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(Aku’s POV)

I sat at the lake, my fingers trailing idly over the water. A sigh escaped me as I stared at my reflection. My eyes looked haunted. Angrily, I slapped the water, making the picture vanished before I turned away.

There was no way I’d admit it to Cody, or anyone else for that matter, that I was so hurt over what happened. Gracie didn’t want me. She never wanted me. Looking up at the sky I thought about going back to the shining gold city of my home, one of the many up there. No. I couldn’t go back now. I was far too tainted. But I needed a mate, damn it!

Our kind wasn’t made to be alone like this. I was getting sicker every day. There was a long while where I thought Gracie would help me. Surely I was better than a Demon? “I guess not…” I mumbled, resting my chin on my knee. A movement in the water caught my attention. I glanced at it, only seeing a flash of white before it vanished. Strange... With the distraction gone I continued to stare glumly at the water. What’s the point of leaving this place anyway? Hunter would just get more slaves unless he was killed, which Cody didn’t do. A part of me respected him for that. He wasn’t as blood thirsty as I’d originally thought. That didn’t mean I wanted Gracie to be with him either.

“Angels are not supposed to mope you know. It upsets the weather,” A calm, female voice spoke up. I snapped my head up in alarm to look at the lake. A girl with long white hair floated as near to the shallows as she could get. Not a girl, I corrected, a mermaid.

“And mermaids are supposed to be extinct,” I replied gruffly, eyeing her warily. Out of habit I looked at the sky. Over the castle a light gray cloud sat, obscuring the view of the sun. A thin thunder rumbled, warning rain. To east, the way Gracie had gone, there was nothing but sunshine and warmth. Here a cold breeze blew, making me shiver.

The mermaid laughed, her green eyes sparkling before they changed to a bright blue. “Yes, but we are no,t are we? There are still a few left,” she swam closer. “Gracie is happy, Aku. You must accept that now,” her eyes were surprisingly gentle. I glanced at her in surprise. “I, however, am not,” she sighed unhappily, her beautiful face puckering with a frown.

“And how am I supposed to fix that, my fair maiden?” I replied politely, though I was interested now. This must be the mermaid physic that was always so accurate. Emily, if I wasn’t mistaken.

The mermaid smiled, her eyes turning lavender. “Well you’re going to take me with you of course,” her laugh was musical.

Now I glanced at her intrigued. "Oh am I?"

She nodded happily. "Yes, mister angel. You are indeed," Now her eyes regarded me seriously. I couldn't help but gaze at her beautiful features. It was like being hypnotized. "But first, you need to get rid of my tail so I can walk on land,"

My expression turned puzzled. "How am I supposed to do that?"

"Kiss me," I traced her features in shock trying to find some hidden joke. Her pink eyes were solemn as she treaded water. "It is the only way I may gain legs you see," Emily's voice was quiet.

"And for what purpose do I need to take you with me?"

This time she stayed quiet for a long time. Then she looked up with an innocence that reminded me of Gracie. "We're going to be in love," she whispered.

I lost my balance and fell onto the rock I was standing on. "W-what?!" The mermaid remained silent, just watching. Panting from the fall we continued to just stare at each other. I was to love this little thing? She was beautiful, but I didn't know her at all. But... her predictions were always correct. Biting my lip and looking at the ground, I made my choice. I couldn't just leave her here. Not after the slave revolt. They were going to leave her behind. As for the falling in love... well we'll have to see. I can't let the only mermaid probably on this continent go extinct. I glanced up. "Alright then, come here," I mumbled shyly.

Emily swam closer and I put my fingers under her chin, tilting it up. She had her eyes closed now, and I silently marveled at how... Angelic she looked. My fingertips tingled where we touched. Trying to overcome my nervousness I gently brought my lips to hers, giving her a soft peck before I pulled away to watch.

There was a splash and Emily went under. "Emily?!" I half-shouted concerned when she didn't come back up. "Emily!" I yelled, starting to panic. Right before I was going to jump in after her, her head broke the service. There was a lot of coughing as I got her on shore and sat her close, her new legs shiny in the sun that had come out. In my mind I noticed she wasn't naked after the transformation as I'd originally thought. Instead she wore a long white dress that clung to her wet body. I gulped. "Are you alright?" I asked concerned once more.

She nodded with a grin. I helped her to her feet and she was a little unstable, trying to keep her balance on new legs. "Can we go now?"

Blinking several times at her I answered, "Um well I guess so... Where?"

The mermaid shrugged, smiling widely. "Anywhere but here," My wings seemed to spread at her words, eager for flight. Watching her reaction I gently swept her up bridal style. She looked completely comfortable through the whole thing. What a strange circumstance I was in. Suddenly, Emily's head popped up to peck my cheek before cuddling under my chin. My face turned red.

"What was that for?"

I heard her giggle. "Good luck," Despite myself, I smiled. Who knew I'd rescuing amd running away with a mermaid?

Apparently she did.

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