ACT IV: CHAPTER THIRTY

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Beauchamp was temporarily stationed in Liam's old office. He had his feet up on the desk and was reading the newspaper. His black umbrella stood against the empty bookshelf like a sleeping bat.

On my way to the opera house I replayed in my mind how this conversation might go but now I wasn't sure I could control myself. Seeing him reclining comfortably in the leather chair after what he did to Harry sent me into a blind rage. Why does he get to be comfortable while Harry lies in a hospital bed and Hans lies in the ground?

He peered at me over the paper and uncrossed his ankles. "Have you come to apologize?"

I slammed the office door behind me. "No."

Beauchamp cocked his silver head and stood up. He waltzed around the desk sleekly and perched on the edge.

"Where did you run off to last night?"

"I was with Harry."

He grinned. "So, Siegfried and Von Rothbart made up."

I held the back of the wooden chair in front of me. "You need to leave the company."

"What?"

"Harry and I will no longer work with you."

He crossed his arms disapprovingly like he did when he was still my teacher. "Is this Harry's idea? Is he turning you against me with his lies like he did all your other friends? Really, Louis, I thought you were smarter than this."

The chair nearly splintered I was gripping it so hard. "I believe Harry."

"You think Harry's been honest with you?" Beauchamp shook his head. "He doesn't know this, but a few months ago I took a trip to Moscow and spoke to his former colleagues. What they told me was interesting. Very interesting. Do you know the real reason Harry left the Bolshoi?"

I wasn't going to let him get in my head. "I'm not interested in anything you have to say. Leave now or I will tell Kenneth and every dancer here what you are."

His brow fell and his look of concern morphed into an ugly sneer. This was the real Beauchamp. The man I knew in the studio was just an illusion no different than his Palemon or the other roles he danced onstage.

"I don't like your tone, my pet. You're being very disrespectful."

"Who do you think you're dealing with? I'm not a little boy."

"You could have fooled me." He winked.

I ground my teeth. "Last night was a mistake."

"Your mistake was leaving me for him. You and I are good together. Harry is a mess. He can barely take care of himself."

I slammed the chair on the ground. "And whose fault is that?"

He put a hand on his chest, feigning ignorance. "I don't know what you're implying."

I was done being civil. I came at him. "He was fifteen years old. Fifteen!"

Beauchamp looked me up and down pityingly. "Is that what this is all about? You're jealous that I've fucked him and you haven't?"

I staggered backwards.

I thought he would get angry. Deny it. I'd completely underestimated him. He wasn't ashamed about what he'd done and he had no fear about being found out. It wasn't a crime of passion. It was cold-blooded. Calculating. His position, his money and his network made him untouchable and he knew it. He relished it.

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