Marcelina was alone in her cabin for a few hours, leaving her plenty of time to think, before someone dared to intrude on her space. Naturally, it was Arturo. He didn't bother to knock, walking into her cabin and finding her, this time, sitting at the window. She sat on a chair he was sure wasn't there before. Arturo promptly reminded himself that Marcelina was a magical being, and it required no effort for someone like her to charm up some furniture if she wished to. That would explain the blue color to the walls, the seashells dangling along the window sill, and the gossamer canopy over her bed. However, Arturo was more focused on Marcelina than little things. She either hadn't noticed him or was keen on ignoring him, eyes gazing into the unpolluted sky. Her hair wasn't braided yet, and her dinner was untouched beside her, cold and unwanted.
Arturo sighed quietly, shutting the door and walking to her side. "Marcelina, we need to have a talk," he said. Marcelina was quiet for a few more minutes, then pointed to the constellation of Gemini. "Back home, the constellations go by the same names but have different stories. The Gemini, for one, aren't twins to us, but a mated pair. They tell a story of a captured nereid forced to turn human and live as a slave to her captor. In time, she met another--male--nereid, previously caught and changed, and told him her name. This caused a drastic change in the male, who had forgotten his origins among us. Poseidon visited him and allowed him to remember himself and his position, and he fell deeply in love with the female. When the male confessed to her, she, too, fell for him. Their captor learned of this and things went sour very fast. As a result, Poseidon cursed all female nereids to never know a soul-binding love until their fated mate finds us, as a means to protect us. The Gemini eventually died and Poseidon, as an apology for all they had suffered, gave them eternal bliss together above us. " Arturo's eyebrows furrowed, eyes moving away from the sky to her. "What does that have to do with us?"
Marcelina rubbed her arm, looking guilty. "Every thousand years, the Gemini have individual descendants. I am the female's descendant. Her Geminius is especially hard to find, but when she does find him, their attraction is immediate and their mating is unavoidable." A chill sunk into the room, and Arturo's light frown became a deep one. It was hard to not notice the distinct connections. "What makes you so sure Emilio is your Geminius? I've known him since we were children, and he has never shown any magical inclinations, much less something as powerful as that." Marcelina shivered, pointedly not looking at him. "Halflings are more common than you think, Arturo. I've talked with him and have learned about him in these last four months, he radiates a nereid male: charming, attractive, in-tune to the sensual but possesses strength and power. I'm sure he sings well." Marcelina finally looked up at Arturo, who swiftly cut his eyes away. They knew she was right.
"If this turns out to be true, then what exactly is at risk? How 'sour' did things go?" Arturo wanted to spit at the words coming out of his mouth, the sudden ire rising in him again. Marcelina sighed loudly, able to see all the small changes in him. "No one was killed, but the human captor nearly got himself cursed by Poseidon. He cornered the female alone somehow and began to rewire her mind away from her mate. It nearly worked, but the male found out about it and managed to save her. He and the captor fought, and it seemed the mate would win, but the captor gained the upper hand and tossed the two into the sea to drown. It just happened that they were in the home waters of the female and she changed, so she was able to keep her and her mate alive." It was disturbing to hear, and Arturo shuddered. Could he really do that to Emilio, much less her? He wanted her, yes, but would he get so desperate as to steal her away from something fated to be? It certainly seemed to be a grim possibility.
"This should be different, you see. For one, I'm not in love with Emilio, and there's no way to tell if he is the Geminius, or if we're all being paranoid. It's just you, really, your bond with me is reacting way out of hand and causing you to have these bouts of anger and jealousy. Arturo, you must focus on the fact that the chances of me finding my Geminius is very slim, more so with someone like Emilio." Marcelina was staring at him sternly, and for Arturo, it was a semi-welcome change from her anger. "What if Emilio is the Geminius, what will happen?" He needed to know what could happen, or if something would drastically alter things on his ship or further within his soul. Marcelina rested her chin on her palm, huffing a sigh that played with her fringe. "I can't say. My mother wasn't around long enough to teach me about mates, and neither was the historian to teach me about the Gemini. If he's only a halfling, there is nothing to worry about. The chances of him being for me are slim to none. However, on the rare chance he is the Geminius, there is always a mating, and it always turns out perfect." Marcelina wouldn't confront the odd flutter in her gut as she talked about this.
Arturo wanted to thump his head on the wall. On one hand, Emilio might have Marcelina, and on the other, he would. Neither gave Arturo what he wanted, and he hated that. Without realizing it, he began to brood, sending a subtle loom out. Marcelina shuddered at the foreign weight and sent him a glare. "You're doing it again. Control yourself." She nudged him none-too-gently in the ribs and he flinched away. "If you keep doing that, nothing will get easier." She fixed him with a warning look. "How do we figure out if Emilio is one or the other?" Arturo ran a hand through his hair, feeling a headache coming on. "It's not something I can do as a human. You can't do it, and if we're to know, you will have to take me home. Leave Emilio and me alone for three days, and then we may have an answer. However, you don't trust me enough for that nor can you risk another return trip to Spain, so I'm not demanding you to do this." Marcelina was both right and wrong. Right, because he couldn't trust Emilio to be alone with Marcelina now. Not for safety, but for risk of losing his nereid. Even if he couldn't make Marcelina love him, he would at least have her body. After all, what was lust if not powerful?
However, she was wrong because he did trust her, and he trusted Emilio, but separately, or at the least, supervised by himself. Arturo surveyed her quietly for a moment, trying to come up with a compromise. "We have at least three more weeks until we catch up to that merchant ship convoy. If we can loot at least one, then we will go back to Spain and I'll give you time with Emilio." It was still uncomfortable to think about, but it would work. Marcelina nodded, then she swatted his arm. "I expect you to be respectful of Emilio and I. A friendly bond is powerful nonetheless and you can't control me forever. Also, work on controlling yourself, it doesn't look good for a captain to be a jealous mass of rage and wild, unplaced emotions." Marcelina silenced Arturo's budding protests with a hard look and the man stood abruptly. "Deal. Don't go distracting my crew with all this complicated mush." They shared a nod and Arturo left Marcelina to her own.
Once alone, she rested her head on the window sill, watching the dark water carress the ship. "Oh Father, this is too much to deal with, why do you always give me the complicated bonds?"