Lucas Amberstone had known from a young age that he would be doctor, and not for the same reason as everyone else he knew. He didn’t apply for scholarships because he couldn’t make the same claims on paper that his peers did. If he had said that he wanted to be a doctor so that he could help people and make the world a better place, he would be fibbing. He wanted to be a doctor so that he was guaranteed to be wealthy. When the opportunity to study plastic and cosmetic surgery arose, he didn’t hesitate, dreaming of all the money he would make.
On a warm Friday afternoon, Lucas stopped at his favourite gas station on his way home from work and instructed the attendant to fill his tank to the brim. He walked inside to pay, grabbing vitamin water and a box of mints as well. When the cashier asked him if he wanted to purchase a fifteen dollar raffle ticket, Lucas said why not, not bothering to ask what he was going in the draw to win. He thanked the tired looking woman at the register, and then turned toward the door, running through his plans in his head. He was going to go straight home and nap for an hour or so, then meet Daryl at their local. There was a new barmaid there who was far too young for either of them but she was fun to talk to and just as fun to look at.
Naturally, Lucas moved to one side to let a female customer use the door before him. He almost fell over when he saw who this woman was. She smiled right away - it was too late for Lucas to pretend he hadn’t seen her.
“Look who it is,” he said, close to snarling. In the doorway before him stood Charlet Darwin, the most cunning and stunning woman he had ever met in his life. Yes, it was most definitely her. She looked a little older, but not a great deal. She was still young and there was no indication of premature aging. He scanned her face for the tell-tale signs of surgery, but saw none that were obvious. She was still slender, with the skin of the same caramel hue it had always been, her hair cut shorter but still coloured strawberry blonde just as before.
“Hi, Lucas,” Charlet smiled back at him, ignoring his death stare.
Eighteen years prior...
After taking a three-week holiday alone to help him get over his divorce, Lucas returned to work feeling better than he had thought he would. Every staff member at his practice were sympathetic and extended their apologies – but Lucas insisted that there was nothing to be sorry for. Lila, his soon-to-be ex-wife, was a heartless bitch, a completely different woman than the one he had married. The holiday had done him good, but as he thought about it, he probably didn’t need it for the sake of his mental health. He just didn’t want to be around the cheating hoebag while she was preparing to leave their house. For two days he sensed a crisis of identity coming on – since a young age he had been interested in finding true love someday, and now he was thirty two and he had already failed. It didn’t take long at all, though, for him to get himself together and let himself realise that he had plenty to live for and look forward to.
Charlet Darwin was his first patient of the day. She had just turned 18 years old and Lucas could guess just by the way she walked and the way she talked that she thought she was everything. In a usual case, Lucas was the one to walk into his consultation room and check with the client what their visit was about, but Charlet was the one who spoke first.
“Breast lift and implants,” she said, hoisting herself up on to the bed. Most of the time, it pained Lucas to see a girl her age expressing such a strong desire to manipulate her body. When he had first opened his clinic, he would advise them against it. But time and experience showed that when a girl came to him, she had already made up her mind. If he didn’t do the operation, somebody else would. Charlet was a well-kept young woman with a pretty face and alluring grey eyes. Her skin was tanned all over, other than that on her face, which was heavily made-up. She was tall and slim and Lucas presumed what type of person she was right away. Sparkling pink artificial nails decorated the tips of her fingers and her low-cut dress showed the edges of a pretty but tacky butterfly tattoo just underneath her collarbone.
“What do you do for a living, Miss. Darwin?” Lucas asked. If Charlet was overly clever, she would know that he wasn’t technically supposed to casually ask her that question, especially not at this stage, but he was curious to know just for himself. He had already guessed that Mommy and Daddy would be paying for the implants, perhaps as an 18th birthday present. He had at least 20 of those each year.
“I’m a student. I study beauty and massage,” she told him without hesitation. He wanted to ask if she had a part-time job, but decided not to risk sounding that nosy. He carried on with the consultation, learning more about Charlet through his questions. He learned she had been chubby in her early teenage years and had done all possible to lose the weight. She had had an ample bosom at the time, and due to her quick weight-loss she now had a small bust, positioned lower than it once was. Lucas understood her desire for new breasts, but he still thought it to be unnecessary. When he placed his hands on her chest to show where he would make the incision, her nipples instantly turned stiff. He would have dismissed it, blaming the air conditioning, but Charlet turned pink and apologised.
“I’m so sorry,” she mumbled, keeping her eyes away from Lucas. “It’s just been a little while since a man has touched me there.”
Now it was Lucas’ turn to blush. He was always strictly professional in his practice, it was one of the reasons he had so many referrals. His professionalism and his confidentiality. He said nothing more about it, continuing with consultation. He drew up a quote and handed Charlet his card.
“Get in touch when you’ve made your decision,” he told her, indicating for her to get down from the consultation bench. As a sales technique, he would most often just say get in touch, but he still couldn’t help trying to sway her just a little. The last thing he wanted was to be responsible for something that a girl regretted in ten years.
Lucas didn’t hear from Charlet Darwin again for three weeks. She left his mind, and he spent his time doing nothing but working and hopping around pubs with Daryl. They were seeking women, mostly for Daryl’s sake, but the types they saw around the place were either taken or did not meet Daryl’s standards. If they didn’t meet Daryl’s, then Lucas was too afraid to admit if they did meet his own. What was harder to admit was that on the rare occasion they did meet an eager woman, she always went for Daryl, even before she knew anything about either of them. The simple fact was that Daryl was naturally good-looking, but Lucas had less going for him. He wasn’t overweight or underweight, but he wasn’t in shape at all. He already had a receding hairline, although he used his own treatments to help combat it. He couldn’t grow decent facial hair for his life, and his skin seemed to always be toned red, for no apparent reason at all. He couldn’t withstand the thought of calling himself ugly, but if anybody ever deemed Lucas good-looking, it was debatable.
When Lucas saw Charlet again, it was not at his clinic. He had placed an advertisement in the local newspaper for a casual typist position he had going. The day he and his assistant were interviewing, Charlet strolled into the office with a pleasant smile, as though she was very pleased to see him.
“I need something to keep me busy over the summer holidays,” she explained, again before Lucas was given the chance to say anything. Right away, Lucas knew he was not going to be giving her the job. He had envisioned somebody more mature, with plenty of experience. He guessed that Trevor, his assistant, had selected Charlet’s resume purely because of the photograph. To make it appear that he was being fair, Lucas carried out the interview and didn’t acknowledge the fact that they had met before. He then put her through the typing test. She was terrible. He told her that he would let her know.
After seven more interviews, Lucas was tired out and eager to get home. There was a new Indian takeaway that had opened up on the street next to is and he was craving curry and a thriller movie. He got a fright when Charlet stepped in front of him in the car park at work on his way to his car.
“You’re still here?” He asked, pulling on his jacket and not stopping. Charlet rushed to catch up to him. She told him that she had been hoping to have a chat to him and ask more questions about her surgery, once he had finished interviewing. He told her outright that it was his home time and that she would have to book an appointment. As he said that, Charlet looked hurt. That should have been it. Lucas should have gone home and not had another thought for Charlet, but when he got into his car and prepared to start his engine, he found himself thinking of his ex-wife and all the bitchy things she had done. No, he wouldn’t be a bitter person like her. He wound down the window and called out to Charlet, inviting her to have dinner with him and talk about all that she wanted to know.
Twenty minutes into their evening, Lucas was already glad that he hadn’t dismissed her. He couldn’t quite make out what her motives were, but he wasn’t stupid – he knew she was either playing girlish games or just after some attention. But it was made clear to him that she wasn’t quite the airhead he was thought she was. When he suggested they try the curry, Charlet said it was her favourite food in the world. He thought it too convenient to be true, but his theory was quashed when they reached the store and she demonstrated, without boasting, that she knew everything there was to know about every dish. She also insisted that she pay for her own when Lucas offered to pay out of politeness. Because he was in the company of a female, he suggested that they dine-in, as there was a restaurant as well. It was small, but very nice. Charlet insisted that there was no need to change his plans just for her, and she was fine for a takeaway. He smiled when she assured him that she wouldn’t observe his possessions in his home and then rob him.
Talk of the operation didn’t put either of them off their food, unlike it used to do for Lila. An hour later Charlet thanked him and prepared to leave. When she stood up from her chair, the waistband of her jeans separated from the hemline of her shirt and Lucas caught a glimpse of a lacy black thong. He quickly looked away, but his eyes found their way back straight away.
“Won’t you stay for the movie?” Lucas offered, reaching for his cable remote. Charlet smiled sweetly but graciously rejected his offer and turned for the door.
The weeks rolled by, and before long it wasn’t Charlet who was asking for discussion over dinner. After that first visit, Lucas had suggested she come by the office to look at image books, claiming it was something he forgot to do earlier. Charlet agreed, and didn’t question that the appointment Lucas had made for her was just a few minutes before the clinic closed. Come closing, Lucas simply asked if she would like to join him for dinner again, and she courteously accepted. With time, Lucas visited Charlet’s home upon her invitation, though never when her parents were home. To Lucas, Charlet was sweet and well-rounded. She was beautiful and took great pride in her appearance daily. She knew so much about the world, and Lucas felt guilty about his original perception of her; particularly when she shared that the reason she had chosen beauty therapy was because she hoped to go into the area of providing treatments to cancer patients to boost their self-esteem. She was easy to please, good for conversation, and always displayed such a positive outlook on life.
Charlet’s most captivating quality was made clear the night that she and Lucas finally found themselves in his bed together, exactly one month after their first “date”. She moved in a way that showed she wanted everything Lucas had to give, never hesitating and never showing any timidity. She outright asked him how he wanted to be pleased, but Lucas couldn’t bring himself to ask. It turned out it didn’t matter, because Charlet used her initiative and performed better than he could have asked anyway. That first night, because the two of them had fallen into the situation and had no birth control sorted, Lucas had to force himself to withdraw before he erupted, but felt he was dangerously close. He couldn’t think what to do, until Charlet clasped her hand around his erection and moved it up and down, encouraging him to release. When the first stream of semen splurted forth, Charlet wrapped her mouth around it, eagerly drinking. And that was the moment Lucas was sure he had found the woman of his dreams, the woman he could be with every day for the rest of his life.