Southside

I gave a shrug to indicate there was nothing I could do about what was to happen next. And truly, there was nothing I could do. As I skittered to make a grab at her, she, with a grace I’d never seen, twirled around me. By the time I realised what happened she was already moving towards the door stepping lightly over the goons I’d downed earlier. I made chase.

Madame Blanche quick stepped down the hallway. She didn’t run but neither did she dawdle. The woman moved around people with elegance. I struggled, even with all of my earlier poise, to keep pace with her. Neither of us wanted to give the game away. To my good fortune. As she made for the exit. A large party had arrived and for now had blocked the doorway. Blanche switched direction and that is when I caught up with her.

My hand caught hold of her arm; her skin, soft to my touch. She span and her eyes met mine. They were blue, as deep as any ocean; they matched the sapphire from her dress. I could see a whole world looking into those eyes. My heart stopped for just a moment, unsure what to do next. And then, she pulled me onto the dance floor.

A song had just ended and the party was still. Anticipation in the air. I had expected she would use the crowd to make her escape but she held tight. Then the song of the year came on. I remember it clearly. Dámaso Pérez Prado’s, Mambo No. 5. It’s a strange feeling seeing glee in the face of your prey and returning it twofold. And so, we danced.

I kept my body close to hers as we started to move our feet. Feeling the music. It was high energy and the rhythm infectious. To and fro we moved tapping our heels against the wooden panels. Blanche shook her hips with such distinction, such passion. I could feel the heat rise in me as she swayed. She flew from one long movement to the next. I kept pace with sharp, quick, steps always keeping her within my sights. They say that the Mambo is a conversation with the gods. I sure felt it.

The beat of the drums rose and the tempo reached its peak. I drew Blanche to me. In one fluid flirtatious motion her body was against mine. The temperature of the room soared. I spun her about me, and she kicked her long leg behind up high. Then it was all a flurry of twirls, spins and flicks. As the song came to a finale she jumped into my arms. I took her hand in mine, and dipped her low with her knee rising into the air. With that the song was over. My heart thumped hard against my chests and both our breaths were heavy.

A space on the dance floor had opened up about us. We had gained an audience. They applauded, and we both took our bows with a flourish. As we stepped apart she looked at me and said, “Nice moves there hot-shot. And here I thought you were dead-hoofed,” and gave me a smile.
“Faster than you thought?” I returned the smile.
“You make a good dance partner for a Yank, but I wouldn’t go that far,” She said sharing a ruthful grin.
I stepped back once more ensuring enough distance between us. “Is that so?” I said taking the microfilm out of my pocket and throwing it into the air before snatching it away. She looked down towards her bosom and then back at me.
“Why you devil,” She said as her gaze sharpened on me but she wore a smile.
“And with that Madame Blanche, I bid you adieu, it’s been a pleasure” I said taking a bow.

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