The music stopped, and the dancers paused as an elderly gentleman made his way to the head of the men’s line. His gait was slow and unsteady, but his face was determined. She saw the doubtful looks on the faces of the other dancers, but tradition dictated the eldest person would lead the dance, and the rest had to follow. Would this man be up to the task?
And then he was there. Alex stood next to the old man, but instead of taking the man’s hand, he wrapped his right arm around the man’s frail body, holding him upright. The other men wordlessly fell into place behind Alex, and the music began. The line moved, Alex supporting the patriarch’s weight with one arm. Up and down the street they went, cheers and applause coming from those not dancing. The music soared, and the old man's wide, toothless smile tugged at Francie’s heart.
When the dance was over, Alex guided the man back to his seat in the tavern. Several of the villagers patted his shoulder in acknowledgement. A woman pressed a huge piece of baklava, wrapped in a napkin, into his hands. "Efharisto - thank you," she whispered to him before she returned to her seat beside the old man.
Alex Leonidis was a special man. But he was Greek, he was powerful, and he was charming. Francie knew if she weren’t careful, she could fall in love again with the wrong man. Doing so would be sheer stupidity.
Too bad her heart didn’t want to listen.
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