Dakota 5

Day two without Dakota, and for some reason it was downright bothering me. I’d texted that morning asking how his wrist was, and got the still hurts text. Of course. He didn’t seem to have full conversation skills, which both irritated and intrigued me. I wanted to show I cared without it being overbearing, creepy, mother-hen-esque. I supposed it wouldn’t be too awful to just send a get well soon text.

Rest up and feel better. Nailed it.

Can do, Doofus.

I smirked, with half a laugh, which no one in the costume room seemed to notice.

Back to name calling, I see.

That was all I could manage before I was swept away by a dancer who couldn’t find her size, and then thrown into the chaos of the show.

I was backstage with Val, dishing out water at intermission, making sure everyone was hydrated and had plenty of energy for the second act. I heard my name called, not really registering who was speaking, and turned, my mouth open to respond, only to find myself doused in ice cold water. Shrieking, I reared back, realizing that it wasn’t a whole lot of water, but alarmed and outraged anyway. I was thankful I hadn’t worn makeup that day, though I’d pretty much stopped wearing makeup at all since I was rarely seen by the public and my appearance didn’t really matter. Once I’d wiped the water from my eyes, I looked up, finding Val cackling at me, standing barely two feet away with an empty cup in her hand.

“Excuse you,” I said sourly. She giggled, clearly trying to reign it in and apologize, but couldn’t seem to keep herself together. I rolled my eyes and grabbed one of the towels we had out for the performers and wiped my face down with it, then threw it at her face. The yelp she let out gave me just a little satisfaction, even if it wasn’t really revenge.

After the show ended, while sorting shoes (since I seemed to always get roped into it), I had bent down to find a stray shoe insert for a dancer when I felt a sudden and sharp thwack on my ass. Yelping, I snapped upright and whipped around, frowning, only to see Val grinning saucily as she walked by toward the restrooms.

“Tease!” I called after her, earning a shouted laugh as she disappeared through the door.

It stung for a good twenty minutes, and, curiosity getting the better of me, I snuck into the restroom to check if it was red. The room was blessedly empty, so I locked the door and pulled down my black cargo pants to see whether or not there was a mark on my upper thigh– only to find a full, bright red handprint. I yanked my pants back up, threw back my head, and laughed, feeling the anxieties and stress of the day melt away. When I came out of the bathroom, the moment I saw Val, I shouted, “You left a mark, you skank!” She burst out laughing again.

Still grinning, I whipped out my phone. Dakota would absolutely find this funny, I believed, and I just wanted to share.

Val is just ragging on me today, first she pours water on me, then she slaps my ass so hard she leaves a mark. I’m not sure if I should be concerned or flattered.

I didn’t actually hear back until the bus ride home, while I was reading through someone’s long Tumblr rant about something they’d just noticed in Harry Potter.

Haha fun.

Well then, that was certainly a response, I supposed. I rolled my eyes, but he didn’t stop there.

Can I spank you too? XD

My jaw dropped, my eyes widened, and I gawked at my phone for the rest of the bus ride. Walking through the parking lot, my mind was spinning wildly, trying to process what had just happened. I was so lost in thought I actually jumped when my phone started to ring– Emma, my sister. Thank goodness. I needed her insight, her vibrant excitement over everything I told her, more than ever right this moment.

“Emma! Hi sweetheart.”

“Hiya Honey bee!” She used my favorite nickname, knowing full well it was the name of my favorite song. It made my chest feel warm, and hearing her voice calmed my mind considerably. “What’s up?”

“Oh my god do I have news.” I unlocked my car and threw my purse in, dropping into the seat. “Remember that guy I told you about?”

“Dominic?”

“Dakota,” I corrected, turning on my car. It huffed, as though it was as tired as I was, but the engine turned over, and that was the important part.

“Right! What about him.”

“Hang on, let me set up bluetooth.” The good side to having a newer model car was the fun perk of hands free phone calls, voice command, a usb and bluetooth audio option, and (my favorite part) color changing interior lights– currently set to purple, as it was one of my favorite options. The downside was that I still had all the first-model bugs, which meant six recalls in the past five years, none of which had really been fixed, just awkwardly patched up. Like putting a bandaid on an amputated limb. The bluetooth connection came through with a weird static buzz. “Can you hear me, sunshine?”

“Loud and clear!”

“Perfect.” I put my car in gear, checked for oncoming cars, and pulled out, more than ready to head home. “So this guy Dakota.”

Filling her in, I found that Emma’s enthusiastic responses fed me into giving her more information, my take on every single interaction I’d ever had with Dakota, and then suddenly, my heart sinking, I realized that my fixation had deepened. It was rapidly turning into a crush.

Shit.

“So yeah… he asked if he could spank me too. What do I say to that?”

Emma gasped. “Ooh, that’s so hard… he’s actively flirting with you. Do you want to flirt back or fend him off?”

Fend him off was my first thought. He made me anxious. He picked on me like a little kid, flirted outrageously, and then went back to being aloof and distant. It was driving me insane. I wanted nothing to do with it. I wanted nothing to do with him.

And I was a goddamned liar trying to fool myself.

“Flirt,” I said.

“Tell him yes, but that you’re gonna get him back if he does.”

Grinning, I looked down at my phone. “You evil genius you, that’s perfect.”

When I got home, before I even got out of my car, I pulled up messenger on my phone.

If you want, but I reserve the right to spank you back. XD

I smirked, satisfied that I’d probably stumped him, shocked him, something. But no, of course not, the asshole had to respond.

Mmk.

I stared at the one word– it wasn’t even a word, rude– response, stunned. Did he not care that I’d just given him blatant permission to slap my ass? Was he too stunned to give a real response and too stubborn to let me have the last word? What did that mean, dammit?

Sulking, I went into my apartment to brood and overthink.

 

Doofus.

I hadn’t talked to Dakota all day. Not at all. I was good, I’d had my two days off and not spoken to (or seen) him in person, I had let that shit go.

So why was it when I managed to get myself into bed at a decent hour, to be good to myself and get up early and exercise and be honestly better, I got a text from the one person I had been determinedly not talking to?

Ass.

Well, hi to you, too. In the Halloween show tonite?

Yup.

I sighed. I had work tomorrow, but if he was in the late night show, he probably had Brigadoon off.

I suppose you’re off tomorrow then. How was the show?

I’m not off till Saturday. It was fine, normal.

Well that was interesting. I decided against responding… until tomorrow, when I would finally, finally see him, for the first time in a week.

God how creepy was I?

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