page 3

I collapsed into bed when I was back in my apartment, sticking a thermal strip on my foot and headphones over my ears, dressed in a nightgown. 

My hands managed to move to set an alarm on my phone for an hour later, though how they did in my state of exhaustion was beyond me. 

He'll get bored, I convinced myself, He'll get bored and find some rich prodigy to train and Gus will find me somebody more...bearable.

Yes, that was exactly what was going to happen. Then I would be able to focus more on the dance and less on the instructor.

Soon enough I dozed off to the sounds of soft, dream-like sonatas in my ears. 


A cold wind roused me from my sleep, and my eyes opened just a touch.

As soon as I registered where I was I pressed myself to the wall behind me, not daring to look down.

I was standing on a ledge a good thirty stories from the ground, the rushing lights of cars far below my clear perception. 

Not again. 

My sense of balance was the only thing keeping me from falling to my death as I stepped warily towards a window, carefully moving to pull it up and forcing myself inside quickly afterwards.

Once my feet touched the wooden floor I breathed a sigh of relief, rubbing the last of the sleep out of my eyes and walking stealthily toward the door. The sooner I got out of the place the better. I had dealt with confrontations before, but it wasn't exactly pleasant.

Especially when I was assumed to be some kind of robber on sight. Things usually got awkward, fast.

The lights turned on suddenly and I froze like a deer in the headlights of an eighteen-wheeler.

"Explain yourself, or I'm calling the police."

That voice...

I turned, and almost smacked myself in the face. Of all windows to climb into.

Standing a few feet from me with a candlestick held threateningly in one hand, was none other than Raphael Sutton.

Wonderful, just...wonderful.

"You're the rookie, aren't you?" he said, cocking his head to the side in curiosity, "Abromo...something. You didn't come off as the cat burglar type."

Right then I had no greater wish than to melt into the ground, or to spontaneously combust. Or both. 

"This...isn't what it looks like..." I stuttered, "I can explain."

Raphael leaned against the doorway he had presumably come through, looking more amused than annoyed or even remotely scared.

"I'm listening."

I crossed my arms tightly, feeling very small.

"I have a bit of a family...condition. It's an advanced form of somnambulism."

Sutton raised an arched eyebrow in contemplation.

"Somnambulism...sleep walking?"

He was smarter than he looked.

"My doctor's put me on multiple treatments but, as you can tell, it hasn't worked all too well."

"So let me get this straight," Raphael started, putting down the candle holder, "You expect me to believe you got into a locked room on the thirty-sixth floor of a building in your sleep?"

When he put it that way it almost sounded like I was lying.

"That is exactly what I expect you to believe."

Sutton looked at me incredulously, smirking. 

"I guess a burglar would dress somewhat differently."

I became painfully aware of my attire at the comment, wishing that the hem of my flimsy dress (it was more of a shirt, really) reached lower than the middle of my thighs. What did impress me, though, was that Raphael didn't once break eye contact with me. That was a first. 

Yes, I had nice legs to say the least (came with being a dancer and all) but considering the situation the outfit wasn't helping anything. 

Especially since the room was freezing cold. 

"My subconscious wasn't smart enough to get me a jacket, what can I say?" I offered with a touch of dry humor, "Or a jumpsuit/balaclava combination, for that matter."

The sharp eyes watching me softened momentarily and before I knew what was happening I had a long black trench coat draped over my shoulders and was sitting in the back seat of a gleaming grey Ferrari.

"You really don't have to drop me off." 

Two pools of never-ending inky purple appeared in the rearview mirror before turning back to the road. 

"It's nothing."

Where was the stuck-up Sutton I'd acquainted myself with a couple hours ago? Right then he just seemed...detached. 

Within a few minutes my contemplation time had ended. I thanked him, climbing out of the car, and walked into the lobby of my building.

He waited for me to be safely inside before leaving.

The End

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