“What are we doing?”
Luc walked around so that he stood in front of me. There was a secretive twist to his lips, one that caused a curl low in my stomach. Without saying a word, he carefully took off the beanie and ski goggles I wore, dropping them on the couch.
I lifted a brow. “Luc.”
“You’ll see.” He pulled his phone out of his pocket, thumbing through something before sitting it on the arm of the couch.
Having no idea what he was up to, I let him take my hands in his. A moment later, a steady beat echoed from his phone, just the clap of drums, joined by the riffs of the guitar.
The tiny hairs all over my body rose as Luc pulled me toward him, placing my hands on his chest. The song. I remembered it had been playing the first time I’d walked into the club with Heidi.
Don’t fret, precious, I’m here …
Step away from the window, go back to sleep …
There was something more about the song, though …
Luc’s hands dropped to my hips, and I stopped thinking about the song. “Just close your eyes,” he said, “and let go.”
That was harder to do. I stared up at him with wide eyes. Dancing with him was no easier than dancing in the club with a bunch of people I didn’t actually know … or like … or care about.
His grin kicked up a notch as he started to sway his body in tune to the beat of drums. His eyes closed, thick lashes sweeping down, and as his body moved fluidly mere inches from mine, my heart rate kicked up.
“Close your eyes,” he repeated.
Heart thumping, I did as he said. I closed my eyes and focused on the feel of his heart thrumming under my palm. He was dancing, and I was just standing there. And I could dance. I knew I could, but I wasn’t even trying.
I could at least try.
And I had a feeling that Nadia tried everything.
“You don’t have to be like you were.” His lips brushed my ear. “You just need to be you.”
Drawing in a stuttered breath, I found the beat and started to move against him, and it felt like an eternity for me to lose the stiffness in my legs and my arms and to find the beat of the music, but I did.
And the music, the beat of the drum and the rhythm, unlocked something deep inside me—something that tasted like freedom, and that feeling resonated through me, my limbs and my body.
Luc didn’t speak as I danced with him, and I didn’t open my eyes. I didn’t let myself think that I was in Luc’s apartment, dancing with him in yellow tights and overalls. I didn’t let myself think about the past—our past—or the future. There was nothing but the music and the beat of the drums, the beat of Luc’s heart.
I let go.
Moving my shoulders and my hips, I slid my hands down Luc’s flat stomach and then I lifted them above my head, because that’s what I felt like doing. What I wanted. I spun around, and Luc’s hand slid from my hip, across my lower stomach, sending waves of tight shivers throughout my entire body. I felt his chin graze my neck as the beat picked up.
I didn’t know how much time passed, but the song became something else and the air around us became thicker. Sweat dotted my forehead, and when I reached up to free my hair from the pigtails, I didn’t stop dancing.
Neither did Luc.
My back was pressed to his front, and as our bodies moved together, there was a different kind of heat invading me that had nothing to do with embarrassment or self-consciousness and everything to do with the feel of him, the unique scent of him. The heavy air shifted around us, and when Luc spun me back to him, I knew this was no longer about proving I could still dance.
That I was still her, because that was what this had been about.
Now it was about something more.
There was a power in this. A freedom I relished. I was on the tips of my sneakers as I slid my arms around his neck. His head lowered, forehead pressing against mine. A rush of power flowed through Luc, transferring to my skin as our bodies surged with the beat, fusing together in all the right, interesting places. It was like the night on his bed, when there’d been less clothing between us. Memories of that night danced in my head like half-naked Luc sugarplums.
Feeling dizzy and warm, I opened my eyes. Luc lifted his head, and there were pinpricks of white light in his pupils.
One large hand drifted up my side, following the dips and rises of my body all the way up, over my neck. His thumb stopped briefly on my pulse and then continued until his fingers splayed over my jaw, cradling my cheek.