Seaton Marlin Conway
My sisters were with them. The enemy we have been running from our entire lives, the ones we have tried to avoid our entire existence has her. They wanted them alive for now but for how long? They were strong and powerful. But they gave themselves up so we could live. So Lorelei, Leomaris, and I could live. They preferred... I was willing to die for them.
Why couldn’t they have just let them kill me? Why save me? They were much more important for our kind anyway. They deserved better than this. They weren’t meant to get caught and certainly not days from their twenty-fifth birthday. We weren’t far from it.
Our King and Queen are dead. They’re gone. The Ocean hasn’t been this vulnerable since the death of Nawfar and her husband. And now there will be no wedding to save our kind just as there will be no future for my sisters. I was never okay with this wedding but I preferred it over them being with the bastards that murdered half my family.
It’s only been a day since they’ve gone. A day and already we’re going insane. Ronan and Leith needed to know the hunters had their future brides. They could find them and save them. But how am I to tell them. How are we to tell them when they won’t let us leave. They won’t grant us freedom. And they’re too many to fight. Even Lorelei’s status and name give us nothing.
I can’t handle this anymore. The longer we wait. The closer they are to death. We can’t risk it. I don’t care what I have to do to get them to release us but I will. My sisters deserve that much. They do. They deserve the world and for us to fight for them and we will. I will. I won’t have my mother lose another child. Losing Caspian destroyed her and if she lost Marilla forever to them as well she would die on me. She won’t survive it.
Leomaris can barely survive this. His wife and two daughters to those bastards. They have the last thing he had from his wife. A daughter. They had already stolen one from him. Now they bore another. They killed Venilia. His wife. Sereia is all he had left. Even the child Undina had inside her didn’t make up for the loss. Sereia was his and Venilia’s daughter. The woman he loved the most. Sereia was his whole reason to keep breathing and she was in the face of danger.
He cared for Marilla just the same. He’s always been like a second father to us even when my father lived. He was there but now he’s hollow. Having Sereia and Marilla give themselves to save us killed him. He can’t grasp onto the hope that they may just still be alive. In twenty-four hours a lot can change. A whole damn lot. Including the way the only father I had left was. He’s only a shell of what he was and seeing him like this is breaking me.
“Seaton, my father and them are coming,” Lorelei says while placing a hand on my shoulder. I nod sighing as I look over to Leomaris who is just defeated by this. He’s still on his knees in the same place that they took them. The same place they disappeared. Where we last saw them. His eyes glued to the floor as if answers lied there. He hadn’t moved in the last twenty-four hours. He was broken. Truly broken and showing it for the first time.
“Lorelei,” I hear her father’s voice behind us but I can’t even bother to turn around. I can’t break away from the father I’ve had. Earendil Conway raised me and loved me. And then he died. Leomaris helped raise me and loved me just the same. We grew up as one big happy family. It was as if we were siblings and had two sets of parents. Two sets. Yet the hunters have stolen pieces from our family up until making them unrecognizable.
“Daddy, Duke, King,” I hear Lorelei respond as I begin to lose myself in the sea of darkness and grief surrounding my dad. He was there. He still had me. But I didn’t make up for all the loss our family was suffering. I wasn’t enough to eliminate the pain. I wasn’t. I never will be. We were a family of eight once. Eight. Now only three seemed to remain. Pieces of three members.
“They’re gone,” I hear him whisper and my heart clutches, and tears warn to make an appearance. I know he’s heartbroken but what if it’s true. What if they are gone? Or if they’ll be gone soon? They’re my sisters.
“You need to give us something,” her father says from somewhere far away.
“Dear come back to me. Marlin, I need you, please,” Lorelei calls to me and I heed her call. I break away from my dad and focus solely on her. Her beautiful face. Her now royal blue locks adorning her beautiful white lunar eyes. I had grown to love it even though she didn’t have them the last I had seen her. It brought peace to me.
She smiles at me and I gaze at her with love. The only thing I have. The greatest love I have grown. My greatest treasure... my eyes go to the necklace I gifted her. The necklace which I used to promise her an eternity together. Asking her to be mine. A promise she accepted. I lose myself in its glow. The glow that only adds to an existing faint one in her eyes. A glow that calls to me. It stirs thousands of emotions in me. Calling to me. Screaming at me. Emotions that send me into overdrive. Emotions said to be felt by fathers. Fathers.
An answer dawns on me. The answer I never knew I needed. The thing I didn’t even know I had or was even missing. A piece of me. A piece of her. Of both of us grew within her. She was pregnant with our child. How had I missed this? My eyes fall to her body and I notice the changes I had failed to acknowledge. Her breasts. Her skin. Her stomach. Her legs. Everything. She glowed. She was growing our child within her. She held our child.
My sisters they knew. They didn’t just give their life for us but for her and my child. They were protecting our family. Like they always had. They had noticed what I had failed to. My love was pregnant and although I felt joy, I also felt guilt. Because it cost my sisters everything.
“Seaton they want to know about Sereia and Marilla,” Lorelei speaks to me and my hand goes to where our baby is. Against expectations, I feel it move. Stir. Kick at me. Was it recognizing me? My child. Surprise grows on Lorelei’s face before reading the answer in my eyes. Tears well up in her eyes and her hands cover my own. “We’re going to be parents,” she declares and I nod. “They knew.”
“Pregnant? Lorelei...” Her dad speaks dumbstruck and I’m reminded of their presence.
“You’re going to be a grandfather. Oh, goddess. Your sisters. They gave themselves for me, for the baby. They knew,” she cries out broken and my arms wrap around them.
“I’m not understanding anything and I need to understand. I need answers, who took my pearl and her soulmate!”
“Your pearl,” I inquire while gazing towards what I can deduce as a vampire.
“Marilla’s forever love,” Lorelei speaks to me amidst the sobs.
“No. My sister would never mate with a vampire. They killed my father and my brother before our eyes. They’re the reason my mother is broken. She wouldn’t. She wouldn’t betray the sea that way. She loves the Ocean Blue with all her might. Mating with anyone but our kind would be a sacrilege to her. She would rather die. She wouldn’t betray Leith like that. She wouldn’t,” I declare while leaving Lorelei’s side and pacing the room.
“I saw her mark. Seaton, they love each other. She mated with him. They’re bound for eternity. He deserves the truth. He deserves to know. He loves her. Just as you love me. Tell him. He deserves to know,” Lorelei persuades yet coaxes me at the same time.
“We watched as vampires flew away with my brother’s body while eating away at him. I saw my father being bitten and eaten away by vampires onto the floor. I had to drag Marilla away to safety. I fought her. She wouldn’t, to her that was betraying our father. She wouldn’t. I know my sister and she chose responsibility over feelings so even if there was something there...”
“Seaton, honey. She fell in love with the Duke. She fell for a vampire. She is his forever love. She chose her heart. I know it sounds difficult to believe but...”
“Sereia is much more inclined to do something like this. She is most likely to fall for someone. To love someone and throw everything to the wind for love or some feeling. Marilla isn’t. Sereia had doubts over her wedding. She dreamed of a love as we share. Marilla loved Leith. She bared no doubts. She loved our people and was okay with it. She wouldn’t...”
“But she did. They can help you rescue your sisters. Just tell them everything. Tell them what they need to know. Trust them, as you trust me, for our child. Please, Seaton.” Lorelei begs me and I can’t say no to her.
“How can I trust they want to actually help my sisters. That they aren’t like the rest. All magical creatures have wanted us dead over a lie. How can I trust they won’t do the same? Ronan and Leith can rescue them. They just need to...”
“Their parents were just killed. You saw it as did they. They can help. Together we can save them but you have to tell them, please,” Lorelei begs of me again and one look into her eyes has me losing my train of thought.
“I’ll trust you because I trust her. If she trusts you then I have no choice to do so as well so what do you need to know, to help me save my sisters?” I inquire towards them and once their questions flood in. I answer them all. Every one of them. Praying to the moon goddess, Atargatis, and the Ocean Blue that I’m doing the right thing. That they can actually help me save my sisters.
Once I answer everything and they meditate for the longest time they offer their support. Claiming to love my sisters. To actually help in getting them back. Not an ounce of wanting to kill us or pretense. They’re being sincere. Like she said. After even more endless hours of discussing possible ways to rescue them and find them they finally allow me to call on my both my sisters’ fiancés.
They deserve to know. They deserved that. They are the future Kings of the Sea. They are the Kings of the Sea by title but my sisters are already the queens by heart. They were chosen by the water to rule over them. They were our true queens. Even more powerful than Atargatis when she lived. They bore more power and magic than anyone else. And they were engaged to marry into the crown.
Ronan and Leith didn’t take long to arrive after I called. They showed with my mother. Undina and my mother’s boyfriend. Surprise they didn’t appear with more guards when they knew I needed them in werewolf territory. They showed.
“Seaton my sweet boy, you’re alright,” my mother cries as she runs and wraps her arms around me and I return it. I need her touch. Even if for a second, I want to believe it will all be okay. Be a child and believe she can really keep me safe from the monsters out there, that everything is alright. Even if it isn’t. I just need to believe it for a second and she has that comfort.
“You didn’t lose me. I’m okay,” I answer her as she silently sobs in my arms from the relief of me just being alive. I know he dragged her away so she wouldn’t get hurt. I know it. Kelvin pulled her into safety as I did Marilla when our father and brother were being killed.
“I thought I lost you,” she cries onto my shoulder and my heart breaks for her. She’ll be ruined when I tell her about Marilla. It’s her daughter after all. This is her daughter. Her daughters. One of the things holding her together.
“You didn’t but mom Ma...”
“Seaton,” Lorelei says entering the living room with the rest of our allies.
“What’s going on?” Kelvin inquires as to if it were any of his business. This is a family matter and he will never be family. Neither he nor Undina will be. They can’t replace what we lost.
“Where’s Leomaris,” Undina inquires while holding her now apparent belly. She’s soon due. Their son is weeks from gracing us with his presence. Something that harms my sister. Hurts her because she feels displaced as if they were replacing her mother and sister.
“He hasn’t moved,” Lorelei directs their attention to Leomaris who still hadn’t moved from the last place they were. Undina gasps from surprise, both her hands covering her mouth. My mother pulls away and follows everyone’s gaze. She knows him better than anyone. Only she can get through to him but she doesn’t know what they’ve both lose. He does.
“Mom, stop,” I hold onto her arm as she makes the movement to head towards Leomaris. She has to know. I can’t keep it from her.
“Sereia and Marilla gave themselves up to the hunters to save our lives,” I confess to her and she pales in a second before shaking her head desperately. She didn’t lose another son, instead, she was robbed of two daughters.
“No, it can’t be,” she declares desperately before yanking herself free from my grasp and running toward Leomaris. “Tell me they didn’t take our daughters! Leomaris! Tell me they’re safe! Tell me they aren’t with hunters! Tell me they aren’t dead!”
“The hunters got to them?” Leith inquires devastated while my mother sobs onto Leomaris. He loves Marilla. They have an odd type of love. But it isn’t the real love I have for Lorelei. It’s more like the first love type.
“They sensed the change in power and brought us here. They demanded for them and they relinquished themselves to save us. To save my unborn child and fiancé. They went with them. They wanted them alive, they left here alive,” I answer him while side-eyeing the vampire.
My sister’s forever love and her fiancé in the same room. My eyes then shift to Ronan and the Werewolf King. Sereia’s mate and fiancé. All in one room. All wanting them back. My eyes follow to Lorelei’s family who looks confused and lost by us. The witches, the rest of the werewolf’s king’s family, the vampires. All of them. And I can’t tell if any one of them is working for the hunters. I can’t. My sisters could. They were powerful. They ARE powerful.
“We need to find them, the wedding is...” Ronan trails off lost in thought with an air of serenity and coldness in his eyes. Not because he doesn’t care for Sereia but rather because merfolk can be cold and maintain a clear head in times like this.
“I know but there’s something you should both know as to why we’re receiving their help,” I declare after opting for the same thing. My sisters need me. I have to. I... I...
“What? Does it involve my life for hers? Because if that’s the case, I’ll give it,” Leith declares and I shake my head.
“Then what the hell is it?” Ronan demands.
“When we rescue my sisters there will only be one wedding, if there is a wedding to go to,” I say after a deep breath.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Ronan inquires downright furious.
“Marilla mated to the vampire right there and the werewolf king happens to be Sereia’s mate. Sereia hasn’t accepted or rejected him but she’s been here for the last few months living here with him,” I inform them as I gesture them to both of the men that bear a piece of my sisters.
“That’s a lie! Marilla would never...” Leith begins to exclaim but Lorelei interrupts him by assuring him it’s the truth. “NO! YOU’RE LYING,” he snaps at Lorelei and I jump to my fiancé’s defense. I love her and she’s having my child. I’ll protect her from him.
“I will not allow you to snap at her for assuring you the truth. Marilla accepted him as her forever mate. She accepted him. They mated. She can’t marry you because she belongs to him. The mating bond binds them,” I warn Leith, and his eyes turn to Ascelin Horatio Vernon. Fury and anger dancing in unison and downright murderous when they lock with the vampire who claimed my sister. Without warning, he attacks the vampire and both engage in a fight.
“Stop this isn’t the way to help my sisters!” I yell at them while attempting to grab hold of one of them but they’re too engaged in their own fight. Too immersed in claiming my sister when she could be dying. This doesn’t help either of them but still, here they are.
“Stop, let go of each other,” a wolf with dirty blonde hair and honey eyes demands of them and actually interferes. Steps between them both and with the help of the werewolf king actually manage to separate them.
“This isn’t the way!” Fight later first let’s actually find her or you might as well be fighting over a dead person!” She demands of them both while holding Leith away from Ascelin. Strong woman. Destined to become a queen somewhere, doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.
“We all want to find them and rescue them. This may not be ideal for everyone but in the end, we all care for them and will find them. If we work together. We can’t fight like this. If you do, you might as well be killing them both! Is that what you want?” Lorelei declares and is met with silence. “Get over yourselves or leave. This isn’t about any of you! It’s about saving Marilla and Sereia before they’re killed!”
“Leith I get it you’re pissed but my sister is still with the hunters. They both are. And I care about rescuing so unless you can keep yourself from the way to save my sister go back to the ocean where you’re safe. Right now she’s at the mercy of the people that killed your sister and I’m not about to let them kill mine. I won’t let them stay like that. To lose another child!”
I gesture towards my mother and Leomaris who are both in tears unable to move staring at the floor. She joined him just like I knew she would. She’s evading. I knew this would ruin her and it hurts to know I was right. I’ll lose them both if we can’t find my sisters. If they end up dead. I won’t survive it and neither will them. They need to set their problems aside or get the hell out of my way because I’m bringing them back. I can only hope they don’t die before I get to them.