Strangers p7

“Well, if you had been watching us the first time instead of gossiping with your friend you’d know you start off backwards.” His voice was deep and throaty. It sported the same accent as Connelly and I briefly wondered if they were all somehow related or if they were just some random foreign group of dancers who ended up together.

“You know, I was raised to keep my personal business separate from my work. You should try it sometime. Just because you’re in a bad mood doesn’t mean you have to ruin this for everyone else.” The look on his face was becoming more dangerous by the second, but I couldn’t help adding, “Be professional.”

“What would you know about being professional?” he snapped, his voice almost a growl as he pulled me along with him in circles. I was starting to feel like I was on one of those playground toys where you try to spin each other as fast as you can. “Nothing in this po-dunk town is professional and you’re probably nothing more than a waitress somewhere. Now can we just dance?”

Our voices had started to rise and we were attracting attention now. “Well I would if you weren’t dragging me through the steps!” I pulled out of his iron-like grip, which had started to hurt the angrier he got, and Mrs. Peters was suddenly by his side.

“Alister, go.” She had lost her soft tone and pointed to the door. He looked from me to her, then stormed out. “I’m sorry about that.” The pleasant tone was back as fast as it had gone and she looked back to me apologetically.

“What’s his problem?” I asked as we both returned to the bleachers.

“It’s not my place to say, but I can assure you you won’t have to partner him again.” She smiled and I nodded.

I spent the rest of the time watching everyone dance. Sue and her partner were making slow progress, Ivan and Danielle were doing well, and so was Connelly and his partner. More than once though, I saw Connelly glance in my direction. It was the same perturbed yet interested look from before and I wondered what it was all about.

When class was over and Sue and I were gathering our things, we heard someone clear their throat behind us. It was Connelly. “Hello, again. I just wanted to come and apologize for Alister’s behavior. He’s a bit tempermental most of the time and I just wanted you to know that we’re not all like that.” He smiled and I couldn’t help but smile back.

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