Author’s Note: Due to the mature content I am giving a trigger warning. This chapter mentions and describes an episode of sexual harassment that some may find upsetting. Where the description is not detailed and does not go very far it may still be triggering. Please proceed with caution.
“Lia says you ran out of the apartment like the hounds of hell were after you” Eli chuckled joining Trebor at the nurses station before beginning their rounds.
“It wasn’t like that” he laughed rolling his eyes.
“Uh huh…she also said you left with a really cute pink haired guy too” his eyes twinkled.
“Don’t say it” he mumbled turning his back to him hoping he would get the hint.
“Was it the hockey player” Lana asked joining the conversation.
“Who else would make our boy here turn that particular shade of red” Eli asked leaning over the nurses station to give his girlfriend a kiss.
“Did you tell him the news” she asked eyes shining bright waving her left hand around.
“Tell me what” he asked turning around.
“We’re engaged” Lana beamed holding her hand up displaying the newly acquired diamond on her finger.
“Congratulations” he said grinning at her as her as he stepped back to get out-of-the-way of the horde of nurses clamoring to make their best wishes known. Walking away with Eli trailing beside him he said “it’s about time. You’ve been carrying that ring around for what? Six months?”
“I was waiting for the right time” he cried sounding defensive.
“The right time” he mused “how is having your visiting cousin lying in a hospital bed connected to half a dozen machines fighting for her life the right time?
“Well…yeah” he shrugged “if felt right. She needed something happy to offset all the bad.” they walked in silence for several seconds before Eli continued “Lia said you refused to talk to her…”
“You know what she’s like” he protested “always nagging you until you want to scream. How many times do I have to say I’ve got things under control? I can handle it.”
“Sure you can” he nodded “that’s why you’ve been avoiding Doctor Creepy all day.”
“I wouldn’t say all day. I’ve only been here a couple of hours….”
“You know what I mean” Eli said “is that why you’ve changed direction whenever you’ve seen him coming in your direction? I saw you duck into radiology when he came out of emergency coming towards you.
“I was going in there anyway” he mumbled “it had nothing to do with him.” Looking up meeting his friends disbelieving gaze “I don’t care what you think. It’s not like you care.” He knew he was being unfair the moment the words were out of his mouth and the wounded expression crossed Eli’s face. “I’m sorry” he apologized even though he knew he’d never be able to make amends for the unkind words. “I’m just tired.”
“I bet” he grinned letting him know he was off the hook and all was forgiven. “You spent the night with the hockey player, didn’t you?”
A dreamy smile spread across Trebor’s face. “Yeah … it was nice.”
“More than nice from the looks of you” Eli chuckled ducking when Trebor swung at him. “I haven’t seen you this happy in…I don’t know when. I’m happy for you.”
Ducking his head down Trebor nodded. He knew that Lana had told Eli about his relationship with Oli and the depression he’d spiraled into when it all came to a crashing end. “Thanks” he mumbled “maybe once Elaine is released from the hospital we can go out to dinner as couples.” The word slipped from his lips without him noticing. It was strange how good he felt and at the same time be scared out of his mind this whole thing made him.
“Knowing Lana she’ll want to have you both over for a home cooked meal.” Pausing for effect he added “she’ll want to play Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.
“The teams wouldn’t be balanced” Trebor pointed out.
“That’s okay. You can answer all the questions for women when it’s your turn” Eli offered.
“Why me” he demanded.
“Because the only other choice would be your hockey player and somehow I don’t see that happening.” Eli breathed deeply trying not the laugh “besides Lana always said it’s not the gender that matters but the answers you give.”
“Yeah but….” he couldn’t think of anything he could use to dissuade his friend “I’ll play if Braylin wants too.”
“He will” he said confidently.
“How do you know” he challenged.
“I just do” he giggled “he’ll want to do anything to get you flustered so you turn red. You’re way to pickable.”
“Whatever” he rolled his eyes stopping beside a water fountain. Taking a drink he turned to join Eli when a displeased deep voice spoke behind him.
“You were supposed to come to my office at the end of your shift the other night” Doctor Brackett stated.
Drying his mouth Trebor turned to face the older man. Doctor Creepy himself was staring at him his eyes smoldering. “I was told you were in surgery” he explained “Your receptionist said I could go home.”
The man’s eyes narrowed “you should have waited.”
Trebor felt his insides begin to quake making him feel nauseous. On the best of days he had a hard enough time dealing with loud raised voices, today wasn’t the best of days. Squeezing his eyes tight he forced the images of the past back into the place he assigned them in his mind. It didn’t do a lot of good under the barrage of bombastic ridicule he was being subjected to. An overwhelming feeling of helplessness swept through him leaving him feeling like the scared little toddler he was when he’d been kidnapped.
“Well” the man demanded cutting into his thoughts “what do you have to say for yourself?”
Blinking he drew in a shaky shallow breath “I um…I did as I was told. It’s not my fault your receptionist didn’t relay to me the correct information. If you had wanted me to say she should have told me so.”
The man fumed silently in front of him “Very well. Come with me now” he ordered.
“I’m in the middle of rounds” he informed him.
“Doctor Everett can finish yours and his both. He could use the practice” he snapped.
With a sinking all was lost feeling he handed Eli his charts of his remaining patients.
“Good luck” Eli whispered to him.
Nodding Trebor turned to follow the older man who was holding the elevator for him. He gave Eli a desperate look sure this would be the last time he’d see him alive. Once he was on the elevator he moved as far away as he could manage on the elevator trying to ignore how small and enclosed it was as the walls seemed to close in around him. Doctors and nurses came and went as the elevator descended. His heart thumped painfully in his chest as his breathing increased making him feel light-headed. When they reached the ground level he moved to get off. He gave the older doctor a startled look when he pressed the button to continue down to the basement.
“We’ll have more privacy” he explained his eyes taking on a strange glossy look like he was high. When the doors opened again he grabbed Trebor’s arm dragging him from the elevator.
“I think if we need to talk about my job performance it should be in your office. We should have plenty of privacy there” he cried pitching his voice loud hoping someone would hear him. Struggling in the man’s grip shocked at how strong the older man was.
“Your job performance is just fine. You’re one of the best young doctor’s we have” Doctor Brackett informed him.
“But you said….then why…” his voice trailed away a he caught sight of a brand new sports car sitting in the loading dock.
“I needed an excuse to get you down here” the man grinned pleased with himself. “It’s a perk. A well deserved perk.”
“It’s …. I mean I appreciate the thought” shaking his head he looked up at his superior. “What’s the catch” he asked suspiciously.
“Well now that you ask” the man’s voice was close speaking in his ear “there are certain services you’d be expected to perform.”
“Services” he asked his heart pounding sending his blood pressure to the roof. Tensing as he felt the man’s lips on his neck nibbling and sucking.
“I’ve wanted to do this ever since you started here” he said wrapping his arms around his body and pulling him closer.
Trebor froze feeling the man’s lustful intentions through the layers of material. No doubt remained. “What about your family? Your wife” he groped for something that would break through the man’s desire.
“She knows what I want. What I need” he worked his hand down to the front of Trebor’s pants.
The sound of his zipper being released broke through Trebor’s reserves giving him the strength to break free from the man’s hold. “I’m not….we can’t…” he stammered incoherently.
“Of course you can” he demurred “just relax and enjoy the moment. This could be pleasurable for both us if you let it.”
“No” he shouted running towards the open doors of the dock.
Before he could get very far Doctor Brackett caught him and forced him backwards against the hard concrete wall. “What’s the harm? You’ll get plenty of benefits not to mention a stellar recommendation from me when your residency is over. You’ll be able to go anywhere.” He ground himself into Trebor “just relax. Isn’t becoming a heart surgeon worth it? You need this residency and without me you won’t get…”
“Don’t touch me” he screamed bringing his hands between them and pushing him hard.
Staggering backwards Doctor Brackett glared at him. “Why is this so difficult for you? A little harmless fun is all I’m asking. No one needs to know. We both get what we want.”
“I won’t” Trebor tensed when the man came towards “don’t come near me.”
“If you want to keep your position as resident here at the hospital you’ll comply with my request.” His voice was deep, foreboding like thunder warning of an incoming storm. “I always get what I want. There’s always one eager beaver among the residents willing to put out to get ahead of the rest.” He looked Trebor up and down “or they can be persuaded with the right leverage. You’ll be no different.”
“I’m afraid for you this time is different” a familiar voice said from the dimly lit interior of the loading dock of the hospital.
“Braylin” Trebor whispered noticing the familiar pink hair. Relief flooded through him as he fell to his knees too weak to support himself.
Another familiar voice was speaking now. The voice was tinged with anger as it confronted the visibly shaken Doctor Brackett. “I had my suspicions and let my doubts cloud my judgement. You’re dismissed.”
“You can’t do that” Doctor Brackett protested. “I’m the Director of Emergency Medicine.”
“You were now you’re not. I’m the Director of the Hospital. I’m responsible for hiring you. I can damn well fire you.”
“I’ll sue” he blustered.
“You’ll lose. I heard it all. Saw it all. It’s no longer a matter of his word against yours. Thanks to Doctor Everett I was able to witness what was happening inside my hospital. Now I can stop this travesty. This is a teaching hospital not your personal hunting ground for your perversions. I suggest you contact your lawyer for the impending criminal charges you’ll be faced with.” Turning towards Trebor “I assume you will be filing charges. I’ll make the hospital lawyer available to you and I will personally testify on your behalf.”
“Thank you” Braylin said for him.
“No” Trebor whispered trembling from the release of tension “I just….I don’t…I….”
Holding his face still forcing him to look at him. “Do you trust me” he asked cutting into Trebor’s disjointed dribble.
“Yes” he said eyes pleading with him.
“Then you’ll file charges to put this scum in jail. You won’t have to go through this alone. I promise.” Braylin pulled him close planting a soft tender kiss on Trebor’s lips. “I’ll be with you every step of the way.”
“Okay” he said his voice barely audible. The good-hearted Director of the hospital knelt beside them as the police arrived to arrest Doctor Brackett. His face was grim “I’m sorry this happened to you. I should have taken the accusations more seriously but it was always dropped in the past.”
“It’s not your fault” Trebor heard himself saying even though they lacked conviction.
“You don’t have to protect me from my own stupidity young man” he said reaching out to pat Trebor’s shoulder. Noticing the way he flinched at his touch he nodded saying “I’ll give you something to relax you before you leave today.”
“Can I take him home” Braylin asked “I doubt he’s in any condition to go back to work.”
“Once the police are finished with their questions he can go home. He can have the next week off as well. I’m sure he’ll need the time to process what just happened.”
“Great” Braylin said thanking the older man.