(Edited) Chapter 25

Start from the beginning

I try not to puke.

Well, there's no point in sitting here and scaring the heck out of myself. Might as well get up and ready to humiliate myself.

What if I forget a step? What if I slip and have a wardrobe malfunction? What if—

"Stop over thinking Scarlett. It's going to be alright," Aiden's voice pulls me out of my thoughts.

"H—how did you know I was over thinking?"

"You were doing that thing with your face where you slightly scrunch up your eyebrows and stare off into space looking slightly constipated," he murmurs.

I gasp. "I was not!"

He chuckles. "Whatever you say Scar, whatever you say."

I want to stop talking to him now. Today's the day. After this, we'll be done with each other for good. So yes, I want to stop talking to him and just get on with it, but I can't. I'm such a mess right now and I don't even understand why. So, I don't stop.

"But...what if we—" I start speaking.

"We won't. Stop doubting yourself Scarlett. You're going to do great. We're going to do great. We've practiced a lot after all, haven't we?"

He's got a point there. We've worked our ass off the past two weeks; danced, danced, danced until our feet were sore and our muscles cramped. Aiden surprisingly was civil towards William, though not necessarily polite. We had regular practice sessions and mastered all the steps. Then why the hell am I freaking out right now?!

We don't say much after that.

The curtains start to rise and I feel my heart bungee jump in my chest. My hands start to shake, and my legs tremble. Oh god I need to get a grip. Out of nowhere I feel Aiden's fingers wrap around mine. The shaking stops. I look at him, trying to ignore the butterflies in my stomach that have less to do with nervousness now, and more to do with him. He squeezes my hands gently, reassuringly. Warmth spreads through my insides, and I feel myself relax.

"We're going to slay it—together. I promise."

I find myself smiling.

Our eyes meet and for a few seconds everything vanishes. The crowd, the curtains, the empty stage—they all vanish. All I can see is his blindingly beautiful smile and his soft browns eyes that are currently looking at mine. For a few short seconds, I'm transported back in time and it almost feels like we're back to where we began, back to when I was all about him, and he was all about me and it was us, just us.

"Oh, and Aiden?"


"Please don't let me fall on my butt this time."

"Even if I promise to give you a sensual butt massage later?"

"Even if you promise to give me a sensual butt massage later."

He chuckles "Yes ma'am!" A full-fledged smile adorns his face now. The warmth in my belly doubles up.

And before I know it, we're both walking onto the stage, hand in hand. The initial nervousness has subsided and all I can think about is that this is it, the very last performance, after which we won't have to dance again. After which, there will be no more after-school practice sessions. I won't have to wrap my arms around him as we move, and pretend my heart is functioning normally. This is it.

The beats of the music begin, echoing through the sparsely populated auditorium. Under the influence of the music, and Aiden's touch, my body comes alive. He slowly wraps his arm around my waist, and uses his other hand to clasp mine. He pulls me closer, our bodies collide and we freeze into position. Two seconds later, he twirls my body round and round before I take a leap and he catches me. We freeze again. He puts me back on the ground, and we start doing the basic step—one step forward, one steps back.

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