I will once again flag this as NSFW (Not Suitable For Work). Sam is a very creative writer – Simon

Chapter Twenty One

The Ultimate Therapy Session

She made a beeline right for him.
Charles was used to this.
But he wasn’t ready for Dr. Emma Everly Hancock this night.
And he never regretted not being ready.
“The best laid schemes of mice and men go astray,” Charles told Emma as they strolled around the art exhibit as Emma shared with him how she had ended up there.

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“Who said that?” she asked. “By the way… nice outfit!”
He shot back his killer smile “The poet Robert Burns. Let’s look at these paintings and sculptures,” Charles said as he hooked he offered his left arm to Emma as he escorted her around the selected works that had been picked to showcase Modigliani. “Only thing missing is Buffalo Springfield playing in the background.”
“Who?” Emma asked.
Now in the past, at worst– Charles might have bitten off the head of the person who dared not know his favorite band. At best, he would have sarcastically blasted the offending party. But he wanted Dr. Emma Everly Hancock in a far different way than he had wanted other women. “I can’t wait to take you back to my place, and we can listen to their music,” he said.
Emma couldn’t wait either and didn’t answer.
Sometimes not answering can be very loud.
This was one of those times. Charles smiled as he pointed to the sculptures, and they walked over to view Modigliani’s works.
They spent a few hours looking at the paintings and sculptures. Emma was impressed with Charles’ knowledge about Modigliani, and Charles was impressed with how Emma listened, because she not only liked the artist’s work, but liked the way Charles talked about him.
Then again, he thought she is a professional listener.
They walked around and looked at the artwork for a second time, all the time pointing, talking, and learning.
///
I was so comfortable with him there, I thought we were the only two people in the place, Emma confided in her diary after the night was over.
“I think I’m in love,” Charles texted to his agent the next morning after Emma left.
“What makes you write that?” Gary responded.
“She’s beautiful, smart, listens, rich, independent, listens, drives herself to my place, really listens, drives herself home and listens,” Charles texted back.
“You wrote listens THREE times!” Gary wrote back.
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“I did?” Charles said to Max as he checked his previous message and started laughing when he saw that Gary was right.
“Other than Max, no one listens to me that much,” Charles texted Gary.
“How’s the book coming?”
Charles couldn’t stop from responding. “Once an agent, always an agent.”
///
“How about we go over to the bar and have one drink before we leave?” Charles asked Emma.
“That’s fine. But I’m going to have to call my sitter and have her spend the night if I’m going back to your place to learn about Buffalo Springfield,” Emma said.
“Is that a problem?” Charles asked her.
“It better not be. You invited me and I am accepting,” Emma said.
Charles started laughing. “No, I mean getting a sitter to spend the night?”
And then it was Emma’s turn to laugh as she excused herself to make that phone call to the sitter.
She made the arrangements, and– as she later told her sister Nomi — ‘glided’ back to the corner table where Charles was waiting. He had ordered two glasses of wine and smiled when he saw her.
“All set,” she said.
“I remember what a pain finding babysitters was,” Charles murmured as he raised the glass to his lips and started sipping.
“Probably because you wanted to fuck them,” Emma said matter-of-factly as she raised her glass to her lips.
Charles started to choke on his wine, and Emma had him do what she made her daughters do when they started choking on liquid.
“Put your arms up in the air,” she shouted as she put hers up to demonstrate it correctly.

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Charles did, but his coughing and wheezing kept him from holding them up for any length of time.
Emma put her glass down, ran behind him, held his arms up and he stopped coughing and gained his physical composure. He started to breathe normally and then grabbed Emma and kissed her on the lips.
They were quickly stuffing their tongues down each other’s throats.
An older couple walked by them and the man feigned a cough.
“Sorry, I already helped one man from a coughing attack,” Emma said after she stopped embracing and kissing Charles.
“We just get really turned on by Modigliani,” Charles explained.
The couple walked off in a huff.
“Fuck them,” Charles said. “Let’s finish our wine and get out of here.”
“Best idea of the evening,” Emma said.
Charles raised his glass in a toast, “No, making out with you was,” and Emma raised hers, and both glasses touched… just like their lips had just done.
They finished their drinks and walked out holding hands. Both of them hadn’t felt this happy in years; but they had each been happy most of the time in their lives up until now.
As they got into their respective cars they wondered why they felt so content.
Puppy love, thought Emma.
It’s not about sex first, second, and third, thought Charles.
“Well, maybe third,” he said, to the inside of the car, as he waited for Emma to pull her car behind his to start the 20 minute drive to 250 Beacon Street.
As soon as they were out of the parking lot, Charles dialed Emma’s phone number. Charles only answered phone calls or dialed his phone when driving forward — backing up while on a cell phone was a big no-no.
///
Charles Craig Curtis wrote a book that was filled with warnings for children and their parents to take seriously. When he gave talks about Domestically Wild he was always
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pleased that some parent thanked him for the messages the animals conveyed that their children took seriously.
“It’s a reason you sold so many of those books,” Gary Harte said. “New Age parenting at its best.”
I hope the parents are not looking for children’s warnings in my other works,” Charles said.
“Me, too,” Gary said. “Then we will have to write refund checks,” he added sarcastically.
“As long as I helped some child stay safe anywhere in this world, I am utterly grateful for the warnings uttered by the animals,” a very humble Charles would answer when the parent thanked him.
///
While he waited for Emma to pick-up, he made a mental note to make a collage about the dangers of talking on a cell phone while backing up.
I can add texting, too, he thought as Emma answered his call.
“I’m glad you called. What has it been — five minutes since we talked in person?” Emma said.
“No. Four, but who is counting,” Charles joked; but knowing he was serious because it really had only been four minutes.
“I have been with you the better part of a night,” Charles told Emma during their conversation, “and it feels like we have been together for just five seconds.”
“I know what you mean. I have sessions with patients that are only an hour long, but I could swear they last one year,” Emma said in agreement with the old adage that good times move way, too fast and bad times move way, too slow.
“Don’t follow me too closely,” Charles cautioned Emma. “I’m a very cautious night driver in this town of ours.”
“I drive defensively, too,” Emma agreed.
“I brake for animals. Get it?” he asked her.
She didn’t at first until Charles reminded her of the title of his extremely successful book, and, then she laughed at his joke — because it was a good one, not because she

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felt forced to, and this made her fall a little more for him.
He’s so much like me. Why didn’t I pick on up on that when he was my patient? she asked her diary.
When she didn’t get an answer, she thought of one herself.
Because I don’t see a psychiatrist, she said with a laugh.
“But I just might need to if I am falling so rapidly for Charles Craig Curtis.”
They drove and talked and drove and talked, and then, as happens to anyone in Boston, they got stuck in traffic.
“Hey, for once I don’t mind being stuck in traffic,” Charles said to Emma.
“We are stuck in traffic, because you jinxed us,” Emma pointed out.
“How did I cause the traffic? Traffic existed in Colonial times in this city,” Charles said.
“Because you must have said 50 times during our conversation, ‘you couldn’t believe how smooth our ride was going because there was no traffic.’”
Busted! She’s better than me, Charles thought. “Anyways… gives us more time to talk.”
“But not in person at your place if this traffic doesn’t unsnarl,” Emma said.
Just as soon as she had finished talking, the traffic started moving and they were soon at Charles’ place.
Charles showed her where to park her car and waited for her.
“How did you get the traffic to move?” he asked her.
“I willed it, too,” she said with a killer smile. “Nice place,” she added as Charles showed her around his home. Badly in need of a woman’s touch, but one great location, she thought.
“Well, what do you think?” he asked her.
Honesty, being Dr. Emma Everly Hancock’s trademark, was now being tested.
“It has the three most important components of real estate,” she said.
Charles gave her a puzzled look.

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“Location, location, location,” she said with a smile. “How about a glass of wine?”
“Good idea on the wine. Not so sure I like the three greatest components though. Where did you learn that?” Charles asked her as he went to get a bottle of Pinot Noir and two glasses.
“The general partner who owns the Boston Red Sox told me that,” she said as she sat on the couch.
“I would beg to differ with him,” Charles said.
She said ‘in what way?’ giving him a smile.
He sat down, but not to close. “It’s paid for. It’s paid for. It’s paid for would be my three most important components.”
“That is true, but what would happen to banks if everyone paid off their mortgages?” Emma asked in a very sarcastic tone.
“I hope they would all sink down to a special level in hell reserved for them, especially the Wall Street bandits,” Charles said.
“Come on, Charles… the banks and Wall Street would just go down to DC and get a bail-out,” Emma said as she sipped her wine.
“Don’t depress me! Before you sip, we need a toast.”
“Great idea, Charles. What shall we toast?” Emma said as she held her glass out, getting ready for Charles to offer up a doozy of a toast.
“To us!” Charles said as he clinked his glass against hers.
Emma sipped a bit from her glass, “I like that.”
“I hope so. You’re part of us,” he said. “I forgot. I made you something while I was working on my book of collages.”
“That’s sweet. I think your collage will go over very well in today’s pop culture,” she said seriously.
Charles went to his office desk to retrieve the gift, “Funny, that’s what everyone at the publishing house has said to my agent.”
“What does your agent think?” she asked him.
“He doesn’t think — says it is a distraction,” Charles said.
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“That’s funny. I’d like to meet him. Seriously, what does he think?” Emma said.
“Basically… that if he could tell what makes some books popular and some books unpopular he wouldn’t be an agent. Instead, he would be living in a cave with a long beard, and people would travel all over the world to ask him tough questions that he would have the answers for.” Charles handed her his creation. It was a tin box that he used to store his pipe tobacco in when he smoked a pipe. He thought it would seriously help the image he was trying to make for himself.
“Oh boy,” she said.
“Open it. There’s nothing in it but creativity,” Charles said as he took a sip of wine.
She cringed, because she thought it was a gag gift and something would fly out into her face. Thus, she held the box a fair distance away from her body and slowly opened the lid.
No gag gift from Charles Craig Curtis — just a box that opened up showing various faces of humans that perfectly covered the inside of the old tin tobacco box.
Emma started looking at the faces to see if she was one of the faces or she recognized any of the other ones. “Interesting,” (she white-lied).
“Don’t worry. It’s not a ‘who is who’ of old flames and friends,” Charles said with a laugh.
“What is it then?” Emma said as she handed it back to him, impressed with the detailed work.
“I call it ‘Face box’. Get it?” Charles said.
“As a play on Facebook. Sure,” Emma said. “And you ought to know about Facebook,” she said sarcastically.
“What time do you have to be home?” Charles asked, changing the subject and making mental plans for the rest of the night, because he was nervous about having her there and he hadn’t been nervous around a woman in a very long time.
“I will leave here late, but early enough to be home before my girls wake up,” Emma said.
Charles was hoping for a different answer, but did like that Emma was putting her children first. He told her that.
“My kids and my time — with them and for them — are non-negotiable,” Emma said sternly.
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“I don’t blame you at all,” Charles said. “Now I feel sad.”
“Why? Because you think I won’t sleep with you?” she said with a laugh.
“Nope. You talking about your children makes me miss mine,” he said actually tearing up. This surprised both of them.
Charles was embarrassed and looked for something to wipe his eyes with. He was about to get up and go to the bathroom to fetch some toilet paper to dab his eyes when Emma pulled him towards her, un-tucked her blouse, undid a few buttons at the bottom and wiped away his tears with the bottom of her shirt.
Charles sighed and hugged her.
She hugged right back, and then they started kissing like they were two teenagers.
But nothing more.
Neither tried to do anything else. They just kept necking for a few more minutes.
///
And then we came up for air, she admitted to her diary.
“And I hadn’t even put the music on,” he confessed to Gary Harte the next day in a very long phone call.
“I could never make out with my psychiatrist,” Gary said to Charles.
“Why not?” Charles asked.
“First of all, I’m not gay — and second of all, even if I was gay it might ruin all the help I am getting,” Gary said.
“Good point. But I am getting the best of both worlds. I am going to marry this woman and not only have the perfect wife, but the perfect wife who happens to be a kick-ass psychiatrist,” Charles said.
///
Charles had realized this that night.
Emma did too, because she barely made it home in time to be there when her girls awoke for school.
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Emma didn’t have an agent to tell how she had felt. She knew her diary could only answer what she wrote in it. So, she called her sister Nomi and spilled her guts to her about the previous night with Charles Craig Curtis.
“You’re going to lose a good paying patient,” Nomi joked.
“But gain a husband who doesn’t need my money,” Emma said.
“Together, you two will have F U money,” Nomi said.
“That’s true. But having a real man after all I have been through, after Mitchell, is something I would have never thought possible,” Emma gushed.
“I think I’m going to be sick, Nomi joked.
Later Emma wrote in her diary I think I am in love. I hope he is, too.
///
After Emma left, Charles took Max for the longest walk he could ever remember going on and started thinking about what had just happened.
I talked and talked and talked and then talked some more. She listened and listened and listened and listened and listened some more! Then we switched roles. Then, we did it all over again. And what we talked about, Max! Can dog lovers and cat lovers be a couple? Where is a better home to live — here or her place? What’s it like raising two girls without a father? What happened to her ex-husband… boy? Is that a story that needs to be made into a movie! What’s it like owning a bar? What’s it like coming up with characters for a novel? My parents. Her parents. Her sister. My children.
The rapid fire thoughts of the night’s previous conversation in addition to his lack of shut-eye, suddenly made Charles dizzy. He gingerly walked over to a park bench and plopped down on it. Max jumped up next to him and sensing something very different about his master stuck his nose under Charles left-arm pit and started pushing to help Charles forget whatever was throwing him out of whack.
Charles was thinking, way, too much. His imagination was running away with him, as they say.
Max was doing his very best to bring him back to reality.
But Charles knew that was hopeless, because he suddenly realized that the entire night consisted of a conversation with another woman which was upbeat, intelligent, respectful, witty and left him wanting more; because there was so much extra about her.
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Less than thirty miles away, Emma was writing similar themes in her diary.
Destiny for them was close.
Charles finished his walk and was in a great mood when he entered his home. Max was happy, too, and Charles went to the refrigerator to get the dog a soup bone that the animal craved; this would keep the beast busy knawing and chomping.
“Good boy! You deserved it for nudging me back into reality,” Charles said as he gave the dog the bone.
He walked around his place knowing he should catch up on a lot of things. Collage making, emails, phone calls, bill paying, and maybe give Emma a call. He decided on none of the above, as they say and proceeded to clean up his place, take a shower, and then a nap.
“Everything else can wait until I’m refreshed,” he said to Max. He started to clean and then stopped dead in his tracks when he saw that he and Emma had only split one bottle of wine between them and never put on the music of Buffalo Springfield!
///
Meanwhile in Wellesley, Emma was writing away in her diary killing time before she had to go get her girls. She, too, had realized that she and Charles didn’t drink much wine nor had listened to his favorite group. She made a big-time mental note to bring that up when they communicated next.
Doctor Emma Everly Hancock had a busy day scheduled after spending a day with her children. She had a lot of patients to see, and there was an employee meeting at the bar to attend. Then she had to go to her daughter’s school for parent-teacher conferences. She hoped to communicate with Charles in between all that, and then she would sleep like a baby and look forward to seeing him as soon as possible, which she knew would be very soon.
///
Once, he woke from his nap, Charles spent the rest of the day cleaning every aspect of his home and purposely stayed away from all communication devices. He was so into his cleaning, that he took a toothbrush to the grout in his shower. After that chore he looked at his handiwork and decided it was time to take Max for a walk and then shower on his return. After he had walked his dog, showered, and dressed he looked at the time. It was 5:30p.m. and he knew from the previous night blab-fast with Emma that she was at her daughter’s school. He sat on his couch and the next thing he knew he was waking up from a dream.
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A very wet dream.
A wet dream is medically called a nocturnal emission. To those men who wake up after having one, it’s known as a spontaneous orgasm involving an erection and ejaculation (women can have them, too — no erection involved)
For Charles, it was totally unwanted, unwarranted, unexpected and very messy.
Charles tried very hard to convince himself it was about Emma while he cleaned up the sofa.
That was a white lie.
A big white lie.
It was about Demi Silaic. The only woman who made him feel inadequate when it came to sex.
And despite trying to convince himself it never happened, it did.
Most dreams are very hard to reconstruct.
Wet dreams are not.
Charles started to relive the dream while he tossed his clothes in the washer and took another shower. In the shower, thinking about the dream, he noticed that it gave him a hard-on. This made him feel something that he hadn’t in a very long time.
Guilt.
This led him to be ashamed of himself, and the person he needed to share this with, he couldn’t, because he was afraid it would upset her. He finished his shower, quickly dried off and slipped into some clean clothes.
Then he remembered her number one lesson as his psychiatrist.
Honesty.
He was about to call her and confess when his iPhone went off. He checked to see who it was. It was Gary’s office. He ignored the call. Then his land-line started ringing while his iPhone was ringing. Then his Skype chime went off while the phones continued to ring.
“It must be important!” he said to Max, who barked in agreement.
He decided to answer his iPhone (force of habit in today’s world).
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It was Gary’s secretary.
“Please go and answer your Skype. Gary needs to talk to you. It’s thrilling what he has to discuss with you,” she said. “He wants to see your reaction.”
So Charles got on Skype with his agent Gary Harte.
“You look like shit, Charles,” Gary said.
“I feel worse than I look,” Charles said.
“Hangovers suck,” Gary said.
“I am not hung over Gary. It’s an emotional thing,” Charles admitted.
“Well this will change that. You sitting down?” Gary asked.
“Of course I am!” Charles said.
“How bloody stupid of me. My mind is bread pudding since I got the call,” Gary said.
“What call?” Charles asked.
“Spielberg’s office wants you in Hollywood for a reading, book signing, and some other red-carpet stuff as they unveil a little about the movie. It has to do with the merchandising end of the movie making business. The quicker they start marketing the toy animals that are in your book, and in their movie, the more money for all,” Gary said.
“You mean more money for them,” Charles pointed out.
“We already got the bulk of ours. Anything else they throw in will be gravy, as they say. But think of the opportunity for you to sell more books and promote your new collage book. Not only that Charles Craig Curtis… think of the fun. I’ll take care of everything. I think I’m going to the city of Angels with you. I’ll take care of everything… what’s wrong with you?” a very serious Gary asked his client.
“I told you I’m having an emotional issue. I’ll be fine and ready to go. Where is the signing and reading?”
“I think Malibu,” answered Gary. “Everything else is at their office in Hollywood.”
“Good-bye,” Charles said as he turned off Skype and turned his attention to his shame and guilt.

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He started pacing around his home with Max at his side at every step. Then it hit him like a sledge hammer.
“The wet dream about Demi who lives in Malibu, where out of the blue I have a book signing set up. It’s a test that I have to pass and not share with Emma yet. But I will share everything with her when I return and the results will be win-win,” he said to his faithful companion.
He then made plans to leave for California. He called Emma up and they talked for so long about things that they had just talked about the previous night and they didn’t even notice.
He sent Demi a long email after he received his itinerary from Gary’s secretary, which was sent to him while he was gabbing with Emma.
I can’t believe I’m watching his dog while he away, she wrote in her diary.
“That ought to be fun — a dog in a strange house with not only two young girls, but a cat and you,” Nomi said as she stared at Charles’ picture on the back of the jacket to his novel Domestically Wild. “Is he hot!”
“Yes he is, and we haven’t even slept with each other yet,” Emma said.
“What’s that Greek saying about patients who fall in love with their doctors or is it doctors with their patients?” Nomi asked her sister.
“Oedipus Rex and it’s not about patients and doctors. It’s about sons and mothers,” Emma said.
“I think I’m going to call this Oedipus RX if you know what I mean,” Nomi said.
“It’s going to work,” Emma assured her sister.
She had already assured herself.

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If you missed the earlier Chapters you can find them here.

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