Small town fun loving Kota falls for a new boy in her school, but he and his family have a dark and mysterious past that comes back to haunt them - And Kota finds herself stuck in the middle of a war hidden from the rest of the world.
After that Connelly almost never left my side, except when I was with my boys. The weeks passed, turning into months as we spent almost all of our extra time practicing. I was juggling a lot with my job, practice, my boys, and Connelly, but I thought I was doing pretty well.
At the end of the third month we boarded the plane bound for California, me actually feeling ready this time. Connelly and I were separate from the others on the plane, though our whole group pretty much took up almost the majority of the plane. What can I say, there were about forty of us.
The flight was long, though Connelly and I spent most of it talking, taking pictures, conversing with the other dancers across the row, and listening to music. “So, where exactly is this place?” I asked as we waited on our luggage at the airport. Sue, Ivan, Dale and Chase were on my left side while Connelly and the rest of his family were on my right. Louis was at the very end of our group, being in a mood that both got on my nerves and made me laugh.
“It’s in Palm Desert on Country Club Drive. Does that tell you anything?” asked Connelly, a smart-elec smile on his face. I gave him a smart look and he just grinned at me, grabbing his bags and putting them on the cart beside him.
“So it’s a Country Club with a lot of Palm trees?” I said unsurely as I struggled with my huge bag, almost breaking a sweat trying to drag it off the belt. Connelly smiled and shook his head, leaning over with a chuckle and without so much as a huff picked my bags up and set them soundlessly on the cart with his.
“No, it’s a resort.” he said, taking my hand. “With a lot of Palm trees.”
“I knew it.” I said and he shook his head, an amused smile on his face. He wrapped his arm around my waist and wheeled our cart to the parking lot with the others to a very long line of cabs. There we proceeded to stuff the trunks with all our stuff and then haul ourselves to the resort.
“So what is this place supposed to be like?” I asked, squished into a cab with Connelly and Dale, along with some of our luggage.
“Well it’s huge of course, what resort isn’t huge, and has all kinds of things for us to do before the competition.” Connelly said, looking out his window, his hand in mine.
“Like what kind of things?” asked Dale.
“Well it has five pools, eight floors, several buildings, eight hundred and thirty-three rooms, fifty-one suites, a fitness center, a club, several restaurants, golf and a lot of other things like that, a spa, gondola tours on the water, and too many other things to name.” said Connelly, smiling at us.
“Eight hundred and thirty-three rooms?” said Dale in surprise.
“A spa?” I said. “I know where I’ll be spending my time.” They both looked at me and smiled.
We continued talking about all the other things the resort had, questioning Connelly about everything. Then when we pulled up to our destination, Dale and I gasped in unison. It looked like a Casino, with all the huge buildings, the white color, the clean cut corners and square shape of the buildings. Yep, this was totally a resort. Besides, it said, “Desert Springs, A JW Marriot Resort & Spa, Palm Desert”.
“It looks like a Casino.” I said, voicing my thoughts.
Connelly looked over at me with a confused and amused face. “Have you ever been to a Casino?” he asked.
“Nope.” I said.
“California?” he asked.
“Nope.” I said and smiled at him. He shook his head and grinned, putting an arm around me and leading the group as we followed Amelia to the front desk.
“You are the group from Colorado, here for the dance competition am I correct?” the concierge asked in a snooty kind of way. I mentally laughed because he was trying obviously hard to have a French accent, but was failing miserably because he was in fact British. I guess having a French accent was fancier than a British one. Who knew?
“Yes, we’re only here for the weekend.” Amelia said graciously, sounding way fancier than the British/French concierge, and she had a slight German/Italian twist.
“Yes, the same as most of the competitors.” he said. “Here are your keys, enjoy your stay.” He then passed out all of our keys and waved us on our way.
I giggled as we walked away. “Did you hear him?” I said, looking around. The others laughed too, nodding.
“Well children, enjoy your rooms and I will meet you in Costa’s for practice in an hour and a half.” Amelia said and then departed after giving us a smile.
After she left we went to our rooms, though I have to say they didn’t impress. I mean sure they were nicer than the Holiday Inn and all the others I’d been in, but they weren’t what I expected. They were just regular but fancier rooms.
I left my room completely disappointed and met up with Connelly, who showed me down to the lobby and past the front desk. There were numerous pairs of steps, going down, up, left, right, and I got dizzy thinking about where they all led to. But Connelly led me down one of the two sets of very wide steps down to a lower floor and then out the back door.
I squinted and put a hand up to shade my eyes from the sudden intense sunlight, but when the glare faded my jaw dropped. There were four pools and a hot tub set out in front of me, people walking around, swimming, and laying on chairs. “Wow.” I said. I was completely impressed now.
“The other one’s over there.” he said, pointing to the three end buildings. “I hope you brought a bathing suit.” he smiled at me, his hand squeezing my waist.
“This place is going to be so much fun.” I said.
“You bet it is.” he said, kissing me on the cheek. “Because I have a lot of plans for us this weekend.” I looked at him.
“Like what?” I asked, but he shook his head.
“It’s a surprise.” he said, turning us around and leading me back in as the others were stepping off the elevators.
“Hey Kota, let’s go look around!” Dale yelled, running down to us. I looked at Connelly, who kissed my hand and nodded, and turned back to Dale with a smile.
“Sure.” I said and he grinned. I hugged Connelly, who went off with his family, and went exploring with the guys while Sue and Ivan went off on their own.
So, my boys and I went from door to door, looking in on all of the stores and restaurants while getting drinks and talking about all the things we were doing to do that night. We found all the things Connelly had said, including a bowling alley, hiking, mini golf, horseback riding, nature trail, a sauna, and Volleyball. We found Costa’s too, which turned out to be a totally awesome club.
And after going back to our rooms and changing into more easily maneuverable attire, we returned with all the others and were escorted through a door in the back which led to another, private, room. There were mirrors on every wall that ran from floor to ceiling. The wood floors shined under us and made our footsteps echo.
“Cool.” I heard one of our other dancers say.