Shortly after the day at the park, when I had started to tell Asher about the worst of my past, we were sitting on his couch together, doing not much – I had been asking him about the book he was reading, one of the ones we’d picked up together from the library – when his phone rang.
He picked up, frowning slightly when he saw the number. “Hello?”
I could hear a woman’s voice on the other end.
“Yes, this is Asher Klein,” he confirmed, a little warily.
I watched as he listened for a little less than a minute. I couldn’t make out more than the occasional word. Asher’s face got tenser; I could see that he was steeling himself. “Yes. Okay. Okay, I see. No – okay, yes, I think I understand. Great. Yes, thank you. Have a good morning.”
He exhaled hard when he hung up, and paused for a moment before turning to me, tilting his head back a little to look up at me – even sitting, the difference in our heights was significant. Asher had mentioned once that his doctors were sure he’d have been small even if he hadn’t had CP. “They’ve arrested all four of the men from the alleyway,” he said, his voice carefully even.
I felt a hot, vindictive flare of triumph. “That’s amazing,” I said. I reached out to hug him, but his slight frame felt resistant in my arms, stiff.
“Apparently Mr. William Riley was easy, thanks to your quick thinking with the wallet,” he said, muffled, from inside my embrace, as if I hadn’t done anything. “And two of the others were easy. But it took them a while to scrape up the last one.” I withdrew my arms from him, and he looked up at me again. “Apparently they have another ‘associate’ who has a really similar name and appearance, which confused things. Who knew there were even more of the bastards?” He said it without smiling.
I put my hand on his upper arm. “How are you feeling?” I would have liked to jump up and punch things in celebration, but it was clear that he was struggling; I reined myself in.
“I’m not sure,” he admitted. “I know I should feel relieved, but I just feel… blank. Uncomfortable.”
“Y-you wish it all hadn’t happened,” I offered; he had more or less said as much, during a conversation we’d had when I’d had to wake him up from a nightmare some time ago.
“Yes,” he said, still flatly. But he leaned into me, now, pressing his weight against my side; again I put my arms around him, ran a hand up and down the thin, taut length of his right upper arm, the bent one. This was why I loved it when he decided to take the effort to transfer to his couch, we could just be next to each other – though seeing him sitting without his wheelchair had made me anxious at first, more anxious than I was used to being. It had made him look exposed, to me. My mind had run through a host of improbable scenarios: what if he fell trying to get back into his wheelchair, what if his wheelchair somehow broke down during the time that he was out of it, and so on. I disliked that it seemed to be easy for me to think of him as vulnerable, in that situation, and many others; but there it was.
I rested my chin on the top of his head. “So what happens next?” I said gently.
He took a breath. “They’ll be arraigned in about two weeks, on charges of attempted theft, and assault.” He stumbled over it a little bit, when he tried to say “assault.” “We may be called in before then to provide additional evidence, again.”
We had already gone to the police station once together to provide additional statements in support of the written crime report. Asher had been miserable the whole time, pale, spasming almost continuously, which had been wrenching for me to see – and I had had to hold myself back from comforting him the way I longed to, because we had agreed that we didn’t want to introduce into the official story the potential complication, or at least the distraction, of the fact that we were now dating.
So we had had to maintain a front of merely cordial cooperation. And it had taken him hours to calm down again afterward. That night had been the night I’d had to wake him up when he started whimpering and struggling in his sleep. (My heart clenched again, thinking about the sounds he’d made, how long it had taken him to recognize me after I’d been able to wake him.)
But I had believed so much in the rightness of what we were doing at the police station, what we were trying to have done, that I had been able to make it through with barely any stammering, carried through by a furious momentum, the same that I felt now.
Again, I reminded myself to be still, gentle, to listen and watch carefully.
“After the arraignment, we’ll hear back about how they decided to plead, all four of them,” Asher concluded.
“So it could all be over in t-two weeks,” I said encouragingly. Reluctantly, he nodded against my shoulder, his curls rustling.
He pushed himself back slightly then. “Wanna hear something funny?” he asked. It was clear he was making an effort to make his tone lighter. A vague notion that had been forming slowly in my head over the past few weeks was that one reason that we got along was because we’d both had to develop a strong sense of… something like contempt for self-pity. Another notion that followed out of this one was that that in this case, that same sense of contempt was making it harder for Asher to actually deal with his reaction to what had happened to him with the in the alleyway. But that notion was too cloudy still for me to feel comfortable saying anything about it.
I brought my attention back to his half-smiling face. “Hm?”
“The officer who called? It wasn’t someone we saw at the station. She said her name was Officer Ruby. Isn’t it funny that she would call herself “Officer” plus her first name? It just sounds like a character in a kid’s cartoon show. Like, she would definitely have red hair, in a ponytail.”
I paused. “Isn’t it much more l-l-likely that her last name was Ruby?”
His mouth opened slightly. “Well, shit.”
Finally, he relaxed, releasing a torrent of incredulous laughter; it sounded only slightly hysterical. I held him tighter, laughing silently into his hair.
When his laughter had run its course, he mumbled into my arm, “That was such a stupid mistake.” Under my hand, his right shoulder jerked slightly.
I rubbed it. “It’s okay. I’m sure she really did have r-red hair.”
That night, I awoke suddenly, which usually meant that I was going into spasm. My eyes flicked back and forth as I became slowly aware of several things, in succession.
First, I was not going into spasm.
Second, even through the blinds, the room was saturated with the blue glow of moonlight.
Third, I knew Roy was awake, too.
And he was very erect, and his erection was pressing hard against my hip.
I could tell he was awake from the extreme carefulness with which he was holding me. His tension was palpable; normally he surrendered his weight entirely as soon as he was alongside me. And his breath was quick, shallow.
I turned my head to face him. “Hey,” I said softly. His head immediately jerked back, and he began the motion that he must have been poised to do, which was to roll away from me. He didn’t do it fast enough for me not to see how guilty his face looked.
“Hey, wait,” I said. My heart pounded, but I was proud that I was able to speak without my voice trembling. Slowly, he rolled back. “Do – do you want to?” He looked at me for a long moment. The moonlight made his eyes look unnaturally large, dark. Finally he said, his voice vibrating through the bed under me, “Well, do you want to?”
“Yes,” I said, “of course.” I had started getting hard as soon as I had woken up, maybe even before.
And I willed myself to move my hand to him. He gasped as I ran my hand lightly over his cock through his boxers – it was sized in accordance with the rest of him – and for an instant his eyes fluttered shut. I craned to kiss him – I couldn’t push myself up, with my arm otherwise occupied – and he surged to meet me. He kissed me deeply, flicking out his tongue, and then suddenly he rolled and was above me, straddling me on all fours, his massive shoulders and arms forming a frame above me, black against the blue-lit room. He was still wearing his boxers, and I tugged at the waistband impatiently with my hand. I wanted to see him, feel him. He shifted to one side again to strip off swiftly – his cock sprang free, pointing toward me, thick, commanding – then returned to kiss me again, slid one hand down my belly and beneath the waistband of my own boxers.
At first he slid only his work-roughened fingertips there, lingered with torturous delicacy on the skin just above my groin, below my hipbones. I gasped, and he chuckled appreciatively against my lips. At the sound, the sensation, I grew even harder. His fingers teased the edges of my pubic hair.
I felt as if I were going out of my mind; everything was pushed out of me but the hot pulse of desire.
His fingers slid far enough to feel the scars from when I’d had hip surgery as a kid; I knew he could feel them from the way that he paused over them.
Before I could feel self-conscious, he shifted his hand and slowly, slowly palmed my hard cock. I could feel a shudder run through him the first instant that he touched it. On it he rocked the length of his enormous hand from side to side, before sliding down further to stroke my balls.
The sensation was engulfing. I was starting to lose control of my arm and legs. My breath was ragged, desperate, I stroked and gripped his back and side and shoulders frantically with my good hand, as my contracted limbs began to twitch and struggle. I felt as if I had been disassembled; I couldn’t string together a coherent thought, a coherent motion. Roy was now kneeling back, using both of his hands to stroke me, two fingers stroking under my balls, the other hand lightly running up and down my shaft. I couldn’t see his face, or I couldn’t focus to see it. His breath, too, was eager, panting.
My good arm fell back; for a moment all I could do was use it to grip the bedsheets, as if trying to hold something together. For an instant I saw myself as if from above, my contracted arm and hand beating meaninglessly across my chest, my legs kicking and jerking arrhythmically; I felt a distinct, piercing sensation of shame.
And then Roy’s hands were around my face, warming, steadying. “Are y-you okay? Am I hurting you?”
I gasped again, this time at the loss of sensation, contact, from my cock. “No, no, I need you,” I whispered. I was shaking.
A low sound rumbled through Roy’s chest; he slid one of his hands aside from my face and pressed his lips to my jaw. “I love your body,” he said, his voice thrumming through my jaw, my throat. And swiftly he kissed my shoulders, my hands, my chest, again and again. “It’s so honest. It drives me crazy.”
I couldn’t do anything but struggle upwards to meet his lips; we kissed interminably. His hands moved again to my cock, gratefully I felt their heat throbbing into me.
Then he broke the kiss, and I arched weakly and gasped as I suddenly felt his mouth on my cock, impossibly warm, wet. My legs kicked against his shoulders, massive, impervious, and I cried out as he began moving on me, my understanding of what was happening further splintering – the heat, the intensity of the pleasure, the impossible sweetness of it, his hand cupping my balls and stroking, the meaningless pain as my crippled limbs struggled against themselves, the pain a hot wire running through everything else.
When I came in his mouth, I barely understood what was happening; my vision burst white, and my hips and abdomen convulsed. I cried out again.
As my vision cleared, I became dimly aware that Roy’s mouth was still on me, that he was still gently, slowly moving his tongue against me. I thought I would die from the sweetness of it.
Slowly he released me, leaned forward to cup my face with one hand, that familiar gesture. I couldn’t talk, but he looked deeply into my eyes, kissed my lips, and then sat back on his heels, tilting his face to the ceiling before closing his eyes and palming himself.
With drugged slowness, I moved my hand to meet his. His eyes flickered open again. He looked at me for confirmation; I managed a nod. He put his head to one side and smiled, gently placed my hand around his cock, and closed his over it. With our joint hands, he began stroking himself, swiftly; dimly I marveled at the sensation of my hand on him, the firmness, the velvety skin, the heavy shell of his hand around mine.
Half a minute or half an hour later, I couldn’t have said, he came, shuddering and moaning. My eyes were closed then, but I felt a few warm drops drip down my fingers, fall from him to my abdomen. I could feel the bed shift as he fell forward heavily, twisting to curl up at my side.
My arm and legs had slowed, calmed, seemingly obeying an additional gravity. I had regained enough presence of mind that I could fight to slow my breathing, but I still felt as if I would never be able to move any part of my body voluntarily again. Across every inch of my skin I could feel nerves tingling.
Roy moaned again, into my ear this time, softly. His hands moved across my chest until they had each found one of mine, took them, the crippled and the whole.
The last things I remembered before we fell asleep, both of us, was the sound of our breathing, and the feeling of his lips pressed against my neck.