CHAPTER VIII — Baise-Moi
Elliot said it under his breath, but loud enough that Alex heard it. She looked around, trying to find out what was giving him such a deep crease between his eyebrows, but got nothing. He did a weight shift by bending over his knees and pushed against his thighs to sit back.
Elliot grimaced, but ultimately decided against whatever he was about to say. He distanced himself from the ramp leading up to Callie’s fancy building and took a deep breath in before wheeling forward in full speed, as if drinking some courage. The boost only got him ¼ of the way, but he bent forward over his knees and battled against gravity as it tried to pull him back down instead of up, holding his pushrims still by pressing his hands down. He released them for a short moment and Alex thought he was going slide back, but he was quick enough to place his hands back and push a few centimeters, recovering whatever he’d lost when he let go of the wheels. It was slow and—Alex could tell by his grunts—painful and wearing. Midway through, he spun his chair until the wheels were perpendicular to the incline and thus unable to roll back. He tested his arms, rotating his shoulders and straightening his elbows, and released a deep breath. Alex noticed how flushed he looked when his eye caught hers, still staring from the bottom of the stairs.
“I would break a sweat if I could.” He joked with a wink.
Alex almost felt guilty for climbing the steps next to the ramp by skipping a few of them when Elliot looked like he was tackling the fucking Everest. After a couple of seconds of rest, he spun his chair around again and finished the damn thing.
“There is such a thing as a bad ramp, after all,” Alex noticed.
“Oh dear, there’s such a thing as a bad everything.”
He didn’t make any further remarks about it and neither did she, but she could see how sluggish his push had become. Thankfully, there weren’t other steep ramps on their way,—although if she was being completely honest, she kind of wished there was. Maybe that way he’d reconsider Callie’s invitation and wheel right back to the car. Maybe there was still hope.
And yeah. She didn’t tell Callie. Don’t blame her. Alex had picked up the phone at least a dozen times the last two days and every single time her fingered hovered over the green call button, her stomach sank down to her knees and she felt like passing out, legitimately nauseous. And God, did she try. She promised herself—on Monday, when her friend picked her up for volleyball, she’d have no choice but. Then Elliot called, Are we going to Callie’s thing? What was she supposed to say? “Oh, no, I haven’t told her you’re a quadriplegic, even after you very explicitly told me to. So I’m keeping you like a dirty little secret for the time being.” No. She said “Of course”, with her tongue numb and her stomach cold.
As they waited outside of Callie’s apartment, Alex had to check if she could still feel her extremities. She could just ignore it, right? Like she’d been ignoring a certain text message, a certain phone call, from a certain someone, sent late hours at night.
She sucked in a breath when the door opened, then released it in foolish, but absolute, relief when she realized it wasn’t Callie behind the door. Postponing the inevitable, that was all. But she’d been postponing a lot of things lately.
Callie’s apartment was great. Huge, even though she lived alone and had no plans whatsoever in having anyone over anytime soon, despite her claims and her bad efforts. Awesome view. But, and Alex wanted to kick her own ass for not noticing before, carpeted. She’d been there hundreds of times and save for that time when she got too tipsy and spilled wine all over the floor, Alex had never noticed the damn thing.
With the corner of her eye, Alex noticed that Elliot’s lips were pursed and his brow furrowed as he struggled with the caster wheels. Fuck me, she thought. She bit her tongue, burning with an unasked question, do you want some help? But before she could do something she’d regret, or not—a thing she would also regret—, she was almost tackled to the ground by Callie’s bear hug.
She grabbed Alex’s shoulders. “Bella is an accountant. Do you know how hard it is to make small talk with these people?”
“You’re a surgeon, not much can be more exciting than that.”
“Which is why I made sure to invite a bunch of them,” she batted her eyelashes and turned to Elliot.
Alex waited for it like one might expect a punch. She braced herself—she might have even instinctively closed her eyes as if waiting for a physical blow.
It never came.
Because Callie didn’t bat an eye before she bent down and offered him the same hug treatment she’d given Alex.
“I’m glad you came.” Okay. Maybe that was a bigger punch in the gut. It was a fucking knockout. She didn’t handle well things that didn’t come in patterns, predictable grids. There was nothing mathematical about Calliope’s reaction. “I need to serve the snacks, mind if I steal her?”
Elliot pushed his hand against his knees and shook his head, winking at Alex “Just get home before midnight.”
She was still picking up her jaw from the floor when Callie dragged her by the hand to the kitchen. She pushed a tray from the counter onto Alex’s arms before she could say anything. She blinked twice.
“You mean… You really want help with the snacks?”
“Well, duh?” She reached over the overhead cupboard. “Put these on the center table, will ya? I’m tired of people inside my kitchen. And remind me to never volunteer my place aga-”
“Wait!” Alex grabbed Callie’s arm, holding her back before she could leave the kitchen. “Wait.”
Callie offered Alex a puzzled look and raised an eyebrow, making her release a breath she had been holding all weekend. Alex freed her hands and held her hair back from her face, but still unable to talk. Just say it, goddamnit.
“What is it, Alexandra?” Lowering the serving tray down to her abdomen, Callie raised her chin almost imperceptibly.
“Is waiting, so rush with that!”
“...is a quadriplegic.” There.
She’d braced for a reaction. Any.
“Yeah, and?” Callie narrowed her eyes then shrugged her shoulders. Alex frowned, What was just happening? “I mean, that’s your thing, right?”
Alex frowned, then grasping the full meaning of Callie’s sentence, she froze, dropping her hands from her hair. She stared at her best friend for a long time, her throat dry, her head spinning. That’s your thing, right? How could she sum it all up in one single, simple, innocent sentence? How dare she? Alex had prepared herself for any reaction—she was ready to confront, to explain, to convince. She wasn’t ready for… That.
“What?” She asked in a low voice, more to herself than to anyone outside her head. “What do you mean? It’s my thing? Why are you not…”
Callie’s expression went from confused to sympathetic. Her eyes softened and she took a step forward, shortening the distance between them. Alex still felt like she had a tennis ball blocking her throat.
“Lexie...” Callie held her shoulders. “I didn’t know it was a big deal.”
But it was. It was a big fucking deal.
She felt Callie wrapping her arms around her neck, bringing her closer. Alex let her head fall against Callie’s shoulder and stayed there. Am I too obvious? She wanted to ask. Had she always known? All she could do was enjoy that unexpected wave of relief washing over her and lifting a weight off her shoulders that she didn’t even know she carried. What did Callie know, after all? How much? Did it matter?
“How did you know?” She asked, her face still pressed against the fabric of Callie’s dress.
“Babe, I’ve told you before.” Callie pulled Alex back, looking straight into her eyes with a soft smile. “I wrote Alexandra Harrington for Dummies.”
Alex went back to the living room floating. She thought she had already lived up to the true meaning of that expression—feeling light. But she’d been wrong. This… This was zero gravity. She set the tray on the center table and walked to where Elliot was parked, next to the couch. Instead of sitting next to him, she fell onto his lap, swinging her legs over one wheel. There were eyes on them, including Callie’s, but she didn’t mind. She kissed him hungrily until they ran out of breath and he moved his head back to give her a puzzled look.
“What happened to you out there?” He moved his curled hand to her face, pulling her hair away from her eyes. He was grinning.
Callie nodded shortly at Alex from across the room.
“Nothing at all.” She took his glasses off and smiled against his lips, tousling his dark brown hair. “Why do you ask?”
“I mean, I’m not complaining…” he nuzzled against her neck. “But you’re usually all weird about PDA.”
“No, I’m not. You are.”
“You are, baby.” He gave her a funny look.
“Whatever.” She closed her eyes and leaned against him.
His aftershave smelled so good. Yesterday he had a stubble and now he didn’t—she wondered how he shaved and imagining him doing it sent a warm tingle down her belly and it only intensified when Elliot whispered into her ear.
“Do you want to sleep over today?”
Yes, she wanted to sleep over today. And as they made out senseless inside the elevator to his place, she couldn’t stop asking the real questions.
When was the last time she shaved?
She thought he’d push them both but Elliot tapped her when the doors slid open, like a friendly reminder to get her out of his lap. Alex got up and blocked the sliding doors with her arm as he wheeled out—she noticed how his strokes were deliberate and sluggish, with uneven pushes as they left, and saw him hide a grimace as he fetched the keys from the pouch under his seat and handed it to her.
Did her bra even match her panties?
Elliot wheeled to his kitchen and turned on the lights right above the counter, giving the room a yellowish glow. The other lights were off.
“Hm, do you want anything?” He massaged his neck. She thought she could detect a trace of nervousness in his voice.
What kind of question was that?Yeah, I want you.
“Wine, maybe?” That would get things flowing. And hopefully distract him from her flowery panties.
“Of course, right.” Alex sat on one of his lowered black granite counters as he moved around, first picking the bottle and then the glasses, balancing them between his legs as he wheeled and parked right in front of her. He used both wrists to lift the bottle in her direction. “Would you mind?”
Alex took the bottle and the glasses, filling ⅓ in each of them. She could appreciate the silence, even the lack of lights. The way he looked at her made her only slightly uncomfortable—like they were waiting for something and the whole world had just stopped to watch, holding a breath in apprehension.
She handed him his glass, which he managed to hold precariously between his curled fingers. Alex watched in a sort of trance, hunched forward, with her elbows in her thighs. He was still focused on the task when she reached with her leg for his wheels, moving her feet to his pushing rims. She felt the deep black rubber material that covered it under her soles—until then, she’d never really thought about their purpose, but when she moved his wheels without having her feet slide, she realized it must make up for his lack of hand function to really grip the rims.
His eyes shot up when he felt himself moving. She smiled at him as she brought him forward until he was right between her legs.
“Hey there.” He put his glass between his legs. Alex chugged down her own in a matter of seconds, making him chuckle. “Careful there.”
“You think I can’t hold my drink?” She raised an eyebrow and leaned forward, using her best flirty voice. The alcohol she’d had back at Callie’s made her feel lighter. “I can hold my drink.”
“Yeah?” He wheeled closer. They were almost face-to-face now.
“I can.” Alex slowly raised the bottle to her lips, keeping eye contact as she did it. “Can you?”
He chuckled, eyeing her wistfully.
“Babe, in case you haven’t noticed,” he trailed his palm along her calf, reminding her of that first date. Just like then, she felt it with every fiber of her being. “I can barely hold a glass.”
She grinned. Keep talking like that, honey. She drew in a sharp breath when Elliot moved his hand up her thigh, making circles with his knuckles. “I fucking love your legs.”
I fucking love your legs too, she wanted to say.
“I wanted to feel them.”
“You can.” She raised her foot to his solid shoulder.
There was a new gleam to his eyes when he kissed her leg. It got her right back to that night in the parking lot, except this time he didn’t stop. His lips were warm against her bare skin, slowly trailing his way past her knee, drawing her skirt up.
Alex set the bottle to the side and scooted forward to the edge of the counter, glueing her lips to his. He took it as warmly as she offered, bringing her head closer. She could feel the wine in his tongue, in their breath, inebriating her senses in a hazy cloud of sheer desire. He lowered his hand to her lower back and kissed her neck, breathing right behind her ear, twisting her insides in a tight knot begging to be undone. Her entire body had a pulse, and she could hear it loud and clear in her ears.
He pushed back and when she was about to protest, he raised her other foot from his pushing rim to his shoulder, drawing up her skirt with his wrists.
“This okay?” He asked for a second, as Alex leaned back in her forearms.
“Oh god, yes.” Yes. Yes!
He had a wolfish grin to his face when he leaned forward, supported by both elbows over the granite top. She slid one of her feet forward until her knee was dangling down his back, reaching the backrest that went up his mid back.
Elliot brushed his lips against the insides of her thigh, sending shivers down her spine and leaving a burning trail where it’d once been. He nipped her skin with his teeth and Alex sucked in a breath.
“Let’s get rid of that, shall we?” He chuckled, hooking his thumbs through her panties. Alex raised her hips a few inches as he slid them off one leg, sitting back, and then the other. He raised it for her to see, bright pink like her face right now, probably. “I’m definitely keeping it.”
He dropped it into his lap with a smile and teased her mercilessly on his way back—Alex felt as if her whole lower half was burning,
God, maybe she should go through celibate periods more often. And maybe she shouldn’t, because it was as if waking up again—and she didn’t want to go back to sleeping. It felt as if no one had touched her like that in years. Or months. Three months, to be exact.
Elliot slid his left knuckle gently along her bare lips, the skin silky and smooth, already wet. He looked up at her, a puzzled look in his face.
“But I haven’t even started.”
“I beg to digress,” she said in between breaths, letting her head fall back.
Because he’d started the day they locked eyes in that bar, except he didn't know. And he didn’t have to know that, not now. But it was good that he knew just how much he turned her on.
Alex nearly choked when he slipped his soft knuckle against her clit. Technically, there wasn’t much he could do with his curled, paralyzed fingers, but the little he could drove her wild. She tried to take a deep breath in but he wasn’t making it easy, especially not when he asked her to scoot forward even more. Oh God. Her chest was filled with a raw kind of joy as she did, hooking both of her legs over his shoulders. She could only see the top of his head when he kissed the inside of her thighs and slowly blew air into her, building a sort of anticipation to which she prepared, contracting her lower belly. Clearly not enough.
When she felt the warmth of his breath, she felt herself pulse, but when the tip of his tongue teased around her clitoris, her whole body jerked. She held the ends of her dress, staring up and God know what soft sounds leaving the back of her throat.
He, Lord, he was great. More than great, Elliot was stellar; he knew just what to do, and when. Drawing shapes around her sensitive skin, but quite never going for it. Blowing air, making a wide circle, then a smaller one. Heat was slowly building in her core, burning her insides, driving her crazy. She curled her toes, releasing a soft, raw kind of moan. Then, just exactly then, he touched her swollen clit with the warm tip of his tongue. Her whole body was about to break in a thousand pieces and she sucked in several breaths.
“Ell-i… Fuck.” She wasn’t sure what she was trying to say, holding tight to her skirt as he started slowly and teasingly but steadily picked up a rhythm. She let a few French curses slip off her tongue, the way they usually did when she was losing her mind.
Alex didn’t even have to go through the images in her head she always had to with other partners. Not this time. Her toes were touching the back of his wheelchair, where his paralyzed lower half was sitting. His curled fingers were touching her ass, while at the same time supporting the position his nonexistent abs couldn’t. There was no need for the fantasy, because it was all there. He was right there. If there was a Heaven, a Nirvana, whatever, it had to be all about Elliot Masters.
Alex felt like reaching for something only he could give her. And when she did, she arched back up in the air, like stars were exploding in right before her eyes. Her entire body was took over by a wave of spasms and pleasure, and she dared thinking his job was over. Except Elliot seemed to disagree. He didn’t wait until she was settled down, or even until it had stopped—he sucked and gently pressed the place where the over sensitive nerves met, playing with her intimacy and pleasure, taking his time, enjoying himself.
She didn’t think she was able to control how loud she was any less than she could control her jumpy muscles, as if every single social inhibition she’d ever had suddenly disappeared, replaced by an animalesque urge. Somewhere inside her rational being, Alex almost hoped he had good walls. But really, she couldn’t care less.
Alex took a deep breath in, perhaps the first she could manage over the course of several minutes, and fell back, the yellow lamp above her head peeking through her eyelids. She still felt sensitive, and every time Elliot kissed her inner thighs, her leg jumped in response to him. Oh my God. She propelled herself up after a while, feeling like her entire body was made of jello.
“Wow.” She said under her breath.
“Yeah?” Elliot had a sideways smirk of a man who had just given a woman the best oral sex she’d ever had.
He kissed her lower belly, but couldn’t reach any more up. Alex slid from the granite counter and onto his lap, pulling her dress overhead. She took his glass of wine, still tucked between his legs, and raised it to his lips, then hers, setting it aside behind her.
His palms were framing her waist, using her as leverage. He kissed her cleavage, going up to her clavicle and then to her shoulder. Elliot bit her bra strap and rolled it off her shoulder as she dug her fingers into his dark brown hair. He did the same thing with the other strap, then took her breasts off the cups by turning it around.
“Off.” He asked, unable to undo the clasp in her back. Alex gladly reached with one hand and got rid of it, throwing it in the floor.
Elliot ran the tip of his skilled, skilled tongue along her breast as he massaged the other with his thumb and fist, taking her nipple between his teeth. Alex sucked in yet another breath, beginning to rock her hips back and forth in his lap, longing for some sort of relief.
She ran her free hand up his solid shoulder and slid it under his shirt, meeting the scar in his neck. As soon as she trailed the tip of her nails down the sensitive patch of raised skin, his legs went into spasm under her and it was his time to release a soft moan against her skin. Alex smiled, pushing him back until he was leaning against the backrest of his chair. He started to protest, but Alex kissed him.
“Shh,” she whispered, almost as wickedly as him minutes before. “Your turn, Mr. Masters.”
He groaned, but as soon as the words sank in, his eyes flew open immediately, like some sort of spell had been broken.
“Look, Alex-” One of his hands went straight to his crotch. Elliot breathed a sigh of relief when he realized that’s not where she was going. “I-”
“Shh,” Alex silenced him again, hiding her face against his neck and lightly sucking his skin. She realized that simply breathing next to his ear caused him to shake.
Instinctively, Alex slipped a hand under his shirt, feeling his soft abdomen under her palm as she slid it up. But when she reached his upper chest, he opened his eyes with a startle, as if only now noticing her presence. Actually, not ‘as if’. Only now noticing her presence. She thought he was about to protest again when he placed his hands in his rims and turned his chair around with a single move, making Alex cross her ankles behind his backrest and giggle. He wheeled them to the bedroom with a few strokes, grunting a few times—because of the effort or because she had just nipped his earlobe, she didn’t know.
He didn’t turn on the lights, but as soon as her eyes adjusted, she could see the shapes of his furniture thanks to the window. His footplate bumped against the bed and very excitedly, she climbed off his lap and onto the bed. She waited as Elliot positioned his chair slightly at an angle, scooting his butt forward and placing one fist on the mattress and the other behind him. The transfer didn't go nearly as smoothly as she’d seen before, but it was quick nonetheless.
As he untangled his legs from the footplate, hunching forward for balance, Alex quickly arranged three pillows against the headboard, getting out of his way as he dragged his lower half up the mattress. She reached down and pulled his legs up, suddenly locking eyes with him. To her relief, he smiled a slow grin, finally falling back against the pillows and releasing an almost imperceptible effort sigh. She turned the bedside lamp on and noticed his legs were still spasming, so she quickly took off his Chucks before climbing onto his lap again and straddle his waist, enjoying the way his hands went straight to her ass.
She kissed him again, hungrily and demanding, to which he answered, slipping again into the same dimension they’d found back in the kitchen. This time, Alex tugged at the hem of his shirt, pulling it up slightly. She felt his Adam’s apple going up and down against her mouth.
“Off.” She ordered, just like he’d done with her bra.
“Are you sure?” He pulled back for a moment, his eyes meeting hers.
“I’m super naked here, Elliot. C’mon.”
He leaned forward and Alex pulled the back of shirt up his head, then he slipped his arms off and threw it carelessly in his the general direction of his chair. His abdomen bulged forward thanks to the lack of muscles that simply couldn’t exist. His wardrobe, she’d come to notice in the months they’d been together, consisted basically in dress shirts he wore for work and long sleeved henleys, and now she could see why—the dress shirts gave no indication of his belly and the Henleys fit his shoulders and biceps so naturally, falling loosely around his waistline and making the bulge almost imperceptible. His gorgeous eyes wouldn’t meet hers, fully closed now, and he wouldn’t take a breath.
Alex wanted to tell him so much, so much. He ought to know just how much she was attracted to him by now, right? It wasn’t fair that she couldn’t just tell him, word by word, that everything about him turned her on. That his gut, the one he was trying to suck in, was perfect. That his wide shoulders and strong upper arms were perfect, but so were his hands, from the soft, curled fingers with deep creases between them to the calloused heels he used to push his wheels. He was hot. He was so hot.
Please, don’t give me that look, she thought as he seemed to shrink in front of her. Maybe she was taking too long, maybe he was misinterpreting her reaction, so Alex went straight to him, covering his shoulders with her hands and taking his lips in hers, building the mood all over again. It wasn’t hard.
“Lexie…” He sucked in a breath. Lexie, she smiled as she nipped his nipple. So he can feel that. “I…”
He pressed his arms harder around her waist.
Alex explored. Paid attention to the changes of his breath; when he gasped, when he twitched, when the feeling numbed or stopped completely, orwhere it seemed to be flaring up. She wondered if that was what he’d done down there, if it felt as excruciatingly good for him now as it’d felt for her, if he felt the same build up, the same urge. And she understood right then, like she had never understood before, how great it felt being on the giving end of pleasure.
His ear, she decided, after realizing his nipples weren’t as sensitive. So she went for it like he’d gone for her clit—teasingly, slowly, making her way up his neck with wet kisses and hums.
“Talk to me,” Elliot said, struggling to breathe.
“What do you want to hear?” She asked in a low voice, caressing the scar in the back of his neck. “You’re so sexy.”
“French.” He managed to say, eyes tightly closed.
A playful smile took over her lips.
“Omelette du fromage.”
“Cheating.” He chuckled. Alex kept running her tongue around the shape of his outer ear. “Keep going.”
The French or the tongue? Both, she decided. Both was good.
“Tu me rends folle.” She whispered. French was the language of love for a reason; it was sex in words, murmured in the back of the throat, when talking was both impossible and a necessity. “Quand tu me touches.”
“Oui?” He asked, even though he had no idea what she’d just said. Even though he could barely think right now. She knew that, because she couldn’t think too much either when she was so close to the edge. She nipped his earlobe and then sucked it lightly.
“Très, très folle.” She grinded his waist, guiding his hand to her ass. “Je ne peux plus penser.”
She heard his low moan as she kept the sucking motion, paying attention to how his abdomen contracted, making his breaths even more irregular. He released a low, raw moan, his eyes turning around jos head. Alex felt him reaching, much like she had before. She could feel his pulse and the heat radiating off his neck, warm and sexual, drawing him to her like the most basic laws of attraction, the kind that kept the universe together.
“Baise-moi.” She said, enjoying herself in the ambiguous-meaning two words—kiss me.
He came. Or the closest to it. She could feel the violent spasms subsiding to a slight tremor, his breaths no longer strained, but weary. Alex still felt herself pulsing, not entirely done. She took his hand and guided it between her legs without even thinking, and pressed her longing center with his knuckle until the urge stopped completely.
Alex slid from his waist, falling at his side with one leg still propped over him, breathing hard.
“Lexie.” He looked down and Alex lifted her head just slightly to face him, her hand in his upper chest. His eyes were so blue, but aside from that, so light. And yet, staring at her with such intensity that she thought she might explode. “You’re incroyable.”
His accent made her giggle faintly against his chest. She wanted to climb him again and do it all over again, if it wasn’t for a hazy cloud that was taking over her brain.
“Oui, mon amour.”
She smiled. Did he just call her his love?
There were things, things Alexandra had learned to fear from an early age. Things that made her force her eyes shut and her breath get caught in her throat. Things she’d learned to ignore—or at the very least try to.
Phone calls at night.
She pressed her eyelids shut.
Phone calls at night were never good. Never good.