A Writer's Journey

September 8, 2013

Reunited

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
Tags: ,

Matt and Stormy are lured underwater by fireworks in a pond. They come across a mermaid castle and hope to be reunited with Kate.

Matt floated through the coral gates of the mermaid kingdom, awestruck. Around him, mermaids and mermen swam about, going about their daily activities. Carrying clams and fish, playing music on instruments carved from coral, and more than he could take in at once! It was all amazing!

He drifted closer to the pearl palace, feeling pulled there. A mermaid waited in the doorway, as if she expected him. Her green eyes mesmerized him. “Come with me,” she said. Or perhaps he heard it in his mind. He didn’t know anymore with this place.

Following her golden fin into the palace, he saw furniture carved from coral. Chairs. Tables. Lounges. He wondered if even the beds were made from coral.

The mermaid stopped before the entrance to a tower. She glanced back at Matt. “I’ll need to carry you from this point on.”

He looked behind her to find the tower had no steps. Of course not. Why would mermaids need stairs? Matt looked at the mermaid. “So, how are we going to do this?”

“I can lift you up by your arms. I think that would be best.” She swam behind him, placing her hands beneath his armpits. They felt cold against his flesh as she lifted him with no problem. It was the closest he believed he’d come to flying, watching the openings pass him in a blur.

As they neared the top, she slowed. “Start swinging you legs to try and catch the floor. That’s how it worked for your companion.”

The last word caught his attention. Companion? That must mean Kate is here! He tried to ignore how excited he felt at the thought but failed.

His feet hit the floor as the mermaid released him. Stormy mewled in protest of being jostled but he didn’t care. Matt turned to face his escort. “Where is my friend?” he asked her.

“Down the hall, first door on the right.” The mermaid waved her hand in that direction. “I’m sure you’ll be glad to see each other.”

Matt walked toward the door she indicated, stomach a jumble of nerves. He turned the knob and opened the door.

Inside, Kate sat on the bed as she looked out the window at the fish swimming by the palace. Her blonde hair was loose, falling past her shoulders. A few pieces floated in the water, but most remained down. She wore a strapless dress made of a fabric which had a water-like quality. It conformed to her body, highlighting the curves he hadn’t been aware she had. Her feet remained bare but he doubted one needed shoes at the bottom of the ocean.

She turned her head and smiled. “You found me! I was worried about you. I didn’t know what happened to you after I was swallowed up by the ground.”

“I searched for you.” He stared into her blue eyes, unable to look away.

“Thank you.” Her voice was soft.

She stood, approaching him. He watched her cross, fully aware of her every movement. The dress she wore swayed in the current she created. Matt gulped as she stood in front of him.

Kate tilted her head. “What’s wrong?”

He shook his head. “Nothing. Sorry.” Matt held out the basket. “Someone else wishes to see you.”

“Stormy!” Her voice went higher as she picked up her beloved cat. The cat purred as Kate rubbed her cheek against her soft fur.

A flash of envy swallowed Matt. He turned away to hide it as well as the embarrassment of being jealous over a pet. Of course she would be happier to see her cat over a man she had just met.

“Matt? Are you sure something is wrong?” Concern coated her words.

He cleared his throat. “I think I’m tired. I’ve been trekking for some time.”

“Of course. It’s nighttime now anyway so you’ll be able to get some sleep.”

Matt wondered how she knew that underwater but didn’t question her about it. Instead, he glanced around. “Where’s my bedroom?”

“This is it.”

His eyes grew wide. “What about my bed?”

Kate blushed. “Yes, about that…The merfolk misunderstood when I called you my ‘companion.’ That is what they call their spouses down here and would not listen to my protestations that I meant a different meaning of the word.”

“Oh.” His heart sped up. “So we have to share a bed…again?”

She nodded. “It won’t be too much of problem, will it?”

“No, of course not.” Liar.

Kate smiled. “Good. They probably have pajamas for you in the next room. I’ll go see if they can send up some food for you. You do like fish, right?”

Before he could answer, she left the room and he sat down on the bed. Stormy walked over to him, laying on his lap with a satisfied purr. He stroked the soft fur. “This is going to be interesting, Stormy. Very interesting.”

The cat only yawned in response.

After a quiet meal, the two went to bed. They lay as far from the other as possible but he still felt her. Not that the sheer clothing the merfolk laid out for them helped. He felt as if he was sleeping in the nude rather than pajama pants.

Relax, Matt. You’re just sharing a bed. Nothing to worry about. Just get some rest.

On her side of the bed, Kate was still wide awake. She clutched the blankets closer to her. Thoughts and feelings swirled inside her. And they had been since she had learned the merfolk meaning of “companion.” No amounts of protest could change her hosts’ minds about the relationship between Matt and her. And it had put doubt into hers. Was there something more between them? Or was she imagining it?

She had been happy to see Matt when he walked in earlier. But was it because she felt something for him or because she was glad to be reunited with the only other human here? Why did she feel like she was back in high school?

Despite these thoughts, she fell asleep.

When the couple awoke in the morning, they found themselves entwined with each other. Kate’s head rested on his chest and his arms were wrapped around her. Their heads were inches apart. All she had to do was lift hers up to kiss him…

Stop it! you can’t keep thinking of kissing him every time you get close to him!

Kate tried to extract herself from his embrace but it proved difficult. He tightened his hold every time she moved, drawing her closer. Resigned, she went lax in his arms and waited until he woke.

He shifted, bringing his head down to rest against hers. Dry lips rested against her forehead and she wondered if he was kissing it. As her eyes tried to glance up, one thought filled her mind: This isn’t as romantic as I thought it’d be.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Matt groaned beside her, burying his face in her hair. Kate rolled her eyes but otherwise remained still. Perhaps the person trying to rouse them would go away.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Kate groaned this time, pressing against Matt’s arm as she tried to roll over. He resisted and she found herself contorted in an uncomfortable position.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

“Can you come back in a little bit?” Kate called out. “We’re still abed.”

“I’m sorry to interrupt your reunion with your companion, but our king wishes to see you.” The voice was muffled and Kate could not tell if the owner was male or female. “Do you need assistance in dressing?”

Kate sighed. “No, thank you. We can manage.”

“As you wish. I will wait out here for you.”

Rolling back over, she saw Matt was awake. He watched her, studied her, and it both unnerved and excited her. Lifting a hand, he smoothed her stray hairs back. “I guess we have to get up now, huh?”

She shrugged in response. “Do you want to change first or me?”

“I should. I’m quicker.” He smiled as she hit him with a pillow. “Come on, you know it’s the truth.” Matt left the bed before she could hit him again and went into the next room to change.

Kate stayed in bed, replaying the last few moments. They seemed so natural yet so intimate. It was as if her fantasies of married life had come to life.

This place knows how to play with your head. She sighed, pushing the covers back. Her feet hit the floor before floating back up again. Kate envied how easy Matt navigated movement in the water. More often than not, she just let the currents push her around.

Matt slipped back into the room, feeling uncomfortable in the sheer clothing the merfolk laid out for him. It was like wearing sea foam. And it did little to hide the reaction the thought of Kate wearing an outfit of the same material caused. Keeping his body away from her, he called out: “Your turn.”

She brushed past him, shutting the door behind her. He took a deep breath and used this time to compose himself before Kate came back out. Deep breaths, Matt. You’re not in high school anymore. You can control yourself.

The door opened and Matt doubted his own words. She wore a strapless dress the color of coral but it looked like she was wrapped in sea foam as well. It covered her better than his sea green shirt and pants, though.

He cleared his throat and held out his arm. It was the perfect time to play prince to her princess. And a perfect cover should she question his sudden need to be in constant contact with her. “Shall we?”

Kate took his arm and let him escort her out. Excitement thrummed through her and her heart beat faster at his touch. Things are going to be difficult and weird now. Great.

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