Frankie was not the type of girl to choose a guy by how great his picture looked on an album cover. I mean, what is a picture anyway? she thought. It’s just a picture—a moment in time—and, more often than not, unnaturally posed. But when she glanced up at Alex, she realized she would have never recognized him in person, had it not been for the band’s comedic introductions. What she didn’t expect, however, were the shivers that went up her spine when Alex shook her hand. He wasn’t nearly as cute and polished as his image portrayed—much more rugged-looking and rough around the edges. Far away from the cameras, Alex displayed a darker, more dangerous personality that certainly piqued Frankie’s interest.
“Yes, I’m Frankie Robinson. I am me and no one else,” she said, shaking his hand. “How did you know?”
“I saw you on television last year,” he said.
“You remembered me from last year?” she asked incredulously.
Alex lit a cigarette and took a drag. “You were very good and very pretty,” he said. “Didn’t you win an award for that show?”
Frankie’s eyes widened, shocked. “Most Promising Newcomer,” she said. “I haven’t actually done anything yet; apparently I just have promise.”
“You will,” Alex said, taking a drag on his cigarette. Normally girls were falling all over him and his words; with Frankie he didn’t know what to say or do.
“Do you want to dance,” asked Frankie, “or would you prefer to just stand here?”
Alex laughed and said, “I guess I would prefer to dance.” He held his hand out to her. She grasped it and allowed him to guide her into the crowd of dancers.
“Johnny B. Goode” was spinning on the record player as Alex found an open space on the dance floor and turned to face Frankie. Frankie had always felt confident dancing before strangers—it was her best method of self-expression—but standing before Alex, she couldn’t help feeling like a novice with two left feet. Looking at Alex, she noticed he was feeling the same way. She saw him move much better in performances; now, he looked as awkward as she felt.
“Loosen up a little bit,” she said, playfully punching his chest.
Alex grabbed Frankie around her waist and moved a little faster to the music.
“See? There it is. I knew it—you have a dancer’s soul,” she said.
“Yeah, I was thinking I should give up the gee-tar and take up the ba-LET,” he said, gazing down at her. “What do you think?”
Frankie laughed and answered, “It would be interesting to see you in a tutu.”
“I never show a girl my tutu on the first date,” he responded, roughly spinning her around.
Frankie spun around fast and then purposely slammed hard up against him. “Somehow I doubt that. I think you and your tutu have made quite a few debut performances.”
As Alex began dancing slower, feelings ran through Frankie’s body that she wasn’t quite ready for. She had just met him not ten minutes ago, so to offer any suggestions would be rather dangerous. The moment was a little too intense in a room full of dancing, sweaty bodies. She pulled back from him a bit to give herself some distance. As soon as she did, the lights in the room went out, and everyone was left in darkness.
Hoots and hollers erupted from the darkness as “Under the Boardwalk” by the Drifters began to play. Alex pulled Frankie closer to him and held her tightly, just short of pressing too far. Alex had the play down to a science. He instinctively knew the exact limit to stir Frankie up without scaring her away. Frankie had experienced everything from men who couldn’t entice any sensation, to those who pushed and pressed to the point of near disgust. She sensed Alex knew the perfect combination and didn’t resist.
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