Tanez never wanted to be king. All he ever wanted was to find his soul mate and live his life out like a fairytale. However, after his father was impeached, the god Poseidon saw him best fit to take his place on the throne of Atlantis. A position that would hinder his presence in the life of the young mate he just found, but also give them opportunities they could never have dreamed of.

Contains MxM relationships and hints at sex, rut, abusive drunk fathers and some foul language. If this offends you, please don't continue and find something you do like.

Also contains sexy men who are half fish and crazy old ladies.

Please ask before you use any of my work, or I'll send Poseidon after you. Or Lauen… whomever you fear more.

Chapter 1

Tanez sighed, his body breaking the surface of the water. Shaking his head, his long purple hair slinging water droplets through the air before they met with gravity and rejoined the ocean. He puffed a disjointed breath, blowing at a string of lilac hair that was plastered wetly to his face. Giving up as the soaked strands refused to move, Tanez sank back down into the water until only his gray-violet eyes remained visible.

His tail flicked to easily propel him through the water as he headed to his favorite spot to think, a small alcove that was hidden in a rocky cliff. The waters around it were too dangerous for a human to approach by sea, and the cliff angled to make it far too difficult to approach by land, so he was safe from his greatest predator.

Hefting himself on the sand that was the entrance to the cave, he curled his tail under himself, like a lady would tuck her skirt. His fingers spread his violet fins as he let his thoughts go where they would.

His father, the king, was dead, slain by Poseidon's own hand. It took much to anger the normally peaceful god, but his father had let his power and age get to his mind and his lust for Poseidon's queen blacken his thoughts.

Heaving another sigh as his fingers traced over his scales, Tanez shook his head. His oldest brother wouldn't dare take the throne until he had the god's approval, but Poseidon had yet to speak on the matter, leaving the kingdom in limbo. The brief mourning for his father was over, and rumors of discontent and disgust have now broken out. Tanez' peaceful world was being thrown into chaos. Flicking his tail out to where his tailfin rested in the lapping tide, Tanez folded his arms, under his head, leaning back in the sand, his eyes tracing the stars with undo fascination. He was the 7th son, the 9th child, of the 12 his father had sired, the only from his mother. There was enough of a buffer between him and the throne that he'd likely never be a candidate for king, which he felt was best. He loved his kind, the people of the sea, the ones he swam by everyday in the streets, but he couldn't stand the politics, the nasty tempers and the gossip that seemed to thrive in the courts. The people deserved better than to have the best decision withheld because of a few preening blubber fish.

Snorting at his own thoughts, Tanez rolled onto his side, his hips shifting and settling in the sand, even he didn't escape the rumors. The court was all over his exceptionally late maturity and it'd become a game for them to set maids on him and see who could trigger his first rut. Not that the often hormonal, sometimes heavily breasted women would ever make his sleeping cock stand and drip, but of course, letting them know his attraction to muscular angles and heavy scent rather than soft curves and the sweet scent of a maid would be the next big scandal. His children would have to come from his own brood pouch, a hell of a lot of magic, and two men in rut. It was possible, not easy and amongst the common people it was, not normal, but accepted. He however, was not common.

A taloned hand reached up to run through his drying hair, and Tanez rubbed at the ridged bump behind one of his pointed ears. Under the skin lay his ear fins, which would emerge like every other mer, after he lost his virginity.

Nope, he defiantly wouldn't be a candidate for the throne, a 70-year-old virgin just didn't have much public appeal, and saying he was waiting for his true-mate just got him called a hopeless romantic.

Tanez knew his man was out there, somewhere, and he would find him. When he did, Tanez would give him a gift that hadn't been given in nearly a millennia, a full bond. A full bond could only be created when two virgin true-mates, or soul mates, came together and spoke the ritual words and shared blood, it was made final by consummation of the relationship and had to be done in water, but it formed one of the most powerful forms of magic know to his kind.

Smiling as he wondered what his mate could possibly be like, Tanez was broken from his fantasy as rocks tumbled down the cliff, disturbing the water by his tail. Sitting up, Tanez grabbed his chest as he heard sobs, the sound tearing at his heart and bringing tears to his own eyes. Sliding into the water, Tanez followed the sound around the rocks, searching for the creature that was in so much pain.

A human boy crouched on the beach, tears running down his blood stained cheeks. His heart hurting for the child, Tanez slid beside him, his arms wrapping around the slender shoulders and pulling the underweight boy to him in a soft hug. Catching a hum as it pressed his throat, Tanez berated himself. He couldn't sing, this was just a boy, a HUMAN boy, it'd be ridiculous be singing a mate in front of a child. His fingers moved through the matted hair, finding all sorts of lumps and cuts, Tanez bit back a growl; it wouldn't do to frighten the child.

"Who did this to you?" He wasn't sure why he was asking, it wasn't like he could march up and discipline the criminal, but he felt it was necessary.

The boy whimpered, struggling briefly before pulling away from Tanez, his small hands shoving the merman in the chest and the boy scrambled away, "NO!"

Frowning, Tanez remained still, his violet eyes drifting over the boy. The boy had the common look of the humans of this area, the dark skin and hair, the slightly pointed eyes, even though this child's were quite green, not the common black/brown of most the locals Tanez had seen. "No?" One slim violet eyebrow rising, Tanez patiently watched the boy, "Tell me what weight has set itself on your slim shoulders? Your words shall never be repeated from my mouth, but letting this fester within can only poison you."

The child cowered back, fearful green eyes flicking over the beach, looking for an escape. Sadly watching the boys frightened, twitching movements, Tanez was surprised the youngling had let him hold him in the first place, the poor creature hand obviously been beaten by someone close. "I swear, child, by My Lord Poseidon's' name, I will do you no harm. Now, please, come here and allow me to heal your wounds."

At his words the boy froze, the green eyes widening as the child finally stilled his panic enough to focus on him. Twitching away, the boy stumbled back and fell, clumsily over his feet, curiosity warring with fear as the child's mind fought through pain and confusion.

"I cannot follow you onto land, child, to escape me all you need to do is move further up shore, however, I have invoked my God's name, thus I cannot cause you harm. I wish to help you, and you are bleeding quite much."

The boys shoulders dropped, and he angled his head to face the sea, keeping Tanez in his peripheral vision. Relaxing as the waves lapped at the beach, the child eventually turned to him, "You… can make pain go away?"

Tanez nodded, holing out one of his hands in offering to the child, "I can, if you'll allow me."

The boy took a hesitant step forward, pausing before offering the merman the arm he'd been cradling, one of the bones of the forearm poking awkwardly against the skin.

Reaching forward, Tanez gently grasped the flesh, his fingers running feather-light over the broken bone. Closing his eyes, Tanez drove into his magic, a song of healing emerging from his throat as he fed his power into the other's body. His eyes opening to watch his patient, his voice drifted across the beach, in sync with the tide. Tanez smiled as the bone slid cleanly into place, the bruising and swelling fading, even as the rest of the boys' body healed. His songs drifting to a stop and the last of the boy's cuts closed, Tanez released the boy's arm, smiling as the child examined his healed body.

A grin breaking out on the innocent face, the boy leapt forward, his arms wrapping around Tanez' shoulders in a hug. A complimentary smile lit Tanez' face as he hugged the child back, a taloned hand petting the grimy hair. Chuckling as the young stomach growled restlessly, Tanez released him, "Child, do you hunger?"

The boy's face turned red, and he placed both of his hands on his stomach, "I… can I even eat mer food? I won't get sick will I?"

Tanez chuckled, "I believe you can, since your boats delve into our ocean for fish daily. I would not have healed you if I were only to poison you." Running his hand through the child's dark hair, Tanez patted the head gently, "Go, wash off this blood, I'll get us dinner to eat together, if you'd like."

Ran nodded, his emerald eyes hopeful, and his tummy growled loudly in response.

Tanez shifted towards the water, pushing off to duck below the sliding waves. Poking his head through the surface of the water, Tanez waved, "I'll be back soon, do not worry!"

An hour later Tanez lay stretched out on the beach, flicking his tail contently as he waited for the human to finish eating. He had heard that humans ate more than his kind, but he was astonished at the amount of food disappearing into the small body. The prince chuckled to himself as the human gave a small burp, and wiped his mouth on his dirty sleeve before neatly placing the bones of the sixth fish in a line behind the others.

"Thank you, Mister."

Using his tail to sit up, the movement overdone and flashy, as his tail flicked through the air, Tanez ruffled the boy's still wet hair. "My name is Tanez, the seventh son of the old king."

The boy stilled, blushing profusely before he stood, bowing awkwardly. "Oh my! Why didn't you say you were a prince! I've been so rude!" Bowing multiple times, the boy only stopped when he felt a gentle hand on his leg.

"I'm not a prince, not anymore. And please, sit, it was nice being away from the formalities of court, it would be nice to have a friend who did not care so much about etiquette."

The boy looked hesitantly over the merman, "But I can't! I must always show honor and respect for those more important than I!"

Tanez saddened at the boys words, "I do not wish for another servant child. I want only a friend. Can we pretend I am none but a civilian while together? None is truly more important a being then any other, titles mean nothing after death."

Ran thought for a moment before kneeling on the ground, "We can be equals? Friends?"

Smiling, Tanez nodded, "If you would like, I will be a friend, and you will be a prince in my eyes."

The boys eyes sparkled, excitement building as he imagined himself greater than his current abused life. Nodding hastily, he wiggled in the sand, "I would like a friend. My father doesn't approve of most of my friends, he scares them off. But you are a PRINCE, even my father cannot best a prince."

Tanez' eyes softened and he patted the sand beside him, "Come, tell me about yourself, about your father? Was he the one that beat you?"

Settling beside him, the boy leaned against Tanez' shoulder, "I'm Ran. Can… can I touch your tail?"

Smiling at the boy's name, Tanez considered the question, tail touching could be highly erotic, but he didn't think he'd have an issue with his sleeping rut and the boys young age. "Feel free, Ran."

The boy flashed him a grin, before stretching small fingers out to pet his tail, "I live up on the hill, that house there!" Turning, Ran pointed to a small light overlooking the cliff. "My dad is the sheriff…" seeing Tanez' confused look, Ran searched for another definition, "Like the… Guard Commander for the town." Getting Tanez' nod, Ran continued, "He… is the top authority locally, well, not really, but the mayor is a coward and so he lets my dad do whatever without consequences. My father likes causing people pain… and… beat my mother a lot…"

Tanez' violet eyes darkened to a stormy gray, but he did not interrupt, "My mother died last spring… swollen with my little brother…" Sniffing Ran whipped back tears, curling against Tanez as the merman's arm wrapped around him. "They both died… it didn't take long for my father to find a new woman, and even though they haven't married, he beats her too. But… she wasn't home tonight, and I didn't know where she'd gone, so he beat me instead…"

Cooing softly, Tanez hugged the child close, petting Ran's hair. "It seems that there are dark hearts in both our worlds."

His gaze drifting out to sea, Tanez groaned at the storm clouds rapidly forming, it seemed Poseidon was upset again. Pushing Ran away, Tanez cupped the boys face, his eyes delving deep into the green ones, "I must go, but let me give you a gift first." His hands feeling the scales on his tail, Tanez grabbed on that was close to shedding, gently pulling it off. The scale was one of his bigger ones, and it wasn't violet, or lilac, or gray, but a swirling combination of the three colors. Closing his eyes, Tanez latched his magic onto the scale, the piece of himself easily and deeply accepting the spell. Smiling at the faint glow it gave off, which would fade in about an hour, even while the magic would work for centuries, Tanez passed it to Ran. "Keep this. Drill a hole through it and thread it on a string and wear it. It will allow me to hear the words you tell me, to heal your wounds. It means I can be by your side, even when a great distance separates us."

Ran grasped the scale, admiring its beauty before he leapt up, running across the beach. Returning, Ran clasped his hands around something, closing his eyes as he copied Tanez' motion, without the magic, before handing the merman a green rock, a hole naturally formed in the jade material, the stone shiny and clean. "I want to be by your side too. Friends should always be together."

Breaking out into a grin, Tanez had to keep himself from singing. Leaning forward, he hugged Ran close, whispering in the small, curved ear, "I will return, I promise. No matter what I must do to get here, I'll come back. In a few years, I'll bring you a precious gift, one that is only for you."

The boys eyes sparkled as Tanez pushed away, "Go, Ran, a storm approaches. And no matter what the future holds, I will return." Diving into the water, Tanez clutched the stone to his chest, swimming swiftly through the strengthening currents as he returned to his home.

Tanez panted as he swam through the hallways of the palace, his gill slits moving rapidly. The storm had surged halfway home, and he'd had to fight against the heavy currents to reach the palace. Turning a corner, Tanez spotted Poseidon, who was arguing with a lady of the court.

"My Lord, I beg you, please reconsider, he's not fit to be king. He's…"

"That's ENOUGH! He is to be the next king, whether you or the court like it or not. Don't forget, Sharleen, what I am. You better learn to support him, else wise I'll find someplace far less welcoming for you. Let the rest of the court know that. Now chop chop, I want him crowned within the week." Snapping his fingers Poseidon turned away from the mermaid.

"Sir! PLEASE! He's so young, he's not even mated yet! Think of our people!"

Poseidon spun around, the waters flashing around him, "That's why he was chosen, was for the people, not for the court, remember that, maid."

Backing away from the corner, Tanez decided that this was not the place for him, and he'd find out who had been assigned the throne elsewhere. He did not want to cross an angry god. Turning, Tanez halted as he came face to face with Poseidon's first servant, the demi-god, holding a tablet, "Tanez, Your Majesty, Poseidon wishes to speak to you."

Tanez bulked, backing up again as he heard the title, shaking his head no. "Dolphen, I'm not…" His sentence getting cut off as he bumped into very solid and hot flesh at his back, his head tilting back until he peered into the eyes of his god. "My Lord Poseidon…"

The handsome face softened the god looked over Tanez, the merman slowly turning around to bow, "Pardon, me, My Great Lord."

Poseidon watched him, his head tilting slightly before the god spun on his heel, "Follow me, Tanez."

Swimming after the god, Tanez hesitantly entered the royal office behind the man, shifting uncomfortably in the water as he glanced around the room.

"So, you've finally met your mate, Tanez."

Tanez' eyes widened, and his mouth fell open, "The boy is?" Blushing Tanez's hand reached for the stone in his belt pouch, gripping it tightly in his hand, "I didn't realize. I wish now I had done more for him." His head dipping down in embarrassment, Tanez floated quietly in the office.

"Do not hide from it; it is something to be proud of. And what more could you have done? He is too young to accept the sea and become mer, the risk of the magic going wrong is too high until the body matures, you know that." Poseidon patted Tanez shoulder as he moved around to sit on the cushion behind the desk, the same cushion usually occupied by the kind. Poseidon motioned for Tanez to take a seat before he continued. "I do expect you to keep every one of your promises to the boy, however. You do that, and I'll make sure he accepts the sea smoothly and painlessly. Treat him well and he will become an invaluable consort."

His blush deepening, Tanez nodded, a burst of pride blooming in his chest, "Thank you, My Great Lord." His tail flicking nervously, Tanez shifted, "That means a lot to me, My Lord, but… that is not what you wanted to talk about, is it?"

Poseidon smiled, "Straightforward and honest. I hope you don't lose any of those qualities in the years to come, Tanez." Stepping forward, Poseidon moved right up to Tanez, "You, Tanez, are the next king of Atlantis."

Tanez bulked, blinking up at the god, as he pulled his tail up to shield his front, "What? No! Why? I never wanted to be king!"

Poseidon smiled, "Because you never wanted, is one of the many reasons why I made you king. I'm sure you already know most of the reasons. You are currently what is best for your people, my people. You truly want everyone to be happy, do your best to make it so."

Tanez stared at the deity for several long moments before he dipped his head, giving a small bow, "I will do my best, My Great Lord."

Poseidon stood, moving around the desk to stand before Tanez, "I expect no less."

His head still bowed, Tanez felt hot/cold fingers touch his forehead, magic flowing through him, knowing that whatever his symbol for his monarchy was, it was being imprinted on his forehead. Feeling the fingers disappear, Tanez blinked his eyes open, his violet gaze drifting through the empty room.

I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter, and I plan on posting more chapters soon. Every Wednesday is my goal, so expect the next chapter on the fifth of January. Please, leave comments, critiques, suggestions, whatever. They are greatly appreciated.