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Chapter 1 - Absolute perfection

Absolute perfection… I glanced at the hands playing the piano. They were long and slender. Graceful as they flowed seamlessly through the keys. The slight dusting of hair on his fore arm hinted as a masculinity that I couldn't see through my window. The artist in me wanted to draw and capture this perfection in canvas. Well, I had already done that several times now. I couldn't resist. The music that flowed through the window facing my apartment was mesmerising. Every evening at the same time he would sit at his piano and play. He lived in the massive single storey house next door. I have not seen anyone else during the five weeks I had spent as his neighbour.

I had learnt to play the violin when I was very young and I played by ear. I took my violin out. Waiting for the pause in his playing which always signalled that he was listening to hear the strains of my instrument. Then when he was satisfied that I knew the number he was playing he continued with his playing to the accompaniment of my instrument. We played in harmony…this stranger and I, in our own little bubble of peace in the chaotic mix of real life.

I was in love. I was in love with a pair of hands and the graceful notes that serenaded the quiet. I had never seen his face, nor had I heard his voice. It was only when he played that he opened the shutter. The angle was such that I could only see his hands and his piano through his window which was the only one facing my block. I had checked the other side and come face to face with a massive brick security wall.

I had just finished my degree in business and was now pursuing my secret dream. Charlie and Renee my parents had been adamant that I studied something from which I can earn a living. As an only child I had done what they wanted and was now working part-time as a research assistant online. And finally I was indulging in my secret passion, art. I had enrolled in private art classes and I was preparing to contribute some of my drawings to an exhibition that Mr. Banner my teacher was holding in three months time. I had already showed him my obsessive hand drawings and his exhibition is themed as a study in the human anatomy. I was now supposed to draw a nude model for this venture but still didn't have a clue as to where I could find a specimen of a man or a woman for this purpose. Since I was not taking regular classes at an institution I didn't have access to any of their paid models. Even if I could get a contact I lacked the funding. In my desperation I had been thinking of trying to draw myself while looking at a mirror. This was the only thing I could come up with. Well it's better than nothing. I didn't want to miss the chance of exhibiting something in Mr. Banner's exhibition.

In my pre-occupation I hadn't realised that the music had stopped. It was the voice of a man chuckling that brought me out of my reverie.

"Hello stranger… do you hear me?" A deep musical voice inquired. The piano was shut and the shutter was pulled so I couldn't see who was talking to me but the voice came from near the piano. He couldn't see me either since I sat in total darkness.


"I have a proposition for you."

"I'm listening."

"I would like you to play with me on a concert tour. I have had a last minute cancellation."

"Who are you?" I know it was way too late to inquire but I hadn't really bothered to learn the identity of my music partner. The mystery of his unknown identity fed my secret romance with his hands.

"I'm Edward Cullen, I compose music. May I have the pleasure of your acquaintance?" I gasped. Oh god! The Edward Cullen? He was very well known as a recluse and an amazing composer and musician. I had never heard of him playing in public and he never gave interviews.

"I'm Isabella Swan."

"Are you a musician Isabella? You play remarkably well."

"No not really. I just play for my own pleasure."

"Well, it has been my pleasure accompanying you for the past few weeks."

"Likewise Mr. Cullen."

"Well what do you say to my proposal? I will pay you for your time. The tour through Europe will last for four weeks. All expenses will be paid by me." He went on to name a sum which was quite frankly astronomical but my mind had other ideas. Would I dare?

"Mr. Cullen, right now I am not in need of an additional income but I do have another more pressing need."

"What may I ask is this pressing need? I may be able to help you with it in return for your participation in my tour."

"I need a model. I have got the opportunity to contribute to an upcoming exhibition organised by my art teacher."

"Male or female?"

"It doesn't matter. But the stipulation is that I have to do the drawings with a live model and he or she has to attest that the drawings were done in their presence. But unfortunately for me I have just moved in to Seattle and I don't know anyone around here."

"Would I do as a model?"

"If you are willing to do it Mr. Cullen, I will agree to take part in your tour."

"Aha. A very generous offer. Well, I don't have anything much to do during the tour so I'm all yours during the time in between performances and practice sessions to do as you like with. Would that be sufficient time for you to get your work done?"

"It should be enough Mr. Cullen. I should inform you that I need a nude model, are you willing to pose for me nude?" I couldn't believe I just asked a total stranger I had never set eyes on to do nude modelling for me. Well he had asked me to play in his concert tour.

Silence…total silence from the other side of the window. I waited with baited breath. I could hear only the sound of the rapid beating of my heart. You stupid girl now you have lost the chance to play in a once in a life time concert not to mention tour Europe for free. I finally heard a chuckle.

"Well, that's something to consider. I do not want to blindly agree to something which may bring me unwanted attention. The last thing I want is nude pictures of me circulating. So pray give me the contact details of your art teacher. If it is a genuine offer I am willing to accept it."

I gasped at the audacity of this total stranger for disbelieving my claim. However, his last words made me hold my tongue. He was willing to let me draw him and I could get up close and personal with those gorgeous hands.

I rattled out Mr. Banners contact details and then mine. Well that was that.

I made myself some dinner and lay back down in my bed. My phone rang.

"I agree to your terms. Mr. Banner assured me that you do not need to draw my exact facial features so you can hide my identity. I will of course have to authorise before you display any work featuring me. I expect professional curtsey and will not tolerate any unwanted advances. Is that clear?"

"Yes." In my shock I barely got the words out. Who was this man? I knew it was Cullen but he hadn't even bothered to greet me or introduce himself.

"I'll see you tomorrow at 10am to sign the contract. Be there at the entrance of my house at that time. And bring your violin I want to see you play with my own eyes."

And then he hung up! He hung up on me before I got the chance to utter a single syllable. Urrgh! How frustrating! The arrogant self serving… I was mad. What if I was busy tomorrow? But the rational side my mind was happy with the outcome. I had my model and a tour of Europe what more could I want? As long as that grouch didn't spoil it for me that is… my subconscious reminded me. I wondered what he looked like. His hands did look fine but I doubted whether the rest of him would look as good. He had beautiful long fingers with well manicured nails ideal for playing the piano. My perverted mind could think of other things those hands could do but I doubted I would want them if the owner came along for the ride. I was no hand specialist so I had no idea how old he could be.

I resisted the urge to do an online search on him. I repeated to myself that I didn't care what he looked like as long as he would sit for me. He was most likely pot bellied after sitting so long in one place playing the piano or composing. His work was well known so it is likely that he had been in this profession for at least 20 to 30 years. Most likely he would be in his late forties or early fifties. Judging by his arrogant tone he sounded like a jaded individual. Well I could tolerate him for four weeks. I must remember to make sure I had internet access for my work during the tour.

The next day I woke up early dressed in my most professional looking pencil skirt and dress shirt. I rang the bell at promptly 10am. The door opened within seconds.

"Holy hell" I gasped in shock. On the threshold stood the most beautiful man I had ever seen. Gorgeous dark blond coppery hair formed a halo around the most strikingly handsome face. Full pink lips and a chiselled chin with a straight nose completed the absolute perfection. Piercing emerald green eyes fringed with long dark lashes stared at me in disbelief. This must be someone else not Cullen. But a surreptitious glance at his hands dashed all my hopes. They were the ones that I dreamed of every night.

"My thoughts exactly, so you are Isabella Swan, I thought you were in your forties at least considering the way you play." I would recognise that self assured arrogant voice anywhere.

AN: This is my first original fan fiction. I hope you like it. Leave me some love with a review.