Author: Enlightened Tenshi PM
After her mother's tragic death, Anya thought her biggest problem would be her father's surprise engagement. But when Anya discovers something inside herself, something powerful, will she be able to save her siblings, and herself, from the dark eyes that want it? T for now, but could become M.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Fantasy - Chapters: 3 - Words: 9,724 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 03-15-13 - Published: 05-23-12 - id: 3025256
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The two-hour long car ride had been the most awkward experience in Anya's teenage life.
Ariana constantly tried to start up a conversation about clothing, shoes, and other stereotypical teenage girl topics, which made Anya gag.
She blatantly told the woman that she couldn't stand shopping, her old Converse were the only shoes she needed, and make-up was out of the question.
The twins had sat quietly in their car seats, ignoring the yammering blonde.
When she couldn't get the kids to respond to her annoying voice, she turned her attention to Darian.
She talked non-stop for an hour and a half, complaining about this television soap opera, or that piece of gossip she had heard from one person or another.
Anya was half-tempted to plug her ears with the tissues her father kept in the back seat in case of runny noses.
Finally, after her irritating monologue, Ariana realized the kids were still in the back seat.
She looked at Anya, and a see-through smile grew on her face.
"So, Anna," she said, "how about them boy toys?"
The dark-haired teenager rolled her eyes at the woman's complete misuse of her name, then blinked in confusion. "Come again?"
Ariana rolled her eyes. "You know, the hunks!"
Anya looked puzzled.
"The GUYS!" Ariana yelled.
The teen shrugged. "What about them?"
The woman rolled her eyes. "How're they doing? Duh…"
Anya glared at her. "If you'd speak plain English for once, then maybe I could understand you." Ariana scowled, her Botoxed cheeks puffing like marshmallows.
Darian gave her a look in the rearview mirror, which clearly said, "Be nice."
Anya sighed. "If you're attempting to ask if I have a boyfriend, the answer is no."
Ariana gave a fake gasp. "No! That cant be! You're hot to trot, sugarcube. You should be swamped with hotties!"
Anya snorted. "Yeah, sure. And you're the relationship guru?"
Ariana huffed, turning back to face forward. "Well excuse me for attempting to make conversation!"
She flipped her bleached hair over her shoulders, finally shutting her mouth for the first time since they had left.
Anya thanked God for the silence. She hadn't spent a day with this woman, and she already hated her.
She talked as if she were a fifties model, though she had the looks of some downtrodden trophy wife. She had no respect for her or the twins, she hadn't even bothered to learn her name!
How in the world did Dad think this was a good idea? Anya shuddered at the thought of spending the rest of her teenage years with this horrible woman.
After what seemed to be ages, they finally pulled into the parking lot near the beach.
Anya was excited to just get out of the car. She helped the twins out of their booster seats.
As soon as they were free from their seatbelts, Trey and Talia sped for the water. They stopped at the very edge to look back at their father.
Darian grinned and called out to them. "You can go on in, but stay close to shore!" He then turned to his oldest, to see her gazing off into the distance.
After releasing her siblings, Anya had turned to gaze at the surrounding sights.
The sand was white, like finely ground glass, and the water was a deep cerulean as it crashed onto the shore. The swaying tops of palm trees dotted the landscape. It was so beautiful out here…
She gazed upwards at the large cliffs that lined the edges of the beach. The view from the top was astounding, even though she had only been up there once with her… mom…
Anya began to lose herself in memories.
A five-year-old Anya giggled as her mother tickled her nose with a dandelion. The tiny fibers tickled her nostrils, causing her to sneeze them away. Her mother, Alyssa, laughed.
"You've managed to blow all the seeds away, now you need to make a wish!"
Anya's eyes squeezed tightly shut, her mouth moving as she spoke under her breath. Alyssa smiled at her daughter.
When Anya opened her eyes again, she grinned at her mother. "I did it!"
Alyssa opened her arms to her daughter, allowing her to climb comfortably into her lap. "What did you wish for, baby cakes?" Anya made a zipping motion over her lips. "Can't tell you or it won't come true!"
Alyssa pretended to pout at her daughter. "No fair! I'm your mommy! You have to tell me!"
Anya giggled. "Okay, mama." She leaned up to whisper in her ear. "I wished that me, you, daddy, and any brothers or sisters I may get will be happy and together forever."
Alyssa smiled down at her daughter. "Now that's a wonderful wish, baby cakes." She snuggled with her daughter as they watched the sun set over the horizon, the waves breaking at the bottom of the cliffs.
Anya felt tears build in her eyes. She blinked them away. If only that wish had come true…
Darian sighed. Anya looked so much like her mother then. Dark hair waving in the breeze, her eyes glistening from the sun reflecting on the sand.
An irritated cough sounded from behind him, and he turned to see Ariana glare at Anya. She nudged him aside and poked Anya between the eyes.
"OW!" She rubbed her sore forehead, glaring at Ariana. "What was that for?!"
The woman fluffed her already puffy hair. "You were blocking the pathway with your daydreaming. I simply woke you up." She snaked her arms around Darian's bicep. "Now, let's get going, or all the good tanning spots will be taken!"
As she dragged her father away, Anya could swear she saw a snake tongue slip past Ariana's pouty pink lips. She followed at a distance, grumbling to herself.
"Like you need any more tanning. You're so leathery, Gucci could make a handbag out of you. Probably pass it off as alligator skin. Or even rattlesnake. Yeah, rattlesnake would probably be better. Or maybe even python…"
A deep chuckle snapped her out of her rambling. She turned to see a handsome guy smiling at her.
A very handsome guy, with a nice tan and muscles and nice hair and oh my God he's walking towards me!
Anya's eyes widened as he walked up to her, her heart rate rising with every step he took until he stood right in front of her. I'm about to have a heart attack, she thought.
The boy smiled at her.
"Hey." He spoke casually, whisking the bangs out of his eyes. Anya's stomach dropped, and she had to mentally slow her heart beat back down to normal.
His hair was a deep brown, almost black, and his eyes were a captivating emerald green. He wore light blue swim shorts that hugged his hips and accentuated the muscles dipping into the waistband. She expected him to be a mirage by how perfect he looked.
He leaned forward slightly, raising his hand for her to shake, which she readily took. Nope, no mirage.
"I'm Blaise." His grip was firm, but gentle. He almost seemed to cradle her hand.
It took Anya a moment to collect herself enough to respond. "I-I'm Anya."
Blaise's brow furrowed. "Really?"
She blinked. "Something wrong?"
He shook his head after a moment. "No, nothing. I just thought your name sounded familiar, that's all."
Blaise released her hand and glanced behind her. "I heard you mumbling to yourself about someone. The way you were talking, they're obviously on your hit list."
Anya's face darkened. "Oh, that'd be my soon-to-be step-mom." She pointed her thumb over her shoulder. "It's the one that's a walking advertisement for every shade of pink imaginable."
Blaise looked, then grimaced. "Yeesh, that's way too much neon for anybody to wear." That got a laugh out of Anya. He grinned, placing a hand behind his head. "Well I would feel like a jerk for not offering you a refreshment of some kind." Anya waved her hands. "Oh no, that's okay, I'm fi-"
She groaned at the well-known screech. She turned to see her step-mother stomping towards her, an ugly frown on her face. Ariana grabbed Anya's upper arm in a vice-like grip. "Come along, sweetums," she ground out. "Your father and I are waiting."
She began to drag Anya away until she caught a glimpse of her friend. Ariana's eyes widened, then dropped into what would have probably been a sultry look if the Botox didn't squish her eyelids together.
"Well, hello there…" she purred. She released her grip on Anya to sway over to Blaise. "And what's your name, handsome?"
Ariana blinked. "W-what?" Blaise stepped away from her groping hands. "I said that I'm unavailable, ma'am. This young lady said you were her stepmother, and from that ring I'd begin to believe you are about to be married, correct?" He motioned to her very large engagement ring.
Ariana hid her hands behind her back, suddenly becoming sheepish. "Oh, well then, my look at the time, must dash!"
She turned to grab hold of Anya again, leading her away, fuming. "How dare he! The nerve of that kid! He didn't even know what he had!"
Anya rolled her eyes. "Oh yeah, it's not like you're about to be married to my dad or anything."
If she heard her, Ariana didn't show it.
She dragged Anya underneath a large palm tree, where Darian had a good view of the twins splashing in the shallows. Ariana released her vice-like grip on Anya's arm, then turned to Darian. "Well, I'm off to tan." She planted a sloppy kiss on his lips, making Anya gag, then sauntered away to heaven knew where.
ANya plopped into the sand next to her father. Darian turned to her. "You know sweetie, you can go and have fun on your own. You don't have to stay here." Anya smirked. "How do you know these things?" She looked over her shoulder at him.
He shrugged. "I'm your dad. I'm supposed to know." He poked her back with his foot. "Now go have fun."
Anya smiled and kissed her dad on the cheek. "Thanks, dad." She stood and dusted the sand off her butt.
Darian pointed at her, giving her his fatherly look. "But be back before sundown, alright?" She nodded. "Yes, sir."
She waved to her dad and dashed back to the beach entrance. Oh, I hope he's still there… She climbed a nearby sand dune and searched for any sign of Blaise. She bit her lip.
There were throngs of people just now coming onto the beach. Crowds of tourists in brightly colored shirts snapped photos as they walked, while a few kids threw around a Frisbee as a black Lab chased after it.
There were just too many people. Anya groaned. "I'll never find him now…"
A hand on her shoulder caused her to almost fall from the dune. "Whoa there!" An arm wrapped around her waist, catching her before she fell. Anya was now gazing into the eyes of-
He chuckled. "That's me." He helped her adjust he footing before he moved his arm away. Anya suddenly felt cold for some reason.
Blaise smirked at her. "So, you got away from short, dark, and vicious?" She giggled. "Yeah, my dad told me to go have fun. But I have to get back before sundown."
Blaise smiled. "Oh, well that leaves us plenty of time! Come on," he grabbed her hand, causing a blush to rise on Anya's cheeks, "I still haven't bought you that refreshment I promised…"
The teens skirted around the beach, ice-cold lemonades in hand, and headed for the cliffs. Anya had suggested they see the view, and Blaise had agreed. As they walked, they got to know one another better.
"So, your step-mom, she's a real peach… or grapefruit… maybe her color suits a cherry more?" Anya laughed. "No, it's more like a coconut. Any darker and she'll be a walnut." They both laughed.
Blaise pushed aside a bush to allow Anya to pass. "So, why is she marrying your dad? I mean, not to diss your father or anything, but she's kind of a harpy."
Anya snorted. "You're not telling me anything I don't know." She sipped her lemonade. "He thinks that my siblings and I need a mother figure to look up to."
She stopped to watch the water droplets flow down her glass. "My mom died when I was eight, during an art gallery robbery. I was there, I saw them shoot her." She shrugged. "I guess my dad never really got over it. This marriage seems more of a mid-life crisis to me than an actual event."
Blaise stared at her, deep in thought. "I'm sorry. I saw that on the news. The thieves were never caught. The police searched for months." He looked at his glass, taking a swig. Anya sighed.
"My brother and sister never even got to meet her… they were newborns when she died." Blaise's brow furrowed. "How old are they now?"
"Nine. Though Trey acts like he's older. Always trying to protect Talia and I…"Anya bit her lip, giving a watery laugh. "I'm sorry to dump all of this onto you… we've just met…"
Blaise shook his head. "No, I don't mind. You need to talk about this to somebody. I'm glad you chose me." He looked behind her and smiled. "Look, we're almost at the top."
Anya turned to see the small grove where she and her mother had once sat. She smiled and walked to the base of the lone oak tree that grew there. The slope was dotted with bushes and brambles, but this was the only tree that had grown. She set down her glass to run her hands over the tree's rough bark.
So many memories…
Blaise sat down beside her, facing towards the edge. He caught her staring at him and pointed behind her. "Anya, look."
She turned to see the sun touching the far horizon, the sky splashed with beautiful shades of yellow and bright orange. "The sun is about to set." He nodded. "About to, but not yet."
Blaise crossed his arms behind his head, laying back on the soft grass. He sighed loudly. "Since you shared part of your past, I'll share a part of mine."
Anya began to protest, but Blaise raised his hand to silence her. "No, it's only fair." He settled deeper into the grass, then sighed.
"My parents got a divorce when I was five. My mom was an alcoholic, but she could never admit it. My dad was ashamed of her, he was a business man with a productive future, along with a young son to take care of, so he divorced her. A couple of years later, he died in a car accident. Drunk driver blindsided him. He died instantly."
Anya gasped. "How horrible…"
Blaise smiled slightly. "Yeah, it was pretty hard to take in at seven. So I had to go back to my mom, who had become an angry drunk. Beat me every chance she got until Child Services stepped in. So at ten, I lost both parents." He rubbed his eyes with his right hand, then continued. "Spent the next seven years in fourteen foster homes with either too may kids or not enough time. Until Mr. Diamond came along."
Anya looked puzzled. "Mr. Diamond…?"
Blaise smiled. "He's my employer, but he's also like a father to me. He adopted me after the last family dumped me. Took me in, gave me food, clothes, an actual bed. He cared for me. So when I got old enough, I started working for him. I'm now head keeper in his household. I'm basically his personal butler, except no tux. Just a dress shirt and slacks." He sat up and grinned at Anya. "And I couldn't be happier."
He grabbed his lemonade and chugged it, sighing in satisfaction when he was done. "Now that hits the spot."
Blaise stood as Anya watched, stretching out his back and arms. The setting sun's rays hit him in such a way that he looked almost ethereal. Streaks of gold and red filled his dark hair, and yellow colored the contours of his muscles. He was beautiful.
He caught her staring and grinned. "See something you like?" Anya quickly looked away, her cheeks tingeing a light pink. Blaise smirked and kneeled next to her. "I think pink looks a lot better on you than on your step-mom."
Anya pushed him away, grinning. "Shut up, you dork." She downed the rest of her lemonade, and the duo set off down the cliff.
When she saw Blaise and Anya walking up together, Ariana looked likely to explode. Anya thought red was definitely her color.
Darian glanced up at their approach, trying not to grin as he watched his daughter. "Well now, it seems you did have fun after all, huh kiddo?"
Anya blushed, bumping her dad with her hip. "Dad… this is Blaise. Blaise, this is my dad, Darian." The men shook hands. Darian nodded. Nice to meet you. I'm sure you took great care of my daughter?"
Blaise smiled. "Yes sir, she has been given the royal treatment, complete with lemonade and sightseeing, with a finishing touch of the sunset over the cliffs." Blaise bowed gallantly to Darian, causing him to laugh.
"Alright, Sir Gallant, you can stand up now." Blaise straightened, chuckling at Anya's rosy cheeks.
Ariana chose that moment to interrupt. "Dare-bear, I'm cold. Let's hurry up and go already." She flounced to the car, jerking open the passenger door and slamming it behind her.
Anya rolled her eyes. "Drama queen…" Darian sighed. "Anya, do you think you could drag the twins out of the water? I've been trying to for almost thirty minutes, but no go." The girl sighed and nodded. "Yeah dad, just five minutes."
While Darian packed their things up, Blaise and Anya headed for the water's edge. They could see the twins splashing in the shallows still, the waves making their bumblebee arm floaties bob with the tide. Anya began to wade into the water. "Okay you too, time to go."
The twins moaned. "Ahny… we don' wanna go home yet!" Trey pouted while Talia skittered behind her brother. "Five more minutes? Please?"
Anya shook her head. "Sorry guys, no can do. Dad said it was time to g-"
A dark shape, looking to be about six to seven feet long, had just curved around the twins, sliding into the deeper water. It was about four to five feet deep where they floated, but there was a possibility for sharks. Especially hammerhead, though it was strange to see one so far inland.
Anya looked at Trey, her eyes wide and frightened. "Trey, honey, listen to me, don't make any sudden movements, alright?" She knew he saw the fear in her eyes, and he knew he had to obey. He froze, almost dead in the water. Talia must have sensed her fear as well, for she too had gone still.
Blaise called out from the shore. "Everything okay?" He sounded worried. Anya waved behind her without turning. "Just fine!"
She waded closer to the twins. "Trey, Trey honey, look at me. Don't be scared, just look at me baby." She reached her arm out in front of her, trying to move as little as possible.
If it was a shark, it probably didn't matter whether they moved or not, it would think they were food or be curious and poke them with its nose. That would cause the kids to panic, and irritate the shark. Which was the last thing she wanted to do.
Trey lifted his right hand and grabbed her outstretched arm. Anya slowly pulled him closer, lifting him onto her shoulders so that only his lower legs and feet were in the water.
She started to reach for Talia when the shape circled once again, only closer. It passed through a patch of setting sunlight, and a myriad of colorful scales reflected through the water. Well at least it's not a shark.
But no matter what it was, it was after the twins. And that was not going to happen. Talia was near hysterical, tears coating her face. Anya shushed her gently. "SSshhh, baby girl, it's okay. We're gonna get out of the water and go home, okay?" Talia barely managed a nod.
"Do you need any help?" called Blaise. Anya half-turned. He was waist-deep in the water, watching her slow progress. Darian stood on the shore. Anya mouthed at them.
There's something in the water!
Blaise's eyes widened, and he nodded. He could tell that they needed to stay silent and calm, so he didn't relay the message to her father. He would charge into the water, disturbing whatever was circling the kids.
"Anya, are you okay?" She heard her father call, but didn't acknowledge it.
Anya turned back to Talia, and waded deeper. Her right arm was supporting Trey, so she extended her left out to Talia. The dark shape swam directly under her little sister, heading towards her legs. She braced for the impact of teeth or a hard, rough surface.
Her eyes widened.
She had just felt skin.
Anya grabbed her sister as fast as she could, dodging the shape as it swam back into the deeper water. She clutched Talia to her chest, trying to sprint through water almost up to her neck. She had to get them out of there.
Blaise saw her panic, wading deeper in to help her. They met halfway, and Anya handed him her brother and sister. "Hurry, take them to the car." Blaise frowned. "But what about-"
Anya felt a cold hand grasp her ankle. Her eyes widened. "BL-!"
Before she could scream, she was dragged under the water, a stream of bubbles flowing behind her. She tried to struggle, to break free and break the surface for air, but the grip was like iron. She tried to squint through the water to see her attacker. A glistening fish tail billowed by her face, coated with iridescent scales.
Her lungs were about to burst. She was losing oxygen the deeper this… thing… took her. It dragged her for what seemed like ages, then the hold on her ankle released. She floated for a moment, then started to pump her arms and legs to get to the surface.
Arms encircled her waist, and a hard chest pushed against her legs. She looked down.
A boy. It was a boy. But not.
Tiny fins stuck out where ears should have been. Scales dotted his cheeks, and there were gills on his neck, opening and closing with each intake of water. His eyes, they were so blue, they seemed to go on forever… Before she knew it, his face had gotten too close for comfort. Was he going to… kiss her?! Oh, hell no!
But she couldn't pull away, couldn't move.
His hands reached her cheeks, thin blue webbing between his fingers, and a small fin running up his forearm to his elbow. His fingers smoothed over her cheekbones, calming her, as his lips descended onto hers.
Anya found herself closing her eyes, even enjoying the kiss. His tongue separated her lips, and she moaned.
Suddenly, a breath of air flowed into her. Her lungs were working perfectly fine. She- she could breathe! Anya blinked in confusion as the merboy moved back from her face. He looked sad, almost mournful.
"Sorry to have frightened you, serafie. It was the only way to get your attention. I didn't mean to scare your pite serafie and bengher."
Anya shook her head. "Wait, what?" The merboy slapped his forehead. "Ah, frede mia. You don't speak Mer." He smiled. "Serafie is sister, pite serafie is little sister, and bengher is brother." He giggled at her confused expression. "Don't worry, you'll learn in time."
She gasped. "Wait, how am I breathing right now?!" The merboy smiled at her. "Didn't you know that a Mer's kiss lets you breathe underwater?" She shook her head, and he almost seemed disappointed. "Oh… Well, then," he gently took her chin, "to business."
He then clasped her hands with his and swam slowly in a circle. "There is not much time for me to explain. Only know this, and remember it well; The Essence is the key." He pressed her hands to his chest and kissed them. "Have it memorized?"
"The Essence… is the key? But what does it mean?" She was so confused. Was she dreaming right now? The cute fishy in front of her told her so… but why did she feel so frightened then?
"Am… am I dreaming?" She said aloud. He shook his head. "I'm afraid not, serafie. You are wide awake." He looked towards the surface and released her hands. "Our time is short. Your potre, or father, is looking for you as we speak." He looked once more into her eyes. "Remember what I've told you. It is very important."
Anya nodded. "The Essence is the key." He smiled, taking her breath away. "Yes, that is right." He caught a free-floating strand of her hair and ran it through his fingers. He began to back away. "You must go, quickly. That kiss will be in effect whenever you enter the water. I have given you a special gift, serafie. Use it wisely."
The boy turned to leave. "Wait! I don't even know your name!" She called.
He smiled and turned, his eyes full of sorrow and another emotion she couldn't place. "My name is Muirin."
With a rush of water, Anya broke the surface. She was much farther out than she thought. Blaise was a little bit bigger than a speck, and the figures of her father and the twins were dots on the shoreline. Anya began to take a deep breath, but stopped herself as she was reminded of Muirin's kiss. Her cheeks heated at the memory.
She dove under the water, cutting through the waves faster than ever before. The water accepts me, she thought. She had no idea where the thought had come from. She just knew it to be true. She resurfaced in the shallower water, Blaise running to meet her, his face pale.
"What happened?" He was pale, and he looked frightened. Anya licked her lips. "It was a shark, but it didn't get me. Had a fishing net stuck to its dorsal. It caught my leg and dragged me under. I got it loose and it swam away. Then I came back up."
Blaise looked doubtful. "But you were under for so long… we thought you were dead."
Loud splashing from behind him drew attention to Darian running through the shallows. "ANYA!" He threw his arms around his daughter. "Are you all right?!" He checked her face for cuts or bruises. "Nothing bitten or broken?"
Anya sighed. "No dad, I'm fine. Really." She hugged him, to which he clung tightly to her. "God, Ahny, don't scare me like that. I thought I'd lost you…"
She hugged her father tighter. "Don't worry dad, I'm not going anywhere."
Eurgh… my brain is shot… I've been writing on this for two days straight. Please forgive me if it's horrible. I promise it will all make sense before too long. Remember, I crave reviews, so please drop me a PM or a review if you have tips or advice for me. Thank you, my lovelies!
Just FYI: the Mer language is completely made up by me. It is not an actual language. But Muirin is Celtic, or Gaelic, for born of the sea. :D