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Breaking the Cycle

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His car was full of dozing dogs and a beautiful tattooed woman. It wasn’t how he’d expected a simple night of confronting tax evaders to go, but he was filled with a contentment like he hadn’t known since Betty had been killed. Still, even with this new-found happiness he couldn’t forget his never-ending loyalty to the citizens of his great nation, so he told her as he pulled into a drug store’s parking lot, “When we reach my home I’ll need to call a friend who works in the Center for Disease Control and inform him of what was happening at the Midway towards the end there.” For a moment he thought back about the grotesque sights he'd passed on the way to her tent before adding, “In all my days of working for the IRS I have never seen anyone go so far to avoid providing their paperwork.”

“It does seem important to have that looked into, darling,” she agreed, reaching back to stroke one of her dogs which had woken up when they stopped. “I would like to know that the beginning of our happy life together isn’t going to quickly end with our faces melting off. Or that sweet little boy’s, for that matter. But what’s so much more important than that to stop now?”

“Well…” he rubbed the back of his head, feeling his face heat up slightly. He’d never had much truck with such flagrant displays of emotion, but it seemed as if he had lost his ability to tell his face what to do. “You said something about mouthwash, didn’t you? Maybe if you would help me pick whatever scent you’d prefer…?”

“I… Oh. Oh my.” Her hands fluttered across her tattoos, hardly stopping on one canine face before moving to the next as she stared at him with wide eyes. “Do you know, darling,” she said slowly as her hands began to still, “out of all these dogs in my past, you’re the first one to ever even offer to try to fix something that bothered me?” She offered him a hesitant smile, something softer than the lascivious grins she’d plaster on her face for her act, and added, “Your breath isn’t that terrible, really. Maybe just a Tic Tac now and then.”

“No, no,” he said, getting out of the car then walking around to open her door and offer a hand to her. “Let it never be said that an officer of the US Government has been anything less than gentlemanly towards a lady, especially the lady who holds his heart. If there is anything that I could do to make you happier, it is only proper that I see to it.”

“You really are the first puppy I’ve found in this world full of dogs, aren’t you?” Dagmar slid her arm through his, her body warm against his side as they began to walk towards the sliding doors together. “We’ll get you some new toothpaste and floss too, and I’m sure you’ll never have to hear a peep out of me about it again. Why, keep this up, puppy, and my tattoo artist will never need to see me again.”