Brady could hardly believe what had just happened to him. The only time a guy had hit on him since his injury was when he was sitting in a restaurant and the guy didn’t realize he was in a wheelchair. But Jason definitely knew he was in a chair and amazingly, it didn’t seem to bother him at all.
The decided to take separate cars to the restaurant. As Brady transferred into his car and dismantled his wheelchair so he could store it in the passenger’s side seat, he looked up and noticed that Jason was watching him. He felt his face turning a little red, but tried to tell himself that Jason didn’t mind.
When Brady got to the restaurant, he was dismayed to see that the two handicapped spots in front were already taken. He cursed to himself, trying to figure out what to do. Although the parking lot wasn’t very full, he needed to have enough room on the left side of the car to transfer out. Even if he parked in a spot that was empty on the left, there was no guarantee it would be empty when it was time for him to leave.
Finally, Brady spotted a parking spaced that was next to a curb. He could transfer onto the curb on his left. He got as close to the curb as he could, which took two tries. The transfer was a little more awkward than usual, but it was doable, and he didn’t have to worry about getting blocked in.
As Brady wheeled himself toward the restaurant, he noticed a portly middle aged guy walking toward one of the handicapped spots and getting in the car. Brady felt a flash of anger… this guy didn’t look disabled at all! He tried to tell himself that maybe the guy had some horrible heart condition where he couldn’t walk more than a few steps, but he guessed it was probably something like lower back pain. It infuriated Brady that people who didn’t have real disabilities were able to take parking spots that he badly needed.
He saw Jason’s car pulling into the lot and a minute later, he joined Brady in the restaurant. The hostess led them to a table and pulled a chair away to make room for Brady’s wheelchair. Brady always appreciated when they did that without him having to ask.
As soon as they were seated at the table, Brady felt a wave of anxiety. Jason was a really attractive guy and could obviously have any man he wanted. Why was he bothering with a cripple? Jason was being kind of quiet and Brady wondered if he was having any regrets. When the water came, the first thing Brady did was knock his glass over.
“Sorry,” Brady said, after the waiter had cleaned it up. “I’m kind of… nervous.”
Jason raised his eyebrows. “Why?”
“I haven’t dated much in the last couple of years.” Or at all.
“Why?” Brady thought it was perfectly understandable why a paraplegic wouldn’t get many dates.
“Because you’re really hot.”
Brady swallowed his water wrong and started coughing violently. When the coughs subsided, he started at Jason. “You’re kidding.”
“Well, I think so,” Jason said, blushing a little.
“I just don’t think of myself that way,” Brady said. “Not anymore. Not since I got hurt.”
“Do you mind if I ask what happened?”
Brady told Jason the whole story. He’d been driving home from party one night, minding his own business, when a drunk driver came out of nowhere and T-boned the car. He woke up in the hospital unable to feel anything below his belly button. He was told that the injury was permanent.
What he didn’t tell Jason was how determined he had been to walk again, despite the fact that the doctors told him he had a complete injury and all nerves had been severed. He talked about walking constantly, read every website he could find, every miraculous story about a paraplegic walking again, inquired about bracing and experimental treatments, and even went to a few quacks who swore they’d get him to walk again. It really just didn’t seem possible that he’d never walk again.
It was on the one year anniversary of his accident, when he was still sitting in a wheelchair, his legs just as paralyzed as they’d been on the first day except now thin and atrophied and brittle, that it finally hit him that the doctors were right: he was going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Even if he lived another fifty years, he was always going to be the guy in the wheelchair.
“Did the guy who hit your car go to jail?” Jason asked.
Brady shook his head. “It was a woman, actually. And no, she just got probation for two years and her license suspended.”
“Are you kidding me?! That’s bullshit!”
“I was pretty angry at the time,” Brady admitted. “I was going to have to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair because of her and all she got was probation? But she was an alcoholic and a single mother with two kids so… her life was pretty bad. I mean, I’m upset that it happened, but I don’t feel angry at her. Or at least, not as angry as I used to be.”
They were interrupted by a waitress coming over to take their order. The waitress took Jason’s order first, then said, “And for your brother?”
Brady snickered and didn’t correct her. He guessed she’d noticed the way they were looking at each other, a little more intimate than friends, so assumed they were brothers. He thought if she realized they were on a date, she’d be horrified.
“So what sort of work do you do?” Jason asked. “You know what I do, obviously.”
“Well, I used to be a drug rep for a pharmaceutical company,” Brady said. “You know, those guys who go around wining and dining doctors.”
“I can totally see that,” Jason said. “All the drug reps I’ve ever met have been really hot.”
Brady blushed again. “Well, once I was in a wheelchair, they didn’t want me anymore. I guess I can understand why. So I went back to school to get a masters degree in comp sci, which is what I’m working on right now. I figure computers skills are pretty useful for… someone like me.”
“Yeah, to be honest, I don’t know if I see myself as a dental hygienist long term,” Jason said. “I’ve been thinking about going back to school too.”
“Well, you’re pretty good at what you do,” Brady said.
Jason grinned. “Well, thanks.”
Brady glanced down and saw that Jason’s hand had surreptitiously slipped onto his left knee. He couldn’t feel Jason’s touch at all, but worried that his penis might react anyway. He couldn’t get hard from looking at a hot guy anymore, but a touch on his leg might set him off. “You know,” Brady said, looking into Jason’s eyes, “I can’t feel that.”
“Oh,” Jason said, looking flustered. He pulled his hand away. “Sorry, um, I forgot…”
“I didn’t say you should stop. Just… go somewhere I can feel.”
Jason leaned in closer to him and Brady felt his breath catch in his throat. “Well, where can you feel?”
“Anything above the belly button.”
Now that he’d been given permission, Jason’s hand eagerly snaked up inside Brady’s sweatshirt. Since they were in a public restaurant, Brady attempted to remain composed, but when Jason’s fingers circled his nipples, he involuntarily let out a low moan. “Jesus Christ,” he murmured.
Their food arrived and Jason quickly yanked his hand away. Brady had no appetite, but he ate his burger as fast as he could stuff it down his throat and he noticed Jason was doing the same. They were done eating in record time and Jason called for the check.
“Where do you live?” Jason asked.
That was the great thing about being gay. Brady’s straight male friends always had to play games and wait months to get a girl into bed. Brady had never experienced that problem. He shook his head, “Not my house. I live with my parents now.”
“Shit,” Jason said.
“Nothing, except I’ve got two flights of stairs to get to my apartment.”
Brady clenched his fists in frustration. He thought for a minute about how much he wanted this and the answer was pretty badly. Bad enough to bring a guy home right in front of his parents? Probably not. Bad enough to let himself get carried up two flights of stairs? That was an affirmative.
“I can go piggyback,” Brady suggested.
Jason raised his eyebrows. “You okay with that?”
He sighed. “Guess so.”
Jason gave his roommate a call, who said he’d be available to help if needed. Brady found the whole thing mildly embarrassing, but if Jason didn’t find it a turn off, then he’d deal with it.
About fifteen minutes later, he met Jason and his straight roommate Andy outside Jason’s building. It was a brownstone with a flight to get up to the door, then another flight to get to Jason’s apartment. It was so frustrating that two flights of stairs had become such a formidable obstacle.
“So how should we do this?” Jason asked Brady.
“I guess you can carry me up the stairs, and Andy can follow with my wheelchair,” Brady said.
“Sounds like a plan,” Jason said. He awkwardly crouched down in front of Brady’s wheelchair. “Uh, how exactly should we do this?”
“You should probably grab my legs first,” Brady instructed him, “because I’m not going to be able to lift them on my own.”
Jason laced his muscular arms under Brady’s thin legs and Brady wrapped his arms around Jason’s shoulders. Brady could feel the muscles in Jason’s chest and immediately felt self-conscious about his own body. Jason was in incredible shape. Whereas Brady had the body of… well, a cripple.
Jason was in great shape and didn’t need a break at the top of the first flight of stairs. Andy was following behind them with Brady’s chair and the whole thing went as smoothly as could be expected. At the top of the second story, Andy lined up the chair behind them, and Jason lowered Brady back into his wheelchair with a plop. Brady grabbed his wheels to center himself in the chair, and lifted his legs back into the footrest one by one.
“That wasn’t so hard,” Jason puffed, slightly winded. “So… do you want to come inside?”
To be continued....