There is a world of fantasy, of primality, of the most ancient of creatures and the most ancient of laws. It is a savage and uncompromising world, so alien to human thought and emotion that it might as well be the landscape of another planet beyond our galaxy. It is a world where even humans fear to tread, where we are not, as in our own métier, the greatest of predators. It is the realm of Tethys, the realm of the sea.
And Tethys is a harsh and uncompromising mistress. Though you woo her winds and ply her waves with the greatest of technology and skill, every seaman knows that once out of harbor, only Tethys reigns. And she is as capricious as any woman that has walked on land, and wild in both her passion and her fury. This is a story that lies in her realm, among her people. For where the human fears to walk, the worshippers of Tethys roam free.
James Orvinney was a man of the sea, so much in love with the wind and the waves that there were those who claimed sea water trickled in his veins instead of blood. The elderly gossips of the tiny village where James lived had taken cup-oath that he had gills as a fish, and swam with the salmon and the herring on nights when the moon shone full. His was a name known for thirty miles around, no mean feat in the land where the fisherman reigned and the net-marked hand was clasped more often than not. And this while he was not yet thirty years of age.
No woman had tempted him for more than a single night, though there were many who had tried. Among men, James counted many acquaintances, but few friends. So it was odd that he would take up with Seamus O’Malley, thought many. O’Malley was everything James was not, a dreamer and bookish, a man who dared not venture out upon the seas except in near calm. Seamus’ hands were usually ink-stained, and uncallused. Yet James named him friend. And fast friends they had remained for upwards of a decade.
And so, when James went missing that night, it was Seamus who held on to the last sparks of hope long after everyone else had finished searching. A storm had blown up, one of those bursts of fury which Tethys occasionally launches upon the hapless mortals that dare invade her realm. The wreckage of the fishing boat which James had taken out that evening washed up on shore in the morning. Although trawlers scoured the area for a full week, James Orvinney was never found. And in the little church which served his village, people gathered a year later to release his spirit into the hands of God.
But Seamus refused to believe that his friend was dead. And so it was Seamus, the man who had hated the sea and all that it stood for, who took the little sailing vessel and, clumsily tacking hither and thither, forged a path out into the wilderness of Tethys’ realm.
The wind, which had filled his sails all morning, had finally forsaken him, Seamus thought. A quick glance at the barometer mounted conveniently near the wheelhouse assured him that no storm was rising, and the anchor splashed merrily overboard to secure him in the cove where the wind had pushed him at last. The cove nestled into the atoll that formed it, dashing spray playfully onto the sandy beach. And Seamus, exhausted by his ineptitude, went into the small galley to make himself a sandwich.
He had become so used to the creak and tilt of the ship that he did not notice as the ship heeled slightly to port, then righted itself. He ate quickly while trying to remember what he had still to do before the night came upon him. Mentally he ticked off the items in his head, fond safe anchorage, no sign of storm, food and water full and fresh. He had not used the small motor at all that day, so the gasoline tanks were still full. Everything seemed to be in order. Finishing the last bite of his sandwich, he washed and re-racked his dishes, then headed up the stairs to make sure the sail was securely furled.
He stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of the girl.
She was looking out to sea when he saw her. Long platinum blond hair streamed down her back to just above her knees, flowing like the waterfalls above the village of Seamus’ birth. She was barefoot, standing only about five feet in height, with a lissome shape concealed behind that shimmering fall of hair. Seamus, though bookish, was still a man, and his member sprang to attention at the sight.
Quietly, so as not to frighten her, Seamus coughed.
The girl looked over her shoulder, revealing creamy skin and large violet eyes. She seemed unafraid, only curious. Her voice when she spoke reminded Seamus of the hiss of waves on the shore, husky and wild.
“There is a storm coming tonight, seaman. You would do well to find other harbor.”
“B-but,” stammered Seamus. “How do you know? And where on earth should I go? I’m no seaman, and I can barely get this ting to move with wind, much less without it.”
The girl turned to face him. For the first time Seamus realized that the girl was no true girl, but a full woman, and that she was completely and gloriously nude. The silver-blond hair that spilled over her was her only covering. A light, downy pelt rustled gently at the apex of her thighs, and her breasts were round and full. Yet she seemed unaffected by Seamus’ frank stare and completely unaware of the bulge in his deck pants. She stepped toward him, halting only a step out of arms’ reach. Her large eyes surveyed him thoughtfully, marking the lack of net tears in the hands, no scarring on the arms and the clean-shaven face.
“If what you say is true,” she murmured, “then my mother will have made a mistake.”
“Your mother?” was all Seamus to manage to say with the dryness in his mouth.
Unperturbed, the woman nodded. “My mother, Tethys. Mistress of the sea. She thought you were some seaman, venturing too close to forbidden territory. She sends the storm to drive you away.”
Seamus swallowed hard. His brain, temporarily short-circuited by the vision of loveliness only feet away, began to work again. “I’m somewhere I shouldn’t be? Where should I go? I’m only out here trying to find a friend of mine.”
“Who is this friend?”
“James, James Orvinney.”
A single drop of moisture suddenly rose into the violet eyes. “I am sorry,” she said. “Your quest is in vain. Orvinney has gone to Tethys. He will not return.”
“Do you mean,” here Seamus nearly choked on the word, “he’s dead?”
“Oh no,” replied the woman, for the first time seeming surprised. “No, he’s very much alive. But he has gone to be Tethys’ lover, changed by her power into the form she most craves. And he cannot return to the world of men until it is Tethys’ desire that he should go. So you see, you have come here for nothing.”
She suddenly glanced behind her at the sea, the motion pushing her breasts into relief against the setting sun. Seamus’ rod, which had begun to deflate, stiffened up again. He shifted slightly, trying to ease the pressure in his crotch.
“The storm comes.” She turned back to him. “If what you are saying is true, and I can find no sign of guile in you, then my mother is about to kill an innocent. I must not let that happen.” This last was said more to herself than to the human she stood in front of. Now her eyes blazed into Seamus’.
“I can protect you. The ship will be lost, but you will be safe. Will you trust me? No matter what happens?”
When she looked at him like that, Seamus felt that he would follow her to the ends of the earth. Or the sea. Or wherever. He nodded.
For a moment longer, her eyes searched his, then she nodded, as if to seal some bargain. She stepped to the railing and beckoned him to stand beside her.
“Can you swim?”
“Not very well.”
“Another sign you are not of the sea,” she murmured. “Quickly, take off your clothing. It will only hamper you.”
Seamus shucked down to his underwear quickly, then gulped, closed his eyes and stripped those off as well. His member sprang out in the cooling air,
stiff and straight, but when he opened his eyes, he realized that the woman
was looking out to sea again.
“We must go, and quickly,” was all she said, before hurling her naked body over the railing and down into the cove’s waters. Seamus swallowed, and jumped after her.
The water was cold, and the saltiness nearly made him gag. His bag contracted, attempting to preserve what warmth it could. The woman surfaced nearby and swam quickly to Seamus. Wrapping her arms around him, she slanted her mouth across his in a torrid kiss.
Seamus was never quite sure what happened next. All he knew was that, lip-locked to this gorgeous woman, he found his head drawn underwater, which was now warm enough to be quite comfortable. And when she released his mouth, he found that the water carried the oxygen he needed, as his lungs deflated and feathery gills strained the seawater for life-giving air.
The girl drew away, and Seamus gasped. Where her legs had been was now a silvery tail. The mermaid smiled, her platinum hair shimmering in the setting sunlight, and then she beckoned him into the deeper waters beyond the cove. Awkwardly, Seamus followed, wending into and through the sea fronds that rose toward the surface.
The sun was abruptly blotted out as the clouds of the promised storm formed overhead. The mermaid paused to let Seamus catch up to her, and then she gathered a half-dozen fronds of weed together and breathed into the middle of it. The fronds burst into a cold light, like a miniature torch. Shoving this into Seamus’ hand, she crafted another and again beckoned him to follow.
Down and down and down they swam, seeing the glory of Tethys’ realm spread out around them. Fish so small that a dozen could dance on the shell of a crab played their liquid acrobatics around the swimmers. Sharks swam leisurely past, as if curious to know about the intruder. And still the mermaid led Seamus downward to the very floor of the ocean.
Here, the mermaid paused. Lifting a shell from the floor, she scratched a small sigil into the sand before replacing the shell precisely where it had been. The sand stirred, as if by an invisible hand, and a door appeared, woven of the same sea grasses which had lighted their way. The mermaid opened the door and motioned Seamus through, then entered herself and closed the door behind her.
Seamus’ lungs re-inflated with a rush as the gills reabsorbed into his skin. For in the mermaid’s abode there was air and light, the sea fronds here woven into baskets and burning with the same cool glow. The mermaid, again in human shape with the long lovely legs, led Seamus into the central room and bade him sit down.
“First,” she said, “my name is Cara. And you are?”
With some difficulty, Seamus tore his eyes away from Cara’s body and focused instead on her face. “I’m Seamus. And thanks. I guess you saved my life. How could I repay you?”
Cara smiled, a wide generous smile that danced in her eyes as well as her lips. “I was hoping you’d ask.”
“You see,” said Cara, now earnest and intent, “not many mermaids can have lovers. We’re not dependent on your sort of procreation; Tethys makes more of us whenever our numbers start to run low. And although all of us would like to experience sex, we are afraid of it too. Because if we give ourselves to a human man, and he later betrays us by impregnating a human girl before he has impregnated a mermaid, we, well, we die.
“So because of that, not many of us want to take the risk. The spell that can bring a man under the waves only lasts for a week. It can be renewed, but…” here a fiery blush suffused her body.
Seamus completed that statement. “Only if you have sex.”
Blushing even harder, Cara nodded.
Seamus slipped over to Cara and slid his arms around her. “You need not worry about me betraying you,” he whispered. “I don’t know any girls who would take up with me.”
Still rosy, Cara lifted her impossibly violet eyes to Seamus and then took his mouth with her own.
Seamus’ fingers slid over Cara’s back, along her spine, eliciting a shiver of purest delight from the mermaid. Cara’s hands wove into Seamus’ hair, holding his head as her mouth worked across his, tongue gliding with velvet roughness across tongue. His hands slid lower, cupping her full round buttocks, then sliding along her creamy thigh.
Instinctively, Cara parted her legs, allowing her hot spicy scent to drift into the room. Her eyes drifted closed as she felt the hand of her human lover slide back up her body to cup, and fondle her breast. Her breathing roughened as Seamus slid his mouth down the column of her throat and into the cleft between her breasts. His tongue left a snail trail down to where his hand had petted her nipple into aching hardness. And Cara cried out with pleasure as he sucked the nipple into his mouth.
She arched her back, pressing more and more of her breast into his mouth. So lost was she in the wonder of the suckling that she did not realize that his hand was sliding down to the blond patch now dripping with her arousal. The slide of his fingers along her slit inflamed her and she grabbed blindly for him. His mouth continued to envelop her nipple, flicking it now with tongue now with teeth, until the pain and the pleasure swelled and merged and became a raw scarlet need.
His fingers slid into her virgin canal, stretching it slightly as she bore down on the invading fingers and convulsed around them. Her aroma filled the air, enveloping him in a heated mist of love and lust. Her hand curled around him, her thumb grazing over the top of the velvet head. His body jerked at her ministrations, and then she felt him part her legs and slide his body between them.
Cara’s eyes opened, looking deep into Seamus’ eyes as she felt him position his head at her drenched opening.
“Do you want this, Cara?” Never had she dreamed that her name could be spoken with so much passion. At a loss for words, she nodded…
…and cried out as he transfixed her, shattering her maidenhead and sending both pleasure and pain ripping through her. She felt herself start to curl up, to squash the pain, but he wouldn’t let her. Instead, he started to stroke inside her, hard and fast and deep, pushing the dripping, quivering membranes apart with every thrust. She knew that he could hurt, should be hurting her, and yet with every stroke she could feel something building inside her, in the pit of her stomach.
Cara cried out again, a very different cry this time. Her virgin pussy clamped down on the invading organ, gushing to overflowing with her juices, and she felt the rock-hard penis of Seamus somehow lengthen even further inside her battered walls.
“Oh Cara,” he moaned, “I’m going to cum. I’m going to cum in you.”
And then the seed was exploding into her womb and the feeling of his jet against her cervix just caused her to cum again and again.
The storm shattered the boat, tossing wreckage up on the shore of the atoll and spreading bits and pieces far and wide. As they were wont to do, the seamen of the village searched for Seamus, just as they had searched for James, and with the same lack of success.
The church was filled with worshippers saying good-bye to Seamus in absentia at the same time that Cara was giving birth to their first child…