I only had about three hours of sleep that night, but considering the circumstances it was better than it could have been.
The sky was overcast so I hurried to my destination.
When I walked into the studio I was instantly hit by a wave of heat, and I continued on to find Raphael fanning himself with his shirt.
"The heating's fried." he explained, "But a practice is a practice. Hurry up."
As soon as we started dancing I felt the warmth overwhelm me. Maybe ten minutes in we had to stop to break, and I was sure I was drenched in sweat.
I pulled my sticky top off, glad I'd worn a sports bra underneath, and wiped at my sweat with a towel.
When we continued we had to stop again, and before I could process what was happening Sutton pulled his shirt off over his head and was pouring the contents of his water bottle on himself.
I could swear I saw steam rising off of his skin, but it may have been my imagination. I tried not to stare as he walked back over, waiting impatiently for me to start.
The routine became something else entirely in that moment, something wild and surreal.
To be fair the heat was getting to both of our heads, and I for one couldn't think straight.
Skin against skin. Lean, rippling muscle. Heat. It was too much to digest.
We had to stop for a break, and I wasn't the only one panting for breath.
"If we keep this up at least one of us is going to pass out." I commented, hoping he would cancel.
I was living in a dream world.
"It's raining outside, isn't it?" Sutton asked, lost in thought.
"...I think so. What does that have to do with anything?"
It seemed, unfortunately, that it had a lot to do with everything. A few minutes later we were out in the drizzle, standing barefoot on some of the mats that Raphael had hauled out.
Believe me, watching him carry them made playing along worth it.
It was considerably cooler outside, and as we started I had to admit that it wasn't the worst idea ever. We were in something of a back courtyard of the studio, walled in by tall buildings.
But things did get a little slippery, and to compensate for that Raphael held on to me with a tighter grip, pulled me closer to him, and essentially drove my senses wild.
When we finally finished the rain had grown to a downpour. I considered yelling that we had to get inside, but my eyes were glued to him.
His hair was plastered down to his scalp, near obscuring his eyes, and drops of water marched like armies down his skin. I felt like I was looking at a sculpture, lost to the elements.
But then he moved and swept his hair back with a hand, and looked back into my eyes.
We were standing close together. Closer than close. I felt his breath whispering against my cheek, could see the droplets of rain flying from his lashes.
I felt like the distance between us was shrinking. I couldn't tell, and never would know either.
"Mr. Sutton!" the secretary yelled from the doorway, making me take a few steps back, "There's a call for you!"
He hesitated, but then ran in, telling me to leave the mats.
I watched, dumbfounded, but followed. I guess I really did have an overactive imagination.