The Mermaid That's Sweetest

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21] A Lie

21] A Lie

The cave becomes a well of water and I transform to swim through the tunnel. On the other end, it opens into an open cavern, slightly higher than the sea, with a large shallow rock pool and still water. I turn to my mortal form and scurry across the rocks, taking in the large cavern that over looked the ocean. This would be on the other side of the castle, under another side of the cliff. A second bay.

However, I can’t stop staring at this huge space, which looked… more than a natural formation.

Carved into the black stones in the ceiling, were seven Coral Mermaids. The rock was carved to perfection on the tails, every detail was showing for each scale. That wasn’t all. The back of the cavern had some sort of circular meeting table made from stone.

The whole area seemed important.

I step into the shallow rock pool, which was filled with shimmering objects. I inspect what I first believe to be shells, until I realise they are something else entirely, just buried under some sand.

I lean down and pick up the shimmering scale, black… from an Erebos.

I gulp down my emotions about Eros’ betrayal and it’s hard, but I somehow manage to keep it in, while my vision and mind is momentarily distracted by this new place.

“…so… strange…” I whisper to myself, feeling a slight pulse of heat through under my feet, sending vibrating movements to my spine.

Was there magma underneath these rocks?

I hold the Erebos scale in my palm, clenching it so tight it digs into my skin.

Eros… was here.

I could feel him staring.

I look to where I swam out of the tunnel, and I see a pair of ocean blue eyes and a smug smile. He’s slowly rising from the water in his predatory way.

I am speechless from a rush of too many violent, rage filled thoughts at once, so I simply turn and gaze out to the ocean.

I try to control my emotions, to stay calm, but I see yet another pair of eyes.

Violet eyes. Irsa is standing at the other end of the cavern, far out near the rocks, she’s a small size, but she leans against the jutting cliff and watches me intently while running her hand through her knotted hair.

Even from here, I can see her smile, similar to Eros’ smile.

“I trust you know I’m not a virgin now, sweet Lily,” Eros walks out of the water, drawling arrogantly to himself. He approaches from my side with no regret, no shame, no concept of betrayal, “Your silence… it’s strange for you, half-wit.”

“Don’t,” I turn to Eros because he’s half way to me across the cavern floor, “Do not. Come. Any. Closer.”

Eros halts and crosses his arms over his chest.

“Angry, sweet–?”

“You betrayed me, Eros!” I yell it and my voice echoes, “I’m your mate! Not her!”

“Until we mate, no… you’re not,” Eros snarls to match my volume competitively, breaking his composure for a second, “What are you going to do, run away? I’ll chain you to your tank and fuck her against the glass if I want to. Until you open to me, Lily, I will do what I like.”

Eros waits for me to scream back, but this time I look away. I lock eyes with Irsa and pure rage flows through every damn inch of me. I was tired of being treated like I was worthless by everyone that thought they could walk over me.

Eros approaches again now, despite my warning. He jumps into the rock pool, now standing before me, looking me over with spite.

“…pathetic…” Eros whispers in his classic rasp, “You think your silence will delay your submission to the truth… to your reality?”

“What is this place?” I try to change subjects.

Eros reaches out a hand towards my hair, aiming to grab a piece. I jump back and hold up my hand, feeling that pulse getting hotter and stronger through my feet.

“Some old ruins,” Eros shrugs, growling impatiently as his ocean blue eyes, lazily glare at me… focusing in on my tense expression, “What kind of insult are you thinking up now, Lily?”

Oh, that was rich, coming from him. The King of Insults.

However, instead of responding like usual, my stomach twists and a new thought occurs to me. Eros had no idea what he was talking about.

“You don’t know anything about me,” I whisper, gritting my teeth, a deeper meaning behind my words.

Even I didn’t know me.

The true me.

I couldn’t find it out in the orphanage, even now with Eros.

It was a journey of self-discovery that would help me find my real identify. Ironically, this was one of the first places I had found, on my own.

“I know you’re a half wit, Lily –”

“Leave!” I crack, turning and screaming it right in Eros’ face, “Leave me!” I repeat it, ruthlessly.

Eros stops looking so damn relaxed.

His eyes process my reaction, my face, my open palms. I’m starting to feel more of that heat… now all through me. My blood is flowing rough through my viens.

“You think I’ll let my sweetest blood bag go?” Eros rasps, quietly pronouncing each word, he’s ready to strike, his muscles coiling, “You think you can tell me what to do? You want me to leave?” he chokes on that word, almost sounding hurt, before he adds in a snarl, “You pathetic little flipper… I will not separate myself from you!”

As he starts to boil over, my gaze focuses on that smug siren; Irsa.

And then I look behind her.

Some part of me isn’t shocked when I see a wave growing in height, heading straight for her. Because it’s then that I realise the pulsing through my legs wasn’t heat energy.

It was magic.

And all of a sudden, I was feeling both confident and powerful.

“I know one thing, Eros,” I whisper, without looking at him, my eyes are focused on that huge silent wall of water, “I won’t be disregarded as your mate by anyone in your Clan. Ever again.”

When it collided with Irsa… it’d smack her into the cliff and kill her instantly.

Eros turns to follow my gaze, first smirking when he spots Irsa – and then losing said smirk when he sees what’s coming behind her.

The wave closes in on its last few seconds.

Irsa is oblivious.

Eros turns to me, his pale face, draining of even more colour.

“Is it you doing that, Lily?” he asks in a panic.

“…yes,” I nod, still focused on Irsa, “I’m balancing the scales, Eros.”

“Lily, you’ll kill her,” Eros grabs my arm and he lets me go when the pulse from the floor, shoots through my elbow and hits his palm. He jerks back, the skin on his palm is red with welts. Burns. He watches me in shock.

“I’ll kill her? So? I’m sending a message,” I instinctively raise my hand and the water speeds up.

Crash. Boom.

Eros watches frantically as the water engulfs one of his own. The large wave completely washes her away.

We hear the resounding crash of the ocean, echoing off the walls and I lower my hands, still feeling the power rush through me.

Eros stares at a distinct splatter of blood on the cliff wall.

“Fuck. Not a Darv…” Eros turns to me, his eyes wide, and fearful, “…those were raging waters. You controlled the Rough, Lily. Only I can. You? Impossible… how…”

“Stop,” I turn to him, my tone is clipped, “Go fight your war. I’m done speaking with you. We’re over. Mateship or not. Just. Leave.”

Eros looks me over.

His lip curls but he stumbles back.

He considers staying but he caves.

I watch as Eros turns and dives into the water from whence he came.

He’s gone.

I fall to my knees in the water of the rock pool when he’s out of sight and my eyes travel to the dripping, glistening blood on that cliff wall in the near distance.

What the hell had I done?

First a whirl pool that killed my best friend.

Now Irsa was dead too.

Easily.

I had barely done a thing both times.

Who the hell was I, really? Where was I?

Why did everything feel like a lie?

Only two times in my life I felt real truth.

And both times I experienced death.

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