“The Dance

“The Dance”

By: Shakayla

Rating: NC-17

Summary: A short story written for Benswoman for her birthday. This tells the story of how Joseph and Clarisse come together through a dance.

Archive: Hidden Passage and Shakayla’s Corner


Joseph stood in the shadows of the ballroom, keeping a close eye on the progress of his Queen and best friend. The realization struck him earlier today that if things did not improve, he would have to step in and take matters into his own hands. It would not do for the Queen of Genovia to do less than her very best – especially when it came to the dance.

Clarisse was a gifted dancer and had never met a dance she couldn’t master…until now. It had been almost painful to watch as she struggled. It was such a rare thing but Joseph was fairly certain he knew why and what he would have to do to help.

She would not be pleased.

She may even be indignant.

In the end, though, she would know that everything he did was for her and to make sure she was safe. In his mind, that included safe from the gossiping elite in Genovia and neighboring countries. He heard her dismiss her instructor, Anna, and knew that was his cue.

Clarisse allowed herself to lean on the small table that held the CD player as she fought to catch her breath. She was so frustrated. Never before had a dance gotten the best of her…but neither she nor Anna could put their fingers on what was missing. She was executing the elements but it just wasn’t right…

She sensed his presence behind her before she heard his voice. Just his nearness caused her heart rate to beat a little faster and her breath to shorten even further. She knew that he had been watching and that HE knew she wasn’t getting it done.

“It’s not working, Clarisse. It’s not coming together as it should.” He stated matter-of-factly.

This caused her ire to rise. She stood straight and turned her head to look at him. “So now in addition to my head of security, you are my personal dance instructor? Oh tell me, wise one…what am I doing wrong?” She knew she sounded petulant, but she didn’t really care.

Her breath caught as he stepped closer, placing one of his hands loosely on her waist. She felt the finger from his other hand reach up and touch her forehead. “Because you are trying to dance from here, the tango must come from here,” his hand moved lower to touch her heart, “and here.” He finished by touching her abdomen.

Joseph reluctantly stepped away and waited for her next move. He didn’t have to wait long. She found her voice and turned around, giving him the benefit of her best icy stare. “Do you care to explain that further?”

“The tango is a close-embrace dance style that uses the concept of lead and follow - give and take. It is often considered a seduction where one advances and the other retreats and then vise-versa. Seduction, in its purest nature comes from the heart and pure instinct, otherwise known as your gut. One must not think and you, my dearest Queen, are overthinking. You need to feel…not think. Anna either cannot see that or is afraid to tell you.”

Clarisse considered his words and knew, in her heart, that he was right. Her mind, however, struggled more with the solution. “So what do you suggest I do?”

“Let me help you.” He offered simply.

Her eyes flashed up to his, trying to read his intent. She saw sincerity, concern and perhaps a flash of something else that she couldn’t quite identify. The thought of him seducing her through the dance was both enticing and frightening. They had been dancing around each other for a couple of years now. Her body vividly remembered what it felt like when they danced the “Wango” together, as Mia had termed it. She couldn’t even imagine what the “Tango” would be like. Could they keep it professional? Could she afford to NOT get this dance right and be an embarrassment to herself and her country at the upcoming International Fair? She had told Amelia that the way to a Spanish heart was through dance and she was expected to dance the Tango with the Spanish Prime Minister at the event. They needed negotiations with Spain to go well. “Alright.”

Not wanting to prolong this moment any further as he knew it was awkward for her. “If I recall your schedule for today correctly, you can meet me back here at eight o’clock. Please wear the black dress you bought in Milan during our last trip there.”

That got her attention again. “You remember that dress?”

Joseph smiled at her in a way that would melt many a woman’s heart. “Let’s just say it made an impression on me.”

A rose colored blush covered Clarisse’s body. “Joseph…I…”

“Wear the dress, Clarisse. Eight o’clock sharp.”

Before she could say anything further, Charlotte walked in. “Are you ready to freshen up and head to your next appointment, ma’am?”

She tore her eyes away from Joseph, exhaled slowly and looked at her assistant. “Yes, Charlotte, I was just finishing up in here.”

“If you don’t need anything at the moment, ladies, I need to check on things back at the security hub.”

“I’m fine, Joe.” Charlotte replied.

“Certainly, Joseph.” Clarisse offered as she wondered just what exactly she had gotten herself into.


8:00 pm that evening in the Ballroom

He watched as she walked in through the doors and made her way to the middle of the dimly lit ballroom. She was absolutely beautiful in the knee length black dress. The halter-type bodice revealed a beautiful expanse of creamy skin and highlighted her ample décolletage. The bodice tapered at the waist and then the material became free flowing, allowing greater movement. She was nothing short of breathtaking.

Clarisse took careful, measured steps, wanting to appear confident, even though she felt considerably less than that. As Joseph came into view, not only did she feel his eyes on her, but she couldn’t help but notice him. Still in his customary black, he had removed his jacket and the first three buttons on his shirt had been undone. Without the jacket, there was nothing to restrict her view of his broad shoulders, narrow waist and compact hips. He was nothing short of magnificent.

As she approached, he extended his hand until she placed hers inside of it. He lifted and kissed the back of her hand. “You look amazing.”

She lowered her head at his compliment. His finger lifted her chin to gaze into his eyes. “Lesson number one: To dance this well, you must be confident in your desirability. It is about attitude, Clarisse. Your partner sees you as both passionate and desirable. As such, he sets about to seduce you. As the dance progress, the roles interchange and you must do the same for him.”

He walked slowly around her, making no attempt to hide his perusal and appreciation of her body. As he stood behind her, he whispered in her ear, “Do you feel desirable?”

God help her, she did. The way he looked at her sent tiny ripples of pleasure throughout her body. “Yes.”

“Good.” He finished walking around her until he was facing her again. “Your turn.” He offered.

She started to object, but remembered his earlier words about attitude. She smiled at him and replied in a husky voice, “Yes it is.”

Joseph stood still as she slowly took in the sight of his body. She, too, made no effort to hide her perusal. It had been a long time since he had thought about it, but he was pretty sure she was enjoying what she saw as well. He knew, without a doubt, that when she looked at him like that, he most definitely felt desire. He absently wondered if he had crossed a line from which he could never go back…

She smiled coyly. “You’ll do.” She teased.

Joseph chuckled. “This is why I must seduce you…to make you see my worth.”

“Let the seduction begin…” She invited, stepping to the center of the dance floor.

She watched as Joseph moved away long enough to press play on the CD player and then took measured steps back until his body was only inches from hers. As the first strains of music began, their hands fanned out by their heads and slowly moved downward until his rested below her shoulder and hers at the nape of his neck before slowly moving lower to just under his shoulder. Their heads turned and she found she was grateful that, for the moment, they were not looking directly at each other. Already his proximity was causing the heat in her body to rise and her focus to waver.

Joseph felt her leg move away and his closely followed while their upper bodies remained motionless, pressed together and awaiting their turn to be part of the dance again. He could feel the sinewy strength of her legs against his thigh as he followed her lead. He knew without even looking that her movements were graceful as he gave chase in the dance. They stopped and moved in reverse a couple of steps before he spun her around, pulling her into his embrace. She lifted and bent her right leg, resting it on his thigh. Merde she felt so good this close to him.

Clarisse felt him lift her slightly…she could have stayed in his embrace forever. It felt so right to have him holding her like that – their bodies pressed close together. She could actually smell the lingering scent of his aftershave as close as she was to his neck. His hand slid lower on her waist before their hands joined and lifted in a snap as she came to a standing position. They maintained the dance space as they executed the next steps, getting lost in each other’s eyes.

Joseph was glad the next steps in the dance brought her body flush with his again. He pulled her close and savored the feel of the soft pillow of her breasts against his muscular chest. With his hand, he could feel the soft satin of her skin and tried not to imagine what it would feel like under his lips as he kissed each and every last freckle. They moved fluidly on the dance floor as the seduction grew. Their entire bodies were still and hinged together, with only their legs moving in the customary lead and follow steps.

Decidedly unsure if she was pleased or disappointed when the dance progressed to a point where more space between their bodies was required, Clarisse tried not to think of the steps but rather focus on how she felt in Joseph’s arms. The footwork ended and her body was abruptly pulled to his again, their noses practically touching. She could feel his heart beat and his chest move against hers as he inhaled and exhaled.

Turning in Joseph’s embrace, her body lowered as he held her under the arms and with painstaking slowness lifted her until she was completely flush with his body again. She knew right then and there, she had been completely seduced. The feel of his body against hers awakened feelings that she thought long gone. As his hand came around her body to rest possessively on her abdomen before they started moving again, she was certain he could feel the fluttering butterflies preparing to take off inside of her.

Joseph prayed to all that was holy that he could control his body’s responses as Clarisse’s exquisite derriere was pressed against him in a very enticing way. The feel of her hand on his hip didn’t help any either. Things got worse as her hand moved to hold the back of his neck. The simple action arched her body and his eyes couldn’t help be drawn to the gentle swell of her breasts. Dios mio, ayúdame por favor.

The intensity between them was growing at an unbearable rate. As Clarisse twisted in his arms again, their bodies undulated against each other as their hands gripped tightly. Breaths were mingled and pulses raced. This was pure madness. She felt instinct take over as desire pulsed throughout her body. Another turn and they were back to the follow and retreat movements, the sharp staccato movements alternating with slow, seductive caresses.

Time lost all meaning as they continued to execute the dance steps, their bodies pressed so close together, moving as one. It became difficult in their minds to know where one ended and the other began. Her chest was heaving from exertion and he knew that he would never look at her body the same way again. He was no longer sure he could hide the longing and desire in his eyes; uncertain that he could refrain from pulling her body to his every time she walked by.

Finally, the music stopped and he held her close as they struggled to catch their breath. His lips were so close to her neck, he could feel her pulse racing close to the surface and the fine sheen of perspiration from their efforts. He wanted to kiss her…needed to kiss her. Caution be damned…he was going to make a move. “Clarisse,” he panted near her ear. “Unless you tell me to stop right now and truly mean it, I’m going to kiss your beautiful neck.”

Knowing she couldn’t trust her voice, Clarisse simply moved her head slightly to the right to give him better access. As she felt his lips gently flutter across her skin, a low moan escaped. Every nerve ending in her body was attuned to the man who held her body so close and she wanted nothing more than to have him finish what he had started.

He made the most of the opportunity she was giving him. Using the verbal cues of pleasure from murmurs to gasps and moans, he diligently licked, kissed and nibbled the sensitive area on her neck and throat. Her body melded more to his as her pleasure grew. Finally, he felt her push away slightly. Afraid that this was going to be the end of their dance, he opened his mouth to try to say something that would excuse his lack of control. Before he could utter a syllable, her mouth covered his in a passionate kiss.

The CD was set to repeat and the music began again. Clarisse’s mouth moved against his deepening the kiss. She was totally in over her head and drowning in pure sensation. The heat from Joseph’s body suffused her entire being, melting her defenses. She felt his fingertips caress her cheek and the gentle gesture was almost her undoing. “Joseph…” she whispered.

He rested his forehead on hers, but did not release his hold on her body. “I know I should say I’m sorry…” he whispered.

“I’m not.”

At her admission, he lifted his head slightly and looked at her. Her lips were swollen from their ardent kisses and her eyes were dark with desire. “You’re not?”

“We’ve been dancing around each other for years. But tonight…”

“The body doesn’t lie.”

Her gaze locked on his. “And neither do the eyes. Do you see in mine how I feel about you?” She couldn’t bring herself to say the words just yet.

He searched the unguarded blue depths and his heart soared with what he saw. She loved him. Plain and simple, this beautiful woman was sharing her heart with him. “Will you let me show you how I feel, even though I know you aren’t ready for me to say it?”

The simple nod was all the confirmation he needed. Grabbing the CD player with one hand and resting the other possessively on her lower back, they walked in silence to her suite. Once inside, they moved into her bedroom – shutting and locking the door. Joseph set the player down and hit play again. “Dance with me?”

Heart pounding so hard she could feel it to the tips of her toes, she tried to stay calm despite the circumstances. She really was here, in her bedroom, preparing to take her relationship with Joseph to the next level. Wanting to break some of the tension she was feeling, she teased. “Quite the slave driver, aren’t you?”

“Not at all.” He whispered. “I just want to feel your body next to mine as I seduce you again.”

A flush covered her body as she vividly remembered how it felt to have his hard body melded against her soft curves. “May I put another selection on before you seduce me?”

“As long as you let me seduce you, we can dance to any music you want.” He answered before reaching out to gently trace the smooth column of her throat, letting his fingertips move lower until they caressed the gentle swell he was admiring earlier. He felt her breath shudder as she exhaled – he found that incredibly exciting.

Nervous did not begin to describe how she felt. It had been a long time since she had been intimate with a man and even longer since she felt as desirable as Joseph made her feel. His eyes alone caressed her body in a way that felt like a physical caress, even when he wasn’t touching her. She tried to take a steadying breath, but did not succeed. Reluctantly, she pulled away from his touch.

Moments later, the new music track filled the room. The song she had chosen, “Ring my Bell” by Enrique Iglesias, was the perfect choice. They stepped into each other’s arms. Any remnants of rational thought drifted away as their bodies touched again, beginning the dance.

Clarisse felt Joseph’s hand slip lower on her back to rest on her hip. With a little encouragement, her leg was lifted as he held it close to his thigh; his lower body moving suggestively against hers. Small tendrils of pleasure began to radiate from deep within her abdomen, slowly spiraling along her nervous system drawing her even further under the spell of seduction he was weaving.

To say he wanted her at that precise moment in time would have been a severe understatement. Her body was warm and felt soft and so right against him. Helpless to resist, he could practically feel the heat radiating from her body. Lowering her leg, he led her in the dance until they were next to the bed. Slowly, in time to the music, he unbuttoned his shirt and waited for her to remove it from his body.

A small sprinkling of chest hair rubbed against the soft flesh of her palms when her hands slipped under the fabric to help him remove the garment. She could feel the catch in his breath and the increase in his heart rate as her hands moved over his chest. The muscles reacted and contracted at her touch. Her eyes darkened as she considered how it would feel when they had their first skin to skin contact; his body flush with hers.

Together they made work of the belt buckle and a moment later, his pants fell to the floor. Clarisse started to lift her hands to the clasp holding the halter straps of her dress at her neck; but Joseph’s hands stopped her. Gently he guided her to the bed, ensuring she was comfortable before he lay down beside her. His mouth covered hers as his hand held hers captive. Lips parted slightly allowing a more intimate exploration. Mutual moans of pleasure joined the rhythm of the music as they slipped deeper and deeper into the dance.

Hands explored as the passion grew higher and higher. Clarisse felt his hand slip behind her neck and release the clasp that held the bodice of her dress in place. Slowly his fingers slipped under the material to caress while his teeth secured the fabric and slowly lowered it over her body. “Joseph…” she whispered, getting swept away with the feel of his body touching hers so intimately. Repeating his actions on the other side, moments later the dusky peaks were revealed to his hungry gaze.

Clarisse heard his murmur of pleasure when his lips closed around a taut peak. His pleasure was closely followed by a gasp from her as his teeth grazed the sensitive tips. “So responsive and beautiful.” Feeling hot breath against the newly dampened skin, she shuddered as tiny goose bumps danced to the surface adding to the sensations.

Joseph’s hands continued to smooth over her skin as he slipped a hand under her waist, seeking the zipper for the skirt portion of the dress. The sound of the metal yielding its hold and making room for the skirt to be removed, seemed in odd contrast to the soft music. Just as careful fingers slipped under the waistband to lower the skirt, he felt her hand on his.

“Wait…are you sure about this? Is this truly what we want to happen?”

Dark blue eyes surveyed the beautiful woman beneath him. A rosy flush covered her body; lips were swollen from ardent kisses; tiny evidences of her excitement were prominently displayed all over her body. Truthfully, he admired her ability to even think straight at this point, much less consider stopping. His hand slid under the skirt. Caressing the soft flesh of her inner thigh, his voice was thick with desire, “You’re one surrender away from this moving past the point of no return. You know how I feel about you. Engaging in this ‘dance’ with me won’t change my respect for you or my ability to work alongside you until such time as you can fully be mine. Stop thinking and just feel, Clarisse.”

Clarisse gave careful consideration to his words…as much as she could with his hard body hovering over hers and his fingertips gently tracing patterns on her thigh. Words failed her, so she simply lifted her lower body enough to allow him to remove her dress. It was her way of surrendering to everything that was about to happen.

Moments later, they were rewarded with their first experience of skin against skin as the final barriers of clothing were removed. His head was buried in the soft curve of her neck as they both tried to bring their bodies responses back under control. “You are so soft. I love the feel of your body against mine.”

Quoting the artist from the music, Clarisse replied, “It’s like the world just disappears when you’re around me. The way we touch is something that we can’t deny. The way you move makes me feel alive.”

His mouth covered hers as his hands and body moved to touch as much of her as possible. Her hands caressed his face, his back, anywhere she could reach. They were sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss of pure feeling. Hearts pounded, breaths mingled, and the sensations grew more intense – tightening deep within their cores until release was demanded.

“Dance with me, Clarisse.” The husky request was uttered against her ear, sending chills of pleasure through her already heightened nervous system.

Their bodies adjusted until he was settled perfectly in the welcoming cradle of her legs. “You lead, I’ll follow.” She whispered.

Joseph placed a gentle kiss on her lips before positioning himself and moving forward with painstaking slowness. He fought to keep his eyes open so he could watch her as the pure emotion of the moment threatened to overwhelm them both. Once fully seated, their bodies stilled – just reveling in being one. Moments later, Joseph began moving in time with the music…a slow seduction of the only woman he had ever truly loved.

As the initial pressure gave way to more pleasant sensation, Clarisse began moving her body in counterpoint to his – executing the steps flawlessly in time to the music; hands and legs moving as much as possible to compliment the efforts of their lower bodies. The need for completion spurred Joseph on – making his movements quicker and the sounds of pleasure to join the strains of music.

No longer able to do anything but ride the rising tides of sensation, her legs fell away from his body as her hands sought refuge in the pillows above her head to avoid piercing his skin with her nails. For his part, there was no longer rhythm or cadence…just the pure unadulterated need to lose themselves in each other.

As the song ended again, their dance spun wildly out of control, sending notes of completion throughout their entire bodies.



Collapsing onto her frame, he tried to focus on everything that he was feeling…every detail; the way her body felt under his; the way her skin glistened from the slight sheen of perspiration that now covered it; and the rise and fall of her chest as he felt her breathe. Carefully, he adjusted their bodies, so he was bearing the brunt of her weight. Neither spoke, she lifted up enough to reach the afghan at the foot of the bed. Pulling it over their cooling bodies, she kissed him gently on the forehead and then snuggled closely as they both drifted to a dreamlike state from their efforts.


Sometime later, somewhere around midnight he suspected, Joseph carefully extricated himself from her gentle embrace before tucking her in again. He gathered his clothes and turned off the CD player allowing silence to fill the room for the first time in hours. Placing a gentle kiss on her cheek, he whispered. “Thank you for the dance.”

Slipping through the entrance to the hidden passageway that linked their rooms, he whispered into the stillness of the night the words he hadn’t been able to voice earlier. “I love you.”

Once she heard the door close, she whispered in return. “I love you too.”


Applause filled the room as they took their bows and curtsies. Prime Minister Acevedo was all smiles as he turned to his partner and applauded her as well. “Most excellent, Your Majesty. Thank you for the privilege of being your partner this evening. You have won my heart and Genovia my country’s support. I look forward to our discussions tomorrow.”

Clarisse nodded. “Thank you, Prime Minister. I had a very good teacher.”

As he guided her through the crowds, the moment they arrived at the edge, a more familiar hand took its rightful place at the small of her back. “Thank you again, Your Majesty.”

“The pleasure was all mine, Prime Minister. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Once alone, Joseph smiled at her. “He was right…you were most excellent.”

Good naturedly she blushed at the compliment. “I have you to thank for that.”

“The pleasure was all mine.”

“So my schedule is clear until tomorrow when trade negotiations begin. What shall we do?”

Slipping his hand in hers and raising it to his lips, he kissed her gently before asking, “Shall we dance?”

The End.