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Part 2: Role Reversal

Chapter 1: Office Observations

Paul leant in the doorway of the second floor kitchen, with a can of coke in his hand. He came to the kitchen more often that he really needed to, just so he could lean here and soak in the view, enjoy the bright sunlight.
At her desk, Jo saw the shadow fall across the doorway. She'd seen Paul pass on his way to the kitchen a few minutes earlier, and heard the clunk of the coke machine. She was sure he was the only one that drank that stuff! She had always had something of a soft spot for Paul, and had even snogged him once at a company night out, in a dark corner at the back of the pub. She would have been up for a little more, but he'd never asked and she always let men make the first move. A little encouragement perhaps...
From his vantage point, he could see her but she could not see him. He was enjoying her pale legs, crossed under the desk. Her blue skirt covered most of her thigh, but a tantalising glimpse was visible where there was a small slit up the side. Her knees gave way to gracefully curved calves and slender ankles. As he watched, she kicked one shoe off. The shoes had a sort of wedge shaped sole, and a single band of black leather covered most of the foot leaving only the toes exposed. Without the shoe, the contrast between her purple nail polish and the creamy flesh of her foot was even more marked.
Jo playfully kicked the second shoe off, and started rubbing her feet together. She kept her feet pointed, almost parallel to her legs, as she slid them back and forth over each other. After a few seconds, she slowly and deliberately re-crossed her legs, enjoying the feel of the warm summer breeze on her long legs. Finally she slipped her shoes back on...
Paul took a final swig from his coke and decided it was time to go back to his desk, before the bulge in his trousers got too obvious. Many times he'd admired Jo's feet, and as many times he'd considered asking her out. He'd always bottled it before, but today the warmth of the summer breeze, the golden sunlight and that purple polish were conspiring to intoxicate him. Without realising what he was doing, he stuck his head into Jo's office as he passed.
"Hi Jo..."
"Hey Paul, how's things?"
"Great, look, I, uh, was wondering, uh...", he ran out of steam. Jo leaned back in her chair and ran her fingers back through her hair. She cocked her head to one side.
"Would you consider going out with me, Friday maybe?", he blurted out, turning bright red as he did so.
Jo smiled at him, and as she did so her mind raced. This was what she'd been waiting for, not desperately or even keenly, but nonetheless it was an opportunity. It could be so much more too...
"I'd consider it... In fact I just have. Yes, that would be wonderful!"
"Cool, I mean, great. Maybe I could pick you up at 7?"
"Maybe you should just come over to my place. I have a flat on the ground floor, so if the weather holds out until then we could have a BBQ..."
"That sounds perfect. Is that the flat you had the party in a few months ago?"
"Yeah, that was when I moved in."
"OK, so I know where it is. 7 on Friday, I can't wait!"
Paul ambled off in the direction of his office, and Jo leant back in her chair once more, this time putting her feet up on the desk. She contemplated the possibilities this presented. Ever since her adventure with Lucy in Brighton, she'd wanted to get 'casted' herself, but not quite got round to it. It was strange, Lucy was normally shy but had become quite outgoing in her cast. Jo felt the opposite. She was normally the centre of attention, the man-eater, the tease, but the thought of the cast made her feel shy and cautious. So much so that she didn't want Lucy to be there, because she didn't want to feel pressured into doing all the things Lucy had done.
"Dammit", Jo muttered to herself. "I'm not comitted until I ask him so this can't do any harm".
Decision made, Jo admired her legs as she tucked them neatly under the desk once more and turned to her computer. After looking over her shoulder she typed a URL Lucy had given her, and started composing her order in an e-mail.

Chapter 2: Friday Feelings

Jo punched the button on the top of the alarm clock. Hard. And again. The piercing ring chose to ignore her efforts though, and as slowly she regained consciousness she realised that it wasn’t her alarm clock, it was her doorbell that was ringing. She stumbled along the hall, pulling on a rich blue silk dressing gown as she went. She opened the door and was immediately dazzled by the sunlight. The postman turned to look at her.
“I was just about to give up on you luv”, he said grinning, “you must be a pretty sound sleeper!”.
“Yeah, that’s for sure.”
Jo took the long parcel from him, anonymous in it brown cardboard wrapping, covered in brown parcel tape. “You need a signature?, only I’m not sure I’m up to writing yet!”.
Jo managed to sign the form, and went back through to her bedroom with the parcel. As she sat on the bed, she looked at herself in the mirror. Not bad babe, she thought, although the hair could stand some work. She set to work opening the box. The first thing she pulled out, once the tape yielded to her efforts, was a pair of elbow crutches. She set them carefully on the bed beside her, and reached into the bottom of the long container. The next items to come out was a large rubber plate with pieces of Velcro and canvass attached, and a label on the underside “Cast Shoe, Large, wipe clean only”. The final item was a smaller box that was just closed over, and opened easily. Inside were several white rolls with paper wrappers, several bulky plastic packages, a pair of rubber gloves and a length of stockinet. She looked at the plastic packages with interest. They were much bulkier than the rolls of plaster she had applied to Lucy a few weeks before, and rather than feeling dry, they felt all moist and squishy inside. She returned the contents of the smaller box to its safety, and placed it under the bed, followed by the crutches.
The warm water picked up the scent of her shower gel as it flowed over her shoulders and down her breasts, and as she washed she wondered if she would follow through with her plan. The thought of being in a cast excited her, and suddenly she realised that she really, really wanted to try out the crutches. She rinsed herself hastily, and donned a white terry robe. Her dark hair hung wetly down her back, but instead of picking up the hair drier she went back into her bedroom and retrieved the crutches. She adjusted them carefully, so the handles and arm clips were at the right height. Bending her left knee so her calf was horizontal, she gingerly set off across the bedroom floor. After a few minutes she had mastered the action, and placing her left foot firmly on the ground alongside its sibling, she propped the crutches in the corner and threw her robe on the bed. From her bedside cabinet she took a length of tubigrip elastic bandage, and slipped it over her toes. Enjoying the warmth and tightness of the material against her skin, she slowly pulled it up until it reached the middle of her thigh, and only her toes were exposed at the other end. She took up the crutches once more, and crutched across the room. As she watched herself in the mirror, she tried to imagine that her leg was immobilised in a LLC instead of just a bandage. She enjoyed the way her breasts bounced in time with her flowing motion, and the way her firm buttocks didn’t move at all!
She attempted an overly ambitious turn, and fell onto the bed, flat on her back. Dropping the crutches, Jo stuck her legs in the air together, and wiggled her polished toes. If her hunch about Paul was right, tonight would be a breeze. Her hands ran up the outside of her thighs as she lowered her legs to the ground, then up over her belly, until they came to a halt on her breasts. Her nipples stood out dark against her pale skin, and were firm from her anticipation. She remembered a moment in the shower in Brighton and now, as then, she took a deep breath and moved on from the moment.
“Morning Luce! “ Jo breezed into the office, late as usual. Lucy was sitting at her desk in the reception area, and as on so many other mornings Jo felt a pang of envy at her even tan. “Bet you’ll never guess what I’m up to tonight!”
“OK, so tell me…”
“Well, I have a date with our Mr Paul Gunn from accounts”.
Lucy leaned over the desk towards Jo conspiratorially. “Paul? I know you got off with him at that party, but I didn’t think you were that keen on him or anything.”
“Well, I always thought he might be fun, but he made the first move and asked me out on Tuesday, and I figured there was no harm in accepting.”
“Well, you have a good time, and I won’t even bother telling you to behave because I know you won’t!”
“You’re just jealous…”, Jo shot over her shoulder as she walked through the inner door.
The day in the office passed slowly, and Jo was glad when 5pm came, and she could go home. She set up the small BBQ on the patio (making sure none of the neighbours saw her), and prepared salad and rolls in the kitchen. She thought for a few seconds she’d broken something for real as she tenderised the rump steaks and her fingers with a wooden mallet, but eventually she was satisfied. She tidied a little in the living room, and took a plastic dustsheet from the garage through to her bedroom, placing it under the bed with her crutches and her box of magic. Finally she peeled off her work clothes, and stepped into the shower.

Chapter 3: Fiber Fantasies

When the doorbell rang for the second time on that gorgeous Friday in the middle of summer, Jo was substantially better prepared. Her feet were bare, and her toes had a fresh coat of purple nail polish. Her long slim legs were visible way up the thigh, giving way only to a small pair of tight red shorts, matching the red top which struggled to restrain her breasts.
She pulled open the door, and Paul’s lower jaw dropped as far as it could. He took a deep breath, and eventually managed to talk almost normally.

“Wow Jo! You look fantastic”
“Why thanks Paul, now come in before anyone sees us”
“Why does that matter? Aren’t you allowed gentlemen callers in this part of town”
“Paul, lets get one thing straight before we go any further”, Jo said severely, a smile painting itself across her face as she saw Paul adopt a crestfallen look, “You’re no gentleman and I’m no lady, and it’s more fun for everyone that way!”
Paul looked relieved but not a little taken aback, and finally got round to offering Jo the carrier bag he held in one hand. Jo looked inside, and immediately turned and walked into the kitchen, leaving Paul to admire her receding rear view. “Now that” Paul managed not to say out loud, “is one classy body.”
He followed Jo into the kitchen watched as Jo opened one of the three chilled bottles of white wine from the carrier bag. He accepted a large glass.
“Now, I’ll set aside the fact that you brought THREE bottles and therefore are clearly trying to get me drunk and propose a toast. To an entertaining evening.”
Their glasses clinked together and they both drank deeply from them, enjoying the crispness in the flavour.
“So, are you going to tell me why you don’t want the neighbours to see me, and why we’re standing here with the curtains shut on such a beautiful day?”
“Sure, I can’t keep you in the dark all evening now can I”, Jo giggled, “but first I have something to ask you. Why do you lean in the door of the kitchen for five minutes at a time some days?”
Her frankness discomforted Paul slightly, but he could see that she wasn’t having a go at him, and that there was no hint of anger in her eyes.
“I suppose it’s because I can stand there and admire your legs, and your feet, without you knowing. Only clearly the last part isn’t quite completely true… Look, I’m sorry if that’s upset you”
Jo cut in on him.
“No Paul, that’s just fine. Now let me ask you another question. If I broke my leg and they put it in a cast, would you still stop in that doorway?”
Paul felt his lightweight shorts get tighter as he started to build a mental picture.
“Sure… I’ve always, well, it’s just that… Yes, sure I would…”, Paul stammered, and this time when Jo started talking it was a rescue rather than an interruption.
“OK, I think I can see how you feel”, Jo grinned, “Now, before I say another word you have to swear that you will never, ever, discuss what we talk about just now with ANYONE at all. Ever.”
“Sure!”, said Paul quickly, still unsure of himself. “I’ll never breathe a word if that’s what you want.”
Jo walked over to him and took him by the hand.
“Relax Paul, I think you’re going to enjoy this.”
Looking back, Jo was never quite sure where all this confidence had come from. She couldn’t have done this with her closest friend, and yet with Paul she felt really quite relaxed about the whole thing. Maybe it was because Paul didn’t really matter to her. Maybe it was because he did…
She pulled him through to the bedroom, and turned and kissed him gently on the lips.
“Paul, the reason I didn’t want anyone to see us is that I broke my leg on the way home from work today, and at the hospital they put it in a cast for me. The cast is purple, to match my nail polish. Look.”
She showed him the box of padding and fiber, and the crutches.
“I’m going to be hobbling around on these for at least 4 weeks.”
The silence stretched out between them.
“Well, say something then…”
“Well, for a start, how did you know?”
“How did I know what?”
“That I like casts, damit, how did you find out?”
“My dear Paul, I didn’t ‘find out’. I guessed from the way you looked at my feet, from the way you looked at Julie last year when she broke her ankle… You mean you were into this already?”
“Well, not like this, but I had managed to find a few sites on the web…”
“Sounds like we have more in common than either of us knew. You’re up for this then?”, he nodded grinning broadly. “My plan was for you to cast me now. The neighbours only get to know I have to go back to the hospital on Sunday night to get checked. Then I can either decide to keep it or we can take it off…”
“You’ve done this before?”
“Not like this… maybe I’ll explain more later. Best get started. There’s a dustsheet right here, and you can fill the basin in the kitchen sink. You know how to do this?”
“I have a fair idea… The rest I’ll make up!”
Paul spread the clear plastic sheet over the lower half of the bed and then disappeared. As Jo reclined on the bed, he returned with two glasses of wine, both now full once again. Paul went to get the water, while Jo contemplated her feet. She had a sudden picture of both legs in full length casts and thought “One day girl, one day”. Paul returned, and started putting on the rubber gloves, and suddenly Jo realised she hadn’t decided which foot to have casted…
“I guess that if this is your first time you’ll want your left foot done?”
“Well, you’re drinking your wine rather quickly with your right hand, and so I’m assuming your right foot is dominant. You’d miss it more…”
“OK, I hadn’t thought about it but that’s fine with me!”
Jo lifted her left foot, and Paul was about to start putting the stockinet over her toes when he put the roll down, and instead took her foot in both hands. He kissed it gently, starting with her toes and working up towards her knee, then back down. Without a word, and without looking Jo in the eye, he picked the stockinet up once more and worked it gently over her toes and up her firm calf, stopping when there was a little bunched below her knee, with plenty dangling off her toes. Next he started wrapping padding around her ankle, working down to her toes and back up again. Another roll started up her calf, and finished just below her knee. Three more rolls went on, covering and recovering each inch of her lower leg. Every so often, Paul would pause and feel up and down the padded area, to ensure that there was plenty of cover over the bony bits, and that he was using the padding evenly. Once the padding was all done, he laid Jo’s foot gently back onto the bed and knelt upright for a minute, stretching and admiring Jo’s body laid out on the bed before him.
He opened the smaller roll of fiber first, and freed the loose end. He grasped the roll firmly in one hand, keeping the loose end wrapped over a finger so he didn’t loose it, and dipped it into the tepid water. He squeezed for a second, then lifted it out and squeezed the excess water off. Jo though she could see his hand shaking slightly as she lifted her foot. As with the padding, he started at the ankle and worked down towards her toes, smoothing the fiber against the form of her foot as he went along. Before he opened the next roll, he turned back the excess stockinet at her toes, and smoothed it carefully back against the fiber. With the new roll, he started at her toes, and worked up past her ankle and up her calf. Before he even realised it, all four rolls had gone, and the cast was starting to steam slightly as it set. Once again, he kneeled back to admire his handiwork. He peeled off the rubber gloves, and as he put his hand on the ground to help stand up. He kissed Jo’s encased toes carefully, one by one.
“Well, since you’ve put me on crutches, the least you can do is get me some more wine!”, Jo grinned impishly.
Once Paul had left the room, she wiggled her toes experimentally. Her pale toes stood out against the purple of the cast, which matched her nail polish almost perfectly. Her foot felt warm, and slightly damp. There was just a hint of steam rising from the cast, and occasionally she thought she could hear a slight hissing noise coming from it. Wow.

Chapter 4: BBQ

“What now?”
“You any good working a BBQ?”
“Well, all the stuff you need is in the kitchen, and if you’ll just pass me those crutches I’ll join you in a moment. You’d better take my wine though!”
Jo carefully swung both feet over the side of the bed and stood up, mounting her crutches as she did. Placing the crutches a few inches in front of her, she gingerly took her first steps towards the door. Although she’d tried the crutches before, it was somehow completely different with her ankle immobilised and the extra weight on her elevated foot. When she got into the living room, she found that Paul had already opened the curtains and the patio doors, and was outside messing around with lighter fluid. She crutched out onto the patio, and sat down on a reclining deckchair. Paul watched her carefully the whole time, and as she settled herself he went back into the house. He returned a few moments later carrying a waste paper basket and a cushion.
“Remember you’re supposed to keep that ankle elevated”, he said, grinning. “And are you really sure you should be drinking wine with those painkillers?”
Jo flashed a naughty look at him and raised her eyebrows. “and here was me thinking you were trying to get me drunk!”.
Paul obligingly re-filled her glass as he handed it to her…

The warm summer evening seemed to last forever. Paul and Jo sat chatting on the patio long after the BBQ was finished, long after the sun had started to disappear. By the time the warmth started to fade they were well through the third bottle of wine, and there was more giggling than talking going on.
“I’m starting to get cold, lets go inside.”
By this time Paul was sitting on the ground close to Jo’s chair, so he could look into her eyes. In one smooth motion, he got one arm under her knees and the other round her shoulder and rose to his feet. Jo giggled as she quickly put her arms around his neck to stop herself from falling. He carried her inside, and set her down carefully on the couch. As he was about to pull away, Jo tightened her grip on him, and pulled his face in towards hers. Her mouth very slightly open, their lips touched and for what seemed like hours they were lost in the warmth, softness and intimacy of their kiss.
Finally, their lips separated, and for a few moments they looked deep into each others eyes. Then, as if acting as one person, they resumed their kiss. This time, it was deeper, more passionate than before. Jo felt Pauls lips push hers apart as his tongoue flicked gently into her mouth, seeking out her own. Her hand slid up into his hair as she pulled him closer still, and as she did so his hand began to explore her cast. First he felt the rough hardness of the fiber, and as his hand moved up he found the padded top of the cast, followed by her cool, smooth flesh.

Their eye’s met, and they held each others gaze for a few moments, before Jo broke the silence that had reigned since their lips first touched.
“Since you’ve left my crutches outside, you’re either going to have to go and get them, or carry me to the bedroom!”
Paul needed no further bidding, and took her in his arms once more. The bedroom light was off, but light filtered in from the hall and from the streetlights outside. He set her down on the bed, and knelt astride her. He kissed her briefly and gently on the lips, and then pulled her skimpy red top up over her full breasts. She raised her head and shouders, urging him to pull if over her head, which he quickly did. He admired the firm roundness of her breasts, young enough to retain their shape as she lay there. In the half light the contrast between her pale skin and her brown nipples was as great as that with her purple cast. He could feel the hardness of the fiber under him, as he leant forward and started flicking his tongue gently over her nipple. He felt the goosebumps rise around it, and she let out a sigh of relaxation. The other nipple received the same attention, before he took her breasts firmly in her hands and started kissing her ears. She made to kiss him back, but he stopped her firmly. His kisses walked down her neck, over her breasts, and onto the expanse of her belly. He felt her goosebumps on his lips with every kiss, as he descended he was sure he could detect the scent of her arousal.
Pulling away once more, he slid his thumbs under the sides of her shorts, and pulled them down gently. He had to back away to remove them completely, and they both laughed as he struggled to get them over her cast. After the shorts were liberated, he pulled his own teeshirt off then held the cast in his hands as he took her big toe in his mouth and sucked on it gently. As he did, he admired her dark, neatly trimmed pubic hair, and he was sure that he could see moisture glistening on her. Setting her casted foot back down on the duvet, he placed his hands on her thighs spreading her legs. He could feel the warmth radiating from her, and the rich aroma of her wetness was irresistible to him. He slid his arms under her legs as he was drawn to her, and touched the bottom of her slit with his tongue. Her excitement was such that she felt hot on him, and as his tongue ran up over her clitoris for the first time he felt her shudder in his grasp.
His tongue got into a rhythm, matching her gasps as he flicked the button of her clit with his tongue, enjoying the tang of her wetness and the feel of the fiber on his back as she pulled him in with her legs. He was frantic to enter her, but held himself back as her breathing grew more and more frantic. One last huge intake of breath, one more flick of the tongue, and she was grinding herself into his mouth - bucking as her breath left her explosively. As her orgasm subsided she whispered to him.
”Oh my god, I need you inside me, NOW!”.
Paul stood and let his trousers drop to the floor. He knelt between her legs, and kissed her on the mouth as he started to explore her wetness with his erection. He could still taste her in his mouth as their tongues met, but that only seemed to encourage her to kiss him more deeply. His cock was soaking already when she raised her hips and pulled him into her. He felt her cast behind him once more, pulling him deeper and deeper as they ground their groins together. He didn’t even realise at first that Jo was talking to him because he was so wrapped up in enjoying their hot, wet lovemaking.
“Oh god Paul, deeper, god, my cast feels sooooo goood… Oh my god, you’re making me cum again…”
He pulled almost right out of her, and they finished their lovemaking with long violent thrusts, both crying out as they shuddered to orgasm together, their bodies tensing almost painfully before the glorious release. Jo felt his hot cum flood into her as she came, thinking with every spurt that it must be the last, but he seemed to keep going for ever.
Finally, they subsided into each other, and kissed tenderly, a jumble limbs surrounding them. They were impervious to the warm breeze from the still open patio doors, to the noise of the traffic outside, to everything except their own passion. Eventually they slept, their legs still intertwined so they could both enjoy the texture of the cast.

Chapter 5: Decision Time

Paul and Jo spent most of Saturday in bed together, gently discovering each other and enjoying their newfound closeness. They talked for hours too, fantasizing about things they could do together, about casts they could share.
When Sunday dawned, they had to start considering the reality of what they were doing.
“I just don’t know that I can do it”, Jo said, consternation written across her face. “I’d have to lie to everyone, to carry this off for 6 whole weeks.”
“I thought that you wanted…”
“I do for christsake, but that’s not the point. There’s a difference between wanting to do something, fantasizing about it even, and actually doing it. Look, before I decide I want to talk it over with Lucy.”
“I thought you didn’t want anyone else to know about this? You swore me to secrecy…”
“Yeah, but Lucy already knows.”
“but I thought…”
“Look, Lucy got me into this. Sure, I’d been intrigued by casts before but I’d not thought about it seriously until Lucy showed me some things on the web and… Look, if I tell you, you promise…”
“Yeah, I promise not to tell anyone!”, Paul was clearly peeved.
“I helped Lucy to put on a cast, longer than this, a few weeks back when we went to Brighton for the weekend. That’s how I found out about where to get stuff to make this.” She pointed at her casted leg angrily. “Anyway, if I’m going to wear this for 6 weeks I’ll need some moral support.”
“But I’ll be there for you every step of the way!”
“Paul, for one if I go into the office in a cast Lucy will ask me as soon as we’re alone, and I don’t want her to find out that way. Secondly, we’ve know each other about 5 minutes.”
Jo put her hand on his face, and looked into his eyes and spoke with passion.
“Paul, I really like you and I’d love for this to go on but who know’s where we’ll be in 6 weeks. I can’t take that chance, come on, you must see that.”
“Jo, I want this to go on too. I guess I’m just upset because I thought this was just for you and me. I thought it was our secret.”
“It will be Paul, it is ours. Lucy can’t take your place in this. You’re still the one who put my first cast on, you’re still the one I’ve made love to all weekend.”. She kissed him lightly on the forehead. “If it will helps, look at it this way. This cast, this experience, is yours and mine. Now we have a choice. Either we take the cast off this afternoon, or if we want to keep it for six more weeks then we ask Lucy over for lunch. Talk it over with her and enlist her help.”
“Well, when you put it like that…”
“Dearest Paul, that’s how it is. If you want to keep this just between the two of us, I swear I’ll never tell anyone else. But the cast comes off.”
“Well… Look I have to ask this. Do you really want to see me again, even if I said I wanted you to take the cast off?”.
“Of course I would! I make no promises beyond our next date, but after this weekend how can you doubt I want to be with you?”
“Sorry, I’m being selfish here, aren’t I. If it’s still ok with you, let’s call Lucy. How about we compromise though - let’s go to a pub, in a village somewhere nearby but where no-one know us. We can pick Lucy up on the way. That way, that cast of yours can get some fresh air and you can see how you feel.”
“Sounds like a plan to me! No need to sneak around though, as some of the neighbours probably spotted the cast already. I’ll just tell them that I got another x-ray this afternoon and it’s not broken after all. I can limp a little for a few days!”
Lucy sat in the pub, waiting for her friend to arrive. Jo had sounded excited on the phone, but she hadn’t said why it was so important that they have lunch, in this pub, on this day. She saw the door open, and a ray of sunlight shot across the floor. Then she saw the grey tip of a crutch on it’s aluminium shaft sneak out from behind the door. She felt her stomach tighten and turn inside her, anticipating the possibilities. Plaster, fiber, long, short, cyclinder, JO!!!
Lucy blinked hard, partly against the sunlight in the dark bar but more because she was sure she’d just seen her friend Jo coming into the bar on crutches… It was! Jo crutched smoothly across the floor to the table she’d grabbed in the corner. Jo was wearing a black vest top, and for once it seemed that she was wearing a bra underneath. Her firm breasts meant she often went without on weekends… Also uncharacteristic were the loose fitting grey tracksuit trousers, and trainer. Only one trainer though, for her left foot was encased in purple fiber, moulded around the contours of her ankle and foot. The cast ended in a small band of white stockinet, and past that, there were Jo’s delicious pale toes, their purple nail varnish glistening in the dappled light in the bar.
“So what the hell happened to you, and how the hell did you get here?”
“Well, I’ll answer the second question first”, Jo grinned, awkwardly sitting down opposite Lucy, extending her casted foot along the length of the bench for support. “Paul’s parking his car outside right now. As for the first question, Paul casted me.”
“Wow, and here was me thinking I’d never talk you into a cast…”. Lucy smiled, but her eyes didn’t join in and both girls knew she didn’t mean it,
“Lucy, I know you wanted to cast me, but I couldn’t. I was too nervous, and you were magnificent, I felt pathetic, intimidated. I was going to do it alone but with Paul it just seemed right, and he’s really sweet.”
“I suppose I’ll forgive you, but…”, Lucy offered, sounding sincere.
At this point Paul strode in from the car, his eyes fixing immediately on Jo’s toes.
“Drink anyone?“
“Sure, I’ll have long vodka please, and I’m sure Lucy will have another.”
“Well, I walked here so I could drink!”
“OK, and I’ll have a pint. You don’t mind me driving you home after one pint right Jo?”
“’course not!”
The girls talked about Paul, with smiles and giggles, until he returned from the bar with the drinks. He lifted Jo’s casted foot and slid onto the seat next to her, replacing the cast in his lap as he settled. He was caught for a second by an image of Lucy casted, helpless… Fortunately Lucy didn’t let the silence hang.
“Come on then Jo, what’s this all about”
“Well it’s like this. I love this cast, and I want to keep it. I want to tell everyone that I went over on my high heel on the way home from work on Friday and cracked a bone in my ankle, and that I’ll be 2 weeks on crutches, then 4 weeks with a walking shoe over the cast. If all goes well.”
“Wow…”, Lucy leaned back in her seat, wide eyed. “6 weeks?”
“Well I can hardly wear it for two can I?”.
“True, but that’s a long, long time… Anyway, why are you telling me?”.
“Because, my dearest Lucy, there’s no way I could get through this without knowing I’d have your support if I needed it. Oh, and when I turned up in the office in a cast you were bound to wonder after our last adventure…”.
“If that’s what you want, I guess I’ll help in any way I can. I’m sure you’d do the same for me”, Lucy winked then looked hard at Jo’s cast, “and you’ll probably find a way to repay me!”.
Paul, Jo and Lucy sat in the bar for nearly an hour, perfecting their stories so they all said the same thing to people at the office. When they left the bar was starting to fill up, and Jo was sure she attracted lots of looks as she crutched slowly but confidently to the door.

Chapter 6: The Office

Paul stirred sleepily as heard something drop. He opened his eyes slightly, just in time to see Jo zipping up a black skirt that stopped just above her knee. Her uncasted leg was covered with what he could only assume was a stocking, in stark contrast to the pale skin of her other knee. She had found a purple v-necked skintight teeshirt to wear over her skirt, and as he watched she plumped her breasts, admiring her cleavage in the mirror. She sat on the bed to retrieve the crutch that she had dropped, then headed out of the door. Paul dozed off again, images of his casted princess getting dressed still fresh in his mind. The next time he woke Jo was standing in the doorway.
“Rise and shine lazy-bones, you’re supposed to be driving me to work!”.
“Come on babe, there’s plenty of time…”
“No there isn’t, it’s 8:30 already. OUT!”
Paul got out of bed, and staggered bleary eyed towards the shower…

Jo paused nervously as she reached the automatic door at the office. Today it had been locked open to let in the warm, fresh summer air. With a deep breath she leaned into her crutches and got moving again. As she entered the foyer, the first person she saw was a familiar face, Lucy sitting at the reception.
“You made it then? I wasn’t sure if you’d feel up to it.”
“Well, now it’s in plaster it’s I can’t feel a thing, in fact it’s just a nuisance. I’ll have to keep my foot up though…”. This was for the benefit of others passing through the reception area. “and I think I’ll be using the lift for a week or two!”.
She crutched nervously to the lift. In her head, everyone was looking at her, knowing that the cast was a fake. In her head, everyone was thinking she was freak, a mad woman. The panic rose inside her as the lift door slid closed. She only knew one of the other people in the lift, and that was Katie, her boss.
“Morning Jo, I’m impressed at your dedication coming in prompt on a Monday when you’ve clearly not had a good weekend! What happened?”
“Ohhh, it’s just embarrassing and stupid. I went over on my heel on the way home from work on Friday. I don’t know how it happened, I’d not been to the pub and I couldn’t see any thing that could have tripped me when I looked. Anyway, I broke a bone in my ankle and now I’m stuck in this wretched thing for a few weeks.”
“Oh dear, I hope it’s not too painful. Joking aside, you really don’t have to be here if it’s troubling you.”
“It hurt like hell at the time, but ever since they put this on, it’s been OK, it just feels a bit funny and the crutches are a pain. Plus I’d go mad watching daytime TV all day!”
“Well, take it easy, especially until your balance has improved. We don’t want any more accidents. I broke an ankle myself about 5 years ago, and once the plaster came off it only took a couple of weeks to get it working as good as new!”
“Thanks, I’ll bear that in mind. I bet it feels more like a few months than a few weeks at the time though right?”.
By this time Jo had arrived at her desk. The set of drawers she kept her stationary and files in were on little wheels of their own, so she carefully pulled them out from underneath her desk and set them to one side a little.
“Katie, I don’t suppose you’d do me a favour would you? One of the spare cushions from the sofa in the kitchen would turn this into a beautiful footrest!”
“Well, just this once. Goodness, will you do anything to get to boss me around? Revenge is sweet I suppose…”
The morning passed quickly. Her in tray and e-mail inbox were both full, and working through them took her right until lunch. As she worked, she thought she could see a shadow in the doorway a couple of times, and she could almost feel Paul staring at her casted foot, propped up comfortably on it’s cushion. She would have loved to go out for lunch, to show off her casts to the world, but Lucy had counselled against it. “If you’d really broken your ankle”, she had pointed out, “you’d not want to spend any more time on those crutches than you had to.”. She had reluctantly agreed, so Lucy had popped over to a sandwich shop and bought lunch for them both.
The girls ate their sandwiches together in the kitchen, and as they did a succession of well wishers dropped in to talk to Jo. They all wanted to know what had happened, whether it still hurt, how long she would be casted for… By the end of lunchtime her cast had attracted more attention than she had ever dreamed of, and Lucy was almost green with envy.
After one attempt earlier in the day, Jo had decided that for the foreseeable future she’d be using the disabled toilet on her floor. The ladies was just too tight a fit on crutches. After lunch Jo went to powder her nose, and when she got into the toilet and reached for the pull cord to turn the light on she got the fright of her life. Suddenly, the door closed with a bang behind her, and the light cord was nowhere to be found. When she felt a hand going over her mouth she thought the panic rising inside her was going to make her faint.
“Shhh, it’s only me”, Paul’s voice said reassuringly.
Jo resolved at that moment that the next time the opportunity arose she would beat Paul to death with a crutch for scaring the life out of her, but accepted that the way he held her right now, the most harm she could do him was probably to lick the hand that covered her mouth.
“Just stay there and don’t make a sound.”
Paul let go of her, and she heard a rattling noise, then the rasp of a match being struck. He lit a small candle that he must have placed on the basin earlier.
“I kept walking past your office and seeing you sitting there with you foot up just made me so horny I couldn’t wait”, Paul whispered, “I couldn’t decide whether your good leg and foot, or the casted one, was making me hotter.”
He stood behind Jo and started kissing her gently on the neck and ears. His hands ran from her shoulders down her arms, detecting goosebumps forming on her skin as they did so. Jo could feel him getting hard as he pressed against her bum, and she couldn’t help but sigh with satisfaction as his hands firmly grasped her breasts, and his tongue flicked at her earlobes. Then something inside Paul snapped, and the pace of events changed a little. He moved round in front of her, and as her hands snaked around his neck he propped the crutches in the corner. She felt him fumbling and realised that he had undone his fly and liberated his erection. Next he pulled the front of her skirt out the way, pulled the crotch of her knickers aside and thrust into her. With one hand supporting her bum he pushed her hard against the wall as his other grasped her cast. Jo was completely overcome as he roughly thrust time and again, taking her breath away with each stroke until once again she though she was going to pass out. He felt her come hard inside her, an explosion of warmth filling her belly. As quickly as it had begun it was over. She was still dazed as he zipped himself back up and slipped out of the room. Dazed and unsatisfied.
The mirror above the sink was low so it was accessible to wheelchair users, and in it she could see herself still leaning on the wall, the contrast between her fair complexion and the cast even greater in the half-light. She watched herself lick her fingers, and gently slide her hand under the front of her underwear, the skirt still disarrayed around her waist. She found the sight of her fingers moving under the fabric strangely erotic, and the restricting feel of the cast alarmingly arousing, as she pleasured herself gently. She stroked herself for a few minutes before her orgasm crept up on her, overtaking her, engulfing her. She was taken completely by surprise as she watched herself shuddering in the mirror, and when it subsided she leaned in the same spot with her eyes closed, her fingers resting against her clitoris, satisfied at last.
The relaxation that filled her as she rested was accompanied by dreams. She saw herself lying in the street, her ankle swelling, the pain filling her body. She saw herself being loaded into an ambulance, saw herself holding the hand of a nurse as her ankle was X-rayed. She saw herself in the plaster room, felt the warmth the cast being applied to her foot. She watched in her head the train of events she had invented happening to her. And she wanted them to be real. She opened her eyes with a start when this thought struck her, and turned the light on. The bright illumination made her blink, but it didn’t banish the devil inside her. She wanted a cast, and she had one, and that was great. But it wasn’t, and never could be, all that she wanted.
She felt cold as she tidied herself up and remounted her crutches, and her stomach tied itself in knots inside her. From nowhere this devil had appeared, from an unknown need inside her, and she wanted to get rid of it.
She stepped out not only into the office corridor but also into the real world. Back at her desk there were phone-calls to make and letters to write. The afternoon passed quickly and uneventfully, although occasionally she stopped and smiled, enjoying the warm afterglow that coursed through her veins.

Chapter 7: Breezers

Jo was amused when on Friday after work they ended up in the same club where the whole saga had begun, where Lucy and she had got drunk before Lucy had first introduced her to casting. That had lead to their adventures in Brighton, and indirectly to the beautiful purple SLC that rested on the table in front of her, amongst the half empty bottles of Bacardi Breezers and the half-drunk pints.
Lucy was off dancing with some guy she had chatted up at the bar and the rest of the crew from the office, and Paul had disappeared to the mens room. Jo kicked off her one shoe and crossed her bare foot over the cast, feeling the hardness and roughness of the fiber on her calf and the sole of her foot. What now? She wondered, what next?
Lucy had seen her sitting alone and come back to join her. She drank deeply from her Orange alcopop as she flopped into a seat.
“How is he then, you found Mr Right at long last?”
“I don’t think so somehow, but he’s keeping me amused. I’ve got his telephone number…”
“I swear since Brighton you’ve been much more confident with guys, it really seems to have opened you up!”
“Yeah, well it was kinda a liberating experience… in an imprisoning sort of way! How are you enjoying your little adventure?”
“Well I’ve survived a week at the office, and in another week I can lose the crutches and try out that cast shoe outside of the comfort of my own home.”
“I expect that will be a bit of a relief!”
“Yeah, two weeks on crutches is enough for now. How about you, have you thought about another cast?”
“Not really, I mean, Brighton was fun but it was a one-off, you know, an experience. I don’t think I’ll do it again. Maybe one day, I’d still like to try an arm cast…”.
Jo sighed inwardly as the conversation turned back round to this new man Lucy had found and to office gossip. She knew that Lucy had a thing for casts, but somehow she didn’t seem to experience the same deep-seated need to be casted that Jo was rapidly acquiring. It scared her that she was being so deeply affected by the £20 worth of fiber and padding that encased her lower leg.
Her reverie was broken when Paul came over to say goodnight. He was going away for the weekend with a group of lads he knew from college, on a stag weekend. He had forgotten all about it until one of his mates had called during the week, and so Jo was to be alone this weekend. She had rather hoped that it would be an opportunity to spend some quality time with Lucy, but now she realised that they didn’t share the same passion, the same need, she wondered if she’d rather be alone.
She hugged Lucy as she got out of the taxi outside her flat, and promised she’d be careful getting inside. Lucy was quite sloshed by this time, and although she had been going to stay the night Jo had persuaded her that it was not necessary, and besides, somehow Lucy’s new man (Steve, or something) had ended up in the same cab.
Inside the front door, she kicked off the heeled shoe she’d worn out, and put the crutches in the umbrella stand. She walked awkwardly, the added height the cast gave her at one side breaking her normally smooth gait, and making a gentle thud on the carpet with each step. She poured herself a large peach schnapps and added ice from the freezer. She took the drink with her to the bedroom, turning her computer on in the living room on the way past.
She stood in front of the full length mirrors and pulled the turquoise vest top over her head, and unzipped her navy skirt which at once dropped to the carpet. She stepped out of it and kicked it to one side. Her lacy black underwear stood out against her pale skin, illuminated only by the soft glow through the door from the uplighter in the living room. She dropped her bra straps off her shoulders, and paused for a few seconds before undoing the clip. Gently she let the garment drop down over her belly until her nipples were exposed and finally let it drop to the floor. She felt her breasts, cupping them gently, feeling her firm nipples and the goosebumps starting to develop on her smooth skin. Finally, she pulled her pants down, struggling as usual to manoeuvre them over the bulk of the fiber cast, careful to be gentle so they didn’t snag. She admired her figure in a satisfied way for a few moments, admiring the form of her right calf and the contrast with its encased partner, before picking a dark green silk kimono from the bed where she had left it that morning.
The peach schnapps was half gone by the time she had checked her e-mail, and it helped her to build the courage to come out. Ever since the first night she’d found out about casting when she was with Lucy, she’d dropped into an IRC chat-room called the castroom from time to time, but on each occasion she’d used a different name, or a guest name, and not really talked. She’d just watched, and learned. Now she decided she was going to participate, and so she’d selected a “nick” for herself. From now on the casting community had a new member, named for her ability to make any man who saw her hard. “Medusa” had arrived.
She logged in, and as had happened before every time she’d used a girls name a horde of people were trying to private chat with her in seconds. She ignored many of them, the ones who sounded rude or she’d seen being odd in the past, and started conversations with one or two. The enjoyed the amazement that everyone expressed that she was wearing her first rec cast to term, although she realised that she wasn’t being taken seriously by everyone. To solve that problem, she fetched her crutches from the hall and set up the webcam. Seconds later she was able to send the results to the people she had enjoyed talking to. It is fair to say that the picture was met with universal approval.
In for a penny, in for a pound. She was talking to a guy in the US who was still at college and who sounded quite cute. Certainly he was fun to talk to, so blushing all the while she started a little experiment.
Medusa: Have you ever been close to a girl in a cast?
CollegeCast: I sat next to a girl in class with a SAC a few times…
Medusa: Did you enjoy that?
CollegeCast: Sure, I enjoyed looking at it.
Medusa: There’s a guy at work who was always looking at my legs and feet and now he looks at my SLC all the time.
CollegeCast: I bet! From that piccy you look pretty cute =)
Medusa: I think he likes the cast though.
CollegeCast: Why do you think that?
Medusa: Well, he fucked me in the disabled toilet on Monday, and all the while he held onto the cast.
CollegeCast: Lucky b*stard!!!!!
Medusa: We had sort of done stuff before.
CollegeCast: I’m still jealous lol
Medusa: what’s lol?
CollegeCast: Well, it’s a man with his hands in the air! Or “Lots of Laughs”. Did you like having sex wearing the cast?
Medusa: Yes, ever since I’ve been in it I’ve been really, really horny. He wasn’t patient enough though, and he didn’t make me cum. I had to finish the job myself.
CollegeCast: Why are you telling me this? Are you sure that’s you in the photo? What’s this about?
Medusa: How can I prove it to you? I can take another photo, in a pose you tell me, then will you be convinced I’m real?
CollegeCast: I guess.
Medusa: Well, how would you like me to pose?
CollegeCast: Maybe you can lift your cast behind you with your hand and take a photo from the side.
Jo set up the webcam once more, and posed, this time without the crutches, as he had asked. She looked at the photo, but something about it wasn’t quite right. She posed again, but this time before she did so she let her robe hang open. The photo was perfect. The profile of her pert breasts was just what she had hoped for, and the flatness of her belly, and strength in her thighs, were very, very apparent. She pressed send.
CollegeCast: Wow.
CollegeCast: Wow.
CollegeCast: Wow.
Medusa: Do you like it?
CollegeCast: Yeah, I mean, You look fantastic.
Medusa: Does it get you excited?
CollegeCast: What sort of question is that? I mean, sure, a bit.
Medusa: Every man that looks at medusa goes hard. It got me excited posing for you too.
CollegeCast: Really?
Medusa: I’m not usually this wanton, but the cast is making me really, really hot. I think I’m going to have to do something about it.
CollegeCast: What do you mean?
Medusa: I think I’m going to have to masturbate to get some relief. God, I’m soaking wet and I taste delicious.
CollegeCast: God, you’re making me hard now all right. If you’re not careful I’m going to have to, well, you know, too.
Medusa: Well go for it. I am. Speak to you in a minute, oooohhh, that’s good.
Jo had intended just to titillate, to see what she could get away with, but she was amazed to find that the thought of a guy on a different continent being that turned on about her really had got her going. She leaned back in the directors chair and let the front of the robe fall slightly open, parting her lips gently and…
CollegeCast: Mmmmm.
CollegeCast: I needed that.
CollegeCast: You still there?
Jo heard the pings as the messages arrived on her computer, but she was too tied up in her own thoughts to respond. She was frigging herself furiously, trying to imagine what it would be like to have a guy fucking her in a DHS. Another thought that scared the life out of her! Unlike when Paul had left her still needing in the disabled toilet, this time her orgasm was no surprise, but rather a carefully calculated climax.
CollegeCast: ?
Medusa: Easy tiger, I’m here.
Medusa: I was just busy fantasizing about being fucked in a DHS.
CollegeCast: You wanna know what I was thinking?
Medusa: I bet you were fantasizing about fucking me.
CollegeCast: Yes!
Medusa: Well, a fantasy is all that it will ever be. Nice talking to you!
Jo logged off, and slumped back in her chair. She pulled the robe closed over her, and wiggled her toes, watching but not seeing. She felt dirty, and she wasn’t sure if she had just cheated on Paul. Or whether she cared. She shuddered. She was afraid, afraid of her own feelings. She knew that if “CollegeCast”, whoever he might really be, had been with her then, she would have undoubtedly betrayed Paul’s trust in her. Paul had been great, he’d been great casting her and he’d been a great lay.
She paced the living room, her peculiar gait unnoticed, as she was lost in her own thoughts. Glass empty, the bottle of Peach Schnapps caught her eye. She almost had the top off before she changed her mind, and fetched a breezer from the fridge in the kitchen instead.

Chapter 8: The Devil Inside

Jo slept like a log. When she had something on her mind she always dealt with it, at least internally, before she went to bed. She always slept on a clear conscience.
She woke slowly on Saturday morning, her head slightly fuzzy from drinking the night before. As she had every morning since the cast was applied, she tried moving her left foot and was delighted with the discovery that the cast prevented any but the most minute of movements, and the padding felt soft and comforting around her ankle.
Looking at her phone, she realised she had a text message. She pressed the relevant buttons, and found some drunken rambling from Paul. A pang of loneliness, and perhaps even guilt, swept across her as she pressed the call button.
“Hi”. Groggy. Paul had clearly had an entertaining evening…
“Hi, it’s me. Good night? Get up to…” - “… back to bed Paul” - “shhhhhh”
Jo trailed off. There was someone else there. A girl
“Well, I’m sorry if it’s a bad time for you!”. She wished she’d not used her mobile, because then she could have slammed the phone down on him. She stabbed at the end button angrily.
The phone rang.
It rang again.
“I can explain…”
“This is going to have to be very, very good Paul.”.
“She doesn’t mean anything all right? I was pissed and thinking of you on your own, in that cast made me horny…”
“So you found someone else to fill your need. Well, I hope you’re happy.”
Jo’s anger had turned to sadness as she hung up on Paul for the second time. Initially Paul had been someone who she could persuade to cast her, someone to be taken advantage of, someone to fill her needs. She realised now that she should have left it that way, but that in spite of herself she’d become involved. That was true of something else also.
Jo lay in bed for hours, feeling empty inside and not knowing what to do next. The hunger she felt when she first woke was gone, and the emptiness was not the sort to be satiated by eating. When the phone rang again, she almost ignored it completely, but relented. When she saw it was Lucy calling, she almost put it down. She wasn’t sure she wanted conversation just now, let alone conversation from someone who really didn’t understand. The cavernous void in her stomach loomed.
“Hi Jo, look, sorry about last night. I didn’t mean to abandon you it’s just..,”
“Don’t sweat it.”. Voice dead.
“Jo, Jo, I’m sorry, look I admit I was just getting back at you. I was being petty. I’m so jealous of all the attention you’re getting in that cast, and I want one so much myself and, well…”
“Lucy, it doesn’t matter”. Lighter now.
“I didn’t mean to be such a bitch, I’m just so jealous of you and Paul and your fiber…”
“Well you can quit that right now. He seems to have found a new source of entertainment.”. Silence.
“Oh no, what happened?”
“I called him this morning, and he had another woman with him. So, he’s out of the picture.”
“Jo, you want me to come over? I’ll just be 20 minutes or so”
“Lucy, I’ll be OK, you don’t need to”
“I was I could take you out tonight to make up for being such a bitch last night anyway. Now I have double the reason. I’ll be there shortly.”

Jo dragged herself out of bed and sat in the bath with her casted foot hanging over the side. Showering this way wasn’t dreadfully satisfactory but getting the cast wet seemed like a bad idea. She wasn’t sure Lucy coming over to cheer her up was such a good idea, but there was clearly going to be no negotiation on this matter.
By the time Lucy arrived Jo was ready, and Lucy bundled her into the car for a shopping trip to “cheer them both up”. Jo didn’t like to enquire why Lucy needed cheering up, but suspected that the bloke that had ended up in the taxi had proved to be a shit. Nothing new there then.
Lucy dropped her off at the entrance to the mall and went to find somewhere to park. She crossed the street at a zebra crossing, the street slick with water from the persistent drizzle that so well matched her mood. Putting her crutches up onto the kerb she stepped up to meet them, but in the rain they slipped on the sheen of water covering the marble step. Face first.
‘I’m going to break something for real! Phew. Don’t really like pain. Marble. I ask you, looks over function every time. That would be murder even in heels.’
She felt the adrenaline the fall had pumped into her veins subside, and made to rise from her undignified pose, sprawled across the gutter. She heard Lucy shouting
”Jo, Jo.”
“I’m OK…”
She realised that Lucy’s shout was not out of concern that she’d hurt herself. It was a warning. She looked round and saw the car, she grabbed at the foot of a sign and was about to haul herself from its path, but suddenly the devil inside her took over. She saw the white walls of the hospital, smelt the disinfectant, heard the siren outside the ambulance rushing her there and was seduced. She stopped. The hesitation was enough. Or too much. Now was not the time to try to decide which.

Chapter 9: Consequences

Jo had read the fiction on the casting sites, read the real life experiences at support sites, read the books. She didn’t believe them though. She really, really thought she’d pass out, waking later when the drugs kicked in. She felt the car hit her cast, drag her leg round. She felt the muscles in her knee strain, then surrender and allow bones to fail. She felt the shattering snaps as bones gave way. She felt the weight of the car drop from the cast, she felt it land on her other ankle. Not slow motion. Just detailed torment. Devilry. No more. It’s gone. The back wheels come, screeching, dragging. I’m dead. I’m not. I want to be. I am pain. I am despair.
“Joooooooo…………”. Lucy screamed. Jo looked at her dumbly, her mouth wide and round. The knives had been dragged out of her, and she was OK, she was fine. Lucy would come and make it all better. Then someone set fire to her, all of her from below the waist started to warm, why were they shaking her, who was doing that. Why was she burning, there was no fire. The look of astonishment turned into a hideous grimace, and she gave up. All was not OK. Jo screamed.
Lucy ran over, sobbing. Pedestrians ran in all directions. The car finally came to rest against a fountain. ‘How could the car only be stopping now, so many hours after hitting me’ Jo thought. Lucy saw her legs. The cast appeared intact, but sat at a crazy angle. The other leg was already going blue, bleeding in places. Fiber, blood, sandal, blood, skirt, marble. Not marble. Bone. Lucy fainted. Jo desperately wanted to faint. Alone, “Help meeeeee”. Wailing. More wailing. ‘Not me - sirens’. Cooling rain turned to mist, to fog and to night.

“bleep. bleep. bleep”.
Jo reached for the alarm, only she didn’t. The back of her hand stabbed when she tried to move, and suddenly she felt a grip on her other hand. Paul.
“Jo, it’s Lucy. You’re going to be OK. Everything is going to be OK.”
“bleep. bleep. bleep.”
“I huuurt.”
“Jo, it’ll be OK. I’ll get the nurse, we’ll get you some painkillers. It’ll be OK”.
“hurts”. Voice small. Scarcely audible over the instruments.
“bleep. bleep. bleep.”
Tomorrow will be a better day.
It wasn’t, and nor was the next.
On the third day she rose again from the unconscious. On the third day, her body relented. On the third day, the sedative was reduced, and coherency was restored to her life. For the first time Jo’s eyes opened and looked merely blurry when on the previous days the glassed look had matched that of her old teddy bear.
Jo surveyed her surroundings. Confused, frightened, but aware. She was in a small room, with magnolia walls and a white roof, unhealthy somehow in the fluorescent light. Her head was slightly elevated, and she had a mask over her mouth, blowing air that smelt of metal at her. She looked down the bed, her eyes finally drawn to that which they had been avoiding. Her right foot was elevated on some pillows in a pale blue fiber SLC. It took a few seconds to realise that the purple one had been on the left, and that this was a new cast. Left leg. Her left leg was suspended, elevated by machinery. The upper part was covered by her sheet, but she could see that it was resting in some sort of padded trough, hideous shades of blue and yellow, giving way to more normal flesh around her ankle and foot.
In her blurry world, Jo dealt with this information calmly. ‘That’s going to hurt’ she thought, but only in a distant kind of way. Right now she couldn’t feel much, just a dull ache, everywhere.
A nurse came in, “Are you finally back with us then Miss Carlyle?”.
A weak nod.
“Good, now, just try to rest and don’t worry to much. You’re going to be fine, and I’ll see if I can get a doctor to talk to you shortly.”
“water?”, croaked Jo.
“OK, but just a little sip just now. We can probably do without this mask now, it was just to help you breathe while you were sleeping. There. Little sips. You’re friend is still here, we’ve not been able to get rid of her. She’s been very worried about you, but I think she’s finally dozed off in the family room just now. I’ll get her for you in a little bit.”
“Please, I want to see her.”
“I’ll see what I can do. Goodness, you’re voice sounds almost human now you’ve had a drink!”
“Jo! Oh god, You’re awake, that was almost a smile, oh Jo, it’s so nice to see you, I’ve been so frightened”.
Lucy gripped her hand once again, and a dim memory of an earlier awakening came to Jo.
“Thank you for being with me.”
“Don’t be silly, I couldn’t leave you like this.”
“I’ll leave you two to catch up, the doctor will be along shortly I’m sure.”
“Angela, my name’s Angela.”
“Thanks Angela”.
“Jo, I had to tell them about your cast”.
“Oh Lucy, what?”.
“No, not like that. I stuck to our story, the one from before. It seemed like the only way. They can’t find any records but I said they must have lost them, and that you’re ankle seemed OK now and…”
“Lucy, don’t worry. I suspect that’s not the biggest problem I have right now.”
“Oh god Jo, does it hurt terribly?”
“Right now? I just feel a dull, throbbing ache all over. I feel kinda spaced out though…”
“Yhey’ve just kept pumping drugs into you the last few days…”
“Jo, you passed out in the street and when they bought you here they decided to keep you sedated for a while, let you settle. It’s Tuesday today.”
“Indeed it is.”, the man in the white coat interjected, “and Miss Carlyle here is very lucky to be seeing it. You lost quite a lot of blood young lady, and we didn’t want you to wake up until you’d had a chance to get a little of your strength back. You had a little more colour in your cheeks this morning and though it’s not very scientific it’s usually a good indicator that patients are ready to wake.”
“It’s nice to be back.”
“I guess I should tell you what’s happened to you since you’ve been here then. Medical information is private, but your friend can stay if you want.”
“Are you sure Jo?”
“Lucy, I need you just now, if that’s OK”.
The doctor drew up another chair next to Lucy.
“First thing’s first. As Lucy said it’s Tuesday now. You were transferred here on Sunday night from the local A&E, where I gather you’ve spent a lot of time lately. Lucy insisted that you were transferred to a private hospital for treatment as soon as you’d been stabilised.
I gather from your notes that when you arrived there you were unconscious, having lost a lot of blood through your injuries. It would seem that the car hit your left leg first - we’ll come back to that in a minute though. Can you tell me why your leg was already in plaster?”.
“I fell over in high heels in the street, and it hurt a lot so a friend took me to A&E. They said my ankle might be broken, and put it in that. I went back for another X-ray a few days later, and they said there was inflammation or something so they still weren’t sure but had to be safe and leave the plaster on”.
“Well, you’ll be glad to hear your ankle wasn’t, and still isn’t, broken. The fibreglass cast (we don’t use plaster much now) took most of the force of the impact reducing the severity of your direct injuries, but your leg twisted very badly and both bones in your lower leg broke about the level of the top of the cast. The bone in your upper leg, the femur, also suffered damage at it’s distal end along with the rest of your knee, which was frankly something of a mess.”
Hearing this account of the damage, both Lucy and Jo were slowly turning whiter.
“There was also impact damage to your right ankle, but that was a straightforward fracture and has been set in a cast as you see. Your left leg wasn’t so simple. After you arrived here, I operated on your leg for 5 or 6 hours, and I’ve put in a number of metal rods and plates to try to hold your bones together. Once the swelling goes down, we’ll cast it too to give external support. It’s going to take some time and hard work on your part Jo, but I think we can get you back the use of the leg, and in time I hope you will be able to walk without crutches or a cane, but the range of movement you have in that knee is going to be reduced quite significantly.”
Jo was starting to shake by now, and Lucy reached over to cradle her in her arms.
“Jo babe, it could have been a lot worse…”
The surgeon glared at her and Lucy went silent. In Jo’s current state she missed the unspoken exchange.

Chapter 10: Progress

The next few days were uneventful. Lucy visited Jo every day, although she returned to work now. Paul had tried to come in, but Jo had refused to see him. Jo started to decide that the powder blue SLC made her leg look cute and childlike, and hoped the cast on her other leg would eventually match. Her emotions were a roller coaster, and she was constantly afraid of the prospects ahead of her. Secretly though, she looked forward in some ways to some time in a wheelchair, and more on crutches. She hated herself for those thoughts though.
Saturday brought with it the promised visit to the cast room. The surgeon that had seen her regularly since she woke was quite cute in an older-man kind of way, and she was looking forward to watching him apply an LLC. General anaesthetic was offered and refused. Jo wasn’t going to miss a second of this.
Her bed was wheeled through the corridors intact, her leg still suspended. In the orthopaedics suite they injected her with painkillers, and her leg went all numb and rubbery. Lifeless.
They lowered her leg to the bed, and undid the Velcro that held it into the splint. A wire cylinder was prepared with a length of stockinet, and a nurse Anglea lifted her leg very gingerly out of the splint by the heel. All eyes watched, but she didn’t flinch. She didn’t feel a thing.
Mr Giles examined her leg minutely before taking the cylinder up over it, and pulling some of the stockinet onto her thigh, bunching it around her groin. Very gently, he drew the cylinder down her leg, and off over her foot, leaving a smooth covering of stockinet as he did. “I need one of those” Jo thought, the excitement at the prospect of a real LLC returning.
The application of the padding was a little more of a problem, and when she tried to help support her leg by tensing the muscles she started to feel pain once more. Her eyes told the story.
“Just try to relax Jo, Angela and I will support the limb. Let us do the hard work.”
Jo needed no further bidding. He first experiment in controlling her own leg had been an expensive one, and was not something she was in a hurry to repeat.
“Now for the tough bit Jo, you need to tell me what colour you want. Mr Giles has prepared matching powder blue tape, but if you want we can use a different colour. We might even talk him into putting another layer on your existing cast if you still want them to match!”
“The blue is fine, just make sure you make a neat job of it. I don’t suppose you know the name of a matching shade of nail polish?”
The girls laughed as the surgeon looked on despairingly.
Application of the fiber followed. Jo tried to relax, but the excitement was too much, as layer after layer was applied. Her foot was nearly perpendicular to her calf, and her knee was slightly bent as the cast fizzed and steamed, setting hard. Mr Giles took a real pride in his work, moulding the fiber carefully and smoothing it repeatedly even over the form of her foot, away from the injury sites.
“Well done Jo, I have to say I really expected that to be more painful for you.”
“It hurt a lot when I tried tensing my muscles, but once you got me to relax it was fine.”
“What do you think of my handiwork then? Look’s like you’ll be stuck with it for nearly 2 months so you’d better start getting used to it!”
“Well, I don’t reckon I’ll be doing much dancing or swimming…”
“Probably not a good idea!”
“but I guess I’ll just have to live with that.”.
After nearly a week tied to the special orthopaedic bed frame Jo was at last transferred to an ordinary trolley for the ride back to her room.
“I reckon the doc will let you have a wheelchair soon.”, Angela said encouragingly, “But not until you have got used to that new cast, and can lift it under your own steam.”
“With that incentive I think that could be quite soon. It might hurt a bit, but I really want to get mobile again.”
“Well, after a week of doing nothing you may find it a bit of an effort just sitting up for extended periods, let alone pushing yourself around!”
Angela’s words of wisdom proved to be prophetic, and the next few days were very trying for Jo, struggling to acclimatise to the wheelchair. Even just getting into it was a challenge since she wasn’t allowed to bear weight on either cast. By the following weekend though Jo could transfer from the bed to the chair and the chair to the toilet with a minimum of fuss, and the pain she felt with every movement at first had subsided considerably.
On the Monday, the doctor felt Jo had improved sufficiently to be allowed something of a treat. Lucy had an IT training course that would take her away until the weekend, so she had agreed with Mr Giles that she could take Jo to the coffee shop across the road, take her for her first trip outside the hospital since the accident.
“Right Jo, hold on tight I’m taking you for a ride.”
“Where are we going?”
“You’ll find out…”
Jo hadn’t seen much beyond her room, the bathroom and the plaster room during her stay in hospital, so she soon found herself in unfamiliar corridors. When she realised Lucy was heading towards an outside door she started to get concerned.
“Lucy, we’re not going outside…”
“Why not?”
“Look at me for gods sake, I’m a wreck. No make up…”
“That’s not true”, Lucy laughed at her friends protestations, “that nail polish matches the cast perfectly! Anyway, you look pretty good all things considered. As long as that flimsy skirt doesn’t blow in the wind you’ll be fine”
“Look, we’re just going across the road for a coffee. It’ll do you good to get out. You’re going to be in those casts for a long time and you’ll have to face the outside world sometime!”
By this time the girls were on the pavement outside the main entrance to the hospital. A black vest top and a linen skirt complemented Lucy’s tanned figure, her long legs ending in heeled sandals. She pushed Jo’s hospital issue wheelchair slowly, allowing Jo to feel the gaze of passers-by. Jo had on a cotton navy knee-length skirt, from which her left leg extended in its pale blue prison to the almost horizontal support. Her right knee still looked a little bruised from the accident, the skin taught where it bent to allow the SLC to sit on the foot-rest.

Jo found a table in the window, and they sat for nearly an hour, chattering cheerfully and enjoying the sunshine.
“If only it had been sunny the other day, this would never have happened.”
“I can’t believe I’m hearing this, you’re having some kind of casters fantasy!”
“Give it time Lucy, I’m still a bit wrapped up in the pain thing just now. It’s fine when I sit but transferring in and out of this chair is still real agony sometimes.”
“Still, look at you. You are the extreme casting girl, sitting there in wheelchair in a LLC and SLC. We have to get some photos!”
“I’d thought of that already, I’ll definitely enlist your help when I get home… I quite fancy taking some saucy ones too, just to stir up some reaction.”
“Well I guess we could do that…”, Lucy leaned in and met Jo’s eyes and raised an eyebrow, “we could even take some very saucy ones just for us. In fact, forget the photos. I just want to enjoy you in those casts.”
“And here was me thinking you were a nice heterosexual girl…”
“Well I was until you got me started after you put me in the LLC!”
“Humph, Still are really. Like me. You’re the only girl I’ve, you know…”
“Really? I assumed…”
“That I was bi? I guess in a way I am because I enjoyed you, but I enjoyed you and a guy even more. And it’s fair to say I had a reasonable time with Paul…”
“You’re just a kinky little bitch at the end of the day, aren’t you?”
“Yes, little miss innocent. I guess I am.”
Their gaze finally broke., but only because they both allowed their eyes to fall closed as they leaned in and their lips brushed. The kiss was brief but electrifying, exciting but comfortable. It lasted only a few seconds, before they both sat back. Somehow, all between them was healed.

Chapter 11: Set-backs

Lucy dropped Jo back on the ward, and headed off on her trip feeling more at ease than she had since the day of the accident. She had always felt responsible for getting Jo into casting, for abandoning her, for taking her to the mall. She felt guilt at not being beside Lucy to help her when she had slipped, and she was still gripped with horror every time the car raced towards Jo in her dreams.
Jo’s sleep that night was also interrupted, haunted by dreams. As she tossed and turned, the real pain in her legs mixed in her mind with the impact of the car, and the moment she had stopped trying to pull herself from it’s path loomed up over her like a storm cloud.
The morning brought respite from the dream, but not from the pain. Her right leg had been starting to settle nicely into its cast, to become a bearable appendage rather than a stabbing enemy. Today the knife-like pain returned with every move, and a dull throbbing engulfed the limb. It was all Jo could do to sit up to read, and breakfast held no appeal. She slept for most of the morning, and by lunchtime she was becoming feverish, the spark leaving her eye. Mr Giles visited about five times during the afternoon. Jo lost count. At first the painkillers helped a little, and she was vaguely aware of other injections too, but as evening came she was nearly incoherent, moaning whenever she accidentally moved and the pain hit. Around dinnertime, Mr Giles sedated her. The painkillers alone had ceased to be sufficient.
Jo remained unconscious for nearly 2 days, waking again on Wednesday afternoon. Mr Giles was still with her, as was the pain.
“Jo, can you hear me.”
“Here, take a little water.”
“Thanks.”. Croaked.
“Jo, I need you to listen to me. Your right leg has developed an infection in the wound at the base of the femur where I operated. We’ve been treating it with antibiotics, and yesterday while you were asleep we cut out a panel from your cast so we could take some samples. Jo, you have what we call a resistant strain infection. It has taken hold in you leg and is preventing healing, and it’s spreading in your blood. The next place it is likely to take hold is in organs like your liver and kidneys, or even your heart. If it does that it will almost certainly be fatal within a few weeks.”
“Don’t try to talk just now, I’ll try to explain and you. The infection in your leg looks pretty serious. I want to operate again, to try to remove the infected tissue, the problem is I think there is too much. I’ll try my best Jo, but I think your best chance of survival is if I amputate your leg.”
Eyes wise. Hyperventilating. Trying to scream. Oxygen.
“Jo, I can’t operate unless you sign a form, and I won’t do anything you don’t want me to. I can’t even promise it will work, the infection could already have spread. There is hope though, because the antibiotics are good at combating single bacterial cells in the bloodstream. It’s the clumps of infection, like in your leg, that we can’t treat. Jo, without radical treatment I don’t think you’ll last another week. Realistically, I think there’s only a one in a hundred chance I can get the infected areas without amputating mid thigh. The way I see it it’s a life or death choice, and I’ve seen you already, you’re a fighter. If you say no now, we can still do the procedure tomorrow, or the next day, but the odds get worse with every delay, and the surgery required could become even more radical.”
“I have to, don’t I”. Whimpered.
“I don’t see any other way open to you, except giving up.”
“Do it.”
And now, dear reader, it is time for me to confess, to come clean. This narrative is in fact my diary, albeit written after the event. You may have gathered this by now, or maybe not. I have not read it over and I can’t remember if I let slip. At first I thought writing it might prove cathartic, might help me to exorcise my demons. I think it has, and I am now at peace with myself. I need that peace because I am no longer certain I have a future. I see no future beyond the words, “Now, relax and count backwards from 10 slowly”. I cannot conceive a life with only one leg, a life as an amputee. As a cripple.
A part of me hopes that this is my swansong, that I die during the procedure. I haven’t yet decided whether I will leave this document for Lucy or ask that it be destroyed. I love Lucy you see, and I know that reading it will cause her pain as well as joy. She blames herself for setting me on the path that led to this unhappy situation. Myself? I don’t blame her. It was an accident after all, and although I will never know the truth for sure, I think I had the power to save myself from it, but instead chose to surrender myself to fate.
Once again now I surrender myself to fate. Maybe I will tell what fate brings me this time. If not, Goodbye.


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