The doctor winced. “And why did she do that?”

Okay, this was time for the big lie. Something more believable than Ephraim was afraid bloodlust would take over if he did it. His mind froze. Why did women do that?

Madison came back to life. “He didn’t want to hurt me. I-I freaked out in the beginning because he felt too big.” He had to stop himself from grinning, he really did. “And I was crying and he said he didn’t want to hurt me. So, I thought it would be better if I did it myself only I slipped in the tub and landed on it. I just wanted to break through so it wouldn’t hurt my first time.”

“I see.” Ephraim saw the humor in the woman’s eyes, but she didn’t laugh. He had to give her credit. “That makes more sense.”

“Really? So, what’s wrong?” Madison looked more relaxed since the truth came out.

She looked at Ephraim. “You may want to hold her hand for this.”

Ephraim took her hand. “What is it?”

“You bruised yourself. I’m guessing you went down at an angle because you’re only bruised on the right side.”

“So, it’s not my cervix.”

“No, I’m afraid it didn’t get that far.”

“What do you mean it didn’t go that far? It went all the way in.”

“Madison, you have an unusually thick hymen.”


“It only stretched a little bit to the right. The penetration was incomplete. This is very rare.”

She dropped her face in her hand. “Even after that it’s not complete?”

“No, I’m sorry. If you want, we could perform the procedure right now. I can complete the tear with an incision.”

“I guess I don’t have much of a choice,” Madison whimpered.

“If you’ll get undressed I can give you a little shot and in ten minutes I can take care of it.”

“And the pain will go away?” She sounded hopeful.

“Well, I believe a good amount will. The area is swollen and pulling at the hymen, what’s left of it. I think this will help yes. You will still be sore.”

“So, it just needs to be broken?” Ephraim asked.


“Will it hurt her if it’s done in another method?” He didn’t want to see her hurt and he most certainly didn’t want this to be a medical moment.

“I would say it would have to be done very carefully at this point. With great care.” She gave Ephraim a meaningful look. “I’m afraid it’s going to hurt her a lot more this time around.”

“Ephraim, just let her do it please. It really hurts.”

He pushed a loose strand of her hair over her ear. “I’m really sorry about this, baby.”

“I know.”

“I can’t stay in here for this.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead.

“I know that, too. Call my Grandmother to come get me please. There’s probably going to be some bleeding and I want to get home as soon as this is done to relax. I know you have to go back to work,” she said a bit slowly as she tried to get her message across.

His jaw clenched, but he didn’t argue. “I understand. I’ll see you later tonight.”

“Hold up. Doctor Hahn, will I still be considered a virgin?”

“Of course, this is just a matter of stretching tissue. In your case it needs more help because of the unusual thickness, but you are still very much a virgin.”

Oddly enough that made him feel better. He would still be her first, he would see to that.


“She’s all set.”

“Is she okay?” he asked.

Dr. Hahn nodded. “It’s better this way, trust me. With her problem she would have ended up here no matter what.”

“Thank god.” He felt so relieved. He didn’t like the idea of her being in there alone. He wanted to know what was happening to her and to hold her hand, but he couldn’t. He would hurt her if he smelled her blood.

“Where is she?” Mrs. Buckman asked as she hurried over to them. Candy was close behind looking equally concerned. That was a shock.

“Dr. Hahn, this is Mrs. Buckman and Emma Buckman, Madison’s mother and grandmother.”

“Madison is fine. She has prescriptions, one for pain and one for anti-inflammatory. Since she doesn’t have insurance her best bet is to pick them up at the pharmacy on Reynolds Street. Also,” she pulled out a pamphlet and handed it to Candy. “She asked about a payment plan application. Have her fill this out and she’ll need a co-signer.”

He pushed off the wall he’d been leaning against for the last half hour. “What do you mean she doesn’t have insurance?”

“I’m sorry, Detective. I can’t discuss that any further. You’ll have to ask her. I can only say that some of the school unions have harsh contracts.”

“Thank you,” he murmured. He wasn’t going anywhere until he saw her. He would have to hold his breath the entire time and rely on the women to ask the questions.

“Yes, thank you, doctor,” Mrs. Buckman said.

Candy looked over the pamphlet. “I can’t co-sign this I have bad credit.” She handed the pamphlet to her mother rather hastily. Ephraim doubted Candy would help her out even if she did have the money.

Mrs. Buckman sighed. “Don’t worry I’ll figure something out to help her. I don’t want to see her stuck in a payment plan, but if it’s over five hundred then I'm afraid she’ll have to. I need to have the foundation fixed and a new roof put on by next month.”

“She should be out soon,” Ephraim said, hoping to change the topic.

Mrs. Buckman looked suspicious while Candy looked resentful. “Ephraim, what is going on here?” Mrs. Buckman demanded.

“You better not have made me a grandmother, Ephraim. I’m way too young to be a grandmother.” That was why she was upset. It wasn’t over Madison. “I’m trying to find a good man if I’m a grandmother that won’t happen.”

“Hush now, Emma, this is about Madison not you. Now you tell me right now if my granddaughter is in some sort of trouble and you tell me now.”

“Mrs. Buckman, she’s fine. She hurt herself. That’s why her stomach hurt so I gave her a ride here today.”

“How did she hurt herself?”

He shook his head. “I don’t know you’ll have to ask her. I think she was too embarrassed to tell me.” He hoped she came up with a good explanation.

Mrs. Buckman pointed her finger at him. “I’m trusting you with my granddaughter, Ephraim. The only reason I haven’t asked her to move her room is because I don’t want to treat her like a child. If I feel for one minute that you are mistreating her or making her unhappy in any way I will-“

“I’ll move out in that case. I wouldn’t hurt her in any way,” he finished. That wasn’t what she was about to say, but it was better and the truth.

The door leading to the patient exam rooms opened. The scent of her blood reached him. Ephraim gasped and stumbled back against the wall. The blood was too strong, too concentrated. He closed his eyes and fought for control.

“Ephraim, are you okay?” Mrs. Buckman asked. He nodded.