The kiss only endures for a instant, their lips barely meeting before Nevio pulls away.
“I don’t understand,” he says, and looks towards the heavens. “Why now? After all these years, I begged you for her. I begged! And now you are making me choose…” his words trail off. He stands up, and throws the cane at the ocean. Before Adriannea can capture his attention he storms away.
Adriannea waits at the water, hoping he will return. She travels further along the steps, and lets her feet soak in the brackish darkness. Nevio had been so fascinated with the sparkling bioluminescence, but for Adriannea, it was commonplace. If Nevio could have seen the phosphorescence from the bottom of the sea, and seen the lines it created as creatures passed through the night. The outline of illuminated green that drew all across the water, the brightness erupting with every move that was made… He would enjoy that very much.
A ripple travels along the edge of the water, and Adriannea suddenly jumps out of the water. Hands appear at the place where her feet had been in the water. A face materializes in the darkness. It was her sister, Caspellia.
“I warned you of earthly desires. What devil did you give your soul to for those?” she points to Adriannea’s legs. Then she see’s the scar along her dear sisters throat. “No, it couldn’t be. Your voice? Your means of communication… How can you be unique without your voice? Will you get it back once you return?” Caspellia demands. Adriannea shakes her head, and tries to hold back the tears forming in her eyes. They had never stung so much before. Her sister dives under the water, for a breath.
“Will you return?” she asks. Adriannea shakes her head again, and holds out her hands towards her sister. She places her finger upon Caspellia’s palm, and starts writing out letters in maiden runes. She inscribes; ‘I will miss you’.
“You would give up your life as an immortal ruler of the water to be one of them?” Adriannea nods and writes, ‘I would give up everything’. Caspellia grabs her sisters’ hand, and pulls her into the water. She holds her tightly, and weeps. “You feel so fragile,” she says. “I don’t know what I will do without you.” Caspellia holds her sister for a long time, pulling her under the water every few minutes to take a breath. “I’ll come and visit you, all the time,” Caspellia says, when she sees the first hints of sunrise in the air. “And I won’t tell Father what has happened to you, but I will tell your sisters. They will want to say their goodbyes as well.” She runs her hands over her sister’s wrinkled skin. “look at what the water does to you now.” She sighs, and lets Adriannea go. They stare at each other for a little while longer, before Adriannea walks away. Nevio is still fresh in her mind. Why would he have said all of those things, and then left her sitting there? She finds her room number, and collapses on the bed. Still soaked from the ocean, she wraps herself into the quilt and drifts into slumber. The smell of the salt lulling her to sleep as it once had in her compartment in the rock, deep beneath the ocean surface.