Selendra swam onwards in a calm ocean that mirrored her panic. Right now all she could do was focus on one thing: finding a temporary mate. She was far from home, where other merpeople lived, and for the first time in her long life, she had begun to show signs that she could breed. A quick glance at her long, sea green tail and light purple fins confirmed what was happening. The tail had faint black lines showing from her hips and down to the middle. As time passed, they would get darker for the next two days until they disappeared altogether. Her time was limited. This could be her only chance to finally have a child of her own. All she needed was to find a male, merman or human she didn't care.

The past day she had spent denying what was happening. The last time this happened it only brought her tears. To avoid the painful memory she would leave during times where many conceived, and this was the first time she held regret for not staying. Even though there was no way of predicting this would happen, she still scolded herself. With any luck the ocean would take pity on her and guide her to what she desired most. If it did not, then it was never meant to be. It was a fear she held deep in the back of her mind.

After what felt like an eternity of swimming below the surface she saw a large object in the distance. She swam up and peeked out to get a better look. If she wasn't careful, she could be spotted by the wrong humans and find herself in danger. Her hair matched the color of her tail, but her skin was a mix of pinks, reds and oranges that made her stand out from the dark ocean around her. Blue spots broke up the bright colors along her face and arms.

Selendra inhaled the sea air, the gills on her neck flexing outwards as she exhaled. It was a boat in the distance. It wasn't very big, and if she was lucky only one man would be on it. She wouldn't approach if she saw more than that. Humans had been known to take mermaids on strange journey's to show off to others in exchange for money, and she had no interest in that life.

A wave gently pushed her forward, and she began to swim in the direction the ocean willed her to go. It had taken pity on her. Her stomach flipped at the idea of having a child to call her own, of finally being able to conceive like the other merwomen, and to be part of her society in a way she never could be before. Everything would be better for her. She was now just a few hundred feet from the boat. It took her mere minutes to cover that distance.

When she arrived all was quiet. That meant only one man was on board, or others were sleeping elsewhere. She took a deep breath, bent down to the tip of her tail fin, carefully grabbed it, and pulled upwards. Her kind were of magic, and were able to transform to look like humans when they needed to. Or simply wanted to. As she pulled them up they changed into a light green fabric that revealed a pair of legs beneath. It was tight at the waist where the tail had met her skin, and she continued to pull until it went over her head. She was then able to form a dress by tying two ends together behind her neck. Her skin was no longer brightly colored but a few shades darker than sand, her hair had lost its vibrant sea green to a deep black, and her face was now one of a human woman with only a small beauty mark on her cheek. She reached out for the side of the boat, and the ocean waves pushed her up so she could reach the top. When she pulled herself up she saw the deck was clear of any humans, so she climbed in.

The boat was small but machined. She could see a room in the middle with odds and ends, but no one was inside. Quietly she made her way to the front, and that too was empty. Her heart began to sink. What if this boat had been deserted? With a little more desperation she made her way to the back. Fishing equipment was scattered about along with empty nets. On a chair bolted to the deck was a man. It took all of her willpower not to run screaming in joy to him.

Selendra walked over to him as quietly as she could. Her bare feet didn't seem phased by the hot deck of the boat. It felt like eternity passed until she stood next to him. His skin was red from the sun, his clothes loose on his toned body. A hat covered his face so he could rest without the bright rays hitting his eyes. She carefully pulled it off. He had dark wavy hair that didn't look all too well kept, cheeks as red as the rest of his skin, and a peaceful expression. For a last minute search, he would be good enough. Her hand gently touched his shoulder and moved down his chest.

He woke with a start, then his eyes widened at the sight of her. Apparently in disbelief a woman was standing in front of him, he jumped out of his seat and rubbed his eyes. When she smiled at him it became obvious she was real.

"Where did you come from?" It was the only question he could think to ask.

Selendra hushed him and wrapped her arms around his neck. Her lips went to press against his but he backed away. She was surprised he was avoiding her advances so quickly. Maybe human males needed more direct signals.

"Now look, maybe you're not right from the sun or you were stranded - " He gulped as she untied her dress and let it fall. She was the definition of beauty, and it took a lot of effort to look away.

"I want you to look," she whispered seductively to him. "I know what I'm asking of you." A few steps towards him and she had her arms on him once more.

"You're not really asking," the man began, but her lips prevented him from saying anything more. He gave in against his better judgment. His hands wrapped around her waist with caution. If this was a trap, then so be it. Her skin was still wet from the ocean, and her hair was long enough that he could feel the water dripping from it onto his hand. He pulled back again with a look of concern.

"How long were you in the water?"

Selendra let out a frustrated noise and pressed her body against his. She had never heard of a man so resistant before. Despite how difficult he was making this she wasn't going to give up, not now. Especially when she was so close.

The man stared into her eyes as if searching for a reason this would be a mistake. They were a deep greenish brown, and held no fear or desperation. She didn't look hysterical, or ill from any fever. Maybe this was just a lucky day for him. Maybe fate was giving him good things for once to balance out all the negatives he had lately. Her hands began running down his chest and kept going lower.

"You really want this?" His voice was a lot quieter than he intended.

Selendra nodded, a big smile appearing on her lips. Her heart skipped a beat as he led her to his cabin below deck.