Life is Better with You

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A New Year

Charlotte’s POV

This was probably the best Christmas I have ever had. Levi and I had a quiet Christmas Day dinner with just his parents and mine. We took the entire day off from any therapy and any work. I felt guilty about it, but we both deserved a day off after everything we accomplished over the last few weeks, we were drained.

Levi was eager to get back to rehab the next day so we could get started on his next plan. When we got there, he dragged me into the gym, but not before requesting I bring both forearm crutches with us.

“I want to start walking with my crutches”, he insists.

“Hook me up to the ceiling harness and let me try the crutches”, he impatiently demands.

He is getting ahead of himself, I think he needs to gain more strength in his hips so he can better balance himself when he steps, but he is adamant about using the crutches, so I do as he wants and attach him to the harness and watch him grip the crutch handles.

He does fine standing there, leaning his weight forward on the crutches. Taking a step is a whole other obstacle though. Apparently, he wants to try this himself with only the harness holding him.

I stand behind him, waiting for him to ask for my help but he doesn’t, instead he stubbornly tries to move his crutch forward and takes a step.

“What the hell”, he huffs.

He loses his balance, and his hips sway out of control each time he moves one of his crutches or takes a step. If it weren’t for the harness holding him up, he would be falling on his face.

I refuse to watch him do this to himself any longer and grab hold of his hips, steadying him while he regains his composure. Neither of us move or say anything, and after about a minute, he releases a loud sigh and puts his head down in defeat.

“Thank you”, he mumbles. “I must’ve looked like a fool to you just now”, he sighs again.

“Of course not, Levi! Do not ever think that! I commend you for trying this on your own, but you do need to let me help you succeed at this”, my voice stern so he takes me seriously.

I keep a firm hold on his hips while I teach him how to use the crutches properly for the first time.

“Just like you did on the bars, move one crutch forward then the other, followed by moving one leg forward and then the other while I support your balance”, I instruct him.

He follows my instructions and we slowly make our way around the room guided by the ceiling track.

“This is harder than I expected”, he admits.

“Yes, it is, but we can work on this every day and walk in the pool more too”, I reassure him.

“Ok but promise me that you will let Sarah and Nate work with me too, I don’t want to be the reason why you’re so tired every night”, he pleads with me.

I find it easy to agree with him. I have been unusually tired over the past month. I’m sure it’s because of our trip to California and worrying about the holidays. Having Sarah and Nate work with Levi part of the day will give me a pleasant little break.

Levi worked hard the rest of the week leading up to New Year’s Eve. Every morning he had Sarah attach him to the ceiling harness and help him walk with his crutches. Afterwards, Nate worked with him and Jake in the weight room, and after lunch I would work with Levi in the pool. When evening came, I would help him use his crutches again. By nighttime, he was so worn out that he would fall asleep in his room here, so I let him sleep and met him for lunch the following day.

I miss him lately, the only quality time we’ve had together all week was in the pool. Levi agreed to meet me in the gym this morning so that I could do his only therapy session for today with him. Tonight, is New Year’s Eve, and his friends couldn’t make the trip so, I made reservations for him and I at a fancy club where we can sit and eat, listen to music, and maybe slow dance if he is up for it.

“Hey beautiful!” His cheerful voice greets me as he rolls into the gym.

“Hey”, I smile back at him then quickly kiss him when he reaches me.

“What do you think about using your crutches without the harness today? I will stand behind you and hold your hips like I have been doing, you just won’t be attached to anything”, I ask him.

He thinks about it for a minute and then nods. I know he is apprehensive, but he has progressed quickly this week, so I think he is ready.

I stand beside him and help him to stand, then hand him each crutch before moving behind him to grip his hips. He still needs his left leg brace locked to keep his leg straight, but his left arm is so much stronger now, he has been handling his crutches well.

He hesitates for a moment and I can feel him shaking a little.

“I’ve got you babe! You can do this!” I encourage him.

I hear him chuckle and he smiles when he hears me call him babe and he takes a courageous step forward. He easily brings his crutches forward followed by his legs, like when he is attached to the harness. I keep his hips steady as we make it across the room. I am so happy for him. Learning to walk with crutches is a big achievement in his recovery. Only if we could get his left leg stronger and his balance better, he would be able to do this without me holding onto him.

We get to the exercise table at the end of the room and I leave him sitting on the edge of it so that I can get his wheelchair. While I’m walking to get his chair, I get a stabbing pain in my forehead just above my eyes and accidently blurt out, “ouch!” and squeeze the inside of my eyes near the bridge of my nose with my fingers to get the pain to stop.

“Charlotte, what’s wrong?” I hear Levi’s worried voice.

The pain subsides to a dull ache and I roll the chair to Levi who is anxiously waiting to see if I am alright.

“It was weird, I felt a sharp pain but now it only feels like a regular headache”, I explain to him.

He doesn’t look convinced, so he pulls me to stand in front of him and gently rubs his thumb over my eyes and across my forehead and then kisses me.

“Let’s get you some headache medicine and go back to your place to shower and change for tonight”, he says.

My headache is only causing minimal discomfort by the time we reach my apartment. Dinner reservations are in about an hour and I suggest to Levi that we should probably shower together to save some time.

Levi’s face instantly lights up when I say “together”, and I can’t help but laugh a little. He swiftly pushes himself to the bathroom and turns on the shower.

“I’m waiting!”, he playfully shouts through the bathroom door.

When I enter the bathroom, the room is steamy, and he is already in the shower.

“Come in Love, the water feels fantastic!” He allures me.

I remove my clothes and join him in the shower, he grabs my waist and pulls me onto his lap and brushes my hair behind my ear with his finger before taking my face in his hand and crashing his full lips to mine. He kisses me softly at first then nibbles my bottom lip causing my body to shiver and my heart to pulsate.

“I’ve missed you this week”, I moan between our passionate kisses.

“I missed you too, I don’t sleep well when you are not lying in bed next to me”, he breathes heavily into my ear and begins kissing my neck.

His lips slowly caress my skin, and he slides himself inside me, lifting my hips up and down in a steady motion until the sensation causes my body to arch back and I let myself go. He captures my moans with his lips and presses my body against his again and I feel his release.

We can’t get enough of each other. Our lips stay locked together until he lifts me from him and transfers himself to his wheelchair. He pulls me back onto his lap again and whisks me into the bedroom, arousing me again with his feverish lips and motions me to lay onto the bed. He lays his succulent body on top of mine and captivates me with the touch of his skin.

“Let’s skip dinner, I only want you, right here”, he pants, as I run my fingers down his back while he moves himself inside me again.

We make love until our bodies can’t handle any more, then blissfully nestle ourselves together while we lay in bed.

“Happy New year”, I softly say.

“I can’t wait to see all the great things that will happen for you this new year”, I smile.

“Happy New Year my Love! There is no one I would rather share all those great things with than you”, he smiles back.

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