The third quarter of the year was probably the most stressful of them all. The sole reason for this was not the re-elections for the student council, not that all of the senior dance classes had started rehearsals for the end of the year Dance Showcase and not the growing amount of school work being dumped onto us; it was the fact that once the term was over a large group of us dancers were travelling up to Johannesburg for DanceFest, the largest and most prestigious dance competition for schools, universities and dance studios in the country.
Since the school's showcase was mostly for the senior students, the full twelfth and some of the eleventh grade dance class, to show their parents, teachers and university and studio scouts what they were made of, I didn't yet have a main role and was just a supporting dancer. That meant that I had a lot more time to spend rehearsing my duet with Marcus, who had convinced me to dance with him at DanceFest. It wasn't really a difficult decision and it didn't really take much persuasion on his part. We just simply connected. The dance studios at the school were open almost 24 hours during this time of the year and it made it easier for us to practice late into the evenings.
It had started out slightly awkwardly as we arrived at the studio for the first practice, but once I put on my ballet shoes, stretched and put my hand in his; the energy we created was phenomenal. That being said, dancing his choreography wasn't easy. I would describe the sequences we did as very classical but he maintained that it would be off set with the intimacy of two male dancers which was very untraditional. It also required me to dance lengthy sequences on Pointe and be hoisted into the air a few times, something I was slowly getting used to. Marcus was an amazing dancer and I respected him as a choreographer too. He could be fiery and crazily intense and at other times completely mellow and melted into that invisible rhythm that ran through us all.
It was a late night during our third week of practice that he first laid his lips over mine. I had been practicing on Pointe for over an hour when he walked into the studio after having gone for a toilet break. He came up behind me and put his hands on my hips and lifted me onto my toes. He let go and I stood still looking at myself in the wall of mirrors. He straightened out my arms so that they were 90 degrees to my body. His chest was pressed up against my back. My knees bent and I leaned to my left and then to my right like we had practiced. The movements were fluid, our bodies synchronised perfectly. We began moving in a large circle. Our hands were locked and we twirled in and out of each other. My body flirted with his as I danced around him. My fancy footwork teased his stationary position. I stood in front of him and faced the mirror. I lifted my hands above my head and immediately sank into a split. Just as my legs were fully splayed Marcus caught my wrists and lifted me up on Pointe and spun me around thrice before pulling me in for our lips to touch. And they did touch, for longer than they should have. I pushed harder into the kiss and he responded by pushing his tongue into my mouth. It was weird, kissing someone. It was the first time I ever had. My heart pounded in my chest and my skin burned under his touch. It was raw and powerful and it was exhilarating to be subjected to it. He pulled away and ran his thumb down my cheek.
'Flawless,' he had said before picking up his things and leaving me to have an emotional meltdown.
The next day at practice he behaved as if nothing at all had happened and it annoyed me somewhat. It was as though it had meant more to me than it had to him and the feeling of me wanting him more than he wanted me infuriated me. It infuriated me so much so that I started giving him the cold shoulder just to prove that I didn't need him. This seemed to work as after the second day of being impartial to his ways he began cooing over me again. We carried on like this for a few weeks until the night of the King's and Queen's ball. Up until then it had just been the odd kiss, the dragging of lips across my sensitive neck and the palm pressing against my lower back. His touches were soft, sometimes barely even there and always left me wanting more. Every now and then the memories and lingering sensations of his hands and lips on my skin would build up and reach such an unbearable climax that it would gush out of me in tears. The following day I'd come back empty and ready to be refuelled by his seduction.
The night of the ball he had led me into the garden adjacent to the hall. It was a large garden with large oak trees and perfectly mowed lawns. We stood by one of the larger oaks and I leaned by back against it as he pulled a cigarette from a pocket and lit it. He took a few drags before offering it to me. I declined politely. He smiled and shook his head. We stood in silence for a while as he continued smoking. When there was hardly any cigarette left to puff on he turned to me and put out the bud on the tree near my head. He leaned forward and I opened my mouth to kiss him when he instead blew the smoke slowly into my mouth. Once the smoke between us had vanished he leaned forward fully and our tongues touched. He took mine into his mouth. His hand was now making its way over my hip and down my thigh. I was wearing my squire's costume and tights which made it easy for him to slip his hand under the leather skirt. His fingertips brushed the inside of my thighs which made my body start doing things involuntarily. My back arched, my mouth opened slightly and my legs parted to give him more space to manoeuvre his hand. The back of his hand brushed over my scrotum and continued higher until he was rubbing it over my erection. He pulled down the front of my tights as well as the underwear I was wearing and grabbed my cock. He covered my mouth with his as he slid his large hand up and down my cock. He moved closer to me and wedged his one knee between my legs so that I was kind of straddling his leg. The pressure of his knee against my perineum made the feeling a thousand times more intense and I ever so slightly began riding his thigh. His other hand was positioned over my lower back and my arms were wrapped around his neck. The kiss ended and I was panting into his neck.
'I think I'm gonna cum,' I said in between pants, 'No, I'm definitely going to cum.'
Suddenly he had turned me around so that I was facing the tree and he was behind me, his hand moving fast over my cock. The pressure I was holding back over powered me and I leaned forward with my hands on the tree, Marcus's legs on either side of mine and my nob spewing cum all over the trunk of the tree and the side of his hands. Once I had finished I leaned my head against the trunk of the tree and tried to catch my breath. Marcus squeezed the last few drops from my pecker and pulled my tights up once again. I turned around to see him lick the cum off his hand.
'Why did you do that?'
'I wanted to taste what you tasted like,' he replied matter of factly.
'No, I meant, why did you jerk me off?'
'I hope you aren't complaining,'
'No, of course not, it's just that...'
'It doesn't matter. I jerked you off and from what it looked like you enjoyed it. So who cares why I did it? It doesn't matter.'
And that was that. There were no more questions and soon after I would have to leave for home with my dad. It was weird sitting next him on the car knowing that he had no idea that his only son just got jerked off by an older guy. I had a constant smile all the way home and even until I finally fell asleep that night.
I missed Marcus madly over the three week winter vacation and the longing manifested as terrible mood swings. Unfortunately it was my father who had to bare the brunt if this but he seemed to take it in his stride. After two weeks of being constantly unsure of what I would say or do whenever I interacted with him he finally put me in my place with a good stern talking to. Thereafter whenever I was plagued with ill feelings I stayed in my room until I was feeling better; that way my father only got the pleasant side of me. I even lied to him when he asked if I was in love.
It was only when school began and the third quarter was finally in progress did I see Marcus again. It was early on the first day back and everybody was standing outside waiting to make there way into the auditorium for assembly. I spotted his distinct blonde hair and broad shoulders. I went up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around and smiled.
'Adriel,' he said.
'Hey Marcus, how was your holiday?' I asked.
'It was uhm, fine I guess,' he said and looked at his friends who were standing behind him. Some of them were looking at me while others chuckled and whispered to each other behind there hands. I suddenly felt extremely awkward and I could feel a red heat make its way up my neck to my face.
Marcus pulled me aside.
'Listen Adriel, I can't really chat right now. Look, people are already going into the auditorium. Why don't we talk later, say 20:00 this evening in studio 11A.'
'Okay,' I said meekly trying to get over my embarrassment.
'And don't forget your Pointe shoes because we're practicing.'
And with that he was gone for the rest of the day.
That evening, before leaving for practice, my father warned me to be back home at eleven so that I wouldn't be tired for school the next day. I pulled on my dancing gear and threw some extra stuff into a backpack before leaving the house. It was the middle of winter and the wind swept violently over the school grounds. I pulled the scarf tighter around my neck and decided to jog to the studio so that I would at least be warm by the time I got there. Once I was in the studio I began pulling off the layers of clothing. I started warming up and by 20:30 I was still alone. I had my Pointe shoes on now and was revising the choreography.
I heard a door open with a loud clank and I saw Marcus reflection in the mirror. He put down his bag and started towards me.
'You are late,' I said jokingly turning to face me. He came towards me, lifted my chin and kissed me lightly on the lips.
'I've been thinking,' he began seriously.
'Do you want to change the choreography?' I asked knowing that some of it, especially the second part, was very ambitious.
'No. The choreography is perfect. I was talking about us,'
'Oh. Wait, What? Are you saying you are having second thoughts about dancing with me?' I said, the anxiety starting to build up in my voice.
'No it's not that!' he said a little frustrated, 'I've been thinking about us and this thing between us.'
'I like this thing between us,' I counteracted immediately.
'I know, and so do I, but a few other won't. My friends think it would be weird for me to date an eighth grader, not to mention what your dad might say. He'll hate it even more,' he said.
I thought about what he was saying and it began to make more sense the more he talked about it.
'And that is why I think we should keep this just between us. It'll be fun, the suspense and adrenalin of an inappropriate relationship always is,' he ended his little speech and pulled me into a hug.
'Okay, I just don't want this to end,'
'Then keep it a secret. We'll blow everyone away with our dance though!'
He kissed my cheek.
The second part or should I say act of the dance was an extremely intricate piece of movement. There was a synchronised sequence that we had to perfect so that we did the moves at exactly the same time. The foot work was unusual and none of it was on Pointe which meant that I had to execute the most advance steps instead of steps of moderate difficulty on Pointe. There were also a lot of lifts which was new to me since male ballet dancers were always the ones doing the lifting.
The scene we were doing was supposed to resemble sexual intercourse between two males. It was choreographed to juxtapose the courting process danced in the first act. Instead of romance and flirting it was to be passionate and raw. It was, for me, to say the least one of the most challenging things I'd ever done, and by the fifth week of rehearsals it was starting to show.
It was 23:30 on a Friday night and Marcus and I were the sole people in the studio. The other Dancefest applicants had all left by 21:00 to enjoy what was left of their Friday night. Marcus pulled me into him and then bent me over backwards. My fingertips touched the floor and his hand ran down the front of my chest. I curled one leg around his waist in a backward curl type of movement and wrapped and arm around his neck so that I could swirl myself around so that I was perched on his back with my feet planted on his thighs as he squatted. I put one leg over his shoulder and as he stood up straight I slid further and further down over his shoulder so that I was now in front of him, standing on one leg with my other leg propped up against his torso with my toes pointing to the heavens. His hand now moved from my ankle down my calves, past the back of my knee, slowly down my thigh and over my perineum. I bent my head back in ecstasy. Suddenly he let go of me and I almost fell over.
'What happened now?' I asked bewildered.
'You are not doing it right!' he shouted.
'I'm doing the best I can. I've been watching myself in the mirror and my execution is perfect. Do you have any idea how difficult this sequence is? Do you know how many other people in this school can do what I'm doing here, for you? None; that is how hard I've been working on this. I can't be MORE meticulous about each and every movement.' I shouted back.
'It's not about your fucking body. It's about your face!'
'What's wrong with my face?'
'Do you understand what passion is? I'm talking about raw, erotic, sexual passion that that'll burn holes in a partner's eyes. It's about two men fucking, two bodies meeting and giving everything they have until they transcend into euphoria.'
His words were hitting me like bullets to the brain. I stood there silently. I heard the words but I couldn't understand them. I had never fucked anyone and I'd never been fucked. I was fourteen and still virgin. How could I understand what he was talking about? How could I be what he wanted me to be?
He had moved to the other end of the studio no doubt thinking about how he was going to rectify the situation. I got an idea. I started walking towards him and pulled off my t-shirt. I pulled down my tights and got them off my feet.
'So fuck me then!' I said striding towards him wearing just the dance belt and ballet shoes. 'Show what it's all about!'
I jumped onto him and kissed him hard on the mouth.
'What are you doing?' he said pushing me off of him.
I wrapped my arms around his neck again.
'I want you to fuck me, give it to me good and hard. Show how it's done so that I know how to make you happy!' I said as he forced my hands off him and struggled to keep me form jumping on him again.
'Fuck me!' I shouted.
'What the fuck is wrong with you?' he shouted and threw me to the floor. I hit the wooden floor hard and it was cold against my bare body.
'It's not about me fucking you. It's not about me giving you anything. It's not about you making me happy. There is no active and passive, no top or bottom; there is only desire. Yes, making the other person happy is important but what is more important is making you happy. There is no surrendering, no submission. There is no looking away and drifting off into your own world. Your eyes are locked into each others at all times. That's how you draw your energy, the passion. I don't know why I thought you would know that. You are still a child.'
'I can do it,' I whispered. The tears were cascading down my cheeks now.
'We've done enough for tonight. You clearly need to rest, otherwise you'll lose it completely,' he said going over to his bag and throwing his stuff into it. He picked up the CD player and left the studio.
I was alone now, sitting all tangled on the floor in nothing but a thong and canvas shoes. After about ten minutes I picked myself and my clothes that I had discarded, up off the floor and put them in my bag. I pulled a tracksuit pants and cardigan from my bag and put it on before leaving the building and walking back to the house. I cried all the way.
Marcus and I didn't rehearse again for the next three weeks. Apart from the fact that he was incredibly disappointed in my ability to convey emotion in dance I was deathly embarrassed about what had happened that night. Looking back, I had completely lost it! That night I had no idea what how was talking about and my reaction to it was wrong on so many levels. I hated that I couldn't do what he was telling me to and I wanted to fix it so badly I had actually offered my body to him, to use for his pleasure. I was definitely avoiding Marcus.
It was one week before we were to depart for DanceFest. Marcus had sent a message with Kerry to let me know we would be rehearing for the rest of the week.
'I'm sorry,' I said first when I met with Marcus that evening at the studio.
'It doesn't matter, let's just get the moves right. I can't teach you how to do the rest,' he said, his words like a blade to my flesh.
The sequences were done to perfection but there was obviously still something missing. Not only was I missing the emotion but I was avoiding eye contact out of embarrassment. It carried on like this for the rest of the week but Marcus said nothing. He had already, on more than one occasion, verbally resigned himself to not winning the competition. He had won gold at last years Dancefest.
It was the last Friday afternoon of term and we would be leaving for Dancefest at eight that evening. I was sitting at a table in the courtyard and crying. Many of the students had left for the holiday and I wasn't afraid of anyone seeing me. I was replaying the dance over and over in my head thinking about how to make it better, how to make myself better. I didn't know how to do it. I was completely lost and out of my depth. I wiped the tears from my eyes when I heard the crunch of gravel behind me. I turned to see Tyler standing behind me.
'Are you okay?' he asked
'I'm fine,' I replied turning away from him to hide my bloodshot eyes. He came to sit next to me at the table.
'You were crying,'
'Yeah, so what?'
'Do you want to talk about it? I am a very good objective listener,'
'Can you do ballet?'
'Not in the slightest,'
'Then you can't help me,'
'Listening is helping, just try it,' he urged. I shook my head.
'Why are you trying to help me? Wasn't I the guy that told you I didn't want to be your friend? You shouldn't be nice to me,' I said.
'We are going to be in the same school for the next four years. What's the point in being hostile to each other?'
I didn't say anything. He began to stand up to leave when I finally did.
'I can't express the right emotions with my dance partner,' I opened up.
'Marcus?' he asked.
'Yes, Marcus, he says I'm too submissive. I apparently don't give enough passion. He gives enough passion but I just absorb it and it disappears. I can't give anything in return. I'm too...frigid,' I explained.
Tyler thought about what I had said before talking.
'Come with me,' was all he said.
'Where to? I have to go to the airport in two hours,' I objected.
'It won't take very long. Just come with me, I want to show you something.'
I stood up and followed him. I realised that he was carrying his camera bag with him. We walked into the Performing Arts building and took the stairs to the third floor. I had never been to this section of the building. I looked at the signs on the wall. We were in the drama department. We walked down a long corridor lined with posters of movies and plays. We walked into one of the rooms and I realised it was a studio with a small stage and a slope of seats like our formal classrooms. There were already a group of students congregated between the seats and the stage. Tyler explained to me that they were Drama students who were going to be the subject of a series of photos he was doing. I noticed they were dressed up in very elaborate and outlandish costumes. There make-up was grotesque and magnificent at the same time. I sat down in one of the front seats as Tyler got his equipment out.
He spoke to the students before beginning. What played out before me for the next hour was fascinating. I watched the characters pose and play in front of the camera. They pulled crazy faces and posed is random positions. They never shied away from the camera's lens and Tyler's camera pursued them voraciously. Then slowly they began to shed their disguises. Their hats, gloves, corsets and tights were all discarded to the floor. They wiped the make-up off with the back of there hands so that it left streaks across there faces. They did all of this while looking straight into the camera. There eyes glowed in the flash and there bodies hung in desperation to be what they once were, glorious characters behind painted masks. They felt naked and poor in front of the lens, which captured there every move and mood. My heart swelled with the angst and tension that filled the room. Then the characters discovered one another, the true people behind the disguises and they smiled at each other and into the camera. They were free.
Tyler put down his camera and walked over to the students and thanked them. He then came over to me and guided me out of the studio and the building.
'So, what did you think?' he asked as we walked the path to my house.
'I get it now?'
'What do you get?'
'The way both sides have to give of themselves. I saw it quite clearly. They gave you, the camera, every part of themselves, the mask, the vulnerability behind it and the resolute happiness they finally found within themselves. And you captured every part of it, never missing a single frame, a single expression. You stared each other in the faces and said 'here I am, look at me'. It was amazing,' finished, quite out of breath and feeling much lighter than before.
'See, you do have it in you, you just have to realise it. You have to realise how much power you have, the way you can affect other people whether it's the lens of a camera or your dance partner.'
We reached the gate in the hedge which surrounded the house.
'Well, good luck with Dancefest. You'll be great,' he said smiling.
'I'm sorry I was mean to you before. You're a really nice person. I'm sorry I didn't see it before,' I said.
'Even though I beat you on the Top 20 for the third time in a row?'
'Well, yes, but when you say it like that it makes you sound a little 'douche-y'. But yes, you're still a good person.'
'Well FRIEND, I'll see you after the break for the final quarter of eighth grade,' he said leaning forward for a hug which I wasn't as reluctant to give as much as before.
'Okay,' I said, 'See you in a week.'
I closed the gate behind me and rushed to pack a last few things into my suitcase and head with my dad to the airport for Dancefest. It was finally here.
Our plane to Johannesburg was full a Kramer students on their way to compete at Dancefest. All in all, our school was sending was sending three troupes per category namely modern dance, contemporary dance, ballet, traditional jazz, latin, ballroom, hip-hop and freestyle. Some troupes, like Marcus and mine, were made of only two or three people while others were much larger. Once we landed and retrieved our luggage we were escorted to a couple of vans that would take us to our hotel in Sandton. Dancefest, much like a film festival, took place in a range of theatres in Johannesburg and the public bought tickets to be audience to the dances. We booked into the hotel and to my relief I was going to be sharing a room with Rhys, who was part a large ballet ensemble. As we stood in a large hall off the hotel lobby we lectured to by the teachers as to how we should behave for the forthcoming week. We were given a final pep talk by my dad, who had tagged along, and were handed our schedules on which were stated when and what time we would be performing and when and where we could rehearse. I looked at the timetable. I was scheduled to dance on the final day of the festival which was what I was hoping for. Hopefully it would be the grand finale everyone, including I, would be hoping for.
Over the next week Marcus and I rehearsed in between going from one theatre to the next and supporting the Kramer students. Each day was dedicated to a certain form of dance and by the end of the week everyone would meet up for the closing Sunday brunch and prize giving ceremony.
I woke up at 06:00 on the Saturday of the festival. It was our turn. Ballet was the final category and arguably the most competitive. It was 08:00 when we arrived at theatre and there were already a large crown of people moving around the foyer. The Kramer ballet students were all ushered backstage to a large studio which was adjoined to the many cloakrooms. The first group was scheduled for 10:30, the second for 12:00 and Marcus and I for 16:00. We were the second last group of the day and of the festival but it was to be officially closed by the winner of last years gold award for the ballet section.
Knowing that I would only be dancing near the end of the day I had asked my dad to purchase tickets for me and Marcus so that we could watch our classmates perform. And boy did they perform! It was amazing what talent was out there and especially at Kramer. I had never seen Rhys and Kerry dance competitively and to see them in action, albeit part of a larger group, was amazing. The other institutions were fantastic as well especially the university teams where experience was most bountiful. I suddenly felt very nervous seeing the competition and I had to constantly remind myself that it wasn't about me winning but about me dancing and giving it my all.
After lunch Marcus and I didn't return to our seats amongst the audience but rather to the studio backstage. Since there wasn't enough space in the theatre the others who had already danced waited in the wings watching what was revealing itself onstage threw the chinks of stage curtain.
Marcus and I got dressed into our costumes, which he had specially designed for the dance and was part of the choreography. I was wearing white while he wore black. I wrapped the white ribbon of my Pointe shoes around my ankles and, having already warmed up, began practicing the choreography. The only people in the studio now were Marcus and I and the girl that was performing the final solo piece who, out of the corner of my eye, I could see was a formidable dancer. At 15: 45 we were called backstage. We stood there, watching the third last group perform, just out of sight but backed my at least 100 other people wanting to see what was happening on stage. Rhys and Kerry were on the other side of the stage now and I could see them waving at me and wishing me good luck. I smiled anxiously. Finally, the music ended in a sweeping melody, the crowd cheered and the curtains came down. The performers rushed off stage and the stage manager pushed us into the centre of it.
Marcus took my hands and whispered in my ear, 'We've practiced for this, we know all the steps and there's no holding back. It's in our hands Adriel. Just open yourself up to it and it will come to you.'
I nodded and gave him a quick hug. Whatever had happened between us over the past couple of weeks disappeared and dance once again connected us. We moved to opposite sides of the stage. The curtains were drawn and everything went deadly quiet. Then the music began, slowly and cautiously, like the way Marcus and I approached each other on stage. The first act had begun and he pursued me valiantly while I flirted with and teased him around the stage. I looked at him and looked away and then at the audience. I wanted to commit to him but I couldn't. I ran to the front of the stage ready to take the leap when Marcus caught me from behind and pulled me back to him. I now stood with back to him and my face to the audience. He rips my clothes off and I am left standing in flesh coloured tights. The audience gasps and goes quiet when they realise I am not really naked. Marcus seduces me but I cannot yet look him in the eye. Act 2 has begun and he picks me up of the floor and twirls me around. I return to the ground with my head on his shoulder. I am ready to accompany him on his journey. Our eyes meet and are both set on fire. I pull the clothes from his body, undressing him for my pleasure. We become each others and our own. Our eyes never leave each other's and I feel myself moving independent of my self. The music builds up to it's climax and Marcus once again stands behind me, our bodies plastered against one another and our fingers interlocked at the end of our outstretched arms. We begin spinning around, our coda, our Grand pas intensifying as our fouettes en tournant reached five, then ten and finally twenty counts. We slowed down and embraced before letting go of each other and moving slowly to our original places on opposite sides of the stage. The curtains came down once more and after about five seconds of absolute silence the crowed went up in a roar.
Marcus and I rushed backstage only to be greeted by our fellow classmates who congratulated us furiously. Even the other dances were patting us on the back. The last performer went up on stage and danced an elegant solo before we were all called up on stage one by one by the head of the judging panel. Marcus took my hand and we bowed in front of the hundreds of people who all stood up and applauded.
The following day, after a Saturday night of celebrating the end of a successful trip, our entire group of dancers made our way to the hotel that was officially hosting Dancefest for the closing brunch and prize giving ceremony. All in all Kramer had done pretty well for itself. By the end of a very gruelling week our school had wrapped up a silver and gold award for traditional jazz and Latin respectively. Modern dance pocketed a bronze, hip-hop and freestyle unfortunately went home empty-handed, Ballroom achieved a silver and contemporary tied for gold. The troupe in which Kerry and Rhys had danced in received a bronze award and to my extreme delight Marcus and I walked away with the gold. We had thus far made the top three positions in each category except for hip-hop and freestyle, which were relatively new to our school and the teachers who taught it. The only awards left, also know as the BIG 5, were then handed out. The award for Best Group Performance was given to some university jazz group while Best Solo Performance was given to a freestyler from Durban.
We sat in our seats nervously awaiting the other results. I crossed my fingers.
'The award for Best Duet Performance goes to,' the judge opened the envelope, 'Marcus Spekter and Adriel Atwood.'
I couldn't believe what was happening. I looked over at Marcus who was sitting across from me and he had an equally surprised look on his face. We were then pushed up by our classmates and we walked excitedly up to the stage to collect our award. There were only two more awards left.
'The award for Best Choreography goes to Marcus Spekter for his dance The Waging Wanton,' announced the judge. Marcus went up to receive his second award for the day before coming back to stand next to me.
'And finally, what we've all been waiting for,' began the judge, 'The one singular performance that blew us all away. The choreography, the costumes, the make-up all played into account on this one but what really stood out was the raw emotion evoked by this absolute masterpiece of movement and verily a work of art. It is for the first time in the history of Dancefest that the decision about who should win this award was completely unanimous.'
He opened the envelope.
'The Dancefest trophy for Best Overall Performance for 2004 goes to... Marcus Spekter and Adriel Atwood for The Waging Wanton!'
The audience jumped to their feet in appreciation. Marcus took my hand and we walked to the front of the stage where the trophy was handed to us. Tears of jubilance ran down our cheeks and I kissed the trophy. At that moment all I could think of was my mom. She would have been proud.