Summary: Before they even began to move, Alex could tell he was experienced by the confidence of his embrace. Alternative scene for Pas de Deux. Small spoilers.
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"Eames, I never knew you could dance so well," Goren actually sounded surprised as he guided her through the repetitive steps.
"Thank my mother. She made me take lessons as a teenager," Alex shrugged, although she was a little miffed that he would underestimate her. "For some reason she thought I'd need it for high school."
"Don't all prom queens need to know how to dance?" he smiled at her. She rolled her eyes and wondered, not for the first time, whatever possessed her to tell him that.
"Well … thank you, Mrs. Eames," he teased in a low voice that sent a shiver down her spine. When had his voice started doing that to her?
A few more dance steps and Goren chuckled.
"What?" she asked, but he just grinned at her and shook his head. "C'mon … what's so funny?"
"Who'd have thought you'd follow a man's lead so easily?"
"Keep it up Goren, but you may want to consider the proximity of my knee."
He outright laughed, then surprised her by stepping into an unexpected turn. She kept up with him and, for probably the first time in her life, Alex was glad her mother made her take those dance lessons.
They'd been all over town that morning checking out dance studios in their search for a suspect in a series of bank robberies. Armed with his name (Donald DePalma), occupation (flooring salesman), and a vague sketch courtesy of one of his suppliers, they had the smallest clue to potentially finding him – the current product he'd been selling was a type of flooring favored by dance studios.
The latest of their numerous stops didn't seem any more promising than the rest until Goren mentioned that the suspect may have tried selling them Marley flooring. 'Oh yeah, Donnie the Floor Guy.'
Turns out that in addition to trying to sell flooring, he'd been taking dance lessons, Wednesdays and Fridays around noon. Today was Friday, and the grumble in Alex's stomach told her it was coming up on lunch time. They decided to wait around and hope for a little luck.
Circling the perimeter of the dance floor, they studied the waltzing couples. Some looked as if they'd been together their entire lives, others were more uncomfortable – hesitant of their partner's next intent.
None of the men looked like the sketch Goren had tucked away in his inner jacket pocket.
"Well … we can't just stand here. He'll make us as soon as he comes in the door." Bobby looked down at Alex and held out his hand in invitation.
All of which explained how she wound up on the dance floor with him, mentally thanking her mother for the lessons. She liked to think that she could keep up with Bobby in anything – and her imagination had recently been supplying many and varied 'anythings.'
She'd seen him dance before, but witnessing it was not the same as experiencing it. Assuming the classic stance for couples dancing, Bobby held her right hand at his shoulder's height and placed his other hand firmly at the small of her back. Before they even began to move, Alex could tell he was experienced by the confidence of his embrace.
He led her around the floor with an ease and grace that would be unexpected if she didn't know him so well. On the job – in front of witnesses, suspects, defense attorneys – Bobby could play the role of clumsy detective, made all the more awkward in appearance by his considerable size. The charade was very effective at putting people off their guard and he took full advantage of their gullibility.
But Alex had her own advantage – she was his partner. Long-time, almost daily companionship bred familiarity with his movements, both big and small. Whatever role his body played, in her eyes it was always belied by his expressive hands. Whether in motion or repose, they revealed an elegance she knew he would find embarrassing if she were to point it out to him.
It was, however, an elegance he didn't bother to hide on the dance floor, at least not now – not with her.
The waltz was winding down, but before the song could end the instructor called out, "Class, hold on to your current partner and let's transition into a contemporary ballad."
A few moments of awkward movement as the couples considered the new music and changed their steps to blend into the slower tempo of the ballad.
Alex recognized the first few notes crying out from a guitar and felt a thrill course through her senses.
Everything you are
Everything you'll be
Touches the current of love
So deep in me
Every sigh in the night
Every tear that you cry
#'Seduces Me' by Celine Dion. Alex couldn't even count the number of times she'd hit 'repeat' on her CD player. The Latin accent in the voice of the guitar spoke of romance and sultry nights. Celine's orchestral vocals evoked feelings of want and desire – longing so intense it hurt.
It was one of the most sensual pieces of music she'd ever heard, stirring fantasies that included the man who now held her in his arms.
Alex swallowed against a suddenly dry mouth. Maybe dance lessons weren't such a good idea after all.
All that I am
All that I'll be
Means nothing at all
If you can't be with me
Your most innocent kiss
Or your sweetest caress
Bobby must have sensed something because he dipped his head to catch her eye, a small frown of concern on his brow. She gave him a smile to ease his worry then resolutely settled her mind – and body – into following his lead and avoiding dangerous territory.
They'd never shared a dance before, and Alex was surprised at how easily their bodies moved together. His height and bulk contrasted sharply with her slight, petite frame. Yet each complemented the other in a choreography of give-and-take suggesting intimate knowledge of their partner's rhythms.
I don't care about tomorrow
I've given up on yesterday
Here and now is all that matters
Right here with you is where I'll stay
He steps forward in advance, she steps back in retreat. A quarter turn and he withdraws, imploring her to follow.
They smoothly performed the age-old moves of a lovers' ritual: The man's pursuit, the woman's denial. His desperate beckoning. Her inevitable submission.
Unable to resist, Alex slid her hand from his shoulder toward his collar. She indulged herself, allowing her fingertips to tease the hair at the back of his neck. A soft moan and his skin vibrated beneath her touch.
Everything in this world
Every voice in the night
Every little thing of beauty
Comes shining thru in your eyes
And all that is you becomes part of me too
'Cause all you do seduces me
Such a heady feeling of power from such a small sound. The knowledge that she could entice this reaction from him made her reckless. Alex extended her thumb to caress the soft skin behind his ear. A sharp intake of breath. She briefly wondered how he would react if she traced the same path with her tongue.
She felt his fingers splay at the small of her back. An almost imperceptible increase in pressure. Three quick, intertwined steps and suddenly their bodies were no more than a whisper apart, skimming each others' heat but not their actual forms.
And if I should die tomorrow
I'd go down with a smile on my face
I thank God I've ever known you
I fall down on my knees
For all the love we've made
Her nostrils were assailed by a scent, familiar but different – himandher. She knew each separately, but they now combined to rise up between them on a hot wave.
Bobby inhaled deeply and Alex squeezed her eyes shut against visions of him breathing her in. But, of course, it didn't help – couldn't stop the image of his lips on her neck as he enjoyed the fragrance of her hair.
A slight misstep on her part – Bobby's thigh brushed hers in a fiery touch. She felt a reflexive tightening of his arms and a minute misstep of his own.
"Sorry," his low voice caressed her temple. Incapable of speech, Alex could only shake her head to brush off his apology.
Her body flushed with heat, but his hand on her back was hotter – searing its impression on her nerve endings. For the rest of her life, whenever the need possessed her, Alex would close her eyes and again feel his hand and the subtle touches he used to guide her.
Every sigh in the night
Every tear that you cry
Seduces me … seduces me
All that you do ... … Seduces me
Fighting against the urgency of erotic images, Alex focused on the dance and they once again slid through the music as one. Bobby was in total control – maintaining the maddening almost-distance between them when all she wanted was to be pressed firmly against the length of him.
The song and the dance were approaching their inevitable conclusion. Bobby folded his hand over hers and placed her palm flat on his chest, holding it there. She felt his heartbeat through the thick muscle, fast and steady. A sensory counterpoint to the slow, smooth strains of the music.
The guitar moaned out its final notes of seduction.#
The dance ended.
Neither moved to release the other.
Alex focused on her hand and the rapid thrumming beneath it – reassuring in the sense that her own heart was not alone in its excited pace.
"Eames," her name sounded husky. He removed the hand pressing hers against his chest, but kept his other at the small of her back. "What do you think?"
About what! The music? The dance? The closeness of your body?
Alex looked up at him, seeking the meaning of his question, but his gaze was fixed at a point off to her right. She had to move her hand to follow his line of sight. Her palm already missed the connection with his heart.
Standing at the edge of the floor was a tall woman with long, brunette hair. Right height, right build. Could be the accomplice.
Goren's hand slid from her back, his fingertips lingering at her waist for just a breath longer than necessary.
She felt a pang of loss as he left her side to approach the other woman. Goren coaxed a smile from his new companion and Alex was forced to watch her accept his invitation to dance. Bobby spared Alex a quick glance before focusing all his attention on his new partner and enfolding her in his embrace.
A/N – You can thank (or blame) 'Pas de Deux' and whoever taught VDO to dance. Some credit (or blame) needs to be shared by Celine Dion for her extraordinary rendition of 'Seduces Me' on her Falling Into You CD.