A/N: Hello everyone. Well, I've been reading FF for a year now and have finally gotten the nerve to write one of my own. I hope that you all enjoy it!
"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." ~ Victor Hugo
3:27… missed note, Mike had been working on this for two weeks and still he was messing up.
3:28… Another false note. Had he practiced at all?
3:29… one minute to go. I can focus for a minute, right? Focus Edward focus. This is your job.
3:30… Oh thank god, we're done.
"That's good Mike, make sure you practice your scales and fingering, okay? I'll see you next week." I watched Mike - who had barely been paying attention throughout his lesson, instead choosing to look at the dog outside or swing his feet, kicking the piano bench across my wooden floors - grab his sheet music and practically run out of my house.
Though I felt a bit guilty, I heaved a huge sigh of relief as soon as the door was shut. It was difficult teaching twelve-year-olds to play the piano. Most of my students had been dragged to lessons because of their parents rather than any desire to actually learn. I had thought after leaving college that I wanted to teach private lessons. I wanted to share my passion for music with other people whilst trying to become a composer. That dream never worked out. I was now a failed composer who sported the title of "best piano teacher in the city", at least according to my student's mothers. Not exactly my dream. So now I taught kids how to play beginner versions of Fur Elise rather than composing my own music.
I carefully placed my own sheet music on the piano, knowing that I would play later tonight, and headed for the kitchen to get myself a cup of tea. I grabbed my favourite mug and grabbed a bag of English breakfast tea. Today was Friday and I had the rest of the weekend free. I knew my sister would want me to go to her apartment tomorrow to fix the window that wouldn't open, but I wouldn't have to be there until the afternoon. The idea of going to a club drifted into my mind but I pushed it away. I was through with the club scene. Hook-ups were never satisfying to me and the men at the clubs my friends went to were simply there for one-night stands.
The vibrating of my phone brought me out of my thoughts. I looked at the caller ID. Alice. Speak of the devil. I put my tea down and answered my phone.
"Hey sis, what's up?"
"Oh good you answered! I didn't want to leave a message and have you never get back to me," I rolled my eyes, just because you don't return calls doesn't mean you haven't heard them.
"Yep, I just finished with my last student for the day. Did you want me to come over tonight?"
"Oh, no, that's not why I'm calling. Tomorrow will be just fine. In fact, Alec is over and I might just get him to do it for me. Actually, I'm calling for a favour."
Well, this can't be good. "What kind of favour Al? One I'm going to regret?"
"No! Not like that. I have this friend. He's a professor at the University. He needs to learn how to play the piano for one of his classes and I mentioned to him that my 'oh so loving and talented' big brother was a piano teacher. Would you be able to fit him in? I know you're really busy, but it'll only be for a few months. Please, Edward? It would help him out a lot!"
I didn't really have the time for another student. I was fully booked 9am to 5pm and I liked keeping my set schedule. My student's parent's put up with it because I was the best. But the idea of an adult student intrigued me. I have had adult students, but they never seem to stick around like the kids do. At the moment I had only one adult, and she was one I wanted to leave. Maybe I could give up some of my free time for another student.
"Well Alice, I'm completely booked. But if he's serious about learning I suppose I can meet with him in my free time."
Alice shrieked in my ear, "Oh thank you Edward! He'll be so relieved. When can you meet with him? Monday? His last class ends at four and he said he can meet anytime after that."
I though a little bit, "Have him come at 6:30. That'll give me time to eat dinner. We can discuss logistics on Monday. Will you tell him where I live?"
"Yes, I'll give him directions and everything. I'll give him your number in case he needs to call you about something. Thanks again Edward."
"Yeah, no problem. But Alice, between this and fixing your window, no more calling in favours for you. Got it?" Alice laughed, and somehow I knew that she completely disregarded everything I said.
"Of course, whatever. Besides this there's nothing else I need or want from you." We both knew that was a downright lie. Ever since Alice learned I was gay she constantly "called in favours" that resulted in me being dragged around a mall for hours. I'm gay, not a woman. I don't like to shop. "Well anyway Ed, I need to go now. I'll see you tomorrow, yeah?"
"Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow." I began to hang up when I realised something, "Wait, Alice! What's his name?"
"Oh, right. His name is Jasper Whitlock."
The weekend passed far too quickly and before I knew it Monday morning was here. My first lesson was with Paul, a sweet kid who really did try. But unfortunately he got more pleasure out of hitting the keys than the actual sound they made. I spent half the lesson trying to get him not to abuse my piano. I'm so sorry Pandora, I apologised in my head to my piano, cringing with every slam of Paul's fingers. I would have to teach him how to play pianissimo before he drove Pandora into the ground.
My day got worse from there. Student after student would come without having practiced and one didn't even have the right workbook. My last lesson was a welcome relief. I grabbed a beer and some leftover Chinese and headed to my living room to watch TV. An hour and a half later I was on my second beer and watching "The Office" when there was a knock on my door.
What the hell? I wasn't expecting anyone. I thought about playing possum and not answering the door, but there was another knock. Persistent little fucker. I sighed and got up.
I opened the door and stared at the sight in front of me. On my front porch stood the most beautiful man I had ever seen in my life. He was tall and toned, and somehow I just knew that he was graceful. He had wavy blonde hair that came to his chin, and his eyes were blue with green around the inside. He wore a brown suit with a red tie, and I had a flash of grabbing his tie and yanking him towards me for a heated kiss. I wanted his eyes to bore into mine, to connect with me in a way that no other person had. In fact, I wanted everything about him to connect with me. Suddenly I realised I was hard. Of course, little Edward wants an opinion at the most inconvenient times. I lowered my beer bottle discretely to hide my bulge before I talked to the angel.
Composing myself, I leaned against the doorframe and smiled, "Can I help you?"
The man seemed to be startled out of his thoughts. He blushed a bit, and offered a shy smile. Damn, he wasn't making this easy. "Um, yeah, I'm Jasper. Your, um… new student."
I blinked. I had completely forgotten about him. How could I have forgotten about him? Though if I had known he looked like that, I'm sure I would have remembered him.
"Right, of course. Come in." I led him into my home, stopping at the living room. "You can leave your things here. Before we start I would like to learn a little bit about you." This wasn't standard protocol. Usually I wasn't interested in the outside lived of my students, but Jasper, he was a different story.
Jasper removed his jacket and rolled up his sleeves revealing his strong arms. When he removed his tie and popped the top button on his shirt I nearly came undone. He sat on the couch and looked up at me.
"Would you like a beer?" I asked, grasping at things to say, because all I really wanted to do was invite him into my bedroom. I'll show you how to make real music. No, stop Edward! You don't even know if he's gay. Wanna see what a pianist can do with their fingers? Damn it. This wasn't going to be an easy lesson.
"Yeah, a beer would be great," He smiled at me, and I found myself feeling like a schoolgirl with her first crush. He had smiled- at me! Granted I was the only one in the room, but that wasn't important right now, all that mattered what that he had smiled at me and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
I brought him back a beer and sat on the chair across from him. "Alice didn't tell me much about you. Just that you're a professor and you need to learn how to play the piano?"
Jasper nodded and took a drink of his beer, "Yeah, I'm a history professor. One of my classes is on music and history. You know, how music has documented history and viewpoints of the time, as well as how history has changed music. The final for my students is that they need to find a piece from an era and explain how that piece is historically significant. I figured that for a treat I would play something. I only know how the play the guitar though, and I was hoping that I could play some jazz, like something from Fats Waller or something from that era."
"For the Harlem Renaissance?" I asked. He looked up at me, surprised.
"Yeah, one of my favourite times. The history, literature, art and music, I wanted to give my students a taste. So that's why I'm here."
"Okay, how much time do we have? Jazz is all about improvisation and feeling the music. Which means we have to get you good enough to be able to do that." I smirked at him.
Jasper laughed and I momentarily lost myself in watching his Adam's apple bob in his throat. I wondered what it would taste like, what it would feel like between my lips.
"We've got four months. I know it's not a lot. And I'm not expecting to be perfect. Just… tolerable."
"We can do that. Though…" I suddenly had a genius thought; "It would be better if you could have hour long lessons. To essentially double the lessons."
"No, I couldn't, you're already taking time to give me these. Alice told me your schedule was booked. I couldn't."
I waved my hands, "It's not a problem. I've got nothing else going on, and honestly your project interests me. I love jazz, and once we get you playing well enough, we can pick out something for you to play. It helps that you can read music already so we'll work on notes and fingering today." I got up and grabbed his empty beer bottle, dropping them in the recycling as I lead him into my music room.
"Well, thanks." He said. He sat on the bench, lightly stroking the keys while I cleared my music off the stand. I rummaged in my files looking for a beginner's lesson book.
"So how do you know Alice?" I asked, wanting to hear more of his voice.
"We have a mutual acquaintance." I looked at him questioningly.
"Bella Swan." I cringed, just hearing that woman's name made my very present erection soften. Bella Swan was Alice's best friend since childhood. She was also the devil incarnate. And madly in love with me, despite repeatedly being told that I am gay, and even if I did swing her way I would still never date her.
"Oh," the dislike evident in my tone.
Jasper laughed, "Yeah, 'Oh.' Honestly whenever I talk to her I wonder how she ever got through the schooling to be a teacher. She's the dumbest, most annoying person I have ever met."
"I think she slept her way through school." Jasper laughed, and I felt very pleased with myself that I could make him laugh like that.
"I just feel sorry for her students. What could she possibly have to teach them? She knows nothing! The poor English department keeps trying to get rid of her. She's up for tenure this year and they are terrified that she'll get it."
I laughed, "Yeah, she's always been like that. She's cute and uses it to manipulate people into giving her what she wants."
"I can see that. Anyway, Bella dragged me to a dinner with some friends a few weeks ago and I met Alice there. When she heard what I was doing she immediately suggested you." I thanked god that my sister had been her usual invasive self. I would owe her a shopping trip for sending Jasper to me.
"Here's the book I'll start you off with." I said coming to sit on my chair next to him. He smiled at me and the lesson began.