Chapter 65 The last dance

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You know that moment in chick flicks when the guy and the girl locate each other in a noisy room? Their eyes fly past all the irrelevant people until they find each other, and suddenly it's as if the room grows quiet and no one else exists. People are terribly understanding as they move aside to make way for them, like they're Moses parting the Red Sea.

That pretty much happened to us. Sean found me from across the gym, and the distance made it okay for me to stare back. I was faintly aware of the fact that he was wearing a suit and looked like the human form of temptation, but I didn't break eye contact to check him out.

We were past that stage and Sean wasn't just a hot guy to me anymore. He was my dream and my nightmare, my enigma and my answer, and he was both the solution and the cause of my problems. He was someone I should stay away from, yet every fiber of my being was swimming against the tides towards him despite the danger.

I desperately tried to read him as he came closer.

What did he want? Was this a beginning, or did he want closure? Was he ready to talk, or did he just find it polite to share one last dance with me?

Since his outburst at the bleachers, I'd been keeping a safe distance from him. I gave him the space he wanted. I was hurt by all the things he said, but I understood perfectly.

He was like a small, wounded animal, yet I kept poking at him with a stick and asking him to come out of his cave to play with me. Naturally he bit me.

And then he was in front of me, and he was nothing like a small, wounded animal right now. He almost made me envious of the fact that he looked so good in a suit. He was tall, lean, gazing down at me, and the color of his tie even matched my dress.

It was like being tossed, unprepared, into a warm pool of fond memories. We were always inseparable when we danced together, reluctant to waste a single minute on anyone else. This evening I almost lost all hope. For a second there I honestly thought he would ignore me all night, that he'd let senior prom slip away without giving us one last chance to savor something so pure and lovely.

"Would you like to dance?" Sean's voice was soft.

I couldn't speak right away. I couldn't explain it. It was such a simple sentence, but coming from him it could mean everything.

"Are you mad at me?" he asked when I didn't answer. "I know you have every reason to be--"

"No, of course not." I swallowed. I wasn't the competitive Flora who only knew of revenge and winning anymore. I couldn't be mad at him even if I wanted to, especially since I knew what he went through.

He couldn't be friends with me for the most flattering reason possible, because he still loved me. It was the exact same reason why I wanted to stay in touch with him. Like everything else, we just had to tackle this with entirely different approaches. I wanted to take a step back and build it back from there. He wanted to cut all ties so that he could mourn freely.

But the bottom line was, we felt the same way. That was reason enough to give him a friendly smile, and I didn't care if that made me weak. When it came to him, there were more important things than useless pride. I'd always be ready for him.

I placed one hand on his shoulder, and he took my other hand. We both halted for the briefest second at the touch.

It was just holding hands, no big deal, and we had both danced with plenty of other people already. But with us, everything carried an undertone of intimacy and could rapidly spin out of control. A dance wasn't just a dance, and fingers were more than fingers.

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