DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Will never be mine. Just took them out for a show and returned them to Mr. Wolf's care. Story features Tracey Kibre and Kelly Gaffney of 'Law and Order: Trial by Jury'
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
She stood in the center of the stage, her face mesmerized, eyes wide, lips curled into an enchanted smile. The figures next to her moved in perfect rhythm with the orchestra's brassy pronouncements. Legs clad in sheer stockings, sequined bodysuits flashing in a kaleidoscope of colors, refracted the beams of spotlights out into the darkened theater.
Tracey's face held all the wonder of a small child brought to the circus for the first time, gazing in amazement and awe at the trapeze artist flying effortlessly through the air. She had been to the theater a hundred times before, but never like this, never here on the stage, her own body moving in time with the music.
She, Tracey Kibre, five foot four EADA, was dancing with the Rockettes. Her feet executed the steps as if she had been dancing this routine for years, a dancer's genetic memory, the rhythm of the bass and trumpet, snare and trombone serenading the muscles in her legs and feet, urging them on to the next step and the next. On either side of her, graceful figures swayed and pirouetted, feet tapping out an eternal beat, that matched the beat of Tracey's heart.
Step, change, glide left, glide right. Kick, turn, arms extended, hips swaying in time with the steady pounding rhythm. Tracey felt so completely alive, every muscle, every nerve in her body aligned, focused on one thing, this exquisite motion, the heady sound of the bass and drums resonating in her soul.
When Kelly had told her that she had a special birthday gift for her, Tracey had expected a new briefcase, or even jewelry. Something that reflected their growing friendship, their mutual respect. An uncommon, common present, nothing more. So when Kelly had sat across from her at dinner and handed her a plain cream colored envelope, Tracey had been intrigued but not overly expectant.
"Somehow, I doubt that you managed to get a briefcase in here, and I don't feel anything diamond-like. So, what is it?" Tracey asked, one side of her mouth quirked up in a grin.
"Open it and see," Kelly smiled back, a very mischievous twinkle in her eye.
"You look entirely too pleased with yourself. Should I be suspicious?" Tracey laughed, the rich timbre of her voice caressing Kelly's ears.
"You're always suspicious, but this time, no, you shouldn't be. Just open it and see for yourself," Kelly replied teasingly, her blue eyes alight with a satisfied gleam.
Tracey sent a smile back across the table, her own dark eyes flashing with pleasure at this little game that she and Kelly had begun. She wasn't sure where it was headed, but the trip itself promised to be worth the price of the ticket. Sliding a slender manicured finger under the flap, Tracey slit the top of the envelope open. Inside was a single piece of thick stationary.
Glancing up at her companion, Tracey quirked an inquisitive eyebrow.
"Just read it," Kelly answered the unasked question, "Trust me, I have a feeling that you're going to like it."
Slipping the paper from its enclosure, Tracey opened it and began to read. Even in the dim light of the restaurant, Kelly could see the widening of those dark eyes she loved so much, and heard the quick intake of breath that accompanied the expression on her face.
"Is this for real?" Tracey asked in a voice so soft that Kelly could barely hear her.
"Yeah. I called in a few markers. One of my oldest friends from college is a choreographer with the Rockettes. She arranged for you to be able to go to a week's worth of rehearsals, and then actually be on stage with them for dress rehearsal for the new show. I thought that since you love dancing so much, that you might enjoy this," Kelly answered, almost certain that Tracey was pleased but not absolutely sure.
"You thought I might enjoy it?" Tracey parroted, her voice strangely toneless.
"Yeah. Do you like it? I mean, you don't have to use it, if you don't want to," Kelly replied, a disappointed, worried expression in her eyes, her voice trailing off at the end.
"Do I like it?" Tracey again repeated. "Do I like it? Kelly Gaffney, this is without question or exception, the nicest present I have ever received. I'm actually stunned. No one has ever done anything so amazing for me before. I wish that I could tell you exactly how much I like this, but for once in my life, words fail me."
Kelly beamed at her from across the table, her face beautiful and glowing with pleasure at having found such a wonderful gift, something that expressed in a way she hadn't been able to thus far, exactly what she felt for Tracey.
"Wow. I have left Tracey Kibre speechless. I should call up the Times and let them know," Kelly laughed.
"You leave me speechless every time I look at you," Tracey whispered, her voice barely audible, but Kelly heard.
She hadn't replied, just reached across the table and covered Tracey's slender hand with her own.
Now, here Tracey was, after a mere week of practicing the steps, dancing on the stage of Radio City Music Hall, with the world famous Rockettes. She knew she was missing a lot of steps, that her rhythm was off a tad, that she was too short, and too old, but it didn't matter. For just this instant, Tracey was 5'11", long legged, twenty-five, gorgeous, her legs kicking high, her feet coming close to the top of her head, and she had never felt more glorious, or more alive.
Monday morning she might be back to being simply Tracey Kibre, Executive Assistant District Attorney, but for right now, for this singular moment in time, she was a Rockette. And even though the audience was empty save for one blonde ADA, Tracey could hear the applause and the cheers of the crowd. She was saving a very special curtain call, just for that one special audience member, for later.
"Who knows," thought Tracey, as she peered out into the darkened theater and saw a gleam of blonde hair, "that might prove to be even better than being on stage with the Rockettes."
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