A/N: I know I haven't posted in a long time, but life has caught up with me and I have been so completely busy. In two weeks, school ends and I couldn't be happier, so I should have some time here soon. However, I find myself in a dilemma. Within this long period of time since I last posted, I have started writing another story (drafts). I have become so completely enthralled in this new project that I have neglected this story. The dilemma is this: I really want to post this new story, as I feel it is one of the best I have ever written. It deals with issues of racism, interracial romance, slavery, and the American Civil War. I know I have loyal followers to this story, but I feel like I have sort of grown apart from it. What do you think I should do? Comment or PM me and let me know. I value my readers' opinions.
There wasn't a moment that weekend that Carter and Genevieve did not spend together. They went out to dinner on Friday, toured parts of New York on Saturday, and stayed in the studio all day Sunday first watching The Sleeping Beauty and then practicing technique. "I am so excited for Tuesday," Genevieve said during some down time between practicing.
"It's going to be hard," Carter replied. "I don't want to lie to you. You're probably going to step into the group corps rehearsal and everybody is going to have a comradery and clique that is hard to penetrate. Just know that you are there for a reason, and that it is because the executives believe in you and your talent. I believe in you and your talent." Genevieve nodded and smiled warmly. She leaned in and kissed Carter on the lips. They stayed lip locked for a while, about ten minutes or so, but there was never a moment that they lost their connection. For the straight ten minutes, they touched each other, moved their lips slowly, and then increasingly more frantic. There was a point where under Genevieve's closed eyelids, she began to cry. It was all so surreal. She had known Carter for a matter of two and a half months and she felt stronger for him now than she had in four years with Daniel. She just wasn't sure how to tell him, or if she was even at the point where she was ready to tell him.
Carter, meanwhile, was more than ready. He pulled away from her, but continued to hold her close. "I love you," he said, trying to assess her reaction. Genevieve became all warm inside from hearing that. The last time someone had told her they loved her, it was her mom on the phone. That was different than this, though. It was a different type of love. Despite her inner turmoil, she smiled calmly and kissed him once more, but said nothing. She really didn't know what to say, so she winged it.
"That's so sweet. Thank you." Carter was broken inside. He wanted so badly to hear it back, but Genevieve didn't say it. Carter felt like he had wasted his breath. He loved her dearly, but now it felt like it was all in vain.
Carter and Genevieve had both internally resolved to forget Carter's declaration. There were too many other things to focus on, and talking about love would just be a nuisance. When the two of them walked into class on Monday holding hands, people stopped and turned. Genevieve tried to push others' judgment from her head. She didn't want people to think that because she and Carter were together that she had some sort of God complex or felt entitled. Genevieve went to her designated spot to sit and put her slippers on. Carter sat down next to her to do the same. As she was doing her stretching, Mariah walked up with her hands clasped in front of her and bent down in front of Carter.
"Banging the new girl doesn't make you come across as charitable, just desperate."
Carter chuckled sardonically and looked Mariah straight in the eye. Without as stutter, he said, "Sucking off the casting director doesn't make you come across as talented, just desperate."
Mariah stood around for a couple more second glaring at Carter. Who could blame him, though? He was right. No longer entertained by him, she turned to Genevieve, who the whole time sat quietly observing, "Cat got your tongue?"
"No," Genevieve said calmly. "Mariah, I have no interest in arguing with you. How about we both agree to just not talk to each other. You can think what you want think and so can I, but we don't have to say anything about it."
"You took my one chance to work professionally away from me. I don't have anything else after this."
"Let's be real. The spot could have been anyone's in that room. I didn't sleep with anyone to get it, I didn't importune any of the judges, I simply danced. If that's not good enough of an explanation for you, then I'm sorry, but I have nothing else to say." Mariah could not figure out anything to say back, and even so, Genevieve had no inclination to pay her any mind. Genevieve went through the rest of the school day in her own little world. In this figment, the only two people that existed were her and Carter, nobody else. She was tired of feeling like she had to answer to everyone. Why couldn't she just go about her life, even just for a day, without any criticism or worry about what others would think of her? If she couldn't actually have that fantasy, she would just have to live it through her imagination. Genevieve shut out any thoughts that didn't pertain to the task at hand. She didn't even go so far as to think of what to have for dinner. She stayed in her head, and that was comfortable for her.
"Genevieve," Carter said on their way back to her apartment. She looked up at him from the sidewalk in front of her. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," she muttered. One thing she hated was when people would respond with 'You're not fine.' Could nobody take her at her word?
"You just haven't been yourself today." At least he didn't respond the way she hoped he wouldn't.
"You've kept to yourself. We've barely talked and all you seemed to focus on today was ballet."
"Is that such a problem?" she snapped. Carter was taken aback by her response. He was just trying to be considerate and did not mean to attack her, but it came across to him that she was pulling away. All he wanted to do was talk and be open. Acting towards each other in this manner was certainly not the way to achieve that.
"No. You've just kind of been stuck in your head."
"Sorry. I've just had a lot going on lately, you know that. And I Skype with parents frequently, but I'm feeling a bit homesick." Genevieve clutched onto Carter tighter to reassure him.
"Thanksgiving is in a couple weeks. You'll get to go home."
"I know. I haven't even gotten my plane tickets yet, nor figured out when I'm leaving and coming back. So much to do, so little time. Are you going back to D.C.?"
"I haven't decided yet. I think I may stay here for Thanksgiving and go home for Christmas."
"Why don't you come back to Albuquerque with me for Thanksgiving? I've told my mom about you, and she'd like to meet you. Besides, I honestly don't know what I'd do without you for a week." Carter smiled brightly. In the past, when it came to any girl he was seeing, he had never met her parents this fast… nor had he ever wanted to meet her parents this fast. "My dad has frequent flyer miles. I could get you a plane ticket for free."
"Are you sure?" Carter asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Absolutely." Genevieve bounced excitedly, waiting for a reply.
"Well if that's the case, then I can't wait." Genevieve kissed Carter giddily and vowed to call her mom later on and let her know. They continued to walk, engaging in small talk along the way. They approached Genevieve's apartment building when Carter next spoke. "I'd been meaning to tell you that there is a party tonight at Thomas the soloist's condo in the Lower East Side. Most of the Company will be there along with a couple others from other ballets. I'd like you to come with me. I can introduce you to our co-workers."
"Yes, please. I think it'd be great to meet them before I start working with them on Tuesday."
"Pick you up at 8?"
"Sounds great." Genevieve went inside. Grayce was sitting at the table reciting a script. "What are you reading for?"
"There's an open casting call for a recurring role on Law and Order and I'm auditioning. What are you doing tonight?"
"Going to a party with Carter. A lot of the Company members will be there, so I'm going to meet them."
"That ought to be fun. Good luck with that. If you need to borrow a pair of my heels, go for it." Genevieve thanked Grayce and rushed to pick something out. After a couple hours, she settled on a floral skirt, white blouse, and black, low-rise heels. She wore hair down for once and accessorized with some jewelry. Carter came knocking on the door at eight on the dot.
"You're beautiful. Usually, your hair is in a ballerina bun, so it's nice to see it down," Carter complemented, brushing his hand over her cheek.
"You don't look too bad yourself." Carter was dressed simply and casually. He wore dark-toned jeans and a button down shirt. He held out his arm for her to grasp and they walked arm in arm all the way to the subway and eventually to Thomas's front door.
"Hey!" Thomas chimed when he opened the door. He gave Carter a pat on the back and looked at Genevieve curiously. "And you must be the new corps member. Great catch, Carter. She's gorgeous. Welcome to the family, sweetie." Thomas kissed Genevieve's hand warmly and welcomed them in. "Everybody!" Thomas yelled. "Carter's here and he brought the new girl!" With alcohol in hand, the partygoers cheered and raised their cups.
"Why don't you go introduce yourself to some people?" Carter urged, "They don't bite." Genevieve chuckled nervously and nodded. Carter went and talked to a group of his friends and Genevieve found her way over to the alcohol table. It wouldn't hurt to live a little, she told herself, and grabbed a beer out of the cooler. Lots of people cliqued together and she couldn't find herself fitting in anywhere. In that crowded living room, she was like a deer headlights, not knowing where to go and frozen still. Across the room, she saw a guy sitting in a chair playing around on his cell phone. She approached him cautiously and he noted her presence by looking up. He had blonde hair the same shade as hers and vibrant green eyes. He had a very defined jaw line and thin lips that curved into a smile upon looking at her.
"Hello, there. I'm Ransom McClelland, corps dancer for the Joffrey Ballet." Genevieve smiled. He was like her: the low man on the totem pole. She held her hand out for him to shake, which he did happily.
"Genevieve Paige; corps dancer for the American Ballet Theatre."
"How do you like the ABT?" Genevieve wrung her hands in front of her.
"I don't know. I haven't started yet." Ransom nodded and offered her the seat next to him. She sat down and crossed her legs.
An awkward silence settled between them, neither really knowing where to go now. "Do you want a drink?" Ransom offered. Genevieve wasn't stupid. She knew to never let somebody else pour her a drink.
"I'll get it myself. Thank you." She stood up and went over to where a bunch of fruity wine coolers were in a cooler. As she was getting out a grape one, Carter placed his hand on her back.
"Don't drink too much. You are still underage." Her eyebrows furrowed. Since when did he get so bossy? Just some time ago, he ditched her for some friends.
"Don't worry. I'll make sure I follow your rules, Dad." Genevieve rolled her eyes and sauntered away back to Ransom. She sat down again and he handed her a cap opener. She popped it and took a swig. Despite being fruity, she still felt the burn. After a couple more swigs, she was starting to feel the buzz. The world wasn't cloudy, just a bit wobbly here and there.
"Trouble in paradise?" Ransom sipped some beer.
Genevieve scoffed, "Tell me about it."
"You know what you need?" Ransom scooted his chair a bit closer. Genevieve realized what was going on, and while part of her was sorry about what was taking place, another part of her kind of didn't care.
"What?" she said rather seductively, leaning into him.
"And how do you suggest I do that?" There weren't many words spoken after that. Ransom nodded to the door. Genevieve did not weigh any consequences; she impulsively acted. She made sure Carter was not watching, and gathered her things. She followed Ransom out the door and into the cold New York streets, still lit up and lively at 11 p.m. They walked together a couple blocks until Ransom stopped in front of an apartment building.
"This is it," he sighed.
Genevieve looked down at her shoes. "I want you to know that it will only be a one-time thing."
Ransom said, "I know. It's fine. No regrets, though."
"No regrets," Genevieve confirmed. Ransom held out his hand, and she took it cautiously. They made their way to his third floor apartment given by the Joffrey. It was simple but sufficient. Ransom put his keys on a table and ushered her to the bedroom. They started slowly with small kisses and caresses. It took a while for them to intensify, but when they did, it didn't stop. Genevieve was not generally a shy person. However, when it came to taking her clothes off in front of Ransom, she found herself a bit conservative. The angel on her shoulder told her to think of how Carter would feel. The devil said that what Carter didn't know wouldn't hurt him. Sinfully, she listened to the devil. Genevieve removed all her undergarments and for the first time in her life, laid naked in front of someone who she was not committed to.
Ransom laid between her legs and used her for his own gratification.