The Mermaid That's Sweetest

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[Part2] ⤀ 6] An Unforeseen Ship

[Part2] ⤀ 6] An Unforeseen Ship

Eros has soon attempted to ravage my neck, so I’ve let him sink his fangs in, but he only gets so far. I assume he can taste the tonic I made, lacing my blood with a slight sleeping poison.

Eros’ large giant form crumples in a heap at the end of the bed with a loud groan and I kiss his cheek.

Unfortunately for the Erebos of the ball, I had laced all the feminine drinks with the tonic.

I eventually knock on the doors in the early morning to find each Darv awake and confused by their mate’s deep slumber.

Without many words, we simply congregate on the shore line behind the estate, dressed in pantyhoses, white shifts and borrowed robes.

It’s a solemn gathering because we are surrounded by the enemy on all sides. Mortals. Ezili. Enemy seas. All we really had was limited time and limited options.

I sit on a boulder with Eros’ charm around my neck, pretending that I’ll wear it just to confuse him further.

“Roanne, Zandy?” I speak to them as they stand still in the shallows, we’re all quiet and brooding Servants of the Water’s Will, feeling rather stuck on this Isle, “Can you call any of your spirit animals close?”

“The sharks aren’t responding, they avoid the fishermen’s nets and shark traps,” Roanne calls back.

“The dolphins aren’t anywhere close, I think all the ones I charmed are at Belle Island,” Zandy spins to face us, shrugging, “I can’t help.”

“We can steal a ship,” Darya suggests, “Halina, you said you know how to man one. She’s been sailing with the Erebos Axios. He enjoys trading with Bellus. At least Halina knows the seas and can get us out of the harbour before we swim.”

There were invisible fishing lines throughout these waters designed to catch stray mermaids, hence we could not simply swim to escape from the Topaz Isle – it was too dangerous. The lines were sunk deep, and would either cut out necks or tangle us until we were straggled to death.

“You can help sway the water with your power over the Rough,” Halina looks up at me and I shake my head.

“I will serve as a distraction here. I am not leaving back to Belle Island. I want no part in it,” I respond firmly, “Rivea and Vanora can persuade a pirate ship to haul your tails out of Angleton, surely.”

“We were going to mention that we know a pirate or two,” Vanora bites her lips, “Or five.”

“Or six,” Rivea chuckles, “We’d have to find them off shore from a ship they’re likely to follow and target. Bellus’ trade ships are unrivalled in these seas so his line is out of the option. We just need a fairy or a smaller transport, an easier target for pirates.”

“What if you just steal Eros’ ship?” I suggest, “I don’t care. Take it.”

“Stop distracting from you, Lily. We need. You,” Darya hisses at me, passionately, “And stop staring into the distance, moping about. You need to help us escape or none of us may make it and we’ll end up as pretty dolls for their fake mortal arms, or better yet, stuck in asylums, like Eros practically labelling you as crazy. Screw the Ezili Clan. I’m not getting pregnant just because Eros decided we’re all going to repopulate his people. We’re going back to the Island. And you’re. Coming. With us. Okay?”

“If it all goes well, you can send me a letter,” I growl back, “I’m not getting back in the water.”

“The water is our home,” Halina picks up a shell and watches a hermit crab crawl on her palm to say a sweet morning hello, “See? Even the creatures need our protection and guidance. The Island…”

“What about protection and guidance?” I ask, gulping.

I had a secret fear about Belle Island. That if I ever went back, I’d see graves and burnt bodies that were untouched from the war. That every death would be my fault; for not learning how to fight sooner.

Fantasia was a legend yet none of us seemed to harbour her skill for a great story. She could fight. She could maintain power and legacy with a stern chin. I’m sure she was proudly working to heal the Island right now, if she survived through the war.

In short, I was terrified of what lay back there. I was more content in annoying Lord Edwin.

And. Breaking. Edwin. Down.

I hated the mortal Lord.

I understood Eros slightly better. But this façade had to end before I could think past it.

“Um, girls?” Zandy covers her eyes from the morning sun burning over the horizon, “Is that a pirate ship?”

I watch Rivea practically leap onto Vanora’s shoulders to stand tall, shielding from the sun and waiting to get a better view.

“Ah - yes,” Rivea whispers, “Yes, it is!”

“Howler’s Crew or Blade’s Crew?” Vanora asks in excitement.

“Blade.”

“What kind of pirate’s name is Blade?” I ask, rolling my eyes, “And are they your friends or just your lovers? Can you trust a pirates’ word if you ask them for help?”

“Are you kidding me?” Vanora turns to glare at me, smirking, “They’re putty in our hands.”

“We’ll swim out there now, close to the surface, we’ll go slowly,” Rivea waves around her hands to calm down any protest, “We’ll talk to Blade – he’s probably scouting the shore line before he drifts further afield, so let’s hurry, Vanora.”

“When will you be back?” I call, “And is it safe? Are you sure?”

They don’t answer, peeling off their clothes and diving into the soft waves of the bay.

Halina sighs and sits down in the sand, holding her knees to her chest. Darya crosses her arms and points Zandy to the ocean.

“Follow and report if something goes wrong,” Darya orders, “Don’t let them know you’re behind or they’ll drag you into their games.”

“I’m happy to follow,” Zandy nods, “And I’ll be safe. I promise.”

“Just don’t go to the Deep –” I try to add.

“Lily, I know the oceans better than you do,” Zandy cuts me off, “I hope you enjoy being a bitter lady of the estate for the rest of your life.”

I just scowl.

“You’re coming back asap,” Darya scolds Zandy.

“Just hurry!” Halina throws sand and then watches me slide from the boulder to my feet.

“I’ll head inside and make sure nothing is amiss, like lurking eyes. If someone’s seen the plan unfold, I’ll make up some excuse for Daphne, Vanessa and Olivia’s daring morning swim into the cold waters,” I shrug.

Darya and Halina don’t stop me and they don’t say anything either.

They avoid my gaze, feeling betrayed and confused by my major disinterest in working as a team with them.

My chest hurts but I can’t shake my purpose. Nothing else mattered to me. Not freedom. Not power.

I just wanted to crack Eros’ shell.

One way or another. I wanted to see if I could make him feel something.

Regret. Pain. Sorrow. Something.

If Eros could prove to me that he wasn’t just a laugh and a self-indulgent sea horse... although… if he did try to forcefully impregnate me? There may be real reason to run.

But first, I just wanted to know. Why Eros ran away for 6 months. If anything, it was the final nail to the coffin of our trust. Betrayal. Then abandonment. So much of it made me angry.

I had to work out the innards of my own heart, before I expanded it to include anyone else.

If I lost friends, so be it.

I’d be a loner; but I wouldn’t be Eros’ little confused bitch who succumbed to his little gifts and power plays when he wanted to be around me.

At the end of the day, I just wanted to see if Eros really was just a monster; or a feeling breathing man who could learn a new word; sorry.

And then maybe, just maybe, I could forgive Lord Edwin and find a place to start our bond over.

I wanted to start on trust. I wanted to feel wanted. Beyond my blood and tail.

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