The Maestro Ch. 05bybarabajagal001©
Hands. There were hands everywhere. Hands and tongues. Someone's hands on her breasts, and another pair of hands holding her legs open, where one tongue was licking her ardently. Her hands twined in golden curled hair and her tongue twisting with the man who owned it. Then he was gone, replaced my the man with the so-handsome face, capturing her mouth so that she could taste herself on his lips. The other man's mouth now working between her legs, she felt herself falling, falling, and then she was coming, and laughter was bubbling up out of her. Then he entered her, stealing her laughter away on a long moan. Then they were both inside her, and she was kissing him, and they were kissing each other, and they were both kissing her, and she felt like crying and laughing at the same time as she tumbled over the edge into oblivion once more.
Claire looked around vaguely, wondering for a moment whose limbs were whose. Then she turned her head and found herself nose-to-nose with Sebastien.
"Hi," she said, then dissolved into soft giggles.
He raised an eyebrow, amused, then kissed the tip of her nose.
"Don't I get a hello, too?" asked René from behind her. She turned, and shivered at the feeling of skin sliding against her sensitive skin.
"Hi," she said, making herself laugh again. She lay on her back, noticing both men watching the movement of her breasts. Sebastien propped himself up on his elbow, glancing at René.
"Mon frère," he said, sliding a hand over her right breast, "shall we see if we can make her hysterical?"
This was more or less the way it had been for the past three months. It was now May, nearing the end of her first season with the symphony, and she and Sebastien showed no signs of slowing down. Every now and again, like today, Sebastien invited René into the bedroom with them, and Claire was finding it to be quite a pleasure.
Adhering to her promise, she never went to his apartment without first being invited. Before rehearsal, he would slide a note underneath her dressing room door if he wanted to see her that night, and she would usually accompany him home. Other days, he would call - or have his driver call - to set up a time to pick her up. To amuse both of them, she would occasionally blow him off... and pay for it the next time she saw him.
Still, she couldn't quite shake the uneasiness she still felt, the tension in her body that just wouldn't go away when Sebastien tied her up, tied her down, spanked her. She enjoyed it, of course, immensely, but she couldn't relax. It was like she couldn't admit to herself that she wanted it, craved it, no, needed it. Sometimes she even berated herself, telling herself it was unnatural and sexist and ridiculous, but it didn't stop the desire. Then she would argue the other side, that it was normal to feel this way, it was okay, but she couldn't make herself relax. So she had settled into an awkward pattern, comforting herself that Sebastien didn't seem to notice.
Spring also brought other realizations with it. Claire had never paid much attention before, but it occurred to her at some point that Sebastien had gone back to France somewhat regularly, about once every other month. Since they had reconnected, he hadn't been back once, and they had enjoyed a somewhat idyllic, regular affair. So it came as somewhat of a surprise when Sebastien broached the topic one afternoon as they lay lazily in his bed. Stripes of sunshine slanted across the bed, slowly drifting off to one side.
"Hmmm, what did you say?" Claire murmured, pushing strands of hair out of her eyes and willing herself to focus on Sebastien, who let out a short sigh.
"I am going to be in Paris all next week," he replied. A thought occurred to her, but before she could even open her mouth, Sebastien was responding to her unspoken words. "No, I am not taking you. It is a family visit, and would you not think it strange for me to take you along, my plaything?"
Claire wanted to be offended, but she could see his point. "Fair enough. As long as you don't avail yourself of any other playthings while you're away," she said lightly, but pointedly.
"Moi?" He placed his fingertips on his chest with a look of surprise. "Do you think I am the type to hire a prostitute?"
"Well, you're certainly not a man who would need to, but yes, I think you would if you wanted to."
Turning serious, he placed a hand on her waist. "My demand for exclusivity was not limited to you; I hope you are aware of that."
Truthfully, she had guessed he wasn't seeing anyone else, but she hadn't been absolutely sure. "I am now," she mumbled.
"I am sorry if it was not clear before." He was looking into her eyes, so steadily, as if looking for something there. She felt the blood rush to her cheeks, dropped her gaze away from his. "Come, what's the matter?"
Claire felt her lips move into a pout, even as she struggled not to. "I'm not going to see you for a week."
He smiled broadly. "You will miss me, is that it?"
"I didn't say that..." Sighing softly, Sebastien rolled over onto her, kissing her cheeks and neck. She turned her head to the side. "Will you... call me?"
Claire was poised on the edge of her bed, ready to pounce on the phone if it should ring, which she anxiously hoped for. That evening, she had stalked nervously around her apartment, taken her hair out of its bindings and brushed it, repinned her hair, mindlessly eaten an entire package of baby spinach - leaf by leaf - and a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter, attempted to practice the arias for an upcoming show, flicked through a half dozen channels on TV, showered, meticulously attended to her nails, braided her hair, and finally flounced down on her bed, exhausted from near-paroxysms of anxiety.
When the phone did finally ring, Claire had to ball her hands tightly to restrain herself from picking up on the first ring. No reason to appear too much like she was waiting on the call. She was, though! She had missed Sebastien's first call, and he had said he would call today, and so far, nothing. She took a deep breath as the second ring faded into silence, and then snatched up the receiver in the middle of the third ring.
"Hello?" she asked, as casually as possible.
"I hope I have not kept you waiting too long," drawled a deeply accented voice on the other end.
"No, of course not," she replied. Sebastien's soft chuckle warmed her right down to her toes.
"Mon abeille, when will you ever learn that I can tell when you are lying to me?"
Claire shrugged uncomfortably, then realized he couldn't see her. She opted to change the subject.
"How is Paris, Maestro?" It sounded sulky even to her.
"Lovely, as always."
"When are you coming home?"
"Do you miss me, mon abeille?"
She heard the smile in his voice as he said, "Soon. Very soon."
Finally, the day came. After two weeks, Sebastien was finally coming home from Paris, and Claire was beside herself. Her skin was aching for his touch, and though she dared not admit it - even to herself - it wasn't the only part of her that had missed him. He had mentioned offhandedly that he was coming home on the late eleven o'clock flight, but hadn't said a word about when he planned to see her. She supposed it wasn't fair to think that his first desire would be to see her when he returned home. Still, she wondered, why would he have told her the time of his flight if he hadn't been thinking of that?
At last, she opted for the calculated risk of surprising him at the airport. She dressed carefully in a sexy black dress she knew he particularly admired on her, and took a cab to his apartment building, hoping that, at ten o'clock, his driver would not yet have left. Indeed, the car was still in its usual spot, and the driver - whose name she had finally learned was Alan - was not there. She lounged against it, and he soon appeared. Where did he live, anyway, and how did he get here, she wondered.
Alan looked startled to see her. "Did Monsieur Boulet ask you to come?"
Uh-oh. Claire stood up straight, looked coolly at Alan. "If he hadn't, would I be here?"
He looked at her dubiously, but unlocked the car doors and allowed her to get in. As always, neither one spoke during the drive, and the quiet whooshing sounds of the other cars on the road seemed almost to amplify the silence in the vehicle. Claire always got the impression that Alan didn't like her, or was at least vaguely disapproving of something - her, the relationship between herself and Sebastien, she could never be sure. She was almost surprised he had let her get into the car at all.
As Alan turned into the airport, her heart started jittering and skipping in her chest. She felt a sudden sense of foreboding. She tried to convince herself that she was just being ridiculous as he pulled up to the curb, but then she saw Sebastien, and he was not alone. He was still a good distance away, but she could see the woman who was walking along at his side, clutching his arm familiarly.
Her first thought was, who is that woman? She was about his own age, with glossy dark curls and heels that brought her height up to his.
Her second thought was, whoever she is, Sebastien is going to be very unpleased to have to explain my presence to her.
Alan was behind the car now, opening the trunk in preparation for Sebastien's luggage, and Claire hurriedly got out of the car. She dashed across the busy street, and down the sidewalk on the other side, where they would be sure not to see her. She hailed a cab, and prayed that Alan wouldn't betray her. He had no motivation to tell, she reasoned, but he also had no loyalty to her.
She hailed a cab, berating herself over what was going to be a hefty fare. When one pulled up to the curb, she settled down in the backseat and tried to stifle a yawn. It was going to be another long night, a lonely night without the reunion she had been anticipating. Suddenly, she felt stupid in her cute party dress, alone in a cab. Maybe she would go out to a club. It had been a long time since she had, and although she wasn't interested in hooking up with anyone, maybe the thumping music and a cocktail or two would do her good.
Two o'clock that morning, Claire finally drifted out of the club, eyes slightly glazed from the three raspberry lemon drops she'd consumed, head full of flattery from the young men finally clearing in the crisp, cold air outside the building. She tried to pull her jacket tighter around her before she realized that she had gone out without one. She suddenly felt very sober, though she was aware the full effects of the alcohol wouldn't burn off for another few hours, at least.
Good thing for her she was only a few blocks from her house. Dismissing the idea of trying to catch another cab at this hour, she hiked the moderate incline to her apartment building in her pin-thin heels.
Perhaps she wasn't paying enough attention, or perhaps the alcohol was still fogging her brain, because she was startled to suddenly see Sebastien in front of her as she approached the door to her building. He was leaning against the building, looking tall and dark in his charcoal grey suit and black overcoat. He pushed off the building and came to stand before her where she was standing, stock-still, in the middle of the sidewalk.
He trailed a fingertip down her cheek, and said mildly, "I hope you are not catching a cold."
"No, I won't," she said, turning her face away slightly, uncomfortable.
"Where have you been tonight, mon abeille?" he asked ominously.
"None of your business," she replied, turning her chin up mutinously.
"Who have you been with?" he asked, in an even darker tone.
"No one," she said, though it was farther from the truth than she wished at that moment.
"How many times must you push me away from you, Claire?" he asked quietly. She was so surprised at the question that she simply stared at him, eyebrows slightly furrowed. "We have not been together in two weeks, and on the night I return, you have gone gallivanting out, who knows where?" She opened her mouth to retort testily, and he cut in before she could speak, "Yes, yes, I know! I don't own you. You have made it quite clear. Very well then, good night."
He shook his head - whether in despair or disgust, Claire could not tell - and turned to walk away.
"Well, it's not my fault you brought another woman home with you." As soon as the words left her mouth, she regretted it. Sebastien turned, his eyebrows raised. She'd outed herself. Scowling in a little pout, she said, "You already knew I was there. Alan must have told you."
"Perhaps. What if I told you that as soon as I dispatched my visitor that I planned to come see you, that I have been waiting outside your apartment building for two hours?"
The guilt that had been gnawing in her gut flared to life with renewed vigor.
"Would saying sorry be enough?"
Sebastien strode over to her and leaned down. She felt her heart stutter at the look he gave her. "Not nearly," he said.
It was odd going into her own apartment building with Sebastien in tow. Even as her nerve endings tingled with the excitement of getting her recently frustrated wishes fulfilled, she couldn't help but feel as if bringing him to her apartment - uninvited - was like some sort of violation. She supposed she owed him this, since he had broken his unspoken ban on casual visitors by letting her in to his place, and especially his bedroom. Still, she hadn't asked him over. She didn't even know the state of her apartment. Since no one ever saw it, she didn't hold much to the same standards of cleanliness she would have if she'd had regular visitors. Suddenly, the excitement she had been feeling at seeing him turned to dread in the pit of her stomach. She didn't want Sebastien seeing her apartment unprepared, judging her on what was inside. She cared about his opinion much more than she wanted to admit.
Casting her eyes about the elevator aimlessly, she noticed that Sebastien was studying her very intensely. She flushed and shrank back under his gaze, wondering what he was thinking. She dropped her eyes, and then jumped when he laid two fingers gently on her shoulder. Suddenly, she noticed how incredibly tense she was.
"I am beginning to think it was no more a good idea to come here unannounced than it was for you to go to the airport tonight," he said very softly. "Perhaps a change of plan is in order."
"Well, it's already so late," Claire protested.
He tipped her chin up to look into her eyes. "I would rather be with you anywhere we choose to go than alone in my own bed. If you do not feel the same, I will leave you at your door with no complaint." He seemed to be sincere. She felt the pressure lift off of her, and gave him a small smile.
"Where do you suggest we go, Maestro?"
Claire looked around in disbelief at the parking lot that Sebastien pulled into. The building was low, the parking lot nearly deserted, the blinking sign over the place flashing in a gaudy orange, "-OTEL." He parked, then turned to her with a few bills.
"Go rent us a room," he said.
She looked doubtfully at the money he had given her. "I don't think this will be enough, even for a place like this."
Sebastien only stared at her. It took a moment for his implication to sink in, and when it did, her jaw dropped. "No, surely you don't mean for me to..."
"Well, you do not actually expect me to sleep in a place like this, do you?"
"How do you even know they rent by the hour? Do you know what they'll think of me in a place like this? Why can't you do it?" Each of her questions was met with stony silence. Finally, she crossed her arms over her chest. "What if I refuse?"
"Then I take you home, alone, and I spend my every waking moment until we meet again devising your punishment for next time."
So it was that Claire found herself, at three o'clock in the morning, paying for a hotel room in a seedy part of town - by the hour. Her cheeks flamed red as she informed the hotel clerk that she would be needing the room for three hours, no longer. Even before she saw the look in the clerk's eyes, she knew what he would think.
She marched out of the office, thrust the change and a room key into Sebastien's waiting hand, and glared up at him. "There, is that punishment enough?" she snapped.
"Such a fiery temper you have, mon abeille," he said mildly, leaving her question unanswered.
Claire scowled in frustration and stomped after him to the room. She looked around in disgust. "Charming place."
"Well, we are not sleeping here, so it should not matter." His voice was toneless, but the look he gave her from hooded eyes made her stomach clench in anticipation. "Very well then, strip and go stand against the wall. No, leave your heels on," he added, as she moved to undo the straps at her ankles.
Still seeing red, she followed his directions, glaring at him the entire time. Eventually his battle with himself, which had evidently been going on for several minutes, ended, and he laughed aloud at her consternation. She scowled even deeper, and his laughter, his smile, disappeared from his face. He towered over her, cupped her breasts gently, making her shiver. Without warning, he pinched her nipples hard between his fingertips, and she cried out in surprise and pain.
He leaned in, maintaining the pressure on her nipples, until he was face to face with her. "I am going to whip that bad attitude out of you, do you understand?"
Heat flooded her body. "Y-yes, Maestro." She twisted her upper body, trying to get away from his fingers.
He released her, and she thudded back against the wall. He grabbed her, turning her around roughly.
"Spread your legs," he commanded. She complied, moving her feet apart about two feet. "Wider!" He slapped at her inner thighs until she moved again. "Now bend over." She backed up from the wall and bent at the waist, letting her head and hands hang down. She reached for the floor to steady herself, and felt her hips tipping back, exposing all of her to Sebastien. She felt tremendously vulnerable in that moment.
Looking between her legs, she could see only the bottoms of Sebastien's legs, his polished black shoes as he walked toward the table on one side of the room. Cloth rustling and swishing sounded like he was removing his overcoat. Then she heard little clicks and other noises. What was he doing?
"Did you do as I asked, and request a room between others that were unoccupied?"
Soft strains of music reached her ears. Had he brought music and a music player? She hadn't noticed him carrying anything from the car, but she had to admit, she hadn't been paying attention because she was so embarrassed and angry. The music sounded familiar, but she couldn't yet place it. She was too distracted to focus on it.
"Very good. Still, just in case, do try to contain yourself." As he said this, she felt something thick and solid thwack up against her buttocks with a sting and a deeper, aching pain that she sensed would be with her for days. She kept her lips firmly closed, but she heard the muffled noise of exclamation anyway.
A second melody joined the first, and it came to her as suddenly as the second strike of Sebastien's paddle. Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata - ah, so he remembered - beautiful, otherworldly, brooding, rhythmic. Interesting. Another three slow smacks, and her ass was already feeling sore, bruised, burning. Then Sebastien was kneeling between her legs briefly, tying her wrists to her ankles. She felt herself tense up in that first panic of being stuck in a strange position.
In the minutes that followed, Claire felt dizzy, confused. Knowing the Sonata as she did - and as she assumed Sebastien did as well - she expected the paddle's thuds to come on the beats of the relentless rhythms. But Sebastien was cleverer than she gave him credit for, and he took a different rhythm entirely, or no rhythm at all. Not being able to predict his moves drove her torment to ever-higher levels, and she soon felt that time was passing very slowly. Her entire world narrowed down to the sensations of the paddle, the way her buttocks shook with each swat, the world of color and darkness that exploded behind her squeezed-shut eyelids.