I look up. Brian looks angry. It's not an unusual look for him, but still, it's never a portent of hugs and puppies when he talks to you. We're always told that positive reinforcement is the way to do things, but I suspect Brian didn't get that memo.
"Are you asleep, girl? You're playing in the wrong KEY! Get a GRIP!" he bellows.
I nod. I heard - vaguely - what he said, but I'm not going to acknowledge him with anything rather than a sanctimonious little nod. I'm not asleep - not exactly. I'm just elsewhere.
That is to say, I was. I was in the back room. Five minutes ago.
I've always been fascinated by the timpani. As a strings player, I probably shouldn't be... but they make a rich, deep sound, and I love the way it resonates. At times it cuts through the whole orchestra and I can feel its rumbles through the depths of my 'cello, vibrating up the strings and making my fingers - and my body - sparkle with motion. And then there's the way it looks. Skin stretched out on its top, pockmarked from decades of beats from the sticks. The bounce that a percussionist manages to create with his skilled hands.
The things one could do with a timpani...
And then there's our percussionist. Richard. He's always been a bit of an enigma, concentrating hard on what he does, tongue between his lips as he concentrates (and, of course, I've imagined the thing he could do with that tongue). He holds the beaters loosely in his palms, the precision like a second nature to him. Since we're both playing in the bass clef, we sometimes sync up. And I occasionally catch a glance from him, across the bandroom... and my heart becomes a timpani itself.
And then five minutes ago it happened. In the back room. I was bent over, my hands flat against the taut skin of a spare timpani. As he eased himself inside me, my fingers roamed over the surface, feeling the grooves and dips, trying not to moan too loudly as I could feel his growing cock filling me up - smooth and firm, oh-so-deep - as he held onto my hips, steadying himself against my rocking body.
I tapped out a rhythm with my thumbs, which he matched with his thrusts. I bent over further, my boobs pressing against the drum, hair spilling over my shoulders and brushing the skin, making a sound like the pattering of rain. He was quieter than me, his sounds little more than heavy breathing... but every little noise - from the slap of skin against skin as he entered me over and over again to the tattoo my fingers were beating as I bit my lip and tried not to gasp with pleasure - reverberated around the room, bouncing off the shevles stacked high with sheet music. Our own little symphony.
Another look in Brian's direction.
"What key are we in, girl?"
"Uhm... D major, isn't it?"
"Then why are your fingers in the wrong position? You're playing an F natural - it's F sharp! Or do I need to remind you again?"
"No, no, I'll remember it, boss."
"I should think so."
I shift my hand accordingly, and as I do, I give a little tug on my skirt as well, just in case Richard is watching.
He is. A single note floats across the room from his direction. Just one. But it's most certainly in the right key.
Because, if anything, we were not dischordant.
With thanks to my colleague "Five" for the keyword suggestion.