She was so beautiful. Her body swayed and flowed to the music and his heart felt full. This was the girl he would marry and he nearly had to pinch himself to believe she had really said yes, and woke this morning wondering whether it was in fact a dream. That was, in part, why he had come in to see her tonight; to be sure she had actually said yes.
From the stage, she looked him in the eye for half a second before swirling around in a mass of skirts. There was a glint in her eye he had not seen before, and Arthur was instantly reassured. She was his fiancé, no doubt.
He went to the bar and chatted to Lewis for while, still watching her from the corner of his eye. Lew went to serve another customer and that was when Arthur noticed him.
He had become used to the way they looked at her, the men who came to this club, the men she walked past on the street, men in general, but this one was looking at her with something more than lust.
A long nose peaked out from beneath a mop of mousy brown hair which covered most of his face, but he saw the eyes. They burned holes in her, taking her in from head to toe as if he wanted to swallow her whole.
It was not until the shaggy head swivelled to the side of stage and the music changed that Arthur noticed Molly was finished. She would come out from side stage in a minute and he would take her straight home, away from him, whoever he was.
As expected, she emerged from the small changing room on the side of the stage and walked quickly towards him, a spring in her step.
She was beaming from ear to ear, and his heart was full of her. His hand reached out and grasped her tiny waist, pulling her to him. He could not resist bringing his lips down to hers and burying his fingers in her hair. She just looked so beautiful when she smiled like that, how could any man resist?
Evidently, there was one man who could not stand the sight of their fevered embrace.
They were startled out of their passion with the crash of a beer mug being thrown against the wall, and both turned around in time to receive an angry glare from mousy man as he stalked out the door.
He looked at Molly in puzzlement. "What in the hell was that about?" He asked anyone who would listen.
The noise had picked up again and a bar tender was cleaning up the broken glass, so he got no answer. Molly looked back at him, face gone pale and fear swirling in the blue depths of her eyes. When she did not say anything, it dawned on him. "Was that him?" He asked her.
"I don't know. He usually hides in the corner in a cloud of smoke, but maybe not tonight," she replied, trying her best to hold back the tears. "That look was for us, wasn't it?"
"Yes, it sure was," he said, and led her out the door, scanning the street for the brown head and the cheap suit.
Locking his arm tight around her, they walked silently up the terrace to Arthur's apartment.
What do you think???
What do you think???
*Copyright Sarah Hardie 2011