Beyond the Ocean's Depths (Not an Average Shifter Romance)

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Chapter 9: Onyx on a Mission

ONYX

Onyx promised his new wife that he would return tomorrow, but that if he were to be happy, he needed Torin to find happiness as well. He explained that he knew Torin’s soul mate was near - he just needed to find her.

Gina wished she could help him and promised to think about it until he was able to return. She went with him back to her pod in the now-dark ocean, then bid him farewell, as he sped away towards the beach.

Going in the opposite direction than home, he felt like a new dolphin; happiness beyond comprehension flowing through his veins. He was in love and everything seemed possible because Gina loved him, too.

“How does one find their human’s soul mate if she isn’t a dolphin-shifter?” He asked himself. “There should still be a connection, right?”

Would Torin have felt it with Gina, had he met her before he’d chosen to mate her already?

It was too late to find out, but regardless, Gina and Torin would have to meet soon enough. And he was excited to introduce his wife to Rainie, Rhonda, and Penny as well. His family was expanding, and it made his heart swell!

Slowing down, Onyx tried to remember how he’d felt earlier today when Torin had been at the aquarium. It was a bizarre anomaly, and completely unexpected. Similar to the sensations he’d felt when he and Torin had met Jayde and Sandy years ago, but different. It was a definitively pleasurable and tingling sensation in both his mind and body, and even more, a ‘knowing’ deep inside his heart and mind. When he’d felt it, he’d instantly known that Gina was supposed to be his mate - what little doubt he’d had upon seeing Gina and interacting with her pod last month had disappeared completely.

But why did the final realization come to him then, at the aquarium, and nowhere near Gina? He still had access to Torin’s thoughts and was pretty sure that Torin had not felt the warm tingles towards anyone he’d encountered there today. In fact, it was the complete opposite.

He wished Torin would let him be a part of his human life again; not only did he miss their friendship, but then he could have seen for himself who it was that brought about that connection earlier today, and gave Torin the nudge he apparently needed to go in the right direction.

But nowadays, Onyx could only catch fleeting glimpses of Torin’s life, mostly feeling his emotions and gathering a general gist of what happened during the day. Like the two sides of the moon, one in light and the other in dark, when one of them was out, the other was hidden in darkness. And it wasn’t for a lack of trying on his own part. He used to pride himself in the fact that dolphin-shifters, compared to those of other animals, were better capable of interacting with their human halves, for the intelligence level was that much higher. But he was beginning to wonder.

Torin on the other hand, seemed to hole up inside Onyx as he played in the waters, and today was even worse than usual. He’d tried to call out to Torin’s presence within him, but there was only a small flicker. God, he had to save this guy before he broke their bond altogether, killing one or both of them.

And now that he’d found Gina, he would be damned if he was going to let Torin throw away THEIR lives.

Having gone only a short way up the beachline, he stopped to take a deep breath of air and get his bearings. Onyx’s heart beat rapidly as he felt that odd, tingling sensation again, much like earlier, but stronger.

Surely, it wouldn’t be that easy he thought to himself. Yet, why not? Soul mates are drawn to one another, and if anyone were going to be able to find Torin’s for him, it would be him.

In the dark, his expert vision (for a dolphin of his age) spotted a lone figure on a dock about thirty feet inland.

Curiously, he approached stealthily, not wanting to draw attention to himself just yet. He had to be sure he had the right person before calling attention to himself. It was a woman, he noted, and by Torin’s standards for humans, a pretty one at that.

The closer he floated, the more tingly the vibrations in his soul became. Though not nearly as strong, he knew it was the same gentle and exciting pull of finding one’s soul mate, as he had felt with Gina this evening.

“This is definitely her,” Onyx excitedly thought, almost calling out to her, accidentally splashing in the water, trying to contain himself.

The woman, who’d been communing with nature, opened her eyes trying unsuccessfully to see what had disturbed her peace. But she was neither upset or scared, more like excited, as she turned on her flashlight and searched the waters.

Ducking under, Onyx decided to try moving in closer to see if he could get a better view. If he could capture her in his memory, then he would visit Torin in his dreams tonight, strategically placing her in his mind. His human needed a kick in the right direction before he became a bitter old man, and this particularly spectacular human specimen was just the kick he needed.

As she scanned the water slowly with her flashlight, Onyx floated patiently, watching her intently before deciding he had enough intel for one night. Perhaps he would bring Gina here another night!

He dived under again, swimming quickly back home to the dunes. It was time to bring Torin back to life.

}<<(((}> * <{)))>>{

TORIN

I crawled out of the water as I finished transitioning back to my own form, Onyx’s thoughts loudly and excitedly ringing in my head.

“Hold on, buddy! Let me sit down!”

I felt weird and tingly all over, and to be honest, strangely I felt very aroused. What had gone on while my dolphin was out?!

I laughed, as I cooled my still-naked human body in the water, realizing that my dolphin had gotten laid tonight! While he got far more action than I had in five years, he usually didn’t brag about it, nor would I feel so connected with his experience.

Suddenly, he was loud inside my mind, and I quickly sobered as realization hit me; he wasn’t just chasing some tail! He was serious about this girl, er dolphin, that he’d been with tonight.

“Mated?! What the hell?!” I exclaimed out loud. “What about Jayde?! How could you?!”

I listened as Onyx reminded me that there can be more than one soul mate. But I wasn’t ready to have another one! If he took a shifter as a mate, then I would have to be the soul mate of her human.

No thanks! Done! Finito!

After I calmed down enough to let him finish, he filled me in on Gina, a non-shifter dolphin, and his new wife. She sounded amazing and wonderful, to hear him talk about her, and I felt bad about not wanting him to be with her. But I suppose, if she wasn’t attached to a human, Onyx could, or should be free enough to mate again if he wanted to.

“Wait until the girls find out,” I said as I towel-dried off enough to slip on my clothes again and walked back to the house.

But the lights were out, save for the back porch. It was very late, and Mom and Rainie had already went to bed. I shouldn’t have stormed out like I had, but now that I’d given Onyx some freedom, and taken a moment to just exist away from my reality, I felt a tad better.

As I stood under the hot shower, washing off the salt and leftover sand, I couldn’t help thinking about how Onyx had so easily moved on, claiming another soul mate. A tiny part of me was jealous, wishing I could also feel the warmth of love from the one attached to my soul. But Sandy was gone, there was no way I was going through loving someone like that again, only to lose them in the end.

For the first time in a long while I cried. Desperate, painful, and lonely tears as anger took hold of me over Sandy’s death alongside Jayde’s. A big part of me wished that I had been the one to die in that horrid aquarium, and that Sandy were here for Rainie. Yet, another part of me was very glad to be here for her now.

Finally, done bleeding my heart out, I retreated to my bedroom and crawled into my large, lonely bed. I didn’t work tomorrow, so I didn’t set my clock, and it wasn’t long before I fell into a long, deep sleep.

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