| Dear Stalker |
Patient! Male! Belarus x Psychiatrist! Reader
“Do you… ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? Because if it bothers you, I’ll stop…”
The shifting of papers and files were all you could hear as you began unpacking into your new office. It was your first time on the job as a licensed psychiatrist, and in all honesty, you were a bit nervous.
It was mostly a case of the jitters, however. You’d recently graduated college with a degree in psychiatry, finished the internship, and were now working at a mental health institution called Sutter Medical Center. Today was your first day, and though you were slightly anxious, you knew you’d be okay once you began talking with your first client.
You’d always been eager to help people, especially with emotional problems. Ever since childhood, you knew how to comfort distressed friends with simply your words, encouragement, advice, and reassurance. You’d even gotten the nickname ‘love doctor’ in middle school because you’d always known how to console friends who were either dumped, lovesick, or merely hurt at finding out the person they liked was into someone else.
That part was funny since you had quite average experience in relationships. Nothing too special, but after all, your advice wasn’t about romance—but how to pick themselves back up after experiencing mental pain or depression.
As you went into high school, you continued to help people over the years. You became a ‘student therapist’ and worked during a class period to assist other students who were having mental issues. You were so used to aiding people with their complications that you’d nearly forgotten to experience pain over problems of your own.
You’d seen so many tears. You’d healed so many broken souls. It was now to the point where you hadn’t ever cried or felt emotional distress yourself in years.
Briefly, you wondered if that was a negative thing. When you did actually get upset—you didn’t know when, but you weren’t stupid enough to believe you never would—who’d be there to comfort you? Sure you had friends, but would you be capable of telling them your problems or even accept their sympathy? It was always you that helped th—
At that moment, a knock on your door interrupted your thoughts. Jumping a bit, you turned and chirped, “Come in,”
Soon after, a lively Spanish man sauntered in. “Hola, Dr. _____! How’s your unpacking going? And how do you like your office?”
“It’s great! And I’m almost done unpacking; I just have this one box left.”
Antonio Carriedo was your boss and, to be honest, you couldn’t have asked for anyone better. He was always so happy, so pure. It was no wonder he was the head psychiatrist; he could cure anyone with just that sunny smile of his. If not, his humor and silliness could definitely get a laugh out of any client.
“That’s great! Now, I’ve also come to tell you about your first patient that will be coming in tomorrow morning. He’ll be arriving here at nine o’clock, and you’ll have forty-minute sessions with him three times a week. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. You listed these times of days as open in your schedule, so I assume this set-up is good to go?” He gave you a grin and a wink.
You nodded, “Sure is. Thanks, Dr. Carriedo.”
“Oh please, call me Tony! And alrighty, I’ll leave you his transcript.” He handed you a semi-thick folder and then headed back to his own office.
You sat down at your desk and proceeded to open the file. ‘Here we go…’
Name: Nikolai Arlovskaya
Supposed diagnosis: Borderline personality disorder.
Treatment: Obsessive love.
You glanced at the photo of him that was paper-clipped to the top left corner. Silver hair, long curl, pale skin, thin violet eyes that looked like they hadn’t found sleep in decades.
The file told of his medical history—both mental and physical—and details of his symptoms that pointed towards a personality disorder. The main issue that required psychiatric attention was the described romantic-attachment disorder, or possible case of erotomania.
The obsession centered on a female simply known in the paperwork as ‘The Girl’ to keep her identity private.
“Well… this’ll be interesting…” You murmured to yourself as you began writing down research questions.
The next morning, you were walking out of your apartment in the city. It was an overcast day so you wore something cozy and warm. The streets were bustling as usual, but you paid it no mind as you stepped onto the local bus.
You could simply drive to work, but it was hard to find parking around your building, and it’d make you late to look for one at such a horrible traffic hour. So, you often wound up taking the bus. It was most convenient.
Today was the day you’d meet your first official client. You’d mainly talk with his accomplice—an older brother who’d be able to describe what’s been going on in clearer detail than the patient, of course. You were probably just going to ask them questions, get answers, write them down, and start deciding on a medicine prescription, at least for today. If you had time, perhaps you could squeeze in a short intro to therapy session.
You soon made it to the medical center and began your usual computer work routine. An hour later, it was time for the meeting to begin.
Timing impeccable, you heard a knock on your office door at precisely nine o’clock. You were at your desk and took in a deep breath, “Do come in.” You finally answered.
The door opened softly. You stood up and held tightly onto your clipboard, moving to face the guests.
In walked a slightly-nervous looking male with shining blonde hair and radiant blue irises, followed by a shorter, rather ragged-appearing boy with disheveled silver hair and sleep-deprived violet eyes. “Er, um… h-hi, my name is Demitri and this is my baby brother, Nikolai. We’re here to see you for an appointment?”
You nodded and grinned politely. “Yes, hello, I’m Dr. ____ and I’ll be your brother’s psychiatrist. Nice to meet you both,” You glanced towards Nikolai—who was standing slightly behind his brother—but he wouldn’t make eye contact.
Demitri, however, was directly in front of you and smiled back brightly. “N-Nice to meet you too!” His cheeks flushed a little and he self-consciously looked down to his boots, “I-I really wasn’t expecting you to be so young and pretty...”
You put a hand to your heart, “Why, thank you. I honestly believed you looked around the same age as I, though.”
Needless to say, you hadn’t been expecting both of them to be so young, good-looking and—on Demitri’s part—charming. His accent sounded a bit Ukrainian, and his long scarf looked native to the area.
Meanwhile, Nikolai didn’t look too happy to be here.
Soon after, you sat down with the two of them and Demitri told you about what had been going on lately between Nikolai and The Girl.
Nikolai was deeply infatuated with her, he said. Nikolai didn’t make an effort to deny anything, though he looked somewhat disagreeing. Nevertheless, Demitri continued to tell you about their issues.
His brother was charged for stalking and put on house arrest for four months, and he was showing warning signs for obsessive love, which was actually a newly-researched mental disorder. He was frightening when he didn’t get to see The Girl and it worried Demitri to no end. “Nikolai is… no longer himself. The Girl is obviously not interested and I’d just like for him to get over her and return to the way he used to be. I just…” Demitri looked down, obviously fighting back tears but to no avail, “…I want my baby brother back. The real one.”
You nodded in understanding. Nikolai had been slouching on the sofa with his arms crossed the entire time, not speaking a word. He wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone and was clearly making an effort not to look at his brother as he slowly began to cry. “He needs help. Please, help him. Help us. We really need someone like you.” Demitri sniffed, and wiped a final tear with his fist. Even with his tall height, he still managed to look like a child—especially with his sensitivity, baby-face, and round, innocent eyes.
“Stop crying, big brother.”
Your heart sped up a bit at the first sentence you heard come from Nikolai. As you turned to look at him, he was sitting whilst facing his brother, a slightly guilty yet agitated expression on his face.
Demitri’s jaw was dropped until he mustered up a reply, “I… I will… thank you, Nikolai…”
At this, you pulled out your notes again and skimmed over the research questions you’d jotted down yesterday. “So, Nikolai. Do you feel guilt for what you make your brother feel?”
His gray-rimmed eyes slowly traveled over towards you, “Huh… mm, perhaps.”
Without skipping a beat, you wrote down the answer. “Do you want to get better? Can you admit to yourself that you have a problem?”
He gritted his teeth, and then looked at Demitri—who simply nodded in encouragement. Sighing, Nikolai sank down to his seat and replied, “Sure. I’m not inane enough to believe getting in lawful trouble for love is not commonplace.”
You didn’t like the way he used ‘love’. Did he really think this was love? No. It was an obsession that needed to be treated. You made another note to untangle that idea from his brain. “To you, what is ‘love’?”
He slowly began to talk a bit more. The meeting was close to over already, and you decided it wouldn’t hurt to start a therapy session at the present. Telling this to Demitri, he nodded and left the room.
“…I see. But if the person’s feelings aren’t mutual, then how is it love?”
He lay on the couch and grumbled, “Maybe it isn’t.”
At this, your lips parted in surprise. “Really? Is that how you’re feeling? Do tell me more.” It was the first time you’d gotten him to admit that he and The Girl weren’t meant to be.
He shakily put a hand to his chest and exhaled before replying, “This pain. It hurts me so. When I am thinking of someone I love, shouldn’t I receive happy thoughts? Not this barren feeling of loneliness, rejection, and notion of being hated by the person I adore most?” His words sounded bitter towards the end. You could nearly feel his blood boiling from your spot on the opposite couch.
“I’m… hurt. I know she became terrified of me, and yet I couldn’t stop following her, and she pressed charges against me and that caused me to realize she really doesn’t love me back and never will.”
“When a girl says no, she means it.”
“How I wish I could have believed that at the time.”
You took some more notes. His attachment level wasn’t as terrible as you’d thought it was. If anything, it seemed he was starting to understand that the love was never real and that he should get over her.
Patients with ‘obsessive love’ tend to believe that they can end up with the person of their affections no matter any circumstance. That wasn’t exactly the case here. You also put a line through ‘erotomania’, since this couldn’t be his diagnosis either. It was simply when a person was convinced that someone was in love with them, even when it couldn’t possibly be true and purely in the mind of the individual. Overall, Nikolai seemed to have the borderline personality disorder with some remnants of a past obsessive love. He was having a hard time adjusting and still had many problems he could definitely use psychiatric attention for.
“I watched over her. I’d thought she would fall in love with me eventually, she had to. Do you really think it was impossible? I… always dreamed of stealing her away on her wedding day. All dressed in white, she’d be ready to pledge her life to someone else as I came in, swooped her in my arms, ran away and never looked back. A stolen bride.” He sighed and continued, “Maybe she would have fallen in love with me then. And we could have gotten married, instead. In that same dress she’d worn, she’d agree to love me forever.”
“Nikolai… that is a very twisted fantasy.”
“You don’t like it?” There was an edge to his voice.
“It would never work the way you’re imagining it, and it would cause huge problems and possibly arrests, and you don’t need that trauma in your life. Trust me.”
After a few moments of silence, he exhaled quietly and stared at the ceiling. “…I know.”
You glanced at the clock. “Nikolai, you don’t have any allergies, correct?”
“You should know that I don’t.”
“Right. I was just double-checking. Anyway, I’ll prescribe you some medication that will help you with what you’ve been going through. Pick some up at your local pharmacy, okay?” You handed him a slip of paper that verified your PhD and suggested medicine for him.
He took it, and you decided to give him some extra advice before your first session ended. “It says in your paperwork that you don’t have any particular hobbies besides… knife throwing. We’ll need to get you a new interest that’ll distract you from The Girl. May I suggest… a new genre of music? What do you usually listen to?”
He shrugged. “I don’t really listen to any music.”
You sighed. The poor boy.
Luckily, you had a few rock CDs in your desk drawer. You pulled out a handful of albums and gave them to him. “You’ll like rock. Especially these various types. I suggest alternative-rock, namely the songs on here.” You pointed towards American Beauty—American Psycho. “I won a pair of tickets to this group’s concert in the city. It’s part of their current tour, but I can’t go because of work. Maybe you can drop by? It’ll get you out of the house and hopefully meet some new people.”
“…Fall Out Boy?”
“Not them, but some people at the concert.”
“I… know that…”
“Good, since these tickets aren’t meet-and-greets, but I’m sure you can make a few friends there. Okay?”
He slowly nodded. “Okay…”
You smiled. He seemed a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but at least that was better than appearing heartbroken or miserable.
The session ended after that, and you’d been sitting next to him for the past few minutes. “See you tomorrow, Nikolai. I hope you feel better.” You grinned and placed a hand on his knee to show your support.
However… that seemed to strike a different chord with him.
As soon as you made contact with him, he stiffened.
Eyes widened, a heavy blush spread across his cheeks. “I…I… I—” He stuttered, clearly taken off-guard.
Oh no. Had he seen your little show of support as something… else? He couldn’t have thought of it as… intimate, did he?
Your smile dropped, and you quickly retracted your hand. You really hoped he hadn’t taken that first gesture the wrong way; you’d only wanted to give him comfort.
The next few weeks seemed to fly by. As if in no time, you’d gotten to know Nikolai on a very personal level and, according to Demitri, he had never been closer or as open to anyone until he began speaking with you.
It had been a slow process, but you’d gained his trust and after that, his thoughts, feelings, and emotions came pouring out to you and there were times when you went over the session limit because Nikolai wasn’t done telling you things. These days, you hardly even had to ask him questions—he always had something he wanted to tell you that often led to a deep conversation.
His medicine was working wonderfully, so that was probably some of the cause.
However, there was something about him that you soon noticed after the first couple sessions—a type of habit that he’d developed.
He would look at your face more. And though it was a big step from avoiding eye contact, he seemed to watch your face much longer than needed. Staring would be the best way to describe it. “What’s with all the staring lately? Am I that beautiful to you?” You’d joked one time.
To which he’d blushed, but smiled and went along, “Yes. You are. And you’re so much more to me as well.”
At the time, you’d accepted his compliment, but now… all of the staring was beginning to make you nervous. You felt that if you fidgeted too much, or made any movements to adjust your clothing/hair, he’d notice and with an intense gaze such as his, a bit of discomfort washed over you each time.
By now, you couldn’t exactly look him in the eye. Each time you did, he was still watching you carefully, and it made you wonder why he felt the need to look at you so much. It was a distraction throughout the sessions, and you’d sometimes have to call his name to get his attention back. How did he manage to get lost in you so easily…? What was going on?
On your tenth session with him, you decided to get in his head about it. As you stood leaning against your desk, you firmly asked him, “Nikolai. Do you normally watch people this closely?” He hadn’t been concentrating all morning, and it had become clear that this dilemma ought to be fixed.
At your question, he swiftly got up from the couch. Your eyes widened a bit—he usually stayed on that couch the whole session, and it was rare of him to make sudden movements. “What are you—”
He soundlessly crept up to you and in the blink of an eye, he had you trapped between himself and the desk.
Eyes shadowed by his silver bangs, he slowly smiled and pressed his hands to your waist. “I don’t usually watch people the way I watch you,” He breathed out as he rested his forehead against yours. “You make me feel good. I love being around you, _____.” He gently brushed his lips to your cheek before you could process what was happening.
“You are like a drug to me; I simply can’t get enough of you. Heh… you’re going to be the death of me, _____...” He whispered softly, holding you tighter.
“N-Nikolai…” Your voice nearly caught in your throat as you shakily protested, “Stop… I’m just your therapist, y-you’re unstable—”
“-I told you, _____... you’re so much more to me,” Eyes downcast, he carefully pulled away, but kept his hands on you. “You’ve begun to mean more to me than you’ll ever know...”
You’d chalked up his strange behavior as emotional instability and that he’d needed physical contact as direly as he’d needed someone to confide into. At least, this was what you told yourself and him, because you really didn’t know how you’d handle a patient developing a little ‘crush’ on you. “I’m simply here to guide you through your recovery,” You’d told him. “If you need a hug, please just ask…”
It was Friday night. The long week of work was over and you could now prepare yourself for something that had been giving you an intense case of the jitters for the past five days.
You’d met Daniel through a friend, and since you were both single, the two of you were instantly paired up by the friend one night at a cocktail party. A few sparks flew, and now here you were on your first official date with him.
Sitting across from him at one of the city’s nicest restaurants, you’d thought he appeared gentle, kind, and quiet—at least until he opened his mouth. “I used to be really outdoorsy as a kid. There used to be this annoying girl who would follow me around all the time, she called herself Prussian or something? Anyway, we got older and I got an interest in cooking—do you know how fun it is to hit someone with a frying pan before putting it on the stove to burn? Haha! Memories, man. Oh, and who’s the friend that got us together again? Was it Anneliese? Or Monika?”
“The Austrian one, Anneliese.”
“Right. So many cute girls, it’s hard to remember.” He put an elbow on the table and rested his chin against his hand, his green eyes looking faraway and light brown bangs falling into his face. He sighed quietly.
Feeling a bit uncomfortable, you shifted in your chair and tried to think of something to say to him. The conversation had been quite dead all evening and you wondered if you’d only gotten along with him the other night because you’d both had a few cocktails. “Um… so, you’re… Hungarian, right?”
Before he could respond, you caught sight of something odd in one of the restaurant’s long windows. A person was walking outside in a long gray coat with black fur around the collar. Huh… that looks like… Nikolai’s jacket… you briefly thought to yourself.
As if on cue, the person turned and happened to notice you.
“…That is Nikolai-!” You accidentally blurted aloud.
“Huh? Who…?” Daniel asked, genuinely confused.
You looked back at him and shook your head, “Oh, nothing, sorry… I-I just saw someone I recognized outside, heh.”
“Oh,” Daniel glanced over your shoulder, then met your eyes again. “Does that happen to be the person who just barged inside and is currently walking over to our table…?” He laughed nervously and toyed with his keys, you noticing a Tamagotchi keychain in the process.
“What…” Oh no… he better not be… As if to further confirm your fears, you heard a chair pull out next to you.
“…Is this seat taken.” Nikolai monotonously asked.
Your eyes went wide. “N-Nikolai! What are you… doing here?!” Your voice squeaked in embarrassment. He was your work patient, and he was here, at a very personal setting, at a very personal hour, while you were on a freaking date with someone. This was way inappropriate.
“Are we not allowed to see each other outside of your work?” He grumbled back.
You blushed slightly, “Well, no, but—”
“-Don’t worry; I don’t plan to order anything. But. Hey,” He pointed his gaze at Daniel, “Who are you?”
Daniel looked a bit taken aback. “Oh, my name is Daniel Héderváry, and I’m _____’s date tonight.” He smiled at him, “And… who might you be?”
Nikolai glared at him; he obviously didn’t want to say that he was your client. “Tamagotchi are stupid.”
Daniel squinted. “They’re very cute, you know.” He pocketed his keys and huffed.
“I should probably have you know,” Nikolai nonchalantly took a sip of your wine glass, “…that _____ belongs to me.”
Your heart instantly sped up. “E-Excuse me?”
Daniel chuckled, “She belongs to you, huh?”
A dark aura was forming over Nikolai as he continued to glare daggers, “You’re too nice. I don’t like you.”
“Um, Nikolai…” You decided to step in before anything weird happened, “I’m not sure if it’s appropriate that you be here. This is a personal arrangement, and I’m your psychiatrist…—”
“-I just came out of that concert you gave me tickets for. It was riveting. And then I accidentally called that girl. It was the first time I’d spoken to her in months, and now I’m feeling really hurt. I’d been thinking about how I wish I could be someone else, and then I saw you in here.” Lowering his voice, he peered at Daniel. “_____ is mine. She only takes care of me.” His face screamed murder and the ominous, dark cloud continued to surround him, only giving him a more intimidating look.
After a few seconds, you laughed nervously. “Oh… what a predicament we’re in. Daniel, I’m really sorry, but Nikolai is my patient and he doesn’t seem to be in a stable condition at the moment. Can we continue this some other time, perhaps next weekend?”
Daniel slowly nodded, but he looked as if he still had no idea what was going on. You tried to explain. “I meet with Nikolai three times a week and I comfort him, and I suppose he’s gotten a little… emotionally attached…”
You had no other way to describe it.
And yet, this was probably the most interesting date you’d ever had.
Directly after, you’d gone outside and talked with Nikolai for hours. He’d needed some serious support, because he was honestly a mess. That two-minute phone call with The Girl had clearly screwed up weeks’ worth of therapy.
The next morning, you got a call from your receptionist telling you that there were some important documents that you needed to pick up at the office. You’d politely told her you’d be there in ten minutes, but as soon as you hung up, you groaned lightly. It was Saturday, and you normally didn’t have work, so this was mainly just a nuisance. If those papers weren’t so important, you probably would have told her they could wait till Monday.
After walking into the building and picking up the files, you tucked them into your bag and made it onto the bus home. It was around ten in the morning, but the aisles were pretty full of people. You were surprised you even managed to find a seat.
You were currently squished between an elderly woman reading a newspaper on your left, and a young, headphone-wearing teenager on your right. Across from you was a smartphone-scrolling man in a suit, and the majority of your view was blocked by standing riders.
You couldn’t hear much since most of the standers were talking to each other, and the volumes of their chats made everything else seem inaudible. You were feeling sleepy, so you didn’t pull out anything to entertain yourself as you waited for your stop. You sat quietly and decided to people-watch, since the place was so crowded anyway.
As you turned to your left, an unnatural movement was caught in your peripheral vision.
Did someone just… duck down? You thought to yourself.
You looked away for a few minutes, and then quickly look back to the same spot.
There it was again. Someone had clearly attempted to hide their face from your view. Is someone… hiding from me?
Your stop was coming up. Using this as an excuse, you stood up and more easily could see the line of sight where the person was sitting.
And there he was, caught in the act of watching you.
Nikolai’s face drained of all color as he looked away, and you couldn’t help but laugh. “Are you stalking me now?” You joked, though the notion that he’d gotten on this bus just because of you wouldn’t go away.
He was quiet for a few seconds. Right when your stop was getting near, he stood up and made his way over to you. “_____,” He gripped the bar over your head, somehow giving you two more privacy on the packed bus. “I… followed you to say, I…” His voice lowered and he inched his face closer to yours, “really love you…”
You were sure you didn’t hear him right. “H-Huh? What… was that?” Your voice shook. He really hadn’t just said what you thought he did, right…?!
His eyebrows lowered sadly as he responded with a smile and a blush, “I love you.”
The bus stopped. Doors opened. People began to file out.
“I… I… still didn’t hear you. T-Tell me whatever it was at your next session, okay nowIgottagobye!” You immaturely left him there as you ran out, feeling like an embarrassed and inexperienced teenager that you usually were not at all.
That… didn’t just happen… you tried to tell yourself. My patient did not just randomly confess his love to me while on that bus?!
On Monday morning, you were sitting at your desk doing paperwork when you suddenly got a phone call. “Hmm, Demitri?” You read aloud the caller I.D. and then answered, “Dr. _____ speaking.”
“W-We need to come in early today,” An unstable voice replied. You guessed Demitri had been in tears just the moment before calling. “It’s Nikolai. H-He’s a wreck. He won’t tell me anything other than he spoke to The Girl again this morning, a-and he’s been locked in his room and I’m terrified that he’s having a breakdown in there; I just don’t want him to get any dark or suicidal thoughts in his head and he agreed to come out if he could speak to you, so is it alright that we come over right now? I’m really sorry but I think it-it’s urgent...”
You nodded firmly, even if he couldn’t see it. “Yes. Please come in right away.”
Nikolai’s usual session wasn’t for another hour and a half, but this was pretty important. Why had he spoken to The Girl again? After that accidental call on Friday, you’d forced him to delete her contact. Did she call him this time? And what for? To tease him again? It was unforgivable what she’d done to him that night. She should have known that he was not able to bear anything of that sort from her. What could she want? A girl like her should really consider seeing a psychiatrist herself, especially with that kind of bullying attitude.
“_____,” Nikolai threw your office door open without knocking and stepped inside, already beginning to pace. “The Girl, she… she likes me.”
A stack of papers nearly fell from your hands. “She what?”
“She likes me. She called me to tell me at around four in the morning. I don’t get why. I really don’t. She sounded intoxicated, but she swore she was telling the truth. It… makes me uncomfortable. I want her to leave me alone but I get this feeling she won’t, and…”
“Why do you feel that way?”
He glared at the ground as he paced, hands curled into fists at his sides. “It feels like she’s haunting me. Right when I’m starting to get over what happened, she tells me this. She says she’s sorry and wants to try something with me. I’ve been trying to forget her for so long, I’ve been trying so hard. And now she’s causing me more pain and I can’t stand it,” His body language turned fierce, as did his tone. “I don’t want her to hurt me again, I fucking hate her!” He hissed through clenched teeth.
You tried your best to help him. It took some time, but you managed to calm him down with your words and assurance.
You’d been so focused on calming him down that you’d nearly forgotten about his confession to you on Saturday.
Even if he spouted that he hated The Girl, there could still be some denial in him. So, his true feelings for her weren’t very clear to you, and that was normal. It’d be a long process for him to sort out his feelings for her. For now, all you could do was try to cope with his storm of mixed emotions until he could be himself again.
You’d had it with dates.
No more blind dates, no more hookups, no more annoying matchmaking. You weren’t going to do this dating thing for a long time—no matter how many beautiful strangers came up to you on nights out with your friends.
Needless to say, your second date with Daniel had gone horribly.
After seeing a movie, he’d asked you if you’d ever done modeling before. Of course, you told him no. He asked if you’d like to and how you’d feel posing intimately with other girls.
You were baffled. What was he going on about?! It was then that he told you he’d love for you to be in his girl-on-girl photoshoot. These ‘dates’ with him weren’t even real dates; you’d completely misunderstood his intentions. “What can I say? I’m a huge—as the Japanese would call it—‘yuri’ fan!” Was all he’d had to say for himself as he laughed nervously at your enraged expression.
The stupid Hungarian had even been holding a camera and everything. You were upset and left immediately. “Call me whenever you like, babe! I’m sorry for any misunderstanding!” He’d called out to you as you’d furiously started up your car.
What had your friend been thinking—hooking you up with a guy like that?! There was a chance she hadn’t known about his fetish, but that didn’t make you want to forgive Daniel any sooner. And he’d seemed like such a great guy, too. Maybe if you got over this feeling of being used, then hopefully you could stay friends with him seeing as he seemed to know everyone you were friends with.
However, he didn’t matter right now. You were sick of all your dates going bad. Was there something wrong with the way you were? How come nothing in your love life ever went right? You had friends and respect for yourself, but it was hurtful to be alone for so long. When would there ever be a Valentine’s Day that you got to share with a lover? Being single was getting old. You weren’t a teenager anymore; you were at the right age to be searching for someone to marry. All this rejection and bad luck was really getting to you by now. The fear of being alone forever was really starting to eat at you.
It was Saturday night, and you didn’t feel like driving in the dark. The sky above was clouded over, thus hiding the moonlight and stars from view. Feeling more worthless than you ever had in years, you parked your car and stepped out.
You found yourself at an abandoned baseball park right outside the city. The towering trees casted ominous shadows over the entire field. I need some time to think, you told yourself. You really didn’t want to go home to an empty-as-ever apartment. But, how is this park any better? you realized.
At that moment, you received a text message on your work phone.
Nikolai: are you at the baseball park?
Your eyes widened and you re-read the message. How did he… know?!
You: Yes, why?
You pocketed your phone and looked around. It was too dark to see much of anything except for the well-lit parking lot.
Nikolai: i’m right behind you.
Your heartrate nearly doubled as you finished reading the sentence. He was here? Right now? Did he live nearby or something? Subconsciously you began to hold your breath as you slowly turned around.
Footsteps became audible. The mysterious silver-haired beauty gradually appeared from a shroud of dark shadows. A gust of wind blew past the massive oak tree above him, causing branches and leaves to whisper in the wind. “…I didn’t follow you this time.”
You were still hurt over Daniel and the string of bad dates that came before him. Nikolai had caught you at your weakest point; you were in pain, fragile, emotional, and unstable. Only that could explain why you’d suddenly felt warmth envelop your body at the sight of him and caused you to run to him, embrace him tightly and bury your face in his chest. “Nikolai…”
He stiffened. Obviously he wasn’t expecting you to come in contact with him. You could feel his pounding heartbeat against your ear, but he mumbled something inaudible and eventually wrapped his arms around you. “You’re… not okay… This is unusual… what happened…?”
You didn’t bother explaining. It was already unprofessional of you to hug him like this; though it would normally be okay at work if it was him who’d needed the comfort. But, you wouldn’t bore him with your problems. For now, all you wanted to think about was how warm he was, how good he smelled, how luscious his arms felt around your body, and how his heart continued to race. You weren’t wearing a jacket, so your bare arms were wrapped inside his open coat around his torso.
You continued to press your head into his chest as he sighed and looked up into the sky. The breath which left his lips into the cold air caused a cloud of condensation to blow out. “There, there. I’m here for you.” He robotically mumbled a moment after. He probably guessed that you wouldn’t tell him what was bothering you and decided to comfort you anyway.
How strange. Your roles were switched up tonight.
“Would you like to know what’s been bothering me?” He spoke up after another minute of silence.
At this, you finally pulled away from him. The long hug had managed to calm you down completely. “Yes. Are you okay tonight, Nikolai?”
“Not really. I can’t stop thinking about... you know, her. What if… I still like her? What if I like her again?”
You stepped back some more. “Nikolai…”
He continued, “I keep thinking about how things would be different. What if I never became your patient, ____?”
A wave of insecurities crashed over you once more.
“Do I love that girl? Or not? I never really know anymore.”
Now it hurt a hundred times worse because in those few minutes of being in his arms, you’d realized you’d fallen for him.
Why did it have to end up like this?
You weren’t supposed to develop feelings for your patient. It went against all work policies. Lying in bed the night you’d realized how you felt, you mentally scolded yourself for not seeing the signs sooner. You’d always thought Nikolai was attractive, and yet whenever he made you nervous in any way, you tried to brush it off and wouldn’t dare to think that you were getting attached to him in a way you weren’t supposed to. You were finished denying your feelings. But now, it was even worse that you knew them.
He was—to put it simply—hung up on a girl. It was to the point where he needed therapy. How could you fall for him? Why him? Couldn’t it have been someone else?
No, because other people weren’t Nikolai. The bond between the two of you had gotten too strong and ventured down the wrong path. “I love you,” he’d told you. He’d later admitted that he could never tell if he was in love or not. Did he really love you? Or was that another invalid declaration? Did he love her? Had he ever really loved anyone in that way, or was it simply obsessive infatuation?
You were a mess that night. Tears were shed and you despised it. Nikolai probably didn’t—and couldn’t—love you. Your insecurities, anxiety, and loneliness were overwhelming and you hated crying.
You couldn’t bring yourself to talk to anyone. Many would think calling and talking to a friend would make you feel better, and it probably was the right thing to do, but you absolutely refused to reach out to anyone.
It was always you helping your friends with their drama and problems, and yet you couldn’t ask for help yourself.
You were miserable that night.
You couldn’t stand this feeling and you wanted to forget this evening ever happened. When the sun comes up, I’ll start fresh, you told yourself as you tried to fall asleep.
It was a good thing you were saying goodbye.
Though you’d become quite close with Nikolai, all things eventually come to an end. Today was his final session with you.
It was three weeks since that horrid night.
There had been a two week vacation from work, so for a while you didn’t have any sessions with him at all. It had been hard to see him again after realizing you liked him in a way you shouldn’t, but at least nothing of the sort came up. You began to wonder if you’d ever heard him say he loved you. All he seemed to talk about lately was rock music and other things that kept him occupied. “I’ve been trying to get away,” he told you one morning. “I’ve really been trying to get better.”
And gotten better he had. After the two week vacation, Demitri called again and said Nikolai had become a delight. He seemed close to his normal self again, and that was highly relieving to him. “So, I think this’ll be his last session. For now.” He’d clarified over the phone.
“Hey, I’ll miss you.” Nikolai mumbled as he sat on the couch across from you for the last time. “I’ll miss you much more than you think.”
You smiled, but tried not to think about how his words caused butterflies in your stomach. “I’ll miss you too.” There it was. The plain, simple truth.
“I’ve realized I… I really don’t like her anymore. I know it for sure now, I promise. It was quite asinine of me to believe I could love her—or even like her again...”
“You know it, huh? Have you talked to her since she declared she liked you?”
“Not at all; I blocked her number. I won’t let her hurt me again.”
A bittersweet feeling overtook your body. He didn’t like The Girl anymore, and that made you happy, but it also made you dismal to remember he probably didn’t like you either. Besides being a crush, you were somber that he wouldn’t be your client anymore and that you might not see him again.
After a sentimental goodbye, Nikolai and Demitri left your office for the last time.
It was now around midnight and you were in bed. The moonlight shone through your window and you stirred in your sleep a bit. All of a sudden, your phone began ringing—thus causing you to fully bolt out of slumber. “Gah!” You whisper shouted as you furiously felt around for your phone in the dark. “H’llo?” You grumbled out without checking the caller I.D.
“_____?” Came a husky, Belarusian-accented voice that you remembered oh so clearly.
“Nikolai?” You paused, “…How’d you get my personal phone number?!” He used to call you on your work phone and you don’t recall giving him your real number.
“I’m… um. Outside your house.”
He’d avoided the question, but this was far more important. “Why… are you outside my house?! How do you know where I live? And,” You glanced at the time, “it’s midnight?!” Seriously, what was going on?
“I walk by here all the time. Hoping…” He took in a deep breath and then dreamily stated, “-hoping to catch a glimpse of you…”
“That sounds… macabre.”
“Please just come outside,” He stated monotonously.
“Agh, fine, but this better be important,” You hissed as you threw on a robe to step out.
Secretly, you were both thrilled and addled by his actions, especially with your undeniable romantic attraction to him. “So what’s up?” You asked him once you were out in your yard.
He was in his usual black fur-trimmed gray coat, and stood with his hands in his pockets whilst gazing up at the stars. After a few seconds of silence, he robotically asked, “Do you… ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? Because if it bothers you, I’ll stop…”
You tilted your head slightly. “I—uh, what?” Now that he mentioned it, you always had felt a pair of eyes on you whenever leaving your house, but you’d always brushed it off as paranoia.
He didn’t speak a work. Once another minute of quiet passed, you let out a flustered laugh. “Ahahah, there’s no way you could be at that level.” You shakily reached out your hand to pet his silvery hair. “Hm, my dear stalker.~” You weren’t sure what to believe, but were trying to play it cool.
“I’m over that girl. You know that I want nothing to do with her, yes?”
Your hand momentarily stopped petting his locks. “Yes, I know.”
“Because it’s really you who I love.”
Your hand fell to your side.
His eyes only became more determined. Lips in a taut line, he stepped closer and spoke, “I love you and want to be with you, _____. Is that too much to ask?”
Your heart started pounding about four times faster. “I… Nikolai, I…” A blush made its way to your cheeks and you looked down to the grass. “I admit I’ve gotten an attachment to you too, but…”
A sharp inhale caught your attention, and you looked up just as his expression hardened and he reached for your shoulders. Holding you at arms’ length with both of his hands on you, he declared, “_____. You’ve turned me into a new person; you’ve shown me what it is like to be human again and I can never thank you enough for all that you’ve done for me. Did you really think I wouldn’t fall in love with you? Not just for fixing me, but because you are so ethereal and appealing to a person like me?”
Blood pulsing, you could not muster a reply. Each sentence pierced your heart with more love for him far worse than Cupid’s arrow ever could.
“You are a plethora of amaranthine loveliness. Unfading, everlasting beauty both on the inside and out. You are my aesthetic, _____. I’ll love you till it hurts. I’ll protect you for always and destroy anyone who ever dares to hurt you. Do you understand, _____?”
Numb by his words, you could barely manage a nod.
He inched closer to your face as he continued, “I’ll do everything to make you comfortable. I’ll make you feel safe, loved, beautiful, cherished, accepted; anything you could possibly need, I want to give it to you. After all, you’ve helped me so much and changed me for the better. I want to make your life happier too and I’ll give it everything I have if you just give me a chance.”
His grip on your shoulders tightened, and you had to remember to breathe. “Oh… well, this is all so overwhelming, but I…” You had this horrible notion in the back of your mind that he was only doing this as a way to ‘pay you back’ for what you did, rather than for real love. Your insecurities really wouldn’t stop eating at you, and by now, he could see it.
He sighed quietly and averted his eyes. The moonlight struck his face at that moment, revealing a heavy blush on his angelic skin. “If love were a disease, I would be dead. I want you to love me more and more, forever…” His hands once again tightened on your body, and they slowly lowered down your side, brushing intimately against your curves. “I’ll do everything for you, and all I want in return is for you to love me. Please, _____. Choose me over anyone else! Please, please…” His voice rose a few notches and his eyebrows furrowed in worry; he was begging by now.
You felt hesitant. But really—what was getting in your way? Nothing. He wasn’t your client anymore, he’s gotten much better mentally, and you’re both adults. He’s younger than you, yes, but that didn’t truly matter.
You finally managed to look him in the eyes on your own accord. Mouth parted slightly, you stared into his violet irises as you began to speak. “…Y—”
He didn’t even give you a chance to finish.
He closed his eyes and pressed a soft, yet firm kiss to your lips.
Slowly, your eyelids fluttered closed.
Your heart was pounding hard enough to feel pulsating in your ears and your chest burned with passion. His lips were as flawless and chilled as you’d imagined—he’d always reminded you of a falling snowflake. Cold, yet unique and mystifying. One of a kind and easily broken. You’d have to handle his heart with caution.
He pulled away to breathe, and for a moment, you stood there with your forehead pressed to his as you both panted lightly, only for him to move in for another kiss seconds after. Your legs shook and you feared you might fall over. His kisses were not like any you’d received before.
You hadn’t needed to answer him; he knew with just one look into your eyes that you accepted him.
His road to recovery had been difficult, but at least you’d driven him into a paradise.