Seventeen

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Seventeen

"Musetunes artist @nonymous4 tops the Sarias charts 6 weeks in a row."

-Headline for newspaper Pellora Times



"Her newest song is a little too pop-ish for my tastes, but..." Marlee clicked around on the thin laptop until another song poured through the speakers.

I frowned at the tiny laptop. How could it run when it was so skinny? I'd loved computers even before I went under but coming back this new technology world was a lot. It would take some getting used to.

We sat in the "living room" of the main house. I'd been watching the news on the sheet of paper that was the flatscreen TV when Marlee hopped down the stairs with her laptop, wanting to hang out and help catch me up.

Marlee was doing a fantastic job of keeping me in the know with all the kingdom's events. And there was a lot to catch up on—politics, laws, music tastes, etc. At this rate, I'd always be years behind and never able to catch up.

Somehow, we'd ended up on Musetunes. My life's greatest success apparently.

"It's not bad," I admitted. I didn't mind the upbeat tones, though the speed was faster for my tastes. "She's got an impressive range."

Marlee grinned down at her laptop, clicked a few times and spun the screen my way. "She's the top female artist. When people talk about Musetunes, 9 times out of 10 her name comes up."

Anonymous.

A wry smile curled my lips. "I take it she's the reason Wes and Anna have so much money right now?"

Marlee laughed. "Partially. Though there are many other users that help. The Prince brings in quite a bit of traffic himself. He and Anonymous fight over spots one and two."

"Is Anonymous your favorite?"

Marlee shook her head. "I actually really like this girl Kamree Philips. Her voice has a raspy tone to it that I love, and her range isn't crazy, but her technical skills are insane. Let me see if I can find her—hold on."

So Musetunes turned out to be a success...Shayla would be so proud. Musetunes had been her baby. She'd invested so much time and effort into the idea of bringing people together through music...and now, years later, it's one of the biggest platforms around.

Marlee played a track that started rather jazzy with a piano melody and heavy saxophone. When the lyricist kicked in I had to admit the girl had some skill. Nothing like the pitchy nastiness that escaped my throat.

"How did..." Marlee pinched her lips shut. "Nevermind."

I glanced down at the skinny computer, knowing exactly what Marlee wanted to know. I imagine the entire Kingdom wanted to know the story behind the site.

Wes had done amazing by keeping Anna quiet. I never thought Musetunes would ever get this successful, but now that it had, I wanted to keep it close to me. And that meant only share the story, the background with a select few. It was like a secret only you knew.

Shayla had a story that not everyone would respect. I only wanted those that could appreciate her tale to hear it.

Somehow though, a part of me desperately wanted to share it. Marlee was kind and caring. She had a positive outlook on life—despite life's determination to screw her over—and was fierce when she needed to be. I had no doubt she and Shayla would have been good friends.

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