Characters: Orlando Bloom, Evangeline
Summary: "I really don't think that's appropriate in front of the kids, princess."
Dedication: This was requested by caffrey, who provided the above summary.
Disclaimer: The people portrayed in this story may be real people and I do not claim to know or own them or anything about them. The events described are entirely fictional and no harm is meant by this endeavor. The characters of Jon, Kayla, Alexis, Abby, and Andy were invented by the author and by caffrey and may not be used without permission.
“It’s easy. Trust me.” Evi cupped her niece’s face in her hands and smiled reassuringly.
The panicked look in Alexis’ eyes did not fade. “It’ll be my first real dance. And I’m going with a real live boy. Who will expect me to dance with him. I don’t want him to think I’m a complete loser!”
“Good luck with that goal.” Andy, his gangly preteen limbs sprawled over the sofa in the living room, snorted, then yelped when Alexis socked his arm. “Kidding! Jeez, learn to take a joke.”
“Learn to be funny and maybe I’ll start laughing,” Alexis countered.
“Be nice, Andy,” Evi said warningly. “And Alexis, relax. I’ll help you. Abby, can you go get me the broom?”
“A broom, Auntie Nicole?” Abby looked curiously at Evi. “What for?”
“For my demonstration,” Evi replied simply.
Abby and Alexis exchanged a look; the younger shrugged and skipped to the kitchen to get the broom out of the pantry.
“Take a seat, Alexis. Watch and learn.” Evi grinned and thanked Abby when she returned. The broom grasped in her hands, Evi started to hum a random tune and waltz with the broomstick.
“Oh, man, Auntie Nicole.” Andy started laughing, leaning against Abby and covering his face with one hand. “You are such a dork.”
Evi sent him a mock glare while she transitioned into a two-step, then a fox trot, then some sort of variation of the salsa. “You see, Alexis? It’s not hard. Just let the music guide your feet.”
“Easy for you to say. You’re dancing with a broomstick,” Alexis pointed out with a smirk.
“But for a simple household cleaning device, it is a remarkably good dance partner.” For the grand finale, Evi spun around a few times and dipped the broom, closing her eyes and puckering her lips. Abby, Alexis, and Andy burst into peals of laughter
“I really don't think that's appropriate in front of the kids, princess.”
Orlando, with Jon on his hip and Kayla grasping the fingers of his left hand, stood in the doorway with a smirk on his face. They’d gone grocery shopping that morning, and they each held a paper bag of varying size. Abby and Andy got up to take the bags into the kitchen, leaving them on the counter to be unpacked later.
Jon wriggled until his father set him down with a quiet groan, saying, “You’re getting too big to be carried so much.”
Jon ignored the comment and followed Andy and Abby back to the couch, squeezing himself between them when they sat down.
“What are you implying, Bloom?” Evi asked, one eyebrow quirked in an implied challenge. She leaned the broom against the wall and sat on the arm of the couch. “Alexis asked me to teach her how to dance. For her Prom.”
“Looks more like you’re scarring her for life.” Orlando grinned.
Evi’s jaw dropped in mock outrage and Orlando ducked just in time to avoid the pillow that sailed toward his head. Kayla picked it up from where it landed and carried it over to the couch, clambering onto Alexis’s lap.
“Uncle Orlando, this situation is critical,” Alexis said, giving him a pleading look while she smoothed Kayla’s dark hair. “Prom is mere weeks away, and I’m going with Andre Doucette. Andre Doucette! I’ve liked him since sophomore year.”
“I dunno why you care so much,” Kayla commented. “Boys are gross.”
“Boys are not gross,” Andy argued.
“No way!” Jon chimed in, quick to take the side of the cousin he idolized.
“They are too gross. And you’re the grossest of all of them.” Kayla stuck her tongue out before a look from her mother made her quickly avert her eyes.
“I think Uncle Orlando’d be a better example than a broom,” Abby said, nudging Evi’s knee with her foot. “Teach Alexis to dance the way you guys danced at your wedding.”
“Yeah,” Alexis breathed. “That was beautiful.”
“Yeah, it was,” Andy agreed. As a side comment to Jon, he added, “I was the ring bearer at their wedding.”
“Wow. Cool.” The term meant nothing to him, but Jon still looked at Andy with wide-eyed wonder. The cousins’ visits to Hawaii were always the highlights of the little boy’s year.
Orlando met Evi’s eyes and he gave her a small smile. “How ’bout it, princess?” he murmured, holding his hand toward her.
She smiled back and accepted the hand, letting him pull her into his arms. His hands rested lightly on the small of her back and he hummed in her ear, guiding her easily around the room. Just like that, the rest of the world melted away and they were unaware of everything but each other.
“Seven years,” Evi murmured silently.
“Nearly eight.” It didn’t matter that Orlando had stopped humming; they kept dancing, passing in front of the sofa and the five silent, utterly entranced kids.
“Nearly eight,” she repeated, closing her eyes and resting her cheek on his shoulder. He turned his head the slightest bit and brushed his lips over her temple.
They danced for another minute or two, completely in sync with one another’s movements, until Orlando took her to the center of the room and ended the demonstration with a low dip, brushing his lips over hers in a chaste kiss.
“Now who’s being inappropriate?” But she was grinning.
They remained frozen like that for a few seconds, Orlando’s hand flat on her back, supporting her, while the kids applauded and whistled.
“Yay, Mommy and Daddy!” Kayla giggled and held her arms out to Orlando, squealing when he picked her up and swung her around.
“How was that, eh?” Evi sat on the couch and patted Alexis’ knee.
“Absolutely horrendous.” Alexis shook her head sadly. “How am I supposed to compare to that? You guys are amazing together. I can’t even come close.”
Evi put her arm around Alexis’ shoulder and squeezed comfortingly.
“Oh, come on, Alexis.” Andy rolled his eyes. “All you have to do is mention to this Andre Doucette guy that you were taught to slow dance by Orlando and Nicole Bloom. He’ll be totally blown away.”
“Yeah!” Jon chimed in, nodding seriously.
“And if he’s not,” Orlando began, resting his chin on Kayla’s shoulder while he held her. “Tell him your Uncle Orlando’s quite skilled with a bow and arrow, and I can be in Canada in just a few hours if I’m needed.”