Dance For Me Ch. 04bybrightlyiburn©
Chapter Four: Working Together?
"I told you no!"
Alastair sighed, backing away from Sada. She stood with her hands on her hips, glaring at him fiercely with those bright green eyes. She just doesn't understand, he thought, shaking his head. She needs to let me touch her for us to dance as we should. She would not allow his hands to wander. Sada wouldn't put up with intimate touches. Alastair was ready to scream with frustration. How could she not understand that it was all part of the dance?
"I don't want you doing it," Sada said firmly.
"It's not like we're having sex!" Alastair snapped, losing his patience. "Stop being such a prude!"
Sada stared at him for a long moment, and he could see fury sparking in her eyes. To his surprise, she turned and stomped out of the studio, leaving him by himself. Not good, Alastair thought, sighing and running his fingers through his hair. This is just not working out. This was the second week he'd been dancing with Sada, and just about every session ended as this one had. It seemed that instead of become more comfortable with him as time went on, she became less.
Dancing with Sada was complicated. Alastair had no interest in a serious relationship, but his interest in Sada wasn't solely platonic, either. Perhaps she sensed that, and that was what made her uneasy. Or maybe she was struggling with her own attraction to him. There was no doubt in his mind that she was attracted to him. Alastair never had any doubts about that. Don't I sound humble, he thought, dropping down on a pile of mats. Well, we'll have to try tomorrow, then.
Sada had to admit, Alastair surprised her. He worked hard, but was at the studio six days out of seven to practice with her. It was hell. He kept insisting she let him touch her in ways she'd never been touched. Maybe if she wasn't so drawn to him it might not bother her so much. Maybe if she hadn't woken up this morning from an erotic dream about him, she might not be so uptight. Alastair effected her, and that drove her crazy.
Sada dropped the folder she was holding on the pile of mats by
the door and began stretching. Alastair wouldn't get here for awhile; she wanted some time to dance on her own, and to think. The folder held information on a freestyle national dance contest. She'd never heard of anything like it before, and it seemed interesting. Sada walked over to the boom box they'd left in the studio, and put a CD in. I can always think and dance to these guys, she thought.
She moved across the floor slowly, just moving with the music. Sada knew one thing for certain: she wanted to enter this contest. However things weren't working too well with Alastair. I know it's really my fault, she thought, but he's so arrogant, too! It drives me crazy! She stretched her arms up above her head, tilting her head back and singing softly as the music played.
"Awake through motion...With curious to curtain your first move...Over arms length they'll break protocol...Jealous envy for the youngest one...To be the hero is all I'll ask...Can I be buried here among the dead...With room to honor me here in the end..."
Sada wasn't really a good singer, but it soothed her to sing. Her head was a mish mash of thoughts she wasn't used to. She loved to dance, and she was an all right choreographer, but was she could enough for this. Maybe I can get Alastair to do the choreography, she thought, pausing for a moment to look at her reflection in the mirror. They hadn't really discussed it yet. Sada sighed and dropped to floor, folding her legs beneath her. They were going to have to discuss it
Alastair paused outside the door of the studio. He couldn't help wondering where Sada found the money to rent it so often. Music played from inside the studio, although he wouldn't call it dancing music. What is that? he wondered, leaning against the door. It's weird. Alastair could hear Sada singing along with the music, something he would never have expected of her, lest she be caught undignified.
"Did I bother telling you this...with the words that cross teeth and jump lips...a poor choice of words, in wanting to tell you anything...but words don't come with ease, they're forever my...hurt..."
Shaking his head, he pushed open the door and stepped quietly inside. Sada was on the bar, one leg braced on it, stretching. She had her eyes closed, singing along to the music, and didn't notice him come in. Alastair dropped his backpack on the mats in the corner, then paused, eyeing the folder laying there. He flipped it open and rifled through the contest. A dance contest? he thought, frowning. We can't even work together yet and she's thinking about a contest?
It was an interesting idea, though, he had to admit. Alastair glanced over at her. Time to teach the little dancer a lesson, he thought, smiling to himself. She wouldn't be making any decisions without him. He pulled off his jacket, boots, and socks, then crept up silently behind her. Sada was so absorbed in her music that she didn't realize something was amiss until he'd grabbed her. Ignoring her flailing, Alastair dragged her backwards, and spun her around to face him. Her green eyes lit with fury.
"So, a dance contest?" Alastair asked, killing her anger before it had begun.
"I...I was just...thinking about it!" Sada stammered defensively.
"You can't possibly think we're ready," Alastair said. "You won't even let me touch you!"
"Why should I?" Sada demanded, her anger creeping back up again. "We're just dancing together!"
Alastair grabbed for her suddenly, quicker than she was able to move. He spun her around and pulled her up against him, her back firmly against his chest. His hands spanned her ribs, just beneath her breasts, and his hips rocked into hers. He felt Sada shiver as his mouth moved along her neck. Stop that, Alastair told himself, bringing his head back. I'm not going to take this that far. No matter what his body wanted him to do.
"We are partners, Sada," Alastair murmured, feeling her shiver again as his breath rushed over her ear. "We need to move together. If you cannot relax with me, we can be nothing on the dance floor."
"But...I..." Sada stammered, staring up at him.
"That is dancing," Alastair told her. "It's passion, Sada. It's heat and touch and fire. Do you understand?"
Judging by the look in her bright green eyes, she didn't quite get it. However she flinched a little less as he trailed a hand up between her breasts, so he got the feeling that he had, at least, planted a seed of understanding. The CD she'd been listening to started playing again, and although it wasn't suited to the dances Alastair had in mind, it was a good way to get her to sway with him.
"Who is this?" Alastair asked, closing his arms firmly around her waist.
"Coheed and Cambria," Sada told him.
He stared at her. "Who?"
"Coheed and Cambria," Sada repeated, laughing. "They're not too mainstream, but they're killer. So...about this contest..."
Way to change the subject, Alastair thought, turning her to face him. An impish smile tugged at her soft, full mouth, and he had to fight not to smile back. The contest preliminaries were starting in a month, which hardly gave them enough time, he knew. It would mean choreographing and perfecting a dance in so little time, and with Sada unwilling to relax completely. But we're good, Alastair thought. Good enough that we could get through preliminaries not fully connected.
"All right," Alastair conceded at last. "But this will be work, Sada. Hard work. You'd better be prepared."
When Alastair had told her that they would be working hard, Sada hadn't realized it would be this hard. She met him at the studio every day, after school, and before he had to go to work. They worked on pieces of the dance he had choreographed over and over again, until she felt she could do it in her sleep. And it was a fantastic dance, Sada had to admit. She had been a little wary about the music, at first, though.
"Michael Jackson?" Sada questioned, lifting her eyebrows at Alastair.
"Hey, I never said I liked him," Alastair said defensively, lifting his hands. "But you have to admit, the man has some good dancing music. And this is just for now, until I decide for certain what we're going to dance to."
Sada stared at him. "You don't even know for sure? But then how can we make the dance work with the music?"
"I know what I'm doing," Alastair assured her. "Don't question me."
So she didn't. Sada left the music and choreography up to him, but she took care of registration and costumes herself. Alastair was a little leery about this at first; he didn't want to end up dancing in a dorky costume. Finding something he would wear, and producing a matching costume for herself, proved to be a worthy challenge. She got Farah, Gina, and Heather to help her with that.
Sada had a small fight with Alastair over the pants he wanted to wear. She insisted that leather wasn't good for dancing, but he gotten her to admit that his were supple enough. By making her touch them while he was wearing them, something that made her face burn to think about. They'd had a huge argument about color; Alastair rarely wore anything but black. Sada knew that while it was okay to wear black sometimes, but judges at dance contests usually appreciated color. She had ended up agreeing to wait on a color decision until he made a music decision.
When Alastair had at last come to her with his decision, she was able to finish planning for their costumes. That very afternoon she sat in the studio, listening to "Higher Ground" (the Red Hot Chilli Peppers version) and flipping through a book of color swatches. I suppose I could go with something dark, Sada mused, trailing her finger over a swatch of dark blue cotton. The preliminaries wouldn't call for anything spectacular, after all.
"Having any luck?"
Startled, Sada glanced up at Alastair. His hair was still dripping from a shower; she hadn't taken one yet. He sat down on the pile of mats next to her and looked down at the color swatches.
"Don't worry," Sada assured him. "I'll have it figured out."
"I like that skirt you picked up," Alastair said, his voice edged with good-natured humor.
Sada felt her cheeks heat. "I...I thought it would match."
Leather should have been out of the question. However she'd found a skirt that was pleated leather over gray plaid when she'd been out shopping with her friends. And it cost seventy bucks, Sada thought, wrinkling her nose at the memory. She'd shown it to Alastair, and he'd been teasing her about it ever since.
"Aww, don't be shy," Alastair teased. "No one can blame you for wanting to look good...what with me around all the time."
Sada glowered at him. "Don't push it."
He laughed, and she stared at him for a moment. He was trying to break the tension, she thought, biting her lip. Sada sighed, stifling a laugh in the sound. At least they got along sometimes. She closed the book of swatches and tapped him lightly over the head with it. Alastair growled, swatting the book away. Sada sprang to her feet, laughing as he chased her around the studio.
Working so hard made both Sada and Alastair grumpy. With less than a week until the preliminaries, they were working together every spare hour they had. If you could call this working together, Alastair thought, glaring across the studio at Sada. They were in the middle of another argument about where he put his hands when they danced. They had one lift in their dance that required him to put his hands beneath her skirt, and she was not at all happy about it.
"You knew the choreography weeks ago!" Alastair growled. "We've done this hundreds of times! And you'll be wearing a leotard beneath your skirt. What the hell is the problem!?"
"There isn't anyone here watching us!" Sada shot back. "We're going to be in front of a crowd!"
"Oh, geez," Alastair sighed, rolling his eyes. "Listen, Sada. This is just a part of dancing. If you can't handle it, then we should just pull out of the contest!"
That brought her to a halt. She chewed on her lower lip, her eyes darting to the floor. They had been practicing, and when they'd gotten to the lift, she'd balked. She is driving me nuts, Alastair thought, rubbing a hand across his face. Why did I ever agree to this? He glanced up at Sada and saw her watching him. Her bright green eyes were resigned.
"Let's practice," Sada grumbled, walking over to the stereo.
And so they practiced. Alastair realized that if they really did make it through the preliminaries, he would run into a problem with work. Other parts of the competition would take place in different states, as well. He would have to find a way to work it out; he couldn't keep his apartment without his job. And his parents had made it quite clear that he couldn't stay with them unless he had a damn good reason. Somehow he doubted a dance contest was going to count.
Alastair knew his parents wouldn't let him back into the house for a dance contest, but he hoped at least they'd support him by attending. At first he hadn't wanted them to be there, but as he and Sada progressed, he'd changed his mind. They weren't perfect together, but they were good enough to impress his family. Alanna would kill me if I didn't invite her, he thought, smiling wryly.
It was family night, and he was running a little late. The rest of the family looked up from the table as he entered. His mother's pale blue eyes were disapproving, as he'd expected. She wasn't a stern parent, but she was firm about the nights they spend together as a family. Her long brown hair was pulled up off her neck, and if one looked closely they could see light strands of gray mixed in.
Alastair's mother was in her mid-forties, but she didn't look much
older than thirty, especially when she smiled.
His father looked amused. He showed his age a bit more than Alastair's mother, with strands of silver hair stark against the black. Laughter glittered in his dark eyes, and he covered a smirk with his hand. His mother sent a dark look her husband's way; she always knew what he was doing, even when she wasn't look.
"Sorry," Alastair said, plopping down into his chair. "We ran
over a bit."
"We?" his mother questioned, her eyebrows lifting. "I suppose "we" have a good explanation, then, for why you're late?"
"Give him a break, dear," his father said, grinning. "I understand he's been spending time with a girl."
Alastair felt his cheeks heat. "Thanks a lot, Lonnie."
"Not a problem, Ally," Alanna retorted.
Quinn was quiet throughout, but Alastair saw him smiling. I should have thought twice about this, he thought, sighing heavily. He glanced over to his parents, to see his mother glowering at his father.
"Gabriel Wolfe, you are a horrible influence on our children," his mother scolded.
"Uh oh," Alanna giggled. "You know she means business when she uses your fully name."
"Aislinn, sweetie, why don't we let our son explain?" Gabriel suggested, barely able to contain his laughter.
Alastair glared at his father. Gabriel knew just how to get attention off of himself and onto someone else. All eyes once more turned to regard him; three pairs of blue in varying shades and one pair of near black. He suddenly felt distinctively uncomfortable.
"I was practicing," Alastair said quietly. "With my dance partner, Sada."
"Told you so!" Alanna crowed, grinning.
Alastair shot her a look. "We are just dance partners. That's all. And...well, there's a competition we're entering. The preliminaries...I have tickets reserved, if...well, you know."
"Ooo!" Alanna clapped her hands together childishly, her eyes sparking in delight. "We're invited! I thought you wouldn't invite us!"
"I didn't want to!" Alastair growled.
He looked over at his parents. They were looking at each other, then at him, then back to each other. Slowly a smiled curved his mother's lips, making her look even younger than she already did. Oh good, Alastair thought, letting out an explosive sigh of relief. He knew that his parents could go one of two ways; they could be pleased that he was doing something other than stripping, or they could disappointed that he was still doing nothing with his life. Alastair preferred the former choice much more than the latter.
"Of course we'll be there," Aislinn said, smiling. "Alastair, honey, you know we wouldn't miss it for the world."