A little bit from my latest novel, Festival Fireworks…..
‘And you are interested in the ballet?’ His blue eyes were large and staring right into hers.
‘I don’t know very much about it.’ She wasn’t going to admit that the only ballet she’d ever seen was on TV, and that as a child, she’d eschewed ballet lessons in favour of tennis coaching. ‘Are you one of the dancers?’
‘Yes, I am Grigor Lutsenko. I am principal male dancer.’
Crikes! That blew her cover. Now Jill realised that he would know she knew nothing about ballet, and worse, hadn’t even seen one of the troupe’s performances. ‘I’ve only just arrived over here. I haven’t had a chance to see much of the Festival.’
‘I am sorry that you not see me dance. I think that you would like me.’
‘I like you very much already,’ Jill said, raising her glass of whisky to him. ‘What a pity you’re leaving tomorrow.’
They shared a smile. ‘A great pity,’ he purred. ‘What is it that you do? For work, I mean?’
‘I work for Andrew MacCallum-Blair, you know, the guy who’s organised this bash.’
‘This what you say?’
‘Bash. Get-together. Reception.’
‘Ah yes.’ The puzzled look on Grigor’s face was replaced by that enchanting grin. ‘This Andrew, he is your boss?’
‘Yes, there he is over there.’ She raised her hand to point to him through the crowd just in time to see Andrew glare back at her. Oh dear, what was she doing that he didn’t like?
Grigor caught the look, too. ‘He is not pleased that you talk to me,’ he said. ‘He is your lover?’
‘Certainly not!’ The words exploded from Jill. She would have said more but bit her tongue just in time.
‘That is good,’ said Grigor. ‘Then perhaps you like to be my lover? We have tonight, you know. I don’t leave till eleven hundred hours tomorrow. We have good evening together, and I show you the Ukrainian way of make love.’
‘Thank you, Grigor,’ Jill answered, trying not to blush or giggle. He certainly didn’t believe in wasting time. ‘Another time perhaps. When I come to the Ukraine.’ Not that she had any intention of so doing, but she was trying to let him down as gracefully as she could.
‘Everything going ok?’ Suddenly, Andrew was standing beside her. She hadn’t noticed his approach. A shiver tingled its way down her spine and settled in her stomach, where it transformed itself into butterflies playing leapfrog.
‘Yes, fine.’ She gripped her whisky glass more tightly to stop her hand from trembling. At that moment, one of Edinburgh’s finest dowager ladies hooked her hand through Grigor’s arm and led him off to another group. Grigor turned as she dragged him away and shrugged his shoulders at Jill. Another time, another place was the message she took from the gesture.
To read what happens next, why not buy Festival Fireworks here?