Joel Anderson was still on cloud nine the day following when he met Winnie. The guys at football practice teased him about switching teams and joining the fine arts department so he could be her dance partner.
Little did they know how close to the mark they’d hit. He was planning to meet her at her studio after practice and take her out to dinner. He didn’t care. They could tease him all they wanted. He’d get the final laugh by hanging out with a gorgeous brunette for the evening.
Winnie was tall and elegant with legs that stretched on for miles, almond eyes brimming with mystery and intrigue. Olive skin tone that hinted of Mediterranean or Italian or Middle Eastern origin. Whatever it was about her, he wanted to peel back the onion layers and find out more.
This afternoon he needed to focus on upcoming games. The University of Michigan had appeared in the Rose Bowl twenty times, second only to University of Southern California. Joel and the boys intended to make it twenty-one. They were undefeated this season and rumored to be a shoe-in.
But first they had to get through Big Ten championships and that required kicking Ohio State right back to Columbus. Normally their toughest competition, Ohio State had a few key injuries and a tough year. Michigan should pull off a win, but not necessarily an easy win.
The week before Thanksgiving they had a non-conference game against Eastern Michigan that would be another throw away. Nonetheless, they treated every practice as if this week’s game was the most important.
Joel and the guys gave it all they had. As he stole the ball from an offensive running back, Joel couldn’t help smile about how Winnie had said if she was the ball he’d have her halfway to the endzone by now. As he spiked the ball in victory that day in practice, he thought, that one’s for you, babe.
Shane was the only guy on the team who had overheard that conversation and he razzed him on the way to the locker room.
“How’d that ball feel?” Shane nudged Joel’s shoulder. “Almost as heavy as your date last night? What was her name? Winifred?”
“Winnie, short for Edwina, which I think is an elegant name.” Joel sighed. “And I think the ball was heavier. That girl was light as a feather.”
“Light as a feather, stiff as a board,” Shane teased. “Sounds like a party game that’s ends with those long legs wrapped around you.”
“I was a perfect gentleman,” Joel said. “I deposited her safely on the trainer’s table, typed my cell phone number into her contacts list, and sent myself a text asking myself out to dinner.”
“How’d she react to that?” Shane asked with a congratulatory nod.
“She laughed and told me she gets out of practice this evening at seven, I’m picking her up in a little while.”
“Be careful with this woman, Joel,” Shane warned. “She’s out of your league.”
“Only if I let her be,” Joel said with confidence. “She doesn’t intimidate me in the least. She likes football, flirts with me shamelessly, and let me bench press her the night we met. Imagine what she’ll want to do after a few weeks of dating.”
“I’m telling you, she’s too much woman for you.” Shane was probably right but Joel was too egotistical to admit that. As they headed into separate showers, Shane called over his shoulder. “Hey, if she’s got a roommate or something, hook a brother up.”
“I’ll see what I can do, man.”
Joel forgot his promise on the walk from the stadium to the fine arts building, and by the time he snuck into the back of her practice room, carefully staying out of Winnie’s line of sight, he forgot his own name.
She was mesmerizing. Joel knew very little about ballet but had a sudden desire to learn more. He didn’t know the names of any of the moves, but watched as Winnie leapt into the air, spun on the tips of her toes and moved to the beat of a haunting piano arrangement of something Christmas-y and passionate.
He remembered the conversation from yesterday about her being flexible and she definitely was. He could imagine all kinds of ways to put that flexibility to good use.
When the music finally wound down to slower, controlled movements, Joel thought the dance was coming to an end. He was wrong. Whoever had created this piece of music suddenly pounded out the last few notes in a dramatic ending that was almost orgasmic. He could imagine the auditorium on their feet immediately following the conclusion of the dance and Edwina LaFleur stepping to the front of the stage, taking a bow while adoring fans threw roses at her feet.
Joel was breathless. Whoever this girl was, she was talented beyond Joel’s imagination. Shane was right. She was out of his league.
Did you miss the song? I've imbedded her performance piece below.