page 29

Sutton opened the door for me, naturally, and I walked in without a word.

We were on the verge of getting started again when an all-too-familiar voice interrupted us.

"Oh, Raphie!"

Vera stepped in, staring at me with her face contorting in disgust.

"You're training hookers now? I have to say, I didn't see that coming."

"I'll show you some hooks..." I seethed under my breath.

I was just about to lunge at her but Raphael grabbed my elbow, making me calm down. I wasn't sure how he could tell I was angry, but I was glad he'd stopped me from beating the little skank to a pulp.

I didn't want to get my hands dirty.

"What are you doing here, Vera?" Sutton asked, exasperated.

"Can't I just drop in for the sake of it?"

Raphael gave her a look and I loved him for it. Wait, not love love - ugh, never mind.

"Fine," she sighed, "I'm here meeting the choreographer from a neighboring troupe. I'm in high demand, after all."

Nobody smiled except for her. She huffed and looked at me again, squinting.

"Oh. My. God. Katnernina! I didn't even recognize you!"

Sutton looked at me questioningly but I threw him a dismissive glance. I just wanted Vera to shut up and leave. She was eating into my practice time, at a time I actually wanted to practice! With a coach like Sutton those times were few and far between. 

"Yeah," I sighed, "That was the idea."

Raphael held in a laugh beside me but Vera just looked bored.

"Well, I have to go," she said, "But I want a rematch. You can hold your drinks well, but you just got lucky."

She stalked off, waving.

"You had drinks with her?" Raphael asked incredulously.

"You're one to talk, Raphie." I shot back, annoyed.

Something dawned on his face.

"Was that the day of the accident?"

I didn't reply and he blinked in surprise.

"Well that explains a lot."

"Still doesn't explain what you saw in...that." 

He made a face like he was embarrassed that I knew.

"Let's just say you're not the only one that makes stupid mistakes. Now, let's take it from the top."

Sutton was considerably more co-ordinated that time around. Even if he was a little wonky he still moved like he was born dancing. Eventually I was exhausted and called it quits, and he still hadn't broken a sweat.

As ridiculous as it sounded, I wouldn't have been surprised if he was secretly an alien with super dancing powers. It made more sense than his level of skill. And coming from me that meant a lot.

I didn't really take it easy on anyone. I was critical at the best of times, and my cynicism didn't really help either.

I still wasn't sure why he was training a nobody like me. And I didn't even want to think about the price tag. That was just another reason I had to be the leading lady.

The End

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