Chapter Twenty-Three:

Much as she hated to admit it, the fact that that annoying startup Violet Van Der Zee confidently waltzed into swimming practice that afternoon after school as if nothing had happened was no surprise to Teagan Wakefield. If nothing else, the girl legitimately was a survivor; you throw her down, she gets right back up, contemplated Teagan.

Coach Fraser must've been categorically flabbergasted when she saw Violet, though, for she gracelessly dropped her ever-present clipboard as the piddling German girl cantered up to the pool. "Fancy seeing you here, Ms. Van Der Zee" Fraser said, immediately regaining her composure. "I had just about given up on you. We all thought you have abandoned the team".

Violet shook her head. "Nope!" she persisted. "Sorry for not showing up at the last couple of practice sessions, Coach". The sugary way in which Violet smiled up at Coach Fraser made Teagan want to gag. "I had a little family emergency that I had to attend to".

"Teagan tells me that you have a most dreadful habit, Violet" pointed out Ms. Fraser.

"I do, really? What is my 'dreadful habit'?" Lady Violet needled obliviously. "Is it that I like to blow kisses to my reflection in the mirror sometimes?"

Whoa, this girl is even denser than I realized, ruminated Teagan.

"No, Violet. You know how important it is for my team to have a pristine reputation, and Teagan confided in me that you supplied the rest of the team with alcohol at the victory party after the last meet".

"That's not true!" Violet bawled indignantly, her royal purple eyes blazing. "To tell you the truth, Coach, I didn't even know what alcohol was until Teagan made me drink some. I remember it came right back out of my mouth and made me act all crazy for a vile".

"Coach Fraser, Violet is telling you the truth" declared Jody Gilbert, one of the youngest and least adept swimmers on the Sunshine Valley High girls' team. Jody was usually such a shy and reserved girl that Teagan couldn't believe that she had the guts to stand up for Violet. "I was there, at the party, when Teagan spiked her drink. Please, Coach, if you're thinking of throwing Violet off the team, don't! Regionals are coming up, and we need her!"

"I appreciate you coming forward like that, Jody, and I know that you would never lie to me. Teagan, can I see you in my office right now?"

Most of the other girls on the swim team enjoyed seeing the former shining star that they secretly feared actually getting herself into trouble with Coach Fraser for once.

The Crown Princess of Pacifica felt overwhelmed when she answered her home telephone and heard Adam Fonda's voice coming from the other end. "Hi, Nerissa".

"Hey, Adam. May I ask how you got my phone number?"

"There's this newfangled invention, maybe you've heard of it. It's called a phone book" he joked good-naturedly. "I was just wondering if you'd like to go out again some time, maybe this Friday night. There's this new movie playing at the Valley Multiplex that I'd really like to see".

"Oh sure, Adam!" replied Nerissa, but deep down a small part of her felt like spending time with Adam was some how cheating on Lord Zale, although she never was officially in a romantic relationship with either boy. "Hold on, just let me see if that's fine with my Mom, all right?".

Nerissa gently set the cordless receiver down on the kitchen table, and walked over to Queen Melinda, who was busy making a tossed salad for dinner. "Mom, can I go the movies with Adam on Friday night?"

"No, honey, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that won't work out. You see, your father is coming to dinner tonight, and he has a special announcement to make".

"What kind of announcement, Mom?" Nerissa inquired.

"Well, it was supposed to be a surprise, but I guess I can tell you now if you promise me that you'll keep it a secret from Violet and Coral till they hear it from Poseidon. This weekend and part of next week, the Magical Creatures' Convention is going to be held on La Isla Magica, a magical island that is invisible to humans, and we're all going!"

Nerissa wasn't exactly sure what to expect from a Magical Creatures' Convention, but after all she'd been through recently, a little vacation might be just what the doctor ordered!

What glorious adventures await Nerissa and her friends at the Magical Creatures' Convention?

Will she ever see Lord Zale again, or at least any time soon?

Is Lady Violet really Purified from being a Sea Siren for good?

Find out all this and more in Nerissa Sanderson, The Part-Time Mermaid Of Sunshine Valley, CA #3: A Mermaid's Adventure…Coming Soon…In Early 2011!