Friday, February 28, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 7

Ariana watched Jason closely as he approached the table and her heartbeat quickened. His chair fit perfectly with him, the frame of the chair a dark green color, his backrest not too high, about to his mid back and there were no arm rests, his hands in the gloves were directly on the rims of the chair, moving them slowly as he wheeled through the place carefully not to bump into anyone. His dark brown wavy hair looked a bit tousled, strands of his bangs in his forehead as he smiled at her from a clean shaven face. He wore a dark colored T-Shirt with some tribal design on in and blue jeans which looked somewhat loose on his legs, the knees close together and his feet in dark sneakers side by side and perfectly still on the footrests of his wheelchair. He came wheeling up to the table and looked down nervously for a moment, then up at Ariana.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 8

Ariana sighed and looked after Jason disappearing. Right away doubts of her approach overcame her. She wasn’t ready for a relationship, she was too busy, too occupied with her job and didn’t feel like she had enough time and energy to invest into a serious relationship. Jason was attractive to her and she wanted him but she didn’t want to give him false hopes on starting more with her. Any guy would probably go right for a proposition like that; what could be better than having a sexual relationship with no strings attached? She was surprised at his outburst of anger and assumed that he probably would never ever call her again. Maybe he was sensitive because of his disability and she had to admit to herself that she didn’t exactly have any experience with disabled guys. Her blunt approach was probably too much for him. So far she had only lusted after disabled guys, usually paraplegics on the Internet looking at their pictures, videos or reading about them, sometimes watching movies involving a disabled character. She felt bad now thinking about what she had said to Jason. Most likely she had missed out on the perfect paraplegic guy for her by attempting this stupid approach of being very insensitive and harshly honest.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 9

It was a Saturday two weeks later when Jason was sitting at work at night and was staying busy with calls from people ordering taxi service. He had successfully put Ariana out of his mind and had somewhat regained his dignity. His days had gone by as usual; he worked, ate and slept. His dad had been fighting a cold for a few days and was more or less lying in his bed. Jason had to take care of the house, made sure there was dinner on the table and tended to his dad when he needed it. He himself was tired a lot throughout the day having to take care of everything and working at night. His intentions of getting into his braces every few days and standing or trying to walk a little bit had been crushed with everything going on. He had no energy to do anything extra physical besides just making it every day. The plans on getting out more also didn’t happen. It almost seemed like he wasn’t meant to just go out and have fun. Now his dad needed him again and Jason had to stay at home.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In/Exhale Continues - Flashback Time!

Wow, it's been so quiet on the blog lately!!

Last week, we saw the finale of Kai & Renee's Hamlet movie night, and got to meet Vicky's mom.

This week I'm doing something a little different. I know, since the beginning, a lot of you have been clamoring to see how Jon and Kai reconnected.

So this week, we'll step back from the "current events" into a flashback episode set four years ago, in 1996.

This episode is also a little different, since it encompasses the span of a week instead of a single day, but I decided this was the best way to handle it.

In this episode, we'll see how Jon and Vicky first got to know each other, as well as Jon and Kai's first reunion after twelve years apart. I hope it'll give you some interesting insight into the characters, especially Kai, and their relationships to each other.

June 15-21, 1996

Note: I haven't discussed this directly, but I'll take a quick moment to talk about the difference between "deaf" and "Deaf." The former refers to an inability to hear, whereas the latter refers to culture. Someone can be deaf but not Deaf, and Kai was raised culturally Deaf despite his ability to hear. To simplify, "Deaf" usually refers to people who use ASL as their primary language and is associated with its own cultural norms that may be very different from those of the surrounding hearing community.

I will have another flashback episode that picks up shortly after this one leaves off, on Kai's 18th birthday, but I'm not sure yet when I'll be sharing that one.

As always, I value your feedback! Let me know what you think of seeing teenage Kai :).

Next week is a really important day for Kai and Re, and though it's long enough to split into two episodes, I haven't decided if I'll divide them up into two week installments or post them all together yet. We'll see!

Oh, and the Table of Contents has been updated, as usual.

No Strings Attached Chapter 10

Jason spent the rest of the night busy with answering one call after the next. He really should have had another person there with him. It had been getting really busy on weekends. After his shift he was exhausted like he had done actual physical work. He chatted a little with his coworker Peter who came in at 6 am in the morning to relieve Jason. With his backpack hanging over the handles of his wheelchair he then wished Peter a good day and left.
He usually wheeled home; it took about 15-20 minutes. He didn’t live too far from his work. The job was important to him, it was the only other income he and his dad had aside from the small Social Security his dad received and some food stamps. Jason’s income paid all the bills to live on and there was not much left after that. He really wanted a car with hand controls but it had to stay a dream for now.  He pushed the thoughts of his miserable finances out of his head, Ariana didn’t care about his money or what he had; she just wanted his body. Deep inside he felt a slight sting thinking about that fact but successfully pushed even that aside and wheeled down the sidewalk. It was warm already and the sunrise cast the houses in a bright yellow light. The light and the heat in Vegas; it almost never changed. There was hardly any rain, grey skies or gloomy fog, the Northern California weather he sometimes missed. It was almost like everyone was forced to be happy and full of sun and light, even though the situation may be totally different. On some days he didn’t feel like sun and light, he wanted to be moody and grumpy but the sun kept all the bad moods in check, it just wasn’t permitted in the city of sin.

Monday, February 24, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 11 - Part 2

Chapter 11 – Part 2

They took a taxi to the Italian restaurant. It was crowded when they got there and they had to get signed in on the waiting list, wait time was to be 20 minutes. Ariana couldn’t help feeling just a bit proud to be with Jason.  While they were waiting in the foyer of the restaurant, she realized two women very obviously check him out. Jason had his eyes on his phone for a moment when Ariana suddenly got on his lap. He looked up at her surprised, “Hey!”
Ariana put her arms around his neck and glanced at the two women who looked away embarrassed. Jason had no clue what had brought on the sudden seating on his lap, “What is it?”
She whispered in his ear, “Just making a point here. I won’t have these women stare you down.”
Jason was surprised, “What are you talking about?”
“These chicks over there…” She looked in the direction of the two women.
Jason glanced around Ariana, “Those two women?”
“You are just imagining that.”
 Ariana moved her head back looking him straight in the eyes, “Ah no, I am not.” She paused then added, “You don’t even realize how women check you out. I am really surprised you don’t have a girlfriend. I bet just in here, there are at least 5 women that would take you home in a heartbeat.”
She looked around the foyer.  Jason looked around but couldn’t imagine who she was talking about and he felt she was maybe exaggerating.
 He said, “Well, I could say the same about you. Guys check you out a whole lot.” Ariana just smiled.

No Strings Attached Chapter 11 - Part 1

Chapter 11 – Part 1
Friday came around and Jason felt better when he woke up that morning. His body had somewhat recovered itself and he felt energized and ready to get into the bathroom and shower.
Darryl was glad to see Jason feeling better again, “Do you think you can work tonight?”

Jason nodded as he wheeled into the kitchen, “Yeah, I think so. I will try to take a nap later before I go in.”

They had lunch together and then went outside a little bit. Some of the neighbors were outside and everyone was chatting. Jason was tossing a ball back and forth with their little 5-year old neighbor Maddie. She always found Jason very interesting in his “car”, which is what she called his wheelchair. The day went by and at around 4 o’clock Jason lay down for a nap on the couch so he would be o.k. through the night at work. He thought of Ariana all day but still didn’t bring it over himself to text her. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 12

This chapter is not sexually fueled but more about Jason and Ariana's complicated relationship, still dealing with each others feelings of doubt and guilt. I can't just let it be that easy for them to get together so I hope you stick it out with me and my characters. Got lots more to come! Thanks! Dani

It was quiet in the trailer park when Jason wheeled along the narrow paved drive way toward their trailer. As he approached he saw there was still light on inside and he knew his dad had probably stayed up because of him. He wheeled up the ramp and just as he pulled his key out to unlock the door his dad opened, “Hey son.”
“Dad, you’re still up?”
He wheeled by his dad who closed and locked the door. In the kitchen Jason spun around and looked at his dad.
Darryl looked tired, “Yeah, I wanted to stay up to make sure you get home all right. It is almost 1 o’clock.”
Jason smiled, “Dad, it’s 12:30...and I am an adult. I am o.k.”
His dad sat down on a chair at the kitchen table, “I know Jay, but you know what I am talking about.”
Jason looked down, and then up at his dad with a nod, “I know.”

Saturday, February 22, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 13

This chapter has been bugging me a little, I have thought about rearranging it all and just taking stuff out but then again I want to have a realistic time line in Jason's and Ariana's interaction and I don't want to just jump from one meeting to the next and leave everything in between to everyone's imagination. I know you want to see them together and I won't leave you hanging too much longer! Thanks for reading!

When he got back to the trailer his dad was sitting outside on the small front porch, drinking a beer of his own. He seemed relieved to see Jason wheel up the driveway and watched him push himself up the ramp.
Jason felt awkward because he had left angry earlier, “Hey dad!”
Darryl nodded at Jason, “I am glad you are back. What’s this?” He glanced at the brown bag on Jason’s lap.
Jason answered lowly, “The rest of a six pack…”
“Are you able to go to work?”
Jason shook his head, and his dad added, “You have to call them.”
Jason nodded, he felt light headed.

Darryl didn’t like the idea of Jason drinking again but he really couldn’t tell him what to do. Jason sat the brown bag onto the small plastic table and pulled his phone out. He was nervous to call out, he felt the alcohol working in his body and when his boss answered he tried hard to sound sincere, not letting him hear the slur in his voice. His lie was that he was dealing with spasms. Jason felt bad when his boss told him to get well quickly and was very understanding.

Friday, February 21, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 14

Hope you are enjoying this chapter with Jason preparing to see Ariana again and Britt making an appearance as well!

Thursday Jason finally made his way out of bed in the morning. He did his bowel program, showered long and hot and finally felt refreshed after he was dressed, shaved and hair brushed. He sat in his chair looking in the mirror and tried to imagine himself without the wheelchair. He put his hands on the sink cabinet and for the hundredths time he pulled his body over a little, let his feet slip off the foot rest, adjusted them on the floor and then tried to push himself up on the vanity with all his strength. His arms were shaking; his eyes focused down on his legs and feet as he was breathing heavy and tried with full force to push himself up on his legs. Nothing happened, he didn’t succeed and once his arms gave in, he plopped back into his chair and with a fist he hit the counter and a curse came over his lips, “Fuck!”

Thursday, February 20, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 15

....and finally they meet again and it is going to get hot....Jason and Ariana finally met up again and are getting ready for a wonderful night, where emotions run high, feelings are being questioned again but being close feels so natural and so good....

Jason just sat there, looking around in the foyer, bustling with noises and people. He was trying to spot Ariana and felt a little awkward and like he didn’t belong there. He had no business in the casino; he definitely didn’t have money to gamble away.
After a few minutes he heard Ariana’s voice from behind him, “Jason?”
He spun his chair around and was awe struck. Standing there in front of him she was just beautiful. Her heels didn’t help the issue of him having to look up to her.  
She smiled at him, “Hey! I am glad you made it.”
Jason nodded and said a bit unsure, “Yeah, I am here.”
Her words came out hesitantly, “I know…it was a surprise for you. I hope you are o.k. with this. I want to be your escort for tonight.”
“My escort?”
She lowered her eyes, “Yes and I hope I am to your liking.”
Jason shook his head with a smile, “Very much!”

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 16

In this chapter Jason and Ariana spent the rest of their night at the Venetian. It is a chapter about being together, enjoying each others company, having some more serious talks and longing to have much more of each other....Enjoy!

About an hour later they were both dressed again and Ariana was sitting on the edge of the bed watching Jason transfer back into his chair, which was a lot easier for him without the braces. When she had told him not to worry about strapping his braces back on he seemed relieved.

Jason plopped back into his wheel chair and looked over at Ariana shyly. Ariana slid over to his side of the bed and let her legs dangle over the edge, “Are you tired?”
Jason shook his head, “No, I am o.k. It’s still early…”

He checked his watch, almost 9 o’clock and even though the truth was that he was a bit tired from the episode with Ariana he wouldn’t want to tell her, because he knew she still had plans for the night.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In/Exhale Continues

Last week, we saw the first part of Renee & Kai's Hamlet movie date, and Kai got to meet Renee's roommate Diane. This week, we'll see the second half of the date, including getting to meet Vicky's mom, Margaret, in preparation for Thanksgiving.

November 11, 2000 - Part II

I have three more days finished, plus the two flashbacks, though I'm not entirely sure yet where I'm going to place those, so that probably gives me another month to two months of material. I've been working a lot on the Thanksgiving episodes, which is turning into a bit of an epic and has really been very emotionally draining for me. So I might have to take a break at some point, but for now I'll just keep posting what I have and hope all goes well, lol.

Thanks again, as always, for your great comments. I really appreciate them and they do motivate me to keep going. :)

Oh, and the Table of Contents has been updated, as usual.

No Strings Attached Chapter 17

Here is the next chapter with Jason and Ariana enjoying the accessible bath tub in the hotel room and of course not just to wash their bodies...:-) I hope you like this chapter, let me know and thanks for reading....

Jason was nervous about Ariana’s idea because he didn’t know if he would be able to get in the tub in his condition with the alcohol running through his veins and feeling somewhat wobbly, “I will be right back.”

He wheeled into the bathroom. It was time for him to catheterize, he was relieved he hadn’t peed on himself during the evening. As soon as the tubing was inserted into his urethra the yellow liquid started flowing into the toilet. 

He glanced at the tub while he drained his bladder. The tub was fully wheelchair accessible. It had a wide door on it, which could be opened for him to transfer from his chair right onto one of the seats inside the tub. The tub was large enough for at least three people to fit in it and it had whirlpool spouts. The seats were opposite each other. The tub had handles he could hold on to all around on the sides, the rubber coated seats were slip proof; he would not have to worry about sliding off the seat. Jason had not seen an accessible tub like that since rehab. This type of tub would have been amazing to have at home but he knew that would always have to stay a dream for him.

Once done with his catherization he had made the decision to give the tub a try. Even though he was still nervous he wanted to try to enjoy this feature with Ariana and he wheeled out into the room.

Monday, February 17, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 18

Hi everyone, the night at the Venetian is coming to an end for Ariana and Jason. What started out so wonderful though also causes painful emotions to resurface as our two characters realize very quickly. Enjoy the next chapter.

Ariana had ordered a brunch for room service at 11 o’clock and woke up from the knock on the door. She jumped out of bed. Jason shifted on his side of the bed. He blinked at her opening the door and saw a hotel employee bringing in the rolling tray with the food and beverages on it. He opened his eyes blinking into the room and watching Ariana hand the employee a tip and thanking him.

Ariana peeked under the covered plates smelling the food. There was a variety of foods, scrambled eggs, sausages, ham, toast, fruits, coffee, orange juice, jellies, butter, some pancakes and a waffle. She walked back over to the bed and was surprised to see Jason awake looking at her with sleepy dark eyes.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 19

 In this chapter Jason finds out some bad news and also gets to know Britt a lot better. Enjoy!

Jason didn’t feel like doing anything on Sunday and even though he felt better and his fever had subsided and his spasms had not gotten worse he still felt tired. He kept thinking about Ariana and how he may have been wrong to just leave the way he did. As many times as he thought it over though, it ended in the conclusion that it was for the better to finish this episode with Ariana because there was no future for them. He remembered how she honestly had told him how much his disability turned her on and how much she wanted him because of it.

How could she have made him such an object of her desire? How could he have fallen for it in his desperation of finding a woman? He felt sick thinking about it and how wrong it all had been. Ariana deserved credit for her honesty but he would not be the guy she could fuck any time she wanted and get wet just seeing him in the wheelchair or his braces. His feeling of sadness turned to disappointment and anger.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 20

Now it is getting dramatic in Jason's and Ariana's life. Jason is facing some tough time ahead and Ariana has no idea yet what he is going through. Will this be a chance for them or will everything just fall apart?

On Wednesday night Jason worked and it was probably around 2 am when he took another phone call and right away realized it was Ariana on the other end, “Jason?”
She sounded low and Jason asked coolly, “Do you want to order a taxi?”
“No, Jason….don’t hang up on me please!”
He sat motionless at his desk, his head set on his ears but he stayed silent.
Ariana started, “Jason, I miss you.”
He could hear Ariana’s voice sounded slurry and she probably had been drinking.
When he didn’t reply she added, “Why are you not talking to me?”
He couldn’t stop his breathing quicken and even falling into a cough attack as he felt his lungs tighten.
Ariana asked, “Jason, are you sick?”
“No.” That is all he brought over his lips as he tried to get his cough under control.
“Jason, I want to be with you and I wish you could do this with me. I give you anything you want.”

Friday, February 14, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 21

As Jason is still sick and recovering Britt makes a big decision.

Darryl waited outside the ICU and just sat quietly when Jason’s phone announced a text message. He looked at the phone display and tapped on the message alert; it was from Britt, “Jason, how are you? Are you at the ER?”
Darryl saw the name and number and thought about texting back but then decided to just call Britt and let her know what was going on with Jason.
She answered right away, “Hey Jason!”
“This is actually Darryl, I am Jason’s dad.”
“Oh, Hi…”
“You’re Britt?”
“Britt, Hi, I saw the message and I wanted to call you and let you know that they admitted Jason and he is not doing very well, he is actually in the ICU now.”
“Oh no, what is going on with him?”
Darryl told her about Jason’s condition and Britt was surprised, “I am so sorry. He must have been very sick already.”
“Yeah, apparently he had not been feeling well for a couple of weeks. He has done that before, drawing it out for as long as possible just to avoid hospitalization, didn’t tell me and then it was bad. It seems to be the same again but this time we are dealing with an UTI and also a very concerning pneumonia.”
“That is not good. I really hope he will be o.k. I am so sorry to hear that.”
“Thanks, they are prepping him right now for intubation and he will be in the ICU.”
Britt was sincerely concerned about Jason and she felt her heart beat fast and her hands tremble hearing Darryl tell her about what was going on, “Could you somehow keep me updated on Jason? I would love to see him if it is possible.”

Thursday, February 13, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 22

Ariana is not a family member and there are visiting policies in place at the ICU. Is there a way for her to see Jason anyways and tell him things she needs to say?

Ariana’s heart was racing as she walked through the automatic doors into the foyer of the hospital. There was a reception to the right and a large sign in the middle of the foyer showing a map of the hospital and all the different units. On the map she found the Intensive Care Unit displayed on the second floor. When she looked around she couldn’t find any kind of signage directing to the ICU and she walked over to the reception and asked the lady behind the desk. With a friendly smile the lady explained to Ariana where she had to go and even offered to escort her to the ICU but Ariana declined, assuring the receptionist that she would find it on her own.

Ariana took the elevator up and once she stepped out turned to the right. As she walked through the hallway with arrows pointing to the ICU she felt her heart beat in her neck. She had not been this nervous in a long time. She reached the ICU waiting area with comfortable looking chairs, tables, an aquarium with colorful fish and an area with vending machines and a coffee dispensing machine. Obviously this waiting area was designed for longer periods of waiting. Two large doors leading into the ICU were locked. To her right she found a door bell with the words “Please ring for assistance” printed under it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 23

Since Ariana found out about Jason being sick, she now knows exactly where she needs to be, by his side through this rough patch in his life. There is still Britt and a meeting coming up between the two women that has to clarify some things. Jason is not able to do a whole lot about anything but he longs so much to be able to talk to Ariana, there are so many things he wants to say to her.

When Jason saw Ariana stand next to his bed he could hardly contain his frustration of not being able to talk to her or touch her. His emotions wanted to bust out of him with full force but all he could do is lay there silently and look at Ariana. He had heard clearly what she had said and it was almost unbearable for him not being able to communicate with her. The only way he could think of to somehow express how he felt was to just grab Ariana’s hand and hold it on his heart. It was an impulse after she had told him that she loved him. He didn’t know how she had found out about him in the hospital but as shocked as he was seeing her there next to his bed he was just as relieved.  He hated to be put to sleep again right then when he got a little excited. Ariana and her visit stayed on his mind even during the night. Even though he was slightly sedated he did wake up on a few occasions and was tortured by merciless spasms shooting through his body. He broke into a cold sweat and his blood pressure went up during the night.

In/Exhale Continues

So, I had thought about maybe taking some time off, but then I realized Hands On is finished and Cambridge Connections is taking its own break, so this week was looking kinda lonely on the blog.

Last week had a couple of big revelations for both Kai and Renee and Jon and Vicky, and I'm really glad you guys enjoyed the double episode.

This week is the first of a two-parter featuring mostly Kai and Renee on their "second" official date together, to watch Hamlet movies.

November 11, 2000 - Part I

I'll be back next week with part II. As always, I look forward to your comments and I'm really happy you are enjoying the way Season Two is going so far. :)

The Table of Contents has also been updated.

See you next week!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 24

Jason can't wait for Monday to get off the ventilator and Ariana is nervous facing him but at the same time she is overwhelmed with feelings for him now and she will do everything she can to make up for the rough start of their relationship, being there for Jason and helping him through this.

Sunday came and Ariana was in the hospital around two o’clock. Jason was awake, he shifted when Ariana came into his room.
Ariana walked up to his bed and stroked his hair out of his forehead, “Hey baby! How are you today?”
She leaned over him and said softly, “I love you!”
Jason took Ariana’s hand squeezing it, then holding it next to his body on the bed. She sat down on the chair next to the bed and asked, “I guess your dad wasn’t here yet today?”
Jason slowly moved his head from side to side at the question.
Ariana felt his warm fingers around her hand and looked at their two locked hands on the bed, then back over at Jason, who still had his eyes on her, “How are you Jason?”
She saw him nod slightly. Pulling the chair closer she asked him, “Are you still dealing with spasms?” He shook his head again.

Monday, February 10, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 25

So here is another chapter with Jason still in the hospital but he is getting better. Ariana and Jason are becoming so much closer through all of this and things about the time after the hospital have to be thought about. Ariana is starting to feel the weight of Jason's disability but is ready and willing to take Jason's situation on with the good and the bad times.

The next morning Dr. Shumar came by again and was pleased to see Jason doing well even without the oxygen mask for short periods of time. The doctor ordered for the sedatives to be stopped completely. Jason was already off the antibiotics.  He was now only on IV fluids constantly flowing into his veins.
Jason had fully recovered from the UTI, the antibiotics had been effective and a kidney infection had been dodged successfully.  The sepsis had completely cleared out of Jason’s body and his lungs were working actively again.
Jason sat somewhat upright in his bed and he listened to the doctor telling him how everything looked good on all his lab work and that they would get him off the feeding tube the next day.

He wanted to hear that he was all the way healthy again and with a few quick breaths he asked Dr. Shumar, “When can I….go home?”
Dr. Shumar thought for a moment and then answered, “I really don’t know Jason. We will see how things will go this week. If there are no set-backs and all goes well, maybe by the end of next week.”
Jason didn’t like hearing this time frame at all and he was disappointed.
Dr. Shumar sensed his emotion and added in a serious tone, “Jason, we almost lost you and your body needs time to recover and get strong again. I understand that you want to get out of here soon but I won’t let you go until I feel you are ready. I want to make sure there will be no relapse and I can’t let you leave here with a good conscience if I am not certain you are all the way well.”

Sunday, February 9, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 26

Things are getting better every day for Jason and there is finally an end in sight to his stay in ICU and move into a regular room. Ariana is thinking about a surprise for Jason and making some changes to her living arrangement.

Jason felt a lot better the next day. The night before he had taken the evening dose of Baclofen and the spasms had almost subsided during the night.

He still dealt with some spastic activity that morning but only light twitches threw his legs off a bit or travelled into his hips. The spasms were manageable now. Remembering the day before, he knew Ariana and his dad had stayed by his bedside for a long time. He looked around the room for a phone but didn’t see one. His cell phone was nowhere either and he wondered if his dad had all his stuff from the night he got admitted. For over four weeks Jason had been in the ICU now and he was more than ready to get out of there as soon as possible.

He really wanted to get his wheelchair back, not being able to get up frustrated him. He wanted to get into a regular room, he wanted to get the annoying naso-gastric feeding tube out; he was getting hungry for real food. He wanted to get detached from the catheter and get off the last IV line. He was told it would maybe be easier on his lungs to still use the oxygen mask but he had kept it off most of the morning since he woke up. He did have to take some gasping breaths on and off and his chest felt tight, his throat was still sore from the ventilator tubing but whatever he could be without, he wanted to be without.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 27

Here is Jason's last day in ICU and Ariana visiting. They are having some serious conversations bringing them even closer. Jason can't wait to move out of ICU and Ariana is just as nervous.

During the night Jason didn’t sleep well. He was uncomfortable just lying on his back but he couldn’t turn over with the catheter tubing and the sticky sensors on his chest still attached to him. Ariana’s idea of moving in with him and Darryl was also on his mind and as much as he tried to like the idea, it terrified him at the same time. Not getting enough sleep during the night possibly triggered the increase in blood pressure and he tried to relax to not have a set-back and pushing off his move to a regular room. He really wanted to move out of ICU on Saturday.

Friday, February 7, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 28

Jason is moving out of ICU into a regular room, his hospital stay is coming closer to the end. Ariana and Darryl are so happy to see him out of ICU. As Jason asks Ariana about the meeting she had with Britt days ago, it gets emotional and Ariana gets worried.

Saturday morning, Jason was awakened unusually early by Dr. Shumar coming on his round. It was only six when he looked up at the clock on the wall. The doctor stood over Jason as he was blinking at him sleepily. Jill stood next to the doctor.

Dr. Shumar greeted him, “Good Morning Jason!”

Jason still had a sore throat which made his first words in the morning uncomfortable. He managed a low mumble of Good Morning.

Dr. Shumar continued, “I am sorry Jason, it is really early I know, but I have lots of new patients to visit this morning. It has been a busy night for admits in the ICU. That is why I am here already. How are you feeling?”
Jason answered with a scratchy voice, “All right I guess.”

Dr. Shumar looked at Jason’s profile on the computer, “Well, I am putting the order in for you to be moved today, Jason. I think you are ready and everything looks really good here. I am also submitting an order for another spasm medication since you are not really getting relief from the Baclofen anymore. The medication is called Dantrolene and has proven effective for spasms as well. We can try that for a while and hopefully it will help with your spasms. Dantrolene does cause drowsiness in some people so get a feel for it at first. If it is not helping we will try to figure out something else or go back to Baclofen. For now we will hold off on the Baclofen pump and see how the new medication will work for you.”
Jason had been listening sleepily to the doctor and tried to focus somewhat, “Sounds like a plan.”
“You will be moved to the Progressive Care Unit during the morning and I will come over there in the afternoon to see how you are doing. Do you think you can do it?”
“Yeah, I am ready.”
Jill smiled, “He has been ready for days.”

Jason smiled at her sleepily. Dr. Shumar signed some papers and then turned to Jason, “Jason, the attending physician over there is Dr. Chapman. He will also see your transfer and be in charge of you over there. I will still come by later to check on you. Take it easy o.k.!”
Jason nodded, “Thanks doc.”

Jill adjusted Jason’s sheet, which was hanging somewhat low over the side, “Are you excited?”
He replied with a grin, “I want to jump for joy.”
Jill looked up at him with a smile, “Joking already. I think there is a really sassy guy in there.”
She put her finger on his chest and poked him softly. Then she fluffed his pillow a little and said, “I am going to check your vitals once more and then it’s Good Bye, my friend. I am going home in about 30 minutes.”
Jason pushed his head rest up a little with the remote and sat up some, “That sounds so final.”
Jill smiled, “I will try to come by over at PCU to see you. Cara will be in shortly. We will miss you here but we are happy you are moving on, Jason. I really don’t want to see you in here anymore.”
She laughed a little, “Seriously though, take care of yourself Jason and I hope you will get to go home soon. It was nice meeting you and a pleasure making you better.”
Jason smiled, “Thanks for everything, everyone was really great here. You have a good team here.”
She moved over a bit, “Thanks. Can I give you a hug?”
“Of course.”
Jill leaned down and they hugged.
She then turned away quickly, “Bye Jason! Get well soon and Best wishes for you.”
“Thanks Jill.”
She was already at the door and Jason looked after her leaving out his room. 

Update - Cambridge Connections, Chapter Seventeen

So I deliberately left Sam's text up to your imagination and skipped forward to Graduation Day. Sam breaks the news about Alex to her parents too...

This episode will mark a bit of a break for me from Cambridge Connections. I've already written up to Chapter 22, and I have a map of the whole story (don't worry), but I feel like I need a bit of time to re-write and re-work them so that it fits together a bit more nicely for you.

So I hope Chapter Seventeen will keep you going for a while. As ever, your thoughts are very welcome, and very helpful.

Keep an eye out for more, thank you for your support and kind comments so far, and I hope I won't be away for too long. Here's the updated Table of Contents too.

Bye for now,

Thursday, February 6, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 29

Jason has another rough day in the hospital and Ariana finds herself in a very difficult situation.

The next day Ariana got her pedicure and manicure done in the morning before she came to the hospital to see Jason. Her job at night would be a dinner and cocktail party at the Luxor. She was going to accompany a business man from Los Angeles to some event which was held by an international real estate investment firm. She wanted to look her best.

As she walked through the lobby of the hospital she waved at the receptionist. They already knew her name now and soon she walked through the hallway toward Jason’s new room. She knocked at the door softly and pushed it to go on in. Jason lay in his bed and slowly turned his head toward Ariana.

He looked tired and Ariana could tell right away that he wasn’t all the way well, “Hey Jason, how are you?”
Jason greeted her lowly, “Hey Ariana.”
Just as Ariana leaned down to kiss him she caught a glimpse of a sudden movement under his sheets, “What is going on with you?”
Jason shrugged his shoulders lightly, “Spasms ...I don’t know why…”
Ariana sat on the edge of the bed and took his hand into hers, “Does your nurse know you are having spasms?”
“It just started about half an hour ago.”  
Ariana stroked strands of hair from his forehead, “You should call the nurse.”
“I think it will be all right, maybe they will go away on their own without meds.”
Jason sounded frustrated and she stroked his cheek knowing he needed cheering up, “You will get well and you will get home soon, baby. I am sure of it. Until then I am here for you.”

The Time Traveler's Boyfriend

If you enjoyed my previous stories such as The Boy Next Door, The Best Friend, or Harvard Hottie, please check out my latest The Time Traveler's Boyfriend, available now on the Kindle!

Claudia’s geeky boyfriend Adam has just invented a time machine.

No, really—he has. She doesn't believe it either until Adam provides her with definitive proof that he does, in fact, have a functioning time travel device sitting in the living room of his Manhattan brownstone.

But instead of getting ready to accept the Nobel Prize, Adam has very different plans for his groundbreaking invention. He wants Claudia to use the machine to travel back in time and stop the accident that landed him in a wheelchair over a decade ago, and prevent the trajectory of events that he believes ruined his life.

When Claudia reluctantly agrees to become the first human time traveler, she knows she’s making a big gamble. If she succeeds, she could have the happy ending with commitment-phobic Adam that she’s always dreamed of. But if she fails, it could mean the end of the universe as she knows it. 

While the plot is a departure from my usual boy meets girl, I promise it's got my usual fun style and it's mega devolicious.  Check out this review from Romance Times.

Please buy The Time Traveler's Boyfriend from Amazon today!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

In/Exhale Continues - "We Need To Talk"

So last week we saw Kai and Renee on their first official date, which was pretty atypical (though that's basically par for the course for these two).

This week I'm doing a double-episode because this day is super important, but long, so it needs to be divided into two parts, but I think it would really do the emotional gravity of the day an injustice by posting only one episode this week.

This day was one of the hardest for me to write, probably because it's so difficult for Kai.

I don't name my episodes (other than dating them), but if this day had a name, it'd be, "We need to talk."

November 8, 2000 - Part I | November 8, 2000 - Part II

I've been dealing with a lot in real life and also in what happens later in the realm of In/Exhale, so I may use this week as a mid-season break to give me some time to regroup and get later episodes polished (including Thanksgiving, which may well end up as a season finale).  No decisions yet, though. I still have plenty of material, too, just a bit emotionally taxed of late.

Anyway, thank you all for your wonderful comments. They really mean so much to me and I'm so glad to see you guys have been enjoying Season Two as much as I have.

I've updated the Table of Contents as always.

Thank you all again, and enjoy,


No Strings Attached Chapter 30

Jason finally gets to leave his bed for the first time after a couple of weeks and he is moving right along hoping for a discharge very soon. Another message to Britt and some serious conversations between Ariana, Jason and Darryl take place.

Jason slept all night with the help of the medication and from exhaustion of the day before with the spasms tormenting his body. The night nurse had also given him an oral laxative before bedtime so he could possible attempt a bowel movement in the morning.

He was awakened Monday morning by the dietary service lady who brought him breakfast. He did realize that he had slept through the vital checks during the night. He blinked at the dietary service lady, managing a weak smile.

The smell of food reached his nose and even though he was somehow hungry he felt a gag reflex at the thought of food. He shifted a little and tried to wake up. He took his phone and turned it on, announcing a new message from Ariana. As he read the message it put a smile on his face. When he saw the time of when it was sent around four in the morning he was somewhat surprised. He remembered that Ariana had to work the night before but he didn’t know if it had been an all-night job or just an evening job. Thinking about the possibility of her staying with another man all night stung in his heart and he brushed the thought away quickly.

He sat up by pushing the button on his bed and the head end automatically came up, lifting Jason into a more upright position.

He texted a reply to Ariana, “Hey Ariana! I can’t wait to see you today. Love and miss you too.” 

Then he pulled the tray over with the breakfast on it and took off the lid on the plate. It was some kind of soft and warm cereal in a bowl. He also had some Orange Juice, two slices of toast and a small container with Strawberry jelly and a small butter. In a small pot there was coffee and there was an empty cup on the tray. Jason wasn’t too impressed. Even though he was hungry he really didn’t feel like eating but he knew he had to bring himself to eat again. He had lost weight over the last couple of weeks, his belly was hollow and his ribs were showing. Slowly he took the spoon and started eating very small bites of the cereal and it was difficult for him at first, he almost couldn’t swallow but he made himself without catching too much of the actual taste of the cereal. He just put the food in his mouth and swallowed it down right away.  He managed only a few bites and then he drank from the Orange Juice and he was done. He didn’t touch the toast or the coffee.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 31

Ariana has a talk with her bosses and makes a purchase. She also talks to Jason about her last escort job with Connor and as difficult as it is for Jason, he has to accept the facts but is working very hard to be ready for his discharge in a few days. Dr. Chapman puts in the order for Jason to come off the indwelling catheter.

On Tuesday morning Ariana took a cab to her company’s office suite in a business building not far from the strip. Beth had texted her in the morning and asked if she could come by the office sometime. Ariana didn’t know what it was about but she had been wanting to visit with Beth and Darren anyways.

In the office Beth and Darren greeted Ariana warmly with hugs, “Hey Ariana. It is so good to see you.”
“Hey guys.”
Darren released his embrace but left his hands on Ariana’s upper arms, “You look beautiful.”
Beth smiled and put her arm around Ariana, “Come have a seat.”
Darren turned to her from the coffee maker, “You want some coffee, honey?”
“Yes please!”

He brought over a tray with three cups with coffee, sugar and creamer and sat the tray onto the table, then he took a seat, “It is really good to see you, Ariana.”
He pulled out a piece of paper and slid it across the table, “Before I forget!”
Ariana took the paper and realized it was a check written out to her for over two thousand dollars.
She was awe struck and looked up at Darren and Beth, who said softly with a smile, “Connor Ridgeway really enjoyed the night with you Ariana. He called here yesterday and told us how much he enjoyed your service and that he would recommend our service to anyone interested.”
Ariana was surprised, “Wow, it was like $ 1500 charge for the service…”
Darren nodded, “Well, he wanted to make sure we will give you his generous tip, he actually called here after he made the payment to let us know. I calculated it out, subtracted our percentage and this is what is left for you.”

Ariana shook her head slightly in disbelief but remembered Connor and how he had been such a nice man and how they had connected that night. She took a sip from her cup.

Darren asked softly, “So, how have things been for you? You haven’t come around the office lately.”
Ariana nodded, “I know, I am sorry.”
“Well, it is all right as long as we know you are o.k. I know business has been good for you and we have all happy clients. Ariana we are so happy to have you with us.”
She smiled, “I have been very fortunate to work for you and Beth.”
Beth leaned her head sideways a bit, “So what is going on in your life?”
“Well, I have been really occupied with my boyfriend and being there for him. He is still in the hospital and I go to see him every day.”
Beth nodded, “How is he?”
“He is getting better, we hope he will get discharged by this weekend.”
Darren nodded and then said lowly, “Ariana, are you sure about all of that with him?”
Ariana nodded now, “Yes, very sure. I also wanted to talk to you guys about my job.”
Darren sighed and put his hand on his chin, his elbow resting on the lounge chair armrest, “Please don’t tell us you are going to quit.”

Ariana looked down at her hands in her lap, then up at Darren, “Not yet, but in the future I can’t do overnights anymore, I just can’t focus on that. I love Jason and I can’t do this to him, I don’t want to hurt him. I can do escorts without overnights if you still want me for that.”
Beth replied right away and touched Ariana’s hand lightly, “Of course we want you still with us no matter what. I understand what you are saying though. You really love that boy, huh?”
Ariana nodded, “I do, very much.”
Darren smiled, “I hope we can meet him sometime.”
“I will bring him by when he is well again. He has been very sick.”
Darren turned serious, “So, are you going to try to get away from escort all the way then?”
Ariana shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know yet, there is a lot on my mind lately so for right now I want to stay with you guys if you let me, just no overnights anymore.”

Darren and Beth nodded in agreement and Darren took the word, “We want you to be with us no matter what you decide and of course you won’t have to do overnights anymore. I know the one with Connor Ridgeway kind of slipped through but it seems you did a wonderful job as happy as he sounded with you. Ariana, we appreciate you so much, I hope you know that and if there is anything going on or if we can help you somehow please let me or Beth know. We are family here, you know that, right? If you decide to quit escorting I totally understand but we always want to have you in our life.”
Ariana nodded, “You are my family and have been my family for the last couple of years and I am ever so thankful for you guys.”
Darren smiled and got up to sit next to Ariana as well, putting his arm around her, “Anything you need, let us know. I really want to meet Jason sometime; he must be a special guy.”
Ariana smiled and nodded, “He is.”

She was relieved to have talked to Darren and Beth and she knew she wouldn’t get any more overnights. They ended up drinking coffee, talking about some of the girls in the company and also the details for the escort service she was going to provide that evening. She would meet an assistant CEO of one of the large toy retailers in the US at the Bellagio for a dinner for their investors. She left the office around three and took the bus home to get ready for the job.

Jason had texted Ariana around one o’clock asking her when she would come by and she replied that she was somewhat busy, had to go by her office and had a job for the evening but she would try to at least stop by on her way. Jason wasn’t too happy reading her text but he wasn’t going to make a big deal out of it. He knew Ariana had a life outside of the hospital and sitting by his bedside all day and so he tried very hard to ignore the stinging pain when he read about her job that evening. She hadn’t gone into any details about the job and he didn’t ask.

It was around four thirty when the door of his room opened up slowly and Ariana peeked in and smiled when she found Jason awake. As she stepped into the room he was stunned. She was dressed for her job that night, black and red heels on her feet, a matching short black dress with a red jacket over it. She wore jewelry and her makeup was more obvious than usually. Her hair was flowing over her shoulders and she held a small clutch purse in her hand. She looked unreal in the sterile hospital room and even though Jason was amazed at her beauty he also felt the pain of knowing she was dressed like that for a meeting with another man.

He couldn’t help feeling rather unworthy in the presence of Ariana. She sensed it and came right up to him and dropping her clutch purse on the foot end of his bed she came up to his face and smiled, “Hey Jason, my sweet boy.”
He realized he hadn’t said a word to greet her when she had come into the room and the greeting attempt came out weak now, “Ariana, Hi! You…look…”
He didn’t finish as Ariana pressed her pointing finger on his lips and shook her head, “Pssssttt!”
She then whispered with a smile, “I didn’t put lipstick on yet so I can kiss you.”

With that she pressed her lips to his and Jason wrapped his arms around her worried not to wrinkle her clothes. He felt plain and boring with Ariana in the room and very unfitting to actually be the boyfriend of this beautiful woman.

Ariana sat down on the edge of his bed and was leaning over him slightly, stroking his face with her fingers and saying softly, “How are you today?”
“I am…o.k.”
He still felt somewhat insecure so close to her at the moment, she seemed like a different woman to him when she really wasn’t.
Ariana smiled at him still, “You look good baby…I missed you.”
Jason put his hand on her waist and smiled, “You look…like from another planet…”
Ariana laughed softly, “What does that mean?”
Jason looked down shyly and then back up at her, “Just unbelievable. I am without words.”
He let his hand glide softly over her cheek, “Ariana, you are so beautiful.”
“Thanks baby.”

With that she leaned up to him and pressed her lips on his mouth again and they fell into a tight embrace. Jason held her close to him, kissing her hard, claiming her for himself, wanting to let her feel that she was his and no one else could have her. She was his girlfriend and all the other men out there would not ever have her the way he had her. She wanted the guy in the wheelchair and he was that exact guy. He displayed a certain attitude to show Ariana that he had laid claim on her just like she had claimed him.

Ariana felt Jason holding on to her passionately and when they let go he said in a whisper right in front of her, looking intensely at her with his dark eyes, “Tell me that I am the one you will be thinking about tonight when you are on your job!” 
Ariana liked his assertiveness very much and answered lowly, “You are on my mind 24/7.”
Jason looked at her seriously, still holding her close to him, not giving her much wiggle room and commanded, “Why am I the only guy for you? Tell me!”
Ariana had to smile a little and after a moment she answered shyly, “…because I want you in your wheelchair and no other guy can do that for me, you are exactly what I want, paraplegic and in a wheelchair… and because you have those braces that look super sexy on you and no other guy has the same effect on me.  I can’t wait to see you in your wheelchair again and be with you outside this hospital. I am so happy you are my boyfriend and I love you so much.”
Jason gave her a nod with a sexy smile, “Good girl! I AM all you need! I love you too.”

He then pulled her to him for another hard kiss. When he let Ariana go she took a breath and smiled, “Wow, what is going on?”
Jason sighed, “I am getting crazy being in here….I really need to get out soon.”
“Hopefully on Friday.”  He let her sit back down on the edge of his bed and Ariana said lowly, looking down on their hands, “I don’t do overnights anymore Jason…at the escort service….”

Jason pushed himself up on his hands to sit up some and even though he was relieved to hear her words he still wanted her all the way out of the escort business.
His dark eyes were on Ariana, “I am really glad to hear that.”
Ariana looked up at him with shiny eyes, “I had a last one the other night and I am done now. I talked to Darren and Beth. They understand.”

Jason’s eyes got small because even though he knew she had done overnights with the men he didn’t want to think about it and he had never asked her about it. He really didn’t want to know and imagining it made him furious inside. He didn’t let his anger show towards Ariana because he didn’t want to lose her.

Now he just looked at her with a serious expression, “How was it?”
Ariana shook her head, “It was a disaster. I felt terrible and I cried. I broke down with the client telling him about you and all. It was bad and unprofessional.”
Jason shifted again in his bed and asked tensely, “The guy didn’t hurt you or anything, did he?”
Ariana shook her head some more, “No, not at all Jason…He was very nice about it and very compassionate. He wanted to know about you and he said he may be able help us out with jobs and stuff.”
Jason was caught off guard now, “What the….?”
Ariana sighed and said lowly, “Jason…listen! He is a wealthy business man and his company is going to open an office here in Vegas. They are in real estate, brokers. He lives in LA.”
Jason watched her silently and Ariana continued, “Maybe I can get on with them or something.”

Jason didn’t know how to feel about that revelation. Ariana had after all slept with the guy.

Ariana realized his emotions and added, “He gave me his contact information and said to get with him in about two months. He even said he can maybe help us with finding a place in Cali.”
“In Cali…what do you mean?”
Ariana said softly, “Well, like for us to move back to Northern Cali again, helping us find a place.”

Jason didn’t really know what to say about this but he was surprised to hear Ariana talk about moving back to Northern California, apparently he being part of her plans.
He really wanted Ariana out of the escorting business but he had no job so he really couldn’t object to her disclosure. She was the one with the money in their relationship and it made him angry inside but there was nothing he could do about it; at least not until he got out of the hospital. He had nothing to offer to Ariana, especially when it came to money. He looked at her seriously and Ariana smiled at him, she felt his tension and with her reassuring smile she tried to make him feel at ease with the situation.

Jason sighed, “Ariana, I am sorry…I am just so ready to get out of here. I want to be there with you and figure it all out, jobs, living arrangements and all.  I feel so cut off in here and it’s getting to me. It is eating me up inside to think about you and other men. I am so pissed off about it all.”
He looked down and Ariana took his hand in hers and said lowly, “Jason, look at me!”

His dark eyes moved up slowly meeting her emerald eyes fixed on him. Her red hair framed her face like fire, “Jason, you and me, that’s how it is and that’s how it’s going to be for a long time. I love you more than anyone and anything and I will figure out a way for me to get out of escorting but until the day I get out of it, I need you to be strong and never forget how much I love you, Jason. You are all I want and all I need, the way you are is the way I want it to be and there is nothing else. We were meant to be together. I can’t believe I thought it would not be an issue and the way I came into this would be no problem…Gosh, I was so freaking wrong Jason. I don’t want to be without you in my life again, never. You are my life and I want strings attached!”

Her eyes were shiny and Jason swallowed, taking her hand in his and pulling her close, “Come here!”
Ariana moved over on the bed and they fell into an embrace and Jason whispered into her ear, “I love you so much. I didn’t think I could be happy again with someone, I would have settled for just any girl but I am so happy we met and I can’t believe that the way I am is actually what you want. I can’t wait to get out of this freaking hospital, get our life straightened out and be with you always. I love you so much Ariana!”
He held her close to him and they were quiet and felt so much love for each other.

Ariana left Jason somewhat at ease with the situation even though she knew he was struggling with everything still. He was trying very hard to not let things get him down.

She walked into the Bellagio at 5:30 and quickly was intercepted at the bar by her client, who welcomed her friendly, “Miss Ariana, I am pleased to meet you!” She smiled and replied her Thank you and they went to the cocktail reception of the planned dinner that evening.

Jason was on her mind every second of the night and she was glad when she was actually able to say Good Bye to her client at midnight without having to spend the night with him. He had been a respectful client and had treated her excellent, expecting only Ariana’s beautiful presence at his side for the evening but texting his wife when he got to his room that night. Ariana sat in the taxi to her apartment and thought about the evening and scrolled over her phone to look at the pictures of Jason and her.


The next morning Dr. Chapman came on his rounds early. He was accompanied by two young resident doctors and Nurse Rose. Jason shifted in his bed and sleepily pushed the button to set the head end of his bed up.

Dr. Chapman greeted Jason, “Good Morning Jason! How are you?” He smiled and turned to the two doctors, introducing them to Jason.  They smiled a friendly greeting at Jason.
Jason replied sleepily, “Morning!”

Dr. Chapman logged into the computer to look Jason’s record, the two young resident doctors were standing by.
Rose came up to Jason’s bed and warmly straightened his blanket, “Did you sleep well?”
Jason just nodded.

Dr. Chapman turned to Jason, “So are you ready to get out of here?”
Jason pushed himself up on his hands some, “Nothing more than that.”
The doctor looked over Jason’s records, “Well, it looks like your vitals have been stable and I see you got out of your bed two days ago and all that went well too.” 
He then looked over to the wheelchair standing over by the window and said, “You’re ready to get mobile again with your ride over there?”
“Yes, very much.”
Dr. Chapman smiled, “Well, I think you are just about ready for discharge. How does Friday sound to you?”

Jason felt a surge of relief go through him that the discharge was still planned for Friday, he couldn’t wait.
He replied with disbelief, “It sounds…great.”
Dr. Chapman continued, “Well, the only thing is your eating. You have to put on some weight and should really try to eat a little more. I want to see you get some more food inside before Friday and we will keep an eye on that. How about catherization?”
Jason felt awkward to talk about catherization in front of three other people besides Dr. Chapman and thought for a moment, “Yeah, I’m ready to go back to intermittent.”
“So you think you will be o.k. with that again?”

Jason just nodded and the doctor took on a serious expression, “I don’t want you to let it come to this again, Jason. In the future if there are issues arising I want you to not procrastinate and get seen by your doctor on time. Don’t wait! I want you to be responsible and listen to your body.”
Jason looked down nervously and nodded, replying lowly, “I know.”
“I want you to stay hydrated, eat enough and we can probably remove the catheter as well and let you get back to intermittent. Do you feel you have enough strength?”

Jason had his doubts about his strength but whatever it would take he wanted to get in his wheelchair and he would push himself to get the bathroom issues functioning again. Friday was only a few days away and he wanted to do everything in his power to be ready to leave and not have any setbacks.
He nodded, “Yeah, I can do it.”
Dr. Chapman smiled, “I knew you would say that. I will be back tomorrow on my rounds.”
He then turned to Nurse Rose, “I will put in all the orders for Jason and maybe we can get him in his wheelchair today so he can get used to being mobile again.”
Rose nodded, “Yes, of course doctor.”

The three doctors wished Jason a good day and went on their way to see the next patient.

Nurse Rose stayed and came up to Jason’s bed smiling, “I know you are a happy camper now, right?”
Jason smiled, “Yeah.”
Rose patted Jason’s arm softly, “I will wait for Dr. Chapman to enter the orders. I will also have the CNA’s come for you and we will get you in your chair today if you want.”
Jason nodded, “Yeah, I can’t wait. Maybe I can be out of my bed before my girlfriend gets here today. I want to surprise her.”
Rose nodded with a smile, “I think we can arrange that. When will she be here?”
He didn’t really know when Ariana was planning on coming and he would have to text her, “I am not sure and I will let you know as soon as I know.”
Rose smiled, “O.k.”
Jason replied, “Thanks!”

With that Rose walked out of the room and Jason took his phone from the bedside table. He brought up his text messaging and pulled up Ariana’s profile, “Hey baby. Good Morning! Just wanted to check in with you and hope you had a good night. I miss you. When do you think you will come by today? Let me know after you get this. I love you! J”

He sent the message off and then looked over his emails and Facebook some more. Jason figured that Ariana was still sleeping since it was only 7 o’clock in the morning.

Breakfast came shortly after and the dietary service lady smiled at Jason as she sat the meal down and pushed his table toward him and said friendly in a Spanish accent, “Enjoy breakfast, young man.”
Jason smiled, “Thanks!”

He lifted the lid from the plate exposing steaming scrambled eggs, two links of sausage and a bowl of hot grits. On the side he had some toast, jelly and butter again. Coffee and orange juice accompanied the meal. Jason took the silver ware out of a plastic cover and slowly started eating on the scrambled eggs. He still had problems with eating, not being able to get his taste buds used to the real food and it was somewhat difficult for him to eat but he forced himself to get the scrambled eggs down, a sausage link; a few spoons of the grits and just some dry toast. He did finish his orange juice. He had to eat. Dr. Chapman had told him clearly that only if he would be eating better he would be able to go home on Friday. Trying to focus on his discharge he was able to eat breakfast and eventually felt very full even though he had eaten slow and not even that much. After breakfast he dozed off again and slept until a knock from Michael, the CNA, startled him.

Michael came in with a smile, “Morning Jason!”
Jason blinked at Michael, “Hey!”
Michael came up to the bed, “You been sleeping?”
Jason nodded and shifted a little. Michael lifted the lid on the breakfast plate and said at the same time, “Did you eat?”
When he saw the plate he added, “Good, looks like you got some bites down.”
Jason nodded and just looked over at Michael. Michael then pushed the table out of the way and said to Jason, “Your nurse will come in here in a bit, she is with another patient right now but she has the orders from Dr. Chapman getting you off the catheter. Are you ready?”
Jason nodded, “Hell yeah!”
Michael laughed a little, “Well, once she is done with that, I will come back in and get you into the bathroom for a shower again and all of that. We have to get you moving again so you can get out on Friday! I know you want to get in your chair today, right?”
Jason asked looking around in the room, “Mike, do you know if I have any other clothes here, like another T-Shirt and sweats or something?”
Michael replied, “I can check if we have some clothes for you. Maybe your dad brought some.”
“That would be great. I don’t want to be half naked when my girlfriend comes today and I am in my chair. I want to surprise her. I don’t want to be in the bed when she gets here.”
Michael smiled, “Understandable! I see what I can find for you.”
“Thanks man.”
Michael left again, “I will be back in a little while.”  

Jason took his phone again and checked if he had a message from Ariana but there was nothing yet. He turned on the TV and zapped through the channels.
Ariana got up around 9 o’clock.  It was quiet in the apartment, Melody was still sleeping.

When she looked at her phone she saw Jason’s message and replied with a smile, “Jason, sweet boy. Morning! How are things today? I will try to be at the hospital around 3 o’clock, I have some stuff to do today but I won’t have to work tonight so I can stay until they kick me out. Can’t wait to see you. Love you very much!”

She sent the message off and slowly got out of bed, yawning and stretching. She had plans to go to the car dealership once more and maybe make a decision on getting a car that day. She had been looking in the paper and online for apartment rentals but had not found anything to be worth even looking at. The whole idea of moving in with Jason was still a bit nerve wrecking but she knew she wanted to be able to see him whenever possible. She had also thought about staying in her apartment and just getting the car so she would be able to visit Jason anytime until she would find another apartment. She wasn’t sure yet what she wanted to do and even though they had agreed upon her moving in with him, she was very nervous at the prospect of that.

Cheryl came to pick her up around eleven and they drove out to the car dealership again where Ariana had seen the Mazda 3 she liked.

When Dillon, the sales man saw the women pull in and getting out of the car he came toward them with quick steps and a big smile on his face, “Hello ladies! How are you today? Good to see you again.”

Dillon remembered Cheryl and Ariana right away and was excited to see them, hoping their repeated visit would make for a sale.

Cheryl and Ariana greeted Dillon, Cheryl right away laughing and joking with him about being back. After a quick conversation they walked across the lot with Dillon toward the Mazda 3 again. It was of a metallic red color, a 2013 hatchback model and when Ariana saw it again she still liked it like the first time she had seen the car.

It only had a little over 40 000 miles on it and was 16 000 Dollars. She wanted to look at it again and also drive it once more. Soon they sat in it, Dillon in the back this time with Cheryl on the passenger side and they were driving around the neighborhood again and Ariana imagined how Jason would sit beside her. He would have plenty of space to either put his chair in the backseat or the trunk and she thought it wasn’t too low or too high for him transfer into the car. When she had talked to the people who did modifications on cars for disabled drivers a couple of days ago they had told her that any car could be modified with hand controls.

She really felt good about the Mazda as she was test driving it.
Dillon asked again, “So Ariana, do you still like the car?”
Ariana looked in the mirror for a moment, meeting Dillon’s eyes, “I really like it; I think it is a nice car, not too big, not too small.”
Dillon added, “You are right about that; this model is a nice medium size car. Are you still going to get it modified?”
Ariana nodded, “Yes, not yet though. I want my boyfriend to be able to make that decision with me.”
Dillon remembered Ariana telling him about her disabled boyfriend the first time she was there and he still didn’t really understand how such a women could be with a disabled man but he held his thoughts in and nodded, “That is probably a good idea.”
Ariana smiled in agreement and eventually they pulled back onto the car lot and Ariana smiled over at Dillon, “I think I will take it.”

Dillon of course was happy to hear about Ariana’s decision. Ariana spent about another hour getting all the paper work done and she was going to be able to drive the car off the lot that same day. She paid the car off right away and was very excited to now own a car again. Dillon was excited about having made a sale and still felt a bit weary of not having had a shot with Ariana, she seemed to be doing very well with money, which had made her even more interesting to him. He could tell though that she was only focused on her boyfriend and so he fully directed his flirts and smiles to Cheryl still while making the sale to Ariana in a professional manner.

It had been about two years since Ariana had driven a car, Trey had owned a pick-up truck and they had driven it from California when they had moved down to Las Vegas. After the break up, Trey took his truck with him and Ariana stayed without a car, getting to be a pro at taking public transportation and taxis. She didn’t mind for the time being but now things were different and she needed to have transportation for her and Jason.

She left the car lot in her own little red Mazda and she felt so happy. Cheryl was driving behind her making sure Ariana didn’t get lost with the roads and making sure she was o.k. Ariana was a bit nervous at first driving all herself and she wasn’t going too fast, giving herself time to get used to the car and the way it felt.


Nurse Rose had come back into Jason’s room with the orders to take Jason off the indwelling catheter and take his IV port out of his right hand. They had kept the port in his hand and arm just in case Jason needed some more IV medication or fluids but now that he had not needed anything anymore nurse Rose took his hand and laid it on her lap, gloves on her hands and taking the IV port out from the top of Jason's hand. Quickly she pressed a gauze pad on the injection site and wrapped blue medical tape around the gauze.
Jason was excited to see another thing gone, “Nice color!”
Rose smiled at him, “Be glad I didn’t pick the pink tape.”

Rose pulled the curtain around Jason’s bed to get some privacy so she could remove the catheter. She made sure Jason had two pads under his butt and she helped him take his shorts off. Jason felt shy about the whole ordeal with her but he reminded himself that she was a nurse and she did see these things all the time and it wasn’t a big deal for her. Rose didn’t mind one bit, for her it was just another task but she also felt good about helping Jason get off the indwelling catheter and make it possible for him to get back on intermittent catherization, giving him back full control again over his most private urges. Helping Jason be independent to his best abilities was one of her missions as a nurse.

Jason just laid his head back and didn’t watch as Rose was fully focused on the removal of the catheter and when he looked down she held a pad over his manhood and dabbed a bit. Jason was worried he had made a mess but she said softly and reassuring, “It is done, all is good, Jason! You are free.”
She laughed a little and told him to keep the pad over his privates until the leakage would stop. Jason held the pad in place and Rose disposed of all the materials used.
Once she was done she came back over to the bed and looked at Jason, “Michael will come back in now and he will help you in the bathroom and get you dressed again and into your chair, o.k. honey?”
Jason nodded and said softly, “Rose, thanks!”
She made a gesture with her hand, “It was nothing, no problem, hon! I will be back after Michael.”

Michael walked in the room cheerfully with a bag, “O.K. bro, I got you some clothes and we will get you in the bathroom.”

Michael pulled the wheelchair around to the side of the bed, he placed another pad on the seat and Jason pushed the button of his head end and it moved up with a soft humming. Michael was a strong guy and Jason not that heavy at this point.

Michael asked him, “Do you want to transfer yourself or do you want me to lift you into the chair?”

Jason wanted to transfer and Michael let the bed down so it was even with the height of the chair seat. Jason still felt weak and even though he didn’t have lots of strength at the moment he wanted to push himself to transfer into his wheelchair. He moved his legs over the side of the bed and there they dangled. At least he didn’t have to worry about the IV’s anymore and the catheter and he had his hands free. With Michael standing next to the bed watching, Jason managed a fairly smooth transfer into his wheelchair and it made him feel very good. With his hands he lifted his legs and feet onto to footrest and a little out of breath he looked up at Michael who praised him for his good transfer and laughed, “You almost got your mojo back, Jason!”

He draped a towel over Jason’s lap and they headed for the bathroom, Jason pushing his rims and rolling into the bathroom. Michael helped him a little with the shower again but Jason tried his best to do everything himself. It was somewhat strenuous for him but he wanted to do things for himself again.

After the shower Michael pulled out a catheter package from a cabinet on the wall, “You should try to cath one time and see if you are o.k.”
Jason nodded, “O.k. Give it here.”

He wheeled himself up to the toilet and with gloves on he unwrapped the catheter from its sterile package. He realized his hands were shaky as he unwrapped it. Michael stood by and watched. Jason used an alcohol swap on the tip of his penis and eventually inserted the lubricated catheter tubing slowly and with trembling hands into his urethra and right away the yellow liquid flowed in the toilet. He watched feeling an utter relief, another hurdle overcome.

Michael smiled, “Good job! I saw your hands a little shaky though. This is a lot of stuff for you right now, Jason. I know you want to do stuff by yourself but you should take it easy too and get some rest after we have you dressed and all.”

Jason nodded and they finished up in the bathroom. He wheeled back out toward his bed. Michael had some clothes in the bag. It was the clothing Jason wore the day his dad had brought him to the hospital and then also some extra clothes his dad brought later on when he thought Jason needed clothes but he never did need them in the ICU.

Now Jason pulled out his grey sweats and a simple dark T-Shirt and some socks. He also found some boxers but decided he wouldn’t wear them. Instead he asked Michael for some adult briefs, he wanted to be sure with just coming off the catheter and having to get back into a routine. Michael helped Jason with dressing but Jason did most of it by himself, realizing it cost him quite a lot of strength. After he was dressed he just sat in his chair for a moment catching his breath.

Michael slightly touched Jason’s shoulder, “Are you o.k. Jason? You did a lot.”
Jason looked up at him, “Yes, I am good, just a little exhausted now.”
“Maybe you should lie down in the bed again.”

Jason shook his head initially but then pulled his phone over and looked at it and seeing the message. When he read Ariana wasn’t going to be there until around 3 and it was only 1:30 o’clock he decided he would lay down and get some rest. He did feel exhausted. The bed was still lowered and Jason transferred back into the bed. Michael just watched him, he knew Jason was pushing himself to do all these things and even though it was good Michael also didn’t want Jason to overdo it, “Good decision!”

When Jason was back in his bed Michael pushed the wheelchair right up to the side of the bed, so it would be right there for Jason.
Jason sighed with relief and let his head fall back on the pillow, “Yeah, o.k. that was a lot.”
Michael smiled, “Well, you did great but be careful, don’t exhaust yourself, your body is still weak.”
“I want to surprise my girlfriend today being back in my wheelchair when she gets here.”
Michael laughed, “Oh, I see what’s going on. Yeah, well you should get some rest and then you can get in the chair in a little while. Push the button for me if you need help for the transfer.”
Jason nodded, “I think I will be o.k. Thanks Mike!”
“You are welcome; get some rest now, o.k.!” 
“I will.”