Sanders wouldn't hardly move, so Tate was forced to dance by herself for most of the time. She made friends with a bridesmaid, danced around with her for a little while. Jameson finally danced with her, after a slow song came on; she got shivers as he slid her hand into his, wrapped an arm around her waist. She hadn't danced like that since a cousin's wedding, when she was a lot younger. It was almost more intimate than dancing the way she was used to, arms wrapped around her partner's neck. Jameson stared down at the her the whole time, moving her around the floor. She found it hard to breathe.
When they got back to the table they had commandeered, it was to find that Sanders had also made a friend. Unwillingly. He was standing next to the table, very tight lipped, as a very drunk woman leaned near him, murmuring in French. Tate laughed and walked up next to him.
“What is she saying?” she asked. Sanders kept his eyes pointed straight ahead.
“She likes my suit,” he replied through clenched teeth. Tate snickered and ran her finger under his lapel.
“You like? Très bon, oui?” she asked the woman.
“Oui, is est très, très beau – il ne danse pas?” she replied. Tate didn't speak a word of French, but she was pretty she understood “dance”.
“Only with me,” Tate laughed, pulling on his arm.
“No, I don't want to dance, Tatum. I don't ...,” Sanders tried to resist, but she'd already pulled him into the thick of the dance floor.
“It's okay, Sandy. Just act like no one's watching. No one cares if you can't dance,” she assured him, holding his hands as she bopped from foot to foot.
“I know how to dance,” he told her. She stopped moving.
“Just not like that,” he said, glancing around at the younger couples on the floor, who were all bumping and grinding.
“Then like how?” she asked.
Sanders sighed and pulled her close. She found herself in the same position she had been in with Jameson moments before, Sanders' arm around her torso, his hand pressed against the skin on her back, just under her bra. He took a deep breath and glanced around.
“Just do as I do. Follow my movements, my body,” he instructed. She smiled.
He snorted, then he was pushing her backwards. If Tate had ever thought about it, ballroom dancing was right up Sanders' alley. Strict rules, stiff frames, precise movements – that pretty much described him. He all but carried her across the dance floor. She was surprised at how strong he was; in his suits, he looked so slender and trim. The arm around her, though, was like steel.
She felt like a little kid. She was completely delighted. After she stepped on his toes a couple times he started counting. Very softly, almost under his breath. It took Tate a second to realize that he was counting the steps for her. After that, it got a little easier. He spun her around, and when the song came to an end, he even took her into a small dip.
“I hope that was enough for you,” Sanders said as they broke apart. Tate clapped her hands together.
“Are you kidding!? I wanna go again! Sandy, I think I just fell in love with you a little!” she laughed.
“That would make things very awkward,” Jameson's voice came from behind her. She turned around and smiled up at him, but he was staring at Sanders.
“It's a lie, anyway. I fell in love with Sanders the first time I ever saw him, when he was looking at me like I was a two-dollar-hooker,” she joked. Sanders nervously adjusted his tie.
“I thought you were worth at least ten dollars,” he replied.
Even Jameson laughed at that one.
Back at the hotel, after Tatum had fallen asleep, Jameson climbed out of bed. Put on some clothes. Made his way next door, to Sanders' room. The younger man was awake, sitting on a couch, a laptop open on the coffee table. He glanced up.
“Good evening,” he said simply. Jameson nodded, heading over to some windows.
“What time does Angier get here tomorrow?” he asked. Sanders glanced at a paper that sat next to him.
“Noon. I have arranged for a car to pick him up and bring him back here. I assumed he would want to rest after his plane ride, so I booked a late lunch for you and Tatum, then have arranged dinner, downstairs, for all of us,” he ran through the itinerary.
“I must say,” Sanders started, “it was a very nice gesture, inviting Mr. Hollingsworth. I was very impressed.”
“Were you?” Jameson asked, glancing down at him.
“Yes. You did something nice, just for her. You normally don't do things like that; it is a happy improvement,” Sanders explained.
“You like to see her happy, don't you?” Jameson questioned.
“Of course I do. Why I wouldn't I?” Sanders asked, going back to his computer.
“Sanders. Are you in love with Tatum?” Jameson asked bluntly.
He wasn't sure which was more shocking, the fact that Sanders didn't laugh away the question, or that the fair skinned man suddenly turned bright red. Jameson couldn't remember ever seeing Sanders fully blush before; couldn't remember him ever really looking embarrassed. Uncomfortable, yes. Embarrassed, no. This was not good. If Sanders was in love with Tate, it would be a big problem.
“No, I am not in love with her,” Sanders answered before getting up off the couch and hurrying away.
Oh wow, this is interesting.