The Consultant

05/19/22

“I want to play doctor,” said the client.

“That’s fine,” said Diana.

When a man called her to his workplace, he often had role play in mind. A corporate drone wanted a submissive secretary. A college professor craved a student who would do anything for a grade. And every April her own tax preparer had her play an imperious IRS agent falling hard for a studly accountant.

So if a gynecologist had the same limited imagination as other men, she found that both reassuring and a little disappointing.

He left the room, while she changed into a disposable gown and climbed onto his examining table. She held off on putting her feet in the stirrups.

“My whole career I’ve been nothing but professional,” he said when he returned. “You won’t find a patient who says anything different. Just once I want to be unprofessional. You know, get it out of my system.”

Unless he acquired a taste for bad behavior. She decided to remember him in case he made the news someday.

“Okay so far?”

“Sure.”

“One thing, though. It’ll kind of spoil things if you act like you’re in on it. I’m talking about checking me for a condom. I promise I’ll use one.”

“Let me see it on you before we start.”

She gave him her nonnegotiable look.

“I guess that would work,” he said. “I’m up for it.”

The doctor opened the white coat and dropped his pants, but then he fumbled with the condom wrapper.

“Let me,” she said. “We’re not on the clock yet.”

Actually they were, but that wasn’t what she meant. He accepted her expertise with the condom and pulled his pants back up.

“Ready?” he asked.

Diana lay back and put her feet into the stirrups, which brought back memories of many a visit to her regular gynecologist. She was already earning her payday.

“Ready.”

“I’m starting a manual examination,” he said.

She could smell the lube he was using, and it was that awful cherry-flavored stuff. He rummaged with his fingers, but he wasn’t as rough as some men she had allowed to handle her. Then he started exploring her with his tongue.

“Doctor, is that part of the procedure?”

She figured a touch of innocence would give him a charge.

“It’s a new protocol. Just relax.”

“It’s wonderful, Doctor.”

It wasn’t. Hadn’t he ever done this before?

His belt buckle jingled. She got ready to pivot and jump off the table, but she heard no telltale snap of a condom coming off.

“Honey, what’s keeping you so late?”

Diana had just enough time to turn her head toward the door before a brunette in her forties pushed it open. The voice became a shriek.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

Diana lifted her feet out of the stirrups and sat up. She tensed, ready to push off the table and run, but the woman ignored her.

“With a patient? Really?”

“Honey, it’s not what you think.”

“Are you fucking insane?”

If the woman cared more about liability than her husband’s wedding vows, Diana thought she might be able to help.

“It’s true. I’m not a patient.”

The woman turned toward her.

“Then who are you?”

“I’m a … consultant.”

Hadn’t her accountant just written that on her tax forms?

“You’re a whore.”

“If you must.”

The woman stood still for a moment and then shrugged.

“As long as you’re not going to sue us.”

She turned and went, leaving a heavy pause behind her.

“She ruins everything,” said the client.

“She didn’t stop us.”

But Diana had seen it before. When a man drooped in his condom, the hooker on the spot became part of the problem.

“Suppose I get you somebody else?”

He gave her a puzzled look.

“What’s in it for you?”

“I’ll work that out with her.”

“You really are a consultant.”

“Could the IRS be wrong?”

~ fin ~

Albert Tucher_headshot_Color2018

Albert Tucher is the creator of sex worker Diana Andrews, who has appeared in more than one hundred stories in venues including SHOTGUN HONEY and the anthology THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2010. Her first longer case, the novella THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE, was published in 2013. In 2017 Albert Tucher launched a second series set on the Big Island of Hawaii, in which BLOOD LIKE RAIN is the most recent entry. He lives in New Jersey, and he loves NJ Turnpike jokes.