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Satan's minion stormed into Dr. Simone Beaupre's office right before lunch and, with no prior warning, blew up her life.
She'd been sitting in her leather armchair, finishing a fifty-minute session. Her middle-aged clients, Gerald and Krystal Jackson, sat on the sofa, facing her. Simone closed her notebook and recapped her pen. "We're making progress, Krystal, but I think maybe next time we'll focus on why you're still so hostile toward Gerald now that we know his impotence is tied to his heart disease."
Krystal shot her husband a malevolent sidelong glance. "We don't need another session for that. I can tell you why I'm so pissed off. He's still smoking. That's why he can't get it up."
Gerald's chest puffed out. "I am not"
Simone quickly held up a silencing hand; if these two got started again, she'd never make her lunch appointment.
Hurrying to her desk, she sat and pulled up her appointment calendar on the computer. "I have some time a week from Thursday, or I"
Loud, angry male voices on the other side of her closed office door broke the peaceful silence. Simone and the Jacksons exchanged puzzled glances and then turned to the door as it crashed open. A large, strange man surged through it with the force of a tsunami hitting a beach. Simone's wide-eyed assistant, Freddie Reynolds, scurried in after him, wringing his hands and mouthing sorry to Simone. The Jacksons emitted a joint frightened squeak.
Alarmed, her heart thundering, Simone leapt to her feet and watched as the man stalked inside and surveyed his surround-ings with all the arrogance and authority of General Patton storming a hill. Well over six feet tall, he wore a charcoal suit with red tie. Short, wavy black hair framed his deep brown face. Heavy dark brows slashed over his eyes. A well-trimmed goatee and mustache emphasized his sharp cheekbones and full lips. Broad shoulders tapered to a narrow waist that gave way to endless legs. With his sharp, severe features he looked like his name should be Lucifer or, at the very least, Damien.
Simone braced for the worst. He didn't look like a murderer, but these days who could tell? His glittering, disdainful gaze slid overand dismissedthe Jacksons in the little seating area in front of the windows, the coffee table with lit lavender aromatherapy candle, and the overflowing bookshelves. Simone had always loved her cozy little officeshe liked to think of it as a living room where she and her clients could settle down and talkbut at this invasion the khaki walls suddenly seemed too close, the office four sizes too small.
Finally he turned to her and she flinched as if a sniper had drawn a bead on her forehead. She couldn't see any weapons on him but, again, who could tell? Squaring her shoulders, she waited. If he planned to kill her, she at least wanted to go out standing tall and proud.
"Can I help you?" she demanded.
His lips curled into a sneer. One hand lifted and she realized for the first time that he held a copy of Queen City magazine, the glossy monthly for which she wrote a column.
"D-did you write this crap?" He flung the magazine at her and it skidded across the desk.
The low, deep baritone of his voice, as dark and rich as hot fudge, startled her, as did his stutter. She opened her mouth to answer, but before she could Freddie hurried around to her side of the desk. Behind his tortoiseshell glasses, his eyes glinted with what looked like equal parts fear and anger. Always faithful, he flung himself in front of her, pushing her back. "I told you to get out of here," he cried, his short dread-locks quivering with indignation. "Before I call the police."
The man stared at Simone, never deigning to look at Freddie. "Call off your attack dog," he told her. "We don't need the police. I'm a lawyer and I'm not about to do anything to get myself disbarred."
Reassured, but also annoyed, Simone stepped forward until she and Freddie stood shoulder to shoulder. She put her hands on her hips. "What do you want, Mr., ?"
"Greene. Alex Greene. I want to talk to you." As yet unmurdered, Simone began to feel a little braver. She raised her chin and glared up at him. "Normally when people with manners want to talk to me, they call for an appointment. If you'd done that, I could have told you now isn't a good time." She waved a hand. "You can see I have clients"
The Jacksons, their mouths open in identical astonished Os, leaned forward on the sofa and nodded, apparently happy to be both still alive and included in the action.
"and I have a lunch meeting with my lawyer. So you can make an appointment"
Greene snorted, which Simone did not take to be a good sign. "I'm not leaving until I say what I came to say. Five minutes."
Freddie moved toward the door. "That's it! I'm calling 9-1-1 right"
"Wait, Freddie." Unwillingly intrigued, Simone studied Greene for a moment. "Go ahead," she told him. "You've got something important to say, go ahead and say it. To all of us."
The Jacksons, heads bobbing in agreement, scooted to the edge of the sofa. Freddie crossed his arms over his chest and stared downor, rather, up, since Greene towered over everyonehis nose at Greene.
Greene's lips thinned, but then he smiled crookedly, reveal-ing the long deep grooves of dimples on either side of his mouth. "Fine," he said. "I want you to know that I do not have a tiny, ah, member."
Simone and Freddie exchanged perplexed glances. Simone's overwrought brain could not process this announce-ment. "Member, ?"
Greene's mouth twisted with disdain. "I'll go a little slower so you can keep up, okay? Why don't I give you a few synonyms you might recognize? How's this: phallus. Here's another one: manhood. Why don't I try another complete sentence for you: my penis isn't tiny. Far from it."
Everyone in the room but Greene gasped in shock. Freddie's gaze shot to Greene's groin, as did Krystal Jackson's. With a great effort, Simone kept her eyes on his face and ignored her burning cheeks. "Congratulations. Now, if that's all, "
Greene came to the front of her desk, planted his hands on it and leaned down until he was eye level with her. Out of the corner of her eye, Simone saw Freddie arch his back and crane his neck, the better to study Greene's butt.
"I'm just getting started," Greene told her.
Simone fumed for several seconds, weighing her options. Greene was about a foot taller than she was and easily twice her weight. She'd never force him to go if he wasn't ready. Nor did she want to call the police. Maybe if she heard him out he'd leave and she could go to lunch.
"Freddie, why don't you walk the Jacksons out and get them scheduled for their next appointment? I'll be fine."
Huffing, Freddie looked Greene up and down as he hustled the reluctant Jacksons out. "I don't think this is a good ideee-a," he called as they disappeared down the hall.
When they were gone, Simone and Greene squared off, glowering at each other across the desk. "What do you want, Mr. Greene?"
"I want to look at the little pseudo-scientist who writes crap like this" he waved a hand at the magazine "and gets paid for it."
Furious, she snatched up the magazine and flipped it open. She'd had just about enough of this nonsense. "I'm a psy-chologist, Mr. Greene." She jerked her head at the far wall, which bulged with her various degrees and certifications. "I went to graduate school at NYU, and I have a license just like you do. I'd appreciate a little respect."
"You'd have to earn it first."
Somehow she resisted the strong urge to hurl the magazine back in his smirking face. Finding the page with her monthly column, Just About Sex, she held it out to him. "Why don't you tell me which letter is so offensive, and then at least I'll know what you're talking about?" "That one," he said, pointing.
Dear Dr. Simone, she read to herself,
I have a big problem. Well, actually it's a small problem. My boyfriend, "Alex G.," has a small penis. Really small. Really, really small. I know size isn't supposed to matter, and it wouldn't if he was good in bed, but he's not. What should I do? I'm really crazy about him and he's a great catcha handsome, successful lawyer. Please helpgood brothers are hard to find.
Signed, "Nikki H.," Unsatisfied in Cincinnati
Simone paused to look up at Greene. "Can you hurry it up?" he barked. "I don't have all day."
Balling up her fists so she wouldn't take a swing at him, she jammed them on her hips. Even highly trained profession-als had limits, and he'd pushed her way past hers.
"So sorry, your majesty," she snarled. "It may surprise you to know I don't have all my columns memorized. I wrote this months ago. Can I finish now?"
He grunted and crossed his hands over his chest. Dear Nikki H., she'd replied,
Well, I won't pretend this isn't a serious problem, but I do have some suggestions. Why don't you try watching some sexy movies together and showing him what you like? Also, there are several wonderful how-to manuals out there. I've listed some on my Web site. Role-playing can also helpyou can do to him what you'd like him to do to you. Have fun! Be adventurous!
Please don't be too hard on poor Alex. Imagine how hu-miliating it must be for him to have a small penis, espe-cially in this day and age, when there's so much emphasis on sexual prowess. Always remember that a small penis can be a major sore spot on a man's ego, so you'll want to be gentle with him. But with your loving help and en-couragement, I'm sure you and Alex will soon enjoy a more thrilling sex life. If none of these suggestions help, you may want to find a therapist. Good luck!