Home > When We Dance (Billionaires & Debutantes #1)

When We Dance (Billionaires & Debutantes #1)
Author: Lisa M. Prysock

Chapter 1

 


But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6, KJV

 

MIA DELPHINE MORGAN stepped out onto the sidewalk in front of LaGuardia’s passenger pick-up area, her two suitcases feeling fairly light as she rolled them along behind. Since they stacked together, they didn’t seem too difficult to steer, merely a little awkward. No one would guess she had a portable sewing machine inside the largest one. Thankful to breathe in fresh, fall air after being cooped up for several hours on the flight from Kentucky, she gulped in the oxygen being carried on a light breeze as vehicles and cabs swarmed the lanes directly in front of her. Pedestrians hustled by, in a hurry to be somewhere. The driver Aunt Sylvia was sending obviously hadn’t arrived yet.

A little girl caught her eye since she stood dangerously close to the edge of the sidewalk. She couldn’t have been more than the age of six or seven. Maybe only five. One topple, and the child could easily tumble into the first lane with vehicles constantly pouring in and out of the traffic to retrieve passengers and carry them away. Where was the child’s mother?

Another look around, and she spotted the girl’s mother standing a few feet away behind them, in the midst of a heated conversation about their luggage, or perhaps a driver issue. Mia couldn’t be sure, but when her eyes turned back to the little girl, she could see the child biting her lip while observing her mother in an escalating situation.

“Bet you can’t dance like this,” the little girl insisted abruptly. Before Mia could step away, she broke into an adorable tap dance, her shoes tapping out a pleasant, rhythmic beat on the sidewalk for about fifteen seconds.

“That was wonderful. I’m sure you are a girl of many talents,” Mia praised. Another glance over her shoulder, and she could see the lady was still trying to resolve some issues with an airport employee. The child’s mother was beginning to raise her voice.

This appeared to make the little girl uncomfortable. Instantly, she blinked back tears. “Bet you can’t spit as far as me,” the little girl challenged. She was obviously trying to distract them both.

Ordinarily, Mia would have thought the better of it, but for the last thirty seconds or so, there hadn’t been any traffic in the lanes before them. Seeing the little girl feeling lost and alone, she made a split second decision to oblige her whim, against her better judgement. “Now that, my dear, is something I can give you a run for,” she replied with a coy smile. “You go first.” Maybe she’d think of something to get out of actually having to do the same, but distant memories of spitting with some of her childhood friends on the farm ran through her mind.

The child turned and spit into the far side of the first lane. An impressive distance, Mia noted silently as she reluctantly set her luggage aside. The blond little girl giggled and put her hands on her hips, her golden-haired ponytails bouncing over her shoulders as she turned back with a triumphant grin toward Mia. “Your turn!”

Not one to leave a dare undone, she stepped forward to be nearly even with her challenger. She placed her feet apart, hands on her hips, and let spit fly. To her horror, it landed splat on the front passenger window of a limousine pulling curbside with impeccably lousy timing. Mia turned three shades of red as the driver looked directly at her with an impudent glare through the now blemished window. She hadn’t been paying close enough attention to the traffic and had only heard the quiet purr of the engine when it was too late.

The little girl started to laugh as the driver put the vehicle in park and opened his door to climb out. “Uh-oh! I think we’re in trouble.” Her partner in crime giggled as she clasped a chubby hand over her smile, causing her curly ponytails to bounce again.

At least she’d accomplished some form of amusement for the child, but she could see it was going to cost her as the driver made a beeline in her direction.

Looking over her shoulder again, Mia hoped the child’s mother was ready to retrieve her darling, sassy package. Instead, another tall, exceptionally attractive gentleman wearing an expensive dark suit and paisley tie stepped into view, observing her with a hint of a smile. He’d obviously witnessed the incident, but she couldn’t be sure how long he’d been there or how much he’d seen.

Before Mia could make any further assessments, the driver was at her side. He paused to address her. “It is customary that one does not mar vehicles one does not own, madam.” He proffered a look of disdain at the window he referred to as marred, and glanced back at her with a shake of his head before stepping toward the rear passenger door. Then he addressed the well-dressed, handsome fellow in the expensive suit as he opened the door. “Good afternoon, Mr. Bridgewater. My apologies for the, uh...”

Mr. Bridgewater nodded at his driver. Mia braced herself. Apparently, she’d just spit on the handsome fellow’s limousine ride. Did he own it, perhaps? Expecting him to let her have it, she was surprised when he turned and looked at her while he greeted the driver. “It’s no trouble, Davis. The lady was merely keeping the child entertained while her mother handled a crisis. Her intentions, while unorthodox, were honorable, not to mention amusing.”

“I’m really sorry, Mr. Bridgewater. I didn’t mean to...” Mia gulped, embarrassed, enamored, and swooning all at once. Relief swept over her as she could see he was taking it in stride. He was now her hero as she had a feeling he’d spared her from the wrath of the one he called Davis. She took note of Mr. Suave’s wavy brownish-blond hair, his deep brown eyes, firm jaw, and aristocratic nose.

The little girl’s mother stepped up and took the child by her hand. “There you are, Sandy. Thank you, ma’am, for keeping an eye on my little girl. I was in a dither over some missing luggage. You are a Godsend, Miss...?”

“Uh, Morgan. Mia Morgan. I’m glad I could be of some help,” Mia stammered as the lady smiled and nodded before hurrying away with her daughter. It was nice to know the child’s name was Sandy as the little girl waved at Mia. Davis, Mr. Bridgewater, and Mia watched her disappear inside the airport, happy to have her mom at her side.

Mia waved good-bye and ignoring Davis for the moment, turned her attention back to Mr. Bridgewater, retrieving the luggage she’d nearly abandoned to engage a child in spitting. What had she been thinking? “I’m so sorry.”

She began rummaging through the contents of her purse to find a tissue to remedy the limousine window. “I usually have wipes or something on hand. Must have left them in Kentucky. Maybe my driver will have some when he arrives.”

Davis rolled his eyes as he waited for his employer to, and she was sorry she’d mentioned Kentucky. He probably thought she was some farm girl who didn’t have any manners or a proper upbringing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Her mother had taught her excellent manners, but as usual, she had a knack for finding herself in silly, outrageous situations.

Mr. Bridgewater didn’t seem too concerned. “Please, let me offer you a ride, Miss Morgan. Traffic is obviously bad today. Your driver might be a long while in this mess.”

She glanced at the lanes he’d indicated were a mess, realizing they had filled up in a bumper-to-bumper jam. Cars were beginning to honk at each other as they attempted to pull away from the curb. While a few sped by in the far lane once they were able to escape, the first two lanes were a bottleneck. The vehicles stretched across the three lanes as far as she could see. Most weren’t moving. What had been quiet for a minute or two previously, was now busier than ever. “It appears you are correct. This is a mess.” She bit her lip nervously. Hadn’t her mother said not to accept rides from strangers?

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