Judy Adams threw herself across her sister’s bed with a dramatic groan. Claire continued to brush her hair, working hard not to lose count. After a series of sighs from the bed, she gave up.
“What is wrong?”
Judy sighed again, less dramatically now that it was time to confess. “I’m in love.”
Claire groaned. “You’re ridiculous!” She grabbed another lock and had gotten to three before she re-considered: Judy, the youngest of three at 17, had always been the sensible one, especially after Lizzy… well, especially after what happened to Lizzy. Claire put down the brush and turned to her little sister.
“Who is it?”
Judy pursed her lips.
“Someone we both know?”
“Does Daddy like him?”
She nodded again.
“Well, then that’s easy.” Claire sniffed with contempt. Daddy hated Nicholas, saying horrible things about the cowardly habits of the French, despite de Gaulle being a close relation. “You should just seduce him.”
“What?” Judy shot up on the bed.
“If Daddy likes him, you should seduce him. Then tell Daddy, and Daddy will bully him into marrying you.”
Judy’s mouth hung open.
“I figure, if Daddy likes him, and you’re in love with him, he must be good enough to marry him.” She tugged at a tangle. “It’s not like you would choose someone beneath you.”
“But… how….” Judy bit her lip, afraid to ask.
Claire turned back to her with a not-innocent-at-all smile. “How do you seduce him?”
“Oh, that’s the easy part.”
Judy complained of pain and burning until her mother called Dr. Chares. He had been their physician for two years, since old Dr. Trapp had passed.
She ran upstairs and slipped into her favorite nightgown, a hand-me-down from Lizzy and Claire that was certainly not intended for a grown woman of seventeen. She had not worn it since noticed some of the help staring at her when she wore it around the house.
Blanche Adams showed Dr. Chares into Judy’s room. He was a few inches shorter than she, and very dark-featured. He wore a finely-tailored suit and glasses. Judy perched on the edge of her bed and Blanche sat at her vanity. Chares glanced around for a chair, but found none. He remained standing as he asked her some general questions concerning her condition. Judy answered vaguely, and they tolerated Blanche interrupting to answer several of them.
When Chares was finished with his questions, he set his notepad aside with a sigh and pushed his glasses up on his nose.
“What you are describing,” he said, crisping his words with a strange, pleasant accent, “could potentially be serious. I would have to examine you to confirm.”
“Oh…” Judy sighed, “OK.” She turned to her mother with a significant look. “Mother, could you excuse us?”
“That won’t be necessary,” Chares said quickly.
“I insist.” Judy clutched her nightgown. She has always been the modest one.
Blanche looked between her daughter and the doctor, both sets of eyes beseeching her. With a tight smile, she uncrossed her legs. “Of course, sweetie,” she said. She kissed her daughter’s forehead, wiped off the smudge of lipstick, then left the room.
“I apologize if I made you uncomfortable; I just don’t like for my mother to be around.”
“I understand.” Chares pulled a pair of latex gloves out of his bag. Before he could pull them on, Judy stood. She turned her back to him, sweeping her hair to the side.
“Could you help me with this?” she asked, tugging at a string.
“Oh, that shouldn’t be–”
She tugged the knot loose, and her nightgown flowed to the floor. He looked down at his bag, blushing. He smoothed the gloves out in his hands. Judy took a deep breath, drawing his attention back to her. She wore a wide-eyes expression of trepidation. She sat down on the edge of the bed. Swallowing, Chares looked back down at his gloves.
“Everything appears perfectly healthy,” Chares announced, peeling his gloves off. “Perhaps the irritation you reported was caused by swimming, or a reaction to some material you wore. They are developing new materials left and right these days. I recommend sticking to cotton or silk.”
The accent that hid under everything he said became stronger as Judy pushed herself up and slide to the edge of the bed.
“Dr. Chares, what’s your first name?”
The corner of his mouth twitched at the sudden personal question. “Wren.”
“Wren,” he repeated, “like the bird.” He folded his hands together and flapped them like wings.
“Do you think I’m pretty?”
Chares pursed his lips. He tossed the used gloves into his bag and snapped it shut. “You’re very tall,” he said, not looking at her.
“And pretty.” He looked at her now, to ensure he was not lying. He wasn’t: Her hair was long and thick, almost blonde. She had wide blue eyes and a bow-shaped mouth. Very pretty. Also very naked. He turned away too late to observe how full-figured she was. His trousers became crowded as blood flooded his loins.
Judy took a deep breath. Standing, she grabbed his shirtfront, pulled his body against hers, and pressed her lips to his. When he resisted, she pulled harder. He tried to push her away, but as his hands brushed her skin, he relented. He returned her kiss. In less than a minute, he was unbuckling his belt. She tugged at him, trying to pull him to the bed. He lifted her off her feet and pressed her against the footboard.
Judy whimpered as he pushed inside of her. She clung to his sleeves until the pain passed, and all she could feel was slick pumping and building pleasure. She almost cried out, but he smothered it with his mouth. She was still pulsing when he groaned, pushing deep inside of her. Panting, he lowered her to the floor. She did not want to let go of his shirt; She still felt light-headed and heavy-limbed.
“Thée miou,” Chares murmured.
She opened her eyes to find him staring at her. His face was pale.
“Oh, God,” he repeated. Pulling away from her, leaving her wet and cold, he pulled up his pants. He buckled his belt and pressed his hands over his mouth.
Judy frowned. “Wren?”
Chares recoiled from her. His expression wrenched her heart. Tears welled up in her eyes.
“No, no,” he said, stepping to her again. “No, don’t cry. Thée miou! I shouldn’t have done that! I could be stripped of my license. My God – you’re only 17! – I could be arrested.”
“No…” She shook her head, unable to understand.
“Yes! When your parents find out–” His breath caught in his throat. He snatched the nightgown from the floor. “Quick–”
Tears began to flood down her face. This is not how she imagined this going; In her hormonal storm, she had not considered any of those things. Swallowing, she realized that they were all true.
“No, don’t–please stop.” He draped the gown over the footboard and wiped her tears away. In another moment of weakness, he kissed her again, hugging her close. When he pulled away, she nodded. Without a word, she took the gown and pulled it over her head. Chares was able to tie the ribbon in a sloppy bow before a knock on the door made him jump.
“Come in,” Judy said cooly.
Chares glanced over himself to ensure nothing was out of place. He fought to control his expression as Blanche swept inside.
“Everything appears normal,” Chares said. “I was concerned for a moment that she may have fibroids. Still, I have collected a few samples to send to the lab. We should know definitively in a few weeks.”
His accent was still thicker than usual. He was still pale. Blanche looked him over critically. Judy’s face flushed, seeing derision in her mother’s eyes.
“He thinks I may have had a reaction to the new materials they’re making delicates out of these days.”
“Or swimming,” Chares added.
“Yes, perhaps something at the Bildebergers’ pool.”
Blanche snorted. “Well,” she said, “now we know.” She turned to the doctor. “May I show you out?”