When I’m Weak
The Grace Series, Book Two
With a smile curling under the scruff between his nose and lip, Derek watched her.
Jaycee felt his gaze and shrank from it. Looking at her watch, she let her shoulders slump. “So. You about ready? I could get the check.”
Although she had expected him to bounce right up, he didn’t move except for his finger going up and down the moisture on his glass. “I don’t know.” He glanced over to the tiny dance floor that now had a few couples scattered on it. Tipping his head that direction, he shrugged. “You into dancing?”
Her eyes jerked up so quickly, they almost came loose from her body. “Dancing?” she asked in barely disguised horror. “Oh. No. I don’t really…” She glanced over at the little wooden floor as that song ended and the guitarist thanked the audience.
“Oh, come on. One dance,” Derek said. “I promise I won’t step on your toes.”
One dance. Was he out of his mind?
“Then we can go home and finish the laundry,” he teased, and Jaycee felt her chest going warm. When did they turn on the heaters?
Picking up the edge of her glasses, she let out a breath and reached for her tea mostly to stall. It took amazing amounts of effort not to spill the liquid right down the front of her.
At that moment he stood and held his hand out and down across the table to her. “Come on.” He tilted his head toward the dance floor, and Jaycee thought she might actually pass out. In fact, if she could have made that happen, she would have.
Not seeing any way to turn him down, she nodded to herself. Okay. It’s one dance, Jayc. Don’t freak out here. It’s just one, little dance. Just get through it, and we can go home. Putting her hand into his took a supreme act of willpower, and standing from the table took even more because his hand proved to be so warm and solid around hers. “But I’m not very good at this,” she said, cowering behind his advance as he wove their way through the tables, his hand wrapped around hers so she couldn’t have run if she had wanted to. “I haven’t…”
The dance floor was bathed in a soft golden light that made it shine, and when they got there, Derek turned to her and smiled. Gently, he put his hands at her waist, and Jaycee somehow got hers up and onto his shoulders though her gaze wisely chose to stay at their feet.
“See,” he said after a minute. “This isn’t so bad.”
Bad? Was he completely, certifiably insane? This was horrible. This was dangerous. This was crazy.
“You’re pretty good,” he said, his gaze sliding down to her and staying right there.
She whipped her head back, sending her ponytail back and off her shoulder as she looked up at him. “I haven’t done this since high school. The prom. And I was horrible at it then too.”
However, the look in his grayish-green eyes was soft. “I wouldn’t say you’re horrible. A little quirky. Kind of bossy sometimes. But not horrible.”
The compliment or whatever it was drove right down into her heart because she was not at all prepared for him to be so charming. Why that was, she wasn’t sure because she had seen him be charming. More than a few times. Then she wrenched her gaze from his and dropped it between them. What was she thinking? This was Derek West. The Derek West. The man who was practically a household name with more women than she cared to count in their many travels. Just because they were here dancing didn’t change that fact. More to the point, the reason he was even dancing with her was because there was not a better choice in the place.
Thankfully, before she completely humiliated herself, that song ended, and she let go of him and backed away, tucking her hands in her back pockets. “Uh. Thanks.”
However, he didn’t move from the spot as the next song started. “One more, and then we’ll go.”