Goodbye to the Sea

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Abandoned

Before moving out of town, Lionel goes to the beach one last time and meets the girl of his dreams.

Goodbye to the Sea

 

By Danni Lee

 

He was going down to the beach for the last time.  He had said goodbye to all his friends, and now he just needed some time in his favorite place on earth.  He came here as often as he could, to draw or write in his notebook, and it was always magical to him.  He would even read, sitting on the stones and glancing at the ocean waves.  Martins Beach was the playground of his imagination and he honestly didn’t know what he was going to do without it.  It was warm today and the breeze off the water felt so good.  He had brought a pack with him and intended to stay the night, he would be leaving tomorrow afternoon, and everything was ready for him to say this one last goodbye.  He had come early while the tide was high so he could set up a camp for himself and not have to worry about water flooding him in the morning.  He found the perfect place to camp, watch the sunset and watch the sun come up in the morning, he set down his pack.

He walked along the beach and found enough firewood to have a small fire, but he had a fully charged solar lantern if he needed it.  There was always something about a fire, the way the light flickered across his notebook, or maybe it was just watching the flames dance that he always loved.  It didn’t matter, he was going to have a fire tonight, no matter what, it was his goodbye and he had planned it his way.  He set down the wood by his pack and walked the other way down the beach to find more wood.  He would wait until it was dark enough for a fire.  Once he had all the wood he could find, he laid out his blankets and took out his notebook.  He sat and looked at the sea, inspiration would come, it always did in this place and he just needed to wait.

He was doodling in the margins of the page waiting for inspiration to hit when she spoke to him.  “What are you drawing?”  He didn’t turn around and had startled a little at her voice, it was soft and feminine and there was something else in it, something broken.

“I’m just waiting for inspiration,” he said and turned to look at her.  Her curly hair was dark with a deep green tint, and it was thick and full.  Her face was pale almost translucent, her eyes large, wide and the most beautiful sea green.  Her dress was deep sea blue, floating around her bare legs just above her knees, and her bare feet were planted firmly in the sand.  Oh god, she was beautiful.  He swallowed once.  “Would you like to sit down?” he offered not able to stop looking at her.

“Is it all right?” she asked.  “Or would you rather be alone?”  She looked so sad when she asked the second question, that all of his plans disappeared.

“I would be happy if you joined me,” he said and that was a lot for him.  He was shy and girls sometimes made him nervous.

“Thank you,” she said and walked closer.  She sat next to him on the blanket and her thigh brushed against his.  She leaned over closer and looked at the notebook.  “I like this one,” she said pointing at the seagull he had drawn. 

“I was just doodling,” he said and looked at what he had drawn.  Down the side of the page was a seascape.  The gull at the top corner, the ocean, the beach, and down in the bottom corner some rocks.

“It’s very beautiful, for a doodle,” she said and tipped her face toward him.  He looked deep into her sea-green eyes and just for a moment he thought he saw something move in them.

“Your eyes are the most beautiful color,” he said lost in looking at them.

“Yours are like emeralds.”  She smiled at him and his heart pounded.

“So, what brought you out here today?” he asked.  He could smell the sea in her hair she was so close.

“I was looking for something,” she said and leaned away from him.

“Is it something I can help you find?” he asked, and she seemed sad to him, like what she had lost was important to her.

“I would really like your company if that works for you.”  It wasn’t a question.  It was more like she was offering him something.

“You are welcome to stay as long as you like.”  He smiled at her, yes, she had walked in and changed his plans, but now she was his plan.  “I brought some drinks and some food if you want anything.”

“Oh, I won’t need anything,” she said shaking her head making the curls in her hair dance.  Her eyes moved up from his face.  “Do you always wear a hat?” she asked.

“It’s a fedora and it has an interesting story,” he said smiling at her.

“I love stories.  Will you tell it to me?” she asked, her eyes were wide, bright, and hopeful.  He couldn’t deny her.

“It was one of those days for me.  I had a normal day at work, and everything seemed fine, but I still felt this cloud over my head, like a melancholy I couldn’t get rid of.  I had walked past the souvenir shop often enough, but for some reason, that day, I had to go in.  I had walked through the shop and was thinking about leaving when I saw the fedora.  It was like it was calling to me, wanting me to find it.  The moment I picked it up, my whole day changed.  I’ve worn it ever since.”  He smiled at her and she reached out with one hand slowly and touched the brim and then slowly she stroked her fingers through his long hair.  It sent chills up his spine, and he could swear his heart skipped a beat.

“It’s funny how one small thing can change your life forever,” she said in a wispy, quiet way and he wasn’t sure she was talking about his fedora.  “And these?” she asked touching the side of his glasses. 

“I’ve had bad eyesight since I was young,” he said.

“You’re still young.”  She smiled and touched his cheek.

“Yes, but I’m an old soul.”  He could feel it, the flush across his face, and knew he was blushing.

She giggled and leaned back on the blanket.  “I like that,” she said.  “I didn’t know you could change colors.”

“I blushed is all,” he said to her and grinned.  “You are being very friendly, and girls don’t usually act that way around me.”  The thought sobered him up.

“Why not?” she asked a sad look on her sweet face. Then she smiled at him.  “I know why.”  She sat up and leaned in very close to his ear.  “Because girls are dumb,” she whispered and leaned in closer.  “You have to watch someone, to see the beauty in them.  Looks fade, but a man, that’s smart, gentle, and has integrity, as you do, will be beautiful forever.”  Her breath blew across his ear and into his soul.  She leaned away and smiled at him again.

“I hope someone’s watching, but I’m moving tomorrow,” he sighed and looked out across the water.  “Tonight is my last night here.”

“It’s a good thing I found you then,” she said looking out at the sea.  She pulled her legs up and put her arms around them, her shoulder bumped against him and he looked at her and smiled.  She glanced at him and leaned closer placing her shoulder against his.  Her head tipped slowly until it rested on his shoulder, and he slowly tipped his head to rest on her soft curly hair.  The sun was setting, and he was as comfortable as he had ever been in his life.  She sighed softly and on impulse, he put his arm around her holding her against him.  It was a beautiful sunset, and so magical when the colors went from gold, to red, and to gray, but the girl resting against him made it complete. 

He took in a deep breath, tipped his head up, and rubbed his palm across her back.  “Time for a fire.”  He smiled at her and stood up to get the fire started. He dug down in the sand, tore a few pages from the back of his notebook, placed a few small pieces of wood on it, and lit the paper.  It wasn’t so dark that he didn’t see her dust the sand off her legs and move them onto the blanket.  She lay down and stretched out before she lay on her side to watch him.  Her head rested on her hand and her eyes picked up the flame of light, sparkling brightly at him.

“How long are you planning to stay?” she asked looking at him.

“I was going to spend the night,” he said and looked at her stretched out on his blanket.

She smiled brightly at him, the firelight flicked over her bare legs and beautiful face.  “That’s good to know.”  She held out her hand to him.  “Come lay with me and we will watch for the stars.”

His heart constricted, but he put a few more pieces of wood on the fire and walked over to her.  She still held her hand out to him and he reached out and took hold of it softly.  She giggled and pulled him down next to her.  He caught himself on one hand and his knees.  “Careful,” he said.  “I almost lost my hat.”

“It’s a fedora,” she breathed and leaned up to kiss him softly, her lips brushed gently against his and it sucked all the breath out of him.  She lay back and looked up at him, her hand still had a firm grip on his and rested on her stomach.  The curls of her hair, like waves curling out on the water, spread across the blanket.  If he weren’t already on the ground, his legs would have gone out from underneath him.  He eased himself down next to her, laying on his side, tucking his free arm under his head, and looking into her beautiful eyes.

“You don’t want to look at the stars, do you?” he asked quietly.

“Not when I have you this close,” she whispered, let go of his hand, and reached out to touch his face.  “I need you.”  It was said so softly he barely heard it.

“Why me?”  He asked gently and leaned up on his elbow.

“I wanted it to be with you.”  She smiled softly making her eyes sparkle in the firelight.  “I’m in great need and you will be my answer.”  She leaned up almost nose to nose with him.  “Won’t you help me?”  Her eyes searched his and he didn’t really know how to respond.

“What could I possibly offer you?” he asked and even though he was a little afraid of her answer, he wanted to know, and he wanted to help her.

“If I tell you, it may frighten you away.”  Her eyebrows came together, and she frowned.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he said and reached out to touch her face.  “But I need you to tell me what this is about.”

“I’ve been watching you, when you come here, and I wanted it to be you,” she said, and he watched the tears start to collect in her eyes.

“Oh, now, don’t do that.”  He caught the tear when it escaped from her eye with his thumb, the palm of his hand still on her cheek.  “Tell me what I need to do for you.”  He smiled at her.  She could have taken his soul, and right now, he would have let her have it.

“I need you tonight, all night.  Can you do that?” she asked glancing down his body.

“If you are asking what I think you are, I’m still young enough for that.”  He could feel it again, that embarrassing flush of color across his face.

“You changed color again,” she said and leaned in to kiss him.  He could taste the sea salt on her lips and wanted more.  Her leg slid up the side of his body and he reached down with his hand and caught it.  Her skin felt hot to him, but then again it could have just been him.

He pulled away from her.  “I have protection in my pack,” he said and glanced at the large pack.

“But then there would be no point to it,” she sighed heavily.  “Please, I want to explain, I really do, but it’s against the rules.”

“I have rules too,” he said and was starting to wonder what he had gotten himself into.  “I don’t want children.”  He sat up on the blanket.  “That’s why you are here?  Because you want a child?”

She sat up and shook her head.  “We need them, all the toxins from plastic in the sea, have made some of our kind sterile.  Please.”  She reached out and gripped the front of his shirt.  “It will save my species.  It’s why I’m here.”  He could see the fear on her face.  “They would be my children and would be spread throughout my tribe.”

“But it’s only one night, and you are talking about children, multiple.”  He felt like he was stating the obvious to her, but his brain was trying to wrap around the idea.

“I am unique to my kind and have the ability to store the genetic material for children, but I need a man and I have watched you for some time now.  You are the one I want.”

He put his hand over hers that was gripping his shirt.  “I’m asking you to be honest with me.  What are you?”

“I am a creature of the sea.”  He could see her tears start to build again, and her hand loosed on his shirt.  He let go of her hand and she put both hands over her face and sobbed.  He put his arms around her. 

Emotional pain he understood too clearly.  He held her tighter to him and could feel her shake with each sob and he just wanted it to stop.  “I’ll do it,” he said and started to rock her in his arms.  “I’ll do what you’re asking of me.”

She pushed against his arms, he released her, and she turned her tear-streaked face toward him.  “You will?”  She took a shaky breath.

“Who am I, to pass up the opportunity, to save a whole species.”  He smiled and wiped at the tears still on her face.  “How do we do this?” he asks her.

“You’ve not done it before?”  She smiled.

“Yes, I’ve done it before.”  He blushed.

“I love that you do that.”  She put her arms around him and kissed him hard.  He opened his mouth to ease the pressure and her tongue touched his.  It was electrifying and he sucked in air.  She lay down again pulling him down with her.  Her hands slid up under his shirt and up his back.  She broke the kiss and looked at him.  Her pupils were dilated, and she was giving off some heat.  “Will you take off your clothes?”  She breathed and arched her back as her hands came away from his skin.  He sat up and took off his shirt and started to undo his pants.  She stood, pulling the light dress over her head, it was all it took for her, and she was nude.  He sat there for a moment and felt his body respond to hers.  She was glowing in the firelight and his mouth opened at the sight of her.  He stood up and stared at her, he meant to take off his pants, but he couldn’t stop looking at her.  She stepped forward and put both her hands on his bare chest.  She brushed her cheek against his, pulled back, and smiled.  He reached down and finished undoing his pants.  She stepped back and waited for him.  He tossed his clothes at his pack not caring if they made it or not and looked at her.  He felt completely exposed as she looked at him, and then she stepped forward and they collided together, arms went around warm bodies, her mouth opened up covering his.  Carefully they both went down to their knees on the blanket.  She lay down and pulled him over her like a cover.  One of her legs lifted against him and she put her foot on the back of his thigh sliding it down the length of his leg to his foot.  He pulled away from the kiss and she smiled at him.  With reverence, she lifted off his fedora and set it gently on the corner of the blanket. Then she turned her eyes and attention to him.  She wrapped both legs around his wanting him, he took his time kissing her, and only when he was ready, did he enter her sacred ground. 

She hissed and he stopped breaking the kiss.  “Did I hurt you?” he asked her.  “And don’t lie to me now.”

“Only for a moment, but it’s over now.  Please don’t stop.”  She leaned up and kissed him again.  He kissed her for a moment more before he started to move against her.  Her hands roamed across his back and he could feel the heat off of her.  His heart was pounding hard and she arched her back under him.  He kissed her neck, slid his tongue up to her ear, and gently slid his teeth across her earlobe.  She took in a gulp of air and her hips started to move against him, in rhythm with him.  He took in a deep breath and kissed her harder, pushed harder against her, and she responded clamping her legs around him.  Only when he broke the kiss did she moan, and her nails dug into his skin.  In response, he thrust a litter harder and she moaned again louder.  Her back arched and her feet came away from him to plant on the blanket and she used the added leverage to thrust against him. He was more than ready to complete the transaction, but he was waiting for her.  “Now.”  She breathed and pushed hard against him.  He let go and could feel her tighten and she cried out.  He kissed her and slowed to a stop.  His fingers ran through her hair in the gentle moment, the curls wrapping around his fingers as if they had a life of their own.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“Oh yes.”  She sighed and smiled at him.  “I’m going to need more.”  She started to kiss him again and her hands moved up and down his back.  It would take some time for him to recover for another round, but it was a great way to recover.  He touched her face stroking her cheek, ran his fingers down her neck to her breast, and cupped it gently for a moment before his hand slid down her body to her hip.  For most women there is a bundle of nerves in the hip joint, but he wasn’t sure how closely built she was to a human woman, but he put his thumb in the spot and applied pressure.  She took in a gulp of air and her eyes widened. He smiled and kissed her again. 

His hair was starting to get in the way, but she moved one hand from his back and brushed it aside.His body was starting to respond to her again and he pushed against her gently.  Her nails dragged gently up his back and he responded by pushing against her harder.  It would take him longer this time and he kissed her face and her neck, biting her gently and tasting her skin.  He breathed in the scent of her as their rhythms collided. She was burning hot underneath him.  He lifted his upper body off of her and blew across her body.  She sucked in air through her teeth and arched against him, touching her stomach to his, her hands gripped his shoulders and she pulled both of her knees up.  He went in deeper watching her face in the firelight.  Her hair picked up the light from the flame and every thrust made the curls sparkle and dance.  He was almost there and laid his body down on hers.  He bit gently up her neck to her ear.

“Let me know when you are ready,” he whispered in her ear, and thrust against her harder, she moaned in response to him, her arms went around him tightly.

“Now,” she breathed, he plunged into her deep and spilled inside her.  She took in a gulp of air, he covered her mouth with his kissing her deeply, she held him tightly to her, and her tongue danced with his.  He pulled away from the kiss, they were both breathing hard and she smiled at him. 

He lifted himself up and blew across her body again.  “You’re getting very hot,” he said and blew across her body again.

“It’s normal for my kind.”  She grinned.  “Thank you for doing this for me.”

“You are making this night very memorable for me,” he said and brushed his lips across hers.  “Do we need to stay, connected?” he asked.

“No, do you need a moment?” she asked, and her hands slid down his back.

“I need to get something to eat and something to drink or I’m not going to make it through the night.”  His stomach growled and he grinned at her.  He could feel it, and he knew he was blushing again.

She giggled and lifted her head to kiss him.  “We take a short break then.”  He lifted his body off of her and rolled over on his back on the blanket.  She rolled over on her side and put her hand on his chest.  “I have something to set up for you.  Will you be alright here alone?”

“Where are you going?” he asked worrying that she would leave now.

“To the sea.”  She sat up and looked in the direction of the water.  “It will have everything I need, and I’ll be right back.”  She turned her head, looked him in the eyes, and smiled.  “I’ll only be a moment, and I’m safe out there.”

“Please be careful,” he said.

“Eat, drink and be ready for me.”  She stood and walked away from him toward the water.  He lost sight of her past the firelight.  He listened closely, hoping to hear a splash or something, but no sound came to him but the crackle of a dying fire.  He sat up and looked out to the sea before he stood to put more wood on the fire.  He went to his pack, picked up his clothing, shook the sand out of them, and put them on the blanket.  He reached into his pack and pulled out a sandwich he had packed earlier and a bottle of sparkling water.Now he wished he would have brought a few energy drinks with him. He sat on the blanket and ate his sandwich.  He looked at the plastic bag in his hand and at the drink he had.Plastic, he thought, and it was everywhere.He recycled, but now he was thinking of what more he could do.  He drank his drink and that made him think of his other needs.  He walked away from the fire and moved closer to the rocks that lined the beach and took care of his needs there.  After he came back, he made sure that the plastic bottle and the bag were safely put in his pack, he didn’t want them on the beach, not after what he had learned.  He put more wood on the fire and lay down on the blanket. She would be back, he put his head on his arm and closed his eyes.  He was dozing on and off when he heard it.  There was a rumbling out in the water, it brought him fully awake and he sat up and looked out to the sea.He heard it again, that deep rumbling and there were clicks in it too.  Oh my God, he thought there are whales out there.  He started to walk toward the sea, and then he heard a sound that stopped him in his tracks.  It was an eerie singing sound, off-pitch and flat, he stood very still on the beach.  The rumbling answered and then it was quiet again.  His heart was pounding in his chest and all he could think, is that she was out there somewhere.  He heard the whale exhale off in the distance and could do nothing but hope she was safe.  He shielded his eyes to help block out the firelight to try to see across the water, but there was nothing.  He sighed and walked back to the blanket.  Where was she anyway?  What was so important to her, that it took her out to the sea?  He lay back down to wait, and worry.  He heard the eerie song again and then a laugh, he sat up and looked through the dim firelight.  She was walking toward the fire carrying something.

“Are you alright?  I’ve been scared to death waiting for you.”  He stood and watched her come into the firelight.  She was carrying a large clamshell in front of her and it had a black liquid in it.  She set it down by the fire and smiled at him.  He sat on the blanket and watched her.  Her body was speckled with drops of water and they caught the firelight shining like jewels.  Her hair was wavy, but he knew as soon as it started to dry it would curl again. 

“I’m safer out there than I am here.”  She came over to him and knelt on the blanket.  “Have you rested enough?”  She smiled at him.

“Yes, I think so.”  He reached out and stroked her cheek with the back of his fingers, her skin was chilled from being in the cold water.  “You’re cold.”  He said and leaned forward to kiss her cheek.

“I’ll be warm once we get started.”  She put her arms around him and kissed him urgently.  He pulled her down with him and lay flat on the blanket.  His body was more than willing to respond, and she moved to lay on top of him.  She moved her legs to either side of him and sat up straddling him under her.  “Will this be ok?” she asked looking down at him.

“Anything you want.”  He breathed looking up at her beauty and feeling lost in her eyes.  She drew a finger down his chest and flattened her palm to his belly, her hand slid down farther, gently, she took him into her hand, and slid him inside her.  She hissed through her teeth and then smiled at him.  Her eyes flickered and it was more than just the firelight that caused that.  He didn’t care, she felt so good against him, touching him, and loving him.  It may only be this one night, but it would be the best night of his life.  He put his hands on her thighs and moved them over her skin up her body and over her breasts, up her neck, and through her hair.  He pulled gently on the back of her neck and she came down to kiss him.  He relished it, the kiss, her skin on fire against him, and the way it felt to be inside her.  She started to move on him, he put his hands on her back and drew them down to her waist, and gripped her tightly.  It was harder to push against her, being under her, but he loved having his hands free.  Her hair engulfed him, and he could smell the seawater in it, and it tickled his face and his ears.  He pulled both hands away from her body and gathered it in his hands.  It felt like a living thing to him, but he bundled it together and held it in one hand.  She pulled away from kissing him and smiled, but he moved his hand to the back of her neck and brought her back to him.  Her tongue was wild in his mouth and before he knew it, he was breathing hard against her kiss.  She sat up on him, but he wanted her back on his chest and reached up again for her, she shook her head and leaned back.  The moan that came from her was unlike anything he had ever heard before and it caused him to release in her.  He lay there panting for breath.  She smiled and collapsed down on him resting her cheek against his.  She was burning hot and he wrapped his arms around her.

“How are you feeling?” he asked, his face against her hair.

She leaned up and looked at him.  “I am well.”  She smiled and brought her hand up to stroke his face gently.  He closed his eyes and just felt her fingers touch his face.  “I have something for you,” she said.

“What would that be,” he whispered his eyes still closed.

“It might sting a little, but I can fix that in a moment.”  She moved off of him and he groaned.

“What is it?”  He rolled onto his side and watched her.  She was getting the shell with the dark black liquid in it.  “What are you doing with that?” 

“I brought it for you.”  She brought it over to the blanket and set it down by his legs. She sat on the blanket close to his feet, she grabbed his ankle and put his foot over her thigh.  “Now just hold still.”  Her hand reached out to the bowl of black fluid.  “If it’s not done right, it won’t work.”  Her fingers dipped into the fluid and she drew out a thin fiber.  “Please, hold very still.”  She laid it on his foot and wrapped it around his ankle. 

It was starting to burn, he took in a deep breath and sat up.  “What is that?”

“Just hold still.”  She pushed on his chest and he laid down again.  She reached into the bowl again and pulled out another fiber.  She put this one over the top of his foot and connected it to the one around his ankle.  When that one started to burn, it took the burn away from the first one.  She got out another one and he prepared himself for the burn to begin.  He closed his eyes and concentrated on his breathing.  He could feel every time she lay a new strand on his foot and ankle.  He quickly lost count of how many times she lay a strand on him but continued to breathe in and out.  She began to mutter softly, and he listened to her, but he couldn’t make out the words.  She was chanting he realized.  The same phrases were used over and over again.  She blew across his foot and he could feel the coolness of it.  “I’m going to move you, but I don’t want you to move.”  She pulled his free foot under his calf and gently set his leg down on his foot.  “Stay right there.” 

He opened his eyes and looked at her.  “Where are you going now?” he asked.

“I left something on the beach.”  She stood, picked up the clamshell, and walked past the fire toward the sea.  He wanted to look at what she had done to him, but she had said not to move.  She came back in a few moments.  “This is going to feel wet and cold, but it will help take any sting out of the skin.”  He felt exactly what she said he would and was grateful that the burning had stopped.

“Can I move now?” he asked?

She lay next to him on the blanket and stroked his hair.  “Not yet.”  She smiled at him.

“What did you do to me?” he asked.

“If you are ever in trouble, when you are in the sea, the marks I left on you, will help keep you safe.”  She was still stroking his hair and he just wanted to kiss her.  He lifted his hand and stroked it through the curls in her hair.  It was dry now and he loved the way it wrapped around his fingers.

“Kiss me,” he whispered.

“Yes.”  She smiled and leaned over him.  Her lips swept across his and her tongue touched his lip.  He opened his mouth and let her in.  One hand still in her hair, he reached up with the other one and touched her face.  His body was responding to her kiss and the feel of her hair.

“I want to continue,” he said and smiled at her when she pulled away a little.

“Let me check it,” she whispered and sat up to look under whatever she had wrapped around his foot.  She turned her head and smiled at him.  She moved quickly and straddled him again.  “Don’t move, and I’ll try not to jostle you too much.”  She eased him inside her and he groaned at the feel of her.  She was tight, wet, and he had no control of his own body at the moment.  She started to rock her hips on him, and he smiled up at her.  She put her hands on his chest and came down to kiss him.  He put his hands on her hips and pressed the nerves in each hip.  She sat up startled and laughed at the feeling, but her rhythm increased.  He watched her face, her hair, and her eyes.  Her mouth opened and she moaned tipping her head back.  He was already holding off and trying to let her catch up to him, but it was becoming very difficult.  He wanted the release, to let himself go inside her.  He gripped her hips tighter and pulled against her.  She did that strange eerie sound again and just like before it caused him to discharge in her.  She laid her hot body on his chest and breathed heavily in his ear.  He was out of breath but blew across her shoulder and what he could of her back.She lifted her head and smiled at him.  “I need to check it again.”  She smiled and lifted off of him.  He groaned and just wanted her back where she had been, warm and on top of him.  He felt her unwrap his foot.  He looked down his body at her.  She turned her head and smiled.  “It’s going to take.”

“Come lay with me.”  He held out his hand to her.

She grinned tipped her head to one side and took his hand.  She lay down next to him and put her head on his chest.  “How long will it take for you to be ready?” she asked.

He rubbed his cheek against her hair.“Not long. Why?”

“It will be dawn before we know it and I still need more?”  She looked up at him.“How much more?”  He asked looking deep into her eyes. 

She closed her eyes and put her hand low on her belly, her face full of concentration.  She opened her eyes, looked up at him, and grinned.  “It’s about half full.”

“Can I move now?” he asked.

“Yes,” she whispered.

He rolled over her and tucked her body under him.  He kissed her hard and kissed down her neck to her breasts and down her body.  He used his tongue to taste the skin of her belly and he tasted his way back up to her mouth.  He kissed her more driving his own desire for her.  She moved her legs aside and he slid between them.  He was ready and pushed into her.  She was tight and it drove him on.  She started to moan at each thrust and he kept kissing her neck, sliding his teeth up to her ear, biting it gently.  Her back arched and she moaned louder.  Her body was on fire and he felt like he was riding a wave of lava.  He kissed her hard, his tongue stroked against hers and it drove him to thrust harder.  Her nails dug into him, scratched across his back, he wanted to fill her, all of her, and for all eternity.  She pulled away from him and gasped for breath, and then she cried out, that eerie sound, he was ready for it and drove deep into her gushing everything he had inside her.He was breathing hard against her, and she was on fire under him.  He rolled over, off of her overheated body, and lay panting on the blanket.  This was exhausting him, and he needed a moment to breathe, but he knew he didn’t have a lot of time left and she needed him.  She sat up and leaned over to look at his foot.  The seaweed she had wrapped around it had fallen off completely and he sat up to look at what she had done to him.  Dark lines laced around his foot and ankle.  Some lines were thicker than others, loops curled around each other and he marveled at the design.

“Is it permanent?”  he asked.

“Oh, yes.”  She looked up at him and smiled.

“How much time do you think we have left?”  He was getting worried about how fast the night was going.

“Twice maybe three more times before I need to go back.”  She looked up at the sky.  “Maybe only twice.”  She looked back at him with such sadness in her eyes.

“I will do all I can, but my body may not do what I want it to.”  He was exhausted.

“Can I try something?” she asked turning around on the blanket so she could face him.

“Sure, if there is anything you can do.”  He looked in her eyes, he trusted her, and she wouldn’t hurt him now.

“Lay down,” she said.  “And cover your ears.”  He did as he was told and lay on his back on the blanket, he put his hands over his ears.  She moved next to him and put one hand on his heart and one on his groin.  His eyes widened with surprise and he watched her face.  The fire was almost out but he could see her face in the embers glow.  She smiled at him, her hand left his chest and stroked across his eyes, and he closed them and kept them closed.  She started to sing that strange off-pitch and flat sound and he wanted to open his eyes, he wanted to see her, but he kept them closed.  Somethings should be a mystery, he thought and relaxed to let her do what she could.  The pitch started to go up in frequency and he tightened his hands over his ears.  Her hand on his chest started to get warm and so did the one lower down.  He bit his lower lip and waited for the pain.  It didn’t hurt, and he could feel his heart pulse and his groin was starting to pick up the beat as well.  The pitch went up more and he could feel his bones vibrate with it.  She stopped singing and he could feel the warmth spread through his body and he was tingling all over.  He took in a deep breath and she tugged at his arms.  He opened his eyes and pulled his hands away from his ears.  “How do you feel?”  Her eyes were wide, and her mouth was open slightly.

“I’m tingling all over.”  He grinned at her.  “I don’t know what you did, but I feel a lot better.”  He could still feel the pulsing through his body.

“It was for healing and would have been better, if we were in the sea.”  She took in a deep breath and her shoulders dropped.  “It’s hard to do these things out of the water.”

He sat up, put his arms around her, and she collapsed against him.  She was risking a lot, to have him be able to complete his promise.  “Don’t risk yourself for me,” he said and held her against his chest.

“I had too,” she whispered.  “I have to be full.”  She almost whimpered in his arms.“We mate for life and I will never see you again.”

His heart shattered into a thousand pieces.  She would be alone, out there, in the sea.  “Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked softly, lifting her chin so he could see her face.

“Because you are who you are.”  Her eyes closed and she went limp in his arms.

“Would it help if I took you to the water?” he asked and was truly frightened.

“Yes, but we must continue,” she whispered.

“Then we do it out there.”  He stood and picked her up in his arms.  She was lighter than he expected, and she folded herself around him.  He walked toward the water.  The first wave hit his feet and it was cold to him, but she needed it, and he walked into the waves. When he was waist-deep, she started to come around and he stopped and let her legs down into the chilly water.  She took in one deep breath and then another, her eyes fluttered open and she looked at him.

“You’ll get cold,” she said.

“You’ll make me warm.”  The waves were pushing against his back with the rhythm of the ocean and he wanted her now more than he ever had.  He put his arms around her waist and lifted her to his chest.  He let her body slide down his until he was in her, then he turned so the waves would push her against him.  Her legs were around his waist and she kissed him deeply. Every time a wave hit and in between them he thrust inside her.  Something brushed against his leg and she hissed at it.  He ignored it and continued, she moaned once and he thrust against her harder, kissing her and letting her heat warm him as it did the water around them.  Even the waves couldn’t stop the heat that came off of her.  Her mouth was sweet, and his tongue was having a hard time keeping up with hers.  She threw her head back and made that sound again.  He thrust hard and felt his seed rip from his body.  He put his teeth together and growled through it.  She was still in his arms and he carried her back to the beach.  He was inside her and he wanted it that way, refusing to let her go.  When he got to the blanket he knelt, put one arm around her, and held the other one out to catch them, as he laid them down on the blanket. He kissed her gently and nibbled at her neck.  He wanted to give her a lifetime of love, and now, there was no way he could accomplish that, in the few hours they had left.  He kissed her face, let his hands wander across her body.  He ran his tongue behind her ear and sucked her earlobe into his mouth.  He put one thumb in her hip and pushed hard, her legs straightened, and she bucked under him.  He pushed against her, he was ready for the next round, her feet planted on the blanket and she tipped her hips up so he could get in deeper.  It drove him wild and he thrust in her.  One of her knees came up by him, he hooked his arm under it and slid in deeper still. He kissed her and tried with all his might to pour his love into her.  He touched her face and her hair.  Kissed her leg and even slid his teeth up her calf.  He wanted her to know, to remember all the love he could give to her in these few moments.  Her hair danced with each thrust and he held off, waiting for her to call out, knowing it would cause him to gush inside her.  He caught her hand and kissed her fingers.  She put her hands on his shoulders and gripped him hard.  He could see her clearly and that bothered him, the sun was on its way.  He put more effort into kissing her and loving her.  She pulled her mouth away from his and let out that sound again.  He will never forget the sound she made, the haunting call of it, or how it caused him to spill deep inside of her.  He let go of her leg and let her put it down.  He took her face in his hands and kissed her more.  She pulled away and glanced at the sky.  He didn’t need to look, her pail skin picked up the bright red that was rapidly spreading across the sky.  His eyes filled with tears and he whipped at them.

“We are out of time,” she whispered softly and looked at him.

“How far do you have to be in the sea?” he asked and whipped his face again.

“I have to be in the water.  It doesn’t have to be deep.”  Tears ran down the sides of her face.

“Come with me.”  He lifted off her gently, stood, and offered her his hand.

Her head tipped to one side and her mouth opened, a partial smile on her teary face.  She took his hand and he helped her up.  When she stepped off the blanket, he quickly picked it up, and holding her hand, he ran with her to the rocks.  The tide was coming in and the rocks would have water around them and give them some privacy.  It was a public beach after all.  Shark fin rock jutted out just down the beach and that’s where they were heading.  It did resemble a shark fin but on the plus side, it had a natural water break that would give them the water but not the pounding surf.  She stopped and pulled him to a stop.

“I can’t run.”  She was breathing heavily.  “I’ll go the water way.”  She breathed for a moment.  “You go the land way.”  She started to walk to the water, and he turned and ran down the beach.  He had it in him and pushed for as much speed as he could get.  It wasn’t a big beach only three-quarters of a mile long, but that was a lot for his tired legs.  He ran and was just starting to come around the rock when he saw her.  She was standing in the tide pool, nude in the new morning light, looking down at the water.  She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, and he ran toward her like a freight train.  One foot hit the water and she turned and smiled at him.  He splashed his way to her, picked her up in the air, and spun around.  She laughed and looked down at him.  He set her down and kissed her deeply.  He wrapped the blanket around them and lay her down in the tide pool.  It wasn’t very deep at least not yet, but the tide was coming, and he had to make it quick.  This would be the last time and he wanted to take his time, but he couldn’t, he could only make it as gently and as loving as he could.

He touched his tongue to her ear.  “I don’t want you to go,” he whispered.

“You’ll be with me always,” she breathed in his ear.

“I will love you always.”  He rubbed his cheek against hers.

“And I will always love you.”  Her breath stuttered and he leaned back to look at her.  Tears ran down the sides of her face, but she smiled at him.

“One more time,” he smiled back, his own tears falling to join hers in the sea.

“Please,” she whispered.

He moved into her, he was gentle and kissed her softly.  His lips stroking against hers.  He touched her lips with his tongue, and she opened her mouth to him.  He covered her mouth with his and when their tongues touched, he started pushing against her.  He kissed her face, her cheeks, her nose, her neck, and thrust against her each time.  He wanted her to feel the love he had for her.  Her hair curled in the water and he put his hand through it, the curls responded and wrapped around his fingers.  She was breathing hard and the water around them was warming up.  He didn’t want to pick up the pace, but his body knew what the conclusion would be, and it happened without him thinking about it.  She arched in the water and took in a shaky breath.  He was ready and yet, he wasn’t ready, but that was up to her now.  Her arms wrapped around him and her nails dug into his skin.  It made him push that much harder and it made her cry out that sound again, which made his body deliver the last of his seed to her.  He wanted to scream out, but all he could do was sigh roughly.  He had given her everything he could, and he hoped it was enough, for her to live a life alone.  He continued to kiss her softly, letting his tongue express what words would only fail at.

She pulled away from him.  “It’s time,” she said.

“I know.”  He kissed her again and lifted his body off of her sitting up in the chilling water. 

She sat up and reached one hand out putting it on his cheek.  “I want you to be happy,” she said and smiled at him.

“When will you know if it worked?” he asked looking at her in the morning light.

“It already has.”  She smiled at him.  “I’m with child now.”

“How do you know?” he asked.

“I’m a sea nymph, and I know.”  Her eyes brightened as she smiled.  “My pouch is full, and I will carry you in me always.”  She leaned forward and kissed him softly.  “Thank you for doing this for me.”

“I’m heartbroken.”  He reached out and touched her cheek.

“You will find a girl and watch her until you know she is the one you want.  She will make you happy in ways I cannot.”  She still wore the smile, but the sadness touched her eyes.

“But you will be alone,” he said.

She put both hands on her belly.  “I will never be alone again.”  She turned and looked out to the sea.  “I must go.”

He stood and held out his hand to her, she took it and he helped her stand up.  He put his arms around her one last time and kissed her softly.  He pulled back and looked her in the eyes.  “I love you as wide as the ocean,” he said, tears sliding down his cheeks unchecked.

“And I love you as deep as the sea.”  She touched his face and turned to walk away, but she stopped just before the rock that broke the tide.  “What’s your name?” she called out over the breaking water.

“Lionel,” he called back.

“I’ll name a son after you.”  She climbed up on the rocks, turned to face him, and fell backward into the water.  He ran through the pool to where she had stood and looked over the rock.  She was gone and his heart yearned for her.  He watched the waves for a moment and was going to go, but then he heard it, that off-tune flat sound.  A pod of whale’s spy hopped out in the water, then they were gone and then they all breached the water together to splashdown.  He smiled and nodded his head as the tears slid down his cheeks.  It will be a night he will never forget.  He wrapped the wet blanket around him and walked through the tide pool and down the beach to his pack.  People were strolling toward him, but he went his way.  He picked up his clothes, shook the sand out of them, and put them on as discreetly as he could.  He picked up his fedora, dusted any sand off of it, and put it back on his head.  He picked up his things and put those in his pack. Covered the pit and looked around, her dress was there partly covered by the sand.  He picked it up and looked at it.  As wide as the ocean and as deep as the sea, he thought and put it in his pack too.  He picked up the pack and walked away from the place he loved the most and the beautiful nymph he would never forget.

 

 

Epilogue

 

He had waited until it was dark, quietly sitting on the rocks listening to the sea, but once the sunset and it was dark enough, he started to take off his clothes.  He had come back to Martian’s beach one last time.  He had been married for 48 years to a wonderful woman and she had taken good care of him.  He had loved her well and now that she was gone, he could do what he wanted with the end of his life.  He was an old man now, full of wrinkles and riddled with cancer.  He didn’t want to fight it anymore and walked down the beach to the water.  His will was in the hands of a good lawyer and he had left his wallet in his clothes.  Someone would find it and know he went swimming and didn’t come back.  The water was cold, and it numbed him fast, he was thankful for that, the pain alone was going to kill him.  He started to breaststroke away from the shore, he wanted to die here, in the place he loved the most and a night he never forgot.  He didn’t swim hard or fast, he just wanted to get as far away from the shore as possible before he quit swimming and drown.  He looked back at the shore, the lights from the houses still looked too close for him and he kept swimming.  He was getting tired, his arms felt like lead and he was so ready to be done with it.  He wasn’t mad at his life and had enjoyed living, but the cancer, the cancer would have him lying in a hospital bed in pain for the small amount of time he had left.  He couldn’t do it.  He was alone in the world and as much as he enjoyed living, his time was over.  He rolled over on his back and rested a minute before he slipped under the waves into the dark of the sea.  His eyes were closed when he heard the rumbling, like thunder underwater, there were whales out here.  That’s alright he thought, maybe one of them would land on him and it would be over sooner.  The rumbling came closer and he wanted to breathe.  He waited and something brushed past him.  A shark would not be a great way to die.  His lungs were going to burst, but he waited.  Then something caught him, or he was caught on it and was being pushed to the surface.  His face broke the water and he gulped for air, coughed, and sputtered on the water.  The whale rumbled under him holding him up to the surface.  He pushed off the whale and started to swim away from it, but it caught him and pushed him out of the water on its broad nose.  “Let me go,” he said softly and tried to swim away again.  There was more rumbling and clicks around him and he realized he was in the middle of a pod. Another one caught him and pushed him across the surface of the water toward the shore.  “No,” he cried out and rolled off of the large mammal.  He swam again out to the sea. He heard one exhale right in front of him and he tried to swim around it, but it caught him and pushed him with a burst of speed toward the shore.  “Let me die,” he cried out at the top of his lungs and rolled off the whale’s nose again. The next whale was waiting for him and scooped him up pushing him closer to the shore. “That’s enough,” he yelled at the beast and rolled away from it again.  This time it was an arm that wrapped around him and held him to the surface.  He wouldn’t fight a person.  He wouldn’t be responsible for the death of someone else and he relaxed in the water and let the strong arm pull him to the shore.  It didn’t take long before he felt the sand under him, and strong hands under his arms pulling him up the beach.  Why would they not let him be?  He would just try again tomorrow.  The strong hands lay him gently on the sand and he looked up at the man, that had pulled him from his death.  The moon was full and even his old eyes could see the color of the man’s eyes, they were sea green, and he was nude.  The man stooped down and looked at the old man’s foot, he reached out gently and touched the faded tattoo.  He stood and walked back to the sea.  The old man shook his head, he would just come back tomorrow, or maybe he would rent a boat and just go out as far as he could.  The whales were singing again, and the old man listened for a moment.  The man came back from the sea and knelt in the sand.

“What were you doing?” he asked.

“Swimming.”The old man countered.

“Not likely,” he said and turned his head to listen to the whales.  “Wait,” he said and just looked at him.  Every time the whales would sing, he would tip an ear in their direction. The old man had no choice but to wait, the younger man was well built and strong, and he would have no choice in the matter.  They waited, staring at each other, and listening to the whales.  There was a big splash out in the water and the younger man stood and looked toward the sea.  Someone was coming up the beach and the younger man walked toward them.  The old man lay back on the sand and waited.  He looked up at the sky, the stars were not as bright as they used to be.  He leaned up and looked in the direction of the two people, one was walking back to the water and the other one was walking toward him.

“No fire tonight?” she asked, and he instantly knew the voice.  She knelt next to him and even in the dim light he could see that she was still beautiful.

“I thought I would never see you again.”  He reached out a hand to her and she took it in hers, leaned down, and brushed it against her cheek.

“I have missed you,” she said.  The younger man came back to her side.  She looked up at him.  “He needs a fire.”  The young man nodded his head.  “And call them.”

“What ones?” he asked.

“All,” she said, and the younger man walked away.

“Tell me you found someone.”  She smiled at him still holding his hand.

“I did, she’s gone now.”  He looked away, feeling that he had cheated on her somehow.

She reached out and touched his face.  He closed his eyes, remembering that one night and how much he loved her.  “It’s what I told you to do.”  He turned his head and looked at her.

The young man came back with some wood and dug a shallow pit and put the wood in it.  “Cover your ears,” he said.  The old man did as he was told and the young man started to sing that same eerie song, off-pitch and flat.  The wood burst into flames and the old man looked at the woman.  Her hair wasn’t as dark and greener than it had been, but her face was still as he remembered.

The old man reached out and stroked her cheek.  “You’re still beautiful.”  Tears slid down his cheeks.

The younger man turned and walked out to the sea.  The whales got louder.

“What were you doing out in the water?” she asked.

“I’m dying.”  He smiled at her.  “This was the best place of my life and I wanted to die here.”

She nodded her head and smiled at him, but he saw the tears slid down her cheeks.  “Can it wait a moment?” she asked.

“To be with you, yes,” he whispered and wiped the tears from her cheeks.

The young man came back to her.  “They come,” he said.

“Lionel.”  She placed her hand on the old man’s chest and reached out to the young man with her other hand.  “This is Lionel.”  The men looked at each other for a moment and then the young man dropped to one knee and bowed his head.  “He is your son.”  She smiled and reached her hand out and put it on the young man’s shoulder.  “They need to hurry,” she said to him.  The young man stood nodded and ran down the beach to the sea.  “Let’s make you more comfortable.”  She stood and walked away.  The old man thought he was dreaming.  She was here and had been here all along, all he needed to do was come back and swim with the whales.  She came back with a blanket and some pillows that she had probably gotten from all the homes that were here now.  She spread out a blanket and stacked the pillows so he would be somewhat comfortable on the beach.  He moved over to the blanket and lay down against the pillows.  She had a towel in her hand and lay it over him.  For warmth or modesty, he wasn’t really sure, but he was grateful.  “May I lay by you?” she asked.

“Please,” he said and smiled at her.  She lay down next to him and put her head on his chest.  He put his arm around her and held her close to him.  He closed his eyes, and he could remember everything that happened on that one night with her.

“Lionel,” she said, and he opened his eyes and looked at her.  “They’re here.”  Her smile was so bright and her eyes so full of life.  She turned her head and looked down at the water.  People were coming out of the sea and walking up to the firelight.  To him, it looked like hundreds of them, and they just kept coming, all ages and both sexes.“These are our children.”  A child of maybe three years old staggered on the sand, but she came right up to him and looked him over. Then she reached out a little hand and placed it on his cheek.  She smiled brightly at him before she staggered away.  The young Lionel scooped her up in his arms and tossed her into the air.  She giggled and it brought tears to the old man’s eyes.

“How many are there?” he asked.

“Many,” she said.  “I need a moment.  Will you be alright?”

“Yes.”  He was still looking at all the people that were standing on the beach.  There were so many of them and he was the father.  They started to approach one at a time and bow their heads at him before they walked away and stood in the distance.  He looked at all their faces, they were beautiful, and he could only smile at them as they bowed their heads and walked away.

She came back to him carrying a shell.  “Are you in pain?” she asked.  Nothing stopped the progression of people.

“I’ve been in pain for so long, I don’t know what to do without it,” he said.

“Take the smallest drop of this.”  She held the shell out to him.  “The smallest drop.”

He barely got any on his tongue before she pulled the shell away.  It didn’t take long, and the pain eased.  “Oh, thank you,” he said and smiled at her.

“Give me your hand,” she said and smiled at him.  He did what she asked, and she opened his hand and put it on her belly.  He felt a flutter.  He looked up at her.  She nodded her head and smiled.  “How are you feeling?” she asked.

“I’m so tired,” He said.  “But I got to see you.”  He smiled at her.  “I always thought of you and I dreamed of you.  I’ve loved you all this time, never doubt that.”  Lionel watched the people still approach him and bow their heads to him.

“I’m going to lay with you for a while.”  She lay down and put her head on his chest.  He put both arms around her and rubbed his cheek in her curly hair.  “Not all of them are here.  You did so well by me that some of them are in other clans now and they can’t make it here fast enough.”  She tipped her head up and looked at him.  “Thank you, Lionel.”  She smiled at him.

“It was my pleasure, but I think you know that already.”  He chuckled.

“Where is your fedora?” she asked.

“With my clothes.  I didn’t want to get it wet.”  He smiled down at her.

She waved at a girl that was closest to come over.  “Go get his hat, it’s with his clothes.”  She ran off down the beach to find the fedora.  She came back quickly, bowed, and offered it to him.

“Thank you,” he said to her. She smiled, bowed her head again, and ran off to be with the others.  The parade of people had stopped, he sighed deeply and put on his fedora.

“When do you want to go?” she asked.

“I’m ready.”He smiled looking at the gathering of an unknown family.

She sat up and picked up the clamshell.  “Drink it all and it will be over with quickly.”  She smiled but the tears still fell.

He took the shell from her and had it to his mouth but pulled it back.  “I love you as wide as the ocean,” he said to her.

“And I love you as deep as the sea.”  Tears rolled down her cheeks.

He smiled at her and drank every drop the shell held.  She put her head back on his chest and he put his arms around her and closed his eyes for the last time.


Submitted: February 24, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Danni Lee. All rights reserved.

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