My closet's dress selection seemed old and tired, but I had no new fashions to magically summon. So, I opted for a sleeveless minidress with a bright pattern of orange, green, and black flowers that had been blurred together like a water-color painting. It was a bit shorter than it should have been for a dance with this much movement, but the colors seemed suitable and cheerful on a day like this.

It also seemed cold, though, and on impulse, I added black thigh-high stockings to keep my legs warm. Between that, black heels, and dark lipstick, I seemed to be channeling my succubus self more than my mild-mannered bookstore manager self. Of course, considering the whore wear I'd shown up in a week or so ago, this was kind of tame.

Doug naturally still teased me about it, though deep down inside, I knew he thought I looked hot. I took a smug satisfaction in knowing I'd done it without any shape-shifting. Plus, I'd practically burned my hair off trying to flat iron it tonight. I dared anyone to accuse me of frizziness.

Maddie was ecstatic, and her enthusiasm spread to those among the staff who'd decided to stay after closing for the lesson. A few of their friends had shown up as well, giving us around a dozen. It was a good, manageable size. We cleared space upstairs, and I set up my portable CD player. Cody had helped me teach swing before, but I hadn't thought to enlist his assistance this time. Instead, I used Doug as my demo. Maybe it was part of being a musician, but he had a solid sense of rhythm and could pick up moves really quickly.

A half-hour in, I trusted him enough to start assisting others, and we split up to work with some of our students. Despite my hesitation in agreeing to the lesson, I had fun, and most people were so nervous about touching their manager that I didn't have to worry about anyone hurting my back. Maddie, enthusiastic or not, was having a bit of trouble and complained loudly when her brother came in to help her. He swept her away, leaving me with her former dance partner: Seth.

I'd known he was here, of course, but I'd been trying to avoid eye contact. There was no good way around it now, and we stood there awkwardly, eyeing each other, neither of us certain what to do. Autopilot kicked in, and I held my hands out to him. I was the teacher here, and since he was one of the worst dancers on the floor, it was only natural that he'd need my help more than others.

Seth held up his hands in return, and as I took a step forward, my heel snagged on the carpet. I knelt down to check, thinking it would be pretty embarrassing to trip and fall when I was the alleged model of grace and balance here. Glancing up, I met Seth's eyes. He was looking down at me, and his face was no longer shy or confused. His expression was considering and...well, hungry. Looking down, I suddenly realized the view I was offering up. He was able to see right into the heart of my cle**age, which was already considerably exposed by the dress's low neckline. From kneeling, my skirt had ridden up, showing off the black lace top of one of my thigh-highs.

I don't know what in particular he found the most alluring, but his gaze raked across my body, and everywhere it touched, heat swept me. I rose, suddenly feeling like the shy and awkward one. Desire was written all over him, and it was a wonder the entire room didn't notice. He extended his hands again, and when we touched, electricity shot through my body.

Finding the beat, I led him into the steps. He was every bit as bad as I remembered, yet as I worked to guide him in the right moves, our bodies brushing together out of necessity, I couldn't help but think that while his dance rhythm might be lacking, there'd been nothing uncoordinated about the way he made love.

Neither of us spoke for a minute or so, and I was sure he was caught up in the same physical spell as me, probably reliving our encounter from yesterday as well. My arousal was growing too, and wrong as I knew it was, I actually went out of my way to make sure we occasionally touched as I guided his body. Finally, sexually charged or not, I couldn't help but laugh.

"I think this is the worst I've ever seen you dance," I told him. "And believe me, that's saying something."

He smiled ruefully, but I suspected dancing was the last thing on his mind right now. "I'm out of practice."

"Well, I'm glad you're actually here this time, instead of sitting on the sidelines."

"Things change, I guess."

I held his eyes for a few moments. "Yes. Yes, they do."

A few more moments of silence passed before he asked, "How's your immortal, um, situation going?"

"Hmm?" Seth's hand had come within millimeters of brushing against my breast when we turned. Sternly, I chastised myself to forget about the way his body had felt-and looked and smelled and tasted-yesterday and remember my other problems. "Oh, well. Not so great, actually. I got some more info, except it's hard to-"

When I fell silent, Seth tilted his head and gave me a puzzled look. "What?"

I'd forgotten the idea that I'd briefly hinted at to the vampires. "Seth...I have a strange question to ask you...and you can feel free to say no."

The look on his face still seemed to say he wanted to rip my clothes off, but there was something else...something serious and concerned that made sweet, sentimental feelings mingle with my own lust.

"If there's anything I can do to help, I will."

"I know," I said. "Except this isn't exactly your's Kayla's."

If Seth had been doing any semblance of dancing now, he might have stumbled and missed a beat. As it was, it was kind of hard to tell the difference.

"Kayla?" His four-year-old niece's name was clearly not what he'd been expecting to hear.

"Do you remember when I said she had psychic powers?"

"Yeah...but I didn't really think much of it."

"Well, I told you the logistics of summoning, right? Now I've got a lead on where Jerome is but not how to find him once we're in the right spot. I could do it if I was back to normal, or a psychic might be able to do it. Unfortunately, my usual ones aren't easily accessible."

Worry was rapidly dominating over desire now. I was sad to see the arousal leave him, but this was a serious topic.

"I'm not sure I like the idea of Kayla getting mixed up in any of this. In fact, I know I don't like it."

I nodded. "I know. I figured you'd feel that way-believe me, I don't like it either." I loved all of Seth's nieces, but Kayla in particular always tugged at my heartstrings. "Just something that crossed my mind earlier."

"Well, I-ah!"

Another couple slammed into my back, shoving me forward into his arms. My hands reached out to catch myself, but it didn't stop our bodies from pressing together. Every part of me tingled at that contact, and if I'd had any remaining delusions that I could forget about what we'd done yesterday, they shattered for good now.

"Sorry," said Andy. He was dancing with Casey, and like her, he was a longtime staff member.

Casey groaned. "Georgina, please take him. Even Seth can't be that bad."

"Debatable," I murmured. I didn't want to move, didn't want to break my hold with Seth. I wanted to stay there and keep touching him, and because of that very impulse, I stepped back. My breathing was heavy, and it took me a moment to gather myself. I drew in one more deep breath and grinned at Andy. "Okay. Let's see what we can do with you."

Casey led Seth away, and I managed to avoid him for the rest of the dance lesson. When it wrapped up, everyone clapped in my honor and demanded I teach a follow-up. I assured them I would, but I was too flustered and preoccupied to settle on a date right now. I promised to get back to them later.

Several of them immediately jumped in to put the room back together, and seeing no further reason to stay, I hurried off to my office. My plan was to check up on some of the paperwork and hide out until everyone was gone so that I wouldn't have to see Seth again. I was half-way down the hall when I heard someone call my name.


I halted. It was Maddie. I turned, hoping the smile on my face looked neither fake nor panicked. Fuck. She was here to bust me for cozying up with her boyfriend on the dance floor. And honestly, it was no more than I deserved.

But her face was all smiles and good cheer as she handed me a stack of papers. "I went kind of crazy," she said sheepishly, "but these are some condo listings I printed for you. I've been searching online the last couple of days and kind of looked at everything since you still weren't one hundred percent sure of what you wanted. Got a lot of good hits by the beach."

Tags: Richelle Mead Georgina Kincaid Fantasy
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