|Chapter 6-Water drop|

A/N: Here is chapter 6! I hope you like it. The song linked to this chapter is the theme song. Thank you to everyone who has commented and read this story so far!

|Chapter 6Water drop|

I FOLLOWED THE BUBBLES of water with my gaze, until I didn’t see the sight of the brunette woman anymore. All of this is becoming too complicated to handle. War, Her Majesty, he has started… Ever since Assan brought me here, new questions are always being raised in my mind. Now, I wonder who the woman I’ve been seeing really is, and what she is referring to. It’s clear she’s similar to Assan – a creature of the sea – but does he know about her. I weigh my options and potential actions. Do I tell Assan or keep this information to myself? I don’t trust Assan. Even though he saved me, it was for himself, not my sake. He cares nothing about me. If she returns, I may be able to receive help, to escape from this cave.

“But- if I see mother again…” I whisper to myself. I know she’ll hate me, blame me for losing additional income. Again, is it worth it? Maybe the woman will kill me, or tell Assan I’m trying to escape or…

Still, my thoughts retreat back to my mother and Joe, wondering what events is unfolding during my absence. Merman, underwater creatures – no one would ever believe me if I escaped here. I didn’t have to worry about that. I sigh, mentally exhausted over everything that has happened. Even though I’d slept, my mind was still drained from all I had learned.

I turn my gaze to the opening in the rocks, staring into the sun and seeing the birds fly by. Freedom. I wonder what that would feel like. Freedom from this cave, from my mother and from Assan, but life isn’t kind that way; it seems I don’t have a choice. In a way, it reminds me of Seidon, and his longing for freedom. He wants to sail the seas, while I just long for a new current. The heat from the sun beams upon my skin, warming me. My lips and mouth are dry, and I can only hope the rains will come soon.

“Do you see something interesting?” The deep, familiar masculine voice cuts off my thoughts.

Quickly I spin around, seeing Assan leaning against the bank of the rocks, smirking at me. Unlike me, he seems relaxed, not disturbed by anything that has happened. How he remains calm is beyond my realm of understanding, then again, he isn’t the one who will die when this is over; my hate for him only grows.

I ignore him, returning my sight to the sky, but the birds have left. Again, I am alone.

“Was finding out the truth about me too much for you?” His voice is calm, amused. “I suppose it would be for a human, thankfully, the pain won’t last much longer.”

I turn to face him. “How do you do that?” I ask, in a soft tone.

Assan raises an eyebrow at me, seemingly surprised I was talking. I don’t want to speak to him, or say anything. Even now, I wonder why I bother staying alive. It would be easy to end it all, everything.

“Do what, Elena?” Looking at him, his face has softened – it’s a rare sight to see.

As I stare at him, I feel empty, worthless, like how my mother always made me feel. I am a tool – that is all.

“You always appear randomly, or are yo-,” I pause, hesitating with my words, “watching me?”

Assan chuckles darkly, amused by my question. His hand is resting in his palm, and he gives me a mischievous grin. “I am always watching you, Elena, but it’s easy to surprise a human after they’ve been asleep for three days.”

My eyes widened. I felt my body was sluggish when I first awoke, but I never thought I was asleep for three days.

“I slept that long?” I stare at Assan, eyes wide and still in shock.

Assan scowls at me, “Yes, I assumed you were dead,” he growls, with anger flashing in his multi-colored eyes. He lifts his head from his palm, and rests his arms on the moist bank of the rocks.

I had died – Funny, I laugh internally, thinking of the irony of that situation. I think of death as my only door to freedom, and it could have happened in a cave, while I’m sleeping – trapped in my prison. Though, if I had died, I wonder what Assan would do. Replace me; find a new a girl more likely. Would he go back to the waterfall? Would Mika be the next catch? My thoughts drift of Mika. I think of my friends and my life. To them I am probably dead, and the continuous streams of life have flowed on without me. But still, my curiosity only grows over what Assan would do.

“What would you have done if I died?” I speak quietly, as I look at Assan. “Replace me?” There was harshness to my voice. Maybe thinking of myself as replaceable hurt me. It was the one thing going for me as I was growing up. My mother made me feel special that way, I suppose. I am her unique, exotic daughter that would return her to wealth.

Assan folds his arms across his chest, closes his eyes, and then ponders the question I just asked him.

“No.” His answer is blunt, and I’m surprised. Surely, if I had died, Assan would replace me with another, just to ensure he would receive the child he needs.

“No,” I repeat after him, curious about what he will say next.

He opens his eyes, grinning at me with lust gleaming in his multi-colored pupils. His raven hair is damp and wavy, settled on his firm pale shoulders. Rays of sunlight glisten, off the water on his toned chest, defining his muscles.

“It would be a pity if you died. With a woman of your…unique appearances, it would be ashamed if I missed the chance to conquer you,” he says, with a voice like velvet.

As I stare at Assan, his words throw me off. I’m confused by them. The more Assan speaks, the more I do not understand him. Before he said taking a woman means nothing to him, but now he talks of conquering them – he is a riddle I wonder if I can solve. Besides being the woman he wants to ensnare, impregnate and kill, for a second I wonder if I can be something more to him. Images of the kiss between us flash in my mind, and I remind myself it meant nothing.

“Is that all?” I question.

Assan tilts his head to my question.

“Yes, but I’m also curious about something, Elena?”

I jump at his words, musing over what he is going to ask me.

“Yes…” I reluctantly reply, knowing full well Assan won’t let me ignore him.

“Tell me, how many men have taken you?” he asks, with curiosity clearly evident in his voice. His eyes continue to stare into mine, as if drawing me into his spell. My cheeks blush scarlet, as I attempt to avoid his gaze. Ever since I was a child, I was practical promised to any future nobleman who could pay for my body. My feelings are mixed now, knowing that Assan will be the one to have me. I don’t know whether to hate him more, or thank him.

I part my lips, about to speak when I hear Assan groan. “Don’t lie to me, Elena. I don’t deal kindly with those who can’t tell the truth.” His voice was cold, with a deadly tone. There seems to be many things Assan doesn’t like, I wonder what else is there.

It’s only in my best interest to tell him the truth. In the end, does it matter how many men have taken me? My current is the same either way – I will never know the loving touch of a man on my skin.

I avoid Assan’s gaze, staring at the moist, chalky gravel instead.

“None,” I answer honestly.

“None.” He sounds surprise, and I return my gaze to him. He scowls at me, glaring at me with icicle eyes. “Do you lie to me?” He ask in a sharp tone, dominate, like how a king would sound questioning his subject.

Offended, I take a step forward towards the water, and sling out my arm in anger. “Why would I lie? I am going to die anyway!” After realizing what I’ve done, I step back, lowering my gaze back to the rocks.

An irritated groan echoes in my ears, and then the cave goes silence, but for the faint rumble of the water. “So you’re a virgin, then…” Assan grunts, “I don’t like virgins,” he seethes. I look up at him, unsure of what to say.

“I suppose I’m not what you were hoping for,” I mutter, slightly glad that Assan is disappointed in my sexual status. “Pity.” My voice is barely audible; I don’t want Assan to hear me.

His nostrils flare as anger flickers in his eyes. “I’ll make do…but for you, the pain will be excruciating.”

He smirks at me, another devilish grin I hate.

My success of disappointing Assan was short-lived, and now I can only imagine what intercourse with a merman is like. My mother taught me how to position my body under a man, and help ease himself into me, but I doubt that works the same with a fish tail. Maybe it does, in some strange way – now I don’t know if I should be thanking Assan. Has he even done these things with a human before? Last time he didn’t answer my question, and told me I’ll see, I think to myself, as my mind thinks back to Assan’s last words. The pain will be excruciating. I almost laugh internally again.

“My life is already painful…it makes no difference,” I retort softly, remembering the lessons my mother taught me about pain. Enjoy it, take it, and I’ll become numb once the man settles inside of me – I wonder if she was telling the truth.

Assan looks at me curiously, before he shifts his gaze to the sky. I follow his line of sight, seeing dark clouds forming in front and around the sun – rain is coming. I look back at Assan; he is still staring at the clouds, like it’s calling to him. Are merman draw to rain?

“A storm is coming.” His voice was smooth, wry.

Soon, water drops fall from the once sunny sky, dripping down like the tears that came from my eyes three days ago. Chilly breezes blast through the cave, sending a shiver down my spine. Quickly I wrap my arms around me, trying to use the little body heat I have to maintain my warmth. My eyes stay fixed on Assan, when I see a troubled expression on his face. His gaze moves from the ceiling, to the bank, and then to the water beneath him. He scowls, and then I see both his hues flicker to a solid cobalt blue. I am stunned; rationalizing maybe the water clouding my eyes is causing me to see things.

I take a step forward, actually concerned for Assan. This isn’t like him, is something wrong? In my mind, I see an image of the horrible, human eating water plants attacking me again, trying to devour me.

“Assan what-”

“Be quiet,” he growls harshly, narrowing his eyes to me.

What’s going on? My eyes sweep the area, when a hint of dread stabs me. Something was off, but I wasn’t sure what it could be. The rain continues to pour down on top of us, and for what seems many times now, my tattered dress is soaked. Sounds of thunder crash in the skies, and a heavy downpour of cold liquid soon follows. I retreat back, knowing I have to find shelter from the rain so I don’t get sick.

Slowly I take a few steps backwards, keeping my gaze locked on Assan. Worry shows on his face and his eyes bore into mine. “Elena, stay here,” he says in a hurry, with a serious tone lacing his voice, and then he dives into the water. His blue, scaly fin splashes above the water, and I am left alone in the freezing cold. I have no idea what is happening, but fear courses through my veins, just like before.

Quickly I spin around, searching for shelter from the rain when the sound of a loud wave and squishiness hits my ears. Icy water brushes my legs, up to my ankles. How can this be? This much water shouldn’t be on land? I tremble, hearing the sounds of rainfall around me and squish footsteps behind me. There is something there, but I am too frightened to look. Where is Assan? Anxiety and panic cause my heart to thump against my chest, and my mouth lacks moisture even more than before. I hear hissing, and the water under me gets higher. Unable to hold out anymore, I quickly spin around, when I wish I didn’t.

Panic, fear, anxiety, and the feeling of sudden death hits me all at once like a rock against a window. Through blurry vision, there is a creature before me, something dreadful I never thought I would see. It’s like a monster from a child’s nightmare, a creature adults warn child will come if they are naughty. Clearly I have been naughty, perhaps all of this is punishment for disobeying my mother and giving into Seidon – life is unfair.

This monster, this creature from the depths of the ugliest nightmare is bulky in size, and is bigger, wider than any heavy set horse I’ve ever seen. Its layer of skin looks calloused, with slimy green scales covering its body, and tentacles of an octopus springing out from its side. On each of its side are eight, green tentacles swirling around it. My breath catches in my throat and I struggle to breathe. Bitter rain keeps pouring from the skies, gathering intensity as the water reaches higher levels around my legs. Waves of ice water splash against my lower torso, first at my ankles, and now close to my knees. Lingering in the air is the smell of rotten fish; it makes me want to gag.

I am left stunned, not able to form speech. Standing still, my body shakes as this creature crawls closer to me. There is no face on its body, just a stump where a head should be. I take another step back, when I find myself reaching the cave wall. With nowhere else to go, I quickly grab a rock from the wall behind me, and hurl it at the creature. That probably was a stupid move. The rock bounces off its rough, green scales, landing to the ground with a thump. My hair is soaking wet, water drips into my eyes and I am barely able to see.

Surrounding me, the cave is steadily flooding with water. How many times have I almost died in these last few days? – It should just happen already.

I press myself against the wall, and the smell of salt water hits my nostrils. Thunder crashes, the creature hisses, and its tentacles slowly start coming towards me. I’m on my own now, Assan has abandoned me. Is this another creature in the sea Assan warned me about? But why is it here? How did get so monstrous? What am I going to do?

With my sight staring at the creature, I use my palm to search the rough, damp, jagged rocks for any loose material, but I don’t feel anything. One of the green tentacles touches my leg, gently, like how a man would caress his lover. I feel the sucker sticking to my skin – it’s a gross feeling. I start thinking, trying to figure out what to do, but I am trapped, again, like the rat I am.

I hear a hiss from the stump, and bulging eyes start appearing from its skin. All the eyes are looking at me intently, drawing me into them. Eyes at the top, on the sides, the bottoms, they almost cover the stump. I can’t look away from them. I try to avert my gaze, but a tentacle holds my chin in place, and then it creeps away. The creature is trying to control me. I feel it invading my thoughts, its desire to feast upon my flesh. Now, I don’t look away. The eyes in the middle move to the side, grouping with the other sets. The slimy, scales skin of the stump collapses inward, forming sharp teeth and a mouth in the center. It’s so beautiful to me, that I must walk to it.

My thoughts become garbled, controlled, and all I think about is freedom. This mouth, this opening is my door to freedom – I want to exit through it. My legs start moving towards the creature. I don’t want to run; I want to be free. The mouth takes the shape of a circle, and the sharp, pearly white teeth surround it.

The monster’s eyes stay on me, not blinking. I keep walking, until a scream releases me from its trance. I shake my head. The creature is struggling, fighting against being pulled into the water. A tentacle lunges towards me, but I dodge it, by leaping out the way. The creature is pulled into the pool of water. Swiftly, I springs to my feet and dart to the water. Is that… I look into the cloudy water, searching my eyes for the monster that entranced me and almost made me its dinner.

I keep staring, when I see a tentacle lash above the surface. Quickly I drop my gaze back to the water. I gasp, as I see solid cobalt eyes staring up at me. Assan’s form is different. His hands are sharp claws, piercing into the monster, making it ooze crimson. That is not the Assan I know, What has he turned into?

A/N: I hope you all enjoyed this chapter and thanks for sticking with this story! Did anyone see that coming? Did you enjoy the interactions between Elena and Assan? I wanted to do some downtime before things picked up again. It looks like Assan and Elena could be FINALLY starting to learn about each other. What kind of creature do you think attacked Elena and Assan, what do you think happened to Assan? Do you think Elena will ever see Seidon, her family and her other friends again? When will this her majesty and war come up again? What do you think is going to happen?

Oh! Lastly, for all those who actually are reading this story, should I try to update every week? I’m thinking I’ll update every Wednesday if I can but I don’t want to rush the story.

So many unanswered questions, I hope you all are enjoying it! As always, please comment and vote. I would love to hear from some of you readers. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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