Sorry that it’s taken me a bit longer to get the next chapter of Concerto to you. It’s been a wild couple of weeks. Because I’ve made you wait, I’ve put the link from the last chapter up at the top for continuity sake. The rest are at the end. Enjoy!
Chapter 9: Me, But Somebody Else
In the blink of an eye I was transported into the opulent music room, lit only by moonlight. I looked out through eyes that were not my own, I wore clothes that were uncomfortable and unfamiliar. On slippered feet, I approached the pianist from behind. His music was angry, violent, his fingers harsh on the keys. There was no one else in the room. “What you want can never be, you realize?” He spoke without looking away from the keyboard. “Your father will never let us be together, you must know this.”
“I don’t care what my father wants. I want you,” I said in a voice that was not my own. It was softer, more treble, like a bird singing – one you could listen to for hours.
“You don’t care because you’ve never gone hungry, never known what it’s like to live without. Do you suppose for even a moment your father will continue as my patron if I run away with his only daughter? Do you not think that he’ll use all of his power and influence to make sure no one else will do me the honor either?” The music stopped. He fisted his hands and brought them down hard against the keys.
“But you’re the best. You’re astonishing. It’s only a matter of time before you’ll be sought out to perform all over the world, and then you won’t need my father or anyone else.”
“But I do need your father now. One mistake, take one false step, and he’ll cast me aside as easily as he does anything else that makes him unhappy.”
“I don’t care. I love you.” I moved to stand close behind him and threw my arms around his neck. “I want you and no one else.” As he pushed back the bench, I took his face in my hands and kissed him, and I was her – this woman who loved him — but at the same time I wasn’t her. Still one thing was clear, he was my pianist – the same — as surely as night was dark. And the kiss he returned, the kiss that wasn’t for me, was offered with that familiar passion, the same sense of need and hunger.
At last he pulled away and held me at arm’s length. “Then we have to wait. We have to wait until the time is right, until I no longer am a beggar at the gate.”
With a flash of light, the scene changed, and we were naked, rolling and tumbling in a big curtained bed, and he was deep inside me, the roar of our breath and our passion drowning out the storm.
“I shouldn’t have come, Felicity.” I heard his voice from far away. “You shouldn’t have invited me here of all places. Don’t you realize what we’ve done? We should have waited.”
“I’m tired of waiting.” Once again the bird like voice came from my lips. “Take me with you. Take me with you my love, and we will find a way.”
“We’ll find a way. Just take me with you, and we’ll find a way.” I came back to myself wet and warm and sitting between the pianist’s legs in the big claw footed tub. I was leaning back against his bare chest, his arms wrapped tightly around me. “What happened,” I managed through a throat that felt like I’d eaten sand.
“You followed me into the storm. You fell,” came the clipped reply.
For a moment I sat silent, the heat of the water curling tendrils of steam in front of my face. “But, I saw …” I saw what I couldn’t have possibly seen, that’s what I saw. For a moment I debated how much to tell him. “Did I hit my head?”
“You fell, and then you were delirious.”
In a convulsive move, he pulled me closer until I gasped for breath as his arms tightened around my body and his breathing became more labored.
“I remember falling,” I replied, wriggling to get more comfortable. “And the rest was more like a dream. The manor house was there and we were there alone in the music room and you were playing the piano. And then we were making love. It was me, but it wasn’t me.” I forced a laugh as he all but mantled me from behind, his breath skimming my neck. “Dreams are funny like that.” And then I remembered why I’d gone to the overlook in the middle of a storm. “What were you doing up there in this horrible weather, and you were naked. Why?” My stomach dropped, as I recalled how I’d found him and, in spite of the heat of the water, gooseflesh climbed my arms. “Surely you weren’t trying to … I mean you were so close to the cliff’s edge. I was so scared.”
“No,” his voice was suddenly cold, distant. “I wasn’t trying to kill myself. You needn’t have been scared. I won’t, I can’t … do that.”
I turned as best as I could, slopping water over the floor, so that I could see his face over my shoulder. “Were you dreaming, then? Sleepwalking.”
His laugh was no more than a puff of breath against my ear that held little humor. “These days I’m never sure.”
Something in the way he said it made me shiver, but I forced a chuckle. “I think we all feel that way sometimes.”
He didn’t answer, only kissed the top of my head. For a long moment we sat in silent, the only sound the wind howling around the corner of the cottage.
“You called me Felicity,” I ventured.
He flinched at the name. Though he caught himself soon enough, we were skin to skin, I felt it like a tremor through my chest. He sighed out a deep breath then slid a hand up to cup my breast. “What, are you holding me responsible for your dreams now?”
“No. It just seemed so real. I couldn’t have been unconscious that long, if I was unconscious. It was less like a dream than it was flashes of memory.”
“You were stressed, concerned for me, and you fell. That’s all. What matters is that we’re both warm and safe and there are better things to think about right now.” He kissed my ear, then ran a hand down over my belly and between my thighs. I bucked and gasped, setting off another tidal wave of bath water. In spite of what had just happened, in spite of all my questions and doubts, I was ready, anxious for his touch.
“What’s your name?” I spoke around my efforts to concentrate as he nibbled and kissed my neck and shoulder and reacquainted himself with every furrow, every swollen fold, of me. Then with more splashing and awkward wallowing, he helped me turn in the tub to straddle him. “I don’t even know your name,” I said, my mind hanging on to at least that much in the heat of arousal he was stoking.
“Does it matter? Maybe you can find one in your dreams, Felicity.” Before I could respond, he thrust up into me with such force, with such desire, that all I could do was wrap my legs around him and hold on for the ride. Everything else went away. The rest of the world disappeared again, but this time in a storm of desperate lust.
If you’ve missed an episode of Concerto, here are the links.
Concerto Part 1: A little Night Music
Concerto Part 2: Distractions
Concerto Part 3: Too Much to Bear Alone
Concerto Part 4: Writing and Waiting
Concerto Part 5: A Duet in a Storm
Concerto Part 6: Remember How it Feels
Concerto Part 7: Unsettled
Concerto Part 8: Into the Storm