Author's Notes: Yeah, no violins in Attolia. There's a version out in the interwebs where I changed it to violas, which would have existed there and are related to violins, but then I listened to the solo near the end of Mozart's Concierto for Violin again (which was the inspiration for this in the first place) and I realized this piece made little sense if the instrument Dite talks about isn't a violin.

Dite could conduct the music with his eyes closed. He often did. But today he did not, because the woman he had written it for was sitting in the auditorium below him, listening. He was watching her. He wished that she would dance, wished that she would smile, wished that she would do something, anything, so he would know she approved.

But as it was, Dite was left to wonder if she recognized herself in the music, the crescendos, the solo violins. The violins were his favorite part. Somehow they seemed like her: fierce, but lonely.

Averting his gaze from his Queen, Dite focused on the music, which was rapidly moving towards the climax. He had stayed up for nights writing this, admitting no one but his brother, who brought him his meals and listened to him play one solo, then another, over and over… until it was perfect. Until it was her.

Even if she did notice, she would think it was flattery, it was a maneuver for power, as everything she knew was. She wouldn't realize it was because he loved her.


Eugenides strained his eyes, concentrating only on the Queen, sitting below. She was absorbed in the music being played. That didn't seem to keep her still, however… she would turn to talk to one person or another, just as he thought he had a good view of her.

Finally, he sighed and took matters into his own hands. He climbed over the wide rafter to the point where several joined, and leaned down. Almost, almost… one hand slipped, and there was a moment of panic, as he swung one-handed from the rafter. Would he be visible to the people below? He would be if he fell, at least. He took one breath, then grabbed the rafter again, and climbed back to the nest-like group of beams. He could hear his grandfather telling him not to take risks, that a Thief had to be careful. But, Eugenides thought, he wasn't a Thief tonight.

Now to see. He concentrated on Attolia, on, in particular, her ears. Were the earrings there? He looked, for one glimmer of red, one sparkling gold square – but saw nothing but the dangling bees she always wore. Damn bees.

Eugenides knew she had no reason to love him. No reason to even think about him, except when he forced her to. What did she think when she found the earrings he left her? That he was laughing at her? That he wanted her to know he could assassinate her, like he could Sounis? But she couldn't guess the truth; she wouldn't realize it was because he loved her.