Home > Forbidden Dance (Lover's Dance #1)(3)

Forbidden Dance (Lover's Dance #1)(3)
Author: Deanna Roy

I’ve just gotten the last girl into place when I hear, “So sorry to be late.”

My shoulders relax in relief. It’s Gwen, Gabriella’s mother. I turn to them, Gabriella merrily pushing herself into the room. She’s four years old and a spitfire. Her hair is exactly like mine, dark and thick. Gwen has twisted it on top of her head and fastened it with a sequin scrunchie.

My heart clenches as it always does when she arrives. I hurry over and wave Gabriella into her position in the line. Gwen heads out. The music begins, and time flies as I help the girls maneuver into their places.

Janel has been clever in the design of the dance so that the girls who can’t propel themselves are situated at the heart of the formation and don’t need to move their chairs to make the choreography work.

My pride surges as I watch Gabriella curve her arms and turn her chair in time with the song. She’s smart and quick to learn. I wonder how different her life would have been if she had not gone to live with Gwen, if she hadn’t been in that car with her adopted father when it crashed into a semi, killing him and injuring her tiny spine.

None of that would have happened if I had been stronger. If I’d stood up to my own parents.

If I’d never let them take my newborn daughter away.

 

 

Chapter 3

 

 

We’re only halfway through the song when Blitz arrives.

I’m lifting Marissa’s arm for her, keeping her in time with the others, when I see the movement in the mirror.

Janel spots him too. She stops, momentarily shocked into stillness. “Is that Blitz Craven?” she asks. “In my dance class?”

I gently lower Marissa’s arm. I can’t say anything. My voice seems to be stuck.

He’s wearing black jazz pants and another white sleeveless shirt. Every muscle in his body is defined.

He hesitates when he catches sight of the wheelchairs. He steps back outside the door and glances at the painted placard outside that reads Studio 3.

Janel breaks out of whatever paralysis she’s in and asks, “Are you lost?” The music plays on, but the girls all falter without prompting from their teacher.

Blitz realizes he’s interrupting. “Danika told me Studio 3. Beginner ballet.”

“Well, this is it,” she says. “Do you have a dancer to enroll?”

He steps back inside the room, his grin sheepish. “I don’t have any kids.”

“He’s from Dance Blitz,” I hiss. At least my voice is back.

Blitz snaps to me, seeming to just now notice I’m there. He looks disappointed. “You know?” he asks.

“I do now,” I say. “I’m sorry I’ve never seen your show.”

This amuses him. His smile is like the sun coming out from behind a cloud. Even the young girls turn toward it, as if they are flowers seeking light.

Danika, the owner of Dreamcatcher, swishes inside, her skirt fluttering behind her. The lights overhead brighten her short buzzed blue hair, a style she’s kept since fighting cancer a few years ago.

“Ah, you found it,” she says and claps her hands for attention. “Janel, Livia, girls,” she gazes fondly at all the dancers in their chairs. “This is Benjamin.”

I realize Blitz must just be a stage name. Of course. Nobody names their baby Blitz.

The girls chorus a hello.

“Benjamin will assist as you prepare for the holiday recital. He’s a professional dancer, and very excited to help you all with your performance.”

The girls giggle. Blitz looks at each of them, his expression carefully neutral. I don’t know what he’s thinking. If they are a waste of his time, or if Danika is out to make him miserable.

Fire burns in my belly. In my book, this is the most important class at Dreamcatcher Academy. He better not upset these girls, most of all Gabriella. I resist the urge to move closer to her. Nobody knows she is my daughter. No one in the entire world, not even my best friend Mindy, knows I found her and set up this class just to be near her.

No one can know. It’s the only way I get to have her in my life at all.

My throat is so tight that I can barely swallow.

Blitz takes in all the girls, and then his gaze rests on me. Something ticks in his jaw. I have that naked feeling all over again as he scrutinizes my white leotard, pale yellow skirt, and white tights. Now I understand why my father forced me into baggy clothes for so long. He anticipated a moment like this.

He’s ignored Janel, who is way more beautiful than me, so I guess I’m more his type. He’s bound to be very experienced if he’s on television. Women probably fall at his feet.

But I don’t feel alarmed or concerned. I’m not totally naive. I might have been fifteen when Gabriella was born, way too young for all that transpired, but her conception did not come about by anything traumatic or painful. Wrong, perhaps, the worst kind of wrong by most books, but I still hold those memories close.

And they are coming forward now. Skin. Heat. That buzz of attraction and need in my belly. Blitz’s interest burns into me, heating up key places I was forced to forget about.

But now there is Blitz. Apparently he’s staying.

Danika moves forward. “I’ll be here today as we get started.” She takes Blitz by the arm and turns him, as if he’s a child in need of guidance. I can see in her expression that she might be questioning her decision to bring him close to me, possibly thinking of my father and his overbearing protectiveness.

“These are some of our most prized pupils, Benjamin,” Danika says. She introduces each girl. When she gets to Gabriella, my heart squeezes. “Little Gabby is our newest ballerina. She’s a quick study and already knows all the basic positions.”

Gabriella beams up at Blitz. Little sprigs of black hair frame her face, tiny curls that escaped the sequin-wrapped bun. Sometimes I’m shocked other people don’t recognize how much she looks like me, but maybe it’s only because I know. Everyone else assumes Gwen is her biological mother. She never mentions the adoption and Gwen’s dark brown hair seems close enough.

But Blitz looks down at Gabriella and back to me and back again. I see him noting something and I wonder if he’s guessed. Panic rises in my belly, but then he moves on and I shake it off. Nobody would believe that someone as young as I am could have a four-year-old child.

I flash for a moment to the hospital, the ripping pain, the fear, the clucking disapproving nurses, and my parents’ embarrassment and shame. I have to shove it from my thoughts.

“Let me start the music again,” Janel says. “Girls! Back to your starting positions!”

I help settle the dancers. Danika and Blitz stand near the mirror, watching. We run through the entire routine. I rush from girl to girl, having to let go of Marissa to make sure Daisy moves aside before she blocks Gabriella’s turn.

When the song is done, Blitz claps heartily. “That’s great,” he says. He approaches the girls. “You’re Daisy, right?” he asks.

Daisy beams that he knows her. “Yes,” she says. “Whose daddy are you?”

“Well, if you ask my lawyers, they’ll tell you I have defended fifteen paternity lawsuits,” Blitz says.

“Benjamin,” Danika says, a warning note in her tone.

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