Milton 'n' McGold


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6. Chapter Six

"As you all know by now, most of your will go on the assessment of your final dance piece and your written interpretation." Mr Turner, the dance teacher, flexed his arms above his head, rolling his neck muscles to loosen up. You could see his muscular arms flex as he moved them.
Abbi couldn't believe it; Sebastian was in her dance class. He'd come in later and sat down on the floor near her, stretching his long legs that he crossed at the ankle before him. He ignored the whispers and giggles from the girls around him, looking as if he would prefer to be anywhere else but here.
"The exams are coming up fast and we have a new member to our AS set to fit in. Girls, this is Sebastian McGold whose been doing this subject at his old school. We'll need to reorganise groups. So, Sebastian, what style do you prefer? Ballet, jazz or modern?
Did he really just mutter: I'd rather stick sharp objects into my eyeballs? Abbi gave him a querying look. What on earth was he doing here? He was the most reluctant person to dance she had ever seen.
"Sebastian?" repeated Mr Turner.
"Modern."
"OK, we have two groups doing that. Liza, Maya and Rachel, and Jenna and Abbi." The teacher glanced around the twenty girls gathered at the front of the room. "Abbi, where's Jenna?"
"She's not back yet, sir." Phew dodged a bullet there. She wouldn't have Sebastian dumped on her.
Mr Turner turned to the other group. "How's your routine shaping up? Would you be able to fit him in?"
"Oh yes, sir," gushed Maya. "I'd be really happy to have him. In our group I mean." The rest of the class giggled as Maya turned a nice shade of red, turning more of a fuchsia once Liza whispered Hottie McTottie so the rest of the girls could hear.
But then Mr Turner turned back to Abbi. Go away, go away! "But if Jenna's still not back, perhaps we should put him with you, Abbi?"
Sebastian crystal green eyes turn to look at her; sending the same tingling down her spine.
No, no; she had resolved to stay away from him and this would totally ruin her plan. "Without Jenna it would be hard to know what to do with him, sir."
"I know exactly what I'd do with him." whispered Liza.
Mr Turner shot her a disapproved look then fixed his gaze with Abbi's. "But you are one of my most experienced dancers, Abbi. I'm sure you can adapt to having a boy in your group better than most."
The teacher's expectations were clear. "I guess we'll work something out."
"Thank you Abbi. And if Jenna doesn't come back for any reason, then you can slip Sebastian into her role."
"That'd be hard as we were working with the theme of birth. We'd gone for a mother and child, Jenna being the mother."
A couple of girls giggled. Sebastian frowned at the ceiling.
Mr Turner tapped a couple of finger on his forearm. "Well some of the best dancers come from being forced to radically rethinking the preconceptions."
"If you say so." How have avoidance tactics been beaten down so easily?
That issue settled to his satisfaction, Mr Turner clapped his hands. "OK girls and Sebastian, of course; let’s warm up. We'll do some neck isolations, then some hips swings."
Sebastian placed himself at the back of the room just behind Abbi. She didn't like him there; she had a feeling that he was following her rather than the teacher and that made the normal innocent exercise uncomfortable. She wished she'd put on trackies rather than leggings and a leotard.
Mr Turner signalled the end of the warm up. "OK, now work in your groups. Start with some trust exercises. I'll come round and see each group individually."
Abbi turned. He stood right behind her, hands on hips, confident half-smile on his face, lord of all he surveyed. Apparently he was not shaken by being the only male in the room, apart from Mr Turner, who was pretty camp and acted like a girl anyway so he doesn't really count. This was the first time they stood eye-to-eye and she just realised how tall he was. He made her feel like an elf or a hobbit. She turned sass to maximum. "So Sudoku, how would you like to do this?"
He pushed a lock of hair out of his face. "Trust exercises, what are they?"
She gave him a look. "You don't know what they are?"
"Obviously not 'cause I just asked you."
"You know: falling back and trusting your partner will catch you. That kind of thing."
"What is the point of that? I already know I'll catch you and if you try and catch me we will both end up on the floor."
She rolled her eyes. "Do ya think?"
"I know."
"OK, Sudoku, give it a go."
"I am not falling on you."
"See you don't trust me."
"No, I don't."
She leant closer and prodded his chest. "That's the point of the exercise. You've just failed."
Challenge issued, he responded. "All right, Miss Milton, catch me." Spinning round he let himself fall back. She made a good attempt at grabbing him before he fell, but gravity won and they ended up on the floor, her under him.
"Geez, Louise, give me some warning next time!" huffed Abbi, shoving him. She tried not to give away her intense awareness of his body being plastered to his. He cleared his throat and sat up. "See I'm too big for you to support my weight."
Abbi rolled out from under him and sprang to her feet. "OK let's try that one more time, Ace, with fair warning." Sebastian didn't answer, his gaze stopped on her hair. Her hands flew to it instinctively; as usual it was a mess around her head like she'd been electrocuted. "Are you listening to me Sebastian?"
"Possibly not. Have you got anything sensible to say?"
Her hand itched for something to throw at him. Nothing available so she settled for a melodramatic sigh. "Jenna never gave me this much trouble. I can't wait for her to get back."
"Maybe the two of you will be enough to catch me." Sebastian jumped to his feet. "When do you think she'll get here then?"
"I don't know. She should be here already. It's just like with Ben and Camille, they've been gone for months, Tori last term and, I don't know, a bunch of others."
Sebastian attention vanished suddenly, sile vanished. "What do you mean, just like Ben and Camille?"
Abbi shrugged, wondering why he cared. "You know, people saying they are coming back but not showing up for ages or not at all. Jenna was, like, totally fired up for this term. I saw her before Easter. She's probably just missed her flight or something. That's all." She hopped.
"You don't know?"
"She might have texted me."
"But your phone's out of action."
She crossed her arms, not liking being reminded of the fight. "As you noticed last night."
Sebastian dug in his sports bag. "Want to contact her on mine?"
His offer surprised Abbi. They were strangers after all. "You sure?" He held it out to her.
Casting a quick look around for Mr Turner, he was busy with one of the jazz groups; Abbi checked her planner for the number and tapped it in. When she'd finished, she handed the phone back to Sebastian. Feeling much better.
"Thanks, I hat not knowing."
"OK guys, what have you come up with?" Mr Turner appeared at their side; he excelled at teacher stealth attacks to sneak up on the slackers.
Sebastian tucked his phone away quickly. "We're just batting out some ideas we have between us."
"You'd better not spend too much time on that. We've only got a few weeks to put this all together."
"It's OK sir, we'll get there." Abbi said.
"How are you approaching it?"
"We're still working the kinks out of a few trust issues." Sebastian said smoothly. "I think Abbi isn't sure about me yet."
Abbi looked at Sebastian. I looks could kill.
"Really? Anything I can help with Abbi?" Mr Turner looked between expectantly.
"Oh no, sir," Abbi smiled sweetly, then cast her arms wide and collapsed into Sebastian arms, lifting one left to point a toe. She used the momentum of the catch to bounce up and do a free spin, ending with her arms in a curve shape, pointing back at him. That made the score about even, she'd say.
"Excellent." Mr Turner applauded. "I can see that putting you with a make partner, Abbi, is really allowing you to use his powered as a spring board for your natural gymnastic ability."
"What?" Sebastian scowled. She got the message that he did not appreciate or consider being called anyone's springboard.
"The man in a dance is meant to lead, help and support his partner," Mr Turner patted Sebastian on the back. "I'm hoping you'll put those muscles of yours to good use, Sebastian. Carry on."

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