A/N: Much thanks to MarieDee, a great FF author of My Bodyguard stories, for encouraging me to continue the story of Ricky and Evie.
All the Right Moves
"Who knew you were such a clown? If you don't follow the pattern correctly, you'll never learn to dance." Evie Samuels gently scolded her new friend Ricky Linderman.
"I'm sorry, but the footsteps keep sliding all over the place. It's throwing me off."
"That's not the problem, when I say go left, you go right, when I say right foot forward, you put the left one backward."
"Are you saying I'm dumb, Evie?"
"No, of course not. You're just concentrating too hard and making mistakes. Dancing should be free flowing, it has to appear effortless."
Evie, Ricky, Clifford and Shelly spent Saturday afternoon in Evie's furnished basement. They attempted to brush up on their basic dance moves before the Sophomore spring dance the following Friday.
"I cut the feet out evenly. Maybe I should tape them to the floor, but I don't want to ruin it." Evie said.
"Ruin it? Evie, this is cement tiling. It's alright, I'm just not paying attention." He gazed at her until she turned away and blushed hard.
"Ricky, I'm trying very hard to help you guys since you all claim you can't dance. Give me some credit." Evie pouted.
Ricky laughed and plopped on the big orange futon. He dug into the cooler and snapped open a can of coke. Shelly and Clifford decided to take a walk to the pizzeria a few blocks down and pick up dinner for the group.
"Evie, you're teaching us to waltz, it's so stiff and formal, you know nobody is gonna be dancing like this."
"Yes they will, in a way. It's technically called a Spring Formal." Evie sighed and adjusted the feet patterns in their proper place. "Ricky, it's all basic box steps, once you get this down, then you can throw in all the twists and shimmies you want. Just do not try and do the John Travolta dance from Saturday Night fever. I don't know what it is, but anyone else who does it looks totally corny." She giggled and sat next to him.
"Darn, I was hoping to wear my white leisure suit too."
Ricky smiled and put the coke can down. He crossed his leg and held his ankle and glanced favorably around the basement; it was almost like a small apartment, with a bathroom, kitchenette, refrigerator and a round wooden dining table. Clifford thought the table would be great for a poker night. The door at the top of the stairwell remained slightly ajar and Evie's mother puttered around upstairs. She was very glad to meet all of Evie's new friends, but that didn't stop her from keeping a watchful eye. Evie wrung her hands between her legs and rocked.
"Why are you so nervous?" Ricky asked.
Evie swung around with widened eyes. "Me? I'm not nervous. Do I look it?"
"Heck yeah. Sit back and chill, we've been at this dancing stuff all afternoon, I think I got the hang of it."
"Yeah, now that I only have three toes left that aren't broken." Evie said with hints of amusement in her eyes.
Ricky lowered his leg and playfully nudged her. "I'm not that bad at it. I'll never be Baryshnikov, but who cares? It's just a school dance."
"Well, I do, because I don't want you to suddenly become a wallflower on me. It will force me to dance with all the other guys." She teased.
Ricky clutched Evie's hand and moved closer. "Hey, I came this far, didn't I? If I really didn't want to do this, I wouldn't have. I'm not wishy-washy. Besides, you all conned me into going and I am. As long as I'm there, I'm not letting anyone take my girl."
Evie glanced up at him open-mouthed. "Conned? Who conned? All I did was ask you with a little encouragement from Clifford. I…I…Ricky…" Evie lowered her eyes bashfully. "Did you just say I'm your girl?"
Ricky bit his lip; the words slipped out of his mouth without second thoughts or apprehensions. He had to man up. He gently put a hand on her cheek and raised her face so she could look him in the eyes.
"Yeah, I did, Evie."
"Do you really mean it?"
Ricky felt the anticipating shudder that ran through her attack his gut. His gaze flitted back and forth, a quirky sign he was in deep consideration. She was so pretty and sweet. It surprised him that none of the other guys at school took much notice of her, though he understood why. The color issue. Poor Evie was caught in the middle of a war and struggled to remain neutral. She passed more for white than black, but she was always shunned. Ricky didn't care either way. It was the beauty inside her that mattered most to him. He slowly ran his thumb across her face and over her lips. He saw the move in countless movies as a prelude to a delightful kiss.
"I don't say things I don't mean, Evie. You'll learn that about me." He whispered and pulled her closer.
"I want to learn everything about you, Ricky." She murmured.
"Okay, I'd like to tell you a lot. And there's something you really need to know."
He frowned, then shook off the foreboding feeling. It wasn't time. The better Evie got to know him, the easier it would be for her to fathom the truth about the night his brother died and still accept him. He didn't want to ruin the mood. Ricky's mouth brushed hers slightly and they pulled apart a little embarrassed. Ricky still held her gaze and came up with another truth, even though it hurt him to admit it.
"Here's one, Evie. I never kissed a girl before."
Evie pursed her lips and shook her head. She stayed silent. She understood how much of a loner Ricky was because of his tragic secret, but she couldn't let on that she knew it.
Ricky almost panicked. "Does that bother you? What's wrong?"
Evie stared at him. "Why would it bother me? Neither have I, so we're even."
Ricky grinned, relieved. "But have you kissed a guy before?"
Evie pinched him. "Ricky! You know what I meant. I've…I've never been kissed either."
He sat back. "That's awesome."
"Why? Because I'm not used goods?"
"Evie, I don't think that way. It's just a guy thing, okay? Don't sweat it. I think we should change that now."
"Me too. It's humiliating."
"Is it? Doesn't matter to me, but then again, I'm not swapping stories with the guys either. They're all a bunch of liars anyway. How much do they know at fifteen?"
"Right. You probably know a lot more than them, you're sixteen." Evie said bluntly. Ricky was held back a year for missing so much school.
Ricky slowly rose and drew her up with him. He raised her arms over his neck and put his hands on her waist.
"I think I got this right."
"It feels right." She said and stood on her toes. Even though she was taller than a lot of the girls, Ricky was still the biggest boy in school.
Ricky's hands slid up her back and his face quickly met hers. He had to do this now or she would probably think he was a complete narc. Their lips pressed firmly together and Evie impulsively roved her lips over his mouth. Ricky followed her lead and then she allowed him to take over. They parted and smiled at each other.
"Ricky, that was great. You're so amazing." She complimented love struck.
Ricky wanted to let out a holler of delight, but held his emotions in check. He rushed to the stereo system and put on the record. He grasped her hand and swooped her to the center. Catching the beat, he attempted The Hustle.
"I told you I got the hang of this!" He said as they danced around the room like crazy.
"You sure did! Wait until Grandma Peache see's you."
The back door opened and Clifford and Shelly followed the delicious scent of garlic and tomatoes. Clifford started laughing.
"Look Shell, I think Ricky's finally got it. Who knew Frankenstein's monster could bust a move?" He cut across the room to avoid getting knocked into the wall, and put the pizza boxes on the table.
"Hey! I'm not the one with two left feet, Jerry Lewis." Ricky grumbled. "I hope you got more than one pie, because I'm starving."
"Sure, one for you, and one for the rest of us." Clifford grinned.
When Ricky practically floated by him, Clifford raised his thumb up slyly. Ricky did the same and dipped Evie dramatically. They nuzzled in the corner rose quick when they sensed an audience again. Shelly came to the table and while Clifford put out the drinks she caught Evie's eye. They winked at one another and Shelly hurried to set down the paper plates. She stood beside Clifford to watch the remainder of the dance.
"Wow, Ricky's doing okay. You see, that's what I was trying to tell you, Cliff. You have to loosen up, once you can do the box-step, you can do anything. Look at them, those two just have all the right moves."