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This story is in British English. It involves two women in an established relationship which includes lots of BDSM, and the effects of chronic illness on that.
This work is in homage to the real Professor 'Mike Snow'
It was the door-frame incident that had really knocked Ali's confidence.
She'd tied me up, as kinky girlfriends do, leather restraints round my wrists and the two buckled together behind my back. Restraints round my thighs and ankles, too, and rope holding me down; my pussy at her mercy as she beat the crap out of me on our bed. You wouldn't have thought she had a disease sapping her energy and muscular strength!
It had been a great scene, as far as I was concerned. She'd untied the ropes after kissing me at the end, and gone to undo my arms. Only she couldn't grip the strap hard enough to undo the stiff thick buckle.
She didn't panic, just took a deep breath and waited a minute. She tried again, with no result. "Shit! Becca!"
"Chill, love! Lie with me a bit, then I'll move around and that should help." It always had, before.
We snuggled happily for a while, letting the late afternoon Sunday sunshine land on us in our new king-size bed, which we'd bought to properly christen our little house that we'd bought together. I could tell, though, Ali was worrying. She still had times of being insecure and telling me I should ditch her for someone properly able-bodied, who didn't collapse a few evenings a week and fail half the time to deliver her promises of cooked dinner. Leaving me trapped in bondage was yet another inadequacy, in her eyes.
Sure, we'd bought EMT shears along with our first restraints, like good kinky girls, but Ali would never have the grip to cut through half-centimetre leather. Even if we hadn't lost them long before the move.
I nudged down the thigh cuffs with my toes and heels. They slid down my legs easily, now there was no rope holding them in place. "Go on. Do my ankles first." The ankle restraints had long loose ends on the cuffs, and fur lining, all making it easier to grasp. Ali grunted, but both came undone.
"Told you. No problem, love! Now the arms." I wriggled to lie down alongside her, my stupidly-big breasts starting to get sore from having been lain on for so long.
Ali knelt by my side rather than straddle me. She gripped the end of one manacle and tried to pull it back on itself. Nothing happened, until the strap simply slid through her fingers. She cursed.
We went through a few rounds of this. I couldn't rub strength into her hands, obviously. She was close to crying.
"It's OK!" I didn't dare tell her to calm down, a phrase which only ever has the opposite effect. "Look, if you can't get it undone, we just phone up Rachel, right?" Rach was a filthy-minded friend who lived half a mile away.
"She's on holiday."
"OK, we call Paul or Lisa. Or Meg and Jessie. Take them a bit longer to get here, is all. Really, love. I'm quite comfortable."
It was just about true. My shoulders would ache, soon.
Al looked less panicky, at least, though the guilt still weighed upon her. I wished I could wave a magic wand and convince her, all the time, that I loved her whether she had energy or not.
"OK. One more try, babes."
It failed. Ali clearly felt herself the failure.
I thought. "Could you loop something through the holes and pull? Wire coat hanger, maybe?"
It seemed a brilliant idea. Ali fetched a metal hanger from the wardrobe, hooked the handle through the chrome ring of the cuff's first hole, put her arm through the corner of the hanger's triangle, and rolled herself away from me, the wire pulled by the crook of her elbow.
All that happened was the hanger's handle was tugged straight. The buckle remained fastened, as Ali rubbed the bend of her arm where the wire had left a red mark.
I tried to think of something else.
A plastic cable tie snapped, too.
Then Ali bit on the strap, to yank it with her teeth.
No joy. I was still stranded with my arms behind me, lying like a beached whale.
I had to say it. "Who do you think will take the piss the least: Paul, Lisa or Jessie?"
Ali considered. "Much of a muchness, I reckon. I'll try Jess first."
There was no answer. Eventually, though, Paul answered his phone, just as I was contemplating how discreet the fire brigade might be if we had to make a 999 call.
Ali outlined the problem for him.
I could hear his cackling from six feet away, the bastard. And then he mentioned he and Lisa were out, an hour away. My shoulder was really starting to give me jip.
Then he suggested shutting the end of the strap in a door, so that I could use my body weight against it.
"You're a genius, sweetie!" Ali exclaimed, hanging up on his "Well, I know, obviously!"
I stood up. The bedroom door was heavy and close-fitting. This should work. I wobbled over to it carefully -- no arms really affects your balance! Al took the strap and poked it through the doorway, as I carefully pushed the door shut with my arse. The door clunked closed. It seemed to have a good grip.
"Go that way," Ali indicated which way I should pull. "I'll lean on the door, keep it closed."
One. Two. Three. Ali's weight held the door shut, I hurled myself sideways back towards the bed, and Ali landed on top of me. As did most of the door frame, levered off the wall.
"Phew! That worked!" The buckle prong had come loose, finally. I unbuckled the other restraint myself.
Another chunk of plaster fell off the wall as Ali lifted her head to survey the damage.
"Thank god. If it hadn't, babes..."
She snuggled up to me and burst into tears.
I put my arm over her as I replied, purposefully more calmly than I felt, "Then we'd be having a somewhat embarrassing chat with some fit firemen. That's what emergency services are there for! Probably would have made their week, you know. Getting to see my great big tits and arse..."
Ali managed a small chuckle despite her sniffling. "You could have paid them in sexual favours."
"Oh, I could, could I?" I've never slept with a man, unlike Ali who's had an equal-opportunities sexual history. She likes to pretend I've missed out.
"Yeah. Relieve tension in their, um, hoses..."
"You're a filthy bitch, y'know that?"
"And you love me for it." She sighed shakily, as if she still didn't really believe it.
"Yup. Ah well. Maybe next time, sweetheart."
It was the wrong thing to say, as she cried on my chest again. Being unable to keep me safe, by herself, had really got her rattled.
Over the next few months, we still played a bit, but you could tell her heart wasn't in it. She refused to restrain me with anything other than her own body weight, or things I could escape from myself. I accepted what I could get, tried to keep my hands underneath my chest so her sitting on me almost acted as constraint, but it just wasn't the same.
I'm a total bondage slut; I needed to be tied up to really get off from her domination. My lack of screaming orgasms gave it away. Probably kept the neighbours happy, but she wasn't. I felt the lack, too.
During this time, Ali was wearing herself out, still trying to commute to work, even though she'd wangled working from home one day a fortnight. Which meant that most of the time when she was at home, she just needed to lie down, collapsing soon after crossing the threshold.
I persuaded her, a few times, to take a walking stick with her to work. We had a snazzy one that my aunt had left behind, once.
"I don't need it to walk!"
"No, love, but you need to sit down on the train, and you won't ask for a seat, but with a stick people will magically get up for you." I'd got this advice from a couple disabled friends. It was obvious to me that Ali needed to conserve her energy and pace herself.
"I know you can stand, but if it wipes you out for the rest of the day, that means you really shouldn't." Meant she couldn't, really, but I knew she didn't want to admit that.
I could tell when she was having a bad day, as she would take the stick from the coat-stand and jab it, crossly, at the door handle. Other days, she'd leave it behind.
The bad days and sick days became more frequent. Eventually she got referred to Occupational Health again, by work.
"They're trying to manage me out. I know it," she fretted.
"Maybe. Or maybe they'll say you should work from home more. Or get taxis to work or something." I tried to sound positive.
They sent someone round from the Access to Work scheme who wasn't a complete idiot, who filled in lots of forms to enable Ali to have a more supportive chair in the office, and to ensure she wouldn't have to travel to distant meetings and back on the same day.
A monthly taxi was recommended, too, and also ones from the large station she often got stranded at, if there were problems on our line. I'd rarely ever been successful at persuading her to get a cab, but if it was government money covering it, not ours, then perhaps she might. Perhaps my dad might tell her to do it so that his taxes finally went somewhere useful, like he'd told me when I'd felt guilty about signing on after being made redundant once.
A month later, the assessor was due to return, to confirm Ali's director was putting all the policies in place and was generally being supportive rather than obstructive. To be fair, when given a sheet of paper saying clearly 'you need to do this, this and this,' and 'ensure your staff do not do this, that, and the other,' he'd kicked arse and made it happen.
Ali's direct manager was a bit of a muppet, but again, had followed his instructions given to him. No-one was being actively obstructive as Al had feared, nor had there been more than the odd thoughtless comment, soon amended as brains kicked in.
It was actually working quite well. Ali had come home with a bit of energy more days than not, and usually working Wednesdays at home was making a huge difference. She'd cooked, three times! And she'd also lured me to bed, on multiple occasions.
She'd even spanked me a few times. With enthusiasm! So much better than when I'd had to grovel for it, which had left neither of us in the right head-space.
I didn't have the heart to mention that I really needed bondage for it to hit the spot.
I had a meeting near Ali's work, so on the day her Access to Work assessor returned, I met up with her for lunch beforehand.
Over our mezze in the tiny local Turkish restaurant, she asked me to come meet the assessor with her. "You know more about what I can't do!" Though her next sentence was possibly closer to the real reason: "Also, it's just really depressing talking for an hour about things I can't do any more..."
I wished I was on the same side of the communal table, so I could give her a hug. Instead I did what I could and nodded. "Sure thing, love."
The meeting wasn't as bad as I'd feared -- the woman wasn't too irritatingly chirpy nor patronising, and most of it was spent adjusting Ali's chair and trying various extra supports for her feet and head and arms. She agreed to write down that Ali should be allowed to work from home two days a week, not consecutive, except in cases of dire business need, and I figured that would help a lot. The commute was the killer.
"It wouldn't be so bad if I could just get in later. After nine, you can always get a seat and I don't get jostled by the crowds. That's what really hurts," Ali said.
"Is there any reason you couldn't start work at 10 a.m.? And work until six?"
Ali shrugged. "Only my boss thinking it's not fair."
"I see," the assessor said in a tone that implied great unpleasantness in store for Ali's line manager.
By the time she'd written down all the points she wished to 'draw to his attention', given his 'regrettable' inaction when these matters were 'previously and repeatedly raised', I almost felt sorry for the guy and the meeting he had coming. Not quite; he really was a bit of an arse.
We made to leave, both of us feeling much more cheerful than expected. And then the assessor dropped a casual sentence which I'd swear she had planned, Columbo-style, 'oh, just one more thing...'
"Have you thought about getting a wheelchair? Not to use all the time, but for giving you more steam on long days? I think it might really help you."
I took the leaflets the woman gave me. Ali clearly didn't want to think about it and stomped off.
Two weeks later, after she'd had a trip to Birmingham which had wiped her out for the whole weekend - "Why couldn't I have gone there on Monday," she grumbled, though I knew she'd have got more stressed if she'd been ill for two days during the working week -- I suggested the wheelchair idea to Ali again.
"Just for the odd day, when you're doing lots of standing or walking round places."
"The places I inspect aren't designed to be accessible. There's always steps."
I figured that wasn't true -- I knew the main entrances of the various buildings were modern and ugly, which did at least mean accessible, even if that was a metal ramp and bannisters made from scaffolding. Some of the back offices, she might have a point. "So save your energy for the steps, and sit down the rest of the time!"
"People will look at me funny."
People would stare at Ali in a wheelchair, true. Thing is, they stare already. She's not that tall, though three inches taller than me, say five-six, but she's slim with spiky bleached-blonde hair, so she's striking even before you notice her perfect defined cheekbones and smouldering eyes and every other feature that makes her so beautiful.
I told her, on one of our early dates, how she would look perfectly at home in a Hollywood movie.
She scoffed, pointing at her hair. "I'd be cast as the villain, though. Probably Russian."
"Before I keell you, Meester Bond...?"
"Da. Spasibo." She paused. "Vodka, glasnost, er... borscht, perestroika..."
I laughed. "Nyet," I replied, between us exhausting all the Russian words we could think of. "You are a worthy opponent, Pussy Galore!"
"And don't you forget it! Now let me tie you up and tell you about my devilish and cunning plans..."
How could I not fall for her?
It was more of a surprise she'd been interested in me. I'm your stocky butch type, plain. 'Oi, you're a fat dyke', as white van drivers frequently remind me. Not so much now that my dark hair is in a straight bob -- when I had it in a buzz cut they had a point I looked like a middle-aged bloke, but somehow Al saw past all that, not just for the kinky sex that someone had recommended me to her for, but she actually liked both me and my body.
"Gorgeous big tits. Lovely large arse to get my hands on. These luscious smooth thighs. Mmm... Wonderful cunt," she added, her voice somewhat muffled by her mouth being on it at the time. "Love you," she mumbled, adding something like 'love how you taste' as she slurped with an enthusiasm no-one could fake. She'd been out mainly with men before, though with equal numbers of women if you included short flings, but I'd never been left in any doubt that she liked women and, for whatever reason, liked me.
I tried to convince her to give a wheelchair a try. "Like people don't stare at you on your work trips already. 'She's not a local; must be from the guv-mint. What does she know, coming from That London?'"
"What accent was that even supposed to be? Lancashire via Texas??"
"Generic union rep; same difference. Might as well embrace not being one of them."
As Ali would never get around to it, I'd called up the Red Cross equipment supply service, from the card the advisor had given me. Turned out their nearest depot was miles away and only open on alternate Tuesday afternoons, one of which I'd just missed. They suggested trying a medical supplies shop.
As luck would have it, we had one of those in town. Like many a local pervert, I'd been in to buy supplies like latex and non-latex gloves, and had had to claim they were for DIY purposes when questioned. I'd felt bad about lying, until someone explained they just wanted to know if you needed their items for healthcare reasons, as, if so, then you didn't have to pay VAT. If you were happy to pay the tax, then they didn't give a toss. Selling gloves for sexual use probably kept them in business!
"Can I hire a wheelchair? No, for my girlfriend. No, she's not used one before. Self-propelling? Don't need electric -- oh, you mean you push it yourself? Definitely."
I could predict that a chair Ali couldn't push along herself would go down like a cup of cold sick. Even if she might be happy for me or a colleague to do the honours occasionally.
Turned out they had a whole one model that offered the ability to self-push. The assistant explained this was because most of their market was elderly relatives coming out of hospital and not having even that strength. Or, more often, being too confused.
After another couple days, Al agreed to go along. She did some circles round the smooth-carpeted store and shrugged. "Seems OK, I guess?"
"Careful on the kerbs. Best have your friend hang onto you. Pavement's a lot tougher than in here. Just call up if you want to renew after a week."
We set off, me to Ali's side.
Within a hundred yards, I was vowing to write to the council about their failure to maintain their paving.
I held the handles behind Al so she didn't go too fast down the first kerb. No need to fear -- this heavy wheelchair wasn't going to go fast anywhere. It was six inches wider than her lap was, and felt like a tank. It took me helping her pushing hard, tilting her back slightly, to get up the kerb.
The next road crossing was similar. Al was shattered after that.
"You'll have to push. This is hopeless."
"You've never done it before. First time for everything."
The last dropped kerb before home was steeper than the others, right on the corner so the slope was from two angles. Ali was in a rush to get home and give up on this stupid bit of bad engineering. She rolled on ahead before my hands had a grip on the handles, the front small wheels hesitated over the tactile-paving bumps for the blind, and she went arse-over-tit into the road.
No cars were coming, thankfully, and a couple passers-by came to our aid, picking up the chair when I growled at them not to touch her. Anyone grabbing her arm would be more likely to dislocate a shoulder than be of any assistance in getting her up.
Ali limped across the road, a small graze on her hand the only visible damage. A turbanned guy helped me drag the chair up the cracked dropped kerb on the other side, and Ali managed to steer herself up to the house. I had to hoik the thing over the doorstep.
Clearly, a wheelchair wasn't going to be a magic solution.
A few days later, I mentioned this to the head of the Economics team at work. He used a wheelchair full-time, clearly a custom model with a head rest and accessories - I could see his legs appeared to do nothing and his arms didn't have the greatest voluntary control, though his speech and facial expressions were clear. His chair had a motor, too, so there was a joystick set up by his elbow, but I guessed Malc might know more about when a chair might be useful than I did. Did wheelchair users all join groups on Facebook and get to know each other, I wondered?
"You say it was wide and heavy?"
"Like cast iron, I swear. She was sliding around in the seat."
"Well, that's no good! Chairs need to fit." He gestured with an elbow at his own lap, his thighs held in by the chair's sides. "She's a wee thing, isn't she? Probably needs something smaller than average. Definitely not some old blunderbuss for someone's fat old granny!"
I told him how she'd fallen flat on her face. He winced. "Been there, done that. Of course, the worst time was when I was going down a huge flight of marble stairs..."