Sylvia looked at the floor between their feet. “That’s a great deal of money.”
“Come on, you’re good for it.” With an added punch to his voice, he said, “If I can’t get it from you, perhaps I can persuade your husband.”
Sylvia drew back. “What does Charlie have to do with this?”
Eric shrugged. “A man and a woman, embracing in the dance. Sometimes things happen between them. Sparks. It is just human nature.”
Sylvia looked shocked. “Are you blackmailing me? We haven’t done anything.”
Eric shrugged. “I need the money. I will do whatever it takes.”
Reluctantly, Sylvia slipped the diamond bracelet off her right hand. As she pressed into his palm, she said, “Take it, just please, don’t say anything to my husband. Charlie is a very jealous man. Do you know any way to convert this into cash?”
He allowed himself a slight smile. “I have certain friends who will help me. You are too kind, Sylvia, I shouldn’t take this from you.”
She frowned gently. “I really don’t have much choice, now do I?”
Eric moved toward her. “Now, to show there are no hard feelings, we have time for another dance before my next lesson.”
Eric pulled her forcefully into his arms. As he muscled her around the ballroom to the tango, he marveled once again at her prowess on the floor. Maybe he should forget about his gambling and stick to teaching. If he could turn her into this good a dancer, think of the money he could make.
Eric laughed at the idea. The ponies owned him, heart and soul, and if he couldn’t gamble, he might as well be locked up somewhere.