Authors: Daniele Lanzarotta
Edited by Michelle Johnson
Art Direction Meredith Hancock
Front cover photography © Conrado
Published by Rocket Science Productions
© Copyright 2013 Daniele Lanzarotta
All rights reserved
Library of Congress Control Number:
**Mature Content Warning**
Recommended for ages 17+ due to language, violence and sexual content.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblances to actual events, locales, persons living or deceased, is entirely coincidental.
For the readers and for the best beta readers I could ask for, Jennifer, Amanda, and Tara.
I miss him. I miss Blake so much it hurts, but that’s not the only pain I feel. Bram keeps me in what was to be our home, rusted chains wrapped around my tail, keeping me trapped. But even if they weren’t there, I wouldn’t be able to move. I can’t move. All I can do is lay on the bottom of the ocean and scream in agony.
Father is worried, but he is also at a loss for what to do. I can see in his eyes that he wants to let me go, but he’s afraid of me disappearing once again.
I hear Bram tell father that maybe my body is just adjusting back from its human form, or that maybe the pain is a result from what my kind now refer to as my curse.
I’ve been trapped back in my world for two days now. No one is allowed to come anywhere near me, Lyra included. She’s the one who took Blake back to the island and I wish there was a way to find out if he’s alive. At this point, I start to wonder if the pain I feel is because he isn’t. I know I would feel if something happened to him because of our bond, and I’ve never felt pain like this before.
I’ve heard Bram tell father that Lyra was ordered to use black magic to keep the humans from seeing us. Bram is certain they’ll come looking for me but he wasn’t clear if by ‘them’, he means Blake. That would at least give me a clue on whether Blake is alive.
Everyone mostly left me alone during the first day, not even my father came to see me. I was sure I lost consciousness a few times. That was how much pain I was in. Today, I still have cramps, but they seem to be more manageable.
For the first time since the day before, I actually see Bram. He swims close to me in my room. He’s no longer as angry as he seemed to be yesterday.
Why?” he asks. “Why wasn’t I enough for you?”
I’m still lying down on the bottom of the ocean, but I manage to look up at him. “It’s not that you weren’t enough. I’m so sorry, Bram. I just can’t help how I feel and I felt this way for a long time. I’ve loved him for as long as I can remember.”
I look down and look at the ring on my finger; the one that Blake gave me. I immediately wish I hadn’t, because Bram follows my gaze and reaches for my hand. I can’t move my hand away fast enough. He grabs my wrist and stares at my finger.
I can feel the ripples of water around us as he gets angry. I can also feel the temperature of the water change to freezing cold.
Did you mate with him?” he yells.
No!” I lie. Mating with others, in our world, is one of the worst things that one can do and I couldn’t even imagine the punishment. Not to mention that father would lose the kingdom and another ruler would be named.
Still gripping my wrist, Bram reaches for my finger with his other hand, forcefully taking the ring off. He then throws it out, causing the water to stir enough so that the ring is sent far away.
I let out a cry, and then I scream in pain, and this time, something about the way I look scares him. He swims away calling for my father and Lyra.
Not much time passes before he comes back with them.
What’s wrong with her?” Bram asks.
I look at my father and he seems much more concerned than he was before. He looks at Lyra for help.
I know that black magic was used on her. Maybe it’s just her body adjusting to being like this the entire time,” she says.
Well, is there a way to break the curse so she doesn’t have to feel this way?” Bram asks.
I don’t know. I would have to get help, but it will be a few days before I return.”
And she will be in this much pain the whole time?” my dad asks.
Lyra shrugs but she looks concerned. “I can’t answer that. It’s either this or let her go back to the human world. I’m sure if the pains gets too intense, that will work until I get back.”
The look on Bram’s face is now colder. “Go!” he says to Lyra. “Leave now. She’ll just have to deal with the pain until you get back.”
Lyra turns around but I stop her. I don’t even care that Bram and my father are here.
Is he alive?” I ask her.
She looks to my dad nervously and he gives her a nod.
Yes,” she says before she turns around and swims away.
Dad asks Bram to leave us alone for a moment.
As soon as Bram swims away, my father approaches me.
I let out a sob. “At first, everything just got out of control… I didn’t even understand how everything was happening to me, and I didn’t know how to explain it or what to do.”
Why didn’t you come back?”
Dad… I love him.”
Don’t be foolish, Arianna. He is human and you aren’t. We are going to get this fixed and you are going to live a happy life with Bram, right here where you belong.
I stand impatiently by the pier and look at my watch. They are twenty minutes late and I know Blake won’t make it to his doctor’s appointment. I call his cell phone once again and there is no answer. I look at the sea, and there are no signs of the boat either.
I shake my head. This isn’t like Blake at all. I start to head over to the bar on the other side of the beach. If John is working, I can borrow his boat and go check on them.
I see him chatting up with two hot chicks who are sitting at the table toward the back of the bar so I head over.
He grins once he sees me. “Hey, man. I was just talking about you.”
Hey. I was coming by to see if I could borrow your boat, but I might stay for a while now. Are you going to introduce me or what?”
I take the seat next to the brunette, claiming her, and John knows it. He continues to stand there and he doesn’t look happy. We’ve been known to go after the same girls a lot.
He shakes his head. The chicks seem oblivious to what is happening.
So, being that my rude friend here won’t introduce me, I’m Owen.”
The brunette looks uncomfortable, but smiles. “I know. We met before.”
Shit. I put my head down as run my fingers through my hair. I know there is nothing funny about the situation, but I have a hard time trying not to laugh out loud.
When I look back at her, she is watching me, and she doesn't look happy.
Please tell me that I was shit faced or highly fucked up, because I’m certain that I’d remember someone as pretty as you.”
She blushes and looks down. I take a deep breath knowing that I still stand a chance.
John and her friend watch us with curiosity.
I’m Carly,” she says.
Nice to meet you again, Carly.” I grab her hand, bring it up to my lips and kiss it. “I’ve never been so happy in my life to be sober,” I wink.
Again, she blushes and looks down. I follow her gaze and take the moment to check her out. She is wearing a white low cut tank top and I can tell by the movement of her chest that her heart is racing.
My phone rings, distracting us all and I look at it thinking that it might be Blake, but it’s not, so I just put it away.
Is that your girlfriend?” she asks.
I let out a laugh. “Nah. I don’t have one of those.”
I shrug. “Yeah, I guess I just never found a woman who can handle me.”
She giggles. This is almost too easy.
I completely ignore her friend and John, and that seems to add even more to her interest. To her, she is all I see.
So, do you want to go for a walk, Carly?”
She nods and gets up. “I just have to go to the restroom, but I’ll be right out.” She eyes her friend to follow her. Her friend gets up, excuses herself, and they head over to the restroom.
I look over at John. “Hey, man. Mind if I use your boat?”
Will it matter if I say no?”
Honestly, no, it won’t,” I laugh.
He takes a deep breath that shows just how frustrated he is. “Sure, why not?”
I ask John to let Carly know that I’ll be outside waiting on her. Once outside, I call Blake’s phone again. Nothing. I call the phone he gave Arianna. Nothing. I call him one more time and decide to leave a message. “Hey, Blake. You better have a hell of a good excuse for leaving me here waiting for no reason. I might be unavailable for a few hours, so if you get back in town before then, you can wait for me at John’s bar or get a cab… whatever… Later, bro.”
Hey, are you ready to go?” asks Carly.
I turn around to face her. “Ready if you are.”
She smiles and nods. I reach for her hand and we walk toward the pier.
So, when did we meet before? I hope I didn’t make too much a fool out of myself.”
She laughs. “No, you didn’t. It was at party about a year ago. You were hooking up with my roommate.”
She shrugs. “The past is the past.”
I nod. “I don’t want to push my luck, but did she say anything about me?”
She laughs. “Yeah, she said you were a good kisser,” she says as we reach the boat.
Oh, yeah?” I grin at her as I get in the boat and then help her in. She is so distracted she doesn’t even question where we are going or what we’re going to do.
I don’t think she had that many guys to compare it to, so who knows if that was true.”