Her Supreme Royal Highness, Princess Lyndalae, seven times great granddaughter to the mighty Poseidon and heir to the Sunken Throne was currently having the time of her life. The sea roiled and frothed, spitting water against her upturned face. She floated placidly, letting the monstrous waves fling her where they may, and laughing heartily when a particularly large one left her airborne for nearly ten seconds. No mermaid worth her weight in tuna could resist a good typhoon and the princess was no exception.
So enraptured with watching the lighting zigzag across a purple sky as rain pelted her face she nearly missed the large vessel. The ship was a decent size and with a critical eye she guessed at least thirty five hands aboard, perhaps more. It was leaning at an impossible angle and coming towards her quickly on the face of the largest wave she had seen thus far.
Sailors scrambled about the deck, anxiously pulling lines and rigging. The Captain could be heard shouting orders to his men over the roar of the storm. One man had simply given up and was kneeling near the railing, praying fervently. He knew as well as she, they weren't going to make it.
She watched in mute fascination as lightening struck the bow, setting the ship ablaze. The wave crested, broke, and the ship flipped upside down, the hull somehow stubbornly clinging to the surface of the water. Crew members began falling overboard, but one man was clinging to the mast and to Lyndalae's utter astonishment, was looking directly at her.
Her breath hitched in her throat and her heart gave a strange stutter as wide brown eyes locked with his piercing green. His sharp features were calm as he looked at her. Time seemed to stop as they gazed at one another for an impossibly long moment, and then unbelievably, he smiled and gave her a wink.
There was a moment of terrible silence as gravity finally kicked in and the ship was free-falling before the wave crashed down heavily upon it. Lyndalae blinked, drawing a shaky breath before she quickly dipped beneath the surface, the roar of the storm muted to a soft murmur. The capsized ship was sinking quietly and quickly, surrounded by drowning men. Some struggled while others with sightless eyes floated amongst bits of wooden beams and line. She paid these things no heed as she made her way through the dark green waters as fast as her fins would take her. The ocean's current pushed against her roughly in the wrong direction, tempting her to abandon thoughts of saving the man with eyes the color of summer grass on the dunes. Leave him be, it seemed to whisper in her ear.
But she was strong, and she was fast, deftly maneuvering around a barrel and narrowly avoiding a sinking cannon. She needed to move quickly as the waters were not so deep here. If she didn't reach him before the flipped ship hit the sea floor she would never see those eyes again and her heart seemed to break at the possibility. Pain ripped through her scalp as a desperate hand grabbed a fistful of hair, pulling her back and slowing her down. She screamed, aiming a powerful kick with her tail above and behind her to wrench free, never taking her eyes off the mast as it sank serenely.
Faster, faster, faster! Her mind was screaming, as the ocean floor loomed ever nearer. With a final burst of energy and a guttural cry she dove beneath the boat, grabbed her prize and cleared the shipwreck as it touched down, a fine dusting of sand billowing up around them. Breathing heavily she began her ascent with equal determination and speed. The man in her arms seemed to weigh much more than what should be natural. Sparing a look down at him, she stopped short with a gasp, nearly dropping him in the process.
He was faintly glowing. A dim shimmering green light seemed to roll and sway gently beneath his skin, as if there were lighted liquid softly sloshing within him. She pulled back entranced, never had she seen such a thing so beautiful as his glowing face and knew she would never forget it as long as she lived. Then his glow began to flicker, seizing her heart with fear. What was she doing? He needed air! She pressed coral colored lips to his quickly; sliding her tongue in to open his mouth and blew out the oxygen she had drawn before her dive.
His eyes snapped open locking onto hers, glowing a brilliant green like phosphorescence breaking in the summer waves. The intensity she found reflected in the deep swirling pools threw her off balance and she took a deep breath putting a small amount of distance between them. This man was a mystery and as much as she loved a good riddle, the absolute strangeness of it all was beginning to make her wary.
Lyndalae shivered as his hands slowly came up to cup either side of her face, drawing her near again, all thoughts of strangeness vanishing at his touch. He smiled slowly, causing her stomach to quiver and flip. Then his lips were upon hers and she marveled at the softness of them while her eyes fluttered shut. She could feel magic growing and heating the water around them as he deepened the kiss, licking at her lower lip to gain access to her mouth. She readily complied, bringing her hands up to tangle in his hair and pressing her full length against him.
Never had she felt anything as powerful as his kiss. She felt drunk on desire and the heady unfamiliar scent of his magic. It smelled impossibly of damp earth and windswept grass. In the back of her mind the princess knew she should stop, knew she should flee for the earth and sea could only crash against the other, but she couldn't bring herself to care what happened. Couldn't muster up the fear she should be feeling from him calling power around them both. All she wanted was more of the strange wild being she held in her arms.
The water around them began to pulse as his magic came to a crescendo and within the span of a heartbeat the supporting sea was gone, replaced by cool air and wet sand. A soft rain drizzled warm upon them as waves lapped lazily against her fins. The abrupt change was enough to cause the mermaid pause and she pulled away, looking about her surroundings slightly bewildered. A soft chuckle brought her focus back to his beautiful face, nearly melting at his amused smile.
"Thank you," His voice was sinfully smooth, cultured, and deep, the rumbling against her chest sending a fresh wave of desire to pool low in her belly. A voice like that should be bottled, she thought dazedly. "For trying to save me. It was rather sweet of you, and I daresay a long time since anyone cared enough to risk it."
He rolled off her gracefully and stretched languidly in the sand beside her.
The statement and loss of his body warmth brought her somewhat back to her senses. "Funny, I was under the impression I did save you." She replied pitifully breathless. She winced at the sound of her voice. Honestly, what was wrong with her? A princess should not sound so pathetically infatuated after knowing a man for all of five seconds.
Lying on his side, he leisurely propped a fist under a squared jaw, sweeping his eyes along the length of her body and making a low appreciative noise. Lyndalae flushed under the openly assertive gaze. "Hmm, I suppose you would." He replied cryptically. "Well, as it is, I appreciate the effort."
Standing he began dusting the sand from his clothing, turning to leave. At the sight of him walking away something in Lyndalae seized up. She extended an arm towards him and shouted, "Wait!"
The Sailor turned, a knowing half smile on his weathered face. "Yes?"
Calling her own magic she made a sweeping gesture along her tail, which shimmered slightly before splitting and reforming into a shapely pair of legs. She stood a bit wobbly and made her way over. Looking up she suddenly realized how large he was; head barley reaching his shoulders. Licking dry lips, she was unsure how to continue.
There was just something about him that seemed to call to her, some overwhelming desire to be near him. The irony of a sailor luring a mermaid to shore was not lost on her. She had never believed in love at first sight, but looking into those fathomless green eyes stirred her soul to life.
Not knowing quite how to articulate her thoughts and feelings, she simply stared, afraid he would disappear. The sailor seemed to understand, smiled indulgently and wrapped a sun kissed arm around her shoulders. He turned them toward the cliff line at the edge of the beach.
"Well then Princess," He said, tucking her neatly against his side. "let us find some shelter before nightfall."
For those of you that have been waiting six years for me to continue this story, if any of you are still actually around, I'm sorry! I have been busy getting an education. I'm back now though and I couldn't continue the story as it stood. The writting made me wince. Anywhoo, I promise not to abandon this until it's done. So enjoy the rewrite and the continuation of In His Debt!