Tuesday, August 16, 2016
The Dark Heart ~ Part 5
Genna looked Jackson up and down. “Man, you clean up nice. I didn’t think anything would get you out of The Shack and your surf shorts.”
Jackson shrugged and smiled. “Tucker invited me. He said it’s where all the beautiful girls would be.” He gave Genna wink. “He wasn’t wrong.”
Genna giggled. “I never took you for much of a flirt, Jackson.”
Jackson could feel his cheeks grow hot and knew he was blushing. He looked around the room trying to hide his blush and saw a small orchestra take their positions on the far side of the room. A haunting melody began to fill the air as couples started to gather on the dance floor.
“Honestly,” Jackson ran his hand over his hair, trying to regain his composure. “I’ve never been very good at the flirting game. So how about I be blunt and just ask you to dance.”
Genna’s smile widened. “I think you’re better at flirting than you think you are. I’d love to dance.”
Jackson gently grabbed Genna’s manicured hand and led her to the dance floor just as the orchestra transitioned into a waltz. Soon they were gliding along in perfect harmony with the music.
“Why Jackson Hunt, where in the world did you ever learn to waltz?” asked Genna, her eyes wide with amusement. “You’re an amazing dancer.”
Jackson smiled. “My grandmother was a big fan of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I used to stay with her when I was little while my parents worked and watched all their movies day after day. Just before my grandmother turned eighty she said her one regret was never learning to dance like Ginger. So I bought her dance lessons and took them with her.”
“Jackson,” Genna sighed. “That’s about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. Here I thought you were a rough and tumble surfer boy, but you’re really just a softy.”
Laughing, Jackson gave her a wink. “Don’t tell anyone. I have a reputation to uphold.”
She gave him a sexy smirk. “You’re secret’s safe with me.”
The music stopped, causing everyone to applaud lightly. The orchestra started again with a faster number, causing Genna to bite her lip. “You might have taken dance lessons, but I’m afraid this is out of my league.”
“How about a drink then?” asked Jackson.
Genna nodded. “A white wine spritzer would be great.”
“Okay,” said Jackson. “I’ll find the bar and then meet you over …” he looked around seeing a large gothic fountain flanking a door he presumed led to the garden. “… by the fountain?”
Genna reached up and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Sounds good, thanks for the dance Astaire.”
Jackson’s heart quickened pace as Genna gave him a wink and strolled off in the direction of the fountain. He smiled and made himself a mental note to thank Tucker for dragging him along. Never in a million years would he have found himself at such an elegant event and been able to waltz with Genna otherwise. He made another mental note to call his grandmother and thank her for introducing him to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Finally, spotting the bar tucked away in a small room just outside the ballroom, Jackson made his way in that direction. The orchestra’s lively tune faded as attention turned to a man making his way to a grand piano. Jackson hadn’t remembered seeing the piano there before, but conceded he probably hadn’t seen half the room with it being so large and having so many guest in it.
The man looked vaguely familiar and Jackson fought to remember where he had seen him before when it hit him. It was Alister, the man who had taken their invitations and given Tucker the warning about staying off the second floor.
“Beethoven Moonlight Sonata,” boomed Alister over the crowd, before he flipped his coat tails out and sat behind the piano keys.
As Alister played Jackson found himself rooted to his spot. The music was so beautiful, yet so haunting. Movement caught Jackson’s eye and he looked toward the stairs. His breath hitched as he caught sight of a beautiful woman descending the stairs. She stopped, and though the ballroom was filled with guests, she met Jackson’s gaze with her lilac colored eyes, making him feel as if he were alone in the room.