So we’re getting more into the parts of the story that are missing large holes of plot and transitions, and it’s up to me to fill them in! Hopefully with success! It’s almost like I’m turning May into my own aquatic NaNoWriMo! Actually, that’s not the worst idea, and I’ll have to ponder that for next year. Hmmm…
The Arms of the Ocean
“This is such a bad idea,” Marius muttered to himself as he sped home a little faster than was perhaps wise. Thankfully it was late, and in the middle of the week, so he wasn’t terribly concerned about being caught. “She’s attractive, she’s proven herself to have some depth, she seems intelligent enough. She’s entirely too young for me. Of course, most women are.”
Sighing, he shook his head and downshifted. Chris was more right than he had realized. If this girl was as important as Priska seemed to think she was, then Marius would indeed have to hurry up and figure out what it was he wanted from her. It didn’t help that he wasn’t certain just what Priska was driving at with all of this. He understood that it was strange and noteworthy that she could draw on the Song. He supposed that it could be a concern simply because he knew what that ability was capable of, and a human with that capability was outside of the laws of his kind. Yet this concept of potential, of finding this girl being a “gift” was simply not making sense to him.
Pulling into his garage, Marius stepped out of the car and looked at his phone. Janus would be awake – he always was. Marius had no real desire to talk to him, but Priska seemed insistent. As he moved through the house, shedding coat and hat and keys, setting his wallet in its usual spot, he continued to glance down at his phone with a vague sense of trepidation. Finally, with a sigh and a slight drop of the head, he resigned himself to the inevitable, found Janus’s name in his contacts, and hit “Send”.
“It has been some time, Marius,” said a low and grave voice on the other end which picked up almost immediately. “Some ten years, isn’t it? I seem to recall we did not part friends.”
“No we most certainly did not,” Marius replied, running a hand over his jaw. Janus had broken it the last time they were in the same room together.
“So why have you called,” Janus asked, his tone conveying curiosity but otherwise almost painfully neutral.
Taking a deep breath, Marius saw no point in leading up. “I found a human who can control the Song. Priska has confirmed my assessment. She instructed me to seek your counsel.”
“Ah, yes. You did always respect the old ways enough to listen to your kýrios. Tell me about this human.”
Marius did, in so far as he was willing to. He left out his attraction, but was unfailingly honest about how he had come to find her and the sort of places she tended to perform. Though it caused him some small embarrassment, he was also completely upfront about the effects her voice had on him, both during the first performance he witnessed and this most recent one.
“So she is completely unaware of this ability,” Janus concluded after listening to Marius for a time.
“Yes,” Marius confirmed. “She seems to not at all know what she is doing. She can strengthen the effects by putting more feeling into whatever it is she’s singing, but when she does so it’s simply because the music moves her not because she is striving for anything.”
There was a long silence while Janus considered this, and Marius knew him well enough not to interrupt. “This is most peculiar,” Janus stated after a moment. “I am uncertain how to advise you. There is no precedence for this situation. While it has undoubtedly happened before, as humans are strange and varied in their capabilities, it is not common enough for me to have studied it. I will talk to some of the others. For now, I would ask only that you continue to remain in contact with this woman. Befriend her, Marius. Perhaps, if you can learn of her past, there may be some indication in her experience or bloodline that will tell us how she came to this ability.”
Wincing, Marius felt grossly uncomfortable at this command but couldn’t bring himself to argue. “That much I will do. Priska seemed most focused on this girl’s abilities and spoke of them as being a ‘gift’. Perhaps you should consider talking to her and seeing what, exactly, she was aiming for.”
“Of course,” Janus responded, something thoughtful in his tone, as if he might have some indication of what Priska was implying.
Marius quelled his desire to ask. “If that is all for now, I will bid you goodnight.”
“That is all. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Marius. Antío.”
Hanging up the phone, Marius closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. Befriend her. Granted, he had already begun that process on his own with no prompting from the outside, but now it was almost an order. This made his personal stance on the matter even more pivotal than it had been before the phone call. Would he be pursuing her for his own reasons or for those dictated by his elders? The approach would be vastly different. If he was only doing this for Janus and Priska, he would take great pains to be sure that she did not infer a closeness between them that did not exist. He would not manipulate her emotions in that manner.
Moving towards the windows in the living room to look out at the Sound, Marius began to smirk a little in spite of himself. If he was doing this for his own reasons, that was something else entirely. If this was for his own want of a relationship with her, then a closeness would be exactly what he was striving for and as quickly as possible. He thought again about her performance this evening, and that one song where she had given herself up to her music. She had looked so vulnerable and wanting. It was not hard to entertain the notion of her appearing that way for him and only him.
Shaking his head, he moved away from the window. He would save this decision for their dinner on Friday. Then, by the end of the night, he would either be ready to pursue her, or back away and cultivate a calmer and more detached friendship. Heading up the stairs to his room, he continued to consider the possibilities of both options. He paused by the wheel again, and gave it a spin. He hoped he was ready to make the decision when Friday came.