Recap of Chapter 15
Matthew hears an unpleasant conversation between Cassie and her parents, him being the main topic. She ends up telling them the truth about the real reason of the break-up with her ex and they also learn a bit more about Matt. Cassie’s mother realizes she made a big mistake and they all prepare for the visit of the ex-boyfriend.
I am chatting with Gary about hockey trying my best to answer all his questions regarding my career, but also my accident and my recovery. I don’t like talking about this period of my life, although I guess he and his wife have the right to know exactly what happened to me. Furthermore, Gary is not after gruesome medical details or boldly inquiring about my private intimacy. He just feels sorry for me and a promising career which ended too soon. The women are doing the dishes in the kitchen also chatting but quietly this time, while we hear a car stopping in the driveway. I bent over and pick up my crutches from the floor in the blink of an eye. I lock my braces but as I struggle to get up on my stiff legs, Gary comes to my rescue and put his arm around my waist. Politely but firmly I pull myself out from his grasp, and straighten up on my crutches, “I got this, thanks.”
He means well, but I hate when people remind me I am not able to get up on my own anymore. I know I am over touchy, but right now I am tensed, very nervous and I am pissed off for being so slow and ungainly. I should already be outside to face the stalker. Cassie and her mom stop what they are doing when they realize what the agitation is all about, and I see fear in their eyes.
“Cass, don’t worry and stay right here.”
I follow Gary who is ahead of me and I can hear him speak yet, “Stop where you are. Don’t make another step. You are not welcome in this house anymore.”
“What? But your wife invited me.”
“Yeah, well it was before she knew what a bastard and a liar you are.”
The intruder seems somewhat dismayed for an instant, but he quickly regains his confidence, “If you don’t want to see me that’s fine because I came for Cassie. There is a terrible misunderstanding between us that needs to be smoothed out.”
This is when I show up out of breath at the top of the stairs by Cassie’s father. I never crutched so fast. “There is no misunderstanding at all, and I thought I warned you clearly enough. You heard Mr. Miller. You are not welcome here or anywhere close to Cassie. She doesn’t want to see you or talk to you ever again. Now you go back in your car and you leave nicely.”
I am going to choke if I don’t catch my breath and I better calm down if I don’t want to lose my self-control.
He laughs in my face with a scornful look, “You? Again? And without your wheels! You don’t fool anybody and you don’t scare me. You are lucky I didn’t press charges for assault or beat the shit out of you last time we met, but I don’t hit cripples.”
This guy is either a reckless idiot or completely insane, but in both cases I am dying to go for his throat. I would already have done it if I wasn’t prisoner of an impaired body. Gary doesn’t let me answer.
“How dare you come here as if nothing happened? After what you did to my daughter, all the lies, the court order and the harassment, how can you even ask to see her again and insult her boyfriend in my house?”
This time the impudent man snickers sarcastically, “That’s what she told you? She is the liar and she has a persecution complex. I was a caring boyfriend who just wanted her legitimately by my side as any behaving partner. All she did was trying to escape home any occasion she had, and go out with her friends without me, or turned me down in bed. Of course I was upset when she talked to her male colleagues at work and flirted with them. I might have overreacted and push her around a few times, but she deserved it. I came to apologize and I forgive her, even for replacing me so fast with that loser you call her boyfriend. She’ll realize soon enough she made a mistake. CASSIE! I know you’re in there. Please let me talk to you! Give me another chance. I changed, I’ll show you.”
Gus, who knows him well sniffs his pants, but suddenly suspicious he moves backward and starts barking at him. This dog who didn’t know me before yesterday seems to have a sixth sense and figured out what side to take.
“Shoo! I always hated this dog.”
He kicks the animal away making him whine in pain. My knuckles are white from clenching the handles of my crutches, “You leave that dog alone and you get out of here right now or the police will arrest you for good, but not before I have dealt with you personally.”
“Ah! Gimp threats.”
He turns to Gary, “How did he trick you? It took you months to accept to meet me, and you already greet him in your house as your daughter’s new lover. You are more naïve than I thought. Well, you have to be to choose this cripple over me. I bet he can’t even fuck her!”
Gary is so dazed and shocked by such nastiness and sudden vulgarity that he is unable to respond. I think about his weak heart and try to end this meaningless dialogue, “That’s enough, you asshole! If you have old scores to settle, do it with me and don’t be disrespectful.”
I make a plodding step forward and threaten him with the tip of my crutch, but my balance is unstable. I wobble and almost fall forward. I put my crutch down in despair. Shit! Tabarnac! Astie! Foutues jambes! (Fucking legs!)
Full of himself, the bastard doesn’t give up, “Look at you. You’re pathetic. Standing up pretending you’re whole, but can’t even let go of your sticks. This time your fists are useless.”
“Come up the stairs and you’ll see how useless I am.”
I am dead furious and boiling up inside. Defying me he climbs up and faces me on the doorstep. He is not short but I am taller than him, even heavily leaned on my canes. Clenching my teeth I hold his withering gaze while he goes on, “I am here. What are you gonna do now? You should stay where you belong instead of making a fool of yourself. You were doing better in your wheelchair, and I must admit you impressed me more than now with all your awkward gear.”
Behind us the door opens and the two women join the argument. Cassie’s fear has been replaced by a complete fury. Her mom holds her back by the shoulder but she frees herself in an impulsive gesture and she does something no one sees coming. She gets closer to her ex and slaps him hard in the face, “This is for calling me a liar.” She slaps him again, “And this one is for calling Matt a gimp. As for his sexual performances, you don’t even come close. With him I learnt what great sex and real love is all about.”
After a moment of total shock Jeffrey catches her wrist wickedly and pulls her violently to him. That’s when I totally lose it. Without thinking I drop my crutches and grab him by the collar of his shirt. Unexpectedly the dog Gus also springs at him trying bravely to bite his calf. With no more balance at all I hold on to his body crushing him with all my weight. The momentum startles him and he can’t avoid toppling backwards. We both take a plunge in the stairs and crash down on the stoned pathway. I hear Cassie and her mom scream, I hear the metal of the braces hit the floor and I lose a shoe. Those things are resistant because they stay locked. If Jeffrey’s body under mine cushions the fall, I know I land on my hip because I feel it. It’s the side where I still have some feelings here and there, and if it’s not painful now it will be soon enough. It reminds me of my hockey games when I fell on the ice or banged with full force into other players thousands of times, but with an appropriate gear. Despite the protection pads it was impossible or miraculous to go back to the lockers without a few gashes, bumps and bruises. I expect this one to be memorable. I am still on top of the asshole trying to dodge his blows, and I hit him several times myself. He took the worst of the fall hitting the ground first and looks afflicted. His punches are weak and confused, but he struggles to pull me off him, kicking me in the legs. He doesn’t seem to realize I can’t feel a thing and my braces also protect them. I hold him tight and I am much heavier than he is. As many paraplegics with low injuries my body strength is impressive and the anger increased it tremendously.We keep punching lying on top of each other, until everyone surrounds us to pull us apart, including a policeman. Too bad because I was the one on top having the upper hand over him. The others try to pick me up, but I am not able to stand. My entire lower body is shaken by convulsions, and I stay seated on the ground somewhat frustrated. I feel blood dripping on my chin and I wipe it coolly in my tee-shirt. The cop wants to call 911, but I refuse vehemently, “No need officer. It looks worse than it seems. It’s just a split lip. I am fine.”
He looks at my unruly braced legs with a frown, then at the crutches thrown the middle of the stairs. Not totally convinced by my casualness he handcuffs the offender and puts him in the rear of his car without ceremony. Jeffrey is writhing in fury and resisting, “You don’t know what you’re doing. Let me go! He is the one who attacked me first and it’s the second time! He’s the one you should arrest. I just came in peace to wish my girlfriend a Merry Christmas and she slapped me. I didn’t touch her and that cripple assaulted me for no reason.”
“You will explain this to the judge, because from what I know you just violated a restraining order. You aren’t supposed to get close to Miss Miller or even talk to her, and she doesn’t look like your girlfriend to me.”
“What are you, her bodyguard? Did you follow me here?”
He is now wondering how he wound up handcuffed in a police car.
“No. Her mother called me earlier this morning because she feared for her daughter’s safety and I was patrolling the area.”
Jeffrey shots a death stare at Helen as if she was the worst traitor on earth, “That’s insane. My father is a lawyer; I’m calling him right now. I am going to press charges for police brutality and I want this cripple locked up. You're only worried about him. Don’t you see what he did to me?”
For the lip we are even. In addition to it he already has a swollen eyelid which surely will become a big shiner. As for the open gash on his forehead, it will probably leave a scar. Last but not least, his expensive linen suit is all rumpled and torn at both shoulders.
“Well pal, you asked for it. Do whatever you want but for now you are the one to be locked up as soon as we get to the precinct. We’ll take care of your bruises, but you surely are going to need a lawyer, and maybe some anger management classes!”
I am helplessly seated askew on the ground, but still frantic. The policeman turns back to us and looks down at me again with real concern, “Are you sure you’re ok sir?”
“Yes, I’m perfectly fine” I say it in my most assertive tone.
“At least let me help you get back in the house.”
“Thank you Officer but I have all the help I need. I just would like you to take this psycho out of our sights.”
He glances at the three persons surrounding me and nods approvingly, “My pleasure.”
He drives away with his still mumbling and agitated passenger. Gus is barking and running after the car, apparently not ready to let him get away with it. He has a revenge to take for a nasty kick. We see him disappear on the corner of the street. As they already lost him once Helen and Gary seem bothered. They look at me as if they were asking me permission to go and get their dog back. I am on my ass in the middle of their lawn, balanced on stretched arms with my braced legs awkwardly spread in front of me. Cassie is kneeled by my side putting my sneaker back on. What a humiliating situation. Leastwise my limbs are quieter. She feels my embarrassment and snaps at her parents, “Go! Get Gus before he gets run over.”
Helen leaves in a hurry while Gary goes back in his house to fetch the leash. That’s when I notice something very, very upsetting, “Oh God no!”
Cassie follows my gaze. I peed in my pants. I’m devastated. She cups my face gently in her hands and lifts it to hers, “Matt, look at me. It’s ok.”
“No, no Cassie, it is not ok! I just pissed myself. Do you realize how bad I feel? I’ve been doing anything in my power to avoid this for months and I almost succeeded. Now I am messing up in front of your parents.”
“They didn’t see anything. I didn’t. Your pants are dark. Come, let’s go clean yourself up. I’ll get your crutches.”
I am suddenly beat and gloomy. I start feeling my cut and swollen lip but I am more concerned about the humiliating stain on my pants.
“Cass, I can’t get up and you won’t be able to pick me up. I am too heavy and too tired to stand, even with my crutches. Just bring me my chair… and a towel too.”
I hope she’ll be quick before her parents come back. I feel so ashamed of myself. As I start to drag my lower body backwards on the ground, she hesitates to leave me.
“Please go!” I am unwillingly snappy but I can’t help it. I am in no mood for an audience, not even Cassie. She returns two minutes later and I feel relieved to see her pushing my wheelchair. It’s a stupid consolation as I’m no way near it. I am still upset, I am slow and my back and shoulders are sore from seating on a hard surface. I can’t wait to take a shower to wipe away the reason of my disgrace. For that I have to keep struggling shamefully on the floor and painfully climb those damned stairs. On the first one, my braced legs bounce off the wood making a metallic noise. I hate this but I have to swallow my pride, “Cass, I need help on this one. Can you please lift my legs up?”
She is at the bottom of the stairs in no time holding my ankles up. When I eventually reach the top, she sets the chair right behind my back and puts the breaks on. She doesn’t talk, she acts. I like her practical sense and her prompt readiness. She has never seen me do a transfer from the floor, but given the circumstances I doubt this one will be my best shot; however she watches me with admiration. She doesn’t propose her help and I am grateful for that. I am humiliated enough for the day. I grab the edge of the seat behind me and heave myself up with a tremendous effort and a groan. I am more exhausted than after a game, but satisfied I had some strength left for another acrobatic feat. I spin around to cover my wet private parts with the towel. I have to get rid of those filthy clothes so badly I wheel hastily inside without a word. Cassie follows me in the bathroom and without further notice, she starts to undress me. This time the purpose is not a pleasant one nor a sexy game but I let her regardless, and strangely I don’t mind anymore. Shamefully I even enjoy it. She starts with my t-shirt and then I have to wiggle in my chair, so she can remove my soiled jeans and boxers. I feel weak and I am not sure I could do this without help. She dabs at my bruised lip gently with a warm cloth, and brings me a catheter pack. I give her a surprised look, “Cass I don’t think it’s really necessary. I’ve emptied myself pretty well, don’t you think?”
Nevertheless I try to cath and oddly enough my bladder drains out some more. I am completely naked with a tube inserted in my penis, and Cassie watches me as if it was a totally normal chore. I watch her watch me without any shame. She has been silent for a while, but I don’t feel talking either. Then I transfer in the shower while she puts my dirty clothes in the washer and brings me clean ones. As I didn’t bring my shower chair along, I manage with a garden plastic one Cassie put in upon our arrival. I wish I could be as carefree as she is about my paraplegic needs. Nothing seems to be an issue for her. She has an answer for everything and I trust her anyway.
While I am lying down on the bed to put my clothes back on, she starts talking, “Matt, I am so sorry you had to deal with him again. He is my problem, not yours and you shouldn’t be involved in this. Thank you for what you did out there. You’re my hero.”
I snigger, “What a shitty hero I am! But thanks for mentioning it. And I am actually involved in your life. Your problems are mine too, and I will always be by your side…that is if you want me to.”
She lies down next to me and cuddles against my bare chest. I feel a familiar tingling in the pit of my stomach and start breathing louder. She looks at me with a devilish grin, and decides to torture me more. Her demanding lips are on mine skillfully avoiding the bruised side; her fingers caressing my nape send chills in my back and her other hand is gliding over my navel area. Now my skin is on fire and I am defenseless, at her mercy. That’s when we hear Gus barking in the house.
“Oh, please Cassie! Help me dress quickly before you take up the small amount of energy I have left. Otherwise I’ll only be able to hold you prisoner in my arms.”
“I’d love that!”
Helen’s concerned voice comes from the living room, “CASSANDRA, MATTHEW! Are you alright in there?”
That is definitively an abrupt way to come back to reality.
“We are fine Mom, we are coming right out. Matt, what’s going to happen now? Is he going to jail?”
“I don’t know that, but he’ll definitely have to answer to the court. He violated his restraining order twice and there will be legal actions. I’ll see to that. I also think this man has serious psychological issues, and he needs to seek medical attention. He is obsessive and has an unhealthy fixation on you. That’s what bothers me the most. He is more a medical case than a legal one.”
“He changed. He wasn’t like this at the beginning. I would never have hooked up with him if I knew he’d become so insane.”
“I know Cassie and I don’t reproach you anything or judge you. People can change for the worst. We also make mistakes but the good is we can always fix things in order not to let the past ruin our future. That’s what I’m trying to do. Put my past behind and focus on my life to come…with you if you want me.”
“Oh Matt! All I want is you…always you and only you!”
“Whoa! That’s a lot of me. I am not sure I can handle it. You just gave me a pretty good idea of what you are capable of.”
She giggles like a little girl and I chuckle like a stupid adolescent in love.
The rest of the day goes smoothly until my hip starts hurting badly, but I don’t say anything trying to suck it up. Cassie seems closer to her parents and I let them chat quietly, while I’m petting Gus who took up residence on my lap again. I think sometimes bad things have to happen before good things can. It turns out to be true and right for me. It’s not that I had a bad life before. It was even good, but something important was missing and I had to be confronted to a tragedy that turned into a blessing to realize it. I didn’t marry Melissa and met Cassie. As for her and her parents they apparently needed this ordeal called Jeffrey to improve their relationships. I just hope it will last because she needs her family’ support and presence. She wanted me to meet them despite their contentious history and rocky relationship, so they are truly dear to her and my opinion is valuable. I am flattered and I also feel more at ease with them. I had planned to leave the next morning with Cassie, but I can’t do that anymore. I have to give them a little more time to reconcile and I still owe Gary a fishing trip.
That night we make love wildly in Cassie’s bedroom but it doesn’t start well. My legs are very spastic and when I transfer naked in the bed, Cassie can’t suppress her dismay, “Oh Matt! It looks really bad.”
I know she is not referring to my spasms but to the bruise I have on my side. I can’t see all of it but my hip is already black and blue. She turns me on my flank to have a better look, “Your hip is a mess, so is your butt and your thigh.”
I shrug giving her a helpless look, “Thanks for the diagnosis, but what can I do other than wait until it heals by itself?”
“Matt, you took so many blows in your career you should know better. Of course there is something we can do, like putting an ointment on the bruises or cold patches.”
“As you say I am used to bruises and it’s just one more. I’ve seen worse. It’s not like it’s life threatening. I’ll live.”
She seems irritated by my resigned irony, “Since you can’t feel this part of your body anymore you should be more careful about wounds. I can’t believe this doesn’t hurt.”
“A little I admit.”
“A little? Come on Matt. You already have all the colors of the rainbow. I know your hip is very sensitive. You can feel it right? So don’t play Mr. Tough Guy with me and let me take care of this.”
“I’m not arguing with you over a bruise, so I grant you permission to use my body as you please…and a few kisses might help to heal quicker.”
She gives me a broad smile of satisfaction. I lied a great deal telling her it hurts just a bit. My thigh is burning hot and my hip is killing me with a searing pain now. As for the rest I can’t feel anything. My legs are still shaking badly when she comes back with a pack of ice cubes and a tube of Arnica gel she found in my medical supplies. Canadians and French have been using this ointment for ages, especially on kids, and it works miracles on bumps on bruises. I always carry one with me. The pleasant smell also reminds me of my childhood, when my mom would tend our kids boo-boos. She puts the ice pack on my hip while she massages my legs and pulls on my feet to ease the convulsions. When they almost subside, she applies the gel on my entire bruised side. I see she insists on my butt and rear thigh, and it’s too bad I can’t feel it. Just the thought of her hands caressing my body makes me feel better. I cringe when it comes to my hip. With my back they are the most sensitive areas where I can’t ignore the pain, like now. Cassie is gentle but energetic and I fancy her touch considerably. Nonetheless, I am terribly frustrated once again to notice this intimate and sensual moment is leaving me sexually unresponsive. What’s left of my manhood is not reacting as a normal male body should. In another word, I don’t have a spontaneous erection and even if it is no news to me, it is very depressing. Cassie seems to perceive my frustration and my internal turmoil. She starts kissing my abdomen, around my belly button and sensually lets her fingers smoothly move across my chest, shoulders and arms. I flip on my back and the ice pack falls on the floor. I feel my heart speed up and I suddenly shudder. Goose bumps pop up all over my skin.
“Are you cold Matt?”
I whisper in a gasp, “No, not at all. It’s just the opposite. I am so hot.”
“You are indeed the hottest guy I ever met!”
She has this mischievous smile that’s makes me want her more. She grazes her lips on the tip of my nipples, and I am out of this world, launched in the fifth dimension. I am so aroused I think I am climaxing, and I have to check down there if the sensation is real. The hell with my limp crotch! I don’t need it for that kind of pleasure. I’m panting, sweating and nibbling at Cassie’s lips, literally pleading her to go on with her fingers, lips and tongue, guiding her hand and pressing it to my belly and chest. Forgotten my spasms, painful hip and split lip, even though I taste blood in my mouth. I can’t stop kissing Cassie. Gradually the tension and the excitement lessen. My breathing and my heart beats slow down, and I am left powerless for a while. I just have the strength to pull Cassie’s body against mine and we both stay still like this until I recover from this amazing para-orgasm.
“I love you so much Matt.”
Her statement is so sweet to my ear I start kissing her again and again, and when she takes my hand down between her legs, I know she wants me there and not only my fingers. I slide down on the bed and I pull her on top of me, close to my face. My mouth can feel the heat and the moisture of her pussy, and I give her what pleases her the most and makes her come. I’ve learned a new way of making love with her, and I’m starting to like it better and better. It doesn’t take her long to moan and whimper, and when she cries softly and says my name, I know she is satiated. “I love you too Cass.”