Monday, April 30, 2012

PLD Chapter 17

Keeley woke up the next morning to the smell of bacon sizzling and popping on the stove and the sound of rain lightly pattering on the tin roof of the house. After the emotionally draining, yet relieving, day the day before the rain seemed symbolic; washing away everything and making the slate new. For the first time in a while she felt ethereally light. Today was going to be a good day.

That’s what she thought at least until she tried to move.

“Oh my God,” she gasped in pain as she tried to raise her arms and stretch. Yeah, that wasn’t happening.

From underneath the blankets, she heard Clay chuckle softly. “Sore, Dr. Burns?”

“You have no idea,” she replied.

Clay snorted. “Like hell I do. I’ve learned to ski before too.”

The tips of her ears turned red as she remembered Clay had once been an avid skier. Would she ever not put her foot in her mouth? She could go ahead and answer that – probably not.

Clay used his arms to push himself up to a sitting position in bed. Keeley remained in the position she’d woken up in. “You’re lucky it’s raining today. Gets you off the hook of giving it another go.”

“Thank you God for the rain,” Keeley put her hands together in prayer, the sudden motion making her wince. Clay laughed and kissed the top of her head gently.

“So,” he started. Keeley rolled her head over to look at him. Her favorite version of Clay was in the morning, after he’d just woken up. He didn’t look perfect and Adonis-esque; rather, his hair was disheveled and his eyes were bleary looking until his second cup of coffee. But he was always smiling and cheerful. And it radiated from the inside out.

“Why don’t you take some Advil and take it easy?” He continued. “I’ll take the bathroom first and do my routine stuff and by then maybe the drugs will have kicked in and you’ll be able to move?”

“Sounds like a plan to me.” She watched as Clay threw the blankets back and reached out for his chair. He put one hand on the seat and kept one hand on the bed, and slowly levered himself down onto it. One by one he grabbed his legs and set them gently on the footplate. Then he unlocked the brakes and wheeled across the room and began digging in his bag. Keeley heard some rattling, a door open and water run, and then Clay was by her side, holding three Advil and a cup of water out to her.

“Thank you,” she said gratefully. “You’re like a Boy Scout, so prepared.”

Clay laughed darkly. “Five years of this has taught me to never leave home with Advil.”

Keeley gave him a small smile. “Thanks again.”

“Sure,” he kissed her cheek. He wheeled to the other side of the room and grabbed a small black fanny-pack thing. “Alright, I’m taking over the bathroom.”

“You’re such a girl!” she chuckled and shouted at his retreating back.

Clay pivoted and made a girly face, then continued into the bathroom, shutting the door firmly behind him.

Keeley continued to lay there, assessing her sore muscles and praying the rain didn't stop anytime soon. After about fifteen minutes had gone by, Keeley heard some muffled cursing and then the shower start running.

“Clay?” she questioned, hoping nothing was wrong. He didn’t answer, but after a minute she heard more shuffling, so she figured everything was okay. Not for the first time, she wondered what took Clay so long in the bathroom. She had an ideas, but nothing had been confirmed, mostly because she was too scared to cross the line and ask.

While he finished up, Keeley willed herself to get up and out of bed. The initial shock of how sore she was had worn off by now and the Advil had also started to kick in. With slow, deliberate movements she dug through her duffel bag and pulled out a long-sleeved USC football tee-shirt and some jeans, figuring that those would suffice for a cool, rainy spring day at the lake.

Not a second after she slipped the tee shirt over her head, she heard the bathroom door open.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Clay said in an incredulous voice.

She turned around. Clay had on the same exact USC-UGA 2004 gameday teeshirt. Keeley guffawed so hard she snorted. “So, we’ve turned into those people?”

“Looks like it,” he answered with a smile that made him seem not entirely unpleased. “Bathroom’s all yours, Keels.”

Keeley grabbed her toiletry bag and headed into the bathroom. She left the door open as she washed her face and brushed her teeth. In the mirror she could see Clay behind her, riffling through his bag looking for another sock. They’d been dating long enough and they’d had enough serious conversations in the past month that she felt it was okay to ask. Still, she had to work up her nerve for three minutes before she did it. “Clay?”

“Hmn?” He'd found the sock and was looking down, working on getting it on his slightly twitching foot.

She swallowed hard; she’d never really been one to pry. “Since we’re ‘those people’ now, can I ask you something?”

He laughed heartily in response. "Go ahead.”

“What exactly takes you so long in there?” The words came out in a jumbled rush.

Clay abruptly stopped what he was doing and looked up at her with an uncomfortable expression on his face. “Keels…”

Courage now gathered, she wasn’t backing down. She pointed her toothbrush at him in the mirror. "You don't have to be embarassed. It's just me, Clay.”

He sighed heavily. “This goes beyond embarrassment Keeley, it’s un-dignifying,” he mumbled lowly. “It uh, it just takes me a little while to get set up in the shower. I have to have a seat to sit on and getting in and out is a little…precarious. Especially here, because I have to set up a makeshift seat in that damn claw-foot bathtub that my parents won’t put in a different bathroom, even though I’ve asked fifteen hundred times.”

Keeley nodded. She could tell that bathroom was a point of contention and for a moment, she was sorry she asked. But curiosity overtook remorse. “What else?”

Clay shook his head unbelievingly. Keeley tried to affect an apologetic expression.

“Also, I…well,” he rubbed the back of his neck self-consciously. “I…I can’t just…” His face contorted with failed words and he eventually trailed off. For a moment he looked around the room at everywhere but her. Finally, he grabbed the fanny-pack he’d carried into the bathroom earlier. “I have to use these to help me.”

He pulled a plastic package out of the fanny-pack and held it up to her. She couldn’t really see the contents through the cloudy packaging, but it looked like a tube of some sort. “It’s called a catheter and it goes—”

“—I know what it is and where it goes,” she hastily interrupted him. She’d Googled before in preparation for this conversation. Of course, that didn’t save either of them any embarrassment. Clay’s face was flushed and his expression was one of unease, more so than she’d ever seen it, and she was sure her own reflected his. So what she’d read online had been true. That was okay. I didn’t change anything between them, only alleviated her burning curiosity. “It’s okay, Clay.”

He shook his head. “I don’t believe that for a second, Keels.”

Keeley put her toothbrush down and walked over to him. He looked deflated and defeated. Without asking, she sat down on his lap. That perked him up and made him look pleasantly surprised. He slipped his arms around her, securing her on his lap. Keeley pushed his damp hair out of his face and leaned her forehead against his.

“What I’m more concerned about,” she breathed, “is the fact that you keep those things in a fanny-pack. Talk about damaging to your dignity! Only eighty-year old tourists and my dentist’s wife wear those!”

Clay visibly relaxed and chortled softly. “Keels, I can’t piss on my own, the fanny-pack actually makes me laugh every time I pick it up because it’s so ridiculous. Let me have my laughs where I can get them.”

She joined in the laughter too. Clay pulled her closer to his body and lifted her hair off the nape of her neck. Gently, he kissed her. “I know the mechanics of life with me aren’t exactly sexy.”

“Stop it,” she said as she returned his kiss. It broke her heart when he said things like that. She pulled away from him and took his cheeks in between her hands. “Everything about you is sexy.”

He lit up from the inside when she said that. With a wicked grin he instructed, “Get on the bed. Now.”

Amazed at the direction the conversation had gone, Keeley jumped off his lap and onto the bed, momentarily forgetting how sore she was. Her body protested at the quick movements, but she didn’t care. Clay followed, slowly and deliberately transferring onto the bed beside her.

As he transferred she slipped her tee-shirt over her head again and quickly slid out of her jeans. After Clay was positioned she reached for his shirt, he laughed, and took it off, haphazardly throwing it across the room. Swiftly, he maneuvered himself so that he hovered above her, looking down at her longingly. He began to kiss her and gently caress her as best he could while still supporting himself. It always surprised Keeley how soft Clay’s lips were, fiercely contrasting with the rest of his hard and muscled upper body. As he kissed her mouth once more and she tasted the mint of his toothpaste, it occurred to her that she had used her toothbrush to point and gesture at him that morning, but not to actually brush her teeth. She tried to push that nasty thought out of her head.

Slowly, he worked his way down her body, not ceasing his bombardment of her senses for several minutes, utilizing mouth, tongue, and sometimes hands in an effort to cloud her thoughts. Suddenly, Keeley found herself gasping for breath; so was Clay.

Finally, after too much teasing, she felt him slip his fingers inside her. Every coherent though slipped out of her head as he worked his way in and out, gently flicking and seeming to know better than she did exactly where to apply pressure and how much. While he worked, he continued tenderly kissing the area around her hips and stomach.

Suddenly, Keeley’s body responded. Her hips arched and she bit her lip to keep the deep guttural noise threatening to slip between her lips, inside. Her entire body – from her scalp to her toes – relaxed as Clay kissed her one more time. She shivered in pleasure at the release.

God, had she even known an orgasm before she met Clay Whitlow?

“Your turn,” she whispered after a moment as she began to sit up. But Clay was already preparing to transfer back into his chair.

“Wait,” she practically cried, wrapping her arms around his damp, bare shoulders. “Where’re you going?”

Clay grinned mischievously. “I’m guessing you didn’t hear my mom knock and announce breakfast was ready as you came, huh?”

Oh God. She had heard something banging, but she’d chalked it up to the two of them wildly thrashing in the throes of passion. Guess not. Her eyes grew so big that she was sure they were going to bug out of her head. “I almost answered that I was already working on breakfast—”

“—You did not!”

Clay gripped the edge of the bed to keep his balance as Keeley shoved him. Then he threw his head back in laughter. “No, I didn’t,” he grinned and threw her tee-shirt at her. “But I did think it.”

“You’re incorrigible,” she muttered as she quickly got dressed. But she couldn’t help smiling after what had just happened. Today might shape up to be a good day after all.


Outside, the rain didn't seem to be letting up. Rather, with each passing hour it seemed as if were only coming down in heavier and heavier droves. By early evening the gentle showers that had chased them away from the lake earlier that morning, had escalated into full-scale storms with crashing thunder and near constant flashes of lightning.

As another clap of thunder boomed loud enough to shake the thin walls of Keeley's cottage, she pulled the covers up tighter around her, grateful to finally be inside and not on the road anymore. The rain had followed them the entire three hours down I-26 and back into Charleston. The trip should only have taken a little over an hour, but Clay, she'd discovered, was about as comfortable driving in the rain as a cat was taking a bath. About twenty minutes into the trip home, he'd turned his flashers on and commenced to crawling down the interstate at a snails pace. At the rate of thirty miles per hour, Keeley had estimated that even though they'd left the lake at 11:00, they probably wouldn't be back home until around 1:00.

And then the front left tire had blown out.

"Fantastic," Clay said as he carefully steered them to the shoulder. "Fan-fucking-tastic."

"At least your flashers are already on," Keeley deadpanned.

Despite himself, Clay had smiled. He cut the engine and looked despondently out the window. It was still coming down in sheets. "I hate changing tires," he sighed more to himself than to Keeley.

Keeley nodded in agreement. "I'm not the biggest fan either."

He at least had the decency to pretend he wasn't surprised, but he couldn't keep it out of his voice. "You know how to change a tire?"

"Yes!" she responded indignantly. "Me and every single one of my college girlfriends. We've all been through the John Burns School of Driving. It's a grueling course involving tire changing, Winnebago driving, and small engine removal."

"You know how to replace a small engine?"

"I do," Keeley answered, secretly pleased by the look of shock on Clay's face. What she didn't tell him was that it took her three days and a lot of ugly arguing with her dad to change the engine in her little Jetta. But why quibble over the small details? "What? What are you laughing at Clay Whitlow?"

Clay was chuckling, almost to the point of full out laughter. "You just never cease to surprise me, Keeley Burns. You never cease to surprise me."

Keeley grinned. Clay looked out the window one more time, sighed again, and then opened the door and started to assemble his chair.

"You stay in there, Keels," he yelled over the howl of the wind. "But would you hand me the toolbox and poncho that are under your seat?"

She nodded and handed it over. There wasn't a person on the planet that didn't look stupid in a poncho and Clay Whitlow was no exception. She couldn't suppress her laughter. Clay just gave her look that clearly said he'd pull her out of the truck and have her change the tire if she kept it up, but she didn't care.

Clay shut the door and started to slowly wheel around to the back of the truck. Keeley scooted over to the drivers seat and cracked the window a bit. "You look like Big Bird."

"I don't need any comments from the peanut gallery," he yelled back, his voice a bit muffled from the road noise and rain. Even so, she could hear the smile behind his words.

Curious as to how a man in a wheelchair was going to change a tire, but thankful she wasn’t going to have to do it, Keeley rolled the window down a bit more and stuck her head out so she could watch. First he chalked the back right tire. She watched as he let the tailgate down and slowly levered the spare tire onto the ground. He must keep it close to the tailgate for instances like these, she decided.

Keeley wondered how he was going to roll it to the front, and for a moment she considered offering to help. But then she watched as he stood the tire upright and placed it between his legs. He knocked his knees inward towards each other, effectively using them to hold the tire in front of his chair and then wheeled towards the front of the truck to where the flat was. The tire started to slip a few times, but each time Clay managed to catch it before it go away.

When he got to the front he laid the tire down and then loosened the lug nuts. In her head she could hear her dad telling her to always change her own tires because garages used tools to tighten the lug nuts and they always put them on too tight. Clay must’ve followed the same advice because within minutes the lug nuts were loose and a second later the truck was jacked up.

“Want me to hold those?” she offered as he just tossed the lug nuts on the ground, precariously close to a deep puddle. Again, she heard John Burns in her head telling her to never let the nuts and bolts out of her sight.

“Nope,” he answered back, grunting as he lifted the spare into place. New tire in place, he started to put the lug nuts back on. It seemed like he’d gotten about three in place and then he paused.

“Shit,” he muttered as he looked for the last two lug nuts. Keeley opened the door to help look, but shut it again quickly when she saw the look on Clay’s face. He did not want her stepping out of the truck.

And she did not like being looked at that way.

Twenty minutes later he opened the door and transferred back inside, almost slipping because of the rain as he hoisted himself inside. “Well,” he said, disassembling his chair and passing it to Keeley to put in the back. “We’ll be driving with a donut and two lug nuts less than we should, but I think we’ll make it back.”

“If you’d just let me hold them, they would be in the tire and not in the road,” Keeley muttered snidely as she placed the soaking wet cushion in the backseat.

“I was trying to be gentlemanly and not make you have to get wet!” Clay exclaimed, sounding exasperated. He turned the heat on full blast and then leaned back in the seat. He closed his eyes. In a much softer voice he added, “After this weekend especially, I just wanted to show you that even though I can’t do a lot of things, I still could take care of you.”

Heat rose to Keeley’s cheeks. He had only been trying to be noble, not chauvinistic or controlling. “I know that.”

“Then why won’t you let me?”

“Because Clay,” she paused as she searched for the right words. “I don’t need you to take care of me! I know how to do that.”

“I know that! I know that you’re capable. You’ve gone through a divorce, a Ph.D., and practically rebuilt that cottage. I know you can take care of yourself—but why won’t you just let me help? Even if it’s just letting me in and talking to me about things that bother you? That’s what a partner is for.”

“Because that’s not what I need, Clay—”

“—For example, you never talk to me about your divorce or your family, but you know everything about me—!”

 “—I need you to be faithful, supportive, not abusive—loving, but I don’t need you coddling me!”

“Damnit, Keeley!” Clay banged the steering wheel out of frustration. For a moment, Keeley wondered how they’d so abruptly gone from the tender moments of the day before and ended up here— yelling at each other on the side of I-26.

They’d sat there in silence for God knows how long until finally Clay jerked the truck into gear and pulled back out onto the interstate.

The rest of the ride home had been bumpy, quiet, and long. When they’d arrived back at her place, she and Clay had parted without so much as two words.

Needless to say, the day hadn’t shaped up to be a good one.

And so, here she was. Snuggled up alone on the couch with some old quilts and a steaming cup of coffee. The TV was off and her old, worn-out copy of The Princess Bride sat shut on the table. She could hear the rain beating steadily against her roof and looking out the window, she could just barely see the waves crashing and breaking violently.

Outside, she heard a truck rumble as it drove down her street. She listened, for a brief second hoping it would stop outside her house and that she’d hear a knock on the door and that when she opened it Clay would be sitting there.

But the truck didn’t stop. And the only knocks on her door came from the rain beating against it.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

PLD Chapter 18

There were few things in the world that Keeley loved more than falling asleep to the sound of the rain. The gentle patter on the roof combined with the sound of the waves churning outside normally lulled her into a deep and peaceful sleep. Not that night however -- she slept fitfully and woke up early the next morning, freezing, confused at how all the covers had ended up on the floor, and in generally a forlorn mood. Outside, the weather errily reflected how she was feeling.

After a few minutes she finally willed herself to get dressed and out of bed. Well, the growling in her stomach was actually the motivating factor, but that was a small detail. She sighed as she opened the fridge and surveyed its dismal contents: a leftover tuna sandwich and milk that had expired over the weekend. With a pang, she thought of the first night Clay had stayed at her house and how the contents of her fridge hadn’t been very different. So they went to Queen Street Grocery for good old fashioned country cooking and had spent the rest of the day wandering around the historic neighborhood, laughing and getting to know one another.

Keeley slammed the door of her fridge with a little more oomph than was probably necessary, frustrated by her lack of groceries and Clay’s absence. The force of the slam knocked a few magnets and pictures off the fridge, and as she bent to pick them up one in particular stood out to her. It was a picture of her and her mom from the previous summer. Keeley remembered the day well—they’d spent the day on the beach, people watching and laughing and eating junk food. Her divorce had been finalized just a few weeks before and though she looked ecstatic and glowing in the picture, she remembered how shocked her mom had been when she’d first arrived at her house that morning. Sheila Burns had arrived to find a shadow of her daughter – Keeley hadn’t left the house in days, her eyes were puffy from crying, and she’d lost at least fifteen pounds. Though the divorce had been her decision, it hadn’t been an easy one.

Keeley smiled wryly as she remembered how her mom had scolded her for withdrawing and dealing with everything on her own. She had always been that way—private and introverted. Some people figured things out by talking around in circles with others; Keeley silently mulled things over in her head. She bottled things up and kept them inside to herself, not wanting to burden anyone with her thoughts. And try as she might, she’d never been able to shake that bad habit.

And she’d tried. Because she knew that people hated it when she withdrew into herself and kept her problems to herself. There had been one time--back in college--when she thought that she and Jan’s friendship was going to end over Keeley’s introverted tendencies. Just like Clay had argued the day before, Jan claimed that Keeley never told her anything and she absorbed her problems without giving her a chance to return the favor. And while Keeley had denied it, she had known what her friend was saying was true. And that the reason she did it was true too: she didn’t trust anyone enough to let them in. Sure, she told herself she was being noble and she didn’t share because she didn’t want to burden anyone -- but the deeper reason was that she thought that if she didn’t let anyone know her thoughts, they wouldn’t be able to hold them against her.

That’s part of the reason he had an affair, a small, cruel voice said inside her. Yet, as much as she wanted to deny it, she knew that her habit of perpetuating emotional perfection and putting up walls was part of what drove a wedge between her and Brent in the first place.

She looked at the picture of her and her mom on the beach again. Keeley grinned wryly; even through a year-old picture, her mom was still teaching her a lesson and giving her guidance. She tenderly hung the picture back up, then grabbed her jacket and purse and headed out the door.

It took like what seemed like eons for the door to finally open. And when it did, it opened silently, without a word.

Clay sat in front of her, arms crossed and looking surly. He was in gym shorts and a tee shirt with the Whitlow & Sons logo on it, but his hair was tousled and his shirt was wrinkled as if he’d just woken up. He didn’t offer to let her in, so Keeley held up the bag of takeout from Queen Street Grocery that she’d grabbed on her way over. “Peace offering?”

He raised his eyebrows skeptically, but moved enough to let her through. Keeley rummaged around his disastrously disorganized kitchen for a few minutes, looking for utensils while he watched. After finding two spoons and a knife, she finally threw the silverware into the sink in exasperation. “Are you going to tell me where the forks are or are you just going to sit there and sulk?”

“I don’t know, I was going to offer,” he responded in a cool voice, “But I didn’t know if that was ‘coddling you’ or not.”

Keeley swallowed hard. “Okay, I deserved that.”

“No,” Clay said. “You didn’t. But I wanted to be a childish bastard for once.”

The words took Keeley by surprise and his tone of voice alarmed her. She had no idea what to do next and she had no idea what was going through Clay’s mind. This was a Clay that Keeley had never seen before: distant, cool, sarcastic.

Then he continued, “It’s out of my system now.” She could see the tips of his ears were red as he quickly wheeled by her and opened the dishwasher. He held up two forks. “And these are actually clean.”

She took the forks from him without a word. The air was electrified with tension and if Keeley had felt uncomfortable and unsure when she’d first walked in, the feeling was ten times worse now.

Behind her, Clay cleared his throat. “Let’s talk.”

Ah. The words she both dreaded and coveted. She sat the forks down on the counter and turned followed Clay across the room to the table. They both sat down in silence, looking uncomfortable.

“I’m sorry.”

Despite the somber mood, neither of them could help but smile at the fact that they’d said it unison.

“For what?” Keeley quickly continued, going on while the mood had lightened and before she lost her nerve again. “I acted like a child and threw a temper tantrum because you wanted me to know you cared.”

“And because I lost the lugnutts,” Clay mumbled with a small grin.

Keeley smiled a half-smile, glad her Clay was coming back. “I’m sorry...for bottling things up. And not letting you in. It’'s just a bad habit.”

Clay shrugged. “We’ve all got bad habits.”

“But ones like these tend to create wedges. And wedges tend to cause disagreements. And disagreements lead to endings and --”

“--And,” Clay gently interrupted. “Sometimes, disagreements lead to new beginnings and better understandings.”

They locked eyes for a moment. Clay took her hand in his and then continued. “And I’m sorry for pushing you to tell me what was wrong and for demanding to be let in. I just -- I have a fear sometimes that you won’t tell me things because you might think my problems,” he gestured at his legs, “are somehow bigger than yours.”

“Clay, I can honestly say that I have never once thought that. If I had, I wouldn’t have banished you from my office while I finished my dissertation, or complained about being sore after water skiing, or a million other little things.” Keeley paused, a thought suddenly occurring. “Should I ease up on the complaining?”

“No! That’s what I’m saying.” Clay sighed. “There is so much about this situation that’s not normal --”

Keeley interrupted him. “I grew up with parents who were artists. I’ve never known ‘normal’.”

Clay rewarded her efforts with a grin. “You know what I mean.”

“I do,” Keeley conceded. “But, I also know that you are one of the most capable people I’ve ever met -- wheelchair or not.” She looked at him hard. “Normal situation or not. You act like you’re some mutant just because you’re paralyzed--”

“--Well, a lot of people see it that way Keels. Don’t tell me you weren’t put off at first too, because I saw your face when I got out of the truck. You would have rather been alone than with the gimpy guy.”

Keeley flushed, immediately thinking back to the day they met. What he said was true and she couldn’t deny it. She squeezed his hand. “First impressions can be misleading.”  
“I feel like I can’t get rid of mine,” Clay mumbled, looking down. This wasn’t the turn Keeley had expected the conversation -- or the morning --  to take, and she hated serious conversations, but she wasn’t going to shut down again. That’s what had landed them here in the first place.

“Clay, look at me.” He looked up. “When you were a sly ass to Brent, I fell a little bit into ‘like’ with you. And when we went to that dive of a seafood restaurant, I liked you even more.”

When he didn’t say anything, she continued. “And when you made fun of my cooking, and brought me Thai food, and we went camping, and to the lake, and even yesterday, when you changed the tire,” she grinned wryly, “even though you lost the lugnutts, which is something that can be forgiven, I was constantly falling in love with you. That first impression of ‘Oh, he’s disabled,” long ago fell by the wayside.”

Clay still wasn’t saying anything. Keeley got up from the kitchen chair and went and sat down in his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck. “Mr. Whitlow, you’ve got to let it go.”

Finally, he looked at her again. His green eyes bore into her with an intensity she’d only seen a few times before. “This is to letting it go then, and new beginnings, and better understandings,” he said softly before he smiled -- the first genuine smile of the morning -- and kissed her lips.  

And as they kissed and Clay started to wheel them in the direction of his bedroom, breakfast completely forgotten, Keeley decided that the morning and the conversation had taken the proper route after all. Nothing was ending, as she had feared. Rather, it was only just beginning.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

California Dreaming

OK so here is Part Two of California Dreaming.  I am thrilled some people seem to like it.  In Part Two, they cover a lot of territory.  I tried to cut down on the repetitive she and he but it was not as easy as I thought it would be.  I am not sure how to post this they way everyone seems to and link it back….I will give it my best shot though. 

Part 2

Monday, April 23, 2012

Seduction, compliments of Steve Madden (Warning: explicit!)

Chapter 1

Friday morning, I threw open my closet doors and prepared for war. Shoving aside my jeans, I pulled out my stash of little black dresses, compliments of Frederick’s, and laid them over the bed. Hands on hips, I eyed them one by one. I had one I had never had the balls to wear – a slinky silk creation that just covered my ass and had a cleverly disguised slit right down the front that fell open when I leaned forward. I’d have to be careful not to flash the bartender, but… I turned back to my closet and began digging through my shoes. I justified my shoe collection by saying my feet hadn’t grown since I was in middle school (which was true), but the truth is, I’m a shoe slut. Finally, at the bottom of the pile, I found what I was looking for. With a grin, I backed carefully out of the closet, ducking under rain coats and prom dresses, and tossed my prize triumphantly in my open suitcase: five inch strappy black leather stilettos that zipped up the back. Those were Sex Shoes with a capital S (or rather, two, but who’s counting), and they were going to get me laid tonight.

Now, you might be raising your eyebrows and thinking, “This girl is a skank!”, and if I was heading out to a bar to pick up the guy with the biggest biceps and smallest alcohol tolerance, I’d agree with you. As it happens, however, I was on my way to visit my boyfriend for the weekend. My boyfriend of 6 months whom I hadn’t yet had sex with.

I should probably explain myself further, because now you’re probably thinking that I’m off to seduce my innocent, religious boyfriend who somehow escaped the church’s fold and wound up with sex-before-marriage me. Nope – his friends had helpfully regaled with me with enough tales of his one-night stands that I was convinced it wasn’t a moral issue, and I’d conveniently left the bathroom door open while changing enough times to be convinced it wasn’t me either. I was pretty sure I knew what the problem was. He’d been paralyzed 8 years ago, and was uncomfortable with his body. I’ve been patient and understanding and tried to convince him I think he’s the hottest guy I’ve ever seen, but he doesn’t believe me, so I decided it’s time for plan B. I’m going to get him so turned on he doesn’t care about his own body, and then I’m going to show him how hot I think he is. After all, there are certain reactions a woman can’t fake – and the man’s been driving me mad for so long, it’s definitely payback time.

I loaded up the car, kissed my four-legged kids goodbye, and hit the road as soon as I got home from work Friday afternoon. I texted him illegally at the first stop light I hit to let him know I was on the way, and got the usual response – “Great! Drive safe – can’t wait to see you! Love you! AND STOP TEXTING AND DRIVING!” He does tend to worry. I usually have to fudge my departure time – he got suspicious when it took him a half hour longer to make the drive. Oops. I plugged my iPod in and settled in for the drive.

Chapter 2

I pulled into his driveway just after 8:00 pm and climbed out – my dominatrix-in-training outfit was tucked away in my bag. We were meeting some friends out at the bar tonight, and I had a feeling that he wouldn’t let me out of the house wearing that dress unless we were already running late, so I was going to have to be a bit sneaky. I let myself in (I had a key and we still hadn’t had sex! Backwards!) and followed the sound of Tina Turner into the kitchen. I paused for a moment in the doorway – he hadn’t heard me yet. I still got butterflies in my stomach, even after 6 months, and felt a zing of desire as soon as I laid eyes on him. He was at the sink, washing dishes, his least favorite chore. A dish towel was thrown over one powerful shoulder, and his sleeves were rolled up, revealing forearms rippling with muscles I knew felt like solid steel. The muscles in his back shifted subtly under his shirt as he lifted a pan, and I felt my pulse leap. God, what this man did to me. Even his voice hit me in a place I usually didn’t mention in public. I smiled a little as I watched him grab a wheel and whip sideways, laying the pan down, and listened to his powerful baritone join in with Tina, belting “What’s love got to do…” He spotted me in the doorway, and a grin spread across his face, before he guiltily reached over and turned off the stereo.
“Hey babe!! What are you doing here so early??”
Ah crap, I’d forgotten to adjust my departure time to normal-person speed on the highway. I just grinned back and crossed the kitchen. I slung a leg over his lap and sat down facing him. Immediately, he dragged me against his chest in a huge bear hug, forcing the air out of my lungs. I burrowed into his chest and locked my hands behind his back. I waited all week for this, and it was always worth it.
“God I missed you, babe,” he murmured quietly into my hair.
I smiled and pressed a kiss to his neck. “Missed you too, hun.”
I pulled back a little and smiled into his gorgeous blue eyes. “Dishwashing to Tina Turner, huh?”
He blushed and said, “Yeah, well, my iPod was on shuffle. Not my fault.”
“Uh huh.”
For a 6’0 tall truck-driving, deer-shooting redneck, he sure had a soft spot for bad 80’s music. But that was alright, because I had a soft spot for teddy bear tough guys. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed a light kiss to one corner of his mouth, then the other corner, before tilting my head and sliding the tip of my tongue along his lips. He smiled against my mouth and took over, slipping his tongue into my mouth, running it along the tender inside of my lower lip before delving further and dancing with my tongue. As always, my body responded immediately – I felt my breathing speed up, and pressed my hips forward against his, leaning into his chest and tangling my fingers in his short hair. His arms were tight around my lower back, holding me against him, but as I leaned forward, we started to roll backward and he let go to grab the wheels, breaking the kiss. I opened my eyes and looked up at him, knowing my pupils must be huge. He laughed.
“You did miss me, huh?”
I narrowed my eyes and nipped him on the neck before climbing off his lap.
“Hey, we’re supposed to meet Liz and Chris up at JoAnn’s in an hour – let me finish up in here, then I’ll hop in the shower and we can head out, ok?”
“Sounds good!”
I turned to pick up my bag by the door, and he took the opportunity to smack me in the ass with the dish towel. I jumped and turned back around, hands on hips. He backed up quickly, grinning.
“Love you babe!”
I rolled my eyes and headed back to the bedroom to put my stuff away. He was so gonna get it tonight.

Chapter 3

A half hour later, he wheeled back into the living room where I was waiting, still dressed in my work clothes. Fresh from the shower, he smelled delicious and I was half tempted to abandon my plan and jump his bones right there – but no, I needed the time to build up his desire, as well as the alcohol to break down his defenses.  I watched him roll towards me, shoulders and chest tightening and relaxing with each turn of the wheel, his broad, powerful upper body a stark contrast to his long skinny legs. To me, his body was the definition of beautiful, and I hoped that, after tonight, he’d understand that.
“Hey babe, you ready?”
“Give me a second to change!”
“You’ve got…” – he checked the clock – “ten minutes!”
I raised one eyebrow. “I’ll be out in fifteen!” I retorted, and got up, heading past him toward the bathroom. He caught me around the waist, and reached up for a quick kiss. I leaned down and froze for a moment, drinking in the heady, sex-in-a-bottle scent of his aftershave. I really, really needed my plan to work. Or else I was going to implode.
He didn’t notice my aftershave-induced coma, saying “That’s fine. We can be a few minutes late. It’ll probably take me that long to button this damn shirt!”
He glared down at his dress shirt, hanging open over his undershirt. He was convinced that the buttons were possessed - his hands, strong and rough from years of wheeling, didn’t do so well with buttons.
I knew that if it was just him he’d never have bothered, so I slipped behind him and slid my hands along his shoulders and down over his chest, pressing my breasts into his upper back, and murmured in his ear, “You could just leave it unbuttoned. I wouldn’t mind.”
I felt him suck in a quick breath, but he regained his composure way too quickly, and said, “Yeah, but then it’d get caught in my wheels.”
I straightened up, tweaking his nipple along the way and nipping his earlobe.
“I guess I’ll have to be deprived of your chest till later tonight then…” I said as I turned toward the bathroom and The Outfit.

I locked the door behind me and stripped down quickly. I did NOT want him interrupting me before I was ready. I stripped down, damn near yanking out my nose ring as I whipped my shirt off over my head. “Shit!!” I peered in the mirror, blinking tears out of my watering eyes at I stared at my now slightly reddened nose. Well. That’s a sexy look right there. I splashed some cold water on my face and decided to leave my makeup till last.
I slipped out of my everyday undies and pulled out the pair I was going to wear tonight – you know, the kind that aren’t designed to stay on longer than a few hours – or at least not once your man sees them. I held them up to the mirror with a smile – a g-string sporting a tiny triangle of see-through black lace. Well, really, they were justified - panty lines would totally ruin the dress I was wearing. I had a little more trouble justifying the tiny glittering rhinestones that spanned my back between my hips, but hey, they’re part of The Outfit. I slid them on carefully, and slithered into the dress, quickly bending down to zip into my heels before I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I wanted to get the full effect at once. I straightened carefully and eyed my reflection. My long curls were loose, tumbling over my shoulders and down my back. I’d tousled them just enough to give them that I’ve-been-making-out-in-a-dark-corner look, and my eyes were already glowing with sexual awareness. The black silk hugged my waist and flowed loosely over my hips and butt, the hem flicking up to show shadowy glimpses of my taught upper thighs as I walked. The heels raised me from 5’3” to 5’8” and accentuated the way my hips rolled. As for the bodice of the dress… well. I had high, firm breasts, which were great, except when you wanted to go bra-less. What did Will always say…Oh yeah. “Bing!! Turkey’s done!” (Having never cooked a turkey, I had to resort to google to figure out what he meant). I turned sideways, checking my, ahh, prominence in the mirror. The dress was lined well enough that, unless we wound up in the freezer section in WalMart, I figured I wouldn’t be too scandalous. A deep vee of skin and the outer curves of my breasts were exposed, and when I leaned forward, the two pieces of material forming the front of the dress fell open to reveal my breasts and stomach. I snickered. He didn’t stand a chance. I added the finishing touches to my makeup, and opened the bathroom door. He was leaning over, picking up one of his shoes, one hand bracing himself on the push rim of his chair. Hearing the door open, he asked “Ready? We’re going to have to…” he looked up, lost his grip on the wheel, and fell forward. Catching himself quickly, he pushed upright and stared.
“Leave?” I asked innocently.
“What? Oh, umm, yeah. You look…wow. Wow. Are you sure… yeah, yeah, we have to go.”
He backed up to let me pass, and I peeked over my shoulder as I walked to the door, hips twitching. His eyes were slightly glazed over, and glued to my ass. This was going to work.

Chapter 4

We headed out to his truck. I never tired of watching him climb in, and he was comfortable enough with me by now that he let me tear his chair apart – at first, I’d been strictly forbidden from helping “because I’m too small and his chair is heavy.” Men. His truck is AWESOME – a big beastie with 35” mud tires, open exhaust and a 454 under the hood – and it’s also HUGE. The seats are about level with his head! He leaned one forearm on the seat for balance, hooked the other under his knees and tossed his feet up into the truck. Moving quickly before his legs could get tight and misbehave, he reached up, grabbed the wheel in one hand and the door handle in the other, and lifted himself onto the edge of the seat. One leg slipped out of the truck, spasming a little, and he scooted over into the middle of the seat before grabbing it and yanking it back in the truck, pressing down on his knee until it stopped tweaking. I leaned down and popped the wheels off his chair. As I straightened to hand them to him, he raised an eyebrow.
“You aren’t going to put it in the bed?”
“Do you see what I’m wearing?”
“I noticed.”
“Exactly,” I retorted, and handed him a wheel. I almost always wind up with mud on me somewhere if I lift his chair into the bed (it’s level with my chest, for Christ’s sake!) and while I normally don’t mind, that was NOT happening tonight.
Finished loading his chair, I crossed behind the truck to my side. He’d already started it, and as I walked behind it, he floored it. The blast of exhaust flipped the skirt of my dress up, as I’m sure he planned, and as I stuck my tongue out in his direction, I saw his eyes go round in the side view mirror. The second I opened the passenger side door, he demanded “Are you wearing underwear??”
“Of course I am!” I responded, pretending to be insulted.
He eyed me suspiciously, but decided to let it slide.
We backed out and were well on our way when I interrupted the radio announcer with a calm, “At least I am for now.”
He swerved slightly and glanced over at me, then muttered, “Jesus.”
I turned my head toward the window and smiled.

We’d been at the bar almost an hour and a half, and I was getting worried. He was definitely onto me, and was putting up a fight. He was still nursing his first beer. Damn it! I was thinking frantically, trying to keep up with the conversation I was having with Liz, when she suddenly stood and grabbed my hand.
“Come on!”
Will’s head whipped around immediately – he’d been keeping a very close eye on me, warning off other guys with a possessive hand on my knee and occasionally setting me on his lap if they still didn’t get the hint. If I tried to get cozy though, it was back to my own chair.
“Where are you two off to?”
“I need a bathroom buddy!” Liz said with a wink. I knew that was bullshit, but I rose and followed her. I could feel Will’s eyes burning a hole in my back, and I turned and blew him a kiss over my shoulder. His jaw clenched and he turned back to the guys. As soon as the bathroom door shut behind us, Liz turned on me.
“Ok, what’s going on?”
I hesitated – Will was very private and I didn’t really want to explain the problem.
Liz rolled her eyes, and said, “Look, I know something’s up! Can I help?”
“This is going to sound terrible, but I need to get him to relax and not be… well, not over think things.”
“Hmmm….” We both stood there, thinking. This was just getting depressing.
“Well, you could always make him feel like he needs the beer.”
“Are you wearing anything under that?”
“Umm… sort of?”
“Take it off,” Liz replied with an evil grin.
I smiled. A woman after my own heart!

I went into a stall and shimmed out of my g-string. Balling it in my fist, not that it made much of a ball, I sashayed back out of the bathroom, Liz in tow. Will had been watching the door, one elbow on the table, and as I approached, he pushed himself upright and unconsciously took a swig of beer, eyes glued to my hips. Maybe this would work…
I settled myself carefully on his lap, both legs over one wheel, and he quickly laid one forearm over my thighs, as much for balance as to hold the hem of my dress down, I guessed. I smiled at him, and pressed my little lace present into his other hand, under the table.
“What’s this?” he asked.
I leaned toward him and breathed into his ear, “My underwear.”
“You’re shitting me.”
He carefully tucked them into his pocket and without a word picked up his beer and took another swig.
Liz winked at me, and he must have caught the gesture, because he growled a little and retaliated by wrapping his arm around my shoulders and pressing his cold beer right between my breasts. I flinched and smacked his arm, hissing, “Unless you want the whole bar to see my nipples, you better quit!”
He sucked in a breath and demanded, “You’re not wearing a bra either?”
“It wouldn’t be a problem if you would stop putting ICE on my boobs!”
“JESUS, woman!”
Another swig of beer. This was working quite well!

I stayed put on his lap for the next hour and by his third beer he’d quit tensing every time I moved. The bartender dropped off the next round of drinks for the table and I leaned forward to snag mine, forgetting for a moment to be careful of my dress. It gaped open, giving Will a clear shot of…everything. He choked on his beer, slammed it down on the table and yanked me back against his chest. Luckily, no one else had seen, but he still held me tightly against him, coughing a little. Glaring at me, eyes still watering from beer down the wrong pipe, he said quietly, “I think you’re missing some buttons.”
“It was designed this way!”
“What kind of a…We are going home as soon as you finish that drink,” he growled.
Shit. He looked mad. He must have read my mind, as usual, because he added, “I’m not mad, but I sure as hell am not letting anyone else see what I just saw.”
Relieved, I planted a kiss on his cheek and whispered, “Trust me, baby, you’re the only one who’s allowed tickets to this show.”

Chapter 5

I have never finished a vodka cran so fast in my entire life. The second I set it down, he boosted me off his lap and told Chris and Liz we were going to call it a night. Liz gave me a huge smile and Chris added, “I don’t blame you!” We wound our way through the tables towards the exit. Out in the parking lot, he snagged my wrist and let me pull him while he dug his keys out of his pocket. Unlocking the truck, he climbed in and then ordered gruffly, “Get in.”
“Well, let me get your chair…”
“I’ll do it! There are four guys outside smoking, just waiting for you to bend over!” I glanced over my shoulder. He was right – I never noticed these things. I went back to my side of the truck while he leaned out and ripped one wheel off at a time, laying them in the back seat, before hefting up the frame and tossing it in.
He reached out and shut the door, then shifted one leg out of the way of his hand controls before starting the truck. A moment later, we were flying down the back roads, windows down, listening to Alan Jackson deny being a stalker. I leaned forward and slipped off my heels – sexy, yes, but comfortable they were not – and put my feet up on the dash. The summer wind whipped in the window and the hem of my dress danced along my thigh, revealing my ass. His deep voice joined Alan’s, and I smiled. He reached over and laid one hand on my thigh and I knew we’d figure this out.
The headlights skimmed over miles of run-down fencing and reflected off the eyes of startled cows as we cruised toward home. Suddenly, he reached over and turned the radio off.
“Hey babe, do you like peaches?”
I looked at him questioningly, but he just raised his eyebrows and waited for my answer. “Well, yeah…”
“Good.” He turned off the main road and onto an unpaved dirt road. I could see the taillights glowing in the cloud of dust we threw up as I gazed out the window, trying to figure out where we were. All I could see were shadowy trees.
“Where are we?”
“Peaches!” he said, whipping the truck hard to the right. I saw the low hanging branch with several rotten peaches barely clinging to it a split second before it smacked into the mirror, splattering rotten peach guts into the open window. I gasped, feeling the sticky juice running down my arm.
He stopped the truck, laughing so hard I could barely understand him.
“I swear… I didn’t see… I didn’t think it was gonna…the look on your face…”
Quietly, I reached out the window and picked another rotten peach off the tree. I waited for him to stop laughing and reach across the truck, laying a conciliatory hand on my knee. Then I whipped it at him, nailing him right in the forehead. He jerked back, spluttering, and glared at me, peach juice dripping down his cheek. I snickered.
“You’re crazy, babe.”
“That’s why you love me!”
He looked at me for a minute, then the corner of his mouth kicked up and I knew I was safe. “Yeah, but I should never have told you that.”
He snagged a towel out of the back seat and wiped the peach guts off both of us before inching the truck far enough forward that I could grab two ripe peaches off the tree. I scooted across the truck, straddling the console so I could sit next to him as we sat in the darkness eating our peaches. He finished his first and leaned across me to grab a bite of mine. I interrupted his thievery with a kiss, wrapping an arm around his shoulders as the kiss deepened. He absently tossed the peach pits out the window and effortlessly pulled me onto his lap. I lay with my back against the door, my legs stretched across his lap, as he cradled me against his chest. I worked one hand under his shirt, pressing my hand against the solid muscles of his chest, and one of his hands slipped in the open front of my dress, cupping my hip. He lifted his head, looking down at me, and said, “Damn, babe… let’s head home.”
“Only if you promise we can continue this.”
“Damn straight! Now get over there,” he said, lifting me back over the console and starting the truck.

Chapter 6

As soon as we pulled into the driveway, I lifted my legs down from the dash and zipped back into my heels. Dropping carefully down out of truck, I crossed around to his side and grabbed his chair before he could drop it on the concrete. I thought it deserved a little more respect than that, but he apparently disagreed. I popped the wheels back on and set the brakes – I’d forgotten once and been accused, jokingly, of trying to sabotage him – and got out of the way. He dropped his cushion in place and swung down out of the truck, sliding an arm under his knees and shoving backward away from the truck until his feet dropped off the floorboard. He set them quickly on the foot plate, paused to yank up his pants (the bane of his existence) and then looked up at me, eyes burning. Oh shit. I turned and scooted into the house ahead of him.
“I, umm, think I’m going to go clean up! I still have peach juice all down my arm!”
“I’ll be in bed.”
I slipped in the bathroom and half shut the door behind me. He was still tense and even though I knew he was turned on, I still wasn’t sure he’d go for it. I bit my lip, staring at my reflection. Well, all or nothing. I turned on the water and concentrated on washing off the rotten peach guts on my arm. I listened carefully as he came out of the other bathroom, opening and shutting drawers in the bedroom – finally I heard the telltale complaint of the bed springs as he transferred. He was in bed. I reached out with one toe and pushed the door open a little farther…a little farther… there. The mirror on the back of the door was now at just the right angle that he’d be able to see me from the bed. I lifted up one leg and rested my toe on the counter, leaning forward to remove my stiletto. I scooped up a little lotion from the open jar on the sink and slowly worked my way up my leg, smoothing it in. I heard a muffled groan coming from the bedroom and peeked in the mirror. He had yanked a pillow over his head! Frustrated, I dropped my leg and quickly yanked off my other shoe. I paused a moment, staring in the mirror. His grip on the pillow was white-knuckled. I smirked. Quietly, I let my dress drop to the floor. Completely naked, I glanced down at myself. Oh, the sacrifices one makes for love. Full Brazilians ain’t for the faint of heart, but let me tell you, THAT is a sign of true love. I leaned forward slightly, pretending to be checking a contact in the mirror, and called out quietly, “Hey babe, do you see my contact solution in there somewhere?”
I knew he was too much the gentleman to ignore me. Sure enough, he pulled the pillow off his head to look around for the bottle and stopped dead as he caught my reflection. I decided to press my advantage and strolled into the bedroom.

I smiled and dropped onto to all fours as I crawled slowly across the bed towards him. His eyes were running over me and as I eased down onto my stomach next to him, he abruptly yanked me onto his chest and crushed me against him. I went willingly, slipping one leg between his, enjoying the feel of his cooler skin against mine.
“I love you,” he whispered quietly. “You know that, right?”
I took a deep breath. Now was the time. I straightened a little, so I could see his face, and replied, “I do know that, and I’d like to show you just how much I love you – if you’re ok with that.”
He pulled my head back down to his shoulder and I slipped my arm across his chest, holding him tight against me. He was quiet for a long moment, staring up at the ceiling.
“I just…well, little Will doesn’t always cooperate and it makes me feel like…less of a man somehow.”
I was quiet too – I was thrilled that he’d opened up, but I also knew that I needed to tread carefully. Finally, I responded, “I’ve done my homework – it’s not a surprise, and it doesn’t bother me or upset me at all. I’d like to make you feel good in whatever way works.” I paused, considering, then asked, “Would it feel good if I were to go down on you?”
His hand tightened on the back of my neck and he cleared his throat before answering, “Yes.”
“Can you trust that I’ll enjoy giving you pleasure, even if you don’t get completely hard?”
He hesitated, then shifted, slipping his hands under my arms and lifting me so that I hung over him, eye to eye. He smiled. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, you know that?”
I grinned. “You just wait.”
His grin faded a little and he said quietly, “I just wish I were…” he trailed off.
“You are my idea of perfect and I’m going to prove it.”
He looked up at me, still held hostage above him, then finally said, “Ok” and let me down.
I lay sprawled across his chest and quickly slid forward, slipping a hand under his neck and my tongue into his mouth. His hands found my hips immediately, pressing me into him. I tangled a bare leg around one of his and felt it spasm under me.  I slid my hands up into his hair and pulled away from his mouth, nuzzling my way down his neck, nipping and licking, until I hit the collar of his undershirt. I tugged with my teeth as he found my earlobe with his mouth, but his shoulders already strained the material and I couldn’t get to his sensitive collarbones. Unacceptable. I pulled back, sitting halfway up, and yanked at the hem of his shirt. “Off!”
He froze. “Babe… my scars, they’re, uh, pretty bad.”
“Are you bothered by the scar on my shoulder?”
“No!” he exclaimed, looking affronted.
I just looked at him. His eyes narrowed.
“I really hate it when you use logic. Unfair.”
I rolled my eyes. “I know you’re bothered by your scars and there’s nothing I can do to change that… but you are depriving me of your delicious muscles!”
He looked a little surprised. “Delicious?”
“Yes, delicious. As in, they make me want to eat you. You are man-gorgeous.”
He just stared at me for a moment, then pushed himself up on his elbows and looked up at me.
“Well?” he asked, eyebrows raised.
I grabbed the hem of shirt and pushed it up his chest, yanking it out from under his back. When I had it up around his shoulders, he lay back and pulled it over his head, tossing it on the floor. I gazed at the wide expanse of yum spread out in front of me and grinned. His chest was broad and solid, his pecs well defined and his upper abs taut. His lower abs faded into a loose, flat belly that I loved just as much as the bulging biceps he showed off, crossing his arms beneath his head. Show time.

Chapter 7

He grinned as I slid one leg across his hips, settling on his lap, and reached for my breasts. I pulled back sharply, reaching for the tube of Udder Balm on the nightstand, and handed it to him.
“This first.”
“What is that stuff?”
I rolled my eyes. “You know what it is! I bought it for you three weeks ago so your hands wouldn’t get so rough and…” – I flipped open the lid – “you haven’t even opened it!”
“It’s too girly.”
“It’s Udder Balm! Farmers use it! How is that girly??”
“It goes on tits!!!”
“Cow tits, not people tits!” I exclaimed.
He crossed his arms and glared at me mutinously. I tried a different tactic.
“My boobs don’t need to be sanded by 20 grit! It hurts.”
His eyes narrowed further and he clamped his hands under his armpits so I couldn’t get to them. Men.
“Fine.” I said, returning the Udder Balm to the nightstand and picking up my own jar of girly, wild cherry scented body butter. “But you can’t tell me I’m not allowed to put lotion on myself.”
I scooped up a palmful of the thick, silky lotion and slowly began rubbing it into my breasts, dabbing some on the sensitive undersides before working it into my skin. The lotion felt chilly and my nipples rapidly tightened into firm buds. I heard his breathing change and glanced at him. His mouth had fallen open, his eyes growing heavy lidded again – and they were definitely not focused on my face. I smiled, grabbed the lotion jar and rose up a little, leaning over him to put the jar back on the table. My breasts swung just over his face, the nipples begging for attention. As I sat back, he reached up and cupped them, forefinger and thumb sliding over the taut flesh to pinch my nipples lightly. I let my head fall back, hands resting behind me on his cool thighs, and pushed my breasts into his palms as he began kneading them, pinching and pulling at my nipples as they grew a darker pink. I smiled secretly as I felt his palms begin to soften against my skin as the lotion I’d applied soaked in. He was going to smell like cherries for days.

My eyes slid shut and I moaned a little, enjoying his strong hands lathering attention on my breasts. I heard his low chuckle and my eyes flew open again. Oh no, he was not pulling that trick! It was finally my turn to enjoy his body. I sat up and slowly stretched out on top of him, pressing my breasts into his chest, tightening one leg on the outside of his hip. I knew he could feel pressure below the level of his injury and that he liked having me sprawled on top of him, so I carefully aligned his hips with mine and leaned down, finding his mouth. His hands ran up and down my thighs, tensing when I delved deep into his mouth with my tongue, pausing when I shifted to suck at the side of his neck, gently drawing his skin into my mouth and sucking lightly at the corded muscle there. He turned his head to give me better access. He was so sensitive above his injury – and I loved exploiting it. I ran my tongue lightly down his neck, finding his collarbones and nipping with my teeth. One of his hands rose to cup the back of my neck, pressing me down against his chest as I rocked my hips against him. I slid slowly down his body, my hair spilling across his chest, working one leg between his so I could press my thigh against his crotch. His legs felt cool against mine, a burning contrast to the heat of chest, which heaved under me as I found his nipples. I never went for the direct approach – that was too easy. I danced my hands over his chest, carefully avoiding his nipples, circling closer then farther away, as I licked and nipped along his collarbones and ribcage. I paid special attention to the line where normal feeling faded into sensations of pressure and heat only – he’d once told me it was very sensitive. He gasped as I bit him there, just under his rib cage, and I apologized with a gentle, slow lick. I eased back up his body, nuzzling his chest, rubbing my breasts against the warmth of his skin, getting closer and closer to his nipples.
I smiled against his chest and gently laid my tongue directly over his nipple. He froze. I pressed lightly, rhythmically, using the palm of my hand to imitate my movements on his other nipple. He sucked in a hard breath and I felt his hand tangle in my hair. I used the tip of my tongue to flick the now-hard nub of his nipple, copying the motion with my fingernail on his other side.
“Christ!” he breathed out in a rush. I closed my mouth over his nipple and sucked it into my mouth. He went wild, yanking on my hair and arcing up, his powerful chest lifting under me. I smiled against his chest, tightening my teeth around the nub, and he jerked and abruptly hooked me under the arms, yanking me up his chest and pressing my head into the crook of his neck. He was breathing hard and I could feel his lower abs trembling underneath me.
I leaned forward and breathed into his ear, “You know, I’m just going to keep going, no matter how hard you yank on my hair. You’re going to have to say ‘stop’.”
At the feel of my hot breath washing over his ear, he shuddered, goose bumps breaking out all over his arms.
“Fuck me…” he muttered, and I smiled.
“That’s the point, babe.”

He groaned and then released me.
“Can you hand me the bottle of water?”
I sat up and grabbed it for him. He picked up a small packet off the table and emptied a pill into his palm before quickly popping it into his mouth and washing it down.
“It’ll, uhh, take a little while to kick in.”
“More time to torture you!”
His eyes widened slightly and I quickly reassured him, “The good kind of torture.”
I eased back down, working my way slowly down his body again. His breathing picked back up as I tweaked his nipples, laved his ribs with my tongue and nibbled at his hip bones. I glanced up at him as I lay next to him, one leg thrown possessively over both of his, my hair falling across his hips. He had one hand wrapped in my hair and was watching me, breathing unevenly. He nodded slightly and I grinned wickedly up at him as I slowly drew the hem of his boxer shorts down. He was at half mast. I wondered for a moment how much sensation he had – I’d never asked.
I closed my hand around the base of his penis and he gasped. That answered that question! I tightened my hand around the base, pulsing gently, and slowly lowered my mouth to the head. He quickly flipped my hair back over my shoulder so he could watch as I slipped his head between my lips. I circled my tongue lightly around the head, exploring, flicking gently along the crown, and I felt his lower abs tense under my head. I found the sensitive underside, using my tongue to press firmly while I tightened my lips around him. I kept one hand squeezing lightly at the base of his penis while the other wandered over his chest, my nails raking over his ribs or flicking his nipple. I increased the pressure, sucking his penis deep into my mouth, laving the crest and the underside with my tongue, swirling it around his shaft. He pressed one hand to the back of my neck, urging me on, while his breathing roughened and his legs began to twitch under me. I sucked deeper and harder, watching him out of the corner of my eye. He threw his head back, the muscles in his neck cording as his lower abs jumped and tensed. I slowed my movements, drawing back a bit and lipping the crest. He let out a harsh breath and looked down at me, eyes heavy lidded and glowing. I smiled and drew him fully into my mouth again, working my tongue around his shaft in time with my hand, pulsing at the base. He tensed again, the muscles in his arms shaking and one leg vibrating between mine. His hand pressed harder into the back of my neck, and I felt myself grow wet as I pressed tightly against him, sucking hard and watching his face. Suddenly, he pulled hard on my hair. Regretfully, I let him slip out of my mouth and looked up at him, panting. He was still shaking, so I pressed my thigh against his leg to stop the spasm.
Breathing hard, he growled, “Get up here.”
I slithered along his body, pouting.
“Why’d you stop me?”
“Because the pill hasn’t kicked in yet,” he responded. In one quick motion, he flipped me onto my back. He grabbed my arm and used it to pull himself up over me, balancing carefully on one arm. His legs spasmed, nearly throwing him back onto his back, but he caught my arm again and used it to steady himself.
“What?”  I asked.
“My turn,” he responded with a grin I didn’t trust at all.

Chapter 8

He practically threw me farther up the bed and lifted one of my legs up over his head so that I was lying on my back, his head and shoulders between my legs. We all know where this is going! He looked up at me, smiling, and I felt a burst of joy at the look on his face. I’d never seen him so unselfconscious, and if this was what it took to see him that way, well then. Yeah, I’m such a saint.
He had one of my knees hooked over his shoulder. His other forearm lay over my other leg, bracing him. Propped up on one hip, he leaned forward and pressed a kiss to the inside of my raised thigh, rubbing his cheek against my skin. I jerked slightly – it’d been a long time since I’d been touched this way and I still hadn’t readjusted. I’d only been interested in sex as an academic curiosity until Will and now my body was tight with desire and need. He slid his thumb gently along my bare lips, the skin silky smooth.
“Beautiful,” he whispered, then froze as he felt how wet I was. He looked up at me, incredulous.
I smiled a little. “I told you that you turn me on… I wasn’t lying, babe. There are some reactions a woman can’t fake.”
“Jesus,” he muttered, “I haven’t even touched you!”
“You don’t have to… your body, your voice, your hands on me anywhere – this is what you do to me.”
He turned his head and nipped at my inner thigh. I sucked in a sharp breath, nearly choking when he gently slid his forefinger inside me. My sheath clenched tightly around his finger. I heard him whisper, “Holy hell.” He worked his finger gently in and out. Liquid heat built in my core. I glanced down the length of my body at him. His shoulder was solid under my thigh and he rested against my calf, using it to balance himself. His thumb slipped over my clit and I gasped, throwing my head back. I’d always been sensitive, but this… this was unreal. I could already feel light streaking along my nerves and knew it wouldn’t take much to push me over the edge. He slid another finger into me, increasing his tempo, continuing to rub my clit with his thumb. I lifted my hips slightly, meeting him, adjusting the angle slightly, until, HOLY SHIT, that was it! I whimpered, no longer able to keep my eyes open, thrusting to meet his hand and tangling the sheet in my fist. Faster, faster, I could feel the pleasure building… until suddenly, it stopped and he withdrew his fingers.
I let out a cry of protest, and, bewildered and outraged, I dragged open my eyelids and looked down at him. He was looking at me, eyes wild. He suddenly scooted me farther up the bed and eased down, replacing his thumb with his tongue. The heat of his tongue there, directly on my clit, was almost too much – I bucked, nearly throwing him off me. I heard him laugh as he pressed down harder on my hips, holding me down, but I was too far gone to care. I arched my back, calling his name, begging him incoherently for release. He tormented me, flicking his tongue lightly over my now swollen clit, then suddenly pressing his tongue firmly against the tight bud before sucking it into his mouth for a second or two – but never long enough! If he hadn’t been holding me down, I would have pulled away – the pleasure was so intense it felt like pain and I couldn’t handle it! Gasping and crying, I tried to reach the headboard to drag myself out from under him, but he was watching me and tightened his grip on my hips, nipping my clit lightly. Pure heat shot through me. Before I’d recovered, his sucked the sensitive bud into his mouth and pulled. I came hard, arching uncontrollably and gasping, my thighs and stomach quaking as my sheath clenched tightly, pulsing powerfully. Finally, I sank back onto the bed, panting and trembling. He flipped my leg back over his shoulder and dragged himself up the bed on his elbows, flipping over onto his back and pulling me onto his chest. I went, boneless. It had NEVER been like that for me. Ever.
“Feel good, babe?” he asked, his voice rumbling in my ear.
“Mmmph,” was all I managed. Suddenly, I realized his erection was prodding me in the leg. I smiled against his chest, and slowly pushed myself up.

Chapter 9

I straddled him, reaching down to wrap my hand around his penis again. He tensed, watching me, and I closed my other hand around the head, circling my forefinger and thumb around the crest. He grabbed my wrist and said, “No – I want to be in you.”
I shifted forward, rising over him, and positioned him at my entrance, slipping the head of his penis back and forth along my wet folds. He sucked in a sharp breath. One hand clamped tightly around my thigh. Slowly, I eased him inside me. I was wet and ready, but I was still tight, and I had to go slowly. By the time I had lowered myself down onto his full length, he was breathing hard.
“You okay?” he asked roughly.
In answer, I rose up slightly, supporting my weight on my hands, splayed on either side of his shoulders, and sank back down again. He grabbed my hips and guided me, lifting and lowering me. His length was a solid pressure inside me and I felt the heat building again – but his reaction was so much more of a turn on. His breath came in gasps as we began to move faster. His strength amazed me – his hands on my hips kept me moving almost effortlessly. I adjusted my weight so I could run one hand over his chest, flicking a nipple or running my fingers along the line of his injury. His belly tightened. Both his legs were spasming now. His breath came in jerky gasps as the spasms affected his diaphragm and I knew he was close. I could feel my own excitement rising. My thighs burned. His fingers bit into my ass as he held onto me, but the pain was just enough to keep me grounded as my pleasure built. My arms shaking, I dropped down over him, bracing my elbows on either side of his head and breathing heavily into his ear. I pumped back against him as his hands guided me. My vision started to go blind as I felt myself coming. I turned my head and whispered in his ear, “Now, babe!”
He bit my shoulder, hard, as my sheath clenched around him tightly, and one of his knees drew up sharply against my ass as he came. The feel of him emptying into me forced me higher. I thought the pulsing waves of pleasure wouldn’t stop. Finally, I felt him relax under me and I went boneless, panting hard. He wrapped his arms around my waist. I could feel them shaking. I pressed a weak kiss against his neck and hooked his ankle with my foot, pushing his leg back down on the mattress. The last of his spasms stilled and he lay quiet under me, catching his breath. In a few minutes, when we’d both revived, he shifted me a little to the slide, slipping out of me. He stroked a hand over my hair and pressed a kiss to my forehead.
“Thank you, babe.”
“You don’t need to thank me for sex!” I exclaimed, appalled, sitting up a little.
He looked at me with a little smile and said, “That’s not what I meant.”
“Oh.” I settled back down on his chest.
He was quiet for a minute. Then, “Are you going to stick around for awhile?”
I smiled against his neck. “If you’re asking me to.”
“I’m asking you to.”
I grinned contentedly, curling into him. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of The Shoes lying on the floor of bathroom. Someone really needs to give Steve Madden a medal.


California Dreaming

OK so to say I am new at this would be an understatement.  I have a couple of stories I have been working on for the last year or so.  I ran out of books to read so…..I started making up my own.  After reading some of the great stuff here, I thought I might share what I have and if you like it great if you don’t no harm I will disappear ;-)
I should mention that I am well aware that my grammar is less than desirable, honestly until the other day the whole story was one big sentence so this may not seem like an improvement but it is.  I am the queen of the run on sentence and that is a quote from the professor that reviewed my masters thesis. 
This is my story of Kelly and Alex…..I think we will call it California Dreaming.  Currently, its 133 pages in so I am going to take it to the chopping block and post it in chunks.  Please be kind….but honest (now there is a tall order).
Thanks Kelly :-)

California Dreaming
Part 1
She had only lived in San Francisco for about six months and just agreed to stay for another six.  She liked her job, she did not love it, and it was a very good job that afforded her many opportunities.   She worked for Smith Trans LLC, a very prosperous fortune 500 company.  She was in charge of overseeing mergers and worked on high level human resources in other words she was very good at firing vice presidents.  They had asked her to go to San Francisco for six months to handle a major merger and some serious downsizing.  Having lived in Cleveland, Ohio her entire life this was a huge move, but she did not think such an opportunity would come her way again.  Although she did not think it was a good thing, she had nothing tying her down.  She was not in a relationship, she had no children, she owned a townhouse and was very close with her family but otherwise picking her life up and moving across the country was pretty easily done.  Her company got her a great condo, a BMW, an expense account, an amazing assistant and a nice condo, a salary increase all at no extra cost to her. 

She loved San Francisco, being an avid runner she loved that she could be outdoors almost every single day.  Her apartment was on the bay and she had everything she ever wanted, the shopping was amazing, but she was lonely.  Not to say she was not lonely in Cleveland but there she had family and a ton of great friends.  She had met some people through running; she had joined a running club for marathon training.  Her love life was depressing on a good day.  She only met men through work and running, work men were always older men with all kinds of baggage and men that run did nothing for her.  She was an attractive girl, blonde hair and blue eyes with a young business look, she carried herself with great confidence which is likely why she had done so well professionally.  She missed going out with the girls, bars, meeting new men, dating she missed all of it.  She compensated by working long nights and running races almost every weekend. 

One week prior her boss had asked her if she could stay on for at least another six months.  She loved her boss, Steve was an attractive dignified older man.  He had 4 children and an amazing wife that practically was raising the kids on her own.  He had very high expectations for Kelly but he also treated her like his fifth daughter.  They had a great working relationship.  When he asked her to stay on for at least another six months, she was hesitant but every email from home reminded her that everyone else’s lives were moving on, friends were getting engaged and having babies left and right.  Her nieces were growing up so fast and her younger sister was subletting her townhouse so again she had no reason not to stay.  Her boss said it was up to her, and that he would understand if she did not want to stay as he knew she was not having a great time in San Francisco.  But when she said she would do it, he was very happy as she had just made his life a lot easier.  His family lived in Connecticut and the commute was not something he was a fan of.  With her there he only had to fly in every few months.  So she said another six months would be nice, summer was coming and she thought some of her friends and family would be out to visit, she thought it would go fast. 

With another six months ahead of her she knew something had to change.  Should she try an online dating service, she could not imagine putting herself out there like that.  Her assistant Kristy had wanted to fix her up with one of her neighbors since the day she moved to San Francisco.  It took six months but she thought she was up for trying anything as long as it did not involve a dot com.  Kristy had set up a blind date for her and Mark for a Friday night at casual restaurant near her office.  Kelly went out and got a new shirt, and decided she was going to go give this her best effort, she did not need to meet her husband but a companion would be a great.  She met Mark at the bar; he was a little chubby, dark hair, brown eyes, your average guy.  He seemed nice enough, she ordered a glass of red wine and they went to their table.  Conversation was tough, he had been married in his twenty’s and already divorced, that did not bother her, what bothered her was the way he talked about his ex.  He went on and on about how evil she was and how happy he was to be out on his own.  They had been divorced for four years, and he still harbored all this anger, not a good sign.  She too was engaged once but it was for maybe a month and although they remained friends she had no ill will about the break up.  So they were not connecting.  She muddled through the date, and they went their separate ways, he did no seem very into her either so it was mutual.  She went home and followed her routine, checked email and facebook, put on PJ’s and curled up to catch up on some DVRed stuff she missed. 

Monday morning routine, get up, get dressed, vitamuffin and she was on her way.  She parked in her company’s garage and then went across the street to purchase her morning beverage, she hated coffee but loved the whole coffee shop experience, she would get a diet coke in a coffee cup.  Distracted by her IPhone and trying to juggle her beverage she was not paying attention and before she knew it she had tripped and landed on his lap.  She felt awful, how she could be that blonde, she had tripped over a wheelchair and landed face down in this poor guys lap.  She got diet coke on both of them and her face had to be at least three million shades of red.  She tried to gather herself and she stood up slowly as to see what damage she had done.  A little on her black skirt, nothing to get too excited about.  She got some on his jeans, but at least it did not smell like coffee.  She quickly asked him if he was OK and apologized at least twenty times in a one minute time span.  She said “its only diet coke, and I think it will come right out.”  When she finally looked up she realized that he was easily the most beautiful man she had ever seen.  Blonde hair, blue eyes a gorgeous face and a smile that took her breath away.  This made her apology even more muffled and confusing.  Being perhaps as embarrassed as her he said it was OK and that it was probably his fault anyway.  He looked at her cup and said “diet coke?” She said “yeah I hate coffee but I like to look like I am drinking it, that makes me sound so weird doesn’t it, but its my thing” she said “but on the plus side you don’t have to worry about smelling like coffee all day.”  He looked at her and laughed while shaking his head.  She grabbed some napkins and handed him a few and asked if there was anything she could do and made a quick blonde joke.  One of the employees of the coffee house came over to make sure everything was OK as they attracted some attention.  She said “I think we are OK” and he shook his head.  She said “my office is across the street, I think I have a hair dryer in there somewhere if you want to go try to dry your pants off.”  He said “no it was OK.”  She moved out of the middle of the establishment.  He followed.  She said “again I am sorry, if you only knew how much of a klutz I really am, this would make sense.”  He said “no apology necessary” and reiterated that he was fine and that having a beautiful women fall in his lap  is not necessarily a bad thing.  She blushed and again said she was so sorry, then reached out to shake his hand and said her name was Kelly.  He replied saying his name was Alex and she lost track for a second as he had never felt hands like his, soft but rough, strong but odd.  It was awkward, so she began to back up and end the conversation as she truly was mortified, not only had she tripped over a man’s wheelchair he was a gorgeous man in a wheelchair.  Before she could turn away he said “well there is one thing you could do for me” and she said “anything you name it” he said “let me take you out.”  She said “like out?” and then paused and he said “out to dinner whatever, I understand if you are not available, just taking a stab in the dark, like I said its not everyday a gorgeous women falls in my lap.”  It was bold and for whatever reason she said sure with very little thought. He pulled out his iphone and they exchanged numbers he said he was thinking Friday night if she did not have plans and she said I can do that.  He said he would get back to her with the details. She blushed and like a school girl and shook her head and had no idea what to say.  She composed herself and said “I look forward to it.”  They parted ways.  She felt quite certain he was checking her out as she walked away, but she would not dare look. 

Alex was not sure where he pulled the courage from to ask out such an attractive women, without knowing anything about her, what if she had been married.  He knew nothing about her, except that she was clumsy and perhaps the most well put together women he had ever met, which he found oddly contradictory.  He was a law student at the University of San Francisco in his final year.  He was in a car accident nearly a decade ago on his way home from college that turned his whole life upside down, for the last 2 years he had been at USF on an amazing scholarship becoming a lawyer.  He had lots of friends but never could find a girlfriend or a girlfriend for longer than a few weeks.  He tried, but something always got in the way, he always felt the chair was too much for girls to handle.  He understood as it was a lot for him to handle most days.  He had almost given up and assumed he may not ever get married and felt certain kids were not in the cards.  But for some reason something happened in that coffee shop, he just blurted it out, he did not want her to walk away and never see her again.  Alex was born and raised in the Colorado Mountains; his hometown was his first love.  His family was all there, and hoped to return there after graduation.  Colorado winters were not very friendly to his disability, so he was not sure that would be the best thing.  Many of his friends were girls, girls seemed flock to him, perhaps they felt bad for him and their maternal sides drew them to him.  The only thing he could compare it to was how women flock to gay men, they know gay mean are harmless and not interested in them, only difference was Alex loved women and was very interested.  They did not want to be his girlfriend but his friends.  He had some buddies but most of them were back home.

He left and got in his car and drove to class, all the while freaking out in his head about how he was going to pull this off.  He also smelled like a diet coke.  He called his brother and said “so I was at this coffee shot minding my own business and some blonde not paying any attention playing with her phone basically trips over me and falls in my lap.”  His brother said “shut the fuck up.”  He said “really, face down, and spilled her drink and all.”  He said “dude what did you do, did you go ape shit.”  He said “no get this I asked her out!”  He said “no way”, Alex said “I have no idea why but I did.”  Mike laughed and said “what did she say,” he said “she said sure.”  Mike said “tell me she is hot,”  Alex said “the hottest”  Mike said “that’s my brother.”  He said “I know nothing about her, but it just seemed like the right thing to do.” Mike said “well sounds like a solid plan to me” with obvious sarcasm.  He said “call me and let me know what happens, only you would have a hot blonde trip over you and then go out with you, you will have her in bed in no time.”  Alex said “she felt awful and it just sort of happened.”  He knew nothing about her what did she like, where would he take her, what if she is a psychopath.  He thought the later was not likely but you never know in San Francisco, from his experience the women are tough to figure out, they are so beautiful but often not what he would want to date and definitely too superficial to date him.  He hoped she was going to be different.  He was thankful he had a few days to work out the details.  After class he caught up with his friend Rachel, she was tomboyish but very sweet and fun to be around.  She was a law  student as well and they had become close over the past couple years. 

He told her about the coffee house encounter and she was perhaps just as surprised as him.  He picked her brain, but she did not seem interested.  She asked “how he could be so nice after she had done such senseless thing.”  He said “you had to be there, it was an accident.”  She said “it just seems odd that is all.”  He said “get this, she was drinking diet coke out of a coffee cup she said she hates coffee.”   Rachel said “what, that is weird Alex, just get a diet coke”  he said “I know right.”  She warned him to be careful.  Before he knew it, it was Wednesday and he knew he needed to firm something up.  He thought Mexican sounded easy enough.  He knew of a fun place that was very accessible and thought it would be light airy.  So by mid afternoon he decided to text her.  Thankful for modern technology, he did not have to call her, texting was much easier.  He texted “how does Mexican sound, I know a good place in town La Cantina on Broadway?”   She was at her computer working on budgets when it came through and because she had not heard anything she actually wondered if she ever would, but for some reason she could not get his smile out of her head.  She smiled when she saw his text and quickly replied “sounds great as long as margaritas are involved.”  She loved Margarita’s not necessarily Mexican but she did not care.  She lived on salad, chicken and fish so a variation from that would be nice.  After she pressed send she thought ow no what if he is an alcoholic, did that make her sound like a lush, or worse.  He replied back and said “of course, how about I pick you up at 7.”  She texted “sounds perfect and sent her address.”  She then texted “it’s a condo complex just call/text me and I will come down.”  He replied “sounds like a plan, see you soon.”  She texted back “looking forward to it.”  She was blushing and quickly called in her assistant Kristy and said she has a 911 problem.  Kristy came right in, she caught her up to speed and Kristy could not have been happier for her, she thought her boss needed some action in the worst way.  She liked Kelly, she was the best boss she had ever had, she liked things her way and as long as Kristy stayed one or two steps ahead things were good.  She was a little older than Kelly, but she respected her for her accomplishments and was often in awe of how she handled herself, Kelly could be in a room full of business men and carry her own with grace.  Kelly wanted Kristy to find out how she should dress for this restaurant, as she only knew of maybe five restaurants that she took people to for work lunches/dinners.  Kristy was on it.  A little bit later she came in and said it was a casual place and she thought great jeans and a fun shirt.  Kelly had a ridiculous amount of clothes but she thought a new shirt was in order.  After work she went straight to Saks to find a great shirt.  She found a great sleeveless silk blouse that was casual but could also be dressy and it was flattering.  She had an athletic build so she wanted to feminize it a little.  About five years ago she started running and lost a lot of weight, about 50 lbs, the weight loss left her without much of a chest and some unattractive extra skin around her mid section.  Being young and single she had a moderate breast augmentation and tummy tuck.  She had it done by the best plastic surgeon on the east coast and loved the results.  She had a nice full chest but nothing too flashy and a nice flat belly.  So she liked to show the “girls” off from time to time.  She felt like a teenager, it felt great.  She called her best friend in the entire world, Lindsay to tell her about the chance meeting.  Lindsay laughed of course because she knew Kelly was an eternal klutz.  But she said it sounded good to her and told her to be herself, and that he was lucky she was going out with him.  Kelly said “so we are not freaked out that he is in a wheelchair right” Lindsay said “does it bother you” Kelly said “you know at this point, not at all” and Lindsay said “I have to say, it might hinder some girls but not you, that is just not who you are.”  Kelly said “we will see I guess, I need to not get too far ahead of myself.”  Lindsay replied with all the good stuff a best friend tells you to pump you up. 

Alex, thought he would do a trial run and see where she lived, he was not sure quite where that address was.  He put it in the GPS and found out it was actually about 15 minutes from his apartment near campus.  When he realized it was near the bay he thought ow my who is this girl.  He drove past her lavish building that had a door man and underground parking.  He thought for a second he may be in over his head.  Friday morning, he had butterflies, how to pull this off and distract her from his obvious issue, the wheelchair.  It was his nemesis and lifeline.  After he talked with his brother he realized he needed to be himself, if there was any chance of this going well he needed to be himself.  His brother reminded him that he was a pimp and chicks flocked to him and Alex told him he was full of shit, but thanks.  What if it was a pity date?  That occurred to him Friday afternoon, not sure why he had not thought of that sooner he began to panic. 
She left work a little early to get a mani-pedi.  She wanted to feel good about herself; she was going out with this gorgeous man where did he come from?  She got to her condo and tried to relax by playing on facebook, she wondered if he was on facebook, I am sure he is but she did not even know his last name.  She wondered how old he was, he looked younger but seemed older maybe.  Did he have a job, what he did, ow this was not good.  She was 32 and thought for sure she was older but how much.  What if he was a jerk, what if he wanted to get her into bed, she had no idea what she was doing, and going out with someone she knew nothing about this was crazy. Even on a blind date someone fixed them up.  But she had to admit this was the most excitement she had in a long time.  She went into her large bathroom and took a nice long shower and took her time getting ready.  She loved her outfit; the skinny jeans looked great, probably because she did not eat all week because she was so nervous.  It was about when she got the text, she replied be right down.  Finished her redbull, usually a glass of wine would have done the trick but wine and margaritas are not a good combination so she gulped it and off she went.  She saw a small white car and realized that was him. 

He pulled up and thought should I pull out the chair and open the door for her, that would be very cumbersome.  There she was, stunning she looked just as he remembered.  She got in the car and as awkward as it was it wasn’t.  He drove a nice Camry, she saw his chair in pieces in the back, which did not phase her, it made sense.  They said their hellos and off they went.  He said “you do not live far from the restaurant and he hoped she liked Mexican.”  She said “I am up for anything.”  He said “they have great margaritas” and she said “great because I have to admit she was nervous, going out with a complete stranger and all.”  He chuckled and said “you live in a great part of town, and asked if she liked living on the bay.”  She said “I did not really pick it but I do love it.”  He could tell there would not be a shortage of conversation.  She asked where he lived and he said he was a law student and lived close to campus.  She was intrigued, how old was he, still in school, he seemed older to her.  She asked what kind of law and got cut short because they were at their destination.  It was a colorful restaurant, she thought it looked fun.  They parked in the handicapped spot and he said very politely if she got out first he could get his chair out and they could be on their way.  She said sure and hopped out, should she offer to help.  It was awkward but she waited while he put his chair together and hopped in his chair.  He seemed to be rushing and she said “don’t rush on my account.”  Before she knew it he was beside her.  He went ahead enough to get the door for her.  He maneuvered very well, but she wanted to get another good look at him to be sure that he was as attractive as she remembered, but she did not want to stare. 

He had reservations and they went to a table and the waitress quickly removed a chair and they sat and looked at each other and smiled.  He said “this is weird right?” Kelly said “ow my god yes, for so many reasons.”  He chuckled.  The waitress came and delivered chips and salsa and asked if she could get them a drink and he said I think two margaritas sound good.  Kelly added water and then he did the same.  She told him she forgets she has a low tolerance and did not want to embarrass herself, but she does love margaritas.  He told her not to worry, she was not driving.  He said “so tell me, you are not from San Francisco are you?”  She said “no how can you tell?” Alex said “it’s just a hunch” with a smirk.  Then she told him how she worked for Smith Trans Inc and how they moved her here and how it’s going to be another six months.  He was impressed; he wondered how old she was.  She then said “how about you are you from San Francisco?”  He quickly said “no” and while he was telling her about Colorado and his home town she could tell he missed home as he just lit up like a Christmas tree.  She kept staring in his eyes; they were gorgeous, almost crystal clear.  She tried not to drink her drink too fast, although it was hard because it kept her hands busy.  They were so busy talking they still had not ordered.  He had mentioned that he got his undergrad in English Literature quite a while back and she said “why the lull between degrees?”  He said “well that’s when I had my accident” and he told her how a truck lost control and crossed the median and nearly killed him without going into too much detail.  She did not ask much, it was a tough subject for a first date and if he wanted her to know he would tell her.  He was very comfortable with himself that was obvious.  She said “so here is the million dollar question” and he smiled and said “what?” inquisitively.  Kelly said “do you go around San Francisco picking up girls in coffee houses?” She shot him a killer smile”.  He said yes, you caught me” and then said “no seriously I am still shocked that I got up the nerve to ask you out.”  She said “why?” he said “it’s just not something I do, but honestly, I wanted to see you again so it was either ask you out or stalk you and I thought I would try this first.”  She and said “well I am glad you did, I am having a great time.”  She said “again, I am so sorry for falling on you like that, I am still mortified by the whole thing.”  He said “I am not it got us here” she said “well that is true.”  The margarita was kicking in so she asked how old he was and he said 30 and then she said she was 32.  She was relieved and must have looked it he said why that face, she said “when you said you were in school the quick math made me think you were possibly a little young for me, but that is an acceptable age” with a wink.  He wiped his forehead and smiled.  The waitress came back again and they said they better order soon.  So they looked at the menu he said he always gets a burrito and she said she liked fish tacos.  So they ordered.  The conversation flowed.  They talked about family, when he asked her about hers she lit up.  She loved her family.  Her mother and her brother and sister all lived in the suburbs of Cleveland.  She showed him a picture of her nieces, who she adored and missed so very much.  He said he had one brother who was getting married that summer, he said it was weird having his little brother marry before him but, they were very different.  He adored his parents and thought they were the best around.  It was going great, her nerves had calmed perhaps it was the tequila. 

She had to remind herself that she had a race in the morning so she should not overdo it.  He asked what she raced and she said it was a 10K and that she did them weekly and that she loved running.  He said that prior to his accident he was a runner and that he missed it.  She said “wow, I can’t imagine” it was the first time she really acknowledged his disability.  She wanted to keep things light so she just left the pause.  He then said “where are you running” and she told him in east San Francisco it was the Epilepsy run.  He could not believe she raced every weekend, she said there was a group of them that did it and it helped pass the time and she did really love it.  He said he could tell she was athletic, she took it as a compliment.  He asked about her times and was impressed, she was serious, she liked that he knew about running as it was a big part of her life, honestly it was her best friend.  He said that the 3 years had been all about studying and that he had the bar soon.  They talked San Francisco and about what he would be doing this summer.  He said he was not sure, he could go home or stay in San Francisco, time would tell.  They were kind of in similar predicaments.  Dinner came and she noticed for the first time that he did not have full use of his hands, they worked but were stiff.  She only ate one taco and he asked if it was OK and she said yes it was wonderful but she was full.  She had worked so hard to lose the weight she believed in moderation and not over eating especially before a race. 

She again was taken away by his beauty and also now she thought he was a pretty nice guy.  So they talked and talked and time passed, before they knew it, it was almost and the restaurant was clear except for the bar.  They chuckled at how they lost track of time.  He thought he should get her home since she had a race in the morning.  He could tell he was really going to like her, and hoped she felt the same.  He took care of the check and led her to the car.  She stood up and could tell she had a little too much margarita but she was happy and that felt great.  She asked if he wanted to get in first and he said “yes that would be great.”  She said “take your time.”  He again rushed it and was in pretty quickly; she got in and said “for a total stranger who could have been a serial killer, that was a lot of fun.”  He laughed and she noticed his gorgeous smile again.  She got goose bumps, she thought she needed to stop this, she was 32 years old.  The chit chatted about the race and his studies.  Before she knew it she was in front of her condo complex.  She said “well thanks Alex” and he said “this may be presumptuous but I would love to do it again’ and she shook her head yes.  She was not sure what to do, as he was not going to be able to get out.  She needed him to know she was interested.  So she leaned over and gently kissed him on the cheek and said “thanks again.”  He blushed.  He had no idea that was coming, but he was thrilled she did it because he knew she was having the same feelings.  He could not remember a date that went that smoothly.  He drove home with a smile on his face and all the while thinking what should he do next as he needed to make it. 

She was not sure if that was the right thing to do, but she really wanted to.  She was nervous would he call again.  She hoped so.  She went to bed as she had to be at the race site at .  She had trouble sleeping as the night played in her head on and on.  She was sluggish but glad she had her race to distract her.  She met up with her running friends and before she knew it she was off, her IPod blaring, and her feet in motion.  She loved running, it allowed her to block everything out.  She turned the bend and crossed the finish line, not her best time but not her worst.  She was exhausted.  As she turned around to walk up on the grassy hill, she thought she saw him, and then she did a double take and it was him.  She did not know what to think.  She walked over and said, wow what a surprise.  He said I could make something up but I wanted to see you again.  Her heart sank.  She said, “I am glad you came.”  Her running friends came over and asked her time, she told them 45:22 was not something to get excited about and then introduced them to Alex.  That is when he said his last name Miller, she thought good to know.  She said she would be right back, and went and got water as she was thirsty and a little overwhelmed.  Then she sat on the grass next to him.  They exchanged glances and did not say much.  She said thank you for coming, what a great surprise.  He said “I am glad you did not think I was a crazy stalker.”  She said “wow, I look gross, and he said no you look great.”  She asked what he had going on that day, he said some studying and she said she had some work to do as well.  Then she said “you know what, back home Sunday’s are big family dinners and I love to cook and never have anyone to cook for.  I am Italian and I make a mean sauce, why don’t you come over for dinner tomorrow night.”  He said “that would be great, a home cooked meal would be great.”  She said OK my place 6 tomorrow.”   Then she added “but you can come whenever you want.”  She felt like she had a permanit smile on her face.  They began to walk towards the cars, they got to his and she again said thanks and that she was looking forward to dinner, he said the same.  Then again she leaned down and kissed his cheek.  Where this behavior was coming from she was not sure, but it felt right.  He drove away a happy guy, like her kisses it was a risk going to the race, she could have been upset, but she wasn’t quite the opposite.  He was really looking forward to dinner, he thought if she can cook she really is the total package.  He watched her climb into her gorgeous BMW. 

She went home showered and cleaned her place up a little as she did not have much company.  She thought about what she was going to cook.  She called her Mom for help, her Mom sounded glad that she was doing something besides work; she worried about her little girl being in San Francisco all alone.  She got the sauce recipe and some good ideas.  They were going to be alone, that was good but slightly nerve-wracking, what to wear.  She headed to bed early as she was exhausted from the day.

Alex was happy she was handling the second date, as he had no idea what they should do next.  He did some studying although he was distracted, she must like me if she keeps pecking me on the cheek. Rachel stopped by and he told her, again she was not real interested, she did not have anyone or date much so perhaps she was a little jealous.  She said so you don’t think she is strange, he did not reply to that.  He wondered is she was on twitter or facebook.  He searched and there she was, but she was private.  He did not want to seem like a stalker so he did not friend her.  He kept busy and also turned in a little early. 

Sunday morning he went to the library did some studying in case he did not get home till late.  He texted her around lunch time to ask if he could bring anything, she replied with a quick no way, I love to play hostess.  So he thought he would pick up some flowers.  He had pretty bad muscle/leg spasms from time to time; there was no way of knowing when his dysfunctional body would act up.  It was part of the deal, quadriplegics spasmed some worse than others and of course he had the luck of being on the worse side.  He thought he had been lucky so far that he really did not spasm too much around her, nothing too noticeable anyway.  But he feared he would have one of his all out spasms and freak her out before he could have a talk with her.  He also dreaded having to explain to her how he urinated through a tube 3 times a day and it took forever.  He thought he would try to plan it as best as he cold so not to have to cover that any time soon.  She did not seem too curious and that was comforting.  He figured its part of the deal, might be good to get it out of the way.  He figured she was being polite and at some point she would start asking questions.  Then he thought it had only been one date he needed to not get too far ahead of himself. But if history predicted the future, he knew covering the uncomfortable stuff up front was important if he wanted this to last. He watched some basketball as he was an avid fan of anything sports. 

She was busy, she got up early and went to the Italian store and then the bakery, the bakery was her weakness, she loved sweets.  She bought 4 cupcakes for dessert and thought she would send what was not eaten home with him and she could not be trusted around sweets.  She got some fresh bread and went home to start the sauce.  She had gotten some fresh spinach ravioli as that sounded yummy.  She made great salads so that was easy.  She got dressed in a khaki skirt and a cute pink shirt and a cute little apron.  She pulled out a bottle of red wine and had a glass to calm her nerves.  He came around , she had told the door man he was coming and to point him in her direction, she adored the door man, for a while he was the only person in San Francisco that she knew.  He knocked and she let him in.  She sort of forgot about the chair and panicked a little, she hoped he could get around her place. She had butterflies again, why was this guy making her feel like this.  It was wonderful.  He had flowers which she thought was sweet, she actually hated flowers but she liked the sentiment.  She put them in a vase and told him to make himself at home.  He thought her place was nice and told her so, she said she liked it but it was not “hers” and that was annoying but it suited her just fine.  He asked if he could help and she said no, but would he like a glass of wine, and he said “ow yea.”  Before they knew it just in casual conversation, they kicked one bottle of wine.  She had set the table but forgot to move a chair, which she meant to do, so she tried to casually do it as she was plating dinner, he just looked at her and said thanks.  They talked all through dinner, he was thrilled that she was an amazing cook and loved the salad.  He considered himself a healthy eater but she was much healthier than him and he thought that also was good.  For some reason, he noticed her breasts and how gorgeous they were, she had a v neck on and he wondered how someone so athletic could have such a nice rack.  He was very attracted to her. 

She started to clean up dinner, he offered to help and she said no way.  He brought some stuff over to the sink and then she said “well that’s enough, out of the kitchen.”  He realized then that she did have some Italian in her.  She nudged him out.  He asked her if she watched much TV and she said just a few shows and he said he liked the educational stuff and sports and the typical guys stuff.  She said put on whatever you want I will be right in.  She had a nice little buzz from the wine and she filled their glasses up and brought them in.  She sat on the couch and patted the seat beside her and said “join me.”  He said “sure”, she said “I saw you hop in and out of the car you can join me.”  Very forward of her, but he was starting to expect that from her.  Also feeling a buzz he said, “the chair really does not bother you does it?”  She said, “why would it?” sort of confused.  He said “some people get hung up on it”.  She really did not know what to say, so she waited a second and said “I really have not given it much thought, is that bad.”  He said “no its not, not at all.”  Then she remembered dessert.  He said he was full and she said “I may not eat a ton but I love dessert, she said you must share a cupcake with me they have been talking to me all day.”  He said “well if you need me to.”  She jumped up and his chair was wedged in between the coffee table and couch and of course she stumbled over it, she just looked at him and giggled.  He smiled.  She said “get use to it I am a klutz!”  He said “I am starting to get that idea.”  She came back around the other way and said “OK this will be heaven I promise.”  She gave him a bite then she took a bite she was facing him.  He said “wow that is good” she said “I may not know many restaurants but I know where the bakeries are.”  He told her she had frosting on the corner of her mouth and she said ow jeez, and he went to wipe it away and then she leaned in and he kissed her.  It was perfect harmony.  She kissed him back.  He put his hand on her lap and she gently grabbed his face to pull him closer and he could not necessarily turn towards her effortlessly.  She loved his kisses he was good.  He put his hands on her sides and she felt like she had been waiting her whole life for his touch.  They took a break he said “well now that is out of the way.”  She said “yea” and then went back in for another.  She said “I need to be careful because I don’t want you to think I am that type of girl, but I have been thinking about this since we met.”  He smiled and blushed and said “that’s good.”  Then they talked some more and she said she had to travel with her boss this week, to New York for two days.  He had some tests and his brother was coming next weekend.  He said I want you to meet him, she said sure.  Her phone rang and it was her niece Mia.  She put her on speaker and she talked about what every two year old talks about nothing.  She told her that her baby sister was bad, they giggled.  When she hung up he said “you do miss them don’t you?”  She said “yes but they are not my kids.”  She said she was going on vacation with her family this summer and looked forward to that and maybe a trip home in the fall.  They realized it was getting late and Monday comes too soon.  He maneuvered himself back in his chair while she grabbed the glasses as she went to head toward the kitchen he grabbed her waist and pulled her onto his lap.  She said “ow Alex I don’t want to hurt you” and he said “impossible” and kissed her.  She was lost in his eyes for about a minute and not even thinking she said “you are gorgeous” and he said “so are you.”  He rubbed her back and she knew he was checking for a bra and she loved the suspense of him not knowing for sure if they were real and she knew he was dying to ask.  She let it go.  She kissed him again and said “you better go because soon I will have no self control.”  He smiled and said “where in the world did you come from?”  She said with some wit, “Cleveland, Ohio of course.”  When he reached the door they kissed again and said they would talk this week. 

She went to bed with a smile on her face and wondered when they would see each other again.  He went home and thought this might actually be the real thing, but then again they had not touched on what dating someone like him was like.  She had to be wondering about sex and he knew it would come up although she really did not seem interested and he thought that was good but odd.  She was probably being polite, which was fine.  He facebooked that he just had an amazing night.  He liked to be a mystery.  He did not put a lot on facebook but he went on and nosed around quite a bit.  She had also facebooked that right when you stop looking you trip over what you are looking for.  He also decided to friend her.  She saw it and said yes but thought that opened up a new can of worms because they were both going to spend the next hour looking at each other’s pages.  He saw what she wrote and blushed and clicked like so she did the same.  She looked at all his pictures, she was a little taken back by the number of photos with girls.  She called her sister and told her to log in and look and she said Kelly he is hot, but he is a hot player in a wheelchair.  She did not like that.  She said she did not get that impression; maybe he was waiting for the right girl.  She said he had about 90% female friends and hot ones that in all his pictures, she said he is a player alrigtht.  She figured she would keep her eye on the ladies in his life, that was not going to fly.  She was confident but she had a jealous streak.  It was weird looking at his life.  He thought it was nice that she has so much of her family and liked seeing all of her hot girl friends from home and realized why she missed it so and thought she is never going to stay here, which made him sad but he kept looking.  He did not know she had masters in psychology, interesting.  He went to bed with sweet dreams ahead. 

She was up bright and early ready for Monday it had been one week since they met at the coffee shop, she did not see him there but she looked.  She could not focus to save her life; Kristy wanted details so they went to lunch.  Kristy loved how happy Kelly was, it was a nice change.  She had to do some firing when she went to New York and that was weighing heavy on her mind.  She was known for being good at it, that is where her psych degree helped but it was never easy.  Her boss pushed her though because he liked it even less, but it needed to be done.  Someone once said she can fire you and make you feel like it is what you wanted.  Now that was definitely not always the case.  She never rushed it and always had tissues on hand and she even helped them figure out what they were going to do.  She came up with very fair severances and treated them with respect.  Her boss would sit there and nod, which annoyed her but if he could do then she would not have a job.  So for as happy as she was she dreaded the week ahead. 
Alex went to class and had lunch with his friend Andrea and told her all about it and she like Rachel was not too interested which was getting on his nerves.  He wanted to see her before she left but did not want to overdo it.  Then around he got a text that said “don’t take this the wrong way but I can’t stop thinking about you.”  He replied “same here, what should we do about that?”  She said “I am now leaving tomorrow afternoon, what’s on your agenda tonight?”  He replied “not much”  Then thought he would love to show her campus and it was a beautiful day so the evening should be the same.  He texted “why don’t you let me show you campus” and then he thought this is silly, and called her.  She answered and said “sorry texting is impersonal” and he said “no I can’t type long things, it’s not as easy for me” and laughed and she felt awful and said “ow my I am so sorry I did not realize.”  He said “no I did not mean it like that.  I also just hate texting.”  He forgot that she does not know his sarcasm yet.  He went on to say “why don’t you come over here and we can take a walk on campus?”  He told her where he lived.  She said “that would be lovely.”  He said to come around 6 and he would show her around.  She thought she would miss her run, but who cares right it’s just one night.  It would be the first day off in three months.  She went home and got her packing done and put on what she thought was a nice sweat suit type thing and tied the jacket around her waist.  She thought she looked too sporty but could not think of what else to wear.  He was happy she would be seeing where he lived, it was not much but it was his and it would be an insight into his world.  He loved campus so he was excited to show her.  She packed for the dreaded trip and then headed over to Alex’s.  She was excited to see his place, but considering the stage of life he was in she did not expect much, although she loved that he would be a lawyer she always wanted to date a lawyer she knew he was very smart.  She hated to admit it but status was important to her, she could never date someone uneducated or someone who did not have a decent job. 

She pulled up and saw that he lived in a first floor condo apartment type thing.  She saw his car and parked and went to the door.  She rang the bell and he opened the door and let her in.  He thought she looked so good in her sweats.  She wanted to grab him and kiss him but she held back.  She said “hello” and it felt awkward that breaking the ice again, but he said “let me show you around” and she saw he had an electric wheel chair as well and he said fully noticing her reaction to it “when I have to jet around campus for class that makes things easier” she said “I bet.”  She saw a few chairs and small kitchen adapted for him.  She told him it was nice and it had that home feeling that she is definitely missing.  He said he loved her place and she said “yea but all the stuff is rented its weird.”  He asked how her day was and she said busy.  He said the same of his.  She said she did not want to go to New York and he asked why and she said she had to let about three VP’s go and she knows their wives and they have kids and it just sucks.  He said “wow that does suck.”  He asked “why” and she explained.  She said she felt they were getting a good severance but she has done it a thousand times and it never gets easier.  She did not want to talk about it anymore.  He wondered why she did that job if she hated it so much, but another time.  He said lets go, and off they went.  He said there was really just one place he wanted to take her.  It was the quad in the center of campus.  There was a little hill and she felt bad as he worked hard, but she did not want to overstep.  They got there and it was nice, there were students everywhere camped out.  He found an empty bench for her to sit at.  Someone he knew came over and said hello.  She sat down and told him it was gorgeous.  He leaned over and kissed her, she kissed back and then said “thanks.”  He said “no need.”  He said he was sorry she was bummed about her trip and she said “it comes with the territory, there are things I love about my job the end result is usually pretty great, when you take two divisions consolidate and make one group.  Sounds weird but I like it, and it has been very good to me.  I love New York though.  I love to shop and see all the busy.”  He said “I liked looking at your pictures” and she said “I wish I could say the same” and he looked shocked and she quickly said “no there just is a lot of you and lots of pretty girls.”  He said “ow, everyone wants to be my friend, they treat me like I am a puppy or something.”  He said “hey I have been a very single guy and if a pretty girl says hi what is a guy to do.”  She gave him a half grin and changed the subject.  She said at least it was early spring in NY, she does not like traveling when it is snowing out east.  He said he loved the snow as they get a lot back home  She remembered his brother was coming town and inquired about that.  He said he was driving through sort of and would be here late Saturday afternoon and leaving Sunday morning.  She said “that is a fast one.”  He said “what does your weekend look like?” and she said “Saturday I am racing at the park and then that night I am having dinner with the girls I run with and that is really it.”  He said “well I know we are going out on Saturday night maybe we could meet up, I would like him to meet you.”  She said “sure that would be great, the girls all have kids and such so they usually go home early it would be nice to go out.”  He said “great!” 

It was getting dark so they headed back.  He could tell she was not in the best mood and she wasn’t.  He got her a glass of water and she nosed around and looked at pictures, his family looked so nice and normal, which was comforting.  She looked forward to meeting his brother but was nervous a little.  It seemed early to meet family, but who can plan such things.  She kept noticing how hot Alex was.  Did he ever look bad, even when he was younger he might have been hotter.  She asked him if he ever had an ugly stage.  He said “what?” she said “well I had an ugly stage.”  She then told him how she had lost a lot of weight, he said wow, but it did not really seem to faze him.  But he said that made sense why she was so conscious of being healthy.  He started to spasm a little she tried to ignore it but it was pretty strong he said “you can ask”  She said ‘if you want me to know something you will tell me  He said “if you want to know something ask, I can’t really read what if anything that you might be curious about.”  She said “honestly I have not thought a lot about it, is that bad?”  He said “no but I am not sure I believe you” and seemed distracted by the spasm that was still going strong.  She said “well maybe in a moment but it passes and I forget.”  He said “like?” and she said “sometimes I wonder if I should lend a hand” and he said “I will ask and you can offer it, I will be honest.”  She said “I just don’t ever want to offend you” he said “honestly you can’t and if you do I will tell you.”  She said “well that is comforting” with a wince.  He said “Kelly if this is going to work we have to talk, this is not easy and I am not going to sugar coat that.”  She said “OK” putting her head down like she was scolded.  He was trying to work out the spasm by picking his legs up and lifting up in his chair repeatedly, he said “this is honestly the worst part, I have them under control much better now, but they still suck big time.”  It was making him very rigid and he was leaning back he looked like he was in pain.  She said in a much quieter tone than she usually spoke in “does it hurt?” and he said “sometimes with a shaky voice, it hurts the pride more, when I am in class or in public or in front of your new girl friend” with a puppy face.  She for the first time felt bad for him.  It seemed to subside, he looked flushed, she knew she had to show acceptance somehow and she needed to do it fast.  She walked over and sat on his lap and said “your new girl friend thinks you are easily the sexiest man she has ever seen” and grabbed his face and kissed him deeply.  He put his hands on her side and kissed back.  He then said “thanks.”  She said “no problem.”  She said “if you need my help ask, if you want me to know something tell me, I will ask as it comes promise.”  She then said “deal” and  he said “deal.”  Once again he was amazed by her attitude.  So they continued to make out.  He again felt her back and she knew but she thought just a little longer leave him in suspense.  He was too much of a gentleman to ask.  She said she better go, big day in the morning.  She wanted to stay but it was not the night for that.  Plus she wanted to be a lady.  He looked disappointed, but she was not good company in her opinion.  He thanked her for coming over and told her to have a good trip and that he would call her and she said great.  They kissed and she headed out the door.  He wished she had stayed but knew her head was somewhere else.  She drove home wondering where this was going, she felt something for him, something scary different.