"Forgive me for I don't know what I gain
Alone in this garden of pain
Enchantment has but one truth:
I weep to have what I fear to lose…"

"Gethsemane"- Nightwish – Oceanborn

Chapter Eight – The Concert

Such hubbub, Wilson thought as he wound his way through the backstage crowd. Artemis Fest for the Children was on Day Two, with the two headliners coming up, one after the other, before finishing together for the finale. He'd heard more types of music than he even knew existed, he admitted to himself.

The press was all over the place with it, and since it was his cancer ward that was benefiting, he found himself giving interviews and managing to say all the right things. Occasionally Cuddy would join him, and one time they managed to drag House in, much to the man's chagrin. He was not, he groused later, a publicity tool.

He worked his way past security and walked down to where his front-row seat next to Cuddy and House's ducklings was waiting for him. The PPTH Board of Directors was there, as well, some with tolerant expressions, occasional disdain, and actual enjoyment. Maybe they were into easy listening, Wilson thought as he seated himself.

He could have stayed backstage and watched from there. Maybe Brid needed his support, he realized. He hadn't offered much in the past week, aside from checking on Grant and giving Brid a light peck on the lips. Her words about it working both ways had hit him right where he lived. He'd screwed up, badly. House would have a field day with this one when he found out, if he didn't know already.

One thought kept coming to mind and it haunted him. Time to man up and open up. If House, one of the most closed people he'd ever known, could be receptive to the link he shared with his wife, then certainly Wilson could do the same. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, ignoring the fact that Cuddy was trying to get his attention. There was… something… he took a long breath and let it out slowly… damn, this was hard…

Suddenly the lights overhead flickered to signal everyone to their seats, and the audience let out a roar of approval, jolting Wilson out of a semi-trance. He found himself applauding, letting the crowd's enthusiasm slide through him. If he couldn't support her backstage, then he sure as hell would do it from the front row, he decided. Cuddy gave him a reassuring pat and he grinned at her, then leaned forward in his seat as the lights dimmed again, then went out completely, except for the slow rise of the stage lights. The orchestral sound of the Mellotron started soft in pitch, then grew louder as the band walked out to their positions. Wilson could just make out House as the man seated himself behind the electric piano. As the stage lights reached their peak out walked Brid, her long hair unbound, wearing a flowing, satin red evening dress. She took her position behind the center microphone just as the sounds reached a crescendo. She then began to sing as the guitar rang out in tune with her.

Night's Desire was off and running, with blazing guitar, thudding base, Pinder's Mellotron and crashing drums. Brid's operatic vocals blended in perfect with the metal sounds, causing Wilson to rise to his feet with the rest, letting the audience push him up closer to the stage, then closer still until he was leaning against it, entranced. Between songs Mark would cajole the fans with the sing-song voice of a poet, then growl along with Brid during numbers that were fascinatingly wonderful. Mike Pinder was introduced and got a round of cheers, mostly coming from Moody Blues fans who had clustered together at the left side of the stage. He grinned impishly and waved, obviously having the time of his life.

At one point Brid paused between numbers, introduced Angela and had her sing the one hit song Night's Desire had experienced while she was the lead singer. The two women linked arms as Brid sung back-up and Angela let go for the fans. At first the audience appeared to be stunned, but then began singing along, to the evident relief of everyone on the stage. In the second verse Angie began growling the lyrics, which got a wild reception from the crowd.

All of this, to Wilson, was icing on the cake. He was there to watch one woman, and watch he did. Every nuance, every pure tone captivated him. He gazed up into her eyes and found her watching him, her glance going occasionally to the rest of the crowd, but always back to him. Sometimes she would break off the gaze and move to one side of the stage, extending her arms out over the crowd, but she always came back to him.

Let down the walls, he thought. Would music help? He took a deep breath and slowly let it out, letting the rhythm and notes carry him along. A very tiny glimmer of something caught his notice, and he focused on it, noticing the way that Brid's eyes widened ever so slightly. The glimmer grew into a pulse and he let out a sigh, feeling it settle over him like a warm blanket. He realized that it wasn't a complete connection – he couldn't hear her thoughts – but at least he was on the right track.

All too soon the set ended, followed by an encore, then the entire band bowing before the crowd. As Night's Desire left the stage for the final time Wilson began weaving his way to the backstage door, pausing to flash his pass at the security guard. He had to see her, he thought, working his way through well-wishers, fans who had won passes, security, stage hands and others. Already the roadies were working behind the curtains setting up Whistle Stop's equipment in preparation for their performance.

He found her at the end of the hall, giving a post-concert interview to the local TV channel's reporter. The rest of the band was with her, all sporting smiles of elation mixed with relief. House stood off to one side, trying desperately to stay out of the limelight from what Wilson could tell. Mark was the first to see Wilson; the other man reached out and pulled him in with them, next to Brid. The reporter smiled at Wilson, then moved to him and extended her mic to him.

"Dr. Wilson, any thoughts?"

He put on what he hoped was his most charming smile and replied, "I've never experienced anything like what has happened here, and I may never again. To have all of this done for our pediatric ward… I'm a little overwhelmed right now. This was all Bridgette's idea and I can't thank her enough." He turned to Brid, letting his gaze delve into hers. Never enough, he thought, feeling the warmth intensify as she smiled up at him.

After the reporter moved on Brid leaned up to give him a gentle kiss, then giggled and wiped at his lips. "You think I would have learned the first time," she said teasingly as he gave in and pulled her to him. "Come on, I want to change into something more comfortable before going back out to the stage."

He followed her, his hand linked in hers as they wove their way through the crowd. Once inside her dressing room she locked the door and indicated the sofa for him to sit on, then began disrobing down to her underwear, causing his eyes to narrow. The slow, steady burn of arousal began making itself known and he cleared his throat, rubbing the back of his neck.

"What?" Her voice was teasing as she paused to gaze down at him. "Am I bothering you or something?"

"Or something," he replied agreeably, reaching out to take her hand and pull her down to his lap. Better, he thought, sighing when she sat astride him and lowered her head to his. Better be no interruptions this time, he thought as he began sliding his hands over her. His tongue sought hers as his hands cupped her breasts, raking his thumbs across her nipples. Brid whimpered and he allowed himself a smile of satisfaction. One hand moved to the front catch of her bra and with a well-practiced move he unhooked it, then slid it down her arms and off. Much better, he decided as he bent his head to take one nipple into his mouth and suck on it.

"James…" Her hands reached down to the hem of his sweater, then began lifting up on it. Eagerly he assisted her, tossing the garment aside before pulling her to him so their skin would meet. The warmth surged through him and he gasped, his arms tightening around her as he let his forehead rest against hers.

"Easy," she whispered, her lips brushing over his. He nodded, running his hands along her bare spine, feeling her shiver against him. One hand slid down her abdomen, teasing at the waist band of her panties. He felt the warmth become arousal and he groaned, tugging her panties down her hips, assisting her as she slid them off one leg at a time before coming back to sit astride his lap again.

"Beautiful," he muttered, taking in her pink-tipped nipples, the dark curls that crowned her thighs, her womanly curves. He reached down to slide his fingertips between her thighs, heard a soft moan as he found her aroused and wet for him. Deftly he probed, letting one finger slide inside of her as he rubbed her with the heel of his hand. His mouth found her breasts, his tongue lapping first one hardened tip, then the other. She tightened around his finger, soft little moans coming from her as he slid another finger into her honeyed warmth.

He felt her hands slide down to unzip his slacks and he shifted to give her room, a sigh of relief escaping him as she freed his manhood from its confines. Her hand began to stroke him, causing his hips to thrust as his mouth came down on hers. God, he thought as heat began to work its way through him, the warmth of their connection intensifying.

Wilson could stand no more. He lifted up on her, then brought her down and slid into her. She cried out and arched against him, sliding up and down along him. He became aware of their surroundings slowly fading, felt her lips tremble against his… and they were as one, light and music and joy caressing their souls…

James…

Bridgette…

We are one…

Orgasm swept through both of them and the link intensified. A second one, not quite as intense, carried them along, their minds caressing, seeking, delving deeper.

His surroundings slowly returned just as a final orgasm lifted him along. Dazed, he took her in as she arched, tightening around him before sagging, letting her head rest on his shoulder.

"My God," he whispered, holding her hard against him.

Yeah.

We can talk like this.

Yes.

Brid finally lifted her head to gaze into his eyes, a peaceful smile on her lips. "I think I could get used to this," she teased softly, leaning forward to press a light kiss on his lips. "And, if I don't get dressed we'll miss Whistle Stop's concert."

"Shit! I forgot."

She rose from his lap and walked over to a rack of clothing, a self-satisfied smirk on her face. Wilson hurried to his feet and began setting his clothes to rights, suddenly feeling flustered. He'd never experienced anything like that before.

Get used to it.

He walked over to her and began assisting her with her clothing, pausing to occasionally drop a kiss on her lips. "You look good in leather," he said softly, taking in the floor-length leather skirt and the bustier that accented her figure. She blushed, then smiled as she sat at the vanity to repair her makeup.

"Thank you," she finally said. "I try to look the part. It's part of what makes this job so much fun."

"You get to do a little play-acting."

"Exactly."

As she rose to her feet he grasped her hands and held her at arm's length, drinking her in. "Just… just gorgeous," he said huskily. "What's inside… just as gorgeous."

So are you.

He laughed inwardly, feeling her mental chuckle as they made their way to the door.