Berating myself for wallowing in self-pity, I dedicate myself to the task of making Lauren laugh a few more times before I have to leave, just because she looks beautiful when she does. She throws her head back, squeezes her eyes shut while her shoulders jump and her uninhibited laughter is loud enough that people turn their heads around to us.
I enjoy the fact that for once I’m not the reason for drawing attention to us. And not everyone looks directly away again. I guess some are just as mesmerized by Lauren as I am.
Shortly before dessert is served I feel Lauren’s naked foot brush against my left shin. I startle violently and nearly knock Romina’s wine glass over. Romina tuts and puts it further out of my reach. I blink at Lauren who smiles ruefully back at me and blushes slightly, which leads me to believe that it was really just an accident.
Only then her naked foot settles on my left knee.
My leg goes into mild spasm as a reaction to the touch, the muscles in my thigh quivering slightly and my knee jumping a bit, but Lauren’s foot stays. I can feel her toes curl tentatively around my kneecap, like she’s mapping out the contours of the trembling bone. The beginning of a hoarse groan sounds in the back of my throat and spasms rattle their way up to my chest.
Lauren places her elbows on the table and studies me, then quickly turns her eyes away again. She clears her throat. “So… Patrick…” she says and her voice wavers only a bit. She picks up her wine glass, her gaze evading mine as she takes a long swig. “You never told me if you’re seeing someone.”
I emit a strangled cough, completely taken by surprise. All of this is taking a direction I didn’t expect anymore.
Lauren’s toes move along the lower part of my knee and the fingers of my right hand tighten around the armrest of the chair. The strain makes my arm start to shake against the sturdy construction, the veins in my hand standing out. At the same time, heat is rushing south in an alarming rate and all I can think of is Lauren’s naked foot on my leg, moving further up.
Gosh, what is this girl doing to me?
“I told you about the furry companion in my life. So I think it would only be fair if you told me about yours. Furry or not.” Lauren’s grin is wide and cheeky, her eyes glinting.
“I’m not… I…” I struggle with speech and I notice Lauren is leaning forward a bit as if eager to understand me, her chest heaving under the low cut of her blue dress. All of a sudden my head is thrown back against the headrest and my tongue momentarily cuts off my air supply, causing me to panic. I choke a little, wheezing against the obstruction in my throat but then I manage to force my head forward again and breathe freely.
I notice Romina relaxes at my side, her hand lowering from where it has rushed to help me. Unfortunately though, Lauren’s foot has vanished from my leg almost immediately. She looks at me with large, slightly scared eyes full of apology, and doesn’t seem to be interested in carrying this – whatever it was – any further.
God, sometimes I absolutely detest my stupid body.
The shivers stop ruining my speech, but that’s only partly a relief. I swallow and manage to pull myself together. I’m a grown adult after all, at least I thought I was. “There’re six women in my life,” I say without blinking an eye, tracking Lauren’s reaction. I sincerely hope she can be distracted.
Lauren slightly lifts her eyebrows, amused, but the apprehensive look in her eyes doesn’t vanish.
“One of them is my mother. She’s the best that has ever happened to me, although I should probably say that I happened to her… Anyway, she’s awesome. Just to make things clear: she’ll always be my number one.”
Lauren snorts and her lips move into a small grin. Finally.
“The second one is Romina. She’s my right hand. And my left. And both of my legs. And more often than not my brain.”
Romina shakes her head mildly as she relays and apparently can’t resist to provide details: “Indeed, Patrick never remembers where he saved the latest version of his talks and he seems to think that one pair of pants is enough for a week." She subtly reaches over to clean my lips from spit again. “Really, you won’t believe he’s a genius if you knew him like I do.”
I groan in protest but Romina smirks at me. We’ve had that conversation before and she seems to insist on calling me a genius despite how many times I tell her I don’t agree. I’m not stupid, no, but I’ve been mostly just lucky and at the right places at the right times… And I worked hard to get where I am now.
I turn back to a grinning Lauren and hurriedly continue talking, the color of my cheeks now probably rivaling hers. “Well… yeah, in addition to that I have two very nice persons alternating in helping me out of bed and assisting me in all that morning stuff that ordinary people need to do on their own and another two who do the same only in reversed order in the evenings.”
I’m always open about the amount of help I need, especially since anything else would be a ridiculous lie. Sometimes it seems that people don’t think about it at all, however. I don’t know how in hell they expect me to change my clothes or brush my teeth when I can’t even control my own saliva, but I’ve had some seriously surprised reactions to mentioning my aides.
So it’s better to just throw it out there as early as possible.
Lauren thankfully doesn’t seem to be bothered. She hums and looks at me, tracing the rim of her empty wine glass with her fingers, and her gaze is so peculiar it makes my heartrate speed up again.
In that moment our waiter arrives. “Strawberry sorbet with wild berries,” he announces and places beautiful arrangements of ice and berries in front of the others, and a grayish mass in front of me. Somehow he manages to avoid being struck by my flailing left arm.
I notice Lauren is still watching me. Her foot hasn’t returned to my knee and a part of me is grateful for that while the rest is longing for her to touch me again. But even without her doing that, I know I’m doomed. I don’t know how Lauren does it, but just looking at her twirling a lock of dark brown hair around her finger is simply torture. Only somehow, and absolutely not understandable to me, it seems that there’s something going on with Lauren, as well. Her breathing has grown a bit irregular and her pupils are so dilated they’re almost black.
Romina lifts the straw to my lips but my left arm is behaving so badly, it’s making it difficult for me to keep my head still. My aide lets the glass with the dessert sink again with a small sigh and waits for the worst to pass. Lauren seems to grow increasingly uncomfortable as my spasms promptly crank up a notch, thanks to me trying to regain some control over my limbs. Her eyes follow every jerking movement of my body and although this would usually make me feel very uncomfortable, it’s not the case now.
And then it dawns on me.
Lauren isn’t staring just to satisfy her curiosity, no. If I’m not completely mistaken she’s turned on by what she sees. I can see her breath hitch every time my face contorts with a grimace, confirming my suspicion that she may enjoy watching me, even if she’s valiantly trying to hide it. For someone as unpracticed with pleasuring women as me, this is more than just an interesting finding.
It’s a revolution.
The only thing is: I still have no clue what exactly makes Lauren go. But I am a scientist right? I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t figure that out. It’s hard though to form a clear thought when a woman is looking at you like Lauren is doing right now, as if she’s about to devour me with her eyes.
After a while I manage to lift my trembling right hand with some effort to gesture to Romina, signaling her to try again with the dessert. Promptly, there’s a choked noise from across the table, sounding like Lauren hides a moan behind her napkin. Our eyes meet over the straw that Romina tilts in my direction and when I look into Lauren’s heated face, warmth flushes my cheeks as well. Gosh, Lauren is beautiful falling apart like this.
I realize in this moment that as much fun as it is to receive pleasure, it’s at least equally as satisfying to give pleasure.
If not more.
Lauren sweeps a strand of hair out of her face, her forehead beginning to glisten. I smile around the straw through which I haven’t yet managed to pull up any food. My cock pulses in my pants and releases a drop of precome as Lauren’s eyelids flutter and her lips part slowly. Unfortunately for me, the entire left side of my body tightens up at that and I hiss at the uncomfortable sensation.
Romina places the glass with the dessert back on the table and examines me slightly worried, leaning forward to look into my face. “Everything okay?” she whispers.
She’s noticed probably that my body is behaving a bit crazier than what is normal even for me. My left arm is bent, the fist pressed to my chest and I’m sitting dangerously tilted to one side. My neck is so stiff I don’t even manage to nod in answer. Instead I blink at Romina in the hopes that she’ll see the plea in my eyes and just ignore my body’s weirdness.
“You aren’t coming down with something, are you?” Romina mumbles quietly, her brows knotted. “You should maybe get your pump checked.” She slips the end of the straw between my lips again, this time holding a napkin under my chin with the other hand to prevent anything to dribble onto my clothes.
I inwardly thank her for not tying a napkin around my neck in front of everyone in the dining hall and blink again. I’m relieved that my aide is apparently unsuspecting of what is going on between Lauren and me, and obediently attempt to suck the blended ice cream through the straw. Some of it actually makes its way into my stomach instead of opting out over my chin. It tastes relatively good despite the color, a bit like any milkshake you could buy around the corner, and better than the main course by far.
Still, although I put much effort into controlling it, the higher level of muscle tightness brings its challenges. A few times my jaw abruptly clenches down on the straw, and globs of cool liquid drop down the side of my mouth. It makes me cringe every time it happens but glancing over at Lauren I realize she doesn’t seem to mind. Her glazed eyes are still trained on me and her ice cream is melting on her plate, forgotten.
Romina dabs at my lips and chin with the napkin and tucks at the other end of the straw until it slides out from between my teeth. “It isn’t smooth enough, is it?” she asks, sighing, and moves the glass, critically watching the liquid swirling around in it. One can see darker spots floating in front of the gray background, the shells of the berries perhaps, and I guess I can feel one of them still sticking to my palate.
“I’m going to ask them to blend it a second time,” Romina says, getting up from the table, my glass in her hand. Her own sorbet is slowly melting on her plate as well. “Okay?”
Between spasms I manage an affirmative groan before my neck flexes as another series grips my body. A hoarse whimper escapes me.
“You don’t have serious breathing problems, do you?” Romina asks quietly so that Lauren can’t hear, smooths my hair back and eyes me critically. “And no signs of an upcoming seizure, right?”
I shake my head no at her, slightly mortified, and hope she will just leave and not continue poking around. I haven’t had a seizure since I got a device installed in my head and my medication adjusted many years ago. My brain might be a bit under-supplied with oxygen right now but it has zero to do with my condition and everything with that wicked girl sitting across from me.
“Good,” Romina says, not quite convinced but at least not that concerned anymore. “Because I’m not sure who’d be paying for flying your dead body home and it’d probably be a horribly bureaucratic act, so I’d really appreciate you waiting with that until we’re home.”
I grimace at her. Yep, I guess my aide has learned her fair share of sarcasm from me. Damn it.
Romina is back to serious again. “We can leave now, if you want?” she says in a low voice.
This is the last thing I want, though.
“I’m good,” I manage to groan out between gritted teeth. “Have never been better.” In fact a bad spasm day is rarely worse than this. But then again, I usually don’t go out when in this condition.
In retrospect, Lauren’s reaction to my sorry attempt at speaking might have tipped Romina off, because Romina stills and glances quizzically over at Lauren who has managed to knock her glass of water over. Lauren grins weakly and apologetically, and Romina gives me a stern look before leaving without further discussion.
“I’m sorry,” Lauren whispers over the table, watching Romina go while setting her glass upright again. Thankfully it hasn’t been full. “I shouldn’t have—”
I want to shake my head, which merely makes my legs jump under the table, the footrest complaining loudly. Lauren swallows thickly and bites her lips again, staring at me. My breath hitches at the sight and warm shivers run down my limbs, making the wheelchair rattle. “It’s fine,” I gasp, throwing it out there in my own voice for good measure. I won’t be able to use the talker anytime soon if I interpret the signs of my body correctly.
“Jesus…” Lauren positively moans when the main part of the attack hits me, making my entire body clench up and convulse. Her eyes flutter close for a second and her eyebrows dip together. My legs are folding tightly at the knees and trembling violently, and the crooked fingers of my right hand close around the armrest as I’m trying to brace myself against the assault from my body. I manage to lift my head to look over at Lauren and for a second I’m distracted by a pearl of sweat running into her décolleté.
Then a violent spasm makes my body jolt and my back overstretch spectacularly, every single vertebra screaming.
“It’s um… warm in here, isn’t it?” The blond guy asks Lauren.
Lauren only fleetingly looks at him but she nods, flapping air with her hand into her face. “Oh god yes, so very hot.” Her voice has dropped a few pitches, touching something deep within me.
I want Lauren so badly but I know there’s nothing she can do for me now. People are sending glances over to us, guiltily watching the weird guy in the wheelchair being ripped apart by spasms. I can feel their eyes on me as the straps around my chest cut deep into the skin when my upper body is rocking forward, throwing itself into the restraints. My left arm contracts, pressing against my side, while my right hand is clenched into the armrest. I couldn’t let go even if I wanted to. In contrast to normally, though, I lack the shame upon being watched in this state. The skin-crawling feeling that makes me wish I were invisible is completely absent. The thought of Lauren being aroused by me, even if I’m still having a hard time to figure out why that is exactly, is all I care about. I realize that I’d probably let thousands of people watch if Lauren was one of them.
I hear Lauren gasp and her wine glass clink as she places it back on the table, the impact slightly harder than what would be normal.
“Your ice cream…” I force out between painfully clenched teeth, perfectly aware the Lauren probably won’t understand a single thing because my speech is beyond comprehensibility. I’m not even sure Romina would manage to make out anything of it. Lauren’s knuckles turning white around the table’s edge tell me that I’m on the right path, though. “It won’t… taste better…. when it’s melted, I tell you.” I need to make long breaks between words because my throat is seizing and my chest contracting, and I need most of the air that I manage to inhale for actual breathing.
Lauren leans forward and a shudder goes through her body.
There’s a series of terrible grimaces disfiguring my face and making it impossible to even attempt speech. When I regain a fraction of control, I gasp: “It’d be a shame if something as delicious as this dessert should go wasted…” A guttural groan is pumped out of my chest, my throat feeling raw as the sound forces its way through and then it’s all suddenly over.
I’m sinking down in my chair with a hoarse sigh, my head lowering so I can’t see Lauren anymore. I can only hear her gasp. And then still in her chair.
Let me tell you that: There’s never been a better sound.
It takes a while for my body to recover from the torture it was put through, my muscles still aching faintly with the memory of the spasm attack. I force myself to steadily breathe through my nose and think of something else than the glorious fantasy of Lauren’s fingers on my skin or her hot body against mine, although it’s quite difficult. My muscles are too slack for what I experience as normalcy but I manage to plant my right foot more firmly onto the footrest and push up a bit, settling myself as upright as possible on my own, my head falling back and against the headrest again. I turn it with some difficulty and see that Lauren has switched onto Romina’s seat.
“Drink?” she asks quietly and tips my glass to me. I have transitioned to water long ago, too much alcohol doesn’t mix well with neither the spasms nor my medication.
“Hngh…” I manage a nod and gulp down water as if I’m about to die of thirst, Lauren’s fiery eyes burning on me.
“Is he okay?” chimpanzee begins to ask dumbly and with a mixture of alarm and sensationalism in his features but Lauren puts him to silence with one single glare. The blond guy next to Lauren is looking from me to her, incredulous understanding so slowly dawning on his face I almost choke on my drink because I can’t stop grinning.
I turn back to Lauren and want to type something on the screen but my right arm has fallen into the gap between my thigh and the armrest of the wheelchair and it feels much too heavy to pick up right now. My tongue isn’t cooperating at all and nothing more than a rattling groan comes out of my mouth.
I can’t even thank Lauren, I can’t tell her how amazing I think she is, I can’t tell her that I’ve never felt myself falling for anyone so quickly in my life, I can’t, I can’t—
“Hey…” Lauren says softly, and then she lifts her hand and dabs at my chin with a napkin.
I freeze instantly at the intimate gesture that I hate so much and that condenses all of my worst shortcomings in a painful way but I relax against the strap around my chest when I see her blissed-out smile never fades. There’s no pity in her eyes, only warmth.
And the strung-out expression of someone who has had a very good time.
It’s all I need to know.
“That was fucking hot, Patrick,” she whispers and smiles at me. “Thank you.”
Lauren apparently doesn’t really care if our seat neighbors hear her, and a comfortable shudder crawls down my spine. All I can do is smile at her with joy and gratitude but I hope it conveys what I’m feeling because in this moment I think I’m the luckiest guy on the planet.
--> Chapter 5