Page 97 of The Dancer

I’d made contact with his scout who dealt with things on his end, but didn’t give us a hard time because hey, Max fucking Carrington here. I might’ve been sidelined but I’m still the shit.

Mom and Mrs. Astor had taken care of almost everything, so by the time we showed up at the school all that was needed were some signatures and his transcripts which we took care of right then and there.

He met with the coach and had a tour of the school and the field of course, and once again my presence made things there go smoothly.

Next it was off to mom’s house where Travis would be staying unless I came up with a better idea. I was leaning more towards getting the kid a car to drive in every morning so he could stay with his sister.

He took one look at mom’s setup and all but deserted us at the door. Mom’s place has it all. Pool, tennis court, basketball ring. Everything a young boy would enjoy. Us guys hung together out back after mom dragged Anna off to the kitchen for some girl talk.

I’d given her a heads up about the dance school fiasco and as usual she’d told me to leave it to her. By the time we were ready to leave later in the afternoon it was obvious she’d given my girl a lot to think about.

I’d made her take the day off from the restaurant since she’d made some big decisions that day. Leaving her job and enrolling her brother in a school where he might have to live with my mom.

She hadn’t said much in the car on the way home but I know her well enough by now to know she was secretly freaking the hell out. She had that look in her eyes.

Once back at the apartment the three of us sat down and had a serious talk. Travis, who’s that cool mix of kid and almost adult, led the conversation with all the reasons he thought it was a good idea for him to stay at mom’s place for the four months of his last semester of high school after the upcoming winter break, and spend weekends with us.

It made sense to me but I know my girl, it’ll take her about a year to not worry about it. I talked her into getting some rest for once while Travis and I sat in the kitchen. The boy eats like ten times a day.

I too was having serious second thoughts about splitting them up now that we’d come down to it, so I wanted to make sure that the kid was really down with the decision.


A nap sounded really good, but I was way too wound up to comply with Max’s orders. Am I doing the right thing? Everything seems to be going too fast.

When I look back, we’d only known each other for less than two months. What am I doing? I was starting to feel that pressure on my chest again, like I was about to pass out.

My mind wouldn’t settle because I couldn’t see around the corner to what might be waiting for me next. I can take care of myself but it’s not just me. My brother is the only family I have left…

Panic had me jumping from the bed and heading back out of the room headed for the kitchen where the guys were hanging out. I’ll look into his eyes and know if he’s telling me the truth. That this is what he really wants to do.

I came up short outside the door when I heard Max’s voice. I wasn’t sure what I was about to hear but something told me to listen in. My heart raced in that sickening way it does when you think something bad is about to happen.

“Are you sure you want to stay at my mom’s place? I remember you saying you came here to be with your sister. We can get you a car and you can drive in and back each day.”

“It’s true I came to look out for my sister, but that’s before I knew she had you. Besides, I think you two need your space.”

“What? Is that the reason you’re staying with mom? You think I’d separate you two so I can have time alone with your sister? What do you take me for? If that’s what you have on your mind you can forget it. You’ll stay here with us.”

“What are you smiling about?”

“I’m glad you feel that way, I just wanted to be sure.”

“Sure about what?”

“You! I watched you the last week or so and I have a pretty good idea how you feel about my sister, I just wanted to be sure.”

“So you’ve been watching me huh.”

“Yep! Like you said, I came here to look out for her, but you’re doing a good job so I can relax. At least at your mom’s I’m only an hour away by car or two by train. If I go back to Ohio it’ll take me much longer to get to her if she needs me.”

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