The Maestro Ch. 07bybarabajagal001©
Note: This is the (really, truly) final chapter of the series. It's possible I might write a few stand-alone vignettes, but I have other works to focus on for now. Thanks once more for all the support and feedback I got during this process. It is all so appreciated!
Summer was finally making its presence known in the foggy coastal city where Claire was at that moment wading knee-deep in the restless ocean. She had gone out in a little black bikini, glad to have a warmish breeze brushing her bare skin. She hadn't thought about the fact that a variety of different bruises, yellowish-green older ones along with purplish new ones, would be showing - on her thighs, upper arms, wrists and ankles. A few strange stares had come her way before she'd figured out what was bothering people. She had mostly ignored them, wandering out into the water.
The ocean had always been her "happy place." Maybe it was the calm, rhythmic way that the foamy waves rushed in and lingered on the sands before draining away. Maybe it was the way that the water could be a bright, sparkling blue and turn to a muted grey-green in a few moments. It had been her favorite vacation spot as a kid, the place she'd driven when she got her very first car to get away from it all, a place she turned to whenever she felt sad or confused.
Her life had gotten very complicated as of late. It was August, almost halfway in between the upcoming start of her second season with the symphony and her trip to Paris with Sebastien, her Maestro, her lover, and inexplicably, her friend. She had known him just over a year now, and their relationship had changed so much in that time that it was dizzying to think of it.
It was only in the past few weeks that she had realized how deeply she cared for him, in fact that she loved him. Suddenly she was looking at life, at everything, so much more seriously. So instead of just joy and anticipation, when she saw Sebastien, or thought of him, those feelings came along with the heavy burden of the secret she was keeping. And why, she asked herself, was she keeping such a secret, when she knew - or thought she knew - that Sebastien also cared for her? She had met his family, for goodness' sake. Always, she came to the same conclusion. He may have cared for her, but he had never given any indication that he thought of her as a partner, someone to be with long term.
She had been pulling away, little by little, since they had returned from Paris. Of course the apartment he had fixed up there was amazing, and beautiful, and the part of her that secretly hoped for more wanted to believe that it was an indication that he meant there to be more between them. Hadn't he said he had bought it, essentially, to bring her to? Well, the more practical part of her would respond, he probably wanted it anyway, or he could always sell it, or use it with another woman in the future, when their sexual attraction had fizzled out and they separated.
Still, it didn't seem very likely that it would ever fizzle. For her part, Claire felt that something big, something almost integral to her very person had been awakened by Sebastien. In daily life, she was strong, opinionated, ambitious, passionate about everything she pursued; the very epitome, she sometimes thought, of the modern woman. Yet with this man, as with no one before, she found such great joy - and arousal - in submitting to his every desire (well, almost every desire) and to be punished and pleasured by him. She sometimes tried to picture having a "normal" sexual relationship again, and it just didn't seem like it could ever be as fulfilling. Perhaps she would meet someone who would light the same fires in her as Sebastien could, but she doubted it.
Then, too, there was this odd tug-of-war between them. She was not really the pursuer, as she had been in previous relationships with men. Rather, she was certainly the pursued. And yet, it wasn't so simple as that, either. She pulled away from Sebastien, pushed him away from her, resisted him at every turn, challenged and excited him. Even as she was pulling away from him this time, wasn't it just as much for the anticipation of the punishment she would receive as it was because she had felt the need for a little breathing room? Maybe more. She had thought many times about what would happen if they made their relationship really "official." If they seriously dated or even, she hesitated to think, got married, would they still have that same friction? If they did, would it constantly threaten to tear them apart? If they didn't, would they simply become bored or disillusioned, and drift away?
It hurt too much to think about. So she sought the solitude of the coast, the companiable bubbling of the waves that didn't ask for anything in return.
She trailed her fingertips through the surf, feeling the chill from the waters raising goosebumps on her skin. She wandered aimlessly, thinking of everything, thinking of nothing at all. She spent about an hour there, just walking back and forth. It was the first beach-worthy day in several weeks, summers in that little city typically being blanketed by the chill fog for what in the rest of the country were the three hottest months of the year. As she approached the rocks where she had left her bag and shoes, she involuntarily tensed with the sudden feeling that she was being observed.
Claire took a moment to think of how she must look. She cut a petite, somewhat slim figure, her bathing suit covering just enough, her body curved in the right places. Her deep auburn hair was pinned loosely to her head, wispy tendrils giving her a charmingly windswept appearance. Though she had probably looked either pensive or simply relaxed walking in the shallow water, anyone perceptive would have noticed that she was moving more conscientiously. Mocking herself internally, she assumed a pose against the rock that she hoped radiated peaceful indifference, and then turned her head toward the beach.
A young man was watching her. He was lounging on the sand, a book forgotten in his hand. She wondered what she would have done if she had been totally single, unattached. Would she have waited for him to come to her? Would she have wandered over to him and introduced herself? Would she have simply gone about her day? Impossible to know. The young man had shifted several times, seeming to be convincing himself to get up, and then think differently of it.
His attention shifted to the side as someone passed him, and Claire followed his gaze up to a sight that pierced her heart. Sebastien. She wasn't nearly as surprised as she should have been, but somehow he always seemed to know things about her that she had naively thought were her own private secrets.
He was tall, thin, his straight black hair, dark eyes, dark suit making him stand out among the other beachgoers, uniformly shorter, tanner, blonder, more casual. Still, the suit always fit him like a second skin - well-tailored, yes, but it was more than that. He was coming closer, and she noticed that he was actually barefoot. Of course that made sense for the beach, but she still caught her breath. Somehow a barefoot man in a suit was so sexy to her. Or was it just him?
She met his eyes, willing her expression not to change to what she was feeling inside, any of the feelings: trepidation, desire, fear, or hot, sweet, passion. His face, too, gave away nothing. She turned her face away, watching the ocean and breathing in slowly to master her heartbeat.
Even as she was still processing the sound of sand shifting aside slowly, she felt his hand brush her stomach, which quivered with the touch. She looked at him and before she could speak, his mouth was on hers, hot, wet. She let out a soft sound without meaning to and he crushed his body against hers, pressing her into the rough rocky surface behind her. As they kissed, she tried to think of something to say when their lips parted. Maybe something funny, something sexy, even something sweet and romantic.
As he pulled away from her, she felt herself fighting against the urge to sigh. He was so handsome. She twisted her mouth into a sulk instead.
"How do you always know where I am?"
A smile ghosted around his lips, but his eyes were serious. "Why are you always running off someplace I need to find you, mon abeille?"
Rehearsals had started with a vengeance for the symphony, after Claire and Sebastien's vacation to Paris. They were leading the season off with a massive undertaking in the theme of love: sixteenth-century Italian madrigals sung by double choir, and a number of operatic arias with lush orchestration, sung by soloists, sometimes in duos or trios. Claire had eagerly participated in suggesting pieces for the concert, but had lately turned to her music in dread.
Once she realized the depths of her feelings for Sebastien, it seemed the absolute height of ridiculousness to be on stage, singing in front of him about love. He was no idiot. Surely he would see through the pleasant facade she put on for singing to the warm depths of feeling underneath. Their eyes might meet, and he would realize the truth, and she would die of humiliation.
Luckily, the sheer number of performers meant that she was not put on the spot in every rehearsal. She dutifully showed up to each one, even when her pieces were not even on the schedule. The music really was gorgeous, and she would have been a fool to pass up the opportunity to absorb as much as possible. Some of these songs had not ever been recorded, and to hear them being performed was such a treat.
Still, being the soprano meant that she participated in more pieces than any soloist except the tenor, and she was frequently called upon to perform on cue. Some days, she was able to sublimate her discomfort into a convincing show of cheer. Other times, she was driven to distraction by Sebastien's sheer presence, the strange feeling of singing love songs near him, the memory of him inside her, bringing her to orgasm again and again.
After one such reverie, she was reprimanded sharply by Sebastien.
"Claire! Your attention, please!"
"Sorry, Maestro," she murmured demurely, seeing his eyes glint in pleasure. So she was not the only one whose mind wandered to dark places, she thought with warm satisfaction.
It was with some measure of relief that she escaped from rehearsal that day. She glanced ruefully at her running shoes, hanging neglected from a hook in her dressing room. It seemed that she had little need of running of excess energy these days. She should have been gaining weight, she supposed, but then the fine trembling in the tautness of her muscles as Sebastien tortured and teased her probably burned plenty of calories.
She had just stepped onto the sidewalk outside the symphony hall, when a tall, handsome man encircled her waist with his arm and drew her into an embrace.
"René, please, what if they see you?" she protested, referring to the other musicians.
"What if they do? It's not as if they know about your affair with the illustrious conductor, do they?" he teased.
"Shhh! They don't, but I don't want them asking me any questions either. What are you doing downtown?"
"I come to you as the humble servant of the Maestro," he said with a little bow. "He requests your presence in his automobile."
Claire followed him, not feeling nearly as reluctant as she thought she should. They walked a block, then around the corner toward the middle of the block, where she saw the town car parked. René held the door open for her, then walked off toward the driver's seat as she stepped inside.
Acting swiftly while her back was turned to shut the door, Sebastien grasped her wrists, jerking them together behind her back. She gasped, squirming at the sudden lack of movement. Then, just as quickly, he pulled her around and over his lap. He released her wrists, but she found that they had been tied together. Helpless again. She felt him reaching beneath her lap to undo her pants.
"Maestro, what are you doing?" she cried. In response, his hand came down firmly on her backside.
"Quiet, Claire. If you cannot use your mouth for singing, or to explain your poor performance, do not use it at all." The harsh tone of his voice, more than his words, silenced her. He sounded disappointed in her. Yet, she thought wryly, he seemed determined to make the best of it.
He had finally succeeded in sliding her pants down around her knees, and was running his finger along the lace edge of her thong panties.
"At least you've dressed the part," he murmured. Claire flushed, feeling very exposed, even though his windows were tinted.
"Please, Maestro, people can see me!" A sharp slap fell upon her left buttock, and she winced in pain.
"Very well, René, you may take us home now." The car began to move, and Sebastien gave her another few spanks. "I wanted to administer your punishment while your offenses were still fresh in your mind. However, since I have left my usual implements at home, it seems the personal touch will have to suffice."
As he spoke, he struck her slowly, methodically, alternating locations so as to bruise her tender flesh evenly. She whimpered and writhed in his lap, hoping each blow would be the last. Her skin was tingling, and she knew it must already be red. One particularly hard spank brought tears to her eyes. Soon, she was sniffling pathetically into the fabric of the seat as he spanked her. The growing warmth between her legs did nothing to lessen the embarrassment of her situation. She imagined scores of pedestrians gawking at her upturned ass as it received the punishment. Her face was as red as her buttocks when he finally let her up.
She was hoping to be released and re-dressed, but soon discovered things would not go her way. Sebastien helped her sit up, but left her hands tied uncomfortably behind her back, now pinned against the seat. He left her pants around her knees. She wiggled her hips, even though she knew it would do no good.
"Ah, how careless of me, mon abeille," he said. But instead of helping her with her pants, he slid his fingers between her legs, eliciting a choked moan as he grazed her damp panties. "I know how you get. It's so terribly impolite to leave a lady waiting, don't you think?" He moved her panties aside, sliding one finger up into her. Bolts of pleasure raced through her as his palm slid against her clit. But each time she felt herself coming close to an orgasm, his hand conveniently shifted somewhere less pleasurable until she pulled back from the edge.
By the time they had reached the apartment building, Claire was nearly wild with desire and pent-up arousal. René helped her out of the car, sliding her pants abrasively over her still-tender buttocks. She followed them through the lobby, shivering slightly when her pants pressed too tightly into her inflamed center.
Upstairs, she was antsy to get up to Sebastien's bedroom, eager for him to finish what he had started. Her breath sped up as the men removed her clothes, pulse quickened as they tied her to the bed. Then they, too, stripped off their clothes, climbing into bed, and she very nearly moaned aloud in anticipation.
She was surprised when neither man turned to her, however, instead coming together and kissing deeply. Claire watched in fascination as they stroked each other to hardness, and then collapsed onto the bed to suck each other's cocks. She realized that she had never watched any man give another oral sex, much less two at the same time, and she found it arousing and interesting.
When Sebastien's tongue began to explore further down between René's buttocks, Claire was neither surprised nor bothered. His finger slid into René slowly, wiggling back and forth. A muffled moan came from the other end of the bed. Claire watched the finger-fucking with a bit of jealousy, but it was nothing compared to how she felt when René got to his hands and knees, offering himself to Sebastien.
Sebastien rolled a condom onto his cock, still slick from René's mouth, and pushed it into the other man, inch by slow inch. His hands caressed René's lower back and buttocks. He leaned forward to murmur something in the other man's ear. Claire felt utterly left out, no more interesting or useful than a piece of furniture. She'd seen them have sex before, of course, many times, but she had always been involved, wanted. For the first time, a hot wash of jealousy rushed over her. It should have been her underneath Sebastien. He had no right to cut her out completely, to make it so obvious that his mind was not on her, even as she sat so close to him. She was angry at him, and angry at herself as her irritation fought with arousal inside her body.
Then she thought bitterly, she supposed she knew how he felt during rehearsals, when her mind wandered away from the task on hand, and him. She turned away from Sebastien pounding into René, but couldn't block out the moans. Still, she couldn't watch anymore. It was turning her on, and she loved it, and hated loving it. She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment, but then turned her head back and opened them. If he could do this to her, she could at least stare sullenly back at him. But it appeared that he had been watching her already.
"I think," he said softly, "mon abeille has had more than enough punishment. Have you not?" Claire's pride wanted her to lift her chin, ignore him. But her hurt feelings won out, and she nodded once, slowly. Sebastien slid his sheathed cock out of René, making the other man shiver. He leaned over Claire, loosening her bonds. "I wonder if it is a blessing or a curse to have such a tender spot in my heart for you. I want nothing more than to see you happy."
She shifted uncomfortably. She didn't know what to say. She only knew that she ached to be touched, by one of them, by both of them. Then Sebastien pulled her over his lap, tilting her hips back so that both men could enter her. She let out a stilted moan as they did. She felt so full, so complete. She kissed each in turn as they thrust gently inside her.
Hands gripped her everywhere; now gripping her buttocks, now drawing slippery circles on her clit. She cried out as she came, tightening around them. Several more thrusts and René was groaning as he emptied himself into her, followed shortly by Sebastien. Claire, sighed, leaning back against René. Sebastien was already stepping off the bed.
"After such a long day, I think a shower is in order. Would you care to join me, Claire?" She murmured a dissent, and he pursed his lips. "Still angry with me, mon abeille?" She shook her head, and he disappeared into the bathroom. Claire fell back against the pillows, looking up at René, who was grinning.
"Now that we are alone, I suppose I can have my way with you." She raised an eyebrow, and he laughed. "Why don't you tell him what is bothering you?" he asked, serious now.
"I, well, I don't think he would understand. Or maybe I don't think he would be happy to hear it."
"I think you underestimate mon frère."
"Maybe," she said, unconvinced.
"In my experience, it is always better to get the unpleasant thing out of the way so that we can go on with our lives. Besides, you might be surprised."
"If you knew what it was, you wouldn't think so," she said. He shrugged, rising to pull his clothes on.
"Well, what I am sure of is that you will never know if you do not tell him. Please excuse me, I am sure he will not mind if I left myself out."
Then he was gone. Claire pulled the warm blankets around herself, and soon drifted off to sleep.
Late Sunday morning, Claire awoke in a tangle of sheets and warm limbs. Extracting herself carefully, she took her hairbrush from the bedside table and ran it through her hair. The soft, shiny waves tumbled down around her naked shoulders as she watched Sebastien in repose, the muted sunlight washing over him through the gauze curtains. There was something so inexplicably sexy about him, the aura of power she sensed even as he slept. Just the knowledge that he could wake up at any moment and force her to fulfill the dark desires they both had was at once terrifying and powerfully arousing.