A/N: A discussion over the real birthdate of Georg and Maria's first child brought about the idea for this story. I do not own anything relating to the story or the characters; I just love them to pieces. Enjoy.

The soft knock on the door of his study rescued Georg von Trapp from the tortuous spiral of his own thoughts.

"Yes?" he grunted.

"Captain, it is Maria. May I come in?" Just the sound of her voice was a soothing balm to his soul.

"Just a moment," he responded, as he rose from the brown leather armchair next to the fireplace, and went to the door. He unlocked it, the tumblers seeming to echo through the silence of the rest of the house. The young woman that awaited him on the other side had no idea what a comfort she was to him, he was sure of it.

He appeared disheveled, jacket and tie gone, shirt partly open, cuffs rolled up. Just noticeable in the dim light from the single lamp was the shadow of beard darkening his cheeks. Maria felt her pulse quicken at the sight of him. It seemed as if he grew more handsome each time she saw him.

The door stood open, his hand extended inviting her inside this room that so many times had been his refuge from unpleasantness, discomfort, grief. Now, it was just as often her charm, her wit, her kindness, her beauty, that was his harbor. "Come in, please, Fraulein," his voice a bit unsteady.

She noticed the crack of emotion, and was eager to ease his guilt and his pain, in any way she could. Over the past weeks, as his temperament softened and his relationship with his children was renewed, Georg von Trapp had also captured her own heart.

"Louisa is resting comfortably now, Captain. I waited until she fell asleep to come down here," Maria said. "She'll be fine in a few days. It was very fortunate, she's just got some bruises, and those will heal quickly. By the night of the party she'll be up and around."

"Thank you." He walked to the liquor cabinet and filled a glass with whiskey. "Please, sit down. Would you, ah, care for a drink?"

"No, thank you," she replied, as she settled herself on the small sofa in front of the fireplace.

She waited to speak again until the Captain came and settled on the seat beside her.

"You know she doesn't blame you, sir. Accidents happen." Maria tried to meet his gaze, but his eyes were fixed on the richly patterned rug which covered the floor.

He wiped his hand across his brow, sweeping back the bit of hair that had tumbled across his forehead. When he rested his hand across his mouth and chin, Maria watched the unruly lock fall again. With a great deal of effort, she resisted the impulse to sweep it back herself.

"I never should have let her on that horse," The pain and regret in his voice tugged at her heart, a deep longing to comfort him pulling at her.

"That's rather unreasonable, I should think. How can you teach her to ride if you don't let her on the horse?" Her voice was gentle, but firm. Clearly, Maria didn't blame him for Louisa's accident, either. That thought gave him some level of peace. Since her arrival, he'd come to not only appreciate, but crave her opinions and and support in parenting his brood.

"She doesn't need to ride. I should have told her no." He took a sip of the brown liquid from his glass.

"To what end? So she'd resent you for telling her she can't, when you've allowed her brothers to learn?" Maria feared she'd spoken out of turn when the Captain looked away, and took another long sip of his drink. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean…."

"It's all right, Maria, you don't need to apologize. It's...I just….she could have been killed, getting thrown like that." He rose from his seat and went to the fireplace. Grabbing the poker, he squatted down and poked at the logs. After two or three prods, the biggest log broke in two, the oxygen reaching the embers inside causing the flames to flare. He tossed the poker on the hearth, but stayed where he was. After several long, silent moments, the sound of her name from his lips resonating in her head she was no longer able to resist. Maria went to him.

She stood behind him, hesitating briefly before placing her hands upon his shoulders. "But she wasn't." Her heart ached for him; he held such guilt over his treatment of the children in the long, empty years since his wife had died. In the past few weeks the children had come to their father, as if those years were simply erased from their memory banks. Clearly, the same was not true for him.

At first she feared she'd overstepped the bounds of what had become their friendship, and yet the warmth that spread through her entire body when he covered her hand with his proved that to be false. Maria knelt down and wrapped him into her embrace, wanting to be closer, to hold him and offer the comfort that felt so natural. He leaned into her, accepting the offer, as he sat down on the rug. The two stayed that way, still, both afraid to move for fear of the moment ending.

Finally the overwhelming urge to kiss her surged through him. Turning in her arms, he placed his hand at the nape of her neck, and gently guided her toward him.

A passing wave of surprise washed over her, then it quickly receded as his lips brushed against hers. Maria kissed him back, a bit shyly at first. When she felt him lick her lower lip, her mouth went on autopilot, opening to allow him entry. Every nerve tingled as he kissed her with increasing urgency, now running his hands through her soft, golden hair.

Maria didn't know what to do with her own hands, so she mirrored his actions. She was pleasantly surprised to find his hair quite soft, and in stark contrast to the roughness of the day's growth of beard on his cheeks.

The kissing paused when they each needed to catch their breath. Their eyes met, one blue pair wordlessly asking permission, the second set of blue granting it. Georg touched his forehead to hers, before he once again captured her trembling, full lips with his own, hungry for the solace Maria offered. His attraction to her had steadily grown over the past weeks to become a complete distraction from anything else that required his attention. Now, in this moment, nothing else mattered.

His mouth began to blaze a trail from her lips, across her cheek to her ear. He buried his face in her hair, breathing deeply her essence of roses and sunshine and innocence. "Maria," he murmured repeatedly, kissing his way down her neck to the hollow of her throat.

"Mmmm," she hummed, lost in the sensation of his lips on her skin, now glowing with a rosy flush. As Georg slid his hands down her body, every part of her reacted including a newly familiar ache beginning between her legs. Without thinking, she lay back on the rug, pulling him with her. He adjusted his position to lay beside her, gently caressing her breasts through the thin fabric of her dress. When he felt her arch into him in response, he moved his hand to her back and began undoing the buttons of her frock.

She again mimicked his actions, her hands moving slowly across his chest. Trying to reach his bare skin, she undid several more of the buttons until she could push the fabric aside. The warmth and strength of him beneath her hands was thrilling to her, as was his touch on her now-bare back. Maria shivered from the contact.

Pulling the front of her dress and bra away from her body, Georg slowly traveled with his mouth from her neck to her breast, taking it full in his mouth and sucking, swirling his tongue around her nipple until it stood at full attention; then moving to the other to do the same as he tweaked the first between his thumb and index finger. Her gasp of delight pleased him immensely, as did the feel of her leg wrapping around his. Her attempt to bring herself ever closer to him spurred him on. Sliding one hand up her leg under her skirts, he quickly found the place she ached the most, the wetness and heat waiting for him belying her virtue. He pushed her panties aside, slowly teasing her with his fingers, tracing her entrance before sliding first one, and then a second into her, slowly moving in and out until he felt her muscles contracting and heard her sighs of ecstasy. A swell of masculine pride at giving Maria her first orgasm surged through him.

Feeling her hands fighting to open his pants brought him partly back to reality. Did she really want him, here? Now? Like this? He stilled her efforts, and she looked up at him, ready to object. Kissing her deeply kept her from doing so, but did nothing except increase his own desire to claim her fully as his own.

In between his kisses, Maria tried to speak. "Please. . .please . . ."

"Maria?" he asked, though from the tone of her voice he was sure that she wanted him as much as he needed to be with her.

"Yes," she cried. There was nothing else in her world except for him, and her, and a craving for him deep within her.

"Oh, my love" he murmured, burying his head in her neck, licking and sucking her sweet skin.

"Can this be happening to me?" Maria sighed. She brought her hands to his head, as he looked up until their eyes met.

"Maria?" he whispered, breathless. "Is this. . .?

"Yes. Don't stop now."

They kissed again, a deep and soulful connection expressed between them. He pulled her dress and chemise off her body, then her panties tossing them into a pile. Georg parted her legs and moved between her thighs. He eased his throbbing erection into her until he reached the barrier that had never been crossed. Steeling himself against the pain of hurting her, he moved ahead in a single, driving plunge that made her cry out, whispering words of love to her as he did. He buried himself inside her, not needing to move as her muscles spasmed around the fullness of him. Once she was comfortable, he moved as gently as he was able When he finally could hold back no more, he thrust into her once, twice, then a third time before he exploded, shuddering as he spilled himself into her.

When Georg could no longer hold his full weight off of Maria, he rolled off of her onto his back. As he reached to pull her into an embrace, she was already sitting up and reaching for her clothing.

"Maria? What are you doing?" he asked as he sat up beside her. She fumbled with her dress, trying to find the way into it. When she realized he was watching her, she covered herself with it.

"Don't hide, Maria. You're beautiful." She loosened her grip on the pale pink floral fabric as he pulled it away from her body for the second time that evening.

"I'm not hiding," she lied.

"You're a terrible liar, Maria. Come here."

"But... I must go," she added. "I can't stay here with you, not like this."

He glanced around at the rest of their clothing, strewn around the floor. Looking back at Maria, his eyes met hers. God, he wanted to be lost in their blueness forever. Smiling gently at her, he agreed, handing back her dress.

"I suppose you have point. But in the morning, I want to talk about this. I want you to stay, Maria. I….I ask you, to stay." He kissed her one last time, then the two lovers quickly got dressed. Maria turned back toward the door to the main hall, but turned when Georg grabbed her arm.

"No, come up the back stairs with me. Franz will hear your footsteps on that marble floor, even if you stay barefoot. I swear, if he had an ounce of ambition he'd be a terrific spy," he muttered, almost to himself.

Georg led Maria through the rear door of his study, the existence of which was a surprise to her. "Do the children know about this passage?" she whispered.

"Only Brigitta, I believe. She sneaks down and takes books off of my shelves."

Once through the door, Maria realized it led to the stairs the maids used. As she followed her captain up the stairs, she briefly wondered if she'd be using that particular point of entry again. Her heart wished it to be so, yet her head was telling her otherwise. This encounter was certain to be the only of its kind.

He stopped when they reached the spot in the upstairs hall where his suite was separated from the children's rooms. "It's better for you to go on alone." Pulling Maria close, he dared to cup her bottom in his hands as he kissed her goodnight. She pressed into him, relishing every second spent together.

They parted, and as Maria walked quickly to her room, wondering what was to happen now?