A/N: There is a lot of dialogue in this chapter, I just hope that it reads okay. Disclaimer and rating as previous chapters. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter 3

"Maria, please may I come in?" Georg waited patiently outside Maria's bedroom door.

On the other side, Maria pulled a sleeve over her hand and wiped her eyes. Her sobs had subsided but she still sat clutching the pillow to her chest. Her nose was running and she knew that her eyes would be red and puffy. She didn't want Georg to see her in this state but she knew that she couldn't hide forever. She put the pillow back in its correct place on the bed and walked slowly across the room.

Quietly she opened her bedroom door and then turned to sit back down on the bed. Georg pushed the door open and then reached behind his back and pushed it closed softly as he leant against it. How could it be that less than an hour earlier Maria had seemed so happy and confident about their relationship but now sitting before him, was a woman who looked as if she had the weight of the world on her shoulders?

He walked up to the side of the bed, "Erm… may I?" and gestured toward where she sat. She didn't reply but neither did she object as he joined her on the bed keeping enough distance that she wouldn't feel threatened.

"Liesl came to see me. The children are all very unhappy. They think that they have upset you and I can see that their suspicions are correct." Georg cocked his head to one side so that he could see Maria's face.

"It's all a misunderstanding, you do know that don't you." His tone was soft and soothing as he tried to explain in the best way that could. "The children adore you, just remember how they welcomed you back after you'd left for the Abbey. They really are very happy that we are getting married." He stroked her arm and then slid his fingers through hers, pulling her hand onto his thigh.

Maria couldn't find any words. She stared at the hand that was resting over hers. His wedding ring glistened in the sunlight that was by now streaming through Maria's bedroom window. Instinctively she brought her other hand to his and started to stroke the gleaming gold band.

"Why did you break off your engagement with Elsa?" Maria asked calmly. There was a slight pause as Georg considered the motive behind Maria's question.

"Well… it's as I said to you. You can't marry someone when you are in love with someone else."

"And did you already know that I was in love with you. Is that what you found so attractive?" It was taking Maria all her time to stay composed.

"Yes, I mean I thought - I hoped that you loved me in the same way that I loved you but that isn't why I was attracted to you. I can't say that I wasn't pleased, after all, I had done little to make you love me and yet still you did. You had seen me at my worst and still you found something in me that was worthy of your love."

Maria laughed weakly and finally looked up so that her eyes met his. She could see the concern etched on his face. "Oh Georg, how can you talk about not being good enough for me. It's me, I'm the problem. The children didn't do anything to hurt me intentionally I know that but they made me realise that you deserve better. You were about to marry the Baroness and it was obvious that she loved you and could give you everything that you need.

"But Maria, there lies the problem. Elsa may well have loved me, although I'm not all that sure that she did but one thing is for certain, whilst I may have cared a great deal for her, I certainly did not love her. There is only one woman that I love and wish to spend the rest of my life with."

"But look at me…" Maria shrugged her shoulders in a self-depreciating manner, "… I wouldn't know sophistication if it jumped up and bit me on the nose."

"And that, my darling is one of the reasons that I love you so much. It should be apparent to you by now that I care nothing for the snobbish bores that Elsa liked to parade me in front of. Sometimes I just felt like a trophy on her arm, something for her to show off and bring out for special occasions. Elsa was very beautiful there is no doubt about that and I will not insult your intelligence by trying to deny it but you, Maria, are beyond beautiful, you are exquisite, both inside and out, much much more than Elsa would ever be."

"Now I know that you are just trying to make me feel better," she sighed. "Just take Elsa's hair for example, it was always so beautifully styled and it's colour as delicate as Edelweiss."

Georg edged closer to Maria on the bed and delicately with one finger he brushed a strand of her hair aside before slowly running his fingers through her hair. He leant in smelling its fragrance before kissing her on the temple.

"Do you really think that Elsa would have allowed me to do this to her perfect coiffure?" Maria looked blankly at Georg. "You don't want to answer that? Well I shall tell you - she did not." He continued to play with the hair at the nape of Maria's neck and she could feel the fluttering of butterflies in her stomach.

"Whenever I am near you I want to run my fingers through your hair, just as I am doing now. I never felt that desire with Elsa. Your hair is as soft as silk, it is as lustrous as a thousand glorious fireflies. It smells like the wild flowers from the hills and I love it so short, I never want you to have it any other way." Georg's lips grazed Maria's neck and she could feel his quickening breath against her throat.

Her cheeks began to flush. She truly wasn't used to compliments and with good reason as she had received very few if any at all when she wore her nuns' uniform and her hair was covered by the wimple.

"Perhaps that's true but you can't say that I have a better figure than Elsa. My goodness when she wore that elegant dress at the Ball, she looked like a Princess."

Georg could sense that Maria was starting to relax and the mood was lifting slightly. He moved even closer to her so that his arm rested against hers. A spark of desire passed between them and Georg leaned in to whisper in her ear.

"Hmmm, you are right there, she did have curves in all the right places," he looked up cheekily to see if he was taking things too far but Maria was trying to stifle a smile, "… and I thought that perhaps there couldn't possibly be anyone with a better figure… until, I saw a certain Governess step out of the lake soaking wet through with her dress clinging to her, leaving nothing to the imagination!"

Maria gasped and feigned embarrassment as her hand shot up to cover her mouth.

"What? You think I didn't notice," Georg raised his eyebrows and shot Maria a wicked glance. His hand skimmed down her side, his thumb brushing against the side of Maria's breast, before coming to rest upon her hip. "Believe me when I tell you that I had many a disturbed night just thinking about what might lie beneath that sodden dress." His lips found their place on Maria's neck once more and as he peppered light kisses along her jaw she closed her eyes and felt her head swimming with emotions that she had never before experienced.

They shouldn't have been alone like this, in her room. Temptation was a terrible force to resist, she had been taught this at the Abbey and now she realised just how hard it was to do the right thing. But it felt so right to be with him, to be close to him, how could it be wrong?

Georg pressed his body into her so that she lay down on the bed and he followed her down so that his body rested slightly atop hers. He cradled her head with one hand and with the other he stroked her cheek rubbing circles with his thumb.

Anticipation was making Maria nervous and exhilarated at the same time, her voice became slightly shaky as she continued her questions.

"You cannot say though that Elsa's complexion was anything but flawless. Her skin was so smooth and…" Persistent kisses silenced Maria as it became clear that Georg had tired of listening. They were soft at first, chaste even but as Georg continued to pay attention to Maria's moist lips, the sighs that they elicited in her were so arousing to Georg that he licked her bottom lip before nipping it gently making Maria part her lips to allow his tongue to enter. They had kissed like this before once or twice but never with so much passion, so much intensity.

Through ragged breaths and hot kisses Georg sought to silence her questions.

"Your skin..."

"Oh, Georg."

"… is natural and flawless"

"Please, Georg."

"Your eyes entice me and the moment I looked deeply into them I was lost forever."

"Just kiss me,"

"Your perfect button nose…"

"Now"

"Is almost as beautiful as your rosebud lips."

Maria could wait no longer she pulled him down to her by his lapels and they shared a fiercely passionate kiss which left them both breathless. Gasping as they finally parted, Georg looked into her enticing eyes.

"Now do you believe that there could never be anyone more worthy of my love than you, my darling?"

All Maria could do was nod and she threw her arms around him and buried her face against his neck. They lay there basking in the warmth of their embrace for several moments making the most of the time they had alone together. Finally they both sat up and rearranged their clothes.

"I'm sorry for being so stupid and insecure. I promise that from now on I will have confidence in us. I should go and see the children and apologise to them too." Maria started to stand but Georg pulled her gently back down.

"There's no need for you to apologise. Louisa however will be apologising to you after I speak to her."

"Oh no, no you mustn't say anything to her. She is entitled to her own opinion and I'm sure she didn't mean to hurt me. Now, if I remember correctly we promised the children a picnic this afternoon."

Georg's faced dropped as he remembered that they had indeed planned an afternoon out with the children. "We did you are right, but…" he glanced at his watch "I don't believe that it's the afternoon yet and Liesl has promised to look after her brothers and sisters for us until Max gets back."

Maria grinned as she could see the lascivious look that was sweeping across Georg's face.

"And I think, perhaps, Fraulein I do need to just double check that your figure is indeed far superior to Baroness Schraeder's."

"Hmmmm… I think you should check, just to be sure," Maria giggled as his hands reached behind Maria's back and began unbuttoning her dress.

xXx

Thank you for reading. I think this is probably the end unless I get some more inspiration to continue it. I know it takes time but I would be really grateful if you could leave a review. Thank you so much!