|[Original Fiction]: YAVNC, Chapter 12
||[Nov. 15th, 2008|05:06 pm]
11,000 words, now. I'm not sure what I think of this next bit--I'm trying something different, here.
Ashley was mad, Stanislava decided. Mad, and brilliant, and... adorable? Wait, that didn't make sense. Except that she was adorable. She was a bit taller than Stanislava herself, but somehow at the same time she looked small, like the sort of creature that one just had to pick up and set in one's lap and pet and rub behind the ears...
She told herself to stop this nonsense at once. Unfortunately, that didn't work, so she tried telling herself again, this time using her grandmother's voice.
Which didn't work much better, but the effort did help distract her a bit. Her grandmother surely wouldn't have been pleased to walk into the parlor and see Ashley sprawled across Dermot and Stanislava's laps, having her shoulders rubbed. And wasn't that a nice image? Damnation, stop it!
After all, Ashley wasn't sprawled across their laps. Instead, she was the very model of decorum, perched lightly on a chair and tuning her fiddle, which was a very ordinary five string. Besides, Ashley wouldn't sprawl; she would lay herself down, very gently and delicately, the model of grace, after taking off her tweed jacket, folding it and laying it on a chair, and asking if by any chance her friends would mind giving her a backrup. No, actually, she'd just look winsome and we'd know that her back needed rubbed and we'd ask her if she wanted one.
"There," Ashley said, "I think we're all in tune."
"At least until Stani's flute warms up," Dermot said.
"Says the man with ten strings, which get along with each other like cats in harness."
"Cats in harness? That is a rather endearing image," Ashley said. "So... do you know this one?" She slashed out a string of notes.
"'The High Part of the Road'? Surely. And what do you play with it?"
"'The Cliffs of Moher,' maybe?"
Two hours later, Stanislava knew three things. One, Ashley wasn't a virtuoso, but she was a very nice player. Two, some very perverse and very clever person had made Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" into a jig. Three, that if Dermot had to date somebody, which she supposed he had to, at some point, Ashley would be a very nice choice. Since I'm too much like his sister for the thought to ever occur to him, the best I can hope for is that it's somebody I like. And I can't imagine a girl that I'd like better than Ashley.
Truly, I can't.
Ashley looked particularly likeable just now, of course. She'd laid her jacket aside, and rolled her sleeves halfway to her elbows, exposing soft pale skin with a pleasing hint of muscle beneath. She was sitting delicately, with her fiddle and bow across her lap, looking rather like some idealised maiden in a Victorian painting. Except for the little trickle of sweat down her neck. I don't think Victorian maidens were allowed to perspire. Which is a pity, as it looks nice on her. Well, I suppose that's why it's good that she'd not actually a Victorian maiden.
"Do you think," Ashley said, "that we could make a habit of this?"
"I'd like to," Dermot said.
Yes! They were looking at her. Right, that hadn't been said aloud. "Absolutely." Good. No need to shout it, as I almost did.