Jordan woke up the next morning with Kirsten’s body wrapped in his arms, her back pressed tight against his chest. He gently pulled his arm from being crushed underneath the weight of her body and his fingers began to tingle as the feeling returned. He looked down at his wrists and saw the dark purple bruises from the night before and one big cut across his left wrist. Damn Kirsten and her handcuffs. He hoped his wrists didn’t hurt too much today.
Kirsten stirred and Jordan kissed her gently on the cheek before grabbing the headboard to pull himself up in bed. This was the first time the two of them had spent the night together. He hadn’t wanted her to stay, which might have been part of the reason she insisted on doing so. Kirsten couldn’t stand that he might be keeping something from her.
There were a few things he did at night that he hadn’t wanted her to know about. He still wore a diaper at night, because it was a toss-up whether he could go for six or seven hours without an accident. He also wore AFO’s on his feet during the night. Due to the involuntary tightening of the muscles in his calves, his doctor had told him he was in danger of developing foot drop if he didn’t stretch the muscles in the opposite direction. Wearing orthotics during the night helped in this regard.
Kirsten was fascinated by his AFO’s. She wanted to put them on for him. By that time, she had released him from bondage but his wrists were nearly bleeding from the handcuffs, so he allowed her to do it without much argument. The orthotics were designed special for him with cushions so they wouldn’t rub against the bony areas on his feet and cause ulcers. Jordan had to be very careful with his feet, which was why he always bought shoes a size too large.
Jordan pulled his foot toward him and began undoing the straps on the AFO. Kirsten yawned loudly and sat up. “What are you doing?” she asked.
“I have class in forty-five minutes. I have to get ready.”
Kirsten watched him taking the AFO off and noticed the purple marks on his wrists. She grabbed one of his wrists and held it up, “Oh my god, Jordan... this looks awful. I’m so sorry...”
“No, you’re not, you lying bitch.”
Kirsten smiled and pushed him back down against the bed. His weak stomach muscles caved easily under her weight. “You’re right,” she said. “I’m not sorry. I love tying you up.”
He had hoped she had been joking when she first mentioned the cuffs. But she hadn’t been. He supposed it was revenge in some part for his willingness to help out Elaine. For some reason, Kirsten didn’t want him to have anything to do with Elaine.
But there was more to it than that... Kirsten loved incapacitating him. With his wrists chained to the headboard, she could do anything to him. In some ways, it was more about what she could do than about what she actually did do. In the past, she had taunted him by running the blade of a knife along his leg, never quite touching the skin. Or holding the flame of a cigarette lighter close to his foot. Even if she had burned him, he wouldn’t have been able to feel it, although he knew any burns on his legs would take a very long time to heal or worse, and Kirsten knew it was a concern of his. That’s why she did it—to torture him.
“I’ve got to go to class,” Jordan said, looking into her dark eyes.
“I’m not letting you,” Kirsten replied, resting the full weight of her naked body on him. He felt her soft breasts pressed against his chest.
Jordan grabbed her by the waist and felt a sharp pain in his wrists, which he tried to ignore. The muscles in his arms had been built up by wheeling his chair all day every day, and he grunted as he lifted her off of him. Kirsten struggled and kicked at him, but he was able to overpower her without too much difficulty. He held her wrists down tightly against the mattress until she stopped fighting him. Finally, he sat back up in bed as Kirsten lay beside him, breathing hard. “Fine, you win,” Kirsten said.
“Thank you,” Jordan said, smiling at her. “I’ll see you after class. You can continue torturing me for your own amusement.”
“Hmph, are you certain you wouldn’t rather be with Elaine?”
“Christ, Kirsten... let it go.”
“Seriously, Jordan. I don’t trust that girl. You already fucked her once. What do you have to gain by fucking her again?”
“Um, fucking her again?”
“What? She’s cute.”
Kirsten rolled her eyes. “She’s so uninteresting. I don’t know how you could like her.”
“Yeah, she’d never make me bleed from my wrists.”
Jordan winced as he felt Kirsten’s nails digging into his back. “Admit it, you love it.”
Jordan shrugged her away and pulled his wheelchair closer to the bed so that he could transfer. Kirsten watched him as he moved his legs one at a time into the footrests. As soon as he pulled his left leg into the rest, it started spasming. Jordan watched his foot bouncing up and down in the rest, and he grabbed his knee to try to calm the spasm. Gradually, his leg stopped jumping. He remembered how weird it had been the first time he saw his leg twitching like that, even though he couldn’t feel it.
“Feeling nervous about something?” Kirsten asked him, eying his leg.
“You know it has nothing to do with that,” Jordan insisted, although she was right that he tended to get spasms more when he was feeling anxious. But there was no physiological reason for it. His leg started jumping once again and he grabbed his knee.
“You’re lucky I didn’t hurt you worse last night,” she said. “Next time I might.”
“Why don’t you just stab me?” Jordan’s leg began to calm down again. He slowly released his grip on his knee.
“You’d deserve it.” The look she gave him indicated how deeply hurt she was.
He sighed and rubbed his wrists. “Kirsten, what do you want me to tell you? That I won’t ever talk to Elaine again?”
Kirsten stared at him with her big brown eyes. “That would be nice.”
“Fine,” Jordan said. “I won’t talk to her.”
“Don’t fucking lie to me.”
“I’m not lying,” he insisted. “Next time she comes with her calculus book, I’ll slam the door in her face. Would that make you happy?”
Kirsten sat up in bed and smiled at him. “You’d do that for me?”
“For you, I’d punch her in the gut.”
“Would you drop-kick her?”
“You know if I could, I would.”
Jordan kissed her on the nose. “I’m going to take a shower now.”
“It’s not a shower if you’re sitting on your little cripple seat in the bathtub.”
“Fuck you,” Jordan said good-naturedly.
Kirsten laughed and lay back down in bed. God, Kirsten was one screwed up little girl. He had to admit, her intensity was sometimes frightening. But there was never a boring day that went by when Kirsten was around. She was amazing—nobody else could even come close. And she was right, of course; he liked it when she tortured him. It was the very basis of their entire relationship.
Montgomery Grant walked through the campus of Manchester University with some trepidation. Kyle’s statements yesterday had made him realize his worst fears. Jordan was miserable in college and probably would want to return home. Monty wasn’t sure how he would respond to such a request. With Jordan’s history, after what had happened two years earlier, he wasn’t sure if he could take a risk.
Monty’s relationship with his son had fallen apart following the accident. Before that time, Monty adored his young son, frequently taking him to work with him to get him used to the business environment. Jordan was such a smart little kid. Someday he would take over everything.
The day Monty found out that Jordan had fallen out of his treehouse was the worst day of his life. He rushed to the hospital from work and the doctors couldn’t give him a straight answer on whether or not his son would survive. Jordan lay in a coma for nearly two weeks as Monty flew in the best physicians money could buy. Everyone told him the same thing: Jordan had a spinal cord injury and likely severe brain damage. Monty’s grief was immeasurable and his wife Rebecca was inconsolable.
When Jordan finally woke up, he couldn’t speak. When Monty held the boy’s hand, he saw a blank expression on his son’s face. Rebecca spoke to the doctors about special schools for kids with traumatic brain injuries... maybe he could even learn to speak again. No, Monty said to his wife, my son will not be retarded!
This is the way he is now! Rebecca shot back. Somehow she seemed to be dealing with this better than he was. Monty supposed she was just happy he woke up. You can either accept Jordan the way he is, having special needs, or torture him trying to make him something he’s not.
Monty never accepted things the way they were. He made long distance phone calls to speech therapists, searching for one who would promise him results. Their answers were all the same: depending on Jordan’s brain damage, he may never be able to speak again. Certainly it was very unlikely he’d ever speak normally again.
He was sitting with Jordan in his hospital room, reading the business page of The New York Times when he heard a soft whimpering noise. He looked over and saw Jordan was crying. This outpour of emotions startled Monty, because it was a stark change from the blank expression his son wore since he woke up.
I’m sorry, Dad, Jordan sobbed. I’m really sorry.
Monty started crying too. Just like that, his boy Jordan was back.
His brain, at least, was nearly normal after that. Monty noticed minor deficiencies, such as an occasional word-finding difficulty. Sometimes Jordan would be in the middle of a sentence and suddenly stop, baffled that he couldn’t think of the next word he wanted. But that was rare. He had Jordan’s IQ tested and it was just as high or higher than it had been before his brain injury. He did notice, however, that Jordan seemed much more subdued than he had before the accident. He had always been an outgoing kid, but now he seemed almost painfully shy.
After extensive testing, the doctors informed Monty that Jordan wouldn’t walk again. Considering their mistake about the head injury, Monty chose not to believe this prognosis either. Don’t worry, you’re going to walk out of here, Monty told his son with confidence. He wouldn’t even let them put Jordan in a wheelchair while he was around because he didn’t want the boy to get used to it.
The doctors argued with Monty. They said there was less than a one percent chance of him even regaining any movement or sensation in his legs, much less walking again. Monty’s reply was, I’ve got a billion dollars that says you’re wrong.
It seemed like Monty and Rebecca did nothing but fight. Rebecca tried to bring Jordan a wheelchair and looked into schools for children with disabilities, while Monty looked up physical therapists. He’s got to go to school! Rebecca argued when Monty set up an intensive physical therapy program designed to get Jordan’s legs moving again. He’s never getting out of that wheelchair and he’s got to learn to live that way.
Rebecca turned out to be right this time. Even with the most intensive physical therapy program, Monty could see Jordan’s legs fading away. After a year’s time, Monty came in to watch a session and saw his ten-year-old son struggling with all his strength to hold himself up on the parallel bars, dragging his lifeless legs behind him. It’s okay, Jordan, Monty said finally, swallowing his tears, you don’t have to do this anymore. There’s no point.
Monty became very deeply depressed when his son came home in a wheelchair and diapers. He drank a lot and took up with a secretary at work. Rebecca found out about his affair and declared she couldn’t take anymore of him or the way he wanted to raise their son. She left the both of them.
Monty knew that with Jordan’s disability, he was never going to run the company. He’d always have money and a controlling interest, but nobody respected a CEO in a wheelchair. Monty did his best to hide Jordan’s disability from his associates because he didn’t want to appear weak. He never brought Jordan to work with him anymore and when there were associates coming for dinner, he had one of his servants carry him upstairs so he’d be out of the way. The important thing was that Jordan was taken care of his whole life, not that he was a high-powered executive. Maybe someday he’d even marry, although Monty hoped he wouldn’t, because he didn’t want Jordan to be taken for his money.
Still, Monty missed the way things used to be with his son. He felt like he had lost a child—the old outgoing, ambitious, sturdy son he used to have was dead. Instead, he had a boy who was quiet and studious, rarely even showing interest in the dinner parties he was banished from. In high school and college, Monty had been a football hero. Even without the wheelchair, Jordan shared his mother’s lanky build and probably never would have been a quarterback. Still, that didn’t mean he should isolate himself in the house. Monty was always encouraging Jordan to at least attend his cousin Kirsten’s parties, but Jordan never showed any enthusiasm for that sort of thing... plus it was clear that Kirsten didn’t want to have him.
As a result, Jordan’s social life seemed to consist almost entirely of home tutoring sessions. Monty’s encouragement eventually turned into arguments and eventually, avoidance of the subject altogether. If Jordan wanted to be a hermit, that was up to him. Jordan was already unstable enough without being nagged by his father.
But even with all the fighting and disappointments, Jordan was Monty’s son, and he loved him very much. No matter what sort of man Jordan was turning into.
Monty arrived at Jordan’s dorm room and knocked once. No answer. He turned the knob and was surprised to find that it was open. He ventured inside and looked around Jordan’s suite. The boys had unpacked a lot of their stuff, and the common area was beginning to have a bachelor pad appearance to it.
Monty opened the door to Jordan’s room, expecting it to be empty. Instead he saw his son lying in bed with a naked girl on top of him, pumping against him. Jordan was clutching her thighs and gasping as she arched her back. Monty’s mouth fell open. “Jordan?”
Monty’s first instinct was to be pleased. Despite Jordan’s wealth, Monty always assumed his son would keep his virginity for a long time to come. He knew Jordan was interested in girls—the maid had shown Monty the dirty magazines found under the bed. But Monty had always figured Jordan’s shyness and disability would isolate him from the opposite sex. Monty had intermittently contemplated paying a girl to be with his son so he wouldn’t have to live with the stigma of being a virgin into his thirties. Worse, what if Jordan took up with a girl who was disabled like him? But fortunately, it seemed like the girl mounting his son was able-bodied... and quite attractive too.
“Dad?” Jordan grabbed at the headboard to pull himself up in bed.
The girl who had been on top of him fell off, pushing damp strands hair from her face. When she looked up, all the blood drained from Monty’s face. “Kirsten? My god, what are you doing?”
Kirsten’s cheeks turned bright red. “Uncle Monty, we...”
“Jordan, what’s going on here?” Monty demanded to know.
“Um,” Jordan said.
Of course, it was a stupid question. It was very obvious what had been going on here. His son and his niece were sleeping together. The better question was, why? And for how long? It was bad enough if this was the first time, but Monty had a strange feeling that it wasn’t.
“I’m going to go outside and take a fifteen minute walk,” Monty said tightly, “but when I come back, I want you out of here.” He was pointing to Kirsten. “And you can bet your mother is going to hear all about this.”
Kirsten looked like she was going to start crying. Monty walked out of the room, slamming the door behind him. Now that he had a second to think about it, he was certain this was all his niece’s doing. After all, Jordan didn’t have much access to women and he had probably developed a little crush on his pretty young cousin. Monty had heard from his brother how Kirsten liked to manipulate boys and it had probably been hard for her to resist doing the same thing to his son. But goddamn it, he wasn’t going to stand for this.
Monty thought back to two years ago. That... incident. He tried not to think about it, but it always came back to haunt him. It was the reason Monty worried about Jordan more than he should have. It was the reason Jordan had to take anti-depressants at night. It was the reason that when Kyle said Jordan was depressed, Monty emptied his work schedule for the next day and came straight to Manchester University to make sure Jordan was okay.
When Monty returned to Jordan’s room, Kirsten was gone and Jordan had dressed and transferred into his wheelchair. Even after ten years, Monty hated seeing his boy in that chair, his legs looking so thin and crippled in those footrests. Other than his legs, Jordan was a very good looking kid. But not much else mattered besides the fact that he was in the chair.
Jordan looked very guilty and very scared. “Dad, I’m sorry,” he said.
“I don’t care,” Monty said. “Just tell me it’s never going to happen again.”
Jordan didn’t answer and Monty felt a knot forming in his stomach. God, Kirsten really had a grip on him. He probably thinks he loves her. “I know Kirsten’s a very... attractive girl,” Monty began, placing his hand on his son’s shoulder. “But you have to understand that she doesn’t really care about you. She’s just doing this so that you’ll do things for her.”
For a moment, Monty wondered where Jordan would be now if not for the accident. He’d probably be dating a different girl each week, like Monty used to do in college. He’d probably be interning at the company during the summers, side by side with his dad. “Jordan,” Monty said, “if I find out you didn’t end it with Kirsten, I’m cutting you off completely. And I’m sure my brother will feel the same about her.”
For Jordan and Kirsten Grant, being deprived of money was like being deprived of oxygen. Jordan’s eyes widened. “All right, Dad.”
“That’s my boy,” Monty said. He hesitated, then added, “Don’t worry, Jordan. You’ll find another girl. I promise.”
To be continued...