Rikki loved the water. Even before she was a mermaid, she loved the water. It gave her peace and washed away her troubles.
And there were plenty of troubles around her. It seemed like there was always someone causing trouble. Dr. Denman, Charlotte, and other people who's curiosity was going to be the death of them. But here in the water, with her bronze tail, she didn't have a care in the world. She loved being a mermaid more than anything in the world.
She stopped swimming for a second and took in the water. It was a perfect crystal blue clear color. The fish swam around her, tickling her belly and making her smile.
She realized she was pretty close to Mako Island shore and decided to swim to the Moon Pool.
But before she could do so, something raced down at her. She couldn't make out what it was because it was moving fast.
Before she could do anything, it wrapped around her tail, and she sank to the floor like a rock. She looked at it and it looked like a chain with a heavy piece of metal attached it. It was very, very strong and she couldn't use her powers to get it off. This had not been part of the plan. She figured she would have to wait until Cleo or Emma found her as she was sure they would come looking for her eventually.
That's when she felt her cells moving in an all too familiar way. Her eyes widened as her tail disappeared, replaced with her usual clothes and her legs.
The chain still stuck fast to her foot, trapping her at the bottom of the ocean. She began to panic as her breath left her. She couldn't breathe underwater anymore. She needed oxygen and fast. But the chain held her fast.
All her attempts to get to the surface proved futile.
Her lungs felt like they were about to explode. Her vision blurred and everything went black.
The woman turned to find a red speedboat coming towards her and fast with an all too familiar boy riding it. The boy jumped off the boat and onto hers.
"What do you think you're doing?" he growled
"I'm not stupid, Zane. I did more research and I know those girls are still mermaids, despite what they led me to believe. Zane, this is our chance to get rich! Think of how much people would pay to see a real live mermaid. Not to mention that there's so much more to research on those girls!"
"Stay away from them."
"Too late. I've already got one. You can kiss your girlfriend good-bye. She's mine now."
A rage boiled deep inside Zane that he had never felt before. Before he could tell himself to stop, he pushed her back into the door on the boat, and she got knocked unconscious.
Zane ran to the side of the boat. "RIKKI!" he screamed. He dove into the water and saw with horror an unconscious Rikki on the ocean floor…in human form. But she was supposed to be a mermaid now in the water. He looked at the thing attached to her leg and figured it must've been what Denman was using to capture the mermaids. He went back up to the boat and grabbed some chain clippers from Denman's tools. She must've been planning to use them once she got the mermaid on board.
He dove back into the water and swam down to Rikki, then cut the chain off her foot. She sank a little more now that she was released from its hold.
Zane grabbed her and swam to the surface. "Rikki!" he screamed as he took gulps of air. "Rikki, please!"
He swam with her to the shore on Mako Island. Slipping one hand under her knees, and the other around her waist, he carried her bridal style out of the water and laid her down on the sand.
He wasn't used to seeing her in wet clothes. She was always a mermaid before she got completely soaked.
"Rikki!" he screamed, lightly slapping her cheek. His heart was breaking. He had no idea Denman was going to go this far to get one of the mermaids.
Zane did the only thing he could think of. He started administering CPR. He pushed on her chest five times, then pinched her nose and placed his mouth on hers and gave her some breaths. It took three rounds of this, but finally, he heard a gurgling sound and Rikki coughed out sea water onto the sand.
"Hey, hey, breathe, Rikki. Take it easy. Just breathe."
Rikki took gulps of fresh air she thought she'd never have again.
"Zane?" she said quietly as she looked up. "What are you doing here?"
He smiled. "A simple thank you would be enough."
"Denman was trying to capture you using some sort of equipment. But I took care of her. Don't worry."
Zane took Rikki in his arms as they sat huddled on the beach together. He fingers intertwined into her wet hair that still felt flawless. She grabbed onto him tightly, letting them have their moment.
"You're safe now."