I didn't like Jordan at all when he joined us. Orchestras tend to be fairly intense environments. Artistic differences, emotional content, professional rivalries - they all interact, and passions flare, for good or ill. Jealousy, gossip, brief affairs and long resentments - well, they're certainly a staple of our semi-professional orchestra, and I suspect that the drama is common in others. Could we ever find peace, we'd probably sound so stale and bland that no-one would want to hear us.

I didn't like Jordan because he was brought in as the principal flute, which is the position I wanted for myself. I didn't like the way he flirted with me, and I absolutely put a stop to his blond jokes. I'm ash white and proud of it, and I wasn't about to be told by him, or anyone, that my hair was a liability.

Eventually... well, I came to feel that he deserved the principal's chair. Playing and teaching was his full-time job, too, and he was very good. After a year, I was willing to admit that he was better than me. Maybe. Just a little.

And I learned to take his flirting in stride. Partly because, as light-hearted as it was, he obviously liked me. He didn't have the same twinkle in his eye with other women that he did with me. When I was sure he was comfortable with our situation, I responded in kind. I'd touch his hand, or hold it when the director made us stand for recognition. Or take his arm at reception. And occasionally I'd try to distract him during rehearsal, playing footsie with him during a solo...

By then I'd acquired my own apartment, a decent job, and Ross, my boyfriend.

Ross wasn't much of a classical music fan. He didn't like me giving up so much time to the orchestra. And he objected about me going to the annual retreat. But I went anyway. I made it clear to him that even if we were married, my life would be mine... and it didn't seem likely that he'd ask. Not as such, anyway.


Retreat wasn't compulsory, but most orchestra members attended. It was a two-week event at a coastal town a few hours' bus journey away. At the end of the first week, on Saturday, we'd have rehearsal open to the public, followed by a performance. At the end of the second week, we'd return home for the major concert of the year. Weekdays were intensive practice sessions.

I had Ross drop me at our usual practice hall, where the buses would meet us, though he complained as he did, and sped away.

"Ah, Amber, you know that should be me." Jordan's soft, rich voice came from just behind my ear.

"Leaving at high speed, you mean?" I said, without turning around.

"Well, no, not that part," he said. "Being there beside you, to take you to wherever your heart desires."

I turned and stroked his hand. "Jordan," I said, softly, so that only he would hear, "where you want to take me has little to do with my heart, I think. And much more to do with your desires than mine."

"So sure of that, are you?" he asked, grinning, and I felt my cheeks warm slightly. "Will you at least give me the pleasure of your company on the journey ahead?"

I shrugged acceptance and let him take my bags and equipment to the loading area, then followed him to his seat in the bus.


Sunday through Wednesday were the expected mix of hard work during the day and relaxation in the evening. We had a bar and dance floor at the camp, and though our first love is the classics, we know what musical forms are for. The only mention of Beethoven you'll hear on the sound system will be by Chuck Berry.

But that was just the evenings. The only time we had for relaxing and sightseeing during daylight hours was on Thursday, when we only had scheduled rehearsal in the morning and our afternoon was free.

"Heading out into town?" I asked Jordan. He had his camera over his shoulder.

"I thought I'd walk along the cliff path," he said. "I can't keep up with the brass section." Beer, he meant. Their reputation was well-deserved. "Would you care to join me?"

"If you want my company," I said.

"I want your body," Jordan said, deadpan, "but I'll take whatever crumbs you throw in my direction."

"You're incorrigible," I grumbled. "You can have my hand," I said, tucking my left hand into his right, then interrupted him as he opened his mouth, "to hold, damnit, not for... whatever you were just thinking of."

He grinned, then lifted my fingers to his lips and kissed the back of my hand, his eyebrows raised as he looked at me.

I sighed. "Yes, that's okay too, in small quantities."

Jordan punched the air with his left hand, and I chuckled.


The walk was not long, but the path was fairly steep. Above the trees around the camp was a different world. No human commotion, just the distant sound of surf, and wind.

At the highest point, the drop off towards the sea was steep. Not dangerous, perhaps, but standing on the edge, looking out over the waves, quite some distance below... I suddenly felt alone. Not lonely, alone in the sense that no-one else was trying to run my life. Jordan had wandered away, and I was... for a moment, I felt that I was who I wanted to be. The wind blew my skirt against my legs and ruffled my blouse.

I heard the shutter of Jordan's camera, and turned to see him crouching, aiming it at me. I scowled, and he snapped again, then laughed.

"It's good. It will be a good shot," he said. "You'll like it."

I nodded. He might be right. As good as I was feeling, even if it wasn't a great photo, I'd probably treasure a copy of it.

"May I take a few more?"

"You ask now?" I griped, as he came close. "Isn't that a little late?"

He ignored my complaints. "Could you take the clip out of your hair?" he asked. "I want to see it free in the wind."

"And are you going to help me get the knots out?" I retorted. "No, that wasn't an invitation." I unclipped my hair and shook it free. Sure enough, the wind immediately took charge.

"Perfect," said Jordan, and took shots from several angles as I posed, looking out to sea.

I took his hand again when he was done. "So," I said, "did you get everything you wanted?"

"Not yet," he said, "but I'm done with photos. The rest will come, in time."

I laughed. "Think again."

"See? I got a smile from you. Now you're on the path to true enlightenment. There's no turning back."

I tugged on his hand to stop him, then moved in front of him, facing him, and set my hands on his waist. "You know what you really need?" I whispered.

"What's that?" He seemed puzzled.

"This," I whispered, brushing my mouth against his. I parted my lips slightly. I felt his hands touch my shoulders, but my hold on his waist didn't let him close - only our kiss connected us. Still, he pressed his face close to mine, his lips slowly moving against mine.

I let myself yield slowly, and as his fingers stroked my shoulders, I gently touched his tongue with mine, then immediately broke away. I reached for his hands, drew them back down to his side, and released his left hand to walk.

"Why did I need that, exactly?" he asked, hoarsely. "Not that I didn't want it... but why?"

I grinned, and slipped my arm around his back. "Frustration," I said, trying to mask my own breathlessness. "Just so you'll know... so you'll always know... just what it is you're missing."

"You're a mean woman, Amber," he laughed, "but you're wrong. You'll realize that you want me, soon enough."

"Frustration," I repeated, leaning to whisper into his ear. "It will help you remember just who wants whom. Now," I straightened, "I think the trombones will have had enough of a head start, don't you?"

But we didn't join them immediately. Jordan found a one-hour photo processing store in the town, and soon enough I had my own copies of the photos - standing in my cream dress, hair whipping about my face, looking as though I owned the world. He was right. The pictures were very good.


On Friday I caught Jordan with the footsie game. I hadn't done it all week, but I positioned myself so I was completely ready, and was - so it would seem - focusing intently on the music when he began one of his prominent sections, at which point I began caressing his ankle and foot with my toes. He didn't quite lose his intonation, but it was close. He rolled his eyes at me once he reached the next rest.

Saturday was the open rehearsal, followed by the performance in town. That was designed partly as a dry-run for the following week's major concert, but it wasn't the exact program. Partly because our piano soloist wouldn't arrive until the final day, and partly because it was a lighter affair, so it was shorter, less intense, with a march substituted for the concerto, and the program rearranged. Since the weather was fine, we held it outdoors as planned.

After the concert - which the orchestra certainly enjoyed, and I believe the audience did too - was our major social event of the retreat, a barn dance. The band was made up of orchestra members - there is a huge difference between playing fiddle and orchestral violin, but a couple of our talented players can do both. The caller was the director, letting his hair down in a fine style; if he wasn't in the same league as the fiddler, at least he had a very quit wit, and knew us all by name.

We danced in evening dress, although the director and several other men had lost their ties and unfastened their collars, and most of the women were either barefoot like me or had at least changed out of their heels. The champagne tasted good, though it wasn't an expensive brand.

When my feet began to tire, I sneaked up behind Jordan and whispered in his ear. "Take me away from all this?"

"Of course," he replied. "Your place or mine?"

I glared at him. "Not that. I want to go back up the cliff path," I said. "If I'm right, the moon will be coming up soon. I'd like to stay up there a little longer."

He nodded. "If you want to sit, I'll bring a blanket. Maybe another for warmth, if it's a clear night."

I agreed, and picked up my sensible shoes while he found blankets. A moment later he returned with a roll under his arm. I took his hand, and we set off up the path.


Away from the lights of the camp, the path was hard to see, and I stumbled frequently. I felt like putting my arm around his waist anyway, so I did. Jordan did the same, and we walked more slowly. Maybe I leaned on him a little more than I needed to.

At the high point of the path, Jordan dumped the blankets, and I stood in the same place as before, looking over the bay. The moon was beginning to rise, but was masked by clouds on the horizon. I reached for the feeling I'd had midweek, of being in control - and found that it hadn't left me. I realized that over the past two days I'd felt less stress than at any time in a year or more.

The breeze was light. I unclipped my hair and shook it out.

I sensed Jordan move up behind me, and felt his hands gently settle on my waist. I leaned back slightly into him.

"Why are men such manipulative asses?" I asked.

Immediately his hands jerked back.

"No," I said. "I didn't mean you." I reached back to find his hands and moved them back to my side.

"Boyfriend?" he asked, quietly.

"Men, generally, but yeah, in particular," I confided. "Ross... he wants me to move in with him. We haven't talked marriage or anything, he just wants me... there."

"Do you love him?"

I found myself shaking my head, no, before I even thought about the question. "I thought so. I don't know, now. No, that's not true. No, I don't, but I only realized it a couple of days ago."

Jordan stood silent, his thumbs slowly stroking my side.

"But you," I continued, "I know what you want, but you're not demanding like most guys. You may have ideas, but you're not trying to pressure me into going along with them."

"Maybe I'm manipulating you by making you think I'm not," he said.

There was humor in his tone, but I spun around. "Don't even st..." but I lost my footing. I grabbed Jordan's arms, and he gripped my waist and held me close as I recovered." I was going to say, don't even start me thinking that way. But let's get away from the edge."

"Good idea." He released me, slowly, keeping his hands on my waist until I took his left hand and we started towards the blankets. "That gave me a shock."

"And me," I said. I lifted my left hand to my breast. "My heart's racing again. Walking with you is a workout."

"Again?" he asked, a slight frown on his face visible in the pale light. He lifted his right hand to my left, squeezing it, then touching his fingers to my breastbone. "Oh. You were more excited by the kiss than you wanted me to know, is that it?"

"Excited..." I mused, quietly. "Just out of breath. I wasn't getting enough air."

"Want to try it again?" he asked, his fingers tracing from my breastbone to my neck.

I shook my head. "Not... now."

"Troubled that you won't want to stop?" he whispered.

"I'm not worried," I replied.

I lifted his right hand to my face, kissed his fingertips, and released it, running my left hand along his arm to his shoulder. I touched his face, then rested my fingers on his upper arm as he ran his over my lips, then back behind my ear to hook a lock of hair and move it forward.

"Your hair glows in this light, did you know?" he asked.

I frowned.

"What's up?" he asked.

"Nothing." I shook my head. "I just realized I must have dropped my hair clip when I stumbled. We can find it in the morning."

He nodded, then ran his fingers down the lock of hair, back to my breastbone. I held his eyes and squeezed his left hand gently as he drew small circles on my upper chest.

His touch followed the line of my clavicle up to my left shoulder. I brushed my hair back, still holding his eyes, as he ran his fingers over my neck to my right shoulder, then followed the bone back down to the center.

Making another pass to my left shoulder, he caressed me with his fingertips, down the line of my collarbone and back up, keeping a small but safe distance from the edge of my breast. But each gentle stroke came closer to that boundary, and I did nothing to discourage him, still squeezing his left hand lightly; still touching his upper arm with my left hand.

My dress was fairly modest, for evening wear. You don't want clothing that's uncomfortable or that doesn't support a wide range of motion when you're playing an instrument. It had shoulder straps and wasn't cut especially low - but low enough and with enough built-in support to frame my small breasts attractively. Which made for a fairly precise edge to the swell of my breast.

And meant that, when Jordan's fingers caressed that border, he knew exactly what he was touching.

As he did, I slid my left hand back down his arm, to lift his hand up, away from my chest. His eyes in the faint light registered slight disappointment, which faded as I touched his fingers to my mouth and kissed them. I took his middle finger between my lips, rubbing it with my tongue, then lowered his hand to almost where it had been, not quite touching my breast, and released it to play the fingers of my left hand over his cheek and ear.

I wanted him not to be completely sure of whether I was restraining him or encouraging him, and it seemed to work. As his fingers started moving, they only gingerly approached the line of my breast. But this time, when they reached that place, I didn't stop him. Instead, I relaxed my hold on his left hand far enough to stroke his palm with my thumbnail.

Emboldened, now, Jordan's fingers began to explore further. Up to my shoulder, then down the side of the strap to the edge of my breast, then around. Each pass further down, closer to the edge of my dress, caressing more of the yielding surface of my breast.

Encouraging him with my thumb against the palm of his left hand, I watched his face as he touched me.

Reaching the edge of the exposed area, he ran his fingers over both breasts, then back behind my neck. I resisted the slight pressure to draw me close to kiss, and his fingers resumed their roving over my shoulder and breast.

Now he started to explore under the strap, touching that which was not being displayed... I relaxed my hold on his right hand and drew my thumb away. Let him wonder what I was thinking as his fingers came near to my nipple. It worked again, his touch moving back up, away from the center of my breast, still under the strap.

Drawing the fingers of my left hand over Jordan's face, I touched his lips, letting my middle finger slip between them. He sucked and nibbled on it, studying my face for a reaction, even as I tried to hide how good it felt. I left it there as his fingers started moving again, farther inside my dress, still not touching the nipple, but this time letting his thumb roam the exposed side.

After a slow, light squeeze, his fingers moved back up, still underneath the strap, to hold my shoulder. As I felt him slide the strap over his hand, I twined the fingers of my right hand into his left and gripped tightly, his palm against mine as the shoulder strap came free.

With no resistance to his wandering touch, now, his fingers drifted under my breast, circling all around my nipple, occasionally brushing against it. In the slight chill of the air it was already hard when he finally closed his hand over my breast.

Hooking my left hand behind Jordan's head, I drew him close. His lips and tongue found mine immediately. I'd never known a kiss to be so intense so quickly, and I found myself responding with such urgency that it scared me, and I shivered.

"What's wrong?" Jordan whispered, drawing back.

"Cold, I guess," I said. "Let's get the blankets."

I made him take off his jacket and tie, and shoes, of course. I stepped out of my shoes, but pulled my dress back together. I covered myself up and wriggled out of my hose, to Jordan's evident amusement. Then I let him join me, and snuggled against him.

Jordan reached for me, and I held his hand against my breast, but didn't let him get back to undressing me. Instead, I sought his lips with mine, and stretched against him as our tongues met. I pulled his shirt from his pants and ran my fingernails over his stomach, making him gasp. Then I set to unfastening his shirt with both hands, none too gently, as I kissed his neck. He tried to slide my strap back off, but I shrugged it back into place. "My turn," I whispered, opening his shirt.

I squirmed down far enough to kiss his nipples, running my hands all over his upper body, until I finally allowed him to lift me back up so that my face was against his, and we kissed again.

Lying against him, I lifted myself on my right elbow and watched him. Jordan's right hand gripped my left side, and though he hadn't tried again to expose it, his thumb occasionally rubbed my breast.

I was excited. Very excited. My heart was racing, and my sex felt warm and alive. But I could still back away. Just. It wasn't as though Jordan would have anything to complain about. He'd gotten... a lot more than he had any right to expect. And I could go back to Ross. Or not... most likely not. I wanted to be my own woman again.

So I'd gotten more than I had a right to expect, too. Not because of Jordan. Well, maybe, partly... in that he'd made no attempt to control me, which opened my eyes. But I could get up now and walk back to camp, and I'd be free. Or I could.. well, not leave, whatever that came to, and I'd still be free. But with my arousal trying to make the decision for me... was that wise?

It would make much more sense to go back to camp now and think things through in daytime. And I needed to do it right now, because if we went any further; if I just had another minute of this feeling, I was going to have sex with him. It would have become inevitable.

"What are you thinking?" whispered Jordan.

"That... that I want you to kiss me some more," I said, sliding the straps off my shoulders as I lay back down.


Jordan helped me off with the dress as we kissed, then cupped and squeezed my breasts. After a while I broke the kiss and lifted my left breast to his lips. He kissed it and suckled. As he pressed his lips firmly against my breast, I felt his fingernail slide down my waist over my stomach, giving me a sudden thrill of pleasure between my legs.

His hand slid over and inside my panties, and when I felt him trying to tug them off, I didn't resist, just moved so that it would be easier for him. A moment later his fingers were exploring my pussy and toying with my labia.

He stopped suckling and watched my face as fingers penetrated my moist sex. My heart beat faster as he worked. I felt my face heating as I tried to hold back my reaction.

I held my fingers to his lips and watched his face as he kissed and sucked them, which fed the fire in my sex. My thighs had started to tense in a slow rhythm, tightening around his finger. I moved my fingers from his lips to draw his face to mine, and made him chase my lips with his. When he connected I'd press against him and press my tongue to his, then I'd break free to breathe and make him chase me again.

I tried to avoid panting, but my breathing was heavy, and I was far too turned on to let my back and thighs relax. I wrapped my arms around Jordan's head, holding his mouth against mine. His fingers firmed against my clitoris and did something...

Something which pushed my overextended arousal over the edge, and orgasm took hold and wouldn't let go, as I wriggled against Jordan's lips and fingers.

I released his lips as my climax dropped to almost-tolerable levels, and ran my hands over his body in the afterglow.

Jordan kept up his attentions, as I'd hoped he would, and it wasn't long before I felt myself start to respond. I twisted around far enough to kiss his nipples, then his neck, and started unfastening his pants. By the time I'd freed his erection, I was well on the climb back to glory. I caressed him for a few moments.

"I want you," I whispered. "Now."

I pried his fingers away from me, and slid onto him, easing his cock inside me, which wasn't easy... but felt just fine. Then I lay down along his body and set a slow pace.

Jordan lifted me to fondle my breasts, and I stretched to reach his mouth with mine while he did it. The touch of his tongue fueled the heat around his presence inside me.

For a long time - a long time, it seemed, several minutes, perhaps - there was nothing in my life but Jordan deep inside me, his tongue on mine, his fingers on my nipples - and the growing pleasure in my sex.

I could feel when he was ready to come... the tension in his arms, the sounds deep within his throat... and I wanted to share. I pressed my left breast to his face, and he took it, wrapping his hands around my ass as he sucked hard on my nipple. It was enough... as I felt his climax overwhelm him, I pushed myself against him, teetered on the edge for several seconds, then replaced my breast with my lips against his as I followed him into ecstasy.


We both ached for days after that night. But how much was from the rough ground of our first time, and how much was from too much sex in a cramped bed for the remainder of the retreat, it was hard to tell. And we weren't about to take a break from each other, even after we returned to a highly successful concert. So replacing my ex-boyfriend with my new lover was equally successful.

Incidentally, we did find my hair clip. But one of Jordan's expensive cuff-links, lost when I did battle with his shirt... that we could never find. He claims it was a price he was happy to pay.