p id="docs-internal-guid-ff7fd429-7fff-0935-3633-29fb383f8aa4" dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"As soon as the Captain arrived they were on their way home. She sat in the front passenger seat, and he rested in the back. Neither were scolded for what happened. There wasn't even so much as a disappointed look. Instead he let an uncomfortable silence weigh down on them. Vince couldn't take it anymore and broke the silence./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I'm sorry. I know I promised this wouldn't happen again-" /span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""You had someone with you, and you trained her to respond appropriately. There's nothing to be sorry for," the Captain cut off. While in truth it wasn't handled as well as it could have been, he knew Selendra's presence was vital to Vince's survival in a way he couldn't explain to anyone else. He also didn't want to give an impression this was her fault./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"Vince shut his eyes and remained quiet as he thought about what the Captain said. It should have made him feel better, but it didn't. He should have been able to do his job without harm, and he should have been able to do without putting someone he cared about in a life-threatening position./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"Selendra folded her hands tightly in her lap and stared out the window. In the back of her mind, the possibility that her time here was coming to an end made her heart ache. She had failed to tell Vince what she was, drew suspicion upon herself by others around her, and possibly harmed how others perceived him. What good had she done?/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"Arriving home felt odd, too. The Captain helped Vince out of his car and inside with Selendra close behind. Neither said a word to each other. She organized his medication and carefully read the instructions./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""He'll need to take one of these now," she said quietly./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""When that's done, I just want to have a quick word outside with you. If that's alright," the Captain requested with as gentle a voice he could naturally muster./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"She hesitantly nodded./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Good, I'll be outside." He nodded and walked out./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""You don't have to talk to him about anythin'," Vince muttered as he laid down. "He'll probably just have some speech or somethin'."/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"Selendra quietly filled a glass with water and brought it over with a pill. /span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I'm sure I'll be fine," she smiled half heartedly. "Now take this like you're supposed to."/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"He hesitated, but when she raised her eyebrows in a scolding manner he swallowed it quickly./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"Part of her wanted to give promises of when she would tell him everything, to explain what she did and why he was still alive. Another part told her it wasn't worth it. The questions that would come from everyone would push her away./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I'll try to stay awake," he mumbled as he shifted into a more comfortable position and shut his eyes. "Wake me up if I fall asleep."/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Oh, I'm sure I'll do that," she laughed before she kissed his forehead. After she put the glass on the counter, she walked out to talk to the Captain. It unnerved her at how easy it was to walk out./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"He waited by his car with a cigarette in his mouth. It was suddenly clear just how many days he had behind him, and the toll it had taken. When he saw her he casually tossed it on the ground and crushed it with his foot./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Let's go get some food," he said without asking./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I'm not leaving Vince," she frowned. Her body tensed, but not as much as when she first met him./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""It's been a long two days, and even a mermaid has to eat at some point."/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"That word gave her a rush of emotions she couldn't decipher. She couldn't even think of a way to tell him he was wrong, especially since he wasn't. Her whole body suddenly felt unable to react to the situation she was in./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"The Captain watched as she continuously started to speak but couldn't. It hadn't occurred to him that knowing what she was would put her into such a state./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I will explain later," he smiled softly. "Come on, there's a place near enough the beach we can talk and eat."/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I…" She inhaled sharply as if she had held her breath the entire time. "I should tell Vince…"/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"He nodded and waved her off./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"The world felt like it was underwater. Every step she took back to the house, opening the door, walking over to Vince, felt fluid and unstable. The sounds were muffled and distant. He had fallen asleep, so she wrote a note and left it on the coffee table. She found Vince's key and locked the door behind her, and joined the Captain in his car. He glanced at her, suddenly nervous./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I don't want to be gone long," she whispered. Her voice was her best defense, and she had lost its strength. There was never a time she felt so vulnerable./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""We won't. Promise."/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"They arrived at a small restaurant not too far away. To her relief it was fairly empty. They sold simple meals. Fish and chips, hamburgers, barbeque shrimp, baked chicken, and a few other options. What the Captain seemed most concerned with was the beer. /span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""You'll probably want one of these, too," he suggested./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"She was about to say yes, then remembered her past sickness. Instead she shook her head no and avoided the instinct to hold her stomach. The last thing she wanted to do was drink something that could make her nauseous. /span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I'll just have the iced tea," Selendra smiled weakly./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"They sat down on the outside patio away from everyone else. She took a few bites on a fry while he chugged down most of his beer. When he was satisfied enough was in his system, he relaxed a little and looked her in the eye./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Am I wrong?"/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"She clenched her jaw as she thought about what to say, but decided to just shake her head./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Good," he sighed and took a bite of his food. "Did you tell him?"/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I tried, but…" Her eyes shut tight at the reminder she almost lost him. /span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Ah," he frowned. "Do you still want to?"/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Yes," she replied quietly. "But I think I missed my chance. I waited too long to tell him, and now he's hurt. I don't have much time left to tell him."/spanspan style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"br /spanspan style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;" /spanspan style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""What do you mean?" He frowned./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I can't be out of the water for that long. Yesterday helped, but…" She swallowed down tears./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""And telling him won't be enough." The Captain sat quietly as he thought about it. /span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Even if I do just tell him, he wouldn't believe me. If I can't show him it won't work. What if he thinks I'm crazy or…" She wiped her eyes when she noticed everything looked blurry. "He probably already thinks something's wrong."/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""We'll figure out how you can show him. And unless you have some secret evil motive, which I highly doubt you do, I highly doubt he thinks something is wrong with you. Now he might think something is wrong with him. That would be more accurate," he chuckled./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"Selendra remembered the conversation she had with Vince about his past marriage and how it had ended badly. Any time her actions were questioned, it wasn't because he didn't want anything to do with her, but because he was afraid it meant she would leave. It suddenly became clear that the suspicion about her wasn't because of mistrust. It was because he was afraid it would end just like his marriage did. With her leaving./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Now, for a more serious topic. His leg." The Captain took another long drink./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"Her eyes widened and she looked at him with a guilty expression. /span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I know it's not your fault. The condition it's in now, is. Those scales on him, are they…?"/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Yes," she frowned and looked down at her food. "I remembered a legend where it can heal bad wounds. I wasn't sure if it would work." /span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Are you hurt, then?" His tone was more serious, but soft./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"For a moment she hesitated to answer. The nurse fussing over her once was more than she wanted to deal with again, but she nodded. Honesty was the least she could give him right now./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I will heal. It's just a surface wound," she shrugged as if it wasn't a big deal./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"He nodded solemnly. He wasn't sure he completely understood what exactly she did to herself, but didn't want to pry any further./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"For a moment they sat in silence. A breeze brought the smell of the salty air to her. Despite being back to her normal state the day before, she still felt the urge to be back in the water. It felt like being thirsty but she couldn't drink the water that was just a step away. /span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Has he seen his leg?"/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I don't think so. He didn't look at it when the doctor removed the wrap. I'm sure if he did he would be asking me about it." That wasn't a conversation she looked forward to. It would be impossible to explain to him./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""He's going to look eventually. Best have a good excuse ready if he doesn't know about you by then," the Captain warned./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"She sighed. He was right. But that brought up a question she hadn't thought of before./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""How did you know about me?"/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"The Captain took a deep breath and squinted his eyes in thought. His face went dark, and he was unable to find the right words./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""I don't think I can tell you here. Would you mind coming to the office with me? I also have some belongings there you might want back now."/span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Yes." She hoped Vince wouldn't wake any time soon, but she felt this would be important for her to know. It would be even better if it helped her explain what she was to him./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;""Thank you," he forced a smile./span/p
p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; text-indent: 36pt; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"They both finished what was left of their meal, got Vince something to eat, and left. Selendra occasionally glanced at the Captain on the way over. What had happened to give him such a mournful look on his face? And what did that have to do with mermaids?/span/p