The Year Package

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Dancing on my Mind [part 2]


Daniele glances over her shoulder to her daughter before turning slightly.

"Is that you've been doing in America, having a boyfriend?" Mae gives me a quick glance to me, and though she doesn't look anything but slightly pleased her eyes are extremely cold.

What the actual fuck, Dominic. I fight the urge to wince as Mae practically screams at me through her thoughts.

"Mother, I was going to tell you about Dominic but yesterday was your birthday. I didn't want to take the light from you." Mae smiles, gliding towards us.

Dressed from head to toe in all black, her hair had been tied up in a bun and she looks everything like a ballerina.

She kisses me gently on the cheek, her lips are a bit more pursed than usual and she exhales as she does.

We need to talk about this. Her thoughts are softer this time, the shock has died down.

"Well, the man travelled all this way for your performance, let's get him a good seat before the show starts."

"You save him a seat, he will meet you later." Daniele heads towards the front as did all the other people in the room. Max gives us a lingering glance before he trails after his wife to the front.

Mae grabs my hand, dragging me out of the hall and into the corridor, taking me further into the school. We don't stop until we are hidden between two flights of stairs.


"I d-"

"If you wanted to come you should've asked, I wouldn't have been able to say no. Yes, it would mean I'd have to lie, but I'm somewhat okay with that with warning. I don't appreciate being blindsided and taken by surprise Dominic. You don't even know me outside of..." she waves her hands frantically. "This. What if I had a husband, or a wife or any partner and you claim to be my boyfriend, how do you think I could explain that?"

"That's a you?" I hadn't considered that I thought escorts kept themselves free, so they didn't have to worry about those things no one to be mindful or considerate of.

"Thankfully, I do not. However, you have to remember that this ends in eight months." Surprisingly that stings, like a shot of heartburn I'm not prepared for. "Now I'm gonna have to give a reason for us breaking up. Now I have to lie to my family."

"I'm sorry I had every intention of letting you go visit your family. I just found myself here, it was a pull. You felt vulnerable and nervous about something, around six pm and it concerned me, so I got the next flight here." I watch as a flurry of emotions ran through Mae— concern, shock, fear, and the slightest bit of reassurance.

It has been a while since I have built up such a connection with another person. They called it tagging. When a vampire fed enough times on the same person without killing them, that person was tagged as theirs. They emitted a scent which could be recognised by others as taken and in the rare cases that other vampires would try to attack their prey as a sign of defiance or through challenge the owner would sense it. No matter how far they were, they'd know. In rare cases, they get glimpses of their prey's last moments. Not to avenge their prey but to restore order in the hierarchy.

Though I had tagged Mae in the first month of our arrangement, the cleanse she went through with Magenta caused the connection to breakdown slightly, almost muted it. However, it was still there as long as she spent time around me and I fed off her that link would remain, and it had been a while since she'd cleansed, so the connection had only grown stronger.

"I went back to the bar I worked at, it was a lot more triggering than I care to admit." Mae's face is lowered slightly, and her gaze is pointed to the floor.

I hold her chin, lifting it up to look at me, a small well has developed in her eyes, and I stroke her cheek with my thumb.

"Are you okay?" My voice is barely over a whisper, the wall of brimming tears increases and a small tear drips from the corner.

"Maisey. Who is this man?" A tiny voice breaks the moment we are sharing, and Mae quickly wipes her face revealing the wide smile as we both turn to the owner.

"Kenzo, this is Dominic."

I looked down the stairs at the small boy dressed in all black as well, both he and Mae had the same nude ballet shoes on their feet. His hair had been brushed back into a low hanging ponytail.

"Hi Kenzo, I was just talking to your sister here." Kenzo has the same unimpressed look like his father, he turns to Mae and his smile widens.

"Is he your friend?"

"My bestest friend." Mae giggles. "Now I'm sure you're here to tell me it's nearly our turn." Kenzo nods his head.

"Penelope has just finished. Charlie was looking for you."

"Thank you, Kenny, you and Lillian finish your stretches, and I'll be there to join you okay?"

"Bye, Nick," Kenzo says quickly before running off down the corridor.

"Mae..." I begin, she gives me a look one that wasn't stern but almost scared of heading down that path.

"If you've really tagged me, you'll know that I am fine. My parents have left a seat for you. Enjoy the show."

I had tagged her, and Mae is not okay. However, now isn't the time for this conversation.

"I'll be rooting for you." She let out a breath like a laugh and heads down the stairs after Kenzo. I sigh, holding the limp flowers in my hand and walks back to the hall.

The room is darker the curtains drawn, and the few lights displayed on the stage. Max and Daniele are in the first row a seat had been left for me on the edge, and I sit down.

The pair look at me, and I smile slightly turning my head to focus on the performance.

The piano kicks in, and the spotlight falls onto Kenzo and his partner Lillian sitting while they play with toys, they are happy. They pick up the toys twirling and running around each other. Lillian leans on Kenzo as she extends her leg, his hands holding her hands out.

They both stop and look at each other before running off in different directions off the stage.

Mae and Charlie emerge a representation of the older version of the two children, they stumble into each other, the force pushing Mae slightly and Charlie caught her. They stare at each other as the realisation of old friends emerge.

Mae smiles at Charlie as he pulls her close twirling her before catching her in his other arm as Mae lifts her leg. Charlie held her up, picking her up as she spins.

Kenzo and Lillian appear as Charlie puts Mae down. The two pairs mirror each other a balance of the young version of themselves being reacquainted in their older years.

Charlie and Kenzo would lift up their partner as Lilian and Mae hang their head back. The girls are twirled both in complete synchronicity. Leaping and jumping together as a unit.

As the song concludes, the two pairs held hands as their legs stretched high. While Kenzo and Lilian went back to the floor to play with the toys, Charlie bent down to one knee holding his hands as though he was proposing.

Mae nods her head, and Charlie picks her up spinning around before bringing her down slowly, her hand never leaving his face a smile as wide as anything.

The audience applauds, and I find myself on my feet clapping with the rest of them.

A.N. I was inspired by the song “If the world was ending” when I was writing out the choreography, and I think it sums up Mae and Dominic's relationship quite well.

Let me know what you think. Most importantly, thanks for reading, guys!

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