Chapter One: The Greet
"Aiden! Aiden! Swim! Swim!"
The male gasped as he sat up. His heart was pounding in his chest as he placed his hand on his head. His head was just as badly throbbing, 'That nightmare again..' He thought to himself, 'It's never going to go away.' Those were always the last words Aiden ever heard. Running was something he was used to. Something all of them had become used to for so long.
The male looked about, suddenly jumping as he watched a small blue fish swim by. The little creature twirled about as it began to snack on the algae in the small concealed cave. Light shined through in shards as the sun pierced above. The walls and ground were coated in a thick green moss that peppered with awakening red flowers. Aiden unwrapped his lowered frame from a seaweed that kept him in place while he slept. He never liked just floating. The small merman always felt safer with something that safely confined his frame.
As the small merman swam towards the escape to the outside, he found himself rather nervous. The day before hadn't gone so well with a close friend of his, Caspian, and Aiden couldn't seem to shake the feeling that he had upset him with his question. Frustration had came quickly, and the loss of words he had already found left him distraught. How could he approach him now?
Caspian's family had taken Aiden in after the Red Water War. A dark day. One when lives were lost and their people were ripped from the sea. He remembered every bit of it, and it left him with permanent scars that he could never escape from.
Caspian wasn't just any merman. He was a warrior who protected their people from the Land Walkers. The one's with weapon's that Aiden had never dreamed of existing. He often wondered what other monsters lurked above with these, feet. Caspian was often busy, but before he used to make time for Aiden as much as he could, but since the other morning when Aiden asked if Caspian would be willing to court him at the Pearl Dance, the older male had become distant. He hadn't seen him all day, and he found himself rather concerned with the matter. Caspian wasn't just someone that Aiden liked. The Pearl Dance was a special occasion to celebrate growth of their school, and for matured female's and the feminine male's who had the capability of bearing the eggs from their suitors to find a mate. Aiden and Caspian had a connection. At least, the feminine male had thought so for some time.
Aiden was a small male. He had never been a large being. Aiden's light auburn locks were slick and soft. The merman's eyes were doll like. They often depicted his mood, but stayed a creamed orange color. Aiden's cheeks had the golden scaling like freckles against them and his lips a lush pink with a fade of red. His skin was pale and peppered with golden flaked scales on his shoulders and lower stomach. His arms were thin, and his webbed hands were small, but he had decent size pointed nails, the color of seafoam. He was about 5'5 in length, but his scales were something to see. Similar to that of a sunset, from the beginning of his tail around his hips were a vibrant gold. As it faded down into a deep orange into a red at the end of his tail. His fins that dragged off his tail were florescent and danced as gracefully as the seaweed that coated the ocean floor. Aiden had been asked by several other suitors for his hand, but none of them caught his eye. Not the way Caspian had long ago.
Aiden swam through the rock formation that led down to the ocean floor flat where the ceremony would be held. Usually they spent their days scavenging or looking for fish to hunt. One thing Aiden didn't do was hurt other creatures. Seaweed was a strict diet of his. He never liked the taste of fish anyway.
While swimming, he found himself distracted; glancing over at the mermaids fainting over their warrior's who were on their way to scout the area for potential threats. Though Land Walkers hadn't been seen in several years, it was something that they learned to never let their guard down on.
Not everyone was nice here. Some of these other merpeople had a hell of a temper. The warriors mostly. Aiden was a potential mate. Of course, he had no choice in the matter now. The Pearl Dance was the celebration of birth and love. It was a time for of age to find their mate, but many had planned mate's from birth. Aiden's had never been decided, but his mother had always encouraged finding someone he loved.
Aiden swam quickly through the group if merpeople. Some were dancing and singing. Others were making trinkets and necklaces. The male was distracted as he watched them twirl, lover's teasing and playing. Children were collecting shells and setting them up in a pile for the Pearl Dance. Some stood around trading merchandise for pearls. The most important part of the evening.
"Aiden! Are you gonna help us with the bracelets?"
The orange tailed male had turned his attention to them as he had darted past the mermaid's making the jewelry. As he looked at the mermaid's who were making necklaces, he found himself knocking harshly into something, someone. "Oof!"
The mermaid's were giggling, Aiden, dazed. The male rubbing the back of his head. The male frowned at them, but turned to apologize to the one he had ran into, but as he turned, he found himself falling silent, "Caspian.."