Ankles, of all things. Bernie Wolfe feels like a time-traveling refugee from Victorian England. Suddenly, she sees women’s ankles as if for the first time. And blimey does she find them sexy!
In her distinguished 25-year military career as a trauma surgeon, Major Berenice G. Wolfe of the Royal Army Medical Corps, had never noticed women’s ankles. She’d seen her share of male and female viscera, bones, musculature, usually cordoned off by surgical draping. She saw plenty of women—in uniform, operating theater scrubs—but their feet and ankles were usually encased in “desert sand”-hued boots or the odd pair of trainers with scrub bottoms covering them.
Now, after her Army discharge in the wake of the unfortunate IED encounter and being outed as a lesbian, she seems to notice them every day. She confides her new obsession to an old RAMC friend, Jo Gannon, during a catch-up convo over hot-and-strong coffee when Jo was between tours. Jo snorts with laughter—her version of Bernie’s signature honk—and smiles knowingly at Bernie’s befuddled-and-blushing expression.
“Bernie mate, you’re a 51-year-old baby dyke!” Jo explains, putting a comforting hand on the trauma surgeon’s shoulder. “You are seeing the Wonderful World of Women for the first time. Just go with it, enjoy it!”
And she does. (Without being creepy, it goes without saying.) She shyly gazes from under her fringe of soft blonde bangs and sees ankles, calves, wrists, necks, earlobes and other gloriously feminine sights and appreciates them in a new way.
One woman’s bony and soft-tissue landmarks catch her hazel eyes again and again: Serena Wendy Campbell’s.
The vascular surgeon, deputy Hobly CEO and her clinical co-lead for AAU has beautiful lateral and medial malleoli—those asymmetrical joints commonly known as the ankle bones—as well as gorgeous hands, neck, calves, buttocks…Bernie never misses an opportunity to watch the intricate dance her co-lead’s hands perform in challenging surgeries. She finds the laugh lines bracketing Serena’s mouth intriguing. Her eyes linger over the tantalizing shadow of Serena’s cleavage when they sit across from each other doing their dreaded post-op paperwork.
And at this very moment, Serena Campbell has just left Berenice Wolfe gobsmacked as the velvet-voiced brunette pulls off her turquoise blue scrub top with a grumbled “I hate these fucking scrubs”. She balances first on one leg and then the other to yank off the equally (if not more so) offensive scrub pants. There she stands right in front of Bernie, wearing a burgundy lace bra and matching hipster panties, wading the OR clothing into a semblance of a ball and tossing them in a hamper. The bra cups her firm, ample breasts just so; the panties hug her womanly arse perfectly; a few dark hairs curl out from the front of her panties.
Despite the bounty before her, Bernie’s hazel eyes lock on Serena’s newly exposed ankles as she stands barefoot in front of her locker, reaching in for a fresh towel and toiletries bag so she can shower off the long day’s surgeries. The stretching elongates Serena’s muscular calves, Bernie dutifully notes. She imagines other activities that would cause the same delightful effect. Serena climbing the stairs to Bernie’s third-floor apartment. Serena crawling naked into Bernie’s bed. Serena arching her back and curling her toes as she climaxes…
“Earth to Berenice,” the husky-honey voice calls out. Serena figures her friend is simply daydreaming about a surgical technique or contemplating another double-shot latte from Pulse’s.
Getting no response, Serena snaps her fingers like a hypnotist as she sees Bernie’s blank stare. “Major! Eyes front, shoulders back!” With a dog-like shake of her blonde locks that renders them even messier than usual, Bernie resurfaces.
“S-sorry,” she mutters. “What were you saying, Serena?”
Serena rolls her eyes. “I asked whether you’re going to shower before we head to Albie’s for that drink I promised you. A bet’s a bet and you won that fair and square.”
Then Bernie remembers. They’d wagered on whether Sascha Levy’s loud-shirt-of-the-day would be a Hawaiian print or a Paisley. Bernie said Paisley and, sure enough, in the bear-like surgeon had sauntered that morning, flashing a nearly neon-bright Paisley-patterned button-down.
“Mr. Levy: the 1960s called. They want their shirt back,” Serena’d quipped, a cheeky grin chasing the remark. (She didn’t mind losing to her co-lead; win or lose, she got to have drinks with her and admire those long, slender fingers of Bernie’s and imagine what they could do to her eager body.) Bernie honked, causing Serena and Sascha to chortle. Dominic Copeland’s hefty sip of coffee made a hasty reappearance through his mouth and nostrils.
Bernie returns to the present. She sees goosepimples form on Serena’s bare arms and legs (Do NOT stare at her ankles, Wolfe!) and sees Serena’s nipples puckering inside their cozy satiny nests. Bloody hell…
“Um, er, yes, I’ll shower now,” she verbally stumbles along. She hurriedly strips to her underwear, grabs a towel and follows Serena into the showers. Making sure not to take the open stall right next to the vascular surgeon and her sexy ankles (and other parts), Bernie quickly turns the faucet to “cold” for a few seconds before gasping, shuddering and switching the knob to “hot”. Thank God Serena wore her usual slightly flowy black pants to work today, she thinks as she roughly scrubs herself as penance. Her eyes closed, Bernie doesn’t see Serena Campbell open the curtain to Bernie’s stall and poke her head and torso in.
“Sorry, forgot my soap. Could I borrow yours?” the matching drapes-and-carpet brunette politely queries.
“Jesus Christ, Campbell!” Bernie sputters. “Could you walk more loudly?!” She wipes soap from her eyes, grunts and grimaces as the suds burn before being washed away. Bernie doesn’t object to being seen naked. (Must be an Army thing.) But being startled out of her fantasy about Serena BY the woman herself…Bloody hell!
So desperate to stop her eyes from stinging, she misses the stunned expression on Serena Campbell’s face as the vascular surgeon and previously self-described dyed-in-the-wool heterosexual takes in the natural beauty of her friend. From Bernie Wolfe’s now-water-darkened blonde head to the rosy nipples on those perfect handfuls of breasts (accented by the sternum scar) to the smooth tummy (with its faded C-section scar), thatch of trimmed brown curls and legs that go on for days and those slim ankles…
“Here ya go,” Bernie blindly reaches over to the shower curtain and waves the soap in the direction of Serena’s voice. No hand reaches out to relieve her of the sudsy square. She shakes it again. Nothing. Re-wiping her face with her soap-less hand, Bernie opens her eyes to see Serena’s eyes roving up and down her body.
“S’rena?” Bernie blinks, cocks her head, confusion in her soft voice. Then, the proverbial light bulb clicks on. Dyed-in-the-wool my arse, Bernie thinks. A lopsided smirk appears on her face like a ray of sunshine.
“Oi Campbell: Admiring my ankles, are you?”