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*'Just Wanted Them'*

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Chapter 1, "Just Watching the Dance Floor"

At 20, I had been living on my own for two years. When my parents passed
away I was to go to our neighbor's to live. They weren't exactly
accustomed to an 18 year old living with them and we both felt I was
mature enough to go out on my own. They promised to 'be there for me' if
things got rough. They would have given me money, but I was doing pretty
well as it was from jobs I had in high school and the part time job I
had now in the computer department at the nearby university. Rents in
these parts were not outrageous and so I could live quite comfortably on
my current income with savings left over.

I finished high school and started University part time. I was downtown
one night, taking a break from studying, and strolled into a fairly
crowded dance club. I stood beside the dance floor and put back a couple
of beers. It was pretty crowded and so there were lots of people to
watch. I got watching a pair of girls who seemed to be really enjoying
themselves -- the blond one especially.

But it was the brunette that really got my attention. She had those
modern 'clear' braces -- the ones where the archwire runs through the
clear brackets with the clear 'O's which causes it to glitter between
the 'O's. 'Very good workmanship!', I thought, complimenting her Ortho
in my mind. I watched her for several songs, trying not to be too
obvious, as she would appear and disappear into the crowd.

After a while, she and her friend sat down at their table and gulped at
ice water. I was not the forward type, but I never saw this girl around
campus, so if I embarrassed myself trying to make friends with her, it
wouldn't be a big loss. I had always dreamed of dating a pretty girl
with braces and here we were. I approached and asked if her friend might
mind if I had the next dance. (here goes nothing!).

"Oh, I'd love to, but," she started saying, just like so many girls that
I was eager to meet would say, "we have to go in a minute so my friend
can catch the last bus back home." Then her friend said something
quietly to her so I couldn't hear. The brunette then said to her, "Are
you sure you don't mind?" and the blond shook her head. "OK", continued
the brunette and turning to me, "just wait here and I'll back in two
minutes -- don't go away!" Well, that was pleasant change. I sat down at
her table, ordered two Rum & Cokes and waited.

I watched her walk with her friend to the front door. Her hair came down
to the middle of her back and was layered at the sides. She was fairly
tall, but not such that she stood out in a crowd. I started picturing us
kissing during our upcoming dance, my tongue daring into her mouth to
feel her braces. Then quickly I shook myself back to reality. She was
returning form the front door. Her mouth was shut, serious, and she
looked a little awkward, in fact shy.

"I got you a drink.", I offered.

"Oh that was kind of you. I'm Alexis, but my friends call me Alex.", she
said with a slight grin and then took a long drink from her glass.

"I'm John", I said. I told her how I lived on my own, worked part time
and studied part time. Perhaps I went a little to deep into the subject
of the loss of my parents, but she didn't seem bothered by it.

Chapter 2, The Smile!

She was a high school student just starting her senior year. Her parents
were able to send her to private school half way across the country
because she had a scholarship -- they couldn't afford the schooling, let
alone a few plane fairs for visits, but she had insisted she wanted to
go when she had the opportunity and wrote to her parents almost weekly.
Her scholarship even provided most of the fee for boarding. She worked
part time for an accountant as an assistant to make the extra money she
needed for living.

All the time I was talking, she was looking at her drink or around at
the people in front of her, seeming a bit shy of looking directly at me
when she talked to me, but looking at me and listening intently when I
talked. When she was talking I couldn't help dropping my eyes from hers
to the glamorous workmanship on her teeth. The environment provided
plenty of flashing lights to glint off her smile. She had a big
beautiful smile. Her top teeth protruded in an overbite. Often when her
lips met if she was smiling, her teeth got in the way and the ends still
showed. Buck teeth? No. That was not the right term for a smile as sexy
as hers.

When our drinks were nearly finished, she was talking about having to
work. "I need a little extra for my room and board and nights out like
this", she was saying and then completely startled me by continuing,
"but all this time I have been saving so hard for these braces." As she
said that, she carefully lay her index finger on her archwire. "I just
got them on last week. The trouble is I don't really have enough saved
to get the treatment done as the orthodontist recommended. I am having
to skip part of the braces that would make the treatment go much better
and faster. I also can't go as frequently as he likes to have them
tightened, so I am looking at 3 years instead of 18 months." For someone
who was obviously quite shy, she was having no trouble opening up to me
on this subject.

We finally did that dance. I had never enjoyed a dance like that before.
Every time she looked at me, she smiled that wonderfully decorated smile
of hers -- with all the sparkles reflecting from the mirrored ball in
the ceiling. I was sure having my dream night out tonight. When the next
dance turned out to be a slow one, she even danced that with me. At one
point during that dance I felt my head moving slight down toward her
lips. As I got closer, she noticed and her head back slightly and looked
up at me, but instead of frowning, she just flashed her smile at me and
looked back down again. No, I thought, I better resist, it could wreck
everything.

After the dance ended and we were walking off the edge of the dance
floor, she stopped and looked up at me. "John", she said, "I've really
enjoyed meeting you.", she paused, looked down, trying to decide the
right way to say it. "Can we do this again ... soon?" I was afraid she
was going to say something else, but I was wrong. This girl was very
sincere.

"How's next week -- same time, same place?" I asked.

"Perfect!" she smiled.

She also accepted my offer to drive her back to her residence, but told
me she would have to meet me downtown next week, as there would be
school staff around when it was time to leave. So there we were. The car
was stopped where she wanted to be let off. How to say goodbye? She
turned and reached for the door, then stopped herself and turned half
way back and said "Uh...Um..." almost inaudibly, then looked at me a bit
embarrassed and then went to turn away again. I suspected she was
mulling the same thing over in her mind that I was.

I quickly broke the awkward silence with "I had a wonderful evening.
Uh... would it be ... proper if kissed you goodnight, Alex?"

"I don't know," she replied and then moved closer as if she had said
'Yes!' and I finally got to kiss her. I restrained my tongue. I didn't
dare, not yet. She had big, soft, warm lips which were quivering
slightly, probably from nerves. She kissed me longer than I thought a
girl would want to on a first date... Was this a date? No, next week
would be the first date. She pulled away slowly. "I'm sorry ... if I
came on too strong. I got a bit carried away. I can't wait 'till next
week." And she left. The last look I got of her face was a slight smile
with braces only just visible at her upper lip, her top teeth just
resting lightly half way out over her lower lip -- coincidentally there
was a street light a little down the street on the other side which cast
a dim light on her face and intermittently reflected off her archwire as
she had been talking in the car.

Chapter 3, Another Chance Meeting

Several days later -- it seemed like several weeks -- I was still
looking forward to our date. I had been late getting a computer printout
of a mailing label job for one of the paying users of the computer
system at the University and had offered to deliver the output myself to
their office. I drove over to the building where their office was
located and got into the elevator, pressed 5 for the floor I wanted and
up went. Not paying attention, I got off when the elevator stopped at
the 4th floor to pick someone up and went down the hall as if it was the
correct floor.

Part way down I passed a glass door to a reception area with the name of
'something-or-other Financial Accountants' and stopped in my tracks.
That wasn't there the last time I visited the customer! I looked at the
suite number. 404. I realized my mistake and was turning around, when
something caught my eye, although everything that glinted like Alex's
braces had caught my eye since that night last week. I looked around and
sure enough, it WAS Alex. She was looking at some papers she had in her
hands with a smile of satisfaction as she walked. There were those
beautiful teeth protruding half way over her lower lip again.

I opened the door and went in. There was no one else in the reception
area. When she saw me, she smiled with delight and said, "How did you
know I worked here?"

I replied, excitedly, "I didn't. I was delivering these printouts to a
customer in 505."

"But this is the forth floor.", she said with a perplexed, half smile.

Embarrassed, I admitted, "Some how I got off at this floor by mistake,
but what a pleasant surprise." We chatted for a few minutes and then
decided we had both better get back to work. As I was leaving, I asked
her what time she got off and would she like to pick up a bite to eat. I
delivered my printout and met her 15 minutes later when she was done and
we stopped by the pizza place next door where you could eat in or take out.

We quickly settled on the Hawaiian special and awaited the pizza. She
seemed concerned about the price so I assured her I was buying. "I was
wondering" I said. "If you can't afford to get all of the treatment you
need, why did you go for the more expensive stuff?"

She looked confused for a second and said, "Oh, my braces! Well, for
years I have always dreamed of having braces, but clear brackets. And
finally I have been able to afford them."

"So you really don't need them for orthodontic reasons?" I lied. She did
have an overbite, even if it was extremely attractive. "Oh sure, I do
have a very slight overbite, but the main reason I got them was because
I wanted them, not to straighten teeth." She talked as if she didn't
think she needed them -- fine with me, however, as long as he had them.
Her teeth were fine by me also.

We talked about other things during the remainder of dinner. It turned
out that both of us were studying Wolves. Alex was doing a project for
her senior biology class on mating habits and I was working on a project
to computer-simulate the reproductive statistics across many generations
in a natural habitat. There was a documentary on PBS that I was planning
on watching that evening and when Alex heard about it she expressed an
interest in seeing it. I offered to let her watch it at my place and she
accepted immediately. Looked like another great evening -- a beautiful
girl with braces who was coming to my place tonight to watch a
documentary on mating! Well OK, I'm rather shy with woman and I need to
use these excuses to invite them over.

I checked my watch as we were finishing the pizza. "Wow, it starts in 45
minutes and I'm about half an hour away! We had better get going." I
said and we rushed out.

Chapter 4, Take it from the Wolves

We got home in plenty of time to settle in front of the TV with wine and
snacks prepared. I must have been driving a little faster I usually do
-- and perhaps paying a lot less attention to the road usual and more
attention to the passenger, but without incident. I was quite excited at
having this girl in my home, as you can imagine. I was glad of the wine
to help me relax a bit and for the munchies to give me something to do
with my hands. I couldn't ruin this. I wanted to kiss her, and with some
tongue this time, but NO, wait! We settled back to watch and both took
occasional notes as the documentary progressed.

I had no interest in the courting habits and social aspects of all this,
just the length of time from birth to first pregnancy, the average
number of wolf pups and the space between litters. Alex, on the other
hand, didn't care how soon they started courting or how many pups they
had, just how they got from courting to mating and how they cared for
their offspring.

I watched Alex's reactions to the scenes. As the female wolf started
letting the male sniff her more and more places, Alex's grin grew wider.
Her bottom lip moved down and half way under her top teeth. Then when
the male wolf was able to start to sniff her back side, Alex's top lip
pulled up over the clear brackets to reveal the archwire. She glanced
toward me, still smiling, and asked, "What're you looking at?"

I was ambiguous, "Your reaction to the wolves getting closer. They're
really so much like humans, don't you think?"

"Yes," came Alex's reply. "They're so careful to work slowly with each
other so that neither of them panics and backs off, yet they keep slowly
getting closer, like they were talking intimately."

If this was a coded instruction to me to take it slow and steady, then I
would try to take the hint correctly. A while later the documentary ended.

Chapter 5, Sniffing Around

By the time the documentary had ended, I had refreshed the wine and
snacks and we had consumed them. She did not go to get up as the credits
started rolling up, so I had no trouble in moving to conversation. First
a little small talk about the documentary, and then I moved just a
little farther to 'sniffing' her ... I mean, like the wolves, I tried to
get just a tad more intimate. As Alex looked at me and smiled, I blurted
out, "You know by now that I find you very attractive, don't you. You
just have such a beautiful face."

Alex blushed slightly, "Well thank you. I guess it was good I got the
clear braces then, eh?"

"Why do you say that?" I asked.

"Because this way the braces hardly show." She said, matter-of-factly.

"Oh, Alex. They certainly show to me -- I think they are gorgeous!" I
argued.

She frowned, "You mean you find my braces attractive? What if I had
metal brackets?"

"You would look gorgeous in them also. I really do find your braces most
attractive", I said.

"Do you think I need them... for cosmetic reasons, to improve my
smile?", she said.

"Maybe not for cosmetic reasons, but your ortho said you need them,
right?" I replied.

"He didn't argue about when I arrived for my initial appointment. He
said I would wear braces for 18 months and headgear for the middle 12
months" she said and pressed her lips firmly together. Headgear! Oh how
I had dreamt of kissing a girl in headgear, not just braces! Then I
remembered a comment she made when I met her and asked,

"Is the headgear the part of the braces you referred to when we met when
you said that you had to skip something because you couldn't afford it?"

"Yes", her face when a little long and sad, "I really wanted one -- not
to wear in public, you know, just to wear in private. Maybe, if I skip
enough tightening sessions, I will save enough to get one next year.
Anyway, I've got these and I'm satisfied." She smiled again, and as she
did, a glint bounced off that archwire again.

After another half hour of small talk, I agreed to drive her home. The
kiss good night this time was a little longer and I almost got to feel
her braces with my tongue, but stopped myself, as she was not seemingly
much into that judging from the way she kissed. The last thing she said
to me, however, was how much she was looking forward to our date in a
few days.

Chapter 6, The Gift

My work in the computer department involved a lot of detailed
programming and so on, but there were always short, informal meetings
with professors, grade students and even staff over the many projects I
was involved in. One guy I had to talk to just before lunch used to wear
braces. I told him about Alex and her having to skip headgear because
she couldn't afford it.

"Do you have any idea how much more a headgear costs to add to a
treatment?" I ask him.

"I don't know exactly. They don't separate it out on the bill. I suspect
it was a few hundred dollars at least." I didn't know he wore headgear.
He never wore it to the university as some did. Then he surprised me
even further, "She can have my old one, I don't have any use for it now!"

He seemed to be joking, but what the heck, so I snapped, "Sure, I bet
she would appreciate it."

"Wait, thought, it has to be fitted by the orthodontist. She can't just
take a used one and pop it in. There are different sizes and the ortho
has to determine the right size and then fit it specially to her mouth."

"Oh", I said, "I didn't realize that. I sure would have surprised her
with it, wouldn't I."

"Sure. I don't mind giving it to you, but don't let her think she can
wear it. Also, I forgot to mention, you have to get special brackets on
the back molars with sockets to receive the headgear. They have to be
cemented on. Anyway, I'll bring it in tomorrow. You can still surprise
her with it as a joke." Great. At least it would be a more intimate
gesture than flowers, I thought.

The next day I dropped by the office where the guy worked. "John? ... oh
yea, I remembered. Here you are," He handed me an envelope, "and there's
a bonus," he said and I looked inside. "Near the end of my treatment my
ortho had to fit me with a larger size of facebow and he threw in a
fresh pad and traction strap. I never used those, though."

"So how do these fit in the mouth?" I asked. He took the envelope back
and took out one of the facebows.

"I still have the molar bands. My ortho said he would leave them there
for another year just in case." And he slid the face bow into his mouth,
guiding the ends of the inner bow into his mouth with his two index
fingers. "Take a look at the molars. There are little tubes on each
molar band." And he pulled back his cheek for a second so I could see,
then continued, "The ortho had to make sure the ends of the inner bow
were aligned with those tubes so they could slide in without jamming."
Then he removed the facebow and returned the envelope to me.

When I got home that night, I cleaned both the facebows up so they were
shining. The pads and elastics were blue. One was fairly warn. I was
betting Alex would come back to my place after our upcoming date if she
knew these were here. I wondered if they would be any use to her. Could
she get those tubes put in that she needed and could she afford it? What
would be involved in 'fitting' the headgear to her mouth and what would
it cost? Oh well, I'd have to wait.

Chapter 7, The Date

Alex didn't want me dropping by the school dorm so early in the evening
as we had agreed to meet. She insisted that I meet her downtown and she
would take the bus. Although it was only October, we were having a
terrible cold snap and there was slight snow in the air, but that night
was a dry cold with an almost new moon. Under streetlights it would be a
great night for a romantic walk. We agreed to meet at the table we had
last time. I ordered two drinks and awaited her arrival. By the time I
was half way through my drink, she arrived. I hadn't seen her approach
the table because my mouth was around the straw and my head pointed at
the table.

"Oh thanks", she said, slightly out of breath. She pulled her arms out
of her coat and left it pinned against the back of the chair, then put
those plump lips around the straw and took back almost half the drink.

"Not so fast", I said. "That's a double. You'll want to be standing for
the first dance, wont you?" and she grinned. Oh well, I was driving.
She'd be all right. We chatted a bit about work and money and everyday
things. Her braces hadn't lost any of their sparkle. She never really
seemed aware of her overbite. Sometimes after finishing a sentence with
a smile, she'd trap her lower lip half way under her front teeth as she
closed her mouth, and leave it there for a second, her top lip coming
down just to the bottom of her clear brackets. Since her front teeth
were perfectly parallel and even, it didn't matter that they stuck out a
bit.

She went to the bathroom while I ordered a replacement for the drink she
had almost inhaled. When she came back, she sighed and said, "I had a
little trouble back there, that drink when straight to head."

"What did I tell you", I smiled at her, "but I made the next one a single."

I was watching her as she went into a long recollection of how the
biology teacher critiqued her first draft of her report on wolves. She
still had that habit of looking out into the room while she was talking
to me, but didn't seem nervous. Her teacher felt that she had read far
to much from their body language during courting about their romantic
feeling for each other. I wonder how that happened? She was saying that
her teacher finished off by telling her that what the wolves did next
was not cuddling or heavy petting!

Since her return from the bathroom she seemed to be talking a little
more carefully. She seemed to be holding her lower jaw a little farther
forward, as if to hide her overbite and wasn't enunciating her words as
clearly. She still seemed happy and energetic, though.

As she finished recounting her teacher's comments about wolves cuddling
she laughed. I hadn't noticed before, but she had elastics on her
braces. On each side an elastic was stretched from the first molar on
the top to the back molar on the bottom. As she finished and looked back
at me, I asked with excitement, "I see you got elastics! Did you go back
to the orthodontist already?"

"Oh, no. I guess I haven't been wearing them that much. I was supposed
to start wearing them after the initial pain died down after they were
put on. They didn't hurt much a week ago, so I wore them once or twice
at school and my mouth start bothering me after only an hour. I had them
on since I got back to my room this afternoon, but the pain was too much
so I removed them in the bus coming down. I figured I wouldn't feel the
pain after that double, so I put them back on when I was in the
bathroom" She didn't seem bothered by my pointing them out.

"If they don't stop making my teeth ache so much, I don't think I'll
where them much", she complained.

"But won't that drag your treatment out even longer, if you don't wear
them all the time?" I wondered aloud.

"But John, I got braces primarily because I really wanted them. The fact
that I sort of need them was just convenient. I'm not in a big rush to
straighten my teeth, I want to enjoy my braces while I have them." I
could just imagine her at 30 still visiting the orthodontist, now just
yearly to get the archwire changed and hearing him lecture her that she
would go on another decade if she still wouldn't wear her elastics, and
offering to remove the braces if she really didn't want to continue. And
I could hear her insisting to him she wanted them left on regardless.
Perhaps she was planning to be able to afford her headgear before she
took the treatment seriously.

"Do you think I should be in a rush to complete the treatment?" She
pulled me back to the present.

With the image of the ortho gesturing to remove the braces still in my
mind I blurted out, "Oh no, as long as you don't go letting him take
them all off real quick."

She got this smirk on her face and said, "You really do find them
attractive, don't you." I wondered then: Is this the place in the wolf
courting process where the female allows the male to sniff the end of
her tail? Actually, I hadn't finished with the part just below the nose,
but then we weren't wolves either. Here we were, though, in the middle
of the human version of the ritual, when the music suddenly slowed down.
We hadn't danced yet and the drinks were relaxing Alex, so I gestured to
the dance floor and said, "Let me answer that up there." I could explain
it better with a kiss while we held each other and danced slowly to the
song.

The third time I kissed her, I let my tongue go into her mouth only just
enough to lick the underside of her teeth. She must have been breathing
through her mouth just before this kiss because they were cool and dry.
She seemed to tense slightly and pull away ever so slightly. I pulled
away and looked at her, "I'm sorry, not everyone likes that..."

"Oh, no," she cut me off, "I just assumed no one would want to do that
now that I have braces ... and especially elastics." And I countered, "I
would get great pleasure from kissing you like that, with braces,
elastics ... and even if you had a headgear.", I assured her, but I had
almost let the surprise out of the bag.

She smiled real wide and said, "Then don't hurt yourself ..."
interrupting what she was saying as she moved her lips closer to mine
and continued the thought with a different language. She wasn't much for
putting her tongue in my mouth, but I really got to feel hers. Her front
teeth were easy to feel, right there with very little pushing back of
the upper lip. They felt very smooth and clean below the brackets -- big
and slightly round at the bottoms. No wonder she didn't notice when they
rested lightly on her lower lip. The brackets were surprisingly smooth
but a little thicker than they looked.

Just then we stumbled slightly and she pulled her mouth away. I smiled,
"With a couple of drinks and trying to sway to the music with your head
on a slant, we were asking for trouble."

As the music was ending, she countered, "Yea, can we sit down for a
sec?" and we walked back to our seats. As we sat down she took the next
to last gulp out of her half finished drink and raised her hand gently
to the side of her mouth. "That double didn't quite do it -- and it's
only been another half hour." She said while trying not to move her jaw
very much. She was letting the elastics pull her jaw forward so her
bottom teeth were almost directly under her top teeth and not opening
her mouth much as she talked. The poor thing. She appeared to be
experiencing significant pain. "I better give them a rest for tonight",
she said, pushing the side of her lip up and dragging the elastic over
the hook on her first upper molar and then pushing her finger down on
her lower jaw to get the elastic off the back bottom molar. She then did
the same with the other one.

I hadn't noticed those hooks on her first molars until she unhooked the
elastics. When she smiled, I guess her lips never went up that high so
as to expose those hooks. Actually I had never had much of a look at the
braces farther back than the canines. She had clear braces almost to the
back of her mouth. It looked like the back teeth had mettle bands on
top. The only braces she had on the bottom teeth were at the very back
were the elastics hooked on.

"There." She said, taking the straw to her drink in her lips and sucking
up the last mouthful. This time her lower jaw relaxed back to its usual
position, restoring that slight overbite of hers. "Now where were we?"

"Falling over.", I pointed out. "Now I know why you said not to hurt
myself earlier on", I joked and she smirked at me. It was getting pretty
noisy by now and we were having to raise our voices a lot in order to be
heard. "How'd you like to go somewhere quieter?" I yelled. She nodded
and threw back the remainder of my drink, now mostly melted ice, and we
put our coats on and left.

It wasn't any warmer outside, but the light snow had stopped. It was now
a clear night with stars. We strolled up the street and stopped outside
a couple of places, contemplating going in and then carried on. Alex
looked at me, starting to shiver, "That was nice watching about the
wolves the other night. Do you have any VCR movies?" I got an imaginary
sensation of a wolf sniffing around my back side.

"I have a number of things I have taped off the TV... all kinds of
things, shall we go check them out?"

"Yes" was all she said, but the twinkle off several segments of her
archwire foretold of some distraction once we got there.

Chapter 8, Plugged In

We arrived at my small house 20 minutes later. The driveway went to one
side of the house and around the back to where the car parked. There was
very little light back there and when we got out Alex look straight up
at the stars while I walked round the other side of the car to escort
her into the house. It was nice and warm when we got in and she knelt
down by the TV where I kept my VCR tapes and looked through what I had
recorded.

"How'd you like another drink? I could make us each a hot milk and
brandy," I offered.

"That would be great," she said and then a moment later, "Oh here we
are. 'White Fang'." 'Wolves again', I observed.

A couple of minutes later I had the two hot drinks and joined her on the
couch. She had the tape in her hand. "How about this one, 'White Fang'",
she asked.

"Sure," I said, "I haven't watched it yet. It'll need rewinding," and
she went and put the tape, in the machine, started it rewinding,
returning to the couch. We each took a gulp of our drinks and then she
moved in closer to me. Without saying anything, we resumed where we had
left off on the dance floor, but now comfortably cuddled on the couch.
Her teeth were all warm from the hot drink and we each had smell and
flavor of brandy in our mouths. I felt along her teeth with my tongue,
over the brackets and now along the archwire. I could feel the
interruptions in the smooth wire everywhere that an 'o' was holding the
wire to the bracket. At one point I even felt a hook she put the elastic
on. It was smooth too. After coming up for air a few times, I finally
drew back somewhat and smiled at her.

She let out a little giggle, "You really get a kick out of my braces.
I'm sure glad I met a guy who appreciates them. Before I got them I was
worried that they might discourage guys a bit, even though they were the
clear ones."

"You said you got them because you wanted them. Was it not for how you
would look?" I was still a little confused on her motives.

"Not so much that. I wanted to wear them for how they would feel -- and
I don't mean the pain I had earlier tonight. Actually, if I work hard at
part time jobs I was thinking I might be able to afford a headgear in a
little less than a year. I still would like to try one of those," she
explained. The tape was almost finished rewinding, but this had to be
the queue I was looking for.

"Alex, I was talking to a guy at the university who wore braces until
about a year ago. Apparently he used to wear headgear. He still had it
but didn't need it any more. I asked him for it and he was glad to get
rid of it -- I've got it in the other room," and I watched her face
light up. I was thinking she might be able to afford to have her ortho
fit it properly at her next visit.

I went and got the envelope and returned to the couch. "He actually had
a larger one fitted near the end of the treatment," I explained while
holding the envelope slightly open but at an angle that prevented her
seeing in. "and got a fresh neck pad and tension strap, but never used
them. He said you have to get tubes fixed onto your back molars and then
get the ends of the inner bow aligned before you can wear it." And then
I handed her the envelope.

"I think I have those tubes already," she said excitedly. "Here, take a
close look and tell me if they look right." And she opened her mouth
half way and pulled out her cheek by putting her finger in the corner of
her mouth. I looked carefully at the back molar. There seemed to be a
bracket that fastened the end of the archwire and below that, there was
a short tube. The diameter looked to be close to that of the end of the
facebow that went in the mouth.

"They sure look right," I said. "Maybe it wont cost much to have your
ortho fit it on your next visit.

"Oh, I'm sure it's not rocket science," she looked hopefully at me. "I
think you could do it. It doesn't have to be perfect, I just want to see
what it feels like. Please!" And she took one of the face bows out of
the envelope and handed it to me. She lay long ways on the couch so her
head would stay still and began to open her mouth. My friend has talked
about it being aligned with the tubes. There were loops near the ends of
the part that went in the mouth. I started to put it in her mouth with
the loops pointing up so they wouldn't get in the way of her lower
teeth. I held it with the ends just under the tubes and eyed it up. My
head pressed lightly on her chest. Apart from hearing a fast beating
coming from her chest, probably due to her expectation of wearing a
headgear in a couple of minutes, I detected that the ends where not
quite parallel to the tubes. I had to squeeze the ends together quite a
bit to line them up with the tubes, but they sprang back again when I
let go. I noted how much they were out of alignment

Next I moved to beside Alex's face and looked over to the other side of
her mouth. I carefully put the far side into the tube. It seemed a hair
loose, but nothing serious. I then pulled her cheek away from her upper
molars and towards the back of her jaw. I pressed the loose end until it
pressed against the tube and noted that it also didn't quite line up. I
then took it out and went into the basement to get my pliers.

When I came back I sat down on the floor beside Alex's laid-out body and
moved each of the ends approximately the amount I had noted when it was
in her mouth. I held it out sideways in front of my face and lined up
the two ends. They now looked perfectly in line as well. I guess my
friend's tubes hadn't been perfectly lined up and that Alex's ortho had
indeed done and very good job of fitting her braces.

"Well it's time for the big moment," I said to Alex and leaned one arm
over her chest while holding the facebow by the ends that I would guide
into the tubes on here teeth. Alex seemed to be almost quivering with
excitement. I put the ends just into the tubes a little way and then
pushed it the rest of the way home by pushing on the front of it. It
slid in easily and I took my hands away so Alex could close her mouth.

It was a probably a bit big for her. It stuck out of her mouth a little
more than I thought it should. I don't think I really did a good job of
adjusting it either. I figured it should have been lined up with her
archwire, but instead, the front of it was lower than the tips of her
front teeth. When she closed her mouth, her bottom lip bulged through
the space between her front teeth and the inner edge of the bow, then
her top lib had to come down a little lower than normal to meet it. She
licked her lips and got used to the feel of it. Then a big smile spread
across her face and she looked over at me.

"This is neat!", she said. "Let me try the tension strap now." And she
got the new one out of the envelope. It was already threaded through the
neck pad. She thrust it round the back of her neck, under her hair with
one hand and caught the other side with the other hand , then pulled
each end up and out to where they clipped onto the facebow. "There!" she
proclaimed, "I have now have a headgear. Do you like it?"

"Very much," I answered. I may not have thought I fitted it very well,
but I sure liked the result. "You know I have always dreamed of kissing
a girl in headgear."

She put her hands up to the side of her face and gently touched the bars
that ran outside along her face. "I don't know if one can kiss in this,"
she was saying as we leaned closer together. She put her hands on my
shoulders to steady herself and approached me carefully. She stretched
her lips forward past the front of the facebow and met mine. We slowly
and carefully explored the ways to kiss with the headgear on. I got
venturesome and felt around the front of the thing with my tongue. This
was neat.

Chapter 9, On With the Evening

When we were done she sat up and I got up, "Come and look at yourself in
the mirror over here," I gestured to the mirror in the hallway and she
went over and stood in front of it with me watching over her shoulder as
she admire herself. She opened wide and studied the way it was anchored
to her molars, then closed her mouth again. The facebow pushing down on
her bottom lip while her top lip, relaxed in it's normal position,
leaving the lower third of her front teeth showing. She pushed the
bottom lip part way through the gap between the facebow and the top
teeth and then pushed her top lip down a smidgen so they met. Next she
opened her lips and thrust them forward to envelop the solder joint
where the two bows are attached and looked at herself for a second with
a slight pucker from reaching for the bow joint. She relaxed her lips
again. When she did this, the bottom lip was nudged back half way under
her top teeth and stayed there. She felt the outer bars from the joint
and slid her fingers back around her face to where the tension strap
attached.

"thank you, John," she said as she smiled and looked back at me in the
mirror. "This is the nicest gift you could have given me." And we walked
back to the couch and sat down. She picked up her hot drink and
attempted to drink. She was able to do it by tilting her head down and
puckering her lips in front of the bow and slurping slightly.

"Do you think you will wear that to school when you get used to it?" I
asked.

"No! I'd be too embarrassed to be seen in public with it, let alone by
my school friends," she said with a look of alarm on her face. "I won't
even be able to wear it in the dorm. I don't want my roommate to see me
in it. I'll just wear it for fun and use the elastics for my treatment."

We finally started the tape that had rewound and began watching, cuddled
up on the couch. About 20 minutes into the show, Alex got up and went to
the bathroom. When she returned I noticed her head was lowered slightly
and tucked into her neck a bit. The tension strap seemed to be pulling
her head the way a horse's head does when the rider pulls up on the reins.

"You look like you are in a bit of pain from the pressure of the
headgear on your teeth," I said. "I'll bet the force is much stronger
than with the elastics that you only wear for a couple of hours," I said
sympathetically.

"Yea," she said. "I better take the strap off. I can still war the bars,
though." and she removed the strap with both hands and pulled it around
her neck, putting it on the coffee table. When the pressure was off the
facebow, it moved up noticeably so that her bottom lip could hardly
bulge through the gap between the bar and her top teeth. "That's
better," she said. The bar being in the way of her lips caused a very
slight lisp in her speech. We continued watching the show for a while
and then suddenly a thought came to me...

"Alex," I said, "we never tied to see if it comes out OK after we put it
in initially -- for all we know it could be stuck." She reached her
hands up and gripped the facebow by the sides near the front and tried
to slide it out. I saw her head move forward a bit as she applied a
little pressure.

"Oh no!", she said with a little panic in her voice, "What if I can't
take it out?"

"Then you might have to wear it at the dorm tonight and to school
tomorrow," I tried to make a joke, but she looked a little more shocked.

"Then I'll have to stay here.", she said with all seriousness.

"Oh don't panic," I said, trying to calm her. "It went in easily enough,
I'm sure we can get it out" and I kneeled in front of her to see what I
could do. There was something that excited me about looking at her with
that headgear on, knowing that she was not capable, at that moment, of
removing it. She was trapped. Her bottom lip was permanently forced
halfway under her top teeth, emphasizing her lovely overbite.

It was probably just a case of wriggling it out at bit alternately on
each side until it was clear of whatever was jamming it. I gripped the
bars outside of her mouth on either side with my thumb and index finger
of each hand and pulled gently on each side alternately, then slightly
up and down while pulling, and then with a slight twist in each
direction. Her head moved slightly from side to side, then up and down,
then rotated, but I could tell from the unchanging space between the
facebow and her front teeth that it was not budging. But what a neat
feeling it gave me to see that I had complete control over her upper
jaw. The portion of her front teeth below the brackets remained exposed
and followed my every move. Her forehead began to wrinkle slightly as
she realized I was not making progress.

I hadn't been applying much force for fear of damaging something. I
needed to try a little more force, so I steadied her head by placing one
hand on her forehead while gripping the facebow by placing the thumb and
index finger of my other hand on either side of the bars outside the
mouth. I began trying to wriggle it from one side to the other, very
slowly and I felt and saw from her teeth, that it moved slightly. Now it
was loose so I let go of her forehead and smiled at her, "OK, let me
take it out and figure out what went wrong." As I slid it out and felt
the sudden click as the ends came free of the tubes and sprang apart,
she began to open her mouth slightly and the sides of her lips spread as
the inner bow came out of her mouth.

Alex ran the back of her hand across her mouth to dry any saliva that
got on it and said, "You were right, it wasn't stuck very badly. Can you
fix it?" She closed her mouth, her lips finally free to come together
and watched as I examined the ends of the inner bow for the cause of the
jam.

"Oh here we are," I said. I could see the problem. When I bent the ends
to make them parallel with the tubes, I had caused the bend to happen at
a point that was supposed to go into the tubes. I straightened the kinks
out as best I could with my pliers and then made the bend again, just
ahead of the loops. I tested it again in her mouth as before and it
looked perfect, except that I couldn't quite get the kinks out all
together. There turned out to be just the slightest bit of friction when
the kinks entered the tubes.

Alex then began to confirm that she would not get stuck in it again. She
put the tension strap back, twisted her head about for a second and then
removed it. She then grasped the facebow carefully by the outside bars
by her cheeks and slid it slowly toward the front of her mouth until it
sprang from the tubes, then brought it right out of her mouth and looked
at it. "It's OK now. I'll have to figure out how to put it on my own,"
she said and moved her index fingers so they were holding it at the ends
of the inner bow to guide it in to the tubes. Sitting beside her, I
watched as she pushed it and her fingers to her back molars and felt for
the entrance of the tubes. Her upper lip was pulled up tightly,
revealing the entirety of all her upper teeth and the clear braces and
archwire, as her eyes wandered up and down, side to side. Then she had
it in. She removed her fingers from her mouth and closed it. She must
not have pushed it in quite all the way, because there was room for her
lip to bulge up between her front teeth and the facebow joint and meet
her top lib as it came down only slightly lower over her front teeth
than usual.

She looked at me and said, "I'll leave the strap off for now." I grabbed
it from the table and removed the tension strap from the pad and
adjusted it to a longer length so it would not put so much tension on her.

"When you do, this should make it hurt a lot less," I said and replaced
it on the table.

By now her hair was somewhat mussed up. Strands were flying this way and
that. And now, not wearing the tension strap, the outer bars of the
facebow just hung there slightly in front of and below her ear lobes and
spring farther out from the cheek than with the strap attached. She was
happy. I leaned over closer and when she turned her face toward me, I
moved in for a kiss. A kiss in which my tongue explored her brackets,
her archwire, her teeth and her headgear for a long and wonderful dream
come true -- we were both in heaven.

Chapter 10, Conclusion

When I drove Alex home later that night, she left the headgear at my
place. She said she didn't want to wear it even at the dorm. She asked
if she could come back to my place sometimes and wear it there and I
told her that was fine with me.

During the next month, she continued trying to wear her elastics and the
pain quickly went away. Since she then hardly noticed them, she tended
to wear them several days a week, even though she kept claiming she
wasn't in any hurry to conclude her orthodontic treatment. She visited
me weekends and started sleeping on the couch Friday, Saturday and
Sunday nights. She would come over after school Friday and stay until I
drover her back Monday early in the morning. We both had substantial
studying to do, but enjoyed evenings and some outings together. Alex
enjoyed wearing the headgear in the privacy of my home and worked up to
wearing the tension strap most of the time.

At her next orthodontist appointment, she told him she had obtained a
used headgear and that it fit. He told her that if she did wear it, it
would most likely improve the treatment results, although so few hours
would not accomplish much. After that appointment, she seemed interested
in using the headgear for results, not just fun. She was evidently far
too self-conscious to be seen in public wearing the headgear, even in
front of the other girls in the dorm. She brought up this subject one
night and made the most surprising offer. She offered to pay me rent to
be my roommate. Half of my rent was much less than her lodging costs at
her private school. She promised to use the money she saved to add
headgear to her orthodontic treatment. I welcomed her as my roommate
with open arms.

She moved in and scheduled her next tightening of the braces for a month
early and got headgear officially added to her treatment at that
appointment. The facebow her orthodontist fitter her with was done
properly. The facebow joint was right up close to her teeth and just
below her brackets so when she closed her mouth, her generous lips met
naturally covering up the joint. She looked really good in this properly
fitted unit, but often put the old used one in that I had fitted. She
said that her lips were bothered by her orthodontist's facebow.

Despite all the steps Alex had taken to make more opportunity to wear
the headgear, she still only wore it about 10 hours out of every 24 on
the average and the elastics not much more. Slowly her teeth spread out
but her ortho complained that he couldn't correct the overbite properly
without more cooperation. Since Alex still wore braces for the sake of
having them and not for the treatment, she just started spreading out
her appointments again leaving a confused ortho.