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'We short people have a great perspective on life; we are always looking up.'
'But you're so short you could bungee jump off the curb...'
Day Two – Tuesday
I couldn't stop cringing for the rest of the morning. Every five seconds, my jaw would clench, my nails would dig into my palms and the same words would be shouted in my head; why the HELL did I do that?
And, of course, I wasn't the only one saying that. For the next period and interval, Tanya could not drop it. "I mean, seriously, Alice," she said for the fifth time as we stretched before character class. "It's his job to make you better. He's got way more experience than you, no offense."
I sighed, "I know, I know. I let my mouth get ahead of my brain..."
"Exactly!" Tanya exclaimed, as if I were some naughty child. "You need to toughen up."
I gritted my teeth. Okay, self-deprecation's fine, but then your friends are meant to tell you not to worry...
Well, since Rosalie didn't bother commenting and Tanya was giving me lectures, I did worry. A lot. Because I was a scholarship student. Because Force was paying for me to be here and it was my first day and already they doubted that I could live up to theirstandards.
I gulped and tried to focus. Character was more bearable. If I hadn't been feeling so down, it might have actually been enjoyable. Character is the side of dance that teachers like Master Hinde would almost certainly hate teaching. It was imprecise, and the moves didn't follow the strict conventions of normal ballet.
After a quick warm up, our teacher, Madame Vieira, went straight into a barre combination. It involved lots of heel clicking and bending your back almost seductively. The Character uniform was also different – girls wore black heels and black skirts with two red and blue ribbons around the bottom. Attire that partially concealed that which I apparently did not possess – line. Length. Beauty...
So I guess that's why character went so well. After interval, we went to music class – our first class with boys. There were two first year music classes; 'a' and 'b', skill respective. So of course I was in 'b', having had no musical training whatsoever. My parents had spent all their money on my dance classes and shoes and, until I started making them myself, all my leos. There wasn't enough money for piano or guitar lessons on top of that. I didn't mind, though; I was lucky enough just to be doing ballet.
Unfortunately, 'b' class meant that I would be in the same room as Emmett Cullen for a whole hour. When I walked in, he was sitting on a table with some other guys, laughing loudly at something...
Or someone, I realized as they all looked my way.
"Well, I didn't think you had it in you, shortie," Emmett said, hopping off the table. "Telling off the be-Hinde like that." His friends laughed.
I glared at him and dumped my books at a desk at the front, as far away from him as I could get. I opened my new music books, determined to ignore him.
But instead he came and sat on the desktop beside me. "So what'd you get? Detention?"
"Go away," I muttered.
"Woah," Emmett laughed. "You really are touchy. But if it makes you feel better, I'll be there with you through it all."
"Yippee," I murmured.
Emmett was probably preparing some other stupid thing to say when our teacher walked in and called us all to our seats.
For the rest of the period, all anyone could hear was Emmett and his friends gabbing on and on about stuff. I almost wished that Rosalie was here, since she would almost certainly have had something wittier and nastier to say to Emmett than I had. But she and Tanya and, it seemed, Edward and Jasper, were all in 'a' class, probably writing symphonies and having a great time.
Our teacher impatiently went through the names of the notes in the treble clef – 'every good boy deserves fruit' – irritated that some of us didn't know them. I glumly made up more depressing antonyms in my head:
Even grade 1 ballerinas don't freak
Fussing Alice's chances eradicated
Grumpy ballet dancer fails again
Alice can't elon-gate because...
Well, unfortunately there was no 's' in music, but my thought still finished. I hadn't been lying with what I'd told Master Hinde – I couldn't be taller, I just couldn't be; it was impossible. But instead of flipping out at him, I should have flipped out at myself – I was stupid, thinking that I could actually match the other girls here when they were all inches and inches taller than me.
Eventually, the class finished and we packed up our stuff. I walked back down the big marble staircase to the second floor, where all the studios were. Partnering class. Great.
I had never really been partnered before – there had only been one boy at our studio, and I'd never had the chance to dance with him because he was reserved for the older girls. There had been a few classes where my teacher had paired us girls up and taught us the basics, so I wasn't completely clueless. I knew how to hold someone in a pirouette...wait, that's the boy's part now. But knowing the moves didn't matter so much – I was more concerned with trying to find a partner.
Halfway down the corridor, Tanya and Rosalie appeared at my sides, both of them staring determinedly ahead.
"Um, hey?" I said. When no one answered, I looked to Tanya, who was the more likely to explain something that Rosalie.
She rolled her eyes, "Rosalie thinks that Balanchine stole all his choreography from the Russians."
I just nodded. I didn't want to get in the middle of this, not right now.
When we found the studio, I was supremely thankful – Rosalie and Tanya were now in a full on argument.
Though I felt incredibly unthankful to walk into studio five to find Emmett, Edward and Jasper laughing with each other over in a corner, warming up.
"No," I groaned.
"Bastard," Rosalie spat.
"Edward!" we watched as Tanya set off across the room and gave him a hug.
Edward disengaged himself quickly and took a step back. "Tanya."
Emmett just guffawed.
I looked worriedly at Tanya. After a quick flush of disappointment, she straightened up and said, "I'm so glad it's partnering now, aren't you? Like, finally."
"I guess," Edward muttered.
She tried again, "I mean, it's gonna be great...with the right partner."
Rosalie and I exchanged a look. I wanted to drag her away before she did any more damage.
"Indeed," Emmett said. "That's why I'm aiming for shortie over there." Then he called to me, "We're going to be beautiful together, aren't we, shortstuff?"
My temper flared as he and Edward sniggered. Tanya, seeing the attention had turned away from her, huffed and strutted back to us, giving me a dirty look. Because I just love getting insulted by Emmett Cullen!
But I noticed one thing as we began stretching – Jasper hadn't been laughing...I glanced across at him now. My heart skipped a beat. He was looking straight back at me, frowning studiously. Shy, I quickly returned my eyes to the cherry wood floor.
"Bonjour, students!" We all snapped to attention then as Mistress Esme Cullen appeared at the front of the classroom. Great – now I have the deputy principal here to watch me fail.
And she was intimidating indeed, standing so tall in her long black wrap skirt and black tights and heeled dance shoes. I had to admit, she did have style – her long sleeved leotard was a deep red, and her hair twisted up into a tight bun. She had the perfect teacher outfit – not ugly trackpants and sweater, but also not exactly like what the students were wearing. Well, not quite, I thought, remembering my own leo. Mistress Esme wasn't the only with style...
"Partnering is a difficult art," she was saying as I returned to her lecture. "Gaining the perfect balance between partners is difficult. Giving over control to the male whilst still retaining your own strength, portraying the same interpretation of the piece, being in synch with one another. Gentlemen, you must learn to gauge how your partner is doing, how much lift or spin you need to give her."
Mistress Esme clasped her hands together. "It is difficult. And so it is important that we spend time finding you the correct partners to start training with. Your partner will not be permanent, we will begin changing around in the second half of the year. But for now, we will keep the same partners for consistency. So, if you would all just line up in height order..."
I wanted to groan. Across the room, Emmett was already laughing.
"Short at the front, tall at the back," Mistress Esme instructed. "Boys on my right, girls on my left."
Whilst everyone else was going back to back, trying to figure out who was taller, I just went straight to the front of my line.
It took a few orders from Mistress Esme before everything was sorted. The second shortest girl in my class was a good two inches taller than me. Great. Rosalie was the tallest, and Tanya was only two away from her. In the boys line, Edward was around the middle, Emmett slightly taller and Jasper, of course, was the tallest.
Somewhere, in the stupid side of my brain, I felt disappointment. Yeah, because he would so have wanted to dance with me.
"Alright, turn to face one another," said Mistress Esme. "And meet your new partner."
Immediately, there was an outcry at the back of the line. "I am not dancing with heem! I refuse!"
"Miss Hale," Mistress Esme said warningly, walking down to them.
"I refuse!" Rosalie repeated, then threw an accusing finger at her brother. "I cannot dance with him! I cannot – "
"Miss Hale!" Mistress Esme commanded. The class turned completely silent. Even Rosalie was smart enough to stop at Mistress Esme's fearsome stare. "Firstly, a detention for conducting yourself so. And secondly, I was not intending to make you dance with your twin, so if you would kindly control yourself and listen, I can tell you that you will be dancing with Mister Jacobson," she pointed to the boy next to Jasper. He looked thoroughly terrified.
I almost had to suppress a smile – that poor, poor guy.
"Mister Hale, you will dance with..." Mistress Esme scanned the girls' line. And the stupid side of brain perked up again... "Miss Denali."
Tanya looked disappointed, and I realized she'd been paired with Edward. As she grumpily moved away, I saw the look of relief on Edward's face. Jasper just looked neutral, like it didn't matter. I guessed that he'd probably done a whole load of partnering in the past anyway, so this wasn't such a big thing.
With the dispute finally sorted, I turned to look at my own partner. He was an okay-looking kind of guy, but he seemed bored already. Oh, right, bored and already looking at me with a fed-up expression. I knew what he was thinking; how the hell did I end up with the shortest, clumsiest girl in the class?
"Alright, positions, please," Mistress Esme ordered, and we began.
It is seriously weird having a stranger's hands on your waist, arms, legs...and my partner was in no rush to acquaint himself with me. He told me his name was George when I asked. That was pretty much it, apart from the distasteful expression that stuck to his face at all times.
We learned how to pirouette, promenade, and perform a simple lift, just straight up and down. Mistress Esme was a good teacher. She was patient and clear in what she wanted. But it just wasn't working with George. Every time I put my foot down, it seemed like his was right under it! And then when we were practising fouettes combinations – when he turned me and I put my leg out with each revolution – I almost kicked him in the ballet-belt area!
He leapt back, and I fell off my pointe. "This is ridiculous!" George muttered.
Mistress Esme, hearing him, came over to us. "Pardon me, Mister Yansen?"
I wondered if he would just keep his mouth shut. I hoped he would. But no, instead he said, in a lowered voice, "Just because I'm the shortest in the class, Ma'am, why should I have to dance with her?"
Mistress Esme raised a displeased eyebrow. "What is wrong with your partnership?"
George hesitated, "It feels weird. My old partner was the perfect height for me...and I'm losing technique trying to get my hands lower." He spared me a look. "No offence."
A lot taken, I thought of saying, but managed to hold my tongue.
"Plie, then, Mister Yansen," she replied. "And Miss Brandon, you must reach your arms slightly higher." She waved a hand between the two of this. "This should work, if you are both willing to try for it." She began to walk onto the next person.
He called after her, "But how am I meant to learn how to partner a normal person?"
I spun around to face away from him, feeling tears spark in my eyes. I realized the whole class had gone quiet again. Keep control, Alice, keep control...just breathe...
I couldn't quite look at him. I just wanted to scream and run away. To cry...
Suck it up, I told myself. Suck it up like Mulan...like Hercules...like Cinderella...yes, Cinderella. She was always getting beaten down, but she got her prince at the end of it all, didn't she? And her ugly stepsisters got what was coming to them.
George is an ugly stepsister! I realized. The comic picture of him in a dress and make up, saying what he'd just said, brought a smile to my lips. I turned back, looking up at him. His nose was looking more pig-like by the second... "Excuse me?" I said with the politest of smiles.
He looked a little taken aback. "Nothing," he said quietly.
"No, seriously," I said. "What were you just saying?"
I watched him closely, letting him get more and more uncomfortable, then eventually I turned around so that I was in first position. "Fouettes, now," I told him, and snapped up onto pointe. Quickly, he grabbed hold of my waist, and we rejoined the music, along with everyone else.
I let out a small sigh of relief. At least no one would think I was a cry baby.
The class went on. Mistress Esme changed a few pairs around. Rosalie managed to get through four guys before Mistress Esme clapped her hands, calling us to attention.
"Alright," she said. "We move onto across the floor combinations now. Simple ones, of course, but I want absolute control." She snapped her fingers, "Mister Masen, up here please."
Edward rolled his eyes to Emmett at the back of the class and came up to partner Mistress Esme. Despite the fact that now I knew he was almost as irritating Emmett, I couldn't help but admire Edward's skill. It was our first class and yet he easily followed Mistress Esme's instructions, lifting and turning her easily.
"Thank you, Mister Masen. Does everyone understand?" Mistress Esme asked as they finished.
There was a chorus of 'Yes ma'ams', and then we all headed for the back of the studio.
"You were amazing, Edward," Tanya cooed.
"Thanks," Edward muttered, then quickly went to his own partner.
Mistress Esme counted us in, and the first group set off. It was a pretty simple combination, I guess, if you were experienced in pas de deux. And you had a partner you could trust, I thought dully. It was stupid, but I couldn't help but feel jealous of Tanya. She and Jasper performed the combo flawlessly. Jasper lifted her easily, and kept total focus on keeping Tanya on the tip of her toes. I wasn't surprised at all that he was the perfect danseur. Everything about him, the way he moved and all his gentlemanly manners (okay, I know even Emmett would have caught me when I fell down those stairs, but still), just screamed 'next Rudolf Nureyev'.
"And next group, and five, six, seven and courus..."
I watched as Rosalie began tiptoeing forward en pointe, her fifth partner dutifully behind her. "And arabesque..."
Rosalie raised her left leg behind her, and her partner stepped in to hold her waist. "And turn..." He began turning Rosalie around en pointe.
"It's right, not left, you idiot," Rosalie snapped.
"Sorry," said the guy, changing direction.
Mistress Esme ignored them, "And down...and échappé up!"
From flat, Rosalie jumped up onto pointe.
"Shit!" her partner yelled, and stumbled, clutching his toes.
Rosalie only looked at him for a moment, a hand on her him. "Hm," she said contemplatively. "Sorry." Then, with a smirk, she finished the combination alone, perfectly, of course, even when she had to replace the lift with a jump.
Emmett whistled, lounging back against the barre, "That girl is something."
I just looked at her poor partner, still cursing quietly in the corner.
"Next group!" Mistress Esme called. "And five, six..."
George and I started off okay...but that was probably because it didn't involve me doing anything with him. I went up into my arabesque, lifting my leg behind me, and let him pull me around. The real issue came, though, during the lift.
"And plie down..." George quickly put his hands on me, but too high. As we both bent our legs, he tried to lift me. I was up a few inches before his hands slipped up around my armpits and my shoulders up by my ears, my legs dangling below me, like a little child getting picked up.
There was a collective gasp from the class as George hurriedly dropped me – let's face it, his hands in my armpits wasn't exactly a pleasant thing for either of us.
Fortunately, I didn't fall to the ground, just landed hard and stumbled slightly.
"What was that?" Mistress Esme demanded, hands on her hips.
Danger over, Emmett led the class in a good old laugh whilst George and I stood there, not looking at each other.
"It's not gonna work, Ma'am," George said desperately, though he was at least scared of me enough to give me a furtive glance this time.
Mistress Esme raised an eyebrow and pursed her lips, "I don't care. You will continue on together. Now ensure you support the hold next time, both of you. Next group!"
I returned to the back of the class blushing embarrassedly.
"Hey Jasper," I heard Emmett snigger as I walked past them. "I'll give you a fiver if you dance with her,"
I heard Jasper and Edward laugh. My mind seethed. Bastards. Couldn't they just leave me alone? Idiots. Jasper, too. I was stupid to have thought him any different from the other two. They were all horrible, arrogant, amazing ballet dancers.
The rest of the class involved even more embarrassment. Everything from not being able to get my arms over George's head to falling into the ballet barre after a pirouette. I had involuntarily become the class clown. Great.
Finally, Mistress Esme clapped her hands and told us to all sit down for a moment.
"Today was to be expected of a first pas de deux class," she said. "It was sloppy and badly disciplined. It served a purpose, though. You now know how difficult partnering is, oui?"
Looking around, I realized that people were nodding. As if they have problems in comparison to mine!
Mistress Esme pressed her fingertips together, "Tomorrow we begin curriculum work. Some of the moves you attempted today we will not revisit for months." I saw the ghost of a smile on her face, "Now we will build you all from the bottom up. Of course, partner selection does factor into this. To be as consistent as possible, the partners you are currently with will be your permanent partners unless there is a particularly big issue. By the end of the week, your partner and you will have created a short combination to perform to the class. Music of your choice."
Everyone began talking excitedly. Edward just nodded passively at his partner's suggestions. Emmett was already cracking some joke about a pole dance. Tanya seemed to be talking about her favourite choreographers and how she knew them all personally. Rosalie was sitting stretching her feet as her partner timidly tried to give some ideas.
I just wanted to groan. Great. I'm stuck with George for the next six months...and I have to try and choreograph something with him!
"You may take reverence now," Mistress Esme announced, looking pleased with the amount of discussion.
We all got to our feet and lined up once again. With a graceful step to the left and then a bend of the knee and a bowing of the head, my first day of classes at Force finally finished.
I just did a whole day of ballet, I thought to myself, picking at the knots of my pointe shoes. Why do I feel so...empty?
When I finished a class back home, I'd be raving...I'd feel satisfied and excited and pleased with whatever I'd been working on...
Why wasn't it like that now?
I stopped trying to untie the ribbons, and just frowned at the floor. This wasn't good...
"Coming, Alice?" Rosalie said. Don't worry, pigs hadn't flown – it wasn't in a friendly tone. She was just looking distastefully at Tanya, obviously wanting to use me as a sound barrier.
Unfortunately for both of them, I wasn't feeling so charitable today. "I'll see you guys in the dining hall," I said distractedly.
Rosalie huffed and spun on her heel, "Alright, come on. I need to ice my feet."
"Icing your feet is a bad recovery routine; footbaths are more effective..." Tanya babbled, following after her.
I waited until the studio had cleared out before I stood up.
The room seemed so much bigger now without all the people.
The golden light from the sunset flooded through the window, reaching across the floor.
I walked into the middle and stuck my hands on my hips, trying to work out what was wrong with me. I'd never felt like this before...so flat. Like, worse than after-school flat. And that is really flat.
Unconsciously, I started flexing my foot. It was a habit when I was thinking.
Experimentally, I tried an arabesque.
"Turn out more!"
I frowned again, and looked in the mirror at myself, one leg stuck up in the air. Straight away, I started fixing things, hearing all my teachers' voices in my head, telling me what I was doing wrong. But mostly, there was just one voice sticking out:
"Longer, Miss Brandon! Longer! Elongate!"
I exhaled hard and tried reaching further, pointing my toes and stretching out my fingers.
I swallowed. "Come on!" I breathed. "Reach!"
The door opened, and I broke my position.
Jasper stood there, still in his ballet gear, a little smile on his face.
I rolled my eyes and pushed back my messy, wet hair. "I've had a crap day, whatever joke you're gonna make...just don't."
Jasper stepped in and shut the door. He was frowning now and if I hadn't been sick of it all, I would've had to say it was seriously cute...
"I didn't come to..." he began in his Russian accent, then sighed, pushing his own hair back. "I came to say thank you for last night, with my sister."
"Oh," I said. Crap! Quickly, I folded my arms and looked down at that teeny freckle on my right wrist. "That's okay..." Okay, Alice, this is gonna get real awkward real soon if you don't say something... I looked at him, "Is she okay?"
Okay, okay, okay...
Jasper nodded, "Yeah, just problems at home..." he scratched the back of his head. "It's, uh, kind of private."
"I wasn't gonna tell anyone," I said quickly, suddenly really anxious to reassure him that I wasn't a gossip.
"Thank you," he said. Everything was really, horribly quiet for a few seconds. Then he cleared his throat. "So...what are you doing?" he gestured to me, still in my pointes. "Extra practise?"
I looked down, suddenly embarrassed, as if that's what I should be doing, "Um, no..." I smiled. "Kind of the opposite..."
He had that frown again, but more interested this time, not concerned. "What do you mean?"
"Well..." I played with my fingers, trying to work out how to explain. "It's just that today was kind of hard. And..." I frowned now. "I guess I just wasn't expecting Force to be so...so..."
"So intense?" Jasper said.
"Yeah," I nodded. "And...everything's so uptight and to the point, and the teachers don't spare you any negative comment...and I've been so worried about not making any mistakes and not embarrassing myself..."
"It's not meant to be easy," Jasper said hesitantly.
"I know," I said. "I don't mind working hard, of course not. I'd be stupid to come here if I did. But already I feel like all the fun of ballet is getting sucked up, and now I'm trying to get it back, but all I can hear is ten different voices telling me to turn out and all that."
Jasper looked at me for a second, "So...you are trying to have fun?"
I nodded, a shy smile on my lips.
But he still had that concentrated furrowed brow, "In a ballet studio?"
I nodded again, my eyebrow raised.
"How?" he asked incredulously.
I stared at him. "Well..." I bit my lip. "You know?"
Jasper just shook his head.
I narrowed my eyes, looking at him objectively. Ah! Got it! "Okay, so why did you start ballet?"
"Because my parents dropped me and my sister off at the door when we were eight."
Well, that kinda stopped me dead in my tracks. "Really?"
"Okay..." I wove my fingers together. "Why do you like ballet, then?"
He seemed to consider the question very carefully, "It can be emotional, once all the hard work is done."
"Yeah, yeah," I said. "All that passion stuff, of course..." I just had to look at him studiously again. "So you really have never had any fun when you're actually dancing?"
Jasper laughed at my expression, "No, Miss Alice, I have not."
I gave an exaggerated sigh, and before I knew what I was doing, I'd grabbed his hand and pulled him into the centre.
Surprised but willing, he dropped his bag and followed. Just don't think about the fact that you're holding his hand...eeee! I'm holding his hand!
"Okay," I said, regretfully dropping the hand. "So just leap."
"Leap?" he repeated.
"Jete, whatever you want to call it."
He did so obediently, moving high into the air, his legs splitting expertly. He landed with almost no noise, and then turned back to face me. "Done."
I bit back a laugh.
He frowned, "What? Was it wrong?"
"Ooooh no," I said, still grinning. "You just look so serious!"
He turned to a mirror. "Do I?"
I just laughed, "You're just meant to relax! Someone at Vaganova has obviously spent the last eight years teaching you how to fly; don't you want to use it for yourself?" I saw this wasn't getting anywhere.
"Okay," I said, and then set off from one corner to the other, leaping as high as I could, feeling the air split ways for me, my body defying gravity for the slightest of seconds. I finished with very little grace, but it didn't matter. "See?" I said, my breathing up a little. Jasper was watching me intently – a model student. "It's exhilarating. Just try it, don't think about technique or anything, just flying through the air."
Jasper nodded, brow furrowed, focused on the opposite corner.
He looked up, a confused smile on his face, "What?"
"Okay, now go," I said without explanation.
It should probably have concerned me that I was trying to teach a Vaganova student how to jete, but I couldn't bring myself to care. "Just let it go!" I called. When he got to the other corner, he turned to me, his pale Russian face kind of flushed.
"That was...kind of...fun..." there was an unfamiliar, dangerous glimmer in his eyes, and suddenly he was grand jeteing in a great big circle around the whole room.
I laughed as he flew by me, almost a blur of black and white.
When he finally came to rest in front of me, his hair was a mess, and his breathing a little heavy. That spark was still there in his eyes, though. "That was..." he looked at me, frowning as he tried to find the word. "What did you say? Ex..."
"Exhilarating?" I filled in.
"Exhilarating," he tried the word out for size. With a satisfied nod, he looked back to me. "What else is there to do? Can you make barre work fun?"
I chuckled, "That I can't do, sorry...well, there's always kicking the people in front and behind you, but that might not end well."
"Not with Mistress Esme," Jasper said. "She is scary, even by Vaganova standards. Not many teachers can silence my sister."
I laughed, "She's certainly a force to be reckoned with."
"She could do with so of this," Jasper said, gesturing to the studio. "What else have you got?"
I frowned, "I dunno, usually I just kind of dance, let myself go..." I bit my lip again. "Well, there is one thing."
"What?" Jasper said.
I peeked up at him, "It's really childish."
Jasper clasped his hands, "Tell me."
I grinned, "Ever thought about just pirouetting and turning without spotting until you get so dizzy you fall over?"
"No," he said. "But let's try it!"
I had to giggle. "Alright, whoever lasts the longest wins."
"It's on, Miss Brandon," said Jasper.
"I'm a natural at this kind of thing," I warned as we went to the centre. "By which I mean serious stupidity."
We started. I'd always been quite good with pirouettes, and so I spun and spun for what seemed like ages. Jasper did fouettes, kicking one leg out every so often, gaining more speed.
"Don't spot!" I called.
"I'm not!" he replied. I had to laugh; he was already sounding funny. It wasn't long before he stopped. "Woah," he whistled. I wished I could have seen him, but everything was a blur.
My pirouettes, of course, didn't last forever. Eventually, I fell off my pointe. The room kept spinning. "Oooooh God," I said, stumbling around. I loved the feeling, but I was so off balance, about to fall into the turning floor until a pair of arms was suddenly there, holding me up. "Woah," I said as Jasper's face slowly came into focus. I realized I was clutching his sizeable biceps.
Jasper laughed, "Alright there?"
"I won!" I said.
"A rematch, soon," Jasper said.
"I'll still win."
The room finally stopped, and I was left standing there in the arms of a seriously hot Russian danseur for no reason.
But that devilish twinkle was back in his eyes. "I've thought of something," he said.
"And what would that be?" I said. Let go, Alice...let go...
"Trust me?" he asked.
"Oh, inexplicitly," I retorted.
He laughed, ignoring my sarcasm, and then suddenly his arms were around the bottom of my thighs, and I was high up in the air.
"Oh my God," I breathed in surprise, holding onto his shoulders.
"Don't worry," Jasper said, from far below me. "I won't drop you. Now let go, Miss Alice."
Tentatively, I lifted off one hand, then the other. And then I wasn't just defying gravity, I was floating high above it all. "This is amazing!"
"Exhilarating?" Jasper asked.
"Yeah," I said, letting my arms move through the air, performing the fluid movements which had bored me to tears this morning. I laughed, then realized something else. "Hey, Jasper, guess what?"
"I'm tall!" I reached my arms above my head. "Take that, Master Hinde!"
"And George!" Jasper called.
"And Emmett!" I shouted.
"Particularly Emmett," he added.
"Did someone just say my name?"
Jasper and I both gasped, though, unlike George, Jasper didn't drop me in surprise. Slowly, he brought me down until my feet touched the floor again.
Edward and Emmett were there in the doorway, arms folded, arrogant grins on their faces.
Emmett stepped forward, "Nice work, Jazz." And handed him a fiver.
Oh no :(
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Thanks for reading!
Oh, and Pas de Trois (story which goes with this and Clair de Lune) will be updated tomorrow morning!