Page 112 of King of Campus

Now that he knows and is clearly happy about it, I feel my own excitement rising at the prospect. “In two weeks. That’s all Eric told me.”

He nods. “That gives you two weeks to prepare something so you can knock them dead.”

I blow out a breath. “Yeah.” Which means I need to focus on a solo as well as my classes. Because I can’t just let them fall to shit. This audition probably won’t go anywhere.

He says quietly, “You’re going to be awesome, Ivy. I don’t know much about dance but I know how I feel when I watch you perform. And not everybody has that kind of gift.” He pauses, trying to figure out how to put his thoughts into words. “I can’t take my eyes off you when you’re out there. It’s like you’re lit up from within.”

His words have my breath catching in my throat. That’s probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me about my dancing. Feeling absurdly touched, I whisper huskily, “Thank you. That really means a lot to me.”

I hate bringing this up, but I have to. “If, and that’s a huge if-”

Cutting me off, he says, “No it’s not. It’s when.”

I can’t help but smile as I swat at his chest, careful not to hit the bruised areas under his shirt. “You don’t even know what I’m about to say.”

“Yes, I do. You’re talking about getting the part. Actually making it.”

The smile falters just a bit from my lips. “Yeah. I’m going to be competing against professional dancers who are more talented and way more experienced than I am.”

Looking just a bit frustrated by my lack of confidence, he says almost softly, “Ivy, don’t you get it?”

I can only blink at him. Because apparently, no… I don’t. “Get what?”

“Those dancers need to compete against you,” he says softly. “You’re the one with all the talent. They need to watch out for you.”

A thick sheen of tears fills my eyes because what he’s saying means so much to me. It actually means everything. “Roan-”

He shakes his head. “It’s the truth and obviously Eric knows it as well. That’s why he told you about the audition.” Inhaling a deep breath, he pushes it out slowly. “You’re going to Cincinnati and you’re going to be brilliant. I don’t have any doubts about it. If I weren’t in the middle of the season, I would take you there myself, but I can’t.”

Leaning over, I kiss him on the lips. God, if I hadn’t already realized that I loved him, this conversation would have totally done it for me.

Nipping my lower lip with my teeth, I can’t help but ask, “And what about us?” Because now, more than ever, I don’t want to leave him. Or lose him.

Looking unconcerned, he just smiles. “We’ll be fine. Just focus on nailing this audition. There’ll be plenty of time to work out the details after we know what’s going on.”

He’s being so supportive about this. I feel so lucky right now. “Really?”

He grins. “Really-really.”

I can’t help but chuckle at that. “Okay then.” I feel so much lighter and happier now that I’ve talked this out with Roan. I feel like I can finally be excited about this audition. And I realize as those feelings wash through me, that I want it more than anything.

I want to go to Cincinnati and kill this audition.

Chapter Thirty

Who would have ever thought that our very own Roan King would actually settle down with a girl? And look so damn content doing it??? *Headshake* Mind totally blown…

Glancing up at the leaden colored clouds, I’m just hoping the weather holds and the sky doesn’t open up and pour down on us. The day is overcast and there’s a definite chill to the air. But what else would you expect in Cincinnati at the end of October?

I almost want to pinch myself because it’s hard to believe I’m actually here. Lexie squeezes my hand tightly as we stand outside the Aronoff Center where the Cincinnati Ballet performs.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been here. My mom and I spent the weekend in Cincinnati and took in a show. I remember watching the CBC perform the Nutcracker at Christmas time. It was absolutely magical. My eyes had been glued to the dancers on stage in their gorgeous costumes with their graceful sweeping movements. I had whispered to my mom before the show was even over that someday I would be up there performing the Nutcracker.

And now here I am, getting ready to audition in just about two hours. I almost shake my head.

Is this really happening?