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When the last notes faded away from the auditorium, Kye relaxed and brought down the bow to one side and her violin to the other. As she bowed, the entire place erupted into applause and she allowed herself one small smile to the crowd. Things were finally going her way.

Fielding off the words of amazement from the backstage crew, she hurried to her dressing room. She still had a promise to keep and she intended to go through with it. Before she reached that sanctuary, she was cornered by one of the reporters for the local newspaper.

“Ms. Ethere, may I ask you a couple questions about today’s performance?” Already Kye was trying not to sigh in frustration. From the look in this man’s eyes, she could tell that she wasn’t going to like all of his questions.

“I have time for two questions. You may email me the rest through my website.” It was not the answer he had been looking for but she was determined to give him no more than that. Too many questions and reporters could easily make your head spin.

“Okay…when exactly did you begin learning to play the violin?”

“Three months ago.” Obviously, the answer was surprising enough to make the man drop his pencil. As he bent to retrieve it, she stepped around him to get to her door. As tempting as it was to leave this man with just that, she would keep her word and give him the second one. It was a sacred thing to do so nowadays. “Your next question?”

“If you only began to learn a month ago, how did you become good enough to be playing in concert halls?” His hand was poised to write and she tried not to laugh. It would be taken as a sign that she wasn’t sharing everything, which was true in every aspect.

“I guess I just have a knack for music. You may email me any other questions you have.” With both questions used up, she quickly entered her dressing room and locked the door before he go into one of the typical reporter question streams.

Putting away her instrument, she leaned on the table with her eyes closed. It almost hurt to play so much, to express the beauty that had once captured her attention.

Cool hands slid over her shoulders and began to rub the tension away. A tiny smile graced her lips as the fresh scent of water filled the room. It was so hard to describe how he smelled, and she had tried many times.

“I enjoyed your pun.” His voice was smooth and beautiful. It wasn’t fair. He could sound so sensual when mentioning her pun and she couldn’t even do it when she was trying with a guy.

Humming happily when he massaged a particularly large knot from between her shoulders, she slowly turned to face him. Her beautiful muse, the reason for her success, had the most depressed look in his eyes that she began to tear up.

“I’m sorry Llyn. We’re going to leave right now and I know there is a nice stream that you can play in while I get us a ride back home.” His kind grew so despondent without regular access to water and she had to keep him hidden. He was among the few left of the Näck race, she didn’t want him caged for his beauty or magic.

“Shh, Kye. You have given me a grand gift; you have shared my music with the world. Being away from water is but a small price to be able to hear people enjoying the songs of old again.”

“But you aren’t happy here. I don’t want to force you to travel with me when it makes you so upset. You need to be near that brook and I promised you that I would take you home. You changed my life, the least I can do is make sure you are happy.” She gave him a watery smile, trying to decipher the whirlpool of emotions in his eyes. Gratitude was something she caught and it made her feel so much better.

Even if she lost the first guy she ever loved, it’d be worth it to hear him laugh and play again.

_____________________

To be honest, I’m not all that confident with this one. The Näck are male water sprites who lure people in with beautiful violin playing. Llyn happens to be one of the nice ones who just wanted to share his music again.

Tomorrow’s creature: Bäckahäst

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