White clean walls were sparingly decorated with black and white images of landscapes. A black painted metal desk occupied the back-half of his office. In the front right corner, the white stainless examination table had been wiped down after his last patient.
His gaze followed the stout nurse.
"Dr. Stern?" spoke the woman behind her.
"Good afternoon, Teagan." Stern rose to his feet with the excitement of a schoolboy. "Please, have a seat."
He waited, patient, as she sat down and laid back on the examination table, scrolling through her phone. Celebrities and instagram models. She had collected several pictures of them. The surgeon watched her finger fidget, nervous, as she continued clicking around to find the best model.
Dr. Stern had seen thousands of patients...thousands of pictures.
Teagan felt the doctor's hard stare. Doctors in the city usually were either very personable or rude. The latter oftentimes a reflection of their arrogance and sense of superiority.
"Are you confident with your nose?"
It was his way of saying 'did I do a good job?'.
She handed him her phone so he could look over the faces. She wanted hers to be more oval with higher eyebrows, a reconstructed chin, and cheekbones.
It was all included in the Omorfia plan. He set down his clipboard and unrolled his scalpel set.
"Today, we'll be moving on to your cheekbones," he muttered in a monotone. Teagan nodded as he pressed a button, the examination chair reclined. She tried to find comfort in his grim expression. Following procedure, he set-up her IV. "Relax."
Teagan blushed, hearing her heartbeat accelerate on the monitor behind her.
The surgeon stood back, observing his masterpiece as it stared up at him, helpless. The anesthesiologist took over.
One moment Teagan shut her eyes, the next, she was awake with a sore face.
Dr. Stern was back in his white coat, not the ugly throwup green surgery gown and cap. Slowly, he removed the bandages from her face, and then he held up a mirror so she could view his work.
"It's, um, not what I expected."
She furrowed her brows. The doctor had only mentioned cheekbones today. Not her eyebrows too.
Teagan ignored the way he sat an inch too close near the examination table. Out of habit, he made the extra effort for his favorite client to move her hair around until she smiled.
Angling her hair around her new facial features, to no avail, did not help her like the changes anymore.
She tried politely, "I thought the measurements were standardized. I've seen pictures of your work...I just don't think the ratios are the same. Did my cheekbones move any?" she laughed off.
She tried smiling to test, but there was no tightness or stiffness in her cheeks, as she read about from other patients. There would have been if he made any changes.
"I think you lucked out, Teagan," the surgeon spoke to fill her doubt, "it appears you do not have much pain. Do you?"
"No, none at all."
He leaned back in his chair watching the woman avoid his gaze. She already was beautiful. He wasn't going to damage the small fixes he had already given her. The Omorfia plan was meant for clients who never had jobs done. It would erase his work. He had been with her for a few years and didn't understand why she wanted to erase his progress.
The doctor didn't realize he was staring her down. He was watching her pale lavender hair that ran down over the lump of plastic that made her boobs fill his hands perfectly. They were a size smaller than she ordered.
Teagan had not forgotten about his mistake that time either.
This second mistake was too costly to forgive. She could not afford to stay with him even if he did do her lip fill, butt lift, and tattoo removals perfectly.
He wasn't a horrible plastic surgeon. The other plastic surgeon, Dr. Sharp, at the same center, had better reviews, but Dr. Stern had more openings and had been in the practice longer. Even if the reviews about his attitude were so-so, word around was he produced better results and he was in the office more.
Teagan hugged herself as the doctor read off the list of recommendations she needed to do for follow-up recovery.
After reading, he handed her the pamphlet.
There was something intimidating about his silence.
Teagan wondered if the surgeon had work done himself. He was clean-shaven, had a perfectly symmetrical face with lips that were wide and not too full or thin. His chin wasn't broad or narrow, yet it still managed to attain a certain soft and masculine shape. With unique piercing amber eyes and baby-blonde curly hair, it was unquestionable he made nurses swoon.
The man's mouth was always kept either in a seemingly unwavering hard line or a scowl.
Teagan thought his name was fitting and so did everyone else who worked with him.
"What are you thinking of having done next?" he asked in a monotone. The nurse was knocking, it was barely noticeable, but he spoke just a tad bit quicker in persistence of a straight answer, "We are going to be getting busy soon, the holidays are approaching."
Teagan offered the best smile she could.
Dr. Stern scowled, swiveling sharply in his chair as the knocking grew sporadic.
"Dr. Stern! I need to give Ms. Shultz her pain killers, please let me in."
Teagan hugged herself watching the doctor practically throw open the door. His face remained impassive, but his stance rigid, staring down the nurse as if she were an inconvenience.
"Thank you, Ronda," he grumbled, incoherent, to those in the room as he stepped out.
The nurse waved her arm, shooing the surgeon out.