Chapter 6

The next day, I decided to squeeze a quick lunch with Adam before I was meeting George’s lawyer and publicist to sign the contract. I had some time to kill and… I wanted to kiss him. If I wasn’t going to get laid, then I’d at least get a good make out session with Adam, lest I lose it with George.

After lunch, (menu items carefully selected not to have anything that would give me bad breath), I was at the corner of Yonge and College acting like a young girl in college.

Adam had me pressed against an add at the street car stop and his hands had just snuk under my top when I heard someone cough behind him. I detached myself from Adam’s face and looked straight at Cam.

“Uhm… “ I started and pushed Adam away. Cam smiled.

“We were on our way back and we saw you walk this way, so… need a ride?” Serves me right for wearing lime green coat that can be spotted from a few blocks away.

Cam was clearly uncomfortable and I hadn’t told Adam exactly why I couldn’t go for a dinner with him tonight. Not sure why.

“I better go.” I said to Adam, who just grabbed my chin and kissed me once more.

“Call me tomorrow.” He said and walked away.

I looked at Cam and we walked towards the limo.

“I wouldn’t have pegged you for a PDA kinda girl.” George said, smiling when I got in. “Was that your plan tonight? Spend a night with your boy toy?”

“He’s not my boy toy.” I said defensively. “Besides, it’s none of your business.”

He didn’t push it, nor did I expect him to.

Neither of us said anything during our drive back.

“So, this Marcus guy.  Anything I should know about?”  I finally broke the vow of silence in the elevator.

George looked at me and smirked.  The kinda I-know-something-and-you don’t.  I absolutely hated that.

I that instant, I got really upset. Angry. It infuriated me and I did something I never dreamed of doing. But this guy was too much. I pressed the stop button on the elevator.

“Whatchu do that fow?”  He asked, the lines of his face distorted with annoyance.

“I need to know what I am getting myself into.” I said as calmly as I could make myself be at that moment. I was nervous as hell. Let’s face it. This guy could blow all this to high heavens if he decided I crossed some line. And he is a rock star. Who knows what can set him off.

“You had all day to tawk to me about it and you gotta do this now. And stap the elevatah!” He screamed.

“I’m not deaf.” I said, just as calmly. “And you are not exactly the chatty type either.”

“The only reason I’m not chatty is cause ya think ya know me.  And I don wanna tawk to someone who makes assumptions.”

I kept my cool.  “I want to get to know you and not make assumptions about you, but all I have to go on right now is what I know of you.   And you not being very chatty is not making me know you any better.”

Hello.  This is Maintenance, my name is Steve.  What is the problem with the elevator?  A voice said from the speaker above the floor buttons on the elevator panel.

“Uhm, I am so sorry.  It was an accident.  There is no problem, I just accidentally hit the button.”   I said.

No problem.  Please wait for a reset.  May take a minute or two.

“Thank you very much.”

“You Canadians always this polite?”

“Yes, we’ll kill you with kindness, don’t change the subject.  I need to know how you know Marcus?”  My frustration was starting to show in my voice.

“He’s my gay lovah.”  He said.  Dead pan.

I think my mouth opened a little and I was staring at George intently.

“I’m kidding!”  He finally said to me.  “But given what you read about me, you could believe it.”  He added.

“Point taken.”  I conceded.

“My mom and his mom know each othah. I’ve known him since we were kids. He’s a Broadway embemble dancer, but he’s ballroom trained.”  He said after a few moments.

“Oh.”  I said, instantaneously somewhat embarrassed.

“No crazy scandal, no illegitimate children and no prablem.” He smirked again. This time, I thought I somehow deserved it.

The elevator resumed. We had 7 more flights to go.

“Why don’t you trust me?” He asked.

“And what? You’ll show me just exactly how deep the rabbit hole goes?”

He didn’t answer. That worried me. A little at least.

“Don feel obligated to woahk with Mahcus, okay. I just thought you can use some help, know what’m sayin’?” He said as the elevator stopped and the door opened.

“Thank you.” I added quickly and I hoped that it would come off as genuine as I meant it. I truly was greatful, but one can’t help but find all this a little too good to be true. One day, I am a small town dance teacher without prospects, pining over a lost love that has no hope of ever rekindling and then the next moment, money, fame, riches, luck, everything going my way. Can’t help but wondering when I’m gonna wake up.

“George, why are you doing this?” I gently put my hand on his arm as he was leaving the elevator. He noticed.

“Look. I know iss hard for you to believe that Im awesome, but, ya know. I am.” He smiled.

I rolled my eyes and smiled back.

“See, you being awesome is not good enough for me.” I still held his arm.

“Mahcus is awright! I promise.” He said, straightening himself above me and staring me down from above. “As foh me. I need you to compete. I promised I would feature the contestant and I can’t look for another one. This hasta work.” And then something in his expression softened just a touch. ” I don hide my intentions. I also make it pretty clear *how much* I want what I want.”

‘What do you want?’  I thought to myself as I looked into his eyes for a few moments it was acceptable, before it becomes too weird.

“I cook.” George said all of a sudden and snapped me out of my reverie.

“What?” I blurted.

“I like to cook. And thass not sometin’ youah likely to read in US Weekly.” We were in front of the door. “Iss nowhere near scandalous enough, but it is one of my favourite things t do.” Slid the card in the reader and opened the door, motioning me to go ahead of him. “I’m also pretty good. Play your cards right and you might get to try it one day.” He whispered behind me as we walked towards a dining room.

***

Marcus was tall, graceful and probably gay. When we walked in and I introduced myself, he scoffed at George something in Portuguese. I ignored it and sat on the armchair. Honestly, at this point, I don’t give rats ass what any of them think. If this guy is any good, I’ll compete with him, see through this circus with George and go on my merry way. I will be a little bit richer and a lot more famous. I’ll get rid of Jenna, move to Toronto and get on with my life.

Marcus told me about his experiences and how he would love to expand on his ballroom training. We talked about potential song choices and choreographies and how would all this play out. George was covering Marcus’ stay in Kingston while we are in training. He said it was way more cost effective to do it this way than to look for another contestant who may or may not have a partner.

I glanced at George every once in a while. He was fiddling with his phone, totally disinterested in our conversation. Marcus and I agreed to do some dancing in the gym after I sign my contract for the video.

“Mah work heah is done.” George said. “I have some business to take care of. Janet and Derek are waitin for ya when ya ready. Royal Suite, 21st floor. I’ll see you both down for dinnah at 8:00.”

I thought he was coming with me, but I quickly got over it and excuse myself to the bathroom. As I was leaving, I could hear George and Marcus arguing about something. I have never been the one to eavesdrop, but I could not miss the opportunity.

“You sleeping with her?” I head Marcus ask.

“No!” I could hear George say. “But that don’ mean I won’t!”

Who the hell does he think he is? I took a deep breath. If I ever needed proof, here it was. It was a game, a play, a way of life, call it what you want, but it was not real. He was not going to get his way! He won’t! That’s what I resolved.

By the time I had composed myself and made myself visible again, George was gone. I told Marcus I would see him at the gym and walked out.

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