AN: Thank you for your kind reviews and to Eternally Edward's Girl and Chocaholic123 for their help with this chapter. Love them.
SM owns Twilight.
~o~o~0~ Adagio ~0~o~o~
Edward led Isabella up the stairs to his brownstone apartment. She was protected from the chill in the night air by his tuxedo jacket draped over her shoulders. He clasped onto her hand to keep it warm, and because he never wanted to let it go.
Light spilled out of the arched windows of the ground floor, surrounded by dark green ivy, like yellow eyes peeking from a dark forest. Bella steadied herself on the ornate black railing that curled and guarded the stoop. Being alone with him was all she'd thought about, but it still sped up her pulse, and nerves flitted to and fro in her stomach like the moths drawn to the lamps hanging either side of the entrance.
The heels of her black shoes echoed through the tiled hallway, and the burn of discomfort heated the balls of her feet, so she leaned into Edward as they waited for the elevator to arrive. Inside the car, he pulled the metal cover across, the doors closing behind it, and drew Bella into his arms as it shuddered into action.
She wrapped herself around him, burying her face into his neck. The weight of his chin resting on her hair was comforting, and every rise of fall of his warm chest dissolved her nerves, like a sugar cube in hot tea.
Opening his door on the top floor, he flicked on a light switch and gestured for her to enter. His home was his sanctuary, and he'd never brought any other woman there. He felt the nervous anticipation of her reaction, wanting her to love it as much as he did. The way her face lit up as she took in the open plan area, told him all he needed to know.
He'd renovated the empty space, stripping it back until bare brick walls and dark wooded floorboards revealed its true origins. Large metal supports were dotted throughout the space, painted a pale green which matched the wooden furniture, bursting at the seams with books, jumbled and colorful. A large curved window dominated the back wall, overlooking a small terrace his mother had filled with pots of geraniums and other plants he couldn't remember the name of. In front of the unobstructed view of the star flecked night-sky, sat his piano.
Bella headed straight for it and was gliding her hands over the polished wood before he could move. The luscious vision of her hips, swaying as she walked away from him, rooted him to the spot.
She turned a full circle around the grand, the wood like satin under her touch as she traced the markings, syrup and chocolate swirled across its exterior. "This is beautiful."
Edward used to think that until he saw Bella standing next to it.
"It was the first thing I bought for myself with the retainer from the Symphony Hall."
Bella nodded, dancing her slender fingers across the keys, playing a tune without making a sound. The irony that his dealings with Charles Swan had brought him two precious things—his piano and the irreplaceable woman caressing it—didn't go unnoticed, but he caught the scowl that formed before she saw.
"Can I get you a drink?"
"A glass of water would be nice. Thank you." She smiled at him, but he didn't like the formality that had developed, like the cool snap outside had doused the fire that had built between them.
"I'll be right back. Make yourself at home."
Bella wasted no time in sliding her shoes off, relishing the stretch of her arches against the hard floor. She perched on the edge of the large quilted piano stool; the buttery soft leather was worn in places, and she could imagine the hours Edward would while away at his piano. His home was warm and lived in—not at all what she'd expected.
When Edward turned off the faucet, he heard the faint sound of music reverberating around his home. The melody pulled his lips into a smile, and he grabbed her water, hurrying back to listen to her.
She was tentatively playing a snippet of Chopin, and he watched her for a moment, the graceful line of her neck and curves of her back were as shapely as a handcrafted violin. His footsteps halted her tinkering, and she turned to accept the water, watching him over the rim of the glass as she drank before she spoke. "I should have asked to play."
Edward shook his head and took her drink, placing it on a coffee table. He sat down next to her on the stool, his body facing the opposite way, and cupped the side of her face so there was only a hairsbreadth between their lips. "Play something for me."
She leaned her cheek into his palm and closed her eyes as he brushed a kiss, so light it could have been imaginary, on her lips.
"Bella," he interrupted her as she began to play another rote piece. Twisting around, he pulled one knee up so he was facing her, his other foot still on the ground. "I don't want you to play me someone else's music. I want you to play me something of yours."
She didn't look at him, but she straightened her back and began to play a song that spun his heart into pieces that soared into the sky like birds, circling on waves and dipping over the notes to find their resting point floating on the breeze. She switched to another piece that wrapped around him, tightening his chest with its warmth. She was enchanting him with every sway and sweep of her fingers across the keys.
The hue on her cheeks deepened as he watched her sooty lashes, flicker against her skin at every blink.
She was breathless under Edward's gaze, pouring every sad tear and joyful smile into her fingers so the piano told her story. She was stripped naked— by him; by the music; and by the feeling of being adored.
He watched her, only inches away, his breath a warm current across her skin. With his hand placed against the base of her back, he traced a trail so slowly to her neck she felt every undulation of her spine, and a jolt to her toes when he started to kiss her shoulder.
Edward swung his other leg around so he was wrapped around her as she perched on the edge of the stool. He gently pulled her against his chest until their bodies were flush.
"Keep playing." He whispered his words with a smile, knowing very well she wouldn't be able to, every note she missed was a signal of how he much was affecting her.
His caresses left a trail of goosebumps in their wake, and she could hardly think to string the notes together when his tongue and lips drew a fevered pattern down from the nape of her neck, finding the zip of her dress.
The sound of the metal teeth separating was lost in the music, but she felt its path opening down her back as Edward kissed every bit of newly uncovered skin. Her arms shook from desire when the top of her dress pooled around her waist. Her nipples tightened in the cool air and in anticipation of his touch.
Edward was at the limit of his will power, the sight of the creamy white skin of her back made his mouth dry. He followed the contours of her ribs to her silken stomach encircling her waist. Fanning his fingers across her body, he brushed his thumbs across her sensitive breasts, making her finger lose coordination across the keys, a jumble of sounds that didn't hide the moan that poured from her lips. His name.
Bella let her head drop back onto his shoulder, and when he rolled her hardened peaks in his fingers and swirled his tongue across the soft skin behind her ear she couldn't take it a second longer. "I can't."
She twisted around to capture his mouth, arching her back, pushing her breasts into his hands. He gripped her waist and lifted her effortlessly. Spinning her around, he slid his hand under her dress and pulled Bella onto his lap. A wanton roll of her hips made him lose his mind completely, and kisses became frantic and hands grasped, desperate to feel.
Bella tugged at the buttons on his shirt, virtually ripping them off in her haste to press her skin, boiling with lust, against his. He reached and pulled the shirt over his head, his silver cufflinks skittering across the hard wood floor as he lost patience and yanked the cuffs over his wrists.
Drawing her back into the circle of his arms, his mouth crashed onto hers, their tongues delving deeper through pants of lust, her nails digging into his back. He cupped her breasts, dipping his head down to run his tongue around the rosy puckered skin, sucking and kissing until her body was shaking. Her moans were indecent as was her heat that pressed against him, flaring his desire to an almost unbearable want. He couldn't stop.
Arching into him, Edward let her lean back until his lips found the soft skin in the dip between her ribs. A discordant clang from the piano halted his path, and he looked up at her. She was watching him from underneath the thick lashes edging her lust-lidded eyes. A flush wound it's way from her cheeks, down across her neck, spreading over her chest. Arousal reddened peaks, still moist from Edward's mouth, heaved with every breath. Her arms were splayed across the black and white keys of the piano as her head rested against the polished wood, the ruby red dress draped low on the curve of her hips. There wasn't a painting in the world that could rival the sensual woman that lay in from of him. Every fiber of his body and every beat of his heart ached for her. Then, she stole his breath too.
"Edward, I need you."
AN: I know I'm sorry to cut it off here, but it was getting so long! I promise I will update the next chapter soon.
Thank you so much for reading xox