Page 13 of The Dancer

It had been years since I even noticed them, but somehow having her see them made me want to puff out my chest with pride.

She didn’t ask any questions, didn’t get excited the way most people do. In fact I wasn’t even sure she knew who I was since she never answered the question the first time I asked. Rude ass!

There was no real expression on her face once she was through perusing the many images. She just went back to eating like she could give a shit.

I liked that for some reason. I’d grown tired of being hounded because of who I am. It was rare for me to meet anyone who wasn’t fascinated by the ex-ballplayer.

This one was more interested in filling her stomach, smart girl. I went back to work and tried to pretend I wasn’t bothered by her presence.

But it was hard to escape the fact that something strange was going on with me where she was concerned. And even now, after the last hour or so spent alone with her, I still have no idea what that something is.

Already I’d broken so many of my own rules and I’d only known her for a scant hour maybe. There was no way for me to put things in perspective since I hadn’t the slightest clue what the hell was going on or where to start.

She wasn’t much help since she refused to even talk to me while she ate. How was I supposed to figure this shit out if we didn’t even have a conversation?

She must be the first female I’d ever met who didn’t feel the need to fill dead air with pointless chatter. It was a refreshing change but annoying as hell coming from her.

Just my luck, I wanted this one to talk and she won’t. The ones I want to shut the hell up have speech marathons in my damn ears.

Her silence was a story in itself though, and I wondered if she knew how much she was telling me about herself with her behavior. Like my mother, I could already tell that she was fiercely independent, and strong willed.

She didn’t seem to have an ounce of pretense in her little body, which was evident by the fact that she hadn’t refused the meal even though it was obvious she wanted nothing whatsoever to do with me.

She’s also the first female of my acquaintance that I’d compared in anyway to my sainted mother. A woman I hold in the highest regard and the only one who could do no wrong in my sight.

It’s a strange thing that. I feel almost as if I know her already when in reality I never really took the time to get to know any of the women I took to my bed. There was never any need to since I knew they wouldn’t be staying for too long.

I looked up in shock when I realized where my mind was going. Bullshit! I’m not the love at first sight type and if this mix of confusing thoughts was love they can have it.

I scoffed at myself and looked away and my eyes happened to land on the security screen which had a view of the whole place from top to bottom. I was more than a little perturbed to see Arlene standing at the bar staring down the hallway towards my closed office door.

She didn’t stay there long and I breathed easy again when I saw her accept a bottle of juice from the bartender before walking away.

I was worrying for nothing. But it was the fact that I gave it any thought at all that bothered me most. I tapped my fingers on the desk deep in thought as to what I should do if it really did become a thing.

‘That’s annoying as hell!” She looked at my tapping fingers pointedly. I just gave her a look but she just looked right back at me while shoving a fry in her mouth. What a fucking riot.

I chose to ignore her rudeness and went back to working on the same damn thing I’d been trying to work on since I brought her in here.

Chapter 4

When I looked back at her five minutes later her plate was clean, including the salad bowl, and I got that twist in my gut again. Most girls her age eat like birds for some fucked up reason.

Or they’d pretend not to be hungry in my presence for form’s sake. I liked her even more for that lack of artifice. I admire honesty above all else, well except for loyalty. Loyalty is a clear front runner when dealing with me.

I picked up the phone and called the bar to order her dessert and coffee. My reasons were twofold. I wanted to feed her yes, but I wasn’t ready to let her go. I felt almost panicked at the thought of her leaving.