"We have to get back to the cabin before the Sharkweathers get there and see Pickles' model of the bay," I say.

"No problem, mermaid."

Pierce rises from the bushes, lifts me, and we shoot into the night sky. We are flying so fast, the wet air is like needles on my skin. "My window is open. We can go in that way." We shoot into the girls' bedroom. "Pickles! The model," I yell as soon as we are inside. We touch down on a pile of clothing. I hear the front door of the cabin creak open. Oh, no! We're too late! I yank open the bedroom door to the common room.

Panicked, I scan the room. Pickles, Fintan, Thunder, Lily-Bella and Cupid (wearing red footsie pajamas and a bow tie) are sitting on the sofas eating cupcakes from a silver platter that occupies the space on the table where the model had been. They're acting super relaxed and casual. I breathe a sigh of relief. How did Cupid get here without us noticing him coming down the path? Gods!

"What model?" says Shelly. Ugh, she heard me yell? She and her dad are standing in front of the open door. He's frowning at me as if I've entered Neptune's Cavern without my shells.

The wind moans and blows apart the delicate strands of fairy lights. Each point of light turns out to be an actual fairy. They stick out their tiny glowing tongues at Pickles. Shelly and her dad have to duck to avoid the fairies as they stream out. Brack Sharkweather closes the door behind them. Now the only light is from the fire, its red flames reflecting off the walls.

"Hi, Shelly. Mr. Sharkweather. Cupcake?" asks Lily-Bella, innocently.

"Hello Waverly, Pierce," Cupid says, his mouth full of cupcake. "Have fun?" He's wriggling his blonde eyebrows at us.

My face heats.

"Miss Fishwater," says Brack Sharkweather. I am going to have to report your behavior to the headmaster. Having a boy in your bedroom is strictly prohibited. I will see you are put on strict probation and will not be able to leave school grounds for a month. I am very disappointed in you, giving merfolk a bad name with your promiscuous behavior."

Shelly laughs.

I really hate her laugh, and yes, I get the irony of her dad accusing me of promiscuity while his daughter stands there in a bustier and miniskirt, her golden-green hair once again in a ponytail exposing her neck like a vampire invitation. "Mr. Sharkweather. Nothing happened between Pierce and me. And why am I the one being punished? What about Pierce?"

"Vampires aren't my problem, Miss Fishwater." Mr. Sharkweather spat these words, making it clear that he doesn't care for vampires. Funny that he's kissing up to Headmaster Crumpet. "Shelly, I'll see you on the yacht for dinner tomorrow night with the headmaster." He glares at all of us and walks out, the door banging closed behind him.

Shelly smirks at me, swipes three cupcakes and takes them into the bedroom, slamming the door. A moment later the water is running in the shower.

"I'm on probation?" I whisper. "Can't leave the grounds? How are we going to spy on the yacht if I can't get out?"

Pierce smiles. "I guess I'll have to do it."

"No way, Knightguard. I will figure out a way. Tomorrow night. We're going on a shark hunt. I'm going to take down Sharkweather and no one is going to stop me."

"Then can I tie him to a tree and question him?" asks Thunder.

"Yes," I say. "And I'm going to be the one handing you the blunt objects.

"Ooh," says Cupid. "I'll help."

***

Math ≠ Fun

Mermaids and the Vampires Who Love Them (Winner Watty Award 2014)Read this story for FREE!