Chris had arranged for the moving van to come the next Saturday. It was going to haul away all his furniture and belongings, and take them to D.C. forever.
He’d hired a company to do basically everything for him, since I guess it’s not so easy to haul furniture when you’re in a wheelchair. Chris is the first person I’ve know who has moved and not asked me to help carry a sofa down a flight of stairs for him. There are going to be two strong moving men who will do it for him.
I know that once he moves, that’s it. Once he’s living hundreds of miles away from me, I don’t see how we’re going to manage to get back together. Basically, it’s now or never.
I head over to Chris’s apartment in the late morning. I don’t want to catch him in the middle of directing furniture, when he’s really stressed out. I figure I’ll wait for them to pack most of his stuff away, and then we can talk. I don’t know if I can talk him into letting me move in with him—maybe that ship has sailed for now. But at least maybe he’d be willing to get back together. Maybe he’s ready to forgive me.
God, I hope so.
When I get over to Chris’s apartment, I see the moving van is already gone. My stomach clenches up. Is he already gone? Has he already hopped in his car and driven off to D.C.? Am I already too late?
With shaking hands, I pull my iPhone out of my purse and say, “Call Chris.” His number pops up and I wait to hear his voice. It takes five rings and about five years of waiting, but he picks up.
“Samantha?” He sounds shocked to hear from me. “What’s wrong?”
“Are you home?” I ask. “I mean, in New York?”
He’s quiet for a second and I almost burst into tears. “Yes,” he finally says.
Thank God. “I’m downstairs. Can I come up?”
Another long pause. “Yes.”
He buzzes me up and I’m in his apartment in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. He’s already got the door open and he’s waiting in the hall for me. As usual, he looks adorable in a rumpled T-shirt and jeans. My resolve strengthens. I can’t let him get out of my life. I love him.
“Samantha…” In addition to looking adorable, he does look kind of tired. I guess spending a week packing all his belongings will do that to you. “What are you doing here?”
“I…” I squeeze my fists together. “I wanted to say goodbye.”
No, Sam! Don’t chicken out!
“Oh,” he says.
“And…” I take a deep breath. “I wanted to tell you that I’m going to miss you. A lot. A really lot.”
Chris looks at me for a long time, then he says, “Why don’t you come on in?”
I follow him into his apartment, expecting bare walls and no furniture. Instead, it looks exactly like it did last time I was here. There are a couple of boxes on the floor, but he clearly didn’t spend this morning moving. It looks like he has no intention of moving at all.
“You didn’t move,” I say.
He grins at me. “You catch on quick.”
I look around, completely stunned. “Why not?”
“Because…” He shifts in his wheelchair and folds his hands together. “I love New York. I really don’t want to live in D.C., especially close to my parents.”
“Yeah, I can see that,” I say, disappointed that his feelings for the city were all that kept him here.
“Also,” he says quietly, “I knew that if I left here now, there was no chance of us getting back together. And I just couldn’t let that happen. I love the city, but I love you so much more, Samantha.”
My heart slams in my chest. I’ve imagined and hoped for him to say that so many times that I can’t tell if it’s in my head or if he’s really saying it. I guess it’s real. That or this is one vivid dream.
“I overreacted,” he says. “You told me something I didn’t expect and I just freaked out. But I’ve had time to think about it, and to be honest…” He lifts his eyes to meet mine. “I’m beginning to think it’s kind of cool.”
OK, I am definitely dreaming. He’s not really saying this, is he? Please somebody pinch me. “Really?”
“Well, yeah.” He smiles and scratches his head. “All these things that I stress and worry about with most women… you’re okay with those things. More than okay. Like, when you caught me in the shower and I was sitting on the bench, you weren’t thinking how crippled I looked and questioning why you were going out with me. You were thinking that it was…”
He stops, unable to finish the sentence, so I finish it for him: “Sexy.”
He blushes slightly. “Yeah. Sexy.”
I smile at him. He gets it. Thank God, he gets it.
“But what about your job?” I say. “I don’t want you to give up a job that’s totally perfect for you just for me…”
Chris grins at me. “That’s the best part. I called up a place in the city that had given me a ‘maybe’ and told them about my other offer. They offered me a position at a higher salary than the job in D.C. I took it, obviously.”
I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Chris got his dream job and he doesn’t even have to move. He can stay here, in New York, and maybe…
Maybe the two of us…
I bite my lip, unable to even form the words in my head. I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. Chris does seem to be more accepting of the whole devotee thing, but I know the two of us are still far from okay. We can’t just pick things up where we left off.
“I really missed you, Samantha,” he says to me, staring into my eyes.
Or maybe we can?
“I was thinking,” he says, his ears turning slightly pink. “I really need to, you know, get over myself if I want to make you happy. So…” He takes my hand in his. “Whatever you want to do, Samantha, whatever would turn you on, just tell me. I want you to be able to explore it.”
I squeeze his hand and slide into his lap. I love sitting here, I truly do. “I really just want you.”
Chris grins at me. “Oh, come on, Samantha. You’re holding out for a disabled guy for thirty years, and now you say you just like me for my personality? Bullshit.”
I study his face, wondering if this is some kind of trick. But I doubt that. He seems to mean it.
Wow, anything I want…
“Well,” I say, running my finger along his jaw. “I always wanted to take a shower with you…”
“That,” he says, “would be really sexy.”
He gives me a ride to the bathroom. Once we’re inside, I do a striptease for him, pulling my clothes off one by one while he watches. Then he pulls his T-shirt over his head, and I get to see his fantastic chest. “You have the most amazing muscles,” I whisper to him.
“You have the most amazing everything,” he murmurs back.
He turns on the shower so that the water can heat up. Then he hooks his thumbs into the belt of his pants and manages to get them down below his butt in one slightly jerky motion. I watch him as he pulls his legs out of the pants one at a time. As he’s removing them, his eyes briefly meet mine. “Is this…?”
“Yeah,” I say. “It really is.” So sexy.
“Okay,” he says and a small smile plays upon his lips.
By the time he’s completely naked, I’m so wet that I’m practically dripping. He faces me, naked in his wheelchair. He is so freaking sexy. I can tell he still feels a little self-conscious about his lower body, especially his lower abdomen with its lack of muscles, but bless his heart, he’s really trying.
He glances over at the shower bench with a bit of a skeptical look on his face. “You really think this is sexy?”
I can see why he might not entirely believe it. A shower bench is not what most people would traditionally think of as sexy. There’s a plastic seat that looks very much like the seat of a toilet, which is where he will sit, and then another bench to help him slide onto that seat. There are two grab-bars, one at the side of the shower and one at the front. It’s not mainstream sexy, like I said, but I’m far from mainstream. “I really do,” I assure him.
He transfers onto his shower bench, lifting his legs into the tub one at a time. He’s directed the stream of water from the lowered nozzle so that it doesn’t hit him directly in the face and he’s got a second nozzle to help him clean himself, but this particular shower definitely isn’t about getting clean. There’s a towel hanging on the edge of the tub, which he tosses onto his wheelchair to keep the seat dry when the shower is over. He looks over at me again, a worried expression on his face like maybe now that I’ve seen it all, I might change my mind or something and think he’s gross. No freaking way.
I get into the shower with him and get on my knees in front of him, although there admittedly isn’t a ton of room. I’ve never seen him so entirely naked in a sitting position before, and he knows it. At first, he’s trying to sit up straighter, to hide the lack of muscles in his belly, but then as I start kissing his chest and abdomen, he gives up the fight and relaxes. It makes me realize how few times he’s really entirely relaxed around me in all the months we’ve been together. But now, he’s beginning to relax. I can see it.
“Samantha…” he moans, his hands on my wet hair, my neck, my shoulders. I bend over him, although I’m worried about straddling him because that would involve putting my full weight on the bench and I have no clue how strong it is. We are both soaking wet and my skin slides against his.
And then I sit on his lap and my lips find his, and we kiss like the ship is going down. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this kind of passion before. Honesty really is the best policy.
I feel his fingers on my clit as we continue to kiss, and then my lips slide away and find that sweet spot where his neck meets his shoulders. We’re both having so much pleasure, it’s practically agony. And then we have what is very nearly a simultaneous orgasm.
Chris looks up at me and blinks through water-studded eyelashes. “That was incredible.”
“It really was,” I agree.
“I really wish you had told me sooner,” he says. “I mean, think how many months of unbelievable pleasure we missed out on.”
I laugh. “Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind for next time.”
“Next time?” Chris looks at me, a hurt expression on his face.
“Lighten up, I was just joking,” I say, pecking him on the lips. To be honest, I’m kind of glad about his reaction.
“Good,” he says. “Because I don’t want there to be a next time for you. I want to be the only paraplegic you get to hook up with.”
“How about quadriplegics?” I tease him. “Can I hook up with them?”
Chris shakes his head. “Nope.”
“How about blind guys?”
“You like blind guys too?” he asks in mock horror.
“Not like I like you,” I whisper in his ear.
Chris smiles shyly at me and pulls me close to him to kiss me again. I’m pretty sure that this guy is going to be the only paraplegic I ever hook up with again. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be the only anything I ever hook up with again. He’s The One and he’s all mine. I am such a lucky biatch.