On Stranger Tides
Move! You have to move faster! The mortally wounded missionary chanted over and over like a mantra in his mind, even as his body started to fail him. The jungles of the island passed by in a blur, or perhaps his vision was fading along with the last vestiges of his strength. The muscles in his legs burned and screamed for Philip to stop and rest, but he dare not stop lest when he collapse, it would be his final resting place...
His breathing ragged and hoarse from exertion, his own pulse pounding like a drum in his ears, the young man of God nearly cried out in relief when he spotted the gruesome makeshift mermaid graveyard. With a final burst of energy, he bounded over to the dark pool where he had last seen his beloved. Whether it be from blood loss or over exertion, his legs gave out, sending his body crashing to the jungle floor.
I will not give up. I must see her again. Syrena...
Mustering the scraps of sheer will power he possessed, Philip dragged himself over to the rock pool's edge. Knowing it was futile, he cupped the pool's cool clear waters and splashed it over the gaping stab wound on his abdomen.
And then out of his wildest dreams, the midnight crown of Syrena's head broke the surface of the pool, her cherub features twisted in concern and yet unsure of the man lying before her. Submerged up to her bare shoulders, Philip gazed on upon her in wonderment.
Releasing a shuddering breath, the young man rallied his remaining energy to answer her.
"In body only, my mind is at peace...because of you"
Shaking her head, she was unwilling to accept his swiftly approaching death, and implored him desperately with her gaze, rising in the water and cupping his cheek with a gentle hand.
"I can save you. You need only ask."
Ever uncertain of his feelings for her, she timidly retreated back to the safety of the pool, her fingertips sliding reluctantly from his cheek.
Leaning in after her retreating touch he locked gazes with her.
"I seek only one thing."
Her heart, nearly bursting from heartache longed to fulfill this seemingly final request. Gliding forward, she was now mere inches from her lover's face.
"What is that?" she pleaded in a hushed whisper. His answer was immediate and true.
"Forgiveness." His gaze was full of anguish, guilt and regret, but she dare not ask lest her heart shatter.
"If not for me, then you would never have been captured." With blurred and fading vision, he watched incredulity spark in her eyes before determination and urgency took its place.
Face to face, so close to her inviting lips, her breath ghosting across his skin, how could he deny her anything?
With one sure stroke of her powerful tail, his angel rose from the water and pulled him into passion's embrace, her lips hypnotizing him as she slowly but surely pulled him under into the pool's welcoming waters and the dark depths below.
The scorching heat of the sun beat down mercilessly upon the skin of Syrena's bare back. Sprawled out upon one of the countless deserted island beaches,the mermaid and the missionary laid just beyond the surf's reach.
Tracing the strong jaw of her lover, she regarded his unconscious form. He only had mere minutes left before the sands of his life ran out. But the decision she was contemplating...it was life-altering. If she saved him...would he despise her for all time?
Shaking her head and her doubts away with it, she worked quickly to save him in the only way she knew how. Finding a lone jagged peach hued shell, with a hiss of pain, she sliced the makeshift dagger across the palm of her hand and an angry crimson line of her life's blood sprang forth.
Without hesitation, she pressed her bloodied hand upon the gruesome wound of her beloved, making sure that her blood entangled with his. At first, his body did not respond, not even flinching when she had pressed against his injury.
Am I too late? She thought in despair. Precious and well sought after tears cascaded down porcelain cheeks in tiny crystalline rivers. She had been so close. She could've saved him. And now... all was lost, or at least she thought it was until a groan sounded beside her.
Could it be? Syrena's eyes widened in shock and wonder as Philip stirred beside her. Astonished dark eyes shot to the wound that threatened to steal him of his days on earth. By the magic of her blood , tissues were mending and piecing themselves together, until all that remained from his battle at the fountain of youth, was a small silvery scar.
With a heavy heart, Syrena knew that though his mortal life was no longer in danger, Philip had also just payed a heavy price regarding the life he now possessed. The question was, how would he react once her knew?
Another groan from the man she loved, broke her from her tumultuous line of thinking.
"Syrena?" The young man's voice was hoarse from disuse, and immediately she was at his side, stroking his sweat-stained brow. She remained cautiously silent, still uncertain as how to address him.
Sand encrusted eyes opened blearily, and sighed happily at the sight before him.
"Syrena, you saved me," he whispered softly.
"I love you," she replied careful of her answer.
Suddenly feeling better than he had in ages, the young man sat up abruptly and was rewarded with a slight case of vertigo. He was literally dumbfounded to discover that other than a miniscule odd silver scar, there was no trace of battle or injury left upon him. Unparalleled joy sprung forth within him,, so much so that he embraced his precious mermaid in wild abandon.
"Thank you Syrena...for saving my life. You truly are one of God's most blessed of creatures." he whispered tickling the shell of her ear with his lips. Pushing back from his embrace, she shook her head unable to keep the complete truth from him. Would he still show such affection to her once he knew what she had done to him.
"I merely exchanged your old life...for a new one." Her gaze fell to her bare lap, unwilling to face the scrutiny of his gaze.
"A...new...life?" He repeated the words slowly. Without looking at him, she recognized that the question was clear in his tone. She had not the heart nor the words to answer him, so with all the courage she could muster...
She showed him.
With deceptive ease, she pushed the remaining leather vest from his broad shoulders only to fall with a soft thud on the sand. Taking his tanned hand in her milky one she took one long meaningful glance out to the tropical waters surrounding them and then back up to her lover. Recognition dawned in Philip's eyes, and instead of the angry fear that she had been anxiously anticipating, only a pleased acceptance had settled.
"To be with you...I would follow you anywhere."
His deep voice held promise and shivers ran down her spine in anticipation. Without breaking his gaze , Syrena watched with baited breath, her cheeks warm and her heart racing as the man before her took his time in divesting himself of each remaining piece of clothing, until they both stood bare under the setting sun.
Taking the final few steps, the couple walked into the awaiting surf until they had reached waist depth. The familiar tingle ran through her , one she was sure Philip was feeling now. Sure enough, moments later, he stumbled as though he had tripped upon a stone. Syrena knew better. Grasping him under a shoulder, the petite mermaid propelled them back to the shallows so that her love could regain his bearings.
The clear waters of the surf greeted Philip with quite a surprise. Instead of the the pair of long tanned legs he was born with, an even longer muscled golden tail had taken its place. Even now in the twilight hour, the sun glittered off his newly acquired scales. The young man couldn't take his eyes off his new appendage.
"How is this possible? I thought mermen did not exist?"
A smile threatened to overtake her lips at the sheer ludicrous statement .
"Just because they do not lure sailors to the depths, does not mean they do not exist. The males of our kind hunt much larger prey."
The new merman nodded quelling his unease by the surprise of moving his new tail. It was strong, that much he knew, created for the turbulent currents and depths below.
"And you do not hate me for it?" Her quick glance to his tail indicated of what she spoke. Shaking his head, and lightly running his hand against the soft skin of her face, he smiled.
"My dearest, you have given me my greatest and most impossible selfish desire...a lifetime with you." With the last rays of sunlight as their backdrop, Philip kissed his beloved mermaid assured of all the promises of happiness to come.
A short oneshot of what I would have liked to see at the end with these two. Review and tell me what you think! ~later days~