The most beautiful, seductive opera singer hides a dark secret. When he finds a woman who is more enticed by the music than himself, he tries to seduce her. Feeling satisfied, he leaves, but when she follows him, she discovers a world she should never have known.
The Opera house, elevated and bravura, stood in the very centre of the city, the rhythm of its music becoming a heart beat for the capital. Stone women-gargoyles-hung enticingly from the uppermost walls, holding out beseeching hands to lure onlookers inside, the sun enhancing the golden tones of their impenetrable skin.
Kiannah stood in awe outside of the Opera House, watching the gargoyles, beautiful in their eternal, frozen solitude. The hub of people pushed part her, jolting her slightly, but this she did not notice. All she could think of was the rapture that lay in store for her when the show started. Salem, who was without a doubt the most astounding Opera singer the world had ever known was inside, just a few metres away from her. Of course, he would be in his dressing room, preparing for the most important performance of his existence. The very idea of such, shook her with anxiety, and with a shaking breath, Kiannah made her way past the sightless faces and into the lobby.
Being the last one to get to her seat, Kiannah held her breath, as she awaited the dimming of the candles, her eyes never leaving the stage. Every twitch of the curtain made her heart skip a beat. Her pulse was sent into a wild frenzy, as the red material swished apart, and Salem was revealed, basking in the shadows.
Like the mysterious creature that he was, Salem scanned the audience with glowing eyes. He knew that his slim, pinstripe-clad body had attracted the attention of every young woman in the room; he could smell it in their blood, hear the passion in their thoughts. This was his drug. After spending so much time in the darkness, this attention was addictive and exhilarating. He stepped into the light, and let his heart sing.
Every word that rolled off of his tongue ricocheted through the room. Every perfect note carried all the emotions of a tortured soul, the lust of a poet and the heated anger of a betrayed man. His voice hit Kiannah like bullets, rendering her useless. Forgetting the company around her, her hands ran up to her head and clasped at her long auburn curls. She closed her eyes slightly and let the music envelope her completely.
Salem, barely needing to concentrate on his voice, was able to watch the reactions of his audience. He enjoyed every sigh, every hand clasped to a chest. Each person, although they did not realise, was expressing their feelings and thoughts to him like beacons. Suddenly a wave of enchantment hit him hard in the chest, making his voice falter ever so slightly, barely noticeable. He quickly checked his spectators, but they paid the fault no heed; evidently still reeling from his performance. He finished the last notes of the song, pausing to receive the fervent applaud, taking the time to search for the perpetrator; the one responsible for his error. And then he saw her, and he saw everything. Her lips were slightly parted, allowed for the shallowness of her breath. Her hands, as delicate and as poised as petals clapped politely. The dim light in the auditorium was bright enough to cast the shadows of her eyelashes down her cheeks. But she was not thinking about him, as many of the other women were, but of the music. She was thinking of the last note, remembering how it had hung in the air tantalizingly. He focused on her, and her alone, watching her through the corner of his eye. He waited for the orchestra to begin, before he could sing again. He would captivate her tonight; even if it meant...
The next song began, and Kiannah just had enough time to calm herself. She looked down at her lap and tried not to let the music carry her away again. Suddenly, her head was full of Salem. Not in the way she usually thought of him, but of him. She imagined his arms wrapped around her, his head inclined towards her own. His eyes burned deeply into hers. She reached up and ran her fingers through his mop of thick, disarrayed, black hair.
Kiannah gasped, and her head snapped up. She had missed an entire song. Her eyes came to rest on Salem as he delivered the final not, accompanied by the final strands of the piano. He bowed, his eyes flickering up to meet Kiannah's awed gaze. He stood up, unashamedly not breaking eye contact, smiling at her even. A plump middle aged woman, adorned with jewels and feathers who sat by Kiannah's side glanced at her gypsy skirts with disdain, wondering how Salem could look past her to this girl. Kiannah, of course could not see this.
How could he possibly know? How can he know what I am thinking?
She sat through the rest of the show, not even noticing the change in songs. The images in her head had numbed her, and with each song, more would come. She couldn't even hear the music any more, it was simply background noise to her fantasies. The interval came, and she watched Salem bow once more, and disappear into the wings. Most left their seats, to socialise and to talk about what they had heard, to pass judgement on others choice of clothes; as was a custom at such events.
The curtains closed, but it was impossible for Kiannah to let this continue. There was the rest of the Opera to see, and the torture would continue. She looked around her, only to find herself completely alone, not another soul around her. Adrenaline pumping through her entire being, she stood up shakily, and made her way to the stage.