I lay in the dark and listened to the muted sounds of the machinery hooked up to me. The soft beeping that tracked my pulse and the gentle hiss of the oxygen being fed to my nasal cannula. The almost imperceptible drip, drip, drip of the IV.

I lay in the dark and felt my painfully throbbing erection. The erection I’d woken up with and had no idea how to relieve, given that my hands and forearms were covered in thick gauze and I couldn’t grip anything with them, let alone rub myself off.

I lay in the dark and thought about how the hell I’d gotten here.

By being a fucking Good Samaritan, that’s how. The cabin cruiser was on fire and there were people standing at the stern yelling and screaming, and I saw them holding up little kids, trying to get life preservers on them. I may be a professional hard-ass but little kids in trouble get to me. Long story.

So I jumped in the dinghy, fired up the little outboard motor and hustled over to the burning boat as fast as I could make the little boat go. I knew damn well it could blow up in my face, but just filed that under the “You’re Fucked” category and kept going. I didn’t see or hear the Coast Guard, yet, and I was just getting there when a man threw a little kid over the side, about twenty feet from me. Shit.

I dove in and grabbed the kid, a young girl, like maybe a toddler, barely strapped into the vest. I hauled her over to the dinghy and pushed her in, then turned to the guy.

“Hey, Asshole!” I called to him. “Get down here and help retrieve ’em before you pitch anymore overboard!” He looked surprised to see me. And relieved.

“Somebody else can throw!” I yelled. “Get down here and man the boat!”

I will give the man a little credit. He turned and yelled something to someone I couldn’t see, then jumped overboard, swimming for the dinghy. The someone turned out to be a young woman who threw the next kid overboard. I was closest, so I retrieved the kid, this one a boy, and started pulling him towards safety. The guy met me part way and took him, so I went back to see if there were any others.

There were. And the woman was having a hell of a time getting the life preservers on the squirming kids. So I decided fuck it and swam to the transom, hauling myself up the ladder to the deck. There was thick, oily smoke pouring out of the main cabin and the engine compartment, which did not bode well. There were two apparently empty fire extinguishers lying on the deck.

The woman was about done with one of three kids that were left, so I grabbed the other two and told her, “Jump! Take the kid with you and jump! I’ll get these two ready and throw them to you!”

She started to object.

“Jump, God damn it!” I yelled in her face and she did. Maybe she was just frightened of me. I don’t know. What I did know was I had two kids to get strapped up. I dropped one of them to the deck and knelt across him, using my legs to keep him pinned while I got the girl into her vest. I wasn’t being gentle because I was in a hurry, but she had kind of freaked out and wasn’t fighting me.

Once I had her in her vest, I grabbed her in one hand and the boy in the other and went to the stern rail.

“Catch!” I yelled and tossed the girl. I didn’t wait to see who got her. I turned to the boy.

“Stop fighting me! I’m saving your ass!” I told him and I must have shocked him, because he did stop struggling. I got his vest on him and two of the four buckles cinched, and decided that was good enough. I took him to the rail and looked before I threw this time.

The woman was beside the dinghy, the man was halfway between it and me and the other kids were in the boat.

“Last one!” I yelled to the man and pitched the boy over the side. The guy swam to him immediately.

“No!” the woman called out. “There is one more! Giselle!”

“Where?” I yelled back.

“Forward!” she yelled back. “In her crib!”

In her crib??? Oh, fuck! I looked around, trying to remember what I knew about this kind of boat. It was one of the old Pershing 50-footers, which meant that “forward” meant either the master berth in the bow or one of the berths amidships. The fire had involved the stern of the boat, so I hustled over the deck to the hatch that led down into the bow.

Some god of good fortune was working overtime because the hatch was cracked open for ventilation. I grabbed it and yanked and it came the rest of the way open. I eased my way in and dropped onto the bed. It wasn’t quite as smoky here as aft and I saw the crib immediately. With a squalling infant in it, wrapped up in a blanket.

I didn’t have time to screw around. I could hear the siren from the Coast Guard cutter, but it was still a ways off. Baby and blanket went up through the hatch, and I was really hoping he/she/it would stay put and not roll off until I could get out there. I had to pull my way up through the hatch and yeah, I was a little out of shape, but I made it. And the baby was still there.

I grabbed it and ran aft. The only life jackets left, that I knew, were in the locker on the flybridge. Which meant putting the baby down and making my way through the oily smoke. I fished one out, realized it wasn’t going to fit, wrapped it around the kid and secured it by tying my belt around it. By this time, my eyes were watering bad, and I was coughing up a storm. I got to the rail, though, yelled “Catch!”, and threw the kid. I really hoped somebody caught it.

I was climbing up on the starboard gunwale by the transom, getting ready to jump, when the damn boat exploded – and caught me in it, throwing me into the water. I remembered the searing heat and massive concussion from behind, and I vaguely remember hitting the water, but that was about it. The next thing I knew, I woke up in a dark hospital room, hooked up to a bunch of equipment, and sporting an erection that was extremely painful.

I figured I had to be at the Schneider Hospital. The boat had blown up in Ruyter Bay off St. Thomas Island. It would be the place they’d take me. I needed to talk to somebody, though. I needed to find out what the hell was going on. I looked around for a call button for the nurse and of course, it was in the TV remote control, which I couldn’t pick up because my hands and arms were all bandaged up.

I was about ready to try yelling when the door opened, spilling a yellowish light into the room, and a nurse entered. I don’t get embarrassed easily, but I was about to be. She was young, she was pretty and I was immediately imagining her naked.

She walked up to me in the dim light and noticed I was awake.

“Good evening, Mr. Foster,” she smiled at me. “How are you feeling?”

She was only listening with half an ear as she moved to check my temperature and read off the rest of my vitals, which was okay because I suddenly found myself parched. I tried to point with my bandaged up hands and say “water,” which I am not sure came out intelligible at all. But she understood, and once she finished checking the machines, she went to the sink and wet a cloth to dab my lips.

“Drink,” I tried to tell her. She nodded her understanding, then looked at my chart.

“I will get you some water, Mr. Foster,” she told me. “We must be careful not to hurt you. You have been through a severe trauma and we must go slow.”

I nodded and laid back, and she went out and came back with some ice water and a straw so I could at least moisten my throat and mouth enough to talk.

“What happened?” I managed to ask her after awhile.

“You were injured by an explosion aboard a boat in the harbor,” she explained. “I believe you were saving lives at the time. You were very lucky, it appears. You have severe burns on your forearms and hands, and they had to remove some shrapnel from your back, but overall you are okay. You have been drifting in and out for the last three days. You now seem ready to rejoin the land of the living.”

“Who are you?”

“My name is Kayla, sir,” she smiled again. I was really liking that smile. “I am one of the night shift nurses here on Medical/Surgical Recovery.”

“Did the kids live?” I asked. For some reason, it was important to me.

“Yes, sir, the entire family of eight survived, with only minor injuries,” she told me. “You are now quite the local hero.”

“I’m not a hero,” I told her. “You guys are. You fix the broken ones. I just retrieve ’em. And is there any way I can get something to eat? I’m starving here.”

“You are supposed to be on clear liquids, until the Doctor clears you,” she explained. “I’ll see what I can get.”

“You are an angel, Kayla, thanks,” I told her, “but somebody’s going to have to feed me. I can’t do anything with these bandages. I’d have thought I’d have been in a lot more pain…”

“You have quite a cocktail of pain killers in you, sir,” she smiled. “Which is probably why you aren’t feeling much.”

Oh, I was feeling something, alright. It was between my legs. Painfully so. The only reason it wasn’t glaringly obvious was because the lights in the room were dimmed, and this cute nurse wasn’t helping things any.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes, sir,” she told me and then turned to leave. I got to see the other reason she was cute… a wasp waist and really fine ass. Even in the scrubs-type uniform, she was obviously toned and curvy. I sighed, laid back and waited for her to leave.

Once she was gone, I tried to see if there was anything I could do to get myself off. The hard-on was really bothering me, to the point of being painful in my balls, thighs and lower back. Although, the lower back pain might have been from the shrapnel they took out, since I seemed to have a bunch of bandages there, too. I couldn’t find a damned thing to help myself out.

If I’m that doped up, I thought, why the hell am I hard? I should be out of it. I was still trying to figure that out when Kayla returned with a tray.

“I did not know what you might like, sir, so I made do with what I could scrounge from the cafeteria,” she told me. “The kitchens are closed.”

“What time is it?” I asked as she put the tray on the bed-table thing that could swing over in front of me.

“It is almost three o’clock in the morning, sir, on Friday,” she answered, and then drove my anxiety through the roof as she moved to lower the railing, raise the head of the bed and sit on the side of it, next to me. Right next to the very obvious tent pole sticking up. “You had your accident on Tuesday night.”

“I have lime gelatin,” she went on, moving into position to feed me, “and both tea or coffee, with sugar or honey, if you would like. I also have apple juice and both Mountain Dew and Pepsi available. I also have some… oh!…” She paused as she accidentally brushed my cock. “I am sorry, sir…”

I wasn’t. Just her bumping it was nice and the fantasies started flowing.

“I also have… um… some, uh… some hard… uh, candies and peppermints,” she managed to finish up. I was ecstatic to see that she was distracted by my hard-on. A perverse part of me liked the idea that she was unfamiliar with erections and might by fascinated by mine. She turned on her Professional Nurse, though, and helped me get fed. I would have preferred steak and potatoes, but I’d have to wait on the Doc for that.

When we finished up, she’d told me she’d be right back while she cleared out the tray. When she came back, she brought something with her that looked like a ping pong paddle, which she hooked into the bed.

“You should try and rest now, Mr. Foster,” she told me. “If you need anything, just push on this with your elbow. It will be the same as the call button and will chime at the nurses’ station. Oh, and the Doctor had approved a PCA, but since you can’t operate it conveniently, you can just call and one of us will do it for you.”

“What’s a PCA?” I asked. I thought I knew, but I wanted to be sure.

“Patient Controlled Analgesia,” she smiled. “Intravenous pain relief. Normally, you would push a button to get extra pain relief or not push it if you didn’t need it. But since you aren’t a button-pusher today, we get to do it for you. Just call if you hurt too much.”

“Can I get out of this stupid hospital gown?” I asked. “It’s really uncomfortable and pushing on all the wrong places.”

She thought about it for a moment, then helped me by unsnapping it at the shoulders and peeling it off carefully, not removing the sheet. Which meant I wasn’t going to embarrass her, or be embarrassed, by my obvious problem.

“Okay, now you try to get some rest, Mr. Foster,” she told me. “Call if you need something.”

I nodded my thanks and watched her walk out the door, closing it and immersing the room once more in darkness. There was no way I was going to tell her that the PCA wasn’t going to give me the kind of pain relief I needed. I tried to settle down and think about other, more pleasant things. Like Sgt. Carter, the ass-wipe at the Army Recruiting Station and the reason I was in the Virgin Islands in the first place.

Long story. I needed his recollections of an Op we’d been on together, for a different problem. He wasn’t pleasant in country the first time and he was less pleasant behind a desk. Thinking about him did keep my mind off my cock and the nurse, but it made me realize I was getting agitated, and I didn’t want to drive the nurses nuts with bad biotelemetry.

So I gave up on that and tried falling asleep. An hour later, I gave up and pushed the call paddle.

“How may I help you, Mr. Foster?” It was Kayla again. Which was just going to make this more embarrassing. I’d rather have gotten an old crone.

“Look, Kayla, I’ve got a problem,” I started. She simply looked at me attentively while I tried to get it out. “I need a certain kind of relief from a rather painful problem and I can’t take care of it myself, exactly, so… I was wondering if you… if the hospital… had some kind of, um… tube or something… I could hold between my bandaged hands and, um… well, use… um… use as an artificial vagina? If you know what I mean?”

I was really bordering on groveling here. I wanted some kind of fuck toy I could get off in, but I didn’t want to drag her into it. She seemed rather… ingenuous. And I sure as hell didn’t want her thinking I was a dirty old man, trying to come on to her.

She kept looking at me for a couple of moments, then looked at my tent pole for a few more, then turned back to me.

“I do not know, sir,” she told me. “But I will find out.” And she abruptly turned around and headed out.

Oh, fucking great… I thought. Now she’s going to go ask the rest of the staff, and when they’re done laughing their asses off over it, she’ll have to come back and tell me there’s nothing they can do. Wonderful…

* * * * *

Mr. Foster is an interesting patient, I thought as I transcribed my notes from my rounds. Badly burned saving the family off that boat fire, we got him after ER and Surgery were done with him. He was pretty out of it. An older man, true, but ruggedly handsome and in very good shape. Not like most of the men that pass through here after having their prostates removed.

I didn’t realize at the time the effect he would have on me. Rather educational, to say the least.

When his vitals shifted, indicating he was regaining consciousness, we were having problems with Mrs. Heatherton and Rita sent me to handle anything that wasn’t an emergency, since everyone else would be busy with the old bag. Her confidence made me rather proud, actually. I’d been on staff less than six months and was still earning the respect of the veterans.

Of course, the first thing he wanted to know was what had happened. I tried to keep it simple and leave it to Dr. Carlton to explain the severity of his injuries. It is odd, but he didn’t seem to want the adulation due a man who had singlehandedly saved a family of eight at great peril to himself. I didn’t think I should push it. He would find out in good time just who it was he saved and how important they were.

The next logical thing was getting him something to eat. After three days of living on a D25W drip laced with narcotics, sedatives and antibiotics, it seemed obvious. I confirmed, as I started to leave, that the problem Dr. Carlton had suggested might appear, had appeared. The rather pronounced tenting of the sheets indicated it. I’d been warned it might be painful even with the medications, but that I was to politely ignore the condition unless it became medically necessary. We weren’t to embarrass the man.

I did manage to scrape together something for him and assist in feeding him, since his hands are virtually worthless for now. I had hoped that once he had a little sustenance, he might fall back asleep. Sleep is one of the body’s best ways of handling pain while it repairs itself. Apparently, not one that was available to Mr. Foster. And I now had the oddest request.

I had no idea what might be used for an artificial vagina, that he might grip between his damaged hands in order to relieve himself. And according to Dr. Carlton, if he were able to get some relief through masturbation, it would only last a little while before the painful erection returned. Some sort of neurological damage to the fifth lumbar vertebra was causing the sexually exciting stimulation and only time would heal the wound.

That, or surgery – an option the doctors were trying to avoid if Mr. Foster’s body could at all deal with fixing the injury. In the meantime, Mr. Foster could end up very uncomfortable, and would probably see the temporary relief as preferable to the constant erection.

I determined to ask Rita, as soon as she, Margaret and Tracey had Mrs. Heatherton stabilized. Rita was incredibly knowledgeable, as befitted a woman old enough to be my grandmother. That conversation did not go at all like I had supposed.

“Rita, Mr. Foster is asking about some kind of artificial vagina that he could use to relieve himself,” I told her. “I have no idea what we’d use for that type of situation. Do you know where we might have something like that?” She gave me a look that was best described as sympathetic condescension with a bit of amusement thrown in.

“Oh, my dear,” she answered slowly in her best motherly fashion, “the only thing even close is kept in the Physical Therapy department and they are not likely to be cooperative, even if they were open. I’m afraid we don’t have any ‘artificial vaginas’ except the natural ones.”

“Then I have to tell Mr. Foster he’s just plain out of luck?” I asked. I really didn’t like seeing the heroic man suffer.

“As far as a masturbatory toy, yes, I suppose,” Rita nodded. “We can give him more analgesics, try to help him sleep, but Dr. Carlton has already indicated they are unlikely to work in this particular situation. Until the nerves heal, Mr. Foster will be experiencing continuing sexual stimulation. I’m sorry.”

“So am I,” I told her. “I really don’t like seeing him suffer.”