Prompt: He was a half blood, the son of a siren and an islander. He inherited his enchanted voice from his mother and his penchant for lechery from his father. He used his voice--and his not-insubstantial good looks--to become a famous bard on the mainland. (*cough* after being run off the island by a mob of angry husbands and fathers *cough*).
But he just seduced the wrong woman...
#2: The Lady and The Bard
"Her eyes, like diamonds,
Her dancing feet;
Her flaxen hair,
and lips so sweet..."
The cloying tones thrummed through the room like a sound you could feel, an electrifying sensation that commanded attention and held it.
The singer sat upon a rickety stool, strumming his instrument with deft fingers as he sang. He used no amplification system, but every ear in that crowded tavern heard his voice. All eyes upon him, till the last note faded. He smiled and let his gaze travel; he would have his pick tonight.
She sat at a table by herself, as if she repelled people as much as he drew them in. He could feel the warmth radiating off her dusky skin, and the sparkling eyes under the tousled mop of ashy-colored hair caused him to pause. He had long thought that the songs he sang spoke of women too exquisite to exist, an ideal no one could measure up to... yet here she was, a physical embodiment of everything he described. She sat with an easy grace that would have served as a warning to anyone with less fortitude than he had. If he did not at least attempt to breach her strange, exotic aura, he would obsess over her for the rest of his life.
He rarely thought of any one woman that long, and he didn’t want to break that habit anytime soon.
She met his gaze as he stepped off the stage, but there was no blush, no dip of the head. Meeting her eyes was like staring directly into the point of an icicle: fascinating in its deadliness.
His heart catapulted into his throat, and his whole body felt warm as his pulse tripled, then quadrupled.
A mere mortal, faced with such devastating beauty, would have been rendered speechless.
He blessed his mother silently, as it was her abilities that allowed him to say, with perfect clarity, “I hope you didn’t mind that I took the liberty of describing you in my song just now.”
The merest tickle of a smile rippled over her face. “Not the first time it’s happened, and certainly among the better descriptions I’ve heard.” She leaned back, arms resting lightly on the table, hands relaxed.
He pulled up a chair and sat at the table, angled to look directly at her, yet without being on the complete opposite side of the tiny circle table.
He nodded to her casual, color-saturated outfit. “I see you aren’t exactly what they would call a local; what brings you to the mainland?”
The icicle gaze impaled him again. “I like to travel,” she said, her voice smooth and breezy. “It gets boring, living alone in my own little corner of paradise. I came here because I had heard the food was good and the entertainment enchanting.”
Music to his ears! He slid right into the next segue. “I am only recently arrived myself. I hope I have done the recommendation justice.”
She laughed lightly, leaning forward onto her elbows. He saw the way her contours caught the light and gleamed. Never before had he been so drawn in and captivated by a potential conquest. They were all marks to him, empty faces waiting to be filled by his whims, any amount of significance he cared to give them—and one blink of her curling eyelashes, and none of them mattered beside her.
“You have done well,” she answered. “It has been a long time since I have heard anyone with your peculiar gift for music.”
He turned his gaze away as part of the game, but secretly, he felt relief and a sense of autonomy to still be able to manage even that much. “I inherited it from my mother,” he said, giving the honest line without revealing who (or what) his mother actually was.
“She would be proud of you.”
Now her hand enveloped his, her fingers twining around his wrist like a soft glove.
The last words were on his lips, when he heard them spoken by her.
“Shall we go?”
“Go where?” He blurted, before he returned to his senses and began to realize something was very wrong. The glove turned to smoldering coal gripping his palm with dry strength exceeding his expectations.
Her eyes were still as mesmerizing and cold as her skin blazed with controlled fire. “To show me what skill you inherited from your father, of course,” she answered, standing and compelling him to do likewise.
None of the island women had ever dared compel him to do anything. He had been in control the whole time, and had departed secure in his victory. Yet this woman towered over him, leading him easily whithersoever she willed.
At last, he had the presence of mind to be truly terrified.
“What is your name, clever minstrel?” She surveyed him with an air of practiced appraisal.
“Devon,” he answered, still without hesitation or stutter. His voice never once betrayed his true feelings; he could always depend on steady speech.
“What is yours?”
“I have many names,” she replied, as they made their way down the street, “but tonight, I will permit you to call me Aphrodite.”
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