He held her tightly and just far enough away for Mim to feel his breath against her neck. Turning his head left, he pressed his fingers gently into the small of her back, directing her movements. He stepped forward.
Mim turned her head to the right and stepped back - slow, slow, quick, quick, pause. Slow, slow, quick, quick, and then she paused again, bending her head downward to check promenade.
Her face blushed with the thrill of accomplishment as the practiced steps, now almost second nature, guided her confidently across the floor. It was just like the times before, only now there was an audience. She felt her throat redden. Quick, quick, slow, slow, close.
How, she wondered, had Anthony persuaded the country music band to allow its fiddle player to perform La Cumparsita? Mim’s eyes flew quickly to Gill Page. He stood in a stance she did not recognize, with a look on his face she’d never seen before - determined, melancholy.
Slow, slow, quick, quick, and pause. Mim felt Anthony’s knee press against the inside of hers as their bodies turned to the strings of the violin. Catching the eye of her friend Kellie, she nodded her head just a bit and stifled a smile; the steps came without thought. She glimpsed Gill once more from her peripheral vision.
He was older, though not quite as old as her parents, but still nice looking. He’d been in Italy during World War II and had come back the best fiddle player she’d ever heard, even the best player her daddy had ever heard, and Daddy had been a connoisseur of fine fiddle playing. Oh, how she missed her father.
Closed promenade; she felt Anthony’s chest brush hers, and though their heads were turned in the classical tango difference, she could feel his eyes all over her, his heat setting her on fire. Mim hoped none of the crowd of people at Pop’s Pavilion, the ones she’d known all her life and who’d known her family her whole life, would recognize the passion that flowed between her and Anthony.
Slow, slow, quick, quick, and he leaned deeply into her. Mim leaned back into the dip they had practiced so often. The violin stopped playing and the ensuing silence allowed only the sound of her heart thumping loudly in her chest.
The dance was over. As she rose, her eyes scanned the audience and the perplexed looks on the faces of the people whom she’d known since childhood. Feeling small and somewhat humiliated, Mim turned toward the door but found Anthony’s hand holding hers, stopping her from moving.
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