Prompt: ballet master and former star Gold. Up and coming prima ballerina Belle
Rolled a 6 on this one which means: 30 minutes to write!
(EEK- WAIT I HAVE NO IDEA ANYTHING ABOUT BALLET)
There was a girl in his studio.
No, not a girl, a woman, he amended, watching her from the shadows of the hallway.
It was nearly midnight, the rest of the school long since closed. Gold often worked late, preferring the stillness of Storybrooke Arts and Sciences High School in the evening. He only taught one semester every few years, that old deal he had made with Principal Regina Mills still haunting him.
He moved to tell her it was time to leave. He didn’t like the idea of someone in his space at the best of times, and the school wasn’t in the best of neighborhoods. Before he could call out, before he could cross the threshold, the woman’s head snapped up. Her arms went over her head, and her toes went en pointe as if strings had pulled her into position.
Gol stilled. There was no music playing in the quiet night, just the noise of the streets outside trickling in through the windows. The lights were dim, but he could see her clearly from the streetlamp shining in from outside. She stayed perfectly motionless, like a figure in music box.
She was petite, rare for a ballet dancer but not unheard of. He had been one of the shortest in his company, and it had only been on pure skill and grit that he had managed to secure the leading roles opposite the tall, willowy prima ballerinas the choreographer preferred.
The woman suddenly shuffled to the left, four quick steps, the blocks in her slippers clunking across the hard surface. Gold winced, the sound reminding him of bloody toes and cracked nails. The ballerina did not seem to mind. Her eyes were closed, face serene as she her arms reached out to her invisible partner.
He watched her solo, taking note of the muscle control, the rhythm of her breath, the stillness of her core and the serene, peaceful face. To be honest, he was paying rather too much attention to the face. He scolded himself as he began to wonder what color her eyes were.
As if she had heard him, she fell into a curtsey, blue eyes glittering up at him in amusement as she peered at him from under her lashes. “So, Mr. Gold,” she said, her voice rich with an Australian accent. “What did you think?”
He stepped inside the room, his cane making the same thudding noises as her pointe slippers. Her eyes did not go directly to his cane like most dancers did, those looks of pity and nervous apprehension galled him more than anything.
“Passable,” he said, which was high praise as any ballet dancer would agree. “You are?”
“Belle,” the woman said, holding out her hand. He took it in his own, pressing it lightly before releasing it. “I’m the new ballet instructor.”
Gold nodded. “Regina mentioned she had found a replacement for Mary Margaret,” he said. “I didn’t realize you had started.”
“Tomorrow’s my first day,” Belle said, with a nervous laugh. “I talked the janitor into letting me in to set up, but,” she gestured helplessly to the dark studio, “I couldn’t pass up a chance to test out the space first.”
Gold’s lips twisted into a knowing smile. “We do have cd players here,” he said, pointing over to the electronic equipment on the far side of the room.
She laughed. “I’m afraid I got carried away in the moment,” she confessed.
He could make out their reflections in the large mirror that took up the hallway side wall. They were a similar height, and he let himself wish Belle had been around when he was in his prime. He may very well have enjoyed a dance with her.
She caught his eyes in the mirror. As if she had known what he was thinking, she reached out a hand to him. He chuckled, shaking his head as he looked down at his injured leg. “I’m afraid I don’t dance anymore,” he said softly. “Doctor’s orders.”
Belle’s hand remained outstretched. “Just stand still then,” she suggested. “Let me lead.”
He opened his mouth, growing annoyed but before he spit some scathing reply out, her hand rested lightly on his cane head over his own left hand. Moving slowly as if not to spook him, she lowered, one leg raising up behind her in a graceful arc.
His body responded. His free hand gripped her forearm, and taking small but deliberate steps that would not pain his injury, he guided her into a spin, their eyes locked.
They danced for a quarter of an hour before the janitor found them, grumbling about artist types and asking them to get a move on already so he could lock up for the night.
Before she could escape into the night, he asked her if she might like a ride back to her hotel.
Instead, he woke up in the morning with a ballerina in his bed and a smile on his face.
It would remain there for the entire semester.
He had finally found his partner.