Nico lay upon a grassy hill outside of the palace, one that he had taken to calling his hill since he came there so often.
Nico had his arms folded behind his head, eyes upturned to the heavens, rather the city that the hill overlooked. Nico sighed, glad to be out of the stifling clothes that the masquerade had demanded. Contrary to the heat of the day, the night breeze was cool and refreshing.
Nico enjoyed his solitude for a moment, accompanied only by the gentle rustling of grass and the chirping of crickets to the night sky. Then, he heard footsteps approaching, each footfall seemingly light and hesitant. “Who goes there?” he said, not rising from where he lay stretched.
“A prince,” said a strange lilting voice that Nico did not recognize, but one that he found immediately alluring all the same. Warmth rose to his face at the thoughts. He had not even seen the owner of the voice, yet. Nine forbid it was a hideous creature approaching him to take his soul.