What would you do if you had to audition for the Simon Cowell of a dance company?
All roads lead to Rome when Ashley Solomons embarks on fulfilling her dream to become a world-class dancer. But there’s one person who stands in her way. “It`s a no from me” Antonio Machiavelli.
When Antonio’s auditions for a lead principal end in wintry Cape Town, the last thing he expects is to have more than a knee-jerk reaction to an audition. Ashley not only verbally challenges him, but also translates her fire and cheekiness into an edge of your seat performance.
Can Antonio keep his distance from Ashley? Can Ashley focus on fulfilling her dream of becoming a lead principal? Or will love have it’s way?
“It`s a no from me!” The indignant heavy accented tone belonged to one of the world`s most feared and celebrated contemporary performers in the world—Antonio Machiavelli.
Ashley stretched the tense muscles in her neck by rolling her head side to side. She drew number forty-seven, another two competitors before her. Her dry throat made it hard to swallow down her nerves. She wanted to kill Deidre for talking her into auditioning for his company.
Her pulse quickened as she watched him stop the girl on stage. Behind her everyone gasped.
The girl hadn’t finished her set.
“Is this all this godforsaken place has to offer? Get off my stage!”
Ashley couldn`t see the judging panel from where she stood on the side, but she knew there were two other members. It`s his company, but goodness, don`t they also have a say? Instead of trembling like she had done before, anger took the place of nerves.
He really didn`t care about the auditions, what she overheard in the ladies room had been correct. He was simply doing this to appease his board of directors. Antonio Machiavelli wasn`t in the market for a new female lead.
“Next!” His voice boomed, and the poor girl who had to go on almost lost her footing as she ran to the center of the stage.
He at least let the girl get to the chorus before dismissing her as well. The other panel members spoke kindly and she didn`t leave in tears the same as the candidate before her.
Before he could call next, she walked out on stage. She didn`t stand a chance in hell, so why give him the satisfaction of ordering her around. Finding her center, she only then met the eyes of the panel and blinked. Maybe she should have Googled Antonio Machiavelli, she mused as she stood transfixed. He was much younger than she expected and also more attractive.
He appeared to be in his early thirties, with a mop of dark curls falling across his forehead. Even seated he towered over the other judges. No wonder every girl`s unnerved. He looked intimidating, with his tanned hands folded in front of him on the table and a deep scowl on his face. His grim scowl reminded her to not cave.
“What`s your name?” The only woman on the panel asked with a kind smile.
“Ashley,” she replied.
The woman glanced down at her clipboard. “It says here you have no formal training.”
Antonio Machiavelli gave a deep sigh. She frowned at him. “Yes.”
Nail-biting silence reigned for a moment then the woman made a movement with her hand. “Proceed.”
Antonio Machiavelli placed his fingers at his temples. “Do we have to? She has no formal training. She`s wasting everyone`s time,” he spoke as if she wasn’t there.
Ashley`s jaw clenched. “How about you let me finish my audition, you`ll have enough ammunition to ridicule me with after.”
This got his attention. She couldn`t see the color of his eyes, but if she had to guess she would say fiery red. He sat forward in his chair, leaning over the table, dwarfing it.
He had the persona of an angry wolf out to devour her. The thought set her heart racing. What? She watched too much True Blood.
“What are you waiting for?” he barked.
Turning around she wore a determined expression. Ashley cued the guy operating the music she’d given to him earlier in the morning. Ian had done her music, she hoped he did what she requested and didn`t do too much scratching on the song. In the club the mix worked, but here, they`d probably haul her out. She smirked. Maybe introducing Antonio Machiavelli to new music would be a good thing. He probably didn`t know what scratching was.
Closing her eyes she focused, even though she didn`t have half a chance, she lived by her father`s motto: make every beat count. A siren sounded and she pushed off into the first sequence.
*Hope you enjoyed that 🙂 *