Lila and Austin have known each other since she befriended his younger brother when she was a toddler. In fact, since her parents moved from her hometown, Lila’s lived with Austin’s family. The two are friends, though more of the teasing, taunting breed than the BFF variety.
But all it takes is one moment for everything to change…
For Austin, that moment comes when Lila performs a rumba in the school’s auditorium to qualify for the state dance competition, the young woman on stage so far-removed from the little girl in his memories.
For Lila, the moment is a reflected image of Austin preparing for prom, the guy standing in front of his mirror hardly resembling the child that spent so much of his youth pestering her.
Will they find a way to admit to themselves and their families that their feelings are deeper than friendship? And can Lila focus on this building relationship – and deal with her unstable ex – and still win the dance contest?
Austin’s gorgeous, smart, funny, ambitious, and athletic.
But he’s certainly not a dancer.
I learn that early in our miniature lesson, though it doesn’t bother me. No aggravation surfaces on his face if he misses a step, and his laughter when he completely botches a move proves contagious. He’s terrible, we both know it, and it’s about the most fun I’ve had in years.
When he messes up a particularly simple step, I cackle so much, I let go of his fingers to hold my palms over my mouth. “How could you miss that?”
Without a bit of shame, he shrugs. “It’s actually pretty easy to do on my end.”
“Well, I can see why I never picked you for a dance partner.”
He snorts. “Yeah, Trent was definitely the right way to go with that one. Now.” He takes my hands in his, glances down at his poorly functioning feet, then focuses on my face. “What did I do wrong?”
I have to bite down on my bottom lip to keep my amusement from showing, but I manage. Barely. “You know how some people have two left feet?” I wait for him to nod before I let humor take over my features. “You seem to think you only have one foot, period.”
He scrunches his brow. “What do you mean?”
“That’s what you did wrong.” I take a step back and drop his hands, thinking an example would be the best way to explain the problem. “You went here.” I put my right foot in place. “Then here.” My left foot hardly budges. “Then here.” I move my right foot about ten inches. “You should’ve moved your left foot more. When you didn’t, it knocked your balance off.”
“Something that simple?”
I roll my eyes at the disbelief in his tone, then lace our fingers again. “Yeah. Something that simple. Every step’s important when you’re dancing.”
“Huh.” The song changes, and it’s another slow number, one I recognize from Trent’s oldies collection. Johnny Rivers, singing “Slow Dancing.” I’m tempted to glance at Trent and his date to verify what I suspect—that he’s the one who requested the tune—but instead, I gaze up at Austin and find him grinning at me.
“Now this I can handle,” he brags.
I snicker and sink back into his arms…
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About Connie L. Smith
Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Her music of choice is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and is currently working on her MA.
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Connie would like to invite all of you to a release party held on FB on May 23rd! So don’t miss out!