Convincing? My inner mind repeated. Her eyes growing wide, her mouth falling open. The endless array of possibilities from his statement teased the corners of my mind. The statement in itself was innocent enough –he knew I wouldn’t be as easily convinced as the others. But it was the way he said it that left me so shell-shocked and dazed. That I would take further convincing. I shuddered suddenly feeling bare underneath the soft protective glow the chandeliers provided. “Who are you?” I managed to say, his gaze holding me. His eyes boring into me with the intensity of an expression I couldn’t place. Curiosity? Amusement? Desire? My mind froze then, tasting the how ridiculous I sounded. Desire? I she laughed. Shaking her head, at the thought. He was definitely too handsome to ever be attracted to someone like me. No. This was surly his twisted way of messing with me, toying with the emotions of someone so beyond approach.
I watched, what I assumed to be the muscles along his chest, as he inhaled a deep breath and let it go. His expression softening as he did, and then I watched as he extended one of his hands towards me. “Dance with me?” He asked, his words were gentle enough. His question direct and to the point, but it was what his words didn’t say. What his eyes had said –that told me it hadn’t been a question, but a demand.
Glancing around, I caught a few curious and questioning stares. Eventually I had run out of time and knew I had to make a decision. “One dance, and then I have to try to find my way back to my friend.” I sighed unable to walk away from him. My inner mind fuming.
Our fingers had barely touched before he closes what little space was left between us. His left hand immediately encircling my lower waist, the feel of his cuffs, cool against my skin. I swallow in attempt to calm my ever present nerves. My inner mind reeling under his touch. We hadn’t even moved to start dancing when the songs tempo elevates, and I find myself twisting within his arms. The second it shifts back to normal, he dips me. My heart was racing, and a smile escapes me. Its then, in that moment, which barely lasts a second, our eyes find each other and something changes. An exchange of words although none were spoken. But before I am able to fully process what was happening, I was back up in his arms.
The way my body moved under his control was unmatched. He led me with precision, spinning, dipping and lifting me with ease. My body completely at his mercy, at least, for the duration of this song. When it ends we stand there, his arms holding me to him. His breath ragged along with my own. It’s then I can see his hesitation, his resistance to let me go. But eventually his better judgement must have out ruled him, and he releases me. My body inwardly shaking at the loss of his touch. “Thank you, Raelyn.” He says, his tone steady. “You are an excellent dancer.”
“Anytime.” I say breathlessly. My body fighting me to stay standing where he had left me.
“I’m sorry, but I must go.” He said, and inhales a deep breath. His expression distant and all business-like. “But before I do, you said you needed to try to find your friend?” He wrinkled his brow.
“Huh?” I say, my mind still trying to process what was happening. “Oh, yeah. My friend.” I smile, and blush. My inner mind cursing me with all the ways I was embarrassing myself. Pull yourself together! She yelled. I hesitated a second longer, lost in his icy gaze before I didn’t trust myself to stay another second longer. In a rush of sheer willpower, I managed to tear my eyes away long enough to collect myself. “Bekah,” I began. “I left her somewhere by the entrance, but I got swept up in the crowd.”
“I know where that is.” His voice was soft and gentle. “I’ll walk you back, and then I must leave.”
He must leave? I thought to myself. Trying to understand what it was about these words that bothered me so. It was almost as if he were making it sound like I had begged for his help. As if I asked for him to walk me back, or even for him not to leave at all? “No. That’s alright.” I say, my words coming out a bit harsher than I intended. “All I need is a point in the right direction.” I smile in an attempt to prove something –although what I wanted to prove was as lost to me as the feelings he was able to summon of me so easily. Contempt. Was that what I was feeling? Just ask him which way! My inner mind scolded me. “Really, if you just point the way I won’t waste anymore of your time.”
I stood staring out amidst the crowd waiting for him to speak up, when his hand on my chin brought his icy gaze back into focus. The gentle brush of his fingers along my chin intensifying the longer he held them there like tiny electrical current surging just below the skins surface. Radiating down my spine, and I wondered briefly if he felt it too? “What just happened here?” His words were demanding, again but not in the way they had before. This was different. I could see the confused look displaced across his face, and I didn’t have to know him to see that it was not a feeling he was used to experiencing.
Searching for an answer to his question, I couldn’t help but wonder what he was actually asking. Was he referring to the dance? Gisselle? Whatever happen during that song? Or something else? My mind wasn’t used to the constant whiplash of emotions that he provoked. So instead, I went with the only thought that came to mind. “You haven’t even told me your name.” My words were barely above a whisper. It’s then he releases my chin, and laughs. A smile escaping my lips when he does as I find that much like everything else about him, I liked his laugh. “What?” I say and bite my lip, his expression faltering. His eyes growing darker in a way I didn’t understand.
“Nothing,” he continues, that handsome smile teasing my inner mind with dangerous thoughts. “You just surprised me that’s all.” He said, extending his arm out for me to hold on to. “It would be my pleasure to escort you back to your table.”
I stared out at his arm, and debated whether or not it was a good idea. The fact that he still hadn’t answered my question not lost to me, but really? What other choice did I have? “Thank you,” I smiled up at him genuinely, and hold of his arm.
“Anytime,” was all he said.
We crossed the dance floor with ease, and it didn’t take too long before the Bekah came into view. “Oh, that’s her!” I said with more enthusiasm than I would have liked. The realization of how long I had been gone washing over me then.
“Who is that sitting with her?” The sound of his voice pulling me from my inner thoughts. The harshness to his words evident of disapproval. Standing up on tip toes, I caught a glimpse of three guys surrounding her. Each of them unknown to me, and the twins nowhere to be seen.
“I don’t know.” I answer honestly. “But I can go on from here. Thank you,” I pause noticing his icy gaze transfixed with the back of their heads. “for everything.” I finish, although I know he isn’t listening. Okay? I say to myself. Then turn in an effort to leave.
“Wait,” He says, his tone short and clipped. His hand reaching out and taking hold of my hand, our fingers entwining as he does. “You’re sure you’ll be okay if I leave you now?” He adds, his expression that of concern.
I nod reassuringly, my mind racing with the awareness to just how close we were to each other, and the fact that he was holding my hand. No! My inner mind started to yell. You’re being played. This is all an act, and you’re falling for it! I allow myself another second before I broke away from him, again, and turn towards our table. My inner mind refusing to let me forget who he really was, and that I was a fool if I thought anything different. Guys like him don’t fall for girls like me, we are of different breeds. I wait tables, and by the look of him –he most certainly did not. The most that would ever come out a relationship with him would be heartbreak –my heart break. Don’t you dare look back! She scolded me. And I didn’t, I wouldn’t.
Bekah glared daggers at me, infuriated by my absence before quickly introducing me to the guys Mark, Liam and Graham. They were nice enough to ask me a few things about myself before growing bored. I couldn’t blame them though, my mind was elsewhere. The subtle pang of regret still alive enough to make me wonder. Was it really all an act? Or was there something else there he felt, too?