It was turning out to be a scorching hot day. One Saturday at the end of July, Sam had woken early to go for a run, looping through the dry grass and the sleepy cows on the edge of town before panting up the towpath into town and, as she sprinted through the market place while the sellers were setting up their stalls, preparing for the rush of summer tourists, she felt the sweat drip through her hair and down the back of her neck.
"Urgh, gross," she breathed as she struggled up the stairs to Alex's apartment, more than thankful that Will was spending more and more nights with Eva, and wouldn't be there to witness her return. An ice cold shower would be so welcome, and she could even sit on Alex's shower chair if her quads gave way like they were threatening to do as she reached the final step.
Alex had obviously opened the door at the top of the stairs for her after she'd pressed the buzzer at the bottom, before crossing back over to the kitchen. Now as she came through the doorway and closed it behind her, he stood leaning against the counter with an enormous pint glass of weak lemonade for her.
"My hero," she breathed, taking it from him but keeping her distance, flapping the hem of her top a bit to try and circulate some air over her extraordinarily warm body. "God it's warm out there, and it's only 8am!" She chugged the liquid down and tried not to choke, and held it out for him to refill. "More please," she grinned, hooking a sweat-soaked strand of hair out of her eyes.
Taking it from her with a chuckle, he swivelled on the spot, using the counter for support, and reached for the cupboard, one hand on the work surface. "Coming right up," he smiled. "What do you want to do today then?" he asked, running the water a bit to make sure it was cold.
"It's a perfect day for a swim," she said immediately, bending one leg and leaning forward over the straight one to stretch her hamstrings out. "What do you think?"
It wasn’t until his silence went on a fraction too long that she looked up. What little she could see of his face seemed pained and embarrassed. “I...err... don’t really swim.”
“Why not?” Her surreptitious googling about paraplegics seemed to imply that it was a decent form of exercise; a good way to take the strain off the lower parts of the body. Then again, what did she know really? It had only been three months since their reunion, and though things had been more open than before, he hadn't exactly been forthcoming about certain details.
He swallowed. “Er… it’s unnerving. I… I don’t trust that I won't drown, I guess.”
It seemed an understandable enough fear, but she couldn't think of anything to say. “Fair enough,” she mumbled after a few more seconds.
“You like swimming though, don’t you?” he asked, running a hand nonchalantly over her airborne asscheek and giving it a tender but simultaneously cheeky squeeze.
She straightened slowly. “Love it.”
He smiled. “Maybe we can go together then.”
“But… but you just said…”
“You make me reckless,” he smiled. “In all the right ways.”
She laughed and put her arms around his neck, tipping them both gently back against the counter.
"I do have a spare guest pass to my gym," he said, kissing the side of her head and then tilting his head back to look at her more clearly. "We could go today if you wanted..."
His nervous heartbeat, which fluttered in his ribcage like a trapped butterfly, gave him away, so she said. "Only if you're ok with it..."
He huffed a soft laugh and said, "Sure. What time do you want to go?"
"After I grab a quick shower," she said, slithering out of his arms.
The movement caught him off guard and his hand flew to the counter to stabilise himself. "Careful," he cautioned gently.
Leaning in to give him an apologetic kiss, she rose up on points and whispered in his ear, "I'm sorry." Then she was darting off to his room to change and shower.
Alex was sitting in his wheelchair, working at his desk when she came out of the bathroom, and she remarked to herself how easily he now seemed to make the transition between 'standing Alex' and 'sitting Alex'. Fading into the past was the awkward, guilty look when she 'caught' him taking the weight off his feet by using his chair.
He looked up as she reappeared. "Mmmm," he murmured as she closed the door and took off the borrowed bathrobe, hanging it on the back of the door and standing, unashamedly naked, in front of him. His dark eyes wandered down her body searing an invisible line down between her breasts, and he released his wheels and pushed himself back from his work, swivelling around so that he was facing her. His hands reached out found her hips and he drew her body half a step closer so that he could plant a soft kiss just above her naval from where he sat.
"Alex," she said, only half sternly, "Don't distract me, or we'll never get to the pool..."
"Fine by me," he grinned, playfully yanking her closer still, close enough that he could wrap his arms all the way around her and press his scarred cheek against her cool, slightly damp skin.
"Don't make me use my ninja moves on you," she chuckled as his wavy dark hair tickled her.
She laughed as he turned his face up towards her with his puppy-dog eyes all wide and innocent, "You wouldn't..." he pouted playfully, "Not on your poor crippled boyfriend..."
A frown flickered across her brows and she looked closely at his face. "I might, if pushed to it. And especially if he's going to try and use that as an excuse..." she said.
He laughed and released her, saying, "I remember making a crip joke a long time ago in the car which made you uncomfortable. I should try not to spring them on you like that; I'm sorry."
With a bark of laughter, Sam began to look around for some clothes, and said, with her head buried in the wardrobe, "I just don't like it when you use it as a 'get out of jail' card." She ducked around the wardrobe door and fixed him with an arched eyebrow and a cheeky grin, adding, "And it wouldn't be free you know."
His response was to tip back into a wheelie and poke his tongue out at her like a small boy.
He's only acting like that because he's nervous about swimming, she told herself.
Her suspicions about his discomfort were confirmed as she noticed that his shoulders were high and his leg was playing up as he drove to the sports centre. When they got there, he puffed a quick sigh and asked her to bring the bits of his chair round from the boot of the car. He slid the wheels on and threw the cushion into the seat of the chair before reaching out for it and swinging over the gap. His ankles were a little shaky as he placed his feet on he the footrest: still nervous, she thought with a small pang of guilt. Manoeuvring the chair nimbly around her, he made for the rear of the car. "My gym bag is in the boot," he said by way of explanation as he zipped around the chassis, closing the driver's side door behind him with a practised flick as he left.
The gym was open, spacious, quiet, and Sam smiled as she saw the water of the pool glittering behind huge plate-glass windows. Alex looked less excited. In fact, he'd gone a delicate shade of green.
"You sure you still want to do this?" Sam asked, laying a hand on his giant shoulder.
"I don't look that bad do I?" he laughed.
Her hand squeezed him gently, reassuringly, and she asked, suddenly unfamiliar with the protocol, "See you in there or...?"
"Yeah, I'll see you in there." He took her hand briefly and then moved away towards the ground floor disabled changing room which led directly into the pool area.
With her fluffy towel hung on a peg on the wall, she perched on a wooden bench to wait for Alex, but when he showed no signs of emerging, Sam decided to get a few lengths in. Bobbing her head above the water some time later, she saw the door on the far side of the pool open, and Alex wheeled out. She nearly swallowed a huge gulp of water as she saw his gorgeous body appear as if out of nowhere between breaths of air. His sculpted bare chest with its sprinkling of dark hair and his hulking shoulders were muscular and perfect enough to make any girl swoon, but Sam wasn’t just any girl: she was his girl. The seat of his chair was covered in a fluffy white towel, and the thighs of his slender legs were safely concealed behind baggy, black swimming trunks. One knee bounced.
She ducked beneath the lane-marker and swam over to where he had stopped in a quiet corner of the free swimming section. Surfacing right in front of him and trying not to feel like she was re-enacting a scene from Baywatch or something, she pushed her hair back and gave him a smile. He turned his black eyes down to her and gave another one of his nervous puffs of breath.
"What's next then?" she asked.
"I lean down and get out of my chair," he said quietly, reaching down for the slippery tiles and swinging himself gently, skilfully onto the floor. He pushed the chair back away from the edge with a shove that was almost vicious and added, "I should probably make sure no one falls over that..."
However it began to roll slowly away at a different angle, beyond his reach, following the draining slope of the poolside, so Sam hopped out and moved it back to where he'd left it, setting the brakes and trying not to drip all over it.
"Cheers," he said, clearly noticing the positioning.
When she returned, he was lowering his legs one by one into the water. There was only one other swimmer, a grey-haired lady in her early sixties in the "serious swimmers'" lane, but still Alex glanced nervously around as his legs spasmed at the change of temperature. She slid her body into the cool water, trying not to splash him as she did so. He's doing all this for me, she thought as his toes clenched rapidly. They settled down pretty quickly though, and she looked into his face. "Still feeling reckless?" she smiled.
"I wish," he muttered. Alex was clearly reluctant to leave the safety of the side and get into the water. After holding some kind of silent debate with himself, he grudgingly shuffled himself closer and closer to the edge of the pool and, with his hands gripping the tiles like eagles' talons, he blew the air from his cheeks and whispered, "Here goes..."
He plunged his body into the water but never let go of the side. He turned around, away from her, and Sam realised he needed a moment of privacy, so she floated gently back from him by about a metre. After a minute or so, his foot began to sink down to the bottom of the pool again, he turned back to face her and said, "Sorry... I forgot how much the change of temperature affects me. It's been about five years since I've been in a swimming pool..."
"That long?" she asked, inching closer. His hair was wet and little droplets ran down his cheeks, some following the line of his scar like a river in a gully. It was intoxicating to be so close to him, so attracted to him, in such a public space. Floating near to him, she ran her hands around his chest, loving how different his skin felt beneath the water, and then, holding him close, she kissed his wet face and looped her legs around his hips, feeling a gently vibrating spasm in his quad. She could feel his heartbeat going at a million miles an hour as well.
"Mmm," he said, even managing a smile, "But it certainly wasn't this good last time."
She could see that both his arms were still outstretched along the wall, hands gripping the edge, knuckles white, but nevertheless she slipped off him and reached for his right hand, knowing that his preference for strength and stability lay in his left side. She tried to pry it off the wall, but it stuck there like a root in a riverbank. Her eyes flitted to his face and he looked a bit wild and more than a little frightened. Her big strong Alex was frightened. "I won't let you go," she said, "And I won't let you drown either."
One by one, the fingers of his right hand peeled themselves from the grooved edge of the pool, and in no time, his hand was in hers, fingers clamped around her tiny hand until they hurt. She ignored the pain easily enough. They just stayed there, Alex holding Sam and the side with equal parts terror and discomfort, Sam holding Alex's hand and standing square, with her feet securely on the mosaic bottom of the pool, until she began to feel his grip loosening a fraction.
Intending to readjust her grip, she moved her fingers a little, but he redoubled his hold. "Don't let go," he shot suddenly, jerking his arm and unintentionally splashing them both.
"I wasn't going to," she reassured him, gently leaning forward to kiss his cheek affectionately. "You're just holding me very tightly..."
His fingers lost a little of their strength and he asked softly, eyes now wide with concern instead, "I wasn't hurting you, was I?"
"No, I'm tougher than I look..." she grinned. She looked along the length of the almost empty pool, and said, "You fancy moving a bit?"
That thought seemed to terrify him, but he swallowed it back and said, "Er, what do you have in mind?"
"Nothing Olympic, just working our way along the pool a bit. You can hold me, or the side, or swim, or do whatever you want to."
His little nervous smile was gorgeous, making the butterflies swirl in her stomach. "I think I'll just hang here for a minute, you know, get used to being in the water again, but you should go off and swim a few lengths. Don't get cold waiting around for me."
"You sure?" she asked. "I did come here to be with you. I've done my exercise for today already..."
He gave a little laugh and said, "No, go off and swim and let me reacquaint myself with being weightless again, ok?" As he released her hand, he turned himself around, bringing his right palm down over the edge of the pool next to his left so that his chest faced the wall and his back faced Sam.
"Sure," she said. But since she'd been presented with that broad, handsome back, she moved closer and slipped her hands around his torso again, pressing her lips into his wet skin, holding his cool body close, feeling the muscles tense as steel beneath. "I love you," she whispered in his ear. "I love you, Alex."
She heard his reply and felt his rumbling laugh in his chest as she stayed, stuck like a limpet, to his body, and it filled her with the most glorious feeling. She began to kiss his shoulders, working from left to right, over his spine, and then she moved her small hands over his pecs and upper abs. He tilted his head back and his knuckles regained a little of their colour. "Are you trying to make me fall off my little perch," he murmured sightlessly over his right shoulder.
Taking the opportunity to kiss him unexpectedly, literally blindsiding him, she stretched up and planted one right on his cheek. "No, I'm not, but I am trying to make this a bit nicer for you. Is it working?" She nibbled his ear and smiled as she felt some part of his lower extremities begin to shake.
"Uh-huh," was all he could say. The shaking dissolved away, and he turned himself around, splashing a bit of water into her face by accident.
"Hey," she giggled, rubbing her eyes, "Watch it!"
"Sorry," he smirked. "Go on," he jabbed his head at the other end of the pool, "Show me how this whole swimming thing is really done..."
"Alright," she said, ducking her head below the water. She pushed her hair back from her face as she surfaced again, and then, taking a lungful of air, she dived below again and left Alex behind, heading for the other end of the pool.
It was further than she had reckoned, but she kept the breath locked inside her til she reached the end, challenging her lung capacity to the max. Without stopping to resupply, she did a racing turn and shot like a torpedo back towards where she'd left him. To her surprise, she discovered that he was trying out a few strokes down the pool, testing his buoyancy and stability, but he promptly stopped and grabbed the side again when he saw her returning. Taking a huge gulp of air, she surfaced a few metres in front of him to find him laughing.
"What?" she asked, out of breath, wiping water from her face and eyes before swimming slowly over.
"I didn't know I'd fallen in love with a mermaid," he said, his left hand clamped itself back onto the side of the pool while he spoke. Suddenly, his right hand shot out and hooked around her waist, and he drew her close with a rush of water and a grin. "Come here. Don't go swimming off again just yet, will you?"
"Only if you come with me," she grinned. When their lips connected, she felt him smile beneath the kiss, and he began to run his right hand up her spine and back down again to where it got significantly cheekier. His fingers seemed to enjoy the feel of her round, strong cheeks beneath the lycra of her black bikini, but he didn't linger long enough to be indecent. "Will you? Come with me, that is?" she asked, pulling back a little.
"Only if you promise to go slowly."
"Ok then." He released her with a degree of reluctance, and began to move at a sedate but perfectly acceptable - even impressive - pace down the pool.
Despite his fitness, he clearly began to tire after a few meters and started to sink a little. His fingers scrabbled nervously for the tiles as his chin dipped below the little waves, and he pulled himself to the side.
"It's harder than I remember," he said nervously.
Sam smiled, slowing and floating over to him. "You're doing great, and it has been a long time." She refrained from saying quite how impressed she was, in case he thought she was being patronising. Instead, she took a quick glance to see that his arms were both securely on the sides of the pool again before reaching her arms up around his neck, and hooking her legs up around his hips. It was easier than she'd imagined to move him in the water, and she was able to swing his lower body forward away from the wall so that she could fit her legs around behind him. As their hips connected, she thought felt him growing hard against her and wondered if it was a reflex to the unfelt touch or whether he was thinking of what he'd like to do to her. She tried not to give away the fact that she'd felt him, but there was a bit more fervour to her kiss than there might have been otherwise.
"Mmm, you really are amazing," he said, pulling back with a grin.
"I try my best," she replied with a smile of her own. "You want to go again?"
"Kiss, yes, swim, not so much..." he said, shaking his head so that the droplets shivered from his hair onto her face.
"Come on," she said, unhooking her legs from his which drifted like kelp in the current created by her movement.
"You'd make a very good physiotherapist with that attitude," he grumbled good-naturedly as he began to follow her.
He made it much further this time, and though he seemed just as tired when he did stop, his eyes had lost their look of background terror. She pushed her heavy, wet hair back again and said, "Forgive me for pointing this out, but you actually look like you might be starting to enjoy yourself a bit more..."
From his new perch on the side of the pool, Alex laughed. "You know? I think you may be right. It must have something to do with the company..."
They didn't stay all that long in the water after that. Alex seemed to get nervous again, reluctant to stay in the water, or to go far from the edge, so Sam suggested they head back and get some lunch. However she was surprised to see when she got back to her locker in the changing rooms that they had actually been in there for much longer than she'd thought. No wonder he looked so exhausted.
Back in the small kitchen of the apartment, with Alex in his chair busying himself with concocting some kind of pancetta, lambs lettuce, toasted walnut and fig salad, Sam kissed him gently on the neck from behind and said, "I had fun today. I hope it wasn't too awful for you..."
Midway through scraping the chopped fig off the board into the bowl, he paused and glanced up over his left shoulder at her. "I'm glad we went."
She laughed. "Me too; I love swimming. And I'm not going to lie, I loved getting to see your gorgeous body all naked and wet..."
He didn't really seem to believe her, and he turned his attention back to the salad. "I think that should be my line," he murmured wryly.
Don't go away; don't shut yourself off from me; not after all the fun I had this morning, she thought sadly as he began to retreat into his safe shell. "You get to call the shots for this afternoon," she said brightly. "Anything you want to do, we do. I owe you at least that much..."
He put the salad down and washed his hands in the low sink before turning round and saying, "I can do anything I like?"
He looked mischievous, and she took a jokingly nervous step backwards. "Well..." she said warily.
His smirk broadened into a grin and he advanced, pushing his rims forward with a short, sharp jab. "No, you said I could do anything..."
"That didn't include me," she countered with a playfully arched eyebrow.
He feigned shock. "My, my," he exclaimed. "What a dirty mind you have. Here's me thinking I can test drive the new Wii U and inflict a good few hours of Mario Kart on you, and here you are thinking of something else entirely!" He pushed his rims forward again and charged her, looking for all the world like he was going to ram right into her, but he slammed on the brakes at the last minute and dragged her into his lap. "Come here, you," he laughed, kissing her on the neck and breathing out, making her shriek as his breath tickled her skin.
She writhed and wriggled as he tickled her, moving playfully with little mind for the safety of either of them. As the tickle-torture eased off, she realised his knees were bobbing furiously beneath her and she wondered if she'd kicked him or something. She glanced up over her shoulder into his eyes, only to find them locked on her face with the strangest expression on his own. "What?" she asked, shuffling a bit as she lay against his chest
"Nothing," he smiled. "I'm just thinking what a lucky guy I am that you decided to give me a second chance."
"I thought we weren't going to talk about that any more?" she said.
"Yeah, I know. I'm sorry." He kissed her forehead, and the movement of his legs underneath her, throwing her around too, drew his attention to the spasms. He motioned for her to get up with a little jerk of his head, and as she rose, his right leg straightened out a bit, tangling between her own and nearly tripping her up.
"You sure you want me to leave?" she grinned as she found her feet. "Coz it looks like they want me to stay..."
His smile wasn't all happiness as he looked briefly up at her before returning his action to stopping the spasms. After a quick knead of his thigh muscles, the leg began to behave itself again, and he sighed, "Looks like it's one of those days..."
"Perfect for Mario Kart and logging sofa hours then," she smiled.
With some emotion behind his expression, he returned her smile and said, "Alright then, I'll fire it up after lunch."
With her tummy full of delicious food, Sam sank into the cushions of the sofa and watched while he set the game up. Then he fetched the controllers over and returned to her. She thought he might stay in the chair, but he surprised her by transferring to the sofa. She watched his shoulders stay high and protective, so she shuffled herself towards him and put one hand gently on his left thigh, giving it a tender squeeze between her fingers. Then she reached and kissed him right on the junction of jawline and neck, and he tipped his head back with a sigh of pleasure this time, his whole body melting into the cushions. "Ah, Sam," he murmured, "You make everything better."
She laughed and took the controller he offered her. "Don’t flatter yourself; I'm just softening you up so you're not too sore when I beat you on the rainbow road in a moment's time..." she giggled.
"I see. Well, bring it."
Their shrieks and whoops must have rung out down the street like church bells on Sunday. As the afternoon progressed, they switched from Wii U to Portal 2 on the PS, and spent many hours firing cubes through blue holes, dodging turrets and getting insulted by GLaDOS. She seemed to find Sam's ineptitude and Alex's brilliant lateral thinking a huge and endless source of entertainment. They broke off only for bathroom breaks and then to order pizza that evening, collect it from the door and some beers from the fridge, before returning to the sofa and the screen.
When they finally switched the PS off it was around eight. "Ahh," he sighed, flumping back into the cushioned back of the sofa. "That was fun." He held his beer bottle up briefly before he drained the dregs and said, "I salute your valiant effort, but I remain the unbeaten champion on the Wii U and the PS."
"You do; and I bow to Your Greatness," she laughed, doing a mock bow where she sat, legs crossed on the sofa next to him.
"You never have to bow to me," he said, the undercurrent of seriousness carrying clearly in his voice beneath its joviality.
She flashed him a smile and said, "Well, I can think of a couple of situations where it might come in useful..."
His scarred smile lurched and he cuffed her playfully around the back of the head with the flat of his palm. "Again, my saintly Sam is not as angelic as she seems...!"
"Who can blame me when you're so damned handsome and when I've not seen you for a few weeks?"
"I know, this summer internship of yours sucks, but at least you've not got long now."
"It just means I have to make up for lost time when I do see you..."
A quick frown ghosted across his eyebrows, as though he didn’t quite want to let himself believe that she was horny for him and him alone. He leaned back again, moving, shuffling, as though something wasn't aligned right. He shifted his weight twice, and rearranged his legs with his hands, but he still didn't seem comfortable.
"You ok?" she asked.
His dark eyes were warm but shy as he said, "I'm just really tight and twitchy today, that's all."
"Did it have anything to do with the swimming?" she asked, feeling a little pang of guilt.
"No, I was like this most of last night as well. You didn't notice?"
"Sweetie, I was exhausted when I got in from London yesterday - I went straight to sleep and didn't wake til 7 this morning. You could have brought a herd of elk through the apartment and I wouldn't have known."
He barked a single, loud laugh and said, "Ok then. Good to know!"
"What, for the next time you're smuggling elk through Cambridge?" she asked with a grin.
"Yeah." He seemed so grateful that she was proving yet again that while his disability was important, it wasn't a big deal, and he let his shoulders relax as he breathed out. "You want to see if there's a film on or something?" he asked.
Feeling in need of something a bit more cultured than the loud colours of their Mario Kart filled afternoon, they settled for Master and Commander: Far Side of the World, which Sam had seen at school and loved, and Alex and just finished reading the book. She nuzzled up to him, resting her head on his huge shoulder as the film began quietly on a dark scene with the steady, precise ringing of a ship's bell.
When it was over, Sam moved up off his shoulder as Alex reached for his chair. "Be back in a bit," he said, and she knew he was headed for the bathroom.
She lounged on the sofa like a sleepy housecat, caught somewhere between turned on and tired. Maybe it had been the good-looking lieutenant with the scar on his face, or the relaxed closeness between her and Alex that afternoon, or maybe it had been seeing him almost naked earlier but not being allowed to do exactly what she’d wanted, but whatever it was, she had a need, a heat, growing inside her. When she allowed her mind to turn to Alex's body, and the warmth between her legs surged, she found her answer.
When he returned, she saw that he'd changed out of his loose, sexy jeans and that he was barefoot, his feet visible on the footrest of his chair, looking pale and naked in comparison with the black fabric of his trackpants. At the sight of him, the aching that had begun sometime towards the end of the film now throbbed all the stronger, and she turned her searing, dark eyes across the room at him.
Immediately he noticed the change in her as he saw her stretched out on her back on the sofa, and he came gracefully over, stopping right beside her and running his big, rough, scratchy palm up under her top, which made her eyes close and her lips open with pleasure. He moved over her belly and up between her breasts, cupping the soft lace of her bra gently in his fingers before sliding back down her body to the waistband of her shorts. "You're so gorgeous," he murmured as her eyes rolled open again.
"So are you," she said, sitting up.
"You think?" he asked.
"I know." She leaned forward. "Put your feet on my lap,” she said, patting her thighs softly with her hands, "And I'll show you." Alex looked sceptically at her for a moment, and then he seemed to abandon his worries with a little shrug, and carefully lifted his legs one at a time into her lap with a shy smile.
Sam touched the exquisitely soft skin of his feet, sensing a tingle run right through her, beginning at the contact in her fingertips and pulsing through the entire network of nerves in her body. She felt the beginnings of a tremulous spasm in the arch of his foot as she touched him, and she ran her fingers from heel to toe, looping around the ball of his foot, knowing he had some sensation there, if only the vaguest shadow. Suddenly the whole foot gave a shuddering spasm, toes folding in, clenching together, quivering between her finger and thumb, and she smiled as it fell quiet again.
Alex was still looking at her with the strangest expression on his face. She knew it baffled him how completely she’d come to love his body, just as it was, not wishing it any different. In the past few months since their reunion, whenever she began circling and running her hands over his lower body like this, he’d worn that face for a few seconds: it began as a flash of embarrassment, prompted by the lack of control over his reactions, and then he’d relax as he focussed on her face, and on the gentle sensation of her fingers passing over the areas of sensitivity.
Now, she took her thumbs and began to work the soft muscle and skin of his feet, under the slightly collapsed arches. She felt that heat rising from her centre, beginning to fill her up, and she flicked her gaze up to Alex’s face again, seeing the same soul-fire kindling in his dark eyes. Her hips squirmed slightly under her as she felt herself starting to get wet. She ran her hands along the top of his soft feet, over his delicate ankles, circling them once with her fingertips, before moving up his thin calves, beneath the loose black tracksuit trousers. He tilted his head back, eyes closed, a breath escaping his lips along with a half-smile as she clenched his small, tight calf muscles in her fingers. When she pushed the material up and reached his tense thigh muscles, he gave a moan. She knew where he had feeling, and if not feeling then some kind of sensation, and took full advantage of those sensitive places.
He’d not set his brakes, and she took him gently by both calves and inched him closer to her, the wheels silent on the rug. He lifted his head and when their eyes met, she gently lowered his feet to the floor just in front of the footplate, running her palms up his thighs again with considerable pressure. “You really want it tonight, don’t you?” he asked, his voice husky and full of feeling.
She nibbled her lower lip and crawled along the sofa towards him, her top hanging low enough for him to get a full view of her breasts.
“Take that as a yes,” he whispered, placing a finger lovingly under her chin for a moment before leaning in and leaving a brief kiss on her lips. Drawing back and putting his hands to the push-rims, he then wheeled away a little, his feet dragging on the rug, so that he was clear of both the sofa and the coffee table, and she had a clear exit.
“Come here,” she said before he went any further from her, stalking barefoot towards him. She rested one hand momentarily on his thigh, the other on his calf, seeking his permission to lift his legs onto the footplate. His nod was brief but clear. Once his feet were stowed beneath him, she turned around and lowered herself carefully down onto his legs, her back to his chest, and looked up over her right shoulder at his scarred cheek. He leaned forward and planted a kiss tenderly on her skin, just at the junction of collarbone and neck. She let out a sharp breath of exquisite pleasure at the touch of his lips, and he whickered a soft laugh, his hand moving back to her breast.
That was the spark that lit the bonfire. In a heartbeat she was standing, facing him, leaning forward towards his blind eye, out of his field of vision. He turned his head slightly to follow her progress with his left eye, but she’d moved too quickly for him, and her hot breath was on the delicate skin of his ear before he had any warning. Her tongue moved softly along the fold of his ear, beginning at the lobe and working its way up, until his chest was heaving with pleasure and he moaned, “Oh… please.”
“Please what?” she returned, combative and flirtatious, drawing back, away from him.
"You know what..." His dark, intense eyes had already given her the answer though, and she turned and started to walk towards the bedroom, hips swaying, shorts barely covering her, vest top hugging her impossibly tiny waist.
His calloused palms were gripping her hips before she’d gone more than three paces, and he pulled her into his lap. The force of her landing sparked spasms in his legs and she moaned as she felt them beneath her centre. He laughed again, more softly this time. And then he was sliding a rough finger between lace and skin with beautiful tenderness, and he teased the skin just above her throbbing bud with the very tip of his finger. She let out a groan and rolled her head against his shoulder. Then he had withdrawn his hand, and she felt his great shoulder muscles rolling as he pushed her along on his lap towards the bedroom. “You tease,” she whispered, receiving a low chuckle in response.
"I need my hands right now," he said innocently, his voice deep and inviting as they moved over the threshold to his room.
Managing to climb somehow from his lap, despite being entirely weak at the knees, she crawled again onto the bed and turned to look at him with a feeling of almost feral desire inside her, unlike anything she’d yet felt.
Alex, however, was looking a little different. “Hold on,” he muttered, and turned around, making for the bathroom. “I won’t be long.”
“You’d better not be,” she smiled, watching him go. A phrase he’d said in the early days of their relationship floated into her mind: sex with a para is never going to be spontaneous. Nothing we do ever is. She was still finding that out, but Alex was a guy worth waiting for, she knew that now. Just his touch sent her into paroxysms of pleasure. She craved more of him at each touch, yet each little movement was almost too much to bear.
When he came out of the bathroom ten minutes later, she was lying, naked as the day she was born, with the duvet folded back at the bottom of the bed, her arms raised above her head, wrists crossed in a position of utter and impulsive submission that surprised even herself. This was the first time in the three months since he had met her at the airport, since she had come back to Cambridge to commute to London once more, since she had known for certain that she was going to take him back and keep him, that they had gone this far. All the way, kind of far.
The moment he saw her the breath went out of him and he closed his eyes. “You are so beautiful,” he breathed, opening them again and hanging back for a moment in the shadows of the dark doorway. The only light source was the dim lamp behind her, and it cast such a soft golden glow that it looked like she was radiating the light instead.
She giggled. “Get over here.”
Drawing the wheelchair up beside the bed, he transferred, landing softly on the white sheets. He lifted his legs up and placed them down carefully, slowly, knowing now that she liked to watch him, watch the different way he moved, before rolling his body over to face her and running the forefinger of his left hand from her chin, down between her breasts, circling the nipple of each one with his thumb so that they hardened. Her chin reared slowly towards the ceiling as her head rolled upwards the further he moved down the centre-line of her body, over her smooth stomach and down towards where she was growing steadily wetter, but he never quite got where she really craved his touch.
Sam knew how he felt about his lower body, and how he was still reluctant to let her see the paradox of strong, muscular chest and arms next to the weaker, atrophied and stubbornly unresponsive legs, but she found it an intoxicating mixture of power and serenity. “Please,” she whispered as she ran her hands under his top, tugging gently and insistently. “This time?”
He looked to her eyes for reassurance, she could see that now, and she smiled softly with her whole body, willing him to relax. The tiniest nod. The tearing off of t-shirt. The appreciative sweep of her palms across his tight pecs and abs. Her fingers inching around the waistband of his tracksuit, and the shudder that ran through her as she pulled them clear of his pale legs, felt electric. He lay back against the pillows, his boxers sitting only an inch or two below the transition from strong to weak, and she worked her hands gradually up his legs towards his dark boxers while his legs quivered without his permission, betraying his feelings. Placing her hand over him, she felt him rise a little at her touch, and she heard him gasp suddenly. She turned her dark eyes to his face. He grinned momentarily and his smile alone said, yes, I can feel that. Just how much he felt it, she couldn't be certain. She ran the flat of her palm along his length, finding he was only at half-mast.
“That’s about as far as it gets without help,” he said, sounding apologetic. “I did just take something… should kick in soon…”
“I can explore more of you then,” she said, running her hands from the very base of his half-hard cock up and over his break. His breathing hitched for a second as she passed the super-sensitive line of his injury, and both his legs rippled into spasms. She glanced down the length of his legs to where his toes were clenching rapidly too. Suddenly, she felt his rough fingers on her chin, guiding her eyes back up his body, away from the bits he hated. She pressed her naked body reassuringly against him, then swung a leg over him and leaned forward in apology to take the thick, corded muscles of his neck between her lips.
He moaned as she put gentle pressure on the skin with first her lips and then her teeth, and then began to kiss her way gently down his neck towards his collarbones. His breathing became quick, shallow and raspy as it left his hot, muscular chest in fast pants. Her hips rolled instinctively against his, locking down in line with his pelvis, feeling him growing against her eager body, his boxers dampening with her own wetness. His legs were cool against hers, in livid contrast to his burning torso. She nipped and sucked at his thick, strong collarbone and he gave a low, rumbling groan, bringing his sandpaper palms down to grab her cheeks, controlling the speed of her grinding hips with gentle strength.
She pushed herself up slightly, raising herself on her press-up-strong arms, and manoeuvred further down his chest a little way. When she had shuffled a few inches down his torso, she ran her hands in a single, appreciative sweep across his chest, before lowering her lips gently down over his nipple, teasing, promising, and only when he had closed his eyes with a pleading moan did Sam finally let her tongue land lightly on the soft skin of his smooth nipple.
His whole body froze, his massaging fingers biting almost painfully into her cheeks, and then in a tidal wave of shudders, his chest started to heave, followed by the tiniest rocking in his weak hips. “Christ, Sam,” he hissed, rolling his head back, pressing it into the pillow. “Chri-” she cut him short as her teeth closed around the nub of his nipple, sparking shudders even in his lower abs all the while she kept a content, moving pressure on him with her tongue and teeth. She could watch him like that all night.
A harsh growl of pleasure burst from him as she released him, leaning back and sitting up, running her hands down his beautiful body towards the sensitive patch of skin by his right hip, just below the break.
"Christ," he hissed again, breathing hard.
She snuck her fingers under the waistband of his boxers and flicked her eyes up to his face, seeking permission to do this one last task. He hesitated, unease and pleasure seeming to race through his whole body together. He gave a shuddering nod and she immediately worked on tugging his boxers clear of his body, succeeding with relative ease while he made the gargantuan effort to hitch his hips up to help. She saw he was now much more than half-hard.
Sam abandoned his boxers beside the bed, and grasped him quickly and firmly with her right hand. He inhaled sharply, his heavily lidded eyes rolling backwards again, closing in exquisite pleasure. With a smile, she began working first his shaft and then his head in her hands, feeling him growing a little harder with each pulse. Then after a while, sure that he was not thinking about his own embarrassment any longer, in a smooth, sweeping, instinctive motion, took him in her mouth. The movement of her body made him open his eyes, and when he saw her, saw exactly what she was doing, the gasp he let out, followed by the second, larger shudder in his body, rippling from his chest down to where she was gradually taking more of him, was pure magic. She ran her tongue from the base to the tip of his cock, tasting the slight saltiness at his tip with a smile, before taking him between her lips again, caressing him beneath with her free hand while he gripped the wooden slats of the headboard with his right hand.
“Please,” he whispered after a while, “I’m going to come if you keep doing that, and…” he took a shallow breath and tried to continue, but his words were slurred, like he was drunk on her touch. One quad was pulsing. His eyes were barely able to focus on her face and he struggled to lift his head from the pillows to speak to her. She slowed the rhythm of her tongue and then drew his cock slowly from her lips. Trying to let him speak without letting him cool down, she continued to work his head with her hand. “And.." he tried again, eyes still rolling a bit, "I haven’t done anything for you yet.”
“You’ve done more than I think you know,” she smiled, reluctantly releasing his cock entirely as he moved and focused his eyes more successfully on her where she now lay on her side next to him.
He managed to lever himself up onto his elbow, his hips hanging from the end of his spine, and ran his hand up her thigh and over the flat surface of her tummy. She rolled obediently onto her back and let his touch send electric pulses through her nerves as he caressed her collarbones and then her breasts in his strong but so gentle hands.
Her body had risen like a sand dune in the wind at his sweeping touch, and as he lowered his rough hands towards her centre, her whole body anticipated his touch with burning eagerness. “You’re so beautiful,” he murmured as his finger began to tease the soft groove above her hooded bud. His touch lowered and he suddenly stopped, his fingertip frozen momentarily in place.
A trickle of adrenaline replaced her pleasure – why had he stopped? – and her eyes flew open. “What?” she demanded.
His eyes were incredulous and wide. “I’ve hardly touched you,” he whispered, “But you… you’re…”
She laughed in relief, tossing her head back, hair spilling over the pillow, and said, “Now do you believe me when I tell you you’re the most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen…?” she murmured.
The discovery of her wetness seemed to intensify his desire for her, and, finally, he delicately began to coax her bud with his fingertip. His touch began like a whisper, promising to take her higher than the clouds, and she could have screamed there and then. Within moments she had started to shake like she was on the San Andreas fault as his fingertip stroked her centre with tiny, teasing, pulsing movements. He grinned as she started to writhe, slowly at first, twisting her hips to try and get him to focus his touch a little more, and he kept her teetering on the edge until there were tears in the corners of her eyes. He was resting his torso on one arm, propping himself up with a bicep that bulged as it bore his weight so that he could watch her eyes roll, her lips part, and her breath come and go in gasps. One of his legs was shivering against hers, a cool and insistent presence behind the other sensations.
He had clearly made a judgement call on what he was allowed to do, and suddenly he slid a finger inside her and she let out a throaty cry as his thumb first teased and then pressed directly on her swollen clit. The slow rhythm pulsed through her like hot magma and she gradually began to lose her vision as he took her nearer and nearer to the limits of her endurance. Suddenly, as the pleasure became so intense it was a heartbeat shy of painful, white heat seared through her and her hips bucked wildly, her back arching, her stomach clenching like she had spasms of her own, a loud, high, yelling scream tearing from her lips before she could stop it.
It was as though all her senses had blurred into one, and she was hearing the echo of his fingers on her skin in the silent buzzing in her ears, and experiencing every pleasure under the sun on the tiniest inch of her body. Finally, she couldn’t see or hear anything as she lay flopped amongst the folds of the duvet cover. After a while his face came into focus, staring lovingly at her while she recovered, a slight smile on his lips. "You came big," he murmured fondly.
“Mmph,” she breathed, reaching up and running her hand around his face, which was more than a little blurry around the edges.
His eyes rolled shut with a soft whicker, and he lowered himself gently down next to her and lay while her heartbeat slowed and movement returned to her muscles.
She ran a lazy finger over his chest, hardly daring to believe that she was this at peace with another human being. “My turn,” she eventually whispered in his ear.
She pressed her chest into his, and he clamped his arm tightly around her torso, sculpting her back slowly and deliberately, like it was made of clay. She had had enough strength return to one leg so that she could drape it between his where they lay, quietly accepting her presence this time. However, as she drove her toes appreciatively down the inside of his shins, the muscles reacted beneath her once more, and he took a raspy inhale as sensation blossomed briefly.
Deciding to wake him slowly again, she let her fingers trace the perfect geometry of the triangular shape above his collarbones, circling his nipples as his breathing intensified. He was particularly sensitive there, and she knew for a fact that she could make him come just by taking them between her lips and teeth, but as she took his left nipple in her mouth, and mimicked the movement of her teeth and tongue with her right hand, he murmured, “Tonight…?” and she knew that this time it would not be enough. So she finally acquiesced.
She swung herself up smoothly and swiftly like she was mounting a skittish horse, guiding his head towards her opening with her hand. She was tight, too tight to let him plunge straight inside her, and she leaned forward against the furnace of his chest, working her hips slowly in gentle figure-of-eight patterns until he was a little way inside her entrance. His chin jutted to the ceiling and he could barely keep his eyes from rolling shut, which they did with a frequency that brought a mischievous smile to her lips. When his eyes were open though, they drifted from her eyes to her breasts.
She was wet, but still, she needed to take him gradually. Gone was all the fear of the past: this was how it was supposed to feel. The deeper she took him, the faster and raspier his breathing became. Finally she sat up, feeling his hard length slide fully inside her, filling her, his eyes closed in ecstasy, scarred lips parted with a groan.
Eyes still closed, Alex’s hands were on her hips, and he began to move her, guiding her blindly until they reached a steady rhythm. Leaning forward just a little, she took his hard nipples between her finger and thumb, and applied the tiniest amount of pressure while grinding against him with her hips in a quickening rhythm. A low moan rumbled in his chest, followed by a series of sharp, panting exhalations, and as she gradually worked the sensitive nipples, his breathing seemed to reach a kind of frenzied peak.
She rolled her hips back and forth over his, feeling herself rapidly approaching a second peak as his legs shook violently beneath her. “I’m close,” she whispered in his ear. “I’m really, really close.”
His lips parted and he leaned his chin forward, his right hand reaching up and pulling her head and her torso down closer to his.
He began to work his teeth onto her shoulder, having discovered a few weeks earlier how much she liked the sensation, and as he bit the triangle of muscle above her collarbone, his hips gave an almost imperceptible buck against her and it was the spark that set her off again. As he came with a soft grunt, his right knee drew itself up against her ass with a sharp jab that barely registered through her pleasure. She saw stars as she slumped limply against his heaving chest, sweat sheening between her breasts, her body draped across his, feeling the pounding of their heartbeats. He grunted softly again, and he slumped into the pillows, his hands falling away from her body. He looked utterly and beautifully spent.
Imperceptibly over the next few minutes, after his right leg had lowered itself back to the mattress, she felt his breaths become slower and deeper, and he eventually opened his dark eyes a little. His eyes were so adorably unfocused, lids weighed down with blind pleasure that Sam’s smile got broader and broader.
“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered, his words slurred, his eyes wandering blissfully over her bare breasts, lingering lovingly on her collar bones and the sweep of her neck.
She slid half off him so that she lay next to him, with her right leg still partly draped over him, just below his cock which now lay against his thigh, and they stayed breathing together for an unknown number of pounding heartbeats.
When her inner equilibrium had eventually returned, she said, "I think I'll go and clean up."
Eyes still closed, he hitched a lopsided grin but said nothing.
When she returned, she found him sitting up, looking a little uncharacteristically unstable as he reached for the seat of his chair. He caught her eye and smiled again, this time a bit bashfully. "That was intense. I can barely transfer," he laughed softly.
With a small giggle, she put an old t-shirt of his on which she was using to sleep in, and nibbled her lower lip, pretending to look innocent.
"Don't you turn those Bambi eyes on me," he said with a hoarse grunt as he landed on the gel cushion and lifted his limp legs onto the footrest one sat a time. "You know exactly what you've done."
"I didn't hear any complaints," she said, sliding under the soft duvet.
"No, you didn't," he smirked, rolling towards the door.
Settling onto the pillow, she couldn't have wiped the smile off her face if she'd tried. It was the first time she'd been with anyone since Laurence, and she knew she never wanted anyone but Alex ever again.
The soft click of the door barely registered, nor did the gentle dip in the mattress as he returned some time later. She felt soft, heavy arms folding around her, one sliding under her neck, the other falling over the scoop in her waist, and she gave a soft exhale as she was tugged backwards into his protective body. Sam used the last ounces of her energy to press her legs against his so that their two bodies fused in a perfect seam.
"Just think," he whispered as she hovered on the edge of sleep. "When you're doing your PhD here in September, we can do that as often as we like."
"Mmm," she murmured, "I'd like that."
Me too, said his soft kiss on the back of her head.