Jade walked by the dance floor, bobbing her head to the music. Just as she put her glass on a passing waiter's tray, someone grabbed her hand and yanked her to the dance floor.
"Hey! What the--"
"Shh! Here, turn your back this way. You gotta dance with me. Can you step?"
"What? Excuse you, but--"
"Shh! Please, help me out. I'm trying to hide, over here."
"Hide?" She looked around quickly, letting him pull her around the dance floor. "Hide from what?"
"Not a what, a who. I don't know who she is, but she's been following me around since I got here." He ducked behind her and twirled her around.
She moved stiffly in his arms and spoke crisply. "Look, I didn't come to this party to do protection work."
"Okay, then why did you come to this party?" He ducked again. "Shit, don't move. There she is," he whispered urgently.
She peeked over her left shoulder to see a beautiful young black woman scanning the crowd. Her bottle blonde hair was filled with tiny curls and her top heavy body was stuffed into a short red tube dress. She stood just two people away from them.
"What's the problem? She's, umm...pretty."
He chuckled. "The problem is she's only pretty on the outside. It only took ten minutes of conversing with her for me to figure that out. She kept telling me everything her man could do for her and buy for her, and how she'd spend all her days and nights going out of her way to be pretty for him." He watched her pass by them and stood up, relaxing.
"Check this out. She asked me what time it was, right? I said, 'It's a quarter to seven'. Guess what she said next?" He twirled her and went on, not waiting for an answer. "Oh that's great! I've got twenty five minutes before my friend comes," he mimicked her high-pitched, cartoonish voice then laughed. "What does that tell you?"
She laughed, too. "I don't know. Maybe she just can't tell time."
He laughed again. "Yeah, okay. You know, you dance good for someone who got dragged out to the dance floor."
"It's, you dance 'well' for someone who got dragged to the dance floor."
"That's what I said."
"No, that's not what you said. You said good."
"Good is bad?"
"No, good isn't bad, it's just not right."
"So, good is wrong, but not bad?"
"No, good isn't-- Are you doing that on purpose?"
"Doing what? I'm learning," he assured her with a laughing grin.
She rolled her eyes. "Whatever."
"So, tell me. Why did you come to this party?"
"I came with my friend. I'm her date."
"Her date? Your friend is a female? Well, this conversation just got interesting," he said with his smile growing.
She laughed. "Down boy, it ain't that kind of party. We're best friends and she came to this meet and greet to meet and greet for her company, like everyone else." She started to relax.
"Really? What's her company?"
"Spotless Cleaning Services. Her name is Kelley Kingsley."
He nodded. "That's cool and what's your name?"
She twisted her lips at first staring at him, but then a slow smile came to them. "My name is Jade Dupree."
He returned her smile. "How're you doing, Jade Dupree? I'm Mike Davis." He turned her back to him while they danced, holding her firmly against him, around her waist.
"Mike Davis?" she said into his neck. "As in Michael Davis? The one that bought the Rayburn Suite Inn? That Michael Davis?"
"Yup, but my friends call me Mike. Wanna be my friend?" he asked close to her ear, before he spun her back.