A Different Blue Page 55

Wilson's face was bright red, and he was shaking with laughter. “I don't have a clue what song you're humming, luv. Maybe you should hum a few more bars until I have it.”

“You . . . jerk!” I fumed, slapping at him as he laughed harder. “I told you I couldn't sing! Stop it!”

“No . . . really, it was brilliant!” he wheezed, warding me off. I gave up with a huff and started dragging my recliner from the middle of the floor, indicating I wouldn't be listening anymore, now that he'd gone and embarrassed me.

“Come on, I'm sorry. Here. I'll hum now so you can poke fun at me.” He pulled the chair back directly under the vent. “Sit right here and put your feet up.” He pushed me down gently into the chair, and lifted my feet so they were propped on the recliner's footrest. “Even better, I'll run up and get my cello, and I'll bring it down and I'll play for you.”

“Not interested,” I lied. The thought of him playing his cello for me made me feel slightly breathless and lightheaded. Thankfully, he just laughed and jogged out of my apartment. I could hear him flying up the stairs and his door bang above me. In minutes he was back, carrying the huge cello case. He snagged one of my armless kitchen chairs, sat down in front of me, and pulled out his shiny black cello. He proceeded to tune and tighten his strings as I watched, trying to hide my anticipation.

“Perfect.” Apparently satisfied, he began to run his bow over the strings, finding a melody. His eyes met mine. “When you hear it, tell me.”

“Why don't you just play . . . the way you do when you're alone. I'll just listen.” I gave up any pretense of not being interested.

“You want me to practice?” He stopped playing abruptly.

“Yeah. Just do what you do every night.”

“I practice for at least an hour most nights.” It was spoken like a challenge, and I responded immediately.

“I know.” And I did, very well. “But tell me the names as you go, so that when I hear you practice from now on, I will know what you're playing. It will be educational,” I added, knowing it would make him laugh. It did. “I'm all about education, ya know.”

“Yes, quite. The girl who couldn't wait to come to my class each day, so eager to listen and to learn.”

If he only knew. But he just grinned at me and lifted his hands to play once more. He needed a haircut again. A chestnut curl slid into his eyes, and he impatiently pushed it back. He tipped his head to the side as if the cello he held was a lover, whispering a secret. His wand slid across the strings, and he launched into a melody. The sound was so sweet and sensuous – the low, trembling tones blending into one another – that I almost sighed out loud. The music filled the room and pushed against my heart, demanding entrance.

“Do you know this?” he asked as he played.

“Mary Had a Little Lamb?”

“Ever the cheeky one, aren't you?” he sighed, but a smile hovered around his lips and his eyelids drooped closed as he continued to play. I watched him, the length of his lashes against his cheek, the lean jaw emphasized by the slight shadow of a day's beard. His face was serene, lost in the music that he was creating. And I marveled that he had become my friend. I wondered if there were other men like him. Men who loved history and carried handkerchiefs and opened doors for girls . . . even girls like me. I didn't know anyone like him. I wondered again about Pamela and whether he was in love with her.

“This is Brahms.” His eyes blinked open, refocusing on my face. I nodded, and he sank back into reverie. One song bled into another, and I let my own eyes close as I listened. I felt heavy with peace and well-being, and I curled more deeply into the chair.

And then I felt a thump. Oomph! I looked down in wonder, puzzled at the nudging against my abdomen. The sensation came again and I gasped,

“Wilson! Wilson come here! The baby . . . is . . . dancing!”

Wilson was at my side, kneeling almost before the words had left my mouth. He reached for me, and I pressed his hand to my belly, guiding it toward the movement. I had felt the baby move many times, but not like this.

“There! There! Feel that?” Wilson's eyes were as wide as saucers. We both held our breath and waited. A nudge and then a kick.

“Ouch!” I laughed, “You had to have felt that!” Wilson moved his other hand to cup my stomach more firmly, and he settled his cheek against me, listening. For several seconds his head was cradled against me, dark curls bent over me, and I resisted the urge to run my hand through his hair. The baby was still, yet Wilson seemed reluctant to pull away.

“It was the music,” I whispered, hoping to keep him close, just for a minute more. “You were playing the song we like.”

Wilson looked up at me, and our faces were so close it would have been so easy to lean into him. So easy . . . and completely impossible. He looked surprised by my nearness and immediately pulled away.

“That was the song?” A smile lit his face.

“Yes. What was it?” I asked

“Bob Dylan.”

“What?!” I wailed. “I thought it was going to be Beethoven or something. Now I know I'm white trash.”

Wilson bopped me on the head with his bow. “It's called 'Make You Feel my Love.' It's one of my favorite songs. I embellish it a bit, but it's all Dylan, definitely not Mozart. The lyrics are brilliant. Listen.” Wilson sang softly as he played. His voice was as rich as the moaning cello .

Prev Next