She loved him the moment she laid eyes on him. He was sat on the stage, strumming a guitar, his golden hair lying around his shoulders, his eyes half-shut as he focused on the music.
Her friends were at least as interested if not as truly enraptured.
“I heard he’s an Olympian,” April said. “Javelin.”
Kendra gave a sigh. “I heard he writes poetry.”
“He won that chess championship last year,” Gary put in.
“You would know that,” April said, giving Gary a playful shove with her shoulder.
She sushed them, wanting to hear more of the music. As if he’d heard, he looked up and met her gaze. She felt her cheeks flush as she took in his ocean coloured eyes and the quirk of his full lips.
“A ballad,” he said and began to sing as he played. The melody was haunting, the words in a tongue she didn’t understand, his voice soulful. Tears pricked at her eyes before the last notes faded away.
The audience had swelled as he sang, the club filling up as night approached. The applause was deafening. He bowed in head briefly in acceptance.
“Something a little happier?” he asked and received an enthusiastic response. The tune this time made her heart sing and to the astonishment of her friends she moved to the dance floor. Usually too shy to dance in public, she found herself shaking her hips, tossing her hair, swaying to his voice.
When that song was done he disappeared backstage and the usual DJ returned to play a mix of late nineties tunes. She returned to her friends, sipped at her wine.
“I heard he’s got a degree in history,” April said, staring at the stool where the guitar player had sat.
“His Instagram has pictures of his woodwork,” Gary said, sighing as April giggled. “He’s a carpenter.”
“I bet he is good with wood,” April persisted.
“Uh-uh. Connie showed me a bracelet he made for her. He mostly works with metal,” Kendra said. “Connie said she commissioned him to make a decorative sword for Alex’s birthday.”
She shook her head. No one man could be capable of all those things.
April, in the midst of checking her phone and chattering as she did so fell silent and everyone looked at her before they realised she was looking behind them.
He approached them, tall, broad shouldered and limber, head held high with confidence, a man at ease with himself. She felt she loved him, told herself that was ridiculous.
“Good evening,” he said. “I hope you’re enjoying yourselves.”
April nodded and began gushing, Kendra trying to get a few words in edgeways. Shoved out of the conversation, Gary had given up entirely, looking around to see if John had arrived yet.
“I’m glad to hear it,” he said when April paused for breath and then turned his body to her, all his attention on her in a way that was unmistakable. “And you?”
He’d noticed her silence or her staring? She was flustered once more.
“Your singing is lovely.” Pathetic, trite! She sought to find better words but he gave her a genuine smile.
“Thank you.” He pushed back a strand of golden hair and she longed to reach out to caress the silky lock. “What’s your name?”
“Nas,” she said.
“Nas,” he repeated. He reached out to shake her hand but as she reached out he lifted her hand and pressed his lips to her knuckles. Her stomach clenched, warmth spreading through her. “It is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Lugh.”
— — —
Previously I’ve written about a modern day Dionysus and Ariadne. I wanted to test the waters with something a bit different, a modern day Lugh, and maybe write more of this later.