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A story of love and sacrifice.
Much like the title of the story, this tale is a bit experimental for me as well. It is my first story written in the third person point of view. It’s also my first attempt at a tragedy. But fear not, if you are a regular reader, you know that I am a sucker for happy endings. So tragic, yes, but not terribly so. Nobody dies, OK?
Also, like a few of my other stories, I have written it with a slow build and one of my characters is a bit of a tomboy. Why? Because I like it that way. I hope you do too.
And finally, I’d like to thank fellow Lit author Linnéa Lundin for letting me borrow her first name for one of my characters. Even though she claims there are hundreds of Linnéas in the world, I still appreciate it.
The events and characters in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
“We’re back at the Alpine World Cup for the final women’s downhill event. The top three contenders are all within a few hundredths of a second of the leader.”
“It’s still anybody’s race, Bob, but right now that leader is Linnéa Vaughn. And what a surprise that is when you consider the circumstances.”
“That’s right, Chris. After the tragic automobile accident that left her widowed, and confined to a wheelchair — just three years ago — no one expected Linnéa Vaughn would even be here today, much less leading the board.”
“What an incredible story this is, Bob. She credits much of her success to an experimental new treatment and to the extreme devotion — her words, Bob, extreme devotion — of her physical therapist.”
“Well Chris, it looks like she’s in the gate and ready to go. Let’s see if Linnéa Vaughn can hang on to that top spot.”
Take your mark. Beep!
Linnéa exploded from the gate. She skied like she had never skied in her life, before or after the accident. She had easily cemented her place in the upcoming Olympic games, she could feel it in her bones as she tore down the slope. Now within sight of the finish line, she knew it had been a perfect run. Perfect! She should have been happy, this was her shining moment, but all she could think of was Jackie and how much this moment had cost her.
Tears rolled down Linnéa’s face as she glided into the finish area. Everyone who saw her interview later assumed she cried tears of joy, for this truly was a miraculous comeback, but Linnéa knew better. The tears were for her lover, her best friend, who had sacrificed so much for this moment.
“Miss Vaughn. Miss Vaughn, can you hear me? There’s been an accident.”
“Miss Vaughn, I need you to focus on me right now, and answer a few questions.”
“Miss Vaughn, did you feel that?”
“Did you feel anything on your toe?”
“No, why? What’s wrong with my toe?”
“How about on the other side?”
“What? No. Where am I? Where’s Tom? Who’s holding my legs? I can’t move my legs. Why can’t I move my legs!”
A Glimmer of Hope
“You have to understand that this is still an experimental treatment,” Doctor Chowdhury reminded Linnéa. “This has never been tried outside of a lab, and there are absolutely no guarantees.”
“I understand,” she replied. Linnéa hated to admit it, but this experimental treatment was probably her last hope. She had been to visit doctors all over the country, searching for something, anything, to reverse her paralysis. City by city, clinic by clinic, any promises of a cure seemed more and more tenuous. This was the end of the line, her last option, Columbia Medical Center in New York City. Here, Doctor Chowdhury and his team were working on a new treatment option for patients with spinal injuries like hers — a treatment that looked very promising.
“Just so we’re clear, Miss Vaughn, no guarantees. Now, we’ll begin with a series of stem cell injections over the next several days, to stimulate nerve regeneration. After that we’ll start you on the physical therapy. Miss King here will assist you with that.”
Linnéa looked up at the smiling face of what was quite possibly the darkest-skinned woman she had ever seen. Not that she held any prejudices, it’s just that her hometown, Park City, Utah, wasn’t very ethnically diverse. As a result she had encountered very few faces like Miss King’s over her lifetime. Linnéa was intrigued.
The intrigue was mutual as the woman extended her hand. “Jacklyn King,” she said. “You can call me Jackie.”
An outsider might think that the two women were having a staring contest, but in fact they were both merely fascinated, each trying to figure the other out. Jackie, a skinny kid from the Bronx couldn’t remember the last time she had ever seen a woman so fair-skinned, so blue-eyed, so blonde. Linnéa was just as foreign-looking to her as Jackie was to Linnéa.
“Miss King has been fully trained in the operation casino şirketleri of the machine, by the manufacturer,” Doctor Chowdhury put in. “Right now, there is no one in the world who is more qualified in its operation. You’re in good hands, Miss Vaughn.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” Linnéa nodded. “Jackie.”
“Now, Miss Vaughn, the machine works by sending the impulses from Miss King’s brain to yours. Essentially, she’ll be using it to retrain your nerves with her movements.”
“Like the exoskeleton therapy?” Linnéa asked. One of the other, promising-looking treatment options had been a nerve retraining program that involved a robotic exoskeleton that she would wear over her legs. It would do the moving for her in hopes that her own body would learn from that motion and regenerate the pathways needed to someday move without the exoskeleton’s assistance.
“This is light-years ahead of clumsy exoskeletons,” Doctor Chowdhury said flatly. He wasn’t bragging about his own work, he was simply stating a fact.
“So, how do we hook it up?”
“It’s completely wireless, Miss Vaughn. Place your hand here and give it a minute to sync to your own unique nerve impulses. Then, as long as the machine is switched on, and you and Miss King are within one-hundred feet of it, give or take, it will work.”
Linnéa gave him an incredulous look.
“I told you we were well ahead of the pack.” This time Doctor Chowdhury betrayed his pride with a grin. “Now, let’s get you down the hall for your first series of injections.”
Jackie extended her hand. “I’m looking forward to working with you Miss Vaughn.”
“The feeling is mutual, Jackie, and please call me Linnéa.”
The two women exchanged polite, if somewhat awkward smiles, as Linnéa was wheeled out of the room and down the hall.
“Are you ready Miss Vaughn?”
“Linnéa,” came the gentle reminder.
“Right. It’ll be a little strange at first, Linnéa.” Jackie reached over and switched on the machine.
“Ooh!” came the surprised gasp.
“Fine, Jackie,” she admitted. “It just that … well, I can feel your scrubs moving against your legs as you walk.”
“That’s an excellent sign. That means your nerves are picking up the signals.”
“Wow!” Linnéa exclaimed. “Would you mind walking around some more? I don’t want to seem weird, but I haven’t felt anything below the waist in years. I can’t even go to the bathroom on my own.”
“I know,” Jackie responded, “I can feel your catheter. It’s itchy, and I think you might have an infection. We should get you checked out when we’re done here.”
“You can feel what I’m feeling too?” Linnéa asked in astonishment.
“Yep, that’s what makes this better than the exoskeleton. As your physical therapist, I get immediate feedback.”
“That’s so cool! Can you walk around some more?” Linnéa felt like a kid in a candy store. She concentrated on enjoying every movement of Jackie’s legs against the thin fabric of her scrubs, the rippling of Jackie’s muscles as she walked. She couldn’t see through the fabric, but she could feel underneath it.
Linnéa could feel the lean, wiry muscles flexing as they propelled Jackie’s legs forward from one step to the next, feel the rush of cool air passing over top of her short ankle-socks as her leg moved, feel the ball of her foot striking the floor when she came to a stop. The experience was quite intoxicating for someone who had gotten used to sitting in a wheelchair as a passive observer.
“We should really get started on your exercises,” Jackie said. “This thing’s got a time limit.”
“It shuts down?”
“No, it won’t overheat or anything like that. The limit is more for safety. It’s never been tested for extended periods, so nobody knows exactly what will happen. Four hours is the recommended maximum, but we’ll start with forty-five minutes today.”
“OK. We should get to it, then.”
Jackie walked over to the treadmill and kicked it up to a brisk walk for her warm up. Linnéa watched intently as she gradually picked up the pace to a jog. She found she enjoyed the feeling of the perspiration on Jackie’s legs — the perspiration that felt like it was on her own legs — as it formed little droplets and ran down her thighs. She couldn’t believe how something so simple felt so incredible. After three years of feeling nothing, even beads of sweat were a delight to be savored.
After the warm-up, Jackie moved to the weight machine and set it up for leg presses. Linnéa watched the younger woman working out for a few minutes. She could feel Jackie’s muscles, her muscles, straining against the significant weight that Jackie had piled on. Skinny or not, Jackie’s legs were powerful, and Linnéa felt every push, every stretch, every strain.
“Ohh,” Linnéa cried.
“Yeah. Oh, yeah! My right leg just twitched!”
“That’s great,” Jackie beamed. “That means it’s working. I’m going to do a few sets of curls and then some extensions. After a warm down, we’ll call it a day.”
Linnéa was looking forward to feeling casino firmaları the additional exercises, but lamenting the fact that they were approaching today’s time limit for the machine. She hadn’t felt so alive in years, and it was exhilarating. Her legs twitched a time or two with the curls and the extensions as she felt her hamstrings and quads being worked by Jackie’s body, from across the room. An odd feeling, but satisfying nonetheless.
“All right, you did great!” Jackie praised.
“You did all the work.”
Jackie just smiled. “Let’s get that catheter taken care of,” she said while discretely reaching down to itch her crotch. Not very ladylike, but she couldn’t help it. The feeling of her catheter — Linnéa’s catheter — was just a bit too maddening. Linnéa let out a small sigh and felt the beginnings of a grin forming on her lips. After three years, even an itching felt good.
“Remind me to wear shorts next time,” Jackie continued, “these scrubs are really sticking to my legs.” Linnéa knew all about sticky scrubs. She had felt it too.
Linnéa and Jackie were running on twin treadmills that were set up in the living area of Linnéa’s condo. Linnéa had convinced Jackie to move to Park City to be closer to the action. She wasn’t ready to ski yet, but hoped that with Jackie’s help she soon would be.
Jackie was both fascinated and a little intimidated by Park City. It was a much smaller town than she was used to, but she had to admit, the snow covered mountain peaks were just a tad more exciting than a landscape dominated by skyscrapers. She also found the crisp mountain air in her lungs to be very refreshing.
“If only there weren’t so many damn white people, it would be perfect,” Jackie giggled to herself. The fact was, that even though she stuck out like a sore thumb, no one gave her a hard time. If anything, people her seemed to go out of their way to make her feel welcome.
“One more mile, Jackie?” Linnéa inquired from her treadmill. She wasn’t even out of breath as she spoke. Of course, neither was Jackie.
“We’re getting close to the time limit on the machine,” Jackie replied, “how about half a mile, but pick up the pace?”
The pair ran for another five minutes before both machines kicked into the warm down cycle. The two women ended with a gentle walking pace, before dismounting and sitting on the floor for a final stretch. Linnéa placed her hands in Jackie’s as they each took turns pulling the other forward.
“Linnéa, you are a physical therapist’s dream,” Jackie remarked as she leaned back to pull the other woman toward her.
Linnéa blushed as she pulled in return.
“Seriously,” Jackie continued, “you’re so motivated, you do all your exercises, and you never give me any shit.”
“I want to get back out there on the slopes. It’s killing me to look at the mountain and know that I’m not ready yet. I just wish it could go faster.”
“Patience, young Jedi,” Jackie quipped. Linnéa smiled.
“Seriously, though,” she said, “thanks for moving out here with me. It’s a big motivator for me to be this close to the action.”
“Hey, Dr. Chowdhury picked up the tab on my air fare, and your endorsements cover our daily expenses,” Jackie pointed out. “All we have to do is work out together. What’s not to like?”
In truth, the two women both admitted they had a pretty sweet deal at the moment. Their days consisted of morning and afternoon workouts, a healthy lunch between, and a daily therapeutic massage.
At night they occasionally went out for dinner on the town or, more often than not, ate at home while binge watching their favorite Netflix series. The two women had grown closer over the past month, and quickly found they each preferred the quiet contentment of other’s company to a noisy cafe or club.
“So what do you want to do tonight?” Jackie asked.
“I don’t know, I think I might turn in early,” Linnéa replied. “You’ve been working me awfully hard lately.”
“You’re lucky there’s a four hour time limit on the machine, otherwise your ass would be toast.” Both women smiled.
True to her word, Linnéa hit the sack shortly after finishing dinner. Jackie, on the other hand, had different plans. She desperately needed to get laid. It had been too long. Being totally out of her native environment, she had no idea what her chances would be, but she held out some hope that a cute snow bunny might find her exotic and take her home for a night of hot lovin’. Black, White, Asian, Jackie didn’t care — after all, everyone was pink on the inside.
She stepped into the shower for a quick rinse, and a little grooming, just in case she got lucky. She even put on a nice slinky dress for the occasion. Not her usual style, but tonight she was out to impress. Though as it turned out, all of Jackie’s meticulous preparations were for naught. In addition to having some of the strangest liquor laws she had ever encountered, this town was seriously lacking in the kind of bars she was looking for. Finally giving up, she went home — well, technically güvenilir casino Linnéa’s home — but she spent so much time here, it was feeling like her home too.
As she walked in the door and took off her jacket, Jackie spied the machine. She suddenly had an idea. It was a wonderful, deviant idea. Jackie wasn’t the only one around here that needed to get laid. Linnéa had been pretty stressed out too, and unfortunately the poor girl couldn’t do much to relieve it until her nerve damage was more completely repaired. Jackie hesitated only a brief moment before walking over and flipping on the switch. “Time for some therapy, Linnéa,” she whispered to no one in particular as she walked toward her room. “I think we both need this.”
Jackie pulled the covers back on her bed. Normally, she would simply jump in and take care of business, but this experience was for more than just her tonight. She decided to take her time. Very slowly, Jackie ran her hands over the fabric of her dress. At first it was just up and down the sides, inching the hem up little by little, but it soon became more involved. Her hands were moving down the outside of her thighs, and on the return trip, her fingers were trailing up ticklish skin of the inside. She paused just short of glory, and instead brought her hands back around her hips to give her ass a good squeeze.
Jackie thought she had a pretty nice butt, and many past lovers and hook-ups would definitely agree. She spent some time running her hands over it, feeling it, squeezing it. She even went so far as to spread her legs a bit and lean forward, as if she were making herself more accessible to a lover. The clingy fabric of the dress prevented her from going too far, but she still thought of it as pretty enticing. She grinned as she wondered how Linnéa was feeling this. Jackie thought she heard a slight moan from the other room, but she couldn’t be sure.
Straightening up again, Jackie had her dress hitched up all the way up around her waist. She was sliding her hands under the fabric and over her stomach. This was another part of her body that she was particularly proud of, and she spent several minutes letting her fingertips glide over her well-defined abs. She thought again about what this was probably doing to Linnéa in the other room and grinned.
Jackie started to imagine Linnéa’s hands were caressing her stomach — or was that the feedback from the machine? — it was entirely possible that Linnéa was mimicking Jackie’s movements in her sleep. In fact the more she thought about it, the more her own tummy began to feel a little softer. It wasn’t a flabby feeling be any means, Linnéa was still pretty ripped, she just had a thin layer of insulation that her body had built up against the cold. And, Linnéa was a lot curvier. Jackie noticed that right away as her hands moved to her breasts.
Jackie barely had a handful, but tonight, they felt somehow bigger and softer. She swore she heard a moan from down the hall as she did her best to stifle one of her own. Jackie pinched her nipples and the moan grew louder. She was teasing her own nipples to make them stand out, but with the feedback from the machine, she was treated to the feeling of Linnéa’s rapidly stiffening flesh at the same time. It was the strangest sensation, but not unwelcome. No, definitely not unwelcome.
Jackie’s dress was soon in a puddle on the floor and her panties joined the pile not long after. She quietly and gently slipped between the sheets as her hands resumed their explorations. “Linnéa’s got some great tits!” Jackie snickered to herself as she massaged and squeezed the breasts that felt bigger than they appeared. Just for fun, she took both nipples in the grip of her fingers and pulled roughly. There was no mistaking the moaning from the other room now.
With one hand alternating side-to-side, giving her nipples — Linnéa’s nipples — the attention they craved, she let her other hand slide lower. Jackie was suddenly glad she shaved as her fingertips slid unimpeded over the hot moisture of her folds. “This should give her a thrill,” Jackie thought as she teased herself apart and tucked a finger inside. Jackie couldn’t get past the feeling that it was actually Linnéa’s finger plunging into her. Not that she minded, but until now she had just always thought of Linnéa more as a client than a potential lover.
“That may have to change,” Jackie thought as she plunged deeper. She felt a tightening around her finger that definitely did not come from her. Another moan drifted in from down the hall. Jackie was on a mission now. Her finger searched around inside until she found that special little bundle of nerves that made her quiver — or was it Linnéa’s quivering that she felt? No matter, the effect was still incredible. Jackie let her other hand wander over the outside for a while, before moving in to concentrate on her sensitive nub.
Jackie’s back was arched and she was drawing her breaths in ragged gasps now as her fingers went to work in earnest. She was having a hard time distinguishing Linnéa’s feelings from her own, and realized that she no longer cared. She may have started on this journey in search of a quick release, but suddenly it was becoming a fantasy that needed to be fulfilled. She would get to fuck her snow bunny tonight after all — it just happened to be her roommate — and while she was still in the other room.
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