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Six Years Later … Cullen Dance Academy Auditorium
“That’s beautiful, girls,” I shouted from the audience. “Remember to reach for the stars as you are turning. Wonderful! Big finish and the crowd goes wild!” I clapped excitedly as my class of nine to ten-year-old beginning ballet students curtsied on the stage of our privately-owned auditorium. “You were all amazing. Change out of your ballet shoes and you’re free to go. The big show is tomorrow and I have no doubt that you will do wonderfully.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Cullen,” the chimed, skipping off the stage. I waved as I watched them change, running to their parents who were standing outside of the auditorium. The only people allowed in for dress rehearsals were me, Edward, sound and light technicians and Esme. No parents allowed. I wanted them to be surprised for their children’s performances. I limped over to my table, taking some ibuprofen.
“Beautiful wife,” barked my husband. “I just met with a reporter from the Times. He’s coming with a photographer to come do an interview about The Cullen Dance Academy, promoting our upcoming showcase.”
“Each showcase, it’s getting bigger and bigger,” I said, lifting my foot and massaging my knee.
“You in pain?” he asked, draping my leg over his lap.
“Yeah. One downfall in living in Chicago. This humidity is killer on my bones,” I snorted. “But, I’d rather live here than in Los Angeles. I missed having seasons.”
“I’m certain that Helga can squeeze you in,” Edward quipped, winking at me.
“Ugh, no,” I groaned. “It’s just residual pain. I pushed it too hard yesterday with my advanced jazz class.” Leaning my cheek against the chair, I smiled at my husband. “How was your rehearsal this morning?”
“Good. I think that the company finally gets my vision for the dances. It only took two weeks,” he said, rolling his eyes. In addition to being the primary choreographer for the Cullen Dance Academy, Edward was also a sought-after Broadway choreographer. He was working mainly with Chicago productions, but would fly out every month or so to work with productions on Broadway. He was even nominated for a Tony for his work on the revival of Anything Goes. He didn’t win, but the nomination made him quite popular.
In our partnership, I was the head of the Cullen Dance Academy, coordinating schedules of our various teachers, taking in new students and placing them in appropriate classes and maintaining the books. I was putting my education degree to use, but not in the way I had planned. I also choreographed for our advanced students, but I loved teaching the little ones the joy of dance. If it weren’t for my early teachers, I wouldn’t have pushed myself so hard to be a dancer.
“Are you going to be there for the opening?” I asked, picking up his hand and twisting his wedding band.
“Only with you by my side, Mrs. Cullen,” he said, kissing me gently. “The opening is in two weeks. It’s a black-tie affair and I want you to get all gussied up. The last time I saw you in something other than yoga pants was our wedding day.”
“Shut up. I dress up,” I laughed, smacking his chest. “I’ll be dressed for this showcase, Edward.”
“In a cocktail dress. I’m talking about you wearing a gown, with your hair curled and looking like a queen,” he said, moving me so I was on his lap. “I still have dreams of our wedding day. It was a magical, perfect day.”
“It was,” I smiled, kissing him. “I love you, hubby.”
“I love you, too, wifey,” he growled, his hand palming my ass.
Inspiration for Bella an Edward's Wedding