– This Love –
“Come on. You want it. This isn’t the time to second guess yourself. Sit,” he said, motioning me to sit on the piano bench.
I sat absent-mindedly, took my jacket off and placed it on top of the piano.
I cracked my fingers, and I placed them on the keys.
I lifted my eyes to meet his.
“What do you want to hear?” I asked.
“Anything you want to play,” he replied.
I took a deep breath trying to shake off the nervousness.
He leaned down, moved my hair behind my shoulder and looked into my eyes.
“No one is here to judge you,” he said in a low voice, his face inches away from mine.
I looked into his eyes and told him “I’m ready.”
I finally settled on a piece, and I placed my fingers on the keys. I couldn’t look at him while I played, but I was all too aware of his eyes fixed on me. I could feel his eyes look at my hands, and go up to my face, probably focusing on my lips and my purposely closed eyelids. Knowing he was looking at me sent shivers down my spine. Since my circumstances had changed over the last few months, playing the piece I had chosen felt completely different. I got giddier note after note. The sound coming from the piano vibrated through me and it felt liberating. A small smile spread on my face and I heard Lou chuckle. He was standing to my left, facing me, and I knew if I looked up for just a moment, I would have gotten lost in his eyes and lost my focus. I felt completely ecstatic playing Liszt’s piano concerto No. 1 in e-flat major s. 124, and toward the end, I couldn’t hold back my smile anymore. I bit my lip, incredulous, trying to remember the last time I had so much fun playing classical music. I must have been a child.
When I was done, I finally looked up and met Lou’s eyes. He gave me a soft smile at first, but when he read the expression on my face and saw how giddy I was, his smile stretched into a huge grin. We both laughed, half surprised, half ecstatic.
“Are you done?” He asked, the smirk still on his face.
“That was it,” I said smugly, biting my lip.
He looked like he wanted to say something, but we just kept staring at each other. Then, a few seconds later, he leaned on his elbows on a corner of the piano and started speaking.
“Do you want to know what I think?” he asked.
“Duh! Of course I do!” I replied.
“You probably already know what I think… I’m trying to come up with the right words to say, because I don’t want to scare you…I don’t want to pressure you.”
“You aren’t,” I reassured him, smiling.
I don’t know how much longer I was going to deny I was head over heels in love with him. He reached for my hands and took them in his.
“You know you are far too talented to not play. I’m not saying you should go back to doing what your parents wanted you to do and what they wanted you to be. You should play what you want, but you should definitely play. Throwing this kind of talent away…it’s stupid, really.”
I struggled to find the right words to say to him. I was surprised and a little astonished by the fact that someone that had known me for such a short amount of time would be so supportive, so encouraging. His words made me feel like I was being lifted up on a cloud, like I could do and accomplish anything I’d set my mind to.
“So you might not be good enough to be a concert pianist,” he added, “who cares? There are a million other things you could be doing. Didn’t you say you tried writing songs before?” he asked.
I smiled at him and tried to say something, all while getting up from the bench, but he had other ideas in mind. Just as I was standing up, he leaned down to kiss me. I don’t know how we didn’t slam into each other, because his kiss surprised me. I was trying to reciprocate it, but I lost my balance, falling backwards. I tried to hold on to him, grabbing the lapels of his jacket and ending up making him fall on top of me. My head hit the floor, and the legs of the bench screeched loudly as I fell and involuntarily pushed it aside.
And now I was lying on the floor of a closed music store, in the middle of the night, with Lou Rivers plastered on top of me.
Hysteria took the place of embarrassment, and I started laughing uncontrollably, my laughter vibrating through our bodies. Lou eased himself up on top of me, but didn’t get up; he merely adjusted his weight so he wouldn’t be pressing on me as much.
“Shhhh,” he fought a smile, “Ian is going to kick us out. Keep it quiet. Are you sure you’re okay?” He asked, trying to caress the back of my head to see if I was hurt.
“Leave it to me to do something like that,” I said, the laughter finally subsiding. I exhaled deeply and looked at his face. “Pretty sure Ian will not let us do this again anytime soon,” I laughed.
“Probably not,” he whispered, “but we are here now,” he added, and the southern drawl made an appearance once again. I loved when that happened. It made it impossible to resist him.
We were almost in complete darkness, but there was some light from a back window coming in. It made Lou’s eyes look gray instead of green. I never made love by lantern shine, I thought, singing in my head the song he played for me earlier that day.
“I thought we agreed we weren’t going to kiss anymore,” I whispered.
“That was your decision. How’s that working out for you, by the way?” he asked with a smile, staring at my lips, grinding his hips ever so gently against me. He knew how to tempt me. Nerves fired up in my belly and suddenly I couldn’t think. He stared at me, waiting for an answer.
“It was…working out okay.”
“Now I’m not so sure anymore.”
He lowered his head and kissed me, this time taking it slowly, using the position to his advantage. He placed soft kisses on my mouth, and when my lips parted, he wrapped his tongue around mine, cradling my jaw, bringing it up to him. His kisses were deep and hungry, nipping at my bottom lip from time to time. They left me breathless, and when he looked at me as if asking for permission to continue, my heart felt like it was going to explode. He was beautiful, but it was more than that. It was something more between us. I felt like he was the only one who understood me, like he and I were in our own world even when we were in a room full of people. Most times, it seemed he knew how I felt, with just a look. The way his kisses branded my skin, had me realizing it was much more than purely physical pleasure. I had never felt like this with anyone before. Was this love? Fuck, I was falling in love with him. Oh, what a stupid, stupid notion. You’re going to get hurt, I told myself, and surprisingly, I didn’t care anymore. Getting hurt was going to be worth all of this.
Suddenly, it seemed like my hands had a mind of their own. They started exploring his body, everywhere, squeezing his butt, running up his back, and making their way down to his erection, large and arousing. My mouth couldn’t get enough of him either, kissing every inch of his face and neck. The low growl coming out of his mouth told me he quite enjoyed handsy Ella. His hand made its way under my sweater, caressing my skin, before traveling south of my navel, inside my yoga pants. My back arched, and a moan escaped me at the touch of his long, skilled fingers. He moved slightly to my side, giving me room to part my legs and grant him better access. In between choked moans and heavy breathing, our eyes locked. He seemed as focused as ever on the task at hand. His thumb pressed and circled and teased my clit while his index and middle finger made their way in and out of me. I hadn’t forgotten about him, and I wanted to go further than rubbing my hand on him through his jeans, but he stopped me when I tried to undo his belt, pointing at the ceiling and telling me to be quiet. His fingers were working me faster and faster, and I rocked against his hand, chasing the crescendo that would tip me over the edge. He urged me to be quiet, but there was only so much I could do to contain the strangled cry of pleasure coming out of my mouth. He kissed my lips softly, encouraging me to let go. The orgasm unraveled through me like waves, my pounding heart loud in my ears. When I opened my eyes again, he was watching me, a soft and amused look in his eyes. Still panting, I pulled him down to me to kiss him stupid, but he ended up bumping into the piano bench. It made the same screeching noise again, and I barely had time to press my lips to his before we were both laughing, unable to keep quiet any longer. A noise from upstairs startled us, and we quickly disentangled, got up and straightened our clothes.
We left the store running like thieves, laughing and kissing all the way home.