Jemma was a little early. It was one of her rules. Dates weren't easy to come by in her position and limited experience had taught her not to bring along a carer. Reminding people of her utter dependence on outside help usually didn't leave a brilliant first impression.
She smiled at a tall man, who was stood in the doorframe, wearing a vest and a bow-tie. Successfully having made eye-contact with the host, Jemma mouthed the words:
'Just waiting for someone.'
The man saw the manual wheelchair and appeared concerned for only a second. He looked around briefly, then nodded discreetly and turned to greet a group of guests.
Recently, Jemma had spent a lot of time sitting and waiting, listening and watching, taking in all that she could. A rigid plastic brace kept her head fixed and only moving her eyes provided at least some variety when it came to her line of sight. Often she would hear a conversation, yet be unable to turn to see the speakers' faces; instead she would always imagine them and if she saw people so far away that she could not hear them, she would make up their conversations, sometimes whole life stories, sometimes wonder what they liked to eat, what they looked like naked or whether or not she'd be taller than them, were she only able to stand.
She looked down, her limp arms just about visible in the corners of her eyes. It wasn't too bad, she thought. A little sweat glistened around the splints that secured her hands and fingers and she could feel a small collection of droplets on her forehead as well, tickling her brow as they trickled down across her face. Jemma had gotten very good at ignoring these things; there was nothing she could do about after all.
A pretty woman stepped out of a cab. She was different from the picture Jemma had seen online, but not in a bad way, not in a wholly unexpected way. The woman was quite short, and though slim, didn't seem at all athletic. In fact, Jemma wondered not for the first time, if she hadn't once been anorexic. The woman didn't have to look around very long to identify Jemma, and she approached with a bright smile.
The long, dyed red hair from the photos was gone, replaced by shorter hair, a side cut and an equally bright, green hue. Where there had been a single, silver stud just above one eyebrow, there was now a metallic spike, just small enough not to seem frightening. It was joined by a septum in her nose and three silvery rings in one of the earlobes. Jemma raised her eyebrows, marveling at the little collection.
The woman noticed her look and laughed.
'Too much?' she asked as soon as she had reached Jemma's chair. 'Nice to meet you in person, Jemma.'
'Nice to meet you too, Hope,' Jemma said. 'You look great.'
She wasn't lying; Hope's little black dress was only just saved from being unacceptably daring by her nigh-complete lack of curves, it was short and tight, and provided a stark contrast for her colourful hair.
'So do you.'
She placed a hand on top of Jemma's.
'Starving,' replied Jemma.
'Do you want me to...?' began Hope and ineptly mimed pushing.
'If you wouldn't mind,' Jemma had hoped to sound a little less embarrassed and heat rose in her cheeks.
Hope walked round the chair.
'See the red pedal?' Jemma asked.
'That's the break. Push it all the way down and it should snap back up.'
There was some fumbling and rocking, then came a clicking noise and movement. Jemma had rolled forwards a couple of centimeters before being stopping abruptly. Hope presumably had gotten ahold of the handles.
'Oops,' made Hope. 'You all right?'
Jemma clenched her jaw. This sort of thing had happened hundreds of times already; nevertheless, her heart-rate had skyrocket for a few, panicky seconds. She calmed herself with a series of deep breaths.
Hope pushed the chair along, towards the entrance. Luckily, the line wasn't too long. Though the host appeared unphased on the outside, his stare lingered on Hope just a little bit longer than necessary. Jemma was almost certain that he would have mentioned Hope's eccentric appearance, were she not with a spastic. As it was, he dutifully checked their reservation, and indicated their table politely, even asking if they required any assistance. Jemma declined.
She knew she was imposing on Hope, but the young woman had agreed to the whole thing after all. The table was set for two. Jemma liked the effect of the single candle in the otherwise rather sparsely lit restaurant; it was quite romantic in a kitschy sort of way. She told Hope to remove one of the chairs, just to put it to the side. A waiter would come and get it, she knew from experience. Hope positioned the wheelchair opposite her own chair. Only when Hope was about to return to her seat, Jemma reminded her to apply the brake again. She knew that was silly, but Jemma preferred to talk about these things as little as possible. In the beginning, this usually tended to cause more confusion.
Flustered and red in the face, Hope finally sat down. The table was small enough for even her to reach across easily, which was quite important for an evening out with Jemma. For a few seconds they were in danger of descending into awkward silence, but a waiter interrupted their pause.
Waiters were very fast around Jemma. It was an interesting wheelchair perk, which had everything to do with recurring news stories about the poor, poor disabled, suffering immensely waiting for proper service.
First date anxiety ordered a bottle of the house red for the girls; the rest seemed trivial. Somewhere in the back of Jemma's mind, a connection was made between Cabernet Sauvignon and beef or lamb, though admittedly, Hope gave off every impression of not caring about that sort of thing in the slightest.
Like with most, there were many disadvantages to Jemma's disability; one of the less obvious ones was her distinct inability to reach an intoxicated state discreetly. Hope was the one who fed her and every bite, every sip was hers to provide. After asking before every single bite at first, they quickly, organically settled into a rhythm: one forkful for Hope, one for Jemma, followed by a drink, rinse and repeat.
Unsurprisingly, Jemma's posture remained unchanged throughout the evening. She could, however, observe a small transformation unfolding before her eyes, saw Hope's shoulders beginning to slump, her nose beginning to redden, and her smile slowly broadening. Her nervous energy turned into an oddly touchy warmth, to the point that she seemed incapable of speaking without placing at least one hand somewhere on Jemma's body.
'You can ask, you know. If you want to,' Jemma said.
After some prompting, Hope had finished telling a story about joining a gymnastics team in her youth. Jemma liked asking people about sports on first dates. It gave her an opportunity to get the whole chair-conversation out of the way, at least it did if the other person dared to venture forth into the unknown. If not, Jemma could always help out a little.
Hope laughed, a good sign in Jemma's eyes. She inhaled deeply and forced herself to look serious for a moment.
'Ask you about sports?' Hope said.
'If you like.'
'Did you ever do any?'
'So you weren't, you know, born like this?'
'Do you want to tell me what happened?'
There was a pause.
'I'd really like you to tell me,' Hope said before Jemma could answer.
'O-okay,' Jemma was surprised to hear her voice tremble, usually, this was her time to show confidence, to be less awkward than her date.
'I wasn't born like this, but my disease, it's genetic, so I've always had it. It's my muscles, and not all of them either, they're sort of developing backwards, getting weaker. It started when I was four in my left foot, and sort of spread from there.'
Hope placed a hand over Jemma's.
'So you could walk?' she said brightly.
'Um, yeah, yeah I could, till I was like a teenager actually, though with crutches by then.'
Jemma was quite taken aback by Hope's demeanor, it was quite different from most people's.
'I used a wheelchair afterwards, but I could still move my arms and most of my upper body all the way through uni, although by the end I was very weak, I couldn't push my chair, but I could write and type and eat.'
She paused again.
With her other hand, Hope was stroking Jemma's cheek now, tracing her jawline with a pale, delicate finger.
'Your eyes are amazing,' Hope said. 'They're so green, it's ridiculous, like looking at the sun through a pair of emeralds.'
'Two years ago, I couldn't lift my arms anymore,' Jemma continued. 'After that, it was less than a week before I couldn't move my fingers or even hold up my head by myself.'
Hope gently pressed Jemma's hand beneath the splint. Tears glistened in Jemma's eyes. Hope leaned forwards and kissed her cheek, her soft lips brushing Jemma's skin lightly for a tiny, fleeting moment. Jemma swallowed.
'It won't get worse,' she said in a small voice. 'Not anytime soon, the doctors say.'
'That's good,' Hope wiped away a single tear from Jemma's face.
'Sorry,' said Jemma. 'I'm not usually like this, I don't know what's going...'
She stopped when Hope held up a hand.
The buzzing of the background chatter suddenly filled Jemma's consciousness along with the clinking of cutlery and muffled footsteps on carpeted floors.
Hope bit her lips, then blinked as though giving Jemma a coded signal, as though inviting her to join in with some secret plan, which only they knew.
The two of them changed the subject then and it didn't come up again. Jemma breathed easier. Her lamb was excellent, though she would have preferred a much smaller portion. Unlike Hope, Jemma at least finished hers, though frankly, there was quite possibly not enough room in Hope's flat belly for the entirety of her goulash.
She was easy to talk to and easier still to get talking and not until they had long since finished their meal, did another hurdle present itself. The bottle was nearly empty, a little more than half of its content having disappeared into Hope, who had to be about two percent aged, full-bodied vino by now. The hurdle Jemma saw wasn't a chair-one as much as it was a girl-one. She had been on boy-girl dates as well as on girl-girl dates and if there was any protocol on who should pay, it hadn't been shared with either Jemma or any of her dates.
Jemma had suggested the restaurant; good point to start, but it had been Hope who'd made the first move, both through digital communication and through physical contact just before. Of course, Jemma was somewhat excused in that department, indeed most people paid for her without thinking, even if the situation wouldn't necessarily call for it.
'Aww,' said Hope with an impish smile. 'I just thought of something.'
She tapped Jemma's nose, who blinked in surprise.
'Today I can treat a beautiful woman to dinner and there is nothing she can do about it, nothing at all.'
Though she kept smiling, there was worry behind her eyes.
'Think so?' said Jemma. 'Maybe that was my plan all along, a clever ruse to get you to pay, you'd never know.'
Hope rose to her feet, a clutch bag under her arm, and she leaned in to give Jemma a wet, sloppy kiss on the forehead.
'I wouldn't care,' she said and skipped off to find the waiter, literally preventing Jemma from interfering.
There was a rattling when Jemma's wheels left the velvet floors and returned to the familiar world of concrete.
'You're doing it wrong, you know,' Jemma said accusingly.
'No, I think I got it,' Hope said with a shrug. 'Down means they're engaged, right?'
'I'm not talking about the brakes.'
The late summer's night was clear and pleasant, but it had been a new moon very recently and it was only by the light of the street lamps that the women could look at one another.
'I'm talking about your kissing.'
Hope looked puzzled.
'You're really supposed to kiss me on the lips,' Jemma explained.
Hope crouched down next to her, careful not to topple over, due to her heels, and she grasped the rim of the wheelchair.
'I seem to keep missing,' she said. 'Must try harder.'
Her hands resting on the wheels, Hope moved forwards, stopping a hair's breadth short of touching Jemma, whose breathing was immediately shallow and excited. Hope's nose crinkled.
'You smell of wine,' she said.
'So do you,' Jemma's mouth was dry now, tiny hairs on the back of her neck stood on end.
Their foreheads touched and they shared in each other's warmth, felt each other's skin, slippery with sweat, make-up beginning to smear.
Hope turned her head to the side, her lips traveling along the other woman's cheek. Jemma whimpered. Hope gently nibbled at her ear, then touched it with her lips, a mere shadow of a kiss, before whispering:
Jemma bit down to try and stop her lips from quivering.
'What now?' asked Hope.
'You could call someone to... to order me a car...'
'Is that what you want?'
Jemma cleared her throat. Never before had she lamented the inability to shake her head this much.
'No!' she blurted out.
Hope giggled at the overly energetic answer.
'Let's not do that then. What about a car together? I know this place... um... my flat.'
Now it was Jemma's turn and she snorted with stifled laughter.
'Did that sound smoother in your head?'
'Seriously?' Jemma was genuinely surprised.
Hope's spindly arms trembled under Jemma's weight. She had undone the numerous Velcro straps, which secured Jemma in her chair, and was now struggling, holding the slumped body via a sort of hug. She tumbled backwards and her calves hit the edge of the bed.
Hope fell backwards and hit the mattress with a muffled thump.
Jemma lay on top of her, hands and feet sprawled as though she'd lost consciousness, her nose pressed against the sheets.
Hope presumably would have been utterly mortified if not for the alcohol. With an exerted grunt, she pushed Jemma away, so that she rolled off and onto her back.
'Your dress,' Hope said, grinning stupidly.
From her position, Jemma couldn't see it.
'What is it? Ooh!'
Jemma suddenly felt Hope's hand on her, apparently bare, thigh.
'Oh nothing, just slid up a bit,' Hope said. 'How...? How does it feel?'
'I told you: I feel just like you do.'
'Yeah, I know that. I meant... like it?'
'I...' something stirred within Jemma.
Hope pulled back her arm, suddenly afraid.
'No!' Jemma was a bit loud again. 'I mean: no. Don't stop.'
Hope's expression was relief and mischief.
'No?' she asked.
'No,' said Jemma.
Hope clambered on top of Jemma, all the while keeping eye-contact. She was giggly and a touch uncoordinated, but there was an unwavering determination in her movements. She bent down and her lips parted. Jemma urged on every pathetic, limp muscle in her body to try and reach up to those perfect lips, round and red and inviting, but nothing happened.
Hope came closer. Their lips met.
For a few seconds, they were still, enjoyed the touch, the sudden closeness. Jemma's tongue entered Hope's mouth, found another tongue, playfully nudged it, tickled it. The septum felt cool against her upper lip. It was Jemma, exploring, actively engaging in physical contact, a small miracle, an infinite pleasure.
The world around her melted away. All she wanted to focus on was Hope, and the tiny, little world they shared. After and eternity that was far, far too short, Hope pulled back.
Jemma was out of breath, but her expression was one of happy exhaustion.
'The braces,' she said. 'Take them off, please.'
'Will you be all right?'
'I don't have to wear them all the time.'
Hope shrugged. The sound of more Velcro straps being pulled apart followed. Hope carefully put the splints and the brace down on the floor next to the bed.
'Great! Now come here. Kiss me again!'
Hope laughed and took one of Jemma's hands.
'You're so pretty,' she said, massaging the unmoving palm with her thumb.
She placed Jemma's hand onto her own chest. It was small, petite, but still, through the dress and the bra, Jemma could feel the outline of Hope's tit.
'Woah,' she said.
She was overcome by an impossible urge to squeeze, to hold. Hope looked at Jemma's face, then she gently closed Jemma's hand onto the breast.
'How is that?'
Jemma trembled and felt sudden excitement from between her legs. She didn't answer, but stunned silence seemed to be enough for Hope.
'Come on, I'll help you get undressed.'
And then they were naked, in bed and Jemma lay calmly, her head to the side while inwardly, she screamed. This was a first date, a stranger, a stranger's home no less.
'This is crazy,' she said.
Aside from her head, Jemma lay perfectly straight, her body looking like something out of a morgue. Hope was on her side, next to her, more like a live model. With one finger, she kept circling Jemma's belly button, staring dreamily into her eyes.
'I don't think so,' she said. 'Not yet anyway.'
Her hand slowly wandered down.
'Nice,' she said, gleefully watching Jemma's sex perking up.
Hope's fingers traced the small strip of pubic hair, before looking down at her own. It looked much less kempt by comparison.
'Have got someone that shaves your pussy?' she asked.
'Course I do. My nurse. She shaves me all over. Bathes me too.'
'Huh,' Hope let the idea sink in. 'You're going to make me jealous,' she laughed.
'She's 57 though,' Jemma said, watching Hope's hand, eager for more intimate contact.
'I'm not judging.'
'Ah!' Hope's hand was just out of view now, but Jemma could feel a finger pressing lightly against her clit.
'Look at that,' Hope's eyes gleamed.
She held up her finger and it was dripping with Jemma's juices.
'Tease,' said Jemma.
'Well, I don't want you to have all the fun,' Hope said.
'What do you-?'
Hope got onto her knees.
'We'll need to secure your head though.'
She looked around and grabbed a pair of pillows. After some positioning and rearranging, Jemma's head was propped up on a small mountain made of pillows and duvets. It was higher than the rest of her body now and granted her a much better view.
Hope and swung a leg over Jemma and then hovered right above her torso, facing away from the motionless woman beneath her.
'Looking good,' Jemma laughed.
Hope wriggled her extremely flat, extremely white bottom. She put down her hands to either side of Jemma's hips and lowered herself down. Realisation dawned on Jemma. Hope looked back.
'Can you... reach?'
The bum came closer. A single cheek touched Jemma's nose.
'Close,' Jemma reported.
Hope scooted back a bit and the distinct smell of sweat and pussy grew stronger. Jemma could see the wet flaps now, the dark pubes glistening with droplets of Hope's lady juices.
'Stop there!' she said. 'Now lower. Lower. Mmph.'
Jemma deeply inhaled Hope's smell. Her nose and tongue were buried in the dripping sex, and greedily she began to lap up the sour secretions.
Hope pulled apart the other woman's limp legs and Jemma shuddered when she felt the warm tongue's tip between her thighs, tenderly following the crevice of her womanhood. Hope plunged deeper, and both women let out muffled moans of pleasure, both trying to keep themselves from giving in already.
Hope had now stopped using her arms to support herself. Her upper body had slumped onto Jemma, and she had firmly grabbed onto her thighs.
Jemma's world was taken up entirely by Hope, who had by now given up on restraint. Her sweaty form was writhing on top of Jemma, and she thrust her sex down on the red face, again and again. Jemma took it in eagerly, her tongue stretched to its limits, trying to reach as deep as she could, while simultaneously fighting the urge to succumb to ecstasy, to let go.
Hope's hand was on Jemma's pussy now, rubbing it vigorously, then licking it, and as Jemma was interrupted by her own moans more and more, Hope sped up, grunts and stifled screams joined in with the slaps and kisses, hot and panting, the girls prepared for one last spurt.
'Gah!' Hope could no longer keep it together.
An explosive arrival was accompanied by a squirt of liquid and Jemma's cry of surprise.
Hope slid forwards.
'No, no, no! Don't stop!' Jemma pleaded.
Hope thrust three fingers as deep as she could, mustering all her strength for the final stretch.
'I'm- I'm- I'm! Arrrgh!'
Hope watched with fascination. Jemma's body remained perfectly still, while her sex quivered and her face underwent agony, orgasmic pleasure and exhausted bliss in only a few seconds.
Hope rolled off and crawled across the bed on her elbows. Jemma tried to catch her breath. Hope grabbed hold of a shoulder and pulled herself up. With blissful sigh, she put her head down, right in between Jemma's breasts, still glistening with bodily fluids, her piercing making a little dent where it lay.
She kissed the side of a tit.
'Squirter,' Jemma said.
'Sorry,' Hope was stroking a bit of arm she could reach from her position.
'That was amazing.'
They were asleep. Hope, snuggled up against the unmoving body, could hear a heartbeat, soft but fast, slowly regaining its calm, steady rhythm.