Chapter 1- Encore

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Teighlor's POV

My nerves have not settled after all these years of dancing. The thought of being the one to embarrass everyone who has worked so hard is sickening. But the faith in the passion to dance outshines all the nerves by the time the music starts. Therefore, I stood in the wings alongside my fellow dancers and thought of each move. How exactly to nail each one, to stand out in my only solo I have ever had. The music began as it interrupted my thoughts and I came onto the stage with my pointed toe and waited for my que and began my dance. I could feel the hot lights following me on stage along with the eyes of those in the crowd. There was nothing that gave me adrenaline such as this moment. And for someone who is shy, it was confusing to even me. With the complicated turns, I focused on the critiques Mister Bardouex constantly gave me. And with the last notes of the song, I finished with my hands gracefully in an "O" shape above my head-as rehearsed.

The crowed was deafening as they rose to their feet and applauded. Those who saw the absolute beauty in dance and the story of the constructed jig had tears in their eyes-as they shined with the lights near the stage. Some threw flowers and other threw their comments and whistles as I bowed in front of them all. I could not help my smile as I moved off the stage with the same grace I had when arriving on stage and moved towards my dressing room. Which was when I saw him...

Sterling's POV

Teighlor Byrdd. Her name was plastered on the front of the program as those who sat around me waited anxiously. Not that I was not anxious, but I was never one for ballet. My trusted friend, Kenton, drug me to this blasted thing and I felt I owed him after all he had done for me. So I drew my phone from my pocket and scanned my emails before the music began to play.

The minute my eyes hit the stage, I saw her. Never in my life had my breath left my body upon seeing a woman. But this time it had. Her hair was long and wavy and collected by a flower wreath upon her head as a flowing white dress caressed the frame of her body. She was pale, and with a few memorable beauty marks that I could see even from the center left seating. Through the entire dance, my eyes followed her-not leaving her eyes and small smile that crept when she would continue without flaw. My mind quickly flashed to something more sinister. I writhed in my seat as I wanted to claim her then and there. To force her down and...

I found I had gripped the program so tight, it bunched in my hand as Kenton smirked at me before slowly nodding in approval.

"She was beautiful-" The words crept from my mouth before I could stop them. "Absolutely breathtaking...." A smile came over my lips as I rose from my seat and applauded with the crowd.

"It is not like you to be so direct with your feelings..." Kenton teased as he too rose and clapped. My glare met him as it quickly faded into a content expression. I ran my fingers through my thick dark hair and motioned down the aisle and towards the back of the stage. I was desperate to see her-to hear her voice and know if it was as sweet as the rhythm of her body. The thought of her made me blush in a way that almost made me sick. I felt like a school boy in front of her-and to think, I only knew her name on the program.

Teighlor's POV

"Excuse me." He spoke in a low tone before repeating it as he stood before me. A man just over six-two stood in front of me with haunting gray eyes and a suit and a program of the dance in his hands, bent in every which way. "I just wanted to tell you that your dancing was inspiring-"

"Thank you. Very much" I was overcome with happiness. I was always in the back of the class during rehearsal and the fact Bardouex wanted me to have a solo, surprised me. And now to have a standing ovation and a man so handsome complimenting me, I could hardly contain my smile and I felt a fool smiling so big.

"I must be honest..."

My eyes connected with his as I was preparing for a harsh critique.

"I was never interested in ballet until tonight." It surprised me of his directness and frankness about his coming.

"I hope you enjoyed it-"

"Very much. All the other dancers were boring to me." He lowered his voice as they walked past. I was roused by the fact he said such a dangerous think so close to those he was speaking of. It made my heart race as he moved closer to me. "But when you took that stage-" He continued, "I could not take my eyes off. You were a starlight in a beautiful gown-graceful and peaceful, yet, telling the story of the character you were portraying."

" seem very...descriptive for someone who doesn't like dancing-"

"I always found it sad...but...I wanted to take you to dinner."

He heart raced.


But then it stopped. I would not become a woman on a milk carton-if they still did that. Or the news headline. So I turned him down with great hesitation and sadness.

"I am sorry...I cannot-" Before explaining further, I moved to the dressing room all the dancers shared before hearing rustling behind the door. As it had been ajar, I was worried of what had been happening so I peaked in, slowly moving the door in the process. With my fingers tight upon the door, I saw Bardouex and Stephanie! My dance rival and her teacher-my teacher! The way they moved upon the vanity made me feel sick. The moans that crept her lips made me ache where I stood as I turned quick to find the man I rejected standing behind me. I gasped at his presence before he chuckled.

Sterling's POV

"Miss Byrd-"

"How do you know my name?"

I showed her the program before she slowly nodded and looked off in embarrassment.

"With all due respect, I thank you very much for your kind words but I don't think-"

"I wanted to know if you wanted an agent."

"An agent?"

I nodded. "My friend works with starlets and he's looking for new blood-"

"You think I...." She appeared dumbfounded which made me see she had low self-esteem. She could not believe that she was given such a chance.

"But we would have to talk it over dinner..."

"You really wish to have dinner with me?"

"More than you know." I spoke sensually with no intention of sounding so. Her eyebrow shot up as she blushed and shied away. "If you don't feel right going alone, I can ask him to come with. I mean nothing but to help you. You have such a beautiful presence-"

"Fine I'll go. But please, stop with the compliments." My face fell into a scowl.

"Do you not like being complimented?"

"Not so much. Mr..."

"Truehart." She moved back as if she thought I was lying. "Sterling Truehart-" Her body moved forward as we had a formal introduction before Kenton came to my side and he introduced himself as well.

"You will have to get her information-I'm running late, do you mind?" Kenton asked as he gave me a look of "you owe me". I nodded before he handed me his card to give to her and her gaze fell back to me. I could feel she wanted to look but didn't want to be seen so I allowed her to analyze me without guilt and allowed my gaze to fall to a portrait hanging backstage.

"I'll go grab my coat."

"I won't tie you up long." I said with a smirk. If she only knew...that's exactly what I wanted to do....

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