She heard Erica singing and broke into dance. Erica watched from up in a tree, and Oriana lured her down.
Oriana had read about Muses in folklore, but she had never seen one before. It pained her to see a Muse isolated on the Outer Islands without instruments and festivals to inspire her.
She told her stories of the mainland, sang songs she’d heard there, and bragged about musicians she met there. Erica agreed to journey there with her.
The two took a boat to the mainland. When they arrived, Oriana left Erica to sleep in the woods and visited her favorite lover, Prince Ruby Valentine.
Since Oriana was an avid traveler, she never lingered long enough for Ruby to bore of her. She reveled in knowing he desired her above all others.
After a wild night with Oriana, Ruby took his guitar to the forest to play under the sunrise, and was stopped in his tracks by a hypnotic song. It was a woman’s voice, singing tender, emotional notes mixed with savage animal sounds.
Ruby suspected he was dreaming, but the voice crystallized.
He answered with a gutteral melody.
She howled back with a hot-blooded roar that ripped him at the gut.
He decided to change his tune, to win her trust. He answered with a fragile wail, betraying his longing to hear her song.
Her voice echoed the melody back, punctuated by a growl. She was still on the defense, but he suspected she was hooked.
Finally, they spotted each other on opposite ends of a stream. Harmonies ebbed and flowed, deep into the night.
For three days, they exchanged songs from afar while Ruby worked up the courage to approach her.
The Music grew increasingly savage. Ruby had never been so aroused in his life.
When Ruby finally sat beside Erica, her innocent smile cut into his chest. For the first time ever, he was afraid. He wanted her more than anything, but could not risk destroying her.
Before doing something profoundly stupid, he bid her farewell for the day.
Quickly, he found someone else to ravage so he wouldn’t explode. Erica stalked him quietly and spotted the House of Love. A while later, she saw Ruby playing guitar on the porch and decided to visit.
He froze, as the lover he drained was still there. Erica peeked in, saw the naked woman and ran away. Ruby was screaming inside, but his guitar remained quiet.
Erica was devastated and wept for days. But soon enough, Ruby’s guitar lured her back.
He was compelled to be near her, and could not let her go. He needed to learn how to love, to avoid ruining her, so he would never lose her.