Channing Fabry tried to content himself with teaching the young to dance, instead of dancing himself. It didn’t always work. To have an injury reduce him from one of the leading etoiles of The Paris Opera Ballet, to a lowly instructor in a small American town was both humiliating and depressing.
But, he’d had no choice and staying in France would have been too hard on him. He’d said his goodbyes to his mother and three little sisters and traveled the thousands of miles to become a dance instructor in a rural town in upstate New York. He’d found himself a small cottage on the edge of town, giving him some privacy which he desperately needed.
His students were delightful, despite their lack of expertise and Channing forced himself not to curse the prior instructor as he tried patiently to have his students relearn and put aside bad habits. Channing had never considered himself a patient man, but was finding out that simply witnessing a student learning a new step or form after many tries and the look of sheer joy on their face when they got it mastered was well worth the frustration.
The only thing that shattered Channing’s focus was the father of one of his littlest students, and the only boy. Tiny Mica was quite talented, even at only four years of age, but it was his father that held Channing’s attention. The man was stunning, even if he didn’t have the dancer body that Channing was usually attracted to. But then that could be because he’d been around dancers twenty-four seven and hadn’t really had a choice in bed partners.
Too bad the man was straight and a father, and no doubt married to the boy’s mother. Not that Channing thought himself worthy of anything more than a casual fling. He’d been accused of being flighty, and fickle and too emotional—and clingy, which Channing vehemently denied.
Gianni Valio didn’t know what to think when he first laid eyes on his son’s dance teacher. It had been Emma’s wish that Mica learn to dance, though Gianni wasn’t sure she had ballet in mind. But his little boy was so—graceful, that Gianni thought it might suit him. Mica seemed to love it.
Channing, a slight man compared to Gianni’s 6’ 4” of muscle intrigued Gianni like no one else. It had been years since he’d had any kind of a relationship or a boyfriend. He’d been too busy with Emma’s pregnancy, which had been high risk, to Mica’s premature birth, to Emma’s disappearance to raising Mica on his own. A few hook-ups and one-night stands were all Gianni could claim and those had been few and far between.
He could feel his body strain and harden every time he was around the pretty Frenchman. And it only made him more attracted to Channing when he watched the man work with his son. At one point, Gianni had caught Channing staring at him, and he thought, just maybe, the interest was returned. But it didn’t happen again, and Channing was always cool and polite whenever he spoke to Gianni.
Gianni figured he was the one who was going to have to make the first move, he just wasn’t sure how to approach the beautiful man.