By Lena Hart
Simon jerked back and studied the beautiful raven-haired siren. It wasn’t necessarily what she said but how she said it.
Why would they need to get along?
He slowly began to pull away from the woman, but something in her sea-green eyes stopped him. There was something about her that was hypnotic, making him forget his Ana and the memories that were still very much a part of him.
“It’ll be okay, Simon. This was all meant to happen.”
That odd declaration confused him more then ever.
“Tonight,” she explained. “Tonight was always meant to happen, Simon.”
So now she could read my mind too?
“Who the hell are you?”
“I told you. My name is Narissa. You don’t have to be afraid.”
She smiled in a way that told them both she knew he was lying. She took his cool hands into hers again, and the same warmth that had coursed through his body when she had kissed him spread through him. That tantalizing sensation made him forget who he was and what he’d done.
She made him forget a lot of things.
“I can feel your pain, Simon. It’s not your fault what happened to her. None of it was.”
“How can you say that,” he said through gritted teeth. “I was the experienced one. I should have known it was too dangerous to go out in the water. I should have tried harder to look for her.”
“You did everything you could that night.”
But he could have done more.
That single thought had plagued him for the last two years. His life had been a constant loop of wondering and second-guessing. It didn’t matter how many times his family and friends tried to reassure him, or how many cruises or trips they took to these private islands. Nothing could erase his mind of the doubt and what-ifs.
And nothing could erase the memory of the accusatory glares from Ana’s parents. He had no words to justify why he had taken their only daughter out on his boat during a tropical storm warning. Ana had fallen off of his boat and her life had been cut short because of him.
“Look at me, Simon.”
He stared down at her, this disheveled woman wearing only his sweatshirt. She was a stranger to him, and yet, he felt as if he’d known her forever.
“Do you trust me?”
For the life of him, he didn’t know why he agreed, but he couldn’t stop his head from bobbing up and down like an idiot. But with that slow awareness came a peace he hadn’t felt in a long time.
“Good, because I would never hurt you, Simon. You are my alteruid.”
“My other…my mate.”
Her grip tightened around his hand as she slowly led him toward the boulder. The waves rolled and crashed against the dark rock, leaving a spray of white foam to cascade back into the black ocean bed. The stars above glowed brightly. The same brightness that had convinced him to take the woman he loved into his boat so he could propose to her. She should have been his partner…his mate.
Now she was gone.
“Where are you taking me?”
“To a new life. A happier one…”
Simon knew he had two choices. He could get as far away from this crazy temptress and back to his family…and his heartache.
Or he could succumb to his desire and follow this mysterious siren to the unknown—into the watery abyss that stretched before them…
By Valerie Twombly
“Why do you hesitate?” Narissa asked, tugging on his hand.
Why? Because he was crazy and imagined some beautiful woman wanted to drag him into the sea. The worst thing about it? This was the first time he’d felt anything since that fateful night. At least something other than sorrow and guilt. For the first time, he experienced desire, and a deep-seated need his gut told him that only this woman could quench.
“I’m not a dream,” she whispered as she pressed into him and nuzzled his jaw. “I’m real. Do you feel me?”
Oh, he felt her. His senses suddenly awakened. His entire body zinged with an energy he hadn’t felt in…
He cupped her face and pulled her close. When he claimed her mouth, the taste of cherries burst across his tongue. She settled her soft curves against him and every thing about her was real. Familiar. He had to have her. The need to plant himself deep inside her was so overwhelming, it was as if she had somehow mesmerized him. He was operating on pure male instinct rather than common sense.
Her hand drifted to his thickening cock and squeezed, reassuring him she wanted the same thing he did. To press her point home, she backed away and pulled off his sweatshirt. Now only the moonlight bathed her skin in a seductive glow. The world stopped as he tore at his clothes, anxious to finally feel something besides his own self-pity.
Naked. The cool air brushing across his skin made him feel alive. In two strides, he was to the enchantress in front of him, and his body pressed against hers once more.
“Hurry!” She took his hand and led him over the rough terrain he had crossed to get to her. “I want to make love on the sand.”
He’d not argue with that as long as she hurried. When they reached the other side, she whirled to face him then pulled him down on top of her. He wrapped his lips around a rosy bud as she lifted her hips and ground against his shaft.
“I can’t wait any longer.” She reached between them and guided his erection inside her.
“Oh shit.” Her heat wrapped around him like a velvet glove, and if he died tonight, he would go a happy man. Narissa was an angel sent to save him.
She dug her heels into his back. “Simon, faster. Please, I need you.”
Already he fought to keep composure. He wanted to enjoy every second with her, but she was insatiable, so he thrust harder. Tangling his fingers into her thick dark hair, he stared into her eyes. He wanted to watch her come.
“So close,” she whispered. Then she detonated, crying out his name so it carried on the wind to those nearby.
He didn’t care. Her hot sheath convulsed around him, squeezing until his own orgasm pulled his balls tight and let loose. He closed his eyes and allowed it take him away. Moments later, when his breathing returned to normal, he risked a look toward her, fearful this had all been a dream.
Visions. Hundreds of visions flashed in his head and played at supersonic speed. So fast he thought his brain would explode. He rolled off Narissa and landed on his back, clutching his head as he howled in pain. Somewhere he thought he heard a female whimper, but he couldn’t help. Time no longer had meaning. He may have lain there for seconds or days, before the pain stopped and the visions passed. When he dared open his eyes, Narissa lay still next to him. His heart raced, fearful she was dead.
“Narissa?” He hovered over her. “No! Ana.” She didn’t look like his Ana, but he knew she was. Just as he realized he wasn’t Simon.
Rylan. The name rung in his ears and felt true.
Narissa opened her eyes then smiled at him. “You’re back. We’re together again.”
“Yes. Elnora will be furious.” The mermaid had wanted to rule and cut a deal to oust Rylan, who had been their king. He and Narissa––his true mate––had been stripped of their memories and banished to the human realm. Elnor had thought she had separated them forever, but they had found each other as Simon and Ana. Something had happened when Ana fell from the boat. By some miracle, she had changed back to her previous identity.
“I remember you now.” Tears streamed down her cheeks. “I remember everything. I fell into the water that night and somehow morphed back. I had no memory of Rylan or Simon though.”
“We could not be kept apart in human form, nor can we be kept apart now. It is time I come back to rule.”
She cupped his cheek. “Yes, let’s go back home. Together.”
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