"Tina, I really don't know how to thank you for all the things you've done for me and this studio. You know ever since my wife died no one could put this place or me either, for that matter, in order. That is until you came. You have really done a well job."
"Well, you did pay me well for doing a well job!" she laughed to ease the tension for she was feeling tense, indeed. He was looking right into her eyes as he swayed her around the room. And she blamed her breathlessness as a result of the dance.
"She used to love dancing. She was a pupil of mine before we married. Very talented; young and vibrant. I can't imagine anyone moving in the same beautiful way she always did. Not even Morgan!" He chuckled darkly and sighed. "She was the most beautiful woman I had ever taken in my arms." His eyes wandered from her face, gazing at something on the wall behind her and they fell silent.
"Do you miss her?" She asked in a low, sympathetic voice. He looked back into her eyes and their slow movement stopped.
"Very much. I thought I've got over her but in reality. . . I can never really get over her death. Her presence is missing in every day of my life."
"I'm so sorry" she whispered with tears in her eyes. How could she be in love with this man who was still in love with his deceased wife? 'Poor Pierre' she thought, how he must be suffering and yet keeping a straight face. Even after five years! She wondered how his wife should have been that he loves her so. He is a man to be admired and she certainly was as well. She could not hate herself more. She felt guilty as if she had been trying to seduce a man still married.
"Do you want to talk about it?" she asked when she saw his agonized face still gazing at her tear stained face.
"I do not want to pain you, Tina. You are a worthy woman. You don't deserve to be hurt. I'm so sorry." And with that he left her alone at the dance floor. The music had stopped and she felt like her heart, too, had stopped with it.
But then, he returned and took her delicately back in his arms. She then realized that he had only gone to change the song. She scorned herself.
"Do you want to try something else?"
"I like the waltz."
He smiled "So do I"
"So as I was saying," he recommenced, "No one could truly take her place until you came. So as a token of my gratitude I thought I should give you this." He fished a casket out of his pocket and gave it to her.
Now she was sure that her heart had definitely come out of her chest. She opened it with shaky hands.
"I was hers"
It was a beautiful pearl necklace. Undoubtedly very expensive and to her invaluable. It was his wife's! She couldn't believe it!
"You know Tina, You…You filled the empty gap she left."
She looked up to his eyes, shining with an emotion she could not tell. 'I must be dreaming!'
"Let me fasten it for you." He took the necklace and she turned. The cold pearls felt nice on her neck but what felt even better was his embrace although it hardly lasted a moment.
"I…thank you" was all she managed. He smiled but looked down,
"Tina… would you…um…could I take you out for dinner tonight?"
She knew she was blushing, to the point of looking like a red rose but she could not care less…had he just asked her out for dinner? She was being childish but she couldn't help it. But the reader must know, even though she was feeling like a 15 year old, she was all ladylike (as much as she could manage) and composed.
"Pierre, is it like a…I mean is it a date?"
"If you don't object"
Pierre smiled and seemed to be about to say something when they heard the door open. It was Morgan. Tina went off to switch on the lights, so she missed the victorious and self-congratulating smile that lightened up Pierre's lips.
"Good afternoon Mr. Dulain" Morgan's formal and over-confident voice called out as she entered the room.
"Good afternoon, Morgan. Shall we start?"
Well, at least Tina didn't miss the happy tone of his voice!