Authors note:

I have never written for this movie/story but a wager is a wager…and I lost! As a writer who normally drabbles in a much grittier slash fandom this storyline was a bit like sugar shock—in the very best way. My challenge was to write a steamy post puppet show story—which is tad awkward.

Danny I do hope you enjoy my embarrassment over this story…double or nothing next time!

To the rest of you I hope it's tolerable. Please let me offer my appreciation for all the wonderful stories I've read over the last few days!

Caught

"Bravo"!

"You were wonderful"!

The two gentlemen in the audience continued to applaud as the children jumped down from the puppet show stage and into their waiting arms. The Captain knew Maria would be pleased at the scene enfolding below her, his beaming pride at his children and his giving them his undivided attention. He grinned to himself knowing she could hear their joyful commotion as she finished placing the puppets on their hangers lest they become tangled. He wanted to show her what her efforts had brought about. That he had heard her.

In just a few short weeks she had managed to wake him to the world at his feet. Soaking wet and smelling of lake water she had stood unafraid, with quiet pride and righteous anger. Blue eyes burning she had dressed him down so hard he had called her Captain. He had privately mused later that night that she rather deserved the title. Humbled and embarrassed he had apologized and set them on a course of tenuous friendship.

A truce. A navy man could understand those terms. He found himself listening to her when they met during the week to discuss the children. He was deeply moved when she revealed a few details of her harsh childhood. Had great admiration for the strength it had taken for her to overcome and thrive. She was intelligent and unafraid to debate him on the merits of just about anything he could think of. Excuses to begin conversations with her swirled in his mind almost as often as he thought of just her.

He caught himself sharing smiles and trading glances with her over the children's foibles.

He caught himself watching her, brushing her over with his glances, seeking her out when he had a free moment.

He caught himself falling.

The children had followed Max into the music room and the tales of the disasters that had befallen the puppets as they had rehearsed could be heard trailing behind them.

Shaking himself out of memories he heard her descending the steps of the puppet theater and began to walk toward her to offer a hand down. "An excuse to touch her and you know it, " he thought. Flushed with pride herself in the children's performance and breathing hard, she rounded the front of the puppet stage and leaned an elbow against the side to rest a moment. Drawing in a deep breath she was once again giving him that magnificent smile. A pure smile, this fräulein knew nothing of the games he had played these past empty years. Clean. He could feel his smile broaden in response. Her cheeks flushed under his gaze and he watched as it crept down her throat and towards her chest. He smirked and shook his head slightly to remind himself that thoughts of how far down his governess could blush were at best inappropriate

"Well done fräulein. I really am very very much impressed."

"Their your children Captain," she remarked breezily. Sobering slightly she turned to him and softly said, "I was sorry to hear that the Baroness would be unable to join us this evening. Does she often suffer from migraines?"

"Mm hmm. The warmer weather seems to bring them on suddenly."

"I do hope you'll tell her that I shall remember her in my prayers tonight and I wish her a speedy recovery."

Georg knew that she was speaking to him about Elsa but found that he could not tear his eyes away from her mouth. Unconsciously he pushed his index finger against his thumb to still the urge to rub it across her bottom lip.

"Um, Captain?", Maria asked. "Is everything quite alright?" He blinked, startled out of his revelry by her concern.

He was caught, again.

"Right, yes… of course I'll tell her. Shall we see what Max and the children are up to?" he asked stopping to let her pass thru the door to the music room. Georg wondered if she could feel his gaze rake over her as she passed or hear him inhale her lavender perfume? The skirt of her blue chiffon dress brushed against his trousers. He wanted to touch the fabric, grasp it and use it to draw her closer. His fingertips tingled. He wiggled them to shake the sensation and crossed over to the bar.

Maria and the children had gathered in the corner in a suspicious huddle of giggles and whispers. He smirked at them and tried to guess what their game might be. As he turned back to the bar after handing Max his drink he smelled her approach before he managed to even turn around.

"Out of hand old man, you are definitely in dangerous waters." He found himself torn between wishing that Elsa were here and being relieved that she wasn't. He was afraid that he was doing a poor job of disguising his... interest in Fräulein Maria. "Caught," he sighed to himself.

Wrongly presuming the children had asked Maria to play and sing for them he found the guitar thrust in his direction.

Her guitar. One that her hands had touched. "You are not an errant school boy Georg. Really, can you have it so badly that you are content to simply touch the places that she has touched?" He was concerned that he might just be.

"No, no, no, no, no…," he quipped. Absolutely not, he thought. He hadn't sung or played since his Agathe. With a gentle brush off he hoped the conversation had ended.

"I'm told that a long time ago you were quite good."

No such luck, gauntlet thrown. He wasn't one to back down from a challenge. He sighed.

"Well that was a very very very long time ago," he teased.

Despite the eager faces of his children he was still more than prepared to decline until she said,

"Please."

Caught, he accepted the guitar and strummed a few notes.

"Edelweiss, Edelweiss…" He had missed this. The eager faces of his children, the feel of the strings underneath the pads of his fingers, the music pouring out of the last place he had locked away.

"Bless my homeland forever…"he ended the song flicking his gaze at Maria. Looking straight into her eyes unable and unwilling to look away.

He shrugged off a sudden rush of bashfulness and it broke the moment between them. Georg glanced around at his children and then landed on Max. Max who was staring at Fräulein Maria curiously and then turned to him and raised an eyebrow. Georg knew that look.

And he knew that he had been caught. He rubbed a hand behind his ear, suddenly uncomfortable.

Max gave a little half smile of mischief and clapped his hands together.

"Children," he boomed, "I demand an opportunity to have a go with the puppet show before bedtime. Would you all be so kind as to show me how everything works?"

In a flurry of footsteps and suggestions for which puppet Uncle Max might like best the room was suddenly clear. And the silence buzzed in Georg's ears. Clearing his throat he rose from the settee to pass Maria her guitar back.

"Oh, Captain that was.."

"My thanks for loaning your..."

He laughed with her as they both spoke at the same time.

"Please, allow me to thank you for the loan of your guitar and the, uh, gentle nudge to join in the entertainment tonight." She smiled her eyes shining with something he couldn't identify.

"Captain it is I, err, we who should be thanking you. It was a lovely song. For someone who claims it was a very long time ago you did splendidly. Not a single misplayed note." No blushing from her this time. She was so earnest it nearly broke his heart.

Georg held the guitar out to her in thanks and she reached out to grab it, their fingers brushing. Guitar throat clasped between them neither pulled away. His heart started to pound. His eyes sought hers and he drew in a breath as he watched her pupils dilate, saw her pulse beat thru the delicate skin of her throat, and heard her draw a shaking breath.

Caught. Both of them.

Her fingers where still wrapped around his on the guitar and he simply tugged, bringing her into his space as close as the guitar would allow. Slowly wanting to give her every chance to pull away he raised his free hand and brushed the backs of his fingers along her cheek. Unbearably soft. He flipped his hand over and pressed his palm to her cheek, sliding it down to cup her face and rest his thumb against her mouth.

Smell taste touch.

Georg felt her move closer to him and took his chance to brush his lips against hers once. Twice. The guitar slid to the floor between them as he brought both hands to her face and pushed them into her hair as he deepened the kiss.

His eyes fluttered open to gage her reaction. He managed to note that her lids remained closed but her panting mouth was swollen from his kisses. Guileless and innocent.

She was wrecking him without effort.

"More," was all he could think. Greedily running his hands down her back he pulled her flush against him as he ran his tongue across her bottom lip. Not getting the response he wanted he nipped a bit, startling her into opening her mouth. He hummed his approval as he licked into her mouth. And as she began kissing him back his chest ached with the excitement of having her in his arms as he had many times in his imagination.

Never a shy blossom he felt his Maria slide her hands up his chest and clasp them behind his neck, deepening the kiss on her own as she mimicked his nibble and swept her tongue over his lower lip.

"His Maria?' he thought. " This was madness. Utter madness, in the music room, with eight people down the hall." Oh, but then threat wasn't going to be enough to make him stop. A few kisses more he reasoned...just a touch deeper. His fingers found their way up her sides, grazing her breasts on the path to touch her neck. She threaded her fingers into the hair at the nape of his neck and pulled him closer, fitting them together that last little bit. He was conscious of his body, all of his body, pressing into her and when she swayed against him he could not stop the groan of pleasure. She was addicting and he couldn't stop himself. Wasn't really trying…

Running his thumbs down her neck he let his fingertips trace the lines of her collarbones. She signed into his mouth and her skin tightened into goose bumps under his hands.

Burning everywhere, he dropped his hand to her breast, finding her nipple thru the soft blue material and gently swiping his thumb across it. He drew back from their kiss to watch her mouth make a silent "o" before leaning back in to trail kisses along her jaw. He roughened his touch and he heard her soft moan, felt her push up onto her tiptoes and fit herself intimately against his hips.

Smell touch taste.

The hand caressing her breast drifted up to try and invade the neck line of her dress. He wanted to feel her skin in his. He wanted to be everywhere, slowly and all at once. Grasping her backside he rubbed his hips against hers in a flagrant invitation. She let her hands drift to his back, slipping them under his jacket and curling her fingers into his belt buckle, encouraging his movements with her own.

Overwhelmed with lust he found himself drawing the fabric of her blue dress upward, bunching it up until he could touch the sweet skin of her thigh. She was panting into his mouth clearly lost to the sensations, lost to him...in him.

Stumbling a bit over the long forgotten guitar he steered her backwards toward the settee, unsure how much longer his shaking body could hold both of them up. Desperate and ragged he found himself pushing her down into her back even as his hand crept up her thigh. Fingering the edge of her panties he slowed his kisses and looked into her eyes for permission.

"Mm...oh yes Captain!"

"Captain!"

"Captain, sir?"

Georg sat bolt upright and took in his bearings. "Music room, settee, brandy glass, incredibly aroused body, all in front of a concerned nun...oh God."

Caught. His face felt flushed.

He ran his hand thru his hair to try and buy time or at least make a grab for a throw pillow to strategically place...

"I must have fallen asleep. Thank you for, uh, waking me, fräulein. Um, can I help you with something? Is it one of the children?"

"Oh, no sir. I left my guitar here earlier tonight and I wanted to have it packed and ready before the picnic tomorrow."

"Yes, yes of course..." he trailed off when he glanced up and caught her staring at him with an odd half smile. Suddenly conscious of his body's response to his dream he spoke without thought,

"Why do you stare at me that way?" Georg wince his tone was sharper than intended.

Instead of being affronted she laughed.

"Well let's not start that conversation again, sir. It's only that I've never seen you without a tie and jacket on. I rather thought they never came off."

"A few more minutes of sleep and you'd have seen just how they all come off."

He smirked up at her intending to give her a flippant comment but was suddenly arrested by her eyes. He was flooded by the sensations, the feelings, his dream had caused.

Suddenly back in that moment when he was singing only to her and she was so aware of him. She saw him. Had seen him as he wanted to be…even when he was at his worst.

Reeling, he could only soften his smirk into a smile and shrug.

"There it is," she said gathering up her guitar, "I'm off to bed. Thank you again for agreeing to sing for us all tonight. It meant so much to the children and I. It's all they talked about, well, that and the party! Goodnight Captain."

"Party? Oh, party. No migraine for Elsa, no wicked interlude with his governess. Bed then. Perhaps a cold shower first or a longer hot one..."