The Mermaid That's Sweetest

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10] A Dream Come True

10] A Dream Come True

The run from the Ezili Castle is excruciatingly exhausting. After no sleep and so much action all day and all night, I was near done. But I needed to see if this was the actual dream, the reoccurring meeting between Eros and I that held so much significance.

Eros was already at the village by now. I knew I was too late to stop him from his revenge, half way through my trek towards the village. I see the sky being darkened by smoke.

He had chosen to swim while I, still, could only use my legs and not my tail. I didn’t even know what my tail looked like, it had been too long.

While Eros would have made the swim towards the village in seconds, it takes me a lot longer even while I run in intervals.

I’m only half way when I decide to stumble towards the nearest ocean shore, utterly exhausted.

I walk out on the sand and I can see the fire of the village behind me even though it’s far away.

I’m too exhausted to go any further, but I know he’ll find me from the smell of my blood.

I fall to my knees in the sand and I gaze at the water of the ocean.

I was nowhere near the village, the Orphanage for the Darvs… nowhere near any Clan castles.

I was just in the middle of the Island, sure I was about to pass out.

I stare at the orange hues, getting stronger as they spread across the navy blue sky. The sun was rising so slowly.

My eyes are half hooded as I stare at the ocean, it’s calm… despite it being the Rough Season.

That just meant the calm was unnatural.

Magic.

I blink slowly, wondering if I’ll face plant into the sand if I pass out kneeling like this.

I was so weak, even as a Mermaid. I was just this pathetic little thing who had legs for an entire decade. I got sea sick on a boat and now I was going to pass out on a beach because I couldn’t make the rest of the run.

My legs are jelly, like they aren’t even mine. Everything is numb.

Some strange part of me, moves my body in that moment. I stand up and I take one step to the ocean. I close my eyes and take another step and I stop.

I hear the fire distantly still burning behind me. I open my eyes and the sea is still calm. So… strange. I do not look behind me but I hear the confident footsteps as they melt through the sand.

I hold out one leg, I hover it and slowly dip my toe into wet sand as a tiny wave washes over.

A mini river… a trickle… a soft kiss.

I smile, feeling delirious – until I almost die at the arms that wrap around my entire body… in a… in a…

A tight, all consuming, rib crushing hug.

I feel icy hot strength all along my back as my spine feels weightless. I am being supported by his arms, wrapped around my elbows, along my stomach… his face is nestled in the back of my hair, breathing in ragged snarling breaths.

I don’t say anything as Eros holds me and for the first time in a long time, I relax all of me. I loosen my shoulders and I let him hold me, even though I’m not entirely sure if he was about to harm me in some way.

“…it’s done…” he snarls it quietly, “I slaughtered the remaining Overseers of the Coral Clans. I used the swords and left them there… as bloody gifts… as omens,” he takes his nose from the strands of darkest green on my head as his hands slide down to my elbows, “Now tell me, Lily… what made you so afraid of the water ten years ago?”

I can’t think much in my state.

It’s easier to just tell him the truth.

“When I was a child, my best friend got caught in a whirlpool and instead of trying to save her I let her drown in front of me,” I whisper it while watching the rocking sea… every sway is more intense than the other, like a lullaby, “The ocean is… deadly, Eros. I hate it.”

Eros says nothing.

For a while, he stills behind me and I think he’s fallen asleep standing.

Or maybe I just wished I was asleep.

Then, after some time, I feel his face inching forward towards my right cheek. He slowly edges down, so slow he could be a perfect wave creeping forward at its slowest pace… so slow yet so utterly unstoppable at the same time. Until it reaches its end.

That’s when I feel sharp pointed teeth graze at my vulnerable neck – and my whole heart jolts so hard, my entire body moves next.

I try to jerk away and Eros yanks me back into his front, raising his head. He chuckles in broken snarling blocks of humour… while he thinks… and my pulse soars. I know my neck must look like the perfect morning snack right about now.

I turn my head slowly to look at Eros and he quickly raises one hand to grab my chin and force my head forward, towards the water again, “No,” he whispers it quietly and I take note that he doesn’t lower his head down to my neck again.

But he does kick a foot forward. I’m confused as my weak, jelly leg lifts and my foot lands on his larger one. He does it with his other leg, kicking it under my remaining foot.

I’m entranced by how cold and hot his skin feels all at once, like he can change into his tail at any whim, at any time, without any effort or draining of power. It was easy. Natural. Powerful.

But then his hands tighten on my elbows. And he takes a slow, slow step… forward.

And then another slow, slow step… towards the growing waves.

I catch my breath as water creeps in fast and hits my ankles.

Eros doesn’t stop walking forward and my spine curls in rejection as I try to bend back into him… but he refuses to let me turn into him. He holds me too tight.

“…no… no… no…” I whisper, too tired to think of another complaint worthy of expressing my absolute terror of what was happening.

Eros doesn’t say a word but he stops walking until I stop speaking.

And then he takes more steps, pausing anytime I choose to breathe out a pointless complaint.

I can’t keep it up forever, I start to feel dizzy so I just focus on my breathing.

Eventually the water touches my knees and my small whimpers have turned into complete silence as I see the water… changing once more. For the absolute worst case scenario.

Our feet fall only to touch dry sand s the water whirls ahead. It catches my attention as an almost innocent dance in the water. A magic act at its finest.

Eros barely breathes as he does it for me. Distracting me. At least that’s what I thought it was, a distraction.

But then the water starts to gush loudly. Turning into a violent swirling mass in front of us, so quickly.

A huge whirlpool comes to life.

Big enough to kill.

The seas are turning Rough at his command.

“Please, Eros,” my throat closes after those two words fall past my lips and Eros say nothing as he walks me forward. Quicker. I’m in a state of shock, I can say nothing as the water opens up and Eros somehow continues to walk us forward upon dry sand… as he enters the arena of water around us.

Suddenly, we are trapped in the middle of the whirlpool at the very bottom.

The water spins high in a created space that appears to be my greatest nightmare. His arms finally release around me and allow me to step in front of him while the water spins violently around us.

I turn toward Eros and see him watching me… with a slightly warm expression.

Not at me.

At himself.

He was pleased with himself.

“I believe you, Lily,” Eros growls as his eyes trail down my brown shift of a dress and he shakes his head, “Now, take that rubbish off your porcelain skin.”

“Why?” I whisper.

“You made a mistake as a child. I don’t want you scared of the innocent water… and I want… and I will… see your tail,” Eros grins now, hissing the last part of his desire, his teeth and fangs show as he leans forward, genuinely seeming to drown in my expression of fear, enjoying it as he adds, “I will help you swim again, Lily. I will watch your every movement in the water. Are you ready?” A small tilt to his head shows his utter excitement.

I look at the whirlpool walls around us and I close my eyes, trying to gather confidence.

Now that the shock was passing… anxiety at the thought of the water drowning us was terrifying me.

Confidence. Bravery. Where was it inside me?

I try to reach for the bottom of my shift, but as my fingers brush the edge of it… I find my feet taking me forward.

I quickly press myself into Ero’s large front and I hide my head in his chest.

“Don’t let me go,” I whisper it, “When you do it, please.”

I’m too afraid he’ll laugh if I look up, so I just hide my face in his icey hot skin.

Eros says nothing as he grabs the bottom of my shift for me and pulls it up. I lift my arms so he can take it off and I grab the bottom of my cloth around my private area and I kick it off while keeping my forehead to his chest.

He seems to enjoy that too.

I don’t know why, but I feel he also enjoys me leaning on him even while I’m naturally scared of him.

As I kick the cloth to the sand floor, Eros slowly presses a hand to my chest… in the valley between my breasts… he pushes me back.

I look up quickly and take in his focused expression, “I have to do this,” he explains, “You must learn.”

“Learn what?” I ask as I stumble back two more steps, digging my heels into the sand even as he extends his arm to keep me at least an arm’s length from his front.

I see Eros tilt his head, watching me as if he’s remembering the details of my face in this moment.

“Oh, little Mermaid…” he whispers, “You’re going to hate me and thank me for this.”

He doesn’t let the water rush back in.

Eros steps forward and shoves me back into the whirling Rough of the water so I get swept away violently into the storming current.

It’s my worst nightmare – and he flipping shoves me into it.

Even with a tail and perfect skills, it’s the kind of scenario in the ocean that will kill you.

Unless someone helps you out.

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