"No, no, no! Stop!" she squawked. Okay, well not exactly squawked, more like screeched.
We froze on the spot. I had both my hands pressed on my lower back, palms facing out, and Matthew's arms were around me, fingers intertwined with mine. We were about 15 centimeters apart and my shoulders were already aching. Needless to say, it wasn't a very comfortable position for either of us.
I glanced at Matthew's emerald gaze, before sliding it to look at Viola Cunningham. I tried to relax my shoulders as I gazed at Viola's bright pink suit and white hair styled into an elegant twist of some sort. For an old lady, she definitely had high standards for fashion.
"You cannot be dancing like this on the stage! This is horrible!"
I bit my lip and frowned, feeling the dark green eyes settle on me. I thought we were doing all the steps correctly. We had practiced for a long time, and she thought it was horrible?
Before I had a chance to say anything, she spoke again. "Where is the… passion? The love…"
"…The hunger.." she growled. It was a pretty unattractive sound, in my opinion.
And what was she talking about? Love? We were here to dance! Not show acts of love…
I was about to voice my thoughts when I felt Matthew pull me closer until I was pressed against the length of his body. I tried to stifle a gasp and my eyes flew up to his. They were intense, as usual, and lacked any emotion, as usual. I swallowed hard at the close proximity of our bodies and felt my face heat up as I felt the burn of his hands pressed against my lower back. The buzz and spark of electricity that flowed through the length of my body was unexpected and my eyes widened slightly before I turned my attention to the wall behind him.
Now we were barely 0.01 centimeters apart. I took a deep breath and tried to calm by fast beating heart. What was happening to me?
"Better, much better. Now dance. 1, 2, 3, 4…"
My legs automatically started moving to the count and we both resumed doing our parts, twisting away, coming together, turning around, out, in…5, 6, 7, 8… just like we had so many times before. Except this time, it was a bit different. No, actually, it was a lot different. I could feel the burning sensation of his hands, fingers, and body; scorching me wherever he touched me.
He twirled me out and I released his hand simultaneously, walking towards the chairs. "I need a break," I called faintly over my shoulder. Viola didn't look very happy but I could care less right now. I felt lightheaded. I dropped into the chair and drank the ice cold water, my eyes resting on Matthew Farrell. We had been dance partners for a couple of months now, and this was our first time together on stage, but I felt like I barely knew him. Well, I didn't know him. Not that it was my fault, though. I had tried talking to him on many occasions but his lack of cooperation and responsiveness made things pretty awkward, so I didn't even try anymore.
Aside from that, he was an incredible dancer, and very easy to work with. He was tall, probably close to 6 feet, and had long legs and lean body. He didn't look like a muscle type of guy, but I had felt the corded, hard muscles of his shoulders, chest, and arms to know better. He was a born dancer.
I, on the other hand, was supposed to be a lawyer, or a doctor, or something far more successful than a mere dancer. My passion and love for dancing was one of the things that created a rift between my parents and I. They wanted me to have a career that I could depend on; something that would make me and keep me successful. What they couldn't understand was that I couldn't do anything that I didn't like. They weren't ready to understand that I could be successful at anything I did that I loved. And this was it. This was what I wanted to do 40 years from now. Don't get me wrong, I love my parents to death. I just don't like their…perspective, when it comes to my life and my decisions. I still remember the time when they didn't talk to me for 3 days when I picked Ballroom Dancing instead of Business Education in high school.
"Where will all this jumping and prancing around get you? I'll tell you; nowhere. You'll have nothing by the end of it, and that's when you'll regret the decisions you made."
You were wrong, ma, I thought to myself. This was where I reached, I thought, looking around at the few couples practicing their routines. Doing international competitions and shows was where I got.
My stomach growled in response. I glanced at the clock on the wall and groaned. One more hour to go… all that talk about hunger really had me craving for some food.
She was short and fat.
Ah, alright, forgive me. I suppose that was a little too harsh. She wasn't all that short, maybe 5"6, and she wasn't exactly fat either, more like over-curvy. While some men liked women with curves, I just… I don't know how to explain it.
She just wasn't the kind of girl I was used to dancing with. Even though she was a fairly good dancer, I still didn't understand how on earth they paired her with me.
Now, Sarah, on the other hand… she had been perfect for me. Tall, slender, gorgeous…
My chest constricted at the thoughts and I hastily pushed them to the back of my mind. Julia McCartney wasn't ugly, but she wasn't beautiful or gorgeous either. She was rather…cute, and pretty. But that was exactly it. Everything about her seemed like the complete opposite of what I wanted in a dance partner. I was sure we looked like the most mismatched and odd couple in the history of performing arts.
Viola Cunningham's clapping hands pulled me out of my thoughts.
"Okay, Matthew. What is going on? I know you've done much better than what you're doing right now, so what's happening?"
I turned my head, and my gaze clashed with stormy grey ones across the room. Her eyes were probably the only feature I actually liked. Looking back at Viola, I shrugged.
Viola sighed. "Look, Matthew, I know you're still probably not over Sarah leaving but you have to do your very best to win this competition! Only then can you go on to the championships. We only have 2 weeks left!"
I was getting slightly annoyed. "But I thought we were doing all the steps correctly! What am I doing that's wrong?"
Now she looked irritated. "Matthew, please. You know what I'm talking about. A good performance is not just about doing the steps correctly! It's also about putting expression and feeling into it. Right now, there is nothing between you two! I don't expect Julia to know what I'm talking about, she's not as experienced as you, but you've done this before, Matthew."
Then why did you pair her up with me? I wanted to ask.
I sighed, knowing there was no point in arguing with her, "Fine. I'll try harder."
She smiled slightly, obviously satisfied with my response, and turned around to call Julia.
Julia walked over with a small frown and a curious look in her eyes, no doubt wondering what we had been arguing about.
"Now, I want some flavor in this dance, alright? Right now, it's like tofu, and I need some spice!" Viola said, with a friendly smile directed in Julia's direction.
Why does she get the motherly act, while I got the third degree? I wondered grumpily.
I watched as Julia raised a dark brow slightly and pursed her lips from laughing out loud. Viola always had been good with her metaphors.
We took our places again and robotically began dancing. This time, I held her closer to my body, and watched her face. She was biting her lip with concentration and distraction as she did her steps smoothly, stumbling only once or twice.
"No, Julia, honey wait." Viola called out and Julia came to a stop. "Look at him, honey! Watch him, touch him. Even when you're doing your solos, look at him like you can't be apart from him. Dancing is almost like acting, there has to be feeling in it."
She licked her lips and swallowed, nodding slightly, and gave me a brief look. She looked scared. Was I that intimidating?
Well, I suppose I hadn't really made an effort to befriend her. That was probably why she was so uncomfortable around me.
Oh Jesus, this was getting more and more complicated.
We resumed where we'd left off and this time Julia held my gaze and looked back at me the entire time, a small smile tilting her lips. She brought her hand up and cupped my cheek, and I refrained from sucking a breath in. She dragged her soft fingers down the side of my face until they rested against my chest. The heat from her fingers was spreading throughout my body, and it was getting harder to breath.
Something was definitely not right here.
A/N: So, here's another one of my crazy, wild ideas. It's been in my mind for quite some time now, and I just thought I'd finally put it up. Please, please, please review! Thanks.