The sound of a steady rain fell outside. It was nighttime and the bedroom was dark. Julia and Aaron lay together in his bed; she was tucked into him closely and he held an arm around her shoulder. They had spent several nights like this since they had decided to make things official three weeks prior. When Julia wasn’t on a trip, they spent time with each other, taking turns staying at each other's homes.
They were both right on the edge of sleep, having been intimate a little while earlier. They were still finding their way along the path of learning what worked best for their unique situation. Julia had been patient; she let Aaron explain the details of his body and how it worked when they were intimate for the first time. He had pleased her in a way she hadn’t felt before and they both were equally satisfied.
The first time had been special. Aaron had cooked dinner again at his house and the night just felt right. Julia had been understandably apprehensive at first, not knowing what to expect. Her nervousness was eased, however, when Aaron had been open and honest about how he was able to do things. He explained that he was still able to have erections, both psychogenic erections and reflexive erections he said. He said he was able to have regular intercourse, but that he found if he wanted to last longer he would take some medication to aid in that.
That first night, though, Aaron needed nothing. He and Julia had explored each others bodies for quite a while during foreplay. They had taken their time and let the tension build slowly. Their communication was important and Aaron encouraged Julia to keep that in mind. When their arousal had peaked, Aaron lasted long enough to fully satisfy Julia and she was left breathless.
In the weeks since then, they experimented and worked around the mechanics of their sexual dynamic to find what would work best for them. There was a definite newfound trust in their relationship and both were happy to share the new bond.
As the rain continued to fall outside, Julia sighed as her body settled into sleep. Aaron nuzzled into her hair and kissed her head.
“Good night,” he said softly.
Later that same week, Julia sat by herself at a table in front of a coffee shop inside of bustling Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. She was on a short layover; the crew’s next flight left in just over two hours. She sipped on a hot tea and put some notes into her phone. She was on a three day trip and would be returning home that night. She and Aaron had planned a weekend away and she was looking forward to it. They had done some research and decided to rent out a house in the mountains located a couple hours from Denver. Using her phone, Julia checked the list she had been compiling to make sure things would be in order before they left. They would be leaving early the next morning and Julia was anxious to get home and get things situated. Aaron had been able to shift some things around at work to get an extra day off that weekend and Julia’s schedule had worked out to where she had four days off in a row. The timing couldn’t have been better for their first time getting away together. Taking one last sip of her tea, Julia slid her phone into her purse and stood up from the table. She organized her roller bag and tote and set off for the gate where the flight would leave from. Just a few more hours of work, then she would be back in Colorado.
The sun was just starting to come up the next morning when Aaron picked up Julia from her house. They packed her bag and the supplies she brought in the back of his car and then set off for the road. The drive would take at least two hours. The house they rented was located in Allenspark, a mountain town inside of Rocky Mountain National Park. Aaron was fairly familiar with the area so he handled the booking after they decided on a house that seemed to be the most accessible for him within proximity of things to do in the town.
About an hour into the drive, they decided to stop for something to eat. Aaron took an exit and quickly found a small café located off the highway. The parking lot only had a few cars in it when they pulled in. Julia got out of the car first as Aaron reached into the backseat for the parts of his wheelchair.
“Holycrapitiscold!” She said quickly as the chilly morning temperature hit her.
She pulled the sleeves of her jacket down over her hands and walked around the front of the vehicle to the driver’s side door. Aaron had the frame of the chair already on the ground and was in the process of attaching a wheel.
“It’s not warm, is it?” He said with a laugh as he looked up from his task.
“Noooo!” Julia sang as she bounced in place and waited for him.
Aaron attached the other wheel and reached down to steady himself using the low backrest of the chair. With one foot already on the ground, he controlled the transfer into the seat. Once settled, he lifted each foot onto the footplate and raised his behind to sit more upright. He stuck the set of car keys into his jacket pocket and closed the door.
“Come on, Ice Cube.” Aaron smiled as he gave his wheel rims a push and set off for the front door with Julia right next to him.
Once inside the restaurant, they decided on a small booth in the corner. Aaron easily transferred over to the smooth seat of the booth and simply pushed his empty chair underneath the edge of the table. The waitress came by and took their orders.
“Yes. Hot chocolate. Because I’m twelve years old today apparently.” Julia met Aaron’s eye from across the booth when she noticed his smirk after the waitress left.
“I’ll tease you about it. Don’t worry.” Aaron said with a grin.
Of course he will.
Julia laughed, balled up a napkin, and tossed it across the table at Aaron. He let the make shift ball hit him square in the chest and fall.
“Ohh,” he said with eyes wide. “Game on. Game. On.”
Julia laughed and leaned back against the seat. “Uh huh. I’m sure.” She said teasingly.
The waitress returned with their drinks then and set the steaming mug of hot chocolate in front of Julia and a tall glass of water and a tall glass of orange juice in front of Aaron.
“Oh, look, they put whipped cream on top for you…,” Aaron said with a chuckle, obviously giving her a hard time for her beverage of choice.
“Yes, they certainly did.” Julia stirred the liquid with a spoon and then lifted the mug to her lips. She took a sip slowly then pulled the mug away and placed it back on the table.
“Mmm, delicious…,” she said as she caught Aaron’s eye again.
He immediately burst into laughter at the sight of a strip of white cream mustache she purposely left on her lip.
“Come here,” he said and leaned forward over the table. Julia met him halfway and he took her face in his hands and kissed the whipped cream off her mouth gently.
“You are somethin’ else.” He said quietly before kissing her again.
Julia smiled through the kiss. “I know.”
“Alrighty, two orders of the breakfast skillet here, folks.” The waitress was waiting with her hands full when Aaron and Julia pulled away. They exchanged a glance as their plates were put on the table.
“Thank you,” they said simultaneously, their faces looked like two middle schoolers who had been caught making out in the janitorial closet of the school.
“Anything else I can get ya?” The waitress asked, her hands on her hips.
“No, thank you. I think we’re good.” Aaron turned to her and smiled.
As Julia looked down at her plate, Aaron tore off one end of the paper covering the straw he had and then blew into the tube, sending the other half flying straight at Julia. Her head snapped up and she mocked a gasp.
“Who’s the twelve year old now?!” She was laughing.
“Told you. Game on.” Aaron said with an eyebrow raised before he took a bite of biscuits and gravy.
After breakfast, Aaron and Julia got back on the road to the mountains. Aaron took a scenic route; taking them through some amazing views of Rocky Mountain National Park. They got out at a couple spots and Aaron took some pictures. Julia stood off to the side and watched him; she hadn’t seen him photograph anything yet but it was well worth the wait. He was focused as he got a few shots and Julia was again impressed with his skills.
Following directions to the house, Aaron drove through winding roads leading to their accommodation for the long weekend. Arriving at the destination, the house looked just like it did in the photos they had seen. It was a single level cabin with a covered porch. There weren’t stairs leading to the front door, just a smooth concrete porch with a single step that would be easy for Aaron to navigate. The drive leading to the house was long and on an incline.
“Might as well park down here. It looks flatter than up closer to the house.” Aaron said after assessing the gravel drive.
Julia nodded in agreement.
Aaron parked the vehicle and Julia got out. She stood back and admired the surrounding area. The house was located in a wooded area and was secluded from other properties.
“I may never leave. This is beautiful.” She said as she went to the back of the car and popped open the back.
Aaron came around as well after transferring to the chair. “It is nice up here.” He reached in and began pulling out items from the back. Julia pulled out the medium sized hard sided cooler they brought and placed it on the ground. She then grabbed her bag and the one Aaron brought and put them down as well. She hopped up into the back to grab another box and dropped it down next to the
“I’ll take this cooler up first.” Aaron said as he leaned down.
“You sure?” Julia asked as she watched him lift it awkwardly. She reached down for a few bags to carry to the house.
“Yes,” he said with a laugh. “I’m sure.” Aaron placed the cooler on his lap, and wheeled around the car and started up the drive to the house. There was only about two hundred feet between the car and the house. The gravel drive seemed to be more inclined than they first thought, but Aaron just leaned forward, and gave his wheels a strong push. Between the slope, and the gravel underneath his wheels, he struggled a bit.
Julia set down the bags she held, and called out to him from the car as she watched. “Hey, I can get that!”
“It’s fine, I’ve got it.” Aaron shouted back over his shoulder.
He gave his wheels another push and moved forward, but then began sliding backward sideways. He tried to correct himself, but was thrown off balance by the weighty cooler. In an instant, he fell sideways, and the cooler slid off his lap immediately. Aaron’s left shoulder and arm took the brunt of the fall. Julia heard him grunt as he hit the ground.
“Shit! Aaron!” Horrified by watching him topple over, Julia rushed up the drive to kneel beside him in the gravel. She reached out and placed a hand on his upper back. “Are you alright?!”
Oh my god. He just fell. Holy shit.
He answered quickly, though he seemed to be out of breath. “I’m good.”
Oh. My. God.
Julia assessed the situation, and ran her eyes over Aaron’s body. He was lying on his side with the chair overturned beside him. His legs were crossed, and both of his feet were tangled up with the footplate and frame of the chair. He kept still for a moment longer, and inhaled deeply. Julia thought he must have gotten the wind knocked out of him. She glanced at his arms, and saw nothing but dirty sleeves on his jacket. The cooler had popped open when it hit the ground, ice and bottled water and the few beer bottles all rolled out.
“Are you sure?” She asked, her tone dripping with concern.
Be calm, don’t freak out.
Aaron propped his elbow up, and leaned forward. “Yes, I’m sure.” He forced out a laugh, and moved to sit up, still leaning to one side.
Julia moved back to give him room, and sat back on her heels. She watched him twist around to grab his pant leg, jerking his foot clear from the footplate. He grabbed his other leg, and moved that foot, too. Then he quickly righted the wheelchair, turned it sideways, and adjusted the cushion in the seat. He pushed himself into a full sitting position, and flipped the wheel locks.
“Can I do anything?” Julia asked quietly, feeling utterly helpless, but knowing that he probably wouldn’t let her help him.
He turned to her, and she was surprised to see a lazy smile on his face. “No, I’m ok. I swear.” He gave her a reassuring nod.
Julia could tell he was embarrassed, so she decided not to say anything else. She stayed put, though, if he was going to be down in the dirt, so would she. She watched as he leaned down to grab each ankle, then pulled one leg up at a time, propping them against one another close to his chest. His left leg started to fall the side, but he caught it and adjusted his foot to keep it in position. He pushed down on the ground with his left hand to shift his hips and rear end. He then grabbed the lower frame of the chair with his right hand, and pushed down with his left, then lifted his bottom half quickly up into the chair. His legs followed the motion, and he grabbed each one underneath the knee and placed his feet onto the footplate. He pushed down on both wheels and scooted himself back in the chair. Aaron was a tall guy, his body built, and Julia was amazed by the strength it took to get from the ground back into the chair.
Recovered, but with a sheen of sweat on his forehead, he flipped the brake releases, and wheeled forward. “Come on.” He said in a low voice as he extended his hand to Julia where she still knelt on the ground.
She took his hand and stood up. He pulled on her hand, and she went to him. “That wasn’t pretty, I know.” He said with an uncomfortable laugh as he looked up at her. “Sorry…,” he shook his head.
Oh god, don’t apologize, Aaron. It’s ok. You’re ok.
“Stop.” Her voice was quiet. Julia brought a hand to his cheek, and leaned down to kiss him. When she pulled away, she wrapped both arms around his shoulders, and hugged him.
He held her close, and brought his mouth to her ear. “Nothing bruised but my ego.” He chuckled.
Julia leaned back, and pushed a hand into his shoulder playfully, not surprised in the least that he was already making a joke of the fall.
“The ice wasn’t so lucky…” Aaron looked down at the ground at the scattered contents of the cooler.
Julia followed his gaze, and laughed. “Nope, sure wasn’t.” She shrugged and stood up.
Aaron pushed forward, and leaned down to set the cooler upright. He tossed a few bottles back into it, as Julia did the same. Once they got all the bottles back in Aaron flipped the lid closed.
“Alright, maybe you can take it up.” He conceded.
Julia nodded but said nothing; he was letting her help. Aaron turned back toward the back of the Jeep to retrieve other items and Julia watched him closely. She noticed he reached up quickly and squeezed the shoulder he fell on. She knew it had to be sore and that it may only get worse. Julia thought Aaron wouldn’t make a fuss out of it and would probably just suffer through the discomfort if he were to be uncomfortable. She let it go, not wanting to bring it up again at his expense.
Aaron loaded a few smaller bags on his lap and made his way up the incline easier. Julia followed right behind with the cooler, albeit less heavy without the ice. They had been given the code to a lockbox that contained the key which was located by the front door.
“Hey, what is it again? 44768?” Aaron asked as he reached up.
“Uh, yeah, I think that sounds right.” Julia said as she set the cooler down on the porch.
Aaron punched in the numbers and a beep indicated the box could be opened. He reached in for the
key to the house.
“Ah ha, success.” He said. Turning to the door he inserted the key and opened the door.
“After you.” Aaron gestured to the open door and Julia went in.
As he followed behind her, he swallowed hard as he popped up over the lip of the doorstep. His shoulder and forearm both hurt more than he would like to admit, but he was going to mask it as well as he could. He didn’t see a need to make a big deal out of it right at the start of the weekend and he would be damned if he let it ruin their time away. He had been stubborn when he tried to take the cooler, thinking he could do it with no problem. His plan had failed miserably and he was paying for it.
“Yep. Nope. Never leaving.” He heard Julia say as she looked stood in the entryway and looked around from left to right and back again, enthralled with the house.
The cabin had floor to ceiling front windows with spectacular views of a valley through a clearing in the trees. The vaulted ceilings aided the layout in being spacious and open; the living space was right off the kitchen and dining corner. Decorated with classical lodge details, the cabin had a warm and homey feel, accentuated by the stone fireplace. The floors were hardwood with rugs laying atop.
Aaron and Julia made their way further into the house before Julia turned to him and came closer.
“This is…,” she said with a smile. “So amazing.”
Aaron wheeled forward to her and reached for her hand. “Thanks for agreeing to run away to the woods for the weekend.” Aaron pulled her in to him and guided her down slowly to sit sideways across his lap.
“My pleasure.” Julia slung an arm around his neck and leaned in for a kiss.
They sat for a moment longer until Aaron poked a finger in her side playfully, making her jump.
“Hey!” She said with a laugh as she squirmed.
“I told you it was game on…,” he said with a shrug.
Julia leaned in for another kiss then stood up. “Let’s go get the rest of the stuff.”
Julia and Aaron spent the rest of the late morning getting organized and putting things in their proper place. They loaded up the refrigerator with the food and drinks they brought and lined a cabinet with their dry goods. By early afternoon, they had eaten a small lunch and then found themselves on the comfortable leather couch in the living room. The quietness of the mountain was so relaxing and both quickly fell asleep.
Julia was the first to wake from the nap. She blinked her eyes open to see that she still lay next to Aaron on the couch, his arm around her. He was still fast asleep and she wanted to be careful not to wake him. Noticing the light outside had changed, Julia knew that at least a few hours had gone by and it was probably nearing late afternoon. Deciding she needed to use the restroom, Julia slowly peeled herself from Aaron and scooted off of the couch. She replaced his free arm across his chest and padded her way softly to the bathroom.
When she returned, she passed the couch and heard Aaron let out a low groan in his sleep. She decided to let him sleep more so she retrieved a book from her bag and silently opened the back door that lead to the deck. She could catch up on some reading while she had the time.
A time later, Julia looked up to see Aaron opening the door.
“Hey, you.” He said with a smile.
Julia folded down the corner of the page she was on and closed the book.
“Well, hello. How’d you sleep?”
Aaron nodded. “Not bad. Sorry I was out so long.”
Julia shrugged. “Maybe you needed it.”
Aaron smiled again in agreement. “Are you getting hungry? Should we start something for dinner?”
Julia stood up from the chair she was in. “Sounds good to me.”
For dinner, Aaron grilled burgers on the deck outside and Julia made a couple sides. They ate inside as the temperature was pretty chilly outdoors. When dinner was over, they cleaned up quickly. Aaron insisted that Julia take the shower first, so she did. She was settled in the bed of the master bedroom with her book when Aaron went in for his turn.
He spent quite a while in the shower and when he was through, steam escaped as soon as he opened the door. He pushed out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, his hair still wet and sticking up, shirtless, with charcoal gray drawstring pants on, and bare feet. Julia glanced over at him and let out a low whistle which caused Aaron to chuckle and shake his head.
“Hey, handsome.” She said.
Aaron jokingly looked over his shoulder, pretending to find someone else. “Oh. Me?” He said with a
He pushed forward to his bag that lay open on the low bureau. Turning his back to Julia he reached in for a shirt and laid it on his lap.
Something caught Julia’s eye and she put down her book. “Aaron.”
“Yes?” He said turning back to her.
“Your shoulder…and your side…,” she paused.
“Oh. Yeah. Got some bruises from earlier I guess.” He said, nonchalant.
“Uh, yes. You do.” She slid off of the bed and went right to him, unable to leave the fall situation alone any longer. “Can I see, please?”
Aaron sighed and reluctantly turned his chair around for Julia to get a better look. “I’m fine, Julia. Really.”
“You may be fine, but it still looks gnarly.” She ran her fingers along black and blue bruises across the front of his shoulder, on his shoulder blade and down his side. Julia pulled her hand away but kept her eyes on him.
Aaron tugged the shirt he carried over his head and pulled it on. “No big deal. Couple days and they will be gone.” He pushed to the bed and prepared for the transfer.
Julia went to her side of the bed and climbed into it, drawing back the comforter over herself as she lay back against the pillows. She picked up her book again and started reading where she left off. Out of the corner of her eye, though, Julia noticed Aaron was taking his time getting into the bed. She picked up on the fact that it was a little higher than both his and hers at home, and she knew the shoulder wouldn’t be helping matters. After failing to clear the height the first try, Aaron cleared it the second and scooted back against the pillows. He reached down and lifted his legs up onto the bed, then tucked them under the comforter. He reached over to the bedside table and shut off the lamp then lay back and sighed. Julia took the hint and closed her book and switched off the lamp on her bed side table.
After a few minutes, Julia spoke. “I am glad we came up here. Thank you.”
“I am glad, too.” He said, his voice low.
Julia felt him come nearer to her then and he drew her into him with his free arm. “Here’s better.” He said and kissed her forehead. “I’ll make you a hot chocolate in the morning."
Thank you to all who are reading! More to come. Stay tuned.