By Roxanne Fox
Published by Roxanne Fox at Shakespir
Copyright 2017 Roxanne Fox
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
Thank you for downloading this free ebook. Although this is a free book, it remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be reproduced, copied and distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy at Shakespir.com, where they can also discover other works by this author. Thank you for your support.
Cover photo by Linzee777 retrieved from deviantart.com.
I would like to thank my beta readers Rachael Taylor and Nikki Amaya. They have been generous in reading this first and helping me with minor errors. Without them the story would not be as polished or easy to read. Thank you all so much, your help is more than appreciated … and I know all the other fans appreciate your hard work too. Thank you!
Chapter 1 ~ The Mage
Chapter 2 ~ The First Time
Chapter 3 ~ The Potion
Chapter 4 ~ Poseidon’s Return
Chapter 5 ~ New family
Toshi’s eyes darted around the room looking for the woman he had spoken to the previous day. He had no idea what the person looked like, he only knew his contact was a magic user of some sort, and though they had communicated on the phone a few times, they had never met. One thing Toshi was sure of, she probably would not have a hooked nose and a black cat, and she most likely wasn’t called a witch. He had only met one other magic user a few months previous but she said she was a vampire. When he and the vampire had met, her world was very new to him; the world of magic, vampires, werewolves and … and mermaids. As he stood in the Miami Starbucks that morning, the world of the supernatural wasn’t any less mysterious to him.
“Mr. Matsushima.” His eyes followed the sound of the woman’s voice until they landed on an average looking lady waving at him. Once they made eye contact he waved back. She motioned him over and then looked down at her phone.
Toshi made his way around patrons of the crowded establishment to her and noticed she definitely did not look like a Halloween witch, or any witch for that matter. She looked pretty normal sipping something blended and topped with whipped cream while wearing fitted jeans, a sheer blouse over a lilac cami, and flip flops. In fact, the only thing impressive about her might have been her thick brunette hair, the heavy braid of which swayed just above her belt line as she cursed her phone.
The curse wasn’t some kind of show of magic, more a show of frustration through expletives. Sculpted brows drew together—her attention still on her phone—as Toshi sat down and he noticed she was playing Candy Crush. “Damn game. I refuse to pay money on it. The trick is to not play for a while, then come back and the level is easier to beat.”
Toshi was unsure how to reply so he put his hand out in a greeting. “Hi, I am Toshio Matsushima. We spoke—”
The woman waved his hand off and he sat as she began to reply. “Yeah, yeah. I know all about you, Toshio Matsushima. Matsushima is what you were known as in grade school back in Japan but your friends here know you as Toshi. They’ve been helping you study the manatee, but you came across something more than you had bargained for.”
Her lips pulled in a sideways smile and Toshi’s heart jumped. She knew so much.
“Of course, Greg, Alan, and Renee at the university don’t know anything about that discovery, now do they?”
Any words were lost to him, all he could do was try to breathe over the pulling at his chest. Maybe doing business with a magic user was a bad idea—trying to deal with Weres had proven hazardous—but he didn’t know of any other way to get what he wanted. No, to get what he needed.
She saw his eyes fall and knew that look in humans. His obvious nervousness made her laugh, which of course made him jump. “Don’t be so scared, Toshi. I had to do a little background checking to be sure I wasn’t dealing with a psycho, you know.”
Toshi nodded. “Yes, of course. You just surprised me is all. Everything about this has been surprising.”
She leaned in, her mossy-green eyes flashing as though what she was about to say would be serious. “You will soon find out, in our world we learn things sooner or later and a human knowing about our world is something we need to know about.”
He nodded and swallowed once, his throat feeling dry all of the sudden. A barista came by and set something which appeared to be berry flavored and refreshing next to him before giving him a smile and walking away. He almost called to tell him he hadn’t ordered anything, when his contact interrupted him.
“I thought you might need something to drink. Dealing with this kind of thing can be hard for humans.”
He sat back and took the drink, sipping it and feeling shades better as he swallowed. “Is this magic? I mean, does he use magic like you?” He was quiet, so as not to draw attention with such odd questions, but she laughed.
She had known since the mid twentieth century humans tended to ignore weird conversations and as she started talking people soon turned back to whatever it was they were doing and ignored the two of them before her outburst of laughter had distracted the other patrons.
“He is no mage and that is not magic, unless you consider delicious, refreshing drinks magic.” She giggled a little more. “I’m Elizabeta, by the way.”
The vampire he had met said her partner’s name was Elizabeta. He had to assume she was the same Elizabeta who worked with Serenity, the vampire, for some place called the SIA, the Supernatural Intelligence Agency. The agency’s connection to the government was probably why Elizabeta was able to find information on him.
“So, Toshi, from speaking with you, and what Serenity has told me, I have to assume you are in this for keeps. I mean, there is no turning back, you know.”
Elizabeta’s moss eyes were serious but Toshi’s dark, chestnut eyes were just as serious. “I have no doubt what I want … what we want.”
She nodded. “I have to be clear. Once this is taken, it’s a done deal. There is no going back. The change is permanent and if her love is not true like you said—”
“It is. There is no doubt in my mind.”
Elizabeta smiled, but it was strained. She knew of how love could seem real, she had seen so many others think they found love when really it was deceit from some fae, and Ariel was almost a kind of fae. She saw the pleading in Toshi’s eyes and knew at least his love was real. Elizabeta of all people knew what real love was.
“I know Ariel,” Toshi said. “Her love is as pure as mine.”
Elizabeta drew in a deep breath. The hot Miami air seemed almost as frigid as the winds of her long lost fjords. She let out that imaginary, cool air and met Toshi’s gaze. “Though it is hard to find; true, honest love does exist. Just remember…” She started to speak again as she retrieved a small bottle from her purse. “Once this is swallowed the change is permanent regardless if the love the two of you feel is true or not, there is no going back for either one of you. You both must drink this as the full moon sets. It is the only way.”
Toshi nodded and took the small, glass bottle. Shaky fingers ran through his black hair as he peered at the swirling, green liquid contained in the vile in his other hand. He couldn’t believe such a small thing could hold his entire future.
Slender fingers grazed his as he held the tiny bottle and he looked up to see Elizabeta standing, her purse strap over her shoulder and drink in hand. “Good luck, Toshi. For some reason I believe you when you say you two truly love each other the way you say you do. It is the only reason I decided to help you.” She gave his hand a quick squeeze as he thanked her. “Goodbye, and take care,” she said as she left, pulling her phone from her handbag while exiting the door.
Elizabeta started to punch Serenity’s number to tell her she was done and on her way back to the SIA. As the sun hit her shoulders she almost wished she could stay a bit longer, but the job was finished. What Toshi didn’t know was that Ariel promised to contact Serenity as soon as they were done with the potion. She stopped short of hitting call and glanced to the sky. The sun hung low just dipping behind the high-rises.
The full moon was that evening and they would be taking the potion. Toshi thought it would work, as humans always do, and Elizabeta found it easier to keep some of the gruesome details out when it came to humans. Serenity didn’t think it necessary to tell the mermaid either, though her intentions were less emotional, as was the norm with her. Serenity only wanted her data, which was why Ariel was to call with the results.
Sighing, Elizabeta glanced once more through the window at Toshi as he sat looking at the potion. A smile was plastered across his lips. Elizabeta was the best mage there was, and with Serenity’s help they were a force to be reckoned with. But, turning a human into a mermaid was new even to them. She bit her lip and slipped her shades on as she stepped away from the Starbucks and headed toward the factory which housed the portal she needed. She hit the call button at last.
If that potion didn’t work, there was a good chance it could kill Toshi. Not just him, but his sea-bound love as well.
“Did you give it to him?” Serenity’s voice was as bland as usual.
“Well, I guess we will see if they are alive tomorrow. Maybe we should hide out and watch.”
Elizabeta started explaining all the ways that would be wrong as she rounded the corner, away from the coffee shop.
Toshi hadn’t even noticed the mage leave, he was too happy about the potion sitting in his pocket. He drank half of the drink Elizabeta had bought, out of courtesy, and trashed the rest. The whole time his right hand stayed clasped around the bottle in his pocket.
Leaving the Starbucks, he couldn’t help but think over and again on how that night was the full moon. It would be the night everything changed.
Toshi handed the keys to his former landlord and said goodbye one last time before heading to the bus stop. The elderly woman was sad to see him go, and had said many times there would always be a place for him if he wished to return. With his future safe in his front, pant pocket he was sure he would never be back. All he had he sold and that which was too dear to him he shipped back home with the excuse of extended travels and not having the room. His parents traveled so much while he was growing up—leaving him to go through his school years mostly alone with only his grandmother to check on him now and again—so they didn’t question his motives for sending home a couple of boxes of items to store.
Though he was not close with his parents he knew they would be two people him and Ariel may see after his transformation was finished. He was not worried about them, or anyone else for that matter, all he was worried about was being with Ariel and not having to wait for the full moon to hold her in his arms. His phone, one last thing he would put in a safe place before the big night, vibrated and he glanced down to see a message from Greg. It was just like the last few; asking where he was and why he dropped out of the program, and school, so suddenly.
Toshi turned off his phone and boarded the bus for the Everglades. He knew from the first moment he had seen Ariel he could never tell a soul about her. Thinking on that day made him let out a quiet laugh as he sat in the first empty seat he found. It wasn’t that seeing a mermaid would have been too unbelievable to share it was that he knew he had seen something he wasn’t supposed to, and in that he shouldn’t tell anyone. Plus, she did try to kill him, and well … he also fell in love.
The bus pulled away and as it moved along the highway, towards it’s next early evening stop, his mind drifted to the first time he had seen her. The first time he saw his future in sea-foam eyes.
Toshi sat as still as he could in the water. His rebreather barely let out any bubbles as it cycled air for him and he knew any slight movement would spook his target so he stayed as still as possible. In fact, he still found himself holding his breath as he watched, afraid even a single bubble would startle the manatees. His underwater blind had tested perfect time and again and had allowed him some of the most spectacular observations on manatees in years. His videos, images, and findings quickly earned him the respect he was looking for at the U but at times he found the research lonesome, even if using his own invention to do that groundbreaking research was exactly what he asked for.
He found himself sighing, and then quickly forgetting his woes of sitting for so long in the shallow water as an infant manatee came swimming around its mother and into view. The full moon cut the water and lit up the side of the calf in an almost magical way. He pulled out his camera to record the baby playing with its mom through the sea grass as she ate and paid it no mind.
While the camera recorded the new baby swimming round its mother, Toshi caught a glimpse of something wrapping around it in an odd way and he had moment of panic thinking it to be some discarded trash or piece of clothing. However, the strange object seemed to caress the infant and float away, luring it from its mother. Toshi wished to get closer, to see deeper into the grass and what the thing was, but didn’t want to move from his blind.
He set aside the video camera and took out the still one with the long focus lens instead. Putting it to his eyes, he zoomed in on the calf and at first thought he saw a hand wrap around it before disappearing behind the baby. Toshi blinked a few times and put the camera back to his eyes, thrilled to see the mom and baby moving closer to him. He began to take a volley of shots—happy for the silence of the underwater digital camera—as the pair drifted through the grass and to his blind, stopping only a few feet away to eat once more.
The calf took that moment to eat as well and once it had its fill it swam a little closer to Toshi, who began clicking feverishly, so as not to miss a thing. In the midst of his photo taking Toshi saw something he couldn’t have possibly seen, a topless woman swimming in the night with the manatee. He continued to take photo after photo until again she appeared, only when he saw her again he saw that what he had thought was a shirt or other sort of cloth wrapping around the calf was actually the tail of the woman. He realized the hand he had seen was a hand as he watched that same hand caress the baby in a gentle way.
The mermaid, for he couldn’t think of anything else to call the half woman half fish he was looking at, gave the baby manatee a kiss and swam around it once more before breaking the surface of the water. She let out a sound similar to that of a whale but with an almost ghost like quality, haunting in its tone, that had him jumping up and disrupting his blind.
As soon as he realized what he had done he crouched back down under it, steadying the frame so it settled back to the ground but as he peered out the small opening he could see the baby and mother swimming away and back to their family group, which meant he had startled them. His heart began pounding as he looked for the mermaid, and there was a good part of him that thought he was crazy even thinking the word yet he was still afraid he had scared her off too. He began to silently curse himself, knowing he would most likely never have another chance like that again, when his cover was pulled from above him as a screech he had never heard in the water before sounded around him and chilled him to the bone.
Toshi was snatched by the neck and he could tell that if it weren’t for his diving suit she would have crushed his throat in an instant. Her face was a mask of pure rage but through that he was struck by how beautiful she was. Hands down, she had to be the most attractive woman he had ever seen. As she swam them through the water at an incredible speed, he could see she was furious at him for some reason.
His back hit a rock and she ripped the mask from his face, damaging his suit in the process and cutting his cheek. “Before I kill you, tell me why you were watching me, human!”
Toshi was shocked at her speaking but fear of her razor sharp nails aimed at his throat had him talking. “I wasn’t, I was studying the manatee. You can have my camera, destroy the memory card. I was going to do it anyways … destroy the pictures of you, I need the ones of the calf and the mother for my research, though.”
As he spoke her grip loosened. She hadn’t even noticed the camera, the one he was holding out to her as his coal colored eyes pled.
“Please don’t kill me. I never would tell, I’m sorry I disturbed you but … I’m glad the stories are true.”
Her brow puzzled. Most humans she came in contact with were disgusting, lewd creatures, but of course, at those times she was in human form. She had never met one in her true form. “What stories are you talking about?”
“The ones of sailors mistaking manatee for mermaids, manatees are magical but you are real magic. I can die happy knowing you are real, and much prettier than the sea creatures in the lore from home.” Toshi had no idea why he was rambling on, and then he realized he said something about dying. “Oh, uh though I am happy to know of your existence and am honored in knowing, please do not kill me.”
The mermaid let go of Toshi and he climbed onto the rock, which only came out of the water about an inch or so. He sat there looking at her as she seemed to hover in the water, a look of contemplation on her face. The moon cut from behind a cloud and lit her up just as it had the calf but this time Toshi did not go for a camera. He only imprinted the sight of her in his mind; the small waves in the water glinting in the moonlight around her, hair floating about colored something not natural to humans. As her eyes caught his in that ethereal moonlight he saw, they too, were something different.
“I’m not going to kill you.” The mermaid sounded as though she was saying it more for herself than him and as she put her hands on the rock and began to hoist herself out of the water.
Toshi had no idea what to expect next but couldn’t help but worry over the pounding in his chest. As soon as the mermaid’s tail was out of the water a light shimmering cloud began to cover it. She pulled herself the rest of the way out and sat next to Toshi on the rock as his jaw dropped. He saw her tail split and separate then she stood and, with more strength than he was expecting, helped Toshi to his feet.
“Sorry about your stuff, I’ll go get it for you.” She stopped and looked around but Toshi kept his eyes on her face, since she was completely naked and he was trying very hard not to look at more than what he had seen when she stood. “Oh!” She grabbed his hand and began shaking it, which surprised him. “My name is Ariel. Sorry I tried to kill you. I thought you were one of the bad people my dad had warned me about.”
As she shook his hand she laughed and he wasn’t sure if he was dreaming or not. “My name is… My name is Toshio Matsushima. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
She started laughing. “You are so weird. I’m so glad I didn’t kill you. My tail will come back when I get in the water to get your stuff, but as long as the moon is full and I’m out of the water I can walk around. Give me a sec and we can go have some fun. Do I call you Toshio or Matsushima, or the whole thing?”
The way she spoke was so fast and sporadic, Toshi wasn’t sure what to think and was starting to be more certain he was dreaming. “Call me Toshi,” he said in a quiet voice.
“That’s so cute! Toshi! I’ll be right back, Toshi.” Each time she said his name it was like a stab in the chest.
As she entered the water with barely a splash he watched her tail return. She swam like a dream towards his discarded blind and as he watched her he was surer than ever she had to be exactly that, a dream. But, Toshi knew in his heart of hearts if he wasn’t dreaming than he was most defiantly in love with a mermaid named Ariel.
Serenity had waited until she saw the mermaid and her love return to where she knew they would be to take the potion. She didn’t need to see their coitus or any other such ritual, it was unneeded for her research otherwise she wouldn’t have thought twice about observing those rituals as well … no matter what Elizabeta had said.
If her partner knew she had worn a charm to hide and observe the possible transformation, she would have subdued her in some way. Elizabeta’s power as the only immortal mage, and the help from her Viking husband, would be the only way she could subdue Serenity, but she tried not to dwell on her body’s limitations. It was not her vampire master’s—her father’s—fault she became ill, thus needing to be turned at such a young age.
Size or not, she had the power to make the simple charm and slip out of the lab with Elizabeta unaware. Elizabeta had mothered her in her strange way since the two met, even if she did respect her as a partner in their work and research.
As Serenity’s aqua eyes fell on her current research, she pulled out her Electrabook and began scribing the events on the opaque plastic-like device.
Ariel’s sea-foam eyes flashed with anticipation. “Tonight’s the night. Are you scared?”
Toshi’s lips pulled into a soft smile, making her heart speed up. Ever since she realized she loved him, he had that effect on her. “I’m not scared at all, Ariel.”
The way he said her name had her bringing her lips to his. “I’m terrified. I hope it works,” she said to his lips in a hushed voice.
He nodded and pulled the vial from his pocket. Unknown to the two lovers, a vampire-mage sat not far away with an electronic pen poised and ready to write all she saw. Toshi swallowed half of the liquid, and then Ariel the rest. The moon broke from behind a stray cloud and hit the two of them as Ariel pulled him towards the water.
As soon as their feet touched the lapping waves of the quiet reserve, where no people could venture so late at night, a tingling began to envelop Toshi’s body. “Something’s happening.”
His voice sounded eager but Serenity wished she could ask him to explain exactly what the “something” was. She didn’t have to wait long though because the something soon turned into him grabbing his stomach and lurching over as a sound of pain came out of the human. The mermaid pulled him further into the water screaming at him to hold on, her tail forming under her pale sundress.
Serenity waited a heartbeat, unsure if she should approach her subjects and assist. The potion was not working. Worse than that, it appeared to be killing Subject Matsushima. Pulling her phone from her pocket she stood and snapped the wood disk concealing her presence.
“Do not be alarmed, I am calling for help.”
“Serenity! Do something. Your potion is killing him!” Ariel seemed frantic as she held Toshi, who began wheezing for air.
As her phone started ringing, the vampire watched as gills formed on Toshi’s neck and Ariel shoved him under the water telling him to breathe. The rest of his body remained the same as he took a gasping breath under the water and the other line picked up.
“Elizabeta, the potion didn’t work. However, I no longer believe Matsushima to be dying.” Her even tone was a slap to the face for the mage on the other end.
“Damn it! I had a feeling you went there. Well, shit … I guess I can’t be pissed since it didn’t work and you are there to help now. He’s alive though right, we didn’t kill the poor guy?” Her stomach sank as her husband’s hand gripped hers.
She looked up at his cool blue eyes and nodded as she breathed a sigh of relief when Serenity told her he was alive and breathing underwater, but still in human form.
“We can work with that, but I have to get Ces involved. We need her deeper connections in the Supe world.”
The phone went dead after Serenity conveyed their location and she joined to the two creatures in the water: one, a crying mermaid with blue and violet hair and the other an average Japanese male with gills and a frightened look in his eyes.
“I am sorry the potion did not work as expected but reinforcements are on the way. With the director’s help, we should be able to sort this out.”
Serenity’s assumed her words were unnoticed, and didn’t care either way. She just pulled out her Electrabook and began jotting notes while Ariel held Toshi in the water assuring him it would be okay, giving him light kisses as he held her hand.
Cesair’s golden eyes took in the situation and she knew she needed to get more individuals helping with running the SIA. With her obligations taking her away to Fairy at times, even with the time adjustments, there were operations happening she should have been aware of which she was not. Had she been aware of what her head mages were attempting she could have told them it was futile attempt.
“Though I am impressed with your willingness to bring these two together, though I understand for two very different reasons, there is no way a spell or potion can accomplish what you seek.” Cesair knew Elizabeta was swept away with the notion of bringing true love together and Serenity wanted information, which is all she ever desired, but either way it was no good.
“So you are saying we will never be together? Can you at least fix my Toshi?”
Cesair knelt her lean frame down to the water’s edge. They had moved to a lagoon where he could lay in the shallow with the other’s nearby without being submerged. “That is not what I am saying dear. However, the only way I know to turn a human into a merperson has not been done in thousands of years.”
Ariel looked up at the tall woman’s molten depths and knew of what she spoke, the legends of the first mermen and women. “I thought the stories of them not being born a fairy tale.”
Cesair smiled. “Poseidon has many tales surrounding him, but the fact he created the first merpeople, who then had the ability to breed a new species, was not a fable. He is the only one with the ability to change a human into a merperson, though.”
Ariel was at a loss for words. She looked down at her forsaken love in the water, he had tried to speak but his half formed body was unable to and it broke her heart. All he could do was lie in the water and breathe. If he died she knew she would take her own life for sure. He was unlike any other human male and though she was supposed be with, and have children with, another merperson, she fell in love with Toshi.
Cesair stood and drew in a deep breath. “Do not fret, Elizabeta can craft me a charm to breathe underwater and I can join you in petitioning to Poseidon for your case.”
“I would like to join you, maybe if there are more of us—”
“No, Elizabeta. I understand you wanting to be there for the sake of Mr. Matsushima and Ariel’s love but that will be unneeded, and would not help with their particular culture. I will go merely as a liaison for the SIA and as an Aos Si, which is what his mother is.”
“Couldn’t we seek the help of his mother, then?” Ariel sounded concerned.
The three beings not in the water looked down at the mermaid, but Cesair spoke. “I am sorry, but she is currently under investigation for crimes unassociated with her offspring. Needless to say, she would not be forthcoming in assisting us. I am hopeful, though, that Poseidon is more understanding and willing to assist.”
Ariel looked stricken, it sounded as though the ancient legend may not help them even if he was real, which she had never believed. Stories she heard as a child were ones read to her at bedtime.
“Ariel?” Cesair’s voice pulled Ariel’s attention to her once more. “We will take Toshi to a tank at the SIA where he will be safe. In the meantime I need you to talk with your parents about speaking on your behalf.”
Ariel’s heart caught in her throat. She had not even told her parents she fell in love with a human. She did not say as much though, only nodded at the request and told Cesair where her home was located in the hidden city between Bermuda and Florida. Cesair informed her of her plans and the mermaid watched as she and the two mages formed a magical barrier around the water her Toshi was in. She kissed him on the lips as the bubble pulled him away, leaving her to slosh in the water filling the space left behind. Tears fell as he mouthed, “I love you,” and pressed a hand to his bubble before he, Cesair, and the two mages disappeared in a portal the director had opened around them.
There were portals under the water the director had set for the people who lived under the sea. She didn’t have a lot of influence with merculture but did make it so they were safe from the humans on the surface, so as long as the merpeople didn’t do more than have a little fun with them. There once was a time when sirens would sit on rocks laughing as sailors crashed to their deaths trying to get to their beauty and mystery enticed by their haunting song.
Cesair had put an end to the killing in exchange for protection and help when it was needed. Part of the help she had bestowed was portal transportation to ease from getting to city to city without being detected by humans. It helped merpeople flourish and grow. Families became bigger, wealth spread, and killing humans for fun became a thing of the past. Sure it happened now and again, but not any more than humans themselves killed each other.
The one thing merpeople tended to enjoy doing was enticing humans in a different way. Whispering sweet things in their ears for a night of passion before the full moon set was commonplace with merpeople, but falling in love with a human was looked down upon. Ariel had never known of a human and a mermaid or man falling in love.
As she entered her home in Westeria Plains she wasn’t sure what she would tell her mother or father, and in such a short amount of time. The coral door shut behind her and she swam by their modest furniture, decorated in new purple sea stars her mother must have acquired on her recent trip to Southern Most Antiquis. The spell to keep them in stasis helped to liven up furniture but Ariel didn’t have time to compliment her mother on her most recent find.
“Oh, Ariel. You’re home a little late, Hun.” Her mother turned from her in the kitchen. Many names of things crossed from human to mer world, and with Cesair’s confirmation of the tales of where the first merpeople came from, Ariel knew why.
“Mom, I need to discuss something important with you and father.”
Her mother swam to her, her deep turquoise tail full with age. She looked healthy at just over one-hundred and thirty-two years. She still had at least another two-hundred left, and with Ariel only being thirty-four herself, she had a few centuries to go.
Her arms wrapped around her, the fabric made of woven reeds pounded soft first covered her mother’s top and pressed into Ariel’s bare skin. Unwed merwomen usually remained topless, it was impolite to do so when wed.
“Tell me what has you worried so.” Her mother’s pale depths took her in.
“Mother, I’m in love but I need you and dad to accept him.”
“Oh, Ariel dear, I’m so happy for you. Who is the lucky merman?”
Ariel frowned, and swallowed hard, feeling trapped in her mother’s hands and eyes. “He is named Toshio Matsushima and he is Japanese, mother.”
Her mother’s face fell. “A human … but, Ariel.” She sounded in shock as her hand fell away at last. “I’m not sure what your father will say.”
“There is more, mother. I attempted to turn him into a merperson and it didn’t work. The director of the SIA is on her way here to help, but I need you and papa to help petition to Poseidon to change Toshi. Please mama, please help me.”
Ariel was crying as her mother sat, shock flooding through her. “Cesair and Poseidon. My goodness, Ariel, what have you been doing on the surface the past year?”
“It’s been more than a year, mother.”
“What’s been more than a year?” Ariel’s father came in from the back, his smile was kind as he hugged his daughter then fell when he took in his stunned wife. “What’s the matter? What happened?”
There was a knock on the front door and Ariel went to it before answering, knowing it had to be Cesair and happy for the help in delivering such hard news, though she knew it was not the director’s news to deliver. She opened the door and tried not to be surprise to see a non-merperson underwater breathing with ease. If only Toshi could have lived with her in such a way, but his body would not survive even if he could breathe through magic. She tried not to cry thinking on her love as she guided the golden haired director to where her parents were.
Ces had tied her hair back in a braid and used a telekinetic spell to help ease her movements through the water, but couldn’t help and think she might seem almost ghost like as she floated to the two stunned merpeople in their modest kitchen.
“Good evening, I’m sure you are surprised to see me here.”
“Ariel, why is the director to the SIA in our home?” Her father didn’t sound angry, only shocked.
Cesair looked to the young mermaid and smiled. Ariel knew it was up to her to deliver the hard news. “She is here to help petition to Poseidon to turn the man I love into a merman, because the potion I attempted to use did not work.”
As Ariel waited for her father to be angry, or disappointed, or something she was stunned when instead he chuckled. “I had a feeling your time on the surface was more than just a little fun.”
“You couldn’t say anything to me, Percy?” Ariel’s mother didn’t think his hunch was as funny.
“You would have stopped her, but the girl needs to find her own way, just as we all do.” He squeezed her hand and she nodded.
She knew a thing or two about loving outside the norm. Her parents were not happy when she fell in love with a simple merman who worked a kelp farm outside of the American continent when she could have married royalty in the Southern Seas.
Smiling she nodded to her daughter. “You have our blessing dear, whatever you need your father and I will be there to support you. Even if it means going to Atlantis.”
Ariel couldn’t believe her ears. It was the one city where a portal was not placed since it was forbidden for merkind to go there. The city was said to be the fabled birthplace of the merpeople but was off limits and the only way to get there was through the Straits of Gibraltar and a human made water way too toxic to venture in.
“Do not worry, I have been to Poseidon’s home and we will not need to travel by conventional means. Come, if you are ready we can go now. The sooner the better for Mr. Matsushima.”
Ariel’s brow pursed in worry as she tried to hold back more tears and her father pulled her to him, his deep purple tail wrapping around her in a loving way. She hugged him as her tears came at last, mixing with the water around them. Her mother came to them and hugged her as well. Cesair approached the group and in an instant the room around the dissolved and they were on their way to plead to the first merman in existence for something that, in Ariel’s mind, was beyond his concerns.
The group appeared in a vast plaza made of marble and inlaid with gold and silver. The whole place gleamed under sun shining through the water causing it to shimmer, even if some pillars and walls were crumbling in places.
“Are you sure Poseidon is still alive?” Ariel sounded apprehensive, and Cesair could understand why.
After he was no longer considered a God among humans and his people left Atlantis, Poseidon became reclusive. She would check on him every few hundred years to be sure he had not faded away. Each time he was always alive, and never near death, but with his glory days gone he didn’t seem to have much desire venturing outside Atlantis, which held all he needed. That was why she placed the safety barriers around Atlantis for him, to protect him and let him sort through whatever it was he needed to sort through. Time was different to the immortal so she knew if he needed thousands of years, then that was what he needed.
The unsure merpeople followed her through the plaza and up the steps to the temple. What the merkind didn’t know was that Atlantis was once able to go above the sea, a place where him and his kind could walk in freedom. With his magic present they did not need the strength of the moon’s pull to allow them to change to human form, they could be human at any time in Atlantis with Poseidon there as their king.
The grand door opened for Cesair with ease and she called out to the once glorious God, hoping this would not be the time he had fallen to his own demise.
“Cesiar? What brings you by?”
She breathed in a sigh of relief as he came around a corner with a smile on his broad lips. His eyes fell on the merpeople around her and his eyes became confused.
“In all the years you have visited me, you have never brought any of my children by.”
“This is not a usual social visit, Poseidon. I am here on behalf of this young mermaid here, Ariel.” Cesair guided Ariel forward.
Ariel wasn’t sure how to address someone she revered like a God. “I … I’m not sure what to say. Do I call you lord, or your highness, or…” she was lost for words.
Poseidon laughed. “You may call me by my name girl. Why has Cesair brought you here, young lady?”
She swallowed and cast her eyes down, still not comfortable with addressing someone as great as Poseidon in a common way. “Poseidon, sir, Cesair has brought me here because she is trying to help me be with the one I love. My parents join me, to show support for my decision.”
He lifted a light blue brow. “Why should this concern me?” There was no anger in his voice and Cesair’s mouth pulled up in a smile, he seemed to be enjoying himself and that made her happy.
“You see, sir, I fell in love with a human so we asked two mages to turn him into a merman, but it didn’t work.” She kept her eyes down as the words tumbled out of her mouth. She never imagined her love for Toshi would put her in the fabled Poseidon’s home asking him for help.
After a few wrenching heartbeat’s Ariel was surprised by Poseidon’s outburst of laughter. “Mages tried to make a merman? That is the funniest thing I have heard in a millennia!” He laughed some more. “I take it you need my help with the poor young man, assuming he is still alive. I cannot raise the dead, you know.” He chuckled.
Ariel’s heart lifted. “You will change Toshi into a merman?”
Ariel’s parents hugged their daughter who had tears of joy and hope springing.
“Why would I not? After I had changed the first lot I knew I would have to change more over time to keep our blood pure and free of inbreeding. As the years passed though, less and less asked me to change until it stopped all together.” He shrugged. “I had figured my children had gotten along fine on their own and no longer needed the old ways of doing things.”
“We never knew of merfolk falling in love with humans and having them changed, it was always thought to be legends.”
Cesair had a knowing smile on her lips. She was almost sure of Poseidon’s help, since he so enjoyed making the merpeople when he first found the ability. However, Poseidon looked almost sad.
“I had not known I had gone the way of myth with my own children. Maybe it is time to reawaken Atlantis, not bring it to the surface as it once was—modern humans couldn’t handle that kind of magic.” He laughed. “However, it seems it is time I rejoined my people. Where is this young man I can help to become one of my merpeople?”
Ariel discovered Poseidon could allow all merpeople to walk on land without the full moon. As she and her parents stood in a white room in the SIA where Toshi was located in a tank, she found it odd to see her folks standing together with legs and not tails. She had never seen them out of the water before and with their being no full moon in the sky, it was even stranger.
Toshi had been told what was to happen and held Ariel’s hand as he waited for the Greek god to bite him and change him into a supernatural creature like his love. Looking up at the odd sight of the man, with hair the color of blue cotton candy and eyes two shades paler, he breathed through the gills at his neck and tried not to move, since any motion sent pain through his chest which seemed to only partially work.
“This shouldn’t hurt, but with the potion the mages gave you, I cannot guarantee it.”
Poseidon was impressed yet annoyed with the mages attempt at doing only what he was capable of. He pulled the young man from the low tank as gently as he could, bracing his head and shoulders, knowing the glamoured clothing would only appear to be wet since the shirt itself wasn’t even real. He felt his mouth change, his teeth becoming sharp like those of piranha, and bit down on the young man’s neck.
He felt him stiffen, then relax as Poseidon let his saliva mix with his blood. The first time he had tried to change a human he was overjoyed when it had worked. His sister was left to bear children, but only females since banshees were always girls. He was unable to impregnate a woman and when he had heard of how Weres changed humans, he figured it was worth a try. Every merperson who has ever come along he has considered his child and with the thriving cities hidden from humans by Cesiar, he felt satisfied with his contribution to the world.
As he pulled away from Toshi and his teeth returned to normal, he was happy to see the wound close up and knew the young man before him was the newest addition. “Welcome to the family, my son.”
Toshi sank back into the water as the odd feeling from his neck spread and pushed out the discomfort he had felt ever since the potion took effect. After getting over a man sucking on his neck, he felt better, as though everything would be fine. Toshi felt his body tingle as the feeling finished moving throughout him. He breathed in and out and felt at ease. Realizing he no longer felt the sensation at his neck he had before he reached up and felt the gills were gone.
Ariel watched as Toshi sat up, out of the shallow water holding his neck. “I can breathe underwater but I have no gills!”
She squealed with joy and wrapped her arms around her love who was helped from the tank by Cesair. “Merpeople do not need gills to breathe water. Poseidon’s bite worked!”
She kissed him then remembered her parents were in the room and pulled away with a blush.
Toshio had never seen Ariel so reserved and when his eyes fell on the two people he had not seen before in the room, he knew who they had to be. Ariel had told Toshi of her father and mother, Percy and Anatelli, and though they had no tails he still recognized them from her description. Even with all the questions and excitement around them, Toshio did not forget his manners.
Bowing to the two he stood and shook her father’s hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you. In my culture we use surnames as a way to show honor but since you do not have them in mer culture I will simply call you sir and ma’am. Sir, ma’am, I know this is very forward of me but my intentions must be clear. It would honor me if you would allow me the hand of your daughter, for I intend to spend the rest of my life with her.”
“Are all Japanese so polite?”
Toshi smiled at Anatelli, “Only the well raised one’s are, ma’am, and my grandmother raised me well.”
She pulled him in for a hug and both she and Percy agreed he was better than any merman or human they could have for their daughter.
After some tests Toshi had not minded doing for Serenity, he and the other merpeople were brought back to the reserve just as the sun was edging over the horizon. Cesair had told Poseidon she would speak with him soon and looked forward to seeing Atlantis brought back to its former glory before she left. Poseidon then asked Ariel’s mother’s for her help in reaching some of the royal families, due to her contacts in that region.
Ariel’s parents hugged her before they entered the water and returned to their merpeople forms. They followed Poseidon to a portal taking them to Southern Most Antiquis, and to her grandparent’s home who ruled from the capital city. She wondered for a moment how they would feel about Poseidon coming back from antiquity to rule his people once more, but figured they would be thrilled to see the great merman. Afterall, he was a legend to all merpeople.
Ariel loved the feeling of Toshi’s hand in hers and once her parents were out of sight she turned to him and put her other one in his as well. “I love you so, Toshio Matsushima.”
“And, I love you, Ariel.”
Their lips met and Ariel moaned as Toshi’s tongue passed between them. He matched her sounds as she nibbled his lower lip and both felt that pull of longing. They had made love many times in human form, the last time being just before taking the potion, but they had never done it in Ariel’s natural form.
She was concerned Toshi may not enjoy love making in the sea as a merperson but Toshi was excited to be with the woman he loved in a whole new way. They stripped each other’s clothes off and waded into the water. Once submerged Toshi felt for the first time, his body transform into that of a merman.
Once his legs were no more and a long black tail was in it’s place, he was a little sad it wasn’t as beautiful as Ariel’s, or the other merpeople he had seen that night.
“Oh my, Toshi. Your tail is so magnificent. I have never seen anything like it.”
Ariel swam around him stroking along his tail which caused small sensations to pulse through him. Her touch was always intoxicating and this new form seemed to accept it the same. He looked again to see what she was so mesmerized by, and though it did shimmer in a dark pearlescent way it didn’t seem that remarkable.
As she swam up to his face her hands went to either side. “It shines like the inside of a muscles shell. I never thought you could be even more handsome.”
Her lips met his again and in the water it was different, almost better as the warm current pressed against them in a comforting way. They let that warmth take them out deeper as they began to caress and touch each other. Toshi wasn’t sure how they were going to make love but touching her breasts and suckling her nipples as the water carried them on felt right.
Ariel gasped as Toshi sucked on one nipple then the other before kissing down her body to the folds around her tail covering her vaginal opening. He seemed to know where to stroke as his fingers passed over her sensitive area, becoming engorged as she became aroused. He kissed and licked around that area just as he had when she was in human form and the swelling grew, opening her body to him.
Keeping his hands on the flesh which opened in the gossamer like folds around where her tail met the human part of her body, he fingered the opening and found the nub there, knowing what it was. She was so sexy in this form, exposed yet hidden as her body was. Wrapping his other arm around her he held her to him as he fed at her breast again and fingered the kernel he could feel harden under his unrelenting touch.
She moaned out as his fingers worked her, light bubbles flitting to the surface while her arms wrapped around him and held on. Ariel noticed a mound pressing against the folds which would release his member and knew he was growing hard in his new body. She brought one hand down and began to stroke against those folds, knowing he would enjoy the sensation as much as she did. Toshi pulled away from her breast and began to moan himself as his member grew beyond the protective folds and curved up, larger than he was in his human body.
She stroked his new shaft until he thought he might burst in the warm Atlantic currents and couldn’t take it any longer. Bringing his other hand around her, his mouth met hers once more and as they kissed she held him as he entered her, making love for the first time as merman and mermaid.
They moved together in the water in quick motions, never breaking contact. Her folds seemed to grip him and hold him in as he moved in what felt like the best motion to move in. Whatever he was doing, it felt right and it felt amazing as he came closer and closer to his completion.
Ariel had never felt anything like being with the one she loved in her natural form, and she hoped it was as great for Toshi as was for her. She relished in the feeling of his member moving in and out of her in a rapid pace as her walls pulsed with need around its substantial size. Her orgasm grew and grew and as it broke, his did as well.
The two held each other as they came and kissed deep, not letting go even long after Toshi was spent. At last he felt his new member shrink, then hide back in the folds from where it came as Ariel’s swollen mound released him.
They professed their love once more and both had their own wishes for a quick wedding and a new life together. As Ariel brought Toshi to the portal which would bring them to his new home, she already was planning ahead on where they should live now that she would be with him. There was so much ahead to decide together but she was happy whatever happened, Toshi would be there with her for the rest of her life.
*At the end of most stories I have an epilogue which lets readers know a little about what happens to the protagonist(s) of the tale. In this story, I found writing mermaid sex so hard I couldn’t write the epilogue later of Toshi bringing his and Ariel’s baby to meet his family. Maybe someday when it is not so hard to read I will add that epilogue, as for now … I’m just glad I don’t have to write that again!
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Ariel is left to save her love, Toshi, after a failed spell leaves him helpless and stuck as something not human and not merman. Her need to save him brings her to the steps of a mythical being and gives readers a glimpse of what is happening at the SIA outside Annan's troubles. Enjoy a small visit to the mermaid world, hidden below the depths of our ocean's.