It's time to open up a bottle of wine and celebrate...
Whispered Music is OFFICIALLY in edits. I could not be more excited, and I was finally able to let go of Dominique, though I will admit it was difficult.
I kind of cheated though.
I introduced the secondary character, the hero to the third book, ridiculously early. I needed something to hold on to so I wouldn't be sad when the book was finished, and Hunter did a great job with that!
I keep wanting to share more about the story...but it's difficult without giving too much away.
I didn't stay as close to the real tale of Beauty and the Beast because once the story started taking form I realized it was more about betrayal than beauty, emotional scars than physical ones (though there are some of those too).
This book is about being lost and what it takes to be found and how un-forgiveness even if it is justified can utterly ruin your life.
If you haven't read the prologue yet, here it is. And remember, it releases the first week of September!
London Fairy Tales 2
The true story of how Beauty tamed the savage BeastPrologue:
“Hands at this angle young master,” Mr. Field was always careful in his scoldings, and for that young Dominique was grateful. He had heard whisperings that not all music teachers were as kind as Mr. Field.
A prodigy—the name hovering over him like a blazing sign. At eleven, even his boyish mind knew that life would never be simple. When other little boys were outside running and playing in the streams. Dominique was in the great practice room tapping away at the ivory keys.
Music was to Dominique, what breathing was to everyone else. He wasn’t able to quit the melodies pounding through his head—through his dreams. Often, he would sneak down to the practice room in the middle of the night because his fingers itched so heavily to touch the ivory keys of his favorite instrument. If the music was not played, sleep would not come.
The crescendos, the notes—everything had always existed in his mind. The major scale of beautiful notes descended upon him in times of great happiness, the minor scales-the scales of sharps and flats, often during times of danger. His teacher, Mr. Field said it was a gift, that all prodigies had a sixth sense. Dominique, however, felt different too different to play with others his own age. So he poured himself into music as much as he could. To his mother’s utter delight, for she was always doting on him, telling him that one day he would be a great master, that people from all over the world would pay to hear his gift.
His father, the Royal Prince Maksylov thought music was only for the weak minded, and often told young Dominique, that unless he grew strong in physical build and learned how to play with others, that nobody would ever follow him. That he, as a musician could never lead.
And so Dominique led the life of being pulled by two parents. One in the direction of the piano room, and the other to the outside light. Both directions held certain feelings of excitement and fear, for Dominique hated to fail at anything and often found it frustrating to have to concentrate on more than one task at a time.
A certain evening, after his parents had gotten in another fight over his musical education. Dominique had snuck into bed, careful not to let any of the servants see the pooling of tears around his eyes. He cried, not for himself, but for the love lost, for it seemed both parents never saw him for the boy he was, but for what they wanted him to be.
After the servants had gone to bed, a slow haunting melody began burning in the back of Dominique’s mind. Closing his eyes against the onslaught of music he put the pillow over his head. But the music would not quit. Minor chords filled with dread and pain drifted in and out of his mind until he thought he would go mad. Finally, unable to keep his body from moving his fingers carefully started playing the melody in the air, imagining the pianos keys underneath his finger tips as he played the song that would not leave him.
The song progressed, it became more and more angry. The hair on Dominique’s arms stood on end. Surely he would die this way! The music was finally coming for him! There was no other option in his mind! He had always thought on how he would die. There was nothing simple about dying for any prodigy. For a musician, there is always music. Always a benediction telling the sad tale of a person’s life that had gone unlived.
With a squeal Dominique ran downstairs to the practice room. If he was to die he needed to be next to the music, the only hope it seemed was to play that song and pray it never return into his head!
He threw open the doors to the practice room just in time to see his father shoot his mother and then turn hate filled eyes towards Dominique. With sickening fear, he noticed his teacher, Mr. Field, also lying on the floor dead.
“What are you about boy?”
“Papa!” Dominique froze in place. “Papa, you hurt Mama! What have you done? You—you beast!”
“Beast?” His father laughed, madness etched across his face. He took a stumble to the side-board and poured himself more brandy, not sure at all on his feet as took a seat on the sofa. “I give your mother everything! I give you everything and she repays me with betrayal!”
His voice shook the walls in the room and suddenly Dominique knew where the music had come from. Just as his teacher had said, it had come from within, he had sensed the danger, and the music once silent as he entered the room came back full force as his father’s eyes trained on him.
Blood still dripped from the prince’s hands as he smiled and threw the glass of brandy on the ground shattering it into pieces.
“So you think me a beast, boy?”
Dominique slowly backed away towards the door, his only hope it seemed was to somehow escape the nightmare he had walked into.
“Answer me!” His father wailed throwing another glass to the floor. “Answer me now, boy!”
“No, No, Papa, you are no b-beast.” Tears fell from Dominique’s eyes of their own accord streaking his face with the salty wetness of death.
In a flash his father was behind him locking the doors. The music crescendoed again, the finale—he could hear it; he could see it in his mind’s eye.
“Well, boy. Why don’t you go ahead and play, play for me, play for your dead mother and your wicked teacher. Play for us all!” His shout vibrated off Dominique’s ears. His father thrust his hands into the air as if direction some invisible choir.
He was mad! The teacher’s body lay ever so lightly across his mother’s; he needed to step over them in order to get to the piano. In that moment Dominique knew he would die, knew that he would never get to play with other little boys. The cold stream by his house wouldn’t get any use, for he would be dead, and dead little boys did not swim in cold streams.
With a deep breath Dominique sat at the piano and began to play the melody.
His funeral march.
“Ah, such music is so pleasing. It is so sweet, Dominique, it nearly makes me ache with want, which is apparently what your witch of a mother was aching with. Don’t you agree?”
Dominique continued to play tears now blurring his vision. Perhaps a servant would hear the music and think it odd? His mind rejected the notion. It was impossible for he was often playing music through the night. But this night was unlike any other.
As he finished the song, his father yelled. “Keep playing!”
So Dominique continued to play and shake as he did so. He repeated the same song for there was no other melody in his head he could find. His father came up behind him casting a shadow in the candlelight.
“For your sins, for the sins of your mother, I will punish you once and for all! May you never play again.”
With a curse, his father poured hot wax from nearby candles onto Dominique’s hands. When Dominique screamed and tried to pull away his father merely held his hands next to Dominique’s, taking the punishment with him. His hatred was so deep that he would rather hurt himself and his son than not give any punishment whatsoever.
With a curse his father threw him to the ground and marched over to the fire place taking Dominique’s sheets of music with him.
“No! Papa, no!” Dominique wailed, for he had worked his entire existence on those songs. They were his everything. With a sneer his father threw them into the fire.
“Follow them into the fires of Perdition for all I care.”
With a scream Dominique charged his father, his blistered hands reached into the flames, grasping at the remnants of the music. It wasn’t until his hands hit the scorching heat, that he noticed his father was holding them there as well.
A scream would not come, though Dominique tried. The blackness enveloped him and he felt once and for all, he had truly died.
15 years later
The carriage dipped jolting Dominique from his nightmare. Always the same. Always that cursed song, why was he never given respite? He looked down at his hands, still covered in his gloves never to be seen by the outside world. For their hideous scars were the stuff of legends and dark fairy tales. Surely the girl sitting across form him would expire on the spot if she saw what gruesome brutalities lay beneath his torture hands.
With a sigh he leaned his head back against the leather of the carriage. Had he done the right thing in taking her? Now he wasn’t so sure.
He looked across the carriage. His gaze rested on the young girl. Isabelle was her name. Or in his mind Belle, for the music surrounding her was true beauty, nothing he had ever in seen in his lifetime.
The carriage dipped again and the young beauty opened her eyes. “Are we there yet, my lord?”
“No.” Dominique clipped, he despised conversation of any type, especially with that of a woman. He hadn’t any experience with the lot of them unless needing to satisfy his beastly needs and even then he never looked at their faces, never kissed them, and never took off his gloves. Women were good for only one thing. Besides that, they could not be trusted.
The young maiden licked her rose colored lips and pushed her lustrous brown hair away from her face. “Are we close then?”
“Why?” He asked irritated with her questions. Was she to plague him the entire trip?
“I’m thirsty.” She looked embarrassed; her hands were shaking just slightly. Blast, the girl was probably cold too. What did she think he was about? Being her nurse maid?
“We’ll get there soon enough.” He cut off the conversation by looking out the window, so desperate was he to get the girl to stop talking or at least stop staring at him the way she was.
“Why, did you take me?”
Dominique took a deep breath then turned his gaze back to the girl. Her piercing blue eyes made him slightly uncomfortable. If there was one trait he was always constant on, it was his honestly. So he told her the truth, not because he was being kind, but because it was the only positive characteristic he had. After all his mother had lied, his father had betrayed him and his music hadn’t saved him at all. Honesty, it seemed was his only mistress.
With a deep breath, he answered, “Because the minute I gazed upon you, the music changed.”