You gaze over the ivory keys in both curiosity and wonder at the instrument which the Master played and composed his heavenly pieces.
It astonished you.
How an instrument could produce such beautiful sounds at the touch of such a being. Your Master’s.
Though he did always prefer the title of Master from your lips.
He was a famous composer, one of which could not be identified truthfully by anyone. He never attended gala’s, nor balls, meeting were letters which were delivered by your hand. He was a stranger in the eyes of the public. Even yourself. It had been three years since you had began working for him, yet all you had ever seen of him was the black cloth that shrouded both his face and body, accompanying him in the afterglow of the darkness.
When you had met him, you were lost and seeking shelter. You were not alone though.
The Master, he too seemed lost, seeking… something.
You did not know.
All you knew, was his voice.
Oh, his voice. How every sentence he spoke seemed to caress your very being, every word like a feathered kiss upon your skin, every syllable was a small taster of bliss. What you wouldn't give to feel his touch.
But he was your Master.
You had come to accept your boundaries and keep your improper desires at bay, lest you wanted to risk being homed within the streets once again.
Observing the large organ before you, your gaze couldn't help but wonder to the many scored littered about it.
How you longed to read them, to touch- to even graze the marvellous instrument before you, but alas, your Master has spoke otherwise. The rule declared to leave his work. To neither touch, nor move his musical possessions.
“A composer’s work is his own minds creation. To claim another’s touch upon incompletion would be equal to tampering with the creators mind, not just his works. To steal both it’s essence and secrets… Secret’s were meant to be kept, my dear.”
Much like your Master.
He himself was a secret. One of which you wanted to peel away, to uncover the man beneath the darkness, beneath the prolonged illusion of the ominous spirit within the manner. But he was neither an object to tamper with, nor a subject to dissect the past from.
He was human.
“Still working at this hour, my dear?” You jolted from your thoughts when you heard him speak. You hadn’t even realised he had entered. How long had he stood there, watching you from the shadows?
Finding your voice, you swallowed before answering.
“Yes, Master. Miss. Giry has been taken ill, you see. I offered to take on her duties for the day.” You informed him, offering him a lights curtsy. A low hum escaped the Master’s lips.
“I see, and what duties did she entail?”
“Oh, just household chores, Master. She would never require her heavy duties, as head, to myself, so there is no need to be concerned about th-”
“That is not what I was concerned about.” He broke in, volume raising. You bit your lower lip, not quite sure how to respond.
“..Chores. Nothing more, Master.”
Though you couldn’t see him, you could feel his heavy gaze, notifying you that he had not departed during the thick silence.
“What task did she require in order to permit you to stand within my music room?”
You understood his need to question your current presents within his favoured room. He often limited the access of it to others. He felt some workers would feel the need to touch his works, take them, steal them. From what you had observed, he came here often, sometimes for days. It was his own sanctuary.
“She did not, Master.” You replied honestly, twiddling your fingers in front of you. He paused for a short moment.
“Then why are you here?”
He sounded neither angry, nor satisfied with the given answer. This only made it more difficult to reply.
Lowering your gaze to the ground, you felt the want- the desperate need to turn away from the man within the shadows, but you knew it was ill-mannered to do so in the presents of any superior, especially your dear Master.
“Because it’s peaceful.”
They clicked against the marble floors, like a clocks hand. Too fast or too slow, you could not tell, you just stared at the ground.
“Indeed it is, my dear.”
His magnificent voice drifted past. It seemed so close to you, so near.
Waves of black met your vision as it dragged along the floor, rippling to the sides as it followed where the Master wondered. Lifting your gaze, he stood to your side, just before the organ, caressing it gently with a gloved hand.
“It’s a beautiful instrument.” You murmured, regretting it once you saw the head of the cloth shift in your directing. Still, you did not look directly at him. A pleasant sigh drifted from the Master’s lips.
“She certainly is.”
Continuing to caress the delicate keys, he placed himself on the stool, the bottom of his cloak flitting behind him. Arching his back, he began to play, an odd melody drifting about the room.
With his music, he entered his own little world.
A gentle smile passed your lips before a small curtsy followed. Thinking it rude to interrupt, you began to depart from the room.
Both you and the organ came to an abrupt halt. Slowly turning around, you looked over to your Master.
His back was still turned to you as he paused, seemingly second guessing himself.
“You’re welcome to stay, if you so wish.”
That caught you off guard.
“There…there’s no need, Master. I would hate to impos-”
“You are not imposing.” He began to shuffle the scores placed upon the organ, aligning them side by side to observe them closely. “For I am offering.”
It wasn’t everyday your Master gave you such an offer, to linger by his side a little while longer and observe his fascinating musical works. However, you had chores to do, but you also had your Master.
Chores could wait a little while longer.
“Do take a seat.” Nodding at his request, you placed yourself upon one of the stools by the large window and watched, basking in the moon's glow as another haunting melody began.
As time drew on, you couldn’t help but wonder the hour. There were no clocks in this room, for time never seemed to end within.
You continued to gaze at your Master who entranced you as the music did him. He was truly a beautiful thing to watch.
Ending on another note, he scribbled once again upon a piece of parchment, inspiration buzzing in his incredible mind.
“Master.” He ceased movement at your intrusion. “Do forgive me for interrupting.” You quickly added, not wanting to anger him. “I just had…one question, if you’ll permit me to speak my mind?”
He looked up, his face blinded by the darkness.
“Why do you mask your true identity to the public eye? Should they not know whom their theatre’s magnificent compositions truly originate?”
It had been something that always bothered you. When you had wondered the town, the people had claimed it as their own on many occasions, that they were the famed ’Destler’. Though they oddly stopped after a short period of time, it always pressed on your mind.
It infuriated you.
A man who spent a lifetime dedicated to his beautiful creations was impersonated by thieving, snotty nobles. They seemed to always confess in the end though.
Goodness knows why.
Your question seemed to stun him for a short moment. A sigh, a gentle breath left him as he stood, and paced to the other side of the room.
“My dear. There are some things that should be known, and other things that are best kept to ones self. My true identity being one of them.” You stood, slowly walking over to him. “But why? Should people not know where the wonders truly lie?”
“Because the wonder is not I, it is the music. The music is known and I am, therefore, grateful.” He stood at his desk, occupying himself with dozens of other papers, his voice never changing.
“But doesn’t it bother you?” You asked quietly, approaching him. “That others are claiming your work as their own, completely disregarding the fact that you're it’s creator.” He was so close you wanted to shake him, convince him to claim his triumph and gain the public’s applause.
He did not answer, so you shifted closer. The velvet cloth of his cloak and your body were mere millimetres from each other.
Could he feel your warmth? Your breath? Would he scream a you, ignore you…accept you?
“Just once, you deserve to be admired instead of the music.” You whispered.
A long, shuddery breath escaped your Master, instantly making you regretful that you had ever spoken a word. “I’m sorry, Master. I did not mea-”
“No one would accept me.” It was a breathless whisper, a voice you had never once heard from your Master. Not once had he sounded so broken, so innocent.
“Master, that is not true.”
“My dear, I lost acceptance the moment I was born. I have never once looked back on what could be, only what cannot.”
Actions spoke louder than words, and you truly had a deaths wish cast upon you for your next one.
Gently, you reached out and gingerly placed your hand upon his clothed arm eliciting a sharp jolt from the man before you. Still, you kept your hand still.
“We accept you.” All those that resided here did, they gave him all the gratitude they could offer.
A gentle caress on your hand diverted your gaze to see his delicately pressing against your own.
“Do you?” He spoke so soft, you almost couldn’t hear him but when you did, you couldn’t help but think how absurd his question was.
“Of course I do.” You answered. You had accepted him as your Master long ago, in your life and in your heart. “There’s no bad I could speak of you, nor ever wish to, Master.”
His grip tightened, taking your hand within his own and held it close. Your heart couldn’t help but flutter erratically.
“You believe me so innocent, yet you truly know nothing of me.” The softness of his voice betrayed any harshness he tried to give.
Cautiously, you brought yourself to his side, your hand still held within his own. You lowered your head instinctively, not allowing yourself to look at him as he usually instructed.
“No one can change what they have done, yet what I have seen of you is nothing but greater kindness and pursuing what you love. It may not be who you were, but it is who you have grown to be.”
Tingles swept down your arm as he gently caressed it, sending your mind into a frenzy. You eyes fluttered shut, feeling his touch for just a moment longer before you continued.
“That man, is whom I care so dearly for.”
He was shaking now, gasping. You went to apologise for your boldness, for your words. To beg him not to fire you.
But instead he embraced you.
An overwhelming shudder of emotions shot through you. Your heart beating ecstatically as he held you close. Your head on his chest, enveloping you in his silky warmth.
Just listening to his heart beat was like a lullaby.
You pressed yourself closer, never wanting him to let go. To let you comfort him, to stand by him, to be with him.
“You truly are an angel.” He breathed, refusing to let you go, as if you would disappear a any given moment.
Unfortunately, you knew it couldn’t last forever.
“No, I’m just your servant.” You reminded him, a dejected sigh leaving our lips.
But he did not let go.
Instead, a leathery touch gently lifted your chin, permitting you to look up at your Master.
Your eyes met white porcelain, covering half of his face. It became clear to you why he found it hard to be accepted. Whatever hid beneath was the cause of his self hatred, his anger-
Why he had never felt needed nor wanted.
He scanned your face with hollow eyes, reading it for any signs of horror or fright. However, his own met quizzical ones.
You reached out, and held your palm to his cheek.
“Whatever lies beneath this mask, cannot change what I have learnt of you nor change my perception. The Master- the man I have served for these past years cannot be erased…neither can the times I have learnt to cherish and care for him.”
Leaning up, you gazed at his quivering lips before meeting his gaze once more.
“Forgive me, Master.”
Closing your eyes, you kissed him.
His body tensed, unsure of himself. Was a man such as he deserving enough to touch this angel before him. So gentle and innocent. So beautiful.
His beautiful muse.
He responded and the butterflies began. Your hands found his shoulders, gently gripping them as his hands splayed over your back. One soon found it’s way into your hair, pressing your lips closer with need.
Pulling away for needed air, a breathless laughter escaped him. As you look at him, you watched as soundless tears escape him, worry growing on your face.
“I am truly undeserving of you…”
He then pulled you into another breathless kiss, lips moving in perfect unison. Your back arched as he pressed you closer, needing more. You pulled away, gasping.
“Master, where did th-”
Your eyes widened a fraction.
“I’m sorry?” Surely you had misheard him.
“My name, is Erik.”
A quivering smile played upon your lips as your Master looked down on you, grasping you within his gentle hold.
He placed his both his trust and heart in your hands.
That was something you would never let go of.