Water Love

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Chapter 12

Marilla Hali Conway

I am unable to formulate words. I want to scream and shout. Tell them they’re wrong but the water nor has Selene has never lied to me before. Withheld information, perhaps. Lied? Never. They can be cryptic as hell but they have never lied to us. There is no more have. Sereia is dead. Gone. I can’t feel her anymore.

I really wish this were a bad dream, a nightmare, which I would soon wake up from. But it isn’t, my heart still beats and I still breathe. I just can’t feel her anymore nor can they. We’re one. There is no way I wouldn’t feel her if she were still alive. Though I really want that to be the case despite it not being.

The memories hit me like tidal waves and I feel like I’m betraying her. I have a soulmate. Someone to love the mermaid within me just as Atargatis did. Yet I don’t want it. It feels wrong to award someone else that title when she had it. She will always have it. It feels even worse to be a vampire’s soulmate. Eternal love... that bullshit doesn’t work on me. His kind devoured my father before me. Attacked him viciously before my eyes. They hurt my brother. Ripped his throat out.

I can still remember that day so clearly that it hurts. Werewolves diving towards Sereia and her mother. She was able to break free and ran towards the Ocean under the impression her mother was close behind only to turn around and see werewolves on her dragging her limp body. Sereia screaming trying to go and help her but Seaton wouldn’t let her. He knew it was too late. Leomaris had to carry me despite being injured because I was stuck frozen in time watching the horror of the attack.

It shouldn’t have been that way but it was. We lost so much that day. In part to his kind and now I’m supposed to be his mate? I can’t. I’m the fate of the merfolk, Sereia is gone and I have to find a way out. I have to escape and return to the sea to be wed to the future King of the merfolk. I can’t be selfish even if he could complete me once again. It wouldn’t be fair on Sereia and it wouldn’t be fair for my kind. They deserve better.

Sereia would have made a better queen despite having her head in the clouds. She loved the Ocean and our people more than anything. She was always the better fit despite her doubts to marry. And now no one will know just how much she loved them because the hunters got to her first.

“My soulmate is dead,” I answer them both to receive an irritated look from her and one of surprise from him but it’s the truth. My soulmate is dead. My soulmate is Sereia and I don’t plan on ever replacing her. No one could replace her, no matter how hard they tried. She was forever one of a kind.

“Are we really doing this again?” She asks as if scolding a child but of course what the hell would a witch know. Witches aren’t bound to anything but their spell book. They don’t know what it’s like to love someone so deeply that you don’t know how to function without them. Neither knows the feeling of loving someone so much it hurts and then lose them.

Sereia was my whole world, she was the one person who grounded me amidst the chaos surrounding us. The one person I would never lose and always count on. The one person who knew me inside and out without judgment despite our differences. She loved me as I was without reservation. Never asking for anything I couldn’t give. She was the true definition of a soulmate.

“As many times until it is understood, I am not your soulmate. I already had a soulmate and she’s dead. I’m not looking to replace her so shove it and let me go. I want to go home,” I say laying back down and curling up.

“Ascelin is your only mate and you will be wise to remember that. If you dare hurt him I will come after you,” she threatens me but it’s silly of her to do so. She doesn’t know my power.

“Calista would you mind giving us a moment alone?” He asks her and she nods after giving me a disapproving look. I don’t need her acceptance. I have my own. I hear the door open and close. When will he leave? “Do you know what it’s like to have a soulmate?

“Yes, it means having someone love you despite your flaws, even more so love your flaws as well. It means having that one person always by your side till the end of time. And if they were to die, you would join them in death,” I answer him and I hear him sit on the bed.

“Good, now imagine awaiting hundreds, no, thousands of years to meet that one person to have her tell you that she doesn’t want you because she already has a soulmate,” he says as if that would change a damn thing and it won’t.

“Because I do,” I say sitting up again and facing him, “or I did.”

“And I am not asking you to forget her, I’m just asking for a chance to show you, perhaps one can have two soulmates. Perhaps I can help you mend your broken heart. We were meant to be together by the moon goddess and we owe it to ourselves to try,” he declares looking me dead in the eyes as if seeing into my soul. Trying to unveil my secrets.

Why won’t he understand? Sereia is the only soulmate. She will always be my only soulmate. I don’t want two soulmates. I would kill him if it meant she would come back to me. She is the only one. Even if the moon goddess paired us to be predestined mates he would always be second best to her. I could never love him as I do her, even if I were to give him a chance.

We’re from two different worlds. He belongs to the land and I belong to the sea. I always have. I am the most powerful of my kind. We both were. I’m destined to be a queen and I have an obligation to my people. Sereia’s gone and I can’t let my people down. I’m not changing my beliefs and everything about myself because I am his mate. Selene made a mistake. I will always belong to the Ocean. Mermaids don’t have mates.

“My answer remains the same,” I say peering into his soul unable to give him a chance. His kind killed my family. And giving him a chance means I am alright with it. It means I’m willing to have him take her spot and that will never happen. I will never be able to accept it as my only one.

“Then I guess I’ll have to conquer your heart,” he smirks with newfound determination.

“You will never amount to it, not the way she did,” I answer him coldly.

“I don’t quite believe that after all she’s gone and I’m certain she would want you to find happiness somewhere else,” he responds yet he didn’t even know her. She would kill me if I were to allow a vampire mate me. She would hate him. The only people rightful in her eyes were the merfolk. No one else could compare.

“She would but not with you. Not with your kind,” I spit out at him standing my ground. I need to get back to the sea yet I don’t want to leave. If I do, I never see him and he can complete me in a different manner. He can make this all less painful at least bearable. And despite not wanting to be with him, I can’t give it up so easily.

I should. But I won’t. It’s too painful knowing I lost her and renounce to my only real chance of happiness without her. A reality that I now have to face. I know it’s selfish but... I can’t lose them both. I can’t go back to the sea just yet. Everything there reminds me of her. We were one with the water and now she’s not part of the equation and it hurts. I can’t face a wedding that I know she won’t be present at yet.

I can’t leave just yet. My heart won’t let me because, despite my not wanting to be his mate, I can’t deny the pull towards him. I can’t deny being drawn to him or my heart skipping a beat every time he looks at me. I should demand to go home after being kidnapped because that’s what a reasonable person should do. But I’m not a reasonable person, I’m a mermaid with a broken heart. One he can heal or at least help.

“Then I’ll just have to win you over,” he says gazing into my eyes to then have them shift to my lips. An unknown fire ignites in me like one never before felt. Something rattling my very core and suddenly I’m found wishing for his lips to meet mine. This isn’t tight. I can’t be mated to a vampire.

They’re murders. They killed my father and my brother so why can’t I just walk away. Why does he change everything yet nothing at all? Why did it have to be him and not my fiancé? I’m not single. I have an obligation. To my fiancé and my people. I’m already in a relationship but none of that compares to the feeling of gazing into his eyes and wishing his lips upon me.

I need to look away but I can’t. Instead, I find myself licking my lips in anticipation to tempt him into claiming me. Sereia wouldn’t like him. He’s a vampire. And I’m a mermaid. There are over a million reasons we shouldn’t be together yet none of them come to mind right now.

He’ll never be as important to me as Sereia. He’ll never mate me because I have an obligation to my people. I don’t want him yet my soul is calling for him betraying me. We can’t do such a thing. His kind has hunted my kind for years so why can’t I remember that anger right now. He might be the love of my life but he will never be my soulmate. I may be his mate but I won’t be his soulmate. I’ve already had one and she’ll always occupy that place.

Why in the world is it so hard for me to find the want to leave. I have to escape and return to the sea but I can’t. I have an obligation to my people but right now I just want him to hold me and lull me to sleep so I can see her again. I need him but I don’t want to need him. Words come out of my mouth but the conviction in them is doubtful. He’s undoing me already and I can’t let him yet I don’t have the strength to go home.

Sereia was my home. And she’s gone.

I gaze into his eyes with tearful eyes. He raises his hand and wipes my teardrops away as I close my eyes. I want to let him heal me but I can’t. Sereia would never forgive me such a thing yet I can’t help thinking she’s gone. I want him but I want to save the merfolk and I can’t do both. I want to go home but my soul refuses to leave him. My strong personality in shambles on the floor.

“Give me a chance,” he pleads and I open my eyes. I look at him uncertainly as the heartbreak in his hurts my soul.

“I can’t,” I gasp.

“Yes you can, but you don’t want to,” he whispers with sorrow in his eyes.

“I can’t betray her, I can’t betray their memory,” I whisper back with heartbreak.

“They would want you to be happy,” he conveys and although true it doesn’t change the fact his kind are monsters. It doesn’t change the fact that they killed my father and my brother.

“Not with a monster,” I say turning away unable to hold his gaze any longer. He’s a monster. A murderer. He’s probably slaughtered my kind in the past and I can’t risk them. We could never be. Mates or no mates. My people and the water came first and I made a promise I plan to keep even if it denies me the chance to attain happiness without her. I just can’t let go of that chance right now.

It’s harder now that she’s gone. If she lived then I would have already summoned the power I still hold over the Ocean Blue to go to her. I would find a way out and I would leave. But she’s not. Making everything harder.

What should I do? What’s the right thing to do now that she’s gone? He can complete me but he’s a monster.

“Let me prove to you, I’m not a monster and what being my mate really means,” he pleads with a tear escaping his eye breaking my heart even further. Unable to formulate a single word and at the risk of sounding stupid, I nod. I have a duty to the merfolk and I will wed him when I turn twenty-five, but what type of queen would I be if I’m broken?

I’ll let him heal me. I’ll stay till that day and once I can stand on my own now that Sereia is gone, I’ll finally let him go. But for now, I’m going to indulge myself in a little relief from the pain of losing my best friend. A relief only he can grant. A temporary wholeness that I will renounce to wholeheartedly when I have to wed my fiancé.

Being near him should be enough to mend me. No need to betray my fiancé. Being here and being his friend doesn’t change that even if he believes different. I’ll stay just till I’m healed. Then I’ll walk away and live the rest of my days beneath the water, far, far away from here.

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