"Hang on, baby."
Ariana clung on with the last bit of strength left in here. Already the edges of her vision dimmed and narrowed. Her skin burned as the first splashes of sea water hit her legs. Another sign that she'd left it too late—far too late.
Her body convulsed and his hold on her tightened, his steady steps carrying her deeper into the sea. A sea she should never have left, but how could she resist the temptation to be close to him. To be held and kissed, and treated as his equal, not some monstrosity.
"Stop fighting it, baby. Change, and breathe… for me. I want you to live."
The hoarse words whispered into her ear burned her soul, and he kissed the tears off her face, seconds before the wave pulled his feet out from under him. His gurgle of horror galvanized her into action and she allowed the scales to form and the beast to writhe from within.
Lungs filling with much needed oxygen, she dived into the deep, and pulled him to safety.
Her heart stopped when he opened his eyes to see who she truly was.
"You're so beautiful. Never hide from me."
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