Nothing made dinner with Miss Victoria talking nonstop about Jordyn’s future in dance sound tolerable like spending an afternoon with Moon Bay Beach’s very own version of Ashley Moore. By the end of it, Jordyn could have strangled Shay for making them hang out. Ryan this, Ryan that. All she talked about was their horrible break up.
“It was horrible,” she’d said. Her acting had been top notch, glancing longingly over at Ryan while she talked about how devastating it was. Jordyn wondered if she was this dramatic over all her hook-ups-gone-wrong. If so, she had to have been in a permanent state of depression.
Now, though, she was onto an all new annoyance. Jordyn and Alice were sitting across from Zara and Miss Victoria at Anchor, a popular seafood restaurant in La Jolla, and while Jordyn was trying her hardest to look interested, she just had no real motivation to take seriously all the ‘amazing’ opportunities she could get for Jordyn.
“The Philadelphia Dance Center has an opening!” Victoria said excitedly after a few moments of suspenseful silence. “I pulled strings left and right, but Jordyn, I got you an audition!”
Zara’s jaw dropped. “Victoria! Oh my goodness, you are unbelievable! Jordyn, this is amazing! Did you hear that?”
Jordyn’s jaw had dropped, too. But for a different reason. She cleared her throat. “Philadelphia, huh? A bit of a long commute, isn’t it?”
Like a five-hour commute?
“That’s the amazing thing about PDC!” Victoria said. “They offer room and board. It’s very prestigious, Jordyn. Dancers from all over the country go there. The academics are top ranked, too.”
Jordyn’s brain was goo. Philadelphia? Boarding?
Zara looked euphoric. In fact, Jordyn was sure her mother was two inches off her chair, envisioning Broadway.
Jordyn sighed, defeated. Maybe she shouldn’t have waited for so long to tell her mother she wasn’t dancing for the rest of her life.
“And that’s not all!” Victoria said, her excitement growing.
Oh, there was more?!
Jordyn’s grin was so forced at this point, it was painful. Victoria had just broached boarding school for dance here at dinner. What else could she possibly have up her sleeve? Jordyn was afraid to ask.
“My girls are coming to a competition in Pittsburgh Thanksgiving weekend,” Victoria said. “And I’ve got a solo I haven’t given out, yet. I can’t find the right girl for it, because Jordyn, Zara; this is my masterpiece.”
Oh, God. Jordyn could feel butterflies. Not the good kind. It was the kind of dread that came with waiting for something you knew would not be god news.
Victoria cleared her throat, lacing her fingers together on the table in front of her, her posture perfect; she looked like she was about to give a speech.
Oh, this was really going to be bad.
“Jordyn, I want you to have it.”
Jordyn’s eyes widened. “You what?”
“Oh, wonderful!” Zara said.
“Yes,” Victoria said. “You can dance under my name in the competition. You’ll have a solo, and if you like, you can be in the group dance as well. The girls would love to have you back.”
Jordyn highly doubted that.
“Uhm, how am I supposed to learn it?” Jordyn asked. “I live in Pennsylvania.”
“Honey, your mother works wonders, didn’t you know?” asked Victoria. “I’m sure I could send a DVD home with you two and she would be more than happy to help you.” With that, she yanked a DVD out of her oversized Chanel purse, giving it to an ecstatic Zara.
“Of course I will!” Zara said. “Jordyn isn’t this wonderful?”
Not the word Jordyn would have used. “Uhm, can I think about it?”
The mood darkened so fast it was like Jordyn had just confessed to murder. “I’m just really busy.”
The corners of Zara’s mouth turned up into a slow smile. “Jordyn, if you’re worried about Cole, you’ll have plenty of time to spend with him. This is a great chance for you.”
“Who’s, uh, this, Cole?” Victoria asked, trying her best not to sound disapproving but innocently curious. It wasn’t working.
“A boy Jordyn’s been seeing,” Zara said.
“My boyfriend,” Jordyn corrected.
“Hmm, a boyfriend? How do you have time for a boyfriend?” Victoria said boyfriend in this tone, like she was asking her how she had time to deal drugs.
Jordyn wasn’t sure how to answer the question. How did she not have time for a boyfriend.
“I mean, doesn’t dance class occupy much of your time?” Victoria asked. “And then you have school, of course.”
Ahh, of course. Now Jordyn understood. Victoria was under the impression Jordyn was part of an actual dance company. Boy, was she going to be disappointed.
“Well, it’s tough,” Jordyn said. “But I manage.”
“I hope your priorities are in order,” Victoria said, adding a wink for emphasis. She didn’t have to say it, but that order was dance, school, then boys. “And I really hope you consider doing this solo. The head of PDC is going to be at the competition. This solo would really impress him.”
“She’ll be doing the solo, Victoria,” Zara said. “I’ll take this DVD home and we’ll work every day until then.”
Victoria smiled and nodded. “Excellent. That’s my little protégé.”
“Yep,” Jordyn said, lifting her drink and taking a sip. But she had nothing else to say.
“Jordyn, I’ve also arranged a private for you tomorrow,” Victoria said. “Come on by the studio and we’ll work on your solo. Give you a month to perfect it. I know that’s quite a while, but I also know you have other things going on with your dance company back in Pennsylvania, and then there’s this, uhm, Cole.”
“A private?” Jordyn asked. “Tomorrow?”
“Yes, I’ve arranged six hours in the studio for us,” Victoria said. “Flexibility, technique, then plenty of time for learning your solo.”
A whole six hours. Six hours she could have been spending with her friends catching up tomorrow, she was going to be doing the one thing she didn’t want to do.
Suddenly, this trip wasn’t going anywhere near the way she’d expected it to.
After dinner, they went back to the hotel, Zara talking excitedly about the solo and the wonderful opportunity the Philadelphia Dance Center was for her. Jordyn didn’t say anything, just gave noncommittal nods, and “uh-huhs,” and “yeahs.” As soon as they were in their room, Jordyn grabbed her cell phone and walked onto the balcony for some privacy to call Cole.
Jordyn sighed. “Hey, babe.” His voice was a Godsend after the night she was having. “What are you doing?”
“You won’t believe it,” he told her. “I took your brother hunting today.”
Jordyn plopped down in the chaise, propping her feet up and looking over the golf course. Suddenly, images of Davy Crockett filled her mind. Cole and Ty, decked out in camo, firing these huge guns at innocent little deer.
“I mean, we didn’t even see anything,” Cole said. “But it was fun.”
Jordyn sighed. Oh thank God.”
“Actually, Jor, that’s the phrase one would use if we did get something.”
“Cole, that’s heartless. Did you never watch Bambi as a child?”
Cole chuckled. “Baby, just wait until a deer tears your car up. You won’t feel so sympathetic then. You’ll feel vengeful.”
“That sounds very personal, Cole,” Jordyn said. “Want to share?”
“My first car,” Cole laughed. “That’s all I’m gonna say. But, I’m gonna get you out there soon. I’ll get you all decked out in camo. You’ll look so cute.”
“Yeah, I wish you all the luck in the world with that.”
He laughed. “So how was your day in San Diego?”
Jordyn rolled her eyes and sighed. “You got a few minutes?”