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Chapter 20 - Brahms & Liszt

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1 Chapter 20 - Brahms & Liszt on Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:01 pm


Around early evening, I dropped the main sail and anchored us off the shore of Gabriola Island, directly across the channel from Vancouver. I had planned our arrival precisely-after the sun dipped below the horizon, hundreds of lights would slowly flicker to life in the extraordinarily beautiful port city; amplified by the reflection off the nearby waterfront, the harbor would be bathed in shimmering iridescence. The event never ceased to astonish me, and I couldn't wait to share the awe-inspiring experience with my exquisite bride. But first, I needed to make dinner for her.

Bending down, I kissed my angel chastely. "Are you hungry?" I murmured against her lips.

She nodded, her pulse quickening at my touch. Despite her body's unconscious reactions, she managed to keep her hands safely to herself.

"Wait here while I prepare the galley."

I raced down into the cabin, quickly setting the dinette table and starting a pot of boiling water before hurrying over to the stereo to put in some appropriate dinner music. After checking the cabin once more to be sure no small detail was missed, I rushed back topside to retrieve Bella.

"May I escort you below deck, love?" I offered my arm to her, which she happily accepted before pulling herself nearer to my side. We gazed at each other longingly, the brief separation while I was attending to her meal feeling more to me like it had been days. Being apart, no matter how short the time span, was growing increasingly more difficult for both of us.

Fortunately, the shallow bay in which we were anchored was relatively still, the boat barely rocking beneath our feet as we stepped down into the salon. Nonetheless, I moved my arm around her waist, pulling her tightly against my chest to steady my clumsy fiancée. It hadn't escaped my notice that, up to this point, she seemed perfectly at ease aboard the vessel - Bella didn't appear to be nauseated in the least by the light pitching of the ketch, nor did it seem to increase her propensity for maladroitness. That was a very good sign, and it encouraged me to move ahead with last minute travel arrangements for the honeymoon. I wished I had time to get the Isabella Marie to Brazil for the journey to Isle Esme, but it would be logistically impossible.

Once we were down safely below decks, I led Bella over to the dinette, reluctantly depositing her on the dinette bench before moving over to the galley to continue preparing dinner.

"Edward, what's playing right now?"

I smiled gaily; she had noticed the music. That meant it was time for more lessons.

"Johannes Brahms - his third symphony," I answered, turning back to face her. "He wrote this with a very special someone in mind," I teased.

Bella's brow creased. "Who?"

"Clara Schumann."

"But..." she trailed off, evidently confused. "What about Robert, her husband?"

I left my culinary preparations for a minute, crossing to stand in front of Bella and reaching out, gently stroking her hair. "Robert became Johannes' mentor, and helped him establish himself as a composer. Johannes and Clara formed a great friendship - likely just platonic, but still, they were...kindred spirits, if you will. After Robert died, Johannes became even closer to the Schumann family, especially Clara. He described their friendship as ‘the most beautiful experience in my life.' Then, on her sixty-fourth birthday," I paused, giving Bella a knowing look. She caught my meaning immediately.

"My birthday," she elucidated.

Bending down, I kissed her softly on the forehead before continuing. "You paid attention." I refrained from admitting just how tantalizingly erotic her recollection was to me at that moment. "On your birthday, Johannes planned to bring her flowers; however, the shop was out of his way. So instead, he sent her the symphony you're experiencing right now."

Bella sighed quietly, fully engaged in my tale of unrequited love and passion. "That's terribly romantic. Were they able to be together after Robert's death?"

"Johannes stayed until Clara passed away. But he died soon after, reportedly from cancer though most thought he simply succumbed to a broken heart."

She reached up, grabbing my nearest arm, and pulled me down onto the bench next to her. Gazing up at me with utter adulation, she spoke softy. "I would do the same, if I were in his shoes."

My eyes closed of their own accord as her sweet breath washed over me, and I frantically fought the urge to wrap my arms around her and pull her tightly against my chest. We must behave, I reminded myself. It was much too early to even think of going down that tempting path.

"Bella, I too would follow you from this world."

"But that doesn't have to happen, Edward."

"No, maybe not." Although I had agreed to change her after our nuptials, I still fretted over that agonizing decision. As much as I needed my angel to be with me for eternity, I wished there was some other way to do so while saving her humanity, and, quite possibly, her soul.

Sensing my internal musings, she leaned against me, resting her head on my shoulder. "I'm sorry to upset you." Her arm snaked across my abdomen, hugging herself to me affectionately.

I nuzzled her hair, inhaling her intoxicating scent deep into my lungs. The ever-present fire within instantly flashed at this latest sensation, but surprisingly remained well under control. It was getting easier to be with her like this.

Just then, her stomach grumbled loudly, causing me to chuckle. "I best get back to preparing your evening meal, love." I unwillingly pulled away, but not before running my lips across her flushed cheek. I wanted more, so much more, but I abstained.

Speedily, I finished cooking the meal of shell-fish and fresh asparagus, then watched in awe as my beloved placed each morsel opulently in her mouth. I was compelled to grip the dinette table tightly as I sat across from her, studying every inadvertently sensuous movement of her body as she delicately repeated the gesture, bringing bite after bite of shrimp to her plump lips before sliding the morsel off the fork with her teeth. I had never wanted to be a piece of flatware so badly in my life, and I had to fight off every natural urge to vault across the table, pull her into my lap, and feed her myself using only my mouth as her utensil. Just a few more days until the wedding and you can do just that, I reminded myself.

Our exercise in restraint during the past few hours had left me quite tense; therefore, I quickly decided our best course of action was to cool ourselves off - literally. I steered Bella back up to the main deck of the ketch, holding her securely as she ascended the stairs into the ever-darkening night.

She suddenly turned towards me on the last step, unsure of herself in the dim light; the movement begged for my assistance, which I very willingly provided. I leapt from behind her, simultaneously grasping her waist in my hands and lifting her easily up and over the last edge and onto the main deck. My sudden action took her breath away, and Bella gasped, causing my hands to clench more tightly around her. Her surprised reaction compelled me at once to lift her off her feet so I could more easily bend down and graze her jaw line with my hungry mouth. My nerves had been wound so tightly, by both Alice's resounding prediction and Bella's oblivious, lustful actions, that I craved just a taste of my bride's enticing skin. I ran my lips unobtrusively from the tip of her chin back to her ear, savoring the warmth that emitted from every pore. Her body, in turn, responded willingly, her heart picking up its rhythm as I let an icy finger trace the other side of her jaw. Not enough...just once more. My control gradually began to slip as I made another circuit of kisses along her jaw. Arriving at her mouth, I couldn't help but let my ravenous lips part hers, my tongue begging for entrance.

She gasped all of a sudden. "Edward, remember our pact." Her hands were upon my chest instantly, attempting to push me away.

I closed my eyes and froze, inhaling just enough to relish her lingering scent before painfully stepping back.

"You're right. I'm sorry." But this is starting to become pure torture.

It took her a second to meet my repentant gaze. "I don't want you to apologize; I was just trying to help you..."

I reached up and covered her mouth with my hand. "I know, love." Smiling, I stepped around her, returning to our original course. "Let's enjoy the cool night air, shall we?"

Bella nodded demurely, clasping my hand firmly so as not to trip on the dimly lit deck. I took extra precaution in leading her forward, first alongside the top of the upper salon windows, then up near the main mast.

"What are we doing?"

"Trust me, it's quite a sight to see," I answered lightly, leading us to a flat surface ahead of the mast. I sank to a sitting position, much the same as I had done on Carlisle's sloop just a week before. Familiarity must have sparked in Bella's mind as well, because she instantly lowered herself down, her back now resting against my chest.

She chuckled softly. "The déjà vu has returned."

I leaned into her and nodded. We sat in a comfortable silence for a moment, staring out at the growing number of lights that dotted the Canadian shore. A fog began to creep across the water, causing the luminous spheres to become muted and eerie. Bella shivered against me.


"A little," she resigned.

I gently pushed her forward, allowing myself room to rise. "Be right back."

Racing down below decks, I grabbed a large, wool blanket before heading back to the stairs. Suddenly, I remembered my carefully planned orchestral accompaniment for the duration of our voyage. Rushing to the stereo, I quickly slipped in the next CD, turning up the volume before returning topside.

"Let me warm you up," I slid down behind her and began to wrap the thick blanket around her shoulders to swaddle her protectively against the cold, damp air.

She fought my well-meaning efforts immediately. "No, I want you next to me." She pushed my helping hands away, taking the blanket from them and attempting to wrap it around the both of us, unsuccessfully. I chuckled quietly before removing it from her grasp and finishing the task to her satisfaction - the blanket now effectively covered both of us, my fiancée suitably nestled against me, my legs on either side of hers.

"Hmm..." Bella leaned in, turning to rest her chin on my chest, wrapping one slender arm behind my back so she could snuggle in closer. Even though I knew my coldness was impeding her body's attempt to warm up, I couldn't help but assist her efforts, pulling her more tightly against me. She could never be close enough. "You put in a new CD."

Ever-observant, my charming Bella. I thought the glowing lights of Vancouver would have fully captivated her attention - but once again, I was wrong.

"Liszt. Dante Symphony," I breathed in her ear, hoping it wouldn't cause her to shiver again.

The boat rocked very gently beneath us as a slight, north wind picked up. My senses immediately sought out the anchor lines, listening closely to make sure every rope and knot remained secure - that we would not drift if I were to become...distracted.

Bella started to turn towards my face after I spoke, but then checked herself; with a subtle sigh, she began to turn her head in the other direction, back to the dancing lights, away from me. Her action reminded me of my own increasing frustration with our irksome rules. Couldn't we engage in some affairs without crossing the line? We had before - why would tonight be so different?

Reflexively, I hugged her more forcefully to me. She responded to my touch instantly, leaning back and tucking her head under my chin as she continued to face the eastern shore.

"Why is this so hard?" she questioned. "Every nerve in my body is telling me to turn around, to embrace you." I could feel her heart accelerate again as the words tumbled from her, and I craved to feel the blush that would involuntarily rise to her cheeks. Yet I remained in my position, trying to behave as well as I could.

But my mouth had other ideas - before I could stop it, the words slipped out. "Maybe we could..." I clamped my jaw shut as soon as I realized what had happened. In order for both of us to remain in control, we needed to aid ourselves by not undermining each other's attempts at propriety. Thus far, it wasn't working so well.

Deplorably, she hadn't missed my slipup. "Could what?" Her tone was hopeful - she was searching for something, most likely the same sort of loophole I was seeking to find.

"Bella, I can't not touch you. So maybe we could..."

She whipped around faster than I thought possible for a human, a smile starting to trace her lips as they met mine in the darkness. The heavenly notes of Liszt's Inferno movement sang out from below, echoing across the water and creating a rather ethereal sound that swirled around us. I forced my hands to stay put as her mouth worked against mine.

"Edward," she moaned lowly, pausing just long enough to take in a breath of the crisp, night air. "I need you."

My resolve finally cracked when I felt her breath against my tongue, carrying with it those three, indescribable words. How could I have ever thought that putting ourselves in such a situation would cool the amorous cravings that effervesced between us?

Hands that had been cradling her now moved on their own accord, one racing up her back to get lost in her alluring hair, while the other pulled her around to fully face me, then slid her forward until I could feel her pressing against my chest. I kissed her deeply, urgently, ignoring the little voice in the back of my mind desperately reminding me to behave. I was really beginning to hate that word - I vowed never to articulate it once we were married, as it would never again be an issue, as far as I was concerned.

"Bella, my Bella," I murmured blissfully before sucking on her lower lip, gently tugging on it in an attempt to taste even more of her succulent flesh. She whimpered softly as both of her hands tangled in my hair, trying to pull me more firmly against her, then downwards as she began to stretch out across the deck.

I obliged to her unspoken request, aiding her efforts by gradually lowering myself until I was resting above her, supporting my weight on my knees and one hand, while the other pulled away from her hair and began an unhurried descent, first along her shoulder, then her arm.

Just as I was starting to trace the backs of my fingers along her side, my cell phone buzzed loudly from within my pocket. I fought to ignore it, but when I felt Bella's mouth become still, I knew it had distracted her as well.

"Let me guess," she panted, out of breath as she pulled back from me slightly. "Alice?"

The phone continued to buzz and vibrate, unwilling to be ignored. Unenthusiastically, I reached into my pocket and whipped it out, holding it to my ear.

"Just reminding you to behave, dear brother. I can see what you're thinking about doing...if you behave, she'll behave. Don't make me come and kidnap Bella!" My irritating sister's voice sang out in much too cheerful of a tone.

I growled in response before slamming the phone shut and returning it to my pocket. We hadn't even been doing anything that we hadn't done already - why the interruption so early? I could only imagine her answer, which forced me to exhale noisily in disdain.

Slowly, I disentangled myself from Bella, kneeling above her in utter repentance. I glanced over her still form to the lights on the shore - they continued to twinkle in the fog, calling to me, taunting me unjustly as they cast Bella in their luminescent glow, making her a vision of divinity. She lay stretched out before me, entirely defenseless, her chest heaving against the oppressive, thick night. How could I possibly stay away?

It took me a full two minutes to bring the devil, perched precariously on my shoulder, back under control. He continued to encourage me with abandon, incisively urging me to return to my prior position and let carnal instinct drive my actions. As I felt my teeth begin to sink into my own lip in aggravation, I abruptly realized why Bella resorted to such a habit, so often. The throbbing sensation cleared my head in an instant, finally permitting me to find my voice.

"I'm sorry, Bella. That was uncalled for." I sighed again before lifting my face up to the heavens, pleading for the strength to be near her, yet not lose myself to the call of her salacious body.

She sat up, scrambling to right herself on the rocking deck. "No. No! It was my fault. I shouldn't have said that. I shouldn't have kissed you like that..." she started to bury her face in her hands.

"Bella," I groaned, quickly reaching for her hands, bringing them back down to her sides so I could search her shame-ridden eyes. "Remember when you told me ‘no more apologies?' I'm holding you to that, as well." Testing my newfound leveled-headedness, I brushed my lips across her forehead once, and only once.

She smiled up at me submissively. "Deal."

We continued to gaze tenderly at one another for a moment more, then I slowly rose to my feet, pulling her with me. "Maybe it'd be safer if we found a less compromising place to sit." I glanced back to the stern. "Are you still cold? If not, we could move to those two bench seats - we should still be able to see the lights. Or, we could retire to the salon."

Bella's body answered for her, an uncontrollable shiver shaking her entire being.

"Inside, please."

"Of course, love." I snatched the blanket off of the deck and wrapped it around her shoulders before guiding her back along the side of the boat to the cabin entrance.

We descended to the salon where I placed a chilled Bella on the settee, next to the furnace. After lighting it, I moved to take a seat across the room from her. A pout began to darken her adorable face.

"Won't you sit with me?"

A simper somehow found its way to my lips. "Won't that put us right back to where we were five minutes ago?"

"I'll be good."

"You do realize that you are calling all of the shots here. Alice's latest vision was reportedly of me breaking your wish for a white wedding, not the other way around."

She mulled over my words for a second before replying. "True, but I thought you were the one who wanted to prove Alice wrong."


"Then can't you just sit on the same bench as me? How could that possibly lead to anything?"

I stared intently into her eyes. "You say the word, and I'll be over there before you can blink."


I sprung across the salon, landing gracefully next to her, simultaneously extending an arm across the backside of the settee, so it now rested conveniently behind her shoulders.


She smiled gaily before leaning into me once again, as she had up on the deck. "When will you finally realize that I'm only truly happy when you're next to me, like this? Sitting over there, I can't feel you breathe," Bella paused, tracing a pattern across my chest, "and I can't feel you."

I swallowed a fresh flux of venom that suddenly plagued my mouth. My eyelids fluttered wildly for a moment as I took in her words, letting their connotation resonate inside my head. She wanted me. Joyously, I realized that we were on the exact same wavelength; our yearning for one another transcending the obstacles that had been placed before us. The mounting depth of these feelings were all so intense, so right...I literally flinched as something unexpectedly snapped deep within me, those carnal cravings I had been fighting all day returning with a vengeance. I was hopelessly lost again to my desires as I turned to scoop her up.

Bella giggled at my sudden movement, seemingly not surprised in the least as I whisked her aft to our awaiting stateroom. I leaped onto the gigantic bed, cradling my breathtaking bride as I gently lowered her to the plush pillows scattered against the headboard.

At last. Exactly where I long to be.

Ageless in my Big Brother From A Different Mother I love you
Daughter Of Nyx - My Sister I love you
Fuarie - My Seestor From A Differnt Meestor Smile I love you

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