“Obsessive Compulsion” Scene 1

Bennington Tanskanen fidgeted in the regal phlebotomy chair, ruminating on an article about polyamory he’d discovered in Men’s Health Magazine while waiting to be stuck.

His over active imagination bounced ideas of unrestricted love with its oodles of sexual expression up against the marital frustration of his union with Gloria Mason-Tanskanen. His wife was a woman of structure who insisted on scheduling every passionate encounter. The mental calculation occurred uninvited—two weeks since their last intimate contact due to scheduling complications. 

Bennington knew better. He’d schooled countless clients away from the tactic in his fifteen years as a mental health professional. Avoidance was foolish and threatening to the intrusive work of the phlebotomist. Active cognitive aversion would only increase muscle tension and make the job more difficult.

Eyes closed, he took a deep, diaphragmatic breath to the count of five and held it for another five.   

Outside of the calming mindfulness, a blood-sucking fairy constructed wind chimes out of those fat stainless steel needles he was trying so hard to obscure. 

His exhale burst past the optimum eight count and left him breathless. Flying hypodermics aligned in battle formation to taunt his imagination. He squeezed his eyelids tighter.

The softest, warmest hand in the universe touched his forearm and snapped him into the here and now. 

A red-headed angel stared into his face with compassion. 

“Hi. I’m Erin,” she said. 

The emerald color of her eyes tugged him free from panic. 

“Left or right?” 


“Which arm do you prefer?”

“Oh. Right.” The word sounded wrong in his ear. “I mean, my right arm.”

Erin offered a coy smile. “Roll up your sleeve, sir.” 

He obliged. Her musky floral scent peaked his arousal. 

She wrapped the lifeless beige tubing around his bicep and winked. “Are you British or just royally handsome?”  

An unexpected brashness charged forward from his thumping chest. “Both. What’s your excuse?” 

She stepped toward the nearby counter.

His eyes followed the movement of her hips beneath a moderately cut pant suit. 

“Are you ready for this?” she asked, turning briskly enough to catch his lustful survey.

“I’m Bennington.”

“Is that your final answer?”

“No, no. Some part of me has apparently been preparing for this moment.” Warm embarrassment coated his neck. 

Her charitable palm smoothed the tenseness out of his exposed forearm. “You sound like a man of adventure?” 

“Wouldn’t an adventurous man just leap into things unawares?” 

She tightened the tourniquet. The electric green eyes jolted his libido. 

“Squeeze this,” she said, placing a rubber ball in his fist. “Tightly.” 

He held her gaze for the time it took his heart to accelerate by fifteen beats per minute. 

She stepped away. 

Bennington zeroed in on the hypnotic movement with uninhibited compulsion. Desire swelled in his forehead. The smell of her electrified his skin. 

When she returned with the needle and tapped the vein in his arm, he felt it in every part of his body. 

“A nice big one,” she said in a low and husky tone. “It might hurt a little.” 

“A little death every day is good for the soul,” Bennington said. He gripped the left chair arm to keep from touching her thinly covered ass. 

The stab of the phlebotomy needle prompted a feeling like love, knowing she was inside of him, taking life from him. 

“Release,” she ordered. 

He relaxed his grip on the rubber ball. His eyes fell shut. 

A picture of Erin, sans clothing or modesty, erupted onto the screen of his mind. His heart pulsed against the tips of her fingers. Passion drove him closer to bliss. The image morphed with swirls of delight into Gloria’s open-eyed thrill at their first mutual orgasm. 

Bennington gasped for air. The tornado caught a pool of saliva and sprayed it down his windpipe. The resulting fit of spastic choking erased all lordliness. All dignity.

Erin kept a strong grip on his blood-pumping arm. “Easy, Master Bennington.” Her body was close, her racy tone oddly soothing. “Ride it out. Give it reign.”

The irritation in his larynx resided. He pulled a couple of deep nasal breaths that filled his lungs. A shiver of satisfaction rattled his lips on the exhale.

“You are a stallion, aren’t you,” Erin said in a low tone. She chuckled.

Bennington snorted through his nose and laughed.

“Maybe you should be the therapist and I’ll stab people for their vital fluids,” he said.

“We do get all kinds of anxieties in this chair.”

“Wisdom from the mouth of….” He wished the words back into his mouth. The phrase widened the gap, making him a middle-aged pervert stalking sophomoric schoolgirls. 

“Some chicks prefer maturity,” Erin said to correct his thinking with some form of magical mind-reading. “Especially the hardy kind.” She pulled the hypodermic from his vein without breaking eye contact. “All finished, Mr. Bennington. We’ll get these to the lab for your doctor.”

“Our tryst has ended?” He raised his eyebrows.

“Make sure you can stand erect.” She simpered. “Then you are free to leave.” She took the tray of test tubes and sashayed out of the room.

Bennington boldly held onto every swish and sway, memorizing her movements, until she disappeared. He snapped to his feet, flooded with the embarrassment of men who know better, and scuttled out of the hospital.

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