Page 76 of The Dancer

“We won’t know until we go in and before you ask, yes I’m going in there with you.”

“I don’t need a babysitter.” What the fuck is she doing here? Who the fuck is she here to see?

“No, but she might. Your eyes have that look that I don’t trust. Knowing you, you’ll walk in there guns blazing. I’m not sure what’s going on in there, but I’m not bailing you out the day before aunt Sophie is due back in the states, hell no.”

Travis didn’t say a word but he was the first one through the door. We climbed the stairs as the door opened behind us, and a man, and a little girl came in. Ahead of us I could hear children’s voices.

We found her on one of the floors with about six little girls in tutus. I came up short at the sight. She was dressed in a leotard and nothing else as she moved around the room speaking to the kids.

She hadn’t noticed us standing outside looking through the glass door after the man passed us. There were parents leaving and calling out goodbyes, while others sat in seats against the


For the next hour I watched the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. She was a different person when she danced, I could see it in her face. Almost like she was in another world.

She was also very good. As far as I’m concerned watching ballet is the equivalent to getting every tooth in my head pulled with a buzz saw. But I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

It was either the music or her fluid movements, but something was making my ass emotional. The little girls watched her in awe and I’m sure I had pretty much the same look on my face.

She was also patient as fuck. The kids were no more than four or five, barely able to walk, furthermore, do all those intricate things she was teaching them.

It was obvious that they were beginners, so she must not have been teaching them that long. But they all seemed to like her.

The three of us didn’t say a word, just watched in silent admiration. Well, Tony and I did, but Travis just took it all in stride since he was use to it.

“She’s amazing!” I didn’t take my eyes off her.

“Yeah!” I gave Tony a sharp look at his reply, which he ignored.

“That’s not even the half of what she can do. This is just beginners stuff.” Travis said with obvious pride.

She finally noticed us when it was over and the parents started gathering up their kids to leave. I hadn’t even realized that an hour had gone by.

The look on her face was not in the least bit welcoming, and she ignored us as she moved around the room cleaning up and saying her goodbyes.

I heard talk of the following week and what to do if anything came up. There were some appreciative comments made as some of the mothers thanked her.

I walked into the room as soon as it was clear. It was obvious what she was up to, but I wanted details. “Why didn’t you mention this place to me?”

“I didn’t know I was supposed to. Can we go? I already cut the heat off and this place gets rather cold very quickly.” She snapped off the lights and moved to the door.

We followed her out and waited for her to lock up before heading back outside to the car. I decided to leave off questioning her for now, since we had an audience.

Travis filled the airspace with his usual chatter, telling her about all the things he’d seen that morning and about the kickass sneakers I’d bought him when I caught him drooling over them in the store window.

She had her head resting against the seat and her arms lying at her sides. She looked beat and that place in my heart that seems to have known her forever, squeezed.

She had her reasons for pushing herself and I was beginning to understand, but she was wrong. I have to find a way to make her let me in before she hurts herself.

I’m trying not to go too fast and yet that’s just what she needs. It’s like we’re on two different levels of the same game. I’m already looking ahead, have already made up my mind because I know what I want. While she’s still struggling to accept.

She has serious trust issues as is to be expected after what she’d been through. But that shit conflicts with my need for my woman to have complete faith in me.

But how do I get her to believe in me when the two people she trusted most had betrayed her? Knowing what I do now, I’m even more afraid of making the wrong move.