Sunday, November 30, 2014

Three's A Crowd - Chapter 1

Shawn and Jesse are two brothers trying to adjust to Shawn's fairly recent injury in a car accident where he acquired an irreversible disability, being now paraplegic and living his life in a wheelchair.
Shawn is still dealing with feelings of anger and guilt and Jesse is the one trying to keep life going as good as possible. An upcoming job would take Jesse away from Shawn for a few weeks and the plan is to hire a live-in Personal Assistant for Shawn, which Shawn is fighting in every way and giving his brother Jesse grief.


“It would be o.k. for Uncle Randy to come and check on me sometimes.”
Jesse was leaning on the kitchen counter, arms crossed in front of him, looking at Shawn, “No, it’s not enough for me, Shawn. Randy works and is really busy, he may not always have time to come over and check on you. It’s for about five weeks and I feel better having someone professional come over here and look after you on a regular schedule.”

Shawn sat at the table and threw Jesse an irritated look, “I don’t need anyone to come by here…I can take care of myself.”
Jesse’s voice was stern now, “No, you can’t! Last week you had spasms almost every night…you need someone to look after you 24/7…I don’t care Shawn. I already picked someone and you are just going to deal with it.”
Shawn replied frustrated, “Of course you do…you make every decision around here without even asking me.” Shawn was angry at his brother, “…you know I can still think for myself, Jesse…I am not a complete vegetable, but ever since it happened you took over all the decisions concerning me. You boss me around constantly.”

Shawn placed his hands on the rims of his blue framed TiLite wheelchair, about to back up from the table.
Jesse sounded stern, “Well, you need it because all you do is sit around here drowning your self-pity with booze and feeling sorry for yourself. Yeah, I’ve been making the decisions around here, because half the fucking time you either lay in bed sleeping or you are lying on the couch wasted, destroying your body even more.”
Shawn backed up his wheelchair and turned around swiftly. While he rolled out of the kitchen he called angrily, “Whatever Jesse! No one is coming here touching me or telling me what to do."

Different Shores


‘You could be the star in a porn movie’ is probably not an appropriate way of greeting.

Instead I say: “Hi. I’m Jasim.” My voice only slightly higher than usual. “How can I help you?”

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Limits


Marian blinks as a drop of sweat falls from his brow, landing on the beige leather of the couch in front of him, forming a wet, glittering patch.

Three's A Crowd Chapter 2

Jesse and Shawn reconcile after their argument the day before and Jesse is a lot more nervous than Shawn about meeting the prospective Personal Assistant he is thinking about hiring.

Saturday morning they woke up to rain and wind. Usually on Saturdays Jesse would work but this Saturday he had taken off because the prospective Personal Assistant was going to come by for an interview and to meet with Jesse and Shawn. Jesse always got up early and on this rainy Saturday at 7:30 he already sat at the kitchen table drinking his coffee and looking at his phone reading the news, checking his emails and his Facebook.

Shawn was still in bed but waking up slowly and hearing the rain outside he decided to stay in bed a little longer. Usually he didn’t move around too much in his bed, his disability not allowing him to change positions very much or very quickly. Whichever position he decided to sleep in was usually the position he stayed in all night. When he slept on his side he would hold on to a pillow in front of him and also have a pillow propped behind him and sometimes a pillow in between his legs. Sometimes he slept on his belly and sometimes on his back. Even though he couldn’t feel if he was comfortable he still had to be positioned somewhat right to avoid spams or stiffness. He laid there dozing off again to the sound of the rain drumming on the roof.

Jesse finished his coffee and started cleaning up around the house. He wanted the place to look its best. It was somewhat challenging to make the house look attractive and inviting. The furniture was old and worn and living in a wet state with lots of rain it always smelled a little musty in the house. Despite the age of the house Jesse always tried to keep it tidy and clean and on his off day on Sundays he would usually clean the bathrooms, vacuum, clean the kitchen and wash clothes. Lots of times he would have to change the sheets of Shawn’s bed during the week and wash them and then put everything away on his off day. By living only with their dad for a long time and being on their own a lot, they did learn how to take care of themselves and also keep their place clean at an early age.

The spare room which was going to be the PA’s bedroom looked its best. Jesse had cleaned it from top to bottom, had washed the sheets, bought new pillows, dusted, even had wiped down the mini blinds, cleaned the window and put a scented candle and air freshener in the room.

He finished up in the kitchen and went outside on to the porch. Their rambler sat on about two acres of land in the woods. The next neighbor lived about 10 minutes down the gravel road. They were surrounded by Evergreen trees, brush and forest ferns. A small barn stood off to the side and Jesse’s pick-up truck parked on the side of the house.

After the accident and when they knew Shawn wouldn’t be walking anymore, Jesse had built a small ramp over the four steps leading up on the porch and it was finished when Shawn came home from the hospital in his wheelchair. The ramp was not being used too much though, because Shawn hardly left the house.

Jesse sat down in one of the two rocking chairs on the covered porch and watched the rain come down. He was nervous about meeting the woman. He had talked to the Social Security Office and Medicaid about the situation and the possibility to get some financial assistance on the issue. After lots of paperwork and discussion Jesse had been given permission to hire a live-in Personal Assistant for Shawn but only for the time Jesse was away on the job. Jesse and Shawn would only have to pay 50 % of the cost. The Medicaid office had given Jesse a list of approved caretakers with various experience and backgrounds. He had started calling all of them a few weeks back. Out of 15 people only 9 did not already have a job and then it all narrowed down to 3 of them, who were possibly willing to be a live-in PA for the time needed. Out of those one never called back and one fell ill. The only woman left was going to come by at 2:30 p.m. that afternoon and she was really their only hope. If it wouldn’t work out with her Jesse would have to let the job go, because there was no way Shawn would be able to stay by himself for five weeks. Jesse could not work away from home for that long knowing Shawn would be by himself.


Jesse watched the rain forming large puddles in their front yard and leaving bubbles on the surfaces. He was playing with his cell phone when after a while the door opened and Shawn appeared only in sweat pants in his chair in the door, “Hey!”
His hair looked ruffled from the night.
Jesse greeted him, “Morning!”

Shawn attempted to wheel through the door awkwardly trying to hold the door open with one hand when Jesse got up and rushed to hold it open for him; then sat back down.

Shawn looked out in the yard, “What a mess!”
“Yeah, it’s really coming down…supposed to be like that all weekend.”
Jesse looked over at Shawn, “Seems like you actually had a good night.”
“Yeah, I slept well.”
Shawn then added with his eyes down, “Hey…I ‘m sorry about yesterday…I know I was a pain in the ass.”
Jesse looked out in the yard, “No big deal…I get it.”
“Why do you put up with me?”
Jesse moved his eyes toward the sky, “Why not?” He looked over at Shawn with a smile, “You won’t get rid of me Shawn. My ass is going to be on you always…you have no choice in the matter.”

Shawn realized how Jesse with some sarcasm in his voice had turned it around on him but he kept his eyes down and added lowly, “You don’t deserve to be treated like that. Everything you do for me and around here…I deserve to get my ass kicked.”
Jesse smiled, ”Believe me, there have been many times I've been very close to kicking your ass but if they lock me up for beating the crap out of a disabled person, what would happen to you then? I need to stay around to keep your ass in line.”
Shawn couldn’t help but smile then and looked up at Jesse, “When is that person coming?”
“At 2:30…”
“I guess I should get in the shower and clean up…”
Jesse smiled, “Yeah, and put on a shirt...you don’t want to scare her away with your war paint.“
  

            Jesse referred to Shawn’s multiple tattoos on his shoulders and arms. Various tribal symbols extended from his shoulders over to his pectorals. All Jesse had to show for were some tribal tattoos on his upper arms and on his calves. 

Shawn put his hands on his rims and spun his chair around to wheel back in. Jesse got up and in front of Shawn to hold the door open for him again, “You need help?”
“Nah, I got it.”
“Well, call me if you need me.”
 “Yeah, yeah.” Shawn sounded somewhat annoyed. Sometimes Jesse was just a little too overbearing.

While Shawn disappeared in his bathroom Jesse turned on the TV and stretched out on the couch.

Shawn usually needed about an hour in the bathroom. He had a shower chair and all his shower things, a toothbrush and toothpaste and even his shaving stuff and a mirror in the tub. That way he could get everything done while in the shower. Before he showered he got out another catheter to drain his bladder. As much as he tried to ignore the issues of catherization and bowel management he was faced with them daily and it didn’t seem to get easier.

After Shawn’s accident Jesse had taken out the shower door and added a shower curtain. That way Shawn could wheel up to the shower tub and just transfer over onto the shower chair.

            Shawn finished in the bathroom looking into the mirror brushing through his dark hair. He had never had problems finding girls before his accident, he wasn’t bad looking and he had always had a way with the female population and wasn’t really without a girl by his side on many occasions. Everything had changed with the accident. The guy he used to be was gone and he had shied away from the world outside his door. He couldn’t imagine any decent woman being interested in him anymore, a guy who didn’t even know when he had to urinate or defecate and who couldn’t get an erection anymore.

He didn’t have a car, even though Jesse had been trying to get him to look at his options of having a car modified using all hand controls. Shawn wasn’t interested in driving anymore. The accident had stripped him of his carefree rebel personality. He hated everything about his disability, felt incomplete and insecure, angry and deep inside hurt.
He threw himself a disapproving look in the mirror and then rolled out of the bathroom.

Jesse had left coffee on and Shawn pulled out a mug from the cabinet, set it on the table and bringing the coffee pot over he poured himself some coffee and fixed his cereal. He had to wheel back and forward to get all the things done but he always managed. He was able to take care of all essential duties for himself and around the house; everything just took longer and encompassed more work.

He usually needed assistance with little things or when incidents happen like falling out of his chair, forgetting things or when his body was battling him in the form of spasms or illness. Since he had been home after the accident, he had to be admitted back into the hospital three times due to bladder and urinary tract infection and another time a cold turned into the onset of pneumonia. He got sick easy and on some days he would just stay in his bed because he just didn’t feel good. His psyche had been on an emotional roller coaster, the anti-depressant keeping his moods in check but he still had good and bad days.

Shawn sat at the table eating his cereal while Jesse watched TV. Jesse glanced over to make sure Shawn was o.k. and had everything he needed. It was still raining outside and Jesse dozed off momentarily lounging on the couch.

Once Shawn was done he cleaned up his dishes and wheeled over to the living room, “You wanna play a round?”
He nodded towards the game console and Jesse sat up, “Yeah, why not?”

During the week when Shawn was by himself he played Videogames quite a bit, sometimes too much but there was nothing else for him to do. He had some items to exercise with like dumb bells, rubber bands and he was trying to keep his upper body and arms strong, which was essential for his transfers in and out of his wheelchair, lifting himself around or sitting up. He couldn’t do much for his legs and he had watched how they had lost muscle tone over the last year, getting thinner and thinner. He felt weak and incomplete.

            Jesse turned on the game console and they played video games until about two o’clock. The rain had not let off at all, it was still pouring outside when Jesse got up and looked around the living room and kitchen once again to see if the place was presentable. He was nervous about the woman coming by. He had only emailed and talked to her on the phone. He had no idea what she looked like. On the phone she sounded friendly.

For her professional experience she was in possession of a Certified Nurse Assistant license, was CPR certified, had worked for the last two years as a CNA in a senior citizen community in town, about 10 miles away. In addition she was an activity coordinator at the senior community, escorting the elderly on trips or fun outings, keeping them occupied with various activities and also instructing water Aerobics classes at the community pool.

When Jesse had asked her on the phone why she wanted to find another job she had replied that she wanted to take on a new career path to eventually become a physical therapist and felt working with a disabled person would be a great opportunity. Her plan was to still work part time at the senior community and Jesse felt they could make it work somehow and talk about it more in the personal interview.

She was also taking prerequisite college classes online. Jesse had a positive impression of her from the contact they had had on the phone and she was really his only hope for him to be able to take the job. He walked to the guest room again and straightened the sheets on the bed once again, pulled the curtain open all the way, looked around and then went back to the kitchen, moved dishes from one corner of the counter to the sink, and straightened dish towels on the oven handle as Shawn who watched him curiously said, “Jesse, chill out man…what's going on with you?”

Jesse froze leaning on the kitchen counter, shaking his head and taking a deep breath, “I just want everything to look right and somewhat okay in here. This place is so old, maybe eventually we need to sell this place and move or something.”
Shawn didn’t object.
Jesse walked over to the front door and looked out, “We have a fucking lake outside…She’ll have a nice first impression of this dump.”
Jesse sounded almost angry.

It was right at 2:30 p.m. when Jesse announced, ”There’s a car coming down the road.”

Shawn wheeled toward the kitchen as Jesse stepped out onto the porch to welcome the guest. Shawn realized how nervous Jesse was and even though he did not care too much about the idea of a live-in PA and the whole situation he did not protest about it anymore and even felt somehow sorry for his brother.

In reality Shawn still didn’t want anyone to be living in their place and even coming just a foot near him but he had decided he’d let Jesse do this interview to make him happy.

He heard Jesse outside and a female voice, Jesse apologizing over and over for the rain puddles outside the house and the woman replying that it was okay.

Shawn was startled when both came hurrying in through the door to get out of the rain, the woman barefooted holding flat shoes in her hand, Jesse closing the door behind them and almost bowing down to her a little, apologizing once again for the lake outside the house.

The woman was laughing, “Wow, so much rain.”
Jesse came around, “I’m so sorry…let me get a towel for you.”
He rushed toward the back and the woman looked up and met Shawn’s suspicious dark eyes.
She was a little wet but smiling and dropping her shoes, she walked up to Shawn and reached her hand out to him, “Hi, I’m Trish…I’m sorry to burst in like this.
She looked down at her wet and muddy feet and then back up and Shawn stretched his hand out, “Hi, I’m Shawn!

Shawn was stunned. He had expected someone a lot different. Her long blonde hair, slightly damp, was falling over her shoulders down to her waist. She wore a light flowery dress with a green cardigan over it. Her shoes strewn on the floor matching the color of the cardigan. He saw her painted toe nails on her muddy feet. He was speechless, she was beautiful and in his head he heard a very loud voice, “NO FUCKING WAY!”

Friday, November 28, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 3

As the prospective PA arrived for the interview, Jesse's plans are being shattered by Shawn's negative attitude turning the interview into a disaster and a dangerous confrontation between the two brothers.



Jesse came rushing back into the kitchen with a towel in his hand, “Here you go…I’m sorry about the mess out there.”
He apologized so many times, it was almost obnoxious.
Still apologetic Jesse scurried around Trish, “Have a seat! Do you want to wash off your feet?”
Trish smiled, sitting down on one of the kitchen chairs, “No, it’s okay. The towel will do just fine.”

She started drying off her feet and Shawn threw a look at Jesse, raising his eye brows.
Jesse inquired nervously, “Did you guys already meet? Trish, this is my brother Shawn.”
Shawn cut him off, “We already met.”
Trish was done with her feet and slipped into her shoes again, “There…it’s all good.”

Jesse grabbed the towel and took it to the back hallway quickly.
When he came back to the kitchen he asked Trish, “What can I get you to drink? Coffee, Soda, Water?”
Trish smiled, “A cup of coffee would be great.”
Jesse got busy getting the coffee for Trish.
Shawn sat somewhat on the left of Trish, where his usual spot at the table was, no chair in the way.
Jesse turned around toward him, “You want some coffee, Shawn?”
Shawn shook his head, “I’m good.”

He looked at Trish from the side and said seriously, “Not really the right shoes for this kind of weather or for coming out here.”
Trish looked at him with a smile, “No, not really…but it didn’t rain in town.”

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 4

Things go from bad to worse when Jesse finds Shawn with an afflicted injury that happened during the fight from the day before. Trish gets over the initial shock of the interview and is trying to move on.

After Trish had left their house she had started crying a little in her car, thinking about how hostile Shawn had been towards her. She could sense it was insecurity on his end but he had no right to treat her the way he did. After this experience with Shawn she seriously reconsidered to change her job at the moment. It was probably better for her to stay where she was at and take her college classes online and then move on.

In a way she was almost relieved because if Shawn would have actually turned out to be a nice guy combined with his looks and his disability she would have been very nervous at the prospect of having to be around him all the time and seeing him in his wheelchair constantly. For a long time she had been looking for someone exactly like Shawn and maybe it was better that he turned out to be a jerk because that made her decision easier not to take the job.

Shawn had said some hurtful and horrible things. For over two years Trish had been working at the senior citizen community and everyone loved her there. She enjoyed her job but wanted to move into another direction now. When she had seen the ad in the paper for the Personal Assistant she just had to apply. She knew Jesse desperately wanted to hire someone in his absence to be there for Shawn but today it all had gone really wrong with Shawn’s obvious rejection toward her.
She drove along the Interstate going back home to Olympia and on Monday she would be back at work at Evergreen Meadows. She would try to forget that this day ever happened. No matter how hard she tried though, Shawn kept appearing in her mind.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Final Chapter (35) of No Strings Attached

Hello my friends, as my headline states I bring you the final Chapter 35 of NSA. It has been a wonderful experience for me to be able to share this first story of mine with you for the past "35" weeks. Initially I was super nervous and scared to share this story with you, with that opening up on another level to people who hopefully understand and know how it feels to be a devotee or want to learn about devotees. I had a lot of fun writing and editing NSA and I think the story came out pretty good for my first try. I do have some other stories in my desk but still need to work a lot on them. I am thinking about a Part Two of NSA, maybe more of Ariana and Jason and how their life together unfolds. Let me know if that is something you would like to see happening. Ariana and Jason definitely have settled in my heart and sometimes they felt so real to me that I thought I would somehow meet them. I hope that is a good thing to feel as a writer. I will also go back to the beginning of NSA and look over it some more and I know I will see things I need to edit but hopefully not too much. With the holidays coming and the year coming to an end I will gather my thoughts, my other stories and hopefully find time to start working/writing/editing some more in the new year. Of course I would love to get your feedback on the last chapter. Personally it was a very exciting chapter for me, making my heart beat really fast on some occasions. Let me know if you feel the same way. Thanks so much for all your time, support and feedback on NSA, I appreciate each and every one of you as my readers and you are in my heart just like Ariana and Jason. Big Hug and Big Thank You, Dani
If you want to message me here is my email: torninbetweenseit71@gmail.com

Also an updated TOC: TOC No Strings Attached

Three's A Crowd Chapter 5

Shawn's get his diagnosis at the hospital and the day brings up more emotions lingering between the brothers and also coming to the final decision about Jesse leaving for the job.


After they checked in at the reception a nurse gave Shawn an ice pack for his wrist and they were told to wait. In the waiting room children and babies were crying, adults looked sick and grumpy and mothers looked stressed. Shawn tried to ignore his pain by watching the TV while Jesse started playing with a little girl who kept coming over to him. She was probably around 3 years old and was there with her mother and a fuzzy baby in a stroller. Jesse played “Peek a-boo” with her as the little girl kept hiding behind a chair. The mom smiled at Jesse, obviously relieved that her daughter was being entertained while she tried to calm her baby.

Shawn glanced at Jesse playing with the little girl. Jesse had always had a way with kids and Shawn knew that time was ticking away for him and Jesse to ever become fathers. He felt guilty for taking over Jesse’s life the past almost two years and Jesse having had to put relationships and any kind of family plans aside. Jesse loved kids and would have made a good dad.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 6


Shawn is going back to the hospital for the follow-up appointment and being in town brings a surprise for the guys.


During the following week Jesse dropped Shawn off at their uncle’s house in the mornings on his way to work. Shawn was there by himself until Marcy, Uncle Randy’s girlfriend came home from work around 12:30 and could help Shawn with whatever he needed, really nothing major. Shawn mostly watched TV, chatted with Marcy or just laid around. His wrist still hurt when he didn’t take any pain medication but the swelling slowly went down. He really couldn’t do a whole lot with his hand and he hated it. Marcy was all right, she had no problem with Shawn being over at their house and helping him out a little. Around seven in the evenings Jesse picked up Shawn, but on two nights they stayed for dinner with Randy and Marcy.

Not being able to use his left hand made things harder for Shawn. He couldn’t really transfer by himself and even a catheter was difficult to insert without being able to use his left hand. Getting into the shower on his own was basically impossible. He couldn’t put any weight on his hand at all and wasn’t able to lift his body out of his wheelchair onto the shower chair or toilet.

On Thursday Dr. Thompson called to check on Shawn and his wrist and told him to come to the hospital on Friday afternoon for the follow up appointment and possibly getting a cast put on his hand. Shawn thought a cast would be good. He then didn’t have to worry about doing more damage to his wrist and maybe could use it again somewhat. At least that is what he was hoping for.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 7

Jesse and Shawn spend some time with their relatives and Shawn is still struggling with Jesse leaving but realizing he has to accept the changes ahead. Trish is still nervous as well and can't get Shawn out of her head anymore, doubting if she really made the right decision.


Saturday afternoon Uncle Randy with his girlfriend Marcy and Jesse and Shawn’s three cousins accompanied by their significant others came over for a BBQ. All were sitting outside, enjoying the nice weather, grilling Hamburgers, Steaks and Hot Dogs. Everyone had brought something, a side dish or beverages.  There was plenty of beer and food for a good time on a nice summer afternoon.

It was meant to be a family get together before Jesse would have to leave in a week. Randy was their dad’s brother and only close relative living nearby. After Jesse and Shawn’s dad had passed away, Randy sort of took over the role of a father to Jesse and Shawn and was always checking on the guys, making sure they were doing okay and managing on their own. 

After Shawn’s accident Randy was there for Jesse, helping him through the ordeal of communicating with doctors and all the hospital staff about Shawn. He helped Jesse with all the administrative paperwork and things that had to be taken care of and also helped them out financially when Jesse didn’t work for a few weeks right after Shawn’s accident.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 8

The week goes by and Trish finally arrives at the house to take on her job. Shawn watches how Jesse and Trish seem to connect easily and he feels like the odd one out, still wondering how all of it is going to work with Trish being his Personal Assistant.  

During the week Shawn proved to Jesse that despite his wrist injury he could stay at home by himself during the day. Shawn was used to staying at home by himself all day but it did get lonely sometimes. He kept himself occupied by playing Video games, watching TV, and surfing the Internet.
 
He usually hung out on some of the Spinal Cord Injury message boards, chatting to others who suffered from Spinal Cord Injuries. In the beginning of his life as a paraplegic he used to be on the message boards daily, discussing SCI issues with others, encouraging newly injured members and reading about other peoples’ issues and how they had learned to deal with the drastic change in their lives after their injuries. There were so many that had it a lot worse than him and he sometimes fed off their stories just to make himself feel better, realizing he had actually gotten away fairly good with the T-6 complete injury.

Some people learned to embrace their new lives as a blessing but Shawn could never see himself coming to such a contentment. No matter how hard he tried he didn’t enjoy being a paraplegic and not walking anymore for the rest of his life. It didn’t help that he had no one to blame but only himself and it made him angry sometimes. When he did read stories about someone who had come to terms with being a paraplegic or quadriplegic and they wrote about it in a state of calm and content, seeing the positive in their new lives, he sometimes felt so much rage and on more than one occasion he had turned his computer off angrily in the middle of reading or having the urge to just take the machine and throw it against the wall.

He couldn’t believe how people could actually be okay with their situations and this was also one reason he had quit physical therapy and going to any support groups geared toward SCI patients. In rehabilitation at physical therapy they had always been positive and motivating and he hated it. He didn’t enjoy being there and all the exercises and hated when they told him “how good he was doing”. The fact was he wouldn’t walk anymore and that was all he could think of and all the health issues arising with being a paraplegic. Before his accident he had never for just one second wasted a thought on living a life not being able to walk. He had been selfish sometimes and work was just a way to finance a life full of partying, picking up girls and living on the edge. Now that guy didn’t exist anymore and Shawn struggled with his new identity day in and day out.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 9

The first night for Trish at Jesse's and Shawn's house turns into an unexpected situation, manifesting insecurities and feelings of guilt and shame for everyone.


Many nights even though Shawn was tired and exhausted from the day it still took him a while to fall asleep, sometimes slight spasms keeping him awake.  With Jesse’s bedroom being adjacent to his, he heard Jesse get in his bed shortly after they had said Good Night.

It was probably about twenty minutes later when Shawn heard some rustling noises coming from the living room and hearing the floor creak under light footsteps. He lifted his head and looked toward his slightly open door, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness.  A window in the hallway let in some light from a yard lantern and kept the hallway always lighter than the bedrooms at night.
  
To his amazement Shawn saw Trish’s shape sneak soft footed by his room and he heard a creak from Jesse’s bedroom door. He lifted his head up some more, wondering if anything was going on with Trish. He made out some whispering and eventually the creaking floor in Jesse’s room and then the door closed.

"The Outsiders" update!

Here's Chapter 10 of "The Outsiders"!

Looks like monthly updates is the pace I will be posting at forward.

Here's the updated TOC.

Thanks for reading :-)

-Mille

Tuesday Nov 25th 2014:
I've gone back and fixed some mistakes I found when I read through the story.  Looks like I didn't do a very thorough job of proof reading before I pushed 'publish'.

I'm playing with the thought of writing the next chapter from Jonas' point of view. How do you, my readers, feel about that?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 10

Shawn has to face Trish and Jesse after the night they spent together and Jesse is leaving for his job.

 
Sunday morning Jesse knocked softly on Shawn’s door, “Shawn?”
Without waiting for a reply he walked into the room and over to the bed, repeating lowly, “Shawn, hey! Do you want to send me off today? I have to leave around noon.”
Shawn opened his eyes slowly and blinked towards Jesse, asking, “What time is it?”
“It’s nine o’clock, just thought I wake you up so we can still hang out a bit before I have to leave.”

At that moment Shawn remembered what he had witnessed the night before.
He opened his eyes some more and scanned Jesse with a serious expression, checking if he looked somehow different. Jesse smiled as always, looking tall and handsome in a white T-Shirt, blue jeans and towering over Shawn’s bed. It was really no surprise Trish couldn’t resist him.
Jesse added, “Well, I will let you wake up. Trish is making breakfast for us, she can really whip up a delicious omelet.”

Shawn didn’t respond and Jesse walked out. He stayed in his bed for a moment longer, hearing Trish and Jesse talking and laughing in the kitchen. He really didn’t feel like facing them but he knew he had no choice. Feelings of pain and anger toward both of them still lingered but he knew it was wrong of him to feel that way. Whatever happened between Trish and Jesse had nothing to do with Trish being his personal assistant and Jesse being his brother. He had no right to be mad at them. If they were attracted to each other they had every right to be together in any way they pleased even if it was just for casual sex. His mind was racing as he was trying to sort his feelings concerning the situation.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 11


Jesse is gone and Trish and Shawn have no choice but to interact with each other and talk about things. Shawn is letting Trish only get very few glimpses into his mind but her attraction to him is undeniable.


Trish watched Jesse’s pickup truck disappear in the distance and she then turned her eyes to Shawn. She saw him wipe over his face with his arm but he stayed where he was. She was debating if he needed her help, the yard was bumpy and rocky and was most likely difficult to maneuver with the wheelchair and especially with his broken wrist.

She knew he would probably decline her offer to help but she called out to him anyways, “Shawn, are you O.K.?”
He turned his head toward her, nodding and calling back, “Yes!”

Shawn put his hands to his rims and spun his chair around. He hoped Trish wouldn’t stand there and watch him somewhat clumsily make his way back to the house. He was relieved when he saw her disappear inside the house. With difficulties he made it back to the ramp and pushed his chair up. Everything was much more complicated with his hand in a cast.

Once up on the ramp he wheeled over to the side of the front porch and caught his breath. He didn’t want to wheel inside yet as he was still dealing with his emotions of Jesse leaving. Sitting there out on the porch he thought about how everything had been for him and Jesse the last eighteen months. He sometimes wished he could turn back the clock to before the accident when things were still good for him and Jesse.

After about fifteen minutes the front door opened and Trish came out, holding a beer in her hand.
Shawn looked over at her and she smiled, “I know Jesse told me you have to cut back on the drinking but I thought you could use a cold one right about now.”

Shawn was surprised and also slightly amused at her bluntness but the cold beer did appeal to him.
She held out the bottle to him, “Yes – No?”
He took it from her smiling, “Thanks! That’s thoughtful of you.”
She smiled, “No problem…would it be o.k. for me to join you out here?”
Twisting the lid of the bottle he glanced up from under his bangs, “Yeah sure.”
She plopped into one of the two rocking chairs on the porch, “Are you O.K.?”
Shawn looked at the beer in his hand, “Yeah!”
Trish added lowly, “I know it must be weird for you seeing your brother leave and all. I know you guys are very close.”

Shawn didn’t say anything but nodded and took a sip of the cold beer, making him realize how dry his throat had been. The cold brew felt good going down.
He looked out in the yard and saw Rocky, the cat, creeping around on soft paws looking for insects or rodents.

Trish asked lowly after a while, “Shawn?”
He looked over at her, “Hhm?”
“I want to make this work you know…I mean with helping you and stuff.”
Shawn took another sip of his beer and nodded slightly but still didn’t say anything.
Trish was intimidated but continued, “…you know I am nervous…but I know about paraplegia and the issues that come with it. I know it is difficult now with your wrist broken and your hand in a cast.”
Shawn looked away, listening to her quietly.
Trish kept on, “This is what I want to do. I want to know everything about you being paraplegic. I know it is not easy for you, but I want to help you with whatever you need or want help with and I mean anything Shawn…I know some things are very personal, but I am ready. I want you to feel comfortable around me and please tell me what I can do to make you feel O.K.”

Shawn kept looking out into the yard and started lowly, “The only person who has been around me since the accident has been Jesse…” he paused, then added, “…even when I was still in the hospital Jesse did things for me all the time, he was already half way there to be a nurse. Of course the actual nurses were glad he was there helping so much, that made it easier for them.”
Trish remarked softly, “He is a great brother and he cares about you very much, but he wants to move on now.”
Shawn nodded, “I know.”

He drank from his beer again and then looked over at Trish. She was beautiful and he still couldn’t imagine that she would live with him for a few weeks. He really couldn’t picture Trish being his PA.

Trish smiled, “It is still early in the afternoon and I thought maybe we can take a little drive or something. Maybe go to town and hang out but only if you want to. It is a nice warm day.”

Shawn wasn’t sure about going anywhere, he was a little tired and felt depressed but then again he knew Trish probably wouldn’t only be hanging out at the house with him for the next couple of weeks, “I don’t know.”
Trish suggested carefully, “We could take a stroll around Capitol Lake. There is a nice trail there.”
Shawn had not been at Capitol Lake in years, “Is it paved?”
Trish thought for a moment and then answered lowly, “No, but the trail is like compacted sand and pebbles and sturdy to walk on…or wheel on I believe. If it is too strenuous with your hand I could push you or we could do something else.”

Shawn did not like the idea of Trish pushing him at all, he would avoid that at all cost. He didn’t even like Jesse to push him even when there was really no other way. He had enough trouble being in a wheelchair and someone else pushing him would not make it better. He always tried to avoid the situation.

Trish felt Shawn’s tension about the idea, “I think it would be nice to get out a little, mingle and get some sun…”
Shawn shrugged his shoulders, “I guess it wouldn’t hurt to get away from here a bit.”
Trish got up and smiled at him, “That’s the spirit.”

Shawn looked up at her and when she met his eyes he felt a surge go through him, thinking about how attractive she was and how beautiful her smile was.

He took a last gulp of the beer and followed Trish into the house, the empty bottle in his lap. As he rolled into the kitchen he saw Trish’s lap top set up on the kitchen table.

Trish walked toward her room, “I will get my stuff and get ready.”
Shawn replied, “I have to do some stuff before we go too. I will be right out.”

He wheeled to his bathroom and inside he washed his hands and opened up another sterile catheter to drain his bladder. He was nervous at the prospect of leaving the house with Trish and he needed to make sure he had all his stuff with him.

Once he was done in the bathroom he wheeled to his bedroom and gathered his cell phone and his back pack. His back pack held items he could possibly need while out and about. Among other things he had his medications, catheters, water, incontinence briefs and a change of clothes.

He set the back pack on his lap and wheeled out to the kitchen where Trish was gathering her things, “Are you ready?”
He nodded, “I think so.”
Trish smiled, “O.K.….I will pull my car up to the ramp so you don’t have to push yourself through the yard.”

Shawn followed her outside and locked the door behind himself. Trish walked toward her car.
He let his chair roll down the ramp slowly, slightly holding his rims back to break the speed. Trish parked her car on the bottom of the ramp.

As Shawn opened the passenger door Trish came around to his side, “You want to put your backpack in the back seat?”
Shawn shook his head and answered, “No, I will keep it up front with me. Can you hold it for a moment?” Trish nodded and he handed her his back pack.

Without words she witnessed Shawn transferring into her car.
Curiously she watched him from under her bangs, trying not to stare too much but mesmerized by the transfer and feeling excitement creep up inside.

Under the short sleeves of his T-Shirt she caught glimpses of his biceps and triceps at work as he placed his casted hand on the car seat and his other hand helping push over his body from his wheelchair and his lifeless legs still dangling out of the car. With both hands Shawn then grabbed his left leg under the knee and lifted it into the car, repeating the process with the right leg and positioning both somewhat aligned in front of himself on the floor board. For a moment he glanced up at Trish in the process of lifting his legs and he saw her eyes fixed on him. He adjusted his seating and then pulled his chair over a bit. When he looked up at Trish again he realized she had been watching him closely the whole time.

Trish snapped out of the moment and looked away embarrassed as Shawn commented sharply, “Enjoying the show?”

She was thrown off and surprised at his wording. She tried to think of what to do or say, not sure if she had made Shawn angry with her stares. Shawn quietly pulled his wheelchair closer next to the car and she observed him folding it up quickly.
He then looked up at her again and asked lowly, “Can you stash that in the trunk or something?”
Trish walked up, handed him his back pack and took the chair from him, “Yeah, sure!”
She was able to store the chair into the trunk of her car, then she went around to the driver’s side and got in.

She still felt embarrassed for having stared at Shawn and in the car she looked over at him and when he met her eyes she started lowly, “Shawn, I am sorry I stared a moment ago. I just….” she paused.
Shawn kept his eyes on Trish, making her nervous as she tried to excuse herself, “…I just have never seen…”
She didn’t finish her sentence, Shawn’s dark gaze fixed on her when he asked with a tense undertone, “Didn’t you say you knew about paraplegia?”
Trish took a breath and said lowly, “I did say that…and I do know…”
She was lost for words and felt uneasy with Shawn’s interrogation.
Deciding not to let him intimidate her any longer she looked directly at him, “I am sorry, O.K.!”
Shawn didn’t say anything, recognizing Trish’s agitated tone, “Do you still want to go or are you going to be angry at me now?”
Shawn took his eyes off her, shifted and said lowly, “Well, you will be seeing lots of transfers for the next couple of weeks so I would appreciate you being a little less invasive with your stares.”
Trish didn’t say a word and started the car.

She was annoyed with Shawn’s behavior but tried to tell herself that he was probably right and she needed to be more respectful.
Shawn felt strange riding as a passenger in the car with a woman. It had been a long time since he had been in that situation. When he did have a woman in the car it had usually been him behind the wheel. Trish had the car radio tuned in to a Classic Rock station.
Shawn still thought about the moment earlier and questioned if he had possibly been too rude to Trish. She probably hadn’t meant any harm in watching him transfer into the car. He thought of something to say but felt nervous and stayed quiet, keeping his eyes straight ahead on the road.

Trish still felt a little off in Shawn’s presence and she also pondered on the situation from a while ago. After all she was excited to be with him and hoped that they would somehow find a way to get along in the next couple of weeks.

She knew the night with Jesse had been odd and she wondered if Shawn had an idea. She had been drunk and Jesse with his sexy smile, his kindness and his good looks had brought on the one-night stand. Jesse had been open to her and she had felt a connection between Jesse and herself. It was like he was inviting her to get closer to him. There was no doubt that Jesse was attracted to her and she had felt it the couple of times they were together. The alcohol had stripped her of her reservations the night before and even though she felt a tremendous attraction to Shawn, he had not given her any signs whereas Jesse wasn’t as complicated and mysterious as Shawn.

She had been longing to be close to someone. Feeling somewhat insecure about herself, Jesse had drawn her in with his friendly and compassionate attitude. He had felt good for her and even though he had made sure she knew that he had to leave she had felt content about sleeping with him. He hadn’t jumped right in but had talked to her, had held her and had not for one moment given her the feeling of only going for a quick sexual fling with a drunk and na├»ve girl.

Jesse was a good guy for sure but he was gone now and there was Shawn sitting quietly next to her, surrounded by an invisible wall built on pain, insecurity and anger. She wanted to get through to him, feeling such an intense attraction to him which would possibly be hard to explain but she also wanted to get to know Shawn and make him enjoy life again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 34

Hi my friends! I have been having a somewhat rough week emotionally and I barely managed to get another chapter posted today, I didn't want to disappoint you with missing my time line. The chapter may be a little shorter than some of the previous ones but I hope you still enjoy following along as Jason is getting discharged from the hospital with mixed emotions about Ariana's apparent absence. Let me know how you like the outcome of Chapter 34. Enjoy and thanks as always for reading. Hugs, Dani

Three's A Crowd Chapter 12

Trish and Shawn spend an afternoon outside and end up in an emotional tumult, getting so close to each other but yet so far. Trish's past also catches up to her and Shawn gets pulled into it, not in a good way.


At Capitol Lake the parking areas were busy with cars on this sunny day. Shawn pulled his back pack up on his lap and was digging in it. After a moment he held up a blue disabled parking placard and glanced over at Trish, “We can use this.”
Trish looked puzzled and he informed her, “Jesse had your license number added to it.”
“Oh cool! I kind of forgot all about that.”
Shawn attached the placard to the mirror and mumbled, “Well, Jesse didn’t.”

Trish pulled around to the disabled parking spaces and spotted a good size spot. She pulled into it and left sufficient space on the passenger side for Shawn to get out.
After she dropped her purse into the trunk she lifted Shawn’s wheelchair out of it, brought it around to him and when he reached over for it she asked, “Can I unfold it?”
At her request Shawn looked a little surprised but nodded, “Be my guest!”
He watched her unfold the wheelchair swiftly and competent.
Once it was set up right next to him he remarked, “You have that down pretty good already.”
She smiled at him, “Thanks…can you take the wheels off too?”
Shawn looked up at her and she was relieved to catch a smile on his face as well, “Actually yes, it is an option to take the wheels off but since the chair fit into your trunk all right, I didn’t have to do that.”
Shawn attached the shoulder straps of his back pack on the handles of the wheelchair’s backrest.
Trish stood by as he transferred into his wheelchair and this time she tried not to stare too obvious. Shawn seriously glanced up from under his bangs during the transfer and when he met her eyes she looked away quickly.
Backwards he wheeled himself away from the car as Trish locked it remotely.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Another Coming Home Update

Dear Readers,

I'm changing things up a bit. I was encouraged by a fan to skip ahead in time, and I found it an inspiring challenge. So here's Coming Home: Year Eleven, which is the eighth chapter in the story.

(I know. I'm sorry if that's confusing!)

Additionally, please find the updated Table of Contents here.

Cheers,
Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk

Three's A Crowd Chapter 13

Trish and Shawn are back at home after their outing and both are trying to deal with what had happened at the lake. Feelings of wanting to be close are overpowered by fear and anxiety of being in each others presence.

Back at the house Trish parked her car close to the ramp so Shawn was able to just get out and into his chair to wheel up the ramp.
Relieved to be back in the safety of his own place Shawn dropped his backpack into a corner by the door. Even though he had enjoyed the outing at first, being out in the sun, by the lake and surrounded by nature and people, it had also been exhausting. He needed to drain his bladder and wheeled to the bathroom.
Trish called after him, “You want some coffee Shawn?”
“Sounds good.”

Trish hoped he would ask her if he needed help, but then again she knew he had a problem with accepting that she was there for him. She felt horrible about the outburst she had had in the car. It had not been Shawn’s fault but she had lost her cool and let her anger and pain out on him. It wouldn’t surprise her if he would tell Jesse about it and maybe blow off the whole arrangement.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 14

Trish and Shawn face yet another unexpected situation that seems to widen the gap between them. Their hearts tell a different story but overcoming the insecurities and anxieties is still a complicated task for both.

Trish didn’t sleep very deep that night. She was still trying to get used to the house and all the sounds around it outside and inside. Scurrying noises right under her window startled her a few times during the night, probably a raccoon or possum.

Morning came and Trish woke up around eight fifteen. She listened for any noises in the house but it was quiet.
In the kitchen, Rocky, the cat meowed and moved around Trish’s naked legs, pushing up against her.
“Are you hungry buddy?”
She opened a can of cat food and poured it into Rocky’s bowl, he dug into and smacked away.

No noises came from the back hallway or Shawn‘s bedroom. Trish put on the coffee pot and decided to get in the shower and get ready.
Shawn sometimes took medication to help him sleep at night and he rarely woke up before nine in the morning.
Most nights were O.K. for him but there were phases when spasms would torture him during the nights and days and he had to take medication to keep the spasms somehow under control. He was hoping he wouldn’t have any serious spastic episodes while Jesse was gone. 

Coming Home Update

Dear Readers,

Here is (the inexcusably delayed) Coming Home: Year Seven.

An updated Table of Contents can be found here.

Cheers,
Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 15

Another day filled with situations for Trish and Shawn to deal with bringing them closer and changing their interactions with each other. The day starts out good and Trish is happy that Shawn seems to come around some and agrees to hang out with her, making them both realize that things could be good between them until the day puts them to the test once again.

Trish woke up to her alarm at eight o’clock, pushed the snooze button and turned back over, continuing her slumber. After tossing and turning and pushing snooze two more times she finally forced herself to get up. Everything was still quiet in the house. She went to the bathroom and then put some coffee on. There was no sound coming from Shawn’s bedroom or bathroom.
Mild spasms had bothered Shawn all night but he was able to manage without taking his Baclofen though his sleep had been restless. Around five in the morning the spasms had finally subsided all the way and he had fallen into a deeper sleep.

Holding a coffee mug in between her hands Trish walked over to the living room scanning the framed pictures on a shelf. In one of the photos Jesse and Shawn were sitting on the tailgate of a truck, laughing into the camera. Another picture showed them and a man on a wooden bench seemingly on the porch of a house. She realized the similarity of their features and knew it must have been their dad.
There were photos with other people and in all of them Shawn was on his legs or sitting but never in his wheelchair. All the pictures were obviously from before Shawn’s accident. Jesse smiled in all of the photos, Shawn looked more serious in most of them.
One professionally taken portrait was only of their father, he had been an attractive man and the photo must have been taken before he had the stroke. Trish was able to identify their mother in some older pictures when Shawn and Jesse were still young boys. Jesse looked a lot like his mother, she was smiling and laughing in the pictures, seemingly happy with her boys by her side.  
Trish’s eyes stayed on an apparently newer picture of Shawn sitting on a rock by a river fishing and looking around at the camera. It must have been before the accident as well because his legs looked like they filled out his jeans and they were positioned steady on the rock he was sitting on, work boots on his feet. He actually smiled into the camera. Even when Shawn was not paraplegic yet Trish would have found him to be attractive nonetheless.
She thought about how exactly the guy in that picture was right there with her in the house, they were so close but yet so far apart. She wanted him so badly but she was unsure how to get closer to him.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 16

Shawn and Trish find themselves connecting personally some more during the night as Shawn is still plagued by spasms and laying awake and Trish joining him. Some more intimate moments bring them closer and more conversations helping them get to know each other.


It was around three in the morning when Trish awoke to a scratchy noise outside her window. Motionless she laid in her bed and listened for a few moments, then got up and tip toed over to the window, scared to look out, but she did peek through the mini blind and saw the shadows of an animal close to the house and then the outline of a raccoon scratching on the wall. She slowly pulled up her mini blind and opened the window. The raccoon stopped in its activity and looked up toward the window. Trish hushed at the animal and after a few moments of staring at her the raccoon trotted off into the darkness.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 17

Night turns into day for Trish and Shawn and Shawn is not over the severe spastic episode from the night before, dealing with some other issues now. Their bond as friends is becoming even closer but their hearts speak of a different longing. Can their friendship be transformed into something more?



Trish pushed her phone away, with the gesture almost like she was emphasizing to push Corey away further.

When she walked back to Shawn’s bedroom to wake him up she was surprised to find Shawn lying in his bed with his eyes open already, “Good Morning Shawn?”
His voice was low and scratchy, “Hey.”
Trish asked carefully, “Can I come in?”
“Sure.”

As Trish approached him she saw his eyes had dark circles under them and he looked tired and sweaty.
“Shawn, are you all right?”
He swallowed and said lowly, “Not so much I guess.”
“What’s going on with you?”
Without his permission she touched her hand to his forehead, “Shawn, you are burning up. Do we need to get you to the ER?”
He reached for her arm and grabbed a hold of it, “Trish…no…let’s just wait it out.”
“Shawn, I can’t just let you lay here with a fever.”
Shawn’s voice was demanding now, “Trish, please! I don’t need to go to the hospital. If Jesse would find out, he would quit the job, I can’t let that happen.” His voice faded out and he closed his eyes, adding lowly, “I will get through this.”
Trish sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, “Shawn, I really don’t know.”
“Trish, let’s wait until tonight!”
She wasn’t sure about his request, “Shawn, what if something happens to you…I…”
Shawn opened his eyes and cut her off, “Trust me Trish, please! It is just a slight fever.”
His eyes were on her, pleading as she decided, “O.K. we will wait until tonight but if your fever is not going down, we are going to the hospital.”
He managed a weak smile, “This happens all the time. Don’t you have to get ready for work?”
Trish kept her eyes on him wondering how he could be so careless about his condition, “I am going to call out. I can’t be at work with you being sick here at home. I will be right back.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 33

Hi friends, I was cutting it close this week....but here is Chapter 33 of NSA. I have been busy and I get frustrated when I don't get as much time as I would like to spend on NSA and writing and editing. I hope I did an o.k. job editing this one, I felt like I flew over it somewhat and hope I didn't miss anything. Jason's discharge is right around the corner but his last hours in the hospital are overshadowed by a strange encounter and Ariana making him feel somewhat frustrated. Well, I hope you guys enjoy this chapter of our two characters and as always, I am happy to get any feedback. Hugs, Dani
Oh, and here is an updated TOC of NSA, in case anyone cares...:-)

Three's A Crowd Chapter 18

After getting so close to Shawn things are turning around for Trish. For reasons she doesn't know Shawn suddenly seems distant. Trish is trying to figure out what is going on with him but can't find any answers. Maybe going separate ways for some time will clear the tensions.


When Trish sleepily came out of her bedroom on Thursday around ten she was surprised to find Shawn awake in the kitchen already, his eyes on his laptop, a steaming coffee mug in his hand, and looking very content.
Sitting there in sweat pants, a plain T-Shirt and sock footed he looked up from his computer, “Good Morning Trish.”
“Morning Shawn, you….” she smiled, “you are all up and ready…wow!”
He looked back at his computer, “Yeah, I couldn’t sleep anymore.”
“What time did you get up?”
“About seven.”  
“That early?”
He smiled at Trish, “You want some coffee?”
“That sounds great.”

Before she could move, Shawn already had his hands on his rims, spun around, got a mug, and poured Trish some coffee, “You take milk, right?”
Trish was surprised at Shawn’s good mood, “Ah, yes please.”
He handed her the mug, “Here you go.”
“Thanks!”
She pulled a chair out and sat down, watching him wheel back over.
Trish wrapped her hands around the mug and their eyes met as he pulled up to the table again.
He seemed very positive that morning, “You are in a good mood today?”
Shawn shrugged his shoulders and smiled, “Did you sleep well? No more raccoons knocking on your window.”
“It was quiet last night.”
“Good.”