CHAPTER THREE - A Day at the Races
Doc told David to follow him, so David fell in behind Doc’s wheelchair which was pushed by an athletic young man dressed in white shirt, white pants, and white soft-soled shoes. There was a white plastic name tag pinned to his pocket which identified him as Lester Hadcock, RN. The rear doors of the ballroom opened onto a rather large porch which had a wide view of the Marsden Estate. A grand staircase led down to a wide gravel path. On the other side of the path was an elaborately-landscaped flower garden. Alongside the staircase was a recently constructed ramp which led to the path.
Most of the guests were already boarding long electric carts like one would find at large fairs or expositions. There was a smaller cart to one side with a ramp extended from the back. Nurse Lester pushed Doc up the ramp and secured his wheelchair in place. Then Doc said, “Well, don’t stand there looking lost, get aboard.” David stepped onboard the cart from the side and sat next to Doc. Slave yul followed him and knelt at his side. David noted with some relief that the floor of the cart was carpeted. He hadn’t wanted slave yul to have to kneel on a rough metal floor.
A short ride later, the cart pulled up at a slightly undersized racetrack. The track itself appeared to be a full quarter-mile, but the grandstand was probably only capable of holding a couple hundred people at most. Nurse Lester pushed Doc’s wheelchair up the walkway which led to the front of the grandstand. There was a special box reserved for him at the finish line. Nurse Lester set Doc’s wheelchair in place and secured it, then nodded crisply at Doc and walked back to the cart.
“Les doesn’t really approve of all this,” Doc said, waving his arm out at the track. “But he stays because I pay him very well.” He laughed slightly and then continued, “And I pay him very well because he is worth it.”
Doc then pointed to the seat next to him and David sat down. Slave yul started to kneel next to him on the concrete, but David motioned for her to stop. Then he asked Doc, “Is it permissible for yul to sit with us? The concrete is very rough and it could hurt her knees and legs.”
“Sitting would be bad form,” Doc said. “But there are pads available. She will go get one if you give her permission.”
David turned to slave yul and said, “You have permission to go get a pad.”
Slave yul brightened and said, “Thank you, Master.” and ran down a ramp that led under the grandstand. She returned shortly with a rubber pad, similar to a yoga mat, but smaller. After setting it on the ground, she knelt next to David and smiled up at him.
David leaned down closer to slave yul and asked softly, “Why didn’t you ask to go get a pad?”
Slave yul replied, “A slave should not think of her own comfort. If her Master wants her to be more comfortable, he will give her permission.”
David paused and then said, “Slave yul, you have my permission to ask for those things which you need or which would make you more comfortable. Remember, I am new at this and might not recognize your needs as well as an experienced Master.”
Slave yul beamed back at him and said, “Thank you, Master. You will be a very good Master to this humble slave.”
Doc tapped David on the shoulder and said, “If you want to place any bets on the races, there are windows down below the grandstand.”
David asked, “Who are you betting on?”
Doc laughed and said, “I have discovered that the timelooper works both directions. I could just pop forward and see who won before placing a bet. But being able to know who is going to win sort of takes the fun out of betting. Besides, I think some of my friends would start getting suspicious if I won all the time.”
“I think I’ll just watch the races,” David said. “I’ve never seen this kind of race before.”
“It’s the same as horse races,” Doc said, “except rather than horses we have ponygirls and ponybois.”
An elaborately-dressed man stepped onto the track holding a long trumpet. He played the traditional call to post and a line of eight, semi-naked young women pranced out onto the track. All of them were wearing white knee-high boots with built-in hooves and had their arms bound behind their backs in a long white bondage sleeve. Each ponygirl had a different-colored tall, feathered headdress with a hood that covered most of her head. There was a hole in the back of the hood and the ponygirl’s hair was pulled through and then wrapped tightly with a colored ribbon before hanging down over their necks. On each of their stomachs was a large painted square which matched the headdress, and in the center of the square was a large white number. As the ponies pranced into position, a soft tinkling sound came from the bells which each ponygirl had hanging from her nipples.
Doc leaned over to David and said, “Sometimes you will see the girls... or the bois... tricked out with butt plugs that have tails. Sometimes, with the girls, it's their own hair. There are people who think it makes the ponygirl effect more true to life. But the reality is that they can run a lot faster without something stuck up their ass, and there are a lot of bets on these races. So, the owners are not going to handicap their pony with a butt plug. If it’s primarily a show race or a demonstration, then the tails get put on... or in as the case may be.”
The ponies were placed in the starting gate and the crowd got very quiet. Then with a loud clank the gates opened and the ponygirls began racing around the track. They weren’t exactly running, but they were no longer doing the elaborate prancing that they had done as they were led to the gate. The pony in the lead kept bobbing forward and then straightening up as if she were trying to get a burst of speed and then go back to working on keeping her knees coming up to the prescribed height.
Two ponies– numbers 4 and 7– were in the lead with a significant space between them and the rest of the field as they came around the fourth turn. Both ponygirls were shiny with sweat as they approached the finish line. An announcer was calling the race in the same fashion as if it were actually a horse race. “Pretty Baby is ahead by a length, but nice knockers is gaining fast. It’s Pretty Baby by a half-length. It’s Pretty Baby by a breast. It’s nipple and nipple as they cross the finish line. Ladies and gentlemen, this will be a photo finish.”
Doc leaned over to David and said, “The cameras are electronic so we will have the results almost immediately.”
“They looked even,” David said.
“If they were,” Doc replied with a laugh, “then Knockers will win. The first thing over the line is their breasts and Nice Knockers was named that for a reason.”
The announcer confirmed Doc’s prediction as he yelled out, “The results are in. It is Nice Knockers by a nipple. Nice Knockers is the winner; Pretty Baby shows; and Pucker Butt places.”
David shook his head and laughed. “What’s so funny?” Doc asked.
“Nice Knockers, Pretty Baby, and Pucker Butt,” David answered. “Yesterday I wouldn’t have believed such names, let alone what they are, and today I’m watching ponygirl races.”
“And there’s time for a ponybois race before we go down to lunch,” Doc said. As if on cue, the man with the long trumpet again played the call to post and five ponybois trotted onto the track. The five men were dressed similarly to the women except their hands were cuffed to a bar in front of their chests and held against their chests by leather bindings. Another difference was that the men were barefoot.
“Why are the men barefoot?” David asked.
“Partly it’s just tradition,” Doc answered, “but mostly it's because a woman’s center of gravity is lower on her body unless she has extraordinarily huge tits. Thus a woman can move... and run... in those hoof shoes a lot better than a man can.” He paused and then added, “... though I’ve seen some very big ponybois running shod in matched set races.”
As the men moved toward the starting gate, David noticed that they were taking relatively small steps and that they seemed to be bouncing from one foot to the other. Doc watched David for a moment and then said, “They’re trotting. This is going to be a trot race. One foot has to be on the ground at all times and your feet can never be more than a foot apart.”
“Weird,” said David. “How do they even move?”
“With great difficulty, Master,” slave yul said from alongside him. “It takes months of training to be able to trot properly. Prancing is much easier.”
“You have run as a ponygirl?” David asked.
“I wanted her to be well-rounded,” Doc answered. “Besides it is very good exercise and slave yul needed to build up her body after what her previous owners did to her.”
Slave yul did not respond, but just bowed down and looked at the ground.
“And they’re off,” the announcer yelled. David noted that once they got to running... or trotting... or whatever, they did look very much like jockeys on a trotting horse. They may not actually be able to trot with only two feet, but if you had a video of the ponybois from the shoulders up, it would look very much like they were riding trotting horses.
“Mamma’s Bitch is in the lead,” the announcer called out. From where David sat it was hard to tell. Evidently it was very difficult to get a burst of speed with the strange foot pattern. The five men stayed in a ragged line across the track all the way through all four corners. Then on the straightaway to the finish line, one of the bois started pulling forward.
“Hot to Trot is taking the lead,” the announcer said, “but Mamma’s Bitch is closing fast. They are at the line and it is Hot to Trot, Momma’s Bitch, and Useless as they come across the finish line.”
Doc leaned in and said softly to David, “Did you expect any of those names?”
David just laughed softly. Then Doc said, “Would you please push me over to the ramp that goes under the grandstands. There is supposed to be a light lunch ready for everyone down there.”
David pushed Doc’s wheelchair down the ramp and out onto an area of closely-cut– or perhaps artificial– grass with a number of round tables set up in the shade provided by the grandstands. He followed Doc’s directions to a table in the center. One of the chairs had been left out at that table, so it was obvious where Doc was supposed to sit.
As soon as they were both in place, Doc suddenly turned to David and said, “What have you learned about the Timelooper?”
David’s eyes went wide, then he sputtered, “Well... Well... Well, it’s alien.”
“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” Doc said sarcastically. “What have you learned about how it works?”
“You just think about where you want to go, touch it, and it takes you there– either in the past or in the future,” David said. “You can talk to yourself, but if you grab your hand, you replace your old self with your future self... or maybe your future self with your old self.” He now had a very confused look on his face.
Doc laughed. “You might be wondering what happens if I bump into someone while I am invisible,” he said, shaking his head. “The answer is, ‘Nothing.’ I can walk right through people... though it feels weird as hell for both of us.”
“What happens if you touch someone else’s hand?” David asked, “Do you become them?”
“That’s a good question,” Doc said, “and luckily the answer is ‘No.’” He laughed and said, “But I do become visible. Early on I was still playing with my powers and decided to drop in on one of Deb’s girlfriends in the shower. Deb and I were at this really boring dinner theater thing that she thought was fabulous. I decided to go back about a half hour and see what I could see over at the sorority house. Deb didn’t live there anymore, but she still kept real close to her friends there. Deb had said that Julena, the little black girl, had a date as soon as her boyfriend got off work. So I thought about Julena and her getting ready for her date and suddenly I was in a shower room at the sorority.”
“It was all steamy and Julena was singing to herself as she soaped herself up and then rinsed herself off. She had a really nice body. I stepped into the shower with her and stood behind her. I reached around and fondled her breasts. I could tell that she felt that... or felt something. She looked bewildered and looked around. Then she started shaving her legs. I stood behind her while she bent over and reached her calves. I was in just the right place to stare at her perfect slit and perfect little puckered asshole. I even pushed against her– just to see what would happen. What happened was that she screeched and spun around.”
“She was acting on instinct and thought someone– or something– was behind her. She turned swinging her hand, open palmed, as if she were going to really smack someone. I knew she couldn’t hurt me. I knew that her hand would go right through my head, but I still automatically raised my hand to stop her. As soon as our hands touched, I became visible. That’s when she really started screaming. I immediately tapped the crystal and returned to the dinner theater.”
“About five minutes after that, two uniformed policemen and a tough-looking man in a trench coat walked up to our table at the theater. They said they needed to talk to me so I accompanied them out into the lobby. Deb trailed along after us.”
“As soon as we got into the lobby, the tough one– a detective– spun me around and said, ‘Can you account for your whereabouts approximately forty-five minutes ago?’”
“‘He was sitting at the dinner table with me watching the play,’ Deb said firmly. ‘I am sure the waiters and other staff will vouch for that.’”
“‘You didn’t leave for a few minutes, did you?’ he asked.”
“‘No,’ I answered, ‘I was sitting there the whole boring time.’”
“Deb smiled at me and said sweetly, ‘And he had just decided to buy season tickets, didn’t you, darling?’”
“I just smiled at her and nodded. Then Julena showed up with her date. He was ready to fight, but the officers kept him away from me. ‘He was here all night,’ the detective said as he stepped between us. Julena, meanwhile, got right up in my face and said, ‘I know it was you... or your ghost... or your astral projection... or whatever you use to guess astral colors. And if you ever show up in my shower naked again, I will turn you into a permanent ghost.’”
“‘You won’t have to,’ I replied. ‘If it happens again, Mistress Deborah will do it for you.’ Deb just laughed in that slow, low-pitched, scary way that she could do.”
“‘Officer,’ Julena said, calming down considerably, ‘it appears that I must have had some sort of awake dream... or something. It won’t happen again.’”
“We stood and talked for a while longer and then they all left. The play, thankfully, was over, but Deb still made me buy season tickets and I had to promise her that I would never spy on her girlfriends again.”
“The next morning she said that we had to test what happened when I went back. So she told me to go back to when she was alone in the bathroom the night before and to be visible. That must have been when she got the idea to do this. I appeared to her and she said, ‘You’re naked. Come back in ten minutes.’”
“I touched the jewel and was once again sitting with her at the breakfast table. I thought of the same time and place, but imagined myself in my pajamas. ‘Try for something you aren’t wearing,’ she said and I was back at the kitchen table. On the next try I imagined myself in a full, white-tie tuxedo. When I appeared, she whistled softly and said, ‘Now you’ve got it.’ After that, if I was going to be visible when I went somewhere, I always made sure I imagined myself in the proper attire.”
“I figured we were done testing, but Deb had another thought. She wanted to know how far back I could go. So I imagined her as a small child, and went back invisible. I must have picked up on one of her happy memories, because she was playing in the back yard with a puppy. Then I tried to see her as a baby but I couldn’t. I could get back to when she was a toddler, but for some reason I couldn’t go back farther than that. I had no idea why, but Deb did. She was good at figuring out things like that. She said, ‘It’s because I’m older than you are. I’m a year and a half older than you. Whatever that thing is, it must be locked to your lifetime. You can’t go back before you were born, you didn’t exist then.’
Doc got real quiet for a while and then said, “I guess we’d better eat lunch. Don’t want our stomachs rumbling during the matched set races this afternoon.”
Lunch was two sandwiches on croissant buns with two large dill pickle slices and a side order of what Doc called “crisps.” They looked like potato chips, but the chef was frying them in a big kettle a little ways off in the grass. They were thicker than a normal potato chip and there were four different colors on the tray which was placed on the table. Doc pointed to the tray and said, “You have a choice of American potato, true Irish potato, sweet potato, and yam. David took a small portion of each. After noticing what other Masters were doing, he began giving some to yul who was kneeling next to his chair. He also gave her the smaller of the two sandwiches. The larger one was more than he could eat, but he didn’t want yul refusing it because it was too big. He lifted up the pickle, but she shook her head, so he put it back on the plate. She probably would have eaten if he had given it to her, but it was obvious that she didn’t like it.
After everyone had eaten and cleaned up a little, Doc asked David to push him back up to the grandstand box. The track had been groomed while everyone was below the grandstand and a different starting gate had been brought into position. This one reached across the entire track but had only four gates. Obviously something larger than a ponygirl was going to be coming out of the gate.
The trumpet sounded and four carriages rattled around the end of the grandstand and onto the track. All four carriages were identical and were painted identically using shiny black lacquer with elaborate gold pin-striping. The carriage drivers and ponies, however, were wearing the colors of their stables.
Carriage one, the red set, was put into Gate 1. The matched set was two ponybois in the front and two ponygirls in the second position. With them in this position, the front-facing hand binding of the men and the back-facing binding of the women’s arms made much more sense. The ponybois’ and ponygirls’ costumes were very similar to what was worn in the morning races except that there was wide belt around each of their waists which attached to the traces of the carriage.
Carriage two, the yellow set, was put into Gate 2. Except for the color of the driver’s livery and the plumes on top of the ponies, it was identical to carriage one.
Carriage three, the green set, was put into Gate 3. It, too, was identical to the other two carriages.
Carriage four, the blue set, was put into Gate 4. It differed from the other three carriages in that the matched pair of ponybois were connected in the back of the traces while the ponygirls were in the front. Less obvious at first, but the driver sitting up on the carriage was a woman rather than a man.
“I wonder,” Doc said, “if Mistress Deliah put the bois in the back because she’d rather watch a male ass running than a female.”
The man sitting behind Doc laughed loudly and said, “Obviously, Master Victor, you don’t know Mistress Deliah very well. She prefers lovers with nothing between their legs.”
“Oh,” Doc said, laughing as he turned around, “I didn’t know she was into eunuchs.”
“That’s not what I meant,” the man sputtered.
“I know what you meant, Master William,” Doc said. “I just thought you had an unusual way of putting it.”
Master William looked like he was going to say something, but the gate bell clanged loudly and the gates opened. All four carriages lunged forward. The ponygirls were leaning forward and their shod hooves were digging into the dirt of the track. The barefoot ponybois were also leaning forward, but their bare feet weren’t getting the same grip on the track.
Mistress Deliah’s carriage opened up to an early lead. Perhaps her tactic of putting the ponygirls in the front was paying off. Or perhaps her team was just faster.
The announcer was giving the team names as they rounded the first corner. “It’s Mistress Deliah,” he chanted loudly, “closely followed by Master Harold and then Master Murry, with Master Theodore bringing up the rear.
David looked around. Most of the people in the grandstand were watching silently. No one seemed to be overly-interested in the race. Doc evidently sensed his confusion because he leaned over and said, “This is a one mile race. That’s four laps around this track. It doesn’t really get interesting until the last lap.”
After that David divided his view between watching the carriages roll around the track and the naked slave kneeling at his side. He found himself reaching down and stroking her rump. She responded by arching her back and almost purring like a kitten. Doc turned to look at him and smiled.
David must have gotten lost in his thoughts about slave yul because the next thing he realized the announcer was talking about the carriages coming into the final stretch. David looked up and the carriage driven by Master Murry was clearly in the lead with Mistress Deliah about a length behind him.
Doc was talking excitedly, “Now you will see why Mistress Deliah has the ponybois in the back. She loves to smack ponyboi ass.”
Mistress Deliah was standing in the carriage with a whip in her hand. She flicked the whip so that it snapped just behind the asscheeks of one of the ponybois. Evidently the strands of the tip flipped out at supersonic speed and flicked against the ponyboi’s ass. He yelped and leaned harder into his run. Another quick snap and the ponyboi next to him also yelped. Soon they were yelping alternately and running faster and faster.
The announcer was speaking very fast. “It’s Master Murry by half a length with Mistress Deliah gaining. Master Murry by a head. Master Murry by a nose. They are neck and neck. Mistress Deliah is pulling ahead. It’s a photo finish, but it looks like Mistress Deliah is the winner. Hold your betting stubs until the judges review the photo.”
It got very quiet for a few minutes, then the announcer said, “Mistress Deliah and her matched set have won the Marsden Cup Race.”
The four carriages continued on around the track. They were now moving much more slowly and the ponygirls and ponybois had switched to more of a display prance. They completed a lap and then went around the grandstand toward the barns.
As the carriages finished their parade lap around the oval track, Doc said, “It’s time to go back to the big house. Tonight after supper is free time for everyone. The special rooms are all open and there will be a buffet in the ballroom from... now until midnight. Do you think you and slave yul might find something to do for the evening?”
David looked down at slave yul who knelt smiling up at him. “I think so, Doc. We will find something to keep us occupied.”
Nurse Lester appeared on cue and began pushing Doc back to the electric cart which would take them all back to the mansion house. When they got there, David followed Doc as Nurse Lester pushed him up onto the huge porch.
The ballroom was set up for the evening meal. The center section was a huge buffet. A woman dressed in white with a chef’s hat on her head was saying to the people as they came in, “Master Victor wants everyone to go ahead and get your meal. He will be joining you shortly.”
As Doc passed her he said loudly, “Yes, I will.” She startled, but then quickly returned to her spiel without the final sentence. Nurse Lester pushed Doc through the buffet line, lifting his plate and selecting the food Doc wanted. David followed closely behind. Slave yul was at his side, but did not have a plate. Several times he looked at her before adding additional food to his plate. If she smiled, he added it. If she frowned or shook her head slightly, he left it.
They were nearly at the end of the buffet when Doc turned in his wheelchair and pointed to something on the buffet line. He called out to David, “Don’t forget the oysters. You may need them.” Doc laughed, but David felt himself warming with a slight blush. He could hear slave yul giggling next to him.
Once they were seated, Doc said, “Let’s eat and then I want to go on with my story.” They sat in relative silence, only commenting on the food or on the races of the day. When everyone... including slave yul... was finished, Doc turned his wheelchair slightly so that he could face David more directly. He glanced down at slave yul and said, “I think it would be best if you waited for Master David in the bedroom.”
Slave yul immediately said, “Yes, Master Victor,” and scurried out of the room.
Doc waited for her to disappear out the doors of the ballroom before beginning, “Having more money than you can imagine carries with it a lot of responsibility,” he began. “I started to buy up some of the older buildings in Pattersonville and in other towns and fixed them up. I kept the rents low so people could still afford to live there. And I hired good managers to make sure that things stayed nice, but not so nice that poor people would feel strange living in them. Some of them were pretty stark, but every ladder has to have a bottom rung.”
“Everything was going great and I was helping a lot of people. Then– about twenty-six years ago– one of my buildings blew up. It killed a lot of people when it collapsed and the press was hinting that corners had been cut when the building was remodeled. I looped back to see what had caused the explosion. I knew that if I stayed invisible, I could be there even at the point of the explosion and not get hurt.”
“I looped into the hallway of the building a few minutes before the explosion. The smell of gas on the second floor was overpowering. There was only one apartment occupied on that floor. I went in there to warn Gloria. She was the only tenant. I figured I would start with her and get her out and then start warning everyone else.”
“Gloria was lying on her bed in a long white nightie that looked almost like a wedding dress except it was so sheer that it was almost like she was naked. She was already dead. All of the burners on the stove were on full, but not lit. There was a gas water heater in a utility closet that opened into the bedroom. She had somehow disconnected it and opened the gas valve there, too. The explosion was an accident, but her death wasn’t. She had committed suicide.”
“I looped further back hoping to convince her not to take her own life, but I misjudged it. She was already unconscious on the bed. I decided that I would materialize, shut off the gas, and open the windows so she would survive and the building wouldn’t blow up. I stepped up to the bed and carefully grabbed one of her hands.”
“To my surprise, she wasn’t totally unconscious. She grabbed my hand and pulled me toward her. ‘Who are you?’ she said harshly. ‘And why are you naked?’”
“‘I have come to save your life and the lives of all the people in this building who will die when the gas explodes,’ I said softly. Then I added, ‘Let me shut off the gas.’”
“She remained on the bed as I closed the valve on the connection to the water heater and then shut off the burners on the stove. I opened one of the kitchen windows and both bedroom windows, which opened into an interior air shaft.”
“‘I can’t even do this right,’ she said glumly, sitting up and looking at me. ‘Next time I’ll make sure no one else gets hurt.’”
“I sat on the bed and took her hand. ‘Why do you want to kill yourself?’ I asked.”
“‘Because I’m ugly and everyone hates me!’ she blurted out and then started to sob.”
“‘I don’t think you’re ugly,’ I told her. Then I asked, ‘Why do you think that people hate you?’”
“‘Do you know who the Glory Girls are?’ she asked.”
“When I shook my head, she continued, ‘They are a bunch of the women in this neighborhood– mostly from where I work. They think they are better than anyone else. I kept trying to join their group but they said I was too clumsy and too ugly to hang around with them.’”
“‘And you believed them?’ I asked softly.”
“She started crying again and sobbed out, ‘It’s more than that. Their boyfriends... all eight of them... came up to me after work Friday night and said that if I would fuck them all, I could join the Glory Girls.’”
“‘Did you?’ I asked very softly.”
“‘I really didn’t want to,’ she blubbered, ‘but if it meant I could be a Glory Girl, I would do it. They took me to a place they called their clubhouse. It was an abandoned building about five blocks from here. Once we were inside, they told me to get naked. I did. Then they said I needed to get them turned on by dancing for them. I didn’t want to, but I did. I bounced around to the music from a small player. I tried to make it as sexy as I could. Then they told me that they wanted to see what I was like when I was really turned on. I lay on my back on a thin mattress on the floor where they told me to and started masturbating while they yelled at me to take myself higher.’”
“She took a deep breath and looked around the room like she was unsure whether or not to tell the rest. Then she continued, ‘They all stripped down and stood around me while I pushed myself over the top. After I finished, I lay there on that mattress waiting for the first one to start, but instead they all just started laughing and one of them shook his head and said, ‘Still too ugly.’”
“Her voice got really harsh and angry as she said, ‘The Glory Girls were suddenly there standing with their guys. One of them laughed and said that because of me they were going to have to take care of things. She pointed at me and said, ‘Even an ugly pig can get a man turned on if she looks and smells like a slut... like you do... but it takes a real woman to satisfy a man.’”
“She started crying really hard, and between sobs she said, ‘They threw me out of the clubhouse naked. I had to walk the five blocks home ducking behind garbage cans whenever I heard a car coming. I didn’t have my keys and had to go downstairs to the super’s apartment and have him let me in. He threw a blanket over me and asked if I wanted him to call the police. I told him I just wanted to get back into my apartment.’”
“She leaned against me and cried softly for several minutes. I just waited her out. Finally, she continued, ‘I cleaned up in the shower and dried my hair. I put on my dream negligee that I’ve been saving for my wedding night, if I ever have one. Then I turned on all the gas, and lay down to die.’”
“She looked me in the eyes and said, ‘You have to believe me. I didn’t want to hurt anyone else.’ Then she moved closer to me and said, ‘Do you really think I’m beautiful... or at least not ugly?’”
“I said, ‘Yes.’”
“She said, ‘Prove it!’ and lay back on the bed. My mind was telling me not to take advantage of a very fragile girl in a very bad time, but my body was already responding. I couldn’t let this happen so I tapped out and returned to my office.”
Doc got very quiet at that point. He shook his head and then said in a voice heavy with emotion.
“I have to leave it there for now,” he said. He took a deep breath, settled himself in his wheelchair and then said, “I’m an old man, David. Older than many people ever get to be. Every time something has gone wrong with me, I’ve just popped back and told myself to get it taken care of before it got out of control. But I can’t do anything about age. My wild nights are mostly memories now. Lester is going to take me up to my room. I’ll see you at the brunch tomorrow morning. I’ll finish the story then.”