Dylan has brought home a girl called Candy and he can’t quite believe what is happening to him. He’s splayed stupidly on his bed with his sneakers not quite touching the floor and his mouth half open. He’s sitting on his hands so he doesn’t do anything stupid with them, and he’s trying to will his erection to tuck itself into the waistband of his jeans. Candy (how the fuck is that her real name?) is running her fingertips along the top of his bookshelf with her head tilted to the side so she can read the book spines. He is panicking about the books. He hopes she can’t tell that his copy of Infinite Jest has no cracking on the spine, and thus hasn’t been read at all. He also hopes she can’t tell that his copy of Seven Little Australians has a shitload of cracking on the spine, as well as a lot of warped pages from where he’s cried on them, which he does every time he reads it, which is more often than he’d be willing to admit to anyone. He reckons that some girls would find it sweet and pro-feminist of him that he cries over books about teenage girls in early outback Australia, but he doesn’t reckon that Candy is one of those girls. Candy is chewing her bottom lip in the most maddeningly attractive way. He didn’t think that girls outside of porn and Hollywood films even did that. He inhales nervously and gets a whiff of her perfume, which doesn’t smell like candy at all, but like some sort of festival of burning wood and greenery. Candy smells like a bushfire and it’s making his mouth dry. She gets to the end of the line of books and turns to him and smiles out of the left side of her lips. He tries to smile back but his mouth starts shaking so he does this sort of weird awkward chuckle and feels his ears get hot. He has never heard silence as complete as the one in his bedroom right now. He can hear his heart. He wonders whether she can hear it. He swallows even though there’s nothing to swallow, and she must be able to hear the weird air bubble gurgle that goes sliding down his throat. She locks eyes with him, doesn’t even blink, and slowly pushes her hand into the pocket of her jeans. His brain has totally stopped functioning now, except to roar blood into his ears and his cock. Especially his cock. She draws out her phone, slides her thumb across the screen, swirls it around a few times and then puts it on the bookshelf. As she pulls her hand away, it starts playing music, something he almost recognises – something that was daggy in the 90s but is cool now, all jangly guitar and singers who can’t really sing, and he’s furrowing his brow, trying to remember the band name when suddenly she’s all over him, straddling his hips with her arms round his shoulders and her nose against his, and the bushfire blazing and her lips soft and supple and for a second it’s just her eyes and his, dark diamond twinkles, and then he melts and he’s lost in her kisses.