Hitting the Bottom Ch. 02

bysmall_town_girl©

"Hey, could you help me into the wheelchair again? I've slept so much of the day off there's no way I could go to sleep anytime soon. Maybe I could work next to one of those tables in the seating area, if that's okay with you?"

She turns back to face me and contemplates my request before shrugging and answering: "Sure, why not. Let's get you into the chair" and within a minute she's hugging my side close to help me with the now-familiar maneuver.

Damn but she feels good. And smells even better. FUCK!

I almost stumble but manage to grab the armrests just in time and land heavily on my backside in the chair. Sandra straightens up panting softly and pushes an errant strand of silky blond hair back behind her ear, her brow creased.

"Well that was a close call. Were you feeling dizzy just now?"

"No, no, I'm feeling fine, honest. Had much less dizziness and almost no nausea today at all. Just lost my concentration there for a moment, that's all." Well at least that's not a complete lie.

"Hmm. All right. Off you go then; find me or buzz me when you want to get into bed, all right?"

I snap my mouth shut to prevent the first response her words conjured in my brain from being blurted out. Instead I swallow hard and then hiss out: "Yes. Thanks Sandra. I'll do that."

The corner of her mouth curls up in a tiny smile and for a moment I wonder if she knew what I was going to say, or if in fact she meant for her words to have that tiny ring of double-meaning to them. But then she turns and leaves without saying anything further and I shake it off resolutely.

Focus, Dan.

With the stationary in my lap I wheel myself out of the room and over to the seating area and take the table at the far corner, parking myself with my back turned to the nurses' station, facing the wall. I will not let myself be distracted. I have a future to start planning, and it's time to do some work.

*

Two hours later I feel like I've dumped the entire content of my brain onto those pages. Each page is dedicated to a different aspect of this new business idea - services to be offered, necessary equipment, pricing, marketing, legal and insurance stuff... - and they are all filled with scribbles, deletions and re-writes, as well as many open questions.

It's confusing to even look at it.

I take a clean sheet of paper and copy the contents of the first page onto it, sans the mess. When I'm done I take another critical look at it and smile. Now that's better. I can work with that.

I spend another thirty minutes doing the same with the other five topic pages, and sigh with real satisfaction when I'm done. It's a good basis to work off of, and at the same time it is already clear I will need some professional guidance in setting up this business. I'll look into some options when I'm back home; maybe there are online courses or some other public resources I could use.

I know it's a huge task, and it is kind of daunting to be honest. And I also know this is exactly what I need: A real challenge will keep me focused.

Focus is good.

I lean back in the wheelchair and raise both my arms up above my head for a long, if careful, stretch. It feels great to fill my lungs with air so fully, until suddenly it's too much for my bruised ribs and a sharp pain slices through me. The pain makes me drop my arms and slouch forward and pant shallowly through it, and the sharp movement in turns makes my head spin and I grab the table as nausea rises for the umpteenth time... URGH!

"Shh... Breathe, Dan. Relax back and breathe in and out."

Sandra is at my side, one hand on my shoulder, the other on my forearm, crouching down so that her eyes look straight into my face, monitoring me closely. I make a conscious effort to follow her instructions and lean back in my chair bringing my attention to my breathing. It does the trick; in a few moments the room stops spinning around me and the pain in my torso subsides to that ever-present dull ache I'd already gotten used to.

"Better?" She asks carefully still searching my face, and I push down my frustration and grind my teeth together before relaxing them, too, and finally turn to face her.

"Yeah, just overdid that stretch a bit... I'm fine now."

Her fingers squeeze my shoulder and forearm in silent answer before she stands up and takes a small step back, and then to my surprise takes the seat next to me at the table, turning her chair in an angle so that she's facing me, leaning with one elbow against the table top.

"So, what have you been up to the last couple of hours? You seemed so engulfed in your work, I didn't want to interrupt before."

I look questioningly at her. "You wanted to speak to me before? Why?"

She drops her eyes and shrugs as a faint blush colors her cheeks before she looks up to meet my eyes again. "Well... because... I... because night shifts sometimes feel neverending and it helps having someone nice to chat with, to pass the time."

"Ouch."

"What?!"

"You make me sound like an 80-year-old, slightly senile gentleman." My lips twitch when I say it, taking away the sting from the accusation. She answers with an exasperated little laugh.

"C'mon! That's not what I meant at all, and you know it!"

"What did you mean then?" I ask, keeping my voice neutral. Don't get your hopes high.

"I meant... I meant I kinda like you, all right?"

My eyebrows shoot up at her almost pissed-off tone, and at the same time I feel the warm pleasure spread in my chest at those words. I relax back in my wheelchair, a real smile now spread on my face. Or on half of it, anyways.

"Yeah. That's actually way better. Truth is I kinda like you too... I was just teasing. Chatting sounds... good. Real good." She visibly relaxes next to me, and then straightens up again.

"Hey, you want some coffee or tea or anything? I've got a small stash of cookies, too. Homemade chocolate-chips. Wanna share?" She looks at me eagerly. There's no way I could disappoint her by saying no, and besides homemade cookies sound way too good to pass.

"Sure, I'd love some. I gotta admit I really like that sweet black tea that comes with the meals... and I'd never say no to real cookies. Yes, please."

"Great! I'll be back in a moment, stay here."

She almost jumps out of her chair although even her sharp movements look well-coordinated. She walks over to what I assume is the staff room/kitchenette at the end of the hall - right across from my own room, actually - and my eyes follow her all the way there, enjoying the sweet sway of her lovely behind and the smoothness of her quick strides. A girl on a mission. I chuckle at the thought.

Sandra disappears into the staff room, and without thinking about it I release the brakes on my chair and start rolling after her towards the end of the hall. Half way through I remember she told me to "stay here" and pause for a moment, then almost laugh out loud when I give the wheels another determined shove.

Yeah. That's not gonna happen.

I reach the open doorway and stop there, peering inside. She's pouring boiling-hot water from the kettle into a clear pitcher of sorts - I think it's plastic, but not sure - where a couple of tea bags are floating. She's humming a tune to herself - it takes me a moment to recognize Bruno Mars's Today I feel like not doing anything and she's bouncing and swaying gently in time to the laid-back, funky reggae beat, oblivious to my presence.

I can do nothing but stare. And listen. Her voice is beautiful, but I soon lose track of that thought as I become too distracted by the suggestive dancing accompanying the quirky lyrics... "Uh, I'm gonna kick my feet up then stare at the fan / Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants / Nobody's gon' tell me I can't" I just barely choke my cough when her hand actually goes into her her white nurse's pants and I swear I can see her giving herself a couple of fond rubs right there before pulling out again.

Shit. My dick is twitching again.

Sandra keeps singing and bouncing while reaching for a small plastic box on the top shelf. The movement raises her shirt and I get a quick glimpse of her smooth, golden-hued skin just above the elastic band at her hips. Again I swallow my groan; I don't want her to know that I'm here just yet. I'm enjoying the show waaaay too much for that.

"Oh yes, I said it I said it, I said it 'cause I can / Today I don't feel like doing anything / I just wanna lay in my bed / Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone / 'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything / Nothing at all, woo-hoo, woo-hoo, hooooo, nothing at all"

She bends down to get a tray from the lower cupboard and stays there for much longer than necessary, twerking enthusiastically with her sweet tush sticking out against the thin white cotton, displaying its perfectly spankable shape in all its glory right in my face, not three feet away. I am practically salivating. I can see her panty line - a simple bikini-style coming down at an angle slicing her round ass cheek exactly in half.

Man this is torture. My fingers tighten on the armrests as I fight to keep myself from moving or saying anything.

The tray is up on the counter with the pitcher, the cookies and two tea cups laid out on it, but instead of picking it up she takes a tiny step back and now dances properly as she sings and I can only imagine she's rehashing the choreography from the video clip because there's no way a woman would spontaneously dance like that.

"Tomorrow I'll wake up, do some P90X / Find a really nice girl, have some really nice sex"

Her movements shift from mock-weightlifting to mock-doggy-style-fucking to throwing her hands and head up and out and just barely keeping her voice from carrying over to the sleeping patients' rooms:

"And she's gonna scream out / This is great! / Oh my god, this is great!!!"

I can't help my pained groan from spilling out of my chest this time and she swivels so fast I'm afraid she'd fall on her face. She has such a comical expression on it that I burst out laughing, at the same time clapping hard to show her my heart-felt appreciation of her impromptu performance.

Sandra blushes a pretty shade of bright pink but there's a smile on her face too, and she winks at me and bows deeply before straightening up and leaning back against the counter, laughing along with me.

When her giggles subside and I too catch my breath, I wheel myself closer to her.

"Well, that just made my evening. You've got a real talent there lady!"

She shrugs and chuckles again self-consciously. "For embarrassing myself you mean? Yeah, I know. Been working on this one for years."

"No! You have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. You have a beautiful voice and a gorgeous body and the way you move..." I cut myself short before I complete that thought out loud.

It makes me wanna do all kind of things to you to make you scream 'oh my God this is great!'.

"Ahm. You sure can dance, Sandra." I finish a bit lamely, but by the look on her face I might just as well have spoken my real thoughts. Her mouth is slightly open to allow for her quickened breath, the blush on her cheeks has deepened and spread to her neck and down the V at her chest and her eyes seem to have turned a darker shade of blue. She knows what I was going to say, and if I'm not missing my cues here completely, that knowledge just served to turn her on, too.

We stare at each other, neither one of us moving, until she coughs and turns her back at me and replies with a belated "ahm, thanks..."over her shoulder while reaching back to pick up the tray. Mutely I shuffle back in my chair and wheel myself to the side, clearing the way for her. Sandra still doesn't meet my eyes as she carries the tea and cookies back to the seating area while I follow a few strides behind her, trying hard not to feel like an idiot.

Way to go, cowboy.

We're back at the table and Sandra pours our teas and places the cookies between us. I watch her hands as she does it. She has good hands, feminine and no-nonsense at the same time: Slender, competent fingers, soft-looking skin, neatly trimmed fingernails with no polish. I can't help but imagine these hands directly on my body, touching me without the latex or the washcloths barriers between us.

Damn! Down, boy.

I watch her hands as if transfixed and follow their movements all the way into her lap where she folds them in a somewhat protective gesture.

Great. Now I'm making her uncomfortable. I realize I've been too quiet, too long. Clearing my throat I mumble "thanks Sandra" and manage a crooked smile, and am relieved to see her hands leave her midriff to wrap around her teacup and raise it to her lips, blowing gently before taking a small sip.

Oh shit. Her lips. Her lush, pink lips. In a perfect little O. Blowing. Tasting. Tongue sneaking out for a moment to lick away a drop. FUCK!

Hastily I drop my gaze to my own cup and bring it up to my mouth and try to blow into it to cool it down before realizing I can't; not with the sutures still decorating my left side. I lower the cup carefully back onto the table.

"Oh shoot, I'm sorry Dan I wasn't thinking... let me go fetch a straw for you."

She's already up on her feet and walking away before I can say anything. A minute later she's back and hands me the straw.

"There you go."

I take it with a smile that looks like a grimace. Or maybe it's the other way around. Not sure. I can't stand the awkwardness between us. She must be regretting her offer of tea and cookies already. I suddenly become aware of how completely out of practice I am in my social skills. I haven't really dated anyone since my divorce, and my rustiness sure shows.

There were a few times in the early months after separating from Naomi when I went out with some of the younger guys from the Shift to single bars and simply allowed myself to be picked up by a random lonely lady who was looking, like me, for a warm body to spend the night with. The experiences ranged from 'kinda nice' at best to 'depressingly mechanical' at worst, and soon I gave up on those too, resolving myself to my own company until 'the time was right'.

But that time never came. Soon my father became ill and then died some months later and I had spiraled down. Losing my libido didn't even bother me, to be honest. It was almost a relief, not having to worry about it. In the few times I'd thought about it I had actually convinced myself it was a good thing not to feel the urge for sex. Kept my life simple. Less complicated.

God, what a pathetic loser!

"Dan...? You okay?"

With a start I'm brought back to the present from my inner reverie and my eyes clash back with Sandra's worried, searching gaze. I feel myself flush red.

"Yeah. Sorry. Got too deep into my head there for a moment. It's a bad habit of late... Thanks for snapping me out of it."

I give her an apologetic half-smile and thankfully her face clears and gentles into a sweet smile of her own.

"Anytime, Dan. So, wanna tell me about your idea?"

I take a deep breath and re-focus on the neat stack of papers laying there at the far end of the table, waiting for me to make those ideas into a reality.

"Well, I've been thinking about my career options, since it's a good bet I'm going to lose my job on the Force soon. I have no real training or education outside of police work, but then I figured I've always been good with light maintenance stuff. You know all those odd jobs that need to be done at home... Anyways, that's my plan. To become a handyman. Fix and build stuff for people who can't do it themselves."

I've been looking mostly at my plans as I was speaking, but now I risk a glance at her face. There's an odd expression there; a soft smile on her lips and a wrinkle on her forehead. I can't read it. I brave asking her straight up:

"What do you think?"

Her furrowed brow relaxes and her smile widens and she reaches out and squeeze one of my hands in hers. I skip a beat at the contact. It's as soft as I'd imagined. I watch her lips move and need to focus hard to catch her words while my body reacts with crazy disproportion to her innocent touch.

"I think that's awesome, Dan. Really. For one, it sounds like something you not only know how to do but also something that you really like doing. You know, they say the trick to loving your job is making it your job to do what you love, right?" Barely pausing long enough for me to nod she continues with a cheeky tone - "And besides, every girl loves a man who's good with his hands..."

I am leaning comfortably forward, my forearms resting on the table and my fingers playing idly with my papers. Her gaze drops to caress down my arms to my wrists and over the back of my hands all the way to the tips of my fingers and I feel it so acutely I cannot help my response, my fingers flexing and then balling into fists on top of the table before I can stop them.

God dammit, what is it about this woman that her mere glance gets under my skin?!

With a conscious effort I relax my hands and sit back in my wheelchair, rubbing my now-damp palms lightly up and down my cotton-covered thighs before crossing them loosely on my chest, hoping to come across as relaxed rather than defensive.

Belatedly her words sink in - 'every girl loves a man who's good with his hands...' and my eyes shoot up to meet hers. Her cheeky expression had softened and she's looking at me with amused bewilderment, her head tilted to one side.

"You're not as big of a flirt as I thought you were, are you, Dan? I was totally expecting you to be all over this one, and yet..." She stops and then her eyes drop again to look at my left hand that is tucked under my right bicep before looking up again. "am I being out of line here?"

A short, surprised laugh escapes me and I lean forward and I slide my left hand under hers, squeezing her palm lightly. The urge to caress her knuckles is way too hard to resist but I manage to limit myself to just barely whisper my thumb across them. Her fingers twitch a little under my touch, but she doesn't withdraw her hand.

I'll take that as a good sign.

Our eyes meet again and our hands are still connected when I answer: "Well, I've been married for a decade and divorced for the past couple of years but hadn't really dated or anything. So no, you're absolutely not out of line - I guess I'm just totally out of practice with the whole flirting bit."

And then I add quickly before I lose my courage - "Maybe you could help me with that?"

Her eyes widen with her surprise but then she bursts out laughing while shaking her head at me.

"Man oh man... if this is you out of practice I can't wait to see what you come up with after you've brushed up your skills!" She slips her hand out of mine to playfully fan herself for dramatic emphasis and I reluctantly withdraw mine as well and lean back once more, smiling broadly at her.

"Why thank you, my fair lady. I'll take that as a compliment."

She chuckles again, mimicking my movement by leaning back comfortably in her own chair. "Oh, and so you should, Dan. So you should. Now c'mon, let's drink our tea while it's perfectly tepid, just the way you like it!"

I mock-groan but don't argue as I reach for my straw and take a good slurp of my tea. Delicious. We both reach for the cookies at the same time and our fingers brush again, and the way we both suck in our breath is so comical we both burst out laughing once more.

I gesture for her to go ahead and then pick up my cookie in turn. She waits for me to take the first bite, obviously looking forward to my reaction. I break a bite-sized piece. The texture is rich and a little moist on the inside and I smile my relief up to her eyes as I pop it into my mouth and start chewing carefully. The cookie crumbles and melts onto my tongue and I close my eyes and moan my pleasure when the chocolaty, buttery goodness wraps around my senses.

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