“I get paid by the hour, the first hour upfront, as I outlined in my email,” the man says, strolling through Blaine’s apartment as if he owns it, pulling back curtains on the windows that Blaine doesn’t want to admit he closed on purpose before the man arrived. As sun floods the living room, Blaine’s fingers curl uncomfortably into the arms of his wheelchair. With the room brightly lit, the man can see everything – Blaine’s guitar and his piano sitting in their corner, neglected over the past few weeks as pain in his fingers has kept him from them; his heirloom furnishings, which he doesn’t particularly like, but which he doesn’t have the motivation to replace; family pictures documenting a life that became progressively more disappointing as time went on ...
The man can see him, and everything that’s wrong with him.
“Y---yes,” Blaine says, fingers tapping subconsciously as the anxiety in his brain spreads to the rest of his body. “I understand …”
“But?” the man infers, taking his time examining the view out of the last window, which overlooks Central Park. It’s a glorious view – part of the reason why Blaine chose this apartment in the first place. Blaine never thought he’d find a view to rival it until this man came along – handsome, refined, wearing an air of debonair sophistication and a designer suit, the long line of his back straight and strong, his face positively sculpted, his eyes intelligent, the soft upsweep of his highlighted hair a work of art. He could be an actor, or a model, in Blaine’s humble opinion. Either way, he’s too good for this.
Too good for Blaine, and what Blaine is paying him to do.
“But I’m beginning to think …” Blaine swallows hard. It hurts his chest “… that maybe I’m wasting your time.”
The man looks over his shoulder, fixing Blaine with his unique blue-grey eyes, quizzically framed by a single arched eyebrow.
“Is there something wrong with me?” he asks – not self-consciously, but matter-of-factly. “Because if there is, I can refer you to someone who might suit you better.”
“No!” Blaine says, incredulous. Wrong with him? How in the world could he think there’s anything wrong with him? This man, sashaying away from the windows to join Blaine in his chair, looked like something out of a high-end fashion magazine. Blaine didn’t think that men like him existed in real life, but here he was, stepping out of the shadows of a vivid daydream. “It’s … it’s not that. It’s not that at all. I mean, you’re … you’re …” Blaine stumbles through adjectives, his mind cluttered with his own insecurities and self-doubts, unable to navigate the words that identify those feelings to find one that comes close to defining this man “… perfect.”
The man grins, stopping a few feet away from Blaine with his arms crossed. “Well, if I’m perfect, then what’s the problem?”
“I … I would have to say that … you know … I’m the problem … Sir.”
The man standing before Blaine isn’t smug, nor condescending. He’s simply confident. And his confidence isn’t an act. He wears it like his skin, probably one of the reasons why he’s so good at what he does, why he comes so highly recommended. Blaine wishes he could have a bit of that confidence. Dressed in shoes and socks indoors, khaki slacks, a button down shirt, a sweater vest, and a cardigan, Blaine still feels vulnerable.
“Kurt. Until we get things started, you can call me Kurt.”
“Kurt,” Blaine repeats, though it seems sacrilege to call this imposing man anything but Sir.
“That’s right,” Kurt says, his tone softer. “So why do you think you’re the problem, Blaine?” He must immediately notice Blaine’s discomfort with that question, because he switches gears, asking a different one in a blink. “Better yet – why don’t you tell me what you know about BDSM? Give me a little insight into what about it appeals to you.”
“I don’t know much,” Blaine admits. His eyes leave Kurt’s face and drift to his hands, which he folds in his lap. “I only know what I’ve read on the Internet, mostly on Tumblr.”
“Ah,” Kurt says, a thread of sympathy in his tone that indicates he knows exactly what types of blogs Blaine has been visiting, what pictures and gifs he’s seen … and why they might make him feel like he – bound to his wheelchair, a little soft around the edges, mostly content to sit at home and re-read the same novel fifteen times than venture outdoors and explore the city – isn’t good enough to participate in Kurt’s world.
“And I’ve been to … you know … classes … but they made me uncomfortable. So I thought that maybe a one-on-one experience would work better in my case.”
“Why were they uncomfortable?”
Blaine peeks up at Kurt’s face and his curious expression. “I just … I didn’t want other people to know that I was interested in this.”
“Because they might judge you?”
“In a way.”
“Was anyone you knew in those classes?”
“Did anyone you know know you were going to them?”
“No, it wasn’t that. It’s … the people in the classes … they weren’t like me … and I didn’t want them to know …”
“… that you want this?”
“I …” Blaine didn’t realize his cheeks had gone red, but the more he reveals, the hotter they become. He can’t remember the last time someone has been as blunt with him as Kurt is being. Most of the people he interacts with, his doctors and his psychiatrist included, tend to coddle him. The people he does business with go out of their way to make things easier for him than they would for everyone else. They want him to feel comfortable, to ease his stress, and he can appreciate that. But it doesn’t make him feel comfortable.
Quite on the contrary. It makes him feel like a leper.
“Yes,” he says quietly, ashamed of his own cowardice. He expects Kurt to laugh at him, chide him for acting immature. So many of the blog posts he’s read have told him that if he can’t ask for something he wants, he shouldn’t get it.
What Kurt says instead is worse, because it bares the roots of his feelings to light.
“Because you don’t think you deserve it. You don’t think you deserve to find pleasure this way … or at all?”
“M---maybe,” Blaine answers in a shaky voice. He attempts to laugh it off, but the chuckle he forces becomes an unattractive cough. In his daily life, he tries not to be handi-centric, plays his disabilities off, but mostly because he doesn’t want people to think he’s whining. His mom was a staunch proponent of, “Yes, you have it bad, but other people have it worse,” never allowing him to acknowledge how bad he actually did have it. Blaine often felt she said that to assuage her own guilt more than to help him out of his depression.
It was her way of shutting him down.
Blaine never blamed his mother for his disability. She couldn’t have prevented it. But her constant insistence that he be grateful for the life he did have embedded its hooks deep. It made him believe that no one would want to deal with him the way he was, accept him flaws and all, if he couldn’t find a way to just be happy. If he owned up to his pain, his bitterness, his feelings of frustration and disappointment at the way his life turned out, people would see him as a burden.
Then he would end up alone for the rest of his life.
His mother meant well but, in many ways, her attitude did as much damage as the stroke that put him in his chair.
Since he doesn’t have the energy to constantly put on a brave face, especially around strangers, he hides himself away. He doesn’t want to be a burden, but he doesn’t want to be an inspiration, either. Unfortunately, he’s discovered, those are the only two holes disabled people are given to fit into. He just wants to live in peace. And his method works, but only because he fulfilled his own prophecy.
He ended up alone.
“To be honest, I … I’m not even sure why I want this.”
“If I had to hazard a guess, it’s because you feel deprived of something.” Kurt takes a step closer, then another, gauging Blaine’s level of comfort with his proximity. “Something was withheld from you, and you weren’t consulted. You were helpless to stop it - muscle control, sensation, physical strength. Now you want to take something back, to say you’re in control of what’s left.”
Blaine darts his eyes away, bashful over Kurt’s emphasis on physical strength – an insinuation that Blaine is strong in other ways. If Kurt were anyone else, Blaine would think he was flattering him. It’s Kurt’s job, after all, to make Blaine feel a certain way. That’s how he makes his money. But from his bio, his references, and their prior communications, Kurt doesn’t seem like the kind of man who wastes words on empty compliments.
“But, if I submit to you, aren’t I giving up control?”
“It might seem that way, but in BDSM, the submissive has a majority of the control. I may want something, something I’m convinced will make you feel good, but unless I clear it with you beforehand, I can’t do it. I can’t force anything on you. And once we begin, you have the power to stop things at any time, as do I. We’ll be equals in this arrangement more than you realize.” Kurt takes a knee. It brings his face below Blaine’s eye line, but only barely. Kneeling in front of Blaine doesn’t erase any of his confidence. There’s an incredible amount of dominance in the way Kurt’s eyes lock shamelessly onto Blaine’s, so much so that it’s difficult for Blaine to maintain that eye contact. Kurt raises his hands, palms hovering over Blaine’s legs, an inch or two above his knees. “May I?”
Blaine stares at him, momentarily confused, but when he realizes that Kurt is asking for permission to touch him, he nods … and holds his breath. The last person to touch Blaine’s legs was his physical therapist, Tony. Tony is a kind man, a handsome man, and he happens to be gay. But they have a strictly professional relationship. The way Tony touches Blaine is nurturing, comforting, invigorating even, but it’s nothing like this. It never turned him on, even though there were times Blaine prayed it would. He might have to change therapists after that, but it would be worth it for one moment of arousal.
So he’d know that it was still possible.
With Kurt’s hands making their way to Blaine’s hips, apparently, it is.
There’s a sensuality in Kurt’s touch that he exudes effortlessly as he kneads Blaine’s muscles … and a tenderness, too. Kurt has experience. He knows how to touch him, and he isn’t apprehensive about doing it. It’s magical, this intuition he has. Underneath Kurt’s talented fingers, Blaine doesn’t feel ungrateful, or lesser, or ashamed.
And he doesn’t feel alone.
“I’m … I’m limited,” Blaine says, reminding Kurt as if he may have forgotten in the last few minutes, as if part of their initial contact didn’t include Blaine detailing the extent of his injuries, the length of his convalescence.
“You have limits,” Kurt corrects, “but guess what? Everybody does. I do, too. We’ll work around them. I’ll teach you. Wouldn’t it be exciting to explore those limits? Discover once and for all what your body is capable of?”
“I … I guess.” Nervousness splits his voice, overwhelmed by an excitement he hasn’t felt since he was a teenager. “It’s just difficult for me to think of myself that way.”
“As what? A sexual creature?”
Blaine chews his lower lip, bites back a smile, and Kurt smiles at the innocence of it.
“Blaine, your body belongs to you. You deserve to enjoy it. You deserve pleasure, intimacy.” Kurt stops massaging Blaine’s left leg and takes his hand. He lifts it to his lips and kisses it gently – the knuckles first, then the fingers, lingering on the sensitive web of flesh in between. His next words are a whisper against Blaine’s trembling skin. “You deserve to do what you want with it.”
Kurt continues to kiss a trail down one finger and up the next. When he gets to his thumb, he turns Blaine’s hand over to plant a kiss in his palm, and another on his wrist. Kurt’s kisses ricochet throughout Blaine’s body – up his arms, across his shoulders, down his spine, in his groin. Nerves fire that have been numb for as long as Blaine can remember. None of this will make him walk or help him stand, but he doesn’t feel so confined anymore.
“Then, for the next few hours” - Blaine closes his fingers around the kiss in his left hand as Kurt starts kissing the fingers of his right - “I’m handing it over to you.”