Aquata Cove

Chapter 58: Not Goodbye


Merrick puts a few things in his small cubbie at Lovers. He looks sadly into the small space, where his uniform vest, pants, and name badge are stored. Today was supposed to be his first day on an official job, he was supposed to start earning money to help Adam, Yuri, and Jamal pay for bills and expenses. And now... He has to leave before he can even start.

"You about ready, Merrick?" Nick says as he comes up behind the merman, patting him on the shoulder.

"..." Merrick doesn't know how to answer. He sighs deeply as he bows his head.

"What's wrong, man?" Nick asked as he looks to his friend.

"... I just got here..." Merrick finally said, "I was supposed to help... Things are tough at the house now, and the one time I decide to be useful for once, I can't even..." He shook his head.

"I know, man," Nick said, "It sucks, but it is what it is."

"And... You were nice enough to hire me, when I don't even have the least bit of experience in working in a human store, and now I must leave... I was just lucky to be hired, and then..."

"Hey, hey, it's ok, man," The Latino put his hands on Merrick's shoulders, "I git it, bro. This is something you have to do." Merrick turned to look at Nick, "And don't worry bout it, man. I got your back."

"Are you sure...? Sasha said this place was hiring."

"Yeah, man, we're fine for now, but if we need to get someone else, I'll just hire a temp or seasonal to work here." Nick nodded his head to him, "But for sure, your job wull be waiting for you when you get back."

Merrick smiled weakly as he moved in, and kissed Nick on the cheek. Nick smiled affectionately as he rubbed Merrick's arm.

"You any idea when you coming back?"

"No..." Merrick closed his eyes, "... I suspect that I might have to be gone for... Maybe six moons... Like how it used to be before I was banished..." Merrick brought his hand up, and took a dab of sweat from his temple, looking at the drop with worry.


"You be aight, man," Nick patted him encouragingly, "You be aight..."

~~~

The Dream Waltz is getting ready for the next scheduled performance. As usual, people are hanging out, chatting, drinking, and laughing as a couple of stage hands push large, crystalline statues onto the platforms, over a mount of electric light to make the fake crystals illuminate brightly.

Adam walks up on stage in a white and grey jacket and pants with swirled sequin designs along the suit. He takes the mic and addresses the audience, just like on his first time last weekend.

"Hello," His voice booms, "How's everyone doing tonight?" The crowd gives a cheer in response for him, "Hahaha, thanks, guys, that means a lot," He nods and smiles, "Now I WAS going to sing Blow from Ke$ha, but... I can't really go for an upbeat song right now. I'm kinda depressed at the moment."

"Awwwwww" The audience collectively pouted for him.

"Anyway, here I go, with Castle of Glass." The lights of the building dimmed as the audience clapped and cheered him on. The music begins with a rolling with a pulsing track, with a melancholy beat as he began to subtly pump his legs to move himself up and down, before putting the mic to his mouth.

"~Take me down to the river beeeeennnnd" Adam began "~Take me down to the fighting eeeeennnnd ~Wash the poison from off my skiiiiinnnnn ~Show me how to be whole agaaaiiinnn~" The audience approves of his singing thus far, "~Fly me up on a silver wiiiinnnnnggg ~Pass the black where the sirens siiiiii~iiinnng ~Warm me up by the nova's glooooowwww ~And drop me down to the dream belooowwww~"

~~~


Merrick walks along the line of people waiting outside of the Dream Waltz, until he comes across a rather tall, beefy man wearing a tight black shirt, snug black jeans, a belt with several items of equipment, and an earpiece with a microphone next to his mouth. The man looks down and sees the blonde male come to him, "Hello, Merrick" He said with a friendly smirk before reaching for the velvet rope, and unlocking it to let him through, "Go right on in."

"Thanks, Steve." Merrick says with a smile as he walks into the club.

He makes his way through the crowd, and sits at a lounge chair, and looks with excitement as he sees his lover up on stage. Something about Adam in costume and performance just feels like a fascinating notion about his boyfriend. He figures there's a lot of gay singers out there, and if they have boyfriends, is this how they feel when their mate is putting up a good show?

"~Cause I'm ooooonnnlly a craaaaack~" Fractured and imaged spotlights circle around him, "~In this caaaaaaaaastle of glaaaaaaaassss ~Hardly aaaaaanything there for you to seeeeeeee~eeeeee ~For you to seeeee~"

"~Bring me home in a blinding dreeeeeeaaaammm~" Adam continued as the imaged spot lights swung left and right, top and bottom, "~Through the secrets that I have seeeeeee~eeeeen ~Wash the sorrow from off my skiiiiiiiin ~And show me how to be whole agaaaaiiiin~"

"~Cause I'm ooooonnnlllly a craaaaack~" The crystalline statues around him conintued to blur with different cool colors of blue and white, "~In this caaaaaaaaastle of glaaaaaaaassss ~Hardly aaaaaannnything theeeerrree for you to seeeeeeee~eeeeee ~For you to seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~" The music pumped in a faster rhythm as Adam held that note few several seconds as the spotlights moved faster and faster around him more and more.

"~Cause I'm oooooonnnnnlly a craaaaaaack~" The music calmed down, as well as Adam's voice for that moment, "~In this caaaaaaasstle of glaaaaaaaasssss~" Even the spotlights came to a snail's pace with the song, "~Hardly aaaaaaanything elllse I need to beeeeeeeee~eeeeeeeee~"

The music jumped right back into a quick, powerful rhythm. "~Cause I'm ooooonnnnnly a craaaaaaaack ~In this caaaaaaaaastle of glaaaaaaaasssss~" The spotlights cycled around him as fast as before as well, "Hardly aaaaaanything theeeeeerre for you to seeeeee ~For you to seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ~For you to seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~"

The music pounded further as Adam held his voice for several more seconds on the last lyrics, until it abruptly came to a stop. The audience applauds and cheers for him as Adam takes a bow. The lights dimmed as he turned, and walked to behind the curtains while the various stagehands go to collect the two large fake crystal props.

~~~

Merrick walks with chipper down the side of the lobby, towards the employee door, where he entered, and headed for the dressing room. No performer who works at the Dream Waltz has their own room - there are five private dressing rooms in total, and they're all shared or assigned for the various performers.

He reaches for the door to number 3, when a heavy hand comes down on his shoulder. Merrick turns to see another large guard there.

"Where's your pass?" He asked with a threatening grumble.

"Pass? I don't have anything, I just wanted to see Adam."

"You ain't stayin here unless you gotta pass, or a job here. Now move it." He said forcefully.

"Wait, no! He's my boyfriend!" Merrick grunted as he resisted.

"I don't care if he's your Siamese Twin, you ain't allowed in here." The guard said as he started to overpower Merrick.

"Stop, no!"

"Hold up!" Said a third voice. They turned to see Adam halfway out of the door, his previous jacket already gone, "It's ok, Russell. He's with me."

Merrick pulled his arm away from Russell, and went to Adam as the guard glared at that blonde head, before turning and leaving.

After coming in, Adam sighed as he looked to him, "I told you you're not supposed to be back here, Merrick." He said irritably.

"I know~" Merrick smiled as he came in, putting his arms onto Adam's shoulders, "I just had to see you~" He kissed his lips, but didn't receive much of a response. He turned and went to the rack of outfits, casually checking them out, "I caught your last show, babe~" He smiles as he browses the various outfits, "I'm real glad I can see them."

"Before you leave..." Adam said. Merrick's smile faded a little, "Right?"

"... Right..." Merrick said.

"How long are you going to be gone?" He asked.

"I said I don't know..." Merrick feels his hand on a sparkling yellow dress, "Whenever the Noita said I'd be ready."

"Got it..." Adam said, showing little emotion, "... You should get going."

"What?" Merrick turned, "But I just-"

"My next song is in ten minutes. You're not supposed to be back here at all."

"So~" Merrick gave a cute smile as he came to Adam again, "How bout we make the best out of the next 5 minutes then~?" He asked as he tugs into Adam's pants.

"Merrick, you really..." Adam protested, but Merrick pushed a finger to his lip, and came up to smooch his lower jaw. Merrick hums lowly in affection as he kissed him a few times, before kneeling down before Adam.

Merrick pops open Adam's pants and slowly pulls them down, along with his undershorts. Adam inhales deeply as he felt his flaccid member twitch was Merrick nuzzled the right side of his pelvis, his chin just brushing against his thick pubic hair.

"Mmmnn..." Adam deftly feels Merrick's clean hair as those lips pushed onto his lap, tickling his flesh with low, sensual kisses in that furry groin.

Adam tensed as Merrick's tongue traced along his sac while his limb penis rests on Merrick's forehead. He mumbles lowly as Merrick laps his sensitive testicles are tenderly licked and lapped and circled around his orbs, before the broadside of his tongue rubs against those balls.

A rush runs up Adam's spine as Merrick carefully suckled on one of his balls, before moving his lips onto the other one. His dick is about half hard when Merrick moves up, and starts to savor the taste of his meat. Adam grunts and huffs as that warm wet velvet slides over his cock, pushing into his bush and going backward to the ridge of his glans, and going back down while pulling his pants and shorts completely down, and off of Adam's feet.

Adam tilts his head back as Merrick bobs his head back and forth, while putting his hand softly on Adam's naked butt. He squeezes that soft buttcheek around and round before putting both hands onto Adam's manly thighs, and spreading his legs out as he sits down.

Merrick's mouth never stops working over Adam's manhood as he twirls his head down on his lap, pushing his tongue on every angle on his dick. Adam moans and whimpers at a steadily climbing pace - Merrick's really making this blowjob a quick one.

He stops twirling his head, and begins to jump his head up and down to rub his tongue on the bottom of Adam's cock, while pushing the head on the roof of his mouth, and jamming it in the back of his throat.

"Ahhhh..." Adam pants as his toes curled as his orgasm is approaching rather too quickly. He whines as his hands grasp at the seat as Merrick works him over, while his own pants are tented.

Adam slaps his hand over his mouth as he huffs and seethes with a rush of excitement and lust as he felt the familiar intensity channel through his penis, and out of his head! "HNNNNH! HNNMMMM! HNNNGGGGG!" His nose breathes harshly as his legs strained and as pushed his feet to the floor, his arms flexing as he clutched his mouth.

Like a renowned felatio master, Merrick slowed down as he swallowed every drop of Adam's seed. Merrick groans longingly as he nibbles tenderly on the side of Adam's spent dong, just simply rubbing his lips on it as he nuzzles his groin.

After a few minutes, Merrick backs up, and Adam stands right up, "Right." Adam pulls his shorts up, tucking his dick into his underwear before selecting another pair of pants, "You need to get going."

"A-Adam?"

"That was 7 minutes, I've only got 3 minutes before I get back on stage."

"A-Adam wait!" Merrick stumbles back up, "C-Can't we-"

"No, we can't, Merrick." Adam answers shortly, "I still need to work, and you need to... You just need to go..."

Merrick paused before he went to pick up his jacket, and slung it over his shoulder, "See you at home?" He asked. Adam didn't pause as he went through the costumes.

"That's up to you." He finally answered. Merrick looked down sadly, and slowly walked out of the dressing room, closing the door softly. Adam puts his hands on the desk in front of the mirror. He sniffles as he rubs his hand onto his closed eyes, "... Dammit..."

He doesn't even feel like singing right now...

~~~

Merrick walks along the beach, his hands in his pockets as his eyes stay cast down upon the sand. During these last few days last, Adam has been acting rather distant - which is saddening because one would think he would want to make the most of the time they have before Merrick returns to the ocean. It feels awkward to even sleep in the same bed with him.

It's almost been a week since meeting Samudra, learning about the Capricorn and the Kenovani Pod. It's almost too good to be true. All this time, Merrick thought the Capricorn is the Coshiton's equivalent of the human Grim Reaper, when all along, it's actually been guiding exiles to a merry band of misfits, as Yuri playfully described when he told her. He almost doesn't even want to believe it, in fear of entering another crash from the Waves of Fate, but after seeing Arnaav on that night... Alive and well... Learning how to walk, even...

"Hey, Merrick!" Came a somewhat familiar voice. Merrick looks up to see Adam's friend, and Belinda's husband, Harold.

"Oh, hi..." They walk to each other until they were close.

"Hey, so Adam told me the news. Says there's a pod of merfolk that takes in banished mermaids and mermen."

"Yes... I'm leaving tonight..."

"Ah man..." Harold nods, "How's Adam taking it?"

"As much as you'd think, you work with him, don't you?"

"Yeah, but he's been kinda quiet and depressed at work."

"Mhm, he's been really forlorn at home too..." Merrick replied sadly, "He barely even looks at me anymore..."

"That sucks, buddy..." Harold patted his arms, "Can hardly blame him though - I'd be depressed too if Belinda had to leave like that..." Harold blinked, and looked at Merrick, "Come to think of it, isn't Belinda a banished mermaid too?"

"Yes."

"Ah, so..." Harold walked around Merrick, and spotted his heart symbol, "Why hasn't Belinda been going? She's been with me a little longer than you and Adam, so why hasn't she had to go back to the ocean like you?"

"Because Belinda's crime is more than it is," Merrick replied, "She's a Latolcus, or Blood Thief."

"A..." Harold blinked, "A what?"

"She's guilty of the crime of drinking the blood of other merfolk. It's..." Merrick hesitated, and sighed, "It's deemed a lot more serious than your run-of-the-mill Laws... Though, it's not that far off." He lied.

"Ah, that's bullshit!" Harold said angrily, "Who writes these laws anyway?? And who decides when to bump you off?"

"They were written a very, very long time ago... Even among Coshitons, a Blood Thief wouldn't be welcome - us merfolk are very superstitious and traditional that way."

"Man, that freakin sucks..."

"Besides, Belinda doesn't need to go back into the ocean like I do," Merrick explained, "She figured out a way to remain on the land without having to go back into the ocean..." Harold nods in agreement, "I tried to do the same thing, but it doesn't work for me as it does for her."

"I hear ya." Harold said, "Anyway, thanks for being cool about Belinda - I know you two don't really get along, but it's nice to see you putting aside your differences."

"Yeah, really."

Just when they were about to leave, Harold turns around, "Hey wait, can I ask you something?"

"Sure. Go ahead."

"I'm sort of curious - does something... Happen between humans and merfolk?" He asked. Merrick leaned on one leg as he looks at him.

"Depends. How do you mean?"

"Maybe it's just me, but I notice a few subtle things about me. Like, when I'm swimming at the gym, I find that I don't feel like I really have to hold my breath while I swim. Or Belinda's accent - when we first met, I could barely understand a word she says. Nowadays, she almost sounds like she was born and raised in America."

"Actually, this is something Adam and I recently found out about too," Merrick began, "When merfolk mate over extended periods of time, they share traits with one another, things that they normally can't do - and it's the same principle when humans and merfolk mate," He continued, "Kissing merfolk protects humans from drowning at all times, and I'm guessing Belinda's changing accent could be because she's been around you for long enough."

"Wow, really??" Harold said, amazed, "What has Adam picked up from you?"

"Well, he's really good at fishing, because he inherited my intuition; as a Triton, I naturally have this innate ability to detect my surroundings, and my being with him as given a taste of that attribute..." Merrick pondered for a moment, "In YOUR case, I would say you have a better singing voice from mating with Belinda, because all mermaids are able to sing beautifully."

"Hmm... I have noticed I'm kinda popular when it comes to karaoke night at the bar..." He said.

"Among other things that sort of change about us... Just something to think about at least."

"Anyway, I gotta get going. Take it easy man," Harold pats his shoulder, and the two men went their separate ways.

~~~

The sun comes into the orange phase of the day, heading slowly towards the horizon. Merrick sits at the usual small cliff over the ocean. He looks with a small smile and tired eyes onto the mobile surface of the water, feeling as if the ocean is begging him silently to just jump right in already.

"Hey, Merrick." Yuri says from behind. Merrick turned his head, and scooted to the side to let her sit beside him. She holds two light blue popsicles in her hands, before offering one to Merrick - it's that Sea Salt ice cream, featured in the Kingdom Hearts games, which Yuri occasionally imports all the way from Japan. Merrick smiles as he accepts one of the popsicles.

"Thank you." He took the frozen treat, and takes a light nibble of the salty-sweet flavor. Yuri takes a shallow bite as well.

After a pause and some peaceful bites, Yuri finally speaks up, "So your mind's made up?"

"There's nothing TO make up," Merrick replied, "This is for my sake. I need this more than you can imagine."

"I figured..." Yuri brushed his arm, "We're just going to miss you, you know?"

"Mhm..."

"My friends at the bookstore really like you. It's kind of a bummer that you can't stay a little longer." With Adam keeping his distance from Merrick, Yuri took Merrick to one of her favorite haunts - Barnes & Noble, where she, Merrick, and a handful of her friends would hang out in various parts of the store in order to teach him out to read better.

"I wish I could stay a bit too, but I'm really pushing it enough as it is - from what I'm told, I am far way past beyond my healthy limit on land."

"I know... Any idea when you'll come back?"

"Hard to say. When I was still with my pod, I was gone for up to six moons at a time. If what the Coshiton Triton says is true, I may be away for less than six moons, and be able to stay on land longer. In a way, I suppose you could call it my home away from home..."

"That's good to hear," Yuri said while chewing on icy flavor, "... Adam isn't taking it that well though..."

"No... He isn't..." Merrick replied as he looked at the crown symbol printed at the top of his half-covered popsicle stick, "I thought he'd be happy for me... But he just seems to be sadly resentful."

"Resentful? That's a rough way to put it."

"Maybe. He just... It's like he doesn't even want to be near me for the past couple of days..." Merrick takes a bite of his tasty ice, "He's making me feel like I'm being selfish for doing this."

"He always gets like this whenever you had to go away before you started living with us." Yuri said while carefully juggling the chunks of ice cream with her tongue and teeth, "Poor guy couldn't get any sleep for almost a week after your pod leaves."

"It's not like it's any easier for me." Merrick says, "He's making me feel guilty for something I have to do to stay alive."

"He understands, Merrick, but it's still doing a number on him."

"How do you mean?"

"Well... Hang on." Yuri got up, and ran back to the house. She comes back moments later with one of her small finger-prick devices that's used to get a quick blood sample, "Ok, now you know there's a sharp piece of metal in this thing right?"

"Right..."

"Ok, now gimme your finger." Merrick hesitated, "Just do it," Merrick rolls his eyes, and did as she said. She pushes the plastic onto Merrick's fingertip.

"... OW!" Merrick pulls his finger away as a drop of blood beaded from his tip, "What was that for??"

"You're bleeding now, right?" Yuri said, "You know why, right?"

"Yes! You freaking stabbed my finger with an invisible stinger!"

"But it hurts, right?"

"Yes, it hurts!"

"Ok. Here's my point," Yuri said, "You know that I pricked your finger - you understand that it was a tiny needle that made you bleed, but it doesn't stop it from hurting."

"..." Merrick looks at his finger as the crimson droplet rolls slowly to the side.

"And just like that, Adam understands that you need to leave for a few months, but it doesn't stop the sadness of having to see you go..." She says as she applies a band-aid onto his finger.

"I know..."

"Oh yeah! And before I forget..." Yuri turned around, and brought up a small box, "That lady from the Agency... She said her name was Erin..." Merrick's smile faded from the mention of her name.

"Yeah..." He's still not sure how to feel about her now.

"She dropped this off when Adam was put into the hospital after Atarah patched you up." Yuri opened the box, and picked up a long line of shark teeth woven neatly together by fishing line in order to form a belt, along with a few white scallop shells. Merrick blinked as he picked them up.

"These are what you wore before you were banished, right?" Yuri asked softly, unsure how Merrick will take this, "When Erin dropped them off, I fixed them in my spare time..."

"Where'd you get the shark teeth...?"

"We live a few miles away from a pier," Yuri said with an amused smile, "It's not hard to find small shark teeth in any gift shop."

Merrick looked at the scallop shells tied with the tooth belts - unlike his old shells, these have holes in them that strap them perfectly in place. He also sees a strange symbol on the three shells - one for each long belt, even a small one with a small row of tiny shark teeth that appears as a headband, "What are those? Human symbols?" He asks as he taps on the black-ink symbol on one of the shell - they look like the ones on the paintings in Yuri's room.

"They're Kanji. They're originally Chinese words, but Japanese people use them too for short-hand," She pointed the one of the large shells, "This kanji means 'Water'," She brought up the other one, "This one means 'Light'," Yuri lifted the third, smaller one, "And this one means 'Moon'."

"... I love them." Merrick said with a smile. This equipment reminds him of his old days in his pod, but the shells are just different enough to be personally acceptable. Yuri goes in for a hug for a moment, "Thank you..."

~~~

A while later, the sun is half submerged in the ocean. Merrick looks at the sunset from the house, anxiously waiting for Adam to come home... He doesn't want to leave on the awkward depression Adam showed in the club.

The door opens, and Merrick whips around, only to see Jamal coming in, "Oh... Hey Jamal..."

"Hey, Merrick," Jamal said as he held what looked like a very long box, "Good thing you're here, thought you was leavin tonight."

"I am," He confirmed, "But I want to talk to Adam before I leave."

"I hear ya..." Jamal said, "Anyway, I got ya something." Merrick's eyes brightened.

"Oh, really?" He smiles as he walks over to Jamal, who is now holding the box up. They took the long box to the coffee table, and sat on the couch as Merrick opened it, and unraveled the brown paper.

"... Whoa..." Merrick beamed as he lifted up what appears to him as a spear - about 4-5 feet long, tied with rope on the middle, a full-tang shaft on one side, and a thin, gleaming metal rod on the other side of it, forming a half-curved blade on the end of it. "Is this another kind of human weapon?" He asked as he hefts it up and down.

"Kinda," Jamal says as he scratches his chin, "It's called a harpoon. People used to use it a lot more offen back in the old days to hunt whales. So it's more of a tool."

"It's got excellent balance," Merrick remarked as he held it on one hand, testing its weight and feel. He chuckled as he turned to look at Jamal, "I thought I still owed you guys a broomstick." Jamal laughs as he playfully pushed Merrick.

"That was a half-joke, man."

"Heh..." Merrick looked at his new weapon with awe, "If only humans and merfolk were able to coexist... You make all sorts of neat things that could benefit us."

"We'll get there someday, buddy." Jamal put his thick, firm around Merrick, "Till then, least ya got us."

"Mhm..." He says with a nod.

~~~

It's now dusk. Yuri and Jamal took off a while ago, in respect to give Merrick and Adam a chance to talk. Merrick sighs as he looks out the window, pouting because Adam still hasn't come home yet. He wants to wait and sort things out, but with the way Adam's been acting, he wonders if that's even a good idea at all. It's not like he's in any kind of rush, but he does need and want to return to the sea very soon.

Just when Merrick picks up the shark tooth headband, he turns around when he hears the drawing roar of the motorcycle. He stands nervously as he can hear his boyfriend pull into the gravel, and park it before walking along the bed of rocks.

The door opens, and in walks Adam as he takes off his jacket. He stops as he sees Merrick standing in the house, shirtless, and only wearing some loose casual shorts. Adam moves to the kitchen without a word, before Merrick follows him.

"Adam," Merrick starts.

"You..." Adam takes a glass, opens the fridge, and bends over to fill it up with purified water from the Zero Filter, "You need to go..." Merrick lets Adam take a drink. He watches Adam's Apple flex up and down for several seconds, before he emptied the glass.

"Adam..."

Adam leaned back into the fridge for a refill, which he downs in seconds, before going in for a third glass. The merman looks in sadness as Adam stands back up with his third glass of cold water, and sputters before he can take another sip. The bottom of the glass slammed onto the counter as Adam's shoulders start to shake up and down. Merrick comes in, and puts his arms around his lover.

Adam huffs and sniffles as he tries to cut off any sign of sobbing, but clearly has no control over himself. He cries as he puts his hands into his face as Merrick hugs him from the side. Adam slowly shakes his head with his hands still pressing on his face.

"Ghghghghghgh..." He turns and cried to his mate as he begins to fall apart, "I'm sorry, baby... I'm sorry..."

"I know..."

"Please, baby... Please don't go..."

"Adam, I..." Merrick whispered, "I c..." He hesitated for a moment before answering again, "I love you... I have t..." He huffed as he pushed through his emotions, "It'll be alright... It's ok..."

Minutes pass by before the two made it to the couch, where Merrick holds Adam in his arms, and waits patiently for Adam to calm down. He's practically never seen him like this, so upset to the point where he can barely talk. Adam huffs as he tries to compose himself, with little success.

"..." He sniffles and huffs as he feels Merrick hold him, "Why can't you just stay..." Adam wept quietly, "Belinda can stay with Harold all the time... Just tell the Capricorn to fuck off..." Merrick slowly shook his head as Adam continued to cry little by little.

The two boys stay on the couch, even as it got dark outside, and neither of them bothers to turn on a light. The emotion still runs deep in Adam, though the same couldn't be same for Merrick - it seems the tables have turned in the embrace of feelings - Adam can't hold back his tears, while Merrick is in utmost peace.

After a while, Adam finally sits up, while Merrick turns on the table lamp to illuminate the dark house. He turns to face his lover, with his eyes still looking tired and pink from the excessive sobbing.

"Merrick, we know the Capricorn isn't trying to kill you now. Can't you just ask them to leave you alone? Th-Then you can just go into the ocean whenever you need to," Adam's chest puffs and deflates as he contains his overwhelming feelings.

"Adam... It's not that simple..." Merrick said calmly as he shook his head, "This is more than attending to my own health..." He looks into those deep, brown eyes as he gently puts his hand onto Adam's neck, "Please understand, Adam. The last thing I ever want to do again is leave you behind in anyway. I never will, but as I've said, this is something I need to do."

Adam's lip trembles as Merrick talks, "I love you Adam. And I love Jamal. I love Yuri, and Nick. Even Belinda's more tolerable now." Adam choked a little from a light chuckle, "I love waking up in a big, soft bed next to the one I love. I always want you to be the first thing I see every morning, and the last thing I see every night before I sleep."

"Then why..." Adam croaked as he sniffled, "Why do you have to go with them... I-I mean... I know why... But just... Why??"

"Adam... I've healed on the pain of my exile, and I've come to accept and love my life on the land... But as Samudra says... My heart and soul belongs to you, but I ultimately belong in the sea..." Adam huffed as he, "It's more than a way to recover..."

"Adam..." Merrick places a hand onto Adam's cheek, "I need this... On a personal level..." Merrick's blue eyes glistened in the low light of the lamp, "I need to be a merman again..."

Adam nodded as he takes deep breaths, before Merrick continues, "I can never return to my pod. I will never be a Triton in my pod, but I'm still a Triton in my own right. But I've come to accept that. Even though I can't have my pod ever again... I can go home now..." Merrick says with a sad smile, "I no longer have to hide myself from other merfolk because they can understand my struggle. This pod of Coshitons won't reject me as my pod did."

"Besides that though..." Adam said, "All that time... When you were in the ocean... I've always worried about you... All the time, hoping, praying that a shark wouldn't kill you, o-or another pod wouldn't hunt you down, or..." Adam looked at him with pleading eyes, "Merrick, you were already swallowed by a Ghost Whale, and you nearly died from floating around in an oil spill..."

"But I'm still here." Merrick said with a wry smile, "I'm still alive... And as long as the Capricorns stays with us, no dangerous creature can touch us."

"..." Adam shook his head, "Merrick... I'm sorry... I... I'm just being selfish, a-and-"

"No, you're not," Merrick hurriedly said, "I understand why you're being distant. I don't want to leave you anymore than you want me to leave."

"Merrick..." Adam sniffled and shook his head, "I don't want to go back to only seeing you for only a month... Then waiting half a year to see you again-"

"You won't, you won't." Merrick said with a hush, "I'll only be gone for a few moons. And when I come back, I can stay longer than just one moon." He said, scooting closer, "Everything's gonna be ok now."

Adam let his lover come closer to him, "Remember what your song said on the cruise?" Merrick asked. Adam chuckled weakly, "Please wait for me... You'll never be apart of my world..." Adam closed his eyes as he nodded, "But you're in my heart... Forever..." Merrick puts his hand onto Adam's chest, "And I'm in yours..." Adam sniffled as he sobbed just a little.

"And you'll always be apart of my world." Adam whimpered as he nodded. Merrick pushed his thumbs under Adam's eyes to wipe off the tears, before gently cupping one of his cheeks with his palm.

In a mixture of love and time, the couple finds themselves in each other's arms. In what feels like a blur, both of them had ended up completely naked on the bed as they stand on their knees, kissing tenderly as their arms and hands hold onto the other. Adam's lips pushed onto Merrick's shoulder as his palms drift along his smooth back, moaning silently as he lingers his fingers along his tender flesh.

The merman pushes his cheek against the other while Adam kissed and caressed him, while he rubs his penis against the thicker one, embracing his front side to the burly, fuzzy range of Adam's body as they slowly ground against one another.

Merrick lies on his back as Adam holds himself above him. With Merrick's legs up and pushing against Adam's sides, he pushes back and forth into Merrick's tight, velvety entrance. Both men break a very light sweat to coat their bodies in a delicate sheen in the low light. The room smelt of sweat and male scent, while the sounds of moans, grunts, and the creaking of the mattress fills the void.

Adam huffs and pants as he thrusts in and out of his lover, grimacing with pleasure as his twink's hole squeezes and sucks his hard cock. Merrick moans as his hands press and firmly clings onto Adam's musky underarms as he feels his sphincter so full and spread out.

A small, horny yelp escapes from Merrick's lips each time Adam pushes inside his painfully wonderful manhood. His own dick slaps onto his bare abs with each forward lunge that came from Adam's cock, before one of his hands migrates to his crotch to masturbate while he feels his man take him over and over again.

Countless time pushes onward between the two males in love. Even after Adam came inside of his love's insides, and Merrick ejaculated a small puddle of white on his lap, he stays hunched over his blonde sweetheart, with both hands upon Merrick's head - his fingers under his head, and those palms and thumbs on his cheeks. Adam rolls his jaw very gradually against Merrick's mouth as their tongues hugged and brushed against each other.

Merrick can hardly breath as he can feel his big, strong lover saddle on top of him as they made out in the dark, with only Adam's lamp to light up the room if only slightly. Adam kissed those lips sweetly before licking them, and pouring his tongue back into Merrick's maw as they pushed they bathe the afterglow of the night.

~~~

With the moon shining brightly in the sky, the two gay lovers walk to the small cliff. Otherwise completely naked, Merrick now wears a headband of tiny shark teeth with a white scallop shell on the middle with the kanji for 'Moon' printed in black ink on it. He also wears a pair of securely fastened shark-tooth belts in a X-fashion, with white scallop shells on each shoulder, with the right shell showing the kanji for 'Light' and the left shell having the kanji for 'Water'. He also wears a kelp-belt around his waist, with a stiff fishnet pouch for carrying various items, while holding the brand new shiny harpoon in his right hand. Upon his chest, the heavenly filigree key with the rare cyan-blue heart-shaped jewel upon it, glimmering daintily from the moonlight.

Merrick turns around to his love, coming in close to him as they make their last farewell.

"So this is it..." Merrick said.

"Yeah..." Adam holds him close as they huddle lovingly on the spot, "... Are you ok, sweetie?"

"I'm terrified..." Merrick whispered, "Th-This time... I have to let the Capricorn take me..."

"It's going to be ok, baby..." Adam mumbled as he put his arms on him, "It's going to be ok... It's not going to kill you... You're going to be with other merfolk..."

"Adam... I wish I was going back to my pod..." Merrick says as he shook with fear, "I-I-I don't... I'm scared..."

"Shh shh shh, it's ok, honey..." Adam muttered, "... You can go home now... Just as long as you always come back."

"I will. I will..." Merrick nods. He looked up, and kissed Adam one more time, before turning around, and walked to the cliff.

"Merrick!" The merman turned, and stepped over as Adam came right up to him, and hugged him tight. They held each other firmly for a few more seconds, before they parted, sharing one last passionate kiss.

Merrick turned around once again, and dove right for the sea!

~^~^~^~

Merrick's body instantly transforms as soon as he enters the surface. His short, bright hair lengthened up and erected into a field of sharp fins while his ears flatten into gills. His peach skin shimmered into a thin layer of transparent blue scales, right before his legs pressed together to form a perfect tail. Fleshy webs form between each finger of his hands as his feet widened into a wide, white tailfin, just as a single frilly membrane formed on each side of his tail.

His mouth opens, and he takes a deep inhale of the water. It's been so, so long since he has last embraced the taste of the sea.

He swims a little deeper and further along the sandy bottom, until his senses picked up a familiar presence. Merrick halts immediately in his stead, signaling up ahead every couple of seconds. His entire being quakes with fear and anxiety and anticipation.

And then, he sees it. His eyes lock onto the strange, alien sea-goat come gradually to him. His heart pounds as he grips his harpoon with both hands as he waited for his long-feared escort.

The Capricorn comes to him, pearly white with shimmers of blue and aqua around its body, with strong flippers pushing it forward, and a long tail that lifts its tail up and down to glide through the water. Its thick, spiral horns curve from either side of its head, above its glowing golden eyes. It gives an eerie, mystical bleat as it approaches him on its own time, as strangely ominous as it has always been. This Capricorn doesn't seem to retain any clear resemblance of any of the three species of merfolk; this might be one of the pure-blood ones Samudra spoke about.

Merrick gives a scared signal as the creature finally comes to him. The Capricorn slowly drifts around the merman, gracefully so in its movement. Merrick whimpers and tenses his body as he feels the goat's muzzle brush against the symbol on the back of shoulders, before moving to his side.

He watches as the Capricorn gradually swims to around his side, and a couple of feet away from him, before coming to a halt. After a pause, Merrick realizes that it's ready to leave... With him on it...

With terrified hands, Merrick reaches forward as his quivering tail slowly waves up and down to propel himself to the long dreaded creature. With one hand still grasping tightly to his weapon, his armed arm pressed onto the Capricorn's side, while his free arm held firmly onto it.

With the Coshiton now upon its back, the Capricorn brings its front flippers up, and pushed down to move itself forward. Merrick gasped and whimpered in terror as he finally allows the Capricorn to guide him, toward the deep blue ocean.

 

Feare

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