OGs:Deep Down(7)

By: Elle Aycart

“You know what hurts the most?” Kyra began, her eyes never leaving the plate as she dug in to the cake. “How easily he gave up Sam in exchange for money. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m thrilled that I got sole custody, and I don’t regret for a single second all that has cost me. I would have given that and so much more, but I’m sad for the shitty father my daughter has.”

One shouldn’t be able to buy a parent off. Under no circumstances. And what did it say about her that she had to resort to such tactics? She didn’t want to think about it.

“What the fuck was I thinking marrying such an ass?”

She hadn’t been thinking, that was what. Drake had dazzled her. She’d been alone, hurting, and scared. Lost. And he’d been the father of her baby. It hadn’t seemed such a horrible idea at the time. Talk about a vision of the future, huh?

“Let it go. Just be glad it’s over,” Angie said, clasping Kyra’s hand. “When’s Sam coming back?”

“This Sunday. I didn’t want her around for this.” Kyra had sent her daughter to stay with friends for the week. It wasn’t as if Sam hadn’t already clued in to the kind of father she had, but still. She didn’t need a front-row seat to the bloodbath. Besides, Kyra had tried to shield her as much as possible, and she wasn’t about to stop now.

Angie assented. “What you need right now is cheering up. Tomorrow is Saturday. Let’s spend the whole day at the spa, pampering ourselves.”

“I can’t afford spa treatments.” Hell, she wasn’t even sure she could afford the piece of cake. “I’m dead broke.” Much to her dismay, her job as aqua-dance instructor in the town’s swimming pool wasn’t going to be enough now that she had to keep her daughter fed and in clothes and flip a house on an empty bank account. Pity she couldn’t go into the kitchen, mix some avocado, some coconut oil, and some almonds and come up with a kick-ass make-your-wrinkles-disappear cream she could start selling out of her garage before moving on to make a fortune on the Internet.

She had no marketable skills, except for dancing. And Alden wasn’t big on job opportunities for professional dancers.

“If you need money, I can—”

“No,” Kyra interrupted Angie. “Thanks, but no.” She was grateful for the offer, but she was used to managing on her own. “What I need is a regular income.” At least until she could get out of Dodge and continue with her life. “Is the lake resort hiring? Hey, I could take a crash course in Botox. Or walk the dogs.”

How hard could it be to walk Chihuahuas, right? Even with her bum shoulder she should be able to make it.

Angie harrumphed. “Sweetie, forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but you’re a professional dancer. A superb and a rather sought-after one at that. An amazing choreographer to boot. You’ve worked with famous people. I understand things got fucked and you needed a change of scenery, but Boston has a couple of great dance companies. I know you aren’t at your best, but surely you could—”

“Not ready for that yet.” She needed to lie low and lick her wounds. She’d been very happy with her last job, but Drake had ruined that for her, and she couldn’t go back. She could start auditioning, but her shoulder wasn’t totally healed. It wasn’t noticeable in everyday life, but professional dancing was a whole different game. Besides, she was so tired. Bone-deep tired. Not sure that had to do with her shoulder, though, because not even going for a choreographer’s position appealed to her. The dancing community was a small one, especially when one reached certain levels, and gossip got around. Getting arrested before a show, charged and thrown in jail, and having a team of lawyers bailing you out on a technicality was a hell of a résumé, never mind how many successful performances she’d pulled off before that.

“You’re a dancer? Oh my God!” Red squeaked, realization dawning on her. “I knew you looked familiar. I know you. You’re Kyra Brims from Shake Your Booty. I love that show. You were paired with that gorgeous-as-hell NFL player who had two left feet. You managed to drag him to the semifinals.”

Kyra smiled. “That’s me. Brian was a sweetie.”

“I was going to say you could give it a go here if you knew how to work a pole, but that would be like hiring frigging Picasso to paint the walls.”

“Thanks. Bum shoulder,” Kyra said.

“How did that happen? You weren’t in the last season.”

No, she’d been touring with Amantis until all hell broke loose.