Marilla Hali Conway
Ascelin stirs beside me trying to rise without waking me but he doesn’t succeed. I find it odd how he wants to sneak out of bed when we’ve just arrived and our first day of wolf territory almost as if he were hiding the exact reason we’re here. It’s strange how he doesn’t ache to share every secret, lie, and thought with me unless it concerned me. Nothing compared to Sereia. My soulmate. She was the one for me. My best friend.
I’ve tried to believe the lie that Ascelin and I are soulmates but that’s a lie. We aren’t soulmates. My soul belongs exclusively to Sereia. Ascelin may own my heart but I can’t grant him, my soul when Sereia has it. Being dead means she took it with her. Something that destroys me inside and out.
Yet I can’t be offended by Ascelin’s need to hide things when I refuse to open up wholly to him. I’m not ready for someone who isn’t Sereia to know me inside and out. “We swim together, we drown together...”
What happened to dying together Sereia? You and I were together for the end of time. We were the water flowing in each other’s veins. We belonged to the Ocean. We were one. Why aren’t you here with me anymore? Being here reminds me of you, and how much you would have despised this. I lied to myself thinking you would be okay with Ascelin mating me as his forever love.
You wouldn’t have been okay with any of this. You wanted me to be happy but not with a monster. Not a vampire when they killed my father and Caspian. You wouldn’t be alright with my choices since I felt you depart from this world. I lied in a moment of grief but what hurts the most is I did so to myself. I’m so lost without you.
“So, this is how it’s going to be?” I ask Ascelin as he’s twisting the doorknob. He freezes, sighing before turning back to face me. “Sneaking out at any hour because I’m just some fragile doll to you?”
“I was going to meet Roul and come back,” he explains but I am not okay with it. He doesn’t share anything political with me. None of his problems. All he does is talk in little pieces about his past and his friends. Almost as if it were a nuisance to share said things with me.
“And why not wake me Ascelin? I’m not a fragile doll that will break at the sign of any bad news! I’m a queen, I should be your equal. You should want to share everything with me, yet you don’t. You hardly speak of your past to me. You don’t share with me your problems and your worries. You keep it in because you don’t trust me!” I know I sound angry but I am. I am tired of lying but more so I’m angry at myself. I should have never lied to myself.
“My pearl I’m trying to protect you from the darkness, you don’t need to know how cruel others can be,” his voice remains even yet that doesn’t ease me. He’s holding more back than what I am from him. I’m not his equal or his queen. I’m his glass doll. A title I’ve never been declared by anyone.
“I know more of the darkness than most, I’ve dealt with it my whole life! You just don’t trust me enough to handle it. You don’t have faith in me! You expect me to reveal to you everything there is to know about me, to allow you to know me as well as she did but you aren’t being transparent with me!”
I’m tired of pretending it’s okay. Nothing is okay. He takes the pain of losing Sereia away. He makes it bearable to keep living but I don’t want that type of relationship. It was never like that with Leith. He always shared everything with me. He always included me in his decisions. He trusted me enough to not break at any sign of distress. He had more faith in me than Ascelin seems to have.
The first few days of this relationship, once we mated, were pure bliss but I’ve come to see the differences between us. I stopped blinding myself by the similarities. At the end of the day, I was still a mermaid and belonged to the Ocean Blue. I would still return to it as proven the day it called to me. The day I saw her even if it was in dreams.
Her voice and tears still haunt me. The thought that I could have done that to her ruins me. She’s my soulmate and I hurt her. I wasn’t there when she needed me and I lost her.
I thought I could still have her without breaking as long as I had Ascelin but it was a lie. A lie I told myself so much I had believed it. My heart had betrayed me. We had betrayed the one person that knew me inside and out. The one person that loved me always and unconditionally. My sister. My best friend. My soulmate. Sereia Marinda Hanon.
“I tell you what you need to know. I’m just protecting you from the darkness because you’re my light. You know me better than most,” he tells me with hurt in his eyes. I should know him better than anyone not most. I’ve seen darkness my whole life. I’d seen countless people die before my eyes sometimes with me being the one who took their life.
“You tell me what you choose I need to know. Partners share everything and more. Why can’t you see that I don’t need protecting! I need someone, to be honest with me and share everything about themselves with me. Fully without barriers. I need them to be as clear as water with me but you’re not doing so,” I reproach as tears begin falling out my eyes.
I guess I’m madder at myself for believing the lies I had grown to tell myself more than anything. I expected him to be just like her and no one could even compare to her. He completed my soul in a way only she could and I fabricated the lie that it was okay. I was in a vulnerable state and believing the first bright light. It wasn’t his fault when I knew all along. It was mine for even creating said lie and be willing to overlook the pain his kind has caused us.
“My pearl do not cry,” he says wrapping me in his arms but right now his touch burns me from the betrayal to my soulmate. I let her done in a way I wouldn’t have ever imagined. I let my people down but even more so I let the water and myself down. I betrayed what I am for love.
“No, let go of me! I don’t want you to touch me unless you plan to share everything there is about you! I don’t want bread crumbs anymore, I want everything!” I scream repulsed as I pull away. I deserve someone who is willing to give themselves wholly to me as she did. Someone who isn’t afraid to show me their darkest parts because they can’t trust me to stay. He can’t trust me and doesn’t even realize it. He... he isn’t her.
“What do you want to know Hali? I’ll tell you whatever you want to know,” he tells me, hurt brimming bright in his voice.
“Tell me why are we here? Why does Roul need your help? Why is Calista here with us? Why is there a spell over wolf territory?” I ask him, willing to give him a chance.
“It isn’t my place to tell,” he answers me and I move even further away from him.
“Goddess tell me! I’m not going to go out and betray your trust. I’m not going to scream it out to the four winds! I’m your forever love yet it seems I mean nothing to you. You know what, go see Roul and keep your secrets!” I yell exasperated shutting the bathroom door behind me and letting myself fall to the floor, against the door, in tears.
“My pearl open up!” He pleads rattling the doorknob but I don’t want to hear him right now. Not when he isn’t being fully honest with me. I’m his forever love, the other piece of his heart not some damn stranger he can’t trust. How can I trust him with who I am and what I am when he refuses to tell me everything about him. He refuses to show me his entire heart when I’ve already exposed that side of myself to him. My feelings are not something to mess with.
“Go away! I don’t want to see you! Why don’t you just go and speak with Roul like you had planned! Go share with him your secrets!” I call out through tears. He isn’t my soulmate. He isn’t Sereia. She held power over me and pushed me for better. He was my forever love the person I could share everything with. I craved a love story like our parents had but that can’t be if he’s not fully honest with me. I’m not exposing what I am and who I am without knowing every part of him.
I couldn’t place everyone in danger like that. I was engaged to Leith. I was promised to another and I chose Ascelin. I chose him despite it bringing my people to its knees. I thought he would be as transparent to me as everyone else in my life was. But I was wrong. I guess Ascelin doesn’t love me as much as I do him and it hurts.
“Fine, we’ll talk about this later, my pearl,” he tells me softly as I cry my eyes out.
“Go to hell!” I scream out in pain. How can he not care enough about me to show me everything about him? How can he lie to me about him?
I hear the door close and curse him even further. I had hoped he would have revealed what I want to know not to listen to my words. I wanted him to prove me wrong not right. I desperately want to believe we can overcome the obstacles between us but apparently, we can’t.
Yet I can’t stay here on the floor forever. I’m a queen. The Queen of the water. Which is what made me and Sereia so special. We were chosen by the water to be its rulers. I can’t cry over Ascelin here on the bathroom floor. I have to get out and get a breath of fresh air. I force myself to my feet after wiping the tears away and open the door to an empty bedroom.
I roll my eyes before heading to my suitcase and opening the damn thing. I pull out a two-piece string bathing suit that suits me perfectly. It brings a smile to my lips especially knowing that Ascelin wouldn’t like it. According to him, it is something I should only wear with him and not for others but seeing as he isn’t being truthful I don’t care.
I place on some mini shorts, that I bought behind his back one day, which he has been trying unsuccessfully to get rid of. I choose a short and tight top that reaches a little below my breasts. As always I discard shoes finding them pointless in the water. I give myself a once over in the mirror to see myself.
My sea-green eyes a little red but not at all puffy. My lips in a slight pout. My hair disheveled and messy yet it looked beautiful. It shone brighter than it had since I lost Sereia. My curves seem to have better defined overnight. My legs looked longer and my beauty looked mystical. Something I wasn’t expecting. The mermaid within me was showing as if aiding a call. The water spell seems to have worn off.
I begin to cast it when I see something in my hair. A streak of platinum blonde hair. My beautiful white hair. The one I only got with my soulmate nearby. Tears prick my eyes but I push them aside and cast the water spell upon myself once more. I force a smile upon my lips and glance over myself once more. My beauty once more dulled to a human.
My eyes looking a darker shade of green. My hair a medium shade of brown. My skin no longer glowing. My legs and curves returning to human size. My lips still tempting but no longer in a pout. Much better now to explore this damn castle.
I walk around the castle looking for a way outside. I pass various corridors sometimes losing myself due to my unfamiliarity with this castle but refusing to ask any of the wolves walking around. I end up near the living room where Ascelin seems to be speaking with Roul and Calista. I don’t want to see him right now or even cross a word with him but I see a door leading outside. I need a breath of fresh air. I can ignore them and their secrets.
“My pearl,” he says interrupting Roul and everyone grows quiet. Of course, they don’t want to tell me a thing. Too afraid I’ll go out and hurt him, something I wouldn’t do. I would be hurting myself more than anyone.
“Oh, don’t mind me I’m just going outside for a walk but carry on, I’ll be getting out of your hair,” I assure them coldly as I walk past them. “Ascelin if you need me be sure to use your hand or even Calista,” I add before going out. He seems to trust her more than he does me anyway.
I walk out around the garden. A fairies dream. Not mine. Yet I feel the pull of the water. I can feel it nearby. I walk towards it lost in thought but once it comes into sight I stop. The sight before me shocking me to my very core. Before me a huge spring of water, crystal blue water that is breathtaking. But it’s who’s there that has me lost for words.
Platinum blonde hair, almost white. Beautiful tan color with silky skin. Her skin shining even brighter in the sun as droplets of water trickle down. Her legs kicking gently in the water as the water caresses her soft skin. Head over heels smitten with her. A glimmer in the water and I see it’s her reflection with a breathtaking stone in the center.
It can’t be. She’s dead. I stopped feeling her weeks ago. It can’t be my soulmate. Sereia. Can it? I manage to tread carefully towards her standing nearby waiting to see if she disappeared like other times.
“Marilla, where are you even now I feel you so close as if you were next to me,” she whispers, and my heart breaks. It is her. “I promise I will find you and save you,” she adds, and tears slip out my eyes. She’s alive. Sereia’s alive. It’s her.
“Sereia?” I ask with a trembling voice. She whips her head back and the expression on her face warms and breaks my heart at the same time. She rises to her feet and I feel her embrace me. A moment too magical for words. We both hold each other tight unable to let go of one another. Yet she doesn’t seem to hold her strength something about her screams weakness to me. She feels lighter. Her strong aura dulled and her hold over me is heart clenching.
“You’re here, and you’re okay,” she says pulling away and inspecting me with her eyes. I smile at her amazed to have her before me. “I thought something had happened to you,” she says as she reaches for a locket on her left arm.
A locket. My locket. My engagement locket. She unclasps it from her left wrist and the locket immediately flies into the air and clasps around my neck. No doubt Sereia’s magic. Yet that simple act seems to pay a toll on her.
“Right where it belongs,” she says and my eyes falter unable to hold her gaze. I mated a vampire. I betrayed her. Sereia’s features wrinkle in confusion before her eyes land on my neck. her face contorts to one of pain. The face of my nightmares. The one where I hurt my soulmate like never before. She displays hurt and pulls away from me hurting me yet I catch sight of some scars on her abdomen and chest.
“Sereia what happened?” I ask looking at her scars. Scars that should have healed but she doesn’t answer. She looks into my eyes as if I were a stranger and I had caused her a world of pain. An expression I didn’t like to see upon her. A face I despised to have been the cause.
“You mated with a vampire,” she whispers distraught gazing into my eyes as if I were a monster. The same look I gave Ascelin when I discovered what he was. “Tell me he forced you to mate with him. Tell me you didn’t allow a vampire to mate you! That you didn’t choose a vampire over me,” she says her voice rising alongside the hurt in it. “Tell me!”
Silence. I couldn’t answer her. I did let a vampire mate me. I wasn’t forced to it was out of my own will. I chose to mate him. I had been with him when Sereia seems to have been going through hell and back. I wasn’t there for her like she said.
“You didn’t save me because you chose some vampire over me? You let a mad man hurt me because of him? How could you? You left me alone! You left me when I needed you the most! Why? What happened to we swim together, we drown together!” She screams out demanding answers and breaking my heart. The hurt in her voice crushing me.
“No, I didn’t choose him over you. Sereia let me explain!” I say trying to reach for her but she backs away further.
“You left me! You all left me to fend for myself! None of you were there! I thought you were hurt and in pain! I thought you were in trouble! I killed for you and almost lost my own life while doing so but you never were in danger. You just replaced me with a vampire! I killed four people for nothing! Where were you when I was screaming for you to come save me!”
I reach out and grab her arms trying to grant her some consolation. I thought she was dead. I would have never mated with Ascelin if she were alive. I couldn’t feel her anymore. I thought she was dead but the words refuse to come out. She pushes me away and sends me flying backward hitting a nearby tree.
“You chose a vampire over me! You left me to die! You weren’t there! You didn’t save me because you were with him!” She says walking towards me. Tears flooding out of her eyes. Rain clouds in sight as storms brew in the sky the sound of thunder echoing in the clouds. Yet what was most heartbreaking of all was Sereia.
“No, it wasn’t like that. Let me explain!” I call out to her rising to my feet.
“You lied to me!” She screams pushing me backward and I hear people screaming. “YOU LIED TO ME!” She yells even louder pushing me onto the tree and holding me tight as she shakes the life out of me. “YOU LIED!” Her screams turned to those of a banshee as the hurt and pain within her resounded through the spring. Her fingers digging into my skin as her tears flooded out.
The mermaid within her stirring and bringing forth as much power as she could. She was pissed but overall hurt. I hurt her. I caused it and now the world was going to feel our power, but her eyes beamed her being broken. She was broken and didn’t bear the strength to do so but she could unleash it within me, and she was. She was destroying me, drowning my insides in her cloud of hurt as lighting began to strike all around us and the wind picked up. The fury of the Ocean Blue shining bright in her eyes and it was all heading for me. And I deserved it.