In her Tudor cottage, Dr. Lauren Marsh was assembling her specialty salad, loaded with almonds and artichoke hearts, and topped with her homemade raspberry vinaigrette. She could splurge on the salad with Lean Cuisine as the main course. Just ten pounds to go before she’d squeeze back into her favorite jeans and possibly get up the courage to join Match.com.
She’d been a runner in college, but once she hit dental school, the books took precedence. Now that she had her own practice, work accounted for her lack of exercise, as well as for her messy house. And getting home to her little Chihuahua was more important than stopping at the gym. Smokey would be waiting patiently for her, legs crossed in rapt anticipation.
After dinner and their nightly walk, Lauren soaked in her tub, brushed and flossed her teeth, and then spent more time than she should have searching for her retainer. She found it in the middle of Smokey’s stash of dog biscuits on the bathroom floor. She really did need to get organized.
As she crawled under the covers of her queen-sized bed, she bent over to turn off the bedside lamp and kiss Smokey on the head. She had high hopes for sharing her big bed with someone besides her dog. “I’m making this promise, here and now,” she said to Smokey. “The next guy I date is going to be sexy and exciting. I want to experience that ‘weak in the knees’ feeling, whatever that is.”
Night person that she was, she tossed and turned for an hour before getting up to pop some microwave popcorn, settle into her living room couch, and dig between the overstuffed cushions for the romance novel hidden there. Even farther under the cushions lurked her state-of-the- art vibrator, capable of thrusting, spinning, and tickling with one flick of the switch. Lauren pulled it out and stared at it for a few minutes.
“Hello, friend. I guess it’s just you and me.”
* * * *
John had morphed into bat form for his nightly rounds. He liked to wait until the real bats ended their initial feeding frenzy because he’d gotten pummeled one night by a particularly large female who wanted more than her share of mosquitoes.
With his gum throbbing, he knew it wouldn’t be a long night, but he needed a decent pint of blood to endure the dental procedure tomorrow. He wouldn’t kill his victim, so any respectable drunk would do. He chose a vagrant who was curled up in a gutter, sleeping it off, empty bottle at his side. Swooping in silently, he targeted the jugular, and the guy never knew what bit him, even when John issued a loud “Ouch!” Unfortunately, feeding on a drunk meant the blood alcohol level was high, and when John fluttered off, he crashed into a wall.
Morning was a welcome relief as he eased himself into his coffin. Before Doreen closed the lid, he asked, “What does one wear to a dental appointment?”
“Well, definitely not your cape. I’ll go to the mall today and pick up something casual. Everything in black, of course.” She rubbed her hands together. “One more thing.” She looked at his very long, razor-sharp fingernails. “You’ll need to cut your nails before your appointment, so I’d better wake you just a bit early.”
“Any other traits I should disguise?”
“Hmm,” she said, tapping her finger to her lips. “Well, you could use a good dousing with Old Spice because that musky odor you exude is a real sex magnet. You need your dentist to be concentrating on the work at hand, not thinking about how much she’d like to mate with you. So please be liberal with the after shave.”
“You have a tendency to slip into the King’s English. Remember this is the 21st Century. And please be careful with your eyes. She’s bound to be suspicious if they start glowing red.”
“That only happens when I’m aroused,” John said. “And I’m in too much pain for that.”
“Okay, one last question before nighty-night,” Doreen said. “Why is it that you have the strength of a locomotive and are nearly impossible to kill, yet you can’t fix your own tooth?”
“I have no idea. It’s my only weakness, unless you count my allergies and a stake in the heart,” he said, hands crossing chest in his sleep position.
“Right. And beautiful women,” Doreen said as she lowered the lid to his coffin. Speaking to the closed lid, she added, “I have a feeling temptation is just a dental chair away.”
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