Waaaaahh! I can't believe that this is finally finished! I must say that this is probably my greatest masterpiece ever! Thank you all for following, commenting, and favoring! I love you all!
There are some OCs at the end of this chapter but they play super minor roles so they're not important.
Finals week went by fairly quickly. Everyone passed all their classes. Unfortunately, it also meant going their separate ways for the summer, something the quartet wasn't looking forward to.
"I never thought I'd say this but I don't want to leave campus," said Valerie.
"I know what you mean," said Tucker. "This has been the most exciting year I've ever had."
"That's good to know, Tucker. Now could you please let go of my legs?" Valerie asked irritably.
"But that means I'll never see you again for three months!" Tucker whined.
Damon Gray stood in the doorway, ready to take his daughter's belongings down to the car.
Tucker got nervous at his demeanor. "Uh…hi. You must be Valerie's dad. You're bigger than I thought you'd be," he whimpered.
Valerie giggled. She knew that she'd have to introduce Tucker to her father sooner or later.
Meanwhile, Sam and Daniel were sitting in the cave coming up with a plan for Daniel to visit Sam during the summer. She held a map of Amity Park and showed Daniel the best places to visit her.
"So, when's the best time to visit you while your parents are asleep?" Daniel asked slyly.
Sam playfully hit him. "Easy, boy. Let's not get ahead of ourselves," she said.
Daniel chuckled. "Wishful thinking." He put an arm around Sam's shoulders. "I'm really gonna miss you, Sam."
Sam smiled. "Well, we won't be separated forever," she said. "We're both sneaky. We'll manage to see each other over the summer."
Daniel kissed the side of her head. "Your parents might keep me away from you," he said.
Sam scoffed. "I'd like to see them try."
Daniel then frowned. "They're…gonna have to find out the truth about us sooner or later," he said.
Sam also frowned. "That's something they'll never approve of," she said mournfully. "The moment they find out what you really are and what's happening to me, they'll split us up. You'll be sent to a research facility and I'll be at a hospital getting my scales and fins removed or something."
Daniel then hugged Sam from behind. "I'll never let that happen," he vowed.
Sam smiled and leaned against him. This was where she felt safest. No one could make her feel safer and more secure than being in the arms of the man she loved. He nuzzled his face into her hair, getting as much of her scent (lavender and hibiscus) in his memory as possible before going home.
Sam turned to face him and planted a kiss on his lips. Daniel returned the kiss with a passion. He wrapped his strong yet scrawny arms around her, one of his hands going to the small of her back. Sam's arms snaked around his neck, her fingers running through his raven black hair.
Daniel felt his icy blue eyes change into its normal neon green. His teeth slowly began to sharpen. He knew what was happening but he fought off his inner desires for Sam, for both their sakes.
Sam noticed what was going on and knew what Daniel was trying to do. "It's okay," she assured him.
"No, it's not okay," Daniel grunted. "I can't give in or I might do something that I'll regret."
As much as Sam wanted to say that she was willing to make one exception, it would go against everything she believed in. Not to mention her parents would go ballistic if that happened.
Sam wrapped her arms around her boyfriend. "I love you," she said.
Daniel looked deeply into her amethyst eyes. "I love you too…forever," he replied.
Sam smiled at him. "Forever and a day."
The two then began to kiss passionately. Both of them wanted this moment to last forever. Seeing each other over the summer was going to be a challenge but they were willing to take risks.
Sam parted the kiss and asked, "Can we…go for a swim before you go home?"
Daniel smiled and jumped into the water, changing into his true form. His head popped out of the water and Sam carefully climbed onto his back. Danny then glided out of the cave. When the coast was clear, he began to pick up speed. He eventually began to jump through the water like a dolphin.
Sam's fins and gills came out the moment he went under the first time. This was way more fun than riding a Jet Ski or water skiing. In fact, this was the most fun Sam's had in weeks. Studying for finals took up a lot of time for her so it was nice to finally unwind.
Danny eventually went down under completely. Sam held on tight as he sped through the depths of the ocean.
"Ah! There it is!" he announced.
Sam didn't realize she had her eyes squeezed shut. When she opened them, she saw that they were in front of a cave entrance. However, Sam could feel the light pull of a current coming from inside the cave.
"What is this?" she asked.
"A little fun. I guess you can say this is our version of a water slide," Danny replied with a chuckle. "Hold on tight."
Danny then charged into the cave, allowing the current to take over. Sam held onto Danny's neck tighter than usual. It felt like she was on a roller coaster.
"YAHOO!" Danny cheered as they swerved in all directions. It was dark inside so Sam had no idea which way was up, down, left, or right.
Eventually they made it to the end as the current finally slowed and allowed Danny to swim freely. They swam out of the cave and back into the wide-open ocean.
"What did you think?" Danny asked Sam who was still clinging to his neck for dear life. Danny had to pull Sam's hands off of him to get her back to her senses.
"Huh? Oh! That was… That was kind of…fun yet terrifying," Sam honestly told him.
Danny laughed at her answer. "I thought you'd like that. I figured I'd end this year with something fun to do," he told her.
"Well, mission accomplished," Sam replied matter-of-factly.
Danny took her hand and guided her back to the surface. "I'd better get you back. Your family is probably wondering where you are," he said, all hints of amusement gone from his voice.
They swam in silence for a while until Sam broke it. "You know, I think I know why I'm going through these changes," she said. Danny looked at her questioningly. "They didn't start until after Winter Break."
"Yeah. Go on," Danny encouraged.
"Well, after Vlad tried to steal my pearl I realized that the only way I would feel safe was if you were with me," Sam continued. "That was when I realized that I was in love with you too. I saw the moon and sang to it like we sometimes do and my pearl started glowing. I think that's what triggered it."
Danny smiled and embraced her. "That's gotta be it," he said. "When you realized how you felt towards me, your heart must have given the green light for the pearl to start its magic on you."
"Speaking of magic, when do you think I'll be able to do it?" Sam asked curiously.
Danny buried his face in Sam's ebony hair. "Who knows? Everyone can do it. You'll be able to do it soon," he responded.
The two eventually made it back to the cave and dried off. Changing back into his human disguise, he walked Sam (also back to normal) out of the cave.
"There you are, Sammy-kins!" said Pamela. "It's time to go."
Jeremy eyed Daniel and readily frowned. "And no, Daniel is NOT invited to come with us to Miami for the family reunion," he said before Sam could say anything. Sam sneered at her parents for talking like that to her boyfriend.
"Fine. Just let me say good-bye," she said.
Her parents nodded and walked back to their limo.
"Okay. I just went from scared to downright terrified of telling your parents the truth about us," Daniel told Sam.
"Hopefully Grandma will be more understanding," Sam muttered. She then turned to her boyfriend. "So, you'll drop by over the summer?"
"Totally. I'll even call you on your shell phone to let you know ahead of time," Daniel assured her. He then placed a loving kiss on her lips. "I'll come visit you. I promise."
Sam's family was getting impatient.
Sam sighed and looked up at Daniel. "I know you will," she answered. The two reluctantly let go of each other and Sam slowly walked toward the limo. She opened the door and before she stepped in, she turned and mouthed the words 'te amo' to him.
Daniel waved to the limo as it drove off. His heart cried out for him to follow it but he refrained. Regardless of warnings, the future didn't scare him at all. Nothing was like before. It was better.
"What?! What do you mean he escaped?" Operative O demanded.
"When I said he escaped, I mean HE ESCAPED!" a rookie exclaimed.
"You realize that he's the only specimen we have?" K asked.
"I know! I'm sorry!" the rookie cried. "I was only gone for five minutes to hit the can! How was I supposed to know he'd escape?"
"You were supposed to wait until your replacement came for his shift," O scolded.
"It was an emergency! I couldn't hold it in," the rookie defended. "And standing guard over a tank full of water…"
"Okay, we get it," K said hurriedly.
"Search the perimeter," O ordered his fellow operatives. "Bring him back here alive! We can't risk exposing him to the public yet!"
Meanwhile, several hundred miles away, Vlad Plasmius finally surfaced from the river that was near his cabin in the Rockies. He was seething with rage. If he knew that harming Samantha that much would cause the Phantom's true nature to awaken, he would have thought of a different plan.
He would have to lay low for a while. The Guys in White were searching for the Manmade Hybrid but they weren't looking for Vlad Masters. He would have to stay in hiding until everything cooled down in California.
What was he going to do now? He still needed to become a full-fledged merman to be with his true love but how was he going to do that? Abducting the Phantom was a mistake. He harmed his mate and look what happened. Vlad didn't want to think what Samantha was capable of if he harmed Daniel in front of her even if she wasn't a complete mermaid yet.
An idea struck him then. If Vlad couldn't defeat the Phantom, maybe the High Council in Atlantis could.
"If you think you've beaten me, Daniel, you're sadly mistaken," Vlad said aloud. "The only ones who are actually able to defeat you are the same ones who defeated the Phantoms before you."
"Sammy! Look, look, look!" Susan Jones, Sam's nine-year-old cousin called out. Susan and her younger brother James were from Pamela's side of the family.
Sam stayed in the shade of her beach umbrella looking out into the ocean during the May afternoon. She couldn't believe she was reduced to watching over her cousins while her parents and relatives were out having fun. She really wanted to go back to the west coast so she could have fun with Danny and her friends.
"What is it, Susie? As if I really care," Sam drawled.
"A bottle washed up on the beach," James said excitedly. "There's something in it but we can't open it."
That got Sam's attention. "A bottle you say?" she asked, intrigued. "And there's something in it?"
"Yeah! It sounds like there's lots of stuff in it too," Susan squeaked.
"Give it," Sam ordered with her hand out, demanding the kid to give the bottle to her. Susan did so and Sam opened the bottle easily. She dumped the contents out into the sand, making sure that the water didn't touch her skin so her secret wouldn't be exposed. A small pair of hoop earrings, a pocket knife, and a photo of her and her three friends standing in front of Tick Tock Clock Shop (the photo was taken by Dick).
"That's you!" James pointed out.
"How did a picture of you end up in a bottle on the beach?" asked Susan.
Sam smiled, knowing that a certain merman was nearby. "Let's just say that I know a Phantom who has a lot of tricks up his sleeve," she said. A flash of light from the water caught her eye. She knew that he only came by to give her this little present then used magic to head back home (probably thanks to a certain Cecaelia).
Sam had a feeling in her heart that her life was not going to be the same ever again. And she liked it.
Give me a few weeks for my brain to recover and to focus on the last few weeks of classes. Keep an eye out for the sequel, Gothus Angelus.
Thank you, Feri-san and mikopriestessmayumi for inspiring me to write this story! After seeing your fanart on deviantart, I was inspired to write this! And thank you CartoonFreakshow and jeanette9a for your fanart! Your artwork encouraged me to keep writing.
And most importantly, thank you my reviewers and followers and those who favored PNF! I love you all and I hope the sequel will be as good as this.