First kisses, cold beer and footsies… Our amazing, huh Ben.
Sherry feels her thoughts fly away as soon as his mouth captures hers. There is passion, but tenderness and sweetness as well. The onslaught of emotion and need causes her body to melt right into his arms. His fingers crush and tangle in her hair and her lips soon feel numb from the tickly stubble of his goatee. She whimpers and yields into it, delighting in the experience. Ohh, this is what it’s like to be taken, to be claimed and possessed. She’d always dreamed of being kissed like this, so suddenly, so passionately. Words and thoughts are stolen from her in the heat of the moment.
They submit together, each pouring their hope and excitement into this first kiss. It’s so hard for Sherry not to get swept away in the thrill. She fights to stay grounded, while Ben’s mouth is coaxing her to give in. She knows how hard she falls. She knows how hard it is to fight back after it. Still, she surrenders; she succumbs to the moment, taking a risk, knowing it could end tomorrow. I am love starved, I want this with someone. I want the rush, the passion, the ache, and the fire. Ben is so… appealing in every way. He’s funny he’s charming, he’s honest and open. He wants this too, and why shouldn’t he want it with me… He wants me… He’s afraid too…
He breaks the kiss and lets out a shuddering breath. Sherry does too, but remains moldable and pliant leaning into him. He pulls his hand out of her hair, she shivers feeling the gentle tug while he untangles his hand. He tenderly caresses her cheek with the back of his fingers. Their eyes are locked; no longer in a moment filled with potential, instead a moment pregnant with optimism.
Sherry takes one more taste of his mouth, a last caress of a kiss over his lips. She sighs softly before whispering against his mouth. “Still hungry?”
“Starving,” Ben responds.
They pass the afternoon snuggling in the shade, enjoying the live music and their picnic. They canoodle and kiss some more. They try not to think about what lies ahead but instead enjoy the present moment they’re in. Questions still remain that will be answered over time, but they settle into the beginning of what could be.
When the band finishes they pack up their picnic. Ben finds a way back into his wheelchair again. They take everything back to Sherry’s car and walk the craft show. They wander around the festival, watching the water rush in the river, watching people watching and enjoying the event.
“Ooh, do you see what I see,” Ben asks, turning his chair toward her abruptly.
Sherry looks around at all the little shops, stands, and people. “Ben, we’re surrounded by things to see… tell me what it is.”
“Follow me,” he says, and takes off into the crowd.
Sherry follows, close behind in the wake of the path he clears. He turns back to look at her, stopping in front of a brewery.
“I like the way you think Ben!” Sherry nods, enthusiastically.
“Yeah, good, let’s go in have a beer and talk some more.” Ben says, pushing his way through the open door. I’m lucking out with all these open doors lately.
They wait their turn in the crowded pub, reading through the different selections of hand crafted micro brews. Ben leans forward to grab his credit card from the pouch behind his knees. When he sits up straight again Sherry’s hand naturally finds his shoulder and her fingertips gently tease and tickle the nape of his neck. Mmm, that feels so good… I could so get used to this. Ben thinks to himself enjoying the shiver that tickles through him.
“I think, I want the Bitchin’ Berry,” Sherry says.
“Ooh, that sounds good! I want to try the Belgian Black Cherry.” She has good taste in beer; I wonder how she feels about wine…
“I almost picked that one! You have to share a sip,” Sherry laughs.
The bartender places their beers on the counter. Ben leans forward offering his card, which is wedged between his fingers. Sherry grabs their beers, knowing Ben can’t hold them and push his chair. She starts looking around for a table. All the tables inside are high pub tables, but the patio outside has low tables with umbrellas. She leans into Ben’s ear, “Do you want to sit outside again?”
“Sure, that’s for the best,” he says, noticing the high pub tables for himself. “What if you go find us a table, I’ll meet you outside. I need to use the restroom,” Ben says, as he scribbles a signature on the receipt and flashes the bartender a thankful grin. She’s right about being ok with things and thoughtful once again. It’s so cool she noticed the tables in here wouldn’t work. I bet when I come back she’ll be sitting in the shade of a big umbrella, with her face turned toward the sun and a chair already pulled away for me to park.
Sherry gets out onto the patio and looks around at the tables. Thankfully it isn’t very crowded out here, the other patrons obviously preferring to stay close to the bar. That table by the flower pot is in the sun… and probably not enough room for Ben to turn. She looks to the other side. There we go… Her eyes find a table that’s a straight shot out the door with plenty of room for Ben to pull in to. She sets their beers down and moves the extra chair to another table. She takes her own seat and closes her eyes to take in the moment. It’s been such a lovely time; she can’t believe it is only their 2nd date.
It’s a busy day with so many people around, the festival, park, and brewery on the riverfront had brought out the crowds. Sherry relaxes into her chair and takes it all in. Ben’s suggestion for today really was a fantastic one. She loves things like this people and activity things to look at and art to enjoy. She loves watching people and sunshine. It’s why she was at the farmer’s market last night. She closes her eyes again and lets out a contented sigh.
“I knew I’d find you just like that,” Ben says pulling into the table. “Relaxed with your face turned toward the sun looking serene and peaceful,” he explains. “I also knew you’d have moved a chair away for me, did you do that last night too?” Ben asks.
Sherry smiles, happy he’s back. She sits up straighter and blushes a little at his realization. “Of course, why wouldn’t I move the chair away today, and last night? I was being considerate.”
“You continue to amaze me every minute,” Ben says, reaching across the table to touch her hand.
“It’s nothing Ben,” Sherry assures him. She notices his gloves are gone too. His knuckles are so soft and tender, I love the way he touches me.
“Yes, but I’m the man in this arrangement. I’m supposed to be the one pulling out chairs and opening doors,” Ben offers, teasing her, and testing.
Sherry laughs, “Aww, it’s so sweet, chivalry isn’t dead. I’m a big girl Ben; I appreciate chivalry as much as the next girl, but I get it. I won’t hold it against you. You have many other redeeming qualities,” She offers, with a suggestive tone in her voice.
“Hmm,” Ben raises an eyebrow. “I’m tempted to ask you to list them, but I think my ego is boosted enough for the day,” he says shifting in his seat. “I’m glad it won’t bother you, I can open doors, I do open doors, but it’s a bitch sometimes,” Ben says laughing at himself. He gives her hand one last caress with his, before pulling it back and laying it over the top of his beer glass.
Sherry watches to learn. She takes in the way he lays his hand on top the glass and works his wrist to pick it up. It’s a coordinated thought out set of actions. He brings his other hand to steady the glass and make sure he has it in his grip. He lifts it just off the table to test its weight; it slips and sloshes a bit. He steadies it again with his other hand and takes a drink. It’s fascinating… Sherry finds herself once again curious and mindful. It is different from the way she does things but also in its own way, so normal.
Sherry takes a sip of her own beer relaxing into the chair for a minute before laughing out loud, “Just so we’re on the same page Ben, I’m not in any way offering to wear the pants in this relationship, so you’ll just have to find other ways to compensate,” Sherry challenges, with a wink.
“Oh is that so, I’m willing to listen to your terms,” Ben counters, eyeing her over the top of his glass.
“Hmm, let’s see, in exchange for opening doors and pulling out chairs… I’ll take foot rubs, and you have to kiss me if we’re ever caught in the rain. I also reserve the right to choose an alternative to kisses in the rain when it isn’t rain season,” Sherry decides.
“Well, I will consider your terms, I can’t guarantee amazing foot rubs, but I’ll do my best. I have a counter offer, when I can get doors for you… I get the massage,“ Ben flashes that grin again. Victory is sweet…
Sherry laughs in agreement, “How do you like your beer?”
“It’s really good, how is yours?” Ben asks.
“It’s perfect; I knew it would be I’ve been here before. I love this berry one it’s light, refreshing, and a little tart. It’s totally a chick beer but this chick loves it,” Sherry grins at Ben. She’s so sexy when she’s true to herself, when she’s not so serious and hard on herself.
“I totally want a sip of yours, but you can enjoy it for awhile first,” she smirks at him and winks.
“Hey, so here’s a question, how did you decide to become a midwife?” Ben asks.
“Oh, I guess it is kind of an unusual profession. I’m the wrong person to ask, I’m so engrossed in it, “ Sherry says with a laugh.
“It’s not a common profession, maybe one-hundred years ago, but today?” Ben asks, raising an eyebrow.
“Midwifery has always been alive and well Ben, even if it’s on the fringe. I decided to become a midwife after the birth of my nephew. My sister was treated so poorly by the staff at the hospital. She wasn’t respected, she was abused and violated. It really lit a fire in me to learn more. I thought it odd that something women’s bodies are created to do was treated like such an emergency. The more I learned the more I realized how broken it is. I want women to feel like they have options. I want them to feel like they can say no. I want them to trust their bodies are capable of this beautiful thing, more often than not. It’s a long story, and it’s been quite a road the last seven years, but I don’t regret it for a minute. There’s a special beauty in welcoming new life and watching women become mothers,” Sherry explains.
“Hmm, that make sense, I remember flashes when I was in the hospital. The circumstances were different of course, I know that. I would wake up to people doing tests and moving me or touching me. I was too drugged to care most of the time, and I know they were saving me, but I can relate on some level to feeling violated. I have a few memories of being half awake and wanting to scream, no, stop, but I couldn’t,” Ben offers.
“Ohh, Ben, I’m sorry,” Sherry responds, with heartfelt empathy in her eyes. She reaches across the table to capture and squeeze his hand. “I’m sure your experience has been difficult in ways I cannot fathom. Of course the circumstances were different, but it doesn’t make them any less real. I believe all people should be given the right, if they’re able, to assert their opinions and to have autonomy over their bodies. They should be allowed the opportunity to say no, and have access to make informed decisions,” Sherry offers.
Wow, maybe she gets it. She gets more than the average person anyway… “I’d never considered it the way you explain it. I can’t feel too bad about it, they were saving my life, but acknowledging that it may not have been fully respectful of me as a person helps a little. I agree completely people should be able to say no and have their word be respected,” Ben nods.
“I’m so glad you see it my way Ben,” Sherry responds with a flirty grin. It helps to diffuse the heavy weight of the topic. She sparkles so bright… She can’t understand everything, but I can tell she’s willing to try.
“Can I try your beer now?” she asks, noticing his glass is half full and he’s not working so hard to hold it.
“Only if I can try yours,” Ben counters.
“Of course, you can try mine,” Sherry says pushing her glass towards him.
He leans toward the table, reaching with one hand after her glass, his other hand braced on the edge. Sherry takes in how he kind of scoops his hand to pull the glass toward him and repeats the same careful set of movements to get it in his grasp, she sighs. Will I ever get tired of looking at him, so handsome and adorably cocky… Surely, at some point he won’t be so fascinating…
“What are you thinking now? Miss drinking me in with her eyes, instead of tasting my beer?” Ben asks teasing her.
Sherry blushes. Caught… at least not in a shameful way. “I’m just watching you Ben. It’s hard to stop looking at such an attractive man,” she says, coyly, a blush betraying her motives. “Does it bother you? My watching you I mean, does it make you uncomfortable?” Sherry asks, taking a sip of his beer.
“No, I don’t think it does with you. I feel like you’re just trying to understand. I feel comfortable with you Sherry, and confident. I know you’re watching because you do find me attractive, and I’m willing to bet you’re also watching to learn, aren’t you Miss Thoughtful?” Ben responds, teasing.
“I’d be lying if I said you weren’t easy to watch Ben,” she smiles back. “You’re right though, it’s also to learn. I have this strange habit of always trying to understand people and make them feel at ease,” she explains.
“You talk like it’s a bad thing Sherry, it’s not. I bet that’s probably why you’re as thoughtful as you are. I get the impression you have a tendency to kind of prioritize everyone above yourself. How do you like my beer?”
Sherry finds herself blushing again. “You’re so insightful Ben, and you’re right. I’ve always been a giving person, even to my own detriment. The beer is amazing, it has such a rich cherry flavor I’m really enjoying it. “
“It was a good choice for me, I like yours too, it’s very crisp and refreshing. It might be an insult to call it just a “chick beer” I’d drink it again, any time,” Ben explains. I want to give to you Sherry, I want to give you so much… I don’t know if I can but… damn it I want to try.
“Do you have plans tonight?” Ben asks, eyeing her over the top of the glass.
“I am completely free tonight; honestly I didn’t know how long we’d be out. Why?” Sherry asks, reaching across the table to hold his hand. She strokes over the rough skin of his palm and enjoys wiggling her fingers against his.
“I’m just thinking about what to do next,” Ben answers back, flipping his hand over to graze his fingers over the back of hers. “Ok I’ll be honest, I’m hoping I can sweet talk you out of another tart,” Ben confesses. I wouldn’t argue with some more kissing either…
“Why Ben, are you inviting yourself over to my place?” Sherry asks, in mock disbelief.
Ben raises his hands in surrender. “I just want tarts, honest!” He laughs softly with a mischievous glint in his eye. I want more someday, but not yet, too soon, too fast… I don’t know how…
“Well, we could go back to my place… cuddle on the couch maybe, watch a movie? We can get some take out? How are you with chopsticks?” Sherry asks, teasing.
“Ouch, low blow Sherry… Damn, you know how to tease me and poke fun. If you were closer I’d kiss you.” Ben smiles at her across the table. They continue to hold hands, flirting, caressing, and enjoying the affection.
“I’ll take a rain check on that kiss; I think the only downside to our plan is I live upstairs….” Sherry says, with a feigned pout.
“Oh man, really, the crippled guy gets the shaft already,” Ben’s face falls. Fuck, the day is going so good and then we’re thwarted by stairs, reminding me and worse her of the limits in my life.
“I know, we can talk about the injustice of it in the elevator,“ Sherry says, with a playful laugh.
“You don’t hold anything back do you,” Ben asks, laughing. She’s something else… she gets it, she’s not afraid to poke fun at it… Better still, she must see I’m semi ok with it. At least, she’s not afraid.
“You’re fun to tease Ben. Perk up, you deflated for a minute there,” Sherry offers, squeezing his hand again. Mmm, I do like his hands…. I wonder what they’d feel like…. WHOA, stop those thoughts for now… you just met him… deep breath Sherry! “Are you finished with my beer Ben?” she asks noticing only a sip remains.
He flashes that cocky grin and finishes it off. “Yes I am, so good of you to share,” he laughs. He pushes away from the table with a flourish. “You ready to get out of here?”
“Yes I am,” Sherry answers, and then blushes furiously as he moves away from the table. “Oh Ben, I’m sorry,” she hangs her head, half laughing to herself, and hiding her face in her hand. I wasn’t even thinking, sure I did it all through our picnic but, I didn’t even realize…
“What is it?” Ben asks, totally confused. He looks around trying to find some explanation. Finally, he looks down and finds the source of her embarrassment. His feet all crooked and half off the footplate of his chair. He grins at her, hooking his hand behind each knee to adjust them. “Sherry, were you playing footsies with me again?” He says, laughing.
“I was…” she says, wincing.
“Woman, you are amazing! I love it!” Ben says, laughing, pushing closer to her and leaning in for a kiss.
Her cheeks are still flushed and she’s beautiful. She leans in to meet him and they share a sweet fluttering kiss that helps her relax. A sigh escapes her lips feeling Ben’s knuckles brush her cheek.
“Come on, let’s get out of here, do you want to pick up take out or have it delivered.” Ben asks, offering his hand, to encourage her to get up.
“I’m not hungry just yet, we can call and have it delivered. I have menus at home,” Sherry responds, collecting her purse and pushing her chair back to stand. She stumbles on her high heeled shoes and feels herself falling, Ben holds out his arms and steers her, right into his lap.
“Ohh,” she says, startled by the thud of her body against his. She also finds it alarming to suddenly be so close to him. She finds herself getting lost in the depths of his blue eyes, and kind face.
“We’ll take my car,” Ben says, matter of factly. His whole face softening as well.
“But… what about mine?” Sherry asks, taking in a quick breath. She’s still in shock by the sudden fall into his lap.
“We’ll get it tomorrow, obviously,” Ben says.