Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pretty Girl

With the lazy hand draped over her, Dagmar gives the tiny bit of fat on her stomach a discriminative squeeze before turning over onto her back. It’s yet another restless night. A hundred random thoughts pop into her head, none of which will make sense in the morning. Next to her, Jax snores softly. While normally her sleeplessness is caused by an over-active imagination and an addiction to diet pills, tonight her restlessness comes from the body next to her. Part of the problem is that it’s August, and they are forced to either snuggle close in her twin bed or she would have to balance herself against the end of her mattress and brave the fact that she could fall from the bed at any moment. She feels beads of sweat slowly slipping down her body and the cool breeze of her fan is just out of reach. Mostly, though, Dagmar is afraid that at any moment, her roommate Benjy will come back and catch her in bed with the man Dagmar has referred to as “Creepy Jax with the Anime Eyes.”

Many post-work afternoons had been dedicated to discussing the creepy ways Jax chooses to flirt with Dagmar. Staring at her from across the crowded office, drunkenly knocking on her door most weekends just to see “what’s up” (not only was Jax her co-worker, he also lived in the apartment next to her), the way he would jokingly insult her. Secretly, she was flattered by the attention. Most of the time, she would even instigate the teasing. It had become something of a ritual between the two of them. Everyone at the office knew they would eventually become romantic. Someone even started a pool on how long it would take before the two young interns slept together. The only snag in the scenario was Dagmar’s ego.

“Come on now, I’m prettier than that,” Dagmar said about the possible romance. Jax had just left after yet another drunken flirtation, and Benjy’s new girlfriend, Kitty, who knew nothing of these post-work discussions, had suggested there was something between them.
“I don’t know, Dag,” Benjy added teasingly, “you do complain an awful lot about not getting laid. Maybe he can become your new toy.” This prompted an evil eye and a punch to the arm.
“No, I’m so creeped out by him. He just stares at me all day. He doesn’t even blink!” she explained in mock-horror.
It was true that Dagmar was much better looking than Jax. Her long, onyx hair framed her heart-shaped face and made her sapphire eyes sparkle. It was impossible to describe her and not use the word statuesque. Years of strict ballet and equestrian lessons had given her perfect posture and a graceful, walking-on-air stride. Chunky as a kid, she was still under the assumption that she was fat, so she spent three hours a day working out. With the help of diet pills and a higher than average metabolism, Dagmar had the fit look that catapulted her from mere knockout to full-blown goddess.
Jax, on the other hand, was not so appealing. His pudgy, pock-marked face was too big for a body thin to the point of alarm. Hours of crouching over his computer playing World of Warcraft left had Jax’s body with the posture of early man and a sickly yellow tone to his skin. His fire-red hair always looked as if it had recently been hit by lightning and his aniridic eyes; wide open and never blinking only completed the look.

“And, if you haven’t noticed,” Dagmar said with a boastful air, “there haven’t been any lack-of-sex complaints from me lately.”
Benjy rolled his eyes exhaustedly. “Oh yes, how can we forget Cadillac Gatts.”

Dagmar met Cadillac, who insisted that everyone call him Caddy, the first weekend after she started her internship at the firm. Out with a few of the other girls from the office, she was cozy in a booth right off the dance floor when she saw him from across the room. Caddy was James Dean reincarnated. Not only in his clothes (leather jacket, tight white shirt, and jeans that contoured all the right areas), and habits (cigarette hanging from his lip, constant need to lean and hang) but even his talk was from another decade.
“Action, Dutchess. This frolic pad is a gas. How about you and me cut a rug, maybe guzzle some foam after?” he asked with a seductive rasp.
“Sure, Cowboy,” Dagmar answered with her own flirtatious purr. Out on the floor, Caddy swung her around like a ragdoll, all twirls and lifts.
“Groovy, chick. You come on like gangbusters,” Caddy crooned into Dagmar’s ear. She melted into that croon.
After a few more spins around the floor, the lovebirds went to the bar to guzzle said foam. He wasn’t much of a talker, so Dagmar filled the awkwardness with her voice. She told him about her internship, her apartment, her education, and her childhood before he so much as opened his mouth.
“Wow Bree, you can really beat up the chops with those crumb crushers. You’ve capped most of the fine dinners I’ve come across. It’s the bible!” Dagmar took this as a compliment and kissed him on the cheek. He looked down at his watch. “Jump Back! It’s four chimes. Sorry Queen, you’re home-cooking, but I gotta cut out and nod in my dreamers.”
“Well, can I get your number?” Dagmar said with a little bit of plead in her eyes. Without a word, he pulled out a business card, handed it over for inspection, (Cadillac Gatts. Hep Cat Who Creeps Out Like the Shadows. At your service for all the righteous clambakes. 344-1952) and pulled Dagmar through the doors of the bar.
Once out in the street, he kissed her. It was all tongue. His mouth was open as if he was going to eat her whole like a snake, but Dagmar gave him the benefit of the drunken doubt and was too wrapped up in the persona to care about sloppy kisses. She tried her best to kiss him back, but pulled away when her nose entered his mouth.
“I’ll plant ya now and dig ya later,” Caddy said as he hopped into the cab.
She waited two days before giving Caddy a call. They were, perhaps, the most excruciating two days of Dagmar’s short life. Caddy had implanted himself in her mind and she was unable to escape him. It was two days of the grasp of his hands on her waist, that sweetly copper aroma that emanated from his muscular body (some mixture of blood, leather, and cinnamon that intoxicated Dagmar’s olfactory system), the gravelly purr of his voice in her ear as he spoke that sexy old-fashioned language, and even the hot feeling of his breath on her nose.
Even Jax couldn’t pull her out of her trance. His teasing jeers and covert stares were lost to the bubble Caddy had cast. By the end of the week, he had given up on trying to get her attention.
Finally, it was two days and socially acceptable to call without seeming as desperate for him as she obviously was. It was three rings of eternity before Caddy picked up.
“Sure thing, Dutchess. Put on your best ground grippers, and we’ll rock the Casbah,” he said when Dagmar asked him about a date.
The date was set for three days later, and every free minute of that time was spent on preparation. It was three days of washing, drying, straightening, curling, spraying, plucking, waxing, lifting, dieting, excising, masking, and deodorizing. Hundreds of outfits were found unsatisfactory. All of this was done with a sense of apprehension and terror.
By the time the date came around, Dagmar was running on four Diet Cokes and three Stackers. She was so nervous she couldn’t answer the door.
“Please, Benjy. I need to make an entrance,” Dagmar pleaded with her roommate.
“What are we going to do with her?” Benjy asked Mowgli, the Egyptian Mau that had come with the apartment. The cat answered by slinking between Dagmar’s legs and resting atop the television. “Mog and I, we don’t know what to do with you, Dag,” Benjy teased as he walked towards the door. “Go on, make your grand entrance.” Dagmar rushed into the hall and tried to calm her heart. Just the idea of Caddy was making Tiger Swallowtails overrun her stomach. Her condition only worsened as she heard him make polite conversation with Benjy. She could barely swallow as she rounded the corner and got her first glimpse of “Date Night Caddy.” Instead of his usual get-up of jeans and a t-shirt, he wore a black button-up and matching pants. His shoes were cowboy boots, and not a single hair was out of place. Tonight he was resurrecting “The Man in Black” himself.
“… but Neal Cassidy practically invented rapping,” Dagmar heard, Benjy’s hands waving furiously at Caddy.
“Ow! There’s my main queen. You’re togged to the bricks, baby. Let’s go find us a jumpin’ joint and get our kicks,” Caddy propositioned, ignoring Benjy’s rant. “Later, Jack,” he offered as a goodbye, Benjy still seething with annoyance.
There was nothing special about that first date. They went to Uno for drinks where Caddy, with the exception of telling the bartender his drink order, made no attempt at conversation. Dagmar filled the silence with more babbling about herself.
“Alright, Wren, let’s blow,” he said as their drinks were drained. Soon they were speeding across town to a nameless jazz club where Caddy danced Dagmar so fast, she was never sure when her feet hit the ground. “These Cats really bust their conks to break it up,” he commented about the house band.
“Totally,” Dagmar said, hoping she was agreeing to something good.

“Knock me a kiss, would ya?” Caddy said. They were parked in front of Dagmar’s apartment complex, and she had one foot out the car door when he said it. She leaned in and received yet another sloppy, mouth-gaping nose warmer. Even with the repulsiveness of the mouth assault, Dagmar couldn’t help but giggle as she left the car.
Three floors up, she saw Jax’s curtain close. She could feel him looking at her through the peephole in his door, and she gave a wave as she went into her apartment.

“Popped collars are the decline of Western Civilization,” Benjy stated as Dagmar walked in the door. Mogley was perched on the couch right above his head, attacking the shine of Benjy’s gelled-up hair. On the TV screen, a young man, wearing the culture-declining popped collar, was simultaneously getting a tattoo and eating bull testicles in order to win a date with Tila Tequila.
“Why do you watch MTV if you hate it so much?” Dagmar asked. Benjy shrugged as he turned the TV off.
“How was your date with the man in black?” he asked with an air of sarcasm.
“Perfection,” Dagmar purred before flopping down on the couch.
“Your boyfriend came by while you were out,” Benjy said with a smirk. It took Dagmar a moment to figure out who he was talking about.
“Oh God! What did he want?” Dagmar feigned annoyance.
“Just to see ‘What’s up’, but I’m sure it was so he could stare at you some more,” Benjy told her as he pushed himself off the couch. Dagmar rolled her eyes, but as Benjy left the room she smiled.
The dates with Caddy became something of a routine for the first month of their relationship: drinks at Uno, dancing on air, sloppy kiss with a wet nose goodnight. Through it all, Dagmar was a mess of emotions. She was pulled into the world that was Cadillac Gatts. Every moment of her day was dedicated to thinking about the last time they were together and planning what action she would take when she saw him again.
After almost a month of drinks, dancing, sloppy kisses, Dagmar decided she was ready to invite Caddy in for a nightcap. Caddy seemed too cool to try and make the first move, so she thought doing it herself was the only way. She made sure it was on a night that Benjy would be with Kitty. Then she did an extra bit of plucking, waxing, moisturizing, washing, and special underwear shopping. By the time Caddy came to pick her up she was practically hairless except for her head, body soft as silk, and spring fresh.
The date was the same drinks, dancing and sloppy kiss, until Dagmar said, “You want to come in for some coffee?” and arched her newly waxed eyebrow seductively.
Once inside the apartment, there was no need to pretend anymore. There wasn’t even time to say the word “coffee” before Dagmar was enclosed in Caddy’s kiss and Caddy’s arms and Caddy’s smell. Before she knew it, Dagmar was on her bed and Caddy was struggling to get his pants off over his boots.
“Take your shoes off first,” Dagmar suggested. He stumbled on one foot before falling to the bed.
“Fuck it!” he said as he left his pants around his ankles and inched his way towards her. Suddenly, Caddy’s old-fashioned language disappeared. “You like what you see?” he asked as he pulled down his boxers to meet his pants.
“Oh yeah,” Dagmar answered in her best attempt at a sexy voice. Without warning, Caddy barreled into her like a man who had business to do. She felt like a soft-shell crab split on a skewer while he thrust himself into her.
“Jesus Christ! You’re so big!” Dagmar said without thinking, meaning it in surprise and making it sound like a compliment.
“Oh yeah, you like that, baby?” Caddy said, taking it as a dirty compliment. “Are you all wet for my big cock?” Dagmar couldn’t help but giggle, and Caddy took it as encouragement.
After what seemed like an eternity of cheap dirty talk and overenthusiastic thrusting, Caddy announced that he was almost there by saying, “Come for me, baby. Oh yeah, ya gonna come? Huh? Yeah, cum real hard for me. Ya gonna come?”
“Yeah!” Dagmar said, more to shut him up than from actual excitement. And with that, Caddy gave a final thrust, pulled out, and ejaculated on Dagmar’s chest. She quickly picked up his shirt and wiped herself off as Caddy readjusted himself on the bed, pulling Dagmar into him so they could spoon.
“You’re too much, really in the groove,” Caddy said as he wrapped his legs around Dagmar’s and returned to his old-fashioned self.
The sex left Dagmar hot and sweaty. Even so, she couldn’t seem to escape from Caddy’s equally hot and sweaty embrace. He pulled her in tighter and nuzzled his cheek into hers. Too sore and exhausted to fight him off, she gave in and they spent the night in overheated embrace.

“What am I going to do?” Dagmar asked Mogley. Benjy hadn’t gotten home yet and Dagmar was itching to get this problem out of her head. The cat answered by rolling onto his back and playing with a ray of sun. “You don’t even care, do you, Mog?” Dagmar asked, almost expecting the cat to answer her back. She scratched his belly anyway and took a shower to get some of the night off of her.
Caddy had left only twenty minutes before. Not wanting to face him, Dagmar pretended to still be asleep as he crawled over her and collected his come-stained shirt from the floor. Before leaving, he kissed her forehead and Dagmar’s heart jumped with excitement.
She thought of his gentle head-kiss as she washed away the crusted bits of semen from her bellybutton. The hot water intensified the aching in her pelvis and she winced at the thought of his powerful thrusting. Yet she was torn between the two parts of Caddy, the wonderfully old-fashioned reincarnation of James Dean who could twirl her around the dance floor and put her under his spell, and the sexually oblivious chauvinist from the night before who seemed more concerned with getting himself off then making sure she was satisfied.
“He’s far too pretty to give up on after one night,” she finally convinced herself. “I’ve put too much into this relationship to just give him up to some other woman,” she told Mogley as she came into the living room. “I just have to change him.”
And that’s exactly what she attempted. She added a new activity to the routine of their dates. They still had drinks at Uno, where Dagmar was beginning to run out of things to say, and then they went dancing at the jazz club where Caddy had gotten to know the house band and got all their drinks “jelly,” as he put it. But now, instead of the sloppy goodnight kiss, they went into Dagmar’s bedroom and she attempted to change him. She thought flat-out telling him the truth was mean, so she thought of other ways to make the sex better.
Because Caddy’s dirty talk made her cringe at the ridiculousness of it, she tried to do the dirty talking for the both of them. But there’s only so many ways one person can tell another person to fuck them. Besides, Caddy would usually get one of his own dirty phrases in and Dagmar would lose her train of thought trying not to cringe at the mixture of his degrading dirty talk and the penis which, while not as abrasive as the first night, was still an uncomfortable experience. Next, she tried gagging him with a silk scarf, but he began to choke, so that was out.
Dagmar thought that if she could find a position that brought more pleasure than pain, maybe she could concentrate on keeping him quiet. She took up yoga, searched the internet for alternative positions, and even went so far as to buy props that would contort her body in hundreds of directions. She tried the dragon position, lotus position, rainbow arch, sex slings, and exercise balls, but nothing seemed to make her feel less like a stuck pig.
Throughout all of this experimentation, Caddy seemed none the wiser. He just went along with everything Dagmar suggested. Dagmar spent weeks trying to reason with herself that Caddy probably believed what he did would be OK. It was the usual situation, Dagmar was attempting to change Caddy, and Caddy was saying absolutely deplorable things and truly believing it would turn anyone on. They were experimenting with the victory position when Caddy accidentally slipped out. It was then that Dagmar imagined he conceived his devious plan. The sudden pain Dagmar felt left her breathless. She gasped for words as she gasped for air.
N-n-n-No!” she finally got out as she jumped from the bed. “That is an out hole!” she screamed. “It is never ever ever ever alright to inflict surprise butt sex on another human being!”
Caddy gave her a Cheshire cat grin. “Solid, Dutchess. I’m hep to your jive,” he told her. “I dig a skirt that can signify. Come on back to this pad. It’s almost brightnin.”
Dagmar picked up his pants and handed them to him. “I think you need to go,” she told him.
“But I wanna fuck yooooou,” he whined. It was Dagmar’s last straw for the night. If there was one thing she couldn’t stand, it was a whiner.
“Now,” she said as calmly as possible. She stood at the door until he walked out the other side, no kiss or anything.
After that night, Caddy became just as stand-offish as Dagmar. Infatuation leads to ridiculousness, and neither one wanted to be the one who ended the relationship. Even so, Dagmar stopped inviting Caddy in for a nightcap, going back to the old routine of a sloppy kiss and goodnight. For reasons unknown to Dagmar, Caddy started to show up after she got back from work and she was relieved when her period showed up so she would have a valid excuse not to have sex, though the extra hormones just added to her irritation.
There was one night in particular when the mixture of Caddy and hormones was particularly unbearable. He had come over to hang out with her and Benjy and Kitty and the four of them sat around watching TV. Throughout the night of idle channel-surfing, Caddy was behaving particularly forward; putting his hand between Dagmar’s legs, rubbing his lips against her earlobe neck and cheeks, and making sexual innuendoes about everything that came on the screen. Dagmar refused to respond to any of it, but Benjy and Kitty could feel the tension building in the air and knew better than to leave them alone together.
“Wait Daddy Bear! The Notebook! Let’s watch that,” Kitty said.
“OK, Snookers,” Benjy said as he flipped back to the movie. The tension in the room was building, and it was obvious that Kitty was attempting to get Dagmar into a romantic mood. Dagmar, however, was not in the mood to be romantic, and as she pushed Caddy’s hand away from the crotch of her jeans, his patience seemed to wear off.
“What’s your story?” he asked. “Why are you being such a drag?”
Dagmar jumped up from the couch and screamed, “Maybe because I have to bleed from my vagina for a week!” And with that she stomped off to her bedroom, slamming the door behind her. Mogley skidded across the room and hid under the table while Benjy and Caddy stared after Dagmar in shock, and Kitty stifled a snicker.

After that, Caddy stopped by less and less often. Their dates went from every weekend to once every few weeks. Until one night Caddy showed up three hours earlier than usual. Dagmar hadn’t even showered yet, but she invited him in none-the-less.
“Listen, Dutchess,” he said with a business-like air, “don’t igg me now. I need a few ticks to slide my jib,” he told her.
“Um, OK?” Dagmar said, confused, as she took a seat on the couch, assuming he wanted to continue talking. Caddy paced the room.
“So… this has been sharp. Really you’re the most. But you got me whipped up with all this sad jive. One minute you’re all about the trickeration and the next thing I know you’re some V-8 who’s got her glasses on. I…I just can’t pick up on your fraughty issues. Do you got your boots on with what I just beefed you?” He stared at her, waiting for an answer. Dagmar took a minute to put his words together in her head. Suddenly it dawned on her.
“Wait…Are you breaking up with me? What the fuck did you just say? I have no idea what any of that means!” she screamed.
“Listen, baby…” he started
“Oh hell no, don’t you dare call me baby, you piece of shit, wanna-be hipster! You are breaking up with me? Look at me. I’m Gillette, sweetheart. The best a man can get!” Dagmar screamed into his face. Flecks of spit collected in the corners of her mouth and she began to look almost rabid as she used all her strength to push Caddy out the door and slam it in his face. Having taken her anger out on the door, Dagmar collapsed to the floor and cried breathlessly.

“Well, I don’t know if I want you dating someone who would go around putting his penis in a girl’s butt hole. Even if he does look like James Dean,” Dagmar’s mother told her. It was Friday night, Caddy’s date night, and Dagmar had been crying all week over the break-up. She thought her mother would be of comfort.
“Maybe I should just become a lesbian,” Dagmar said.
“Oh no, dear, men are good for some things. I mean in some cultures they have the good sense to go into the woods when they’re not needed. Some men just need to learn to stay out of the womenfolk’s hair until we need them.”
Dagmar’s mother seemed to ponder another thought. “Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if men were just penises that you could put on a shelf when you were through with them?”
Dagmar thought about that for a moment. “And arms for cuddling. Arms that contract when you’re having sex so they’re not flailing around everywhere,” she added.
“And lips for kissing,” her mother added onto their perfect man.
“But no vocal chords,” Dagmar added as a last-minute precaution. Then they had a laugh at their journey into chauvinism.
“All right, Princess, my bitches are coming over for a Girl’s Night. We’re gonna drink margaritas and celebrate Cynthia’s divorce. Kiss kiss, feel better,” her mother said before hanging up.
“Margaritas,” Dagmar said to herself as she hatched a plan. “If Cynthia can celebrate her divorce with margaritas, maybe alcohol will make me feel better about Caddy. I need to celebrate my freedom,” she told herself. She searched high and low for her secret stash of tequila before realizing she had polished it off celebrating her internship. The only alcohol in the apartment was a box of Franzia white zinfandel. Dagmar had no idea where it had come from, but decided it was better than nothing.
With Benjy out on his date with Kitty, Dagmar’s only drinking companion was Mogley.
“Here kitty kitty kitty,” she called as she put the spout over his water bowl and let the wine mix with his water. She then held the nozzle over her head and let the sweet pink elixir fill her mouth. Mogley took a few laps of the concoction, meowed woozily and zigzagged to the corner to lie down.
“Lightweight,” she mocked as she took the bag from the box and squeezed some more wine into her open mouth.
Half an hour and three quarters of the bag later, Dagmar was dancing around the room to the music in her head. Mogley had just escaped a rousing waltz when there was a knock on the door. Dagmar stumbled towards the sound and somehow managed to poke her eye with the peephole.
Jax!” she rejoiced as she opened the door.
“Hey, Dagmar, having a little party?” he asked when he saw the state she was in. Dagmar laughed and hiccupped. Dagmar was used to Jax mysteriously showing up when she was drunk and home. She could smell Seagram’s on his breath, liquid courage to come over and talk to her one-on-one without stammering, she imagined. Around the office he wasn’t as bad. There was less pressure to keep up conversation when other people were around. When they were alone, or even when it was just the two of them and Benjy, his nerves always seemed to get the best of him.
“Jax! Come drink with me,” Dagmar demanded as she pulled him towards the couch. “Here,” she said as she held the bag of wine over his head. He opened his mouth obediently and she let the nozzle flow too quickly, filling Jax’s mouth and dripping wine down his chin. “Oops. Sorry,” she said, before wiping his chin with her shirt. “So what’s going on, Sugar?” Dagmar slurred and giggled with what she meant to be cheekiness.
“Nothing. Just wanted to see what you were up to,” Jax answered, taking another swig from the collapsing bag of wine which he had taken from Dagmar
“Just dancin’! Wanna see me dance?” Dagmar purred seductively before hiccupping.
“Um… sure?” Jax laughed.
Dagmar did an ungraceful leap over the cat’s dish as she ran into the next room. She stifled a laugh as the wine tinted her white carpet pink. The combination of a burned-out light bulb and her double vision forced her to pick a CD by the colors she recognized. She saw red words and could almost decipher the words “Merman” and “Gypsy.”
“Perfect,” she told herself before flipping to number 15 on the CD.
As the song began, she leaned against the doorframe seductively. The trumpets blew as she wiggled down the wall and back up, rolling her hips.
Sandra Church sang out “Let me…entertain you…Let me…Make you smile.” and Dagmar walked one foot in front of the other towards the couch where Jax sat, smirking at her drunken attempt to be sexy.
“I’m very versatile,” brought her down to the floor, and she kicked her feet in the air one right after another.
“And if you’re real good, I’ll make you…feel good,” Dagmar mouthed as she crawled up from the ground and kneeled on the coffee table. She got to her feet as Sandra sang out, “I want your spirits to climb.”
By the crescendo in the trumpets, Dagmar was attempting Rockette kicks when she overestimated her balancing abilities and began to fall backwards. Jax was there like a rocket, catching her in his surprisingly strong arms.
“My hero,” she crooned, kissing his cheek.
That kiss must have sent a white hot spark up Jax’s spine. His sable eyes cauterized hers as he leaned into her flushed, wine-soaked lips. She brought her face to his and stared into those eyes right before their lips met. He gently rubbed his mouth against hers before lifting her slightly and kissing harder.
Not a word was spoken as Jax carried Dagmar to the bedroom and set her feet on the floor before lifting his shirt over his head and turning off the lights. She pulled out the chop-sticks that had been holding up her greasy hair as Jax undid his belt. His pants fell to the floor without needing to be unbuttoned as Dagmar peeled off the sweatpants she had been living in for the past week. Their lips met again and she pulled him by the suction of their kiss onto the bed.
Dagmar’s beauty was slightly muted with only the glow of the moon to light the room. Jax removed his boxers and inched his way towards her without hesitation. So used to Caddy, Dagmar braced herself for the pain that came with sex, but was surprised to find pleasure in Jax. He guided himself into her with just the right amount of force.
Jax slowly ran his hands up and down Dagmar’s thighs as he thrust himself deeper and deeper inside of her. The sleepiness of the wine mixed with the pleasure of painless sex made Dagmar giggle and gasp. She bit her lip as he moved his hands towards her breasts, never touching them but getting teasingly closer with each thrust. The intimacy of their act was heightened by the fact that they never lost eye contact. Only with the power of Dagmar’s first orgasm did she even blink. It wasn’t until she had two more that Jax finished.
“That was nice,” Dagmar said as Jax ran his fingers through her hair. Dagmar fit her head comfortably in the concave center of his chest.
“Yeah,” he agreed. They lay in comfortable silence for a moment before Jax said, “Try to get some sleep.”
“OK,” Dagmar obeyed, and right before she closed her eyes, she thought she saw a ring of green around Jax’s seemingly over-dilated pupils.

It was nearly 4 a.m. when Dagmar awoke with a start. “What have I done?” she thought over and over between half-sleep, half-waking hallucinations. Suddenly, she heard the soft slam of the apartment door. Wide-eyed, she lay facing the doorframe in worried anticipation that Benjy might walk by her doorway. As he slowly tip-toed past the open door, he looked in. Wide-eyed himself, Benjy stifled a laugh and shook his head. Dagmar gave him the finger and he rolled his eyes before walking into his room. Dagmar mentally prepared herself for the teasing she would receive in the morning. But she doesn't care anymore. The heat from Jax's body becomes a detoxifying sauna. The weight of her past spills through her pores with the sweat. She no longer feels the shame of her mistakes; Caddy, the pregnancy scare, every mistake from her past floats into the air and becomes vapor. She snuggles closer, letting Jax detoxify her further.

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