Mallory C. Knox
copyright 2011 Mallory Knox. all rights reserved.
The seven men in the waiting room shuffled impatiently through their magazines, trying very hard not to look at each other, but the room was just small enough to make it difficult.
Will kept finding himself staring up at the ceiling, just to avoid the accidental eye contact. He hated waiting rooms; he always felt like he was in a display case, his every action scrutinized… by the staff, by the other patients. What if he picked up a makeup magazine by accident, or tripped over someone's foot? They'd all see it.
The receptionist was the only one immune to the discomfort of the fishbowl. He lounged comfortably in a padded chair behind a half-wall and studied the visitors with the exact expression of detached interest that made Will squirm, attention flicking between them; a glance at the muscular jock in the corner, a long look at the blond guy pretending to read a battered copy of Maxim, a lingering stare at Will. The receptionist gave him a private smile the third time Will caught him looking, as though they were in on a joke together.
His nerves were starting to get to him. Bad enough that he was there in the first place - Dr. Stevens ran a travel clinic near a huge university, so most of the patients were young guys like him, but it still rankled him that he needed to go. There was nothing wrong with him, after all. Right?