Friday, 1 November 2013

Two Wolves and a Dancer

Tatiana Ivanov needs help to plan the medieval dances for the castle’s banquets. Piotr Tomic, manager of the candy store and as delicious as his candies, and Alexandre Novak, head of customer service, are werewolf shape-shifters, perfect dance partners for her.

Piotr, a Dom, believes that at last the right woman for him to share has appeared. Alex wholeheartedly agrees. They take Tatiana up the mountain, under the stars at night, and begin to romance her, but right then the Alpha summons them. At first they’re concerned that the Alpha doesn’t want them to be together, but instead he sends them to Vienna to keep watch on St. Stephen’s Cathedral for messages for him about the warring factions over who should be the new Supreme Alpha of Europe. This is something completely unexpected to all of them. As well as learning about each other, they now have a very important job to do.


Tatiana Ivanov stared hard at the pictures on her computer screen then nodded, stepped out from behind her desk, extended her right arm as if she was holding someone’s hand, then walked forward three paces and bowed. She backed away three steps, then turned to her right and began walking in a circle.

“No, dammit, that won’t work.”

She stomped back to the computer and glared at the screen again, then pointed a long blue fingernail at a tiny figure. “There. He’s skipping. Maybe skipping will work.”

Back she went and did the three paces forward, bow, return. This time she skipped around in a circle. “Now if the partners go under each other’s arms it’ll be perfect. I need a partner to practice with though.”

It was getting late, but Tatiana didn’t think everyone would be in bed yet. She walked the length of the hallway into one of the living areas. She was in the east wing of Werewolf Castle, an area locked behind several layers of security where only the werewolves and their trusted friends had access. Tatiana herself was actually human, but her two cousins were both wolves, and her family and that of her aunt had always been close, so she’d been brought up knowing all about the truth of Werewolf Castle. Now she worked here in the summer, helping out with the tourists, and was busy planning some more entertainment for them. Genuine medieval dances. If only she could accurately puzzle out the movements depicted in these old tapestries.

Piotr Tomic was sprawled on a beanbag in the living room, his legs stretched out in front of him, watching tennis on the big screen television. The stores that lined the castle walls in the inner courtyard were known as the Village Traders, and Piotr managed the candy store. In Tatiana’s opinion he was every bit as delicious as the candy he sold. He was tall and lean, his hair and eyes so dark a brown as to almost appear black. The idea of dancing with him, even if it was only to plan a presentation for the tourists, suited her fine.

“Hey, Piotr. I need a victim to partner me while I design a dance for the medieval banquet.”

“Does this mean I get to hug you for no reason?” he asked her.

His eyes were sparkling black pools but she rather thought he was teasing. That was a pity. She’d be more than happy to press her body against his.

“Sadly, no. In those days holding hands was as sexy as it got.”

He grabbed the remote and switched the television off, then rose gracefully to his feet, bowed, and said gallantly, “My lady, I’m totally at your service.”

“If only.”

She led him back to the office where she’d been working and showed him the medieval tapestry of people dancing which she’d been looking at. She was impressed when he dropped into the chair she’d been using and muttered as he moved the mouse over the figures.

“You’re going to have to tell me what to do. It just looks like walking, bowing, skipping, and going under other people’s arms to me.”

“That’s what I think, too.”

For the next five minutes she danced him through her take on the movements in the tapestry, then she said, “Wait until I find some music and we’ll see if our timing is accurate.”

Tatiana went back to the computer and brought up a medieval music site she’d found and clicked on the first track. It was just a flute playing but she thought it should work. Once again they went through the stately movements, but this time it was Piotr who shook his head. “There needs to be more people. When you go under our joined hands it would be much better if another couple or two other couples did that as well. Yes. Six people would be best.”

Tatiana went and stopped the music. “That tapestry shows six people so that makes sense. Who else is still available right now? I really want to get this planned.”

Piotr pulled out his phone. “Alex? Can you come down to the office? Tatiana needs some people to help her with a dance she’s doing. Yes, you can dance. It’s just walking really. Thanks. See you in a minute.”

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