Dr. Katherine Wells watched the image in the monitor closely while the night orderly filled her in on the reason for the disturbance.
"Look Doc, he just won't stop ja-- I mean, playing with himself, you know, masturbatin'." The orderly shifted nervously. He kept looking at her briefly and then looking away.
Katherine was used to this behavior from men by now. At thirty-five she was as very attractive as she'd been at twenty-five. When she was younger and working to build her career in psychiatry she'd tried to hide her looks as best she could. After years of effort to achieve the chief position in this small state hospital, she'd given up trying to hide her looks, and was becoming more comfortable with the attention.
Still, at times it got in the way with communication. Katherine pressed the man for more details on why she'd been paged at Three AM in the morning. "What about yesterday when he came in?"
"The troopers brought him over from General already sedated. He was asleep all afternoon. Then when they took him dinner he was talking crazy. When we went by to pick up the tray, there he was wack-- I mean playing with himself."
The orderly's gaze swept down to her neckline and then away at the wall, then he continued, "Jerry hates-- well, we all hate cleaning up that kind of mess, and he told the guy to stop it. Guy says he 'has' to or something. Next thing you know it's getting out of hand, and so Bill helps Jerry put him in the jacket."
Katherine rolled her eyes at that but stopped herself from interrupting. There were long standing rules here about the orderlies taking steps without consulting a doctor. But these state run facilities were forever over crowded and understaffed professionally.
"After a while the guy starts banging his head against the wall, so we go take him to the padded room and that's where we called you. After Dr. Thomas didn't respond, you were next on the list."
All they wanted was the go ahead to further sedate the guy, obviously so that it would be day shift's problem. Katherine was inclined to go ahead with that, but after making the trip to come in, she felt she might as well make a small effort to see what the real problem was.
Katherine glanced at the monitor and then back at the man's chart in her hands. Taken into custody on allegations of rape, then trouble and slight injury when he as being taken into custody took him to General. There the doctors were not real clear in their descriptions of delusion or psychosis, so they sedated him and sent him off to her domain.
Over the last few hours he'd been pleading, begging the orderlies to be allowed to masturbate. Telling them that he didn't want to, but that he had to. He'd begun punctuating his cries with attempts to render himself unconscious by running into the walls.
Katherine quickly filled out an administration form for two different sedatives, then handed them to the orderly and said, "Bring him to Room 5, and prep these but don't give them to him yet. I want to talk with him first."
She paused outside the door of the examination room to look more closely at the patient. He was quite disheveled but Katherine could see that he was not in the best physical condition. His information showed him to be single and some kind of manager at a telecom company. At 40, his dark brown hair was starting to go gray, and right now he had at least a two day beard on a totally unremarkable face. His features were just irregular enough to be without any attraction yet not quite ugly.
She entered quickly introducing herself as she swept in and took a seat. "Mr. Louis, how are you today, I'm Dr. Wells."
The man looked up in surprise and then his face melted into abject terror. "No! No! Please go away, please! Go! Please, please, please go." Still confined by the straight jacket, he started to franticly push himself away with his feet, but he was held fast by the guard.
His behavior surprised her, there had been no outburst like this all night according to the orderlies. Pleading but no evidence of fear.
"You don't understand! You have to leave, now! Please, it's not my fault!"
Katherine reached for the first syringe and stepped close while a second orderly moved to immobilize the man. All the while, the man's voice now grown hoarse continued to plead.
He turned to the guards now, "Just get her out, please? I can't do it again--" His voice started to fade a bit, and he relaxed as the fast acting sedative took affect.
Katherine returned to her seat and tried again to engage him. "Mr. Louis? Mr. Louis, I'm not leaving, so can you please speak to me?"
She watched his rolling blue eyes turn to fix on her. The fear was still there combined with struggle, but now his body seemed resigned. "But you don't know what's going to happen." His voice was lower and a bit slurred. He leaned forward a bit and now the fear in his expression smoothed and shifted into deep sorrow. "Please, you won't believe me, but please, don't stay here. Please, you have to go."
Katherine felt herself moved a bit by the depth of emotion displayed on the man. He was nearly in tears and his deep blue eyes shown like a pleading puppy dog. She thought she could see how he might appear distinguished with his hair combed back and shaved clean.
"Mr. Louis. Can I call you James? I just want to talk. I'm here to help you. I want to help you, so won't you please talk with me?"
The man, James turned his head to look up at one of the orderlies and he said slowly, "I tried, please, you saw me try didn't you? And you?" He said turning to the other orderly. "I don't want this to happen again."
"James," Katherine said trying to get his attention again. "James, please. Everything is going to be OK now, I just want to talk for a bit. You want us to help you don't you?"
James turned his gaze back to Katherine and his eyes swept downward before returning to her face. "Yes. I mean, no, not you. Please." He looked down at her chest as so many men did, and Katherine seemed to detect a depth of gentle intelligence in his gaze. "Please, you--you're so beautiful. I don't want to, I mean, I can't help it."
Katherine felt flattered by his attention and the sweet sincerity of his pleas. She tried again, "James you can talk with me. We're not going to hurt you." She realized she needed to distract him more from the immediate fear he was dealing with. "Did something bother you about the county general hospital yesterday?"
The sedative was now in its full effect and he meekly nodded in reply before answering. "That nurse and the clerk were pretty, and they seemed so nice." His eyes came up to meet hers in a deep penetrating manner. "But not like you, you're beautiful. Pease, I don't--I can't... Oh, God, help me."
Katherine felt a wave of sympathy flow through her. Her plans for a quick preliminary examination were pushed aside as she now felt the need to help this poor man. She leaned forward, unconsciously displaying more of her cleavage, and said, "I'll help you James, you just need to tell me what it is that you're afraid of."
He slumped a bit more and nodded again, "Ok, but remember that I told you you wouldn't believe me."
He paused a moment, his eyes fixed on Katherine's chest, and she suddenly realized she was more on display. But rather than call attention to it, she stayed as she was and waited patiently for him to continue speaking. It felt a bit brazen to her and she mentally flushed, but then she admonished herself that she just wanted to keep him talking.
He continued, "It started happening about a week ago. Every time I'd get... uh, aroused. Um, not when I saw a pretty girl, but when I thought about it, um, you know."
Katherine decided to interrupt him. He seemed to be settled down enough, and she thought he'd be better able to talk one on one. "Bill, Sam, I think Mr. Louis is alright now, and I can handle things from here, if you'd like to get back to your duties. I'll call you if I need anything."
The two orderlies, irritated enough for one day by the actions of this patient, nodded and departed gratefully.
Katherine shifted to rest her chin on her hand to watch James. She realized was still a little bit on display for him, but it felt good to her, and she wanted to encourage him to continue. Any concern for her own behavior was lost to a new feeling. She began to feel comfortable with her own attractiveness in the context of her work. Why couldn't her sexuality that was part of her be used as much as the rest of her capabilities in treating patients? If it helps them to open up more, then why not make use of it?
"Go ahead Jim. You mean, when you felt attraction for a woman?"
Again James nodded slowly, but now his eyes stayed below her face as he continued slowly. "When I started to feel that, they started to change. You know, towards me. They, started, um, liking me more."
"What do you mean James? Did others not like you?"
He glanced up at her eyes again, "No, they like me, think I'm a nice guy. Everyone does."
Katherine thought she could see what a warm nice person he would be outside of this environment. As she thought about it she realized she'd been wrong about her first impression: James would probably be a nice enough looking fellow, capable and intelligent.
"I mean, when I felt... attracted to them, they started to, um, be attracted to me."
Why not, Katherine thought, he's got a bit of a distinguished look about him; probably make a great father. He must have self esteem issues.
"You don't think you're attractive James?"
"No, no, I'm a regular guy." His eyes had fallen again to her chest and Katherine unconsciously shifted a bit, arching slightly, while pulling her right arm closer in, deepening her cleavage.
"No, I mean the good looking women. The sexy ones. They would start to come on to me, and then..."
James swallowed once and continued, "The first time, I just thought I'd gotten lucky." He sighed once. "Then I realized how unreal it was and I wanted to avoid it."
His pleading gaze returned to her eyes and Katherine felt a bit of her begin to melt. "I want a woman who likes me, I mean really wants me for me, not because they have to. Do you know?"
Katherine, who'd been biting one lip, nodded in sympathy and felt her heart go out to him. What a beautiful man. Suddenly struck by a new thought she stood and approached him. "Here, James, you don't need that jacket anymore. Let's get you more comfortable. I'm sorry they thought they had to put you in this, but they just wanted you to be safe."
She fussed a bit to un-strap and help him out of the jacket. Then she returned to her chair pulling it a bit closer, she sat and crossed her legs exposing one while raising the hem of her skirt slightly. "There now, that's better isn't it?"