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Read Online Books/Novels:

All Grown Up

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Ali Parker

Language:
English
Book Information:

I should have never turned her away.

So many years have passed, and she’s back in my life.

But our parents dating for a while left me refusing her.

And she left for the romantic city of Paris.

My pretty girl becoming a ballerina. Forever gone.

But life has a way of taking things full circle.

Due to an injury, she’s back in our small town.

My second chance to make things right stares me in the face.

She’s all grown up, and still stealing my every thought.

But I can’t compete with her dreams. Letting her go is what’s required of me, and I do it, but not without cost.

Never in a million years did I expect her to take a gift with her.

A secret.

My baby.

Books by Author:

Ali Parker Books

Chapter 1

Audrey

I went through the line of stretches with the rest of the ballerinas, trying not to wince as the final stretch tugged my ankle in an uncomfortable way. It had been bothering me for a few weeks now, ever since I rolled it during one of our performances.

That had been so embarrassing. It had happened on stage, in full view of the audience. I’d stumbled and barely recovered in time to keep dancing.

All those years of practice paid off, though. No matter how much my ankle hurt, I was able to finish out the routine with everyone else. I was sure adrenaline had something to do with it because the moment I walked off stage, I nearly collapsed with pain.

I couldn’t let anyone know about it. We were coming up on the final show of the season, and if I could just make it until then, I could give it a rest, at least for a little while. Of course, I’d need to keep training and making myself stronger for the coming season, but I was sure that I could talk to a trainer and come up with a plan that would work.

If the director found out about my injury now, though, he would want me to sit out the final show, and that just wasn’t going to happen.

I had been working toward this my whole life. I had left North Carolina behind the moment I graduated high school, taking off for Philadelphia to train at a conservatory there. Then, I’d been lucky enough to land a series of dream jobs working on different shows. But here at the Global Traveling Dance Academy of Performing Arts in Paris? That was above and beyond anything that I could ever have hoped for.

It had been two long and grueling years of practice, but all those hours of training, showing up early, listening to the director, smiling, and everything had finally paid off. I had worked my way up through the crew and landed the role that I wanted for this show.

I wasn’t going to give that all up because of a stupid twisted ankle.

“Hey, Audrey, we’re going to go to that gallery opening tonight if you’d like to join us,” Sarah said as we wrapped up practice.

I slung my bag over my shoulder. A gallery opening meant plenty of standing around, and even though I could favor my uninjured ankle, I knew it would exhaust me. Better that I rest up, ice it, keep it elevated, and keep weight off it. I was disappointed because we’d been talking about this gallery opening for weeks now, but I wasn’t going to let my social life come between me and my career.

I faked a yawn. “Honestly, I’m pretty beat,” I said. “Think I’m just going to head home and go check things out another time. You ladies have fun, though.”

Sarah groaned. “You’re such a grandmother!” she said.

The other girls laughed, and I shrugged ruefully. Fortunately, Helene spoke up. “I am also a grandmother, I think,” she said, grinning at me. “Because Audrey is right. All I want tonight is a bubble bath!”

There were more giggles, and I was glad to hear that I wasn’t the only person who didn’t want to go out that night. Part of hiding my injury meant making sure that none of the girls knew what was going on either.

It wasn’t that I didn’t trust them or that I wasn’t good friends with all of them. To be honest, I had a feeling that they could all tell what was going on anyway. All of them had been dancing alongside me for over a year now, most of them for nearly two years. There wasn’t much turnover in this kind of crew.

But the fewer people who knew what was going on, the better. The fewer of them who had any details about what was wrong, the fewer people who could accidentally share something with the director.

If I had been the only person to opt out on tonight’s gallery opening, everyone would start to wonder if I was sick or what. And if they put two and two together and realized I was injured, well, that could be dangerous.

It seemed like the coast was clear for now, though.

Then the director himself pulled me into his office as I was on my way out of the building.

“Is everything all right?” I asked, trying to keep the cheer in my voice as he shut the door carefully behind us.

He sighed as he sat behind his desk. “Audrey,” he said in his cut the crap tone of voice, the one that he normally only used when someone gave him lame excuses for why they were late.

I wracked my brains for any other reason that he could have brought me in there. Surely, he didn’t realize that I was injured. I had done a good job of hiding it. Maybe he just wanted to talk to me about that performance. About the stumble.


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