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The Right Treatment, by Tara Finnegan – Sample

Chapter One

County Clare, Ireland, August 2004

“Don’t forget I’m off tonight and tomorrow,” Matt reminded the resident registrar who was busy overseeing his shelf-stacking capabilities in the medicine cupboard as they waited for their next emergency in University Hospital, Galway. Matt had worked two weeks without a single day off, but that was par for the course with interns.

“You’re only here for a month, and already you’re looking for time off. What’s the occasion?” the small round balding man grumbled. Matt was in no mood for his highhandedness, but no one dared cheek the resident registrar; he could make an intern’s life misery.

“Leaving cert results. My friend is dyslexic, so I want to be there if she’s disappointed. She’s worked so hard.” Matt knew how important these results were to Aoife; the final high school exams dictated whether or not she would be accepted into the college course of her choice, and her chosen field was very competitive. Her results had to be good. They just had to be!

“My daughter gets hers tomorrow too. I wish your friend the best of luck.”

“Thanks, Dr. Flynn, same to Sarah. You know she’ll get straight A’s.”

“She’d want to, all the money I pumped into her education. You know you don’t get paid for tomorrow, right? You’re not here long enough for paid leave.”

“Yes. But Aoife is worth far more than a day’s wages to me.” Matt discreetly slipped his hand in his trouser pocket, praying his white coat hid the evidence as he tried to rub away the hot throbbing in his penis brought on by the thoughts of his Aoife. He was glad the older man was intent on double-checking his work in the hope of finding fault.

“Bless you, lad. You’ll soon see all women are far more trouble than any day’s wages, and your Aoife will prove to be the same as the rest.”

“Miserable old fart,” Matt muttered under his breath. Aoife was not the same as anyone, she was unique. Hell, she was Aoife!

Six hours later, Matt was knocking on his neighbour’s door. He saw the eye squint through the peephole. Matt knew that Mrs. Devine did that so she would know in advance what sort of look to have on her face: really important people got a beaming smile, people like him (a newly qualified doctor and a son of the right people) got a smile, ticket sellers and other beggars got a sour puss. He put on his biggest smile while inwardly imagining her on the toilet suffering a nice painful dose of diarrhoea. The door opened.

“Ah, Matthew, how delightful to see you. Come on in, Aoife is in the lounge.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Devine. It’s great to see you too.” You snobby old witch, it’s a bloody living room, same as the rest of us have.

As soon as he opened the living room door, Aoife jumped up, squealed with delight, and nearly flattened him with a bear-hug.

“What the hell are you doing here? I thought you were in Galway, working.”

“I took tomorrow off, thought you might like a friendly face to drive you to the school for your results.”

“Matt McDaid, I love you,” Aoife blurted, then blushed and flustered. “Not in that way, you know what I mean.”

“Don’t worry, you’re safe enough, little girl,” he teased.

“I’m getting my leaving cert results tomorrow, and turning nineteen next week, just what does it take to graduate from being a little girl in your eyes?” Aoife asked sulkily. She stood on with her hands on her very womanly hips, a pout on her full, very kissable lips, and tossed her blue-black hair in disgust. At times like these, Matt hated his surrogate big brother status. She had no idea how damn sexy she was.

“Do you think your mother will let you out to play?”

“With Doctor McDaid? Of course she will. She’s probably arranging our wedding as we speak.”

“Well, go get your glad rags and war paint on then, because I’m bringing you to the pub.”

“Oh, great, the local, an offer like that, a girl can’t refuse,” Aoife said with a giggle.

“So, you’d prefer I offered you a romantic candlelight dinner?” Matt asked with a grin.

“Jaysus, no, that’d be too weird, the pub it is.”

Two drinks later, they were back in the den in his house, watching some corny old comedy on TV. Aoife took control of the remote and started flicking. She hit upon 9 ½ Weeks just as John was blindfolding Elizabeth. He’d seen this film numerous times, he knew the effect it had on him, and it definitely wasn’t a desirable effect when he was already struggling to control his urges. He snatched the remote. There was no way he could watch it with her. Already, her proximity was making him want her, but then it always did. He loved being around her, her scent permeated his nostrils, her laugh was the sweetest music, and her conversation, no matter how banal, always held him enraptured. He was bewitched by her, and had been desperately trying to hide it for forever, terrified her rejection would signal the end of her company. He knew how corny those emotions would sound if he ever tried to voice them, so he made sure to keep his mouth shut and his hands to himself.

“No way, you’re not changing channels. I’ve always wanted to see this but the auld pair would never let me watch it at home.”

“Well, I would hate to let your mother down, when she holds me in such high esteem,” Matt said.

“Oh! You pig. When did you get to be such a lickarse?” Aoife said indignantly. He knew she was surprised at his refusal—he never refused her anything. He didn’t dare. Aoife was always the one in control! He was the shy, geeky boy, she the confident clown. Yet Matt knew the other side to Aoife; where everyone else saw the clown, he saw the heartache. In a family where being the best was the be all and end all, Aoife’s poor school record had been a source of constant disappointment to her parents. She had been grounded, berated, and grinded until she dropped. When her dyslexia diagnosis had finally come in, Matt was delighted because he thought surely they would finally understand. He was wrong; it was just another reason why Aoife was a disappointment to them. It was the one area Matt was allowed to be in control in their friendship. Aoife had her dyslexia classes, and as soon as they were over, she went to Matt to work on her homework. He was her teacher and guide.

She reached over him and tried to grab it back. Matt held on fast, refusing to let go. Her body was leaning against him, her breasts squashing against his chest. Her breath was coming hard and fast, presumably from the exertion, and her cheeks were delicately flushed. Just as he had the upper hand, Aoife covered his mouth with hers, kissing him savagely. At first he thought it was a trick to distract him from protecting the remote, but when it fell out of his hand on the floor, Aoife made no attempt to get up. If anything she kissed harder. She pressed her body into his and somehow ended up sitting on his knee, putting pressure on his already throbbing cock. When she moved, every fibre in his being screamed out for more.

Her lips felt so soft and silky on his, just as he had imagined. But her kiss was anything but soft. And as he responded, she kissed deeper, pressing her body into his. Her scent (mostly the washing powder her mum used), always so familiar, had changed. It was no longer a detergent and shower gel mix, it was the essence of a woman. Matt’s body reacted; his already engorged cock felt like it would explode. She moved so she was sitting astride him and his dick was so close to just where he wanted it to be. If they weren’t clothed he could just push himself in so easily. He could imagine how she would feel: her pubic hair would be coarse, but just beyond that, the moist silky pleasure would be waiting, enticing him in.

In a semi-trance, he watched her take off her top and bra, inviting him to touch those beautiful rose blush peaked nipples on her pert young mounds. His fingers reached out in spite of him. They felt wonderful, almost dancing in time to his touch, and his tongue had to explore. Next thing he knew, Aoife was fully naked and undoing his trousers. Fuck, she was beautiful. Young. Lean. Nubile. He absolutely ached to be inside her. He moved her hands from his fly and put her lying on the sofa, pleasuring her with his mouth until she was writing in ecstasy. The taste of her was something else—like a slice of juicy, sweet watermelon in the scorching Greek sunshine, it sated a need, something he had to have.

“Please, Matt. Do it. Do it all,” she begged.

Panic set in as she reached to undo his pants. He couldn’t… not tonight… for so long he had wanted her so badly, and the one time he just couldn’t, that was the night she wanted to.

“You have no idea how much I want to, Aoife.”

“S’okay. I’m on the pill; my period was due in the middle of my exams, so mam brought me to the doctor.”

“There are more issues with sex than pregnancy. We sh…”

“How dare you, Matt McDaid. I can’t believe you above all people listen to gossip, I did not sleep with that toe rag Pat Coffey. He’s crawling with every infestation known to man. He started the rumour for his own nasty ego,” Aoife shouted, pulling her skirt up and her top on. She was out the door in a flash, scrunching the underwear she wouldn’t take the time to replace in a small ball in her hand.

“Aoife, wait. I don’t mean that. I know you wouldn’t. I meant…” Matt realised he was talking to a swinging door… she was gone, leaving him in a total state of exasperation. Why the hell wouldn’t she give him a chance? Not that he would admit the most pressing reason, he’d be too embarrassed for that. But he could certainly have let her see just how much he cared for her and that he would prefer for them to work up to such a big step, which was actually true, in spite of his throbbing penis. A rushed job where his parents could easily have disturbed him was not how he saw his first night of passion with Aoife, not at all. He had much bigger plans for her. It really annoyed Matt that she gave him so little credit too—as if he would believe any of the local gossip. (Not that he had even heard it, for that matter.) Matt knew Aoife, she was far too self-possessed to get sucked into some smarmy lad’s bed. He thought about running next door and banging on the door until she opened it, but fear of her mother wanting an explanation for his disrupting the whole household so late at night soon called a halt to that idea.

Matt called for Aoife first thing in the morning and she was ready for him. She was white as a sheet, looking really sick and her features were all pinched. She was pretty cool with him, but still she preferred to go with Matt than her parents.

“About last night. I really wanted to…” Matt started.

“Puh-lease, I’m going to get the results from an exam that will affect the rest of my life, last night can wait,” Aoife cut him off with a toss of her head.

When she re-emerged from the school, big blobs of tears were falling down Aoife’s face. Matt got out of the car to comfort her, and to guide her back where she could cry in privacy. His heart ached for her. He had been so sure she would get what she wanted. Thank Christ it was him there and not her parents.

“I did it, Matt. I bloody did it. Five hundred and eighty points. Educational psychology, here I come.” He did a double take. She was crying with relief. He was so damn proud of her, he thought his heart would burst. Five hundred and eighty points out of a maximum of six hundred. He always knew she was one smart lady, but given what she struggled with, that was a damn miracle. She accepted his hug for a moment, but very quickly brushed him off.

“Of course, my certificate has an asterisk showing dyslexia, but what the hell, where I’m headed, that means work experience!” Matt knew what she meant, she had been allowed extra time for each exam because of her difficulties. But extra time was worth Jack shit if you didn’t know your stuff, and Aoife clearly had.

“Well done, you. I am so proud of you. You always had it in you,” he said, kissing her with delight. Honestly, that moment was even better than getting his own results to him because he didn’t have her obstacles—learning difficulties or parental difficulties. Through sheer grit and determination, his Aoife had just bought herself a much brighter future.

Matt had to go back to Galway to work the night shift. With the excitement of the results, the opportunity to discuss the previous night never came up and he had to leave on unfinished business. The next time he returned to Miltown Malbay, Aoife was already hooked up with one of her classmates and he knew he had missed his chance. What he didn’t know is that would be the last time he would lay eyes on her for years. If he had, he might have forced her to listen to him, made her listen to his side of the story. Told her how much she meant to him. But he never did get that chance. Aoife was off to London to college, and Matt’s father, a bank manager, was transferred down to Cork, resulting in a move for the whole family, and that was that. No more innocently bumping into Aoife Devine.

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