Thank you so much for the reviews! You had me dancing round my room like the possessed ginga that I am, so cheers.
I strongly recommend listening to Claire De Lune while you read this first bit, not sure how much effect it has, though.
Please tell me what you think!
AND if you are a dancer yourself I would love to know a bit about what it's like, what common things happen or any ideas you have for the story OR if I've got something wrong :D
It was like a magnet, echoing through the darkening halls like mist in a forest. I had to see where it came from. I followed it right to the end of the corridor, to the last door on the left. The piano came softly from within. I knew it was a recording. I looked in throw the small window.
There, standing in the middle of the dimly lit studio, was the most handsome man I'd ever seen. He was tall, with spiky bronze hair and perfect muscles, like any male dancer. It was obvious that was what he was, of course. He wore black tights with a black leotard underneath, standing stock still in third position – one foot in front of the other, half concealing it. His arms were held loosely by his sides. His head was turned slightly down.
I stared in awe at his face. His strong, determined jaw, straight lips...his eyes closed, his dark brows shaped in a 'v'. He looked so focussed, concentrating so hard on the music. His muscled shoulders rose and fell silently as the music dropped into its last note before the beginning repeated. I knew the piece so well. As the next chord was struck, he began to raise his arms from his sides. His head lifted as well, and I watched as he inhaled, his arms raising smoothly, his face relaxing. It was entrancing to watch. He stopped at shoulder height, and then his palms turned, facing upwards. He held it for two bars, standing in serenity.
And then he began to move. Just a point to the left, his arms raised...
I knew this part of the music, it was where the speed, and rolling, tumbling notes came. Suddenly, he was moving at a startling pace, leaping, running around the room, his arms poised out. And suddenly he was flying, soaring in a beautiful leap, his leg muscles rippling. He landed straight into pirouette, spinning perfectly and then as the music calmed, so did he, stepping with exaggerated tentativeness back to centre, changing so fluently from simple position to the next. But as it built for a second time, he flew again, this time sideways, with such strength and poise...a tear came to my eye. He leapt high in the air, both legs folding out and under him, face turning to the sky, looking so calm and perfect.
"It's beautiful isn't it?" Came a voice from behind me. I spun round, caught unawares.
It was a lady, or a girl, perhaps, a good two inches taller than me with creamy caramel skin and strawberry blond hair, elegantly done up in a twisted bun. No guessing, even without the shiny gold leotard and skirt. She was a ballerina.
Quickly I wiped the tear away from my eye, and tried to act normal. "Uh..." what had she said? "Oh, right, yeah," I nodded, "He's...amazing."
She smiled, as if amused by my flustering. Pearly white teeth flashed out at me. "You haven't seen him dance before?"
"No," I said, "I'm new here..." God, it had even taken me a while to remember that much. The music still came from the door. I wanted to turn back and watch him. I needed to. "So...who is he?" I asked, trying to remember there was someone there.
She gave a lopsided smile, "well, I thought you'd at least know that. He's Edward Masen, one of the best danseurs in America."
"I don't find that hard to believe." I murmured.
She was looking amused again, her perfectly outlined hazel eyes glinting. "He's auditioning for the American Ballet in two months, though it's pretty much a given that he'll get in, and be a soloist as well."
I just nodded. I knew that the music was finishing, and that I had to see him before it did. I tried to glance inconspicuously back through the window. He was doing his final set around the room, each step, each leap, each turn, perfect.
"You know what's also really great?" As the music went down to delicate drops on the keys once more, he returned to centre. And then, in the last roll of fast notes, he broke out into an amazing row of pirouettes, so strong and certain...wait, had the girl just said something to me?
"Oh," I said, reluctantly turning back to her, "uh, what?"
She just gave another smile, "I'm his partner." Then she pushed past me and opened the door. Edward Masen stopped his beautiful round of pirouettes, his eyes flashing open. Wait...his eyes had been closed the entire time? I thought back and didn't remember them being open...God...but then, I'd heard of dancers who knew their stage so well that they could do it blind folded. But when I'd watched Edward, it was like he wasn't doing it to show skill, but to feel the music deeper...
"Hey Eddie," said my new acquaintance, gliding into the room in her long-legged grace.
"Tanya," Edward nodded, going to the CD player and switching the music off. His voice was strong and low, perfect to my ears. "I was thinking we should do this for the audition," he was saying.
"I was thinking something more modern," said Tanya nonchalantly, tying up her shoes.
Edward shook his head, wiping sweat of his brow, "you know I don't fit it."
"Oh but Eddie I do," said Tanya, standing up and putting a delicate hand on his shoulder.
He just sighed and shook his head again, "come on, let's warm up."
He slid his arm around her waist and they began their partner stretches. Seeing the two of them like that, in what I imagined would be quite a private moment, brought me back to myself. Crap! What the hell am I doing? Staring in on someone's private rehearsal? I snapped away from the window and began walking quickly back down the hall.
People were just starting to come down for dinner, and I joined the throng of students going downstairs.
Edward Masen's dance was still in my head as I entered the dining hall, his spins and turns, his effortless strength. I absentmindedly followed the flow of people to the big window where the food was being served. And to Claire De Lune, as well. I had listened to it so many times; it's loose, flowing ribbon of notes. It was always the piece that calmed me. And to see that man dance it...it brought a swirling feeling to my chest. It was like there was a whole new layer to the music. I snapped out of my little reverie as the lunch lady asked me which dinner I wanted.
"Pasta vegetables and salad or rice vegetables and salad?" She was asking me.
"Oh, um," wow, big differences... "pasta, please?" It sounded more like a question than anything else. I was handed a warm plate and got out of the line. I looked around the hall. It looked like it was straight from Buckingham Palace. The massive windows were adorned with heavy gold threaded curtains. Great tapestries portrayed ballet dancers in perfect positions, surrounded by cherubs or trees.
Three massive chandeliers hung from the decorated ceiling of angel-like ballerinas and their god worthy cavaliers. Large circular tables were spaced out evenly, and students sat eating and chatting with their friends. At the front of the hall there was a raised platform, where a long table seated twenty adults, clearly the teachers, presiding over the hall. I recognized Madame Esme sitting near the middle.
"Hey Bella! Over here!" Came Angela's voice. Oh thank God, I was saved from the sitting-alone-trying-to-not-exist ordeal. She sat at one of the round tables with a whole group of others, two I recognized as Jessica and, rather unfortunately, Lauren. I went over and gratefully sat down next to Angela.
"Thanks," I said.
She smiled, "no problem."
"Hey who's this?" Asked the guy sitting on my other side. It immediately brought the entire table's eyes on me.
"This is Bella Swan," Angela told the table, "Bella, Mike Newton." He gave me a cute smile, his baby-blue eyes shining. Angela began pointing round the table, "Eric, Tyler, Lauren and Jess, who you've already met," Jess gave me an overexcited smile, whilst Lauren just flicked around a piece of lettuce with her fork. Clearly she hadn't gotten over her issues yet...whatever they even were.
Angela carried on, trying to act oblivious to Lauren's snarky look, "and finally we have Ryan, Eliza and Ben." I watched as I saw Ben look at her and then quickly flick away. A blush rose to Angela's cheeks and I grinned, hiding it with a forkful of salad.
"So how's your first day been?" Mike asked me enthusiastically.
I smiled at him, "I only just got here, really. But it's certainly nice, well the building at least," I added, "I haven't been to any classes."
He nodded, "hey hopefully we're in some together."
I turned back to my food, "Yeah, that'd be cool." I told him uncertainly.
He continued on, not noticing my reluctance, "We're short one girl in our Pas de Deux class. You should be my partner."
Jessica suddenly snapped her head around, "But Mike! You said I could go with you this time!"
"Yeah, I know Jess, but – "
"No," I butted in, "it's okay, I'm sure I'd rather sit out for the first class and see how you guys do things in this place, you should go together."
His face fell, "well, I guess...if you're sure..."
I nodded, "totally."
Then Mike sparked up, "hey maybe we could get together after classes and I'll help you catch up with stuff." Jessica glowered at me and flicked her head round to talk to Lauren. Oh God, I'm going to become the most hated girl in First Year in no time flat if poor Mike doesn't shut up.
"Um," diplomacy diplomacy... "I think I'll catch up fine by myself...but, thanks..."
"So, did you have a look around?" Asked Angela, who was fast becoming my faithful hero.
I smiled gratefully at her, then answered, "Kind of..." I hesitated, "do you know Edward Masen?"
I heard a groan come from Mike, "Masen," he grumbled, chomping on some pasta.
Angela smiled, "did you see him?"
I nodded, "he's an amazing dancer."
"I know," she said with a grin, "how did you see him?"
"I was going along the first floor corridor, and he was rehearsing."
"God, you're lucky," said Angela, "he hardly ever rehearses in front of anyone."
"Him and his bitch Tanya," Lauren drawled from her seat. She smirked at me, "don't tell me you have a crush on him."
I leaned in, partially closing the space between us. "Lauren, I, unlike you, don't base everything on first impressions, so it would be very hard to crush on him when I'd only seen him once...Though you're immediate idea of it could suggest that you yourself had a crush on him." I added in an afterthought.
She just gave me a cold glare and flicked back to Jessica.
I glanced at Angela. She gave me a quiet smile.
"It is true though," said Mike, seeming to count himself in our conversation. "He's an arse, particularly with Tanya Denali by his side."
"I met her, too," I told them, "she seemed alright."
Angela nodded in agreement, "Lauren's just jealous because Tanya is seriously good. What did she say to you?"
"Oh, she just told me who Edward was and stuff."
"That's because she sees Edward as her prize dog," said the guy I thought I remembered as Tyler. He had tan skin and cropped brown hair.
"Yeah, but he's anything but," said Angela, "Edward is his own man. As much as the school loves him, he can be a bit of a liability."
"How?" I asked.
She grinned, "last year, when the school decided their production was going to be a new contemporary, Edward threatened to leave and go to Aro Colaianni School."
"God, changing schools? That is extreme," I said.
"Well," said Mike, "apparently the choreographer was some local guy who wanted to have everyone in bright pink skin suits."
"So he always gets what he wants?" I confirmed.
But Angela shook her head, "it's not that," she said, "I think it's more that he doesn't like to do a crap performance. A lot rests on his shoulders."
"Yeah," muttered Mike, "he only relaxes around his little gang over there." He nudged his head to the right.
I looked over to the table, where four honestly beautiful looking people were all chatting together. One girl was short, with short jet black hair and a cute, almost pixie like smile. She was holding hands with the guy next to her, who was tall and quite thin, even for a ballet dancer. He had honey blond hair, set in an old fashioned style that probably wouldn't suit any other guy.
Across the table sat another girl, who was tall, with silky blond hair and red lips. She was probably a beautiful ballerina, judging by the grace in which she moved. Next to her, wolfing down his dinner like he hadn't eaten in months, was a seriously muscular guy. Seriously. He had cropped dark hair and a cheeky grin. I had never seen such a muscular ballet dancer. Surely that could be an asset?
"Who are they?" I asked Angela.
"Rosalie Hale's the blond one smacking the guy on the head," sure enough, she was smacking the muscular guy on the head, laughing as she chastised him for something. "He's Emmet Cullen."
Angela nodded, "Master and Mistress Cullen's son."
"I'm surprised they let him get so muscular," I said, staring at his wide set shoulders.
She shrugged, "most of the time he's supporting Rosalie. She owns the stage when she's on. She just needs him to lift her."
"What about the other two?"
"Alice Brandon and Jasper Hale, Rosalie's sister. Honestly, they are so cute together." She sighed as we watched him kiss her lovingly on the cheek.
Tyler, Eric and Mike all made belching noises. I laughed.
"They're some of the best dancers here," Angela continued, "along with Edward and Tanya, of course. But yeah, they're basically his crew. They break all sorts of unimportant rules."
"Speaking of rules," murmured Mike, his eyes on the teacher's table. I turned round. A man had stood up, he was maybe in his thirties with blond hair and a danseur's strong body. With a bit of 'shushing' the hall was quiet.
"Good Evening, students," his voice echoed across the hall.
"That's the headmaster, Master Carlisle Cullen," whispered Angela next to me.
"There are just a couple of announcements," he said. I thought I could detect some French in his voice, "firstly, Master Hinde would like me to remind you all that personal displays of affection are not needed in the middle of or in between classes." There were a couple of sniggers from the students.
"Does that go for you and Mistress Esme as well, then, sir?" Called out Jasper Hale, leaning back on his seat. The hall burst into laughter. Master Carlisle folded his arms, but said nothing.
It was Madam Esme who stood up and yelled. "Who wants two hours conditioning tomorrow before breakfast?" Apparently she was serious, because the hall was once again quiet.
"Thank you, dear," said Master Carlisle, loud enough for us all to hear, then leaned in to give her a long, drawn out kiss. The hall was once again laughing. Master Carlisle finally turned back to the room, "In answer to your question, Mister Hale, no, it doesn't."
"Aww," moaned Emmet Cullen, "that's hardly fair!"
"Son, if there is one thing you will learn from me, it is that life is not fair...not for you, at least," he smiled at his son, "and you and Mister Hale can go to detention together." He looked to the rest of the school, "And anyone who does show public displays of affection between classes will be joining them. Now, secondly, I am sure you are all aware that your termly assessments are coming up in a few weeks and if you need extra tuition you must sign up on the notice board in the entrance hall." He surveyed the school for a moment, then announced, "School dismissed."
There was a burst of activity as everyone stood and headed for the kitchen window to drop their plates back. "See what I mean," said Angela, gesturing to Jasper and Emmet's little group.
I smiled, "I'm surprised Master Carlisle was so relaxed about it."
"Well, he's certainly not like that in classes. Out of the ballet studio, he's very relaxed. In it, though," she made a face, "you won't find a tougher teacher in this school. He pushes us way past our limits sometimes."
We dumped our plates and headed back up to our dorm. It was seven, and we had an hour and a half to kill. Angela had to go off and practise. I decided I'd stay in the dorm and read. Reading had always been a way to calm down for me, take myself away from everything. But as I read through the opening passages of 'Wuthering Heights' for the millionth time in my life, I found my mind drifting off.
All I could think about was Edward Masen in that studio, his expression of such focus, and then of total serenity as he flew through the air.
I fell asleep to his strong, beautiful dance.
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