My head had barely registered the velvety voice by the time I turned and saw its origin.
I was tempted to do a double-take but I knew that it wouldn't go well with the annoyed expression on my face.
A few yards from me, standing imperiously while holding a coat over his shoulder, was the one and only Raphael Sutton.
He was a legend as far as choreographers went. I'd heard about his apparent genius and had been able to witness it firsthand when I sat in on one of the Chicago Ballet's productions.
That and I'd happened to go to the same highschool as him. I doubted he remembered me, though.
Even then he'd been a bit of a brat.
The secretary spluttered and was explaining (or trying to) the situation to the intruder but I was too busy staring at him to remotely hear what she was saying.
He'd gotten considerably taller since the last time I'd seen him. Despite the fact that he was dressed in pressed pants and a white button-up shirt it was obvious that he had a lean, muscled build.
What hadn't changed, though, were his eyes. Purple-blue and as piercing as knives, matching his high cheekbones and square jaw.
Overall he appeared a combination of intimidating and pompous. He likely was both.
"Abromovich, are you going to even attempt to dance or just waste my time? Believe me, you've already done the second option." Raphael demanded, forcing me to react.
Case in point.
"That's too bad," I shot back, standing and testing my foot, "You seem like a great waste of time yourself."
I didn't care who he was, I wasn't taking any snark from him. I didn't take snark from anyone.
"If you want to bicker you should find someone who actually would stoop to bicker with you," he said coolly, "And I am the absolute last person fitting that description. Now, if you please, show me what you've learned for the ballet, if anything at all."
What. A. Jerk.
Too bad Gus wasn't in the room, he would have probably put off his own retirement to find me another trainer.
As tempted as I was to walk right out of the room, I was more tempted to prove myself.
I started up the music, putting what little energy I had left into the dance. To be fair my throbbing foot didn't help my form, and my annoyance wasn't either.
And that, of course, was all Sutton picked up on.
"Your left foot isn't flexing properly," he said as soon as I had finished, "Expression needs work. Transitions are a bit messy."
"Is that all, sunshine?" I asked, my voice dripping with acid.
"Actually," he said with a smirk, "Your spins could use some fine-tuning. I wasn't going to mention it, but now that you've asked-"
"-you had to tell me. I get it." I muttered, picking up my duffel bag.
I started walking towards the door, my hand on the handle, when I heard him chuckle.
"Leaving already? After such a short practice?"
"I've been here five hours." I said matter-of-factly, "And the company isn't too compelling either."
With that I left the studio, rolling my eyes at my misfortune.