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Title:Muted Symphony- Part 1 of the 'Muted Symphony' series
Author; Sodalite1
Summary: Dominic thought that running a coffee shop would make life easier.....
Warnings: All the things that make this an 18.....

Chapter Three

Dominic knew as soon as the taxi pulled up outside the large house, that he was out of his comfort zone. He showed the invite to the doorman and he was shown into a large room that turned out be the library.

It was full of expensive furniture and expensive first addition books; at least they had taste as well as money.

He then noticed the painting; a family portrait. The artist was very good, but his focus was on Matthew. Sure, there was a smile, but he could see the acute sadness in his eyes. He wondered if the artist had seen that and deliberately painted it.

He never heard the door open and he jumped when a voice said.

“You get drawn to it, don’t you?”

Dominic turned his head, and the older man in the painting was standing next to him.

“That sadness, it’s always there. No matter what we do...always the sadness.”

The man stuck out his hand.

“Phillip Wolstenholme. You must be Dominic Howard.”

Dominic shook his hand and noticed his grip was as firm as his son’s.

“It was a brave thing you did. Those boys have a reputation for violence.”

“It’s something anyone would have done,” Dominic replied.

“Unfortunately, round here, that may not always be the case. There are a lot of small minded people in the world. But, this is a party…so, come and meet the rest of the family.”

Mrs Wolstenholme was pleasant and friendly, and even hugged him, making him blush.

He was then immersed in the mass of people inside a large marquee. He managed to find himself a corner and stood watching, wondering how the Wolstenholme’s seemed at ease in the midst of it.

He’d seen Chris, who seemed to be involved in an animated conversation with a group of men; he needed a drink and some quiet.

Finally, he raised the confidence to weave his way through the people and to the bar. He took his glass of red and stepped out of the marquee and into the floodlit garden. He thought he saw a silhouette in the pagoda, and decided he would join them.

As he got closer, he saw that it was Matthew...and was that? He was relieved to see it was an inhaler and not a cigarette.

Matthew jumped when he stepped inside, looking very much like a startled deer.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell anyone you’re here. You hate these things too?”

There was of course no verbal answer, just a nod of the head. Poor kid, so traumatised by what had happened, that it robbed him of speech.

“Asthma, had that when I was a kid, grew out of it though.”

There was more silence.

“That shiner’s a corker,” he said, gesturing towards Matthew’s cheek.

Dominic wished he would speak; it must be like being in the world, but not part of it. He wondered if anyone had ever asked him why he didn’t speak.

Perhaps someone should.

“It must be hard, everybody talking around you and at you, when you don’t want to talk.”

Matthew’s eyes widened, and did he see a flash of anger.

“Wouldn’t it be better to say something…anything?”

Yes, definitely a flash of anger in those eyes.

“You can talk to me, if you want. I am a trained counsellor.”

Now there was definitely anger in those cerulean eyes, and Dominic had to move out of the way, or Matthew would have pushed him out of the way.

“Way to go, Howard,” he said to himself and headed back to the marquee. He couldn’t see Matthew, and it looked like the auction was about to start.


He was collared by Chris, who sat him at the family table. The auction was lively and Dominic had notice, what was undoubtedly a piano under a white dust sheet.

“Now we come to our final lot and our prize item. A model B Music Room Grand Piano, made and donated by the Steinway family.”

The bidding was brisk and the final bid was astounding…some of these people must be very wealthy. He loved music and could appreciate a wonderfully crafted instrument.

He played piano as a child, but didn’t have the talent or the drive to keep playing beyond his teens.

The bidders had started filtering back into the larger marquee and he found himself the centre of attention. He was highly embarrassed that people thought his actions were brave. But what impressed him was the genuine affection all those people that had talked to him had for Matthew.

It wasn’t fake sentiment; his fake radar was pretty good.

Eventually he managed to extricate himself from the back-slapping.

“Don’t blame you, mate,” Chris said “I don’t get a choice. There’s a smaller private party in a couple of hours, just family and close friends, and you’re invited.”

Dominic nodded and finally made it back into the garden, welcoming the chilled air.

He started walking back to the pagoda when he heard the sound of a piano; he guessed it must be coming from the party.

It stopped, then started again….it was coming from the smaller marquee, where the auction had been held.

He recognised the piece of music, it was Rachmaninoff…Concerto No 1.

He listened as it shifted from “Vivace” into “Andante Cantabile”. But it sounded slightly different, like whoever was playing it was using their own interpretation of it…and it was beautiful.

He walked over to the marquee and as quietly as he could, he pulled the flap of the entrance back, not wanting to disturb the pianist.

He had to blink when he saw who it was… was Matthew.

Dominic watched as his fingers flowed across the keys, as the music shifted into the last movement, “Allegro Scherzando.”

Once again there was twist, a slight change to the melody…pure genius. How could someone so insular play so beautifully?

He didn’t notice the music had stopped, until he heard the scrap of a chair. He blinked again and saw that Matthew had stood up, and was staring at him, with a look on his face of someone who’d been discovered doing something they shouldn’t.

“That was beautiful,” Dominic said.

That seemed to galvanise Matthew, who moved away from the piano. He had to get past Dominic, who wasn’t going to let him.

He grabbed hold of Matthew’s arm, and the next thing he knew he was on the floor, with Matthew standing over him, blue eyes flashing with fury…not anger.

The look clearly said ‘don’t touch me.’

“Matthew…” Dominic started to say, but Matthew turned away and ran out of the marquee.

Dominic got to his feet, still shocked by Matthew’s reaction. That wasn’t the reaction of someone annoyed at being discovered playing…it was something else.

Matthew’s reaction made Dominic even more determined to find out what caused it.

http://Sodalite1- Muted Symphony Series


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February 2016

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