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Midnight Love Song

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“Layla child, you are now a woman of our people. And you have the gifts of all the seers to hear the stars and what they say. Making you invaluable to all the clans, as we are few and far. Let us divine your future.”

 

A soft chanting arose in the small wooden wagon. The smell of sage and frankincense filling the tiny interior as a young woman of thirteen with honey-colored hair and chocolate eyes smiled and waited. This was something they’d been waiting their whole life for. The right of passage for the women of the clans. Pride shining in those chocolate colored orbs as their great-grandmother, last born seerer before her started to place the tarot cards on the cluttered table between them. Her rheumatoid ridden hands pausing every so often to pick up a random crystal, stone, or shell piece to place it according to what the stars told her.

Patience had been a virtue she excelled at, but at that moment she was beyond giddy. And it was making her fidget. Then it was like time began to move again. Her great-grandmother opened her eyes and looked at her. The clouded over eyes seemed to be saddened. Though the aged, wrinkled face smiled at her.

“Grandmother?”

“You have two paths to walk, Layla, Zvezda moya (My star). This is rare indeed. When the time comes for you to marry, two choices will be presented to you. Each with benefits that will make you happy, and cause you great pain. You can marry whom your father will choose or you can marry for love.”

The way those chocolate eyes shot open wide in shock at this news. What was said right now would not be shared with anyone in this clan or any of the other clans? These words were from the stars and for and her alone, given by choice. It was a heady feeling, and a heavyweight on thin shoulders all at the same time.

“What… do you mean grandmother?”

“If you marry to the clan, you will be loved, protected, happiness with your people will flow and bring glory to us gypsies. But, you will only have sons, so the gift will not be passed on, Zvezda moya,” the woman paused taking a deep breath. “But if you marry for true love you will leave the clans. Meaning your gift will be sealed. Do not worry the stars will still be able to talk to you. Though you will have a daughter who will be born with the gift. A girl who will be your carbon copy in looks had your sharp mind and wit, kind caring soul, and gentle, accepting and loving heart… But due to her not being born to the people she will suffer until she finds the ones the stars will mark as her own.”

 

This caused Layla to hang her head. Two paths. Either one had their own pitfalls. She was only thirteen. And it was technically her job to produce a female that could carry on the role of seers like herself and her great-grandmother.  But to find true love was practically unheard of in the clans. Like her people, the Roman Gypsies didn’t really seek outside of the few clans that were left after the purge of the Romanov Empire. Taking a deep breath she calmed herself and met those clouded eyes of her Grandmother.

“I will not dwell on it until the time comes for me to make my decision. Until then, Grandmother, I ask you to teach me the ways of the seer, of our people.”

The smile she got was all she needed to know she had just made the one person who really understood her and her half-blood self proud. It was the thing she had lived with her whole life. The persecution of the Gypsies for being only half Gypsy, hence her looks. Pale Gold hair and Brown eyes of a father who’d come from the British Isles.


 

 

Lucy sat by her mother looking up in awe at what she had just heard. A smile on her small, still chubby with baby fat face. Her mother was the center of her world. The thing that had made her happiest, at least until now. At the tender age of seven, she had heard a voice and no one was around. Of course, she knew her mother had talked to ‘people’ that neither she or her father could see. And also knew that her father was not happy about it, though it had made him successful listening to whatever voice had talked to her mama.

“Now, Lucy you must not tell anyone you can hear these voices, okay?” her mother cautioned her.

This had her tilting her head to the side making her pigtail swish across the back of her shoulders and neck. It confused her because her daddy knew that her mama heard these voices. In fact, he demanded often of late that her mother talks to the voices. It did cause her some pain to talk with those voices, hence her mama being laid up in bed right now looking very pale.

“But, mama, daddy knows about your talks with them. Why can he not know about me talking?” Lucy asked.

“Because your father does not approve of it, though he had built his international business empire on my ability to talk with those voices,” her mother said, smiling softly and sadly. “Though in truth it is not voiced Lucy, but the stars in the skies. The many constellations.”

At her mother’s words, Lucy felt her eyes go wide and round. All her life her mother had taught her about the stars. That a person, if they knew what to look for, could see hidden messages in them. That each constellation had a story behind it. Lucy had been made to learn each of those stories by memory. If asked she could recite them fairly well. And that each constellation had a personality that was more often than not quirky.

“Lucy, do you understand? I can teach you the ways of my people, your people. And will be taking you to see them again. Though my teacher, your great-great-grandmother passed away. It is whom I named you after,” Her mother told her.

Nodding her head in understanding, Lucy curled into her mother’s side as she began to play the piano that they’d been sitting at the whole discussion. Soon, the beautiful notes from a song that was breathtaking to Lucy. She knew that the song was not one that was written on paper. It came from the voices her mother, and now herself heard in her head and soul. It was a happy tune, full of joy and pride this time.

Soon Lucy was singing wordlessly along with the tune, as her mother played. It had Lucy feeling as if she was floating in the air. Making her smile as she heard the soft ‘pun-pun’ sing along with her in her head. There was no doubt that soon, she herself would be learning to communicate with the odd sounding voice in her head. Though, if her mother had asked, Lucy would have told her she knew the voice belonged to the constellation of Canis Minor.



TBC

Chapter Text

Layla stood before her father Mikhail, the leader of the another Gypsy clan Broden, his wife Eda and their son Seumas, along with both clans Seers. Off to the other side of her stood Baron Leon Heartfilia and his son Jude. Who had inherited the land her clan traveled and lived on three years ago. And had to agree to allow them to stay if he accepted his late grandmother's inheritance.

Shifting her brown eyes from her father to Baron Leon and back she knew she had to speak up. Two days ago, the 19th of June she'd been approached by those gathered. A choice presented to her. A choice she recalled had been foretold. Both with their own ups and downs. Duty or Love? That was the question she had been told to think on by her great-grandmother. Who was barely able to even move nowadays with her advanced age. Said grandmother who had bluntly reminded her father that it was her choice whom she married as it was for all of the Gypsy girls who came of age.

Now, Layla stood there, feeling the pressure. She knew that she would be loved if she married Seumas. They'd grown up. And the benefits of marrying the second born of Broden, who came from Scottish Tinkers and married into the Tiksvic Clan would gain her own clan access to trading with the Scotts. But she didn't love Seumas. No, he was like a brother to her, even though he was the one that wanted this marriage and had his father approach her own.

While Jude had done the same with his own father. Marrying him would bring more security to her people. So that in the future there would be no contesting their right to live on the land. The pact that had been forged almost two hundred years ago between her own ancestor and the one that founded Baron Leon's line. When she had met Jude just after her fifteenth naming day, she'd felt a stirring in her blood. And over the last three years, she'd come to know him, adore him, love him. And knew he felt the same.

The downside of both was still clear in her head. This was her choice. Today was the summer Solstice and she was the one to perform the right through the old ways of song and dance. But there lied the downside of being with Jude. Giving up an integral part of who she was. What she was. His father didn't like their 'pagan' beliefs and rituals. Jude was more or less of the same mind. Though she knew that he had a more open mind about it after she just blurted out at their first meeting something he had never told anyone. Shocking him and making him ask tons of questions which she answered as best she could without breaking the tenants of the clans.

"Layla, what is your decision?" Eda asked her in a soft inquisitive voice.

Taking a deep breath she spoke, "I chose to marry Jude Heartfilia."

The way her father frowned and huffed told her he was disappointed in her. While Seumas looked like he had figured it, though he was smiling softly at her. His parents were not too happy about her choice, but laws were laws. While Jude preened and his father looked dissatisfied.

"Then I suggest since we have our celebration tonight, and all the clans are gathered for it, that Baron Heartfilia the two are married by our standards. And you can have a separate wedding apart from us," her father spoke.

Silence met that statement before a gruff agreeance was given. Then she was whisked off to be readied by the women for her wedding after everything was said and. With a small smile on her lips, she thought about the love she'd have with Jude. And the fact she'd have her daughter. A daughter she had no doubts about would be every bit as special as she was and carry on her legacy as a Gypsy seer.

 

000

 

Lucy sat there on the wooden steps to the cart. She could hear her father and grandfather screaming at each other. They'd come back to Russia to return her mother's body to her people. It didn't help that she knew she'd never see her mother again. That she had gone to join the stars and sing eternally. No, it hurt. And that already there was a change in her father. How he had distanced himself from her.

"Come, child. Follow me."

At the four words, Lucy lifted her head from her lap. She had been sitting there like she'd been told. Not wanting her father to be upset with her. Hands clasped in her laps over the top of her brilliantly colored and patterned smock. There was not a speck of dust or ash on her clothing. Her father had kept her away from the funeral pyre.

Shaking her head as she looked at the blue-white ghost that had beckoned her. A sad smile on her lips. The way the old ghost lady looked at her, eyes crinkling in a manner so much like her mothers. Lucy felt horrid for denying the ghost. They usually had a reason when they appeared to the living.

"Child, ye need to come and say a proper goodbye."

This had Luck blinking as she watched the Ghost lift her hands up and place them over it's her heart and then throw them up into the air. She knew that gesture. Her mother had done it when she had been healthy to praise the stars. And one thing Lucy knew was how to praise the stars. Even now with her sadness flooding her young mind.

Fidgeting as the yelling got louder, Lucy stood up not wanting to be there anymore. Slipping her jacket off and folding it before placing it on the steps, she looked at the old lady ghost. Who gave a small nod of her wrinkled head and turned walking away. Quickly Lucy followed. Her footsteps silent on the grass as she was led through the wagons and carts. Keeping her head down though she felt the stares of those gathered as she weaved through the shadows.

Eventually, they came out on the far side of the encampment. Where the cooling ashes of her mothers funeral pyre were. There in the center stood the old lady ghost and next to her was her mother. Lucy blinked her eyes a few times in disbelief. Then her eyes began to burn with tears she had refused to shed since the first day she found out her mother was sick and dying. It hurt to see the understanding in the faded brown eyes of the phantom her mother was now.

"Lucy, you need to cry. You need to let go and say goodbye," the ghost image of her mother stated. "Come, come to me my little star and send me on safely to the other side."

It felt like something was pushing and pulling at her. Compelling her to do as her mother was asking. Bending over at the waist she removed one shoe and sock, then the other. Taking great care to not get grass stains on the soft material. Knowing Mrs. Spetto hated washing out grass stains. Once they were off and neatly set to the side, Lucy stood up and walked in a slight daze towards the center of the pyre.

In her ears and head, she heard teh sound of drums beating. It pulsed in time with her heart and blood rushing through her vein. The still warm ash on her bare feet didn't bother her one bit. Once she reached the middle, giving a small bow to the two ghosts, Lucy let her eyes slide shut as her body began to move on its own. Swaying softly side to side before her feet moved in time to the beat she was sure only she could hear. Then the rest of her body began to move as well.

The voices of the stars started to come in loud and clear as she danced, for that was what the beat demanded. Something deep in her began to swell. It was familiar to her. She felt it every time she was outside and looked at the stars and they talked to her. But she did more than talk to the stars, she could summon the spirit of the constellations to her. Again earning her mother's caution about not letting her father know about it. And Lucy was always eager to please her mother.

Nose and throat burning as she breathed in the ashes she was kicking up as she danced, Lucy let her eyes open. Allowing the tears that for so long hadn't been shed to fall down her face. Cutting clean tracks into her soot-covered face. Only to feel shock coursing through her tiny body. There surrounding her as she spun and dipped was more than just the two ghostly images of her mother and the old lady. Now, now there were so many of all ages looking that odd blue-white. But mixed amongst them she recognized the silver-white and gold-white of the spirits of the stars.

Aquarius, Virgo, Cancer, Capricorn of her mothers. Then there was her Lyra and tiny canis minor whom she named Plue. All watching with smiles on their face. It made her heart beat a bit faster in her chest. Feeling as if it was soaring as that pressure in her swelled further. Bringing her hands up to her chest, right over her heart, Lucy let her mouth open and the harmony only the stars could produce escape from her lips. Ringing clear on the warm night air.

One more spin, a jump and half twist of her body, Lucy landed in the ash. Causing a large cloud to billow up around her. Obscuring her from not just the spirits but now the others of the clans and her father. Throwing her hands to the sky, whispering goodbye to her mother, Lucy suddenly felt at peace and very empty on the inside. A coldness settling into her chest where her heart was. Then as the ash settled she felt weak and fell to her knees, a smile on her lips as she watched her mother, the other ghost, and all the spirits turn to small balls of lights and fly into the sky.

"What just happened to my daughter?" she heard her father yell as her eyes fluttered shut.

She felt sleepy now. Tired and exhausted like never before. Her ears picking up the bickering of her father and grandfather. The voice of several women telling her father that she was special in a way that only a few could ever be. Then as she slipped into sleep in the now cold ash of her mother's funeral pyre, Lucy felt something tug at what could only be her soul. As if calling to her while her father refuted the blasphemy of what he was hearing. That her mother's people were nothing but pagan witches and he would not leave her there alone with them.

 

000

 

Pale blue eyes were watching the stars in the night sky. Boredom darkening them as they listened to the droning of their father lecturing them about being the eldest. The snide, disdainful sniff of their first youngest brother. Wanting nothing more than to just go to their room, put their earbuds into their ears and listen to the classical music that they loved so much.

"Shuu, are you listening to me?"

Blinking his eyes as he looked over to his father, Shuu Sakamaki just gave a single nod of his head. Watching as golden eyes narrowed for but a second before they went wide. At the same moment, he felt something powerful wash over the area and he let his gaze go to the skies. A hiss from his brother, who began mumbling about phenomenon and such as all the stars in the sky lit up brilliantly. Covering the darkened sky as if it was daylight. Then slowly the sky returned to normal until only two stars were shining.

And if he knew those stars. One was the Alpha Andromedae of the Andromeda Constellation and the other was Alpha Persei of the Perseus Constellation. It had something in him settling deep down as he let a small smile grace his lips. Then looking to his father as he heard him curse softly in a few languages under his breath. Knowing his brother was also watching his father for his uncharacteristic reactions.

"This discussion will be put on hold. I must go," his father stated and then was gone before either could answer.

Lifting his head back up, letting his pale blue eyes take in the two alpha stars of each constellation as they finally returned to normal. He knew this was something profound, but why he had no clue. Just that it made something deep down in him stir to life.

TBC

Chapter Text

Layla felt pain ripple through her body and bit back a cry as she stood behind her husband of two years. He was currently in an important business meeting, one that with the information that she gave him, could mean some serious changes in their life though she wished that her daughter would wait just a little longer. Then again, there was no way to stop labor when it started. So, Layla subtly lifted a hand and placed it on her stomach and began to rub soothing circles.

 

When another contraction hit, only a few minutes later, Layla took a deep, calming breath through her nose and let it hiss between her lips. She needed not to draw any attention to herself. Closing her eyes and putting on a smile, Layla mentally began to sing to her daughter, who kicked out at her moving hand. It had been clear from the get-go this pregnancy was a high risk. That if she hadn't been careful, she'd lose her only child. Then again, her daughter was a strong child; she knew this. In the last three weeks of pregnancy, her baby had been very active and rolling all over the place, but there was still a month to go before she was technically due.

 

"Layla?"

 

Opening her eyes and blinking, she looked at the concerned faces of everyone. Confusion flickering across her face as it dawned on her that she felt... wet. Glancing down, she saw that her skirt was soaked through. Eyes going wide as she lifted her head back up to see Jude standing and reaching for her, Layla screamed as another contraction rippled across her abdomen. This time it was an obvious thing to those present.

 

"Get your wife to your bedchambers, Jude. I will call for the midwife you guys are using," one of the men said.

 

She didn't have time to even react as another contraction hit, making her cry out again. Layla felt her body crumple forward, unable to hold her up due to the pain from the contractions rushing down her legs. Tears in her eyes as she thought Jude scoop her up. His dark brown-gray eyes were looking at her with worry as he began to murmur soft nonsense in an attempt to calm her.

 

*****

 

Thirty-nine hours later, Layla felt exhausted, her body ached all over, yet she knew she was smiling widely. In her arms was her daughter, Lucy. Her subconscious reminding her of the destiny her daughter had. But Layla didn't care. All that mattered was the tiny, precious little girl she held in her arms who blinked lazily up at her — tiny little pink lips were smacking now that she had been fed.

 

"She is beautiful, Mrs. Heartfilia."

 

Lifting her head, she looked at who spoke. The man was a tall Japanese man. His dark brown eyes crinkled at the corners as he smiled at her. Unable to formulate words, Layla just gave a small nod of her head in acknowledgment.

 

"I think, in light of what has happened, Jude, that we will accept your business proposal. It sounded fair and sound before your daughter decided to grace us and the world with her presence," the man said.

 

Knowing this was what her husband had wanted, Layla let a tired sigh escape from her lips as she felt her eyes start to close. Exhaustion taking over her as she felt Lucy being lifted from her arms. The whispers of her midwife reaching her ears as she fell asleep, let Layla know that her daughter was safe. The woman was one of the Gypsy's from her clan and would bear the good news that Layla had borne a daughter.


 



Lucy stood there and looked at her father, face a blank mask as he continued to lecture her on proper behavior. It had been ten years since her mother passed away. And in that time the changes in her father had been drastic. He was now a man driven by his greed and desire. But she was thankful that in her mother's will, it had stated that Jude had promised that Lucy would never be forced or sold into an arranged marriage. A thing she would be eternally grateful for since her father was no above using any means to gain a foothold and come out on top.

 

When her father paused in his lecture, Lucy made sure to meet his hazel gaze and not flinch when he narrowed it on her. She knew she was in trouble for speaking rudely to one of the bankers young sons. But frankly Lucy didn't give two hoots, the boy was arrogant and was trying to paw her. At least her father believed her on that account since she had boldly told her father to call one of the medical staff he kept on hand to make sure she didn't come down with the same illness that took her mother. Which showed he cared about her a little.

 

When the Banker and his son blanched, her father gave a nod of his head that he wouldn't. The Banker realized the error of his son and knew that Lucy was not lying about leading him on as the boy had said. But her striking him was a huge no-no. She was a Baron's daughter. Nobility, with a coveted link to the British Royal Family. And that was an indignity she knew she'd be taken to task for.

 

"Lucy, do you understand? You shamed not just me, but yourself for being violent. Even in that situation, you should have conducted yourself as a lady," Jude said to her.

 

She was arching an eyebrow at her father, who gave a low growl of disapproval of her slight defiance.

 

"Father, if I had not done that, I am sure that boy wouldn't be able to have children," She said in a prim and proper tone of voice. "You made sure I had several self-defense classes. Thus, you know exactly what I am capable of doing if I have to."

 

This time she had the satisfaction of watching her father blanch, while the Banker and his son looked confused for a second before it dawned on them. It was well known in many circles of both the High Society and Business World, that Jude didn't dote on his daughter. He often outright ignored her. But Jude did make sure she was highly educated and instructed in self-defense after someone kidnapped her only months after her mother's death and funeral.

 

Lucy knew why they had done it too. She had heard them talking about how she was Layla's daughter. And that her gifts had manifested that day were impressive. How getting her away from her father and re-awakening them would make her valuable amongst the Gypsies. Rogues were never fun to mess with, and Lucy knew her gifts were sealed. Even if she could still hear her friends, she couldn't call them anymore. So, when she had been rescued, she had said nothing to her father. Remember the lessons and caution her mother had told her.

 

"Either way, Lucy, you shouldn't have struck a man," Jude said to her, pinching the bridge of his nose in exasperation.

 

"And I apologize for my son," the Banker said. "Though I will be blunt; you look so much like your beautiful mother that I guess he forgot his manners."

 

At this, Lucy turned her full attention to the man and his son. Gave a small nod of her head, not saying a word. The man got the clue that she would accept his apologies on behalf of his son.

 

"Now, if we can finish up our discussion? And my son will stay with us, so that there will be no repeat, Jude," The Banker said.

 

When her father agreed, Lucy saw the wave of her father's hand and gave a curtsy before excusing herself. She had her lessons to get to and now would have no distraction.

 

"I would rather see the boy castrated for putting his hands on you, princess."

 

A small smile graced her lips as she shut the door behind her. It always amused her to hear the voices of her friends in the back of her head.

 

"I know Leo, I know. But we cannot always have what we want, right?" She quipped back playfully.

 

The deep laugh she got let her know he understood precisely what she was implying. Throwing her shoulders back, head up and forward, Lucy walked proudly towards where the Piano was in the foyer. It was time for her to play the Piano. And it would mean her connection with her friends would be strengthened since she would warm up with the music she heard all the time from them, even if the stars of their constellations were not visible in the sky.

 

*****

 

Shuu stood there, looking out the window of the boat. It had been a year since he had been banished to the Antarctic. His father displeased with his lack of motivation to graduate High School. A school, his father, had created for the creatures of the supernatural. Of course, some humans attended because they did jobs that made them famous, like being actors or Idols. It was rather annoying to Shuu all around. He was close to two hundred now.

 

While still considered young as a Vampire, he was old enough to be mature and be on his own. But that didn't mean he was free, no. His father was proclaimed King of Demons. He was feared amongst man in both the human realm and the demon realm. Meaning he had to act like the Prince he was born to be. His mother forcibly raised him to be the next King. Who was to blame for his current personality. Bitch never got it he didn't want to be the future King, no that was Reiji. And Shuu was okay with Reiji taking that role.

 

Sighing again, Shuu looked up at the sky, eyes instantly seeking out Andromeda and Perseus constellation. The night sky had become something of a fascination for him since that night ten years ago. Even now, he still had no clue how or why all the stars had lit up as they had. But like music, Shuu had started to study the constellations and their mythologies.

 

Closing his eyes, Shuu just let the starlight caress his skin as the bitter cold wind of the Antarctic caressed it. Enjoying the sharp bite, he could feel from the cold on his already chilled skin. The living dead he was. And all he wanted deep down was to feel the warmth and possess it, as long as it let him be himself.

 

TBC!

Chapter Text

Layla smiled as she watched her daughter began to spin around the room, laughing as she sang a wordless song. It made pride swell in her chest to know that her daughter was truly blessed with the gift of her people. That Lucy was much stronger than what she could ever have imagined. Though Layla was sure that Lucy wasn't aware that she had seen her not only talking to her new friends but summon one of the star spirits to her side. It was rare for a seer to be able to do that. The last was before her great grandmother. 

 

Layla heard the soft snort of one of her spirits in the back of her head. The last year had been hard on her body, weakening her to the point she was unable to get out of bed. And Jude had taken this hard, and Layla was not ignorant about how he treated Lucy. A part of her understood that after she passed that having Lucy around would torment her husband. Their daughter was literally her carbon copy, even down to her personality though Lucy's stubborn streak and pride were most definitely her father. 

 

"Lucy, come here, my precious," she called softly. 

 

In seconds Lucy was rushing towards the bed and climbing upon it. Layla noted that Lucy was extra careful not to disturb the bed and cause her pain. It caused warmth to spread through her body at how conscious her daughter was to those around her. Layla wanted to exact a promise from Lucy. 

 

"Yes, mama?" Lucy asked, eyes wide as she reached a tiny hand out to hold her own. 

 

"I want you to promise me something, my precious," Layla asked. 

 

The way Lucy tilted her head to the side in thought before she nodded her head, had Layla smiling. She had been rather insistent on making sure that Lucy always thought things through, analyzed them, before agreeing to anything. Jude had been more than accepting of this, as he didn't want his daughter to be taken advantage of by some idiot to get her title and fortune. 

 

"Okay, mama," Lucy said in a solemn voice. 

 

"You know I am sick, and that I will soon pass away Lucy," Layla said, observing her daughter, noting the way her eyes narrowed, and her face became stormy. " Do not try and pretend I am okay, Lucy. You know very well, they have told you that I am dying. It will happen, it was written in the stars when I was born." 

 

"Yes, mama," Lucy said, eyes dropping as she became repentant.

 

"Good. Now, I want you to promise me, my precious Lucy, that after I am gone that no matter what, you will always love your father. Even if he gets mad at you, or continues to ignore you," Layla said, feeling her chest constrict. "He loves you, but it will be hard for him to be a single father and run the family business and all the lands he owns, young lady. I know you have patience and are a smart little girl." 

 

Layla watched as her daughter processed what had been asked. She knew that Lucy loved her father more than anything. And was his little girl most of the time. But the secret Layla shared with her daughter was a bit stronger than what Lucy had with her father. 

 

"I-I promise mama," Lucy said, her eyes glistening as they raised to meet her how.

 

"Good, that is my precious," Layla said, feeling very tired. "Now don't you have to go to your piano lessons? I want to hear you play beautiful music only we can hear, please?" 

 

The way Lucy's eyes widened, and she smiled; happily, Layla knew she would do as she asked. Once Lucy was out of the room, Layla let her eyes close. It was time, and she wanted to go out hearing the music that had lit her life up and helped make her who she was. The music that blessed her with the choice to choose her husband.

 

As the first strands of the strange, mystical music reached her ears, Layla let her tears fall as the voice of her friends spoke to her, calling her soul to the sky and freeing her of the pain that bound her flesh to the bed that had become her prison. A silent pray on her lips that her daughter finds the happiness that is promised through her and never stray from her path no matter how bad it got.

 

*****

 

She sat there looking out the small porthole-like window as the plane hit the ground and began to circle to where it would park and allow her father and herself to debark. Lucy was not amused at the change of scenery, not one bit! The news of them moving to Tokyo, Japan, had been dropped in her lap only a few days ago. It was all for a business deal. And truth be told, at first, she thought her father misspoke, and she was going to pack a travel case for a week or so like normal. 

 

Only the next day, her room was invaded by the staff; her stuff was being packed into boxes and crates. It had left Lucy in a state of shock as she turned, walked out of her room and her father's study where he had promptly reiterated himself that they were moving. That he had struck a business deal with a man, who had significant influence, but, of course, her father offhandedly assured her that they'd come back to their home in Russia for vacation when it was permitted. 

 

Sighing, Lucy looked up at the sky and hated how the lights caused the stars to dim. It made her feel disconnected from her friends, not being able to see them clearly as she had back in Russia. Traveling all over the world with her father was fun, and it meant Lucy got to see new things and spent time (occasionally) with her father. A treat she enjoyed, since it was in those moments, he was like the man she remembered before her mother got sick and passed away. 

 

" Princess, it will be alright. You might actually like it here if you give it a chance.

 

Closing her eyes as the plane jerked to a halt and the sound of the tunnel being hooked to the planes latch door. She knew that her friend was trying to soothe her, give her a reason to hope. 

 

"Lucy let's go, Mr. Sakamaki is waiting for us," Her father stated. 

 

Opening her eyes and looking up at her father, she gave a small nod of her head and stood. Only to pause and feel an odd tingling crawl down her spine. With a little shake of her head, Lucy pushed that feeling away, figuring it was just her nerves as she followed her father from the plane. A part of her was glad that the airport was empty at this time of the night or morning. 

 

"Ah, Jude, over here please," A deep voice called out. 

 

Turning her gaze towards the man, Lucy sucked in a sharp breath. The man was beyond beautiful, almost effeminate yet exudes masculinity in waves. But that didn't have her wanting to hang back away from him. That odd tingling that had crawled down her spine was now racing up and down it. And it had Lucy feeling chilled her bones. 

 

"Good Morning Tougo. It is a pleasure to see you again," Her father said, giving a formal bow at the waist. "Let me introduce my daughter to you." 

 

Lucy felt her body move on its own out of habit from being introduced to so many of her father's business associates. When she stood next to her father, Lucy bowed at the waist, staying like that waiting for her father's prompt.

 

"Tougo, this is Lucy," her father said. "And Lucy, this is Tougo Sakamaki, the man who has taken me under his wing." 

 

Righting herself, Lucy looked at the tall blond man before her, noting how his eyes seemed to look almost like burnished gold. But that was impossible, right? She gave him a small smile as the man seemed to be appraising her. 

 

"She is as beautiful as you said. And she takes after her late mother?" Tougo ask. 

 

Staying silent, Lucy listened as her father answered and switched the topic back to the business that had brought him to Japan. A part of her was glad because, like her father, the subject of her mother made her a bit uncomfortable. But for a very different reason. 

 

*****

 

Shu walked down one of the many halls of Ryoutei Academy, his destination clear in his mind. His father had left the school earlier under some pretext or another, stating he would be back. Personally, he didn't care at all. Glad that the man had left the school. 

 

Turning the corner to head towards the Music Room, Shu came to a halt as a strangely haunting melody floated on the air. It was like nothing he had ever heard before. And it didn't help that someone had invaded his sanctuary. Every student and teacher in the damn school knew that this Music Room was his, and no one was to enter it. So, it had him moving swiftly and silently to see who the hell would be stupid enough to enter his sanctuary. 

 

Reaching the door, he hand paused, reaching for the door when the person inside quit playing the strange melody and played Chopin's Nocturne and perfectly. Calming a little, Shu turned the doorknob and opened the door as quietly as possible to see inside. It was dark, no light except what came in through the curtains that were drawn to keep the early rays of the morning sun at a bay. 

 

He couldn't help but stare as the mix of starlight and sunlight danced across long golden locks and pale skin. The girl sitting at the grand piano had her eyes closed and was swaying to the music as she played expertly. The small smile that graced her full pink lips contrasting with the sadness that seemed to seep from her pores. 

 

The moment the music ended, and her eyes opened, Shu was drawn from his trance. He always loved and appreciated the classics, loving opera as well, and could give grudging respect to someone who could play them like they were supposed to. But his mind came back to reality with a precision that was deadly as he met those brown eyes in a head-on glare. 

 

"What are you doing here?" He muttered darkly. 

 

The way the girl stiffened before standing up and closing the lid to cover the keys, told him that she was on edge. The way her eyes narrowed at him as she tilted her head as if processing what he said before replying in a heavily accented voice, indicating that Japanese was not her first language. 

 

"I would think it is obvious, playing the piano," the girl said, her voice tight. "Or are you deaf and partially blind?" 

 

The small smile she flashed him was bright. Stepping towards her in the hopes of intimidating her, he noticed she took a step back, eyes narrowing at him as he saw a small tremor ran through her body. Opening his senses, Shu couldn't believe what he smelled and felt coming off the girl. It was like smelling the air after the first night rain in spring, or the clean air of the southern seas while on the ship home. Yet it was almost ethereal. And yet he could smell that she was borderline scared of him. But not because he was intimidating her, no, this was different. As if she knew he wasn't human.

 

He opened his mouth to say something, to tell her she wasn't allowed in this particular Music Room when he heard a male voice calling out in Russian. His eyes caught the way her shoulders slumped ever so slightly under her blouse before she moved towards him. Only to give him a wide berth as she passed him and out the door. 

 

"There you are. You had me worried, young lady," the man said. 

 

"Sorry, Father. But I was told I could explore the school to familiarize myself," The girl, Lucy, as she was named, said replied. 

 

It had been a few decades since he had spoken or heard Russian spoken. So, it took Shu a few seconds to process what they were saying and find out that this strange girl was going to attend Ryoutei Academy. Giving a shake of his head as the two walked away, conversing in what they thought were quiet tones, Shu looked out the window and was amazed to see those two same stars still shining in the predawn sky. It had him wondering what was going to happen now. 

 

TBC!