The Mermaid That's Sweetest

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32] A Dawn to Cry

32] A Dawn to Cry

Eros’ POV

Lily dearest is sleeping. And I… I hold my pendants in my palm. Very special, powerful little heirlooms. To communicate to the dead. Drift Pendants from my family.

It was time to harness their call. I could not wait any longer.

“Diana,” I whisper, cutting my palm with my sharpest, thickest fang, bleeding into the wood before dropping the two pendants in the water of the rock pool.

I watch as the pendants float, encased in my black-red blood, ever so slowly sinking to the sandy bottom.

I lay my head back. And I float up and out of my body.

I can’t tell when the transition begins and ends, so I am not entirely sure of the fact I am now dreaming.

I stand beside the rock pool and the whole entirety of the Ruins remain as dank as they are dark and full of shadows. The shadows themselves move and the wind sings with beauty and spirits.

And then… I see a perfect replication, of my memory, she steps from the shadows, forming, into beauty incarnate.

My mother, Diana, of inky back hair and ocean bluest eyes.

She steps forward and stands tall before me, calm and focused on I.

“Eros,” she nods at me, “You called on me.”

She is so calm.

I open my mouth, then lick my lips. I did not want to disgrace myself in front of her and cry like a babe. My throat closes off and I retain strength and honour. I straighten my back, and I force my voice to speak loudly and with strength of character.

“Mother? I ask of you. Who killed you, was it Aegir –?”

“No, Eros, it was someone much stronger…” Diana now stares at Lily’s sleeping form, my mother slowly tilting her head, a habit I acquired through blood, “…someone much more rare destroyed our entire Clan…”

“Tell me, please, I will avenge you. Mother,” I beg with a snarl, it’s out of my control. I am desperate for the answer.

“You cannot, Eros,” Diana shakes her head, “I instigated the need for retribution. You know the treachery our kind delve into… the kind of games we play... yet, I can see in your eyes it is all you wish to know,” I nod, and Diana slowly shakes her head at me, “Fool you are. Though, I will tell you, if it helps you rest,” Diana looks back at Lily, her eyes glazed over, “The practice of producing Darvs has come and gone through centuries on this island. Sometimes a popular choice but with some generations… it is completely avoided. Regardless, Queen Fantasia and I were not on good terms and when I found she was having an affair with a mortal pirate, and once I knew she was pregnant with seven young. Well, I thought it quite funny,” Diana stares at me now, without a smile, “It is forbidden for their kind to willingly mate with a mortal, to willingly create the creatures they call Darvs. Fantasia herself wasn’t prone to order because she was the daughter of a Mermaid and an Erebos. Your sweet Queen, Lily, has our kind’s blood, though it is small… so do all the young Darvs in our Castle at this very moment. Hold them close in your palm. Eros. To keep power. Keep the Darvs. Keep them.”

“The story, please, finish it…” I whisper, hoping for a name. One name. To hunt down and kill.

“Let me sing it, then, before my time is done here,” Diana blinks a single misty tear from her eye, looking up at the Ruin ceiling, she breathes deep, her voice on the edge of tears. And then she finally finds her song, and she tells me her story, “…a warrior rivalled by none… swimming with Orca but fighting by one… Fantasia was fierce… she was sweet to the Coral and cold to our song… Erebos were beneath her… though she was half a bloody one… I exposed her crime… it made me sigh… she lost her throne, her babes, her mind… an eye for an eye…” Diana finally glances at me, one last time.

I understand.

“I love you,” I growl out, “Mother.”

“Do not call me again, the drift pendants pull me from peace…” Diana watches me, her ocean eyes turning red, “You do not need me. Eros. My love for you is to the Deep and back. You already know this.”

I force my lips shut, even as a rumble of pain exits my throat as she disappears.

No! The drift pendants are now washed of my blood, and I wake up as if jerked away from a terrible dream.

I sit upright in a splash, snatching the drift pendants back into my palm, sweating as I turn and stash them under a rock, under the pool shelf, burying them in.

I turn around, trying to regain control of my haggard breaths.

I’m glaring at Lily, so sweetly sleeping even as my tail has been pulled from her chest. Her spine lays arched back, her perky breasts were pointed upward as her pulse beats erratically in her exposed neck… my mouth waters… but I also notice her eyes flicker with her own violent dreams.

Damn it.

Her mother.

Killed my mother.

Fantasia slaughtered Diana through. And my father. And others. She left me an orphan.

Rage fills me, so quickly and so unexpectedly, my body shakes with the power of it. The sea roars to stormy swells outside the Ruins, thrashing and drowning the rocks. Large waves crash over the edge of the raised Ruins, breaking into icy mist over my back.

I shift from my tail to my feet, getting up, standing tall, my gaze is burning into Lily’s restless sleeping form.

Lily was the spawn of my greatest enemy. The nameless being that plagued by night terrors.

Now named; Fantasia.

And due to Lily’s incompetence with luck, she looked just like her.

My head tilts as my eyes roam over Lily, towards her hand on the rock shelf, clasping the Orca teeth necklace.

I stamp forward, not caring when the water splashes and collides with her face. She doesn’t wake however, as I stand right above her, glaring at that fowl piece of haunted jewellery.

Fantasia left it here for her and carved these Ruins for Lily and her fellow spawn. The Darvs did not deserve such favour.

I reach down and snatch the teeth from Lily’s grasp, I turn and hurl the thing violently out of the Ruins, into the raging sea, willing the water to take it far, far from her.

Lily gasps awake below me after I’ve taken the item of importance, in a similar panic as I not moments ago.

My back is to her as I smirk ruthlessly at the raging Rough.

“I said to sleep, half-wit, you dare disrespect my order?” I ask, low, totally and completely callous with my tone. I take it all out on the little runt below and behind me. I am too full of rage.

“Eros? What in the Deep?” I hear Lily shift and stand to face me as I turn to face her, my eyes roving over her trembling form, her fingers opening and closing over her palm, missing the necklace subconsciously.

“Oh, are you missing something of importance, sweet idiot?” I ask and I know I am cruel.

Lily’s eyes shoot down and her breath halts as she looks at an empty palm.

Three long seconds later, she slowly glances up at me.

“Where is it?” Lily whispers, her beautiful green eyes were haunted by her missing necklace, “Eros.”

My whole body flinches with my held back fury, the guilt that surges through me, but my cheek twitches as I spin from her once more.

I was going to hurt her.

If I did not stop myself.

“Eros!” she screams at me, “Tell me where you put it!”

“…do you wish your mother dead…?” I growl out the words, closing my eyes.

“What are talking about now? You crazy eel, you never make any sense!” Lily roughly grabs my elbow, boldly digging in her nails.

I break.

I spin to Lily, snatching up her own elbows and lifting her from the water, my eyes shaking with my rage as I hold her above me.

“Listen to me! I spoke to my mother, half-witted fool, and your mother destroyed the Clan Ezili! Your mother!” I yell at her, my voice lowers to a quiet sub-par snarl, “…your half-breed mother…” I put Lily down, releasing her.

My eyes light up as she stumbles from me, igniting my need to catch her again.

Stupid idiot was making me react further with her skittish movements.

Now all I wanted to do was play with her until I saw tears. I snatch up her throat in my grasp.

I do not apply that much pressure, but Lily still gasps and I watch her hands claw at my arm. I ignore her scratching, amused, while my eyes turn to focus on the Deep instead of her desperate wide eyed look of betrayal.

I was sad to see my mother come and go. All I had ever wished for, to have her back, and those few minutes had ended in what felt like mere seconds.

Peace,” I choke on the word, laughing, “Oh, what peace… what answers… what end?” I turn back to Lily, dramatically, “What end exists for orphans such as us…?” I lessen my grip and she pulls back, away from me, hissing.

I watch my mate, while sick twisted thoughts rush through my mind.

I was feeling far too much sorrow to be amenable right now.

“Are… you… are you… crying?” Lily asks, her eyes widening as I watch her, my eyes are indeed heavy. A humiliating tear rolls down each cheek of mine… but it is too late to wipe them away, Lily’s eyes watch them closely. She was intrigued by them.

Idiot. I do not know who I think is the daft one, her or I.

All I know is I have freed the half-wit from my wrath temporarily, but I couldn’t hold back much longer.

“As you can see. Sweetest. I am disturbed,” I warn Lily with a slow rising brow, wondering if she’ll make the mistake of running for her life.

I want her to fall for it, so I can pull out a shrill squeal of terror from her lips when I catch her.

“Eros,” Lily whispers, staying perfectly still, “Calm. Down. I am not my mother.”

Interesting choice of words.

“No,” my mouth slowly ticks up into a smile, “…and I will make sure it stays that way… time to go for a swim,” I hold out a palm, waiting for her to take it, “…into the Rough. Lily. Now.”

It’s not a question.

It’s a command.

And she knows it.

Lily hesitates for all but two seconds, her eyes glazing over with hidden, submerged rebellious thoughts. Little flipper couldn’t hide that kind of calculation from me.

A quarter of her blood was Erebos.

I hold her palm tightly and she raises her head, her green eyes digging through mine.

“Where are we going?” she asks, rather confident.

“The sun is about to rise,” I snarl, with a smirk, “…and I’m a tad thirsty for some thrills… and blood… do you miss my venom?”

“You’re a sick bastard,” Lily’s mouth curls and my eyes zone in on her fangs.

“What puny little fangs you have,” I reach out a hand and hold her face, pressing my thumb to the tip of one canine. She bites as I know she will and I enjoy the crushing strength and the way it ziplines through my skin. I chuckle as I take my hand back, sucking on the wound once, “…I’ll show you how to bite, little fish… by starting on you as practice,” I turn and pull her with me.

“I am not my mother,” Lily repeats.

“Better keep saying it, because until I believe it…” I whisper, under my breath, as we head towards the Rough together, “…I will not stop tormenting you, Lily, until you prove it.”

I mean it and when I glance back at my mate… she knows it. And she seems unafraid.

A rather big mistake on her part.

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