“Stella, turn around and look at me.” I force her to look into my eyes. Hers are wide with panic and she has turned white as a sheet. “Stells, breath, I just want you to breath. Keep your eyes on me.” If anyone looked right now it would seem that we were having a lover’s moment. Luckily the lights have gone dim indicating that the pole routine is about to start. TJ moves in from the side, travelling slowly so that Stella can see him coming. I am still holding her hand firmly but she is shaking like a leaf.
TJ gently puts an arm around her shoulder and turns her body towards his. “It’s okay Stell, I’ve got you. You’re going to be alright.” She slowly pulls her hand out of mine and TJ gives me a nod as he ushers her away. They move as quickly as they can back through the stage door and I watch carefully to make sure that she hasn’t attracted any undue attention. Our boys have already taken their seats near the stage so have missed the action back here at the bar. I breath a sigh of relief. The last thing we needed was for Stella to fall apart now. The guy who is taking my shift for the aerial moves behind the bar and I follow TJ and Stella as quickly as I can backstage.