This story is slightly different from those I normally write. I dunno, I guess I received this sudden urge to write it. It was fun at first, but then it started to get kinda hard because I'm trying to get this certain tone across by the way the character's talk(which is kinda Romantic-like) and at several parts in the story, the tone got sorta messed up. But here it is and I hope you like it : )

Entertaining the Muse

Chapter One: The Beginning of a Prayer

Where does all stories begin? When a valiant hero is born under a precious star? When a war had divided two kingdoms? When a star dies?

Most stories do, while hers, a broken nymph too blind to seek her fate, begins in the heart. She is lost, angry, almost forgotten as an annual festival takes place. She is sitting on the steps of a temple, with dried tears but wet eyes. Her gown, which is the color of the sky at down, is bitterly torn. A broken charm is in her hand, that of clear crystal stars. She rears back her arm to cast the miserable thing away when Turysis appears beside her. She quickly puts it away.

"Casting a wish?" he inquires of her, taking in her distraught image.

"A wish?" the girl croaks. "More like a curse."

"Who's the hapless fellow? Cast the curse, then afterwards I will bring him to justice," Turysis tells her lightly, but the lady doesn't smile. Instead, she turns away.

"Is there no hope for me in his heart, loyal Turysis, that he goes and seeks his love with her, whom I had once called kin? Why is it me that the Heavens seem to hate? They torment me, Turysis. They speak taunts and thoughts I knew were not true till I found them in her bed. Haven't I, too, been fair to those I know as friends as well as foes? Have I not boasted about my gifts and were humbled by my mishaps? Who is he to judge me as not fit enough to be a wife?"

Turysis' smile leaves him as he feels her despair. He then notices her ripped garments and untied hair. Her tears are dry, but her eyes are gleaming still.

"But who has touched you, fair nymph, that makes you cry with regret? Did he you harm?" he speaks, thick with anger.

"No one, but the betrayal of Gladiolas," she says with sorrow so deep, Turysis aches for nothing but to hold her and possess her as his own. However, he pushes the intense emotion aside to comfort her.

"My brother is that of an imp's fool who desires a stone rather than a gem. Do not fret over him. Rejoice and come with me to the festives. There. I swear I will keep you happy."

The girl, Alyse, turns to him and gives him a weak smile, but shakes her head.

"I cannot. My heart longs for Gladiolas, fairest of men. I am but an empty house without his touch. You are wise and kind, my dear friend, but I fear I must go to my chambers and rest."

She stands and he rises with her. He smiles deeper and reaches up to kiss his cheek softly.

"Goodnight, sweet Turysis. Tomorrow I will see thee and you shall keep me happy then."

She turns and walks away. Turysis watches for a moment then sits again on the steps of the temple.

"Curse thee, Gladiolas for loving wise Capricorn instead of Alyse. Can't you see her soul yearns for you? Are you that involved with the careful Capri?" He looks up at the sky. The stars all glare down at him. "But the Heavens curse me as well for they see my love for the troubled lady. Love and Fate, I fear, know not of the other's plans with mere mortals as us. Heaven help us."

Turysis goes off to the festival, for his father, Lord Garnet, awaits his return.

Hours later, he enters Alyse's chambers, his mind full of many thoughts. He felt as if he had to see the lady soon, to heal her pain. In a deathly silence, he goes through many of her elegant rooms before reaching a curtain of ivory silk. He steps through the veil and sees Alyse through a translucent cream colored shade. She is lying still upon her bed, in a peaceful slumber. Carefully, Turysis approaches her, his breath shallow and his heart wild. He pulls back the curtain slowly and stares down at his secret love.

She is positioned on her side, her face turned away from him. Breathlessly, he bends down and gazes into her forever fair face. Despite his attempt at silence, he releases a breath of awe at her innocent beauty., and it pains him that he could touch her not.

"Oh, my lovely lady, how deeply I love thee," he whispers in tender agony as tears of passion escapes his speckled green eyes.

At once, Alyse's eyes opens and Turysis stiffens in fear. They stare in the other's eyes, stunned, and their silence fills both's thoughts.

"Alyse," Turysis trembles as he speaks at least. "Forgive me. I had only wished to see you."

"Fret not, Turysis. I felt you coming, but I could not speak." She looks at him, a question forming in her orb-like eyes.

"Then, I beseech thee, kind lady, let me."

"Speak, dear Turysis."

"I cannot deny a dark love I have for thee. Roses nor all the suns and moons in the universe cannot describe the feeling I receive whenever you look at me, touch me. You feel me with such sin and just that I don't know what's right or wrong--loving you or letting you suffer such pain. I know you adore Gladiolas, 'tis your duty, but I pray thee, Alyse, that you look upon me and if not passion you find in your heart then turn me away and I shall never trouble thee again."

"No, pleasant Turysis. I cannot betray my Gladiolas, my beloved. I will not do what my heart tells me. My mind forgives my lover, and I mustn't think of a love for another man. You, who I hold highest among all companions; only my sisters compare to your goodness. But don't leave me--you shan't condemn me also."

"Then speak it, Alyse. Say the love you have for me or else I must leave." He moves closer and she wavers.

"How has it come to all this betrayal and affection? Have we no choice whom we love? Do the Heavens decide all? Pawns, we are--puppets in an ill conspiracy. They're controlling me now, beloved. They say... "You love him, foolish nymph. Take him and hold him close; never let him go.' Oh," she wails, torn, " am I that marvelous thee, Turysis that you torment so? You hurt me more than Gladiolas." Alyse reaches out to him caresses his face. "Love me then, to end my agony."

Turysis grabs her hand. "But do you love me as well, my lady? Speak it. Please."

"You were always in my heart, Turysis. A flame in the night. I love you. More than my duty is intended."

Jubilant, Turysis brings Alyse closer to him and they share a binding kiss. They break away and Alyse speaks.

"But let's be silent, beloved, least we wake those who sleep."