Darker Devotion: Chapter Ten

Disability: Spina Bifida / Genre: Erotic Romance

Just Desserts

Reluctantly, Melissa allowed Dustin to gather his clothing and return to his apartment, but as he reached for her door knob she called out.


“Yeah, Melissa?”

“Where are you taking me to dinner tonight?”

The question threw the delicious disabled man for a loop. He stuttered. “I…I…I don’t, uh, well, uh, what are you in the mood for?”

“Surprise me. I’ll be knocking on your door at seven.”

“Seven, seven, right,” he said.

He turned the door knob and left her apartment.

“Was any of this real? Was this all some sort of crazy dream?” he muttered to himself. He pinched his cheek. No, it wasn’t a dream.

Mrs. Eckerly, a kindly old lady was returning to her apartment with a bag of groceries.

“Here, let me help you with that,” Dustin offered, as he grabbed the paper bag.

“Thank you, Dustin. You’re a real angel. A real special angel,” she said as she fumbled with her keys and unlocked the door.

Dustin hated the word special. He didn’t even like seeing it on storefront advertisements. The word was condescending and patronizing. He preferred gimpy, cripple, disabled, even handicapped, but the politically correct slew of descriptions; differently-abled, physically challenged, motor-ability-impaired, handicapable, and of course, special, all nauseated him. He helped her bring in the groceries and placed the bag on her kitchen island.

“A nice boy like you, shame to be alone. One day, you’ll find a really nice girl who’s as special as you are! Don’t be shy, talk to someone, I’m sure you’ll find someone lovely!” she said sweetly.

“Right, thank you Mrs. Eckerly, I’m sorry I’ve got to run now.”

“Have a wonderful day, dear,” she said with a wave as he closed her door.

Dustin went back to his apartment and promptly logged on to his computer. Melissa dropped the ball in his lap and expected him to score a homerun. He didn’t know what she wanted. Italian? Seafood? Steaks? Japanese? The problem with Chicago wasn’t the lack of good restaurants; it was the overabundance of choices.

“Screw it, steak house it shall be,” he said to himself. He called Morton’s on State Street, and was amazed there was an opening for 8:00 PM. He made the reservation and prepared himself. Morton’s, one of the finest steakhouses in the Windy City required a strict dress code, so he spent time showering, shaving, and picking out his finest outfit.

The cobalt blue jacket and slacks worked with the stark white shirt and slate-gray marble tie. He was a gimpy computer programmer, more comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans, but he could look the part of a suave and dashing young man when push came to shove. He dabbed on the smallest hint of cologne right as he heard the faint rap on his door.

He opened the door and his jaw dropped. If Dustin looked suave and sharp, Melissa looked stunning and mouthwatering. Her skin-tight black dress revealed enough of those nylon-clad legs to make him sweat under his color. She wore a black choker lined with black obsidian crystals. The fire of her hair and the jet black of her outfit made her already pale skin seem snow white in the contrast.

“You look…incredible,” he managed to say. Though she seemed more composed than her date, Melissa was eying the handsome job Dustin did in his attire. Much as she was impressed with his clothes, she couldn’t wait to take them off.

“You’re looking pretty good there too, stud,” she said with a playful wink.

“I’ve got us reservations at Morton’s on State at eight this evening,” he said.

“You got reservations at Morton’s?” she asked with a surprised chuckle.

“Yeah, why?”

“Oh, I don’t know, it’s just one of the most popular places in Chicago. How’d you manage that?”

“Gimp’s luck,” he replied.

“Shall we?” she asked, holding out her hand. He took it and kissed it, then entwined his arm with hers.

Mrs. Eckerly was emptying trash in the garbage chute. She turned around to see the stunning couple, arm-in-arm walk by.

“Good evening Mrs. Eckerly, thanks for the advice!” Dustin said as they walked by. She nearly threw her garbage can down the chute with the shocking sight.

They took the elevator down and Dustin hailed a cab. The city was alive. The dark skies were masked by artificial light, a cheeriness of sodium lights casting the streets in their yellowish-orange glow. The window-shoppers of State Street hustled and bustled to the rhythm of the city. They passed by the iconic, brightly light marquis of the Chicago Theater, in the middle of the trendy Loop. A fire engine raced down the street, while a street musician wailed jazz tunes on his saxophone. Dustin paid the cabbie and opened the door for his lady.

The host seated them at a cozy table in the chic, upscale steakhouse.

“Do you know what you want?” Dustin asked.

“Oh, I know what I want, but I’m not sure what I should order. How about you choose for me?”

“That’s…a change,” he said.

“What? Sometimes, I like to give up a little control to my man. Of course, I’m going to have to break you all down again, can’t let this power get to your head,” she said with a wicked smile.

“Good evening, madam, sir. Can I start you with something to drink?”

“Yes, we’ll take a bottle of the Saltram’s Shiraz, and then we’ll split an appetizer of Oysters Rockerfeller. The lady will have a center-cut filet, medium rare, with au gratin potatoes and steamed asparagus. I’ll have the bone-in ribeye, and truffle French fries.”

“Very good, sir,” the waiter said, as he took the order.

“Oysters? I’m sure you’re aware of their purported aphrodisiac qualities,” Melissa said before taking a dainty sip of ice water.

“Not that it’s needed,” he grinned.

“Oh, very confident in ourselves, are we?”


“Well, I’m flattered.”


“All it took was the right woman to get you out of your shell.”

“Bravo,” he gave a golfer’s clap.

Their waiter arrived with the wine. He gave Dustin the cork to examine, and poured a small sample of the wine for him to taste. He sipped it and nodded. The waiter poured the wine for the couple and left them fresh, warm rolls and butter.

“I said it before, and I’ll say it again; you look stunning.”

“If you like me in this dress, you’re going to love me out of it,” she said as her cheeks flushed.

Melissa slipped her stockinged foot out of her high-heel shoe. While the two chit-chatted about a range of different topics, her foot brushed over his dress shoe. She let her toes caress the leather. No reaction. Dustin kept talking away.

Her toes went further up his shin. She tapped her toes on his shin like an impatient child tapping his fingers on his school desk. Still, he continued on, talking about his goofy coworkers. She secretly fondled her man unbeknownst to him, and it sent shivers down her spine. She shivered just enough to catch Dustin’s eye.

“Are you alright?”

“It’s just a bit…they have the air conditioner on too high,” she lied.

“Yeah, I feel bad. My suit is keeping me toasty warm, and you’re in that stellar dress freezing.”

“Well, don’t feel too bad for me, babe. I have feeling I’ll be sweating before the night is through.”

Dustin laughed nervously. Her foot inched a bit higher, until it finally found a spot with sensation. In mid-sentence, Dustin stopped. He looked down and saw her foot practically by his knee. She wiggled her toes at him.

“What are you doing?” he whispered.

“My mom always told me not to have dessert before dinner, that it would spoil my appetite. But you know what? She was wrong. I’m hungrier than ever,” she said while her chin rested on the palm of her hands and her mascara covered eyelashes blinked rapidly as she stared at his eyes. Dustin loosened his tie and cleared his throat. He helped himself to another serving of wine and drank it quickly.

“What’s the matter, honey?” she asked innocently.

“Madam, sir,” the waiter said as he arrived with the meals. Melissa removed her head from her hand and smiled devilishly at her man. He stared at the massive steak on his plate and it kind of reminded him of Melissa, in the “what have you gotten yourself into, Dustin?” kind of way.

“That’s a lot of meat,” she commented.

“It sure is.”

“But you handle it well,” she remarked as he took a bite. He nearly choked on the perfectly cooked beef. Her foot, all this time had not moved from Dustin’s knee.

“You’re so cute. We’ve already done things which would make Anne Rice blush, and yet a simple foot on your knee has you all hot and bothered,” she giggled.

“Are you like this on all your dates?” Dustin asked in a serious tone.

“Only the ones I think are like fairytales come true.”

“So am I your prince charming?” he asked with a sparkle in his eye.

“Ha! No, not even! You’re more like The Beast.”

“Oh,” he replied dejectedly.

“I think you’re reading me wrong. Prince Charming types can go take a hike. I think guys like The Beast are a whole lot more attractive, and interesting. They have a story to tell, they have to deal with the burdens of life others would be horrified to go through. Prince Charming fellows are just pretty-boys who think they’re the greatest gift to humanity. Beasts realize who the gifts in their lives are.”

“Any room for dessert?” the waiter asked.

Melissa’s eyes widened as she tried to stifle a laugh. “I…uh, do you want any dessert?”

“No, I couldn’t,” she replied.

“Just the check, then.”

Dustin paid the bill and walked his date out of the opulent steakhouse. The night air was cool, and the lake breeze filtered down State Street. A medical emergency shut down the street in front of the restaurant, forcing Dustin and Melissa to walk a bit down the road in order to hail a cab.

A young man came up to Melissa. He was good looking, youngish, perhaps in his upper-twenties, with slicked back blond hair and a thin, blond lip moustache. He blocked their way.

“Hey baby, what say I take you home and show you a real good time?” the man asked.

“Hey buddy, she’s got a date.”

“You? You’re her date? Come on, sweetheart. Leave Quasimodo be, and spend the night with someone who has all his parts working just fine.”

“Are you deaf, didn’t you hear him?” Melissa asked.

“Look, babe, maybe I didn’t make myself clear,” the man said, grabbing Melissa’s arm.

“Back off, now,” Dustin warned.

“Or what, you’ll waddle me to death, cripple?” the man challenged, shoving Dustin back.

“Do that again,” Dustin challenged him softly.

“Maybe I will,” the guy said, and he tried to push Dustin once more, but in a lightning-swift move, Dustin grasped the man’s hand and bent back his fingers until the assailant fell to his knees.

“I’ll call the cops on you!” he whined in a shrill voice.

“And tell them what? That you tried to grab a lady’s arm, and a lowly, gimpy cripple made you cry like a Nancy? Go on, call them.”

“Asshole!” the man said as he grabbed his injured hand and ran away.

“Wow,” Melissa said.

“Yeah, I know, the nerve of some people.”

“No, I mean…wow…you.”


“I…how did you do that?”

“Oh, ha, yeah. I took a few years of Karate down in Florida. Never thought I’d need it. Eh, I guess it’s like a fire extinguisher, you hope you never have to use it, but you’re glad when you do.”

“Damn, but you’re sexy,” she said, pecking his cheek. Just then, a cab pulled up to the curb and they got in.

Melissa was eerily quiet during the cab ride home. They went up the elevator and into Melissa’s apartment. She unlocked the door and closed it behind them.

“So I was thinking…” Dustin began, but she pushed him against her door and silenced him with a ravishing kiss.

“But of course, your line of thinking is better,” he quipped.

“Shut up and take off your clothes,” she practically growled. Dustin did as he was told, but was moving too slow for Melissa’s liking. She quickly helped him out of the rest of his clothing and dragged him by his neck tie to the bedroom.

She undid her clothing, flinging it randomly about the floor, and she shoved her man on her bed.

“Time for dessert…”


6 thoughts on “Darker Devotion: Chapter Ten

  1. Yes, Braced! Of course, I would have loved some smut, but this was pretty dang good. Thank god for you and Hartmann finally coming out of hibernation! You two better post more regularly, or I’ll be forced to track you down and raid your computers for the next installments;)
    Threats aside, really really good writing. I’ve missed you, Braced!
    – Nessa

  2. So, footsie in the restaurant was hot, but I was cracking up at the elderly neighbor giving advice and clapping when dustin pulled out the karate. Fantastic chapter, worth the wait!

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