The Mermaid That's Sweetest

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12] A Morning Tea

12] A Morning Tea

I wake up with my cheek pressed against glass, my wrists heavy and slow as my eyes blink through clear water and come face to face with a scratched glass front… a tank.

I’m in a tank?!

Eros.

Ezili Castle.

Eros took my blood and then brought me back here, all while I was in a delirious state of exhaustion; I assume from the start of dawn today.

I look up and see the top of the tank is open, but I’d never make it out with the chains locked around my wrists.

My tail is stretched out and curled slightly but the brilliant dark green scales shimmer in the early evening setting sunlight. My tank is near a window set high in the black stone walls.

I haven’t moved to test the chains immediately, because even though I feel I have strength after sleeping briefly… I am not alone down here.

I am in some kind of dungeon level of the Ezili Castle, with black sculpted walls depicting Mermaids in chains for the Erebos who used to rule here. The place is empty except for my large tank and tiled mirrored floors. They were black but so perfectly polished like river pebbles.

Upon the middle of the tiles was a little metal table, small round top with a tea pot and a tea cup on a saucer. With a fancy coating of shiny metallic silver. One chair is next to this set up, with a man… my mate… dressed in fancy suit pants and a white open shirt, his neck hanging back so his glossy black waves of hair float in the air almost as perfectly as when he’s in the water.

He studies the ceiling, his legs spread out, his arms either side of him, hanging to the floor as he seems utterly bored. Or consumed in memories. I wasn’t sure yet how to read Eros’ nature. He was awfully unpredictable.

Eros starts humming a tune then, clearly a fan of singing. It’s a dark lullaby and I can only imagine what kind of things went through his head when he was such an easy murderer of my kind; Coral Mermaids. I still couldn’t get the image of that Merka’s head rolling with a wave to Eros’ side in the small bay, only for him to chuck it out to sea like a ball in a game.

I couldn’t stay still forever. Our interaction was inevitable. I slowly lift my head off the glass and pull on the chains. I tug on them a few times and I know quickly it will be pointless trying to break them. So, I finally swim to the front of the tank and press my hands on the glass.

Eros is still humming a tune to himself and I can hear him because my Mermaid ears could hear speech travel from air through liquid. He is taking his time turning his head towards my location and my movements, “…Lily… my sweetest…” he rasps out my name, with a slight tilt to his lips, “I thought you would enjoy some company this twilight,” he turns his head towards the tea and sits forward now, shaking out hands and his cuffs, to pour himself some steaming tea. I narrow my eyes when I see that it flows out as a steaming crimson stream… I don’t want to know whose blood that is.

Eros picks up the tea cup and smells it, nostrils flaring, eyes closing in ecstasy as he takes a small sip.

“Delicious,” Eros opens one eye and raises a brow at me as he looks at me briefly before slowly placing his tea cup down onto the saucer, “…a delicacy beheld in such a fragile, timid tea cup… Coral Mermaids are like this Lily, so beautiful and tasty and mmm…” he picks up the delicate tea pot, inspecting it briefly before throwing it spontaneously at the wall, laughing when it shatters, “That there… that’s how easy I can destroy the confidence of a Coral army when my own army of Erebos come to take back what is ours. The Belle Island… submissive to Erebos… and punished for their crimes,” he looks at me now, excited, “What do you think about that, Lily?”

I can’t talk from inside my tank so I just pound one fist against the glass.

Eros pauses, as if shocked he just remembered I’m stuck in a tank and can’t communicate from within.

“You want to speak?” Eros jumps to his feet and waltzes forward, a concerned look in his eye as he squats before the glass and I swim back a bit, to put needless distance between us. Eros lays a large veiny palm on the glass and he just watches me with wide eyes, “Lily, I can’t let you out,” he shakes his head, “No. You must accept servitude first and foremost. You must agree to stay quiet… compliant… open to my… hunger,” he’s snarled response is deeper cut on that last desire, “I can’t have you betray me, Lily. I can’t risk it. This is why we must come to an agreement. You will obey me at all times…” he waits, in a long pause, hoping for a response, “Lily, that is the agreement… is there a problem?”

That was not an agreement at all.

Gosh, he was simple minded.

I have wide eyes this entire time, but to simply test out his reaction… I just nod an ‘agreement’.

Eros leans forward even further now, whispering, “Lying, Lily? I can’t stand liars, even pretty little half-wits. Do you want me to show you around to the sleeping quarters… since you prefer your petite legs… over your… tail…” he gulps and looks at the darkest green length now. He’s entranced by the look of it as he jumps up and backs up a few steps. I see switches in the ground and he hovers one foot over a single switch, “I will observe your honour to our agreement,” he presses his black boot down and my chains unclasp from around my wrists.

I test swimming to the top and I only hesitate before my head reaches the surface. I glance down… to see Eros waiting for me eagerly, licking his lips… his eyes focused solely upon my neck. He’s ravenous and he’s hunting me down, even now.

I sink back to the bottom and he broadly smirks.

“…smarter than you look…” Eros walks back to the tank and presses his palms back to the glass while watching me, “I wouldn’t want to jump in there with you, my tail wouldn’t fit… you could possibly have me in chains with a few right manoeuvres. The irony… that you’re safe in there… until you decide to come out when you’re comfortable.”

I shake my head, denying that I’ll exit while he’s looking at my neck, licking a sharp, thick fang.

Eros doesn’t say anything as he watches me swim from left… to right… slowly… I’m pacing my tank, while keeping my eyes on him. All he can do is watch me with intense hunger.

“Don’t make me wait for so long that I do more damage than necessary,” Eros warns, “I will be waiting for you,” he backs off, only pausing long enough to add, “I will not leave clothes, I want you naked in my castle, Lily. If I can’t see your tail, I want to see your porcelain skin. I can sink my teeth into other areas… besides your neck…” his eyes promptly land on my thighs, “See you around… you sweet… sweetest… slave,” he turns fully and stalks out, murmuring further ideas to himself.

Eros genuinely seems immersed in ideas that should keep him busy.

I wait for him to go and I sink to the bottom of the tank once more.

I could leave the tank anytime I wanted.

But… when I did, his ‘agreement’ and my ‘honour’ would be the first thing on his mind.

You’d think with an agreement there were two sides satisfied with the final outcome.

In his book, it was only his side and his desires that mattered.

Eros was top of the marine food chain.

Shark. He really was a mindless butcher… hungry all the time… but the other more complex side, such as his singing… I wander if it’s a part of his insanity… or if he had a soul in there – somewhere buried deep inside.

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