IMPORTANT: This is a yaoi, male/male, slash fiction.
This story will have M rated content further on in the chapters.
Note: Though this story is not a sequel, it takes place in the some world as one of my other stories, Bind Me to Your World. Where as that story takes place in Eastland, this story takes place on the island of Transunda (which was briefly mentioned in BMTYW). Feel free to read one or both stories in whichever order you fancy! .com/s/2768197/1/Bind_Me_to_Your_World
The wind caught Calder's cloak and threw the fabric against his legs. He would have predicted another stormy night but the wind left shortly as though it knew of the strange visitor who was reluctantly on the way. He waited under the spotlight of the full moon watching two figures pull a heavy cart through the outer gate of the castle. Standing beside Galen, they waited behind Emera, but no muscle tensed in anticipation of protecting their queen. There would be no hostility tonight, not toward her anyway.
The two figures were now close enough for the night to reveal their faces. Though he knew no names to pair with them, Calder recognized them as fishermen he'd seen in the market. With no horse to pull their cart, each held a rope attached to the old wood to assist each other in the pulling. Shallow walls allowed a glimpse of what was held inside, jostled roughly by the carts worn wheels.
Nearly all of the castle residents had gone to their beds when a messenger arrived at the outer gate telling of the two fishermen who had survived trouble on the water and would be bringing a prize to their queen. But whatever had induced these foolish men to fish at night was not what flared Calder's curiosity, it was the fishermen claimed to be a prize and what misfortune it would bring. If the kingdom was lucky, the fishermen had only stirred up enough trouble to last the night.
"M' Lady Emera," one fisherman respectfully greeted their queen while they both bowed deeply, "we have brought you the prisoner and monster that attacked our boat."
Neither Calder nor Emera were looking at the men, but instead into the cart where the creature they accused of being a monster was bound. It was lying on its side with its head bent away and face hidden from sight.
"Two experienced fishermen, I wonder what you were doing on the water when the sun has long since set."
The two men shifted awkwardly, not sensing any pleasure or praise in her tone as they wishfully had expected.
"M' Lady," the fisherman's voice was not as confident as it had once been, "we have been hard pressed to find fish, so we -"
"I am no fisherman," she cut him off while trying to hide the falsity of her ignorance, "so I don't know the ways of catching fish. Is there a fish that is easier to bait at night than in the light?"
"No, m' Lady, not in these parts." Feeling her heated gaze, the men shrunk back slightly. "But, that is not..."
"It's the creatures, you see." The second fisherman spoke up, gesturing with his head toward the cart. "They've been bewitching the fish, keeping them from where we can fish. We had no choice but to go beyond the border. In hopes of not being see, we had forsaken the safety of the sun and went at night."
Choosing to interrupt his silence, Calder stepped forward from behind Emera. "But you were seen."
The men's eyes widened at the sight of Calder, his image was more dark and intimidating then their beautiful queen.
"Ye-yes, my Lord." The fisherman stammered, bowing his head slightly. "Shortly after we crossed the border it grabbed a hold of our boat and tried to tip us over."
"We would have fallen in and drowned, but we were able to wound it, and capture it using our fishing net."
Calder shared a frown with Emera. The men had done what they felt was right, then, most likely out of anger and seeking justice; they had taken the creature from the water as a prisoner. With their shortsighted vigilantism, these men didn't know what trouble they'd potentially caused.
"These creatures plague our people, m' Lady." One of the fisherman said turning back to Emera.
While the fishermen justified their actions to their queen, Calder moved to look inside the cart. Only its glistening, long, deep blue hair covered its delicate and pail shoulders. In the dim light, its skin looked nearly white but he knew this couldn't be the case. At least he thought it wasn't; he'd never seen one so close to know – in fact, very few had. Long ago the humans and merpeople had agreed to maintain their space.
The prisoner's hands were bound together, most likely to keep it from striking out. On land, it had no chance of escape seeing as in place of legs, the creature's bottom half looked as though it belonged to a large, elegant fish; around his waist pale skin seamlessly shifted to scales resembling silver coins. Allowing his eyes to follow down the creature's body, where a man's feet would have been, Calder saw translucent fins wilted as they would not have been in the open water. Calder unconsciously lost himself in an image of the creature flowing and twisting through the water with blue hair cascading and swirling freely.
Unable to tell if the creature was still alive, Calder reached out in search of a pulse. Only an instant after his hand touched the creature's skin did it lash out suddenly in a sudden and frantic act of defense. After knocking away Calder's hand, the creature attempted to sit up and push itself to the far end of the cart away from its captors; the last stand of a wounded creature.
The first things Calder noticed in the captive's new pose were the eyes; even in the moonlight, he could see their deep purple color darting between the captors' faces. But mostly hidden behind their beauty, Calder could see both fear and anger. Calder's gaze traveled around the creature's delicate features. Despite the feminine traits, he could tell by the chest that it was a male.
No lady in her most elegant gown could have matched the creature's beauty. The only flaw was a cut dripping a trail of blood down his arm. Calder clutched his fingers in his palm here he had touched the merman's skin; he could still feel the heat. Even on this cold night, the merman's skin felt feverish and dry.
The merman sat still, defensively observing his audience in the courtyard, which had gone silent.
One of the fishermen reached out to grab hold of the merman's hair and roughly pulled him back into his previous position. Calder saw as the merman's injured arm was rammed against the side of the cart, aggravating the wound.
"Enough." Calder grabbed the fisherman whom had hold of the merman and abruptly pulled him away from the cart, causing the man to release his hold and stumble back.
To avoid appearing aggressive to the merman, Calder reached slowly and cautiously for the injured arm, but again, just as his fingers brushed his skin, the merman jerked away. In a moment their eyes met, and Calder could see the boiling emotions of anger in the merman's eyes. Calder was about to speak in attempt to calm the creature, but suddenly the merman's eyes became wide and his body became rigid. Suddenly frantic, the merman jerked his elbows violently apart in attempt to loosen the bindings. His body rocked back and forth in an effort to escape from his wooden carrier.
The two fishermen attempted to run forward and stop their prisoner's movements, but Galen easily held them back.
Calder tried to stop the merman from thrashing, fearing he would harm himself with the futile escape attempt, but he was unable to stop the cart from toppling over. Using his own body, Calder was able to shield the merman from colliding with the ground by catching him as they fell together.
Emera hurried to kneel beside the pair on the ground while Galen made sure the fishermen stood back.
"Are you alright?" Emera said, letting her composed expression slip.
The merman had stopped thrashing so Calder was able to prop himself up while gently rolling the unconscious merman onto the ground beside him.
Due to surprise from what he noticed next, Calder was unable to respond. Emera's eyes widened, and the grounds fell silent once again as the others matched Calder in his bafflement. During the tumble, the merman had somehow developed the legs of a human. The scales of silver had departed to be replaced by fair skin that stretched down two long and lean legs that ended, as they should, with feet.
"Calder." Emera commanded him quietly, holding her disbelief at bay for the moment. "I'll take care of these men. Take him to your adjoined chamber without attracting too much attention."
Calder nodded and wrapped his arms around the merman's back and under his new legs. No cradling him, Calder could feel how light and delicate the creature was, and through the fabric of his clock, he could feel the feverish heat radiating from his skin.
He was about to walk away when Emera placed a gentle hand on his arm. Her body gave off an air of determination and strength, but Calder had known her long enough to see the worry in her eyes.
"I'll send for Riconto. Pray he's currently in Transunda." Then she indicated the man in his arms. "And pray he's no one important."
Calder nodded and hurried back toward the castle. He understood what was worrying Emera, if this merman was high ranked within the merpeople's kingdom, his capture could be seen as invitation to war.
After placing the merman on the bed, Calder elicited the help of one of the maids who he trusted would not spill rumors about the strange guest. Though the merman no longer had fins, Calder didn't know how long the change would last, and the astonishingly blue hair was enough to reveal what he truly was. Rumors would already be circulating, but the least they could do was keep them at bay until they knew what consequences they were facing.
Calder covered the merman's naked body with a thin blanked before the maid came in baring water, rags and medicine. Her eyes caught the blue hair running around his pale skin, causing her eyes to widen with unveiled astonishment, knowing, and fear.
"Thank you, Anna."
After setting everything down on the table, she bowed swiftly and hurried from the room.
Calder leaned over the merman and started to clean the wound on his arm and the blood trail it left behind. The cut was not deep enough to require stitching and the bleeding had nearly stopped; it wouldn't take long to heal once he applied the salve. He lightly dabbed some of the strange smelling, white cream onto the cut. He felt the magic weaved into it tingle on his fingers and stretch out knowingly to the wound. He wouldn't normally choose this form of treatment, but their strange guest needed to be healed as fast as possible. Calder was thankful the merman remained unconscious through the treatment of the wound, knowing he was more likely to thrash around than lie still. After being wounded, captured, and removed from the water, Calder suspected the merman wouldn't take well to seeing a tall, well-built man with dark eyes and dark hair looming over his defenseless body.
Wetting a cloth with water, Calder wiped the heat from the man's face. Lifting the blanket from his body, Calder continued the movement of the cloth downward to cool the man's body while re dipping the cloth when it got warm. His skin was not white, as it had originally appeared, though it was very pale with a delicate hint of pink flushing over his overheated skin. Calder noticed red marks dug into the merman's wrists from where the bindings had held him. While conveniently forgetting the merman had attacked the fisherman, he gritted his teeth in anger toward the men who had bound this delicate and beautiful creature.
With his naked body exposed, it was very apparent the merman was male, especially with legs instead of a tail. He was in every way a man, but Calder could not take his eyes of him. Relationships with other men were accepted, as they had not been in older times, but Calder's eyes had only ever desired to linger on women. Until this merman appeared and became an exception.
Calder forced his eyes shut for a moment to break away from the spell that sealed his gaze to the man's body. Telling himself he was only fascinated because the man was a mysterious creature, he grabbed the blanket and pulled it over the naked body.
After cleaning up the supplies, Calder sat on the bed, leaned forward and placed his hand on the merman's forehead. The heat in his body had decreased faster than he'd expected, it was still warm but not abnormally so. The blue hair had fallen into graceful disarray around the man's head, and Calder wondered if he should attempt to neatly gather all the hair together. As he reached his hand out to tame the hair, the merman's eyes flicked open.
Calder pulled back his hand and was caught by the purple hue of the irises. The eyes watched him, curious and subdued. Calder had expected an outburst when the merman awoke, but this was much better than expected. The eyes broke away from Calder and wondered around the room. The merman blinked lazily.
Calder kept his voice low. "How do you feel?"
The merman turned his eyes back to Calder. The merman's voice spoke softly. "Heavy."
Calder knew this was no surprise, after spending most of his life floating in the water, coming on land, surrounded by air that held a body to the dirt must have been a burden.
"What's your name?" Calder decided to seek information while the merman was being docile.
The merman didn't answer, but merely sighed.
Calder suspected the cause for the strange behavior. The salve he used was imported to their island, Transunda, from Eastland, one of the oldest kingdoms on the mainland. The salve was made with magic to dramatically speed up the healing process, but for some there were side effects. Using the salve could temporarily place someone into a delirium or dream-like state. This was why Calder had initially hesitated using the salve on the merman, but this unexpectedly docile merman was better than the expectedly angry one.
Lifting up a hand, the merman reached toward Calder. Sensing no danger, Calder allowed the hand to feel the dark hair that nearly touched Calder's shoulders.
"It's rough." The merman spoke without disappointment or disgust, but with curiosity.
Looking at the blue river of hair, Calder guessed his was only rough in comparison to the silk-like smoothness of the merman's hair. But worried it might wake the merman from this calmed state; Calder didn't attempt to reach for the hair a second time to confirm his suspicions.
The merman's hand released its gentle hold on Calder's hair and trailed downward, skimming across Calder's chest and stomach till his hand rested on Calder's thigh.
Purple eyes narrowed in concentration, steadily examining the full length of Calder's legs. Calder smiled, though he felt slightly guilty over finding amusement from the merman's disoriented state. The side effects of the salve allowed the merman to explore his surroundings without having fear of them.
"What is your name?" Calder tried again.
It was as though the merman didn't hear him, or just chose to ignore him. Giving up for the moment, Calder reached for a cup of water with added herbs he'd placed beside the bed. He wasn't sure the proper way to medically treat a merperson, or even if the merpeople knew of drinking since they lived in water. But seeing as the merman had taken the shape of a human, treating him as such might be the best option. Giving Calder a chance to feel the soft blue hair, he slipped his hand under the merman's head, and tilted it up slightly. It was softer than he'd expected, soft enough to make any vainglorious woman wriggle with envy.
"Drink this. It will help you sleep."
Calder brought the cup close to the merman's mouth, but not close enough to make him feel like he was being forced. The merman looked inside the cup and, recognizing what it was, allowed it to be brought to his lips. After a few sips, he pulled back lightly and Calder allowed his head to rest back onto the pillow.
The merman spoke again but softer than before, willing Calder to lean closer.
"When was it I reached Lilium?"
Unsure what was being asked, Calder paused before speaking. Lilium was the ancient word for lily, but it sounded as though the merman was speaking of a place. Calder was uncertain, but there was a chance Lilium was what the merpeople called Transunda.
"This night." Was all Calder thought to say, but it seemed to be enough to satisfy the merman's question.
"Then I am here with you?"
Again Calder was slightly confused by the question. "You are with me alone."
Calder was three and twenty years, he was no longer a young boy incapable of making a maiden blush, so when saw a small smile curve the merman's lips, he would have been ashamed to admit the sight made his heart race a little faster.
Once again the merman reached for him. As he had meant no harm before, Calder allowed the merman to raise both arms toward him. He was once again surprised by the merman's strange behavior when the merman wrapped his arm around Calder's neck and pulled him downward.
Though taken aback, Calder was not urged to pull away when he felt soft lips press against his. It was a sensation Calder should have been familiar with, but this kiss felt unexpectedly different. Whether it was because the kiss came from a man, a merman, or because it was from a stranger, something made his chest tighten in an unfamiliar sensation. But it did not make him desire to pull away. Calder relaxed his lips and returned the kiss with another. The merman's lips softened even more as he embraced the returned kiss before releasing a small sigh.
Calder forced himself to pull away before he went further. The merman released his gently hold on Calder, relaxed back into the pillow, and let his eyes droop shut.
As he saw the merman slip into sleep, Calder prayed the morning would come soon.
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