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Morsus Quod Alica > Von Steel Village > Harmony

Title: Harmony
Description: [hiiii AL!]

MAXINE McMANUS - March 20, 2012 02:29 AM (GMT)
Maxi didn't mean to fall asleep. Really, she only meant to close her eyes for a moment. The summer Saturday was so hot, but she didn't want to spend too much money on the energy bill. So Maxi had kept the air conditioning at as high a temperature as she could stand and put on a pair of jean shorts and a light cotton T-shirt. Albert might complain when he showed up for their lesson, so she might turn the air conditioning down before he showed up, but that would be a while yet. Maxi had started the day with a run, then cleaned her house to avoid Albert's scathing remarks, and finally settled into a cool shower to bring down her high temperature. She practiced her violin a little before Albert came, just to make sure she had mastered his tips from the last lesson, and by the time noon came around, she was ready to relax a little. Before she settled on the couch, she lowered the temperature a few degrees to make sure it was more comfortable when Albert showed up and made sure to unlock the door in case she didn't hear him knock. Anything to keep him from snapping more than usual.

Since the incident on the boardwalk, Maxi's face had almost healed. It was still a little yellow where a huge, purple and green shiner had developed, but at least now make-up could cover it. Luckily the worst of the bruise only lasted a day and a half--quick healing was one of the perks of being a werewolf. Now Maxi could talk, eat, smile, and laugh without wincing from a sharp pain in her face. Albert's and her relationship had remained a little strained, though. He didn't seem to like how friendly she was with John Alden, for whatever reason, and she still had a hard time forgetting that he had actually hit her. But, at least on her end, she had not completely forgotten how friendly they had actually been that day, before those humans picked a fight. Why did everything nice with Albert have to be tinged with something nasty?

With all of this in mind, Maxi had stretched across the couch, basking in the sunlight coming in through the window. Her TV was on in the background, but her eyes slowly began to get heavy as the warmth from the sun beat in through the window behind the couch. She slipped down further into the cushy couch, her T-shirt riding up over her pale, soft, flat stomach and bunching up under her breasts. The sun felt good on her skin and her arms bent lazily above her head, her long red hair sprawled across the pillows and the arm of the couch. One of her pale legs kicked a pillow on the opposite end to the floor, but she didn't care. Her head leaned against her arm, facing away from the window, and her breathing grew soft and slow. Maxi was in a deep, unintentional sleep and had no reason to care if anyone saw her now.

ALBERT POISSON - March 26, 2012 02:45 AM (GMT)
Albert had been keeping his distance from Maxine recently due to her ability to stomach the presence of John Alden. As long as Albert could sense his presence of smell his passing he did well to turn the opposite direction. Why Maxine tolerated the menace Albert would never know. The man’s only skill was to get under someone’s skin for the sake of doing it. Albert didn’t like showing he was bothered by anything, let alone a smirking asshole.

He was also bothered by the attitude Maxine directed him, as faint as it was. She had no right to be upset with him, if she hadn’t gotten in the way he wouldn’t have hit her. If anything he should be upset with her.

He tried not to think about these things, because if he kept his mind buzzing with annoyances it would affect his playing. Instead he focused on the path ahead of him walking from the school to Maxine’s home. He had stayed t the school to spare Maxine and himself a particularly bearish attitude that followed after extensive traveling.

Her not answering the door, however riled the beast within. He rolled his shoulders and sighed before knocking again. Knocking a third time would be rude, and the thought of doing so put a sour taste in his mouth. For no reason should he knock a third time. Hell, he shouldn’t have needed to knock a second time. How dare she keep him waiting at her front door like some fool? Did she think she was punishing him for hitting her by making him wait onher?

Growling, Albert reached for the handle, all manners gone out of the window. It was unlocked. He let himself in and glanced around, looking for some type of motion that would tell him what part of the house Maxine was slinking around. Finding her on the couch, was not what he expected.

He paused in his step and couldn’t help but study the sleeping redhead. The fact that, asleep, her found her attractive made Albert roll his eyes. He wasn’t her to oggle the damn woman in her trampish attire. He was here to teach her the violin. Not even bothering to politely wake her he grabbed a pillow and beaned it at her face, making the couch jump with a kick for extra measure.

”Get up,” he said.

MAXINE McMANUS - March 26, 2012 03:31 AM (GMT)
Maxi's rude awakening from her deep sleep set her back in time to when she was fifteen and her sister would hit her with a pillow to wake her up when she dozed on the couch. Maureen hated that Maxi would hog the couch when she wanted to watch TV. So, she would hit Maxi to wake her up, and that was how Maxi woke up now. She groaned loudly in frustration from beneath the pillow, feeling herself jump as the couch was lifted up momentarily. Her hand grabbed the pillow on her face and pelted it back at the figure at the end of the couch. "What do you want, Maureen?" she demanded. When the voice that shot back at her was male, she stared hard to adjust her eyes. Albert came into focus, and her eyes got wider, quickly looking at the clock above her television to see it was past time for their lesson to start. She sat up quickly, rubbing her eyes. "Sorry, I didn't mean to fall asleep," she murmured. She realized her shirt had ridden up and flushed as she swiftly pulled it back down over her stomach. Though she was almost certain Albert wasn't affected by seeing her so bare, she certainly wasn't comfortable with having been so in front of him. It was embarrassing and for a second she felt like crawling under a rock.

Her eyes glanced back to the pillow on the floor that she had thrown back at Albert and felt her stomach sink a little. "I thought you were my older sister," she explained with an apologetic smile. "She used to hit me with pillows to wake me up, too." He didn't care, and she was well aware of that, but she felt her calling him by her sister's name deserved an explanation. She didn't say how the memory made her heart ache. To avoid any further awkwardness, she got to her feet, stretching her arms above her head and stretching her legs to get the sleep out of them. "Let's go in the other room," she said aloud. She moved past him quickly, clicking off the TV as she passed it, and moved to the chairs she had set up in her home office, finding her violin case right where she had left it next to the music stand.

When she sat in her chair, she opened her case and pulled out her bow and resin. She was gliding the bow across the block of resin when she smiled at Albert. "Do you need anything before we start?" she asked kindly, hoping maybe it would soothe some of the irritation she knew he felt at her being late. With the tension already between them, her tardiness just made the air feel heavier.

ALBERT POISSON - March 27, 2012 02:55 PM (GMT)
Maureen? Albert felt a tirade crawling up his throat about how he loathed nicknames especially those that made no sense, but it shrank back when he saw the embarrassment in her eyes. It wasn’t a nickname, she had mistaken him for someone else. His eyes caught the quick and embarrassed motion it took for her to lower her shirt and he kept his face placid, as if he hadn’t noticed it up to begin with.

She explained the name calling and mentioned a sister that Albert never knew she had. He found himself wondering, for a split second, if there was more to Maxine that huge eyes, and annoying smile, and over eagerness to help. For a second Albert might have wondered if she were actually a person with emotional ties and a history. He quickly shrugged that ideal as well. The only history he needed to know about was het ==r violin history and he could determine that quickly from a simple draw of her bow. He wasn’t going to ask a damn thing about her past. Not that he wouldn’t care to know, that wasn’t entirely it. The past was the past and had absolutely nothing to do with the present. Sure it may have carved a person and their path, but dredging it up for the sake of getting to know or understand someone was pointless to Albert. Albert could tell the world that he became a much more angrier and aggressive form of his assholeish self after he was maimed in a car accident that took the life of the only woman he loved… but that would not change the fact that he was an asshole and had no remorse for being such. Sure, someone may find his behavior acceptable, given what had happened, but again that type of ideology was stupid to Albert. An asshole is an asshole, no matter how it’s created.

”Do you need anything before we start?”

Albert looked up from his violin only with his eyes, wrinkling his brow a bit. He knew that most time she had no idea the kind of reaction her questions would get, but she should be able to catch on by now.

”I could do with the fifteen minutes of mine that you wasted being lazy,” he replied looking back to his violin. ”If you can not give that back to me then I will settle for nothing, then.”

He sighed and sat back in his chair, crossing his leg and laying his violin on top. His bow hung in his loose grasp at his knee.
”We’re going to be doing improvisations today,” he said watching her. ”When you are ready, begin.”

MAXINE McMANUS - March 27, 2012 06:59 PM (GMT)
Maxi almost rolled her eyes at Albert's answer to her question; not at him, per se, but at the fact that she should have known he would respond that way. "Nope, can't do that," she murmured, grabbing her violin. At least he wasn't commenting on her being half naked when he found her on the couch, which she was still mortified about. The man didn't seem to be attracted to anything, though, male or female, so it wasn't likely to make things even more awkward than they already were between her and Albert. Her eyes found his again when he stated what they would be doing today, and she nodded silently. Time to get to work at last.

Her back straightened and she brought her violin under her chin. Bringing her bow above the strings, she briefly considered what to play, and finally settled on a cheerful, lilting melody she had learned sometime in high school. It wasn't complicated, but it was quick, and one bare foot kept time beneath her chair. That was a habit her instructors had made her develop when she was still in school, and one that she hardly even noticed anymore. Even when simply listening to music while driving in her car, her foot kept time out of habit.

When she played, she tended to forget Albert was even in the room unless he spoke up. Now was no different, and she got caught up in the melody, her eyes closed serenely.

ALBERT POISSON - April 2, 2012 02:14 AM (GMT)
It wasn’t true that Albert was attracted to nothing. He was still ruled by primal male urges that he would occasionally and angrily fulfill. Though if he were never aroused by another woman in his life he wouldn’t feel sorry at all. Sex was a necessary evil. Love making was something quite different, but one would have to actually be in love to do so. Even then Albert frankly thought that love making should be performed mostly for the procreation of children. Since he loved no woman, he had no urge to create children and didn’t see it happening any time in the future.

The only creation Albert desired was the creation of music. He would make love to his violin all day if he could and often had, not stopping until his arms were too weary to draw another note. He didn’t think Maxine could ever muster this type of passion for her music. There were so many things in her life that she put herself into. Albert had nothing but his violin.

He did have a glimmer of hope, when he’d watch her get lost in her playing, her eyes closed and body swaying. After a few moments he picked up his violin and placed it under his chin. He closed his eyes as well, waiting for the right moment, listening to the beat and rhythm of her improvisation. Pulling up his bow he wondered if she could dance with him in a sense. He wondered if she would fight for the lead, of follow along.

His first note was long and drawn out. Are you ready? it asked. He then quickened his pace quickly following and playing off of her. He visualize two rabbits racing through a meadow, each wild leap a note from their song.

MAXINE McMANUS - April 2, 2012 03:35 AM (GMT)
Maxi opened her eyes when she heard Albert's starting note. They closed once more as he made his way into her song, dueling with her in a sense. Maxi fought to steal back the lead from him, her response cheerful, but powerful. In her mind she saw wolves chasing each other through the woods. Sometimes Albert would take the lead, but she always rose up to meet his challenge. The pace of her playing picked up, her fingers and bow gliding swiftly across the strings. She didn't even notice that her heart was racing in time with the music, her body swaying with the highs and lows. A smile came to her face as she battled Albert musically, imagining that the wolves were weaving in and out of each other's paths. It worked. Their songs melded into one and nothing else existed but their music. Maxi laughed a little, finding herself having more fun than she had experienced in a long time. She had not improvised like this in many years, but Albert's music was drawing the best out of her. It made her feel light.

For a moment, Maxi felt that if she could just live in the song forever with Albert, she could be happy. It was a strange thought, but she just smiled at it, her eyes still closed. There was no time to stop now. Her playing eased some, but her music was still strong, still fighting for the lead. The wolves were growing weary, but still running, still weaving between the trees. Slowly her vision changed and it was her and Albert dancing, as the wolves had danced, but their dance was coming to an end. It was a weird thought, since Maxi had been born with two left feet, but somehow it worked. She wouldn't let him have the lead, but he wouldn't let her have the lead either. It made for a beautiful dance, a beautiful song, and finally she brought it to a close.

When she lowered her bow, Maxi realized her arm was aching and her fingers were cramped. She finally realized that she and Albert had played in harmony, almost perfect harmony, and the thought was baffling. How could the two of them play in harmony when they were so different? She felt a little breathless, since her heart had been racing, and she let out a sigh with a hand on her chest. Her eyes turned to his as she smiled. There were no hard feelings left in her. If he could make beautiful music like that, there was something to be admired in him. She didn't even know what to say; all she could do was smile and wait for him to say something.

ALBERT POISSON - April 11, 2012 12:31 AM (GMT)
Albert propped his violin and box against his knee and stared down for a moment after the music had stopped. Albert couldn’t properly remember when he had played a duet with someone. Of course he had played with others, an orchestra, for a living… but the only face he could remember playing one on one with was his mother’s. A frown twitched across his face as a pang of guilt and longing ripped through him. He wasn’t strong enough to stay by her side in France. For the first time Albert ran from something, and boy did he run. Half way around the world, even. It was one of the many reasons why he despised man’s want for women. He had allowed himself to develop a love between some woman, that even in it’s death over powered his love for his mother.

He knew now, at this very moment she was worrying about him, and still mourning the soon-to-be-daughter in law she had lost. That damned woman. Oh, how Albert hated her.

”Well…” he sighed, daring to glance up at Maxi. ”You aren’t… completely as hopeless as I thought before.”

It sounded almost painful for Albert to say. He was crude, and sometimes emotionless, not caring for the feelings for others. It was a conscious effort to be considerate of someone else and their reactions, even the internal reactions that had nothing what-so-ever to do with him. He looked away from Maxine again, cursing her in his mind for her allowing him to stumble upon her lounging on the couch. The flash of soft bare skin, the blushing, the modesty. It just reminded him that she was a woman, and before it was not so apparent to him. Before, she was just Maxine, an annoyingly cheerful and helpful personality that Albert turned away from. Now in some way or another, even without Albert realizing it, some small part of him would always want her.

”I need… air,” he said standing suddenly and walking away. Once walking he realized he had no idea which way was out and he paused turning this way and that not sure which way to go. He had half a mind to just start kicking through walls until the sunlight hit him.

MAXINE McMANUS - April 11, 2012 03:23 PM (GMT)
Albert's response to her playing almost made Maxi hug him. She was elated and she grinned from ear to ear. "Really?!" she exclaimed, trying not to be too loud, but ecstatic. If she were standing, she might start jumping up and down. Albert had practically complimented her! Finally, she was getting better. She didn't even register the hesitation in his voice when he said this or how uncomfortable he was at the moment. All she could think was she was improving and Albert hadn't insulted her.

When he got to his feet and announced he needed air, Maxi was taken aback, her big eyes going wide. It wasn't until then that she noticed he seemed upset by something. She bit back a laugh when he stood in the doorway to the room, looking frantically from side to side; apparently he was lost in her small house. Carefully she set her violin and bow aside and got to her feet, padding softly up behind him. She brushed past him, trying not to touch or startle him, and smiled a little. "This way," she said quietly, leading the way to her kitchen. There was a door to her small backyard and porch and when she reached it, she opened it for him. Heat came flooding in, but she followed him out the door, her bare feet heating instantly on the wood of her porch.

The sun was finally lowering in the sky, but it warmed her pale skin sweetly. She took a seat on the steps, her elbows resting on her knees as her fists came to her cheeks. She sat in silence for a few minutes before looking back at Albert inquiringly. "Better?" she asked, still not sure what had come over him. She had a feeling it was better not to ask.

ALBERT POISSON - April 19, 2012 04:31 AM (GMT)

Albert’s eyes snapped to Maxine whom now he was sitting next to on the steps. He hadn’t even remembered taking the journey from where he stood lost for a moment to his current seat. Blinking slightly he pulled his eyes away from the female and turned his gaze outward.

”Somewhat,” he answered before sighing and rubbing his eyes. He was on the verge of faking a headache just so that he wouldn’t have to deal with Maxine and the waves of emotion that overtook him at the same time. The last thing he needed was for her to somehow coax from him the fact that he ‘wanted his mommy.’ Thinking of it again the guilt washed over him. He had been so selfish. Albert was the youngest child. Her baby.

”I was just reminded of my mother,” he muttered, not delving too far into detail. He had to onvince himself he was just thinking aloud, rather than confiding in Maxine. ”We used to play together.”

Albert wasn’t used to talking to people, nor sharing his thoughts and feelings. He had been interacting with Maxi for some time now, so it was only a matter of time before he was actually able to have a normal conversation. She wasn’t some annoying passerby, or a bar fight. She was a coworker and student, and ever so curious… Maybe that’s why he mentioned his mother, because he knew she’d be interested, or at least seem to be.

”I think that might be all for today,” Albert said, closing his eyes and tilting his face toward the warming sun.

MAXINE McMANUS - April 20, 2012 07:34 PM (GMT)
Maxi was surprised when Albert took a seat next to her, and even more surprised when he actually told her what was on his mind. She had never heard him mention his mother before, and it sparked her curiosity with a vengeance. From the mention of them playing together, she wondered if maybe his mother was the one who taught him how to play. She wondered what she was like, did he have any siblings, what about his father, which parent did his looks favor? So many questions flooded into her head with just a simple mention of his mother. It was almost endearing to imagine him interacting with a mother she would probably never meet. Albert's hard exterior had just gotten a little softer.

"I think that might be all for today.”

She just gave a warm smile, watching his profile as he took in the sunlight. "Okay," she said softly. "You're the boss." Her smile widened before she tucked her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms lazily around her legs. Somehow she felt comfortable enough to bring up her own mother. Albert and comfort didn't usually mix in her mind. "My mother used to love watching me play. Even when I struggled to play 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' she would ask me to play it again as if she loved it. I didn't realize until later that was her way of getting me to practice. If she knew I was trying to get better now, she would be ecstatic." Though her smile was warm, she was starting to feel a familiar pain in her chest. She missed her mother terribly. Just mentioning her brought up a whole range of emotions she didn't want to feel, not on a day like today. Sighing, she tightened her hold on her legs briefly before looking back to Albert.

"Is your mother still in France?" she asked off-handedly. Something occurred to her only after she'd asked, so she added, "If you don't want to talk about it, you don't have to." She liked getting to know Albert, so she didn't want to push him to talk if he didn't want to. Patiently she waited in silence for his reply, watching him with her curious eyes.

ALBERT POISSON - May 10, 2012 02:18 PM (GMT)
Albert was so used to Maxine asking invasive questions that he tensed for a second. This question was not so invasive, he did bring up his mother so technically he invited Maxine to talk about her. Another, much smaller, pang of guilt hit Albert when he realized how quick he was to insult and shut out the little red head in that moment.

Oui,” he nodded. ”She is still in France. I should be there…”

He turned his face from the sun toward the ground and clasped his hands together as his elbows rested on his knees. His eyes watched ants travel on their merry ways.

”She taught me how to play the violin. She taught all of my brothers, actually, but I was the only one who loved it. I had a very different rearing than the rest of them,” he noted aloud. He rarely thought of his brothers, hating them in his youth and believing them to be beneath him in his adult years when he quickly became his father’s favorite. ”If she knew I was teaching, she would be ecstatic,”he said with half a smile.

Sighing, Albert glanced at Maxine. An annoyed twinge hit him, but he stifled it. ”It isn’t very easy to socialized with me, Maxine. I know this. I also, recognize that most people would shy away from my abrasive personality. I have realized that I have been more abrasive toward you, however… and I apologize,” he blurted before his better senses stopped him. Very quickly, while thinking about his mother, Albert realized why it was that Maxine annoyed him so. To a certain degree it was the very same reason he refused to look upon his mother’s face again. Maxine was like a mirror. All of her quirks and characteristics made Albert look back at himself and it annoyed him that he could not be happy or cheerful without good reason. It annoyed him that he could not be persistent when it came to relationships with people, and casual ones at that. He would much rather be alone than bother.

MAXINE McMANUS - May 11, 2012 03:01 PM (GMT)
"Oui." That one word captured all of Maxi's attention as she listened to Albert. His mother all the way in France...She must have missed him terribly. He must have missed her terribly. She could hear the regret in his voice as he said, "I should be there..." It made her frown a little, and she partly wanted to reach out a comforting hand. Luckily, she refrained, knowing he wouldn't appreciate that. In pleasantly surprised silence, Maxi listened to Albert talk about how his mother taught him, and she wondered how many brothers he had. "If she knew I was teaching she would be ecstatic." Maxi grinned to see the half smile on his face. It was the most comfortable she had been with Albert since the incident on the boardwalk, and she was glad they were back on a track to becoming friendly.

"It isn’t very easy to socialize with me, Maxine. I know this. I also recognize that most people would shy away from my abrasive personality. I have realized that I have been more abrasive toward you, however… and I apologize."

Maxi just stared with wide eyes for a long moment. He had apologized. Apologized. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. Slowly a smile spread across her face, but it wasn't an excited one that she knew would bother him. Instead it was warm and kind, showing her appreciation for this gesture. "Thank you," she said quietly, forcing her excitement to stay at bay. It wasn't a snarky excitement, glad he was recognizing the ill of his ways. She was simply excited that he was making an effort to be friendly for once. Somehow, at some point, maybe her kindness got through to him. Maxi felt like a huge weight was lifted off her shoulders--Albert didn't hate her. They weren't "friends," per se, but at least he didn't hate her.

"I know I can be overeager at times and maybe a little too friendly," she started, looking down at her feet, feeling a little bashful. "And I know for some people that can be annoying. So I'll try to tone it down." She smiled sweetly at him, not minding the negotiation. Albert was the self-sufficient type. Maxi had to make an effort to stop offering to help him and let him come to her if he needed something. Of course, she might slip occasionally, she knew that, but she would do her best not to be such a worry-wart. "So what I'm saying is je suis désolé," she said in her best French. She was a little shy to speak French to an actual Frenchman, and he might not like it, but she was making an effort, damn it. It's not like she could really mess up a simple phrase like, "I'm sorry," anyway. To make sure, though, she wrinkled her nose playfully as she looked at him, asking, "Did I say that right?"

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