|The Melody of Love
Author: I-think-therefore-I-am PM
Ceri is the girl who thinks it's her mission in life to save everybody but herself.Caden is the messed up boy who always seems to be there to save her. She thinks they solely coexist. He,well,he has always been in love with her. COMPLETEDRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 29 - Words: 152,684 - Reviews: 649 - Favs: 804 - Follows: 191 - Updated: 08-11-10 - Published: 02-25-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2325611
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Having finally realized that I won't be able to write a sequel to this story (I'm really sorry about that but I just couldn't do it - I really tried, but it was as if there was a barricade in my head I just couldn't overcome) I decided to at least post a sort of epilogue. I really wanted you guys to meet Arleen whom I truly love and would've loved writing a whole story about. I couldn't do that though no matter how much I tried, I guess Melody was most definitly finished in my head and I subconsciously refused to drag it our or something.
I totally disclaim anything the nameless History Prof at the beginning of the chapter is saying. Those are direct quotes from Scott G. Bruce's monograph "Silence and Sign Language in Medieval Monasticism" so I don't own them in any way, shape or form. I just thought I shouldn't be the only one being tortured since I have to write a 4000 word essay about that topic. But seriously, if you're interested in the history of medieval, European monasticism (especially the cloister Cluny) you should give it a try … no? Sure? Well, your loss ;-).
By the way I don't have anything against Tokyo Hotel. Really not… alright that's a lie if I ever told one. I can't stand them which is mainly due to the fact that I'm from Germany, older than 13 and that during my senior year of high school I was being tortured by their faces being freaking everywhere. It is just natural, believe me. Be that as it may I don't have anything against them personally or against their fans … Jedem das Seine… Peace and Love … Carpe Diem … alright I'll stop babbling now and let you read this long overdue epilogue...
"Preachers in early medieval Gaul also warned their monastic audiences that such talk eroded the spiritual benefits of their vocation. Monks who spoke evil of others were especially vulnerable to the 'poisoned blades of their own tongues.' Slanderous words wounded …"
Sighing, Cerilia Adams leaned back in her uncomfortable chair, wiping away a treacherous beat of sweat that had crept over her brow with the single-minded goal of annoying her.
She enjoyed history. She really did – which was why she had made it her major once the time to choose a subject to master in had rolled around. The fact that, as a historian, she could easily work from home had only been a benefit – a slightly larger than usual benefit, considering she had a five year old waiting for her at said home as well as a boy who was rapidly approaching the difficult years of adolescence.
The professor at the front of the large room paused for a moment, took a sip of water before continuing: "There was no place for laughter in the tortured landscape of the desert. The great old men despaired to hear their disciples express levity."
A ripple of half-hearted laughter floated through the packed auditorium, making the professor halt once again in his speech. He had a pleasant, calm voice, a unique way with words and spoke slow enough to allow the average student to take decent notes. He was a good teacher, one who was still young enough to understand his students' needs.
Despite this, Ceri had long ago – exactly twenty minutes after the start of the lecture to be more precise – given up on taking said notes. There would be a script online sometime around the next day and it was too hot to properly concentrate on anything anyways. Whoever had thought that starting the fall semester of University in September would be a good idea had obviously not reckoned with persistent, unnatural heat waves.
Heat waves that surely were only intensified by packing a hundred people into a closed off space where the air-conditioning was only working half the time and the windows couldn't be opened due to faulty but still beautiful design.
Another beat of sweat took the pre-carved path down her forehead and onto her nose.
How nice it would be right now to relax on her couch in the nicely air-conditioned house Caden had bought for them once his band's third album had hit the Billboard Charts – a fact he still wasn't entirely happy about since he didn't really care for being commercialized and talked about in one breath with bands like Tokyo Hotel.
When he'd voiced these thoughts during an aftershow party of their second nationwide tour, Ra had chucked him upside the head and called him crazy. That, however, had been before she'd acquired her very first, very own crazy, persistent stalker. Ceri couldn't help but chuckle when she recalled Ra's face upon being confronted with Tony as her bodyguard. That annoyance hadn't lasted long, though, since the feisty singer had finally begun to appreciate Tony's finer points.
And how nice it would be to just sit with them now, a cool drink in her hand and simply chat, catch up. After all, she hadn't had the chance to properly talk to any of her close friends since they'd come back from their summer tour a few days back.
She duly chose to ignore the fact that the reason she hadn't been able to meet with them, or anyone, really, who didn't live in the same house as her, was due to Arleen having caught a slight cold, which she'd passed on to Lio on whom the little cold had promptly grown into a full-blown flu. Sick children, no matter their age, being nothing to joke about had caused her to live for the last week or so surrounded by a battlefield of used tissues, medicine of the liquid and solid variety, homemade chicken soup and mountains of housework half finished. A battlefield she would return to right after this lecture. Caden, who had come back Monday, had relieved her burden somewhat, but he still had after tour conferences to go to and tended to spoil Arleen, especially a sick Arleen, terribly. That their five-year-old daughter had technically been well and fully recovered for two days now had apparently occurred to neither daddy nor his princess.
With things as they were, it had been a small wonder that she'd managed to creep out of the house that morning without being detected by any of its underage and more or less sickly residents, risking a full blown tantrum from Arleen and a dejected bordering on rejected look from Lio once they realized that their breakfast would indeed be made by Caden. Caden had promised to just heat up some chicken soup if worse came to worse, even though almost everyone – with the sole exception of Lio, who apparently could live off it these days – couldn't stand the sight of this particular soup anymore. However, it was still a safe choice given Ceri's long-term fiancé's cooking skills.
She had wanted just a little time for herself, although she doubted her own sanity now sitting in this cramped and overheated lecture room.
A sharp prick on her right arm caused her to flinch, sit up straight and, blinking violently, finally return to reality. Around her, students were packing up and pressing in tons out of the room's single door.
The guy next to her, who'd poked her with his thankfully capped pen, smiled winningly. "The lecture's over," he remarked unnecessarily. "You seemed to have spaced out there for a moment."
"Yeah." Ceri drew a hand through her now rather short hair – easier to handle a temperamental child when she had no long ponytail to grab onto while she was throwing a tantrum – and began to pack her things quickly. The people in her row were already giving her dirty looks for blocking their path to fresh air. "Thanks …" She contemplated from where she knew the guy until she remembered a presentation about Constantine the Great and his family murdering ways last semester. He'd been in her group then. "…Holden."
If he'd detected her hesitation, he didn't let it show. "You're welcome." He shouldered his messenger back and followed her down the row and into the queue that had formed in front of the door. "Hey, we haven't talked in awhile. How've you been?"
She couldn't help but smile at his small talk. "Good, thanks for asking and you – I remember hearing you where in some kind of accident at the beginning of the semester. Everything all right?"
He grinned widely at her interest. "Yeah, yeah. Wasn't much of an accident. Just me, my friend's hyper dog and a ladder, on which I unfortunately had been standing." He patted his leg. "Just strained my ankle a bit and had a massive blow to the ego. Nothing major."
"Ouch. But you got some treatment, right?" Her maternal instinct was roaring its head. Besides, she didn't know what else to talk with him about. She didn't really know the guy, after all.
"No worry, no worry," he said good-naturedly as they squeezed outside and into the just slightly less stifling heat. "Everything's a'right now. Hey listen, I've got some time to kill until my next lecture. Wanna grab a cup of coffee and catch up or something?"
Startled, Ceri looked up at him. Something in his eyes made her wary and suspect that grabbing something to eat was not all he had in mind. Now that she thought about it, she remembered him looking at her more than necessary during their project last semester. He seemed a nice enough guy, though, so Ceri decided to let him down easy. Somewhat.
"I'd like to, Holden, but I already have a lunch date."
"Oh, well then maybe some other – "
"With my fiancée."
He blinked. "Oh." Blinked again. "Oooh. You thought…" His grin morphed into a full-blown laugh.
Perplexed, the only thing Ceri could think to do was stare at him. "I'm sorry…?"
"It's just, it's just …" He tried and failed to stifle his laughter. "Sorry, cutie, but you thought I… I was hitting on you? I guess I can't help that I'm so … unbelievably … hot."
Frowning, Ceri had to admit that she was suffering a slight blow to the ego – even though she was somewhat relieved that she evidently hadn't hurt Holden's feelings – at all.
Holden, having finally regained his bearings, straightened up, loudly cleared his throat and put a serious look on his face, although she could still detect the mirth behind his black orbs. "Let's just say that that friend's hyper dog is actually my boyfriend's hyper dog. My boyfriend of close to six years hyper dog."
Taking a page out of Holden's book, Ceri only said, "Oh." Then, "Oooh."
Holden smiled. "Yeah." He didn't seem unsure, but the experience of raising a proud, intelligent boy easily allowed her to detect some uncertainty behind his eyes.
"Well, too bad you're already in steady hands. I have a very good friend who'd be simply delighted meeting you."
His stance, although relaxed to begin with, seemed to open more. "Really? Too bad that. Tell your friend I have some other … acquaintances who'd be more than delighted to meet him."
Ceri smiled, thinking of River's reaction. He was forever searching for his perfect match, bemoaning that everybody around him seemed to be in lovey-dovey heaven while he himself was caught in the one-night-stand hell. Not that he minded overly much.
"So," Holden said with an exaggerated swagger in his step that made her laugh while continuing on their path towards the main part of campus. "You said you had a fiancée? I live for juicy details."
Choking on her laugher, Ceri had to seriously question how she'd ever believed him to be straight. Or maybe he was pushing it for her sake. Whatever it was, nature or over-exaggeration, she found it entertaining and if anything it made her forget the ever overbearing heat. "Not that many juicy details there." Understatement of the year. "We've been engaged for almost six years now."
He seemed in his element, she could almost see him rubbing his hands. "Really? Afraid to take the final leap. Don't worry, honey, I can understand. I love my boyfriend, don't get me wrong. But marrying your high-school sweetheart – that just seems so picket fence, if you catch my drift."
Which would be the only thing we'd do in the right conventional order. Out loud she said, "We said we'd marry once I have my Masters."
He looked at her knowingly. "Afraid."
If he wasn't entertaining, he was most definitely annoying.
"More like the parents being overbearing." Why had she said that? Holden seemed to have a way of getting things out of her she didn't want to admit to somebody she hardly knew anything about – apart from the fact that he was batting for the same team as she. It was true, though. Her father had decreed that he would only give his consent to a marriage between Caden and her when they both had managed to make something out of themselves. He refused to see his daughter being the nice, little Hollywood housewife of a musician. He loved her too much for that, he had said. Ceri had long ago given up convincing him that neither Caden nor a marriage license would stand between her and her dreams. And anyways, she didn't need a ring to give her the security of Caden's love – it was there every time she heard his voice, looked into his eyes, as cheesy as that might sound.
Holden's eyebrows rose even higher, but whatever his remark might have been was cut short by a small body barreling head first into Ceri.
"Mummy, Mummy." Arleen's little face with Caden's eyes and hair looked up at her mother excitedly. "I found you. I get ice-cream!"
Holden looked positively gleeful while he was taking in the pair of them. "So, no juicy details, huh?" he muttered under his breath, but wisely kept it quiet.
She shot him a look that clearly told him to shut his mouth and keep it shut, before turning to the hyper five year old, wiping her cheek where a little smear of dirt had – God knows how – taken residence. "Ice cream? Who promised you ice cream, Arleen? You know you were sick just days ago."
A fact Arleen only too clearly had decided to conveniently forget. Her little lips pulled into a pout. "Daddy!"
That was no great surprise. "Daddy. Of course. Arleen, you know that you can't eat anything sweet when you're still recovering. It's not good for you. You don't want to get sick again, do you?"
The little girl, however, had already tuned out her mother's lecture, staring at the tall Asian looking man next to her. She took the thumb she'd put in her mouth out and pointed at him, screaming, "You look like uncle River! You stand just like him." And with that she promptly imitated his stance, one hand on her crooked hip.
Holden smirked. "It seems this little lady has a fairly good radar. As opposed to someone else I know." He ignored Ceri's scowl and bent down to extent his hand towards Arleen. "Hey there, pretty lady, I'm Holden Kaori and who are you?"
Struck with a sudden shyness, Ceri's daughter stuffed her thumb back in her mouth and grabbed her mother's leg with her free hand. "Arleen," she mumbled around the comforting digit between her teeth.
Ceri put her arm around the child's small shoulders, rubbing them affectionately. "Isn't she cute?" she asked in a tone only proud parents could really pull off.
Holden grinned and winked at Arleen before straitening. "Very. Listen lady and lassie, I gotta run."
Ceri frowned, she had enjoyed his company.
"Yeah." He nodded toward something behind her. "I don't really care for being glared at. I like my testicles just the way they are, thank you."
Ceri blinked and turned around.
Just down the path, ten feet or so away from them, a tall figure was standing beneath an old oak tree. His hands were stuffed into the pockets of his old washed out jeans and he was staring at them intently. Just as it always did, the sight of him made her heart skip a little – just a little.
How Holden had detected his glare, however, was beyond her since his eyes were covered with mirrored aviators and most of his face was obscured by the shade he was standing in. But then again the hostility radiating from him was more than obvious.
"Oh," Ceri muttered again, turning back to face Holden. "I'm sorry, he's a bit…"
"Overprotective?" Holden offered, still smiling. It seemed he was more amused than perturbed by the situation.
"Yes, that too."
"Well." Holden switched his messenger back from one shoulder to the other. "It was nice talking to you again, Ceri. See you around? Maybe for that cup of coffee?"
Ceri smiled and nodded. "Definitely."
He grinned, patted Arleen's curly head and departed in the cafeteria's direction.
"I see you made a new friend."
Caden's voice was carefully neutral but Ceri knew better. He didn't like anyone of the male gender whom he didn't know and hadn't done an extensive background check on being around her or Arleen. After their experience with Travis, she thought his fear perfectly understandable if annoying at times.
Arleen let out a delighted scream, disentangled herself from her mother only to launch her small form at her father, begging to be picked up. Caden only too gladly complied, tickling her side and making her giggle in delight.
Ceri smiled at the sight of them. "Yes," she answered his earlier remark. "It'll be nice to have somebody to shop with when River is on tour with you guys." She gave him a meaningful look, one he didn't have any problems interpreting.
"Or so he says."
Ceri smiled, she knew Caden would check Holden Kaori no matter what she said. And since she'd long ago become resigned to the fact that there was nothing she could do about it, she leaned into his free side, tilting up her face. "Or so he says. Don't I get a k.i.s.s.?"
He tipped his glasses down so she could see the amber color of his eyes. "Maybe. If you go out to dinner with me tonight."
"Mhhh, what about the kids? Lio is still sick."
"Nanna came into town today with Dee. She agreed to watch all three of them." Since Mrs. Altmann, the woman who'd taken care of them since they'd moved to Philly, had unfortunately retired to California two years ago, they'd been notoriously short of baby sitters. Nanna's frequent visits always made for a welcomed reprieve.
Ceri pulled his head down for a kiss, ignoring their daughter's outraged protests. "Well," Caden said, when they drew back for air, "I guess that's a yes."
Arleen, being seriously put out by the way her parents were blatantly ignoring her, started hitting Caden's head. "Ice-cream," she cried. "Ice-cream!"
Ceri crossed her arms, raising an eyebrow. "You caused that mess all on your own. Now you explain to her why she can't have it."
Caden frowned. "Why can't she have just a little bit of ice cream? It won't hurt her."
She narrowed her eyes. "She was just sick. She'll throw up."
"You don't know that."
"Yes, I do."
He sighed and she could almost hear him roll his eyes. "Fine." He turned towards their daughter, catching her still flailing hands. "Star, we're going to grab something healthy to eat so your mummy is happy and afterwards you can have a bit of ice cream. All right?" Arleen seemed to contemplate that before nodding wildly.
Ceri's eyes widened. "Caden!"
He grinned, looping his free arm around her waist and steering them towards the parking lot. "Relax. If she can eat all that healthy food without getting sick and then still wants ice cream, she'll be perfectly fine."
"I can't believe you're undermining my authority with our child."
He just leaned down and kissed her cheek.
"Mummy," Arleen said a few minutes later when Ceri was strapping her into her car seat.
"What is it honey?" she asked distractedly.
"What's a bastard?"
Ceri's hand stilled. "What?" Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Caden stiffen.
"Conny called me that today in school. What's that?" Arleen seemed curious and just a little bit upset.
Caden leaned through the front seats from his place on the driver's seat. "It's a very mean word, star, and if that girl says it again you have my permission to hit her."
Ceri narrowed her eyes at Caden. "Don't encourage her to use violence against her friends."
Arleen pulled her lips tightly together. "Conny is a boy and not my friend."
Ceri finished putting Arleen's seatbelt on before saying, "Your father is right, bastard is a very mean word to say, so I don't ever want you to use it, young lady, but actually it is an old fashioned expression for someone whose parents aren't married."
Arleen's pout turned into a tearful expression when she realized that, yes, the bully Conny had been right after all. "You and Daddy aren't married?"
Caden sighed. "No, we aren't, honey pie, but we will be."
"Yes, really," Ceri confirmed. "And besides, many great people were bastards and it didn't keep them from becoming what they were. For example, is Conny's full name Constantine?"
Arleen contemplated for a moment, before nodding.
"Well, he's probably named after the roman emperor, Constantine the Great, who was a bastard. Tell that to that boy if he calls you that again – and don't hit him." Ceri smiled and kissed Arleen's head. "All better now?"
The small child nodded, already immersed in talking to her teddy bear, Paulo.
Caden glanced over at Ceri when he was pulling out of the parking lot. "You know," he said quietly, "we really should get married soon."
"You know I still have a year left of school."
"I know." He turned and concentrated on the road. Then, after a while: "I just don't like anybody calling her something demeaning and technically having the right of it. Not if we could change it so easily."
"I know, Caden, but you also know how my father is. Besides how did that b.r.a.t. find out we aren't married?" There hadn't been any negative press about their non-existent matrimonial status since they'd made that deal with her father. The press – especially the gossip magazines – apparently weren't above accepting high amounts of money for keeping their pencils out of Caden and Ceri's business. Ceri supposed her father had done that since it partially was his fault that the couple could be so easily attacked.
"Who knows, maybe she told somebody and he overheard."
"Yeah, maybe." Ceri glanced out of the window, thinking. She really didn't like that deal with her father anymore. Hadn't, in fact, liked it since the beginning. Maybe if she…"I'm thinking," she said slowly, catching Caden's attention. "I'm thinking if we told Daddy that Arleen is faced with harassment in school because of us not being married…"
A slow smile spread on his face "… he might relent. No, he surely will." Even though Dale Adams had been anything but thrilled about Arleen's arrival in this world, he had fallen in love with the little girl soon thereafter. It seemed to be true that people's demeanor changed when it came to their grandchildren.
"So," Caden said, taking Ceri's hand in his. "How does a quiet, private ceremony on the 24th of December sound to you?"
She grinned at him and squeezed his hand. "Perfect."
Author's Note 2:
I've just two things left to say (or maybe three) so bear with me. One I'm thinking about posting a second epilogue sometime with Lio in it (I missed the little guy and I'd like to share with you guys what'll become of him) but don't hold your breath since what I said at the top of this page still stands and I had the most trouble writing about Lio.
Two, I once again would like to thank y'all for reading this story - the reviews were all really, truly, awesomely amazing!!! If you liked this story I'm thinking about posting another one of mine soon called "Shattered China" (Holden Kaori - or rather a younger version of him - is one of the supporting characters btw) which will be somewhat like this, maybe, well it will not be completely different like "Throw the Dice"....
Three, Please review! I won't lie - it's been more than a year and I had serious withdrawals!!! So do tell me what you thought of this epilogue, love it, hate it, the usual - I'm open for any kind of comment, critic or whatever else you want to tell me - just push the button below! Please!
Phew, this was it, I'll shut up! Love you all!!!!!!!