So, here we are…starting a new story. I'm dreaming it's summer time and the favorite thing about summer time, besides the longer days and warmer weather is the return of my favorite show, So You Think You Can Dance. I love it … the beauty, artistry and athleticism is amazing. Plus, the music they play? Damn … makes me happy.
Anyhow, the first few chapters were submitted to the Fandom 4 Autism compilation. If you've donated to that cause, you've read these chapters, but I am continuing it. Here's the full summary:
It had been Bella's dream to go on the dance competition,So You Think You Can Dance.She was a contemporary dancer, going to college, trying to rebound from the death of her father. Her mother's lack of support and a significant injury forced her to forget her dreams and go to school, getting her masters, to be a teacher.
Edward Cullen had already lived the dream, being the runner up for the previous season ofSo You Think You Can Dance. He was a steamy, sexy Latin dancer and a fan favorite, but he came in second behind a jazz dancer, Lauren Mallory. But, in Edward's world, it worked out for the best. He now had an opportunity to be a choreographer and an All-Star for the competition.
Rosalie, Bella's best friend and fellow dancer, convinced Bella to try out during the audition tour in Portland. Bella was hesitant. It was her dreams of being a dancer that inadvertently killed her father. He was working overtime to pay for extra classes when he was murdered on the job. Rose wheedled and pleaded with her, begging her to come to the auditions. Begrudgingly, Bella agreed and she became a judge favorite, sailing through to the call-backs in Los Angeles.
The competition is fierce. Dreams are at stake and a budding romance between All-Star, Edward and contestant, Bella are the talk to of the competition. Not to mention jealousy and bitterness from fellow contestants. Will Bella's dream become a reality or will her dreams be dashed before she even gets a chance to compete? Will Edward open his heart to the sweet brunette who captured his attention at the auditions?
"And America's Favorite Dancer is..."
Without further ado…
So You Think You Can Dance?
Chapter One: A Dream Fulfilled
"And America's Favorite Dancer is…" Tanya's voice said. I was holding hands with Lauren Mallory, a jazz dancer and fellow finalist. She was beautiful and her dancing style was nothing short of ethereal. Very different from the explosive actions and sexy movements of my Latin dancing. She was a close friend and regardless of who won, I was proud of what I had accomplished in the competition and was so very proud of her. "Lauren!"
"Holy shit!" she squeaked, her eyes widening.
I wrapped her up in a hug as the confetti canons went off, covering the stage with sparkly tinsel and bright colored paper. "Congratulations, Lauren! I'm so happy for you!"
"Edward!" she sobbed, clutching to my black shirt. "I couldn't have done it without you." I smiled, kissing her cheek and stood off to the side. One of the stage hands gave me a huge bouquet. Tanya hugged Lauren and she announced to the audience the winnings for this competition. Lauren had received a cover of Dance Sport magazine, a spot in the revival of West Side Story on Broadway, $250,000 cash prize and an advertising modeling contract for some woman's deodorant line. Lauren hugged her and the cameras cut away as a montage of her best bits were shown on the big screens. Once the videos were done, all of us were surrounding Lauren. I was placed on the right of Tanya, nearest to her side that held the microphone and Lauren was on the left, trying not to snot sob in front of millions of people.
"Ladies and gentlemen, let's give it up one more time for Lauren Mallory and our top twenty dancers!" The crowd went crazy and the judges were standing, applauding us with proud grins on their faces. "Thank you for watching! This Tanya Denali for everyone here at So You Think You Can Dance saying good night!" She smiled, wrapping her arms around Lauren's waist and mine, though her hand was dangerously close to my ass.
The steady cam operator came onto the stage as the theme music came on and we all swarmed around Lauren. Handing my flowers to Peter, my roommate and closest friend in the cast, I swept Lauren onto my shoulder and we celebrated. Lauren was laughing, pumping her arms from my perch on my shoulder until the music stopped. I helped her down, hugging her tightly. "Edward, you should have won," Lauren said, grasping my hands.
"Lauren, do you know how awesome you were on the performance finale? You deserved it," I smiled crookedly, kissing her cheek. She squealed once more, hugging my neck and throwing her legs around my waist. I was genuinely happy for her. She had deserved it.
Alistair and Carmen, the two head judges, along with all of the guest judges, came onto the stage. They congratulated the finalists, saying that it was the closest race they'd had since the inception of the show, roughly eight years ago. About a hundred votes made the decision, naming Lauren as the winner. We all spoke for another fifteen minutes before the top twenty was photographed with me and Lauren in the middle. After that, we were released to be with our families and to celebrate at the mansion we all lived in during the duration of the show.
I found my parents, Esme and Carlisle. My mom was a former Latin dancer and had been my hugest support in my dream of becoming a Latin ballroom dancer. My dad was a doctor, whom she met after she had injured her Achilles tendon during her final competition. She stopped competing due to the injury and fell head over heels in love for the doctor who had treated her. They got married within a few months. I came about nine months later. They hugged me, congratulating me for my second place finish. I was so happy to see them, but all I wanted was to shower, get the makeup off my face and the grime from dancing most of the night off my body.
"We'll meet you at the house," Dad said, rubbing my back. "Perhaps we can go out for dinner. I can imagine you're starving."
"Yeah," I chuckled. My diet was protein heavy since I had to maintain my physique, but when I was nervous, I couldn't eat. It would just come back up. And trying to dance, do these slinky, sexy moves while you have dragon breath is not very kosher. That is not good dance etiquette. Ewww … "I just need to grab my stuff and the bus will take me back. I have to shower."
"I can imagine," Mom snickered, waving her hand in front of her face.
"I am not that bad. Peter is worse," I deadpanned, kissing her cheek.
"Am not!" Peter grumped.
"Yes, you are," Lauren giggled, her arm threaded through Alistair's. "I danced with you for the first five weeks, Peter. You stank!" Peter scowled, puffing out his cheeks. With a giggle, Lauren walked over to my roommate, kissing his cheek. "But, I love you. Thank you for being such a solid partner, Peter. I couldn't ask for a better one."
"You're welcome, Lauren. And congratulations," Peter smiled, hugging her tightly. Peter was a contemporary dancer. He had been eliminated the second week we had danced with an All-Star, a former SYTYCD contestant. The routine that had eliminated him was a hip hop dance. He didn't know how to crump and the chemistry between him and his partner was nonexistent. The audience, both live and television, noticed it and had voted him off the show. "Are you coming to the house, Dr. and Mrs. Cullen?"
"We are," Dad smiled. "We'll see you there? Perhaps, we can take you out for dinner, too?"
"Oooh, yes! The party is going to be just munchies. I need me some real food. Count me in!" Peter said, rubbing his flat stomach. The guy was a bottomless pit, but with the way he danced, he earned it. "Let's go get our shit, Edward."
I hugged my parents once more and went down to the dressing rooms. Removing my costume, I hung it up. I was one of the few dancers who actually took care of my costumes, shoes and belongings. The costume crew loved me and I had received numerous thank you cards from them, along with a lot of votes. Dressed in a pair of workout pants and a t-shirt, I met up with Peter outside. He was smoking a cigarette, chatting with his boyfriend, Charlie. I sent my parents a text and got onto the bus. Nearly everyone was on it, heading to the house for the wrap party. The only people missing were Lauren and her boyfriend, fellow finalist, hip hop dancer, Embry Call. Lauren had to do some interviews and such before her work was done for the night.
We all went our separate ways in the house. I went directly to the bathroom I shared with Peter, Embry and Kevin, a dancer eliminated during the third week. I locked the door, stripping out of my workout gear and scrubbed my skin raw. Finally free of the sweat, makeup and some random, residual confetti, I dressed in a pair of dark jeans, a black button-down shirt and a pair of black Converse. I felt human and like me again. On stage, I adopted a persona. I was larger than life, sexy and confident. In reality, I was fairly quiet and bookish. Dance allowed me the freedom to be someone else. I enjoyed that and reveled in it, but when all was said in done, I liked to be comfortable, read a good book and choreograph every song I heard on the radio. That was my dream, really. I liked to perform, put on a show, but to be able to choreograph? I lived for that shit.
"Edward! What the fuck are you doing in there? Masturbating to the image of Tanya?" Peter teased.
I shuddered. Tanya Denali, the host of SYTYCD, was always all over me. I was not even remotely interested. She was beautiful, blonde and British, but not my type. I was partial to petite brunettes.
My former partner, before she retired and prior to the competition, was this tiny little thing. Maria was an amazing dancer, but when her boyfriend proposed to her, she quit the ballroom circuit. I did a few competitions with a girl from my mom's studio, but it wasn't the same. I was ready to throw in the towel when Maria sent me a text about the auditions for SYTYCD. We both, at one time, wanted to compete and thought it would be fun to do so as partners. Since she got married, her priorities changed and she was trying to start a family. Maria remembered our dream and she said she'd help me with my audition. I auditioned in Detroit with Maria and was on the 'Hot Tamale' train according to Carmen, the ballroom expert. It was at the audition that Tanya started making her innuendos that she wanted me.
I hoped that it would stop, but it only got worse as the season progressed. There was a strict rule that anyone involved in the production of the show could not be romantically linked with the contestants. Contestants and even All-Stars could get together since they had no bearing on the competition, but the choreographers, the judges and the host, Tanya, were to maintain a professional distance. In front of the producers and judges, Tanya was sweet and somewhat handsy, rubbing my shoulders, giving me hugs and kisses, but off camera and at the house, she was a bit more aggressive. My ass was her favorite place to molest, though her eyes lingered on my crotch. She stared at my dick like it was a prime cut steak and she wanted to feast on it.
Again, ewwwww! That's even worse than puke breath on your partner.
I walked out of the bathroom, scowling at my closest friend and roommate. "Don't make me bleach my brain, Peter," I grumped, spraying some cologne.
"Did she smack your ass on stage?" Peter asked, laying down on his bed.
"Yeah. She did," I cringed. "I've tried to be blunt, but dear God, she cannot take no for an answer."
"It happens every season, Edward," Peter chuckled. "There's always one competitor that she lays her hooks into and doesn't relent until the next season starts. I can pretend to be your gay lover if you want my help to keep her away."
"Tempting," I deadpanned. My phone chirped from the nightstand. I swiped it, checking the message. "My parents are here and they're taking us to some steak restaurant. My dad managed to get reservations. We'll be back in a couple of hours."
"Awesome!" Peter beamed, hopping out of bed. He threaded his fingers with mine, dragging me through the house. I checked out with the chaperone since I still 'lived' in the house and said I'd be back later. Peter had moved out after he was eliminated, back to his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota and was staying at a hotel. Though, I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed here with the party and all. He loved his cosmopolitans.
Outside, my parents were in a rental car. Peter and I clambered into the backseat and we drove to a nearby steakhouse. I ordered a huge meal, devouring a New York strip steak and a healthy helping of creamed spinach. I could have eaten another filet, but decided against it since Lauren was blowing up my cell phone with texts, asking me where I was and demanding that we come back to the wrap party. We finished our meals and shared some dessert before my dad paid for our dinner. Driving back to the house, I told my parents that I had a few things to attend to but I'd be back in my home town of Chicago by the end of the week. Mom said she'd open up my condo. With another hug, my parents drove away since they were catching an early flight back to Chicago the following day.
"Come on, Edward. Let's kick back and have fun. The competition is over!" Peter sang, his arm linked with mine. "Though, you should have won. Once I was eliminated, I had all of my family vote for you."
"Thanks, Peter," I said, hugging him to my side. We went into the house, which was alive with all of the choreographers, contestants, All-Stars and a few of the judges. Lauren found me immediately, dragging me to the bar. She handed me a shot of tequila. With a laugh, I downed it and shook my head. The furniture in the living room had been cleared away and it looked more like a club than our house. The DJ was mixing songs together and we kicked back, dancing for fun and in celebration. Tanya tried numerous times, unsuccessfully, to dance with me. I usually grabbed another contestant, spinning them into my arms and dancing away from her. Eventually, she gave up and I think she left.
Around two in the morning, the music stopped and the party ended. Alistair said that the top ten dancers had a meeting at the studio at four to discuss the tour, which was beginning in October. He congratulated all of us once again, giving me and Lauren a warm hug before leaving with Carmen. Working together, we put the living room back to its normal state and we all went up to our respective rooms. Peter, who was three sheets to the wind, had decided to stay in our room. Though, he wanted some water and something to absorb the alcohol he'd consumed. I went upstairs and wanted to fall into bed.
I was exhausted, sore and just a little drunk.
The room was dark, the lights of Los Angeles twinkling through the window. I removed my shirt and tossed it into the hamper, sliding my jeans down my legs. I sat down on my bed, plugging in my cell phone to charge. I pulled back the covers and nestled between them was a very naked Tanya. "Took you long enough," she purred.
"Fuck!" I barked, jumping out of bed. "What the hell are you doing in here?"
"I'm hoping to get some," she said, sitting up and bit her lip. "The competition is over, Edward. We can be together. Finally."
"Tanya, I don't want to be with you," I said, rubbing my face and picking up my jeans, thrusting them onto my legs. I may not be attracted to her, but seeing her naked body did cause my dick to wake up. It had been too long since I'd been with a woman, but I refused to be with Tanya. She was ten years older than my twenty-five years and was still technically married. Yes, she was separated, but legally she was still a married woman. Cheating is something I'd never condone. Ever. "You need to leave."
She got up, sashaying to me and grabbed my hand, placing it between her legs. "Don't you feel that?" she breathed. "You did that."
"Unless you want me to call the police for sexual assault, you best remove your hand from mine," I growled, glaring at her. She gasped, releasing my wrist and I removed it from between her thighs. "I won't tell the producers about this, but if you approach me again, I will. I have a witness."
"Who?" she scoffed, bending down to pick up her dress, waving her ass to entice me. Her bare pussy was on display and it did nothing to me. In fact, her desperations did the opposite.
"Me," Peter said, arching his brow. "You know … I always knew she wasn't a natural blonde." He gestured to the small patch of curls above her sex. They were dark brown. I arched a brow, nodding at Peter's observation. Tanya growled, throwing her dress on over her head and stomping out of our room, slamming the door shut. Once she left, I shuddered and my anger grew. I stood there, pinching my nose and trying to keep my temper in check. "You okay, Edward?"
"I need a shower," I spat. "I can't believe she did that."
"I can. She's cray cray," Peter said, gesturing with his hand that she was, indeed, nuts. Guiding me to the bathroom, Peter turned on the sink and gave me an understanding smile. I scoured my hands, wanting to get that feeling of her wetness off my fingers. "Are you going to tell the producers? She crossed a line, Edward."
"I don't know," I whispered. "Right now, I want to say yes. But, I'm too angry." Drying my hands, I leaned against the counter. "I think I'm going to sleep downstairs. I can't go into that bed."
"Nonsense. Sleep with me. I may be gay but I'm in a committed relationship with my Charlie," Peter said. "It's a queen-sized bed."
"You don't mind?" I asked. Peter shook his head and we settled into his bed. Within minutes, Peter was snoring quietly. I stared up at the ceiling, trying to wrap my head around what had happened. Grumbling, I turned to my side and eventually exhaustion claimed me, pulling me into dreamland.
The next day, I began packing my belongings and searched for a flight home. I couldn't stay here after what had happened with Tanya. After the meeting today, our commitments were fulfilled with the show until rehearsals began for the tour. Those would start up in September, which gave me a couple of weeks to decompress back in Chicago. Peter convinced me to speak to Alistair after the meeting regarding Tanya's behavior. He also told me to go home. So, after searching for an hour online, I found a reasonable flight and booked it, leaving at midnight and arriving at Midway by six in the morning.
I couldn't wait to sleep in my own bed.
A bed that hadn't been tainted by Tanya.
My bags were packed and standing neatly in my room. The top ten dancers got onto the bus and we were driven to the studio. Settling into one of the dance studios, we were all given two packets. The first one was a contract. The second was the rehearsal schedule and tour information. I pulled Alistair aside, I asked to speak with him before he left and he smiled, agreeing to meet in his office at the conclusion of our meeting. With a smile, he gestured for me to sit and I did, next to Peter.
"First off," Alistair began, "I want to congratulate all of you on a wonderful season. I'm extremely proud of you and I'm overjoyed that we are going to have a new season next summer. Auditions are starting almost immediately after the tour in the beginning of January. A few of you will be asked back as All-Stars and possibly as choreographers. We'll discuss that later.
"Secondly, this promotional tour is one of the most successful we've had. Ever. Almost all of the cities are sold out and a few have asked for additional dates, if it's possible. Right now, it would be cutting it close for Carmen and me for the audition tour, but it could be feasible." Alistair picked up the contract packet first. "Business first. In order to be a part of the tour, you have to sign the contract. Each of you will be paid for the tour, a base salary of $45,000 and then extra money if you have more performances. That includes the rehearsals, which begin on September thirteenth in Austin, Texas. Our first performance is happening in Austin two weeks after we begin rehearsals. Some numbers will need to be changed and you may be learning new parts since not all of the All-Stars are available for the tour. Additionally, we'll be adding four new dances. Two full group numbers and a dance for the guys and a dance for the girls. Not to mention, we will be working with Edward and Lauren for a few dances for them, since they are our first and second place winners, respectively."
One of the lawyers, Jenks, walked up and he went over the contracts. I signed mine and handed it to Jenks. Holding my itinerary, I approached Alistair. He led me to his office on another floor. He told me to sit down on the leather sofa and he got me some tea. "You seem troubled, Edward. What's wrong?" Alistair asked. "You're not upset that you got second place?"
"I wouldn't be human if I wasn't a little upset," I chuckled. "But, it was a tough competition. I'm happy that Lauren won and that I had this opportunity. Working with all of these amazing choreographers and phenomenal dancers has been a dream."
"But …?" Alistair prompted.
"Last night, something happened," I frowned. Alistair encouraged me to go on and I told him about what Tanya had done, from her relentless flirting to the sexual assault last night when she forced me to touch her. Alistair was livid, his pale face red with anger. Once I finished my story, I nervously spun the teacup.
"That is appalling," Alistair said, running his hands through his hair. "And you are not the first guy to mention her inappropriate behavior. Do you remember Emmett McCarty?" I nodded. Emmett was a hip hop dancer that came in third two years ago. He now worked as an occasional hip hop choreographer on the show and as an All-Star. We'd gotten along really well when I danced one of his hip hop routines with Emmett as my partner. It was a new aspect of the show. Choreographers were the partners for the contestants for one of the dances. "Well, Emmett was the object of her affections during his season. She never went that far with him, but he was uncomfortable." Alistair gave me a sad smile. "I'm safe to assume that you don't feel comfortable."
"Not in the least," I growled. "I made it abundantly clear that I wasn't interested. Also, Peter saw Tanya's behavior, too. He's willing to vouch for me and tell you what she did, in case you didn't believe me." I put the teacup onto the table in his office.
"I believe you, Edward. I'm so sorry," Alistair said, rubbing his temples.
"What's going to happen?"
"Her contract is up this year. She won't be renewed," Alistair explained. "I'm so sorry about this, Edward. I know that you are well within your rights to go to the police …"
"I don't want to. I just don't want to work with her," I said firmly. "I won't say anything, but if she continues as the host, I will fulfill my commitments with the tour and then I'll move on to other things."
"No. I don't want that," Alistair said. "She's gone. But, if I could have you sign an NDA, vowing your silence. Tanya will also have to sign one as well when she is given her walking papers." I nodded. He grabbed something from a file cabinet and I quickly read it over. It was a standard non-disclosure agreement. I wanted to put the nastiness behind me and not talk about it. I signed it. With a handshake, I left his office, somewhat mollified by his promise that Tanya was not going to be back.
The bus had left and I took a cab back to the house, keeping the meter running so I could grab my belongings and head to LAX so I could fly to Chicago. This had been a dream and I loved almost every minute of it, but I was ready to start the next chapter in my life, whatever that may be.
xx SYTYCD xx
Four Months Later…
The tour was done. We finished just before Christmas and I was happy to be home. I was looking forward to a month of just doing nothing and recuperating before I started back at my mom's studio as a teacher and performer. During one of the final shows, I had strained my calf muscle. I got through the rest of the tour, but I made an appointment with my father's partner upon my return. His response was rest and relaxation and I was more than willing to be a couch potato since I had spent the better part of eight months dancing my ass off.
While on tour, Tanya did get her notice that she was not going to be renewed for the following season. She was livid and that was putting it mildly. I know she blamed me. The numerous hate emails I'd received from her were scathing to say the least. I was afraid that she was going to go the media, crying that she was blacklisted unfairly, but Alistair said that she had signed a non-disclosure agreement. Just to cover my ass, I spoke with Jenks and got my own representation, Thomas, to protect my interests, which was my good name.
Christmas was crazy, but it usually was. Mom's dance studio was putting on a production on the day before Christmas Eve at the Chicago Theater, just as it had in the past. However, this was the first time I wasn't performing in it. I said that I would, but Dad and Dr. Duneagle, my dad's business partner, said that it wouldn't be in my best interest since I was recovering from a strained calf muscle. Instead, I was relegated to running sound and lights with my mom's assistant, Elizabeth, for the production.
Christmas Eve was spent at my parent's home in Evanston while Christmas Day was spent with my grandparents in Park Ridge. My Nana Cullen was dragging me all over her house, saying that I was America's Favorite Dancer. I tried to correct her, but she was a touch senile and would have forgotten. I just let her tell her tale and smiled like the loving grandson I was. She was so proud, holding my hand as tightly as she could. In fact, I had dedicated one of my dances to her. It was a contemporary dance. I had been paired up with Lauren and it was choreographed by Travis. It was a touching depiction of a woman's battle with cancer. The female character reminded me of my grandmother since she had overcome three separate instances with horrific disease. Nana was in the audience and she was a sobbing, hysterical mess. Backstage, I held her tightly, saying that I loved her and that everything I did that night was for her.
After the craziness of the holidays, I spent the next week sitting on my ass, watching television and being a bum. On New Year's Eve, I was watching some inane movie when my phone rang. Picking it up, I greeted my doorman. "You have two visitors, Mr. Cullen. An Alistair Sims and Carmen Santiago?"
"Oh, wow. Send them up," I said. I got up from my couch and picked up the few things I had laying around. Changing into a button-down, I waited for them to knock on the door. It wasn't long. Opening the door, I was surprised to see Alistair and Carmen on my doorstep. "Shouldn't you be celebrating the new year?" I asked, smiling crookedly.
"We could ask the same thing. You're young and should be out kissing some cute girl," Carmen laughed, breezing into my condo. "Very nice, Edward."
"Thank you," I blushed. "My grandparents on my mom's side left me a sizable inheritance and I bought this place once I graduated from college."
"What did you major in, Edward?" Alistair asked, looking at the photos on the mantle.
"Business Administration. Before the show, I danced somewhat professionally and I helped my mom with her studio. When she retires, she told me that I was taking it over. I'd like to know what the hell I'm doing," I snickered. "I know that I'm not going to be dancing forever. I want to have a plan to fall back on. You know?" Carmen nodded, smiling softly. Alistair just kept staring at my photos. "Is everything okay?" I asked.
"Everything is great," Alistair finally responded. "We're here to talk to you about a few things, actually. Auditions are starting up in a week and this is the first stop."
"Oh, I didn't know that Chicago was one of the audition cities," I said. "Where are my manners? I'm sorry. Do either of you want something to drink? I can make coffee or perhaps something stronger?"
"Since it's New Year's Eve, do you have any wine or sparkling wine?" Carmen asked, her brown eyes twinkling.
"I think I do," I said, getting up and opening up a bottle that my mom had placed in my fridge. I poured us three glasses and carried them into my living room. They were sitting on my couch. Handing them the sparkling wine, I clinked my glass with theirs. "Happy New Year."
"Yes, happy New Year," Alistair smiled, sipping his wine.
"A very happy New Year," Carmen breathed. She placed her wine glass on the table. "Have you recovered from the tour?"
"Mostly. My calf muscle is a bit tight at times, but I've been working with a physical therapist to loosen it up with massages and some simple exercises," I said. "I should be back on the dance floor in a couple of weeks."
Carmen and Alistair shared a look. "Do you think you could be ready by next week?" Alistair asked.
"What? Why?" I replied.
"Edward, we'd like you to join the SYTYCD team," Carmen said. "Obviously, we would like you to be an All-Star. You're one of the most striking Latin dancers we've had on the show and we want to have a strong male to rely on. Plus, you are fantastic at Broadway and surprisingly amazing with contemporary, too. A Jack of all trades, as it were. There was really nothing that we threw out you that you didn't excel at."
"That African Jazz piece was rough," Alistair chuckled, wrinkling his nose. I nodded emphatically. It was a piece that felt awkward on my body and was the only time I landed in the bottom two. I was saved by the judges and stayed at the top until the very end.
"True," Carmen giggled. "But other than that, you rose to every challenge beside that."
"Thank you," I smiled, a blush covering my cheeks. "Those ballet and contemporary classes my mom made me take paid off, in the long run. Well, except for the African Jazz number."
"In addition in being an All-Star, I'd also like for you to choreograph, Edward. I spoke with Emmett and he said that half of the routine you did with him was choreographed by you. So, we'd like you to work with Irina, the winner from a year ago for the callback piece. You know how the auditions are run. If you're awesome, like you were, you go straight to the Los Angeles callbacks. If you're good, but we want to see more, you are asked to stay for the choreography round. If you're awful, then you're sent packing," Alistair chuckled.
"In addition to the choreography for the callbacks, we'd like you to help out with Los Angeles callback week. Also, we want you to choreograph two numbers for the show. One would be a group number, a Broadway piece and the other would be with your partner. We're thinking of doing a show where we have dances from movies reenacted or famous movie dance scenes recreated. Dirty Dancing, the mambo? Perfect for you!"
"If we like what we see, we'll give you another piece to choreograph as well," Alistair added.
"So, let me get this straight. You want me to be an All-Star and choreograph three numbers, one for the call-backs and two for the show, with the possibility for more?" I asked, my heart stammering against my ribs. My eyes were wide with surprise and I was eager for the challenge.
"Here's the contract," said Alistair, handing me a file folder. "I do need to know your response by no later than Friday. Look this over and let us know if there is anything that you have questions about."
"And Tanya is officially gone?" I asked, hastily looking over the paperwork.
"Yes. Banned from the studio and she moved back to London as far as we know. Our new hostess, her name is Chloe Deeley and she worked at Entertainment Tonight as a field reporter in England. She's funny and perfect for the job," Alistair said, showing me her picture. She was a brunette with a welcoming, open face. I nodded, handing him back his phone. "So, look this over and give me call with your decision before Friday."
"Okay, I will," I said. "Thank you for thinking of me. More wine?"
"Probably not," Carmen said, finishing her glass. "We came directly from the airport. I'm jetlagged and want nothing more than to fall asleep in some cushy, boutique hotel's king-sized bed."
"That sounds heavenly," Alistair breathed. They got up and I followed suit. "My cell phone number is on the paperwork. Call if you have any questions." I nodded. "I look forward to your response, Edward. I hope you agree to it. You've been such a pleasure to work with on the show." We shook hands and my potential bosses left my condo. I spent the rest of my New Year's Eve pouring over the contract, making notes and weighing my decision. When the clock struck midnight, I chuckled at the fireworks, burying my nose back in the paperwork.
The next day, I went to my parents' house and asked their opinion, showing them my proposed contract, covered in so many sticky notes with my questions and commentary. I also contacted my attorney, Thomas. He came over since he didn't have any family and was just watching the bowl games. We went over the paperwork with a fine-tooth comb and found that it was a good contract. Thomas did say that I should try to negotiate for more money. I was getting a six figure salary, but he wanted me to get slightly more since I had been approached by Dancing with the Stars, being offered significantly more than what SYTYCD was offering me.
I called Alistair, telling him my sticking points, mainly my salary. He laughed heartily. "Whatever you want, Edward, it's yours," he said jovially. "We don't want to lose you. Especially not to Dancing with the Stars. You have the potential of winning awards with your choreography and electric dancing skills."
"So, you'll make the change?" I asked.
"Yes, Edward," Alistair said solemnly. "A new contract will be couriered to you in the hour."
"If that's the case, then I agree to our renegotiated terms," I beamed. We spoke for a few more minutes before I hung up the phone. I was giddy with anticipation. My dream of choreographing was coming true. What made it even better was that my choreography would be seen by millions of people and it would make an impact.
My dream had been fulfilled.
Cross that off your bucket list, Cullen!
A/N: I hope you liked it. It will be a Bella/Edward story, but I had to give you some background about Edward. We're going to hear from him again next chapter and meet some of the potential dancers as well. I do have pictures for this story and they are posted on my blogs (both my usual blog and one specifically for this story) and my tumblr. Links for all of those are on my profile.
Leave me some lovin!