
Katie arrived to the practice's parking lot Saturday morning just a minute before eight. There was just one other car in the parking lot, a black BMW. Maxwell stuck out his hand to wave to Katie. She had assumed before the car must be his. It was always there when she arrived for work and there when she left, just like Dr. Straus himself.
She walked over to his car and got in the passenger seat. As she put on the seatbelt she realized it was tight over her loose shirt. It divided her two breasts and made each one stick out even more against her shirt.
"Have you ever been up to the reservations before?" Maxwell asked.
"No, I haven't," Katie said.
He got her up to the speed on its population and the charity organization they were working with. Katie wanted to know more about Maxwell. He was in his 30s, good-looking, and wealthy. Yet, he worked non-stop even when he didn't need to. Who were his friends? Who were his lovers?
"So is there like a secret doctor's club in North Falls you hang out at?" Katie asked.
"Ha, I wish. Sadly, I'm the only practicing doctor in town."
"Then who do you hang out with?"
"Myself. I mean, you know the hours I work. I'm not alone or free too much," Maxwell said.
"So you live alone?"
"You never wanted kids?" Katie and Maxwell's chat had been filled with smiles and laughs. It was perhaps the most relaxed she had ever seen the doctor. However, as soon as she mentioned kids he realized he squirmed towards the back of his seat. She wondered if she had offended him. "I mean, you're so good with kids at the practice. That's all. That's why I wondered."
"I was going to have a son once," Maxwell said. He stared towards the road, stoically driving down the highway. There was a silence between them before Maxwell filled the gap.
"I had a wife. We lived in Los Angeles but were going to move back to North Falls to start a family. We both grew up here. But my son was born stillborn and my wife died afterwards."
"Oh my gosh, I had no idea. I wouldn't have brought it up-"
"It's ok," Maxwell interrupted, "I don't talk about it too much even though I can never stop thinking about it."
"That's so sad. Is the woman on your desk your wife?"
"Yes. That's Paula. She's the only woman I ever loved."
Maxwell began talking about his life with her. It might have been the most he opened up in years. He wasn't talking about this with Hannah or his neighbors. He didn't have any friends outside of work. Katie cared. She was so genuine and Maxwell felt a relief as he spoke of his former wife. He told her about the time they went to the freshman formal together in college, only to get there to realize they had forgotten their tickets at their dorms and instead of fighting there way in they just picked a random dive Mexican restaurant. They had the time of their lives eating dollar tacos in a tuxedo and an evening dress.
"Do you think she would want you to be alone?" Katie asked.
"I don't know. Maybe she would, maybe she wouldn't. But I've never met anyone else I've wanted to be with so I'm alone. It's the way it is."
At the reservation Maxwell set up in a mobile RV the charity travelled with in order to house patients. Compared to his practice it was bare bones but the medical attention they needed was much more rudimentary. He didn't have to screen a bunch of hypochondriacs. Most of the time was spent giving immunizations to children and giving out basic medicine to help with high blood pressure or cholesterol. Everything was paid for and everything was generic.
A small girl, maybe around ten years old, was brought into the makeshift doctor's office as the mother waited right outside with her five other children. She was due for two shots.
Katie had been in charge of preparing people for their vaccinations and she could do so with assembly line efficiency. She rolled up the girls sleeve, swabbed the area, and began her pep talk. Dr. Straus readied the first shot.
"Ok. Look at me," Katie said to the girl, gripping her other hand "What's your favorite animal?"
"I like horseOWWWW" the girl gave out a brief scream as Maxwell gave her the shot.
"That wasn't too bad, you're a tough girl. I like tough girls like you."
The girl's frown disappeared and she began to smile in the compliment. Maxwell saw the effect Kate was having on the patients and was in awe. She knew how to make people feel safe in a doctor's office, which was tough when talk of illnesses and needles were already around.
"I like horses too. Have you ever ridden one?"
"Yes. One time my momOWWW"
The young patient gave out a brief grunt again. As she did, her foot sprang up in reaction to the pain and kicked Maxwell right in the balls. He gave out a brief grunt himself.
"Are you ok?" Katie asked. While keeping one hand on the patient's shoulder, she put another hand on Maxwell's arm. She looked down at his hands which were gripping his groin.
"Arggh," Maxwell said, before controlling himself, "Yes. I'm fine. You're free to go now. Nurse Katie will walk you back to your mother.
Katie took the girl out to meet her mom, and then came back to the office. Maxwell was sitting on his chair, gripping himself.
"Are you sure it's ok?"
"Yes. I mean, I think. It hurts but ten-year olds don't kick that hard," Maxwell said.
"Are you sure? Want me to get ice or anything?" Katie asked. She put a hand on his shoulder and massaged him, just a bit, out of habit. The same instincts that made her good with children made her good for caring for anyone.
"No. The pain will go away in a few minutes. Trust me, I'm a doctor." Maxwell said, laughing in pain at his own joke.
Katie's hand remained on Maxwell's shoulder.
"I'm sure if you needed a nurse to take a look at it, that wouldn't be a problem."
Katie looked in Maxwell's eyes. They had been diverted down at his own situation but as soon as she finished her last sentence his eyes shot up at met hers. They both smiled, giggled, and then went back to preparing for the next patient.
At 5:00 their work was done for the day and they got back in the doctor's BMW and started driving down the highway back to North Falls.
"So how are you feeling down there mister?" Katie asked playfully.
"I'm fine ha," Maxwell said, "Thanks for checking in."
"I'm a nurse. It's my job."
Neither said anything as an awkward pause set in. Maxwell reached for the radio and put on the first music station he could find.
"So what about you? What's your social life been like in North Falls?" Maxwell asked.
"Well, given I jumped at the chance to work on a Saturday I think you can tell it's not very busy."
"No new friends? No dates?"
"No. And I don't think there will be one anytime soon," Katie said, "I mean, one of our patients asked me out to dinner. But he was 60 and was using a cane."
"How could you say no to Mr. Silver?"
The two laughed.
"It's ok. A part of me feels very lonely. At the same time, I broke up with my boyfriend six months ago. We had gone out for two years. It's a nice break from him and everything in a way?"
"You don't want me to try to set you up with anyone?" Maxwell teased.
"I thought you don't have friends? Do you actually have that secret doctor's club? Are you gonna set me up with one of them?"
Maxwell laughed. "Haha, that is a club of one."
"Well feel free to set me up with the one," Katie said slowly.
Before Maxwell could respond, the radio blasted out loud high pitches. It was an emergency warning.
The National Weather Service is currently issuing a storm warning for the following counties: Baker County, Walowa County, Harney County. Residents are advised to take action and prepare for flash floods.
It wasn't raining where the two were driving, but down the road they could see dark clouds. They were driving back to Harney County.
"It's probably nothing," Maxwell said, "They issue these all the time."
"I hope so. I live at the bottom of a hill right near a stream."
When they got back to North Falls thirty minutes later, Maxwell offered to drive Katie back to her house to make sure everything was alright. It was on the way, and Maxwell thought it would be a nice thing to do to assure Katie did not need to worry about flooding in her newly rented house. But as he turned down Maplewood Lane towards her house, it was clear the storms had been no joke. The stream was flooded and the road was covered in water.
"Oh no," Katie said, "How deep do you think it is?"
"I don't know. At least a few inches. It's probably just safe enough to drive through," Maxwell said.
"I hope so."
"But is that the only road out of your place? By the looks of it the storm isn't going to stop anytime soon and the stream's only going to flood more. You could get trapped."
"Oh my god. I can't go back there."
"Come with me. I have spare rooms. You can stay there until the waters go away."
"Are you sure that-"
"Yes," Maxwell cut her off, "I can't have my new favorite nurse getting flooded in her own house."
When the two pulled into Maxwell's house, Katie was floored by its size. For one man to occupy such a luxurious and huge house was absurd. No wonder he was extra lonely. There had to be at least six bedrooms. There was a kitchen upstairs and downstairs. The main dining room had tall ceilings, making it extra grand. For one man to live there alone seemed like a lot of emptiness, in the house and in the heart. She wondered if he bought the house when his wife was still alive, thinking it would be a family home for years to come.
"You can sleep in this room if you'd like," Maxwell said pointing towards a room off the hallway. "Or I guess this one, but I think the first one is nicer. It has it's own bathroom and a better view."
"It will be fine," Katie said. The room was huge, but the walls and shelves were empty which gave it an eerie view. She peered out the window to see a huge field. It looked like it would be a perfect place for a picnic if there wasn't so much rain coming down.
"Why don't you relax and I'll make you dinner?"
Katie made a meal with the chicken and few spices that the doctor had in his kitchen. When the two sat down she poured each of them a healthy glass of wine and then another glass and another. By the time they were done their meal, they were both bit tipsy but nonetheless poured themselves another.
"What do you usually do at night when you're here?" Katie asked.
"Maybe read a book or something."
"Well don't let me stop you. Go ahead and do what you normally do."
"Sure you don't want to join?" Maxwell asked.
The two sat down on the couch, just inches between them, and Maxwell picked a coffee table book off the table. Katie saw next to it what looked like a photo album. Maybe it's where he kept pictures of his old wife when he was lonely.
The coffee table book was filled with beautiful landscapes all drawn with pointillism. Every picture was beautiful and eye-catching. Maxwell would point out a particular corner of the painting, a tree or a cloud that he liked, and Katie would lean in to get a better look.
Maxwell flipped to a park which featured dozens of people. He pointed out a woman holding hands with a man by the side near a bridge, and Katie shifted her body to get a better look. She steadied herself by putting an arm on Maxwell's shoulder.
"They look like a nice couple," Katie said, "Even if they are just made out of dots."
"Yes. Even a dotted couple is better than no couple." Maxwell said.
"Do you think that?" Katie asked, with a true sense of disbelief resonating from her voice.
"Yeah. I mean, I think that couple looks good together. They wouldn't be holding hands together if they weren't happy."
"So you think when people are holding hands they must be happy?" Katie asked.
Maxwell reached out and took Katie's hand into his own. "I don't know. Are you happy right now or sad?" he asked, smirking.
"Oh, right now I'm very happy," Katie said, smiling back at Maxwell.
"That's good. I'm happy too," Maxwell said.
"I feel like you haven't been too happy the last seven years," Katie said.
"No. Not especially happy," Maxwell said smiling, "Certainly nothing like the seven years before that."
"Don't you deserve to be happy again," Katie said, "You're such a great person. I mean, most doctors are decent people, but you're really amazing. Everything you do is for someone else."
"I know. I like it that way," Maxwell said, "But it can be frustrating I admit."
Katie now leaned her head against Maxwell's shoulder. They were still holding hands and her legs were touching his. They had the book on their laps between them.
"I know this sounds crazy, but you're my best friend," Katie said.
"By default? Because you don't know anyone else here in North Falls," Maxwell teased.
"It's not just that. I had so much fun today even if it was work. You're so caring even if you don't like to show it," Katie said.
"I would say thank you but I guess that would be me showing something," Maxwell said.
They both laughed as they leaned into each other. Maxwell reached out and put his hand on Katie's knee. Immediately, Katie felt a tingling throughout her body. His grip on her knee was firm yet touching. He massaged her slightly and it was clear it was no normal friendly contact.
"Maxwell, I'm here for the next six months. I want to spend as much time here with you as possible." Katie reached out and put her hand on his thigh. It was about halfway between his knee and his groin. "Wouldn't you like that?"
"Yes. Yes I would. I mean, when I'm not busy hanging out with all the other doctors in North Falls that is," Maxwell said.
"Why don't you just expand the club?"
"To what? Doctor's of North Falls and their favorite nurses?"
"Oh, you want to take Hannah? She's a bit old but I'm sure she can get crazy," Katie joked and they both laughed as they leaned into each other. Their faces were just inches away.
"I can't believe I didn't want you to be my nurse," Maxwell said.
"Why was that?"
"Well, at first I just didn't want one because it was the state interfering with things. You know, bureaucracy is no fun in medicine. Then I found out you were right out of college and I thought you would suck at nursing and being a pain around the office. But I was wrong."
"Wrong about what?" Katie asked while grinning, "I don't suck at nursing or I'm not a pain around the office?"
They both smiled and looked in at each other. Within a few seconds, Maxwell's face turned to stone and he looked at her.
"If I can get serious for one second, Katie. I like you a lot. We haven't known each other long but I hope we do know each other a long time."
Maxwell reached around Katie, grabbing the back of her head gingerly. He brought her towards him and their mouths met each other. They kissed. Her tongue reached out and met his.
He pushed towards her and soon her back was on the couch. Sho moaned softly as he lay hr down. He hovered over her, his mouth still pressing against hers. His tongue traced the soft fullness of her lips.
She reached out and through his pants began rubbing his crotch. It was already hard and, by what she could tell by exploring up and down, it was long.
"Has everything down there recovered from this afternoon?" Katie asked.
"I don't know. I still might need a nurse to check it out."
Katie began rubbing his dick harder, still on the outside of his pants. Maxwell lowered himself onto her. His weight now pressed against her chest. She kept his hand against his shaft. Maxwell felt his chest press against her bosom. He reached out with one forearm to steady himself above her. With the other hand he reached down to the bottom of her blouse. Gingerly, he moved his hand up, his fingers grazing every square inch of skin until his hand reached the bottom of her bra.
Maxwell shifted his weight, and soon he picked Katie off the bed so he could lay on his back and she was on top of her. He pulled her too him tight, kissing the side of her neck. She purred in pleasure.
His hand unbuttoned her blouse, his fingers icy, but the palm fiery hot. Without hesitation, he pulled her breasts, still in a purple bra, towards his face. With one hand he reached around and took off her bra, tossing it to the side.His lips touched her left nipple with tantalizing possessiveness.
Katie reached her hand down and rubbed his chest. She felt the hairs along. He was a real man. She began to unbutton his shirt and he released his tight grip around her hips to allow her too. She was sitting on him topless and reached down for another kiss. They both moaned in unison, as their lower halves rubbed against each other.
Maxwell reached a hand down her naval, under her pants and her panties. It caught Katie by surprise. Maxwell was aggressive. He inched his fingers down, brushing her clit, before slowly inserting himself into her.
Katie reached down to unbutton her pants. She did so and slid them off, leaving her above the doctor in just her panties. They were silky and small around her waist. She was happy she was wearing this pair, from Victoria's Secret, they made her butt look great if she were to turn around. The back was just thicker than a string.
"Hold on," Katie said. She reached down and took his hand out of her. "Let's do a quick check-up on your medical situation first." Katie and Maxwell both grinned.
She knelt in between his legs and began to tug down at his pants. The pants were slid off by Katie's seductive grasp. As she pulled them down, she took his underwear down with them. Maxwell felt her smooth fingers run down from his waist along his thighs.
Maxwell's dick sprung out, hard and straight up. She crawled back on top of him and took the cock in her left hand. She began to massage it open and down. Maxwell tilted his neck to meet hers, and they were kissing as she worked his penis vigorously. He reached around and grabbed her butt. He couldn't believe how firm it was.
"Katie. This probably doesn't surprise you, but just to let you know I haven't been with a girl since my wife died. And she and I were high school sweethearts. She was the first girl I was with and the only one."
Katie began to rub harder, and lowered her mouth and gave his neck some hard kisses.
"I never slept with my boyfriend," Katie said.
"Well, I've done this. Like what we're doing now. But I never went all the way with him."
Maxwell lowered his hand back down to her panties and began rubbing the outside of them. They were soaking.
"I doubt it's because you weren't excited to," Maxwell said.
"Let's just say I don't regret it. That asshole didn't deserve me," Katie said.
Maxwell pulled her panties to the side. He pressed her down against him so that her pussy was lying against his penis. He felt his manhood press against the outside of her opening. She began to move up and down. The underside of his shaft was pressed against her.
Katie pulled the panties off her legs and now straddled on top of Maxwell. Her ass was on the top of his thighs. She was looking right in Maxwell's eyes. Her pussy was again right against the underside of his dick which was sticking straight up. Katie began to massage it, as she maintained her upright sitting position, and pressed it against her.
He moaned as she rubbed his dick. His legs began to quiver slightly. She could feel, on the back of her ass, his firm leg muscles supporting her. She hadn't figured out yet how Maxwell had time to maintain his temple of a body.
Maxwell reached out and grabbed her hips. Slowly, he pushed them up with his strong arms. He guided her towards his shaft. She was biting her lip in anticipation. Maxwell position her pussy right above his dick and began to let go. She looked at his eyes and let herself fall, his manhood sliding into her. She groaned as Maxwell's long and thick penis entered her. She had never felt such powerful sensation in her life.
She paused to collect herself. Maxwell grabbed her hips and began to rock her back and forth. When Katie recuperated, and was refocused, she joined back in and rode him faster.
"This feels amazing," Maxwell said, "Katie, you're a goddess."
"Then you're a God," she said.
She began to ride him faster and faster. Katie didn't know what to do but it felt good so she wasn't going to stop. By the look on Maxwell's face, he was enjoying it too.
"You seriously have never ridden a guy before?" Maxwell said. He was now moving his hips up and down, pushing her up and down along his dick as he did.
"Never. Maxwell, you're my first and only," she said. "How am I doing."
"Quick learner, once again."
They continued to rock back and forth. He grabbed her back and pulled her to him. Her boobs hovered over his face, wobbling back and forth like two beautiful orbs. Her hair dangled down passed her shoulders. She lowered her face and they kissed once again.
"I'm going to cum," he said.
She began to hump back and forth faster. Katie wanted Maxwell to be as happy as possible. As she picked up her own speed, she felt a sensation growing inside of her. She was beginning to feel orgasm coming
Moments later, as she began to pant and moan, Maxwell picked up the pace. Now guiding her hips up and down with his arms and moving his own bottom up and down as well. He was doing all the work, fucking her as hard as he could.
He shot his oozing white cum into her and she felt it against her walls. He stopped his motions, his muscles rested immediately. She lowered herself onto him, kissing his face before rolling over to his side. They embraced in a nude cuddle.
The two moved to the bedroom, still naked, and started to cuddle again. Maxwell was on his back and Katie came to his side, one of her arms laying across his built chest and her leg over his thigh just grazing his penis. They talked for hours about losing someone and about loneliness. The talked how they didn't feel lonely tonight.
With nothing more than a few kisses, the two passed out and woke up the next morning to Maxwell's 5:30 AM alarm. It was a Sunday which meant that Katie had the day off, but Maxwell would be in the office preparing for the coming week.
"How about I drive you back to the office and you can pick up your car? We can check to make sure the flooding has stopped by your place." Maxwell said.
"OK. Do you want to grab breakfast?"
"No. I should just go to work."
Katie was upset, but tried not to show it. Maxwell was showing his serious side again. She had figured he would be a bit more light-hearted, as he was the night before. The coupling of the two should have been a change of perspective for him. It was for her.
He drove her by her house, the stream was no longer flooding the road, and then drove to the office. Katie leaned in for a kiss good-bye, hoping Maxwell would meet him halfway. He didn't. His face remained frozen, neither moving towards or away from Katie. She kept moving in to kiss him but when she realized that Maxwell would not budge, she moved her face to the side and gave a quick peck on his cheek. Katie smiled as she pulled away, until she saw he wasn't smiling himself.
"Well...uh...I'll see you tomorrow," Katie said.
"Yes," Maxwell said in the most uninterested voice possible.
Katie got out of the doctor's BMW, slamming the door in anger, before returning to her car.
On Monday morning Katie arrived at the office right at 8:00 AM. Why was Maxwell so unfriendly? He was so distant the morning after? Was the entire day a mistake? It had felt so right at the time? He was hot, successful, nice, and could show emotion. Well, sometimes show emotion. His body was built and his dick was long. He was Katie's dream man, but what didn't she provide him? Sure, she wasn't his wife. Was that the only reason? She had gone out of her way to make him feel wanted again, loved again.
She walked towards her office when she heard a voice calling her.
"Katie," Maxwell said from his own office. He must have seen her walk by.
"Hi...yes...Dr. Straus," Katie said.
"Can you mark up these patient files for me," he reached out and gave Katie a stack of papers. His eyes were diverted to the side, almost refusing to give Katie a second of interaction. What worried her most was that she called him Dr. Straus, and instead of correcting her, he let it go. Was she back to calling Maxwell being Dr. Straus already?
Katie took the papers into her office. She opened them up. A man needed medicine for his hypertension and a woman was worried that her medications were making her drowsy all the time. She went through the process that she was now familiar with and could do almost without thinking.
As she finished her anger grew. Who did Dr. Straus think he was, sleeping with and then rejecting his new nurse within 48 hours? It wasn't just built up in her own head. He really was an ass-hole.
Once she completed the last sheet she went back to his office and threw the papers on the desk.
"Here, Doctor. The papers are done," she said tersely.
"Thank you," Maxwell said, looking up at her.
"Listen, Maxwell. I don't get it. I don't get what happened between us," Katie said.
"You know, I don't know either. I don't know if we should talk about it."
"What? You just want to ignore it even happened."
"My first patient arrives in thirty minutes," Maxwell said, "I don't know if now is the time to talk about it."
"It's not the time? Why, what do you want me to do? Fill out more patient forms for you?"
Maxwell reached to his desk and picked up another stack of manilla papers. He handed them to Katie. She stared at his hands in disbelief. He was making her do work for him and was unwilling to talk about things at all.
Katie was crying in her office. She did not get through the first page of files before her tears opened up. How stupid she had been. She put her head down on the desk, her eyes pressed into her arms. There were no tissues in the room, so when no one was looking she made a quick run across the hall to grab a box that was meant for patients. She came back and closed the door to cry in solitude.
It was unfair. She was in the middle of Eastern Oregon. There was no one here she liked, except Maxwell who she thought she loved. Now that he seemed to be done with her, Katie felt empty. She had nothing.
"It's Dr. Straus," Maxwell said as he opened the door slowly.
Katie spun around her torso and looked up at the doctor. Her face was still covered in tears. It was clear she had been crying and Maxwell, even if trying not to observant, would know it.
"I'm about to go in for my first patient. Can you look over this too? Before the next appointment starts," Maxwell said, and gave Katie another manilla envelope. It was just what she needed.
Katie nodded her head, dreading the added task but knowing it would get Maxwell out of the room faster.
"Thanks Katie. It's an important file," he said.
She nodded again and turned around in her seat. Maxwell closed the door, and she returned to crying on her arm.
She looked up at the clock and saw it was 9:15. She had just 15 minutes to look over whatever file he had given her. Katie opened the folder. It wasn't the usual medical form. It wasn't a sheet of old prescriptions or notes scribbled from a pervious doctor.
Katie stared at the folder in front of her which contained a single 8.5-11 piece of paper, still crisp and with pen ink that looked unfaded. It wasn't about a patient at all. It was a personal note from Maxwell.
When you first arrived in North Falls to be my new nurse I didn't know what to think. I despised the state program that you were a part of and resisted it with all my might. Within a week you showed yourself to be a competent nurse. I suspected my deep-seated hatred for the program may be unjustified. In the week after, and at the reservation on Saturday, you should yourself to be much more than competent. You were an asset. As someone as stubborn as myself, it was hard to admit, by my deep-seated hatred for the program was completely unjustified.
When my wife died I vowed I could never love another woman again. I moved out of Los Angeles, back here to North Falls, where my vow was kept. It was easy, perhaps, given the small town I was living in. I threw myself into my work. It was easy to stay infatuated with my wife.
As I got to know you I began to suspect my deep-seated vow of singleness may be unjustified. You were a beautiful girl. You are caring. You are fun to talk to and I respect your work. My feelings for you became personal, instead of just professional, quickly.
When we spent the night together Saturday I realized I was wrong. I am stubborn, but even I have to admit, that the time we spent together was incredible. My deep-seated vow of singleness was not justified if there was a woman as remarkable as you.
I don't want to be alone anymore. My wife wouldn't want me to be, and by the sounds of it you would not want me to be.
That's why I panicked. I didn't know what to do. I apologize for me being so cold to you in the morning after and today. I didn't know how to react to these feelings. I haven't felt love in 7 years.
But I do now. That is why I am excited and scared.
I apologize for being distant. I can't promise I won't ever be down again. I can be afraid of opening myself up, being vulnerable to loss. But I don't want you to be hurt either. And for that, I am willing to risk my own feelings for yours.
If you feel the same way, please find me as soon I am done with my patient in room 144.
Katie's tears faded and she began to have trouble breathing normally as she tried to regain her composure. She got up from her seat and went to the bathroom, washing her face off so she looked normal. As she did she looked in the mirror. She adjusted her top, trying to look as pretty as possible, and caught her smile in the mirror as she did. Katie was happy again.
She went back to her office, it was 9:28, and left the door ajar. From there she could hear if door 144 was open.
The minutes passed as she sat in her chair, rereading the note in her hands.
At 9:32 she heard a door click open. A middle-aged woman walked out and back towards the doctor's entrance. Katie got up, still holding the note, and walked to the room. The door's edge was against the frame, but was not closed all the way. She couldn't see in, so put one hand against it and gingerly pressed forward.
As Katie opened the door, Maxwell rose from the doctor's stool. She took a step inside, reaching around her back to close the door. Maxwell stepped forward until he was a foot next to her. The much taller doctor looked down at her nurse.
"I'm so sorry," Maxwell said. He reached to her and grabbed her waist.
"No, don't be," Katie said. "It's not always easy."
"I want this to work," he said.
"Me too. It will."
Maxwell pulled her towards him, tilting his head downwards to kiss her. She opened her mouth wide and placed her own hand on his shoulders, pulling herself up to him. Maxwell grabbed her butt and pulled her off the ground, until her legs were wrapped around the doctor. They continued kissing in their embrace as her naval pressed into the bottom of his chest and her legs pressed against his crotch.
Maxwell rotated the two of them, first pressing Katie against the wall gently. Between his chest and the wall her weight was supported. Maxwell pressed hard into her and Katie could feel the length of his dick, now hard, pressing against her.
Katie pointed towards the exam table and Maxwell carried her over to it, lowering the nurse along it. He stood at one edge and she wrapped her legs around his standing thighs, and pulled herself closer.
He reached down and began to pull of her shirt. Katie smiled as he did so. The doctor unbuttoned his own shirt and then lowered his pants and boxers. His dick stood up and Katie bit her lips as she reached down for her own pants, lowering them completely until she was naked on the table.
"Don't let me ever be mean to you again," Maxwell said. He put his hand on his dick and guided it towards her opening. Katie's eyes rolled to the back of her head as she moaned when he inserted himself.
The doctor put his hands by her side. He remained standing and began his humping motion, using the full force of his body and muscles to quickly guide her pussy along his penis. Her naked back glided across the exam table. His muscular body controlled her every movement.
The doctor looked down at Katie. Her hazel eyes so inviting and beautiful and her smile was infectious. He began to smile too. Maxwell hadn't smiled too much in the last seven years.
He lowered his upper body to reach down towards her breasts. Katie put her elbows on the table, to raise herself up. Her chest met his face, he began to suck her nipples, before their mouths met again.
The doctor stopped his forceful humps and took himself out of her. He pushed her farther down the exam table and then he crawled on top of the table and of her.
"I hope this table enough for the two of us. I've never tried this," Maxwell said.
Katie reached down and grabbed his shaft, rubbing it up and down.
He lowered himself onto her. His mouth meeting hers and his dick meeting her pussy. He began to insert himself as hard as he could, gliding his large dick against her wet and flowing juices. His 6'2" frame imprisoned her in a web of growing arousal.
Within minutes Katie felt her body tense up and she began to scream in orgasm. Maxwell reached up and put his hand over her mouth, not wanting the sounds to leave the room. As he did so her pussy tightened around his dick in, and he began to cum. His muscles loosened and he collapsed upon the nurse beauty, as the cum filled her up. They kissed on the exam table, pulling away only to laugh at the situation they had found themselves in.
They got dressed quickly after, and used the medical grade disinfecting wipes to their great advantage. Katie grabbed the note, now slightly crumpled and on the ground, and pressed it into her body.
"I don't want this to end. Come to my place after work today," Maxwell said.
"I will," Katie said.
"I'm ready to love again, as long as the woman is you."
The two leaned in for another kiss. Their mouths were inseparable. Not just on that one day, but for the rest of their lives. Katie had signed up for just six months in North Falls but once she had completed the mandatory term she signed on to stay for another six months. Once she had been there a year, she moved in with Maxwell and the two were married soon after. Maxwell and Katie travelled the world together, but they never moved out of North Falls. All they needed was each other. In the quiet town in eastern Oregon, they were happy, because they had all they need. They had each other, always and forever.
Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed it, I appreciate any votes, comments, or messages! - BeccaBloom
Aug 29, 2018 in romance