tagRomanceHalf the Man Ch. 05

Half the Man Ch. 05

byMostera1©

'Half the Man'© and its associated chapters is a copyrighted production of Mostera1©

Chapter 5


Dark gray clouds swirled ominously in the west, as the soft green lawns once full of people rapidly emptied. The dazzling jet blue sky above mutated to a premature menacing dusk as vendors hastily made their final sales. The many species of ducks huddled on the pond's banks and together waited for the appearance of the life giving moisture. Suddenly a deafening bellow followed by the heaven's stormy rage pierced the gathering darkness, and scattered the shore's multitude. A lone drop of water found the earth, but it did not come from the black mountains of seamless storm clouds.

Harper awakened by the anguished cry leapt to her feet and implored, "Dylan, stop, it's not what you think! Please wait! Don't leave, let me explain!"

Forlorn, he disregarded the pleas, and stoically wiped an unshed tear. A gentle patter announced the squalls leading edge had arrived. Dylan took no notice, and continued away from her, and her—fiancé.

Darnell laughed heartily and taunted the despondent soul, "Yeah that's right little man, go on get out of here, run aw..."

"YOU!" Harper glared and pointed a finger at the surprised bully, "Shut your mouth! You—do not control me—no one does. You—are no longer a part of my life; I dumped your ass eight months ago. So leave us alone you self-righteous pompous piece of sh..."

Darnell angered by her insolence ruthlessly grabbed her, and furiously spun her around. Harper yelped in pain.

Arrogantly he stared down at her defiance and barked, "You listen to me bitch, just like I told you last month; we aren't over until—I–say so. And I'm not...WHUFF!"

Darnell doubled over, the swift punch had caught him off guard. Painfully he looked up as a blurred fist connected and sent him sprawling. Stunned, he rolled onto his back and laid spread eagle on the ground. The skies opened and large water droplets awoke him from his stupor. He slowly blinked his eyes and lethargically rubbed his chin. He cried out in panic when the much shorter man harshly grabbed his collar and brutally hauled him up. Darnell recoiled at the adrenalin-fueled rage, the uncontrolled fury, and felt the sharp blade of fear pierce his stomach.

There was no gloating, the words were crisp and to the point, "Now, now Darnell didn't your mommy tell you that's no way to treat a lady?" Dylan pulled the scrawny lowlife's face down, and looked him squarely in the eye, "From what I heard 'big man', she dumped you a long time ago, so—why are you still bothering her?"

Darnell struggled vigorously to break free but was held by an inescapable vise. Suddenly he yelped, a hard slap almost took his head off, and he collapsed into Dylan's solid arms.

A low and menacing voice spoke, "Now that I have your attention again scumbag, I want you to listen, and listen well—I won't threaten your sorry ass, I don't believe in threats. But let's be perfectly clear where you stand—you are old news—very old news. You are no longer wanted, so you better make damn sure if you see me and especially if you see Harper—you turn and walk the other way. Do you understand me?"

Darnell winced when the vise drew tighter, and emphatically nodded yes. Dylan relaxed slightly and with an unyielding firmness ended the one sided conversation. "Excellent, I am glad we came to an—amicable understanding. Now tuck your tail between your legs and go."

Stunned to silence as the battle unfolded, Harper was thunderstruck how effortlessly her ex-fiancé was tossed away. Initially she feared for Dylan, but those fears were unfounded. The summer squall seemed docile compared to the unyielding ferocity of this juggernaut.

The routed man moaned and staggered off. A year ago she would have been upset and by his side. Today there was only contempt. Harper rubbed her arm while her rescuer kept a vigilant eye on her departing ex.

"Dylan," she said softly. He glanced back and she opened her arms. Her heart skipped when he smiled and walked towards her. She reached for him and welcomed him back.

Darnell had never been beat down before, in fact he had never been in a fight before. His height and brazenness always prevented it—until now. He was in unfamiliar territory, and was lost. He turned and saw the smile that a long time ago was only his.

Angered by his loss and now thirty feet away, his bravado returned. He spitefully shouted, "Don't come crying to me bitch, when you discover his package won't hold a candle to mine. He can't fill you like I can. You're gonna miss this baby." He grabbed his perceived prominence, and jutted it in her direction.

Dylan released her hand, and took a step towards the blustering braggart. The step coincided with a loud thunderclap that shook the ground. Darnell saw the smoldering fireballs in his adversary's eyes, and knew he was seriously outmatched. He turned swiftly, and shrieked one final epitaph as he hurried away, "You aren't worth the trouble, so go on, enjoy his tiny dick—if you can, and just remember I won't be there when you need a real man, and I know—you will."

Harper ignored the hateful words and focused her eyes, her mascara running down her cheeks, on the fearless man before her. "I...I...I'm so sorry, I should have told you about him, but I thought finally after last month he got the message and was gone for good. When you asked if he was my fiancé, I...I...I put my head down. You thought I was acknowledging a relationship. In reality I was embarrassed I hadn't told you."

Dylan took off his jacket, brushed the dirt from it and wrapped it around her damp shoulders. Concerned he took her hand and asked, "Are you okay, he didn't hurt you did he?"

"I'm just a little sore, but no he didn't hurt me. You stopped him." Her eyes teared up.

"Thank goodness you're alright," he exhaled, and tenderly kissed her cheek. He absently massaged her hand and spoke with a slight tremble, "There was no reason for you to tell me about him—we weren't in a committed relationship, and your past like mine, has always been yours to share or not." He reached up and toyed with her dark bangs, "Besides, how could you imagine he would do this? You couldn't of course—so there is nothing to apologize for."

He softly sighed, "I will admit when you put your head down after my question, I believed the worst." Harper started to speak, but he gently put his finger to her mouth. "Let me finish."

He took a short breath, gazed into her worried raccoon eyes and calmly continued, "I didn't care what you said or—what he had to say. I wasn't going to be a part of a love triangle so I left." He paused and after a deep breath, "Then you turned on him, and I not only heard your words, I felt them in here." He pointed to his heart. "Your emotion spoke volumes to me and I knew your truth—and his lies. When he grabbed you..." Dylan's face initially contorted, but quickly relaxed, "I won't dwell on what just happened, it's simply enough to say he would be a fool to bother you again."

Harper fixed her eyes on his as the surrounding storm's energy waned, and flashed a grin. She wrapped her arms around him and squeezed. Suddenly she gasped, "Oh my god Dylan—your leg! I was scared he hurt you when he pulled you off the bench. Are you okay?"

He stretched his thigh and replied, "When I first hit the ground, it hurt like hell, now it's only a dull throb." He chuckled before becoming more serious. "I'll take an ibuprofen tonight, and it should be fine by morning."

Around them, the once ominous western sky lightened noticeably as the tar black clouds dissolved into the east. The rain diminished, and the melody was like the clinking of fluted champagne glasses. Dragonflies flitted about the ozone charged air as the last of the stormy pearls trickled off the leaves.

Dylan looked up into the clearing sky, laughed and lightly touched his thigh, "You know before they removed the metal rod from my leg, I would have easily predicted this brief storm. But my career as an accurate weatherman lasted just over a year."

Her face contorted with laughter. "Aww! Short and sweet just like you."

Dylan snickered and wiped the dark streaks off her cheeks. She took his hand, and lovingly kissed it.

She thought for a moment and then calmly asked, "D, before we were interrupted, you were giving me background on a — specific problem. Can we meet later and continue that discussion?"

"'D' is it now?" He chuckled and after a long contemplative pause, "Yes, we can. We need to. How about I pick you up at 6:00 P.M. and we head over to the Dark Horse?"

She shook her head no, "Dark Horse is a great idea, but I think it's best if we talk first. Is 7:00 P.M. okay, and would you mind coming to my place?"

"Yeah that time works, and your place it is," he said in a voice that was surprisingly puny.

Dylan fought off his impending dread, and wrapped his arm around her waist. Side by side they quietly walked to her building. He opened the door and once inside, Harper, as she slid his jacket off her shoulders, shivered noticeably. Seeing her discomfort, he put the coat back on her, and lovingly fixed the collar. He caressed her arms, and tenderly kissed her hand.

"Keep it Lady Dove, I'll get it tonight."

She smiled broadly at her pet name, and pulled the jacket tight. She felt secure inside its warmth and savored his masculine aroma. "Until tonight my sweet man, and D, whatever it is we have to talk about—try not to worry." She leaned down kissed him, and walked to the elevator.

When the doors closed, Dylan stroked his beard and pondered her words. 'Try not to worry? How does a person not worry when they walk up the gallows stairs, and to their fate?' Suddenly his eyes lit up and with a boisterous chuckle he spoke his thoughts aloud, "Head held high, one step at a time, greet the executioner with a disarming smile—and hope for a last minute pardon" Under his breath he added, "Well at least my executioner is pretty."

*****

It was 6:45 P.M. when Harper put the finishing touches on her apartment. She set the cloth on the table as her thoughts centered on why Dylan was so nervous. It was obvious it concerned his manhood, but what could it be? She wasn't exactly sure, and all sorts of different scenarios revolved in her mind. There was one that stood out, but she couldn't quite put it all together.

'He mentioned there were several medication problems, and complications that landed him back in the hospital. The urologist said the auto accident caused more damage than was previously thought.' The unsolved puzzled swirled randomly in her mind until slowly it coalesced and, 'Hmm, more–damage — more—damage. More—DAMAGE!' Her eyes flashed.

"That's it!" she exclaimed, "That's it."

Suddenly she knew what it was. Harper picked up the cloth and wrung it in her hands. "Oh my lord, I figured out why his marriage ended. It's because he's—sterile!"

The auto accident damaged his testicles, and he can't father children. That's what he wanted to tell me before asshole interrupted us, that he's—sterile." She paused and wiped the table again. "I've always wanted to be a mom, but if he's sterile, that won't happen unless we adopt, or find a surrogate donor, or we..."

She put her head down and quietly chuckled, "Oh my. I'm sure getting ahead of myself, first things fi..."

There was a gentle knock on the door. Harper stopped her musings, tossed the cloth in the sink, and straightened her blouse. She went to the door and looked through the peephole. She did a double take. She recognized the eyes, but not the face they came with. Puzzled, she unlocked the door and opened it slowly.

"Hi Lady Dove."

Harper quickly closed the door, took off the safety chains, and when she reopened it she said with great surprise, "You—shaved!"

"Yeah, when I got home, I thought about tonight. I felt it was a—new beginning. So I made a decision to stop hiding behind masks, and got rid of the beard. I hope what's left meets with your approval." He smiled uncertainly.

It sure did. His face was rugged and tender, and without the beard his golden eyes brightly shined. She closed the door and faced him. Hesitantly she touched and turned his cheek. She looked carefully and could barely make out the fine lines his beard had hid. 'If his face was really as bad as he said it was—that plastic surgeon must have been a genius.' She leaned down kissed both cheeks, and grasped his hand. His uneasiness showed for it felt cold and clammy.

She pulled him to her, and addressed his anxiety, "Listen to me, and you listen good. After what just happened, I feel so much stronger about us. I'm not naïve, I know we've only been on one 'official' date, but just as you felt my emotions, I feel you here too." She placed his hand on her heart. "D, honey, whatever it is you need to share, we'll work through it. Have faith."

She showed him into the dining area, and both sat at the table. After several seconds, Dylan softly spoke. "If you recall, I said Dr. Harb learned the injuries were very severe, and..." His eyes watered. "The blood vessels near my pelvis were damaged beyond his, or anyone else's skill to repair. So without adequate blood flow, I...I...I lost my ability to..."

"Have children," she abruptly said. "I figured it out, you're sterile. You can't have children. D, don't worry we'll get through this, there are lots of opt..."

Surprised by her words he interrupted, "What? No, that's not it Harper, I'm not sterile, I can't get—hard. I lost the ability to get an erection in the usual way. The accident left me with all the desires, sensations, and wants, but it also left me impotent."

He fell silent, and watched the quiet woman across the table. She seemed troubled by his revelation, and immediately he assumed the worst. He grasped her hand patted it gently and stoically said, "Maybe I should go, so you can think about this. Call me later—if you want."

He got up, but before he could move away she grabbed his hand tight, "No Dylan, wait. Sit—down. You can't leave, not until you answer some questions first," she said forcefully.

He shuddered. Her words and tone reminded him of—Rita. Soberly he replied, "Look I don't want to argue—after what happened with my last girlfriend, and to a lesser extent today, I don't need any more..." He let the sentence end. "Look, just let me leave okay? I won't bother you anymore, I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner."

Her grip tightened, and she leveled her eyes, "Dylan, sweetheart, I'm–sorry I spoke so abruptly. I had it in my head it was one thing, but now—I'm not sure about anything. As far as telling me sooner, think back to earlier today—and your words. We do not need to venture there." Her grip relaxed and she said sincerely, "D, baby, I don't want you to leave until you answer a few questions, and I promise not to get mad or angry. Please sit down and talk to me."

Dylan felt the warmth in her voice and decided it was time to have faith. The time had come to tell her—everything. He took a breath, sat back down, and slid closer to the table.

Harper was relieved he made the choice to stay, and before he changed his mind she quickly asked, "You're not sterile?"

His voice even he replied, "I'm not sterile. The tests after the accident showed an abundance of swimmers."

She nodded, "That's great. Umm you mentioned the accident left you impotent, and you umm, can't get an erection in the usual way—what did you mean?"

'This is it,' he thought, 'the blade is sharp and the lunette has been lowered.'

He nervously recapped what she already knew and when he came to the accidental overdose, she got upset and dabbed her eyes. He paused and when she nodded for him to continue he spoke of the meeting with the urologist, and how Mariette bolted when the doctor mentioned paralysis.

Dylan stopped for a short time to carefully choose his next words. When he was ready, he stared deeply into her nervous doe eyes, "Harper, the procedure had less than a five percent chance of success. When Mari returned, she didn't care to hear about the alternatives that were available. Her mind was made up on what I should do. She demanded I take that very small chance and have the high-risk surgery. But after I thought long and hard, I...I...I couldn't do it—I didn't want to lose sensation in my penis or spend the rest of my life in diapers."

He sighed emphatically, "That's when my marriage was lost. Her mother dug in and pulled Mariette's strings tight. We didn't have a chance, I didn't have a chance, and our short union was over." After a quick breath, "I contacted Dr. Harb to go over the options again after most of my facial reconstruction surgery was completed, and..." Dylan gathered himself. 'Don't panic, just say it,' and with surreal calmness, "The alternative I chose to that radical procedure was a different surgery. I had a mechanical device, a prosthesis, implanted in my genitals, and lower abdomen. Inside my penis' shaft are special cylinders that can be quickly inflated, and voila—instant hard on.

So Lady Dove, I'm not sterile, and I can get an erection—'with a little help from my friend.'" he deadpanned.

Dylan sighed and collapsed—it was done. He felt better, and hoped that when the blade fell, it would be relatively painless. He looked up and softly asked the pensive woman, "A nickel for your thoughts."

She snickered, "It'll cost more than a nickel— I'm not that cheap."

Her flippant response bothered him, but before he could respond, Harper hurriedly came behind him and patted his shoulders. She leaned down wrapped her arms around him and chastely kissed the top of his head. He was more than mildly puzzled when she sat back down.

Harper's next words were flat and hushed, "That was a simple 'thank you' for telling me this now." She paused, squirmed a bit, and in a very businesslike voice continued, "I completely understand what's going on and I appreciate the courage it took to share something so—intimate. I am grateful you did—before our relationship went further, because now it makes things a lot easier for me."

Dylan heard the blade start its descent and with sadness replied, "I...I'm glad it does—I didn't want you to be surprised later, and have hard feelings. So if I could have my coat—I'll say goodnight, and take my leave."

They both rose from their chairs. "Please wait here, your coat is in another room. I'll be right back," she said emotionlessly and turned to get it.

He forced a small smile, and slowly nodded his head. He felt wobbly, and grabbed the chair back to steady himself. He pivoted and looked up at the ceiling as a tear left his eye. 'Christ All-Mighty, this hurts worse than Rita's words. Damn, it even hurts more than my divorce. I really believed she was the...' Hurriedly he wiped his eyes when she reentered the room.

As he turned to face his executioner for their final goodbye he said with melancholy, "Lady Dove before I go, I...I want you to know–I lo..." Dylan's jaw dropped.

There was Harper, all six foot four inches of her, casually leaning against the door. She was dressed in black heels, a pale yellow thong, and—his jacket. He couldn't take his eyes off her as the blade stopped just above his neck, and quickly faded from his mind. As the death scene disappeared, he realized he got played—again. Dylan ecstatically wiped the drool from his chin, and his dormant cock vibrated so hard he thought it might fall off.

She tousled her luxurious black hair, and faced the doorjamb. Her seductress persona grabbed hold and slowly stretched a long lithe leg high into the air. At its zenith she turned her head, soft bangs partially hid her large blue eyes and with a smooth sultry voice, "If you want your jacket—you'll have to come and get it."

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