“Are you sure you’re okay?” Dan blotted the gouge over Michael’s left eye.
“I’m fine.” Truthfully, his head bonged in rhythm with the music.
“Looks like you might need stitches.”
“I can take you.”
The soft voice caused both men to turn quickly. She raised her hand to steady Michael, who swayed a bit in his seat. So much for suave first impressions, he thought.
“No, I was offering for you to sit in my lap so I could roll us both 25 blocks in my wheelchair.” He blinked at her sarcasm, then smiled. He liked that she was a bit of a smartass.
“What’s the crip doing here?”
The caustic tone caught everyone by surprise. Shae’s eyes narrowed. Michael scowled. Dan took a step forward.
“‘snot like she can get on the fuckin’ cross or stand for a beating..right, you fake whore?” Samantha wove unsteadily, pointing her finger at Shae. That she was very drunk was apparent.
“What did you just call me?”
“Fake. Fucking. Whore. You can’t satisfy him. Crip like you? Yor pussy is dead anyway…”
Shae rose slowly from her chair.
“The crip walks!” Sam hooted with mean laughter. Then promptly bent over holding her nose and howling. Shae shook out her hand, sinking back into her chair.
“Call me a fucking crip one more time,” she warned, her tone steely, “and I’ll break more than your nose, sweetheart.”
“She hit me.”
“Shaddup, you know you like it,” said an onlooker. There were assorted snorts and giggles. It was hard to not be pleased with Sam’s comeuppance …many here had been the target of her mean jokes.
“And it’s time for you all to disperse,” Dan spoke sternly, glaring at the assembled crowd. He hooked an arm around Samantha’s waist, and escorted her to the office, where he called a cab for her. He waited until it came, paid the driver in advance, and watched until the tail-lights faded into the night.
“You have a cool car.”
“It’s adapted. It gets me from place to place. I much prefer my chair, but there are some times when it’s not practical.”
“Like during snowstorms,” Michael finished.
“Exactly. So.” She paused, throwing him a mischievous glance. “You’re the guy from the park.”
“I go to the park, yes.”
“The hot dog slobberer.” And she giggled.
“Oh. You saw that.”
“I did. I saw you watching me.”
“You’re lovely.” He who often said too little, could not seem to shut his fucking mouth. Maybe he had a concussion. That had to be it.
She frowned, then smiled.
“For a crip, you mean?”
He scowled, suddenly pissed. “Don’t you ever say that to me again!”
Her eyes widened.
“You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. It has nothing to do with your wheelchair, and everything to do with you. Your smile is …electric. Your laugh..it gets me right here.” He stabbed his finger into his belly
“oh. Um. Well…”
She was suddenly flustered. She put her attention on parking her car in the emergency parking lot. Before she could get fully out of the car, he had come around and taken out her wheelchair, then helped her into it. She’d been independent for too long, perhaps, as his help annoyed her just a bit. Wisely, she held her tongue and didn’t protest as he wheeled her slowly towards the emergency room.
“I need to push you so that I don’t fall down.”
Clever man, she thought to herself.
Good one, he congratulated himself.
Later, after three stitches, she drove him home.
“Sure you’re okay to be alone? You could spend the night in my spare room.”
“nope, ‘sfine.” His voice was slurry with the painkiller they’d made him take. He wanted nothing so much as to lay down and sleep for a year or two.
“Tank you,” he mumbled, getting out of the car, shuffling to his door. It was only after she had driven off that he realized that he didn’t know her last name, her phone number or her address.
“So, did you have a good time, darling?” Her mother was sounding her out after her somewhat late night. Together they moved around the kitchen, sliding pans into the oven, whipping frosting, pounding dough. As a team, they worked well together. The bakery had saved them both, really. After her fathers sudden passing last year, her mother had been a lost spirit. Then her own tragedy occurred, and a fresh start seemed the best for them both. Her boyfriend had died in the car accident that had left her partially paralyzed. All they had left was one another.
Shae remembered her mom twirling in the living room, then poking her finger on the map, landing them here. In the months since the bakery opened, and their respective apartments finished, life had become a bit sunnier. She knew her mom had more than a passing interest in the fellow who delivered their flour every three days. And she herself had found that there was a vibrant and active D/s scene locally.
“I did. That poor guy from the park…remember the ketchup guy?” She giggled as her mom mimed the drip, drip, drip of ketchup out of a mesmerized persons hands.
“He was there last night, and tripped over his own feet, hit his head on a table and wound up with three stitches.”
“Oh my! I wonder if it was because he was oogling my beautiful girl?”
“Wouldn’t surprise me in the least, you know.”
She felt herself blushing. The front door bell jingled, saving her from replying.
“No, Shae, you finish up those cupcakes. You have such a hand at them!” Her mother bustled out of the kitchen, smoothing her silver tresses as she slipped off her hair net.
“May I- Oh hello there! How were those cupcakes…and oh my…”
Things clicked together quickly for Shae’s momma. The large bandage on the man’s forehead. The cupcakes. And Shae.
“Excuse me for a moment, will you?”
She darted back into the kitchen before he could stop her.
“Shea. Perhaps you could get this after all….I need to pee,” her mom whispered, dashing towards the bathroom.
“Geeze, mom…” Frowning, Shae set down her pastry bag and wheeled out to the storefront.
He blinked in shock. It was his girl! His face broke into a smile, then a fast wince as the smile tugged at his stitches.
“Try not to move too much…I really don’t want you to hurt yourself before I get out from behind here!” She laughed.
“Oh, you want me to hurt myself right in front of you?” He smiled, winced again.
“How are you feeling?”
“Hungry. And…I had no idea this was your place. I’ve been past here dozens of times…”
“Mom usually handles the store…speaking of…” she turned towards the swinging doors, not surprised to see her mother’s feet at the edge of the doorway.
“Mom. It’s okay, you can come out and meet him.”
He swallowed hard. To meet the mom of the girl he really wanted to spank…and fuck…seemed a bit perilous under the circumstances. The woman tied his tongue in knots. When what he really wanted was to tie her in them.