Chapter Eight

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Ryan wasn't back yet

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Ryan wasn't back yet.

That was the thought in Omi's mind two hours after Ryan left, and it was still the same thought in his mind nine hours later. The merman was starting to worry, but he couldn't figure out how to get out of the apartment. He walked about, getting lost in the small apartment as he explored the space.

He was naked and cold, but that didn't convince him to go back into the pool. He has been going in and out of it for the past few hours, but it was too small, and he had grown tired of sitting in it after waiting for hours.

There were many things. So many things Omi couldn't understand the use off. He kept himself occupied in order not to panic. He examined things and tried to figure out what they were used for. He had concluded that the pile of material standing on wood was the human's nest. That's where he had slept last night. Omi had tried to make his own human nest with the materials he found inside the human's closet. He'd piled the clothes and bedsheets in the center of the living room, but when he laid down on it. The material stuck to his wet skin, and the experience was overall uncomfortable, so Omi gave up.

He kept walking around the house, snacking on the bowl of smoked fish Ryan had left out for him. When it was all finished he tried to open the big white container the human had taken it out from, but he couldn't figure out how to open it, so he left it alone and wandered away. He'd watched Ryan turn on taps yesterday evening and this morning, so he knew those pipes were tiny holes to draw water.

He kept wondering back to them. The one in the kitchen and the ones in the bathroom of Ryan's room. He turned one on by mistake and panicked but got it to turn off before the tub of water could overflow and flood the bathroom.

The merman eventually settled with curling up in Ryan's nest. His eyes closed as he tried not to worry.

---

"What in the world..." Those were the words that left the marine's biologist's lips when he walked into the living room for his apartment. There was water everywhere, the pool he'd left the merman in was empty, and there were clothes littered on the floor.

For hot minute Ryan thought the merman had left. Although the rational part of his mind knew that that wasn't possible. The doors were locked, and it wasn't as if the merman would jump from the balcony.

With some quick strides, Ryan made it to his kitchen island. He dropped the books his friend had lent him, as well as the bag of food he'd promised to get for Omi. he took a deep breath, pushing back his hair with his hand before he made his way to his bedroom. A sigh of relief left his lips when he spotted the man on his bed — his eyes closed and chest rising and falling with his breath.

Ryan walked over, taking a seat on the edge of the bed before looking down at the merman and reaching out to push the creature's brown locks from his face. He was naked, and the area around him felt a little damp. He'd probably been moving in and out of the pool of water in the living room. That would explain the trail of water and the damp carpet in the hallway.

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