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Colonel Ironhorse was very, very quiet. Maybe if he remained still enough they would forget him, but. . .

Oh, God!

Now those cold blue eyes were focused on him! Paul nearly lost the battle, but he recovered soon enough. He was an Army Colonel. He knew how to face pain. He would confront his fate with all his spirit, with his head up.

The cold blue eyes were set in a beautiful face, wich graced an even more beautiful body . . . but he knew the reason: Distract your enemy and you would have another chance to win.

The cold blue eyes were fixed on him, the beautiful lips were saying something, but Paul didn't know what. He was petrified.

The cold blue eyes approached him. As if against his will, Paul got to his feet and was conducted to . . . "the place."

He had listened to the pleas, the soft sobs, and the careless answers of the man for what he thought was an eternity. Now the man was in front of him.

How strange. The woman's eyes were cold, but the man's eyes were soft and caring. . .

No, Paul! Don't let them play with you. It's just a façade. You know what they really are, don't let them fool you!

But he was so tired after the long wait. And the pained expressions and the tears in the eyes of the innocents had been enough to break his spirit. He was resigned. Terrified, but resigned.

Finally, Paul entered . . . "the place".

It was almost surreal. How could so much pain be inflicted in such a tiny room?

He was led to a chair - shoved into the chair, he thought bitterly. Tired, Paul closed his eyes.

Suddenly, a noise startled him. He opened his eyes.

A tray had been placed right in front of him! He felt restrained, secured to the chair. He almost laughed. As if he had any chance to escape from a military facility!

The hands were rough and careless. Paul felt ashamed . . . humiliated . . . insulted.

And he couldn't do a damn thing about it!

He fought back the tears. Nobody would see him cry while he could avoid it.

The terror invaded his mind, but he knew he could get through it. He knew it!

Sudenly, it was over, the mauling complete. Paul was released and escorted to the door.

The cold blue eyes were joined by a perfect smile and Paul was left alone with the man. He smiled at Paul, too, and without even a little, tiny piece of guilt, said, "As always, you don't need any additional work. Your teeth are perfect, Colonel. You're a lucky man. See you next year."

"Of course, Dr. Chan," Paul answered cheerfully.

They shook hands and Paul left the dentist's office . . . maybe a little too fast.