The Russian's Tender Lover Online - Elizabeth Lennox

The Russian’s Tender Lover Elizabeth Lennox

Chapter 1

Darcy watched it all as if it were a movie. The only way to get through the evening was to pretend like she wasn’t here. It was the only way to get through the night so the flashing lights didn’t make her dizzy, the painfully loud music, which could be felt by the thumping vibrations as well as heard, didn’t give her a splitting headache and the four inch heels she was wearing didn’t make her feet ache as if the bones themselves were rebelling against the abuse. Instead of being in the middle of the dance floor as she was now, she pretended that she was sitting in a comfortable theatre seat watching the scene. In her movie, the people moving to the heavy beat of the music, laughing and flirting, were all actors, all playing their parts.

As was she. She was only an actress playing a part, Darcy reminded herself. She’d developed this part, this character, coming up with the props, choreographing not just the movements but also the entrance and exits of the main players in each scene, the accessories, the clothing. She’d even written the script. It had taken her years to perfect this scene, years of sweat and aching feet, cheeks sore from smiling and laughing, sleep deprived nights, exhausting, draining flights zipping across the globe to wherever the next scene needed to be played. She had worked to ensure that the correct “audience” was watching too. It wasn’t all about the place, props and the costumes. Any director will admit that the audience is key. Play to the audience and everything works out exactly as planned.

Smothering a yawn because there as always someone watching, Darcy continued moving, swinging, laughing. All in an effort to play to the audience. Every time she wanted to just toss everything to the wind, she reminded herself of Fred and Ginger. They needed her. She was all they had and she couldn’t let them or any of the others down.

“I need a drink,” she yelled out above the music. Without waiting for a response, she turned on her already indignant toes and glided off the dance floor heading straight to the bar. Uncaring if her dance partner was with her or had even heard her, she slipped between the tightly packed bodies until she reached the bar, her eyes rapidly surveying the group of bartenders working diligently to mix all the drinks for the other patrons, slipping their tips into pockets, ringing up credit cards and flashing smiles to whoever was the highest bidder. It was all so cumbersome, she thought, smiling as seductively as possible to Jim, another actor who was playing his part perfectly.

Stepping up onto the stool’s wooden foot rest next to her, she was able to get her whole upper body above the bar. Leaning over at the exact angle so that her dress titillated those behind her, hoping to get a flash of more than simply skin, she also purposely looked like she was flashing the bartender, who ogled on cue, and then smiled his gratitude as he leaned in as Darcy whispered something in his ear. Right on time, she felt rather than saw, the flash out of the corner of her eye.

Perfect, she thought with relish. The cameras had been smuggled in somehow, as they always were. Those paparazzi were ingenious at stalking their prey.

Nodding, the bartender moved back, winked and proceeded to mix her “special”. A few moments later, two large martini glasses were placed in front of her, just as her dance partner managed to make his way to her side. Her partner apparently wasn’t as agile at sneaking through hot, sweaty bodies as she was, but since this was her profession, she’d refined her skill so she was especially adept at maneuvering through the throngs.

Leaning against him slightly, she smiled up at him, winked and downed the contents of the first glass in one smooth movement. With a walk that started to falter, she reached out to hand the martini glass back to the bartender with a nod to fill it up again. “More of the same!” she called out, being heard by several other patrons nearby. Her dance partner wasn’t as smooth and was only able to sip his martini. She felt a bit sorry for him since his was straight gin with only a breath of vermouth but there was no time for sympathy in this drama. The play had to go