The college where the competition was held sort of reminded me of the school where I went to college. It was kind of grungy and ugly and I could see college kids practically having sex in front of the dorm. It made me think about the last time I’d had sex, which I was shocked to realize was nearly six months earlier. Trey and I never made it that far, and there hadn’t been anyone since him.

Six months. God, that had to be some kind of record. I’m sure other people go through dry spells, but I don’t. And it’s not to say that I hadn’t met other guys here and there, such as Doug, who seemed interested in me. So I wasn’t losing my touch or anything. I just didn’t have any interest in any of those guys.

The truth was, the only guy I’d been thinking about lately at all was Ben.

I didn’t get it. Ben wasn’t my type at all, even discounting the whole wheelchair bit. He was too… I don’t know, too smart, I guess. Too nice. He cared too much about things that were stupid. But crazily enough, those were all the things I liked about him. I actually liked how excited he got about coaching the stupid math team.

Ben was really hard to read though. It was easy to tell with most guys whether they liked me or not, and usually they did. But I couldn’t tell with Ben. He was nice to me but no nicer than he was to everybody else. He didn’t seem particularly interested in me. I got the sense he really meant it when he said I wasn’t his type.

The sensible part of me knew that was crazy. In all modesty, I’m quite attractive, and it’s not like Ben was any prize himself, being in a wheelchair and all. I mean, the guy was crippled. He’d probably take anyone he could get.

But then there was the emotional part of me. The part that wanted him so bad, I couldn’t stand it that he might reject me. And I could picture Ben rejecting me. I could picture him saying something like, “Gee, Holly, I’m really flattered, but I’m just not interested.” I would die if he said that. I would dig a little hole, bury myself in it, and just be dead.

After the kids were settled, Ben led me to my room. Or I should say, our rooms, since they were right next to each other. It was kind of perfect. We would be sleeping only feet away from each other.

The dorm room was perfect too. I loved the single bed with the tacky wooden desk and the creaky metal chair. It reminded me so much of college, I could almost smell the alcohol mixed with cigarette smoke mixed with pot. God, I wished I could smoke a joint right now.

“It’s small, isn’t it?” Ben commented as he hovered in my doorway.

“No, it’s great,” I said. “It brings back memories.”

Ben laughed. “I bet you had fun in college.”

“Doesn’t everyone?”

He shrugged. “All my college memories kind of revolve around my ex-wife. I started dating her during my freshman year.”

I was horrified. He dated one girl through all of college, then went and married her? That was like the most pathetic thing I’d ever heard, especially since they ended up divorced. Ben had absolutely no idea what was out there.

Like, for example, me.

“So you’re good then?” he asked, checking his watch. “Anything you need before bed?”

Yeah, you. “I think I’ll be all right.”

“Great,” he said. He hesitated for a minute, and I wondered if he was thinking about asking if he could come in. But then the moment passed. “So I’ll see you tomorrow morning?”

I nodded, although really, all I was thinking about was how I was going to find an excuse to get into his room tonight.


I read for about an hour, trying to kill time, until I finally decided to go ahead and take the plunge.

I rifled through my bag and triumphantly retrieved the bottle of whiskey-wine I had packed the night before. I tucked it under my arm and went to check my appearance in the mirror. Considering I had spent half the day on the bus, I thought I looked pretty good. I undid a button on my blouse and mouthed at the mirror, “Hi, Ben.” Then I mouthed it again, more sexily.

I walked across the hall, held the bottle casually in my hand, and knocked on Ben’s door. There was some shuffling before he cracked it open and peered out. “Holly?” he said. “What’s up?”

“Hi, Ben,” I said, just the way I’d practiced. “Um, can I come in?”

“Oh,” he said. For a moment, I was actually worried he might say no. But then he wheeled back and opened the door all the way for me. “Sure, come on in.”

With the door open all the way, I could see all of him. And I have to admit, I was a little shocked on two counts. I guess he’d been getting ready for bed because he was just wearing an undershirt and boxers shirts. I’d always just seen him in long-sleeved shirts and I was blown away by the clearly defined muscles in his arms and chest that were now visible. He wasn’t big like a body-builder or anything and was actually pretty slim, but he had the most fit-looking chest I’d ever seen. I wanted to run my hands over it.

But mid-abdomen, that stopped. He had a slight paunch in his stomach and then bare legs that were like two sticks. I could probably wrap my fingers around his entire calf. I had seen legs like that maybe in some weird disabled person on the street, but I didn’t expect Ben to look like that. The whole picture put me at a loss for words.

Ben noticed me staring at him, I guess, because he quickly wheeled to his bed and pulled the blanket off the bed, and used it to cover his legs. “What are you doing?” I asked.

“Well, I’m in my underwear,” Ben said, as he arranged the blanket to completely conceal his atrophied legs.

“I don’t mind.”

“You sort of look like you mind.”

“I don’t,” I insisted. “Anyway, with that blanket, you look like some kind of old invalid. You look like you ought to have a big white beard.”

Ben laughed but he didn’t move the blanket.

“Anyway,” I said, holding up the bottle. “I brought something. To celebrate.”

“Wine?” Ben raised his eyebrows. “What are we celebrating? We haven’t won yet. We haven’t even competed yet. This seems a little premature.”

“Do you want some or not?”

Ben eyed the bottle. “Sure, what the hell.”

I handed it to him and sat next to him on his bed. He took a long swig, and his eyes went wide and he started coughing. “Oh my god, Holly,” he said. “This is fucking whiskey.”

“I ran out of wine,” I explained. “And I didn’t want to pack a bottle of Jack Daniels.”

“A warning would have been nice…”

I shrugged and smiled. “Sorry.”

He handed me back the bottle. “I can’t drink any more of this. I don’t want to be hung over at the competition tomorrow.”

I took the bottle and drank a huge swig of my own. It burned going down. When I looked up, Ben seemed impressed. “I didn’t expect a girl like you to be able to drink whiskey straight from a bottle like that.”

“Right, you think I only drink Cosmos.”

“Sorry about that,” Ben said sheepishly. “That was kind of obnoxious.”

“No, I probably deserved it.”

“Well, a little.” He grinned.

I took another swig of alcohol. I felt my head starting to swim a bit. I looked at the muscles in his arms and chest and I desperately wanted to run my hands over it. And the way Ben was looking at me, I could tell that everything he said about me not being his type was complete bullshit. He wanted me as badly as I wanted him.

When you’ve been around the block as many times as I have, you get a sense of men. I could tell from looking at Ben that he was going to try to kiss me. I was 100% sure. That tiny bit of whiskey was enough to remove his inhibitions, and he was just looking for the right opening. I was on his bed and all he had to do was lean forward. I readied myself, imagining his tongue entering my mouth…

“Well, I should probably go to bed now,” Ben said.

I stared at him like he’d just slapped me. “What?”

“It’s kind of late,” he said, shrugging. “We’ve got a big day tomorrow. Plus I’m in my underwear, so, um, you know. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, Holly.”

He looked at me, waiting for me to get up and leave. I couldn’t fucking believe this. He was supposed to be kissing me, not kicking me out of his room. I felt tears of frustration rising to my eyes.

“Holly, what’s wrong?” He seemed confused.

“You’re supposed to kiss me, dammit,” I said, before I could stop myself. I immediately felt mortified. Obviously, Ben had known why I was here and was politely rejecting me. I was just making a fool out of myself now, possibly because I was a little drunk.

“I’m supposed to kiss you?” He blinked at me.

“Well,” I said, “yes.”

“I didn’t know that,” he said.

I blushed. “Yeah, well…”

Ben stared at me for a minute, like he was trying to figure out what to do. Finally, he whispered, “Come here.” I edged forward on his bed slightly and the second I was close enough, he laced his fingers into my hair and drew me close enough to kiss him. He did hesitate before his lips actually touched mine. It was just for a split second, but I noticed it. But then his lips were on mine and the hesitation was completely gone. It felt like forever since I’d kissed a guy and I loved the feel of tongue dancing with mine. Ben Graham was a damn good kisser.

I pushed the blanket off his lap and sat down on his lap. For a second, I worried about my weight but then I remembered he couldn’t feel his legs anyway. Sitting in his lap, my body pressed up against his, I felt more turned on than I could ever remember having felt before. I wondered why that was. I mean, Ben Graham was nothing special.

Ben’s hands slid under my shirt, pulling me closer to him. My lips kept contact with his as I fumbled with the buttons on his shirt. Why were there so goddamn many buttons. I ran my hand over the dark hairs on his chest, getting progressively more aroused. Ben’s chest was amazing. The muscles in his pecs and shoulders were nice and tight, which made me realize how soft and out of shape my recent boyfriends had been.

I reached down and started to undo the button on his pants. “Fuck me, Ben,” I breathed.

His hand caught my wrist and he was shaking his head. “No, I…”

Shit, I should have known. “You can’t.”

“No, I can,” he said. “I’m just… not prepared.”

“Prepared?” I frowned. “I’ve got a condom in my bag.”

“Not like that,” he murmured. “Look, Holly, I need a medication.”

“Like Viagra?”

“Yeah, something like that,” he mumbled. He heaved a sigh. “This isn’t… sexy or anything. Can we just… you know… not talk about it?”

I nodded. I felt kind of bad that Ben was only 34 years old and needed to pop a pill in order to get hard. Then again, at least he was able to do it.

Anyway, he made up for it. At first I thought he was pushing me away, but then I realized he was putting me on the bed. He tugged my skirt off, then my red thong, and tossed them both on the carpet. He wheeled over so that he was positioned facing the bed, then pushed me down and spread my legs apart.

I’ve had good and bad oral sex in my life. Bad oral sex has scarred me a bit, to the point where I get nervous when a guy starts eating me out. But when I felt the heat of Ben’s breath on my clitoris, I knew he was going to be one of the good ones. He buried his face in my pussy, and whatever he was lacking with his penis, he sure as hell made up for with his tongue. I knew the kids were within earshot, so I tried not to scream, but it was hard.

“Oh my god,” I whispered as I released my death grip on the sheets. “You are amazing at that.”

“I know,” Ben said.

I stuck out my tongue at him. “Now who’s overconfident?”

Ben shrugged and grinned.

“I suppose you’ve been practicing since your injury,” I said.

“Not really,” he said. “I got good at it before my injury, actually. It was always something I really liked to do.”

“Wow, you’re a weirdo,” I commented as I tried to put my panties back on but realized I barely had the strength to move. “Most guys try to get out of it any way they can.”

“Hey, are you complaining?”

I smiled. I definitely wasn’t complaining.

Ben transferred out of his wheelchair so that he was next to me in the tiny twin bed. It was a little weird watching him pull his legs into the bed with him, but it was also somehow sort of a turn-on. Even more so when I noticed him blushing a bit.

“So,” I said, “does this mean you like me?”

Ben slid his arm around my shoulders. “Well, yeah. Of course I do.”

“So how come you said you didn’t?”

“I didn’t say that,” he protested. “Anyway, it’s not like I ever thought I had a shot with you.”

I smiled. “So are you shocked this happened?”

“Pretty much.”

I rested my head on his shoulders. I couldn’t quit smiling. I had no idea that back at the high school, Principal Hoppenfeld was scanning through the AP scores of Ben’s students and growing more and more unhappy with what he saw.

To be continued....

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