#FanficThursday: The Only One (Camille and Moose) – Step Up – Chapter 41

Chapter 41 – Daily Life (Las Vegas)

Camille & Moose, Step Up: All In

Five months after Andie’s wedding

It’s a beautiful day in Las Vegas. After the suffocating week, we just spent thanks to a blizzard coming from the desert around us, now the wind has changed direction and seems to want to anticipate that lazy winter that is not yet over. Sitting in my favorite armchair by the south window of the apartment, with a jasmine green tea on the nearest bedside table, a thin blanket covering my body, and the computer balancing more or less skilfully on my five-month-old belly, I go over the statistics of the blog.

What do you mean, what blog?

Oh, that’s right, I forgot to tell you!

Shortly after I took a leave of absence and being the restless creature my mother gave birth to, I felt I needed to do something. At first, I’d go for a walk and continue my domestic routine as if I had suddenly returned to the dynamic I had in Los Angeles when I worked in publishing, but soon I began to get bored of being a simple housewife who got fatter and fatter with each passing day. Moose thinks I look great, but I feel more like a cash cow than the slender dancer I used to be every month. 

When I despair, I try to think that when the kids are born, with a return to a strict diet and exercise schedule, everything will go back to normal. But it’s true that when my holy husband and I came up with the idea of making a kind of virtual diary of our group’s adventures after winning The Vortex, I confess that I saw the light and began to feel a little more alive.

Hopefully, I’ll be there soon, I think to myself for the hundredth time. 

It’s okay that I still have four months left and, from what they say, the hardest part of the pregnancy, but between the anxiety of having them already in my arms and the fact that now and then half the crew passes by to see how I am, I feel a little more like a decorative object than a human being.

Grunting annoyed by a kick from one of the two―I don’t know who―I rearrange my seat and click on the ‘stats’ tab. The truth is that among the text entries, including promotions, chronicles, and links to external reviews, the videos of some of the performances and the montages I’ve managed to get Luke to do for me from a distance―blessed email and blessed technology―are helping many of us start to stand out in the difficult world of dance. Magazines, specialized channels, critics, scouts… 

This looks like baseball instead of dance, I think without being able to avoid half laughing at my joke.

“I see you’re in the mood.”

I almost drop my laptop and my boyfriend also jumps at my reaction, although he smiles and shakes his head immediately, to my slight annoyance. As absorbed as I was, I didn’t even notice that he came into the apartment, crossed the kitchenette, and stood just two meters from where I was. So while he’s still chuckling, I try to regain my dignity in the best possible way and I put my laptop on my stomach, without making any effort to get up. He stops laughing and watches me out of the corner of his eye as he throws his coat and hat on the sofa, with a half-sacrificing smile that I calmly return to him. After a few seconds, when I see how he is approaching me, I know that I have won the game. But his kiss is so rough that it makes me throw back my head with a whimper, while a frustrating chill runs through my body. Damn him…

“I hate you”, I mumble with sweetness when he turns away smiling more widely, and head for the fridge to get an energy drink.

“Oh!” He looks surprised. “Did you think you were the only one who knew how to play this game?” And to my pout of false disgust, he points his head at the computer and asks me, “How are we doing?”

“Well”, now, I’m sighing, settling down for the umpteenth time. 

The sweet wait. Yeah, yeah. I’d kill whoever invented that term. 

“We’ve gained about a thousand fans this week alone, especially after the promotional video with the last performance”, without looking at him, I can almost see how he swells with pride. It’s one of his best creations, none of us can deny it. But the temptation to puncture him is irresistible. “Apart from that, nothing new,” I say with my arms crossed.

He squints as he takes a sip of his drink and then shakes his head in a gesture of false defeat. Our wonderful day-to-day. But I’ve been bugging him enough and my eyes and legs hurt, so I choose to close my laptop and sit up grunting like a sow in a pigsty. Moose, of course, pulls at me right away to help me, but I barely hold on to his arm before I head for the counter on my own. He offers me a drink, which I appreciate. But when I open my eyes, they fall into the white envelope that we left there yesterday. In black letters, it reads our married name next to a North Vista stamp. Moose seems to be able to guess my thoughts, because he runs a hand around my waist and leans his chin over my shoulder, following my gaze.

“You still don’t think we should open it?” He murmurs by my neck.

Sigh. Yeah, at this point, I’m not sure about anything.

“I don’t know,” I admit, before looking at it sideways. “You want to know?”

He tries to hide it, but I’ve seen that twinkle in his eye that I know so well. Anxiety. Desire. Anticipation.

“What about you?”

He doesn’t answer out loud, but I know what I have to do. At the hospital, we said we didn’t want to know, but it’s a doubt that’s eating away at us and we’d be lying through our teeth if we said we didn’t. So I carefully take the white paper and pull out the typed note from the inside. Swallowing my spit, I unfold it. And when we read it, we both cross a knowing smile that says it all.

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