Read Physical Therapy Online

Authors: Aysel Quinn

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Humor, #Romance, #Romantic Comedy, #Humor & Satire, #General Humor, #Contemporary

Physical Therapy

BOOK: Physical Therapy
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Table of Contents

Title Page

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

Praise for Aysel Quinn

Dedication

Story

Other Books You Might Enjoy

Thank you for purchasing this publication of The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

Physical Therapy

by

Aysel Quinn

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

Physical Therapy

COPYRIGHT © 2014 by Aysel Quinn

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Contact Information: [email protected]

Cover Art by
RJ Morris

The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

PO Box 708

Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708

Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com

Publishing History

First Sweetheart Rose Edition, 2014

Digital ISBN 978-1-62830-331-5

Published in the United States of America

Praise for Aysel Quinn

“A fun and fanciful romance in an unexpected context.”

~Janet Enova

Dedication

For Palin

 

Searing pain crawled through my entire body as I crumpled to the ground, unmindful of the sweat-damp mat crushing into my flesh as I writhed. I was only vaguely aware of the random people hovering over me until one of them, in a staff uniform, pushed down on my shoulder. I thought it was a gentle poke, but I screamed to high heaven as if my arm had been torn out of its socket.

Dizzy and nauseous, I was helped to my feet and led out of the gym to my waiting car, my roommate, Nell, behind the wheel. I hadn’t seen her leave, but I hadn’t seen much at all after the accident. I would never listen to Nell about anything, ever again. Just because she thought it would “bring that Tasha pep back” didn’t give her license to drag me to a gym where she had to know I’d somehow injure myself. So maybe I was a little weak in the muscle area, and maybe I was about as flexible as a flagpole, but what of it?

I was happy being tone-less. Mostly. Thank you, stupid Sean and your stupid new model girlfriend for that
mostly
. Jackass.

It took Nell three months after Sean dumped me for that conniving Brazilian bimbo to convince me to use her gym guest pass, and one hour for me to dislocate my shoulder and tear two tendons. In yoga class. At least it was that fast-paced yoga with a long name, like Hurtsalotavada, but still. I knew a terrible idea when I heard one, and I should have listened to my gut.

Nell seemed properly remorseful as she drove me to the hospital and stayed with me through the rounds of x-rays and waiting and doctors and waiting and sling-fitting and paying. That one hour of yoga cost me two thousand dollars, two weeks off work due to painkillers, and the promise of more wretched pain in physical therapy. At least I didn’t have to have surgery, but I still wanted to bill Sean.

****

I dreaded going into the bleak-looking medical building and shuffled my feet as I approached the door to the physical therapy suite. As I expected, the waiting area was full of teenage boys and elderlies. Great. The atmosphere of the room was as hostile as I felt inside, no one looking forward to being poked, prodded, and generally made miserable. I filled out the necessary forms, and realized as I reviewed my therapy prescription that recovery demanded my presence here twice a week for two dismal months. I sighed and took a seat to await my doom.

Only a few minutes had passed when a scrubs-clad woman with violent red hair beckoned and practically shoved me into a tiny room, almost empty except for an odd massage table/hospital bed combo, and a giant open cabinet full of labeled drawers.

“Please remove your clothing from the waist up and wear the gown, ties in back.” The woman didn’t even look up from my chart. Rude witch.

She turned to leave and spoke over her shoulder. “Your therapist will knock in five minutes. Please be ready.”

This was going to be as hellish as I had expected. I had learned how to manage my clothes one-handed, but getting my shirt over my bad shoulder was still a challenge. I’d barely thrown on the worn, candy-printed gown before the ominous knock occurred.

“Come in.” I was muttering again, my nerves getting the better of me. I didn’t like pain.

The door creaked open with cringing slowness, and my chart appeared again, this time held in front of the face of a man. A youngish man with a mop of unkempt, brown hair and the body of Adonis. If Adonis shopped at the Gap. I still couldn’t see his face, but his defined muscles were displayed perfectly by simple khakis and a white polo with the clinic logo on it.

I was still staring at his chest when he spoke. I barely heard what he said because the cadence of his voice made me feel like a cake peering upward in rapture as it awaited a blissful stream of molten ganache to cover it.

“Tasha DuPont?” The voice spoke again, and I felt myself sway slightly like a drunkard.

I tried to recover what dignity I had left. “Um, yeah, DuPont, like the appliances. I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you. I’m really nervous right now.”

How true that was. I finally managed to raise my head enough to see his face. Good thing I could blame nerves, because the brown eyes I peered into were making me shake on the inside. He was so gorgeous, and that was a really weak adjective. He’s my therapist? Gah.

I wondered a little why he wasn’t speaking yet. Probably because I was a trembling freak who looked like she was about to fall over. He moved a little then, shrugging his shoulders, and took in a breath to say something.

“No problem. This place isn’t exactly a spa.” He threw a little crooked smile at me, and I felt simultaneously less anxious and more like a moony adolescent. “I’m Ethan Stone, and I’ll be helping you out for the course of your therapy.” He continued before I could even respond. “Looks like you damaged yourself pretty badly. I don’t often see this type of injury in your demographic.”

He looked like he was chuckling, but I got a little mad at the comparison to an old lady. “I was at the gym.” I made some excuse to sound like I was actually not an awkward weirdo.

“Hmm. Usually these tears are common in football or tennis players. You know, the really hardcore sports. Were you playing when this happened?”

I decided to give up. After all, I’d have to get used to this unreal demi-god for the next two months, and he might as well be prepared when I managed to break my leg in the therapy room. I spewed my words like the drunk guy at an office party.

“Okay, yeah, I’m, well, I’m really klutzy. Like, really, really klutzy. I’ve only been to the gym the one time, because I’m perpetually scared of injury, and this time it was in yoga. My friend dragged me, and it just—it hurt so hellishly much. I don’t know what happened, I was just trying to keep up, and then it felt like someone was shooting a flamethrower at my shoulder.”

He looked stunned, brows lifting and mouth hanging open, but he quickly recovered and smiled. “Whoa there, not a problem. You don’t have to be embarrassed; lots of people hurt themselves, and at least you’re aware of your…predispositions. Caution is the first step to avoiding further injury.”

He nodded his head like a lifeguard reciting the rules of the pool. At least I felt more at ease now. He must have noticed, because he relaxed his posture.

“All right,” he went on, “let’s get down to business. Today, I’m going to assess the extent of your injury, and then we’re going to take it easy with some massage and heat wraps. We’ll save the tough stuff for next time.” He winked at me.

Winked! All the “we” language was making me feel like I wasn’t alone in this awfulness, a trick I’m sure was practiced and used with all patients, but it still worked.

He peered straight into my eyes. “This type of injury requires diligence, so do you think you can commit to your recovery entirely?”

I didn’t need to pause this time. “Definitely. I want this to go away.”

He smiled again. I was pretty sure my body healed a little every time that happened. Some regions certainly felt better.

“Good. Apart from the time we spend here, I’m going to send you home with some exercises and a schedule. You’ll need to follow it exactly if you want to heal properly, but we’ll go over that at the end today. Do you have any questions before I take a look?”

I paused for a moment, attempting to secure an expression of serious contemplation on my face. In reality, I was trying very hard to not question at all.
Are your large hands indicative of other largish type things
? was not exactly appropriate. I was going to silently shake my head in the negative, but my brain spit out a random cover up. “What did I do to piss off the ginger witch so much?”

The heat of an extreme blush immediately burned through my cheeks, and I covered my face with my palms. “Shoot, I’m so sorry! I don’t know what’s wrong with me right now.”

Instead of the outrage, distaste, or awkward coughing I expected, he burst out laughing. Not a calm chuckle of amusement, but a rambunctious guffaw that sounded at the same time boyish and enthralled. I let one eye peer between two fingers and raised a brow.

“I’m sorry, really. It’s just about damn time somebody called her what she is.” He kept chuckling, so I uncovered the rest of my face.

“Glad to be of service,” I managed.

“I like you, Ms. DuPont; you’re just a little bit saucy. Sorry if that was inappropriate. It’s just refreshing to work with someone not…” He waved his hand back in forth with indecision as he spoke, a wide smile taking over his face.

“Ancient or pubescent?”

“Exactly. Or male. You must have slipped through Sabrina’s clutches.” The smile didn’t wane, and it became infectious.

I found myself grinning back without effort, all nervousness gone. “What do you mean?”

“Sabrina is the ginger witch and she sort of…has a thing for me.” He flashed a tight little smile and shuffled his feet as he looked at the floor. “She tends to filter my clients to avoid competition. I mean, it doesn’t matter, because I’ve already made it very plain she disgusts me, but still. She must have been really rude to you.”

“Yeah, a bit. I guess I must be competition.” Well now, where did that come from?

“Definitely. You’re definitely competition.” He nodded, and something changed in his gaze even though his smile remained fixed.

There were a few seconds of silence, and I began to feel the return of the nerves, although not for the expectation of pain.

He sucked in a breath and shrugged his shoulders as he had before. “Well, I should probably take a look at the injured area to gauge inflammation and assess your range of motion. May I?”

“Have at it.”

He approached me then, and I tensed in anticipation of his touch. He raised a hand and used one finger to draw the neckline of the gown down to expose my shoulder. I still had several nasty looking bruises, but I was strangely not embarrassed by my deformity. Probably because I was still on drugs.

He traced the line of my collarbone around the cuff of my shoulder with two fingers, gently sweeping along my skin. He felt the area for treatment purposes, but my imagination made it seem like a caress. I tried to keep my breathing steady, but it hitched when he circled for the second time.

“Hurt?”

“A little,” I breathed, surprised to discover I wasn’t lying. He withdrew his hand then, and my flesh felt cold with the sudden loss of heat from his palm.

“Sorry about that. There will be some discomfort, but it shouldn’t be too bad. I’ll be quick with the measuring.”

He gently manipulated my arm and rotator cuff as he spoke, and though I gritted my teeth through the pulling and prodding, his soothing voice and faint scent of Old Spice and hand sanitizer sufficiently distracted me from the pain.

“Well, it’s not so bad really, but it’s going to take work to heal the injury without inflicting further strain. Next time, we’ll use the TENS unit to relax the area.”

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