Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Sea Hag -Chapter Six-

 

Sirena



My insides quivered deliciously when he said my name, but I shook it off and began moving toward the other end of the beach. He followed along maybe half a step behind me, not unlike the way young whales maintained physical contact with their mothers. 

My arm burned with his warmth where he touched me. I looked down at the fingers wrapped around my elbow and frowned at the stark difference in our skin tones. With a thought, I changed the color to something more like his and smiled at the result.

I could tell that he was highly intelligent as well as intensely curious. When his hand had brushed against the sensitive gills at my side, he hadn’t recoiled in the slightest. It made me want to reveal myself to him all the more, but old habits are the hardest to break, and I had been hiding myself from humans for over a decade.

“So, Sirena,” he said after a few moments of walking in silence, “What is it that you do?”

I frowned in momentary incomprehension, glancing over at him. “Do?” I echoed.

“Yeah,” he said with a slight chuckle and an adorably bewildered smile. “For work? Or are you in school? I’m applying for my masters in marine biology at you dub. University of Washington? That’s where my father got his PhD, so I’m hoping they’ll want to give me a chance. He was kind of a big deal in marine biology circles.”

Ah. He was trying to get me to open up by revealing himself to me first. A display of vulnerability to show he was not a threat. I appreciated his insight, but struggled to place my main activities into a human context. After a moment I said, “I...try to stop the...destruction of the Ocean.”

He nodded. “Environmentalist, huh? That’s quite the undertaking. Are you with some kind of group? Forgive me if I’m wrong, but it seems like you might have been on your own out there for quite some time.”

I was brought up short, stopping in the sand to turn and stare at him. How could he possibly know that? His face was a polite, inquisitive mask, waiting for my answer. Little Brother barked several times from where he followed us, diving in and out of the surf playfully. I watched him, wrapping my arms around myself, feeling Micheal’s knuckles press against my sensitive gills as I did so, and not really caring anymore. I felt so exposed and vulnerable already, was keeping my true self from him really worth it anymore?

“I take it I’m not wrong,” Michael said gently.

I sighed. “No. You’re not wrong. Until today, I had not spoken to a human being in ten years.”

His eyebrows raised at that. “Alone at sea for ten years? But surely you had to dock for supplies at some point. If not for food and fuel, then you would at least need water?” He was incredulous, his face flushed red. Then he began to sway on his feet and his eyes rolling back.

Michael!” I cried as he collapsed. I knelt beside him, cradling his head in my hands. His eyelids fluttered and he whispered, “Sorry. Just dehydrated.”

The heat of the sun was taking a toll on my hydration as well, but, as a marine mammal I process water much more efficiently and can produce it from food, rather than drinking. I hadn’t felt thirst in a very long time, but I could feel its approach in a subtle drying-out of my skin and mucous membranes.

“We’re almost there, Michael,” I assured him, wrapping an arm around his waist and hoisting him to his feet. “I’ve got you, come on. I’m sorry for the delay, it was selfish of me. I didn’t know you were this dehydrated.” My words were coming fast, panicked and pleading. He didn’t answer, just grimaced as he draped his arm around my shoulders to help support his weight. He was weak and uncoordinated. I ended up half dragging him through the sand, one arm around his waist and one around his surfboard.

As we got closer to where I knew his nest lay, I began to hear a beeping. Four short beeps repeating with a pause between each set. As we got closer and I was able to see the blanket and bag of his belongings, the beeping was becoming increasingly loud. 

Micheal stirred, raising his head and turning an ear toward the sound. “There!” he rasped, his beautiful face a blotchy red rictus. “Do you see it?”

“Yes, I see it, Michael,” I assured him, picking up my pace as much as I dared. “We’re almost there.

“‘S’whatchu said...ten minutes ago..” he slurred. I looked down to see him smirking tiredly.

I rolled my eyes, but if he was cracking jokes he couldn’t be that bad off. I gripped him tighter, spreading my hand over his rippling stomach and trying not to let my claws bite into his flesh. 

“I’m doing my best here,” I huffed at him, “This ‘saving your life’ all the time is becoming rather tedious.”

He snorted and then we were at his nest. As soon as his feet touched the blanket he sagged and I lowered him to the ground where he crawled on all fours toward the large duffel bag. I watched as he groped inside before retrieving a thick plastic water jug and, with small desperate noises, upended it and began to drink. He took three large gulps and then, with visible reluctance, set it down. 

His fingers traced the surface of the bottle lovingly in a way that made me unable to avert my eyes until he reached over and found the little rectangular source of the annoying beeping and turned it off with the flick of a switch. He sighed in relief and felt around in the bag again, pulling out a second jug of water and shaking it slightly in a gesture of offering.

He moved his head, eyes searching, trying to figure out where I was. “Sirena?” he called, “I’ve got more water, and some food, if you’re hungry.” He patted the blanket with a hopeful little smile. “Come, sit with me.”

I realized I was still standing in the spot he’d left me, still clutching his surfboard. I tapped the surface of it with my claws, loud enough for him to hear, and his face twitched immediately in my direction. “Where do you want this?” I asked, deftly avoiding answering his invitation for the moment.

“Oh, man,” he laughed, “I completely forgot you had my board!” He moved to the edge of the blanket on his left, running his hand through the sand parallel to the edge. “Set it here, if you wouldn’t mind, along this edge?”

I moved to do as he asked and, as I was crouched, his hand shot out; startlingly accurate, to grip my upper arm. I went still and the light grip became more of a caress. “Thank you,” he said, softly, sensuously. His face was half turned toward me, his eyes downcast as he spoke. “For everything. I mean it. You’ve done so much for me today, Sirena. I would be honored if I could at least give you some water and a bite to eat.” He turned his face more fully to me and his lips moved into a mischievous smile. “I think that it’s quite literally the least I can do.” His thumb was absently caressing my arm and I had never wanted anything more than to stay in his company, gaze upon him, listen to voice, touch and be touched by him.

There was one, breathless, crystalline moment between us where I whispered his name with a longing I hadn’t known I possessed. His fingers skated up my arm, over my shoulder to alight on my face. Then he was leaning in, eyes half closed again, whispering my name with the same note of longing.

I met him halfway, awkwardly leaning over the surfboard that was still between us. But that was of no importance. Nothing mattered in that moment but the feel of his lips on mine, the warm softness of his mouth, the tip of his tongue darting out to tease mine in a way that sent shocks of pleasure through my whole being.

I never wanted to move, or do anything else, ever again. His hand was caressing my face, smoothing over my bald head. No doubt noting my conspicuous lack of external ears. But none of that seemed to faze him in the least, so I indulged myself by touching him in return. 

I loved the feel of his supple skin over taut muscles. His warmth was intoxicating and as the kiss intensified, I began to rake my claws ever so gently along his chest and back. He moaned in pleasure and deepened the kiss, tugging me over the surfboard without breaking contact so that I was straddling his hips. His phallus swelled within the wetsuit, rubbing against the apex between my legs and pulling a moan from my own throat.

His hands roamed my shoulders and back, skimming lightly over my gills like he knew how sensitive they were, and finally moving to cup my rear as my hips ground against his.

We were both panting, breathless with mounting pleasure when the blast of a car horn startled us to stillness.

“Shit,” Micheal said, screwing his eyes shut in a look of pained regret.

Now that I was listening for it, I heard distinctly the same engine rumble from that morning. I put two and two together and deduced that this was his ride. I laid one last, soft kiss on his lips saying, “You must go.”

It wasn’t a question but he nodded, letting his hands reluctantly slide away from me as I dismounted. I knelt next to him, running my hand over his stomach. He caught it as he sat up, his abs rippling and bunching gorgeously. He held my hand in both of his, a question on his face. I couldn’t find the words, so I just turned my hand in a way that invited exploration and he seemed to understand. 

He made careful study of the length of each finger, the fleshy webbing between them, and the thick claws at their tips. His expression was unreadable during this inspection but, when he was finished he laid a gentle kiss on my palm, another on my wrist, and then he kissed his way up my arm, across my shoulder, stopping with his mouth just above my throat-gills. His breath tickled them so I fought not to squirm as he spoke. “These are gills, aren’t they?”

“Yes,” I said simply.

“These too?” he asked, his fingers dusting over my ribs. I nodded because his face was pressed against mine and he could feel it. His hand moved higher to cup my breast. I gasped as his thumb flicked over my nipple.

“But you are a mammal, right?” he asked between kisses along my jaw. “Obviously you breathe air,” He captured my mouth in a deep sensual kiss again while his fingers explored every inch that he could reach.

Before I could answer, the horn blasted again, sounding somehow impatient.

Michael broke the kiss with a sigh but pressed his forehead against mine. “That’s my brother, Gabe. He’s here to pick me up. If I don’t show up soon, he’ll come down here and find me.” He pulled back a bit, his hands on either side of my face and his gaze  drifting near my chin. “I would absolutely love it if you wanted to meet him,” he paused as I shook my head violently, eyes wide in terror at the thought, and a knowing smile formed on his lips, “but I understand why you might not want to.”

He leaned in again and kissed me gently, chastely on the mouth one last time before releasing my face with a small, regretful sound. He leaned back on his hands as if he needed to physically stop himself from reaching for me again. I was having the same  sort of trouble, but the looming threat of being seen by another human kept me from throwing myself back atop him. A small, frustrated groan came from my throat unbidden.

“Yeah,” he chuckled, shaking his shaggy, golden head, “me too. Look, I’ll be here tomorrow morning around the same time if you feel like you want to continue our-” he paused with a little smirk, “-conversation, it would make me just about the happiest guy on any beach.”

I looked at him there, the most beautiful, and kindest, human I had ever beheld. He reminded me of the last human who had shown me kindness; Dr. Morgan had been one of the scientists at the lab where I was raised. He was always kind to me and my brother, saw us as people rather than the experimental subjects we were. The rest of the team did their work while maintaining a cool, dispassionate distance from us but, Dr Morgan, for whatever reason, couldn’t --or wouldn’t-- do the same.

I never knew what, exactly, led to him leaving the project --leaving us-- but I heard him and Mr Venter yelling angrily at each other before he disappeared for good. A few weeks later the project was scrapped and the order given for my brother and I to be euthanized.

This man reminded me of all my best memories of Dr Morgan, he even sort of resembled him.

I shook my head to clear it of pointless reminiscences and said, “Yes, Micheal. I will be here whenever you return. Thank you for a lovely-” it was my turn to pause and smirk, “-conversation. I look forward to more.” A sharp whistle from beyond the treeline shot me to my feet with a gasp. “I must go,” I said, turning on my heel and sprinting for the surf. I called over my shoulder just before I dove into the waves, something Dr Morgan had said to us affectionately many times, “Later, gator!”

My skin shifted to it’s usual blue-grey tones as soon as I hit the water and, when I finally surfaced, well beyond the break line, I saw another golden-haired figure approaching Michael. I watched until they embraced and then dove for deeper waters, intent on finding food and then quietly digesting both it and the events of the day.


4 comments:

  1. Ooo, what a fun chapter! I like Michael so much.

    We haven't learned Michael & Gabe's last name yet, have we? Is it Morgan?!

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  2. Surprisingly devvy chapter!! Seriously, I had some blind devness overload haha
    I'm excited for the next chapter, thank you for posting!

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  3. Really liked it. Dr. Morgan totally is Michael's dad haha I'm looking forward to what's still to come.

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  4. Haha! You guys! I didn't realize it was so obvious, but that's why I share it. More surprises to come!

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