A/N: What can I say, I fancied writing some mindless deliciousness and had this idea floating around for a while - so why not! Rated T but for how long, who knows!
With her hand poised hesitantly over the door handle and her heart thudding in her throat, Maria hurriedly scanned the great hall with eyes that she knew would instantly betray her mischief should anyone happen to look into them. Particularly her devilish fiancé, who seemed to be able to read her mind with little more than a heated glance and a knowing smile - that same slow, dangerous smile that had left her weak at the knees long before they'd ever confessed their feelings for one another. It certainly wouldn't be the first time she'd been caught up to no good - it was no secret that Maria was always finding herself in sticky situations that she couldn't talk her way out of. Sister Berthe had always remarked scathingly that God must've been having an off day when he created Maria in all her catastrophic glory, for she was always where she shouldn't be, doing things she ought not to. She wondered what the disapproving nun would think of her current expedition and found herself blushing profusely at the very thought.
No, Maria was no stranger to finding herself in a pickle or two, but on this particular occasion it was of paramount importance that she remained undiscovered. It didn't bear thinking about what might happen if she failed in her attempts to be discreet.
But her fiancé was nowhere to be seen at this very moment. And neither were her charges, or the long list of chaperones that had arrived at the villa almost instantaneously after she and Georg had announced their engagement. Fleetingly she wondered where they all could've got to, but she wasn't about to let her curiosity distract her from utilising this rare moment of privacy.
With a gulp, she turned back to the large, imposing door, the heavy wood and intricate carvings mocking her imminent intrusion - as though they somehow knew why she was there and entirely disapproved of her intentions. Still she forged bravely on, grasping the handle with a resolve she didn't truly feel as she slipped inside the room undetected.
Relieved, she lent against the closed door and let out the breath she'd unknowingly been holding. She felt better already, taking comfort in the welcoming sight of the floor-to-ceiling mahogany bookcases that adorned every wall, packed with novels and reading material the likes of which she could only have dreamt of browsing during her days as a postulant within the walls of Nonnberg.
Of course it was hardly the first time she'd been in the library - even as the governess, she'd been granted free access to this particular part of her mysterious employer's domain. Unlike the ballroom - she had been allowed to disturb this particular refuge as often as she'd liked from the moment of her arrival. And she'd certainly taken advantage of it during her time at the villa, often curling up in one of the plush armchairs with a classic novel on her days off, or scouring the shelves to find a suitable bedtime story for the younger children. But never had she come to the library in pursuit of the book that she was hoping to find during this particular visit.
Hauling herself away from the door with her heart in her mouth, she approached the nearest bookcase with an air of caution, as though the books might suddenly jump out of their assigned places and smack her upside the head for her folly. As always, the reading material was meticulously ordered by topic and alphabet, a detail that had given Maria an insight into the kind of strategic and organised man Georg was when she had known him only as the stoic and brooding Captain Von Trapp. She found that this particular room of the house said a lot about his character - the decor, the kind of books he read, the detailed organisation - and she'd often found herself coming to the library in an attempt to make sense of the curious man behind the mask.
"Non-fiction... non-fiction..." she muttered to herself, her brow creased in concentration as she browsed the spines of the leather bound books, only to discover the likes of Descartes, Kant and Locke amongst the authors. Well, she'd found non-fiction easily enough but philosophy wouldn't help her much here - it was biology she needed.
Scurrying to the next shelf before she lost her nerve, she found what she was looking for almost instantly. When she'd first convinced herself to undertake this brave task, she hadn't quite been sure of the kind of material she'd need to find, assuming that she'd have to awkwardly leaf through the pages of some dense medical textbook until she discovered the correct section. But she was elated and somewhat scandalised to discover a book entirely dedicated to the purpose tucked away in the furthest corner of the shelf covered in dust: An Illustrated Encyclopaedia on the Facts of Life by a Dr. Morris Gleitzmann.
Running a shaking finger down the withered spine of the book, she snatched it greedily from its place and clutched it as though it were her lifeblood, drinking in the sight of the plain, tattered cover as if it were the most beautifully illustrated page she'd ever seen. Turning the encyclopaedia over in her hands carefully, she read the blurb with burning curiosity as the blood pounded in her ears.
"An important contribution to the cause of sexual enlightenment featuring a unique and unprecedented series of diagrams and illustrations representing every aspect of sexuality."
Feeling every bit like a child with her hand in the cookie jar, she peered around the room anxiously, half expecting the entire household to suddenly jump out from behind the furniture and catch her in the act. But she was very much alone and so she allowed the mysterious book to fall open in her palms - only to let out a little yelp when she was immediately confronted with a rather detailed diagrammatic illustration of.. of...
She suddenly dropped the publication as if it scorched her fingertips, her heart threatening to kick through her ribs. What had she been thinking - clearly she didn't have the faintest idea what she was doing and no amount of reading was going to help her become worldly and sophisticated in matters of the heart and body!
Breathing hard she gave a determined shake of her head. Stop being so ridiculous! She chastised herself impatiently, you are not a complete innocent - you know full well what goes where and how!
It was true, she'd lived long enough as a curious young woman to understand the mechanics behind the miracle of life. And she'd spent enough hours in the arms of her new fiancé since their engagement to understand the burning need that would consume her after mere minutes of delectable kissing. But there were so many things she didn't yet know and she was almost desperate to find out ahead of the wedding night so that she had at least some idea of what to expect...
Well you're not going to find any answers with the book lying on the floor at your feet now, are you!
With a self-deprecating little huff she shook herself out of her silliness and gathered her composure, retrieving the volume and scanning its contents with avid interest, her mouth agape. The words themselves didn't shock her as much as she'd expected, on the contrary their clinical and educational nature did very little to stimulate her imagination. But every time her eyes fell on an illustration - the diagram of the aroused male anatomy, the sketch of the female form anchored beneath her imposing lover - Georg's image would float to the forefront of her mind and liquid fire would unfurl and coil in her stomach until her cheeks burned with shame. Yes, she knew what went where well enough - but it was the getting there that confounded her. And how on earth did it end?
"What have you got there?"
With an undignified screech, she dropped the book a second time, the volume creating a deafening thud as she clutched at her heart, entirely convinced that the organ was about to rip through her dress and join the encyclopaedia on the floor. How had she not noticed that she suddenly had company!
Oh lord, please don't let it be Georg, please oh please don't let it be Georg!
But praying was a hopeless business in this case. She knew that deep baritone voice anywhere and when she finally mustered the courage to turn and face it's owner, sure enough it was to discover her Captain - leaning against the door jamb with his arms folded over his chest and one leg crossed casually over the other, wearing a handsome black suit and a knowing smirk.
"Darling!" She trilled with false bravado, hoping the quake in her voice wouldn't entirely give her away, "how lovely to see you! What.. what are you doing here?"
The smirk never left his face as he observed her from the doorway, "I managed to give Max and the children the slip just long enough to come in search of my bride for some much needed solitude..." she gave an involuntary shudder as he made no attempt to prevent his eyes from travelling the length of her body appreciatively, "but I think the real question, Maria darling, is what are you doing here?"
"I'm allowed to browse your library, am I not?" She bristled defensively, "our library. Or is this another room in the house that I should kindly remember not to disturb?"
Her little barb only made him grin wider. She was always defiant when she was on the defensive, and when she was on the defensive, he knew that his vivacious little Fraulein was most likely up to something.
"Of course darling, you know full well that what's mine is yours and vice versa.." his eyes lingered dangerously on her form again, the double meaning of his words quite, clear even to an innocent like her, "which particular book were you searching for? Perhaps I can help you locate it."
Oh God, why couldn't she think of an appropriate title? All the books she'd read in her life and she couldn't think of a single blasted title to give him.
I...I..." she looked to the heavens for help, hoping against hope that he wouldn't spot the volume lying at her feet, "I was just looking for a copy of Snow White and the-"
"Well unless our porcelain skinned protagonist got into an awful lot of mischief with those seven dwarfs, I doubt you'll find anything even remotely related to her tale in-" his eyes lowered to the book on the floor before flicking back up to her rosy face, a dangerous mixture of amusement and hunger lingering in his gaze, "The Illustrated Encyclopaedia on the Facts of Life..."
Maria swallowed hard.
"I must confess my darling Fraulein," he continued teasingly as he closed the library door behind him and took a calculated step towards her, looking very much like a tom cat on the prowl, "I find myself wondering whether you stumbled across that book entirely by accident or whether you came in here in pursuit of it..."
Georg of course knew the answer to his own question. His Maria could no more hide her intrigue than he could hide his burning attraction to her. The truth was, he found the combination of her unabashed sincerity and her restless curiosity almost unbearably arousing. When the two traits juxtaposed with one another, leaving her both hungrily curious and painfully shy about it - he took great delight in coaxing her enthusiasm out of her with very little effort.
"Entirely by accident..." she repeated back to him on an unconvincing whisper, all other words failing her as he took another dangerous step closer.
"Ah, I see," he mused, his eyes dancing with mischief as he claimed yet another step, "and was it the artful use of cohesion and semantics that had you so enthralled, my darling? Or much like Gretl with a fairytale, do you delight in such books merely for the pictures?"
She felt herself blushing profusely as the previously memorised illustrations of entwined limbs jumped to the forefront of her mind's eye. She wanted the ground to swallow her up - anything to be spared his merciless teasing.
She opened her mouth to retort, only to find that no words would come. He cocked a suggestive eyebrow in question, moving nearer still, until she found herself backing up against the bookcase, her head spinning.
But he didn't give her a chance to formulate her excuse, for he suddenly closed the remaining gap between them and claimed her mouth with his own in a searing kiss that stole the breath from her lungs. Almost instantly, his hands were on her waist, pulling her flush against him and anchoring her body to his own as his mouth moved over hers hungrily.
And as quickly as it had begun, it was suddenly over - his lips leaving hers as he pulled back to look in her eyes with that same teasing smile.
"See anything that you particularly liked amongst today's chosen reading material, Maria?"
Willing her heart to stop hammering she gave a defeated roll of the eyes. It was no use feigning ignorance. Clearly the game was up.
"I was just looking for some answers to a few questions," she shrugged, "It's not a sin to be knowledgeable is it?"
"Knowledgeable?" He purred, "I had no idea you were so well versed on the topic of the birds and the bees..."
When her face fell at his little joke he chastised himself for being so thoughtless. He had to keep reminding himself that this was all very new to her and to make light of it was to do her an injustice.
"Forgive me darling, I didn't mean to tease, I..." he looked at her quizzically for a moment before speaking again - the previous mischief having suddenly disappeared from his face, "I don't wish to make you uncomfortable but.. well, what exactly do you know about.. about the wedding night?"
Georg knew he needed to tread with caution in the next few minutes - not because his bride would be scandalised by the question but because she would shut herself off from him instantly if she felt as though he was ridiculing her in any way.
She only stared at him blankly in response, "What do you mean?"
"Well, I assume that if you didn't know before, then that book-" he inclined his head towards the offending item a few feet away, "-has made it quite clear to you that during the act of love making the man - that's me - will enter the woman - that's definitely you - with his-"
"Yes!" she squeaked before he could say it, "yes, thank you Georg, I'm not entirely clueless! I know full well what goes where and how, I just.. I'm just curious to know more that's all."
His lips curled into another dangerous smile at her promising confession.
"Well I'm afraid you won't find many answers amongst those illustrations, aside from the obvious," he explained, "What exactly is it you'd like to know?"
She gave another nonchalant shrug as she tried unsuccessfully to appear dignified, "Nothing specific... I just, I just don't want to fall short.. you know.. to disappoint you when we.." she gestured between them with a shaking hand.
His heart instantly swelled with affection for her concerns.
"Oh Maria darling, you could never disappoint me," he soothed, brushing the hair from her face, "can't you tell by the way we are already with one another? It will be beautiful and magical and everything we ever dreamed it would be, I can promise you that."
"Even so," she forged on bravely, "I do have questions, Georg, I just - have no one to ask."
He pondered only for a moment, "well, can't you ask-"
"Don't say the Reverend Mother, I beg of you!" She huffed exasperatedly as he swallowed his own words. Of course, the Mother Abbess would've been a ridiculously suggestion - what had he been thinking!
"Well how about-"
"Not Frau Schmidt either. I'd die."
He gave a little laugh at her dramatisation and brushed her cheek gently with the back of his hand.
"Maria, you really shouldn't worry, you'll learn all there is to know after the wedding - and I'll be learning all about you in return," his eyes roamed over her face lovingly until she felt hot all over, "There's no need to be frightened, you can trust me."
"I do trust you," she implored, nuzzling into his hand, "and I'm not frightened per se, I'm just.. just..."
She sighed in frustration, refusing to meet his gaze as her cheeks coloured again, "I just want to know these things beforehand so that I can feel confident.. you know, so that I can...please you. When the time comes."
He couldn't quite mask his sharp intake of breath. Never had he anticipated that his convent sprung bride would be so eager not only to be with him, but to go out of her way to educate herself on what might bring him the most pleasure. It was enough to turn his blood hot.
"Well.. " he cleared his throat hoarsely, trying to calm his mutinous body, "why don't I tutor you?"
"Don't poke fun at me Georg-"
"I'm not poking fun at you, I mean it!" He retorted with an edge of hurt in his voice, "Who better to answer all your questions than the man himself?" He grinned playfully, stepping back and spreading his arms wide as though presenting himself to his devoted audience, "When you come to my study each week to discuss the children's progress, we can discuss how to make children instead."
The dangerous smile was back and he was ready to lean in and devour her mouth once again, snaking his arms tightly around her waist - but she fixed him with a look of complete and utter mortification that made him stop short.
"Don't worry my chaste Fraulein, it'll be all theory and no practice, I assure you," he chuckled with a reassuring wink, "I am, after all, nothing if not a gentleman!"
Her expression softened to one of playful cynicism, a teasing eyebrow raised skeptically as she observed him coyly.
"Well alright," he conceded sheepishly, "perhaps some practice..."
He was so boyish in his mischief that she couldn't help but giggle and wrap her arms around his neck. Ever since they'd confessed their feelings for one another and announced their engagement, he had supported her over every hurdle and through every labyrinth she'd had to navigate, reassuring her with a kindness and patience that left her feeling emboldened and utterly cherished. He had managed to make her feel better already in the few short minutes since he'd discovered her amongst his books - perhaps confiding in him wouldn't be so mortifying after all. Wasn't he going to be the man with whom she would be sharing all this with? The very thought made her shudder with anticipation.
"What if I ask something silly?" She blurted before she could stop herself.
"There's no such thing as a silly question my love, the governess in you ought to know that by now! And besides, I might have questions for you too!"
"For me?" She breathed. What could he possibly need to ask her?
"Of course!" He retorted, "I'm not a mind reader you know.."
But Maria begged to differ, for he chose that particular moment to place a tender kiss just behind her ear in a previously undiscovered place that made her pulse begin to race and her eyes flutter closed. On the contrary he seemed to be able to read her mind and body better than she ever could...
"What if.. what if you laugh at me?" She managed to whisper, the sensation of his warm lips grazing the skin of her neck making it difficult for her to form a coherent thought.
"I would never laugh at you," he murmured against her pulse, pressing tender, suggestive kisses to the column of her throat, "tease you perhaps.. but that's only because I so love to watch that delectable little flush painting your cheeks.."
And those were the last words she heard before he was pulling her flush against him again, all reason leaving her head as a firm hand caressed her jaw, her neck, and the other gripped her lower back, anchoring her to him and leaving her stomach burning on a slow simmer. Every excruciating inch of his powerful body, all skin and muscle and strength, was pressed against her and she knew in those moments that she would spend a lifetime learning from this man, just as he would spend the rest of his days learning from her in return.
"Okay," she managed to rasp when he finally gave her a chance to breathe, the heat palpitating fluidly between their bodies, "I'll...I'll do it."
He pulled back from her, the brief surprise in his eyes soon replaced by something dark that she was only just beginning to recognise as desire, his lips curling into a wickedly handsome smile.
"Excellent," he purred dangerously, his breath hot against her cheek, and for a brief moment she thought he was going to kiss her again. But much to her surprise he suddenly slipped from her arms, leaving her flustered and utterly bereft. Much to her chagrin, he appeared entirely unaffected by their little interlude and before she could beg him to come back to her, he was already marching halfway across the room, he's pristine shoes clicking monotonously against the wooden floor. When he reached the doorway he turned to face her with a perfect air of aristocratic sophistication - though the gleam in his eye entirely gave him away.
When he finally spoke the words rolled off his tongue like honey, leaving her heart in her throat.
"We'll start tomorrow, my Fraulein."