Note: This is a fanfiction written on Wrong Side Of Town by Weetum, Mauka and Useless-girl.
Thanks goes to Weetum for the great idea and the corrections!
Carla heard a row starting in her reception area – her secretary was trying to prevent someone from barging in before being announced. ” Just let me..." - " Get out of my way ! " came booming back. As she got up to open her door it was opened for her, violently, by someone obviously in a foul mood.
" Let's just get this voice voodoo over with – OK ? Jesus what a waste of time ! " he growled through clenched teeth.
There in the doorway was the patient she had been looking forward to seeing all week : head down, breathing hard in his state of annoyance, taking off his sunglasses and putting them in the top pocket of his grey silk jacket, was Dave Gahan !
" I'm running to time Mr. Gahan - I don't understand you being so upset - it's not as if you have been kept waiting." she walked across, unsmiling, as she saw no point now in welcoming him as she would have any other patient, and instead she protectively held the edge of her consulting room door, as if she thought that would prevent him from slamming it shut, if he decided to try.
" That's not the point " he barked - " I don't need any of this - Christ, I wouldn't be here if my Doctor and my wife hadn't ganged up on me …. and made .... the - er - appointment..." he looked up as he spoke : he was calming down by the second, both his breathing and his speech, as he took in the sight of the stunning white-coated voice specialist who stood before him.
In her mid thirties, slim and yet with obvious curves judging by the way the top buttons of her lab-coat were straining, Carla wore her thick chestnut hair up today. Her huge, long-lashed, blue-grey eyes returned the unashamed summing-up stare that she was being subjected to – she liked what she saw, but that was not important right now.
With a small cough, Carla returned them both to the situation at hand. She let go of the door and went to touch the back of a black leather chair by way of an invitation for her patient to sit down, and then she gracefully retreated behind her desk. She could feel his eyes on her, taking in everything she did, from walking across the room, to putting on her glasses as she sat down, and finally preparing to take some notes. He seemed to be checking her out from every angle.
" So, Mr. Gahan, I have the bare bones in my file but if you could explain in a little more detail why you're here....? " she looked up from the file to find his eyes fixed on her mouth...his head was tilted, his eyes were half closed and there was the tiniest of smiles taking shape…
Trying not to let this bother her, Carla repositioned the file in front of her - she was unable to hold his gaze, and kept her eyes on the page of notes.
As if suddenly aware that he was expected to reply, Dave started talking. His voice was different now, gentle, honeyed, as he started to confide in her...
" Well you must have heard about my throat infection from my GP and my vocal guru, who both say that it's all healed up now. It's just that … I feel when I sing my throat is tight, I'm kind of scared of - well - tearing something if I really go for it - you know, it's been over two months since I've been comfortable singing ... does this make any sense ? " He was looking right into her eyes, for help, for a solution - God she hoped she could help him! His smile had gone and he looked anxious.
" Perfect sense Mr. Gahan " she smiled to reassure him - " many of my patients have experienced their voice loss, partial or total, after a stressful event, and I can almost always help them to recover their total vocal capacity, through very simple exercises. It's like gymnastics for your vocal cords. Do you still have the same vocal range ? " Now it was her turn to look questioningly at him.
" That's just the problem : it's probably all in the mind, but I daren't try singing anything too high, and holding low notes for any length of time is really uncomfortable" His eyes were taking all of her in and now they were on her hands, which she self-consciously put to work : one hand to steady the page, the other to write a few words...
" Once again, your anxiety is something I come across frequently : your voice has suffered this painful illness and you are finding it difficult to accept the idea that there is no permanent damage, even though there is no real pain now. Do you imagine that your vocal cords must have a scar or a mark, even though my medical colleagues have assured you that this is not the case ? " Her eyes locked on to Dave's now, since the answer to this question would determine the treatment she would be giving him. He started to tilt his head again and placed both his hands on the edge of her desk – good ! An excuse to break eye contact in order to examine his lightly tanned, long-fingered hands while he replied, but this didn't last.....
„You're probably right, it's all in my mind ! Do you know, I'm actually glad I came to see you now ? For two reasons...." he gave a slight chuckle.
Her eyes darted back up to his - " And they are ? "
" One : you talk sense, and two : I now have someone interesting to ask out to lunch ! When do you take your break ? " he was smiling at her - the most natural, beautiful of smiles, warm enough to melt her resolve never to accept social engagements with patients in record time !
" Well - you're my last patient this morning, but I haven't even finished my list of questions yet," she gave a small laugh " and you're already looking forward to leaving ? " Now she was tilting her head on one side, waiting for his reply to this...
" Sorry Doctor - I'm all ears ! Hit me with your questions ! I don't mind how many you have, it's nice to be in your company." He sat back in the chair and stretched his legs before him, to show he really didn't mind if she kept him there for an hour....
" I think, before I go on, I'd like to listen to your vocal cords, just to reassure myself there are no lesions or polyps on them - do you mind ? " she didn't really need to do this right now, but she felt like she wanted to get closer to him....
" All right, as you wish " - he showed a little smile then he whetted his throat a bit.
Carla could see how his face changed as he started to concentrate on his voice. It seemed to her that he really respected his voice, which was not just a piece of money-making equipment like it sometimes was with musicians, but a "living" part of him. Carla confessed to herself that she liked that. She had been working with many patients who didn't really appreciate what they had in their throats. But Dave Gahan... he was something else...
She was waiting for him patiently, sat back in her chair, the pen still in her hand.
And he finally started to sing. First quietly, than he raised his voice slowly from level to level. Carla didn't know what he was singing at first, she just paid attention to the condition of his voice. She closed her eyes and concentrated on the tones. He had a really nice voice. She liked it, but she didn't show it. There was no problem with it, but at the end of one line of meoldy, he didn't raise the pitch high enough and Carla frowned a little with her eyebrows. Dave sang some other lyrics, faultless this time, then he eventually stopped.
" Was that enough for you ? " - he asked, and he was waiting patiently for her to answer. First he thought that his voice had had such a big effect on her that she couldn't speak, but after a while he let this little egoist thought go, because he saw her thinking with eyes still closed .
Finally Carla looked up at him, rolling from side to side slightly in her chair, and moving her legs under the table.
" It was enough, yes " - she said, but thought the opposite. She wanted to hear more - . „There wasn't any problem..."
" But ? " - he continued for her as it was obvious that she had more to say.
Carla noticed him watching her every movement like an animal of prey - totally still and totally concentrated on her - she liked the feel of his eyes on her - she was going to enjoy this patient's visits – so she stood slowly and said ...
"I wonder if you might have a little scar tissue after all, that my colleauges didn't see - I thought your higher notes and lower ones came out fine – but I can now see what you mean about your uneasiness when it comes to holding a note for longer than a few seconds... you picked a good song to show me this. It's funny you should choose to sing one of my favourite songs - Goodnight Lovers - it brings back happy memories of my student days ! "
„ Pure chance, I assure you ! „ Dave seemed surprised at what she had just said – it showed on his face.
She had moved round the desk and came to lean on the front edge of it, to the left of where Dave was sitting, back in his relaxed position after sitting more upright while he had been singing. She picked up a small flat wooden baton and smiled as she asked :
" May I have a look down at the tools of your trade ? "
" So you were still studying when Exciter came out ? " Dave looked unbelieving - it was as if the last thing she had said hadn't registered.
" At University, yes, Mr. Gahan - I was a musician before, a clarinettist, and played in a symphony orchestra, but then I retrained, and graduated in this field the year Exciter came out ..." she came to an abrupt halt as she once again felt his penetrating eyes, this time boring holes into her white coat - she felt deliciously like teasing him ! - " But back to business now… your middle range was a little – er, how can I say this – croaky ? "
" What ?! Are you kidding ? That's not where I feel any problems ! " He looked completely panicked - what if his voice, his trademark, was ruined for good ? He had no idea that Carla was just having a little fun - she was very convincing !
" Please, Mr. Gahan, don't panic ! " Carla moved right next to Dave and laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder because he looked so shaken. " Let me look before we start drawing any conclusions - lay back a little and open your mouth - please ."
As he obeyed, still looking worried, she shifted the hand on his shoulder to rest on his chin while she gently inserted the baton to flatten his tongue...
She examined the depths of his throat as she bent slightly forward. She saw from the corner of her eyes that Dave had closed his and calmly let her do her job.
Carla felt that it was important to let him know quickly what she had figured out. But it seemed that Dave was curious about something else, too... After a minute her mouth opened a little as she felt his light touch on her white coat, level with her right thigh.
” Mr. Gahan, can I ask you not to touch me while I'm working ? ” she asked with a faint smile as she slowly pulled out the baton from his mouth to let him answer. She straightened herself up, but Dave didn't take back his hand. First he gulped then he smiled up at her.
” Does this mean that I can touch you after work ? ” he asked while he tilted his head to the right and that little smile of his appeared again.
His question moved something in Carla. She remained silent for a while to look into his eyes. The way he had said those last words... She could feel a flush beginning to spread on her face.
" What ? I'm not a teenager ! " - she said and gently pushed his hand off, taking a step back. . Dave's smile got more visible while he watched her turning away, so he wouldn't see her embarrassement.
”I don't think so, Mr. Gahan...” she replied at last when she sat back behind her desk. She felt that it was better to have something between them.
Carla settled into her chair again and wrote something on the page in front of her. She was going to let him worry about his precious vocal cords for as long as he could stand it. The fact that she carried on writing more and more started to make him uneasy - he even moved forward in his chair, trying to see what she was writing !
" Mr. Gahan - really ! " Carla continued the pretence of being offended by his gesture - when secretly inside she was angry with herself for cowardly moving away like that... how far would he have gone ? They'd only known each other for 10 minutes for Christ's sake !
" So there's something wrong then ? What did you see ? " Dave sounded really desperate - Carla looked up from her writing then calmly put her pen down, leaned back in her chair and said ...
"Well, I have to say that ... your singing equipment..." she sighed ... and up to here she managed to keep her face neutral, this really could still go either way... Dave was expecting bad news - his face started to show horror... so Carla put him out of his misery and with a tiny smile now, she finished her diagnosis ...
" ... is in perfect shape! Perhaps we can run the test again, but when you've had a glass of water ? "
" You mean... no scar tissue ? Shit - I thought... Sorry, I mean – wow ! You had me scared then - but ..." he half closed his eyes and looked at Carla more carefully now - her smile had widened a little... Dave pointed a finger at her and asked: " This is a wind up, yeah ? " He was smiling a crooked smile too now.
"Well I thought I'd teach you a lesson after your inappropriate gesture. No harm done ? " She asked, almost apologetic, asking for his forgiveness, and lowering her head slightly, holding his gaze for the longest time she had yet dared...
"You owe me lunch for this ! And when I think I was going to get YOU lunch ! " He chuckled, still taking in her eyes, her mouth - as if he couldn't decide what he preferred to look at the most...
"Well, all right" she said - sounding almost bored, still in her role as the uncrackable professional, but only just ! " Let me just check my diary - my first afternoon patient arrives at 3 - that's perfect - we'll have two hours. But first," she reached for the carafe of water and glasses on her desk and poured Dave a glass to drink - " please, sip this and let me hear you sing again."
" Thanks - any requests ? " said Dave, taking the glass and immediatley drinking half the contents...
" No, Mr. Gahan " - Carla smiled and waved for him to start singing. Actually there wasn't any need to repeat the test, she just wanted to hear his beautiful voice again – but he need never know this !
" Just choose a song and please go on. I want to be sure for safety's sake.”
Dave smiled compliantly and put the glass on the table. He locked his eyes onto hers. Carla kept the eye contact, then Dave's gaze went down to her lips again. He knew only too well that she would see this. He had a thing about her mouth – he was making it so obvious ! He was thinking and when he found the song, another of those little smiles appeared in the corner of his lips. He opened his mouth and the notes started to flow out...
"I don't understand
What destiny's planned
I'm starting to grasp
What is in my own hands
I don't claim to know
Where my holiness goes
I just know that I like
What is starting to show..."
Dave saw that his choice surprised her a bit. He continued and watched how the effect of his voice was getting mastery over her. He selected fragments from the song. Suitable fragments for the occasion.
"As years go by
All the feelings inside
Twist and they turn
As they ride with the tide
I don't advise
And I don't criticise
I just know what I like
With my own eyes"
Carla let herself to take a dive into his now familiar voice, but still had the mask of the doctor on her face. The only change was that she closed her eyes and licked her lips senselessly as she started to roll in her chair from side to side again.
"You know what I mean
I've broken my fall
Put an end to it all
I've changed my routine
Now I'm clean"
As he was singing, he was watching the wetness slowly disappearing from her lips. His voice filled the room entirely and Carla felt as if it was getting under her skin. She was aware of goose bumps appearing on her body. She was surprised that this stranger had such an effect on her. But she remained calm, that mask of hers still in place.
Carla was lost in the hypnotic sound of Dave's voice - time seemed to stand still - all other noises, her ticking clock, Dave getting up and coming round the desk to stand right near her - the creasing of his jacket sleeve as he rasied an arm - were blottted out. Her eyes opened only when the singing stopped and she found Dave's hand caressing her cheek, and his face coming down to meet hers. He stopped about 20 cm from her face and smiled as he said
" I'm sorry but I can't keep away from those lips of yours any longer..." and then he moved in, hoping to kiss her.
He didn't bargain on Carla pushing her wheeled chair backwards, and as Dave's other hand was resting on the arm of it, he lost his balance and almost fell into her lap - he broke his fall with the hand that had been on her cheek which shot out to grab the other arm of the chair. He was now kneeling in front of Carla, who couldn't help but laugh at this comic situation.... Dave started to chuckle too, but not for long as Carla had decided that she would like that kiss after all, so she took Dave's face in her hands and just helped herself !
While they were kissing, a long series of kisses, each one longer and deeper than the last, he used the time first to let her hair down, and then to unbutton most of her white lab-coat, then to caress her ribcage and back with his hands, all the while giving her as hard and hungry a kiss as she was giving him. But then he started looking for her bra clasp.... and this was eventually what made him break off the kiss:
" How do I get into this contraption ? " he whispered into her neck.
Carla sighed with closed eyes from his hot breath on her sensitive neck and his question brought her feet to the ground again. She couldn't do this with a patient. It was against the rules, and she always kept to the rules, no matter what. She drew back and grabbed Dave's greedy hands firmly.
" I don't think so, Mr. Gahan " she murmured huskily, then she cleared her throat - "Please, stop it and move away. We can't do this ! " She was still holding his hands firmly but then suddenly let them go. She took off her steamed up glasses and put them on the desk.
Dave looked up at her with a lot of surprise in his green eyes. He hadn't heard words like these for a long time ago. He got everyone and everything he wanted... usually.
Carla stood up and continued to move away from Dave, now staring at this woman who was daring to say no to him - she hadn't bothered to button up her white coat, she was just holding the edges of it together - he wanted to get his hands on her skin again, open that bra, touch and taste the contents...OK - so it wouldn't be today, but he had seen enough, and more importantly felt enough in that kiss, to know there would be more for him some time soon.
" Have it your way, doctor ! " he said, almost mockingly - " I suppose lunch is out of the question now ? " and now he seemed genuinely disappointed, going back to sit in his chair.
" And what makes you think that ? " Carla said, sounding forgiving. " I'm still as hungry as I was before. Listen, I'm really sorry for my part, that I got carried away..."
" Hey - don't ever be sorry, honey, those kisses were..." He had closed his eyes and was smiling smugly.
" PLEASE ! You're not helping - can we try and forget what happened ? "
" I'll try but it won't be easy " replied Dave, eyes open now, with an almost sad expression. He smiled again, and so did she, despite herself. So she had enjoyed the kiss as much as it seemed ! Dave decided to stop seducing so obviously : this intriguing lady was going to need a more subtle approach - the way in was through her mind, not through her underwear, like it was with most of them.
" So - as I was saying, I'm still hungry, and have to eat something if I want to work through this afternoon without fainting of hunger. I'll still buy you lunch Mr. Gahan, but on one condition -"
" Anything you say, ma'am "
Carla had opened a door to another small room - her cloakroom - she was going to change for lunch – so that's why she hadn't buttoned herself up again !
"… That you don't have oysters ! " she winked at him as she darted into the closet " now just give me two minutes to change, please " She pulled the door closed behind her but it wasn't shut, and Dave could have peeked at her but chose not to.
" What's with the oyster phobia ? " he asked her, laughing at the strange request.
" It's just that I find it impossible to watch people eating them and it would make talking to you rather hard if we're at different tables ! " Carla' s voice and the noise of clothing being pulled on and zipped up came from within the closet. Then there was a spraying sound : a touch of perfume - Dave wondered what she wore.
He got up and walked across the room to admire the prints on the opposite wall. Instantly recogniseable photos of the Greek Isles and of the Seychelles - had she been to these places ?
" Did you take all these shots ? " he asked.
" Yes - do you like them ? " Carla's voice was right beside him. Dave spun round and found himself very close to her. She had walked barefoot across the soft thick carpet, elegant black handbag and high heels in one hand, jacket in the other. She had put on a simple sleeveless cobalt blue mini dress, which had to be raw slubbed silk, from the way it shone – and now put on the long matching jacket as she waited for his answer. She had also found time to put her hair up again.
- He took in the vision before him - he could smell her delicious perfume, which had mingled perfectly with what he had smelt before of her fragrant skin - he wanted to kiss her again - pin her to the wall and rip her clothes open to take up where they had stopped, but he knew if he did this, he would lose her forever... and probably get a knee in a very sensitive place. She threw her shoes down and slipped them on effortlessly. Dave remembered he'd been asked a question, and struggled for an answer...still gawking at the sight of Carla !
" Er - yes - very nice - the light is so good there...right, erm, shall we go ? " he moved uneasily towards the door. What was this woman doing to him ????
" Natalie, I'm going out for lunch, if somebody comes looking for me " - she said as they were passing by her secretary's desk.
" All right, Miss Sagnier, I'll take messages " - she nodded with a little smile and looked at her company - "Good bye, Mr. Gahan ! "
He nodded and followed his neat doctor with a faint smile in the corner of his lips.
" Do you know a nice restaurant ? " - he asked as they stepped outside the building.
" Actually yes. It's near by. I usually have lunch there, as it's good value and they serve delicious meals. We can walk there in a few minutes "
" Then let's take a look and fill our empty stomachs" he smiled at her again.
She returned the gesture but turned her head back to the street and tried to act cool and normal as she always did when she walked around in Paris. They were just two people going to lunch, after all. But try as she might, she couldn't help feeling excited about who her lunch companion was : Mr. David Gahan wasn't an average man, she felt that.