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By:Jana Aston

on't say anything.

"What brings you in to see the doctor today, Sophie?" Marie peers at me over her clipboard, smiling kindly. I bet her grandkids love her. She's got three. They spent the weekend at her house and wore her out. She's told me all about it while taking my vitals, gesturing and laughing at their antics.

"Birth control. I'd like to get on the pill." I try to sound confident, despite my embarrassment at speaking about my potential sex life with her. She reminds me of my grandmother, the woman who raised me. My mom had me her freshman year of college and died before I was two.

"Good, you're a smart girl. It's always wise to take charge of your birth control." The nurse nods approvingly. "Have you been to a gynecologist before?"


"Well, then you're in luck. We have Dr. Miller on Tuesday mornings. He's the chief of obstetrics at the hospital, but he volunteers here a few hours a week. Otherwise you'd be stuck with one of our general practitioners and they're not known for being gentle. I'll give you a minute to undress and then I'll be back with the doctor."

The door closes behind the nurse with a whoosh. I quickly disrobe, tucking my bra and panties between my shirt and jeans, as it seems rude to leave them visible. I slip the dreaded paper gown on and hop onto the table. Shit. My socks. Marie didn't mention socks. I wish she had. Underwear I know I have to take off, but socks? Is it weird if I leave them on, or weird if I take them off? I'm still debating when there's a knock on the door asking if I'm ready. Socks on then, I guess.

The door swings open and Marie walks in.

With Luke.

Coffee-shop Luke.

The suit jacket he was wearing this morning is gone, replaced by a white lab coat. The plum-colored tie I was so enamored with just a couple of hours ago is still knotted firmly around his neck.

Oh my God. My fantasy crush is a gynecologist. My gynecologist.

Chapter 3

"You okay, sweetie?" Marie shuts the door and pulls a tray of instruments next to the exam table. "I told Doctor Miller it's your first time, he'll be gentle."

My face must betray my mortification. I look at Luke. I thought he hesitated when he walked in the room, but now he's giving nothing away.

"Sophie"—he glances down at his chart—"Tisdale. Miss Tisdale, I think we've met before?"

Am I having an out-of-body experience? Can this moment get any more embarrassing? He doesn't even know where to place me outside of the coffee shop. The guy I have fantasized about every Tuesday for weeks is now my gynecologist, and worse—better?—he doesn't know who I am.

"Grind Me,” I blurt out. Oh my God, stupid coffee shop name. “The coffee shop, Grind Me." His expression never changes.

He glances back down at the chart in his hand. "Undergraduate, twenty-one." He trails off, his finger tapping the underside of the clipboard. Damn him and his attractive fingers. He flips a couple of pages on my chart. "You wanted a prescription for birth control?" He looks me straight on and my heart rate skyrockets. This is not how I imagined having his undivided attention.

"Right," I reply.

"Have you given any thought to what form of birth control you'd like? The pill is a pretty convenient choice for women your age. I could give you an IUD, but I don't recommend them for younger women who haven't yet had children. There's a patch and ring, they both have pros and cons as well."

"Just the pill," I interrupt him. "The pill is fine."

"I can't stress enough that you need to practice safe sex and use a condom in addition to the birth control pill, unless both you and your partner have been tested and decide to take that risk."

"Okay, I will."

He pauses. "You will or you do? It only takes one time, Sophie." He's washing his hands in the small sink along the wall, then turns back to me as he dries his hands on a paper towel. "Are you currently sexually active?"

"Um, no."

"So no sexual contact in the last four weeks?"

"Um, no. I've never had sex."

He pauses for a second then, his eyes moving from the paper towel in his hands to meet mine. "Okay, then." He shakes his head a little and tosses the paper towel into the trash. "We'll start with a breast exam and then do the pelvic. I'll get a swab for a pap smear, though I don't anticipate any issues. The clinic will call you within a week if there are any abnormalities." He glances at the instrument tray. "Bev, can you get me a small speculum? I assume you have some here." Marie pops up from her position on a stool by the door and leaves the room.

Once she's gone Luke looks at me again. My hands are folded in my lap and I'm swinging my stupid sock-covered feet off the end of the exam table while he runs a hand over his jaw.

"I can reschedule you with another clinic doctor if you're not comfortable, Sophie."

I'm not comfortable but I blurt out, "I'm fine!" Admitting I'm uncomfortable would be even more uncomfortable.

Luke flexes his jaw and rubs the back of his neck. It occurs to me now how stupid my fantasy crush was. This is the longest amount of time I've spent with him, and the only time without a counter separating us. Still, I can't help being attracted to him. I know it's wrong. Fucked up. Delusional. I'm already wondering if my future career will pay enough to cover the therapy I obviously need.

Marie is back and places something wrapped in heavy-duty plastic on the tray. The object makes a thud as she sets it down before taking up her seat beside the door again, sticking her face into an old copy of Good Housekeeping.

"Lie back on the table, Sophie." Luke's face is unreadable as he walks over to the exam table. He wraps a hand around my wrist and raises it over my head, his eyes passing over my face briefly before he sets my hand on the table.

His fingers move to the gown covering me. Do not be turned on, do not be turned on, do not be turned on, I chant to myself. I snap my ga