If you read last week’s post, you’re probably expecting Her Captured Heart. Unfortunately, I’ve pulled that book from production until I can get it the way I want it. Don’t want to release a book that’s not ready for primetime 🙂 However, I have a great snippet from the book I’ve put in its place: May I Have this Dance. I loved this contemporary M/M romance from the moment the plot bunny first attacked me last April. Both men have a journey to make and it all starts with a first step.
Meet Avit Johan.
Avit glanced down at the advert. It was a third-page ad in the yellow pages. The studio he’d learned to dance in went out of business years ago. Just Dance was in the lower half of what appeared to be a renovated fire station. Shingles in a reddish-brown twinkled in the spring drizzle. He’d visited ten studios and so far had not been impressed with them. More to the point, his pride wouldn’t allow him to dance with a bunch of five year olds. The assistant who answered the phone at Just Dance said its focus was teaching adults. He hoped they meant it. He was running out of dance studios.
A bell above the door jingled as he stepped inside. The foyer of Just Dance was about ten feet wide with images of silhouettes dancing on the walls. Directly across from the door was a locked case that held some sort of statues. Four doors led off from the foyer but before he could see which one to open, the second on the right did and an older woman walked out. She wore yoga pants and an over-sized shirt with the Just Dance emblem on it. “Hi,” she said with a smile. “I’m Monica. How can I help you?”
He shook hands with her. “I’m Avit Johan. I called about your classes.”
Her eyes lit up. “Of course. We’re always pleased when another adult calls for dance. It’s becoming a lost art, don’t you think?” He was grateful she didn’t wait for a response as he didn’t have one. “We have several different classes. Is there a specific style you wanted to learn?”
“My brother’s getting married in six weeks. I used to dance but it’s been years.” Decades, really, not that he was willing to mention it. “I’m looking for a class that will help me remember the steps to a few of the more popular dances so I don’t trip over my feet.” And end up on YouTube. Bruno would post that kind of accident without a thought.
Monica laughed. “We get a lot of adults needing to learn for upcoming weddings, though in truth usually it’s the bride and groom. Let me show you the facilities and then we can talk specifics. We have new classes opening up every month.”
The classrooms were large with a full media system. It was cleaner and more up to date than the other studios he’d visited and he was predisposed toward it. They walked into a small office and she waved him toward a seat. “When’s your brother’s wedding again?” she asked.
“Six weeks from this Saturday.” Which cut things short, but he’d do his best.
She skimmed through a large desk calendar, a slight frown drawing together her thick eyebrows. She dug into a file cabinet and came out with two sheets of paper. “Unfortunately, the classes we have over the next six weeks don’t exactly fit your needs. However, let me explain what’s available and you can decide. We run our classes on either a four-week, six-week, or six-month schedule. The next four-week classes opening up are beginning waltz, line dancing, and twerking.”
He coughed at the last one and she nodded. “The rest of us were shocked the boss would allow Tony to offer it, but the class is almost full. The line dancing and beginning waltz classes both start next week. Line dancing is on Thursdays and waltz is on Wednesdays.”
“I’m pretty versed in the waltz,” he said slowly. “Four weeks of that might get monotonous. I hope there isn’t a lot of line dancing at the wedding reception.”
“You’d be surprised,” she said with a smile. “How old are the bride and groom?”
“There’s a fifty-fifty chance there will be line dancing.”
“I still think my mom’s going to push for regular dances.” Which meant he would most likely need to look at the last two studios on his list. Neither had sounded promising on the phone.
“Well,” she said slowly. “We also have two six-week classes. The first started yesterday. I teach two weeks each for three different dances: waltz, cha-cha, and country two-step. How much experience do you have?” she asked. “Any dance instruction?”
“Five years of it,” he said, looking at the calendar. “But that was back in my teens.”
“Doesn’t matter. Once you’ve learned, you can pick it up again. It’s a bit like riding a bike,” she mused. “The other six-week class might work. It’s not teaching a specified style of dance. The whole focus on the course is to help each student get in touch with rhythm. The premise behind it is that once you connect with your inner rhythm, you can bring that to any dance and make it your own.”
That sounded good. Perhaps if he ever went to another dance club, he wouldn’t feel like an idiot. “Rhythm? That might work. If I can do that, hopefully I can fake my way through any dance my mom puts on.”
“If you pick it up, you’ll do more than fake it,” Monica said with a smile. “Just teaches that class and believe me. You’ll look at dance differently after one class, let alone all six.” She pulled another piece of paper out of her drawer. “Here’s the cost for the course. The sixth class is after the wedding, but you’ll still learn a tremendous amount about your body and the way it relates to beat in the first five weeks.”
Avit nodded. “I’ll take it.” If nothing else, the class might give him skills he could use for other places besides wedding receptions. He’d always enjoyed dancing. Might be nice to pick it up again. He paused after pulling his wallet from his coat. “Did you call him Just?”
“His name’s Just Devereux. He’s owned and run Just Dance for a decade, but performed professionally for years before that.”
Avit pulled out his card. “American Express okay? I think the Tuesday night class will work fine.”
How can this be wrong when it feels more right than any relationship he’s ever had?
Avit Johan spends his days building up his business. He has no time, nor desire, to find a partner. With his brother’s wedding coming up, he makes time to update his dancing skills. Desire sizzles within him at the sight of Just Deveroux, owner of Just Dance.
Just has a good life. An ex-wife who is his best friend. Three wonderful children. And a dance studio he lives for. The only thing missing is the right partner, the man he will dance the rest of his life with. He’s begun to believe it won’t happen for him. Until he meets Avit.
Attraction explodes between them, and neither wants to step away from the flames. The problem is that Avit has hidden his bisexuality for years and has no intention of coming out of the closet.
Worried that their relationship will destroy the happiness of those they love, they break things off. By the time Avit realizes what losing Just means to him, it may be too late. It’s going to take opening his heart to everyone he cares for if he is to have any chance of winning Just back.
Check out the other wonderful WIPs this week -who knows, you might find your new favorite read 😉