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A few years back (try decades) I went with some girlfriends on a girl’s night out at a country-western bar after a tough week at the office. We tried to drink each other under the table while dancing the effects of the beer off. Then the ugliest cowboy in the place asked us to dance. Because I love to dance, and my husband doesn’t, I accepted the offer. And boy-howdy was I glad. The butt-ugliest guy in the joint was absolutely the best dancer there, hands down! We shared him through the night, dancing to every song. Along the way we learned a little about him. His wife divorced him after seven years of marriage. He didn’t see it coming. For a few weeks he wallowed in self-pity wondering what he’d done wrong. Then he pulled himself up by his boot straps and took country dancing lessons. Now he’s the most sought-after man in the bar. Not only does he dance…he knows how! I loved that story and it stuck with me all these years. I wanted to incorporate it with a cowboy who’d lost his wife and wanted to prove he could move on. Thus Shall We Dance was written.
The other problem was that Sadie lusted after a man who wanted to impress another woman. Even if she wanted another man in her life, that ruled out this particular cowboy.
Sadie dug deep for the strength to teach. With a forced smile, she kicked off her shoes. “Then let’s make this easy.” She lifted her beer. “Finish up. It might help you be more receptive to the beat.”
Together, they lifted their beers and downed them in several long gulps.
Sadie wiped her arm across her lips and then held out her hands. “Shall we?”
Joe, looking less at ease, let her guide one of his big hands to the small of her back, the other she held out and away from their bodies. He stood awkwardly away from her. “Like this?”
“It’s a start.” Sadie laid her hand on his shoulder. “Now close your eyes.”
He did as she said.
Without his piercing blue gaze reading her every expression, Sadie could study the man up close and her focus rested on full, sensuous lips. “I’m going to sway to the beat. For now, stand there and feel how my body moves to the music.”
Sadie shifted her weight from one foot to the other in time with the song. “Can you feel it?” She sure was.
“Not really,” he admitted.
She moved his hands, placing them on her hips, her breath hitching as the warmth of his palms seared through her dress.
“That’s better.” His rich voice slid like warm honey over her body.
Sadie gulped. Man, this was going to be tough. “Sway with me,” she said, her voice husky with desire.
Joe ‘s stiff body jerked out of sync with the music. After a moment or two, he stopped and opened his eyes. “It doesn’t feel the same as when you do it. Can’t we skip right to the waltz? I have to be able to do that by tomorrow.”
Sadie shook her head. “You have to understand the rhythm before you can master the waltz.” She dropped her hands, and he dropped his as well. “Let’s try something different. When I was little, my daddy taught me to dance by letting me stand on his feet. I’d move to the beat because he did.”
Joe’s brows twisted. “Uh, I’m too big to dance on your feet, and we both know what happens when I do.”
Sadie laughed. “No, you won’t dance on my toes, but you need to be close enough to move with me.” She breathed deep and stepped closer, sliding her feet between his and wrapping her arms around his waist. “Now hug me.”
“That’s not hard to do.” He wrapped her in his arms. “You smell pretty.”
Sadie chuckled. “You’re not so bad yourself.” Then in a lust-choked voice she whispered, “Move with me.”
About the Author
MYLA JACKSON also writing as ELLE JAMES is USA Today Bestselling author of stories including cowboys, intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edges of their seats. With over seventy stories in a variety of sub-genres and lengths she’s published with Harlequin, Samhain, Elloras’ Cave, Kensington, Cleis Press, and Avon. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories. Learn more about Myla Jackson at mylajackson.com
Or visit her alter-ego
Elle James at www.ellejames.com