“Thanks,” Brian gasped.
Mallory struggled for breath. “You weren’t holding back on this one, huh?”
Reese laughed. “Do I ever hold back?”
They both chuckled as they shook their heads, getting in position to go through the dance again. Reese smiled as she pushed play and watched them do the dance once more, yelling out corrections as they moved along the floor. She was ruthless, but it only made them better. It was how she operated. She couldn’t be soft and expect the kids to push themselves. No, she needed to be a hard ass, show them that they could be the best. Reese only chose the greatest. Even if it pissed parents off and lost business, she stood by her guns. Once a dancer reached the age of seven, either they would be let go or they would move on to training with Reese. It broke her heart most of the time, because the little girls that came into her studio were dolls, but if they couldn’t dance or didn’t have the focus they needed, they were gone. It was that simple.
Mallory and Brian were well into the seventh go round, when Reese felt someone watching her. Looking to the side, she saw Harper staring at her with a big smile on her face. Reese wasn’t sure what she was doing there, but since she didn’t see her beautiful niece, Ally, with her, she figured Harper was there to see her. Putting a finger up to let her know it would be another minute or so, she turned back to their dance. She found it odd that Harper was there. Usually, she would call before coming out, and that had Reese worried. Hopefully, everything was okay.
They had the whole thing down before the hour was up, and Reese was beaming with pride. These two were going to be something great someday, and she couldn’t wait to see what it would be. Walking out with them, she wished them goodnight before heading back in. Her studio was a thing of beauty. Bright yellow walls with black, vintage accents, which gave off such a regal appearance. As she walked down the hall that featured pictures of her dancing throughout her life, she smiled. She loved her studio and her dancers, so why wasn’t life here enough? What was she missing?
After locking up, Reese made her way to the back of the studio to the stairs that led up to her apartment. When she was looking for a building in an ideal location in the heart of Nashville, she knew the next step would be finding an apartment that was close. To her surprise, she found the whole package. It was a building a block away from the convention center, where most of the dance competitions were, and had a huge studio apartment at the top. Her apartment was everything she wanted; it had an amazing view of the Red River and was light and roomy. She didn’t need much, just a bed, bath, and kitchen, and the apartment had it all. She worked hard on it, putting new floors in and painting it a girlie lilac with white furniture. Her kitchen took up most of the north wall and was top of the line, since she loved to cook when she was done for the day. Her king-sized bed took up most of the apartment, but her love of comfort ruled out her need for space. Her bathroom was small, but she didn’t care.
Opening the door to the apartment, she found her older sister sitting at the kitchen table, her phone in her hand. Her sister had aged a lot over the last couple of years. She was still beautiful, with dark brown hair in a cute pixie cut, big green eyes, and pouty lips, but Reese could see that she was tired. She ran a successful photography studio only minutes from the studio that was doing quite well. Reese knew that the stress lines on her sister’s face weren’t from the studio, or even from the daughter or husband she had at home. No, those lines were from the fact that she couldn’t have another baby.
Reese never thought Harper would care about that stuff, but when she met the man of her dreams, her ways changed. Reese always enjoyed the fact that she was more like Harper than her twin. She loved her twin, but Piper wanted rainbows and sunshine with a prince that would love her until her dying day. Piper was blessed with that, but it wasn’t what Reese wanted. She had tried that life. After it went to shit, she decided to go back to the life she learned from Harper. Harper used to be the most independent woman Reese had ever known. She slept with who she wanted, dumped them afterwards, and went on to the next guy. She never let her feelings get in the way and never looked for Mr. Perfect. She only wanted Mr. Right Now. Then, she met Jakob Titov, and all that changed. Within months, Harper was married and pregnant. Reese still couldn’t believe it.
Well, she could, because it had happened to her when she met Kevin Edds. Reese found herself completely entranced with him, hearing wedding bells and the pitter-patter of little feet. Out of nowhere though, it all came to a crashing halt. Reese was left heartbroken. She packed her bags and came home to go back to the life she never wanted. Afterwards, Reese decided that she would never get married or have kids. No, there were too many men and too little time. Plus, her sisters had children of their own, and she had a studio full of kids. She would be the awesome aunt, and then give the little kiddos back, before going to find someone to share her big bed with.
That was her plan, and she was completely fine with it. She even planned to go out that night but, with one look at her sister, she knew her night of tangled sheets and orgasms weren’t in reach. Instead, a big tub of Ben and Jerry’s Funky Monkey with her sister was, and that was just as good.
With a caring smile, Reese said, “Hey, what’s up? I wasn’t expecting you.”
Harper smiled, putting her phone down before looking over at her.
“Yeah, sorry. I needed to talk to you. I’ve had a tough day.”
Reese tilted her head to the side before crossing the apartment and falling into the chair beside Harper.