Jane's ArpeggiobyKaryn Gardenia©
Nile absolutely could not believe the news his pompous boss was giving him. After spending his entire life in London, he was being relocated to the United States. What was worse- he was being relocated to the rural Midwest. Though the only place in the U.S. he had visited was New York City, he had seen pictures and films showing life in the Midwest, and the mere thought of being a part of it turned his stomach.
"Palmquist, I have a very special position for you out there. It may seem like you're in a spot of trouble, but I promise you this is no punishment," the over-starched suit in front of him was saying. Whether or not it was meant to be a punishment was irrelevant. He was due to leave the country in three days. How could he kiss goodbye everything he loved in three days? Could he just quit and find another job? Probably... but did he want to?...probably not.
So, in three days, 24-year-old Nile Palmquist had closed out all of his affairs in London, and was getting off a plane in Chicago's O'Hare airport. From there, he was given a stunning company car and directions to his new home in North Liberty, Iowa. Though he tried his best not to despair, the whole drive from Chicago to Center Point was spent in a dazed sort of retrospect for England. He even couldn't help but scoff at the idea of living in any place with the word Liberty in its name.
On the bright side, after three weeks in his new rural Iowa residence, he was beginning to grow optimistic about his future. The apartment the company had moved him into was quite nice- better than the one he had been living in in London for the past three years. The street he lived on was nearly free of traffic for most of the day, and he could look out his window and see a row of gardens tended by various women in brightly colored sundresses and jogging suits. The branch of his company that he was working with was quartered in Coralville, which was hardly a city compared to London, but had everything he needed, really.
When July rolled around, he thought he had best get a taste of the night life and stop hiding in his apartment each night. He chose a piano bar in a nearby city, for he absolutely adored the sound of a good pianist, and met several young women who shared his enthusiasm. None of them really appealed to him, though, in a potential relationship sense. Late in the evening, one of the pianists, a young man who appeared to be in his early twenties was seated next to Nile at the bar. After a bit of conversation, Nile had made up his mind that he, too, wanted to play the piano. The pianist suggested several teachers, to which Nile responded questioning which teacher the pianist had liked best. He took down a name and phone number which he immediately called the next day. He had his first lesson scheduled for after work the coming Monday.
He wasn't sure on the customs for music lessons in America, so he dressed in light-weight dress pants and a pressed button-down shirt in pastel. On the way to his lesson, he stopped to pick up a beginner's lesson book and new pencils, and began searching the quaint neighborhood of the address he had written down. Part of him felt foolish for taking beginner's piano lessons at his age- he figured that his teacher had probably been playing for over thirty years and would laugh silently behind a polite smirk when he played a wrong note or had to ask too many questions. Approaching her door, he braced himself for humiliation that he hoped would eventually end in skill.
The faint, distant music he heard through the door swelled in volume as the door was pulled open and a strikingly pretty face leaned around the edge of the opened door to welcome him inside graciously. Once inside, the girl stepped out from behind the door, and Nile couldn't help but notice at great length the prize body she was carrying around. She couldn't have been more than twenty.
"I'm with a student right now," she told him with a smile, "but I'll be with you in just five. Go ahead and have a seat."
He did. As she disappeared into a hallway, he could hear her praising the work of her other student. Until now, he had not even considered the possibility that he would be so attracted to his teacher. She had carefully styled chestnut hair that fell down in front of her flawless shoulders...visible in her off-the-shoulder sweater. Her waist was narrow and flared out into a set of full, perfectly crafted hips and a shape that any pair of pants would die to cling to. He felt almost guilty looking at a younger girl this way, knowing she was supposed to be an authority, in a way.
When it was finally his turn, he passed the student he had heard playing on her way out. She was very young- Nile had her guessed at fifth or sixth grade- but she had been playing very well for her age. Nile whispered a "good show" to her as she walked past, which was met in response by a confused smile.
Much to his surprise, the lesson started out completely free of humiliation. She had asked him about his experience...about where he lived and where he came from...and lastly about his reason for wanting to learn the piano. She seemed genuinely interested in his answers. When he had finished, he asked her what had made her want to learn the piano. She laughed in a way that nearly made him fall in love. Then she told him that her mother had been a piano teacher and had started teaching her when she was but three years old.
"I've been playing for sixteen years," she offered, revealing her age. She was striking for 19.
They did a few exercises from his piano book. She encouraged him without patronizing, and even told him he was a bright, quick learner. Watching her talented hands moving on the keys whenever she showed him anything was enough encouragement for him. Sometimes he would even ask her to repeat an example just so he could watch her slender fingers and carefully painted fingernails. Sitting close to her on the piano bench was pure bliss- he was close enough to smell her light, citrus perfume, but far enough that he could turn and still see those bare shoulders of hers beneath her dark, gently waving hair. He made a point to look directly into her eyes whenever she was talking to him, but sometimes his gaze wandered to her lips for a second or two as he appeared to consider her suggestions. The lesson was over almost as quickly as it had begun.
That night, alone in his dark bedroom, he fought back a bit of his guilt and started touching himself under the sheets, imagining her talented hands on him that way. He didn't know why such thoughts were overpowering him. It was all he could think about all evening- her pink, filed fingernails and limber wrists, pleasing his extremities with a lyrical, intent touch. For weeks he awoke in the dark from vivid dreams of her, and had to fight himself nearly to tears not to let his eyes wander during his lessons. It was a rough battle that he gave in to each night in his bed, each morning during his shower, and sometimes.... sometimes in the car, in his own garage, after he had left her studio.
On the first day of August, his battle became a losing one. She welcomed him to his seat on the bench wearing a form-fitting knit blouse in soft black. Her midrift was exposed, sending a chill through every stream of his blood. Her stomach was tight and flawless- her belly button practically jumping out at him above a low-riding waist line. Her skirt was denim and reached her knees, but there was no hiding the way it clung to the gentle curve of her ass and thighs. He would have paid out his savings for a chance to slide that skirt up and grip her tight 19-year-old ass in both hands.
Somehow, he was able to sit on the bench, but shuddered with dread and embarassment when he felt himself growing hard in his khaki pants. She was going about her business, marking off his assignments in her notebook and making small talk about his work week. He tried to ignore her round breasts when she leaned down next to him to pick up a paperclip from a bowl on the piano. It was impossible. The black top she wore had a way of highlighting them- almost as if she were painted with a fine layer of black paint and her breasts were free to move around as they naturally chose. Her perfume was like incense- dizzying him as he tried to concentrate on her words. He shivered nervously when she sat beside him and her hip came in contact with his on the bench. The exercises he had played with his eyes closed the night before were now the only thing to steal his mind from the sexual goddess at his side.
"Nile?" she asked, a gentle smile touching her full lips. "Could you play that one again, please? I noticed a few things, and I think you did too."
He hadn't. He played it again, realizing he must have skipped over an entire section of the exercise. The second time, she was pleased.
"Much better.. and thanks for playing it over. Sometimes I have to do that, myself."
He didn't make the same mistake twice, though he did make several more before the lesson was done. He jumped when her home phone rang shrilly, and she placed one of her wonderful hands on his shoulder to calm him.
"Just a second, okay?"
She disappeared through the door, and his eyes instantly dropped to the swelling erection in his lap. It was so prominent, he couldn't believe she hadn't run out of the room screaming. Perhaps she was just that focused on her teaching. He didn't want to be thrown out forever.
He could hear her honeyed voice drifting in from wherever the phone was. She kept the conversation short, saying she was in a lesson and she would get the order placed as soon as possible.
When she came strolling back in, her smile seemed forced.
"Thank you," she said abruptly, sitting down next to him, "for having the intiative to pick out your own book. It's a great help to me that you are so on top of things."
He wanted to slap himself for the image that came to mind when she said that.
Taking his silence for polite quiet, she went on to tell him that the young man who was supposed to have the next lesson slot had cancelled because he didn't have a book and couldn't find a proper one anywhere.
"Anyway, I'm sure you don't want to hear me badmouth my other students.. I'm so sorry."
Before he could stop himself, his hand fell on her thigh.
"Don't worry about it," he said in his best comforting tone. It stung him that she really felt bad about something she had done, especially something so minor.
She glanced down at the hand, and then back up at him, smiling a humored smile. Then, just as he had feared for weeks, her eyes caught on the bulge in his lap.
"Oh.." she said, the surprise evident in her voice. "I'm sorry, I..."
He wanted to die.
No, what he really wanted was her open mouth just as it was, only on his throbbing erection.
He wanted to die again for his thoughts. He pulled his hand from her thigh and stared at the keys, frozen.
"I was afraid you'd notice that," he admitted, turning to watch an uneasy smile tilt the corners of her mouth upwards. "I'm the one who should be apologizing."
She was still looking. Why couldn't she just look back up at the music and continue the lesson as if nothing had happened? At least then maybe he wouldn't be wishing death on himself every four seconds.
"You must really love music," she joked, trying to lighten his horrified embarassment. He could feel himself sweating. He hoped the fear and disgust would make the erection go away. It didn't.
"No..." he replied, feeling as if he had nothing to lose, "it's just you. I find it hard to sit next to you for a half an hour and not notice how breath-taking you are."
She seemed to stop breathing, an ironic response to his compliment. She smiled bigger- a truly flattered smie she could not help.
"That's very sweet, Nile....I'm glad you told me."
It was the strangest thing she could have said. She wasn't freaking out, and she wasn't scolding him. She also wasn't acting awkward and making things worse. She seemed to be happy about it.
He let out a shaky laugh, not knowing what to say.
"Nile?" she asked, capturing him with her brown eyes. "You're the best beginner student I have... but I get the feeling you aren't much of a beginner when it comes to things like this."
"Things like this?" he repeated, feeling himself swell bigger with her suggestion. She was actually LIKING it. The look on her face was one of priceless, ravenous interest in the erection in his lap.
"Things like this," she repeated back once more, letting her hand settle on his bulge. He was nearly shaking with anticipation and the flood of fantasies he had indulged over the weeks he had known her. Now her hand was on him... she wanted it, just like him. He could have cried out in rapture. Instead, he placed his own hand over hers, filled with a strange new confidence.
"You're gorgeous, you know that?" he told her, looking straight into the eyes that had filled his hottest dreams, as her dream-self had looked up at him from her place on her knees in front of him.
Her smile disappeared and was replaced by a contemplative, calculating expression.
"So now that you're sitting in my studio, hard as a rock and unable to hide it..." she smiled a bit on the last part, knowing how embarassed he was, "why don't we do something about it?"
He could have played a Bach fugue at her mere suggestion.