"Was the dream always celebrity doctor?" Nikola asked. They were in the cafe connected with the dance hall, having stopped tangoing for lunch. The lasagne looked so tempting but Helen could still feel Nikola's warmth against her front. Deciding discretion was the better form of valour, she avoided the garlic. (She still had the cake though.)
She countered, asking, "Have you always wanted to be a dancer?"
"I never wanted anything else," he answered simply.
"You sound surprised," he replied, grinning. "An art form that's also a sport? And I can tell people what to do?" He waggled his eyebrows. "I love a good power trip."
It was a blessing Helen's hand was close to her mouth - her half eaten salad wanted to join in her laughter. With tears of mirth streaming down her face, she said (after a few moments to breathe and chew), "I never would have guessed." She sipped her tea. "Yes, I think being a doctor was always the dream. My mum…" She looked around, wary of anyone not at their table. "My mum died when I was eight. But even before then... She was a doctor. I wanted to be like her."
Nikola nodded, holding his bottle of water like a talisman. It was the only thing he'd touched that lunchtime. Helen said nothing, but filed it away. "Almost done?" he asked.
"Cake?" she offered.
She paused, fork in midair. "Mind if I carry on?"
Gesturing that he didn't mind, he started back on their dance. "So, this afternoon we're going through it again, with the music, so you can feel where the accents are."
They were dancing to some rock band Helen had never heard of. They weren't bad, just… very loud. The song started slow, but when the drums kicked in? Helen's main concern was not melting in the face of Nikola's domineering persona. His Tango facade was so hard, except for his eyes. They still glittered with whatever feeling simmered under the surface.
(She'd never admit to noticing though. They were just dancing, after all.)