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Chapter 3

  • “Un deux trois et quatre. Un deux trois et quatre, encore.” Monsieur Claude, the ballet master, clapped his hands with the rhythm. I twirled and raised my arms around my head like a circle.
  • “Siegfried, why are you so tense? You should be fluid like water. Follow the music and let your body sway. Give me a good attitude.”
  • Victor bent one knee and looked at me. I took a couple of deep breaths and then two wide steps towards him. He reached for me and swiftly raised me up. I opened my arms and arched my back.
  • “No, Odette. You are a swan, an elegant and delicate bird. You are supposed to be as light as a feather, but you look like a sack of potatoes. This is ridiculous.”
  • He used his cane to knock on the chair beside him a few times. “That is enough, Assemblé.” we all stopped as one and stood up, back straight waiting for his instructions.
  • “You all should be ashamed of yourselves. That was disgusting. We have been practicing act two for a week now and you still fail me.”
  • I side glanced at Lina and as I already expected, she was smirking at me. Monsieur Claude's furious voice yelled again.
  • “Hanna, next time suck up your belly or stop eating for one damn week. Luca le pauvre fils….” He gave Luca some sympathetic looks and continued.
  • “You will break his back.” Hanna flinched and her eyes watered, but she held it back. Our master would eat her alive if he saw her tears. His French accent was heavy now, which meant he was furious.
  • “I’m done with you for the day. We will continue tomorrow. I’m so disappointed in all of you; you make me so sick, disgusting.” And with a look from under his nose, he left us.
  • I fell on my ass when Lina threw herself at me. “Dammit, Lina. You might look small and cute, but girl, you weigh a ton.” She chuckled and put more of her weight on me.
  • “Baby, all of this is pure muscles.” Then she lowered her voice for my ears only.
  • “And not to mention these boobs, too. Because of them, you are the Prima ballerina. It is the only reason. I refuse to believe anything else.”
  • I rolled my eyes and ignored her. She was right, we were the opposite. She was curvy and sexy; I on the other hand was small and as thin as a stick.
  • Victor came back with a small bottle of water which I gladly accepted. “What is wrong, sweetie? You looked so distant today and were unfocused, which was odd. You almost dropped me.”
  • He hugged my middle and rested his head on my shoulder. I was sweaty and stinky, but we were used to it by now.
  • Victor was my friend and partner for two years so far and we knew everything about each other. Hell, he knew when I was PMSing that is how close we are.
  • Lina snatched my still closed bottle and unscrewed it. “It looks like a lover quarrel to me.”
  • I turned back to Vic “Is that true? Did you and Sam fight?” He shook his head, which was still buried in my chest.
  • “We broke up yesterday.” Lina splattered water all over my face and chest in response to his confession.
  • “What the hell had happened? Did he cheat on you?” She gasped, her hand covering her mouth. “Did you cheat on him?”
  • He raised his sad eyes to us. “Neither, I was the one who broke things up.” I caressed his back softly.
  • “Why sweetie, what happened?” His eyes watered and his lips wobbled.
  • “He wanted to settle down and asked me to move in with him.” I asked him, confused.
  • “But baby, these are good news. He was almost proposing.” He sniffled.
  • “He was about to; I had found the rings a week ago.”
  • Lina slapped the back of his head. “So you are saying that you are just an asshole who broke a good man’s heart.” I glared at her, and then hissed.
  • “Lina, don’t be rude.” She shrugged and started to stretch beside us. I kept caressing my friend's back, trying to comfort him.
  • “I’m sure you have your own reasons to make such a decision.” He shook his head and sighed.
  • ”No, Lina is right. I’m an asshole, that’s all.” I thought for a moment.
  • “What about spending the night with us? Let’s have a sleepover and tomorrow, we can go to practice together.” He smiled at me.
  • “I’m sorry I can’t. My brother will bring his girlfriend home tonight for the first time, and my mother wants me to be there.” I smiled back at him.
  • “Another time then.” He hugged me and kissed my cheek and after a moment of hesitation in my friend’s way, he gave Lina a small wave and lift.
  • I glared at her stoic face. “He just needed some emotional support. It is only a hug. Why are you always like this towards him?” She lifted a brow.
  • “Seriously, you know that I’m like this with all men. I don’t like touching them, and then their stinky scent clings to my body. It takes me ages to get rid of it. I scrub myself sometimes raw. Anyway, it isn’t just Victor.”
  • Scent, cling, and scrub? She is so weird I know that by now, but each time I was still struck by this fact. I looked at her, bewildered.
  • “You are so weird that it scares me sometimes.” She laughed and hugged me, her cheek rubbing mine.
  • “I don’t mind your scent on me. On the contrary, it makes me feel safe and comforted. It smells like home.”
  • I tried to push her away, but again, she didn’t budge. “EW, you smell stinky and your body is so sweaty. It’s disgusting.” She gave me another rub to the cheek and the neck, then chuckled.
  • “We run hot baby. You should see one of our men. You would be impressed.” She stood and offered me her hand to help me to stand up. I accepted it.
  • “No ew, I like my men clean and smell good.” She pumped our shoulders together.
  • “You mean you like your men, invisible or non-existent. I think you are still a virgin.” My face heated.
  • “You mean like you? You are the one to talk, ha.” She grinned. “It was, and still, my own choice. I’m waiting for my special one.”
  • “Me too, sis. Me too.” I mumbled to myself.
  • We walked to the lockers together to change. “By the way, you should stop being touchy-feely with Victor. Each time he touches you, your scent changes and smells like him.” I gave her my back as I took off my shoes first.
  • “You do know that he is gay, right? He was just talking about his boyfriend a few moments ago.” I peeked around.
  • “Lina, is there something I should know? Are you trying to tell me something?” Her head turned to the side and her face went slack. I couldn’t help it and giggled, making her chuckle in return.
  • “Sarah, Here in Moscow, I have only you. You are my pa… family. And I don’t like seeing you warm and cozy with others, it makes me angry.” I straightened my coat and smiled.
  • Since the day we met six years ago, and she has been possessive and protective of me, which drove mother crazy. She thought that we were a thing and she didn’t like it.
  • We went out and the cold wind chilled my body; I wrapped myself tightly in my coat. Lina, on the other side, raised her head and inhaled the cold, crisp air. I envied her; I hate cold.
  • It would take me hours to warm myself back. I envy her. She must be telling the truth about her hot blood.
  • “Sarah, let’s spend this year’s month vacation together. I will return home for The Sanguis Lunae Pars, which happens every five years. It will be my birthday too. What do you think? I really want you to be with me.”
  • The small walk to our small apartment didn’t take long. But my mind was consumed by the unexpected invitation. Since I knew Lina, she didn’t talk much about her family.
  • It was a sensitive topic for her. Even though she is American, she once mentioned that her family doesn’t live here, and she is from some other place.
  • That is all what I got nothing more, so I didn’t push it. She has the right to her own secrets.
  • I was still deep in my thoughts when someone’s voice startled me.
  • “Sarah, why are you walking like this? Your pose is wrong and your back is hunched. And why your cheeks are so full aren’t you on a diet? I sent you an email about this.”
  • I looked up and found my mother standing in front of our door.
  • She wore elegant silk rose dress under her fur coat. Her blonde hair was brushed into soft waves and her makeup was flawless. She looked gorgeous.
  • No one would believe that she is forty-eight years. We looked like twins except for our eyes. I have one pale blue eye and the other was hazel, like my father’s. Mom has sparkly Russian blue eyes that entranced people.
  • They gave her a captivating allure back in the days when she was dancing.
  • Lina plastered her fake smile on her face before opening the apartment door and greeted her.
  • “Hello, Miss Yaroslav. How are you doing today?” My mother’s face brightened, and she kissed my friend’s cheek.
  • “I’m fine, thank you, sweet Lina. And please just call me Ariana.” Lina nodded, then excused herself and went to her room. I stood alone with the woman in the small livening /kitchen area.
  • She looked around her in distaste. “I don’t know why are you still living here? It is awful.” I sighed and turned up the heat. It was cold in here.
  • “What do you want, mother? What are you doing here?” She hissed at me in the middle of taking her coat off.
  • “I told you several times to call me Ariana.” I hid a smile because I knew that and I did it on purpose just to anger her.
  • She hated it when I remind her of her age. She always said I was the reason she didn’t dance anymore. And she gave up her dream and married my father. I know that was a lie.
  • She did it only to secure my father’s wealth.
  • “I came here to tell you, this weekend I will introduce you to someone. So be ready.” I looked at her, stupefied.
  • “Are you for real now? What gave you the idea that I would do this? NO.” She glared at me.
  • “Look, honey. You won’t stay young forever and let’s be honest here. You aren’t that… eye-catching.” I sat there silent as a stone. Did she understand what she just had told me?
  • Lina’s voice came from her room. “Yes CAS, I will be there and, as I said, I will bring a friend. Ugh, we talked about this, just send me the private jet; I’m not in the mood for a commercial. Love you, bye.”
  • She walked out of the room and stood next to me on our small sofa.
  • “Arina, I’m sorry. Sarah will be coming with me this weekend. We are having a huge party and I already invited her. Maybe she can have her date later.” My mother’s face brightened.
  • “Oh sure. She can go.” She stood and looked at herself in the big mirror behind the apartment door and left. She must have one of her social gatherings.
  • “I’m sorry, I didn’t ask for your permission, but we both know how she can be.” I shook my head. She was right.
  • Mom worshiped money, and she always thought that Lina was loaded, so being her friend will extend her social acquaintances circle.
  • And I might find myself a wealthy husband. So it was a win-win situation for her.
  • “It is alright, you actually saved me. I think it is going to be a great adventure and all of this mystery around you will clear out.” She chuckled at my teasing tone.
  • “Girl, you have no idea. Buckle up; you are going to need it.” She winked at me and went inside for another phone call. Her tone was light, yes, but her face was mischievous. I hope I won’t regret this.