Chapter 5 - Summer Dance

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The days went by in perfect harmony. Jake and Jo worked hard in the cafe, laughing together and promoting the Summer Dance every chance they got. When the day of the dance arrived, Jo joined Jake, Maria and Ronnell at the beach near the cafe to set everything up. A bar and a grill, a little stand for Maria to show off some of her clothes and accessories and a makeshift dance floor. Jo and Maria stand back smiling, looking at Jake and Ronnell hanging up fairy lights around the dance floor. It all looks so magical, Jo can't wait to get dressed and enjoy the evening. They are going to have so much fun. Her mind drifts to Dart, hoping he will show up tonight. But she hasn't seen him in days. She would love to dance with him though...

Jake wraps an arm around her shoulder: "Why are you looking worried? Everything looks great and so will you." She blurts out: "Dart" and covers her mouth the second she realizes she said that out loud. Jake looks at her, a bit surprised. "Ah, I wasn't expecting that. Are you hoping he will show up or the opposite?" Jo gathers all her courage and whispers: "I would love to dance with him." The second she said it, she turns around and walks away, without looking back, stressed about her own feelings. Jake smiles to himself and grabs his phone to send a text. I expect you to show up tonight and support the Summer Dance event. Not taking no for an answer. See you later! At least he can get Dart to show up this way. Maybe he can even figure something out with the music. He waves at Maria and Ronnell and walks back to the cafe to get dressed.

Jake sits in the kitchen all dressed up, waiting for Jo to come down. He can't wait to see her in the black dress from the poster and he wants to show her his outfit too. She comes down slowly and his heart was not prepared for it at all. She looks so beautiful and confident in her black dress, with her hair up and without her glasses. The dress hugs her figure in all the right places and her make-up makes her eyes look even brighter. And the dark red lipstick will make every guy out there look at those lips. Jake gets up in slow motion and feels a mix of pride and the need to protect her. He holds out his hand to her and she checks him out with a smile. "You brush up nicely mister Henderson." Jake is wearing a black button-up shirt on black pants, that makes him look like a movie star. She takes his hand and they walk out together, Jake beaming next to her, proud to present her to everyone at the party.

Reaching the beach, Ronnell is the first one to see them. He drops to his knees as if he's worshiping Jo, making Jo laugh out loud. "My goddess, you look amazing!" Maria comes up to them, hugging her tight. "Indeed Jo. All the guys out here are staring at you!" Jake looks around and sees a lot of eyes staring at them. He smiles wide and takes Jo to the bar at the other side of the dance floor, plugging his phone into a speaker and picking a song. As it starts playing he invites Jo to the first dance of the night, holding her close, making all the guys out there jealous. He chose the song carefully, to show everyone how he feels about her. He whispers along with the lyrics: Look for the girl with the broken smile, ask her if she wants to stay awhile, and she will be loved... Jo looks up at him with eyes full of emotion, knowing he chose this song specifically for the lyrics. Jake looks around while they continue their dance, finally spotting a blonde guy standing at the edge of the dance floor, looking at Jo in awe.

As the song comes to an end, Jake dances towards Dart, placing Jo's hand in Dart's hand with a cheeky smile, knowing all too well what the next song on the list is. He picked it, hoping it would work out the way it does right now. Dart hesitates, but Jo puts her arms around his neck, making him follow suit, dancing close to him. He places his head in the crook of her neck, breathing in her scent, wrapping his arms around her, desperately trying to stop his heart from going too fast. She softly sings to him: " I won't hesitate no more, no more. It cannot wait, I'm yours." He lifts his head, looking into her eyes, trying to figure out if his mind is playing tricks on him. Did she really sing that to him? She looks back at him with so much fire in her eyes, that he has to move closer, placing his lips on hers softly. She kisses him back just as soft, before opening her lips slightly and welcoming his tongue inside. He loses his mind and heart right then and there. The song ends, their lips break apart and Dart places his forehead against hers with a sigh. They whisper at the same time: "Wow!" An uptempo song starts playing, breaking the spell they were under and Dart grabs Jo's hand, pulling her away from the dance floor, to a quieter place to talk. A lot of things race through his mind, but mostly that it's not a good idea to start anything with her. Jo looks at his face and sees a troubled look appear. She puts a finger on his lips before he can open his mouth to speak. "Don't. Let's just be two people without history tonight, enjoying each others company. Please?" She bites her lip, staring into his eyes, hoping he will choose to stay.

He nods and guides her towards the bar. Jake is grinning at them and hands them both a beer. "Cheers you two!" He chuckles, totally happy with himself. Jo and Dart stand there, quietly sipping their beer. Not sure what to say and embarrassed by how happy Jake seems to be with it all. Jo sees Ronnell walk up to her from the corner of her eye, he smiles wide and shakes his hips. Jake takes her beer from her, right before Ronnell grabs her arms, pulling her out on the dance floor for a wild dance. His joy is infectious and she spins around in his arms. Before she knows it, she dances around with a wide smile on her face. People join them from all sides, laughing and showing off their weirdest dance moves. At the end of the song, Ronnell bows deeply to her and goes over to the grill again. Still laughing, Jo walks back to the bar, Dart smiling at her with a twinkle in his eyes. Jake slides a beer over to her with a wink. "You just made Ronnell's night. He's going to brag about it for weeks to come." Jo laughs, feeling light as a feather. Surrounded by these big, strong men, she has never felt safer in her life. She looks at each of the guys for a while, taking in their different features and characters, but loving them all, for different reasons.

Dart sees all of her emotions move over her face as she looks at Ronnell, Jake and then at him. He feels a shock going through him as their eyes meet, seeing her feelings so clearly, feeling them in his chest even more. He places a hand on the bar to balance himself out, not sure he's ready for this. The last thing he wants to do is to hurt this beautiful woman, but at the same time he needs to be close to her. It's like breathing. He suddenly gets pulled from his thoughts as Jo leans over to him and whispers in his ear: "Stop thinking. Come!" She dances backwards, holding her hand out to him, he shakes his head with a smile and takes her hand to dance with her. They both manage to forget all their troubles and dance the night away, forgetting all about the people around them. Dart dances his way over to Jake with Jo still in his arms, leaning over to Jake to whisper something in his ear. Jake nods and winks at him, walking towards his phone connected to the speaker. Jo looks at him with her eyebrows raised, wondering what that was about. She hears Jake's voice announcing the last song, pointing at her, as Dart pulls her even closer to him. The songs starts playing and they sway together slowly, Dart singing along: 'Cause you give me something, that makes me scared, alright. This could be nothing, but I'm willing to give it a try. Please give me something, 'Cause someday I might know my heart. Jo lays her head against his chest with a smile, listening to his heartbeat, running her fingers through the hair at the back of his neck. Dart relaxes in the moment and closes his eyes. As the song comes to it's end, he lifts her up for a kiss that surprises them both. He slowly lets her slide back down, staring into her eyes he whispers: "Thank you." She smiles at him, blushing deeply, not sure what to say. Dart lifts his hand to run a finger over her cheek, following his finger with his lips, kissing every inch of the scar. Jo tries to hold back her tears, but the moment is so tender, that she is not able to. Dart moves his lips to her eyes, kissing away the tears one by one, making Jo cry even more. He picks her up in one swift move and carries her away from everyone, while she cries against his shoulder. He let's himself sink onto the sand, still holding her close, rubbing her back and kissing the top of her head. "Let it all out, sweetheart. It's okay, I'm here for you."

She has no idea how long they have been sitting there and she's afraid to look up at Dart, drained of all her energy. But he notices the change in her, still holding her close, like he is trying to shield her from all the evil in the world. He carefully stands up, carrying her towards the cafe, where Jake opens the door for him without a word. Jake nods towards the kitchen door, walking through it in front of them and up the stairs looking over his shoulder, to see if Dart is following him. Jake opens the door to Jo's bedroom, stepping aside to let Dart through. Jake immediately walks downstairs, to give them some privacy. Dart lays her down on her bed carefully, brushing some loose strands of hair from her face. He knows there is no turning back, as he looks at her tear stained face, he loves her. Her body relaxes and he watches her sink into a deep sleep. He covers her with a blanket and kisses her forehead. He walks out and closes the door, he looks up at the ceiling, whispering: "I think I might love you." He stands there, catching his breath before walking down to the kitchen. Jake is sitting there with two beers, pointing at the chair across from him. He raises his beer in silence and Dart sits down. They both drink their beer without saying a word, their love for Jo floating in the air all around them.  

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