A Decision

 Darren could see her talking to Argon on the deck. She didn't look up, didn't look around, and definitely didn't look at him. She was taking it badly. Two days, two days, of not hearing her voice, not looking into her eyes. It was painful to watch her.

 Maybe you shouldn't have told her,the voice of his subconscious whispered to him. Darren's eyes turned an angry shade of blue. And have a relationship based off lies and misconceptions? he berated the voice. No, he wouldn't do that to her. Maybe it was best if he just stayed away.

He started to turn back to the sails, but the wind swept her red hair back from her face, and he saw the fear in her green eyes as she looked back towards the gaining pirate ship. Those beautiful green eyes, they weren't suited to the underlying confusion that settled in their depths. Confusion he'd caused. A wave of self-loathing caught his heart up in his throat. Maybe she was better off with the Duke of Caliber.

The memory of her tears brought him back to reality. No, she was better off in the Hidden Isles, away from him, away from the Duke, and away from those pirates.

They just had to make it in time.

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I swept back into my cabin, trying to shake away the feeling that he was watching me. I wanted to look back, to see his eyes, the eyes of a.... a what?

I clenched my fingers over the black pearl in my hand, the smooth surface warmed by the heat of my palm. It had to be magic. It had helped me breathe under water. It had saved my life. It was a gift, but the sea couldn't have just let me keep it as a reminder of my mermaid friends, my... sisters. There had to be more.

The sea holds many secrets.

I thought of the men on the ship. Most of them were fine, they welcomed me, were kind. The man who had fought with Darren had been abandoned at the port. They didn't deserve to die protecting me. But I couldn't just leave. The pirates would kill them anyway, thinking they hid me. I had to wait, until the last possible moment.

Maybe by entering the sea, it will be more willing to give up its secrets.

But the waiting would be the hardest. Darren had asked me not to run away.

But who was he to tell me what I could and couldn't do? I was sixteen, and adult by societal standards, ready for her time as a wife. He laid no claim to me.

All the same, he couldn't know. He'd try to stop me from saving the lives of the men I'd put in danger... including him, including Captain Argon. As much as I still loved him, despite the confusion, this was my decision.

And I had decided.

The End

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