Wanting Needing Having
by R. R. Angell
Another Saturday night and all I want is to get out of the office and dance until dawn. Well, close to it, anyway. Maybe find another Rugger. Ah, Rugger. More on him later. I want to be all over him right now, but duty calls; the job dictates.
I’ve got patients for Dr. Lowell queued in exam rooms One and Three, and another sitting in the waiting room. Dr. Lowell hasn’t shown up yet. We’ve been open since ten at night and it’s already ten fifteen. So where is he? I'm drumming my fingers on the desk.
What? Me nervous?
I run a sanguinarian clinic located in Bethesda, Maryland, only one of three in the country. The other two are in Cincinnati and San Francisco.
Our clinic covers the East Coast, but we get people from all over. Dr. Lowell is good, a true pioneer, and he's got connections with the National Institutes of Health, just up Wisconsin Avenue. He’s amazing that way. Not that the NIH is researching our problems, or even knows about them.
“Doctor Lowell’s office, Dillon speaking,” I answer the phone. “How may I help you?”
“Hi, Dillon, it’s Frederico Apollitano. I called a couple of days ago? From Ibiza?
I’m back in the States and I need to see Dr. Lowell as soon as possible.”
“Remind me again who you are, okay?” You can never be too careful. We’ve seen this guy before, but I like hearing his dark, Mediterranean voice.
“I was at trance night at Playa de Talamanca and I,” he says, hesitating. “I drank something that I think had ecstasy in it.”
“Really?” I say, noticing that Dr. Lowell’s private line is in use. It's about time.
He must have breezed in the back entrance. At least the doctor is in.
“Okay, fine,” Frederico says. He’s clued in that I like his accent. Good boy.
“There was this group of women from Boston, and the blond finance babe and I hooked up in the bar and danced for a couple of hours. We started making out, and I couldn’t help myself, I drained her right there in the crowd. She wasn’t the only one on the floor.
People just dance around the bodies, you know?”
I don’t get it. They say you can taste ecstasy in their blood, but he sucked her dry anyway. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
“Any symptoms?” I ask. The woman in the waiting room glances up from her magazine.
“Symptoms?” Frederico is slow on the uptake. “I got a few. I woke up the next night itching like crazy, and I’ve got a strange stomachache. My chest and upper arms are as sore as a sinner’s rosary beads.”
I bet they are. “How long ago was this? Was that the last time you ate, and did you have a full meal?”
I look at my nails. The patient from exam room one puts his diagnosis form and a prescription request on my window ledge. Dr. Lowell is starting to crank them out.
I hate summertime. Late sunsets and early sunrises mean very short office hours.
We're open 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., Monday through Friday, from May through August, and add Saturdays from ten to midnight. It’s our busiest time of year. Guess it’s all that exposed skin. Who can resist?
“Three days ago, and that was the last time I ate,” Frederico says. “It was a full meal. I drained the bitch.”
Frederico is getting a little too gold-chained for me.
“Excuse me?” says the guy at the window.
“I’ll be with you in a sec, hon.” I glare at him. He’s a newvee, and going to be a pain in the ass.