From disco balls to Christmas baubles …
Ex-dancer Emily Williams turned her back on the sparkle of popular dancing show Strictly Dancing with Celebs to help those in need. Now the only dancing she does is teaching lonely pensioners to waltz, and the closest she gets to disco balls is making baubles with the homeless people in her Christmas crafts class.
She’s certainly not star-struck when Hollywood heart-throb Blake Harris is sent to her at short notice for community service, and has no desire to babysit the arrogant actor with his bad boy antics and selfish ways. Christmas might be a time for miracles, but Blake seems to be a lost cause.
But Emily’s reasons for abandoning her dancing passion means she understands the Hollywood wild child more than she’d like to admit. Could their time together, coupled with a dash of Christmas spirit, lead to a miracle change of heart for them both?
In this scene, Emily realises that none of the students have turned up for her community dance class. She’s about to send Blake home for the day but he offers to be her student instead…
‘Given that the dance class isn’t happening and we’ve decorated the tree, I guess you can go for today,’ Emily told Blake, expecting him to turn and leave as soon as she’d said it.
He nodded slowly. ‘Or …?’ he began to say.
‘Or what?’ she asked.
‘Well, you wanted to teach a dance class. I’m here. Teach me.’
She thought he might be joking but his expression was surprisingly serious.
She laughed. ‘You already know how to dance.’
‘My salsa is terribly rusty though.’ He smiled. ‘Just the one?’
Emily hesitated. The nagging guilty voice in her head told her that she had already taken too much time to work on the tree, that she should go and get on with the budget, file the paperwork that was piling up on her desk that she had been putting off, and update Rowan on their monthly report. But the part of her that longed to dance, the part she so often told to be quiet, that part of her screamed ‘Yes!’ to Blake’s request and to the lingering, intense look he gave her as he asked.
She turned to her laptop and put on a track, her fingers trembling with anticipation. ‘Just the one,’ she said with a nod, feeling a tremor of excitement at getting to dance, telling herself it was nothing to do with the fact that the dance would be with Blake.
She walked up to him and put a hand on his shoulder, her other clasping his. His fingers closed firmly over hers, his skin warm to the touch, despite the cool air in the hall.
‘You know the basics?’ she asked.
‘Why don’t you show me?’ He arched an eyebrow, looking into her eyes. She tried to ignore the unwanted flutter that his stare provoked in her chest, averting her gaze from his slate-grey eyes.
‘You have to loosen up,’ she explained, daring to place a few fingertips gently on his hips. ‘You can’t be stiff when it comes to salsa.’
‘Can’t you?’ he said, and she felt herself go bright red at his flirtatious tone, to her annoyance.
She cleared her throat and showed him the steps. ‘See?’ she said.
He nodded, concentrating. When he stared at his feet, she summoned the nerve to put a finger under his chin and tilt his head up, feeling the slight rasp of his stubble. ‘Look up, at me,’ she instructed, ‘not at your feet.’
He smiled and met her eyes, their feet carrying on the steps, their bodies swaying closer. She knew he was probably lying about being rusty as his steps, although basic, were faultless.
He seamlessly twirled her round and brought her back to him, taking the lead and drawing her near. Despite the freezing storm that raged outside, Emily felt warmth run through her, from the exertion or possibly the intensity of Blake’s gaze – she couldn’t tell, but a surprise jolt of longing shivered through her. She didn’t want to find him attractive, but the proximity of him, the taut feel of his arm muscles wrapped around her, the way his hips swayed against hers, was making her head spin as much as the steps. She felt a yearning to just dance and let go of all the worry and anxiety and stress – the intense, breath-catching desire for Blake took her completely by surprise.
Thank you, Helen Buckley and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Ever since I was little I wanted to be a writer, to turn daydreams into books. I’m fascinated by fame, in love with Happy Ever Afters, and enthralled by slow-burn romances. I squeeze in time to write around looking after my two sons.
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