Dance For Me Ch. 11bybrightlyiburn©
Chapter Eleven: Semi-Final
Alastair was glad for the California sun. The warm air and the bright sunshine was a welcome break from his first two weeks of school. Although the were only staying until Sunday afternoon, he was enjoying himself. Sada ought to see this sunset, he thought, reaching for the keycard that opened their hotel room. They were sharing the room, and although Sada had insisted they would be sleeping in the separate beds, Alastair fully meant to change her mind.
Music was playing in the hotel room. He stopped in the doorway and stared. Sada was up on one of the beds, dancing around to the music. She had her back to him; if she could see him she probably would have dropped the brush she was using as a microphone.
"Ready lets roll onto something new…Takin' it's toll and I'm leaving without you…'Cause heaven ain't close in a place like this, I said heaven ain't close in a place like this…Bring it back down, bring it back down tonight…Never thought I'd let a rumor ruin my moonlight…"
Alastair covered his mouth, smothering his laughter. She was dressed in pjs already. Well, they would be getting up at six o'clock in the morning and the time difference was already making him feel sleepy.
"Well somebody told me, that you had a boyfriend, that looks like a girlfriend, that I had in Feburary of last year…it's not confidential, I got potential…"
Alastair couldn't stop himself. He burst out laughing. Sada whirled around, the brush dropping from her hands. Her cheeks turned bright red and she sank down onto the bed, dropping her head into her hands. Laughing still, he walked over to the bed and sat down next to her, putting an arm around her shoulders. Sada peeked at him through her fingers. Alastair grinned and pulled her hands gently away from her face.
"You're so cute," he murmured.
Sada's cheeks darkened further. His fingers closed around her wrists as he lowered her gently down to the bed. His mouth met hers, softly, tenderly, and she sighed. Alastair gently coaxed her lips open with his and slid his tongue up against hers, drawing a small gasp from her. He chuckled softly against her mouth, then shifted his position so he could rest on top of her, his head cushioned between her breasts.
"I wanna stay just like this," Alastair murmured, closing his eyes.
"How am I supposed to sleep?" Sada asked, laughing. She drew her fingers through his hair idly.
"Well," Alastair said, lifting his head slightly. "If you agree to let me sleep with you tonight then I'll move so it's at least comfortable."
"What…what if someone catches us?" Sada's cheeks burned and Alastair laughed, reaching up to play with a strand of hair that fell into her eyes.
"No one else has a key, little dancer," Alastair reminded her.
"Oh," Sada said softly.
That's a yes, Alastair thought, grinning. He shifted his weight off her and stood long enough to pull his t-shirt and jeans off. Glancing at Sada, he found she'd buried her head under a pillow. Hey, he thought, feeling mildly perturbed. At least I left my boxers on! He flicked off the light and jumped back into the bed with her. Alastair turned off the radio on the bedside alarm and then wound his arms around Sada, dragging her close.
"So, what do you think of our chances tomorrow?" Sada asked, snuggling against him.
Alastair shrugged. "I dunno. What do you think?"
"I think you're a brilliant choreographer, Alastair," Sada told him. "I think we're gonna win."
Alastair smiled and closed his arms tighter around her. She squeaked softly, and he loosened his grip just a bit. She makes me think I'm good enough, he thought, burying his face in her hair. All my worries go away when she's with me. He closed his eyes and settled down, completely relaxed with her here. Alastair would have no problem falling asleep tonight.
"Who's bloody idea was this?"
Sada glowered at her image in the dressing room mirror. It was my damn idea, she thought, answering her own question. But I wouldn't have even had the idea if it wasn't for Alastair's choreography. She finally got the catch open on the silvery barefoot slave sandal. It covered her foot and was circled her ankle. The silvery links were adorned with green beads and bells. Sada struggled with the other one, then sat
Some improvation had gone into the design of her costume. Rather than the usual top, she'd found a green handkerchief top that tied around her neck like a halter top and around her back. The silver links of the broad collar she'd lain over it made the green material look strangely sinuous. Green-beaded silver-link demi-gloves adorned her hands. Link bracelets adorned her wrist, with a chain up to the arm bands around her upper arms. Slave bracelets, but they made wonderful gear for this sort of dancing.
Strips of silk in various shades of green and pale yellow formed her skirt. An exotic take on a typical belly dancer outfit, but it worked. Sada sighed and brushed her hair out of her face, then headed out of the dressing room. The trick will be getting my number on, she thought, grinning wryly. They were couple number forty-two tonight. And of course, Melissa and Andre were couple forty-one. It seemed they would never get away from them.
Sada jumped. She glared at Alastair, who had snuck into the girls' changing room. He grinned sheepishly and followed her out. For once he wasn't wearing his leather pants. He looks like Aladdin, kind of, she thought, giggling. From the puffy pants to the open vest, although the look was charming on him. His hair was pulled back as usual when he danced.
"You look fantastic," Alastair told her.
"She looks like a simpering little harem girl, doesn't she?"
Melissa's voice carried loudly above the din of couples crowded in the waiting room. Sada rolled her eyes, standing on her toes to pin Alastair's number on his back.
"She should cross ‘simper' off her list of vocabulary words for the week," Sada said, just as loud as Melissa had.
Alastair snorted, lifting a hand to his mouth to quickly smother his laughter. Grinning broadly, he helped pin Sada's number to her back, albeit carefully. She giggled as his teeth nipped at her earlobe, even as her face turned bright red and she elbowed him sharply in the ribs. Not here, she thought, stepping away from him and fixing him with an admonishing glare. Everyone would see us here!
The wait began. There was no split now that they were down to only fifty couples, although Sada felt that that was a bit too much for one night. She was antsy and impatient, and watching the monitor didn't help. Many of the couples made small mistakes, normally insignificant, but they made so many. It made her nervous. She could feel Alastair's hands on her shoulders, kneading gently.
"Don't worry, little dancer," Alastair murmured in her ear. "We will be spectacular. And you…there won't be a single person in the audience who will be able to keep their eyes off you."
Sada sighed. "Stop it, Alastair. Flattery will get you everywhere."
Alastair laughed, and the soft, rich sound of it relaxed her. By the time they had moved into the wings and were stretching on the bar, she was still nervous but not as jittery. Sada settled against Alastair was they set in to watch Melissa and Andre perform their number. Both of them were expecting another slow, syrupy dance, and both of them nearly jumped out of their skin when fast music struck up.
"Heeeeey…" Sada growled. "Look, Alastair, they're copying us!"
Alastair chuckled. "Don't forget, little dancer, that was us before. What we've got now is much different. I think we will make the
"Only because you're a genius," Sada told him.
"Stop it, Sada," Alastair said. "Flattery will get you everywhere."
Sada snickered. She relaxed again and was feeling pretty good by the time it was her and Alastair's turn. He took her hand and led her out onto the stage; the audience was applauding, which felt wonderful. The enthusiastic screaming she heard above the rest of the crowd had to be Alastair's family.
"Couple number forty-two, Alastair Wolfe and Sada Scarlett."
The music struck up. Sada loved this song, and she'd been surprised when Alastair had shown her the dance he'd planned. Far different from what they'd done before, it was slow and sensual. A mix of belly-dancing, ballet, and freestyle, it was fun to do and she hoped fun to watch.
"I dream of fire…Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never die…And in the flames…her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire."
Never in her life had she felt such heat. She moved with Alastair, her body against his, her movements fluid grace under the guidance of his hands, which traveled along her arms and belly and occasionally rested on her hips. The dance was intimate, almost too much so, but Sada forgot all about the crowd. All she could feel was Alastair's body moving against hers, and her ears were filled with the pounding of her heart and the sound of the music.
"I dream of rain…I lift my gaze to empty skies above…I close my
eyes, this rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of her love…"
Alastair's hands supported her lower back as she arched, sweeping backward. He held her in that position, his mouth against her belly, one hand coming up to trail down along her neck and between her breasts. In the next instant she had straightened into his arms, and they moved together against as though they were connected by more than their hands.
"Sweet desert rose…Each of her veils, a secret promise…This desert flower…No sweet perfume every tortured me more than this…"
Sada closed her eyes. This is bliss, she thought, as Alastair's hands shifted down to her hips again. It was as exhilarating as their earlier dances, although in a different way. As the song faded away, his hands cupped her face, his thumb feathering lightly over her lower lip. Sada stared up at him, into his pale blue eyes. My god, she thought, I'm falling in love with him! The revelation nearly knocked her off her feet.
The noise of the crowd finally broke through her trance. Sada grinned, feeling shaky as Alastair lead her off the stage. They headed past the next couple and into the waiting room, where they collapsed together on a bench. Alastair put his arms around her immediately, laughing breathlessly. No, Sada thought, resting her head on his chest. I'm already in love with him.
"That was wonderful, little dancer," Alastair murmured. "You were wonderful."
"That was so boring!" Melissa's voice carried across the room. "Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they get zeroes! What lousy choreography."
"Ignore her," Sada muttered. "Just ignore her."
"She doesn't bother me," Alastair said.
"I was talking to myself," Sada told him.
Alastair laughed. They stayed like that together until the rest of the contests had danced. To Sada's surprise their scores were fantastic. We're in the lead! she thought, grinning and jumping to her feet. We're in the lead! Ha, take that miss priss bitch! She shot a glance at Melissa, who looked furious. Alastair got to his feet a bit more slowly, although she could tell by the sparkling of his eyes that she was just as pleased as she was.
Sada braced herself, but Alanna didn't smother her in a hug this time. She was trailed by Quinn, who was looking…unhappy. He glanced at her and then quickly away. I won't let this spoil my good mood, she thought, determinedly.
"Did you hear?" Alanna asked, grinning. "The judges said the
finals will be a double."
"Oh, no," Alastair muttered.
"Oh, yes!" Alanna cheered.
Sada blinked. "What does that mean, a double?"
"Two dances," Alastair explained. "Which means choreographing,
practicing, and performing two dances. It's hard and exhausting…"
"They've set the finals for the beginning of summer," Alanna said, chattering in her usual cheery mode. "So at least it won't get in the way of school, right Alastair? And I know you can come up with two dances just as great as this one was! Better, even!"
Sada grinned at Alastair, who rolled his eyes. She leaned against him experimentally and was pleased when he put his arm around her shoulders, dragging her close. They hadn't made a big announcement of their relationship, but that didn't mean they were concealing it. It was just that they spent so much time in the dance studio that they weren't often seen elsewhere. Sada glanced up at Alastair and noticed he was frowning.
"Are you going to be able to do this?" Sada asked. "It's so much, and you already have a lot going on…"
"I can do it," Alastair assured her.
Sada frowned. "Alastair, really…I'd hate myself if something happened to you because of me."
"Stop it," Alastair muttered. "Look, I'll take care of it. I won't let you down, Sada."
Sada stared at his face for awhile, but he was stubbornly determined. I won't let him make himself sick, she thought, as she broke apart from him to head to the dressing room. This is important but…not as important as he is. But a part of her really hoped he would be able to handle it. She wanted to win this competition…not just for herself, but for Alastair, too.
Alastair was already thinking on the dances he would choreograph for the final as he showered. It's going to be tough, he thought, running his fingers through his hair. But with Sada, I can do anything. It meant he was going to need more help from his parents, though, and he wasn't sure how they would react to that. It was enough for them to help me once, Alastair thought. I shouldn't ask for more before I can pay them back for this.
He got out of the shower and dried himself off, then pulled his clothes on. The California night air was gloriously warm and he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I'm going to hate going back to the cold, Alastair thought, as he shouldered his gym bag and headed out of the dressing room. His parents were waiting for him outside the door; his brother and sister had probably gone back to the hotel.
"You two were fantastic," his mother said, smiling broadly.
"Thanks, mom," Alastair said. "Next one is going to be a killer."
Gabriel put an arm around his son's shoulder. "We'll make it work. Go find your dancer so we can get back to the hotel, okay?"
"She isn't…" Alastair began, then paused. He grinned. "Well, just don't let her hear you call her that."
His father's laughter followed him down the hall as he headed towards the girls' dressing room. His mother's voice mixed with his father's laughter, and Alastair smiled. He'd been so self-absorbed this last few years that he hadn't paid close attention to how happy they were together. I want that, he thought, I want to have someone just like that. Maybe Sada would be that person.
He reached the corner before the dressing room and paused; he could hear voices. Just like when Sada had heard him and Melissa, he now heard her voice. And, much to his displeasure, Melissa's. Despite himself, Alastair pinned himself against the wall and listened closely.
"You can't actually win you know." That was Melissa's voice. "I mean, Alastair is good, but you're nothing special. He can't hold it up all by himself."
"Don't you have better things to do?" Sada muttered. Alastair could hear her exasperation.
Melissa laughed. "Come on, little Sada. I've known Alastair longer than you have. What, do you think this is a romantic comedy? He isn't going to fall in love with you, you know."
"I never asked him to," Sada said, her voice sharp and annoyed.
"He'd never look at you twice," Melissa went on. "You're just his dance partner. I was his girlfriend. I slept with him."
Sada kept quiet. Alastair wished dearly that he could see her face. Don't just stand there, he thought, clenching his hands into fists. Let her have it! But Sada didn't speak and for a moment he thought she'd left. Then Melissa's voice rose, as annoying and goading as ever.
"You probably still haven't even been kissed yet!" Melissa laughed. "Sada the Virgin…you're so pathetic!"
Alastair couldn't take anymore. He walked around the corner and grabbed hold of Sada. Melissa stared at him, horrified, as he grabbed Sada and pulled her into his arms. He caught a glimpse of her bright green eyes, startled and wide, before he lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her gently.
"I've been looking for you," Alastair murmured.
"Sorry," Sada whispered. Melissa looked at them once, then stomped away, furious.
"Why didn't you stand up to her?" Alastair asked, cradling Sada's face in his hands. "You could have told her we're together."
Sada looked at him. "It isn't any of her business, Alastair. I don't want her spitting her filth about us."
Alastair sighed and closed his arms around her, dragging her near. Poor little dancer, he thought, resting his head on hers. She's trying so hard to get over what happened to her when she was fourteen. He gave her another small, gentle kiss, then lead her away from the dressing room. He'd find a way to help his little dancer…he'd help her mop the floor with Melissa.