"Eric," Ariel gasped.

Without a word, he kissed her so passionately King Triton looked away, uncomfortable. Finally, she hooked her arms around his neck and looked at her father, so disappointed; he couldn't look back. He had honestly been willing to kill the man she loved before he would listen to her explain. She knew in her heart that she would never forgive him. Eric carried her back to the palace while she debated how long it would be before she would be willing to speak to him again.

Eric took her up to his room this time, not caring about protocol. He ordered a priest to marry them that afternoon, and they agreed to have a vowel renewal in front of the kingdom. Right then he wanted to be tied to her in every way.

Later that night Ariel slept, wrapped in a sheet while Eric watched her. Softly he slipped out of the room, positioning a guard in front of the door and walked to the dungeon in his robe. He found Grimsby staring at the ceiling.

"I hope it was worth it." Eric taunted.

The old man looked over at him and then back at the ceiling. "The girl has no place in the palace."

"Well, she's queen now." He smirked at the look of shock on Grim's face as he turned over and took in the Prince's appearance. The old man walked over to the front of his cell and grasped the bars as Ariel had done before.

"You didn't!"

"Grim I lost her once, I'm not gonna lose her again." Eric narrowed his eyes, "Why do you hate her so much?"

Grimsby stiffened and said, "Do you know how ashamed your parents would be if they knew you were with that harlot?"

Eric reached through the bars and punched him in the face. Without a word, he turned from his old advisor and ascended the stairs. It was the last time he ever saw him.

Opening his door, he found Ariel standing in his shirt. She looked upset. She ran to him when closed the door behind him.

"Are you okay?" He asked, feeling her shake.

She scoffed, "I was arrested, kidnapped and almost died yesterday, and you wonder why waking up to find you gone with no explanation upsets me?"

He kissed her neck, "You're right. I'm sorry."

She sighed, pulling him to the bed and curling up in his arms. Feeling safe again she drifted off to sleep. Eric looked out his balcony doors and listened to the waves. His wife still smelled of the ocean, a scent he hoped would never fade. He fell asleep, dreaming of the ebb and flow of the tide, and the mermaid, so beautiful, he almost wondered if he had ever honestly seen her at all, knowing every morning, for the rest of their lives, he would wake to find that she was real.