The Erotic Études Opus VI
Étude IX - Ludwig (II)
It was a small dinner party, by Voigt standards. Herr Voigt was well known lawyer in Leipzig, and his young wife Henriette was at the center of the cultural and musical life of the city. It was through Ludwig that I was introduced to the Voigts and their circle, and as a result, had regular opportunities to perform four-hands piano with Ludwig at their soirées.
I had not practiced four-hands regularly since Toepken had graduated from Heidelberg, and I found it helped me to concentrate when I was unable to compose; writing the Études was troubling me. I worked on my second sonata during this time, but that also troubled me. And so it was, that Ludwig and I were once again asked to play two of our well-practiced Schubert four-hands duets at the Voigts after a lush dinner one Saturday in June, shortly after Ludwig's concert trip to Wien.
Ludwig was animated throughout dinner, as he usually was when he anticipated playing. Unlike myself, he had a thorough and passionate love for performing. The only one who compared with Ludwig in his lust to perform, was Liszt - and they resembled one another in many ways. Ludwig told some amusing stories about Wien - he often billed himself as "Louis Schuncke" and did so on this concert engagement, because he knew it would keep the Viennese nobles away from him. They detested the French; and for his own part, he preferred to play for those who appreciated him, rather than people who appeared at public concerts to show off their best gowns and jewelry.
At last dinner ended, and we took our places together on the bench. As we sat, I on the left hand, Ludwig brushed his hand surreptitiously along my thigh and leaned toward me, and whispered in my ear, "tonight." That was another odd element of Ludwig's personality; whereas I often felt very drained after performing, he often returned from concerts in a high passion; our lovemaking was often very intense when he came to me after a concert. I found that the thought of anything other than the music before me - distracted me; and it was fortunate that I knew these pieces as well as I did; because Ludwig had just distracted me utterly, and I held his hand a moment before we began, so that I could once again focus my attention upon the piece.
The performance went well; I could sense Ludwig's high tension throughout, and several times he rushed me on the allegro so that I was at pains to keep up; but this was typical of him, and the more animated he became, the more aggressive his playing. It was over quickly, and I was relieved, and sweating a bit, so I took my coffee out to the verandah, while Ludwig went at Frau Voigt's request to help her serve the guests another tray of coffee. When I had cooled down, I lighted a cigar and settled down next to Wieck, who was sitting in his usual corner chair, puffing heavily, and glaring at no one in particular. I smoked with him quietly for a few minutes before attempting to venture a discussion. I was considering querying him on his opinion of our performance. I was always just slightly nervous playing with Wieck in the room, though he had ceased teaching me years before; I valued his opinion still, and feared his criticism.
But before I had a chance to work up to a topic with Wieck, Ludwig reappeared at my elbow, and to my surprise, pulled me up and out of my seat with some urgency.
"Lieber, please, come now," he said in a low voice, and I followed him, out into the hall and to the alcove where the guests had stowed their coats. And to my surprise, he dragged me further into the alcove between the coats!
"Ludwig, what the hell is going on?" I muttered, but before I had finished the sentence he had placed his mouth on mine and drew me into a tight, passionate embrace. He did not let me go for long moments. From the pressure of hips against my own I could feel his arousal.
He paused just long enough to let me catch my breath and said, "Let's go home."
"Why now? Because you're all worked up? What brought this on? Are you all right?" He tried once again to silence me with his mouth, but I put up a hand to stop him. "Ludwig, what is it?"
"I just want to go home. Sometimes I get this way after I play." He ran his fingers gently through my curls and caressed my neck. "Playing with you like that was so - so nice. I want to play some more."
"What about Frau Voigt? She will be offended that her pianists vanished on her. Particularly you. She was most anxious to hear you, since you have become so famous of late." At the mention of Frau Voigt his expression darkened.
"That is a pity," he said, without compassion. "Tell her your malaria has flared up. Just - tell her. I'll wait out here."
I cast a backward look at him, crouching in the alcove, as I went through the hallway and back to the party, on a mission now to find Henriette Voigt. I was torn between asking her if she knew what was wrong with Ludwig, and following his instructions; and erred on the side of discretion.
"Oh, where is Herr Schuncke?" she sang out as she spotted me. "You two were just the best, I was going to ask him to play your Toccata before we serve the cake."
"I'm very sorry Frau Voigt, but I am feeling rather faint. I think the evening chill and exertion has come on me rather hard." I lowered my eyes, trying to invoke the shaking weakness of the winter's illness once again.
"Yes, yes, you do look pale. How sad."
"I will of course need Ludwig to see me safely home, I hope you understand."
"Think nothing of it!" she declared, and waving one of the servants over, handed the tray she had been carrying to the woman, and followed me up. "Let me see you off!"
I turned and placed a hand on her arm. "No, no, please. Stay with your guests, please give them our regrets. We will come again soon!" Gracious and pleasant, Frau Voigt did not insist, and I was left free to return to the hall and my cowering companion.
"All set now, we can go. My God, Ludwig, that was incredibly rude," I said, when we had left the house and started down the street.
He tugged at my arm with a burst of urgency, now that we were free. "Walk a bit faster Robert, if you will."
"I still would like to know what this is about. It's not about being all aroused by me at the piano!" I insisted. But Ludwig would say nothing, despite my further entreaties.
When we arrived home, he immediately opened a bottle of wine and poured a large draft for himself. At his gesture I nodded and he poured for me as well. We drank briefly in silence. I unwrapped my schal and frock coat and tossed them on the chair.
"All right, here I am, all yours. Take me," I announced, and he turned to me, wine glass in hand, and began kissing me with the unrestrained passion he had shown in the Voigt's hall, and this time I did not pull away. There was something desperate in Ludwig which I did not as yet understand; but it had something to do with me, and perhaps with the party. In due course I would discover what, but I must now let passion take its course. Ludwig stripped off his clothes as though maddened, and I noted that he was still fully aroused.
"Have you been hard all this time since the kiss in the hall?" I gasped, and he nodded silently, his mouth now urgent upon mine.
"Well then, do you want to take me?" I said, between kisses, and he nodded again, his passion had somehow made him mute. I broke away then, trembling from the force and violence that seemed to be building up in him, and finished removing my trousers. My heart was pounding fiercely, overcome by his own fierceness.
If he were to take me immediately, it would hurt badly; but Ludwig had not lost his mind. In our months together, he had developed a method by which he could adequately prepare me for penetration, and he did so now. He was nothing if not methodical, and eased first one then another finger into me to loosen me up to receive him. But he wasted no time, and asked no questions, for as soon as he had worked three well oiled fingers smoothly in, he knelt and with a firm pressure, entered me, and I let out a small gasp, as much in pleasure as relief.
I was glad of his caution, for earlier, I had been considering refusing him if he appeared too violent. Though the prospect of his violence had aroused in me an ache - a want I had not felt in other, calmer times. However, as soon as caution had been observed and he was inside me, the fierceness of his desire returned, and soon he was thrusting hard, with an abandon he had rarely shown before; and I heard the sound of my own moans escaping me as though they were someone else's. By one wild thrust of my lover, my climax came quickly - and explosive as a cannon burst, and I felt the wetness of my own semen splatter across my thighs. Ludwig was abandoned to his own passion, however, and did not slow, and several more waves of intense pleasure overcame me before he withdrew suddenly and ejaculated on the sheet. He collapsed suddenly, falling down against the pillow and closing his eyes. I lay back and a little away from him, so that we could cool down from our intense exertion.
"Oh god," he said in a small voice. "Oh god, I love you so... it almost hurts." His eyes remained closed, but his restless hand reached forward and, finding my arm, caressed it lightly. "I love you so, Robert, oh god."
"What a mess we are," I commented matter-of-factly, embarrassed by the intensity of his words.
"Leave it, leave it," he murmured, his eyes remaining closed. "I'll change the bed in a bit." When at length he opened his eyes, I gazed at him soberly, and he met my gaze.
"So, if we aren't wiping up now... would you mind explaining what happened at Frau Voigt's tonight?" I held my breath just slightly. I had no idea what had affected him, but something clearly had.
"Please, don't be upset," he said, and a tear escaped his eye, and he raised his hand to wipe it away.
"Whatever it is, I won't be upset," I promised, now definitely fearful.
He sniffed a bit, and went on. "After we played. Henriette asked me to the pantry to help with the coffee because her servant was making the cake."
He gazed at me with a look both bewildered and tormented. "Well - she, she made a pass at me!"
"What do you mean, made a pass at you?"
"She tried to kiss me! Put her arms around me and - if I weren't so tall she would have succeeded! She settled for taking my hand and placing it in her bosom!"
"So what did you do?" I strained to keep a laugh of astonishment from breaking out of my mouth.
"I withdrew it, obviously!"
"So what did she say?"
"She said that she loved me and wanted to take me upstairs right then!"
"With her husband in the parlor with twenty guests, and coffee boiling?" I was more amused than outraged.
"Yes!" The look of pain on his face passed into a sort of astonishment. "I concluded she had gone mad."
"I hope you had the good sense not to say so."
"No, I said that I respected her, but also her husband and her marriage, and that it would be impossible."
"I hope that was enough."
"No, dammit, it wasn't enough! She wanted some declaration!"
"Yes. She insisted! She would not let me go! She said ' but have you no feelings for me?' with that look of pitiful appeal... you know how she looks..." He wiped another tear away with the back of his hand and fumbled amongst the ruin of his clothes for his handkerchief. After blowing his nose, he folded the handkerchief neatly, and began to dab, absently, at the drying semen on my leg. He was clearly agitated. I waited.
"And I had to tell her the truth, Robert. I fear you will disapprove."
"What would I disapprove?" I said with a rising alarm.
"I said that you are my only love, and will be until I die," he declared.
I reached for him, and placed a tender kiss on his trembling lip.
His eyes welled up with a fierceness that filled me with longing for him, even as I lay in a tingling state of gratification - that look drew my passion for him out of me as though it were a tangible thing.
"I do not disapprove," I said, placing another kiss on his mouth. " I think Frau Voigt knows that we are lovers. She just doesn't take it seriously, that's all."
"She obviously does not take her husband seriously if she thinks I would make love to her in the sitting room while her husband entertains guests in the parlor! And her hands on me - oh Robert, it was all I could do not to recoil."
I had to refrain from chuckling. Poor Henriette, in her attraction to Ludwig, had failed to notice his sexual revulsion for women. Whenever they flirted with him or made eyes at him, he would often turn away with embarrassment and confusion, which was universally misunderstood as shyness. But it was not shyness; and I knew this. Ludwig was never shy. A life on the concert stage, from the age of nine, had inured him to the public. This quirk, however, was almost always overlooked, which made women try even harder to gain his attention, and they would flock to the best seats at his concerts so as to get nearer to the beautiful blond virtuoso. What envy must Henriette Voigt be feeling for me, who had won his heart?
"And so," I said taking his hand tenderly, "this is what caused you such a frenzy of desire in the hall?"
"Yes. Though I don't know why." He leaned back then, setting down his handkerchief at last - I had been about to bat it out of his hand, but his restless fingers almost never ceased in some activity or other, even when he was at rest. And he began, almost unconsciously, to move his left hand against his thigh as though practicing a scale, and I watched it as he spoke again. "You don't dislike women as I do, do you, Robert?"
"No - I like them nearly as much as men." His eyes widened slightly. "I said nearly. I have never loved anyone the way I love you, Ludwig."
"Would you marry and leave me?" he said in a small voice.
"You sound sure."
"I am sure." We held each other for a long time before sleep came.
I was sure, because not only was I intent at that time upon never being married, but I was also quite certain that Ludwig would not live very much longer; and that I would not love another as long as he lived. And I was right.
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The Erotic Etudes Index
[ I ]
[ II ]
[ III ]
[ IV ]
[ V ]
[ VI ]
[ VII ]
[ VIII ]
[ IX ]
[ X ]
[ XI ]
[ XII ]
[ XIII ]
[ XIV ]
[ XV ]
[ XVI ]
[ XVII ]
[ XVIII ]