Dex thinks that there must be something wrong with him, something twisted and grown strange--
"Good boy, Dex," Joe says, hand firm and solid on Dex's arm, shoulder, once the back of his neck, hot and steady.
--and it's not like he hadn't considered the possibility he was queer, he'd known men, soft-spoken men with darting glances, but he'd never felt anything like this kind of need before, men or women--
Joe would lean back in his chair, and Dex would long to throw himself at his feet, lean into his legs, feel those long fingers in his hair--
--but he's never heard of men with these kinds of urges, like he has--urges to prove himself, to get down on all fours, to beg, please, please--
Joe had once gotten drunk and muttered, as Dex carried him back to his bunk, arm slung over Dex's shoulder and mouth pressed soft and moist against Dex's ear, "You're better for me than she ever was, Dex, you're the best--"
--never known men who wanted to wear a collar and a leash like some kind of dog, never wanted anything as badly as to just sometimes be Joe Sullivan's dog, that was all, to have those fingers pet his hair and hear "Good boy, Dex," like he meant it--
It's with shame and anguish Dex twists and turns in his bed and finally gives in to the urge, to pretend that Joe's hands will one day be there, soothing it all away.