Vouloir, p.1

Vouloir, page 1

 part  #1 of  Passion Noire Series



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  Copyright © J. D. CHASE 2015 (All rights reserved)

  All characters in this book are fictitious and have no connection whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. All events are either a figment of my imagination or are linked to personal experiences. Any similarities are purely coincidental.

  All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. The text of this publication or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, storage in a file retrieval system, or otherwise without the express permission of the author.

  All images were acquired from Fotolia.com

  © oshepkov, © jonbilous, © QQ7

  Table of Contents














































  This book is dedicated, as always, to my girls who show me what unconditional love is with every beat of their beautiful hearts.

  Yet again, I’d like to dedicate it to my other half, Chris Young, for his unconditional support. From assisting with cover design to keeping me afloat when I get submerged in the chaos that only an impending deadline can bring.

  They say home is where the heart is, my home is wherever you all are.

  I CUT THE CALL and resist the temptation to throw my phone. I’ve killed too many phones that way. Instead, I dress quickly but when I leave the room, I’m practically pulsating with anger. I yank the door closed, feeling the vibration of the satisfying slam absorbed by my wrist. Childish I know but hey, it saved a life, albeit an electronic one—and now I’m off to save another.

  The satisfaction from releasing frustration via the door is short-lived. Almost immediately, I feel guilty. It’s two o’clock in the morning. And I’m not the only one home.

  Sure enough, within seconds I hear muffled sounds before his handsome, newly awoken face appears around the doorframe of his room.

  I’m pulling my coat from its hanger when I see him. ‘Did I wake you? I’m sorry, I didn’t think. I have to dash out, Bernie called me in. Is there anything you need me to pick up while I’m out?’

  He knows well enough that I could be back in a couple of hours, or I could be gone for a lot longer. The chances are the shops will be open again before I make my way home.

  ‘Ugh, no. I’m good. I’ll just go back to bed.’

  I grab my bag and throw it over my shoulder. Then I apologise again, cupping his face in my hands. I take in his pasty complexion and resolve to try again to get some sun on his face. An easy task you’d think. But it’s a mammoth one for him. And one I don’t have time to work on right now. I give myself a mental shake and him a kiss on the cheek before heading out of the door. A quick hop on the tube and I’m almost at the hospital. I blindly follow the signs for the child and adolescent mental health wing—I’ve been here too many times to need direction.

  Ten minutes later and I’m inside a treatment room. A seventeen-year-old boy is hooked up to a whole bank of machines to purify his blood after his mission to end his life failed. It’s his second suicide attempt in the last few months, so Bernie informs me. Apparently, the first one was written off as a cry for help when he had his obligatory psych assessment; he wasn’t seen as a risk. Why? Because he’d only taken sixteen paracetamol tablets. If I had a pound for every time I’d heard that . . . I just know that nobody bothered to ask him how many tablets he could get his hands on at the time or whether he knew that at least twenty are required—thirty if you want make certain. To an unwitting teen, taking a whole pack of sixteen would most likely seem enough.

  He’d clearly done his research this time. He’d taken two packs. Thirty two tablets. Suddenly, the authorities are sitting up and taking notice. And thankfully, my former colleague Bernie is on call tonight. And calling in yet another favour.

  She’d filled me in briefly on the phone—hence my anger. I know that if Bernie calls me, there’s a sexual element to someone’s crisis. It’s what I do. And yeah, there are so-called experts within the National Health Service, but Bernie knows as well as I do that, more often than not, those ‘experts’ are usually out of their depth. Rarely does anyone have the experience or in-depth knowledge to deal with anything more complicated than the common relationship issues of the average heterosexual couple.

  No, the young lad before me doesn’t fall into that category at all. Not simply because he’s gay. Nor because his parents can’t handle that fact. But because he had already discovered, by the tender age of seventeen, that he was a masochist. And, thanks in part to the World Wide Web, he’d taken steps to sate his sexual cravings. Fair enough—I’m all for that; I’d be a complete hypocrite if I said otherwise. But he wasn’t yet savvy enough to keep himself safe. He’d been hurt. Badly. And, thanks to his parents’ complete denial of his sexuality and, as a result, his complete inability to talk to them, he’d been too ashamed, too afraid to seek help. Even after the first overdose.

  I only know now because Bernie was handed his suicide note by the paramedic who’d delivered him to the accident and emergency department. Once he was stabilised and out of the woods, he’d been moved to this wing and into Bernie’s jurisdiction. He’s still receiving the treatment he needs—it is too early to tell whether he will have any long-term damage, such as liver and/or kidney failure. I am here to make sure he gets the mental and emotional support he needs, right from the moment he opens his eyes. I know I might not have long. Thankfully, he’s requested that his parents are not contacted at this stage. That gives me more time, but it’s still going to be tight.

  If he passes the psych assessment—and unless it is ruled that he needs to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, he will pass—he will then be discharged. Home. To parents who will most likely try to stop him seeing someone like me. Why would he need to see a sexual therapist? He is just a normal teenager with no issues. Yeah right. Of course, there is always the possibility that this suicide attempt may shake them enough to get him proper help and not brush this under the carpet. Sadly, and call me a cynic if you wish, I sincerely doubt it. You see, statistics and cold, hard factual experience tend to make you cynical. It tends to harden you to the harsh realities of life.

  Of course, not everyone has the luxury of my experiences. And yeah, my use of that word is purely sarcastic. I wouldn’t wish my life experiences on anyone. But they make me one hell of a therapist. My method
s may often be viewed as unorthodox but nobody could deny that my results back up my methods. In a relatively short space of time, I’d racked up a formidable reputation. And, if I’m honest, that’s what keeps me going some days. Making a difference. Giving lost souls hope.

  Glancing at the teenager before me, I smile. I’d be fooling myself if I said The Kid didn’t have a hand in keeping me going since he came into my life. His presence makes me realise just how lonely I’d been before. Sure, I’d rarely been alone, but it’s odd how you can be in a room full of people or sharing your bed with one or more people and yet be the loneliest person on the planet. Before my mind can wander down the path of stating the bleeding obvious, I force it back to the troubled young person in front of me. Now is not the time to consider what life will be like when The Kid inevitably moves on one day.

  As though he can sense my attention on him, one eye opens—just a crack. I smile, taking care not to get too close to him. I’ve just been dragged from my bed in the early hours and have only raked a hand through my long black hair . . . God knows how frightful I look.

  ‘Hey Dan,’ I whisper softly. ‘It’s okay. I’m here to help, if you want that.’

  His eye clamps shut. I expected it to. This kid’s been let down before. Why should he trust me? The simple answer is, he shouldn’t.

  ‘I’m not a doctor or a nurse. Hell no, I mean they’re lovely and pretty good at the lifesaving shit and all but they don’t have a clue about kids like you, facing the crap that you face every day.’

  The eye stays resolutely closed.

  ‘I know, honey. You see, I was a kid like you,’ I say simply before settling my tired body into a chair and waiting.

  I glance at the clock. It’s almost three in the morning. Sometimes, to pass the time, I make guesses of how long it will take them to digest that and to get curious. The truth is, there’s no way of knowing. At this stage, I never know anything about their individual personalities. I only know what drove them to end up in a place like this. The cold, hard fact that something led them to believe ending their lives was their only option. And believe me, as they lie there, they’re dealing with a whole shitstorm of confusion whirling around inside their heads . . . the knowledge that they’re still here, in the land of the living. The relief. The torture. The guilt. The fear. The consequences.

  They inevitably become curious enough to take a gamble on me. Okay, so that may mean allowing me to stay in the room initially—they could demand that I leave after all. But they don’t. Eventually, it is hope, pure and simple, that forces them to acknowledge me. Because believe me, in their shoes, hope is something that’s in short supply. It can’t be forced upon them; they have to believe it’s not false hope. And every GP, therapist and shrink that they’ve encountered will have crowded them with what turned out to be false hope. I know I’m different. They don’t. So right from the start, I have to behave differently.

  I have to behave as though I don’t care whether they speak to me. They have to acknowledge me and accept me because they choose to, not because they feel they have to.

  And so I sit here and wait.

  And I wait.

  I feel my initial alertness beginning to fade and I find myself fighting sleep. Hardly surprising, since I’d only snatched around an hour’s sleep before Bernie’s call. I need to occupy my mind so I think about the unexpected events of the evening before. That’s the most bizarre thing about my work, clients come at me from all directions. A quiet evening at Vouloir, the club I frequent, has landed me with another client. Not a youngster suffering to come to terms with their sexuality or sexual preferences. No, a grown man who’d slept with his drunken boss, only to have her tell him that he couldn’t satisfy a woman if he tried.

  No big deal, right? A drunken fumble that didn’t go so well . . . it happens. But when the same guy has already been told by a former lover that he’s a crap lay, it hits him deep. It triggers a meltdown. In true human fashion, he decides to give in to it whilst, at the same time, deciding not to face up to it. How does he achieve this? You might ask. Easy. He fails to turn up to work each day so he doesn’t have to face his boss and instead turns to alcohol to numb himself stupid.

  I just happened to be in the right place (for him) at the wrong time (for me). He was in the club, getting pissed until Gabe, the barman, decided he’d had enough and refused to serve him. He got the arse, behaved like a typical pisshead and found himself surrounded by bouncers who consider bone crushing a sport. What could I do? The next thing I know, the do-gooder in me promises to help him before my brain registers that he can’t afford to pay me. It’s worth it though—just to meet his boss. I can’t remember the last time I felt so turned on by a woman.

  Man, I suddenly felt for the guy . . . um, Dean—yeah, that’s his name. Within seconds of meeting her, I found myself eye fucking her. Just as she eye fucked me. In that moment, I understood how his restraint had snapped. She got pissed, her barriers came down and he took advantage. I’m sure most people would. She’s sex on stilettos. Saying that, I wouldn’t. I’d want her sober if I got my hands on her. I hope one day I will. She’s caused an itch . . . a lady boner . . . call it what you wish. Whatever. I just want to relieve it. With her.

  I shiver and realise that my nipples are scratching against my cashmere jumper. Immediately, I realise that I’ve forgotten to strap my generous F cups into a bra. Nice. How professional. Way to go, Veuve. I mentally face palm. Thank God I’ve not been called in to assist a hypersexual heterosexual—oh my God, can you just imagine? At least the kid across from me is gay.

  A quick inspection with my eyes and finger tips deems my jumper thick enough to blanket my tell-tale peaks. I pray that the Head Psych, who clearly wants to jump my bones, isn’t on duty. The man gives me the creeps. He’s old school—the one person on the staff here who doesn’t respect my work as he should. And the one person who could really do with taking to my couch . . . and not to satiate his sexual cravings for me. Hell no—I’d rather ride a cactus, reverse cowgirl style with a hot poker up my arse whilst stabbing myself in the eye with a fork.

  I’d get him on my couch purely to tackle his sleazy need to undress me with his beady eyes the moment he sees me. Oh, and the way his breathing falls to a rasp when he’s staring at my cleavage. And don’t get me started on the way his clammy palms rub up and down the front of his trousers when he’s getting aroused when he’s speaking to me. The man has issues. That much is clear. And I’d love to be the one to fix him. Nothing to do with showing him just how good I am. No, this is a far more urgent need than that. One of these days, I’m going to lose my cool and knock him on his creepy arse and call him out on his outright perving. And I worry that I’d take it too far, especially if my stress level is high. I take professionalism seriously. Spanking the Head Psych in public would not do my reputation any favours.

  ‘Who are you?’ The kid’s voice is a cross between a croak and a whisper.

  I guess his throat feels like a whore’s gonorrhoea-infected arsehole so I get up and pour him a glass of water. I hand it to him as I pretend to consider my reply. I don’t have to think about it; I have to give the impression of doing so. I wait for him to take a sip, chewing my lip and frowning. Yeah, I could win an Oscar when it comes to deception. But I don’t feel pride. Or shame. I just do what needs to be done to give this kid the best chance of survival. Yup. Survival. The treatment he receives will be the difference between life and death. Overly dramatic, you say? Cold, hard facts, I say. Bottom line? If someone is intent on ending their life, nothing and nobody can stop them.

  If they feel that they don’t have a choice, that it’s their only avenue out then the only way anybody will prevent it is to give them a viable, alternative choice and the appropriate support. The problem arises when they’ve been let down. By parents. Loved ones. Friends. Doctors. Other health professionals. You see, they stop believing that they can be helped. They don’t trust. They don’t believe.

s where I come in. I make them trust. I make them believe. I make them better. Yeah, I’m a regular, modern day Jesus Christ. Although I prefer to be the one strapping a hottie to a cross . . . before I inflict unimaginable pleasure through pain upon their writhing body with one of my weapons of choice. Not Jesus, you understand. Oh no, I don’t really go in for bearded men . . . stubble, yes. Oh hell yes! Stubble can feel amazing, rasping across your skin. But not full-on beards. Although, to be fair, Jesus didn’t have access to an electric beard trimmer, did he? I find myself wondering whether JC would have rocked some designer stubble and whether it would have increased his chances with the ladies.

  My hand slaps across my face when I realise I’ve just giggled out loud. His eyes grow wide but he visibly relaxes. Just a little.

  I give him a wink. Then a grin.

  He frowns but I can see he’s intrigued.

  I nudge him playfully with my elbow. ‘Dan, is there a halo over my head?’

  His eyes flick up before he can stop them. I watch him mentally chastise himself for being so gullible.

  ‘No? Didn’t think so. I’ve tried everything but the damn thing keeps fucking off. Right, so I can’t be your guardian angel. Hang on . . . bear with . . . bear with . . . ah, got it. You can call me FG!’ I step back and perform the most overly dramatic curtsey ever executed, almost falling over the leg of the chair in the process.

  I can see the corner of his mouth twitching slightly. He composes himself but I know I’ve got him. ‘FG?’ His eyebrows raise as he says it.

  I just give him a look. One that says, ‘Come on, think about it.’

  I see the penny drop. ‘Fairy godmother?’ he guesses.

  ‘Um . . . Dude—don’t be ridiculous! Fairy godmother . . . I’m too young for that shit. Aren’t they always old and grey with a warty chin? Or am I getting confused? Disney princess, I ain’t.’ I pull a face. ‘FG, dude! I’m Fucking Gorgeous, obviously.’ I roll my eyes and plonk my plentiful arse back into the chair next to him.

  He’s grinning now but I studiously ignore him. This is going to be easier than I thought. Not his total recovery, you understand. No, just the first step. Sadly, his complete recovery will take a long time—if he makes it. Maddeningly, it’s doubtful that I’ll be with him for the entire journey. The NHS won’t fund me for that. And before you go thinking that I’m a cold-hearted bitch for not continuing his therapy for free, trust me. I’ve done that trick. It didn’t go down too well with paying my rent. And now I have The Kid to support, I can’t afford to be stupid.

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