The Mermaid That's Sweetest

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[Part2] ⤀ 9] A Ship of Secrets

[Part2] 9] A Ship of Secrets

I wake up dazed and dizzy within a hammock, swinging in a ship’s cellar. I can hear excited whispers and general activities around me, as if I’ve woken up to a gathering of friends.

But then I recognise the voices; and they are my friends.

Vanora. Rivea. Darya.

But… they are my friends right… so… why am I bound? I can feel rope around my entire body.

And then I hear yet more voices.

Halina. Zandy. Roanne.

I’m imagining things. I’m delirious. Hallucinating. Surely. I’ve even opened my eyes but my vision is foggy and I can’t wipe my eyes clean because I’m, once again, bound.

My friends… they’re… they are laughing… and they sound quite free.

“Oh, I love this kind of tea, it’s so sweet with the orange twang,” Halina sighs, “Oh, wow, more flavours? Blade! You shouldn’t have!”

“I keep all kinds,” that whispered husky chuckle…

I must be dead.

“So, I hold the sword like this?” Darya speaks to someone.

“Aye,” a male answers.

“Can you stop distracting the pirate crew? Shit, Darya, do you know how long it took to enchant them?” Vanora hisses, “Don’t distract them too far or they might notice the Strange.”

I blink quicker. Shit. I think we’re gaining control. The Darvs. My vision clears a bit and I turn to see zombified hunched men waltzing around the ship’s cellar – while the six girls, are all naked, with seaweed bracelets, sitting on pirate laps or slow-dancing with them to the sound of the ocean.

“Since when did you all get here?” I ask, coughing when my throat feels dry and gross, “Rivea?”

She is closest to me and she turns, her face souring into a frown, “Oh, no, Lily is awake – someone knock her out!” Rivea yells out, annoyed.

“What in the Deep happened here? Someone tell me!” I yell back.

“Shut up!” Halina adds, jumping from Blade’s lap and walking over to point at me as I lie restrained in my swing, “We did this without your help! Vanora and Rivea saved us from the Topaz Isle. The only idiot we had to abduct was you, Lily, because you’re so damn sulky and useless when you’re sad! You were going to stay on that Isle and give up our cause? You have the most powerful gift – Power over the Rough! All you wanted to do was make Eros sad like you – how pathetic,” I open my mouth to retort, but Halina holds up that finger, waving it back and forth, “Don’t cause us trouble or we will knock you out again.”

“So, it wasn’t Blade’s idea?” I ask, still confused... and a little in denial.

Rivea and I enchanted Blade’s crew,” Vanora waltzes up with her pirate, smugly smiling over me, “We told them to help us lure you to us, then when Blade got you and Darya, we told them to sail back to Lord Edwin’s Estate in Angleton. They did and we swam back and got Halina, Zandy and Roanne. Then, we sailed away. We did this. It was our controlled plan. The whole time.”

“You… sailed back to Angleton, and Eros did not see you?” I whisper.

“I’m sure after Eros woke up after being bludgeoned over the head, Eros will be on his ship now, sailing in the wrong direction. He didn’t know we went around the island, he thought we sailed off with you to the Main Land, as Blade made his intentions known,” Vanora adds, “We’ve got multiple days head start to get back to Belle Island. We’ll make it before Eros or any of Ezili find out where we really went. Or how we achieved it. They think Blade simply stole us. But Blade is under our control.”

“How?” I hiss, “You sang a Siren’s song? Blade is an Erebos. Did Darya not tell you?”

“What?” Vanora pales.

“You can’t enchant Blade!” I yell.

“I didn’t think of that –!” Darya yelps out, only for the girls to turn around and see Blade now standing with a confident head lock around Darya’s neck, while the heavy sword drops from her hand, as a dagger is kissing her throat.

“Nice work, Lily. I enjoyed the naked company while I could,” Blade laughs and it’s all air with notes of choppy seas, but we all hear him loud and clear; and he is rather confident when he is vastly outnumbered.

Don’t hurt her,” Vanora snarls, “Or we’ll… sink your ship. Lily can control the Rough. You heard that.”

“Yet you have her bound,” Blade plunges the dagger into a shallow depth in the side of Darya’s throat. She cries out, but when Blade stills the dagger in that wound, Darya whimpers and we all fall silent so he can make his demand, “You have a few seconds to get off my ship – Lily can stay.”

“What do you mean a few seconds?” Halina asks.

Blade raises a brow over his jade green eyes and jerks the dagger out smoothly. As he does, we all watch the blood pump and squirt out towards the ceiling, a vital artery from Darya’s heart bleeds a damn fountain.

“Get going or I won’t seal the wound,” Blade adds, as Darya tries to breathe slower, to stop the powerful squirting from her heart beat.

Shit,” Rivea jumps to her feet with Roanne and Zandy.

They all look at each other and then back at me.

“Just go,” I hiss.

They don’t linger to save me – they run to save Darya.

I note their bitterness and their disappointment for me as they abandon ship, running up the cellar stairs.

Darya is starting to go pale already, but Blade waits until the last is gone from his sight, before he lunges into her neck and rips his fangs in – drinking more of her blood.

Darya passes out in his arms, but Blade keeps sucking her dry.

“STOP!” I scream it, only to see Blade pull out at the very, very last second, sealing the wound with one slow lick and dropping the pale body.

“She’ll live… barely,” Blade only smiles for a second, his green eyes zoned in on me, “I prefer that my prey are used up for their worth – I don’t taste test, I drink my whole fill. I’m sure you know the feeling. Eros only learnt all he knows from I. That’s why you’re here. Safe. Don’t fret. Eros is my best friend. Fuck. I hate him.”

“Sounds like a healthy… relationship,” I whisper it as Blade waltzes up to my hammock, holding the bloody dagger tight, he slashes my ropes off and then grabs my arm, hauling me up so I stand.

“Move, please.”

“Where?” I gulp, he looks quite smug.

My quarters –”

“I will not sleep with you!”

“ – to my quarters so my whole crew doesn’t sleep with you… half-wit,” Blade corrects me, laughing as I slowly start to ascend the stairs to the ship top by his side, “They described you as sulky… and depressed… you’d be fun to play with but I have to keep you safe for my friend. Or he’ll fucking slaughter my crew – and I don’t like scouting new mortal men. They’re filthy enough as sea men; they’re more like pigs on the land. Liquor their mud. Coins their food. Wives their butcher. The Strange, though? Their god.”

I guess the mortals in his crew revered him as such?

“So, um, Eros gets his poetry from you,” I add, nervous of Blade’s full intentions of returning me to Eros.

“I note not a thank you, where are your manners?” Blade chuckles some more and I barely hear it.

“May I ask, why is your voice so damaged?” I look around the large ship and I know this thing is worn but well oiled, I’m sure Blade must live on this wooden plank.

“Because, you half-wit, isn’t it obvious by the scars? I tried to hang myself, then I tried to slit my own throat, damage upon damage, I guess,” Blade speaks so casually. I have no idea why this is weather talk to him.

It scares me a bit, but I walk through the cold air, towards his quarters, above board.

“…you’re sulky and depressed too…?” I don’t know if I’m being funny or not, but Blade certainly doesn’t think so.

As soon as I walk into his quarters, past the door and Blade himself, he closes the wood slowly as he stands at the gap, “…I’m just insane, Lily, it’s quite different…”

“How so? Do you see things? Or hear things? Strange things?” I guess I shouldn’t be asking, but the questions just keep blurting out.

“No. Lily. I’m insane from the Rough powers of the heart. More precisely. The man I love, doesn’t love me, he loves himself… and prefers to fuck alone,” Blade sing songs, while slamming the door shut, “Half-witted fish. Pretty; I’ll give him that,” I hear the airy pissed off hiss on the other side of the wood.

Well.

That was rather…

…fascinating.

But also… um…

what?!

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