AN: I started this on ArchiveofOurOwn and am now posting it here as well. Betcha no one's done this before? ;) Read and Review please!

"Don't let him get away!" The hunters called through the night in the woods surrounding a village by the sea. A young man ran as fast as his legs could carry him as he could hear their calls not too far behind him. Alex wasn't easily spooked, but right now more than ever he was terrified.

"Of all the things to happen, It had to be this." he thought bitterly as he tried his best to keep pace on these legs of his. As if on cue to his negative thoughts, the night sky above him began to rumble. He looked up with wide eyes, still not stopping his strides as he trudged through the trees. He tried to pick up pace but he already could feel a few tiny droplets on his skin as the sky was about to pour.

"Keep going! You can't change now! Not now!" his mind urged him faster. Now the tiny droplets of water were becoming thicker and thicker until finally it was a full on downpour.

"No no no no!" he couldn't help but exclaim as it was already happening. Unable to keep balance, he tripped and fell straight down into the mud below with a grunt. Alex quickly sat up on his elbows and looked at his legs behind him. He already knew what he would see but that didn't stop him from almost screaming in fear. His two legs, once dry was now one teal fishtail covered in the wet gray mud. Normally his tail was a part of him that would have great advantages in the water. However, he wasn't anywhere near the ocean right now and a fishtail on land would have him immobilized. The worst part was that he was stuck in this muddy mess and the mermaid hunters were after him and gaining on his location fast.

Yes, Alex is what you would call a merman. It was just but a few hours ago, that he finally told her about his secret. A secret he's had to deal with for only two years now. Up until then, he was human. Or so he thought, but soon after his sixteenth birthday passed he started noticing changes that were by no means normal. It wasn't until he fell into the ocean one day that his tail took shape. Knowing he was found on the beach as a baby and adopted, it finally made sense to him why he always longed for the ocean. It took a little while, but Alex eventually did accept his true nature- he wanted to live in both worlds though so a year later when he was seventeen, he decided to leave his foster parents for a job in a fishing village far away.
He left his hometown and hasn't looked back since. He realized that he would have to keep his origins a secret of course. It was common knowledge that mers fetched a high price on the black market. When he moved into the village, he mostly kept to himself- but one lady who would often come to the docks did catch his eye. The lady Charlotte was the most beautiful woman in town, but she was also one of the most deceiving. Having several affairs with many men outside of her arranged marriage. Lady Charlotte knew how to get the most out of her courters with very little effort.

Alex was an attractive man and women would flirt with him every now and then. But of course, Lady Charlotte wanted him to herself after spotting him in the tavern after a long day's work. So, she picked him to be her lucky man of the night, and the next night, and the next. Soon his heart fell victim to lady Charlotte and he naively wanted to tell her what he was since she seemed to be the only woman who would care so much for him.

Things didn't go as planned... When Charlotte saw him step into the bathtub and transform in front of her, needless to say- she was shocked. But instead of immediately running away screaming- she conjured a fake smile and told him she understood kissing him passionately. Charlotte waited until later that afternoon to discreetly inform the local hunters about a merman living in the town and exactly who he is, expecting to claim a reward for him.

They came for him that night, Alex was surprised to see the hunters with their torches lit coming straight towards his home- then when he saw Charlotte sitting on her horse behind them, pointing with a vindictive smile on her face. He immediately knew why they were there.

He bolted out the back door, and into the nearby woods to try to escape.

Alex desperately looked around to see if there was some way he could possibly hide from their approach. He obviously couldn't run anymore with his tail out, He looked up startled when he heard a branch snap and white dash went by him. He looked around again but couldn't see too well in the dark. A flash of light from the sky briefly revealed a white rabbit standing on two feet next to a burrow in a large oak tree.

"Don't let him get away!" Charlotte's voice called nearby. "He couldn't of gotten too far now that it's raining!"

Alex looked towards the burrow again, the rabbit was gone. He knew this might be his only chance to escape. Hastily, he did his best to crawl towards the hole in the ground, the mud was slippery beneath him and it was quite difficult to drag himself forward. But still he pushed and pulled himself. Closer and closer until finally he made it to the edge. He could hear the hoofsteps of Charlotte's horse dangerously close by- with one last push- he slipped himself into the hole and before he knew it, he was falling deep into an underground abyss.