Marilla Hali Conway
His eyes lost that twinkle I had always adored. He shut down. His features hardened. His lips pursed into a fine line as Ascelin spun me around overjoyed with my pregnancy. I saw Leith break through his eyes. We had been together for the longest time. Reading him wasn’t difficult for me. His eyes were always a gateway to his emotions. They never lied.
My heart broke for him. I was overjoyed. I was going to be a mother. I had a passionate love that transpired species and knew no boundaries. It didn’t matter how much Ascelin was hurting me with his silence right now. He was still my forever love and sooner or later we would find our way back to each other once again. We’re bound for all eternity. Whether it be in life or death there was no separate ways for us.
I hate that I broke Leith’s heart when he deserved the world. He was there when I broke down. When I lost, or rather thought, my father and younger brother. He helped me stay strong. He and Sereia were the only two people to know me best. I had grown extremely close to the two, and now I was the one that broke him.
My eyes stray to my family and my heart clenches with guilt at what he has lost. A sister, I’ve dreamt over a thousand ways to kill her. A father and mother that were truly murdered by hunters. The woman he was promised to marry.
I give him an apologetic gaze, but he shakes his head slightly and walks away. Not a word to be said. I see a wolf walk out after him, but it pains me to see him like this. He deserves an explanation for my behavior at the very least. I pull away from Ascelin and mutter a quick apology before running after Leith. I find him speaking to the wolf and approach with caution.
“Leith,” I call out to him, but he refuses to meet my eyes or even acknowledge my presence. His refusal to turn my way confirms such thoughts. “Can we talk, please? Let me explain,” I plead to him.
“I’ll let you two speak,” the wolf says and walks away.
“I rather not talk Marilla. You bonded to a vampire. You bear his claim on your neck. You’re expecting his child. There is nothing to explain. You played me and the merfolk all along. That’s the story so, I rather you leave me alone and quit turning me into an even greater fool!” He complains to me and I shake my head dismayed that such thoughts could cross his mind. I know he’s hurt but to think so low of me. My heart breaks.
“But I do! Things didn’t happen as you so vulgarly paint them. You don’t know a thing so let me put them in perspective for you. I thought Sereia was dead. I didn’t want to betray you, but I thought my soulmate was dead,” I voice out.
“Please she’s right in there with her dog,” Leith speaks in a horrible manner and infuriated I go off on him explaining the real truth. How Sereia and I were taken, to the point where I thought I felt her die only for it to be one of the infinite tortures she endured. The pain I felt to know she was gone and how finding Ascelin as my forever love helped me keep strong. Me resisting him for as long as I could while hurting him in the process till I broke.
I told him everything. If he was going to hate me for my life choices, then it would be because of the real ones I made not some illusion he built inside his head. He could hate me for what really happened not that. It broke me that I broke him but it broke me further to believe Sereia dead. She’s my soulmate. My swim or drown. My forever.
I’m sorry I hurt him, but I’m not sorry for my choices. At the time I thought them best and regretting them wouldn’t solve anything. Without them I wouldn’t have my child and the merfolk wouldn’t be freed. That was not the case.
“I’m sorry I hurt you and broke your heart, but I’m not sorry for the decisions I made at the present time. I did what was best and I’m sorry that they are now affecting you, but they were the right choices. Me and you were great but nothing compared to what exists between Ascelin and me. With him, I found an unbindable and passionate love like those told by others. In him, I found something more. Someone that opens me to see the world from different perspectives. Someone who won’t always agree with me, but will always love me as if I were the only woman in existence. A love like the one my parents experienced. I found that with him and not you. A love that you deserve to find as well one day. Marrying each other would have been a mistake and deep down I know you know it..”
I convey in a single breath. Touch his shoulder gently before walking away from him, and back to Ascelin. My forever love. The father of my child. But he and I also needed to clear some things out for us to truly work. Be completely transparent with each other about who we were and our pasts. No secrets or lies.
I want him to know me just as well as Sereia does. I want him to complete me and to be able to blindly fall into his arms without a second doubt. I deserve an honest and truthful forever love. His secrets would only ruin us, and if he wasn’t capable of opening up to me about everything, then I would walk away. I need to know that if I hurt Sereia it was for something rather than nothing. I rather not weigh that over my shoulders for the rest of my existence.
Ascelin greets me with a smile and along with the rest of our people and family, we cheer. We’re going to be parents. We created a life out of our love for each other. A journey I would share with Sereia. It was everything to me.
Alone in the confinements of our bedroom in his home, which I hoped would become mine, we are surrounded by silence. I breathe in and out, gaining the courage I need to face him and brace myself for the worst. I gaze into his eyes as I quit pacing to remark my words.
“Ascelin, I love you. I love you as much as I do my soulmate. I want us to work out. We have a child on the way, but that can’t be if you’re not honest with me. I will be so with you and expect the same courtesy. I will tell you everything there is to know about me and my past and expect you to do the same. That means every aspect of yourself including the darkness there could be within you.”
“Marilla it isn’t...”
“Either you tell me or I leave you and raise our child without you. If you cannot be honest with me, I will leave you and will not come back to you until you’re ready to tell me the truth. The whole and honest truth. So, it’s your choice,” I warn.
“No, I rather tell you everything than lose you. I just hope I don’t lose you when I do,” he conveys determined and sad.
“Why would you?”
“There was a time I was a monster and it was the very reason you resisted so long to our bond,” he confesses.
“I didn’t do so because of that. I did so because of what Sereia would think. I did so because I judged vampires as if they were all the same as the ones that took my brother and dad away. But I rather go first so, you don’t feel threatened,” I say.
I take a deep breath and convey my entire life story to him. Every misstep and mistake I’ve made. Every choice and the actions that came with it. About my growing up, to discovering what I was to living in the sea and growing to love it and myself. To Leith and everything else. I made sure not to leave anything out, Not even the dark thoughts or acts committed.
I awaited anxiously for him to commence and although it took him a while to do so he did the same. Telling me about the two thousand and forty-eight years he’s been alive. He told me everything as I did with him. Between our talking and reconciling with one another two days had passed. I knew we would be truly okay.
Sereia Marinda Hanon
Roul and I spent the day and night getting reacquainted with one another as mates. I allowed Ethelwulf to meet and play with Ziva. Something they truly both adored. Roul and I spoke whenever we weren’t busy devouring each other. Getting to know each other as best as possible. Summing as much as one could about ourselves in a few words.
Both overjoyed with the thought of a child. Our child coming to this world. Both of us speaking to it. Him placing multiple kisses there from both our parts while I could only touch it with my hands. Him contemplating his feelings and confessing his love for me. And I to him.
We spent the whole time free of clothing with nothing but white silk sheets to every once in a while cover our bodies. While we propelled ourselves over our hands and spoke in long talks to discover how much in common we shared.
“Sereia,” Roul speaks once more as he stands up from the bed and heads towards the dresser in his room. I hum to let him know I’m listening. “I know it may seem too soon to you, but to wolves finding their mate is fast as they know they will spend the rest of their lives loving each other. Which is in my case. I already know I love you and can’t see myself without you...”
“I know, I do too,” I interrupt to answer him. Such a long love declaration is not necessary. We’ve spent hours speaking about it.
“My mermaid, please let me finish,” he says coming back to bed with a blue velvet square case. It has the royal crest of his family on it and looks extremely soft not to mention well kept. “I wish for us to become official, and I don’t just mean me marking you. No, I would love for you to become my wife officially before everyone,” he finishes off as he gets onto one knee and opens the velvet box.
I gasp in surprise. I sit up immediately looking at him awestruck. Inside the velvet box is the necklace given to Murel by Lycaon Wolfram. Roul’s grandfather.
“It’s been passed onto my family for the woman who claims our heart. Our one true love. I know your mine and I want to mark you on a special day as you deserve. What better would it be than our wedding. I was also going to get you a ring but seeing as necklaces have a symbolic meaning to you, I opted not to,” he adds.
“I accept as long as my family gives us their blessing. I can’t do so without them,” I answer him nodding with excitement and tears. He places the necklace on me while removing the clone I made of the one gifted to me by Ronan. A necklace that now belongs to my sister.
The very next day we call my entire family down to get approval on my union. I’m left overjoyed as they all grant us their blessing after interrogating Roul down to the bone. Yet he passes their test and pleases them all. Now it’s only Marilla left.
We venture out to vampire territory to visit her and Ascelin. I need my best friend there. We find them enjoying brunch with one another in the terrae of their home with an ample smile on their lips. Marilla notices our presence instantly and is quick to dive into my arms.
“Soulmate!” We call out as we hug as tight as possible.
“What are you doing here? I thought for sure... No way!” She exclaims cheerfully as her eyes and on my necklace. “Does our family know?” I’m quick to nod.
“They’ve granted us their blessing, and I came for yours. If I don’t have it there will be no union. No marking or mating or marriage. You have the final say as always,” I convey to her and she smiles.
“Of course you have my approval you fool! Roul if you break my soulmate’s heart I promise you I will drown all your wolves,” Marilla warns him.
“I don’t think I comprehend,” Ascelin voices. “What am I missing?”
“Sereia and Roul are engaged, love. Can’t you see the necklace on her chest?” Marilla questions him with a smile.
“Wonderful seems Roul beat me to proposing marriage,” Ascelin voices and we stare at him confused. He pulls out a small velvet box. Marilla looks at him surprised but I can see she doesn’t want to break his heart. Mermaids don’t wear engagement or marriage rings. They tend to get lost when swimming. It’s why we prefer a necklace instead. That and so it’s easier to see who is still single.
“Ascelin, we don’t wear rings. Not to signify we belong to another. We show that with our necklace. It’s the only way,” I interrupt his spontaneous proposal.
“Oh trust me I’ve noticed. I had gotten the ring first but ended up getting the necklace while you were held captive,” he says opening the box to reveal just that. A necklace and a ring. “Now this was meant to be more romantic and all but I can’t think of a more better way to do this with your soulmate here. So, my pearl what do you say? Want to be my wife as well?”
“Yes! Goddess yes! I love you,” she exclaims jumping into his arms and I chuckle slightly.
“Ok so seeing as we’re both engaged, pregnant, and in love. You know what this calls for?” I question a few moments later and Marilla nods with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Double wedding!” We scream in unison and proceed to squeal excited over our future shared nuptials.
“Of course only after you receive my family’s approval,” Marilla is quick to add.
“I did so already,” Ascelin surprises us.
“You know to be mates and forever loves, let me tell you both your proposals sucked but still they were perfect in a way,” I voice out honestly.
“Is that so my mermaid?”
“Very so, but with the freeing of the merfolk and all a romantic proposal would be too much,” I answer Roul who chuckles at my response.
“Perfect so it’s settled, we’ll have a joint wedding,” Ascelin announces as he places Marilla her necklace on. Necklace that consisted of a circle with a mermaid within and a small pearl hanging right above the center part of her body. His pearl. the circle to represent the moon goddess role in them being together and helping us throughout all.
“We shall, but I don’t want to wait. I rather have it done in three days’ time,” Marilla declares and I smile agreeing with her.
“Three days? My pearl we need at least a week to prepare the huge wedding you deserve,” Ascelin tries persuading her but in unison, we shake our heads.
“Three days and that is plenty. We’ll sleep separately to make our wedding night much more passionate. Marilla and I shall stay in the Ocean Blue while you sleep each in your castle. And it shall have merfolk customs as well so make it a triple ceremony,” I add.
“Three days or no marriage,” I place an ultimatum.
“Three days it is then,” Roul quickly agrees to my demand.
“Thank you. I rather be married to you before I have to go help place order across the merfolk world. Not to mention help my sister. We may not be the Queens of the Ocean Blue but we are the true queens of the Water. As such we have obligations to ensure the safety of the merfolk,” I inform them both.
“We would have said something sooner but we didn’t want to burst the bubble,” Marilla adds as they look at us angrily and dumbfounded.
“Something you should have mentioned sooner my pearl but know I will support you through it all. I understand you have an obligation to your people,” Ascelin responds understanding.
“Thank you, I really needed to hear that,” Marilla answers him.
“So, three days my love?” I question Roul and he nods.
“I rather the mermen know you are mine,” he answers with a low growl and I laugh.
“I’ll always be yours. You and Marilla are always and shall always be two of my greatest loves. I don’t think I would survive without either of you. So, please always live,” I convey to them both.
“Always and forever,” Marilla answers.
“For you my mermaid anything. And know I will imprint the necklace onto my skin the day we wed. Everyone shall know I belong to you,” he adds and I dive into his arms and kiss him.
“Ascelin would you?” Marilla inquires.
“Of course my dear although I plan on wearing a necklace similar to yours as well. Tattoo your name onto my heart so no one can mistake it or claim me as theirs,” Ascelin answers her and she lets a few tears of joy escape her eyes before uniting their lips together to seal promises as I was with Roul. We got our fairytale and our water love. It was coming true.