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Her notes infused the air with delightful sweetness. The keys danced with a life of their own beneath her fingertips-lively. Drifting across the still warm sands and over the waves, the lovely melody filled the soul of Fate (if one could say he was capable of possessing a soul)- briefly easing his restlessness.

"This is the one", he thought. There was no doubt in his mind. "She will release this ache in me. I must have her."

He rose out of the depths, wanting her, stalking her, circling her like a hungry wolf waiting for his chance. He watched the young girl skip out of the cottage along the boardwalk.

"Going swimming Daddy! Wanna come?"

"I'll be along in a bit, Dear. I have to finish up this analysis for work first. Save some water for me. Don't splash it all out!" His warm deep voice called from the study.

She giggled as she slipped her shirt over her head, tossing it carelessly onto the beach. She eyed the waters looking for the perfect spot. She caught sight of the reflection of the setting sun trailing a beckoning swath of light. With a smile, she ran full speed toward it. She dove effortlessly into the waves that carried the warm burnished colors to her.

Fate was pleased. He was hungry for her innocence, her pure enchantment, her contentedness. He watched her as she danced with the waves, as she laughed with pleasure as each lifted her and carried her towards shore. He watched for a time before making his move. He reached out for her, taking her by her ankle to pull her into him to ease the relentless discontent.

"Daddy! Daddy!" She cried out before she was dragged under the shimmering surface. She kicked her legs wildly as she flailed her arms in the water, struggling to reach the surface-deep breath of air.

"Daddy! Help!" She gasped as another wave enfolded her into Fate's waiting arms.

The man heard her cries. Without thought he sprinted along the jetty, launching himself into the sea toward his imperilled daughter. He battled the current to reach her before it was too late. Fate saw this and was angry. He wanted the child. She had broken the surface again, barely able to draw in the air. She was tiring quickly, losing energy. Fate could feel her wilting beneath his grasp. He tugged harder on her reaching for her knees, wrapping his arms tighter around her. Victory was near. The shadow moved purposefully through the water testing her strength, dragging her back again and again, weakening her with each tug. Her song would soon be his, he could almost taste it, the soothing sweetness of it.

The father dove beneath the waters searching for his little girl. His fingers brushed against hers. He wrapped his palm around her wrist, yanking her up with him, locked with Fate in a deadly tug of war. Strong kicks and they were at the surface together. Her father had won this round. He reached his arm across her chest. Her head flung back against his shoulder gulping in air, all of her energy now diverted to breathing-living.

Fate grew furious. No, this was not the plan! She must not get away! He needed her. He reached out his cold hand trying to clamp onto the man's calf to drag them both father and child to him. But, the man had firm resolve. Love for his daughter gave him strength. With one arm and both legs, he beat Fate back.

"Save my girl...Save my girl...Save my girl" He repeated the mantra with each stroke. Each kick brought them closer to safety. Each kick weakened his reserves. Yet, he continued on though his lungs ached from exertion. He willed away the cramping in his side. He struggled on to get get his child to safety.

Fate lashed wildly at the waters, whipping them into a churning frenzy as the father reached the jetty. With his last bit of strength he raised his daughter onto the rocks. She opened her eyes weakly to see her father's form silhouetted against the last trace of red sky before it disappeared beneath the horizon. Then-she heard Fate roar out in rage as he snatched her father and drew him beneath the sea for the last time, dragging his body across the broken shells and rocks along the ocean floor.

Two days later, Fate spat him out a few miles south of the cottage. The man did not fill the void. He returned to the girl's home only to hear dispairing disconcordant sounds escaping from the keyboard. He watched her beat the piano with tears streaming down her face. She no longer filled him with the sense of fleeting peace. No-this made him more edgy instead, more restless. He paced the shoreline. This noise was not soothing at all. He did not need the child after all. She was not the one. He dismissed her casually from his mind as if he were brushing off a bothersome fly to be forgotten the next instant. To his mind, she never was.

He returned to the hunt, knowing that the next one would be the one to ease the ache of the hunger. There was no doubt in his mind.