Categories > Movies > High School Musical

A Step In Time

by jillrenay 0 reviews

She was born to be a dancer.

Category: High School Musical - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Warnings: [X] - Published: 2009-03-07 - Updated: 2009-03-08 - 12506 words - Complete

Vanessa Anne Hudgens was born to be a dancer. She had been enrolled in every type of dance class possible ever since she could walk. She was either in ballet class or learning the samba or competing in a few competitions to pass the time. She was known as one of the best dancers to ever enter the LA School of Performing Arts. Her spot had been reserved for many years. Her future was promising and her position as lead in the schools annual senior spring exhibition was secured. For three years she was used to fill in spots in supporting roles that were usually handed to upper classmen, but now was her time to shine. With her friends Lucas, Ashley, and Monique behind her she was ready for the best senior year she could hope for.

Zac Efron's life however was headed in the complete opposite direction. He lived in the so-called 'projects' of LA. His life had been full of ups and downs and he was just trying to get by. Zac was a victim of bad circumstances, being stuck in a place everyone around him knew wasn't enough. His family never had money or opportunities to get out of the area they lived in and Zac was doomed to continue his life in it. His two closests friends Chris and Corbin, always told him that it was only a matter of time before he got his big break, but after 18 years of waiting he was beginning to lose hope.

Both didn't know their lives were about to change.

It was just a normal Saturday afternoon for Zac and his two friend, playing basketball at the local court and walking home. As usual the boys were now daring each other until one of them would break.

"Man, look at that BMW!" Chris shouted stopping in the parking lot staring at the shiny new black car in front of him.

"I bet it is one of those snobs at the school's car," Corbin smirked. They passed the School of Arts almost everytime they walked home from the courts. Once in a while they would see students but being a weekend no one was supposed to be around. He walked up to the car trying to look into the tinted windows to see who's car it was. Accidently he touched the handle and before he knew it the car started beeping.

The three boys looked at each other with panic on their faces and began to run. The closest place they found was a big school building a few feet away. Quickly pulling a side door open the boys kept running until they stumbled into what looked like a theater.

"Look at this crap," Corbin said walking onto the stage and picking up some of the props that layed in front of him.

"I know what guy is going to wear tights!" Chris laughed, looking through the rest of the clothes in the rack.

"Look. Catch!" Zac said throwing Corbin a statue that was next to him. After a few minutes the boys had annihilated the stage, laughing and screaming around, not noticing that a school guard had slipped into the theater.

"Hey you kids! You shouldn't be in here!" the guard shouted running toward the three boys.


Zac glanced at his lawyer out of the corner of his eye. She barely looked older than he did - she was fresh out of law school and the court appointed her to his case because he was unable to provide his own “representation.” Zac rolled his eyes - if he could afford a lawyer he probably would not have been arrested in the first place! Stella leaned over and whispered “Judge Darbus is fond of … unusual punishments.” Zac winced as the bailiff called the court to order.

“Mr. Efron,” began the formidable looking woman. “You obviously have no appreciation for the beauty that is the theater.” Zac fought back a chuckle at the impassioned voice Judge Darbus used. She looked down her nose at the young man before her. The police report told of the broken scenery, destroyed props and costumes and graffiti marring the stage and dressing rooms caused by this…boy…and his friends. Judge Darbus continued, “You do not have a clean record, but prior to this, incident, your crimes appear to be more in line with childish pranks.”

Zac thought that he might get off easy, this broad didn’t think that joyriding and petty theft were major offenses. He hoped she’d just put him on probation so he could go catch up with Corbin and Chris. He was suddenly jerked back to reality when Judge Darbus’ voice rose “- the theatre is a chapel of arts, a precious cornucopia of creative energy*.” Zac choked. “Mr. Efron, I herby sentence you to serve 200 hours of community service in the very place that you befouled, the L.A. School of Performing Arts.”

“200 hours?!” Zac could not contain his disgust.

“It's called crime and punishment, Efron. Beside, proximity to the arts is cleansing for the soul.*”


Zac reported at the school at 8 am the next day. As he walked toward the doors, Zac’s jaw dropped. She was easily the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He could tell that she was several inches shorter than he was. She had dark eyes, olive skin and long wavy midnight black hair pulled in a messy bun. Zac wondered to himself what it would be like to let all that hair down and bury his fingers in it. The girl glanced over her shoulder and smiled at her blond friend. “Breathe,” Zac muttered to himself. He now understood what people meant when they said a smile lights -


Unfortunately, Zac grimaced, he had only forgotten how to breathe. While he was busy staring at the girl, his feet had propelled him straight into one of the brick columns framing the main doors. He quickly stepped back and shook his head to clear the fog. “Focus, Efron. You’ve seen girls before - man, I hope no one saw that.” But someone was giggling. “Great,” he thought and spun around. His eyes locked with gorgeous chocolate brown ones - the first girl to ever make Zac Efron look like a fool.

He glanced away, embarrassed, as she was herded into the building by the blond girl. He hurried after her, hoping to gain an introduction or even just a name but by the time he made it inside, her friends had already swept her away. He sighed and looked down at the paper in his hand. He was supposed to meet the Headmaster, Mr. Kenny Ortega, to find out what horrors he was going to be subjected to for next 200 hours. Zac glared at the office door. “I am not wearing tights.”

[i]* = Dialog borrowed from High School Musical which I do not own, unfortunately.[/i]


Zac walked into the office expecting to see something totally different than what he saw. Trophies and awards lined the walls and sat on the shelves and behind the desk sat a middle aged man, not looking his age. With glasses on the bridge of his nose, his hand waved for Zac to approach the desk and him.

"So, you're one of them that destroyed my stage, huh?"

"Um..." Zac had his head down, avoiding looking at the man in charge.

"No need to explain. I would've done the same when I was your age," Kenny briefly looked up at the young man assigned to 200 hours of community service at the very place he almost destroyed. "But on the plus side, you gave me a reason to get a new floor," he took his glasses off and relaxed in his chair sizing Zac up and thinking of what he could really have him do here besides cleaning each room from top to bottom, twice. "What do you think I should make you do?"

"If I said send me home, would you?" Zac tried out his goofy side to see if it would work.

It didn't.

"You're funny. Come on, I have the perfect job for you today," Kenny got out of his chair and started for the door but stopped short, turning to face the boy again, "and Zac," he looked up at Kenny, "welcome to the LA Performing Arts Academy."


The day went by slower than he expected, although he couldn't complain about being surrounded by beautiful girls all day...they weren't that one girl - the one that made him run into a wall and forget how to walk - but still beautiful girls. And working with Bonnie, the designer for the spring recital, was actually better than he thought it would be.

Spraying the full length mirror in front of him, he heard the dancers talking just outside the room. Goodbyes, see you laters and laughs were exchanged and he glanced at the clock on the wall - 4 p.m. He still had an hour left. Squee-jeeing the mirror, he wiped down the excess water and wished for the hour to pass by. That was until she came into the room.

"Oh, hi. I didn't know anyone was in here."

"Hi," he barely said and watched silently as she set her bag down on the floor and moved to go stretch out on the bars behind him.

He watched her, still facing the mirrors. He knew they were here for a reason. She arched her back with a grace he had never seen before but only heard of. Her legs became a mile long as she pulled one up on the bar, stretching out her muscles that he presumed she'd been using all day long. He watched her from the mirror still, hoping he wasn't being too obvious, but he was never that stealth....especially since he hadn't moved since she came in the room.

"You know that the mirrors don't move right?" her voice took him out of his trance and he was shocked while she walked towards him. "You're the new maintenance guy right?"

"I guess you could call him that," he shrugged, placing the squee-jee and rag down on the floor. "Zac is easier though."

"Zac..." his name rolled off her tongue, he liked that. "I'm Vanessa."


Over the next few weeks, Vanessa and her group of friends would practice as hard as they could, while Zac would make an effort to always keep cleaning rooms around her. Vanessa was working hard on her routine, choreographing with her partner Lucas, as well as trying to keep up with her classes. She was getting used to seeing the hot blue-eyed boy everyday, flashing a smile in his direction every time he entered the room. There was just something about this guy that she couldn't place. Seeing him just made her happy, he wasn't only easy on the eyes, but there was something that made her want to keep looking at him, wanting to get to know him.

On this particular day Vanessa came into the danceroom after school pumped for another day of hardwork. She had a few ideas on how to change certain lifts and spacing. But her heart dropped when she saw Lucas walk in. He came into the room on crutches.

"What the hell happened!?" Vanessa shouted, beginning to panic.

"It's just a sprain, don't worry. Class was a little intense," Lucas said trying to lighten the atmosphere, "The doctor said I can't dance for a few weeks." He knew that Vanessa was pouring her heart into this performance and every rehearsal was crucial. "I'm sorry Ness, but there is nothing I can do."

"Well...I guess it's not your fault. What am I going to do? I can't just not rehearse? And this piece is for two people. Who the hell is going to have time to learn and practice? This is never going to work!" Vanessa ranted as she kept pacing the floor trying to think of ideas.

"Well since this happened early in the day, I talked to some underclassmen and you can audition one of them to fill in," Lucas responded. He wanted to help her as much as she could. Lucas had family connections to help his career as a dancer continue after school, but for Vanessa this piece was going to make or break her. "Guys, come in. Good luck, Ness." With that about 5 sophomores entered the room and Lucas left.

After a few deep breaths Vanessa knew that she was going to need to focus her attention on her new partner. "Okay guys we are going to do a few simple steps and one lift. Stretch a little bit and then we'll start," Vanessa said as calmly as she could. She sat down on a chair trying to clear her head of the thousands of thoughts flying through. Was this the end of her career that she had fought so hard to keep going. She needed a miracle to keep this routine going.

Zac entered the dance room that day and walked straight to the back to change a light bulb that went out. His goal was to make his job as slow as possible, watching the tanned beauty in her tights and tank and heels. She looked gorgeous, with just a little bit of sweat running off her face. Zac was trying his best to look busy, but couldn't help but laugh at the kids trying to dance. He thought the kids at the school were supposed to be good but for some reason they couldn't seem the lift Vanessa. After the fifth kid had dropped her, she dismissed all of the guys and buried her face in her hand.

"It's not so freakin hard. I am light. How the hell did they even get into the school," Vanessa was mumbling frustrated.

"I'll do it," Zac replied coming down the ladder.

"What?" Vanessa said popping her head up.

"Well it's just a lift. I can do it," he said cleaning his hands on a rag in his jumpsuit.

"Zac, that's nice of you, but a lift requires practice and skill. You wouldn't be able to do it."

"Oh, okay. I just thought you needed help. I could've done it," Zac said shrugging and walking away. If she didn't want to do it, he wasn't going to press her.

"Wait!" Vanessa said looking at him as he turned around. "Catch me." She ran toward him and prepared herself to jump into his arms. Before she knew it his hands were on her midsection and she was in the air perfectly stable. He held her in the air as he turned himself 360 degrees. She definitely had underestimated him. He slowly lowered her in his arms neither moved as her feet hit the ground. They were close enough to kiss, his hands still firmly around her waist while her hands where on his shoulders. They held the gaze between them for what seemed like hours, until the door opened.

"Hey baby, here you are."


Zac threw the ball as hard as he could. Vanessa had a boyfriend. His dream girl was taken.


”Hey baby, here you are.”

Zac’s head had snapped up. “Baby?” he questioned, but it was too late.

Vanessa had already spun out of his arms. “Ryan!” she squealed as she launched herself into the newcomers arms.

Zac went through the motions of being introduced to her, good God, boyfriend. His stomach had fluttered angrily and he could hear his heart thumping in his chest. He knew he had to get away for just a few minutes to clear his head. He found himself practically running to the basketball courts behind the cafeteria.


He lobbed the ball at the back board. He refused to believe he was actually jealous - he’d only know the girl a few weeks for Christ’s sake. Concentrating on the rhythmic bouncing of the ball, he went in for a lay-up.

He knew all the girl’s moves. He had watched every one she made for the past few weeks after all, and she was right. It wasn’t that “freakin” hard. It was just…stiff. Routine. Boring. He dribbled the ball back and shot for three points.

“Looks like Pretty Boy needs some competition.”

“I’ll need better than you and Corbin, Chris”

Chris laughed, “You got time for a game?” Zac checked the ball to him. Two on two. Zac and Corbin against Chris and their friend Trevor. This is what he knew. This was familiar. This was where he belonged. Not watching some wacked out dance and dreaming about some prissy girl. His boys kept him grounded.


"Hey you kids! You shouldn't be in here!"

Zac heard the guard shouting. He glanced at Chris and Corbin and ran into the guard’s path, knocking over some lights as he did so. That got his attention and the guard grabbed his arms to restrain him as he shouted for someone to call the cops. In the resulting confusion, Chris and Corbin had slipped out a side door. Zac took the blame. He had to protect his friends.


“They let you out of tights on your breaks, man?” Corbin laughed as he passed the ball to Zac. He grinned, “They only had extras in your mom’s size” he held out his arms to indicate a massive girth. All four men glanced at each other.

Corbin broke first. “But you’d look so F-IIIINE in tight pants brotha,” Zac was laughing so hard he could barely breath.

“You have no idea,” Zac gasped. “If this girl got her hands on me, I’d be leaping across a stage right now.” Zac passed the ball and started demonstrating the leaps, turns and toe pointing he’d seen Vanessa do over the past two weeks. He mockingly struck a pose. “She has every kid at that school answering her every whim -“

“She?” Chris raised his eyebrows.

“Vanessa. She’s beautiful. Composed. Articulate. She’s got these amazing eyes -“

“And she got money.” Corbin pointed out. There was no need to comment on Zac’s own lack of finances.

“She does.” Zac agreed “but she’s got no passion. No emotion. When she dances, she’s beautiful, but it’s flat. Boring. It needs to be something like this.“ Zac began dancing Vanessa’s moves again, but this time he brought in the feeling of the street. He didn’t stand perfectly straight. His arms didn’t make a precise angle. He slouched. His arms beckoned. He didn’t point his toes. His head followed his body. He kicked, he stomped, he moved. He spun around and -


They were laughing at her. Laughing. Hysterically. Vanessa stared at her friends in front of her and rolled her eyes. This was not a laughing matter. She couldn't find a dance partner and it was horrible. She needed one. Fast. And they weren't helping. The only one that came even remotely close to being what she needed wasn't even a part of the Academy. He was a maintenance man...with the dreamy eyes and the lips she really wanted to taste. Blinking away from her little fantasy, she looked at Ashley and Monique again, sticking out her tongue at them and walked ahead. She wasn't going to stand there and let them laugh at her indecisive mind.

"Hey! Come on, Vanessa," Monique yelled her name to wait up. "We're's just...."

"You can't find a partner and all of these guys are dying to be it!" Ashley finished for her, still giggling from their outburst.

"Exactly, my point. And none of them can dance...except for Lucas. Can I kill him for breaking his leg?" Vanessa huffed as the girls passed by Kenny's office and headed towards the stage where Bonnie was with the wardrobe for the girls to be sized in.

"No, you can't. We love him too much," Monique pointed out as they entered the stage and Vanessa almost ran into the maintenance man - Zac, straight on.

Her cheeks turned crimson, a smile creeped up on her lips and a small wave was exchanged as she turned around and walked backwards with her friends, as they dragged her with them.

"Who's the hottie?" Ashley nudged her, wiggling her eyebrows which only made Vanessa blush more as she turned around and they faced Bonnie and her assistants, which included Zac. "He's hot."

"Isn't he the one who trashed that one theatre on the east wing?" Monique mentioned, recognizing him only from the papers as that's the only thing her mother kept in the house. Vanessa snapped her head to her friend, eyes wide and needless to say, she was shocked. How could he not tell her this? Of course, they weren't the closest in any terms but still.... "Yeah, he's the guy. Judge sent him back here for 200 hours. Guess he took it compared to jail time."

"He's also got some serious dance moves too...even if he doesn't know it," Lucas snuck him behind them and looked over to Zac who was repairing the stage lights at the moment before climbing down and following Kelli to help her with the costumes. "Saw him yesterday on the courts across the way. He's good. More street than us, but good."

She didn't care if he was good now, or if he had the perfect hold that she needed. She was mad now. The smile disappeared and she stalked towards Bonnie, ready and waiting to be fitted.


Vanessa was reeling. She didn't know what to think about him now. Not after she was going to suggest to Kenny to take a chance on an outsider. Now she wanted answers and she was determined to get them. Knowing he didn't get released from his "prison" until 5, she went in search and found in him in just the place where she first saw him. Throwing her bag on the floor, she forgot about everything else and everything she was going to say when he turned around and she ran right into him.

"Whoa...oh, hey." His arms were solid around her, holding on without letting her go. Pushing back, she let herself out of his arms and smacked him hard. "What was that for?"

"No lies. No bull**. Nothing. Were you one of the guys who destroyed that stage? I want the truth Zac!" she asked him, her voice echoing throughout the barren room. She watched him walk forward, not faltering in anything he did....yet. "Were you?"


"And this was your punishment?"


"Dammit Zac!" she started to pace in front of him. "Why the hell didn't you tell me this before? Why?"

"We're not that close Vanessa. I didn't tell you because it was none of your business."

"It would be my business if I had took a leap of faith on you and told Kenny I wanted you for my dance partner. It would've been my business," she spat back, still pacing in front of him.

"Wait, wait just a minute," he circled around her, making her stop in front of him. She was surprised at how soft they were. "You wanted me as your dance partner? Why?"

"Because you're good!"

"What about your boyfriend? He goes here, he dances. I don't."

"Boyfriend? Who? Do you mean Ryan? Oh my God, Zac! Not every guy I happen to dance with is my boyfriend!"

She was hot when she was mad; fiesty even. And he was more turned on to her than ever, even more than she was just smiling and dancing and having a good time. He had no clue what came over him even if the thought of dancing with her was something completely stupid by his means. He couldn't dance. Wasn't going to attempt it either, but that didn't stop him from pulling her frame closer by placing his hands on her cheeks and kissing her lips. He would face the face slapping later. This was worth it.


Vanessa was caught off guard to say the least when his lips crashed onto hers. But after a few seconds she knew she didn't want to fight. Slowly her hands make there way up his perfectly chiseled chest to the back of his neck, pulling him closer. What was supposed to be an innocent kiss had turned into a make out session between the two. In no way was Zac going to break contact with her until she pushed him away. As they pulled apart in need of air, he lips went to attack her neck, sucking and kissing any part of her flesh he could.

"Hi," Zac whispered into her ears capturing her lips again for a quick soft kiss and then resting his forehead against hers.

"Hi," she quietly replied trying to regain control of her breathing. Her mind was still churning as to what just happened. She was supposed to be angry at him not kissing him. Why did she respond the way she did? Vanessa decided to deal with her feelings later, she needed to not be angry at him so he could dance with her. Then it hit her, she didn't know anything about him other than the fact that he trashed the school. Sure what he did was bad, but who was she to judge him so fast. She had definitely blown up for no reason at all. She desperately needed a partner for the next few weeks while Lucas got better. Pushing herself off of him, she patted down her clothing and fixed her hair trying to regain composure. "I really need you to dance with me. I need a partner. A serious partner."


The next day, Zac and Vanessa would have to go talk to the headmaster. Vanessa told him to let her do all the talking since the headmaster and for him to look serious about wanting to help her. She knew she was going to need to convince the headmaster, but she in the end Mr. Ortega trusted her and would back her up.


"I need Zac to fill for Lucas. It will only be temporary until Lucas gets better," Vanessa told the headmaster with pleading eyes.

"What about the underclassmen? This school has plenty of options," he replied back calmly.

"None that are good enough. I auditioned them and no one could even do the lift. But he can. And I know he's not trained or anything, but I can get him there. I just need a partner. I don't have time to choreograph a good solo."

"Well this is your piece Vanessa. I will allow it, but I hope you don't regret your decision," the headmaster said looking in Zac's directions.

"Thank you sir!"

The two left the headmasters office, both secretly happy that the headmaster agreed so they would be spending more time with each other. For Vanessa she could finally relax knowing that her dancing wouldn't be hurt by Lucas's injury. For Zac this was a chance to get to know what seemed like a great girl. Zac went to grab his cleaning supplies for the last time that day, while Vanessa was going to go home and try to break down everything so Zac could learn the steps.

"I'll see you in here tomorrow at 2:30 sharp. Don't be late. And don't forget your tights!" Vanessa shouted as she left leaving Zac standing alone in the hallway before he could respond.

"Wha...what?" he said out loud. He definitely did not own a pair of tights.


Vanessa paced down the length of the rehearsal hall. It was 2:33. She wasn’t used to waiting - she was the best dancer in the school, damn it. If she told anyone else to meet at 2:30, they would have been ready and waiting at 2:15.

She looked down at her watch again - 2:35. She did not have time for this. She was Vanessa Freakin Hudgens and - “Finally!” she snapped as door swung open. Zac strolled in and slouched on one of the chairs strewn about the room.

She stomped over to his chair and raked her gaze over his body. He was wearing baggy khaki pants and a gray wife-beater. “Where are your tights? How can you expect to move in that?” she demanded.

“How do you expect to dance in that?” he snapped back. He looked derisively at her black leotard and pink tights - standard rehearsal attire for the school.

She glared at him. “Just because I let you kiss me, it does NOT mean I’ll go easy on you. I expect you to be here on time. You have to work hard and learn this routine. I will NOT let you ruin my future. When I dance in the showcase, I must look perfect and that means you CAN’T screw this up.”

He snorted. “Listen, Princess, just because YOU kissed me back - many times - doesn’t mean I’m going to take this from you. I’m doing you a favor and you better show some damn appreciation. And quick.”

She rolled her eyes and noted he hadn’t moved during her tirade. She’d reduced Lucas and Ryan to tears before when she went off on them. And no one had ever spoken to her like that before. “Whatever. Watch and learn and try and keep up.”

Vanessa began dancing the first part of her routine. “1…2…3…4…” she counted as she did the steps slowly. She looked at Zac in the mirror - he wasn’t even LOOKING at her. She began moving a little faster “” she continued to count. She waited for him to look at her. This next part was complicated and she thought she might have made a mistake vouching for him with Kenny.

She sighed and switched on her music. Vanessa turned back to the mirror. It was time to get down to some serious solo choreography if she was going to have to do this by herself. She closed her eyes and began dancing again. Parts of her routine could work, she mused, but she’d have to watch herself to see what she’d have to change.

She opened her eyes and found herself staring directly into the most beautiful blue eyes. Zac was very close to her, not touching her but matching her step for step. They moved in sync. Their breathing matched along with their steps. Zac caught her as she leapt into his arms and dipped her perfectly.

He carefully set her on her feet. “How did you do that? You never even looked at me.” Vanessa asked in shock.

“I didn’t look at you today. But I’ve watched you for weeks. I could do that dance in my sleep.”

This time, Vanessa kissed him. Her arms went around his neck and her legs wrapped around his waist seemingly of their own accord. She had to hand it to Zac, he didn’t miss a beat. He held her up with one arm wrapped like steel around her waist while the other tangled in her hair. He pulled the elastic free and her glorious hair tumbled down about her shoulders. He walked them back, gently pressing her against the mirror.

The glass felt ice cold against her back and Zac was like a fire scorching her in the front. Freed from the duty of supporting her, one his hands roamed along her side and around to cup her breast. His thumb brushed over puckered flesh, already waiting for him. He searched in vain for an access point to bare skin. He briefly wondered if the person who invented the leotard was rotting in hell at this very second before she dragged him under her spell again.

Vanessa moaned as he tore his mouth from hers, only to viciously attack the sensitive skin of her neck. She ground her pelvis against him and moaned again, indicating her pleasure. “Oh Zac,” she sighed, “the routine is going to be fabulous.” Zac lifted his head and she whined and tried to bring his lips back to hers.

“To tell you the truth, babe,” he whispered, “dancing like that is not [i]really[/i] my thing.


"Do you not own anything else but those jeans?" Vanessa walked into the studio, ready to rehearse and rolled her eyes as she saw him already practicing his steps with the same old jeans on that he had been wearing since the start of their relationship, if you could call it that. His jeans were ratty, loose and while the latter wasn't necessarily a bad thing, it was for dance and their routine.

"Nope, get used to it," he answered, still dancing his steps out, letting his eyes slip from the mirror only to watch her walk behind him in her seductive way that got under his skin and distracted him every time. She sat down at the bar, with her bag and pulled out her flats instead of the heels. That only told him she had had a long day already and she wanted to get to the point and get out of the academy. Pulling the elastic from her ponytail, she let her hair loose, the curls falling down dramatically and he knew he really wasn't paying attention and that she was right about the jeans. Stepping on them, he slipped and fell to his demise on the squeaky clean floor he had cleaned earlier in the day. "Dammit."

"Told ya so," she sing-songed to him, still sitting in her place as his head propped up and she just smiled over at him. "Ready to change?"

Wiggling his fingers, Vanessa threw the workout pants his way and sent him back to the floor. "At least they're not tights."

"You're just lucky I didn't give those to ya. They're pink too. You'd look hot."

"And I don't now?"

"Maybe to the freshman, but to me, right now? Nope....Zac, what are you doing?! Zac!" Before she knew it, Zac had pulled her up and lifted her over his shoulders, dragging her someplace she could only imagine. She had to admit, he made her laugh and that was everything to her. The only guy who could make her laugh and giggle like that before was her dad. Zac was most definitely different from the rest.


"Come on, I wanna show you something," Vanessa pulled on his hand towards the opposite direction that he was intending to go. He had a basketball game with Corbin and Chris and was determined not to miss it. But she did something to him, something that he couldn't resist. "You need a ride anyhow, don't you?"

"Have you ever driven to my side of town? With a car like yours?"

"Just come on, I promise, I won't kill you."

"What type of killage are we talking about here?" He wiggled his eyebrows, not fighting her pull anymore and took the lead, pulling her to him instead. "Cause I have some in mind."

"Not just yet, Maintenance Man. Now, come on," she pushed off of him, and walked the short walk to her car with him tagging behind. Several swats of his hand from the radio and twenty minutes later, they arrived at her "someplace". It wasn't close to what he imagined. It was closer to his home than he imagined for one, and for seconds, it was a place he never imagined she had brushed with.

"This is your someplace, huh? What is it?"

"This," she reached the ladder that would take them up to the actual someplace and started to climb. Her skirt brustled in the wind and Zac smirked, seeing full view of her panties. Reaching the top, she brushed her hands off and walked over to the railing, "is my someplace. It's where you can see everything - the sun, the moon, the stars, the future."

"The future?" He said behind her, watching the wind brush by her and he never saw anything more beautiful in his life.

"The future," she echoed, brushing her hair behind her face and looking back at him briefly. "It's where I come to think, most times. I can look at this view and instantly see my next routine. I see a dance company, that's what I really want...what do you want, what do you see?"

She could feel him standing silently behind her, his breath whispering on the back of her neck. His hands covered hers and she leaned back into him, his lips barely touching her cheek. The wind blew over them, her hair melding with it as she turned her face slightly and his grip on her hands softened. "I see you," the words left his mouth before he could retract or think about anything. Her eyes darted down, watching his fingers try to intertwine with hers, but her fingers escaped them and trickled up his arm. Intertwining fingers with him would mean something more...and she wasn't sure if he wanted something more with her or if she wanted it. Smiling at the way he shivered, she turned around in his frame and looked back up at him.


"You," his forehead pressed against hers, the wind still breezing by and she leaned up, pulling his lips into hers. The kiss was soft and gentle, but within minutes it was passionate and meaningful. Her fingers turned again, brushing up his muscular arms and resting on his shoulders. She was hot and needed more. A lot more. But this was wrong - being involved with your dance weren't supposed to get involved. But that was all thrown out the window as he lifted her up on the railing and his hand was feeling it's way up her thigh. She needed

"Zac," she gasped and felt his lips leave hers for a moment, "dance with me."


A little disappointed in her response, Zac let go of her and took a step back letting her get down from the railing. He had hoped for different words to come out of her mouth after he said he wanted her, but at least she hadn't told him to leave her alone. They didn't know much about each other, heck they didn't know anything but each others names and what they did during the day. He wanted to know her better, he had to know her better.

"Why dancing?" Zac asked as vanessa went up to him put one hand on his shoulder and the other in his hand. She wanted to slow dance with the only music being the wind.

"Because I feel free. Free to tell a story, to express how I feel in my movement, to let out everything that I keep inside," she replied simply leading him around the rooftop. She felt a wave of contentment knowing that Zac was next to her while she was dancing. Before meeting Zac, she had only felt that way when she danced. But now she also felt that around him. "Why do you do it?"

"I don't. I move around to music, that's all. I told you I don't do your type of dancing."

"But you can, you are...with me. You are so talented and you don't even know it," Vanessa replied quietly moving both her hands to the back of his neck as they kept swaying together.

"Look even if I could dance, though I don't think I can, where would I go? I don't have anything. I want so hard to not be stuck in the same life my parents had because they had me. I want to be better, but I just can't," Zac said getting frustrated. Everytime he thought he had accepted the life he was going to live something happened to make him want more. Vanessa lowered her head into the crook of his neck while he rested his chin on the top of her head. The two stayed like that for some time.

"So let's get you a the school. It's a start."

Zac stopped dancing when he heard her solution. She looked up at him while he was staring straight out ahead. Could it really be that simple? Was he even good enough to get into the school? If Vanessa believed in him, he definitely was willing to give it a shot. He didn't have anything to lose. He broke out into a big smile and grabbed hold of her waist and twirled her around. In his mind he thought this was his one big shot, to finally change his life. With Vanessa's support he felt like he could do anything. "Thank..." kiss ""


It had been a week since Vanessa had offered him a chance at the school. The first person in his life who ever offered him a chance at a future. She and Zac had worked hard every day perfecting the routine. Zac had even talked her into loosing up parts of the dance by incorporating some of the moves he’d shown Chris and Corbin on the basketball courts.

Vanessa had sat back and watched him dance for once and Zac [i]may[/i] have gone a little over the top. He had been trying to drive her as wild as she made him get every time he even looked at her. Dancing was like foreplay, taking and giving and working each other into a frenzy. And judging by the way she launched herself at him when the music stopped, she felt the same way.

“Hey Pretty Boy, hoops?” Corbin’s voice jarred Zac out of his thoughts. He hadn’t told any of them about possibly trying to get into the school yet. He held out his hands for the ball. Maybe a little one-on-one might soften the blow.

“Corb, what cha been up to, man,” Zac asked causally as he dribbled and brought the ball to the hoop.

“Oh, you know. Hanging out, playing ball…how many more hours you got left?” Corbin swished the ball through the hoop for three points.

“Uh, I’ll finish in a few weeks,” Zac scored for two and checked the ball to Corbin. Corbin took the ball back and went up for three. Just as he was about to shoot, Zac continued, “What would you think if I stayed on here after I was done - “

Corbin made his shot. “As an employee?” He asked catching the rebound. He moved to the free throw line. He set the ball up.

Zac coughed, “No, a student.” He winced as the ball ricocheted off the rim with a clang.

“A student?!” Corbin sputtered, “What in the hell gave you the idea that you can hang with these…freaky dancer people? Are you saying you WANT to wear tights?” he took a breath, this was Zac - his best friend. “Why, man?”

Zac grabbed the ball and spun it on his finger. “Vanessa…I’ve working with her for a few weeks…and, I just didn’t know…it’s [i]fun[/i], Corb.” He made a perfect three point shot, “When I’m with her, God, she pisses the hell out of me, but I don’t want anything else.” He paused, “And I’m not wearing tights.”

Corbin laughed, “Pretty Boy, I can’t say I understand, but people have done dumber things for love.”

Zac started, the ball falling from his hands unnoticed. He never said anything about l-, lo-, damn it he couldn’t even think the word. Just because she was the first person he wanted to see everyday and the last thing he thought about every night…he shook his head, he was not falling in…you know, with Vanessa.

“Yo, Zac,” Chris was waving his hand in front of Zac’s face. He had no idea when Chris and Tyler had arrived. “Ready to play?”

Zac shook his head. He needed to talk to Vanessa - now. He was not in lo-v. Nope, still couldn’t think it. He was not in…extreme like. There. He didn’t even like the way that sounded. He was just loosing his mind. That was much better. He was going nuts to think he might have a future with her. He jogged back to the school, with any luck Vanessa was already in the studio and ready to rehearse.

He halted right outside the studio. He could hear Vanessa’s voice but she wasn’t alone. He pushed open the door to see Vanessa throwing herself in arms of her former partner. “Lucas!” she cried, embracing him “Your leg is all better! That’s fantastic - now you won’t have to miss the senior show case after all!”

Just then Vanessa spotted him. “Zac!” She exclaimed, “Lucas is well! He’s - “

Zac cut her off, “I already heard. You want him to do the show. Some chance you gave me.” He stalked back into the hall, slamming the door on his way.

“Zac!” He heard Vanessa screaming, “Zac!” He kept walking. She was a liar and she used him. He didn’t have the time or the money to believe in dreams and he was well rid of her. He heard footsteps running down the hall after him, “Zac, you don’t understand,” Vanessa pleaded behind him. He was almost at the entrance; he didn’t have to listen to the little sneak. He yanked the door open.

“You make me feel free.”


She was frustrated and tired and watching Lucas as he danced the steps she and Zac had choreographed together was not the prettiest thing on earth. In fact, it was downright painful. While Lucas was a brilliant dancer with a form and future like no other at the Academy, he wasn't Zac and he wasn't getting these steps. It was awkward on him and her too. Leaning back against the mirror, she watched as Ryne, a junior dancer that had been learning with her and Zac for a while, tried to teach Lucas all the moves and elements in the dance. But even Ryne teaching him was awkward. From what they were doing right now, Lucas made Ryne look like he was more pro than Lucas was. Wiping her hands over her face, she let out a mini groan, not realizing that Monique had come to stand beside her until she opened her eyes back up.

"This is something I thought I would never say," Monique let a breath out and turned to look at Vanessa, "but Lucas kind of sucks."

"I know," Vanessa breathed out, her body slumping against the mirrored wall. "But he needs to get this choreography. If he can't get it, we have to go back to the original routine and I don't want to do that."

"You need him, you know."

"I know. I really need him and he won't talk to me. I'm lucky if he even glances my way when I see him in the hallway," she told Monique, pushing off the wall and walking to Lucas. "Okay, stop. Thanks Ryne."

Ryne bowed out without saying a word, but only giving them a smile as Lucas stopped the steps and walked up to her, limping on his leg a little. "This is a hard ass routine Ness."

She sighed, fearing he would say that. "I know."

"I love it actually, but I can't do it. You know I can't," he admitted, her eyes locking with his to hear what he was saying. "And your heart isn't in it to dance with me."


"Ness, having a sprained ankle does not make me dumb. I saw the way he looked at you and you at him. I'll squeeze myself into Ashley's. I can do that stuff, it's easy. This - it's meant for him."

"And you're okay with that?" Vanessa questioned, his hand now holding hers tightly.

"Would you stop being like that? Don't second guess my decision. I'm gonna do Ashley's. You, Miss Amazing, are going to go get him and make him dance. Because I am not coming to see you do another damn solo. Those are getting so old," he emphasized as she leaped into his arms, silently thanking him for that and all he just did.

"Thanks Lucas."

"Okay, enough hugging, it's getting creepy," Monique broke the two apart, pulling Vanessa away from Lucas. "Now go get him!"

Vanessa beamed, not even bothering to take her bag with her. She didn't look back either as she whisked by Kenny and Ashley walking through the hallway. She needed him back and wasn't going to come back without him.


Zac pulled his baby sister up on his shoulders, her laughs echoing throughout the house as they made their way towards the kitchen for some liquids to cool down with. He had just spent at least two hours with the little girl, playing, dancing and trying to teach her how to shoot a proper layout. But it was a bit hard when she wasn't even four feet yet and the net was over nine. But that didn't stop her from trying. "There you two are!" His foster mother's voice caught his attention as he set Stella down on the floor and she ran over to her.

"Yea, been outside," he shortly said, grabbing a glass and filling it up with cool water from the fridge.

"You sure you'll be okay without us for a while? We'll be back by seven."

"I'll be okay," he assured her as the older woman, held onto Stella's hand and walked her down the hallway again, on their way to a court date for custody of the girl. Hearing the door shut, he slumped down on the sofa in the adjacent room and turned on the television. He was bored and that wasn't a good thing. A few days ago he would be in the studio, with Vanessa, and dancing. He liked dancing, even if he would never admit that to anyone - not even little Stella. And Chris and Corbin, if they ever got a hold of that information, there would be no end of it...he missed her; missed dancing. Turning the television back off, he was about to head out for Corbin's place when he heard a soft knock on the door. Opening it fully, he was surprised to see her at the door, shocked even and was about to shut it back in her face when she pushed through and invited herself in. "I never said you could come in."

"I don't care. You," she jabbed her finger into his chest, "are going to listen to me. Got it?"

"Why should I? You obviously don't care a crap about me or this so called 'chance' you wanted to give me. Why should I listen to anything you have to say?"

"Because I need you Zac! I need you....," she trailed off, still jabbing his chest as she backed him against the wall closer to the stairs. He pushed away her hand from his chest but only felt her clutch his hand in hers. "I need you to dance with me."

"See, there you go again. It's all about you. You, you, you."

She smacked him in the chest hard. "Did you not hear me? Listen! God, you are stubborn aren't you?"

"I should be the one saying that about you!"

"Zac! Shut up! I need you okay. I need you to dance with me. I need you to be with me. I need you to love me!" she screamed, her hands in balls as she softly pounded on him. Her face lingered down before he pulled her chin up to look at him. "I need you okay. That's it. I need you. Please come back."

"What about Lucas?"

"He loves the routine," she sniffed away a tear, "but he can't dance it. It has to be you. It has to be," she looked up in his eyes and it was within seconds before his lips trapped hers and his arms started to envelope her in his frame. "I need," she gasped as his hand dipped into the rim of her skirt and he pulled her up so her legs could wrap about his waist and his hands brushed her bare skin of her legs. Breaking the kiss for a moment's time, she finished her statement, "you."


After a few minutes of their tongues battling each other, Zac brought his hands to hold her waist while he walked up the stairs to his room. Vanessa was not going to break contact with him anytime soon as her hands were grabbing his hair as they continued to kiss. As soon as he got into his room he kicked the door close and backed her up into the wall. He was now sucking and biting her neck as she moaned in pleasure. Feeling her chest press against his as her back arched, he continued to his bed, gently putting her down and breaking contact. Quickly she took of her shirt and then pulled his off of him. "I really need you," she said trying to get air back into her lungs. Her hands ran up and down his chest before pulling him down on top of her. He was gently kissing up and down her now exposed body trying to reach all the spots that would make her feel pleasure.

"Van, are you sure?" Zac asked as he brought his face back above hers. "I won't be able to stop myself soon." Before he could say anything else he was being flipped onto his back while Vanessa straddled his waist. She fluttered his chest with open mouth kisses. She went back up to his mouth wanting to kiss him some more, while her hands went further south. She smiled against his mouth as she felt his breath hitch when she grabbed his already hard member.

"I should've never stopped myself, baby," Vanessa whispered before she was thrown onto her back. They both quickly discarded any remaining clothing left on the two.

"Are you sure?" Zac asked before he was going to put himself inside of her.

"As ever," Vanessa replied before closing her eyes and letting the pleasure take over her body. She had never felt such an amazing feeling take over her body. She began whispering words to Zac to let him know she wanted more of him, as much of him as she could possibly have. She definitely need him in her life, she didn't know how she had ever made it without him.


"Ready guys, 1, 2, 3, 4," Vanessa called out counts as the group of underclassmen practiced the boys parts with Zac leading. The show was coming up in a few days and every detail was now being critiqued and improved by her. "No no no, you in the back, faster! Keep up with the others," she screamed. Vanessa was beginning to feel the drain of putting together a piece with so many people in it. What had made her been so ambitious she would never know.

"Guys take 5," Zac said as the kids collapsed on the floor with water bottles. He made his way over to Vanessa and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Shhhh.." he whispered before she could say anything. He rubbed her sides for a few minutes and felt her body instantly relax and loosen up. "Much better."

"This isn't going to work. I am not only going to ruin my future but yours too. God this is going to be bad," she ranted burying her face into his chest.

"Well if this is bad, then tell me what good is?" he asked placing a kiss on the top of her head, "This is the best piece I've ever scene. Come on let's practice some more."


“And again!” Vanessa called out. “From the top!”

Zac glanced at her - they had been at it for 8 straight hours. The underclassman they were using to fill out the routine looked ready to drop. All the other students had long since left for home, but Vanessa worked them like a drill sergeant. He looked around, “Never mind,” he announced, “We’re done for the day. Go home, rest and we’ll see you tomorrow.” They didn’t have to be told twice, they were out the door in seconds. Vanessa stared daggers at him.

“Van, babe, we weren’t going to get any more out of them tonight. Everything’s coming together and the routine looks good. Damn good.” He rubbed his hands down her stiff arms. She was holding herself rigid facing the mirror. He wrapped his arms around her from behind and gently kissed her neck.

Vanessa shivered at his kiss. She had to stay strong, she didn’t like the way he’d dismissed everyone without consulting her first. She could see that the kids were done. She’d have to talk to Kenny about building up the endurance standards in this school. She just didn’t want to take any chances, the show was so close and everything had to be just right.

“It has to be perfect.” Vanessa told his reflection, “It’s not just my future anymore.”

“Perfect,” Zac turned her to look in her eyes, “But what about fun?” Vanessa looked at him with wide eyes. “Baby,” he whispered, “I want to take you somewhere.”


“This is your somewhere?” Vanessa questioned, laughing. Zac had brought her to a, for lack of a better word, warehouse on his side of town. It had been partitioned into several areas. One whole side of the building had been given over to an indoor half pipe and several skaters were showing off their best moves. Another had a DJ with his turn tables set up on a rickety card table. In the back, 3 or 4 pool tables were placed haphazardly. There were old couches and beat up tables scattered through space where one could attempt to make conversation if they raised their voices above the din.

Zac looked at her uncertainly, “What do you think?”

“I think,” Vanessa burst into gales of happy laughter, “I think it’s fabulous!”

He hugged her so tightly that he lifted her off her feet. Their faces close together, he said “There’s some people I want you to meet.” He led her through the space back to the pool tables, one of which had three guys gathered around it. “Boys, this is Vanessa,” he introduced, “Vanessa, meet Chris, Corbin and Tyler.”

Vanessa smiled and laughed with all of them, fitting right in. Sometime later, Corbin leaned over. “So Vanessa, how about a game? I’ll even let you break.”

“Corb,” Zac said warningly, noting her confused look.

“I’ll go easy on her.” Corbin said, “You can even help her if you want.”

Vanessa turned from where she had been selecting a cue. “You might want to have him help you,” she said smugly. “Rack ‘em.”

“Whooo-oo” The boys cat-called. Zac watched in awe as she cleared the table twice, allowing Corbin to take only 3 or 4 turns. “Damn, man - why didn’t you tell us your woman was a shark?” Chris complained with a smile after Vanessa had made another seemingly impossible shot.

Zac gazed at her; she never ceased to amaze him. Just when he thought he had her all figured out, something like this happened. “I’m stealing her away, boys, find someone else to play with.” Lowering his head, he whispered “Dance with me?”

She nodded, and allowed him to lead her into the middle of the dance floor. He spun her hard, catching her fast in his arms. They moved to the music, meshing and molding together perfectly. He traced sensual fingers along her side. She side-stepped around him, touching his face, his chest, his butt. He caught her again, and grinded his hips into hers.

Vanessa raised herself on her toes so she could speak into his ear. “My parents are out for the night and they won’t be back until late tomorrow. Take me home.”


They barely spoke on the drive to Vanessa’s house. They pulled up before a large brick house with a fenced yard. Zac had time to only glance around the entrance way before he was being pulled up the stairs and into Vanessa’s bedroom. It was fluffy, her room, light blue, purple and white. He hoisted her into his arms and carried her to her bed.

Gently placing her in the center of it, he braced his arms on either side of her and dipped his head. Their lips met in a passionate kiss, tongues dueling. They made short work of each others clothes and when skin touched skin, they both moaned in pleasure. Zac kissed his way down Vanessa’s body, worshiping every inch. Vanessa felt a chill as Zac pulled away suddenly. She raised her head in confusion, “We have to stop,” she heard him say, “I don’t have anything.”

Vanessa smiled in understanding. He was such a good guy, if a little misguided. Moving to her bedside table, she opened the drawer revealing a small box. “I bought some as soon as I found out I’d have the house to myself for a night. We don’t have to stop. I don’t want to stop.”

She raked her nails down his back and cried out as he moved deep within her. They met thrust for thrust, driving each other closer to the edge. She moaned and he shouted her name as they found release together. This is love, he decided happily as they drifted off to sleep, wrapped in each other arms


The anticipation was building in her and she could not stand still. There were two hours to the show and she sat in front of the vanity in between Monique and Ashley and as they and the other dancers worked on their stage makeup, she stared in the mirror, into a far off world and her knee wouldn't stop bouncing. She was necessarily worried or scared, but more apprehensive about everything. This wasn't just her future anymore - it was theirs, his, hers, every dancers in this routine and she was more scared for them than she was for herself. Sure, she wanted that dance company, but someone had taught her to loosen up a bit with her own future and showed her that she could do something greater - something for her friends who deserved it just as much as she did. Her knee knocked against the table and she flinched, "ouch."

"Well, that's what you get for being all ancy," Monique spoke up, brushing on the bright blue shadow to her eyelids so her top would pop out even more.

"Are you okay Vanessa? You're never like this before a performance..." Ashley questioned and she turned her head towards the blonde who's own routine was just before hers.

"I'm fine...just very very anxious, I guess," she sighed. Maybe it wasn't the actual performance that she was nervous about but more the telling Zac she loved him part afterwards. For weeks on end she had been debating on the perfect time to tell him, but everytime she tried, the words just wouldn't come. And when he'd made love to her...God, she wanted to tell him then, but it just wasn't the time. Tonight, would be the time. "I think I love Zac," she murmured just above a whisper and Monique caught on.

"What? You think?"

"No...I know," Vanessa looked over at her best friend and took the brush from her hand, dabbing it in the glittery shimmer that all the girls were wearing on stage. "I know I love him," she stated, not faltering in her words and let the brush do her handy work on Monique's face. Sparkles glittered in the light around them as she repeated the task on the other eye for her friend and Vanessa could not argue that not anyone would be able to resist her now.

"Then tell him," Monique held her hands right as Vanessa went for the bigger brush to finished up her cheeks. "Tell him before you can't. Tell him tonight."

"I'm scared, Mo. More scared about that then going out there to dance with him in front of thousands of people."

"Don't be. He loves you too."

"How do you know?"

"Easy girl. Have you seen the way you two dance together? It's all in the moves, the turns, the tender touches he gives you when you brush against him. He loves you." Monique mirrored her smile and Vanessa finished her face fast. "Now come on, let's go get ready. We gotta wow this crowd right? And a certain boy?"

"That's the plan."


"And 5, 6, 7,and 8. 1, 2, 3 and 4...7 and 8," Zac counted out the steps as the guys followed him from behind. Going over the routine twice over as they waited for the girls to get ready wasn't exactly exciting but it did give them good warm up time. Anxious in seeing Vanessa, Zac was pulled out of his trance by Corbin and Chris showing up backstage, hopping in line and trying to mimick his moves. Hearing the clunk of Corbin's shoes, he smirked and decided to up it a little...give him a challenge. "Speed it up, two fold! 1, 2, 3, and 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.1, 2, 3, and 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. 1, 2, 3, and 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. 1, 2, 3, and 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8!" Slowing it down from the pace, he turned around to the laughter behind him and smiled down at Corbin as he collapsed on the floor. "Still think you got more moves than me?" Zac helped his friend up from the floor and still was laughing as he wiped the sweat off his brow.

"You know I so got better moves than you, boy!"

"Okay, than maybe you wanna step in here and go out there with us," Zac offered, his eyebrow cocked and pulled his wifebeater off, exchanging it for a uniform shirt that would be shed as quickly as they stepped on stage...thanks to Vanessa's routine and her hands only.

"Uh, no, no, go ahead man. You do your thing."

"That's what I thought," he took a swig of water and turned as the rest of the guys started to whistle at the girls coming into the backstage arena. Swallowing hard, Zac's eyes found Vanessa as she made her way through the group, her arm linked with Monique. Dressed in a tight number all in red, the fabric clung to her body and molded over every curve - the curves he had memorized over the weeks and dance lessons in bed and on the floor. Her hair was pulled up half way, curls tumbling down over one shoulder and with red accents on her eyes and mouth, all he wanted to do right now was get her back into bed.

"Damn," Corbin looked both ladies up and down, his eyes nearly popping out of his head.

"Damn!" Chris' jaw was about to hit the floor.

"Exhibit A of why you don't have my moves," Zac gestured towards Vanessa as the two girls stopped in front of them and he turned back to her. "You," he said moving extremely close to her, "look amazing."

"Thanks," she giggled as his hands brushed her cheek and she let her hand run over the shirt on his torso. "I can't wait to tear that off of you."

"Oh yea..."

"Okay, can you stop being all cute for one minute while the second principal gets loose of the girl? Thank you." Monique let herself loose of Vanessa so Zac could have her all to herself and walked over to Corbin and Chris, with Corbin's eyes still looking her up and down. "You're the friends right?"

"Yep, that's us. I'm Chris and...." Chris looked over at his friend who was still staring and speechless - something that had never happened in all three of their lifetimes, "um...Corbin. I think."

"Hi, I'm Monique," she stepped in front of Corbin, giving him the smallest of smiles and closing his jaw ever so slightly. "Welcome to the Academy. Enjoy the show," winking slyly, she left the two and wandered over to Lucas who was waiting just outside the room, ready to go on stage himself.

Zac held Vanessa in his arms, closer than he thought he could without shedding clothes and breathed with her. "We ready?"

"I think so, yea. Maybe just one run through?" She looked up at him in question.

"No problem," he kissed the tip of her nose and was about to pull all the dancers together when she pulled him back and kissed him quickly. "Wow, what was that for?"

"Good Luck and um...I need to tell you something...but after the show."

"Why not now?"

"Trust me, it'll be better after," she assured him. And I'll actually tell you then.


The performance was almost flawless so far. Kenny watched from the center row with Bonnie by his side. Her performance was flawless and his was even more impressive. His eyes followed the two leads as they spun out into their own solo performance, per se and wowed him from the instant the lift was put it. They blended together seamlessly, incorporating styles from every kind of dance that Vanessa had been formally trained in and some street styles that Zac brought in to the picture for her. His eyes popped open however when emotions took over in their dance - Zac's shirt behind shed, her dress being shredded to a loose skirt that she could really move in. Moving side by side and the dancers came back in, Kenny sat back in his seat and leaned over to Bonnie, "I like it."

Bonnie smiled knowing that ever since she had met Kenny back twenty years ago, he never commented on students performances until it was all the way over; never in the middle or when it was just getting started. And she had to admit, there was something electric about the chemistry between both the leads and the group and it wasn't just the costumes.


"You were great!" Vanessa flew up into Zac's arms as he twirled her around and the curtains closed on them. Lowering her to the floor once again, he brushed her hair out of her face and loved seeing her smiling face.

"Tell me now."


Vanessa opened her mouth to try and get the words out, but Kenny beat her to the punch. "Zac, can I talk to you?" he asked pulling the boy off to the side.

"Hi Mr. Ortega," Zac said.

"You're in."

"In where?"

"In this school. You have alot of talent Zac. You proved it out there and those dancing companies were interested in you too. Good job, young man," Kenny replied patting him on the back and walking away.

Zac had a huge smile on his face as he pumped his fist into the air. This was the second thing to go right in his life, first he met Vanessa and now he had a future. Something to look forward to, something and someone. He was hoping that his luck wasn't going to run out anytime soon.


Meanwhile when Kenny had taken Zac away, Bonnie came over to congratulate Vanessa. Bonnie had known Vanessa ever since she came into the school and was more of an older sister than a teacher to her. Bonnie always knew Vanessa was going to be big. "You did great out there. Even he said so," Bonnie smiled pointing to Kenny.

"Thanks Bonnie, I didn't think I would make it out there for a one moment," Vanessa laughed knowing she could joke about her nerves now. "Without Zac I would've been alot worse."

"He's changed you," Bonnie said looking over at the boys talking. "But for the better, I mean I've never seen you so happy. My little girl is growing up," She teased, "Plus he's not so bad on the eyes."

"Bonnie!" Vanessa shouted widening her eyes. Was her teacher just saying her boyfriend was hot? Zac was hot, no denying that. "Yeah, he's good to me," Vanessa said quietly hoping the words would come out of her mouth in a few minutes, the words that would tell him how important he was to her.

"Oh and we'll talk on Monday, you need to figure out which company you want to sign with," Bonnie added in nonchalantly.

"What?! You mean it!"

"I always knew you would be great and I think you finally believe it," Bonnie said with a final hug leaving the girl with the biggest smile her face could hold.


"So what'd ya wanna tell me," Zac asked walking up to his beautiful girlfriend trying to hold in his big news so she could go first.

Once again Vanessa was interrupted, this time because of Corbin, Chris, Monqiue, Ashley, and Lucas. "What do you guys want?" Vanessa groaned a little frustrated. Everytime she got stopped meant more time for her to be scared.

"We were just going to head out to get something to eat, but you guys seem busy. We'll catch you later," Corbin said linking arms with Monique to lead her out.

Finally Zac and Vanessa were the only ones left back stage. "I am getting signed! And what did Kenny need you for?" Vanessa asked roping her arms around his neck. She was now scared again.

"First I always knew you would! And he wanted me to tell you that on Monday, you have to show this new kid around. He's supposed to be this kid with great talent or something, but he wants you to show him around," Zac said trying stay calm.

"Oh, that's it?"

"Well that new kid might be me?" Zac said breaking out in another big smile. He wrapped his hands around her and twirled her around while kissing her. She was the one person he would want to share this moment with. His first real opportunity to make something out of his life.

"I love you!" giggled out before she could stop herself. Zac stopped spinning almost letting Vanessa slip out of his hands due to the abrupt stop in her momentum.


"I mean, congratulations! I knew you could do it, I am so proud of you," Vanessa rambled. Zac lightly pressed his lips to hers to quiet her and then rested his forehead against hers.

"I love you too," he said quiet enough for only her to hear. They kissed for a few minutes just taking in how much their lives had changed in a few weeks. A change for the better.

"Come on I think we need to go buy you a pair of tights for that hot ass," Vanessa smirked, interlacing their fingers off to enjoy the night.
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