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Destined to play, p.17
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       Destined to Play, p.17

           Indigo Bloome
 
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  ‘You’re emotional. Alex, I’m so sorry. You have been through so much. Too much in some ways. It has taken its toll on you. I promise I will explain everything properly. You just need to rest for a while. Let me look after you.’

  I can’t say anything. As I close my eyes, embracing again the blindness I had railed against only hours ago, tears continue to fall soundlessly, mindlessly. I sense Jeremy’s eyes continually seeking understanding, trying to discover the vulnerabilities that lie beneath the surface of my body and mind. I have nowhere to go, no further layers to hide behind and I know I don’t want to hide from him any more, ever. I love the idea of him intimately understanding my secret places, even more so because they are now so raw, so exposed. I want to be available to him to explore, to experiment, as he wishes, whenever he desires. I have never felt more powerful yet so in need of his power over me. I feel astonishingly proud that for whatever reason, he has chosen me to take on this journey as I lay here naked, truly bare beside him.

  Jeremy wraps his arms around my shoulders, carefully avoiding the drip in my hand, and cradles me close into his chest. There is nowhere I want to be except in his arms. I feel like a small, dependent child as he encircles my body. I am helplessly paralysed as the tears continue to fall. He lovingly wipes the hair away from my face, slowly and softly kissing my eyelids until the tears subside.

  It is at this moment I feel utter exhaustion, even more so than from a long childbirth. I never thought that seeing his eyes, his face, would prove to be so emotional for me. He said he wanted to open me up like the layers of a blossoming rose, ensure I experienced more than I ever had, and he has done exactly that. He has seen parts of me — both physically and emotionally — that perhaps I have never seen or explored myself. There is nothing left, no desire to go against him, no need to seek further understanding, no need to fear. I know and understand that, although he has pushed me far beyond any boundaries I created for myself, he will look after me wholeheartedly while I am in his care. He always has and always will. I give myself over to him entirely. Because for some reason, deep within my psyche, I know that whatever has happened and whatever will happen is now entirely beyond my control, and for some strange reason, I feel a powerful sense of freedom in that knowledge, just as he said I would.

  I can’t say how many times I doze in and out of sleep or for how long. I vaguely remember Jeremy coming and going, checking and rechecking. I don’t remember the drip or the catheter being removed, for which I am grateful. I have no idea if it is night or day and therefore no clue as to the time. I still feel incredibly fatigued, but with each return to consciousness, my head seems to be in a clearer space, which is a great relief.

  I open my eyes to smile at him lying next to me.

  ‘You’re awake, welcome back!’ He smiles down at me. ‘I just need to roll you over, sweetheart, to tend to your beautiful behind.’ He turns a single light on in an otherwise darkened room.

  ‘Oh, not doctor mode again, please.’ I groan in protest.

  ‘Lay still. This may still be a little sore, but it will heal in no time.’

  ‘Do I have a choice?’ I say, raising my eyebrows.

  ‘None whatsoever. I’m so pleased you finally understand.’

  It is not sore as much as tender and I can’t help but think he is overreacting a little. As I lay there, getting my arse tended to, I hear my stomach growl beneath me. I realise I’m absolutely famished, which can only be a positive sign.

  ‘Hold still. I just need to do one more blood test and then you can eat.’

  ‘One last? How many have you taken?’

  ‘This will be the fourth.’

  He reaches towards his bench of medical paraphernalia and prepares things before harnessing my upper arm and inspecting my veins with his fingers. I barely feel the slight sting in my vein, but look away as he chatters on. ‘You know you have special blood, Alexa. AB is the most biologically complex of all the blood types. It is less than a thousand years old and is more or less an evolutionary mystery. Only around three per cent of the global population have type AB blood, making you incredibly unique, but of course, I always knew that about you. And treasure you all the more for it,’ he adds with a wink before continuing. ‘I recently attended a lecture on its characteristics and it has both medics and scientists intrigued, given its complex and perplexing nature. It’s an enigma really.’ He looks lost in thought.

  ‘Hmmm, lucky me, an enigma and having a name that matches my blood type, what a coincidence.’ Thankfully, the needle is removed before I can be too concerned, his monologue about my blood type providing appropriate distraction from his actions. He swiftly places cotton wool on the entry point and bends my arm for me. I shake my head in defeat.

  ‘So, are you now bottling my blood, due to its “uniqueness”?’ I ask as I notice how many tubes he has filled. No wonder I have been feeling weak. The nurse efficiently removes the vials and herself from the room.

  ‘Some of the research Ed and I have been involved in investigates the “newness” of the AB

  blood type to the human race and its particular characteristics and we’ve developed some interesting hypotheses. Your involvement in the experiment enabled us to confirm that AB blood has fascinating results when the female is Anglo-Saxon — reflecting the societies where depression is endemic — and these results are even more pronounced if she has completed a full birthing cycle and is pre-menopausal, as you are. That is why we need to monitor your hormone levels and correlate them to the fluids sourced from your orgasms.’

  Just when I think it’s impossible for him to provide any more shock value, here we go again. Is this science fiction or reality?

  ‘So that is what you just handed the nurse before?’

  ‘Exactly. Our results over the weekend have been more conclusive than we were expecting, so we’re a tangible step closer to finalising the formula we aspire to. We’ve been analysing the release of hormones into your bloodstream and correlating them to the secretions of your prostate gland during orgasm. This has confirmed the production of naturally-induced serotonin which stimulates your nervous system. Even more so than we anticipated. Now that we can continue to monitor your hormone levels and sexual activity as it occurs, we can test and finalise the formula that’s been eluding us until this point.’

  This discovery is both intriguing and somewhat disturbing, given my direct involvement.

  No one does cutting-edge medical research quite like Jeremy! He gives me a moment to absorb his words, and then it dawns on me.

  ‘I have granted you your greatest wish, Jeremy. I am officially your human guinea pig.’ I don’t know why I am stunned by this realisation after so many years. In hindsight, it is so blatantly obvious.

  ‘Sweetheart, you know you are so much more than that.’

  ‘Since we met, I have been your guinea pig, your practice patient … blood tests, injections, bandages, and casts. What has changed? Nothing. You’re still doing it, except we are older, have more responsibilities and you very clearly have far more money, power and access to resources than we ever had back at uni. Which just ups the ante on the risks you are willing to take and, heaven help me, I’m considering coming along for the ride. I’m a mother for god’s sake!’ Strange that all of this is just dawning on me now.

  ‘Oh, come on, Alex, you love it, you always have.’ He snuggles into me with his puppy dog eyes and kisses and canoodles. I try to nudge him away without moving my arm just in case we end up with blood dripping over the white linen sheets. ‘And besides, since when did motherhood give you permission to deny your sexuality?’

  Jeremy and his killer questions — how, pray tell, do I respond to that? I try to think of a stinging response as my stomach launches a tumultuous cry. The perfect excuse to change the subject.

  ‘I could really devour a burger with the works and some super-chunky fries. Can you magic that up for me?’

  ‘I’ve no doubt that could be arranged, but you are havi
ng a delicious spring vegetable soup, it’s almost ready.’

  ‘No, you don’t understand. I really need fat-saturated food, seriously.’

  He starts packing up his medical bits and pieces. ‘However, it’s a great sign that you have your appetite back. It has been a while.’

  ‘Jeremy, it’s not fair, after all you have put me through.’

  My eyes search for a phone but I can’t see one so I try to shift towards the edge of the bed.

  He pulls me back by the ankles.

  ‘No way, AB, you need to stay right here. I mean it; I don’t want you off this bed. If you move, I swear I’ll attach you to it.’ I realise I still have the bands around my wrists and ankles; therefore his threat is a distinct possibility, just as he did before.

  ‘You can’t tell me you have the legal right to keep me bound to the bed?’

  The look on his face reminds me of one of those psycho movies where the unstable psychiatrist is able to lock up innocent patients, all presumably for their own benefit. God, that can’t be possible, can it? Do we honestly give doctors that much power? He grins to show me he’s joking, in this instance at least.

  ‘Okay, okay, I’ll stay put, but when are you going to take these off?’

  ‘After you have eaten all the soup.’

  ‘I am not a child, Jeremy!’

  ‘I can assure you I’m very well aware of that fact, Alexandra. Your body needs good nutrition to fully recover.’

  I dutifully eat all of the soup he insists on feeding me, until every last drop is consumed.

  ‘Well?’ I ask, when finished.

  ‘I’ll see what I can organise.’

  Content, full, and more clear-minded than I have been since my arrival on Friday evening. I rest my head against Jeremy’s chest. He also seems calmer, more at ease than he has been.

  Automatically, he strokes my hair and face. He has always been exceptionally tactile and I love this about him.

  ‘I’m so relieved I didn’t have to present to the AMA. There is no way I could have done it.’

  ‘Hmmm, you do have a lot to thank me for I have to admit,’ he says teasingly. ‘Seriously, Alex, you had me worried for a while there. It will take you more than a few days to recover, so you won’t be going anywhere until the end of the week.’

  ‘You know I can’t stay here, as much as you appear to be delighting in my entrapment. I have other commitments, regardless of your plans.’

  ‘Sweetheart, you have no commitments this week except for me looking after you. And you know how seriously I take my work.’

  I raise my chin to look up into his eyes, to help me decipher his words and assess their truthfulness. ‘You’re not joking.’

  ‘Not at all. You are my one and only responsibility until I chaperone you to your plane back to Hobart.’

  ‘But you can’t! You have nothing to do with my lectures. Fair enough the AMA but there are others …’

  ‘I do and I have. You are mine for the week. Period. I promise it will not impact on your work in any way, shape or form and besides, part of your work is for me now, anyway.’ He looks very pleased with himself as he adds these words. ‘This whole event has been carefully orchestrated at so many levels, with limitless funding. Do you understand what I’m trying to say to you? Our meeting on Friday night didn’t occur by chance, Alex. The entire plan has been in place for months. We provided the funding for the Tassie tiger trip for your children when it almost fell through, and sponsored your recent research and supposed series of lectures this week.’

  I am beginning to realise that this whole weekend is about much more than it first appeared to be. I am a pawn in Jeremy’s greater game of life.

  ‘But why?’

  ‘My world is no longer complete without you in it.’

  His words shoot like Cupid’s arrow into my heart, leaving me speechless.

  ‘Here, I think these can come off now. They have served their purpose.’ He picks up some kind of magnetic rod from the bedside table and carefully slides it along the seam of the leather bindings, releasing them. No wonder I couldn’t remove them. I must look shocked as he offers me further explanation.

  ‘They were magnetically locked, you need this instrument to remove them and they’ve also been serving the purpose of continually monitoring your pulse.’ He really does look smug now.

  ‘Your invention?’ I question.

  ‘Unfortunately not, but as you know, I do work with some very clever people.’ What hope did I ever have? Strangely, their absence from my wrists and ankles makes me feel disconnected, as if something meaningful is missing.

  ‘I’m really pleased you are starting to feel better, but it’s important that you stay in bed and rest now. There will be plenty of time to discuss all this later.’ Although his words sound gentle, I sense they are steadfastly non-negotiable. He ensures I’m snuggled in tight beneath the duvet, kisses my forehead and leaves the room in darkness once again, closing the door behind him. I am asleep in minutes.

  Part VII

  ‘Our eyes are holden that we cannot see things that stare us in the face, until the hour arrives when the mind is ripened; then we behold them, and the time when we saw them is not like a dream.’

  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

  Demo version limitation

  Epilogue

  Here I am, sitting in first class, which is another thrilling new experience, waiting on the tarmac for take off. I would never have thought in a million years this could be happening to me. I feel like I am steadily becoming the person I was always meant to be. I am so excited about seeing Jeremy again. The butterflies in my stomach are still there, just like before I met him in Sydney, but this time they are big and colourful and I welcome their presence as they let me know I’m vital and alive.

  My mind wanders off to the other day when I was working around the city at lunch time. I was walking past a store selling saddles and stirrups, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a riding crop. Intense emotions ricocheted with such ferocity through my entire body, I was momentarily blinded and breathless as I leaned against the cool glass pane of the shop window.

  I had been erotically winded! The continual internal low-key buzzing I had acclimatised myself to since my return immediately ramped up to electrifying vibrations from my clitoris to my nipples. I was eternally grateful for padded bras as I found myself gasping for air as heat, like liquid gold, seared my private parts. One of my students, who just happened to be passing by, stopped to ask if everything is alright and whether I needed any assistance. Even though I nodded that all was well, she stood before me for a full minute, wide-eyed, before I regained enough composure to assure her I was perfectly fine and send her on her way. God, if she only knew.

  I’m desperate to talk to Jeremy about having these psychophysical ambushes occurring at a single sight, sound or memory of the weekend. One part of me is mortified by these happening in public, but I’m fascinated as to what could trigger another episode and eagerly anticipate the next experience.

  My flights are seamless; no delays at Singapore and finally I arrive in London as scheduled.

  I walk through the swinging doors at Heathrow and notice a chauffeur standing with my name on a placard. What a pleasure it is to travel like this. We exchange greetings as he takes my luggage.

  When we arrive at the black sedan with the door open, there is another man standing beside it dressed in similar attire.

  ‘Good morning, Dr Blake. Welcome to London.’

  ‘Good morning. Thank you, it’s great to be here.’

  I smile as he opens the door for me and the first man takes care of my luggage. As I settle myself in the back seat ensuring I have everything, I hear my name being called from somewhere in the distance behind me. As I look over my shoulder I am stunned to see Jeremy and Samuel running toward the car. What on earth are they doing here? I didn’t think they were due in until late tonight. I wave my hand in surprised recognition as the driver’s assistant
suddenly shoves the door closed and bolts into the front seat. I see the panic in Jeremy’s and Samuel’s faces as they run toward me. Just as I am about to ask the driver to wait for them, the car surges forward and I am flung across the seat. I ask them to stop, telling the driver that I know them. Jeremy is now running after the car, banging on the back windows. I try to open my window to speak to him, but there is no button. The window tint turns black and I can’t see his face any more. The door is locked and as I turn around to look at the driver, a blackened barrier rises between the back and front seats. I scream and bash on the door and the glass. We are speeding up. I start to tremble as the memory of Jeremy’s agonised face is etched on my brain. I fumble for my phone in my handbag, only to find there is no service indicated. I don’t understand any of this. I am in a blacked-out car with no phone reception. Who are these drivers? I bang on the windows screaming at the men, trying to make sense of what is happening. I try to open the doors, check both of them, bang my palms against the black tint of the windows. What is this about? Suddenly I feel woozy, faint. Then I don’t feel anything at all …

  Acknowledgements

  THANK YOU …

  To my mother, who encouraged me to continue when I wasn’t sure if I should and who painstakingly edited material I know was shocking for her to read To my sister, without her bravery five years ago we wouldn’t be living and sharing our dreams now

  To Melissa, whose door was thankfully left ajar enough for me to slip through in the knick of time

  To Rob, for pointing out that anyone who completes a manuscript, whether published or not, has achieved something very special

  To Adrienne, I can’t wait to hug you and thank you in person for your inspiring and encouraging words and for enabling me to move forward

  To Kate, who was going through so much and still found time to meet with me To my gorgeous, wonderful, special friends who bore the brunt of my first, raw version and didn’t discard me as a friend

 
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