Updated: Jun 30
Here it is. The final "musing" sent by @vale_universo. She sent in an image of the gorgeous Roberto Bolle for me to muse with. He will be cast as the dancing legend Julius Vincenzo in my story. Have you seen this man dance in real life though? I have an instant obsession. He's amazing in every way. I'm convinced.
For this story. Like with the other because I'm now going to write more there are some things unfinished and this is more of an intro to these characters.
Also, my challenge was to muse a POV of whatever was sent to me. It made me realize that while yes, I've written Cas and some other Tops over the years, I've been shying away from writing their POVs. They're in my stories but I'm in a brat's POV when they show up. This forced me to be a Top for at least two POVs. It was good for me as a writer in this genre.
I've been practicing a few new skills in all three of these stories. I hope it shows. Can you see anything different? New?
Last, this is in two parts. This one ended up long. I had so much fun writing this. The dance stuff won't be 100% accurate but I did do a fair amount of research and I took ballet for almost three years as an adult. I wasn't any good, lol, but I learned some things. However, I took a lot of liberties and imagined something I thought was fun.
I hope you enjoy. Please leave a like and/or a comment if you enjoyed! I'll release the second part tomorrow. It's done, just gotta add a few things.
Remember, these works are raw and unedited.
En Pointe Passion - Julius and Oliver (Part 1/2)
His hair is too long. His face is too scruffy. How dare he enter my studio like this? “What is your name, dancer?” I ask.
“O-Oliver. Oliver Randall, sir.”
He stands tall. At least he’s in good shape though he could do with more weight on him. His feet are tight, they need more stretching for his level. Fuck. They’re always giving me these wispy kids who’ve stopped eating. “Cut your hair and come to class clean-shaven or don’t set foot in my class.” We’ll start there.
He’s lucky he didn’t have my instructor. I would have been doing fouettés until my feet bled if I dared show my face like that.
I like to make an impression the first day. This isn’t just any class. These men are supposed to be principal dancers. They represent the Company. They need to work harder than everyone else. That’s how it was when I danced. That’s how I plan to teach. “Black tights and white shirts only,” I list off searing into all of them with my eyes, hoping they can understand through my strong Italian accent. Each of them has individualistic flair to their dance clothing. That must go. I like neat. Organized. Standardized.
“You will arrive to class ten minutes early or you’re late. You will stay until I release you so don’t make plans for after. Don’t make dentist or doctor’s appointments for after unless it’s an emergency. I will not release you early. You’re here to work. Is that understood?”
All five of them nod.
“You’ll answer with ‘sir,’ or Mister Vincenzo. I am your instructor, not your friend. But I guarantee if you submit to my tutelage completely, I will make you the best dancer you can be.”
I don’t even want to see them dance this session—they would not be chosen as principal dancers if they couldn’t dance—I want to get straight to the things I’d like them to practice generally for what Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell and Calvin want from them. Then I’ll see where they need to improve individually.
I work them into the ground with barre and footwork. I show them the warmup I expect memorized. I critique them heavily. In my experience, principal dancers develop large egos. It can fuck up their career. It almost happened to me. I give each enough feedback to know they aren’t perfect. No one is. Perfection is an illusion. We can only hope to have worked hard enough in class that we are better than when we walked into the studio.
By the end of class, I know I haven’t made friends with any of them. Good. They won’t like me, but they will respect me. When they see how much they’ve improved, they’ll understand why I pushed them so hard.
I notice the one guy, Randall, looking at me while he collects his bag. He doesn’t bother to avert his gaze when I catch him staring, instead, deepening the intensity of his gold-flecked eyes. He is pretty, I’ll give him that. “Problem, Randall?”
But the way he heaves his bag and dashes out tells me otherwise. I’d even call what he does storming out even though he walks like a typical dancer, gently placing each foot down, allowing for each bone to articulate and form a graceful stride as his legs extend and contract with precision. I crack a smile in his wake. What a fucking brat.
When they’re gone, I stay for hours and practice until my feet want to fall off, blistered and battered. My long white tank drips with sweat, my muscles ache and tire. My fucking right foot. It won’t do what I want it to, what I know it’s capable of. I lay down on the floor when I’m done, doused in depression and regret.
Lying on the floor of the studio, I inhale the damp scent mixed with what’s left of the wood of the sprung flooring. It’s the best scent in the world. It fills me with purpose. It fuels the excitement that builds when I place my foot in position on the buoyant flooring. Life blooms from the barrel of my gut and through my chest. Everything burns. Things are too much and not enough at the same time. My heart pounds savage and senseless. I inhale again for more scent; I get more fuel. More life.
Tragedy and love happen on these floors. Things die, other things come to life. I feel the beat of it all, the swirl of emotions, the tidal waves of pain while I breathe hard reclaiming my breath. I let the tears fall as they want to, sliding sideways from my eyes and slipping to the floor, adding to the rumbling turmoil beneath me.
A throat clears at the door. I sit up, wiping my eyes and spring up despite the pain in my body—I’m used to ignoring it. It’s the ballet master, Calvin Mitchell. He’s legendary in the ballet world. “How’s the foot?” he says, in a deep voice.
My face twists at the mention of my foot. I hate that foot. “Okay. The same.”
“You still dance beautifully, Julius. When it’s back to its full level of conditioning, there’s a place for you here. Mother and Father think so highly of you. You could have a leg chopped off and they’d still think you were made of dancing gold.”
I used to be made of dancing gold.
His mother and father own this company. Both of them retired principal dancers. Together they began Mitchell Ballet Company—MBC. I crack a smile. I can’t help noticing his beauty. He’s the perfect balance of long muscles and his dance training shows in every movement. His ebony-dark skin provides perfect contouring, making his already lean frame standout. His black hair is short and springy on top.
“Thank you, Calvin. I don’t think it will ever be that level of better. My dancing career is over,” I say, my voice cracking on the word over. “But I can dance well enough to bring these men to where you want them.”
He nods. “Have you chosen, yet?“ His eyes are wide and bubble with joy. I know how excited they all are about the new place they want to take the Company.
I shake my head. “I like to establish myself on the first day. I did not see them dance. I will do that tomorrow and decide.”
“Whatever you think is best. It’s why my parents hired you.”
When I get home to my modest apartment, I have to soak in a hot bath with Epsom salts. My entire right leg aches. It was only my foot that sustained the injury, but the pain goes up my leg and into my hip after a long day of dancing.
I take it easy for the night, just some light stretching. I eat. I make a few phone calls and then I hit the hay early so I can do it all again tomorrow.
It’s thirty minutes before my big class. I am teaching several classes at MBC, but my special class with the principal dancers is the one I was specifically hired for because of my specialty. I’m taking a breather outside. I’m not out front but to the side of the school where the benches are. The fresh air is calming. I can already feel my foot and now I’ll have to go up en pointe. I should have paced myself better—next time I will—but it’s fucking hard to gauge.
I lay back on the table, breathing, moving the ache in my foot around.
The rumble of a loud engine sounds. I spring up, forgetting about my foot or class. Who’s driving something like that around here?
Randall hops from the driver’s seat—of course it’s Randall getting out of that truck—and a dog pounces him, licking his face. What is he doing arriving so late? He should have been here this morning. At least he’ll be on time for my class.
I can’t hear what he says to the dog over the roar of the engine, but I see him smile—a bright wide sunny smile. From the passenger side, a man with glasses and scruffy dark hair leans out. A conversation takes place between them. The man waves goodbye and whoever’s driving honks. Randall’s smile grows at least three sizes for whoever’s honked.
A wave goes through me. A wave of what, I don’t know. My stomach lurches up and then down. It’s not a lurch I like.
Randall turns toward the building, slinging his dance bag over his shoulder. He deflates. It’s more of an internal thing, the only outward sign his vanishing smile. Despite his tall posture and dancer’s gait, he appears cowed. He’s not excited to be here so why be here? Some of these dancers. They have no idea how lucky they are to have a Company who wants them. Bet his rich daddy paid to get him in here. The Mitchell’s are good people, but every ballet company needs a little extra funds at times. His turn out is good but his feet … how does he dance on those feet?—I’m not expecting much from him. It’s no matter. I only need two for what Calvin wants.
I float into my dance studio, pretending my foot is fine. If I think about it for too long it’s like fire.
Lucky for them, they’re all in position and ready to begin. Only Randall glares at me. I recall his sullen demeanor walking in here. “I don’t like your attitude, Randall. Shape up or get out of my class.” There are brats and there are fucking brats. Brats are fun. I have no time for fucking brats. At least he’s obeyed me on the hair and his face. It’s different without all that scruff on it. The scruff didn’t suit him. This is much better. Clean-shaven ballet dancers—it’s a good ritual for them.
“You do clean up nice though,” I say, smirking.
He wants to scowl at me, I see him fighting it, but he keeps the fake smile plastered on his face. I know it’s fake because I’ve seen his real one. “Thank you, sir.”
The other dancers laugh. They go silent when I clear my throat.
“We’ll begin with the warmup from yesterday. Tindall, you can lead.” He did the best in warm up yesterday. He’ll remember.
I scrutinize each dancer closely as they move through the warmup. These are principal dancers for one of the most renown companies in America. None of them can be bad but all dancers develop bad habits. All dancers can improve.
I am already warm and stretched from all the other classes I’ve taught today so while Tindall warms everyone up, I lace on my black pointe shoes. It’s not standard or typical for male dancers to dance en pointe but it’s not because they can’t. Any dancer with the right training can dance en pointe—male or female.
Dancing with pointe shoes is what I’m known for. Why I was hired at MBC.
My right foot lets me know it’s not happy at the moment. I glance to my bag. Yeah, okay I should take the Advil. It won’t save me in time for dancing, but I’ve learned a few cheats over the two years since my injury and I can get by enough to show the class what I want from them. It wouldn’t last for a performance, but I can make it work for this. I yank my bag over, fish out the pills and down them with water from my water bottle. I touch the floor—another ritual—and pray for my foot to last. Principal dancers are brutal. I know having been one. We judge and we judge harshly. If I don’t do this well, I’ll lose their respect.
I’ll lose my respect.
I catch Randall watching me, in other words, not putting all his focus on dancing. I give him a look that says he’d better focus. He does but there’s something so fucking smug about him. He continues with the warmup but there’s a distinct change in his body language. He’s not the cowed person he came in here as. He’s arrogant and cheeky. Such a dichotomous personality.
I reason he must know about my foot. I don’t talk about it but the whole world watched what happened to me. Usually, ones his age have forgotten by now already having moved onto their next dancing idol.
I’ll show him. I can fucking do this. Bum foot or not.
With the grace of a swan, I pad across the sprung floor and to the front of the class. They all freeze. None of them can take their eyes from me. I bask in it for a moment—it’s like being on stage. My heart clenches with pain at missing the stage that used to take me to my knees. It still instigates the longing. But I’ve put it behind me. This—teaching—will have to fill me now.
Still, my body buzzes with the same excitement. All the nerves are there but are paired with the confidence practice brings. The knowing my foot will land in the right place, the intimacy with my body to feel how much power to give to a turn so I can bend and extend enough.
“This will be our dance for the week. By the end of it, I want you all to try with pointe shoes.”
“What? Pointe shoes. Men don’t dance with pointe shoes,” Randall says. Of course, it’s Randall. There’s no way he doesn’t know I’ve danced most of my career with them. You have to have lived under a ballet rock not to know something of my dancing even if you were not a fan.
“Afraid you can’t do it, Randall?” I snap at him.
He crosses his arms. “This is ridiculous.”
He takes a breath and grits his teeth, but he doesn’t leave.
Riley puts his hand up—at least he has manners. “Yes?”
“Sir, no disrespect. We all know you do this—you’re beautiful when you do by the way—but it’s not done. This could ruin our feet.”
Hmmm. Perhaps they know me better than I thought. It’s hard to gauge. They’re American. I’m Italian. I didn’t do a ton of dancing over here.
Riley’s concern is genuine. It’s a myth but it’s genuine. And with the way he’s looking at me, I think he might have a bit of a crush. Pretty sure most of them do with the exception of Randall—I think he’d stab my eyes out of he got the chance.
“It will ruin your feet, but no more or less than it does a woman’s. No more or less than your feet are already ruined from dancing in those shoes. You all qualify for learning pointe. You all have enough turnout, enough abdomen and lower back strength. Most of your feet are good. Yours need work, Randall,” I say to knock his cocky-ass down a peg. This time he can’t hold his glare back and I take some pleasure in getting a rise out of him. “But with the right stretching and conditioning we can get even Randall’s working right in pointe shoes.”
Carter raises his hand next. “Is this forever or for one show?”
“Forever. The company is going in a new direction. They want male pointe dancers; you five will be the first. Only one will be chosen as lead for this year’s show and another as his understudy but you will all learn. You will all take part.”
They’re stunned into silence. I get it. Ballet is already hard enough. Learning a new skill at this point in their careers likely feels insurmountable.
“I promised you all that if you submit to me, I will get you to where you need to be. I will set up extra lessons for the two I choose—one-on-one lessons to make sure you’re ready—and extra for everyone if you need it.”
They’re still quiet. Stoic. They weren’t told about the pointe shoe thing. Calvin wanted me to break the news hoping they’d at least try once they were already in this class with me. Because if not, they’ll have to choose between this and leaving the company—it’s the direction Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell are going, it’s non-negotiable.
“I – I don’t have pointe shoes, sir,” Hale says.
I can’t help cracking a lopsided smile—Hale’s kind of adorable—and when I do, Randall is more pissed off. I like that. “None of you do Theodore. Today you’ll dance in your regular shoes. I expect everyone to have pointe shoes by Wednesday.” Even calling Hale by his first name—Theodore—seems to bother Randall. I’ve been addressing them by their surnames.
“That’s tomorrow, sir,” Randall complains.
I smirk. “I know. Once you’re dancing in them twenty hours a week, you’ll need to buy a new pair every week. Might as well get used to dropping everything to buy them. Anything else?” Randall fumes. Everyone else shakes their heads. “Everyone to that side of the room. Take note.”
I nod to the pianist.
When the first note sounds, the studio falls away, my dancers fall away. It’s just me, the floor and the music. I clasp my hands over my heart, I inhale deeply, and when I exhale I look up to the corner of the room while simultaneously extending my arms, staring off like I’m gazing at the sky.
I take a step.
I move through the series. It’s got varying degrees of difficulty. There are things like fouettés and lots of grand adage, pirouettes and of course the en pointe, all of which will be harder especially in pointe shoes. There are some easier steps too. And intermediate. The entire range doable for dancers of their level.
From the moment I extend my right foot and bear all my weight on the toe, there’s a burn I know I’ll pay for later, but I push on. It’s not just to show my level of competency for my dancers—though that’s part of it—but a raw ache to do this. It’s my element. It’s how I feel the most myself. The six months I couldn’t dance were the darkest of my life. I don’t care if it hurts or how exhausted I’ll get from the pain—I must do this. Dancing is breathing. Lack of breath means death. I would rather die than not dance.
Plié, relevé, tendu, glissade. I sashay across the sprung floor hitting every turn, every jump and land. My timing melds with the music like we are one, dancing together.
I finish and I breathe in place, sweat pouring off me. I know my foot is toast. It won’t take anymore of me today, but I did it. I open my eyes. They’re all staring at me.
Randall has a tear running down his left cheek.
Hale is clapping. “Mr. Vincenzo. That was—wow! You’re an inspiration.” His eyes are wide and adoring—yep definitely a crush.
The others are nodding their agreement and I’m not sure if it’s not just because they think I’ll go harder on them if they don’t praise my performance, but they appear more relaxed at the idea of trying pointe shoes themselves. Except Randall. He’s just as hardened to the idea.
He wipes the tear away. “You can do this, sir. You’ve practiced since you were young. We’re too old to start something like this. It’s going to ruin my career.”
“You can choose another company to work for Mr. Randall. Up to you. But decide now if you’re in or you’re out and stop wasting everyone’s time.”
He sniffs like I’ve challenged him and maybe subconsciously I have. We already seem to have some sort of rivalry going. Just a small one but it’s there.
“I’m in,” he says, a sharp one eighty from his comments. “I’ll start us off if you like so you can look after your foot.”
Hot embarrassment runs through me. Did they notice? Did I fuck up somewhere? I thought I’d done well but maybe I can’t tell anymore. I squeeze my fists and burn at him. “You think you’ve learned all of that, after watching it once?”
He puffs his chest. “I know I have, sir.”
I’m fueled from the wrong place, anger, because he noticed my imperfections. I walk from the middle of the floor with a mild limp—the Advil’s just beginning to kick in—and sweep my arm out for him. “The floor is yours. Show us wise guy.”
“What? Wait,” he says.
I nod to the pianist. The song begins and Randall will have to catch up. He races out to the floor with gentle dancer steps, missing the first few bars completely. He counts in his head and he could start but he waits. I sneer—if he’s just gonna stand there …
But then he peels off, leading with the fouettés, one of the harder moves, ten in a row before spinning out to plié, passé, tendu, glissade. My heart skips a beat. I do my best to cover the heat rising from me and thank fuck I’m wearing my dance belt. Tights don’t leave much to the imagination and my cock hardens quickly.
Randall is an attractive man, I can admit that—no matter how much he gets under my skin—but when he dances he’s something more than just attractive. His feet still need work and I can see where he’ll have to condition if he’s to dance en pointe but I can’t tear my eyes from him. He’s the most beautiful dancer I’ve seen in a long time.
I swallow. I can’t resist a dancer like him. It’s not possible. I have a type. But I don’t involve myself with brats. It always ends in disaster. I’m too much of a control freak. A brat’s chaos is more than I can handle. Thank God, he hates me. Maybe he’d be into hate sex on the hard sprung floor?
The lines of his body extend from each movement. He joins with the music so you can’t tell the difference—is he moving with the music? Or is the music moving with him? He floats like wind is whisking him across the floor and then flies as though he has wings to command it. What he lacks in his feet, he makes up for with the power of his glutes.
Which. He has nice fucking glutes.
I hold my breath for the pirouettes I know are coming. I want to see the power he puts into them. I already know from what he’s done he won’t disappoint. To pirouette multiple times in a row takes great skill. Dancers tend to lose power and their pirouettes taper by the third, unless they can time everything just so. If you don’t squeeze your center enough. If you don’t engage the glutes so you’re turned out enough. If you fall back or forward too much or your arm isn’t positioned just so. All of these things steal power—you have to pull the power to you.
Randall makes it look easy.
Now that I’m looking at him closer, watching him dance, I notice something about his feet I didn’t before. Something that shouldn’t be—I’m much larger than Randall yet his feet are the same size as mine. No wonder he’s got tightness issues. They’re large for a smaller frame but with the right stretches, they could be as limber as mine.
I know feet, having watched so many of them, studying them so I could make mine better. I used to be able to be able to guess pointe shoe size to the half. It’s a strange gift to have but came in handy as a dancer.
When the music ends, and he’s finished the entire dance from start to finish, he’s breathing as heavily as I was. I stare at him, my heart still pounding in my ears. I wish I could watch him do it all again. “Well, well, Signor Randall. I think I’ve found my lead. Unless any of you want to contest that?”
They all shake their heads happy for it to be him this time. Normally the lead part is fought over but no one wants to be the first with pointe shoes.
“I’ll decide on his understudy by Sunday. Take them through the first six bars, Randall.”
I limp my way over to my dance bag, sit and remove my pointe shoe, closing my eyes, basking in the instant relief. I smooth some Tiger Balm into all surfaces of my foot as I watch the class—as I watch Randall—and the force my foot back into the shoe. If I’m going to expect them to wear pointe shoes once they get them, I need to be able to wear them too. It’s better I get used to it. At least the Advil is finally kicking in.
I walk to the center of the room again. “Fall in line, Randall. I’ll take it from here.”
His lips draw together sharply, his gaze falls to my foot. He wants to say something, I can feel it burning from him but keeps his mouth closed, taking position behind Carter.
We work on the first half of the dance for two hours and then I make them do drills that will help them with their pointe shoes. When I finally release them, the relief is palatable. “Remember, shoes for tomorrow’s class. If you hit up Dance Box on your way home, they’re still open.” When I first moved here a few months ago, I found every dance shop near and far.
Tired, they pick up their bags and leave murmuring to one another. The only one who doesn’t leave is Randall. “Did you stay after so you could quit?” I don’t look at him, I make like I’m busy with my dance bag.
It’s probably for the best he does quit but I’m in a weird limbo where the thought of him quitting brings with it visions of me tying him to the barre until he changes his mind.
He’s silent, his bag slung over his shoulder, his gold-flecked blue eyes piercing me with absolute disdain. “I’m not going to be able to get shoes until Saturday. I stayed to ask if you’d allow an extension, sir?”
Of course, he would. Now that I’ve told him he’s lead, he thinks he’s special. “You can get shoes now like the rest of them or don’t bother coming to class. Understood?”
“I don’t have a car, sir,” he admits, a hard edge to his voice.
Fuck he’s annoying. I whip around and I shouldn’t have. Now that I can see him, all I can picture are his perfect fouettés and dainty steps. I want to see him in nothing but fucking pointe shoes. God. They’d lace up his thick claves, I’d press his leg over his head, right by his ear and slide my cock between his perfect ass cheeks. “Take the bus.”
He loses it. He throws his dance bag at me. I catch it too shocked to respond and he’s suddenly close to me and in my face. “You are a monumental ass, do you know that?”
I should probably take offence to that, but I don’t. I’ve been called worse—I’m harsh. Harsh means ass to some people. But I’m his dance teacher. He shouldn’t talk to me like that even if I am. I step toward him, he stands his ground. I press my hand to his chest and press him against the wall. “I’ll pull you from lead no matter how good you are. I’m not giving you special favors.”
He closes his eyes and breathes like he’s dealing with someone foolish he’s got to placate with small words, which pisses me off further. “I don’t want favors. I just want until Saturday to buy shoes.”
“That’s a favor. I’m not extending that to anyone else.”
The bag is between us, but our faces are close. We stare at each other neither of us sure of what to say next.
His eyes flicker to my lips. I’m so worked up, I’m heaving breath in his face. My mind is spinning, no viable thoughts are coming through. Just undeniable instinct—I want to press my pelvis toward him. Instead, I bring my lips closer to his—I want to taste him more. He moves the rest of the way and we’re locked in a kiss. His lips are plump and familiar. Why do I feel like I’ve been against them before? I inhale him wanting to suck all his energy too me the same way I pull the energy of the earth to me when I dance.
I know people aren’t supposed to taste like anything, but he does and it’s peaches—Chapstick maybe? I’m surrounded by the scent of his sweat—dance sweat—and I fucking love it. Best kind of sweat. It fuels my cock which I want to drive into him. His hand grips the small of my back and I seize the othe