The Mermaid That's Sweetest

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[Part2] ⤀ 18] Dating the Princess of Death

[Part2] 18] Dating the Princess of Death

I sleep on my little sand bank, in the middle of the ocean, until first sun rise. I cried myself to sleep that night, knowing Eros and I would always most certainly have a turbulent future; forever until the end of time.

And now he had another lover. A ‘fuck’ buddy in Blade.

I didn’t understand it, yet I did entirely at the same time. For his nature, at least. Of course Eros would provoke me like that, while satisfying himself with a ‘hobby’ in the meantime.

However, I couldn’t dwell on it forever.

When I wake up at dawn, I take a look at the fading stars to help find my way back to Belle Island. It was a part of my training as a Sentinel, learning to read maps in the sky.

I learnt most of it myself, while training and reading alone.

I wonder briefly, before my return to the Island, if I’ve made the mistake of taking my journey solo. I’ve been tricked by Halina and while the rest of the Darvs were making friends, I was isolated.

I have a new goal in mind, get back to the Island, and perhaps socialise.

The only other option was to bleed into the Deep for Eros and request his presence back into my life. I wanted him around but… not in the way he desired our dynamic. I wanted Eros to work for me, not the other way around.

It was always him on top and me at the bottom, just like the natural order of things.

At least I could always control my own actions. Which is what I do now. I look after me.

I slip my way into the water, and I return to my duty.


Halina was once again the crowned warrior, fastest in the water, and now swiftly becoming fastest on land, well I was humiliated further. The funny thing? It was mostly in my head.

I expected and assumed to be washed away in an unstoppable freak wave of embarrassment upon my return.

Strangely, I seemed to be getting smiles of sympathy. Or maybe the Mermaids and Merka were trying not to laugh.

I pass through the Village, and my old place of work as a nurse – and I pick up a few things from the market. I trade in a few pearls I found on the way back. Pearls were a popular currency on the Island.

A buy a water proof compass, and a complete ink pad and set to write more notes and maybe future plans.

Then, I head to the library, a place to learn without many more eyes on me.

It’s here that I make my first friend.

By a total accident.

I walk through the front library doors and barge right into a giant Merka hurrying out – as I hurry in. I’ve dropped my small bag of supplies and while the compass rolls out, the ink bottle gets caught on the edge of the weave on the bag, it opens and the ink pours down my leg.

“…um… your luck doesn’t get much better, does it, Sentinel Lily?” I hear a rising laugh in that tone, and I prepare my glare, but when I look up to see this guy’s face – I falter with a standard reply. Ummm… wow… typically handsome, but what catches me is that fancy blue hair, all shades of the ocean, it was a rarer colour to have hair that blue. His eyes twinkle, “I’m not laughing at you, by the way,” he mentions needlessly while taking my bag from me as I’m silent and in shock by his kindness.

“Um,” I narrow my eyes in confusion as he picks up my compass for me, and pops it back into the bag.

“My name is Lir, by the way; were you going to hide in the library all day…?” he guesses my thoughts and my reply, by nodding at me, “You should get your book and read looking at the ocean, don’t be afraid of shame – what you did last night was brave. Honestly, I don’t know why everyone here is so…”

“Judgemental?” I finish his sentence.

Yeah,” Lir purses his lips, “You can lounge with me if you want – I’m heading to Main Beach, and you need to clean that ink on your leg…. win, win… yeah?”

“Main Beach where everyone my age hangs out?” I regret saying it the moment it slips past my tongue.

I sound like a hermit, and really old and really boring.

Yeah, are you still brave?” Lir shrugs and holds out a hand for mine, to shake it, “It’s nice to meet you, Lily.”

“…thanks…” I shake Lir’s hand and he doesn’t let mine go, it must be one of his ideas of flirting.

“Do you really need a book?” Lir raises a blue brow.

“What else is there to do on a beach?” I ask, smiling with my teeth, awkwardly.

Lir laughs – so loud.

I blush instantly.

“It’s called – lounging, you lie on the beach, or the shallows, you just… chill. I see, you’re socially inept. It’s okay. I’ll introduce you to my friends.”

“Um, noo…”

Yeah.”

“No?” I squeak out now as he tugs me with him.

“Oh, yeah,” Lir tugs me along and then he unhands my palm, hoping I follow the rest of the way.

I end up moving quickly to catch up.

A little along the way, Lir turns to me as we walk side by side, “How many friends do you have?”

“None –” the moment I answer, Lir slaps his arm around my shoulder and hauls me in to his warm body, like a, a f-friend, “W-why do you like me, Lir?”

“I don’t know, but I’m giving you a chance, since no one else is, you poor thing,” Lir is straight forward, “I’m curious, if I may ask… why did you say you have no friends… if you have a mate… we all know about…?”

“Eros?”

“Yep. That guy.”

Eros is kind of a blood thirsty unpredictable psycho who lies and leaves and does as he please,” I blurt it all out at once, and a weight lifts off my chest even just being able to tell someone.

Lir doesn’t laugh at me now, nor does he smile. Instead, he looks down at me with concern.

“…sounds like Eros sucks…” then Lir does lift his mouth a little in one corner, for the joke.

“…ha…ha…”

“Damn, you’re so tense,” Lir shakes his head, “It’s not an insult – um, shit… you know what… here I go… I’m just going to say it… fuck it… want to go on a date with me, Lily? Or we can just try friends first if –”

Yes,” I blurt, cutting Lir off from finishing his proposal.

What in the Deep, Lily? From lonely to downright desperate. Great start.

“Date?” Lir waits to confirm.

“Date,” I nod, “Yes.”

“You’re a really cute Princess,” Lir speaks so smoothly, and I blush bright pink, “And I’ll be your knight in shining scales,” Lir jokes again but I purse my lips.

That… kind of sounded nice... I guess.

“Thanks, Lir.”

“For what, Lily?”

“For talking to me,” I blurt again.

Lir just awkwardly looks away, probably realising just how Strange I am. But at least he’s giving me a shot at getting to know me, and I’ll always be grateful for his kindness.


12 hours later, I feel like I’m living some kind of whirl wind dream. I never spoke so much in my entire life than I did today. I had never thought I’d be this brave.

Lir introduced me to a group of Merka and Mermaids. The kind of people I would have known if I didn’t grow up in the orphanage.

They were curious about me, rather than just plain disgusted.

I learnt many things, one important fact was that they mostly blamed the Erebos for the attack on Belle Island. They understood the Darvs had nothing to do with it. They were all obsessed with me being an ex-Queen of Ezili.

I told them probably too much. Like about Eros’ temper, and the Siren’s nature, and Bellus and Nereus, the Black Ezili Castle, and even the Angleton Estate Eros owned. I literally blurted everything about my life, to these people.

And none of them laughed at me, all of them wanted to know more.

So, I talk and I talk, I’ve gone nonstop all day.

The group was medium sized. Four friendly Mermaids are hooked up to their four male Merka boyfriends or mates, and they all seem confident and normal. Just that; so normal.

The Darvs were Strange from their isolation growing up like me. Desperate too. I guess I was a little needy... but by a strange encounter, Lir gave me a chance to open up.

“Lily,” Sweeney, a girl with bright green hair, advises me while the moon shines down on our little gathering in the shallows, “You must take away every lesson and hold it dear – you’ve been through a lot. You control the Rough too. It’s a great advantage. You don’t know how impressive you are. Surviving all that. You shouldn’t be so shy around the Island, hang around with us anytime!”

“I’d love to,” I nod, while Lir chuckles, well humoured as his legs remain out in the shallows, rather than shifting into his tail.

I watch the others start to rise just as music starts to play with drums and guitars on the beach.

I’m confused what’s happening, until they all splash water at me and say, “Aww. It’s called a party, Lily,” Sweeney laughs and hugs her boyfriend as they start to sway together – and the other couples pass me some words of encouragement too, while slyly glancing at Lir, who stands behind me, hand on my back.

“Let’s go for a walk,” Lir tempts me away, as I glance up at him, and some strange part of me expected to see his blue eyes glowing in the dark like an Erebos.

Of course, he isn’t a creature of the night like Eros.

So, strangely enough, my heart jolts a bit in disappointment and realisation when I see no glow, no light, nothing. Just a dim shade, and a face, just normal from the fires set on the beach.

“Okay,” I answer hesitantly and I walk with him, while Lir keeps his hand on the small of my back.

“You okay?” Lir asks.

“Yes.”

“Do you still like me?” Lir blurts, “I still like you. Even though my story growing up is pretty boring, because I had it easy.”

“Being an orphan and a future sacrifice isn’t fun, don’t ever wish for those kind of problems, trust me, Lir –” I almost start to go off on another tangent, probably my hundredth today when Lir spins into me and catches me completely off guard.

I think it’s his attempt at being edgy, and romantic – as he leans in to kiss me out of the blue.

I freeze with my chin up as we; peck? I try to close my eyes, waiting for a moment of – a spark, I guess.

Or a rush.

But while Lir’s lips linger, and his hands caress my neck and shoulders so gently…

…I feel nothing.

I pull back and I find myself questioning everything.

“Lily?” Lir asks, confused by my reaction.

“No,” now, after being a chatter box all day, I can’t find any words as I spin and then walk in the opposite direction.

“Do you hate me or something -?” Lir calls out.

Hate?

Why would I hate him?

I had no passion with him to hate him. I hated Eros because I – argh.

Suddenly, I’m just annoyed by Lir, and more so annoyed at myself for leading him on for no reason.

“No, Lir, just no,” I look over my shoulder, shaking my head, “Just… look, I’m sorry…” I cross my arms over my chest and I find myself heading down the beach, up onto the sand, and into the palm trees.

I end up leaning back against one tree, realising what today meant.

Learning to expand into more areas; like friendship… wasn’t so hard. And I think I preferred Lir as a friend.

I hoped he wouldn’t mind.

I just… seeing his dull eyes at night made a clear comparison to Eros.

I didn’t have any other experience so I could never compare before.

Since the start, I really had been with a taller predator, with far more muscle, far more height, bigger fangs, entrancing eyes… a beautiful Rough voice… and a mind unlike the minds of those Merka and Mermaids.

I gulp as I realise a specific difference.

Eros isn’t normal like them because he really is an entirely different species. I know, obvious, but…

Somewhere along the lines, everything blurred and–

It is at that moment that the drums beating – boom, boom, boom, boom – halt.

A dead halt. Someone screams out a warning.

“EREBOS!”

My heart skips a beat and my brain switches on.

I hear a Merka screaming in agony.

Lir.

Spinning to look back out over the beach, I see the Mermaids and Merka frozen in the shallows or on the sand, frozen in their dance, as one Merka with bright blue hair – is literally getting shredded apart.

I have to see it to believe it.

Limbs are being thrown back into the ocean with the raging attack.

And last but not least, my mate goes for Lir’s head.

Making sure he suffered until the very last breath.

Oh, Eros.

I close my eyes as Eros rips off Lir’s head – and the procession on the beach is so shocked but without weapons, that majority of the party turns tail and runs for safety.

I already have fear striking through my heart and every capillary, as the beach is abandoned and a crimson pool in the waves, grows around the meaty stump left.

Eros is covered in Lir’s blood, his chin running fresh and wet.

This is the moment old Lily would have turned and run too.

This time, I see my part in it.

I had to own this.

I step out.

And then forward.

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