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Keeping to the shadows, he watched as she turned and kicked her way back to shore.

She was out later today than usual, it would start getting dark soon. It was a good thing he'd been here to watch over her. She had a habit of coming out here by herself. He didn't like it. It was dangerous.

Ian watched her long, blonde hair as it rippled in a fan behind her. It reminded him of the rays of sunlight that shone down from the world above him.

 Something about her continued to draw him back over and over again. At first, he'd rebelled against it. But soon thoughts of her had driven everything else from his mind. He knew what their stories said it was. What his parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and as far back as he could remember would call it.

There were a lot of names for it. Mate, partner, consort, spouse, wife, lover. But those were human names. They didn't measure how deeply his people felt about the one they spent their life with. They felt all those words but also more. And for that reason, in their language, they called their mates "Intended" from the moment they met them.

Humans used the word intended merely to mean a person they were going to marry. He scoffed at that definition. There was so much more to it than that.

Intended meant the person you were purposed to be with, someone that matched you flawlessly, who was undeniably, unquestionably yours. The one true partner for each of them.

And they quickly knew who their Intended was. One look was all it could take. Some called it the Knowing. Why they had this ability, they weren't entirely sure. Though it was thought that their people had developed an extreme kind of empathy, maybe because they lived in such close quarters for so long.

But, what would he know? He'd looked decades and never found his Intended. Most men found theirs within a year or two of searching, but not him. He had searched all the kingdoms of the sea. Although he had met many lovely women, he had never felt that pull to one specific person, never felt that knowing that someone was indisputably his.

So, even though friend after friend had found their Intended, he had stopped believing.

Until now. All the old ones had told him not to give up, that his time would come, and when it did it would be life-changing. They were right. The connection with her was instant and to the core of his being. He knew this woman was his. He felt the pull, deep and sharp, within himself.

His chest tightened. He swallowed hard as he watched her, unable to believe this was her. A true mate came from the sea, always.

Not human, not ever. Never in all the legends, in all the stories did someone like him ever have a human Intended, not a true one. In cautionary tales, his people may settle for humans on the rare occasion, but they never had a real bond. Hence, the cautionary part of the tale.

And yet here he was looking at a human. He grimaced and wondered why he didn't flee.

Not that he wasn't a human, he was, but his kind were superior. A human with extra abilities. Not a mere human but an Atlantian. And she was... just human. He almost pitied her.

Just look at her.

She was lovely to look at. There was no doubt about that. Her body was lithe, her long, blond hair billowed around her in the water. Although he hadn't been very close to her, if he wasn't mistaken, her eyes were a bright blue. She seemed healthy enough, but she was so small compared to Atlantian women. And that wasn't the only problem.

Just look at the clumsy way she moves through the water. Our children swim better than that. Is what she's doing even called swimming?

And look. He groaned as he watched her prod another sea creature. What is she doing now? Doesn't she know that can be dangerous... for it?

He tried to focus on her ignorance and lack of grace to lessen his attraction to her, but it didn't work. The pull continued, the knowing refused to go away, and instead, he felt his heartbeat quicken. He wanted her more then he had wanted anything in his whole life.

He hoped she understood, that on some level she could have feelings for him too. But, for him, this wasn't going away. He knew what he had to do.


A/N: I hoped you enjoyed getting to know Ian a little better. :) If you liked the chapter, please press the star below. :)


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