Clair walked ahead of him and opened her door. “Thanks for dinner by the way, it was lovely.” She threw over her shoulder.
“Don’t mention it.” She heard float from behind her as he followed her in.
“Drink?” Clair asked as she gestured towards her sofa.
“Yeah, a coffee would be nice.” As he instead seated himself at her baby grand. Causing Clair to pause and stare for a moment to see what he was doing. With the delicacy of a surgeon the man lifted the lid and placed his fingers over the keys. Clair was about to yell at him she realized as he started playing Beethoven’s fifth in A minor.
Fascinated Clair stopped and watched as this handsome man closed his eyes and let his fingers glide over her keys.
“You tune her yourself don’t you?” he said under his breath.
Clair hadn’t realized that she had moved closer until she heard his voice which startled her out of her stunned fascination with his playing.
“Yes, I do.”
He nodded. “You like your tones a hair sharper than a tuner would leave it.”
Clair felt the tug in her heart, and terrified more than fascinated, she made her way swiftly into the kitchen and started the process of brewing coffee.
Clair realized that her hands were shaking as she placed the filter into the machine. The sounds of his playing floating clearly into the kitchen. His technique was nearly flawless, his form, the pressure of his fingers and the invisible nuances of playing an instrument as complex as the piano all in line with the intent and purpose of the piece. Clair took a deep breath as the sounds of one of her favorite works moved over her ears and assailed her heart and soul.
It had been like that when Johnny would sing to her. His voice would incite feelings of wonder, awe and joy. But his voice wasn’t the instrument of her heart, not like the piano. Listening to someone pay homage to her liege as Sergei was, raised her level of involvement to about three times of where it was when Johnny would sing to her.
‘Rapture as a noun meaning elation. Elation as a noun meaning happiness, euphoria, glee, intoxication, jubilation which leads back to—‘
Clair’s eyes popped open as she realized what she was doing.
Shaking even harder she continued preparing the coffee.
When the task was done she walked into the living room and sat on her sofa and listened to him play, waiting for the coffee to finish brewing. She got to watch the play of his back muscles as he moved. He sat ramrod straight. Edwina would love his form, she thought passively. He kept his wrists firm and his fingers loose. And he was playing as if he could see the music in his head. Eyes closed. Clair did that sometimes, but that was because of the sheer ecstasy she received from playing. Biting her fingernails, Clair watched as he continued. Then without thinking she got up and sat next to him on her bench. There was barely enough room for her and she completed his melodic line with the under pairing for the piece. Edwina used to do this for her all the time when she was trying to find her way through a piece. It was akin to what women did to under lead a man while teaching ballroom dance.
Sergei’s eyes opened and he looked over at Clair as she played. Her eyes were on the keys. The look on her face as she played made his breath catch. It was sublime, the pleasure she received from this instrument. It wasn’t the right time or the right place but he couldn’t help what he did next. He took her chin into his hand and leaned over to kiss her.
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