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Authors: Justine Elyot

Musical Beds

BOOK: Musical Beds
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A Total-E-Bound Publication



Musical Beds

ISBN # 978-1-78184-050-4

©Copyright Justine Elyot 2012

Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright July 2012

Edited by Amy Parker

Total-E-Bound Publishing


This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.


Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.


The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.


Published in 2012 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.




This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
heat rating
and a


This story contains 163 pages, additionally there is also a
free excerpt
at the end of the book containing 7 pages.













Food of Love





Justine Elyot





Can hope come from heartbreak? Music and passion rule the lives of Milan and Lydia, building bridges between them even when all seems lost.


After Lydia leaves a grieving Milan behind in Prague, their tempestuous relationship seems to be over. But chance throws them back together again when Milan is given the career opportunity of a lifetime.


Lydia is thrown off course by his self-destructive behaviour and, as much as she loves him, she can’t be sure that she will ever be able to live with him. Then the issue is further confused by the arrival of a handsome and intriguing conductor from Germany…


Meanwhile, Lydia’s friend Vanessa is finding herself strongly drawn to her percussionist colleague—a man young enough to be her son.


Affairs of the heart run riot through the Westminster Symphony Orchestra. Will they ruin an important television broadcast, or will the musicians find love and peace at last?







To Amy for all your help and encouragement. And to St Cecilia.



Trademarks Acknowledgement



The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:


Armani Diamonds: Giorgio Armani S.p.A.

Harrods: Harrods

James Bond: Ian Fleming/Metro Goldwyn-Meyer

Pret a Manger: Pret a Manger (Europe) Ltd.

Bridget Jones: Helen Fielding/Miramax Films

iPod: Apple Corporation

Mrs Robinson
: Simon & Garfunkel, Colombia Records/Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.

Guinness Book of Records: Jim Pattison Group


Chapter One




Whoever it was that said April was the cruellest month had it wrong, Lydia thought. It was May. Her slow amble through the park, on the way to her first rehearsal after a fortnight’s sick leave, found her ambushed at every turn by chirruping birds, falling petals, laughing children. All this unrestrained joy everywhere, all this rising sap—she should be taking part in it, with her lover. They should be promenading hand in hand along this lakeside, pointing at the swans, feeding the ducks, all between kisses.

But her lover was gone. And so was his other lover.

She had spent the two weeks following Evgeny’s funeral with her parents, suffocated in suburban semi-detachment, watching box sets of American dramas with glassy eyes and a tissue permanently in hand. She hadn’t played her violin once. She wasn’t sure she still could. Milan was in Prague, and there he would stay, and she would never see him again. She had to get used to it. She had to.

She couldn’t.

In the end, her parents had sent her back to London, fearful of her losing her place in the Westminster Symphony Orchestra if they let her spend too long sinking into their couch.

“I know you don’t feel ready, love,” her father had said. “But you can’t give up your dream for this. It’s what you’ve always wanted. Don’t let it all go over some fella.”

She knew he was right. But Milan was a lot more than ‘some fella’ and the dream seemed to have slipped away from her somehow, its melody mutated into a tuneless jangle.

Her journey took her past the park and the palace. She drifted, violin case in hand, on her way to the rehearsal hall, under a sun that seemed to be mocking her.

In the alleyway alongside the orchestra’s home, a young couple were kissing. She shoved past them. Her eyes filled with tears.

Her vision was still blurry when she reached the top of the steps and barged through the double doors into the lobby.

“Lydia!” A friendly voice, clucky and concerned, greeted her, and suddenly she was caught up in a tight embrace. Her nostrils filled with Armani Diamonds, and expensive fibres brushed her skin.

“Vanessa. Hello.” The tears spilled out. She was unaccountably moved by her friend’s warm welcome. She’d had no idea what to expect on her first day back at work—she had feared whispering and averted eyes. This was a huge relief.

“Sweetie. Come and sit down.” Vanessa hustled Lydia into the cloakroom and sat with her on the bench until her friend’s exhausted sobs died away. “I’m so glad to see you back. I was really worried you’d had a breakdown or something.”

“I kind of did,” said Lydia, wiping her eyes. “I kind of still am.”

“But you have friends, and you have your music. They’ll see you through. I promise you.”

“The music’s been awfully quiet lately.”

“Then it’s time to get into the thick of it. Throw yourself into it. Talent like yours shouldn’t be wasted.”

Lydia bestowed a watery smile on Vanessa. “I’m just a fiddle for hire,” she said. “I’m not Paganini.”

The thought hovered in the air between them.
That’s more Milan’s style.

Vanessa dismissed it with a shudder.

“You’re wonderful and you should know it. Come on. Let’s forget the past. The future’s waiting for us.”

In the rehearsal room, orchestral players milled about setting up music stands and tuning up instruments. There were no whispers or averted eyes, but plenty of genuine smiles and words of welcome. Lydia perceived an immediate difference in the atmosphere. Back before the disastrous central European tour, the orchestra had been a nervous beast—het up and highly strung. Now there was an air of playtime, a sense of freedom. Was it because Milan was gone? Was it really?

Her uneasiness wouldn’t quite fall away, despite the best efforts of her colleagues. Nobody mentioned Milan’s name, but there were a lot of sad and regretful allusions to Evgeny’s fate and polite enquiries about his funeral.

“There are a couple of new people I should introduce you to,” said Vanessa, steering Lydia away from some cellists who were getting a little too emotional about the loss of their fellow player. “That’s the new harpist, Sarah.” She pointed out a polished blonde in a scarlet wrap dress, who looked over and smiled one of those professional smiles that don’t reach the eyes.

“Who’s the man on the timpani? What happened to Vernon?”

“He decided to retire early.”

“Yes, but who

The timpanist was tall and rangy, with a mop of dark curls and a face made of shadows and angles. One second he looked like an endearingly gawky student, the next like a warrior poet. He was immediately intriguing.


Vanessa’s voice had gone all soft and fond. Lydia, forgetting her woes for a moment, widened her eyes, noting the twin spots of cherry red on her friend’s cheeks.

“Do you fancy him?”

“Of course not. He’s young enough to be my son.”

“He’s a bit of a fox, though. Don’t you think?”

“I’ve no idea.”

fancy him!”

“No, I don’t! Oh, the trustees are coming in. They must have appointed a conductor at last. We’ve been muddling through with Leonard as leader-conductor for the last few weeks, but it’s not been going so well. He’s too inexperienced. Anyway, you’d better go to your section.”

She air-kissed Lydia an affectionate goodbye before scuttling back to her eyrie amongst the percussion instruments.

Lydia found the only free chair in the first violin section and took it, directing her gaze, along with everyone around her, to the podium where Lord Davenport, the chief trustee, stood ready to address them.

“Good afternoon,” he opened. “I’m sure you’ll all join me in extending the warmest gratitude to Leonard, who has done such a fine job of keeping us on track during this difficult time. His efforts—and all of yours—have been very much appreciated.

“I have several pieces of news for you this afternoon. The first relates to our summer concert season. You’ll have the details handed out in the newsletter at the end of the rehearsal, but the big story is that we are opening the Proms this year—the first night is ours.”

Rustling and chattering greeted this remark, accompanied by a couple of whistles.

“We’ve committed to a programme of English music, which your conductor will run through with you as soon as possible.”

Expectant silence fell. The C word had been spoken. Lord Davenport coughed, shrinking beneath the intensity of the attention that had fallen upon him.

“Yes, your conductor. We have made an appointment, on a temporary basis at first, but the contract may well be extended if everything works out. I’m sure you’ll all join me in welcoming back our great friend and colleague, Milan Kaspar.”

Lydia shook her head. This must be a dream. Surely she had tuned out and hadn’t caught the words correctly? Looking around the room wildly, she saw an orchestra frozen in space and time, all of them staring at the podium in disbelief.

Nobody spoke, nobody moved for a long, long second.

Then heads were bent to their neighbours, frantic whisperings pouring from shocked mouths.

“Is this for real?” somebody asked.

The back doors opened.

“Ah, here he is.” Lord Davenport was visibly discomfited by the orchestra’s reaction to the news—it wasn't the unalloyed rejoicing he might have expected.

Milan skirted the edge of the woodwind and double basses like a catwalk model, head high, hips swinging, until he reached the podium, where he shook hands with Lord Davenport, then faced his new constituency.

Lydia half rose, then sat back down again. Her body and mind floundered in confused anarchy. Was there a good way to deal with this situation? She wasn’t one for drama—that was part of what had made her and Milan such a good fit. All the same, her eyes filled with tears again, the physical presence of him knocking her for six.

She had dreamt of seeing him again and now, oh, it was all wrong. It shouldn’t have happened like this.

BOOK: Musical Beds
10.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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