Kyle takes Emily to a dance class the day after they meet. The teachers are a couple who know his mother well. He embarrasses himself by talking about his early experiences on, and off, the dance floor.
By the end of the class, they were dancing to ‘Oye Como Va’ by Carlos Santana. Kyle and Emily did extremely well together. Marion and Tony complimented them.
“If you ever want a job as a dance instructor, tell us. We still have connections all over the world. In fact, you could work on a ship of you wanted to. It’s good money and great fun.”
“It sounds like it, but I couldn’t really do that with three kids.”
“You’ve got children? Amy never told us that,” Marion said.
“Two girls and a boy.”
“Do they dance as well as you?”
Kyle shuffled his feet self-consciously. “The girls take ballet. My son is a sports freak. Nana wasn’t around to browbeat him into submission.”
“Was it so awful learning to dance?” Marion asked gently.
“Not when it gets me laid,” Kyle remarked in a smart assed fashion.
It was his stock answer and had been for so long, he didn’t even think about the implications of the comment anymore. Then he remembered he was there with a woman who wasn’t his wife, whom he had just met, and blushed a deep scarlet that clashed with his light red hair. Tony laughed loudly, clapping him on the back.
“Sorry, ladies,” Kyle mumbled, shoving his hands in his pockets.
“My boy, that’s the most honest answer I’ve heard from any man to date,” Marion giggled, kissing him on the cheek.
“And so true,” Tony added, clapping him on the back.
“Isn’t it silly the stigmas attached to being artistic?” Emily said. “I’m an artist, so automatically I’m a flake. No matter that I’ve got two masters degrees and a doctorate, I’m still treated like I’m dumb. And I’m not even blonde!” She giggled, tossing her scarf over her shoulder.
“Has it been long?” Marion asked her kindly. “I am also a survivor, which is why I ask. You seem to be doing remarkably well. Such energy.”
“I just found out I’m in remission. I think I’m riding on an adrenaline high.”
“Take it easy, then. It’s not good to overdo, and you will be tempted right now. Had I thought about it during class, I’d have made you be more careful.”
“I won’t let her overdo,” Kyle promised. “Don Quixote to the rescue.” He put his arm protectively around Emily’s waist.
She leaned into his embrace before he realized he was holding her. It felt good to have a woman do that again.
Marion smiled. She took Kyle’s hand, holding it in both of hers. “You are a kind young man. A rare gift of empathy is in you. An old soul and a sweet spirit. Your mother must be very proud of you.”
He blushed again, glancing shyly at the floor. “I hope so. She’s not disappointed, anyway.”
“I can’t see how she could ever be disappointed with such a son. Shall we see you again tomorrow?”
“I’d love to come,” Emily said happily. “I had such fun!” Her green eyes sparkled.
“There will be sight seeing in the afternoon,” Tony said. “So take it easy when you come here. You don’t want to be too worn out to see Cancun.”
“I promise to take it easy.”
Tony and Marion left and Kyle walked with Emily back to the pool to check on his family. They were having a wonderful time playing Marco Polo with a bunch of other kids while the ship employees supervised.
Carmelita was deep in conversation with a tall, muscular, dark skinned man and didn’t even notice them. Kyle and Emily found a place in the shade and sat down.
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