Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This close

To read the previous installment, go here.

The glow of the neon lights grew hazy as they twirled across the floor. Part delirium, part sleep deprivation, part heaven, Vivi thought to herself dizzily as she spun. Her new boots pinched her feet and her sweat ran down the tights that she still wore under her jeans, but she didn't care. The only thing she cared about was her hand clasped in Wade's, his arm around her back as he guided her across the floor. Their feet moved in sync, sliding across the worn hardwood to the smooth sounds of the fiddle and steel guitar. The laughter of the dancers around them and twang of the singer's voice was like a dull roar in Vivi's ears.

The only thing she saw was the bright blue of Wade's eyes and the curl of his shy smile.

"You know, I've got to ask you something," he said as they moved into a slow waltz. His blond hair was stuck to his head in sweaty tufts. Vivi longed to run her hands through it, to grab his red cheeks between her hands and press her lips to his. Instead, she heard herself say, "What?"

"Why me?" he asked.

"What do you mean, why you?" Vivi's forehead crinkled up.

"Come on, darling," he drawled. Her heart fluttered and she felt everything tingle at his intense gaze. "You know you could have any man in the room. What made you want to dance with me?"

Vivi tossed her reddish-blond curls back and smiled. "You challenged me."

He wasn't expecting that. "Do what?"

"You said I was dancing wrong," Vivi reminded him, grinning as she saw a flustered look come across his face. "You offered to teach me."

He looked down, the smile dropping from his face. "Oh."

"Plus," Vivi said, cursing herself even as the words trickled between her lips. "Plus, I liked you. I mean, I don't know. You're just such a gentleman and so cute and you just make me feel"-- She flushed, slamming her lips shut. Why couldn't she ever shut up? Why did she just blabber on and on? She had gone to kindergarten with counts and billionaires, for God's sake. Why was a cowboy making her feel like she was a silly girl with a crush? Because you are a silly girl, a voice in her head informed her. And you do have a crush. A bad one.

Feel what?" Wade's hand grazed the skin of her bare back between her shirt and jeans as he lifted her arm in a twirl. She had to stop herself from shivering, or worse, giggling like a ninny.

"What do you feel?" Wade prompted, turning her so she was cupped against his front facing outwards, his chin on her head while his arms held her hands as they swayed. She took a deep breath, smelling the mixture of cologne, sweat and car grease. The stubble on his chip tickled and she leaned against the nook between his neck and shoulder.

"Free," she whispered. "You make me feel free. Free and safe and like I can do anything. All I want to do is dance with you always."

Wade didn't say anything. Vivi cursed under her breath as they stepped across the floor. She did it again. She ran off her mouth and now she'd run him off. He spun her around to face him. Forcing a smile to her face, Vivi raised her head and looked up at him.

Without a word, he raised her chin with a calloused finger and pressed his lips to hers. Catching her lower lip in a soft embrace with his, he lingered for the shortest and longest moment of her life.

Vivi felt like she was twirling.