Dancing queen part 1
Hi readers! First of all, I want to thank you for the amazing comments on the last chapter! The support for this story has blown me away and it makes me really sad that it's coming to an end.
There is something I thought I should clarify after the last chapter as it occurred to me that I don't think I ever made this very clear, especially as I've never included birthdays in this story.
I have a lot of readers in different parts of the world, especially now as most of us are stuck a home self-isolating! So I hope that the below helps those of you that are confused about ages and the school system in the Us & Uk.
Evie and her friends are in 10th grade 15/16. Evie was already 16 when she arrived in America making her one of the oldest in her year. Her birthday was never mentioned as it was before the story started.
Harrison Tom Natalie ext. are in 11th grade 16/17
The schooling system in the uk works differently to America. From ages 11-16 we go to secondary school then 16-18 you move on to what we call sixth form/college.
18+ is university
The Goodwin art scholarship Evie has applied for is a sixth from college as well as a university meaning they take on kids as young as 16 going on 17. This would be 11th grade in America.
I hope that makes sense! It's just this becomes important for the rest of the story so I wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page.
Now that's out the way, I hope you enjoy this chapter! Be prepared it's a long one! ...........................................................................
I had to sit there for another half an hour unable to focus on anything other than what Harrison was thinking.
Would he be pissed that I didn't tell him? Is he upset? Happy for me? The fact that I couldn't even see his face to try and gage his mood was adding to my queasy feeling.
Taliah could obviously sense my unease, at one point she squeezed my hand to grab my unfocused attention. She frowned, silently asking me what was wrong. I shook my head, telling her a silent later. More importantly I needed to speak to Harrison.
When we were finally allowed to leave, I raced out of my seat, ignoring my friends calling after me. When I got outside I searched for him, my head popped up like a meerkat trying to locate his unruly brunette hair.
Classmates congratulated me as they walked past but I was too distracted to say any more than a quick thank you.
I was about to give up and pull my phone out when a pair of arms wrapped around my waist.
'Congratulations Miss's gifted and talented.' He chuckled in my ear.
I sighed in relief and turned around to search his face. I couldn't see anything but genuine happiness in his eyes and that made me relax a little. Noticing my worry his expression turned concerned.
'Hey, what's wrong?' One hand reached up to cup the side of my face and using his thumb he gently brushed my cheek.
'I thought you might be annoyed with me.' I admitted.
He took my hand and pulled me aside so I was out of the way of the stampede of students hurrying to get home.
'Why would you think that?'
'Because I didn't tell you about the scholarship.'
'And you thought I might be upset about it?' He stood back a little to study me. A deep chuckle escaped his lips before his mouth quirked upwards.
'London, I'm so so proud of you! I can't think of anyone more deserving!' As if to make his point come across more, he bent down so we were at eye level. From here I could see the green in his eyes shining with happiness.
'Of course! That school is recognising what I already know, that you my gorgeous girl are exceptionally talented.' He lifted me up in his arms and span me around until I giggled.
Students still leaving the gym turned to laugh at us but I didn't care, I was too focused on the handsome boy that I'd somehow managed to snag.
When he eventually put me down, I wove my fingers through his and looked up at him.
'Well then I should probably tell you that I'm pulling out of the competition.'
His face fell. I guess he wasn't expecting that.
'Harrison, I only really entered on a whim because I was upset and feeling home sick. Yeah it's an amazing opportunity but I'm only 16. Sure, I'd die to go to a school like that in the future but I want to finish my last two years of school here.'
Harrison opened his mouth like he wanted to argue with me but I placed a hand over it.
'Before you say it, I've already made up my mind. Ok?'
He paused and searched my face to see if I was lying.
'You know, anyone would think you're trying to get rid of me.' I joked and nudged his side.
He smiled but I could tell it was still on his mind.
'So, Mr gifted and talented I think we should celebrate tonight.'
Thankfully that seemed to get his attention back to me.
'Hmm I can agree to that.' He wrapped his arms around my waist again, bending his head so his forehead was leaning against mine, our noses almost brushing.
'What do you have in mind?'
'You said Erika and Michael are out tonight?'
Harrison's eyes sparkled with mischief making me giggle.
'Hey I was going to suggest takeout and a movie.' I said with a look of innocence.
'Yeah sure..and you don't want to do that at your house because?'
Feeling in a teasing mood I wrapped my arms around his neck and turned my head so my lips brushed his ear.
'Because I'd prefer not to have an audience for dessert.'
Amusement and a little bit of something else sparkled in his eyes when I pulled away.
'Oh you little minx.' He said with a deep husky voice.
Although I had thought the topic was put to bed there were a few times throughout the following week where I caught Harrison staring. I mean this wasn't exactly unusual, he stares at me a lot, but this was different. He would be deep in thought and I knew he was thinking about the scholarship. He didn't try bringing it up again though but I knew it wasn't the end of the discussion.
'Stay still.' Taliah grumbled when I flinched for the third time as she brushed knots out of my hair.
'How can such lovely looking hair be such a bitch to tame.'
I would sympathise but I was the one feeling the brunt of her little patience.
I thought for a moment we were going to have a princess diaries moment where the hairbrush breaks due to my crazy locks but thankfully after a few more curses my hair was knot free.
Well for five minutes anyway. I swear sometimes it's like it's alive and it knots itself up without me even moving.
I glanced over at where my beautiful dress was hung up on the back of my bedroom door and a jolt of excitement ran through me. I couldn't wait to see Harrison's face when he saw me.
I finally managed to find a dress last weekend when we were out helping Hailey with wedding tasks. I know, I'm a bit last minute.
Hailey and Carson's wedding is only weeks away now so Saturday morning had been booked in for Taliah, Erika and Lindsay to pick up their dresses. Lindsay had already helped me with mine for the day but I decided to come with them because it was rare that we were all free to have a day out together.
By the time we were done doing wedding tasks we were exhausted and needed a shopping break. After a quick lunch Hailey had to leave but both Erika and Lindsay wanted to join in the excitement of helping Taliah and I find our spring formal dresses.
Once we entered the dress shop it was like Taliah was in her element. Within minutes she had both Erika and Lindsay's arms full of dresses that she wanted to try on. Like usual I had planned to sit my ass down and wait for a dress to be thrown at me but even I managed to get swept up in the excitement of it all.
Plus, I wanted to blow Harrison's mind so that made me want to look for myself.
It turns out school dances were quite a big thing at our high school. I was under the impression that the formal would be fairly laid back but my stupid ass forgot who was in charge of organising it. Natalie.
When the tickets were released the school kind of went mad with guys trying to coming up with unusual ways to ask out the girls of their choice. I already knew Harrison and I were going together but of course being the perfect boyfriend that he is that didn't stop him from making a romantic gesture.
I was getting my books out of my locker, zoned out as per usual when I noticed a group of girls giggling and smiling as they walked past me. Although I thought it was odd, I smiled back and went back to my locker. I slammed my locker shut and zipped up my bag before suddenly becoming aware more and more people were looking at me.
'Hey Evie.' Paige skipped up to me with a grin on her face.
'Hey...is something going on that I don't know about?'
'Not that I know of. Can you come with me to get something out of my car?'
'Sure. We'll have to be quick though, class starts soon.'
I'd barely even finished speaking before she had linked an arm with mine and started dragging me along.
'Don't worry it won't take long at all.'
As we walked down the halls to the front of the school, I filled the silence by chatting about a tv series we'd both been watching.
'Hey are you listening?' I giggled when I noticed Paige zoning out.
'Sure, yeah, you were saying something about the character development, bla, bla, bla.'
I burst out laughing although Paige didn't seem to notice, she was too busy looking at something behind me.
'What're you looking at?'
'Nothing!' She grabbed my shoulders keeping me rooted to the spot.
'Paige what's going on?'
'Close your eyes.' Before I even had the chance too, she'd slapped a hand over them. Seeing as she was a lot shorter than me, I couldn't help but giggle.
'Ok walk forward a little.'
'Ok Paige I'll play ball but you're going to need to direct me because I know the front steps are close by and I don't feel like breaking my neck.'
'Ok sorry, just keep your eyes closed.'
She removed her hand from my face and took my hands to direct me.
Once we were safely outside, she let go.
'I'm still here. Ok....open your eyes.'
Once my eyes had adjusted to the sun, I saw what was going on and I felt face light up. I don't know how he managed to convince them but most of the football team, Xavier, Lucas and Aaron were wearing t-shirts spelling out GO TO FORMAL WITH ME?
I would've been a little embarrassed due to the crowd watching if my heart hadn't melted into a puddle on the floor.
I walked the short distance to were Harrison was stood holding a dozen white roses and grin on his face.
'You know I'm not sure how my boyfriend will feel about this romantic gesture.'
'Well he should've got in quicker. You're a very attractive young lady with a lot of admirers. I was worried some lucky guy would get in before I did.'
'Well today must be your lucky day then Mr.'
'Is that a yes?'
I rolled my eyes.
'Yes it's a yes.'
Before I had the chance to hug or kiss him, he threw his arms into the air and hollered "she said yes!!"
A chorus of cheers surrounded us making my face go bright red.
'Nice bro.' Tom gave Harrison a congratulatory slap on the back before turning to me.
'I would've been pissed if you'd said no Evie.' He motioned down to his T-shirt.
'I don't do this shit for just anyone.'
So because he'd gone to all that effort, I wanted to do the same for him.
The problem was that I quickly found out I didn't have a clue what I was looking for.
I started roaming around the racks but very quickly became overwhelmed. Who knew there were so many different styles of dresses?! Various colours, fabrics and styles. I didn't have a clue what would suit me the best.
Nora was no help either. Rather than helping me like a good sister, she was stood on a platform in front of a mirror twirling around in one of those poofy princess dresses.
Just when I was about to have a tantrum Erika came to save the day.
'Hun would you like some help?' She chuckled when she saw the look of relief on my face.
'I would love some help. Thank you!' I looked back at the rack in front of me and sighed.
'Is it boring if I just go for a black dress?'
'Yes.' Erika said brutally making me chuckle.
'You know I think a red dress would look beautiful on you.'
'Really? It's a bit daring isn't it. I don't know if I could pull red off.'
'Sure you can! With your gorgeous blue eyes and brown hair, red would really compliment you! You know what, I think I saw the perfect one. Go and get yourself a dressing room and I'll bring it to you.'
With a flick of her blonde hair she was off.
Doing as I was told I entered that chaos that was the changing rooms. Hurricane Taliah had blown in and taken over. I caught sight of a hassled shop assistant that was tearing around the place as she followed my best friends' commands and stifled a laugh.
Dropping my stuff into an empty stall I waited until Erika came back.
When she did a silky red dress was draped over her arms. She must've seen the sceptical look on my face as she laughed.
'Don't give me that look. Trust me.'
'Ok, I will hold my back my opinions until it's on.'
I stripped off my clothes, leaving them in a heap at the floor before slipping into the dress.
'Erika can you zip up the back for me please.'
Sweeping my hair aside she did up the zip before placing a hand over my eyes.
'What're you doing?' I laughed.
'I'm giving you a big reveal.'
As she pulled me forward, I heard gasps from both Lindsay and Taliah.
'God I hope that's a good sign and I don't look like a numpty.'
'See for yourself.' With that Erika dropped her hand.
My mouth dropped into what I was sure was an unattractive o but I couldn't help it. My hands automatically smooth out the perfect silky material that clung to my body. It was very similar to the one I'd chosen for Hailey and Caron's wedding however the fabric of this dress fell down to the floor and the top was more of a fitted sweetheart line.
'Evie you look hot!'
Lindsay and Erika chuckled.
'I was thinking more along the lines of beautiful but that too.' Lindsay smirked.
I stared at myself in the mirror, turning this way and that way so I could see it at all angles.
'Wow, I don't think I've ever worn such a stunning dress.'
'Well then I think it's the one.' Erika hugged me from behind.
'Don't worry I'll make sure Harrison has a matching tie.'
Since I brought it home, I'd been dying to wear it and now tonight was the night I couldn't wait to take it out for a spin.
'There, hairs done and if I do say so myself, I did an amazing job.'
I didn't want anything too fancy as that wasn't my style so we decided with a half up half down curled look.
Taliah really had done an amazing job and looking at it in the mirror now I knew we'd made the right choice.
'I'm going to start getting ready. Do I need to tie up your hands so you don't touch it and ruin it or can you contain yourself?'
I glared at her.
'I think I'll be ok thanks.' My voice dripping in sarcasm.
The next hour flew by with us finishing off our makeup and putting on our dresses.
I stood in the mirror and looked at the end result with Nora stood behind me.
'Are you crying?' I asked turning around to find her wiping tears away.
'Hey I can't help it! It's your fault! You just look so much like Mum.'
I glanced at myself again before answering her.
'I think I look like you.'
'Well then aren't you lucky.'
Yeah that stopped the tears. Now she was posing like a model.
'In all seriousness you really are beautiful Eviebug.' She wrapped her ghost arms around me and smiled. It didn't have the same comforting effect on me as it did her but I didn't care. I was just happy I had her here.
'Come on girls, I'm dying here!' Lindsay whined from downstairs.
We'd told her she wasn't allowed to see us until we were ready and so all afternoon she'd been like a puppy craving attention.
'Go on.' Nora nudged. 'Go knock his socks off.'
After one last weird air hug I headed out into the hall just as Taliah was leaving her room.
She looked beautiful in a silver fitted long dress. It was the kind of dress that only certain people could pull off and she was one of them. The silver complimented her skin as well as her almost white hair.
'Come on, let's go downstairs before Mom losses her shit.'
And lose her shit she did.
'Oh my girls.' Lindsay cried as we walked out into the back garden.
On any normal day I would've found her and Erika's reaction funny but right now I was a little distracted. I couldn't take my eyes off him.
Sometimes it blows my mind how handsome he is. It makes me wonder how the hell I managed to get him.
His suit looked like it was made for him.
It sculpted his body perfectly and made him look like a man rather than a teenager.
His dark hair had been styled to look like his bed head mess, and I couldn't wait to get my hands into it. When I reached him, I ran my eyes down his handsome face, taking in his strong features, the hint of stubble along his jaw and those damn eyes.
I would've felt embarrassed that I was looking at him like I wanted to eat him if he hadn't been doing the same to me.
I gently tugged the tie that matched my dress and pulled him closer to me.
'You look really fucking hot.'
He smirked at my comment but I saw him swallow and the dark look in his eyes.
'Along the same lines but you're also the most beautiful girl I've ever laid my eyes on.' His hands gripped my waist.
And then the moment was over.
'Come on you four I want photos!' Lindsay called.
Harrison sighed as he closed his eyes.
'Later.' I whispered before grabbing his hand and dragging him over to where his family was.
I'd been so distracted that I'd forgotten Lucas was here as well. I stifled a giggle at his love sick expression as he watched Taliah. I don't blame him, she did look hot.
Finally, just when I thought I was going to lose the will to live due to the hundreds of photos we were forced to have taken we were released by the adults.
We were just about to get into Lucas' car when Harrison grabbed my hand.
'Wait there one second.' Harrison ran over to his car before returning with his camera.
'God not you too!' I sighed dramatically, but he knew I was joking.
'Don't worry London, just one more photo.'
'You'll have enough for a shrine soon.'
'That's what I'm aiming for. Now stand there.' He positioned me so I was almost standing in a bush surrounded by beautiful white flowers. The sun had almost set but enough golden light shone onto my face.
After a few photos he was satisfied.
'Ok done. We can go.'
'No we can't.' I grabbed onto his hand, tugged him back to me before kissing him hungrily. I just couldn't help myself ok! He was too damn handsome.
Almost instantly his lips responded to mine. He was gentle not to mess up my dress and hair but the same couldn't be said to my mouth. He took my lower lip in between his teeth and gently bit down as if scolding me for trying to take control of the kiss.
After what didn't feel like long enough at all we parted, both of us out of breath with silly smiles on our faces.
Suddenly a loud car horn beeping made us jolt away from each other.
'Come on you two, I'm going to die of old age here!' Taliah shouted out the car window.
With one last green-eyed wink we parted, although I'm sure both of us can agree, we weren't happy about it.