***DA***

Later that night Rowen finally approaches Cye about his mystery girl. "Going out with that girl again?"

"We don't have any plans, and I haven't seen her since we got back from the hospital with Yuli. I thought maybe I would go out and see if Lorelei turned up."

"Strange the way she just appeared out of nowhere this morning."

"She was probably out swimming again when she heard Yuli in trouble."

"There weren't any tracks coming out of the water like there were yesterday when she did that."

"Maybe she walked."

"From where? You were out in the direction she left in yesterday. We all had a clear view of the beach she didn't come from the other way."

"What are you getting at Rowen?"

"There is something strange about her Cye. I followed her tracks last night after everyone left and they just stopped right there on the middle of the beach. She didn't go back into the ocean she just seems to have vanished into thin air."

Cye thinks briefly about how she seems to have appeared out of thin air at the boardwalk. "So?"

"So...you don't think that's odd?"

"If there is something on your mind, Rowen just come out and say it."

"Alright then-I don't think she's human."

"What just because we have the armor that automatically makes everyone we meet who is mysterious some sort of demon?"

"I didn't say that Cye...but with the way you, and White Blaze for that matter, act around her I don't trust her."

"Well I do and I should know a thing or two about that." Cye heads for the door.

Rowen looks back at Ryo and others who step into the room as Cye leaves. "That didn't go well."

Kento watches as Cye stalks off down the beach. "I would get mad too if I were him, but you have a point Rowen. I finally tried to get close to them last night after watching several guys try only to suddenly give up at the last second and...well its like she didn't want anyone other than Cye close to her."

Sage speaks up. "I noticed that too all the guys hanging around ogling her just walked off soon after we got there. One minute they couldn't take their eyes off her and the next it was like they were waking up from some sort of trance."

Yuli sits down on the sofa. "Well it was lucky for me that she showed up when she did."

Mia sits down beside Yuli. "Why were you out there climbing that cliff?"

"I saw a bird up there. It sounded like it was singing and I wanted to get a better look at it."

Rowen turns to Yuli remembering the tracks in the sand where the girls ended last night. "That is when White Blaze started acting funny this morning when the bird started chirping. Do you remember where the girl came from Yuli?"

"She just swooped in to stop the one that was attacking me."

Ryo glances from Rowen to Yuli. "Who swooped in the girl or the bird you wanted to see?"

"Well-at first I thought it was the bird from the shadow I saw swoop down-but when I looked up it was that girl kneeling over me. I saw something else though. Her hair it wasn't hair-it was really long thin feathers and it was the same color as the bird I was climbing the cliff to look at."

"Lorelei..."

Kento looks over at Rowen. "Isn't that what Cye said her name was?"

Rowen nods as he goes back to the library for the book he was looking at last night. "Lorelei was a mythical siren. They were half women-half bird that used to lure sailors to their deaths with their singing. I don't think its coincidence that she showed up here and immediately set her sights on Cye who just happens to be the bearer of the torrent armor."

Mia speaks up. "Now that I think about it what I thought was a dolphin yesterday was really the same color as that girls hair."

Sage looks over at Mia. "You saw a bird woman in the water?"

"No what I saw had a tail similar to dolphin." Mia pauses recalling exactly what she saw. "The size was right for a dolphin tail anyway but it looked more fish like with a translucent tail and shimmery scales."

"Cye started acting strange soon after you saw that...and the tracks I saw later came out of the water...but if that was the girl you saw, Mia, it would mean she is a mermaid not siren." Rowen flips to another section of the book looking up mermaids.

"Maybe she's both." Everyone turns to look at Yuli.

Ryo speaks up. "I think we better go find Cye and figure out what this girl is up to."

-DA-

Lorelei finds Cye out for a swim in the ocean. She doesn't make any effort to hide herself as she circles over head before landing at the edge of the surf. She turns off the charms she doesn't want to trick him anymore.

When Cye looks back toward shore-its the girl he sees. He quickly swims back to her.

"I never meant for the boy to get hurt this morning...I had just never sang before and once I started I didn't want to stop."

"How can you think what happened was your fault. Yuli was trying to climb the cliff to look at a bird. It was an accident that's all." He stands up when he reaches the shallow water and walks over to Lorelei. "You were the one that kept that bird from attacking and hurting him worse and he wanted me to thank you for him." Cye unwinds the necklace cord with the seahorse charm he picked out from around his wrist. "Now about last night...diamond rings just didn't seem to suit you. This seemed a little more fun than that."

"Aww...that's so adorable."

Cye kisses her after fastening it around her neck. "To someday."

"Someday..." She savors the feeling as he wraps his arms around her.

Cye runs his fingers through her long feathery hair. "I forgot and left your ribbon inside."

"Keep it-as a reminder of me."

"You make it sound like you're leaving."

Lorelei pulls back from Cye. "I can't do the job my mothers sent me here for. I'm sorry Cye."

"Sorry for what?"

Sighing she walks down into the ocean until she is fully immersed to the waist. Her dress disappears as her form shifts yet again.

Cye looks down at her as the moonlight reflects off her iridescent shimmering lower fish-like body. He stares at her in awe for a moment before he follows her back into the water. He wants to reach out and touch her and find out if that is real or an illusion caused by the moonlight and water-instead he repeats his earlier question. "Sorry for what?"

"We would all like to know the answer to that."

Lorelei doesn't even bother to turn and look at the owner of that voice. "Heaven's right? I was told I wouldn't be able to hide anything from the bearer of that armor-for nothing gets by its virtue of wisdom."

Ryo looks at the girl in shock. "How do you know about the armor?"

"What you call demons along with many of your myths and legends were a part of this realm at one point-until they were banished to stop them from melding in the lives of mortals-or most of them were anyway. Some of those that were good at hiding escaped being banished. I was born of two of those races through their magic and sent out to save them both from extinction. Neither Mermaids nor Sirens are immortal we just live much longer than mortals and its too big of a risk for either to lure mates now without ending up caught and placed in some glass cage somewhere to be ogled over. The youngest of those left are nearing an age where having offspring is no longer possible for them. My mothers thought if anyone would understand their plight and do something to help without letting the world know our myth is real-it would be the one that who now bears the torrent armor." She turns looking up forcing herself to look Cye in the eyes. "I was sent to tempt you as a mermaid and lure you away with the siren's song if you wouldn't agree to come. Last night was wonderful...I was supposed to bring you back then but I couldn't do it and I still can't. In some cruel twist of fate rather than making you fall for me-I'm the one that fell in love with you. I'm sorry."

He grabs her arm as she tries to swim away. "What will happen to you if you go back alone?"

"I don't know and it doesn't matter what happens to me anyway."

"It matters to me."

Lorelei looks him in the eye. "But I stopped...you can't still be..."

"In love with you? What makes you think that was your doing?"

"You're just confused right now. In the morning you'll be wondering what you ever saw in me. I have to go now." Before he can stop her, Lorelei swims away quickly then shifts in her bird form and flies away before he has the chance to don his armor and follow her.

Cye just stays there in water staring after her as she disappears into the night.

***DA***

Cye sits out on the beach with Lorelei's hair ribbon in his hand as the sun rises. He doesn't even bother to look away from the sunrise as Rowen sits down beside him.

"Your thinking of going after her."

"She said things would be clearer in the morning. It seemed like a good idea to wait."

"Are things clearer now?"

"I might not have acted like some love sick fool without whatever charms she was using but I still want her. She wasn't the only one that fell in love."

"You said you trusted her, but what about the others she mentioned? She didn't exactly say what it was they wanted, but that hint left little to the imagination. Are you prepared if it is something like that they want of you and possibly in exchange for her?"

He looks over at Rowen. "They won't be happy that she didn't do what she was apparently born to. I can't stand the thought that there might be any harm come to her if they decide to punish her for not doing what they sent her to. I don't know exactly what the others want, I only know want Lorelei and I would do whatever it takes to get her back."

"It sounds like some sort of fail safe to me. If she doesn't do it they still use her to lure you to them. There is something else you might want to think about in all this. What about Lorelei? She didn't want you to go to the rest of them. It wasn't hard to miss that it wasn't an act-it pained her to leave you but I think she did it just to save you from the others."

"I know...but that doesn't change what I want."

"And what if you go and she gets mad at you for going after her?"

"That is the only reason I haven't left yet. I would do anything she wanted me to-but I can't just let her go like that." He looks back at the sunrise. "You intend to stop me if I try to find her?"

"If you intend to go I'm not going to let you risk it alone."

Cye stands up and walks to the tide line. The ribbon in his hand flutters faintly in the breeze as he holds it directly above that line. "Dry sand, let her have her way. Wet sand I go after her."

Rowen nods in agreement.

Both watch as the ribbon flutters to the sand. When it falls they look at each other and nod.

Cye bends to pick it up and holds it over his heart as he looks out over the ocean.


do i need to duck before saying that's the end to this story? i ended it without telling the result of the drop for a reason. it can stand alone or be continued that way. i haven't decided yet.

DRIFT AWAY playlist:

Drift Away (MIA artist info)

Be My 2012 Member Kit

Under the Boardwalk (MIA artist info)

Love Letters in the Sand (MIA artist info)

Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay (MIA artist info)

poll in my profile-be sure record your answer.