Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hot Summer - Part 1


Thursday
She tried to swallow down her nervousness as her hand slowly moved to the doorbell. She was standing in front of a large apartment house and recalled how it all had started. When one year ago her colleague at work told her that his second job was taking care of a disabled man, she immediately was jealous of him. For the past years she had always had jobs at special-care homes or hospitals, partly because she felt passionate about helping other people but – trying to be honest about her own feelings she realized – mostly because of something else. Once she tried to talk with her best friend about it but the reaction she got made her not try it again.
The door in front of her opened and from the warm, comforting spring sun she stepped into a gloomy corridor. Her eyes had to adjust for a few seconds, then she could see the staircase. And an elevator, of course. She decided to take the hard road. Rays of light fell through the windows and were reflected by dust particles hovering a few centimeters over the ground. A short look at the cheat sheet she had in her hand – yes, third floor. When her colleague told her that the guy he was working for needed a temp for the weekend she was very insecure at first. It was easy to hide her special interest in disabled men in the anonymity of the facilities she had worked in before. But actually spending a whole weekend with a disabled guy helping him? The fascination this idea had on her was a bit scary at first. Still she had told her colleague to give the guy her number. And here she was now, standing in front of his door.
She knocked. “Come in!” His voice sounded deep and slightly muffled through the wooden door. She opened it slowly and peeked in. There he was. His dark hair was cut very short and he had a trimmed full beard, giving him a much older look as she would have imagined for a student. The tone of his skin indicated that someone from his family probably once lived somewhere in the South of Europe, and so did his eyes. His wheelchair was an electrical one, it was quite big and looked much more like little car than a wheelchair. It even had lights.
His legs were hanging down loosely, his feet almost touching the ground. Even though he was wearing a regular black jeans, she could see how his legs were so thin that they did not even fill half of it. She had to force herself to look into his eyes. “Hi, I’m Summer!” She tried a welcoming-yet-professional smile and reached out her hand, taking one step into his room. His left hand moved the joystick, the wheelchair squeaked a little and he turned fully towards her. “Hey, my friends call me Vince. Nice to meet you!” He also raised his hand when she realized that he seemed to not be able to fully stretch his arm. She had to bow forward a little and grab his hand. His handshake lacked strength but he fully embraced her hand, making it a much more gentle and almost intimate touch. Focus, Summer!
She took the chair he had offered and sat next to the table. Looking around a bit she actually enjoyed the Spartan yet appealing d├ęcor. It was a guy‘s flat for sure. While enduring the usual small talk she spotted a crate of beer but also some seemingly expensive red wine. There were some tasteful pictures on the wall. The cooker had an open space below so he could drive under it with the wheelchair. The doors were a bit wider than usual. It was small but cozy. She could imagine him standing next to the window, looking out, watching all these people passing by. Could he even see the street from his low seated position?
"... so this is where we would mostly be spending the weekend." "I'm sorry, where again?" Somehow she had missed the point where she was supposed to pay attention to the conversation. "It's a lake near my Dad's place." Ah right, he had been talking about the weekend trip. They went through all the organizational stuff, Summer writing the most important points down on the back of the sheet with his address. Vince, Friday till Sunday, 500 cash, meet at train station 4 pm, lake something - she had already forgotten the name again. Then, finally, he went on to the interesting part.
"My disease is actually very easy to explain. Your brain sends signals to your muscles via nerve connections. These connections tend to break sometimes. The body usually recovers them but with me that recovery function is broken. So when a connection breaks, I cannot use that muscle anymore. So it is a very unpredictable but progressive disease." He went on to explain how lifting something light as a cell phone would actually be very heavy for him so he could not hold it next to his ear for longer than a few minutes. It was very hard for Summer to fake a level of adequate compassion. He showed her how not using his limbs actually affected his ability to twist even his wrinkles. He could barely turn his hand half-way around. And she could see how putting his skinny arm on the table actually cost him lots of energy. She was biting her lip to not just jump up and help him with it.
"So, I will give you some heads-up on what kind of help I need. Most things we will do as we go along though." Fine with that. The list was mostly basic stuff. Helping with dressing and undressing, washing, toilet, transfer from wheelchair to bed - but then he suggested to actually let someone show her how to best do that. Summer tried to hide her excitement behind a short nod and a quick "Sure, no problem" that sounded a bit breathless to herself. He didn't seem to notice.
Vince called in a guy who introduced himself as John and Summer stood up to have a better view. The guy first unfastened the belt which kept Vince in his chair. John then knelt down and took the weak hands and put them around his neck. He took Vince's elbows and pushed them together so it was almost like Vince was hugging him tightly while commenting "He has a good grip like this but you have to be careful that his hands don't slide away." Then he slid one hand under Vince's legs and the other one gripped his trousers. "He is not heavy at all and if you do it like this, it is very easy." Standing up, he was holding Vince at his chest, carrying him around like a mother would do it with her child. Summer realized how fragile Vince looked and had to swallow down the tightness in her throat to say: "I... I think I can manage that." Vince gave her an ironic grin over John's shoulder: "Don't worry, after letting me drop a few times you will get a hang on this ... just kidding, nobody ever did that and you won't either." She smiled at the slightly cynic humor, enjoying it as he did not seem to take himself too serious.
John left the room after having put Vince back into the chair, adjusted his position with a short drag at the trousers and fastened the belt. Vince gave her a cute smile: "So, if you have no more questions, we'll see each other tomorrow at the station I guess?" She had no more questions. Almost in trance she said goodbye, pitied herself a bit as he did not seem to offer another shake hands, almost forgot her sheet with the key facts on the table and finally stood outside again.
The sun was slowly disappearing behind a building across the street and she had to squint her eyes in order to not be dazzled. Slowly walking, a million thoughts seemed to rush through her mind. She tried to stay professional and calm, she had done this a million times, no need to be excited, it was just another job. Her hand found the sheet of paper in her pocket. Vince. Friday till Sunday. 500 cash. Was this guy kidding? She would have done that for free. A whole weekend in a remote place, and her, Summer, being there with him, just to help him... An elder woman on a bike almost ran her over and shouted angrily over her shoulder "Are you dreaming?" Yes, she was.

Hot Summer - Part 2

Friday

Summer had been slightly nervous all day. She even forgot to put milk into her coffee, which did not really make it any better. Thinking back, she actually spent the whole day either starting things while already intending not to finish them or looking at her watch. She checked the subway time table three times and was at the station almost half an hour before she should have been. There she had spent the rest of the time trying to hypnotize the elevator doors to finally reveal Vince instead of old ladies or daddies with strollers.

Just as she was about to give in to the worrying feeling of her possibly being in the wrong place, the door opened again. She could see the back of Vince's wheelchair and half of his back head. The speed and accuracy with which he drove backwards and turned the vehicle around indicated how much experience he had with maneuvering it. Of course, he was using it every day. Vince almost ignored her, giving her just a quick smile and a short "Hi", leaving it to John to make some short conversation with her. She liked how it was not like in the hospital where a colleague would have talked to her about the patient like he was a little child, explaining every personal detail from the day no matter how irrelevant it was. Instead he just handed her the keys for Vince's apartment and a cell phone, giving her some short explanations on how to use it and that he would usually just let it ring twice if he needed anything.

John must have sensed that she was a bit puzzled by Vince completely ignoring her: "Don't mind him. Imagine you would have someone around you every minute, you would probably also want some time for yourself." Summer was taken aback a little but tried to not show it. Of course it made sense but that did not make it any better. She said bye to John and went to stand next to Vince. At first he looked the other way but when she came closer he turned his head gave her a warm smile. Her heart made a quick jump. She smiled back and said "If you need anything, you let me know, right?" "Right. Thanks." His eyes went back to his mobile. After a few moments Summer decided he would not be looking up to her again and faked interest in an ad on the other side of the train tracks. She would have him around all weekend.

***

Another bump in the train track made her look up from the magazine she had pretended to be readying for the past hour. Vince still had his eyes closed, the head leaned to the backseat of his wheelchair. His foot tapped on the ground, mimicking the rhythm of the music only he could hear. His slightly crooked fingers held his mobile tight. His fragile body was relaxing the comfortable seat. He had a light smile on his lips. Summer realized her throat had become a bit dry. She folded the magazine and reached into her bag, fishing for the bottle of water she had bought at the train station.

Outside green hills rushed past, occasionally interrupted by a small village that was not even big enough for the train to slow down. She did not even have a clue in which direction they were going. In her mind she was going through the things she had packed and decided for the tenth - or maybe eleventh? - time that she was missing something but simply could not remember what it was. Maybe it was just the nagging feeling that something is always wrong. Her fingers found the bottle cap and while slowly undoing it, she glanced back at Vince. Whatever it was she forgot, it was not that important after all.

All of a sudden Vince opened his eyes and was looking straight at her. A shiver went down her back spine and she hastily lowered her gaze. Did he realize she had been watching him for almost the whole time? After entering the train with a special ramp the service staff provided at the station he had taken out earplugs, diligently connected them to his mobile and then started to fumble them into his ears. As he seemingly could only lift his lower arms, he always had to tilt his head to the respective side. Crushing her hopes to help him with that, he almost intentionally had turned a little away from her. He had taken is time but in the end he had managed and was out of reach for her ever since. A bell disturbed her thoughts and she heard the voice of the train driver announcing the next stop. "That's us. Don't forget my stuff, I would rather not wear this shirt all weekend." He accompanied it with a playful smile.

She stood up and took his rucksack from under her seat. She had half expected him to have a lot of luggage, including some assistive technology, adjuvant and other stuff she was used to from the disabled people she had been working with. But it turned out her own bag suitcase was almost twice the size of his rucksack. Vince had already disappeared in the direction of the exit. Did he even notice she was there? She tried to swallow down her disappointment, grabbed the handle of her suitcase and followed him. If only he would take out these damn earplugs so she could talk to him.

***

Opening the door of the van and feeling the last rays of evening sun gently touching her face, Summer took a deep and liberating breath. She felt immediately appeased, if only for finally having escaped the endless talk of the taxi driver. The drive from the train station to the house had taken long enough for him to introduce her to his entire family, including several cousins and brothers-in-law whom he had tried to pair her off with. Furthermore she had learned about the beauty of Romania's lush meadows, why vacation in Constanta was so much better than at the Mediterranean Sea and several other bits of information she was not necessarily interested in. She cursed him silently for not having a seat next to the rear part of his car where the wheelchair was placed.

Vince finally had grown tired of his music, at least for the moment as he still held the earplugs with a slightly tilted hand, when the driver unfolded the ramp to let him out. Summer realized how steep it was and quickly made a few steps towards the ramp. "Vince, should I support the wheelchair while you go back?" He slightly turned his head but since he also seemed to have very limited mobility in his neck, could probably not even see her. "I think it will be fine but maybe you can guide me a little? Can I go straight?" She checked "A little to the left... Yeah, now you're good." He professionally drove backwards, trusting her to be fast enough that the taxi driver had to make a quick step aside in order to not get run over. Summer snickered to herself.

While Vince paid the driver, she took her time to look around. They were standing at an opening in the middle of a deciduous forest, the last part of the street had been more like a dirt road. The first thing she noticed was how silent it was. She could only hear the twitter of the birds and a distant woodpecker. The car engine made some sizzling noise. The low voices of the guys seemed more like an ambient background sound. It was a peaceful place. The house itself was entirely encased in wood, making it almost look like a log cabin. Vince's father obviously put lots of effort in it - there were flowers in front of it, a little bench to enjoy the sun that was now half covered in shadow already and ivy embracing a high wooden fence that kept her from seeing what might be a garden. All the tension fell off her and she felt how her smile widened a bit.

"I see you like it?" Despite the noise his wheelchair made she did not hear him coming this time. "Like? I love it! What a perfect place for vacation." He grinned and pointed to his which rucksack she was carrying on her back. "The key is in the front, there is a little red plastic cap around it. I'm sure you will find it just as lovely inside." While searching for it, she heard how the taxi was turning around and the driver shouting a goodbye. She did not bother to look up. Taking out the key she went to the door to open it. When she had turned the key in the lock, she realized that she was now all alone with Vince. With a tingly feeling in her belly she stepped aside to give way for him to enter the house.

***

She watched how Vince carefully loaded the last grains of rice onto his fork. His hand was shaking a little, some of the unused muscles in his hands delivering tiny spasms to his hand now and then. Summer could see how much was focusing to not lose a single bit of it on the way to his mouth. Still he had already dropped some rice on his shirt earlier. She found it kind of cute how he had very quickly swiped it away with his hands when he noticed her glancing to it. Summer herself had finished her own dish long ago and was enjoying the delicious white wine they found in the storage room earlier.

The cozy atmosphere and the slight dizziness in her head made her enjoy the moment even more. It was very dark in the garden already but their table was illuminated by some candles, making it a small isle of light in the dark forest around them. The mosquitoes swarmed around them but so far did not attack, the spray she had brought seemed to work. Now that they were alone Vince had finally been much more approachable. He talked about how he spent his childhood here, playing in the garden and swimming in the lake. Summer had tried to not pepper him too much with her questions but could not keep herself from wanting to know some details. Obviously it was much easier for him to move in water. His dark eyes were glowing when he talked about how he swam in the Pacific Ocean while being in Malaysia. She admired how much he embraced his life and seemed to take the opportunities as they came along.

While eating Vince had grown very silent but, after noticing her confusion, explained that it cost him a lot of time to eat and talking meanwhile would mean that halfway through he would have a cold dish in front of him. She gave him her most understanding smile and took the opportunity to explain a little how happy she was to have gotten the job for this weekend - claiming she needed the money - and that she was very impressed with how independent his life was - comparing it to the hospitals she had worked in before. He threw in a short comment here and there and showed a genuine interest in how she experienced working with disabled people so far. It was a bit hard to not get too much into it but very exciting to watch his reactions. He seemed to not mind talking about disabilities in general or his own in particular.

Now he put down his fork, swallowing the last bits of his food, and turned a bit away from the table. In the dim light she could see his still legs. Summer looked into his eyes again. His gaze touched something inside her. Even though she could not see much more than the glowing white of his eyeballs in the dark, it was like there were something fiery in it. It made her feel uncomfortable in a very exciting way. She put down the glass and decided she definitely had had enough wine. "That was really delicious, Summer. Seems you are quite the cook." Damn that look. And that cute, slightly provoking grin! "Thanks a lot, your compliments are highly appreciated." "Yes, I figured that." Was he flirting with her? She was too baffled to reply but luckily he went on "I will go to the lake now and meet up with some friends. I think I won't need anything for the moment. It might get late, so you probably want to go to sleep already. Will call you when I'm back." He turned around and was gone.

She picked up the dishes and went inside to clean them, not sure how she should feel. She had fantasized so many times about being part of a disabled persons private life, being there for him all the time, helping him with anything. The reality was so much different. She was just not sure whether in a negative or a positive way. And she could not help but feel a very strong attraction to Vince. The sound of his approaching wheelchair disturbed her thoughts.

"Hey, Summer, just realized one thing. I'm actually not sitting that well in the chair anymore. Can you please adjust that a little?" She had been noticing that whenever he needed help that would require her to interact with him, he always asked very politely and sometimes even quite indirect. "Sure, just tell me what to do." She stood right next to him and knelt down so he could see her without having to put his head back. "Okay, it's very easy. You just stand in front of me and lean me forward. But you have to watch a bit so I don't fall. If you are comfortable with it, the easiest way is to hold me with you own body by standing in front of me." She was very comfortable with that.

"Then you grab my trouser waistband with your hand and pull me a little bit to the back." She gave him a short nod to indicate that she understood. Then she got up and stood right in front of him. His legs touched her own and she could feel how, even though they did not move, they were pleasantly warm. She touched his skinny shoulders and carefully bowed his body forward, positioning his head against her hip. "Is it okay like that?" She heard a muffled affirmation. Her fingers went searching for the trousers. She could see how his back was twisted, as he had explained, due to the inability of his muscles to support the spine. She was partly proud and partly scared she actually knew not only the word scoliosis but also how this stage of it would lead to his organs being compressed in his body, limiting his lung capacity and probably inducing some pain now and then. She gently grabbed the waistband and tentatively started pulling. "That's fine! Now, please sit me up again." She enjoyed the warmness of his body against her own for a moment longer while retreating her hands to his shoulders. She would have loved to run them up and down his back a little but managed to suppress that thought. Instead she bent him back to sit upright and held her hands there for a moment, making sure he was comfortable. "Perfect. Alright, see you later!" One last smile for her and off he sped. Slowly getting up and dusting the dirt off her jeans, Summer took a deep breath and turned back to the sink.

Hot Summer - Part 3

The first night

A loud ring made her jump. She almost fell off the couch. Clinging one hand to the back of it, Summer found her balance. The phone on the table turned in little circles, sending out white flashes into the dark room. The noise made her head hurt. Quickly she grabbed it and found the right key to answer the call. ".. yeah, it's Summer?" Her voice sounded sleepy even to herself. "Hey, can you open up the door please?" "Sure, one second." Click, he had hung up. The display claimed it was 1:03. Where the hell was she after all? Summer put down the mobile and tried to find the right pace to get up without getting too dizzy.

While stumbling through the room, trying to figure out why the light was switched off, she was slowly becoming conscious again. Of course she was still in the house of Vince's father at the lakeside. He had been gone to meet his friends. She must have had fallen asleep while waiting for him. Finally her fingers found the light switch. She pressed it but nothing happened. Mumbling a curse, she tried to remember where the front door had been. The dim moonlight that feel through the trees only scarcely did not make it much easier. When she finally found and opened the door to the porch, she was blinded for a second. Right, Vince had lights on the chair. She blinked, gave herself three seconds to look into the mirror on the wall to her left and fix her hair. Deciding that luckily it was too gloomy to see any details anyway Summer opened the door.

Vince grinned at her impishly. "Did you try to hide the house from me?" Trying to figure out what he meant while ignoring that tingle in her stomach by looking at him, she stepped aside to let him pass. He must have sensed her confusion and said "I mean because you switched off all the lights. I could barely find my way back here." Oh, that's what he was talking of. "I'm afraid we have a blackout. Do you know where the fuse block is?" It was right in the porch, next to her. While Vince was turning into the right spot to give her some light he chatted away in a way indicating he was not completely sober anymore. Summer hid a smile and took a look at the fuses. Having grown up on the farm of her parents in the country-side she considered to be proficient enough to state "I hate to say that but these are all okay. Guess we just don't have any electricity for now." Vince did not seem to mind so much. Instead he pointed to a drawer on the opposite side of the room, telling her to check for some candles.

Indeed, she found some long candles and now finally could make use of the lovely seven-branched candelabrum that had caught her eye when she first had stepped into the house. With every candle she lit, the sphere of light grew a little larger. Vince was standing behind her now. She turned around and looked at him. It was easy to tell from the way he looked at her he had had a fair amount of alcohol. His long, crooked fingers were placed on his thin legs. She would soon need to help him to get to bed. He was drunk. He probably wouldn't mind her giving him a little relaxing massage? The excitement of that thought was followed by a sense of guilt. Summer tried to shake the thought off, reminding herself of why she was here. It was her job to help him. She realized she had been staring blankly at him for at least half a minute. "Umm, so you want to go to bed now?" He blinked and focused his eyes on her. Had he been looking at her chest? While he put some effort in nodding and bubbling an affirmation, Summer realized she would not be able to see this as just another job. The shame it filled her with was not nearly as big as the excitement she felt when taking out a candle and following Vince to the bathroom.

The alcohol seemed to kick in now, as he had even more trouble to lift his hands than before and his words sounded quite slurred "Can you please hand me the toothbrush and lift up my arm on the sink?" She stood right behind him, leaning over him, she took the toothbrush and placed it gently in his hand. With the other hand she took his limp elbow and put it up on the sink so he could reach his mouth with the hand, casually caressing his arm. A weird mix of guilt and pleasure made her twitch. She was observing him while he brushed his teeth. His shoulders looked like they literally craved for a massage. Summer had to put her hands behind her back so she would not accidentally give in to her fantasies. Vince spat and just dropped the toothbrush into the sink. He was clearly exhausted.

He headed to the bedroom and Summer followed, taking the candleholder with her. The wheelchair stopped in front of the bed. Time for transfer. She remembered what John had shown her. First she unlocked Vince's seatbelt. Then she knelt down, took his arms and gently placed them around her shoulders, ensuring he had a tight grip. His body was leaning against hers, his head placed on her shoulder. Summer could feel his warm breath against her own neck. She could not help but letting her hands slide down his back slowly, feeling how it moved with every breath he took. Something inside her cringed. Her fingers had found the waistband and she gripped it tightly. He was much lighter than she expected, making it not much of an effort to pick him up. She enjoyed the weight of his body pressing him against her while turning around to seat him on the edge of the bed carefully.

Vince took a while before he seemed to sit more or less secure. In contrary to the wheelchair there were no arm rests to support him, he used his arms instead to support his body on each side. "Now, you can remove my shirt. But be careful, don't take my arm up without holding me!" Of course she already figured that. Summer sat next to him, hugging him so he would not fall to one side, while she unbuttoned his shirt. The excitement of finally being so close to him while undressing him made her breath faster. She was carefully removing the shirt completely and savored the view. His body was crooked , the stomach stood out and was twisted to the side. His skin was smooth and tan, covered with thick dark hair on his chest. Holding him gave her the opportunity to casually streak along his arms, him being too drunk to really realize what she did. Summer felt a small wet spot in her panties.

"Okay, you can now lay me on the back. Just put one hand under my legs and the other behind my back. Then you can turn me around on my buttocks." She did as she was told. His leg contracture was very obvious, she could barely stretch them at all. Now Vince was lying there, Summer climbed a little over him to be able to remove his pants. "Oh, I keep my underwear for the night by the way." That was a slight disappointment but finally being able to touch his legs made up for that. She pulled down his jeans, revealing that his legs were even thinner than she had imagined. He had a quite a lot of body hair on them, the same dark color as the hair on his head. He was wearing grey boxers. Summer bowed over him, trying to get as close as possible without becoming too obvious for even his drunk state. "What now?" She tried giving him a seductive smile and hated herself for it in the same moment. He did not really seem to notice and said "I need to pee. Can you please bring me the urine bottle?" She did and placed it between his legs. When he made no attempt to act any further, she turned around a bit to give him some privacy.

"FUCK! Oh god damn it!" She turned around to see that the full bottle had slipped from his hand, leaving a little puddle on his stomach and a big wet spot on his boxers. He continued cursing. Summer felt helpless, her desire and excitement almost overwhelming her while she tried to calm him down. "It's okay Vince, don't worry about it! Let me bring that bottle to the bathroom and I will help you clean that up." "Yeah. Shit! Look at that mess! Bring a new boxer from my rucksack, will you? And a washing cloth, please." She could hear the embarrassment from his voice and felt even more ashamed of the fact how wet she had become by just thinking of washing him. She resisted to touch herself and instead hurried to get the requested things to the bedroom.

She again climbed on the bed, coming as close as she could to Vince. She bent over him a little and slid her hand into the washing cloth. He still looked miserable and she kept comforting him with words while slowly cleaning his stomach. The closer she came to the grey fabric of his underwear, she more sensually her moves got. Summer realized she did not even know if he could get a boner but from her knowledge about his disease it should be possible. "I will remove that now, okay?" He mumbled an agreement and she carefully pulled down the boxers. His penis was uncut and she could already see that not only her predictions had been right but also her efforts were showing the first results. He was definitely not limp anymore. Like a hot pain the guilt was back. She was totally taking advantage of him. But Summer could not stop herself from going on.

Gently, she moved the cloth in small circles closer to his penis, pretending to be extra diligent in cleaning him. She could watch how it grew larger. His pubic hair was trimmed but just as coarse and dark as the rest of his hair. Her hand had now reached the shaft of his half-erected penis. "Summer... I'm.. I'm sorry, I don't mean to..." He was looking so confused. Summer mustered the most reassuring and supporting smile she had and bowing down to him she whispered "That's okay Vince, let me handle that." He did not object anymore when she continued. While she cleaned him, he got fully hard. She continued stroking him with the washing cloth and turned a little towards him, seeing he now had his eyes half closed and was breathing fast. She matched the speed of her hand to his weak body movements. Vince opened his mouth to say something but Summer took her free hand and put her index finger gently on his mouth "Shhh, it's okay..." He came with a soft moan.

She cleaned him again and put the fresh boxers on. Then she put the blanket over him and blew out the candles. All the time he did not look at her and neither of them spoke a word. Summer decided to leave any thinking for the next day. Instead she went to the other bedroom to take care of her own pleasure.

Hot Summer - Part 4

Saturday

Summer felt like the main actor in a bad movie. The whole day had been just awkward. Vince had slept until noon. When he finally woke up he was extremely short. He kept even more distance than before, never directly looking at Summer. But it felt like whenever she turned away, he was gazing at her. None of them spoke a single word about last night. Even if she would have had the courage to, Summer could not even imagine what to say.

Vince had been brooding all day, most of the time just sitting in a corner of the garden, in the shadow of the large trees, either reading a book or listening to music. He kept interaction to a minimum. She tried to blame it on him having a bad hangover. Maybe he did not even remember anything. But still she felt incredibly ashamed. Trying to distract herself, she took a look around.

In the late afternoon sun she could see a swarm of insects over the swimming pool. The house and especially the garden were fascinating. It was clearly visible how much effort the owner had put into making it not just a nice place but actually more of an island of calmness and beauty in the middle of nowhere. For all she could tell, there were no neighbors anywhere around. The lake where Vince had met his friends last night was almost ten minutes on foot away. The only sounds she had heard since the taxi left were animals, the wooden beams of the house, wind in the trees - and the sounds of the electric wheelchair of course. She realized how close they were and turned her head.

"Summer?" It was the first time he had addressed her directly today. She hid her confusion and gave him a light smile. "I would like to swim. Do you think we can do that?" He explained to her how the water would support him, allowing him to move much more freely than he could in his wheelchair. Still he would need her support of course. She would need to stay close to him, sometimes maybe helping him to keep his balance. And of course carry him in and out of the pool. Trying to ignore her excitement, she nodded. He was now looking right at her again and something was different about it. Summer did not really get what it was though. Had he been watching her all the time? She shrugged off the thoughts and went inside to get her swimsuit.

***

With a slight satisfaction she realized him mustering her when she stepped outside. Summer was proud of her body and she knew about the impression she made when wearing a tight swimsuit, revealing a lot of skin and showing her female curves. Suppressing the impulse to give him a little show by walking towards him extra slowly, she just knelt down next to him so he could see her face better. His gaze found her eyes. "Okay, I'm ready - how do we do that now?" Vince explained. She first took him out of the wheelchair. The procedure was becoming more smooth. Still she enjoyed his body being so close to hers, turning it into an almost intimate moment when she placed him on the hammock next to the pool.

She brought his swimming trunks from inside. This morning he had seemed anxious to avoid her seeing his private parts, so Summer was very careful to make him feel more comfortable. She first took off his shirt. While undressing him, he told her how his father had built the swimming pool. He had dug out a big hole in the garden with the help of some friends to make it accessible from ground level. Summer could imagine a much younger Vince with his father, playing in the water. The thought was so gorgeous and made her feel a little tingly, knowing it would now be her to be in there with him. She went on to gently remove his pants and boxers.

He seemed to be much more comfortable now. Even though he was now lying naked in the hammock, his atrophied limbs loosely placed beside him, he kept smiling at her and continued the conversation about his father and the pool. He made no attempt to cover himself or turn away from her like in the morning. The edge of a large tree combined with the warming sun rays cast slowly moving shadows on his tan body.

Summer wondered whether he realized what her looks meant. She felt guilty again and realized he was waiting for her to help him put on his trunks now. Just as she bent down to grab them, he said "Umm, I was just thinking. There is nobody around to see anyway. I would actually love to just stay like that. If that is okay for you?" She looked in his face. He was serious. It was hard to not sound too excited when assuring him that it was absolutely okay for her.

It turned out that it was a bit harder to figure out how to carry him now as there was no trousers to hold on. She had to help him folding his arms around her neck, slip one of her hands under his legs and take the other to support his back. After a few attempts she finally found a position that felt secure for both of them. His head was resting on her chest, only separated by the thin fabric of her swimsuit. The fact that he was completely naked in her arms made Summer shiver a little while she carefully walked towards the pool. As it was really big, there were convenient steps making it easy for her to just walk in while carrying Vince. The water was cold but refreshing, with every step rising higher along her legs.

She could feel how the water took away the weight from her arms, embracing Vince and supporting him. Still she made sure to keep holding him and watching for his head to stay over the surface all the time. She moved her grip a little to allow him to shift into an upright position. "Okay, you can let go now." She slowly retreated her hands, holding herself ready to grab him anytime. Since he could not stretch out his arms or legs and the pool was too deep even for her to stand, he had tilted his head to the back to keep it over the surface. She could see in his eyes how much he enjoyed his new freedom to move. "It's okay, you don't have to stand that close. Just keep an eye on me, if my head stays under water for a while, you might want to help me with that." He gave her one of his cute, crooked grins.

Summer made sure to always stay close enough to Vince to reach him within a few seconds but far enough to give him some space. The moves he made were far from what she would have called actual swimming but he could move pretty well with his technique. He mostly moved the water with just movements of his hands and pedaling his feet. He gave her a little shock when even diving for a few moments but just as she was about to pull him out, he came back to the surface, winking at her. Reminding herself he would not drown if she looked away for a second, she actually started to enjoy the refreshing water on her own. She laid back, watching Vince with half closed eyes and embraced the moment.

***

It must have been at close to half an hour after entering the pool. He had been sitting on the stairs already for a while, clearly a bit exhausted, chatting with her about his family. Now he finally decided he had had enough. With a slight disappointment Summer realized she had not found any excuse to get rid of her own clothing or even come any closer to the naked Vince in the pool. But now it was her time to carry him out again. She swam up to him and helped him putting his hands around her neck. This time it was even harder to find the right position to grab him. Taking care that his wet body would not slip out of her hands, Summer slowly climbed out of the pool and was glad she could place him on the hammock without any accident.

Even though it was still very warm the wind was creating a freezing sensation on her wet skin. She could also see goose flesh on Vince's arms and legs. Still he insisted on her drying up first. Afterwards she took the big white towel that he had told her to bring earlier. She wrapped his upper body in a part of the towel to protect him from the wind and then proceeded to dry his short hair and face. She realized she had to take both hands, one for drying and the other to support his head as he could not hold it in place when she was rubbing. She then proceeded to dry his arms and legs, secretly admiring their slenderness. They were not completely still of course and she could sense how he always made little supportive moves but they would never have been enough to lift the limb.

Gently unwrapping his body exposed his chest and the dark, coarse hair once again to her. Taking a dry end of the towel, she started rubbing his front. He did look at her with a light smile on his face but was staying silent. Summer took her second hand to support and let her moves slowly wander down his body, making sure to apply some light pressure to give him a good sensation. She made little circles on his belly and moved further down. "You've either worked as a masseuse before or you are really enjoying that..." Caught red-handed, Summer glanced at him. He had a mischievous grin on his face. She tried to say something but somehow could not put together a full sentence. She could feel herself blushing. He laughed kindly and gave her an apologizing smile. "No offense, I was just pulling your leg. But I think that's dry enough for the moment. I would actually like to relax a little here in the sun, how about you get yourself something dry to wear and figure out what we could have for dinner today?" Summer could only nod.