Breathing Underwater

By K. Ryan

Numair was safe. Salt water, ever buoyant, felt easy and natural to him now, with her all about him, slick and teasing and secure. His own heartbeat thudded in his ears as his head broke the surface, and her own was a deep him against the skin of his back, slow and heavy. His throat burned. Waves crashed and spray licked his face, broke over his naked shoulders. One breath. Two. A third, and he was dragged back under again.

Blackness. Smoothness. A body's warmth.


There were no words to hear, but low creaks and high keens of sound buffeted his chest, his head, his belly. He was wrapped in sound that his human body—so tall and large on the surface, now turned small in this world of pulses, of beats—could barely understand, only feel. His skin pricked and burned from the schools of tiny fish that swirled around them, tasting them both.

Sweetness forced his eyes open, air escaping his now slack mouth in a stream of silver. Her touch was gentle. It was immense. He had never been as hard as this, caught in sucking, dense pressure that was nearly heat. She gripped him and teased, and it was more than her mouth or any other's. A thousand mouths, that took and held and slipped over and around him as he ran out of air. Light spangled over wide eyes. The same patterns as his magic as his lungs strained and release, when it came, spilled out around them both in a denser cloud than his own breath. The fish feasted.

She surged forward again, up and up to the wavering, light filled pane of surface water, dizzying him as it broke. More spray. A deep, desperate gulp of air that stung, bright and chill. Gulls cried above them and, head swaying forward, he could see she was still wrapped fast about him, ink dark and glistening, faint striations of pale blue and blush pink blooming over her flesh. She writhed beneath him, against him, and Numair let his hand trail back down into the water to take some small part of her and hold it close, as she twined through his fingers, small sucking sounds coming back up to him as she enjoyed the caress. He shivered as a thicker, stronger part of her crept up around his legs, his hips, teasing him while he had the breath to gasp. He cried out, in the end, more in exaltation than pain. He felt stretched and torn and loved and breathless and full of the very sky. Words turned back to bubbles as he was pulled down again.


The kraken hummed her pleasure.