This month's scene is from a future book in the Lion and Rose series.
“Makes you feel almost guilty, doesn’t it?” Zahira questioned, sitting down next to Fahd and speaking in an undertone.
“Us deriving such immense personal pleasure out of doing something necessary; because of the nature of our power.”
He tilted his head, causing her to narrow her eyes against the pull of his personality. “I can’t say that it troubles me overmuch.”
She narrowed her eyes further. He grinned, a slow, lazy, curving of his lips. “You knew I would say that.”
Her look carried amusement, mild annoyance and reproof.
“I infer th...” Fahd broke off at the entrance of the butler to announce that dinner was served. He stood and offered Zahira his arm to escort her to the table.
Following Alim and Satha down the hall to the dining room, he bent his head just low enough so she could hear his low whisper,
“We could continue this conversation in a more private setting after dinner, Sirin,” the deep voice caressed her senses.
She pinched his arm where her hand rested on it. He straightened and smirked, eyes laughing into hers. She glared, fighting the twitch at the corner of her mouth that threatened to betray her own smile at the game they played.
After the traditional meal blessing, and the food had been served, Satha cocked her head at her daughter and Fahd across the table.
“I believe you have something you wish to say to us, do you not, Lady Satha?” Fahd questioned respectfully.
“I was wondering how old you were when you learned of your sirin voice.”
“Fourteen, my lady.”
“How old were you, Mother?” Zahira had forgotten. It had been a long time since Satha last spoke of her sirin voice.
Fahd’s eyebrows swept up in surprise, “You are a sirin, my lady?”
“From where do you think I inherited it?” Zahira’s fingers brushed the side of his hand teasingly and she arched her left eyebrow, motioning for the dessert to be passed again.
“I’m afraid my thoughts had not yet extended that far, Rose of my Heart,” he smirked as he handed her the plate. “Could I not persuade you to demonstrate your power, Lady Satha?” Fahd’s eyes were frankly curious.
“I did not keep in practice. I have lost the ability.”
“I am deeply sorry, my lady,” he dipped his head in mingled sympathy and regret.
“Don’t be, Lord Fahd. Although it was not intentional, I have never regretted its loss.”
Zahira had heard the same words from her mother before on two occasions but they still surprised her. Fahd, hearing it for the first time, was shocked to his core and she knew he was thinking the same thing she was. How could anyone not regret having lost the sirin voice?
“I will always wonder if some of the trials in my life were brought about by my use of the voice and hence, I question if they could have been averted had I not used it. It is a dangerous tool, Lord Fahd, as I have often told Zahira.”
“Aye, my lady, it is,” he politely agreed.
Satha stood, signaling the end of the meal. The others followed suit. Zahira took Fahd’s arm and nodded to her parents. “We’ll be on the veranda for a little while.”
Alim nodded once in reply but Satha looked troubled. As they left, both heard her worried sigh and her words to her husband, “No two people should wield such power with their voices alone as those two do.”
Fahd and Zahira did not speak until they were seated in adjacent chairs in the radiance of the first quarter moon.
“She never misses it?”
“Not that I can tell,” the young woman clasped her hands in front of her.
“How could one not miss it?” Fahd tried to wrap his head around the concept.
“I don’t know. I’d feel robbed. Mute.”
“Mmhm. And not just the ability,” he tapped the fingers of his right hand against his chin, contemplating. “The ecstasy as well.”
Zahira leaned forward, eyes intent. “That feeling that no one who is not a sirin will ever understand. The sheer rising euphoria when someone listens to your sirin voice.”
“We receive more than we give,” Fahd had dropped his usual half-sneering smirk, his face pensive in the moonglow. “Which is why you feel guilty when we use our voices for something like this afternoon, ayi?”
“Ayi. We’re persuading people to do some good in the world, is it right to feel such a height of ecstasy in the doing?”
He had no teasing or smirking retort this time. They sat in silence for several minutes, thinking about their power, and above all, Satha’s words.
“It’s not like we can change it, you know,” Fahd said at last.
“Would we, if we could?” Zahira asked very softly.
They turned and looked each other full in the eyes. The denial was strongly marked in each face.
If given the choice, neither would change the ecstasy that was an integral part of their secondary voice. The pulsing wave of joy that swept over them when their voice poured into a listening ear.
It was too marvelous a thing to each of them to ever want to change it.
Miss Melody Muffin