The Soprano Ch. 05


Claire turned to look at him, astonished, seeing his eyes burning into hers. Then he was gone, stalking around to her side of the car. He yanked the door open, pulled her out, and pushed her up against the car, devouring her mouth greedily. She moaned helplessly into his mouth, feeling his hardness against her hip and waves of obliterating arousal crashing over her. The searing heat of his kiss staved off some of the chill, but soon she was shivering in his arms.

Pulling open the back door, he pushed her down onto the back seat. He followed, closing the door behind him and stretching over her. She reached for him, drawing him down to her and kissing him passionately. She heard his surprised moan as she did so; she so rarely made moves on him like this. Deciding to surprise him further, she undid his pants, reaching in to stroke his cock as she slid her skit up.

He was harder than she'd ever felt him and she shuddered in pleasure as she ran her hand over him, squeezing gently. She slid her panties to the side and arched her hips up, engulfing him in her wetness.

"Sebastien, please. I want you so badly."

Too aroused to complain about what she called him, he plunged deeply into her, making her cry out. His hands were everywhere – in her hair, on her breasts, and finally on her hips, holding her down as he fucked her with long, hard strokes. The sensations built so quickly and all too soon she was exploding around him. For once, his cherished control was being held by too thin a thread and her pulsating around him drove him over the edge, whispering her name sweetly in her ear.

Claire wormed her fingertips beneath his sweater to glide over Sebastien's chest. Her heartbeat was finally slowing and Sebastien was wrapping his arms around her again, holding her close.

"Maestro, I'm just wondering –"

"Do you really want to talk about this right now?" he asked seriously.

"Maybe not, but I think just this one question is important. Did you mean what you said about not seeing yourself as the marrying type?"

Sebastien was silent for a long moment, and Claire realized that she wasn't sure what she was hoping his answer would be. Truth was, she had never put much thought into marriage. It was just something she always assumed she would want. Could she live without it, if that's what he needed? Yes, maybe so. She'd have to think about it, but first she would need to know.

"If you would like my honest is that I do not know. It was never one of my life's goals, particularly, and I never dated anyone that changed my mind." Claire felt that he was leaving something unsaid, but she merely nodded. "While we are on the topic, is it something that is important to you?"

"Yes." It popped out of her mouth before she had a chance to think about what her answer would be. Sebastien looked as surprised as she knew she did, and she shrugged as best she could still pinned beneath him. "I guess it is. But...not right now. Right now I'd like to go back to our you can punish me."

"Punish you?" he asked, shocked. "What ever for?"

"For blowing things out of proportion, I guess."

"Mon abeille," he said, frowning down at her, "I think you were more than entitled to be upset with me for my outburst."

"Sebastien," she cooed, fluttering her eyelashes and watching as he narrowed his eyes at her, "do you want to punish me, or not?"


At just ten minutes after one o'clock in the morning, Sebastien pulled their rented car smoothly into an underground parking garage near their building. Neither of them spoke as they moved quickly down the quiet side streets and up to their flat. They dropped the baggage inside the door and Sebastien grasped Claire's wrist, tugging it up and behind her back. She gasped, feeling a tremor run through her as she was pulled against the long line of his body.

"Go into the bedroom. Undress. Kneel on the bed and wait for me."

"Yes, Maestro," she answered softly, then turned and headed for the bedroom. She didn't even stop to turn on the light, just pulled her clothes off and knelt on the edge of the bed as she had done before. Her feet were tucked up underneath and her knees spread wide. To please him, she clasped her hands together behind her back, pushing her breasts forward slightly. The space between her shoulders started to ache almost immediately, and she lowered her hands until it eased.

In the parlor, she heard some faint scuffling sounds and something wooden being slid back. He was going to play. Of course he was. What would it be tonight? Rachmaninoff, dark and brooding. She wasn't sure which pieces they were, but she recognized the style, all right. He played about fifteen minutes, during which her inner thighs grew achy and tired, and the anticipation of his return made her sex grow warm and heavy between her legs.

Just as she was beginning to think she would have to risk his anger to get him into the bedroom, the music abruptly stopped. For one moment, he was framed in the doorway. Then, he turned off the lights and everything was deadly dark. She could barely hear him moving, but his hands found her nipples in the dark, rolling them firmly between his fingertips as she cried out. Sensation sparked in them as he pulled them away from her body and she struggled to stay upright.

Sebastien let go suddenly, returning with a blindfold that he fastened around her eyes. Through it, she could perceive the bedroom lights being turned on but she saw nothing.

"Grab hold of your ankles and do not let go," he ordered. She reached back, grasping her ankles. No sooner had she done this than she felt the leather tendrils of the Stinger, her favorite flogger, trailing over her breasts. The ticklish sensation raised goose bumps on her skin before he pulled it away and then there was a sharp, stinging pain as he struck her with it. He repeated it over and over – tickle, swish, thwack! – until Claire was writhing, panting, moaning with pleasure.

"Maestro, please..."

"Shut your mouth," he said firmly. "Turn over." She scrambled out of her position, scarcely noting the way her muscles complained as she turned onto her stomach in the dark. Sebastien slipped her leather cuffs onto her wrists and then tied them together, hooking them to the bed. Then she felt nothing for several long minutes. She wanted to speak, but held her tongue.

It was so quiet that she heard the swishing noise the Stinger made before it cracked across her buttocks. Sebastien held nothing back and soon the skin all over her backside was tingling ferociously. She tugged against her bindings, moaning softly. The Stinger clattered onto the floor and she felt Sebastien kneeling on the bed beside her head. He wound his fingers in her hair, tugging firmly until it was nearly painful.

"Open," he said, and when her lips parted he thrust his cock into her waiting mouth. She felt him, soft skin like velvet-covered steel, and ran her tongue over him. He tasted good, the salt of his skin melting on her tongue. His thrusting grew more urgent and she could hardly keep up with him. Of course, without the use of her hands there wasn't anything she could do anyway. Still, he was moving faster than her brain could process, occasionally bumping against the soft flesh of her throat.

At last, she felt a shudder run through him and he withdrew from her mouth. Sliding onto the bed with her, he drew her up and onto his lap, tucking his head between her tied arms so that her forearms rested on his shoulders. Without warning he plunged into her and she gasped, feeling him so deep inside her. Her body was on fire, and the heat of his cheek against hers did nothing to cool her down.

Her hips bumped against his with each thrust, and shivers of pleasure ran through her. When she came – and she would, soon – it was going to be big. She could feel it. Sebastien's hands ran down to back to cup her buttocks, pulling her in close to him. He wrapped one arm around her lower back until she was pinned up against him, unable to move except for the bare flexing of her hips to keep time with his strokes.

"Oh, Maestro," she murmured into his ear, feeling herself at the tipping point. Apparently Sebastien felt it as well because he tightened his hold on her, pushing his hips more firmly into hers until she cried out.

"Yes, Claire, come for me," he whispered sweetly, and she felt herself coming apart at the seams. In the absence of movement, her muscles tensed and released rhythmically with her as she fell hard, tightening around him and making him hiss out a breath. With a few short thrusts he was following her down, emptying himself into her with a low groan.

"Well, mon abeille, do you feel adequately punished?" he asked, smiling against her cheek as he reached behind them to untie her wrists.

"Mmm," she responded, draping her arms around Sebastien and resting her head on his shoulder. He removed her blindfold, tossing it carelessly off the bed somewhere and cuddled her in close to him.

"Is that a yes?" he asked again, with some amusement.

"Mmm." It was the best she could do. She was suddenly so tired. When Sebastien started to move, she whined softly in protest, and he clucked his tongue at her disapprovingly.

"I am only going to lie down," he murmured, and shifted them both until they were horizontal. She was asleep before he pulled the covers up over them.


The crush of people dissipated quickly as Sebastien made his way through the airport. He'd brought all of his luggage on the plane and was glad to escape the baggage carousel, but then any semblance of a good mood he had disappeared as soon as he made it outside. The hiring committee had sent him a car just as they had promised, and they had also, apparently, sent a surprise: Julia was leaning up against the car watching for him.

At that moment, he truly considered turning around and going back into the airport to buy a ticket home. He felt badly enough keeping information from Claire, and having to spend time alone with his potentially-still-interested ex-girlfriend was not his idea of a good time. It wasn't that he would be tempted into anything; Julia was still quite pretty, of course, but he just wasn't interested in her anymore. Claire was, well...she was his everything.

They'd had a few rocky moments – the argument at Christmas stuck out in his recent memory – but he couldn't remember being so happy before. So why was he even still applying for this job? At moments, he wasn't even sure he had a good reason anymore. He just couldn't reconcile giving up the best opportunity he might have in years. If he and Claire were meant to be, wouldn't they find a way to stay together?

Then Julia spotted him, and he remembered where he was and what he was there to do. Interviews with the hiring committee and running through some rehearsals with the orchestra to see what it would be like working with them.

"Michi!" she squealed, running over to take his arm and lead him to the car. He frowned down at her; he'd always hated that nickname. It was short for his middle name, "Michel," and she'd called him that for most of the time they'd dated.

"Julia," he said softly, "call me Sebastien, please."

"Aww, but I always called you Michi," she pouted.

"And I always hated it," he reminded her.

She pursed her lips, then said, "You're less fun than you used to be."

"We have not seen each other in many years. You are being a bit too familiar, do you not think so?" Her easy smile disappeared as she dropped her hands away from his arm.

"Fine. I just thought you might like to, you know, pick up where we left off." Sebastien looked down at her, very aware that he must have a baffled expression on his face.

"That is not possible."

"Yeah, I guess not. Maybe just a drink, then?"

"I think that would be fine," he said, though he was not at all certain.

The music was soft and jazzy in the hotel lounge and the lights darkened, unobtrusive. If it hadn't been in the hotel Sebastien was staying at, he might have thought Julia had chosen it deliberately. He slid into one of the burgundy leather booths, unreasonably pleased and relieved when Julia sat across from him rather than trying to bump up beside him. The waiter appeared almost immediately to take their drink orders.

"Gin and tonic, please," Sebastien said.

"Make it two." The waiter scuttled away and Julia examined her fingernails for a moment before she spoke. "You really do seem different than I remember."

"It has been nearly ten years," he said, trying to keep the exasperation out of his voice. "Why should I be the same?"

"It's just that you're so much quieter, so much more reserved."

"Truly, I am not. I have always been this way. I believe you took it as a challenge and set out to change that fact. As I recall, you simply ignored my silent protestations until I acquiesced." Julia was quiet even longer this time, sliding her eyes away as if embarrassed.

"Yes, well, that does sound like me," she admitted. "But come on, we did have fun, didn't we?"

"We did, yes."

"So why can't we have it again?"

"I hope that you are not telling me that, after all this time, you are still stuck on me..."

"I don't know. I guess I just sort of have always seen you as the one that got away," she replied, much more serious now. "I didn't realize how good I had it."

"You have had relationship problems?"

"Something like that," she said vaguely. The waiter returned with their drinks and she stirred hers absentmindedly with her straw, taking a few sips. "But anyway," she said cheerfully, "what's new with you? Tell me all about living on the other side of the country!"

"It has been beyond my expectations. The city is beautiful, the orchestra performs admirably, the people are supportive, the weather –"

"How is your new soloist working out?" she interrupted.

Sebastien hesitated slightly before saying, "She is a lovely girl, and an excellent performer."

"Mmhmm...we heard that she was very young."

"Not...not so very young," he faltered. "And of course, quite talented and poised for her age."

"Hmmm," she grinned at him.

"I do not know what you are suggesting," he said, more stiffly than he intended since she was, of course, obviously quite right in her hinted speculations. Julia's eyes widened; the picture of innocence. "Besides, she is not..." he muttered, not sure how to finish his sentence.

"Oh, but there is someone?"

"There is...someone. Yes."

"Well you could have just told me that in the first place and I would have left you alone." She rolled her eyes. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to use the ladies room."

"Of course," he murmured, feeling uncomfortable and a little bit stupid. When she had gone, he blew out a breath and drained his drink. Of course he could have just told her. He was making a lot of trouble out of nothing, and if he didn't watch out, it was going to make even more trouble for him. His secret must not come out. Not here, not now. His phone buzzed, and he answered without looking at it.


"Mon ami, how is everything? Did you make it okay?"

"Oh, hello, René. Everything is fine so far. Julia came to pick me up at the airport and we are having a drink before I turn in for the night."

The disapproval on the other end was so resounding that he could almost hear it. René, always the moralist, had already thought he was a bit of a jerk for lying to Claire, and he supposed that having a drink with an ex-girlfriend only compounded his offenses.


"I do not know what you are thinking, but whatever it is, perhaps you should think again."

"It is nothing," he said with a heavy sigh. "She knows I am dating someone and this is all in innocence, I swear it to you."

"If you think it is innocent to lie to a sweet girl who loves you more than anything else..."

"Please," he cut in exasperatedly, "not this again. I am well aware of your opinions regarding mon abeille but if you recall your meddling was not so well received last time that you should think of starting it up again. I will thank you to please leave us to our own business."

"I do not like lying for you," René said curtly.

"Then I shall stop telling you all my secrets."

"Perhaps you should."

"Mon frère, let's not fight, please. It is unpleasant." A brief silence.

"Very well, I apologize. But you must understand, I only say what I feel because I care about you and I want to see you happy. I think you are making a mistake – perhaps several of them – but if you wish me to keep my peace, then that is what I will do."

"It is, thank you."

"Have you at least told Claire that you are on the ground again?"

"Yes, of course," Sebastien said, a bit impatiently. "I shall call you again when I know more. Now I must say goodbye," he added, seeing Julia walk back into the room. He ended the call and dropped the phone back into his pocket. As Julia approached the table, he stood abruptly and inclined his head down toward her. "I should be getting to sleep. It has been a long and tiring day, I am afraid."

"Of course," she murmured, looking a little disappointed. "Maybe we can see each other later this week? You still have my number, I hope."

"Yes, perhaps so. Good night." He headed upstairs, feeling vaguely as if he had escaped.


Claire was in a strange mood. She wasn't sure what it was; perhaps it was the first day of full, unobscured sunshine that year so far. Or perhaps it was the late winter blossoms fragrant on the air. Whatever it was, it made Claire feel giddy and restless. She was prancing around Sebastien's apartment in her favorite new set of lingerie: old-fashioned, high-waisted shorts and a skimpy bra top, both in plum-colored silk trimmed with cream lace.

She had just brushed out her auburn waves until they were shiny and soft, tumbling down over her shoulders. Probably she should go back home, but they had rehearsal that afternoon and Claire had to admit she was getting to be quite comfortable in Sebastien's apartment. Just knowing that he was nearby made her happy...and where was he now, anyway?

His office, of course. He had spent so much time there lately, alone, admonishing her to leave him to his work. She had noticed how snippy and anxious he seemed to be these days, and she didn't like it, but he wouldn't talk to her about it. He was in there when she entered, sitting at his desk and making notes in one score while flipping through a stack of papers.

"Good morning, Maestro! Isn't it just the most lovely morning?"

He glanced up at her, startled, and the look on his face nearly made her burst out laughing. He looked at her as if he had never seen her before, and perhaps her enthusiasm was a little bit unusual, but she was just in such a cheery mood.

"It is very nice, yes." He seemed a bit impatient to get back to work.

"It's stuffy in here, though. Let's get the windows open!"

"I don't think..."

Claire flung open the windows, ignoring his protestations, thrilled to feel the gust of cool air blow into the room. Her nipples puckered in the sudden chill, but her momentary delight at capturing Sebastien's attention turned to dismay when the papers blew off his desk and scattered around the room.

"Oops..." She bent to retrieve the papers, wiggling her ass in Sebastien's general direction. The window shut with a bang behind her and she jumped, startled.

"Claire," he said firmly as she returned the stack to his desk, "please, if you would like to stay until rehearsal tonight you are free to do so. But you must not distract me while I work. Go downstairs."

She pouted over at him, about the flounce out of the room when she changed her mind. Looking up at him defiantly, she crossed her arms over her chest.


"What do you mean, no?" His brow furrowed, but she grinned up at him cheekily.

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