Elements of Destruction

by Emily LAWTON

Lana leaned forward, the ice clinking in her glass. She fixed him with a stern look. “You know, your problem is you think about everything, or you don‘t think about it at all. Or you think you’re thinking about everything but you don‘t even know that the rest of it exists,” she said. He couldn’t help looking down her shirt.

“You men are all the same…”

He looked up quickly, unsure whether she’d caught his glance or was referring to something else. Or to nothing in particular. She wasn’t looking at him anymore, though. Her attention was focused on a tiny Pomeranian that had wandered into the room, their hostess’s pride and joy. Its toenails tapped on the linoleum too loudly for something so small.

Watching the dog’s tiny prancing steps spurred something in him, and he felt a small but significant personality shift. He reached for Lana’s hair, stroking the blonde tips and her shoulder underneath. “You know I’ve always had a thing for you…”

“Oh, Jeffrey. What would your wife say?”

He chuckled, and moved his hand down her arm to rest just below her elbow. “What do you know? She’s passed out over an hour ago.”

Lana’s face was steely. She shook the drink at him. “You’re lucky I’d rather drink this than throw it in your face.”

“So that’s a no?”

“That’s a no.”

She stood, a little unsteadily on her heels, and strode away towards the Pomeranian and the rest of the party guests. Jeff stood up and stretched in a way that an observer, had there been one, might’ve found conspicuously casual. Then he tossed back the rest of his drink and headed upstairs to the guest room to reclaim his unconscious wife.

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