Alyosha’s long slender hands floated delicately above the keys of the piano and the soft melody of a hymn to Samothes filled the air. The room had been achingly silent just minutes before, only punctuated by the scratch of Arrell’s pen on parchment, and after hours of the disconcerting quiet, Alyosha was just about to jump out of skin. Instead, he had crossed the small chamber, bobbing and weaving a bit to avoid the stacks of books that littered the floor and floated through the air, and sat at the piano bench.
The song, though soft, rang out clear and bright in comparison to the silent, dim room. Alyosha, golden and smiling, seemed to shine with an extra bit of light. Whether it was a reflection of His Most Holy Work or something coming from the young man himself was something Alyosha and Arrell would quarrel over if Arrell was the type to wax poetic about the beautiful and perfect mundane light of his lover.
The last trembling notes of the hymn faded from the air and Alyosha let the quiet creep back in for a few breaths before leaping into a new song. This one, a popular dancing tune, spun out from under his fingers in a quick and leaping reel and the corners of his mouth twitched upwards with a hint of devious playfulness. He had his back to Arrell but his head was cocked just so to help him hear the soft shuffle of Arrell putting his papers aside. And then the soft creak of the floorboards as Tutor Arrell made his way over to the piano.
This, one of Alyosha’s practiced routines, was a well worn script between the two of them at this point. Alyosha would play until Arrell would put his work down to come over and admonish him and from there the two would argue a bit until finally Arrell would acquiesce and take a break.
Just as the footsteps came in from behind and Alyosha felt a soft pressure on his shoulder, the song came to an end and the chords dissipated. The typical argument came forward, the same points brought up by both sides as usual, and Alyosha emerged victorious, as per usual.
Alyosha stood from the piano bench and stooped down to kiss Arrell with the soft and gentle passion that defined everything he did. The tension in Arrells shoulders dissolved away as his fingers found hold in the silky lengths of Alyosha’s hair and everything, even the all consuming search for answers that haunted Arrell, slipped away for a few brief and blessed moments.
It was this moment, or perhaps one of the dozens like it, that came into Alyosha’s heart as he approached his Lord and as he slipped away from this world, it wasn’t a prayer to his god but a kiss from his lover that came to his lips.