Laurie was an efficient, fastidious woman, one of those people you could hand a task to, and then forget it. She used to be funny and spontaneous too, but nowadays that seemed to be left behind. Thursday was turning into a real bitch as well, the boss making incoherent and unreasonable demands; the rest of the staff working in the hot office as though their feet were dragging in molasses; the summer heat searing through the windows despite the dirt; the rattling air conditioning completely unable to cope.
Sweat, paper and stale smoke infested clothing all contributed to the familiar overpowering stench, but hey, this was publishing. How could it be otherwise?
Finally reaching the relative sanity of her desk, Laurie slumped in her chair, damp with the heat, unable to think any more. Just as her butt hit the cushion, her phone started to ring yet again. Summoning more strength from God knows where, she leaned forward and lifted the receiver.
"McBride Publishing. Can I help?"
"Yes, could I speak to Laurie Crandell please?"
"You're Mrs Crandell?"
"Yes. How can I help?"
"Mrs Crandell, it's the police. I'm afraid there has been an accident."
"Oh no, God no, what is it?"
"It's your husband Mrs Crandell. He's been involved in a collision with another vehicle. He's in the hospital now. He's in a stable condition."
"Stable? What the hell does 'stable' mean?"
"You'd have to discuss that further with the medical personnel Mrs Crandell. Could I give you some contact details?"
"Oh, well, yes of course. But how badly hurt is he?"
"I can't answer that Ma'am. You need to speak with Doctor Leeston at the hospital."
"Leeston? Right. Oh God. Thanks for calling. I'm sorry, I'm not thinking straight."
"That's alright. I'd be worse if it was me. Listen, can you get to the hospital?"
"Why, yes, my car's in the basement. I'll leave right away."
"Fine. Sorry to have such bad news."
Laurie placed the receiver again quietly, suddenly impervious to the surrounding insanity, picked up her backpack from beside the desk and walked out of the office, ignoring the questions and the looks.
Opening the door quietly, and peeking through into the dim room, Laurie relaxed, alone with Dennis finally. The meetings with the doctors, and the endless parade of explanations, diagrams, x-rays, good wishes and prayers behind her for now.
Dragging an armchair beside the bed, she looked at her unmoving husband with love and hope, making the effort to ignore the dire predictions from the staff. His coma was temporary. She knew. No matter what.
Settling into the chair, her tiredness overcame her, and within a few minutes, the warmth and the gloom conspired to allow her body to give in to sleep.
She couldn't tell what it was that woke her in the dark quiet room. A quick glance at the wall clock confirmed it for her. It was just after three in the morning. She could feel the pleasant weight of an old fashioned blanket over her lap. A nurse must have been in and put it there. She was silently thankful for the anonymous thoughtfulness.
Even though she was still very tired, sleepiness had deserted her for a time, and she looked across at the bed, her still husband a dark silhouette in front of the curtains. As she idly watched, she realised that she should be seeing the outline of a blanket, rather than the familiar body, and she hopped up off the chair for a closer look.
It was readily apparent what had happened. The bedcovers must not have been straight, and their weight had pulled them to the floor. Dennis, clad only in boxers was lying on his side on the bed, without any blankets at all.
Bending to the floor and retrieving the blankets, Laurie began to replace them on the bed, but noticed something interesting. Where Dennis' boxers were bunched up at the top of his legs, his penis protruded from his fly, a full erect penis, unexpected in the hospital bed, despite its routine familiarity around the home.
Stopping with the blanket still in her hand, she took the opportunity to look more closely at the organ, somehow impotent despite its physical state. She dropped the blankets then, and took the erection into her hand gently. Dennis didn't react in any noticeable way, except that his penis jerked a little in her gentle grip. Stroking it lightly now in her fingers, she noticed that it quivered gently with each slide of her hand.
She couldn't decide now if she was intrigued, aroused or disgusted, but her hand continued as if of its own accord, up and down the warm length of it, a gentle but firm caress. Her continued attentions had caused the penis to grow a little in size, and the increase of angle was pressing the hardness up against the boxers in a way that could not be comfortable.
Stopping now, and looking around, just to make sure they were still alone, she gently eased the boxers off him as best she could, lifting the cloth carefully over the erectness, and started to slide them down his legs. Unable to move his weight effectively enough, Laurie stopped for a moment, moved a little further up his body, and pushed him over onto his back. His erection immediately took pride of place in the silhouette, and she promptly forgot about removing his boxers, and returned her attention to the part of his body which was obviously attracting a large blood supply.
Taking him into both hands now, she stroked the length of him, long and slow, dragging her fingertips over the quivering tip of it, damp now with the lubrication seeping from him. Up and down, sensuous sawing movements, one hand now gently stroking the surface of his scrotum, feeling the pressure of his testicles through the thin cover without applying any substantial pressure of her own, as she knew he hated it.
She could tell her rubbing was reaching a culmination now, the jerking of the muscles within his hard handle more severe, more frequent, more profound in some indescribable fashion.
Picking up speed, her fingers squeezed more tightly around him, pumping him now, determined, strict, disciplined. Pumping.
Suddenly she could feel a distinct rise in muscle tension, and the penis tried to jerk away from her caresses, the muscles pulling it upward toward Dennis' stomach, and the power deep within him clenched in silent pleasure as he orgasmed, shooting gobs of white stickiness over his chest and stomach, Laurie's fingers, and finally dribbling down within the dark mound of hair around his slowly drooping penis.
Coming to her senses suddenly, Laurie rushed to grab some tissues to clean up the mess, gently wiped the wetness from his body, and then turned him to his side again before completing the postponed task of replacing the blankets over his now warm body. His still immobile face showed no signs of the recent exertion, his sleep continuing regardless.
Sitting in the armchair again, Laurie paused to consider her somewhat unusual reactions to the erection, a smile on her face as she thought how much Dennis liked her to masturbate him, and how seldom she wanted to take part. As she thought over the whole episode she realised that she felt more aroused than disgusted, and indeed could feel a somewhat unusual tingling now, deep between her legs, under her skirt, her panties.
Without conscious thought, she pulled the small blanket back over the chair, gently hiked her skirt up invisibly with her hand, and crossed her legs with seeming innocence on the chair. Placing both hands down under the blanket, she had easy access to the tingling area with complete privacy.
Reaching down now with one hand, she felt the damp heat through her thin panties, a rush of warmth passing through the rest of her body as her fingertips traced a thin gentle line up the centre of her panties, feeling the dampness seeping through. Pushing the panties gently aside with one hand, she dipped the other hand inside the slipperiness, an unwarranted but ever present guilty blush unseen on her face as her fingertips slid up between her labia, dropping into the source of the moisture and picking up lubrication before moving up to the erect desperate source of the tingle.
A wet hot finger travelled erratically, and erotically, around the pleasure point, her clitoris desperate for stimulation, nervous and apprehensive of bad handling, as always. Laurie hadn't done this for a very long time, and certainly never in a place as public as a hospital room, but the dark quiet of the room, the recent seduction of her innocent husband, and the time of the night contributed to her relaxation, and eventually her finger descended directly on the clitoris, crossing ever faster over the hardness, the wet finger slipping almost frictionlessly, transferring a little excitement on every pass.
Rubbing frantically now, squeezing skin against slippery skin, she could feel the orgasm coming, a hot flush travelling through her entire body, from the extremities to her clitoris, her finger, her mind. Speeding up even more, she felt her body pass the point of resistance, sensed the over stimulation of the nerve endings, picked up the rise in respiration and heartbeat, and then she was over the edge, her nerves exploded in orgasm, and she groaned, not caring now about the noise, as her muscles clenched and released like a factory assembly line, pumping pleasure pulses through her tired mind, slamming release at her body.
She sat there, shaking and quivering in the after effects until she felt able to uncross her strained legs, and the movements sent aftershocks up and down her body as she pulled her panties back where they belonged, straightened her skirt, and carefully lay the blanket over the top again.
As she pondered in the dark, considering what had happened, her tired body and mind gradually took over again, and slowly she drifted off into a dream filled sleep.
The next time Laurie woke, it was daytime. Light was filtering around the edges of the dark drapes, the room lights were flickering into action, and a young nurse was fussing around with pillows and a thermometer, entering numbers into the inevitable chart before hanging it again on the end of the bed.
"Oh, hello. You must be Mrs Crandell. Sorry to wake you."
"Laurie. Call me Laurie. And it's not a problem. I don't know how I slept so long."
"You looked very peaceful there Laurie, but I need to check on your husband's temperature. Nothing happened in the night then?"
"Oh... oh, ah, no, well, the blankets fell off, and I put them back, but that's all."
"Okay, fine. Sometimes we get some erratic movements from patients in this condition. Just needed to check."
"Oh, okay. No, nothing to report."
"Great. How about you get some breakfast then, while I finish checking things out here?'
"Good idea. I'll be back soon."
Laurie escaped from the room as quickly as she could, embarrassed now by what seemed perfectly reasonable the night before. Walking quickly down the hallway, past a random seeming selection of ward doors, she suddenly had her doubts as to whether the entire episode actually happened, or whether she just dreamed it all.
Reaching the elevator, and flicking the button to call the car, she decided, in her usual efficient fashion, to put the whole thing out of her mind for now. She could consider it when more time presented itself. It seemed unlikely that today would provide that opportunity.