• Rachel:How are they? Did you give Grace milk with her dinner? She's not allowed to drink soda yet so you better not have spoiled her, she's not good at keeping secrets and she'll tell me. Did Jack finally settle down? If he keeps crying, put his blanket in the dryer for a few minutes to warm it up before you swaddle him in it.
  • Rachel:If they're too much I can come home. Just let me know.

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Before The World Ends...

Yearn for a gulp of relief –
the way water quenches burning thirst;
a buttery balm soothes an angry singe;
the cool of the sheets against hot skin;
a parting that falls just right;
the tug of the ear and a quick grin;
flash of affirmation, nod for confirmation;
bitter ails wash away under steaming jets;
ease with which the pipe drains;
wind-chimes welcoming long lost zephyrs;
and her hand clasping mine under the blanket

Chapter 2 - The Dancing Queen

here’s the part one 1

           He said in a low voice “That’s how”.

Taylor’s breathing quickened, a warmth curled inside her. Her tongue flicked over the lips. Then she glanced away, seeing the party crowd surounding her and Calvin like a flash of bright birds in tropical setting. And she drew her hand away from his.

“Very much alive, wouldn’t you say?”Green eyes twinkled

very much”

He chuckled, “well then , Now we have established I’m a living, breathing human , we’ll discus something more objective. How was the tour?” Feeling as if Calvin had turned her brain to mush , Taylor tried to think straight. “How did you know I’d been on tour?”.”Ed told me that was the reason for this party ,The tour is over, grand finale. The big bash.” Taylor danced her fingers , the ones that had briefly touched Calvin Harris , around the rim of hr glass. “Yes, that’s the reason” These parties after a tour or the finish any big show were held to unwind. She set herself on ‘high’ at the start of each long performance and stayed that way until the end. If she burned out in the middle she pushed herself mercilessly. This party , for her , she was the ladder down to solid ground. She realized Calvin was waiting for her answer. “I was in Europe. It’s was great . but exhausting. Luckily it’s the last tour for some time. We’re beginning our rehearsal for Wedding bells in two weeks’ time”

“The rock musical?”

“You know the wedding balls?” Taylor hadn’t expected a lawyer to have heard of the show.

Calvin pushed his hand into his pockets and stood back surveying her. “Not intimately. I’ve never seen a performance, but it’s one of those shows like ‘Phantom Of the Opera or Cats, that you can’t help hearing about. I also have to admit that I happen to know Ed has a production coming up. Are you in the dance chorus?”

Taylor could barely believe he could be so informed. “It’s great that you’ve heard about the show. I’m performing solo as Selena”

“Sounds like a starring role. You must be one of the best dancers in the company”

“I wouldn’t say that, but I try hard”

he shook his head ruefully. “oh ? I bet that’s an understatement”

it was. Taylor had put her entire life into dancing. She had also spent a great deal of her life explaining her passion and not being understood , so she deliberately changed the subject. “What’s Ed done that he needs a lawyer at his party?”

Calvin took the switch with ease. “There were some modification to his will since the divorce. While he was away , and I wanted to deliver them”

“You handled his divorce for Patty?” Patty Sheeran had been one of the artistic directors in the Sheeran Dance Company until the divorce. Taylor missed her brilliant presence.

Yes , I handled it”

Taylor saw Calvin mouth thin the way it had when fidgety, but she noticed he didn’t  seems so quiet so eager to leave now “ Is that what you do? The divorces?”

Each question he asked seemed designed to detain him.

Yes however , lately I’ve handled a number of messy ones. Ed’s was one of the messiest , With the two kids involved.” His tone matched the thin set of his mouth.

Ray was creep. But Lucinda is very nice”

Taylor didn’t add but she is not Patty.

She must be. Ed told me that he wants to  get married again. I can’t understand that. Out of the frying pan , into the fire.” Calvin grimaced as if he thought the entire situation was distasteful. “You wouldn’t want to be married then?”

He spoke with no hesitation. “No way, what about you?”

“well…” Taylor wasn’t sure what to say. She viewed marriage as a union that would restrict her career. But if she was in love , really in love , then… she was much less adamant than Calvin. His attitude towards marriage seemed so definite. So black and white.

Calvin continued “All that aside, Ed suggested I drop the papers off tonight. I came straight from the office , which is why I’m dressed like one of the walking dead. If I may return to our original topic of conversation he grinned.

Taylor turned her grin. “Then work is over for the day and it’s time to party. Relax , let go ,chill out,kick back get out of your lawyer strait jacket”

He waved in the direction of the gate he’d been trying to leave from earlier “I did it already. I left my jacket in the car”

Taylor let her eyes wander to the smooth , hard flesh moulding the material of his shirt-sleeves. Remembering the hot , pulsing feel him , she had to stop herself from reaching out to touch his arm. Instead she flicked her glass high in the air. Champagne spilled on to pathway in a glistening spray . She felt it might have been her emotions spilling there before him.

He chuckled. “ I think you’ve had enough of that bubbly stuff, Taylor”

“you’re right it’s gone to my head because I never ate dinner” Even as she spoke , Taylor knew it was more that champagne make her giddy. It was Calvin Harris. She’d felt his attraction from afar and come running. Now she actually felt a little bit silly about the way she’d run after him. “Um- the buffet table is on the other other side of the pool”

“then go have something to eat, Taylor” Calvin withdrew his car keys from his pocket. Seeing the keys once more plunged her stomach into despair. “aren’t you coming with me?” she heard the anxiousness in her voice and hoped he didn’t. She was making a real mess of this meeting. He’d think she was too forward. He might even tell Ed about this and they would have a laugh at her expense. So let him go Taylor… let him go…. She stepped back from him