Chapter Seven

With a groan, Dusk released the handle of her large bag and let it drop to the floor. She took off her backpack and threw it onto the queensized bed, and then totally forgot about how tired she was. Right in front of her, on the wall facing the bed and door, was a huge window, opening onto a back yard the size of your average tennis court. Nature was something she couldn't live without. She promised herself that as soon as possible she'd climb that big apple tree. But for now, she had to unpack and do some Math.

"Who's up for pizza?" Ric hollered from downstairs. A couple of seconds later Dusk thumped down the stairs.

"I'm starving, now that you mention it. When are we leaving. Are we leaving?"

"We leave in a couple of hours."

"Okay. I want pepperoni on mine."


She'd wolfed down a pizza and taken a quick shower, and was now, in baggy pants and a bra, contemplating by the bed on which she'd spread out most of the clothes she'd taken with her. For some reason, it was really important what she wore. In fact, she hadn't been this nervous since the very first "real" show.

Finally, she decided on a dark blue v-neck shirt and slipped it over her head. She checked her necklaces, making sure the clasps and knots were all at the back of her neck, slid her hair into a ponytail, and grabbed a large watch on the bedside table. Checking it, she slipped it into her pocket, and headed downstairs.

Ten minutes later, in the van, she was nibbling at the skin of her fingertips. When Ric gave her a pointed look, she took her fingers out of her mouth, annoyed both at him for mothering her, and at herself for not being able to control her nasty habits (even though she was finally able to leave the nails alone). Still nervous, she fingered the thin ring on the middle finger of her right hand, sliding it up and down from finger to finger. I wonder if this is what an ulcer feels like? she thought. Ridiculous. My heart's doing the Macarena.

"Madame Miranda? We're here!"

She snapped out of her trance and wiped her palms on the side of her pants. What's going on? I'm never this nervous.

She made her way out of the van, and almost flinched when she heard the crunching gravel. This is it, I guess...

Chapter Eight
Chapter Six