Code Name Madeleine PDF Free Download

Nora khanChapter
One

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Madeleine stared out over a sea of shadowed faces. From
where she stood, the conversations between the audience members were nothing
more than gentle murmurs adding white noise to the barely lit concert hall. Her
stomach knotted as she paced the long white corridor between the stage and the
rear practice room; her eyes flickered out through the small, square windows to
the audience below. Other musicians passed her as they moved about, waiting to
take their places on stage. Discordant sounds and brief glimpses of shuffling
sheet music escaped the practice room door each time a musician passed through.
Her head pounded and her chest constricted as she felt the time grow closer to
her performance.

Deep breaths,
Maddy
… you can do
this ….

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Her long, black gown flowed around her feet like liquid
onyx, shimmering in cadence with her steps, swallowing her small stature. She
pulled at the high neckline and longed for the comfortable t-shirts she
normally wore. The rhythmic click of her heels reminded her of a metronome
keeping time with the beat of her heart. Her breath was irregular; her skin was
sticky with nervous perspiration. Surprise overtook her when, suddenly, a
friendly voice invaded her panic.

“I should probably remove that bow from your hands before
you snap it in two.” Jeremy’s mouth curved up into a genial grin, his warm brown
eyes looked down on her with a glint of humor.

She wrung her hands across the smooth wood of the bow; her
fingers covered by rosin dust from the horsehair. Releasing her tight hold on
the thin bow, she politely smiled in response to his jest. Jeremy reached down
to take it from her hands and said, “
Maddy
, you’ll be
extraordinary. You have nothing to worry about.” Continuing, he laughed. “You
can’t hide behind the walls of a studio forever, people want to see you play.”

That was the problem. Although Madeleine didn’t mind people
hearing her music, but she did not like being seen; preferring instead the
protection of her studio or home, where she could remain invisible to the eyes
of the world. Her voice came out in a mousy whisper, fear evident in her tone, “But
I’ll feel so naked … so
exposed ….

Her hands moved over themselves, the trapped blood looking
pink within the pale white of her taut skin. Jeremy placed his hand over hers
and said, “If I could remove your hands to protect them as well, I would.”

Madeleine looked up into Jeremy’s face. He was a close
friend, one of her only friends. He understood her introversion and didn’t hold
her lack of social skills against her. If not for her need to remain
emotionally distant, she may have considered Jeremy for more than friendship. He
was handsome in the most classical sense of the term: dark chestnut brown hair;
eyes a shade of warm mahogany; and she knew he was tall, but at 5'2', most
people were tall compared to her. Jeremy’s body was long and lean, his upper
body and arms toned from the decades he’d spent mastering the violin. Standing
before her in a coattail tuxedo, he exuded masculine elegance and refinement. He
was friendly to a fault, a person she could rely upon to understand her and
guard her secrets.

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“Besides,” he said, beaming a grand smile, “you’ve played
publicly before. This should be no different.”

But it was different. Tonight was her first solo performance
using
her own
music, not something
from a popular composer. This music came from within her, revealing her
innermost thoughts and desires in the form of melodies and sounds. If the
audience could decipher the hidden meaning of those notes, they would discover
the true person within her.

“Yes,” she said, “but when I played before, I was unseen,
buried within the orchestra.” She turned to look out over the audience and
continued, “Tonight, I’ll be the focus. Tonight, there’s nowhere for me to
hide.”

His hand came up to softly brush along her cheek. He moved
to stand next to her, his eyes also taking in the sea of people. “Nonsense,
Maddy
. With your size, that cello covers most of you,” he
teased. “Or you could just close your eyes and hide within the music. It’s
beautiful. It makes you beautiful. You should be proud, not shy.”

The practice room door swung open as the stage director
walked into the hallway, the light trill of a flute escaping as he passed
through the door. “Fifteen more minutes before
showtime
,”
he said. “I’ll need the two of you to return to the backroom. You’ll be going
on stage last.”

Jeremy nodded to the director before he reached down to
gently take
Maddy’s
hand. She could feel his breath
brush across her cheek as he leaned down to whisper, “When you take the stage,
Maddy
, just know that I am there with you. You have nothing
to fear.”

A nervous wave rolled up her body and escaped her lips as an
anxious sigh. She squeezed Jeremy’s hand, released him, and turned toward the
backroom. Walking into the room, her ears were assaulted by the discordant sounds
of multiple musicians readying their instruments for their particular parts.
Maddy
knew that while the noise was grating as it occurred
in this instant, once on stage, each piece would perfectly fit together. Her
heart tightened with the realization that her part would be heard above them
all.

Fighting the rising bile in her throat,
Maddy
sat down to tune her cello. She’d already tuned it five times since arriving at
the concert hall, and she would still make final adjustments once on stage, but
she had to do something with her hands to keep her mind occupied. A pair of black
leather shoes, shined to the point she could see her distorted reflection,
appeared in her view. Looking up, she was once again met with Jeremy’s friendly
eyes. He reached down to hand her the bow he’d taken from her in the hallway.

Code Name Madeleine PDF Free Download

“You’ll be needing this, little one,” he said.

His hand lightly tapped her on the shoulder in an attempt to
comfort her. “Remember to
breathe
, Madeleine,” he
said, “The rest will come easily. You were meant to play … remember that.”

Maddy
watched as Jeremy turned to
take his place at the end of the line with the other orchestra members.

Breathe
….

The doors rushed open and the line of musicians moved
forward into a black abyss. Pushing herself up from the chair,
Maddy
straightened out her gown, picked up her instrument
and moved to stand behind Jeremy. He turned to her and quickly winked before
saying, “Showtime.”

Training her eyes on the back of Jeremy’s jacket,
Maddy
attempted to hide herself as they took the stage. When
Jeremy moved to stand by his seat, she was left alone, exposed to the rows of
attentive people. As the spotlight shone down upon her, she felt like her
throat was closing, blocking off the air she so desperately needed. When a
single, lonely note filled the auditorium, the murmuring white noise from the
audience ceased; all eyes turned toward the stage.

Maddy
took her seat, her eyes
trained to the strings stretched taut across her instrument. Pulling the fine
hair of the bow across the strings calmed her suddenly, the sound becoming a
soothing reminder that soon, when she became lost within the music, the
audience would cease to exist.

Two taps of the conductor’s wooden wand, two hands raised,
and silent anticipation overtook not only the musicians, but the audience as
well. One held breath … two hands begin to move.

Noor

Her eyes closed.

Three fingers pressed down on the strings, her arm pulled
the bow slowly but powerfully, producing sound. One lonely, low-timbered note
started softly, building in intensity as a wave of melancholy wrapped itself
around the large theater. Delicately, a higher pitched note accompanied hers. The
light pull of a violinist’s bow added a quiet smile to the sadness of her song.
One by one, the other instruments joined her, providing a background to the
haunting melody she manipulated from nothing more than metal pulled tight along
a wooden frame.

Building to a sudden crescendo, the sound of the cello
swiftly filled the large space, eliciting a collective gasp from the audience. Inspired
and lost within the resounding harmony produced by the other performers,
Madeleine let go; finally her spirit was revealed and it emerged dancing within
the music she played. Her heart began to sing and her eyes fluttered open and
then closed again as she was overtaken by the naked beauty of the piece. The
feeling of freedom drove her, harder and faster, the melancholy now changed into
a desperate need, a heartfelt longing for resolution.
Maddy
wondered if those who listened would recognize the hidden meaning of the
melody. Two lovers, bonding in the most passionate of encounters, become one. She’d
never truly known that moment, but she could imagine what it felt like to give
herself to another person; to find shelter in something other than her own
heart.

Separated from the concept of time, she powered through the
climax of the piece, eventually weaving her way back to the melancholy from
which it began. The rhythm slowed, the heartbeats of each person in the room
thumped in time with the music. Quiet reentered the space as the song was, once
again, brought down to a single, solitary note, pulled tight against the
strings of her instrument.

Her eyes opened.

The audience seemed to swell as
bodies rose to their feet, a deafening boom of applause struck her, snapping
her back to the present. On shaky legs, she pushed herself to stand up. She
nodded her head in acknowledgment, relief flooding her every nerve.

~

~

~

Following the end of the performance,
Maddy
sat in the backroom, packing her cello into its large black case.

Jeremy walked over to her and said, “You were amazing,
Maddy
. I was impressed by your performance.”

Jeremy stood above her, his pride in her evident as his eyes
twinkled with delight.
Maddy
stood up, her hands
instantly moving to brush down her gown. A smile escaped her lips and her
cheeks heated in response to his praise. With nothing more than a raspy
whisper, she responded, “Thank you. I took your advice and lost myself in the
music.”

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Jeremy wrapped his arm around her shoulder, dwarfing her by
his large size. His warm brown eyes smiled down at her as he said, “I’m going with
a group of people to celebrate tonight’s success. Would you join us for once?”

She instantly looked away before returning her shy eyes to
her friend. She shook her head “no” in response to his invitation, immediately feeling
his disappointment in her refusal.

Magida

His smiled turned into a mock frown. “Oh, come on,
Maddy
! You can’t remain a recluse your entire life. I
promise you, I won’t leave your side.”

She cleared her throat before summoning forth a weak
apology. “You know I can’t, Jeremy. I need to go home. I’m tired. It takes so
much … it drains me to perform. Please understand.”

Jeremy looked instantly apologetic and was about to respond
when he heard another throat clearing behind them. Turning suddenly, they
discovered a strange man standing there holding a single red rose.
Maddy
looked up from the rose and froze when her gaze was
met with a pair of the most brilliant green eyes she’d ever seen. The man’s
hair was black as a raven, shining like smooth silk trained back into a short,
yet messy style. The lights and shadows of the room emphasized the cut of his
strong jaw. She looked down to see that he was dressed elegantly in a tuxedo,
his strong, broad shoulders evident underneath the clean lines of the material.
When her eyes returned to his, he was staring intently at her. Another blush
reddened her cheeks as she was caught gawking. Her breath hitched; her skin
tingled. He was the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. He exuded a graceful
masculinity; powerful and strong, but with an underlying hint of a sharp and
lethal edge.

Jeremy took a protective step in front of her, challenging
the stranger who’d mysteriously appeared in the room. “I’m sorry, sir, but you’re
not supposed to be back here,” he said. “This is for orchestra members only.
You need to leave.” Jeremy’s voice was calm but firm.

The man’s eyes never left Madeleine as he flippantly responded
to Jeremy’s request. His voice rolled through her, the tone reminiscent of the
instrument she played. “I’ll leave in a moment,” the man said. “I wanted to
deliver this rose to Ms. Clark.” Reaching out to hand her the flower, his eyes
intensified as he stared down at her. “Your performance was an absolute joy to
experience. I’ve never been as moved as I am when I hear you play. It
truly
is an honor, Ms. Clark.”

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Maddy’s
hand hesitantly reached
out to accept the rose, her voice nothing more than a whisper as she thanked
him before turning her eyes downward, away from his burning gaze.

Jeremy repeated his demand, “You need to leave, sir.”

Nora Khan

She could feel the man look her over for another second
before returning his attention to Jeremy.
Maddy
felt
like she was in the company of darkness. Her skin prickled from his observance
of her, she felt timid and nervous about his presence in the room.

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“I’ll be leaving now. There is no need to follow me. I can
see myself out.” Like the soft caress of fur against her skin, the tone of the
stranger’s voice was pleasant and soothing. But there was a dangerous edge to
his words that acted like an unspoken warning. The stranger looked at her once
more before turning and slowly departing through the exit doors.
Maddy
peeked up through her lashes and watched as he walked
away, graceful and sure in his steps. It was only when he was gone that she released
her held breath.