He couldn't sleep again.
Not after another long twelve hours of his day job plus the extra four hours his two older brothers had spent making the lair look like a war zone in a foreign country. The loud sounds of their shouting, cursing, and breaking things had already driven their elderly father to his private chambers to meditate and his younger brother, Mikey, to hide in his room in an effort to stay out of the crosshairs.
And what about him, you ask? He'd donned his bulky long jacket and grabbed his hat and headed for the surface despite his tiredness he knew he wouldn't be getting any sleep anytime soon.
Walking down the darkened sidewalks of the local park usually soothed his already frayed nerves. Which had been his plan from the moment he stepped out onto the street and pulled his jacket more closely around himself as he looked around. The street across from Central Park was unusually empty tonight despite it still being fairly early, no more than nine pm.
And it was warm out tonight too. Unusual for late fall weather.
Crossing the street, he headed for his favorite spot in the hopes that he could flop down in the lush green grass and stare up at the sky for a little while. Who knew, maybe if he day dreamed for a bit he might get tired enough to actually sleep more than an hour tonight.
Walking along he noted various things, the crunching of the multi colored leaves under his feet, the slight breeze that picked up the hem of his jacket and caused it to tangle around his legs. The chirping of crickets, and what sounded like the faint sound of a violin coming from just up ahead-
Wait a second, was his mind playing tricks on him like it usually did when it was sleep deprived or was he really hearing something?
He stopped walking for a second and tilted his head and listened, unconsciously sucking in a breath and holding it, his ear slits straining for a moment before detecting the delicate sound again. He stood there for a moment, listening before turning to the left and following the sound out of curiosity. Wanting to sit down and listen to whoever was playing for just a while more.
He reached a small clearing around a lake and stopped as he saw a young, petite girl wearing a long sleeved black shirt and dark jeans. Her back was to him, so he could see nothing of her face. But her hair- Jesus it had to be one of the most unique colors he had ever seen before. It was the most beautiful blend of ash blonde, pink, fuschia.
The long strands must have been mid back length, and were currently up in a twist held into place by a hair clip. Some of the strands slipping from their clip to flirt with the nape of the mystery woman's neck. Moving to a bench just a few feet away from where he was hidden, he sat down and made himself comfortable while trying not to startle or scare the woman.
Her music was just too enchanting to have end so soon.
The song that she was playing seemed to stop and for a moment he felt disappointment well up, and wondered if she was finished for the night when she started to play again, this time the music was faster, almost playful and he sighed and leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes and let his guard down a tad bit.
For the moment content to listen and enjoy her company while she was still unaware of him.
Aarien Quinn Rymer let the last notes from her violin die down to nothing and slowly dropped her arms until they were at her side and stood there, drinking in the beauty around her. New York City at night was much like the country, only ten times brighter and full of more buildings and people. Not that she minded any of that. It was a small price to pay to finally be free of her family and be on her own.
It was so much better than how her family spunged off of her talents and exploited her at every turn. It was better than being forced into a car by her dad or brothers, all of them wanting money to feed their addictions and their wives addictions.
It was more liberating here. Less suffocating.
And city life here was so cool! She never ran out of places to check out. The cafes, the restaurnts, the book stores, the music stores. The city even had stages all around it where people could preform at random. Why just last night she had preformed in a bar. A bar of all places! She was still so giddy that she could have shrieked.
She loved it.
Loved the life that she had chosen for herself. She loved going before thousands of people and playing her music. She loved getting requests from other musicians asking her to perform duets with them. She loved the cozy little condo she had half a mile away from the park that she was lucky enough to call her home. She loved hearing her music on CD's in music stores and writing new songs in her spare time.
She sighed and turned, casting a glance towards the bench a few feet away where she saw someone in a bulky brown jacket and hat, sitting, and wondered when she had gained an audience. Looking down at her shoes for a moment so that she wouldn't be caught staring, she waited to see if her visitor would say something.
And sure enough, after a heartbeat or two- he did.
"Please don't stop," His words were soft and gentle, his tone a rumbling purr vibrating in his chest. It was such a fascinating sound that she took several steps towards him, wanting to hear that sound again when he gave her a strong but firm, "Don't." Causing her to flinch slightly and stop dead in her tracks just a foot or so from him.
She couldn't really see his features, all that she could see aside from the jacket and hat were shadows. But she did manage to see his eyes when she dropped down to a squat in front of him and propped her chin on her palm. He had such lovely eyes.
The unwavering golden brown stared her down fearlessly with a small amount of wariness in them as he shifted in his seat a little bit so that he was leaning in as he said in a partially teasing tone. "It's rude to stare."
She smiled at him. She knew that it was rude to stare but she couldn't help herself. His eyes had some sort of mezmerizing ability that she wasn't quite immune too. She flushed a little bit and set her violin and bow down on the ground next to her and then looked back to him and gave him an awkward smile as she replied. "I-I'm sorry. It's just that you have such pretty eyes..."
He fell silent and shifted a little bit more on the bench, as if uncomfortable and she got the impression that she had either shocked or embarrassed him. Maybe both, she thought as he stopped moving around and looked down at her again before asking, "Why are you out so late?"
"I work at night. So I might as well practice at night too."
"But you know that it's dangerous, right?" Her visitor sounded a tad bit irked by her being out so late, and she couldn't help but smile.
"You sound like my manager. He's alway's telling me not to get mugged or shot up or shived in the kidney-"
"All good pieces of advice to follow. I hear that getting shived in the kidney is like being shot in the stomach- It's supposed to be really painful."
"If you say so- If you don't mind me turning you're question back on you; what are you doing out so late?"
Aarien made an 'ah' expression and slowly stood back up to her full height. "Now it makes sense."
"You mean the reason I told you not to stop playing your music?"
"Yup. Insomniacs love me." She said jokingly, sensing that her joke would make him laugh. He chuckled so she was only a little bit disappointed as she focused on the warm sound of amusement.
"If insomniacs love you then being as I'm out this late and talking to you- I must worship you." He said gently. She shrugged as she grinned and said.
"Stranger things have happened."
"That's true," He said wryly before saying, "My name is Donatello Hamoto. But my friends and family call me Don or Donny. What's your name my goddess?"
"Aarien. Aarien Rymer."
He made a little half bowing motion with his head, indicating that he had heard her and said, "Aarien, huh? That's a pretty name. Peculiar- but pretty nevertheless."
Aarien smiled at him but didn't say anything for a moment as she watched his gaze waver for a moment as he rubbed his eyes with one hand. "Ugh...god I'm tired-" He said as he dropped his hand back to his lap. Taking that as her cue she picked up her violin and bow and took up her earlier stance and said,
"Well, let's see what we can do about that, hm. What would you like to hear?"
"Anything is fine as long as your the one playing it." He replied as she gave him another innocent smile as the first notes of her song filled the air. He leaned back in his seat again, intent on enjoying her preformance.