Page 12 of The Dancer

I was distracted from my thoughts by a knock at the door and wasn’t too surprised to see Arlene, the manager from earlier, poke her head around the opening once I gave the command to enter.

Her gaze went directly to Annabelle and I saw the look of disbelief on her face before she could hide it. “Oh, isn’t she trying out? We’re almost done with auditions.”

“No, close the door.” She threw me a look but knew better than to question me if she wanted to keep her cushy job. Her eyes went to Annabelle again before closing the door. That’s not going to be good.

Thankfully she wasn’t the manager for the restaurant side of the business so she wouldn’t have much dealings with Anna if any in the future. Still there might be some interaction here and there over time. I’ll have to stay on that shit!

I’m not blind to the attitudes of women, especially one who thinks she has a shot. And it wouldn’t be the first time jealousy had got the best of her.

So far she’s kept herself contained and probably isn’t aware that I’m on to her past behavior. I never paid much attention to that shit since I had no real interest in the girls she’d warned off. But I had a feeling this time might be different.

I got an uneasy feeling before I was able to squash it. I hadn’t witnessed her past behavior and none of the girls had made an issue of it. So there was no need for me to panic.

It was only because of Tony who keeps his ear to the ground that I even knew anything had taken place. That she’d confronted a few of the dancers who’d shown an interest in me.

I’m sure there was nothing to worry about, at least I hoped there wasn’t. After all she hadn’t been wrong in warning them off. And since she was in charge of the dancers I’d seen it as nothing more than her managerial duty.

But it was obvious that this was different. It was true that I’d never shown any interest in anyone who worked for me, and this evening could be seen as something out of the ordinary, but what had I done really?

Shit, when I look back on my actions I’d done plenty. I’d been territorial, heavy handed and downright domineering. Looking back I’d acted like I own her and I’d done it for everyone and their mother to see. Fuck!

But is she really that stupid that she’d come after her because of my actions? I hope not. Her jealousy aside, she’s really good with the girls and have been a big help when it comes to keeping things the way I like them.

I’d hired her away from a very prestigious firm to come work for me because I liked her work ethic, but if she went after this one I have a feeling she wouldn’t last much longer as my employee.

I got that buzzed feeling again and took note. There are a handful of times in my life when I’ve felt like this. When I got the scholarship, when I was drafted, and when I won the nightclubs.

For this reason I was pretty sure she was life’s latest curve ball. I’m not quite sure how yet, but it never fails. The only thing is, in the past, this feeling always came before something good.

By the looks of this one shit was about to get difficult. For one that mouth of hers was a big fucking no-no and her attitude left much to be desired. I don’t think a female has ever sworn at me before, at least not directly to my face.

I stole a glance at her as she dragged a French fry

through the pint of ketchup she’d poured onto the plate before putting it between her lips. The action seemed so sensual, it was hard to look away.

Since when are you mesmerized by a woman eating? What weird shit are you on now? I looked away quickly when she lifted her head and looked in my direction.

She’s so prickly she just might go off the handle again if she caught me, since I’d promised not to watch. She went back to eating and I noticed something else about her.

She was so still, so quiet, it was almost like she wasn’t there. I didn’t even hear her chewing. The longer I sat there pretending not to look at her the more I realized that I felt…settled with her here.

More relaxed than usual for this place in any case. As if she had some kind of calming affect on me, which made no sense whatsoever with that mouth of hers.

I smiled to myself at the fact that she was pretending I wasn’t here. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her looking around the room at the wall where photos of my past glory now hung.