Page 89 of The Dancer

As I sat there listening to her while she checked on the steaks and got a salad ready, I realized that what I was looking for was the one thing I couldn’t have; a guarantee.

I wanted to be sure that whatever man I ended up with if any, that he wouldn’t break my heart. I know that it’s stupid, but that fear didn’t allow for rationality.

The picture she painted sounded so nice. But was it just a mother’s love for her son? Could he really be all those things? A part of me was hoping so hard, and yet another was wary.

I started to rethink everything from the moment we met, looking at it from a different perspective. It’s not like I was going to run and jump into his arms because of one conversation with his mother. But her words did give me something to think about.

Had he seen something in me that first night? Is that why he dragged me off to his office and fed me? I never did understand that, but now it makes sense. He probably took one look at my second hand jacket and felt pity for me.

Is that what this is? Does he see some kind of resemblance between me, and his mom? I hope not, or I’ll feel really stupid. No, that’s not it! He didn’t kiss me like he was thinking about his mom.

I was only confusing myself with my thoughts, and besides it was obvious that his mom wasn’t done. “Grab the plates and set the table love, dinner’s almost ready.” She’d done everything herself I noticed and I felt guilty.

“I’m so sorry, I was supposed to be helping.” I’d been so lost in my head I hadn’t even realized that dinner was ready. Her warm reassuring smile let me off the hook.

“It was good just to have the company. Plus I like any chance to talk about my darling son. I don’t get the opportunity too often. He never brings home any friends, it’s always just Tony. And he’s so private, I don’t dare discuss him with my friends.”

It was on the tip of my tongue to ask her about all the women he’d dated. Women I’d heard whispered about at the club. I have to admit after learning who he is I’d taken a peek at his Google profile and seen plenty in images.

“I can’t imagine that he doesn’t have lots of friends.” That was as close as I could get to asking what I really wanted to know without giving away the fact that I was interested. She read me like a book anyway.

“I can tell you honestly that you’re the first girl he ever brought home to me. I never met any of those things he traipsed around with, except to see them in magazines or the Sunday gossip column.”

She called the others in for dinner after dropping that bombshell. Leaving me with a million questions and more confused than I had been before.

Chapter 24

I could see from the blank expression on her face when I was finally allowed in my damn kitchen, that mom had already started working on her. I know that look of bemused admiration only too well. I’ve worn it a few times myself after mom had worked one of her word games on me.

All through dinner she seemed a million miles away, hardly taking part in the conversation going on around the table. Mom was in her glory. It’s been a while since she had this many people to browbeat at once.

Tony the suck up was singing her praises, Travis, I think he was flirting and she was just eating it up. They talked about the school and the island and if he’d like to come out and see her place.

By the time the plates were cleared she had him all but moved in. His sister hadn’t said a word so I was pretty sure she was in her own zone. I don’t think I even want to know what the hell mom had put in her head to make her like that.

Tony left soon after and mom was dragging her tail

so we decided to call it a night. It was still pretty early for me so I sent them off and went to sit at my favorite window to look out at the world.

The thumbs up mom gave me before she disappeared behind her bedroom door was like putting a stamp on outgoing mail. It was a done deal. There was no turning back now.

I’d done two things with her in the last month that I never have with anyone else. First, I let her into my inner sanctum, and now I’d introduced her to the most important person in my life; until her.

No one ever gets near my mother, none had ever come close. It was easy for me to let her. It never occurred to me not to. That alone said a hell of a lot.