Love Bites

ELH Feb 11th, 2017 (edited) 846 Never
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  7. It’s surprisingly easy to lose track of time when you’re fishing out on the ocean. Between the gentle rocking of the boat, cool sea breeze, and lack of technological distractions it’s practically soporific. You’re left alone with not much else but your thoughts. So it wasn’t all that strange for me to miss the gentle tug on my casted line. The hooked fish began struggling, its motions transferred through the line and rousing me from my half-trance. I began reeling it in slowly, careful not to overstress and break the line. At first it was relatively simple. But then, without warning, my fishing rod arched sharply and nearly tore itself from my hands.
  9. I clenched the rod and leaned backwards. The immense pressure kept up, to the point I was amazed the line hadn’t snapped already. But suddenly it relaxed just like it started. I was resigned to having lost whatever it was I’d hooked. Still, I reeled in whatever was left of my bait and tackle. When the end finally appeared a few feet from my boat’s waterline, I was taken aback.
  11. There, somehow still hooked, was literally half a fish. Possibly closer to a third. Everything past the head had been sheared off, leaving a jagged edge. Entrails and blood streamed behind what was left of the fish. As I pulled it up and began dislodging the hook, I wondered what could have caused such a distinct tear. Another, much larger fish, would have normally swallowed the thing whole. Or at least continued eating until little remained. It was a small mystery. Though I didn’t have to wait long for an answer.
  13. When I glanced up from my work, I saw a navy blue-tinted fin crest in the water not far from my boat. It was a shark responsible, then. I smiled to myself and tossed my half-a-fish back into the water.
  15. “Here,” I said to the beast. “You already took the good part anyways.”
  17. The half-a-fish disappeared beneath the waves. The shark circled it for a moment, then dove deeper. Thinking it gone, I turned back towards the cabin of my trawler. I’d need to find a new fishing spot away from the apex predator of the seas. I made it perhaps half a foot inside when a female voice spoke from behind me.
  19. “Did I take your fish?”
  21. I turned back around, not sure what to expect. There, floating just off the back deck, was half a woman. More accurately, a mermaid-type mamono known as a Mershark. Most of her scaled skin was an off-white hue. Her dorsal side was a rich, dark blue throughout. Her arms looked like they were covered in long-sleeved gloves of the same color, with fins coming out of her forearm. Deformed, gray scales about her rather modest chest and lower abdomen accented her feminine features. A pair of red slits under her breasts, two to a side, acted as gills. Otherwise her abdomen was toned and muscled. Two pointed ears jutted out horizontally from her skull. Behind that, she had her blue-white tapered hair up in a spiky ponytail that fanned out in every direction despite being wet. Intelligent orbs of bright yellow surrounded by black sclera returned my stare. Meanwhile her powerful tail lazily worked side to side underneath her to keep her afloat.
  23. “Well, yes,” I began. Thankfully I was able to temporarily ignore her beauty and not trip up my words. “I suppose you did. I don’t mind, though.”
  25. She cocked her head to the side and grinned toothily. Her fangs were extremely prominent and impressive. “Still, I must apologize for snagging it. I did not realize the fish was on a line until I bit into it. I haven’t really eaten yet today.”
  27. I considered her words carefully. They were prim, proper, not at all what I’d expected to hear from a Mershark. A subconscious part of me thought it best to match her tone. “There will be other fish. And if not, I have plenty of food aboard.”
  29. “Perhaps. May I ask a question of you?”
  31. “Sure.”
  33. She motioned at my trawler. “The nearest coast is a day away. What brings you out this far? Surely not just fishing for sport?”
  35. I almost replied out of habit but stopped myself in time. Instead, I put forth, “That’s a bit of a story. And we’ve only just met, Ms…?”
  37. “Kaia,” she said, still grinning. “And you, Mr…?”
  39. “Eizan.”
  41. “Well, Eizan, would you be willing to trade your tale for a fish?”
  43. I finally returned her smile. “It’d have to be a pretty big fish to feed the two of us.”
  45. Kaia laughed. “It won’t be hard for me to find one. Don’t go anywhere.”
  47. Before I could reply, she slid back into the ocean. I watched her previous spot for a moment, then took my fishing rod inside the cabin. While I waited I got out several knives, a cutting board, and a metal pan from one of the many cupboards. My trawler’s not more than twenty-nine feet long and ten wide, but it still has a reasonably sized kitchen area. Though the interior of the cabin was definitely not large enough to accommodate Kaia. I’d be eating on the deck with her. It had been quite some time since I’d last had the chance to talk and eat with someone. The thought of doing so brought me a sort of warm anticipation.
  49. Kaia returned perhaps fifteen minutes later. By that I mean there was a sudden splash and a wet thud as a flounder nearly two feet in size landed on the back deck. I came out of the cabin with a smile.
  51. “Quite a catch,” I said as I picked up the fish. “Why don’t you make yourself comfortable while I prepare this?”
  53. I might have imagined it, but it seemed like Kaia was waiting for me to say something in particular. “Are you sure? I mean that I can come aboard, that is.”
  55. “I don’t see why not. Do you need help getting out of the-”
  57. I fell silent as Kaia deftly pulled herself out of the water, over the stern, and onto the deck proper. It was then that it really hit me just how big she actually was. She nearly took up the whole of the back deck despite curling her tail around the sides. From head to tail tip she had to be at least nine feet tall. The rest of her was appropriately sized to match. I suddenly felt very small, despite being over six feet tall myself.
  59. I didn’t realize I was staring until Kaia pointed it out. “Weren’t you going to cook that fish?” she said coyly.
  61. “Right,” I grunted, turning back to the cabin. I left the door open and began to descale and flay the flounder. As I did, I asked, “It occurs to me that you probably don’t exactly eat cooked stuff. Should I keep your portion raw?”
  63. “Actually I was hoping you could give mine the full treatment. Spices and all. I’ve only ever had such a thing but a few times. Just thinking about it makes me drool.”
  65. “Heh, cooked it is.”
  67. I’m not the best chef in the world by any means, but damned if I didn’t pull out all the stops. Salt, seasoning, a bit of lemon juice, the works. Soon two great fillets were happily sizzling away. While they cooked, I said, “So, Kaia, do you normally say hello to passing mariners, or am I a special case?”
  69. She grinned that toothy grin of hers once more. “I’d say it’s something of a special case.”
  71. “Oh? Why’s that?”
  73. “Ah,” she tutted. “You must answer my previous question first~”
  75. I shrugged. “Fair enough. This should only take a few more minutes.”
  77. True to my word, I had both bits of fish plated not five minutes later. I strode back onto the deck and handed Kaia hers. She took one long whiff, licked her lips, then began devouring the flounder using her bare hands. I watched her for a moment, then started to work at my own fish.
  79. After a few bites, I began, “I suppose I’m a bit of a wanderer at the moment. My grandfather recently passed away and left me this boat. I’ve been drifting, almost literally, from port to port for almost three months now.”
  81. Kaia paused for just a moment, letting out a sigh of contentment. Then she asked, “I take it your family has dealt with sea for many generations then?”
  83. “Actually no. My grandad just happened to be in love with the sea. He used to take me on all sorts of overnight fishing trips, teaching me everything he knew. My immediate family heads a trading company back in Zipangu, if you know where that is.”
  85. “Hm, I do. And I must say you’re quite a ways away. Your grandfather must have taught you well for you to have lasted this long on your own. But you haven’t quite answered my question yet. What drew you to live life on the ocean rather than with your family?”
  87. I took another few bites before answering, “Honestly? It was a fresh start. Besides those trips I mentioned I was very much sheltered. I knew more about running a trading company than I did how to make friends. Even now, I’m more booksmart than I am streetwise. I missed out on crucial life experiences, especially of the social sort. It was like living in a gilded cage, looking back. If I were more bitter, I might resent my parents for it. But they meant well, I think.”
  89. Kaia finished her fillet with one large snap. After she licked her fingers clean, she said, “I see. So it was only natural that you took the first opportunity to strike out on your own. I rather admire that sort of boldness. It takes a great deal of courage to leave your comfort zone.”
  91. I blushed slightly. “I suppose that’s true. The first week out on open waters I was anxious as hell. I kept wondering all sorts of ‘What if…?’ over and over. But then I realized that that anxiety made me feel alive. So here we are.”
  93. I finished up the rest of my fillet in silence, keenly aware of the fact Kaia was watching me. Eventually, she mused, “To answer your question, you’re a special case for many reasons. Chiefly among them is the fact I haven’t eaten in a long time.”
  95. “But you just had…”
  97. Despite being a creature suited for the water, Kaia was more than nimble enough to sidle up to me without any warning. “I didn’t mean in that fashion. Tell me, have you ever known the touch of a woman?”
  99. Oh. That was what she meant. I struggled to find the right words. “Yes… and no. My parents once tried to set me up with a girl but it never really went anywhere. I might be naive, and a little dense, but I know when I’m being taken advantage of. No amount of sex from her would have ever made up for the fact she didn’t love me for me. She was more interested in my money. So I broke things off.”
  101. I guess I must have sounded pithy, as Kaia shrunk back a bit. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to touch a nerve.”
  103. I sighed. “You didn’t. I guess I’m just a little guarded, that’s all. I mean, I kinda guessed you might make a pass at me, being a mamono and all, but…”
  105. “But you have some hangups,” she finished for me.
  108. “Yeah.”
  110. She thought that over for a few moments, letting the silence grow between us. Then she said, “Since you’re being honest, I shall do the same. I may have stolen your earlier fish because I sensed a human male at the other end. Had things not panned out as they have, I might have simply raped you and been on my way.”
  112. Had I not lived in a world filled with mamono that revelation might have taken me aback. But as it was I only let out a small snort. “Well, thanks for that, I guess. But if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not have full-on sex with someone I’ve just met. That sort of thing is really intimate, you know?”
  114. “Hm. Well what about just a blowjob then? It’s the least I can do to show thanks for the fish.”
  116. I laughed nervously. “I’m not that good of a cook.”
  118. Kaia laughed as well, touching my shoulder. “You shouldn’t sell yourself short, Eizan. Even though I barely know you I can tell you’re a good person.” She waited until I’d relaxed a bit, then added, “Come, sit over the edge of the deck for me. And lose those shorts.”
  120. She didn’t wait for my reply before rolling back into the water. When she resurfaced and saw that I hadn’t moved, she warmly said, “You did say you were lacking in life experience, yes?”
  122. “Yeah…”
  124. “Well this is an excellent opportunity for you to learn something. And who knows, you might enjoy it~”
  126. I didn’t really have an argument to the contrary. Still, it was with much awkwardness and anxiety that I slowly disrobed. As instructed, I sat over the stern such that my legs were half in the water. All the while Kaia looked at me ravenously. Despite everything, though, I hadn’t yet gotten hard. Something I felt I had to apologize for. “Sorry. I’m uh… a little nervous.”
  128. “That’s quite alright,” she said as she slid up between my thighs. She placed a hand on either leg, using her hold and her tail to keep herself level with me on the boat. Leaning in, she once again licked her lips and let loose a cool breath across my crotch. Little goosebumps formed across my sensitive skin in its wake. “I enjoy a little challenge.”
  130. Without warning, Kaia opened wide and succinctly bit down on my manhood. I flailed wildly as a great heat and throbbing took over much of my being. With blurred vision, I noticed that a bit of red liquid trailed out from behind her fangs. I fully believed that she had bitten off my dick. Something I noted with great alarm. I shouted and tried to stand, only to be held firmly in place. “You… you bit me! YOU FREAKIN’ BIT ME”
  132. She growled, silencing me. Then, to my amazement, she relaxed her jaw and pulled her head back. As she did, I saw and felt that my length was entirely intact. In fact, it was growing in size and girth, pulsating all the while. With each throb, more red liquid seeped from the skin and fell into the water below.
  134. “What… what did you just do?” I asked hazily. My entire lower body was burning up. My mind was pounding, desperately trying to make sense of my overloaded senses.
  136. “I used my fangs to get you going,” she said with a small tinge of amusement. “They’re made of special stuff, you know? Like demon realm silver, if you know what that is.”
  138. I was, vaguely. “So then… that’s my spirit energy leaking out, yeah?”
  140. “Indeed. Do you like how it feels?”
  142. I gulped, nearly out of breath. “I think… maybe?”
  144. “Wonderful. Now just be a good boy and enjoy this.”
  146. This time when she lowered her head, Kaia led with her tongue. It swirled around my tip before snaking lower along my shaft. She took me fully into her mouth, then slowly began bobbing her head. As she did, her barbed tongue slid and scraped at my flesh. More of my spirit energy leaked out, to the point where it stained Kaia’s teeth bright red. It was all I could do to groan wordlessly in delight. All other reason, all other thoughts, had completely left me. I was, in that moment, a being of pure pleasure.
  148. With a moist popping sound, Kaia pulled free. After licking her lips, she said, “You’re close, aren’t you?” I nodded. Frankly I was surprised I hadn’t exploded already. “Well then, thanks for the meal~”
  150. Again she practically chomped down on me. The pressure that had been building all this time came to a breaking point. As she scraped her fangs back up along my shaft, a rush of cum followed it. My orgasm was so intense that I shook violently and saw red. It lasted longer than any other had to date, mind-numbingly so. It took several minutes before I regained control of my senses. When I had, I saw that Kaia was happily cleaning my dick with her tongue.
  152. “That was…” I tried to say.
  154. “Shhh,” she shushed. After a few more laps (of which caused me to shiver), she said, “There. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
  156. “Not… not at all.”
  158. Kaia grinned mischievously. “Good, because I’m not done yet.”
  160. When she went to work this time, it was much more rapid. Her tongue swirled around my length like a violent whirlpool. And whenever it wasn’t her fangs metaphorically tore at my skin. It didn’t take me long to reach another high. I unloaded like a firehose, spraying countless jets of hot, sticky liquid into Kaia’s mouth. It mixed with my blood-like spirit energy, dribbling out from between her fangs as pinkish, lewd concoction. But rather than stop to lap it up, this only spurred her on further. The combination of overstimulation and throbbing from her constant nipping made me twitch and convulse. Neither of which stopped Kaia.
  162. I lost track of time once more, as well as a count of how many times I came. I didn’t realize she’d stopped ravaging me until she flicked my nose and purred softly into my ear, “And what have we learned?”
  164. I decided to be frank. “T-That when a mamono wants to rock your world, you let her.”
  166. “That’s a good boy,” she replied with glee. “But there’s another lesson as well.”
  168. “Oh? What is tha-”
  170. Almost instantly I found myself knocked back onto the deck. Kaia loomed over me, half in the boat and half out. Her eyes were almost feral in the way they tore at me. “If I wanted to, I could drag you into the sea and never let you go,” she whispered sensually. “Do you know why I don’t?” I gulped and shook my head in the negative. She leaned in, letting her breasts press against me as she said, “No? Then you’ll just have to trust me from now on~”
  172. I yelped as she nipped at my ear lobe, followed by my neck. I could feel whatever was left of my energy draining out of me through the nibbles. I had no doubt in my mind that she could both literally and figuratively eat me if she so wished. I was practically powerless. And yet, that realization was insanely attractive.
  174. “Does this mean you’ll be bringing me more fish?” I asked in an attempt to focus on anything else and to lighten the mood.
  176. “Only if you’ll keep providing me meals~”
  179. ***
  181. I awoke the next afternoon completely drained. After a very brief shower in the cramped head I started up a small pot of coffee on one of my two gas burners. Once it was ready I poured myself a mug and headed out of the cabin onto the back deck. To my surprise, Kaia was there, elbows up over the side holding her in place.
  183. “So you can still walk then, good,” she teased. “Here I was worried that it might be a problem after you had to crawl back inside yesterday.”
  185. I grunted and took a seat opposite her. “How long have you been here?”
  187. She smiled. “Long enough to peek in on your shower.”
  189. I wasn’t all that surprised. She probably snuck looks through the window near the waterline. “Lovely. Say, do you want a cup?” I motioned at my coffee.
  191. Kaia tilted her head to the side. “What is it?”
  193. “Coffee. I don’t suppose you’ve ever had it before?”
  195. “I can’t say I have. There aren’t exactly many different drinks to be had in the sea.”
  197. “Hold on then…” I rose and headed back into the cabin. I poured a small amount into another mug, brought it back outside, and handed it to her. “Here.”
  199. She eyed it curiously, remarking, “It is… brown.”
  201. I chuckled. “Yes it is. Try some.”
  203. With a grace I wouldn’t have thought possible from a Mershark, she took a tentative sip. Almost immediately her eyes went wide. “Bitter, and yet… full of flavor. How is it made?”
  205. I very briefly explained the process, Kaia sipping away all the while. “...and then you strain out the grounds.”
  207. “I see. I must say I’ve always been curious about surface-world cuisine. Seafood is nice, but it can be prepared only so many ways here in the ocean.”
  209. “Well you said you’ve had cooked fish before. What else have you tried?”
  211. Kaia rubbed her chin in thought. “Something from an animal. I think the dish was called ‘a steak?’”
  213. “Huh, a steak you say? What sort of event was this that you had both surf and turf?”
  215. “Oh it was a simple diplomatic dinner I attended with my mother.” She said it so matter-of-factly that I almost missed the implication.
  217. “Diplomatic dinner?” I asked. “You’re a diplomat’s daughter?”
  219. She sighed. “More than that.” I raised an eyebrow and motioned for her to continue. “I am the fourth princess in line of succession for the crown of Grakir.”
  221. “A princess?” I suppose that explained her rather proper speech and otherwise graceful mannerisms. Before I could ask whether I should call her “your majesty,” an amusing thought  crossed my mind. So instead I mused, “Wait, does this mean I received a royal blowjob yesterday?”
  223. Kaia didn’t reply at first. She then simply held out her empty mug to me. “Take them inside,” she ordered. And it was an order in all senses of the word. Everything from her no-nonsense tone to her steely glare made me gulp. I did as she asked, then returned. Almost immediately I found myself pinned to the deck as she leapt aboard. She held my hands above my head and used her pelvis and tail to pin my lower half.
  225. “Do you think you’re funny?” she growled down at me. Her face was almost a borderline snarl, fangs gleaming in the midday sun.
  227. Like before, I was both powerless and terribly aroused. I meekly stammered, “Um… maybe a little?”
  229. For a long while her golden irises bore into my soul. Then her face slackened into a smirk. “Good. I think you’re funny too,” she said much more lightly.
  231. Then she bit me.
  233. Not once, but three times across my collarbone. Her teeth went right through the white shirt I was wearing as if it wasn’t even there. Not that the cloth would have offered much resistance even to normal teeth. I felt the bites grow extremely warm. As they throbbed, their heat spread across my chest and into the rest of my body. My spirit energy also poured out, staining my shirt bright red. It was a wonder that I didn’t lose control of my senses. I let out a moan, managing to cobble together, “Biting someone… shouldn’t be this… this…”
  235. “Erotic~?” she playfully finished for me. “Of course it is. It’s like kissing, but with a winner.”
  237. “Why do I get the feeling that’s always going to be you?”
  239. “Probably because it is.”
  241. We stared at one another for a time, which just made my condition worse. All that pent up, raw, sexual energy with nowhere to go. Well, nowhere but to my crotch. My bulge pressed up through my shorts up into her pelvic area. Something she was keen to point out.
  243. “Ah~ I thought you didn’t want to have ‘full-on sex with someone you just met?’”
  245. “You bit me!” I shot back incredulously. “I… I can’t help it! You know that!”
  247. Kaia laughed and leaned in so our faces were mere inches apart. “So you like it when I bite you then? Good. Because I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.”
  249. True to her word, she continued to chomp on me like I was a glorified squeaky toy. Or, well, a moaning one. It wasn’t until every single inch of my extremities was boiling that she stopped. By then my chest was a collection of pulsating wounds. I lost track of how many times she’d nipped at me. All I knew was I needed release desperately. Luckily it seemed Kaia could sense that as well.
  251. “I suppose you want me to suck you off again, hmm?” she teased, releasing her hold on my arms and letting her hand brush over my crotch. Even through my shorts it felt heavenly.
  253. I nodded, my eyes almost pleading. “Yes… Yes please. I’m burning up here.”
  255. “Well I have another idea that I think you’ll like just the same~” Before I could ask her what it was, Kaia shifted her weight off of me. She slid down my body until her breasts were at crotch level. Then she practically tore open my pants, freeing my member. Her eyes roved over it hungrily as it quivered in the air. Rather than devour it, though, she put my member right between her breasts and pushed them together. Even in my semi-delirious, ignited state, I could feel the warmth of her pillowy mounds enveloping me.
  257. “That’s a nice expression you have there,” she observed. “I think I’ll keep it.”
  259. Then she began to work her chest. The deformed, blue scales between her breasts worked opposite of those of her boobs. On the way down, it felt as if the underside of my dick was being raked and pulled at, while the top was sliding across smooth, soft flesh. On the way back up it was the opposite: the bottom silky and light and the top almost like sandpaper. Combined it was a sort of sharp pleasure. Every inch of her seemed design to rip and tear spirit energy out of me, of which seeped out onto Kaia’s skin. To the untrained eye, it looked like I was rubbing my dick bloody raw between her breasts.The spirit energy didn’t linger long, however. Instead it was absorbed through her skin. Something that seemed to goad her on, her movements more and more rapid.
  261. I didn’t realize I was climaxing at first. Not until a powerful wave of ecstasy slammed into and blinded me. My back arched as I shot my white, ropey seed all over Kaia’s chest, neck, and chin. I cried out and thrashed upon the deck. I don’t know how long I lay there, spasming. All I know is I came back to myself with Kaia lapping up my cum with little noises of delight.
  263. “Mmmm, I could get used to this, couldn’t you?” she asked, knowing full well what my answer would be.
  265. “There’s no way I’ll survive,” I panted. “Not with you draining me like this…”
  267. “Oh you’d be surprised. Already your body’s reacting to my mana. Not much, mind you, and nowhere near enough to turn you into an incubus. But enough to slightly increase your vitality and production.” She accented her last word by gently cradling my balls. “Doesn’t that sound lovely?”
  269. I let out a small “eep” at that. I was vaguely aware of the fact that aquatic mamono were somewhat special in the way they turned human men into incubi. Something about enabling them to survive and thrive underwater. Was something like that really happening to me? I certainly didn’t feel any different, not that I had much feeling other than a receding blaze. After such intense stimulation my entire body was almost numb. Even my brain was hazy. The only thing I had left was my sense of humor.
  271. “Yes it does, your highness,” I said with a grin.
  273. “I can see I’ll have to work that impertence out of you,” she snarled at me playfully as she resumed milking me with her breasts. She didn’t stop until I fell unconscious ten minutes later from back to back, almost continuous orgasms.
  275. ***
  277. The sun was still barely above the horizon when I awoke. I was where Kaia had left me: laying face up on the back deck, all but naked save for a few scraps of fabric. As for the Mershark, she was nowhere to be found. I rose wearily, using the exterior wall of my cabin for support. I wasn’t about to crawl back inside like the previous day. I had too much pride for that.
  279. Still, it was challenging to stand. My legs didn’t seem to want to support my weight. Really, everything from my belly button down was tingly and numb. Kaia had really done a number on me, and yet all she’d used was her breasts. What, then, would it be like if… when we actually did the deed? The thought was enough to elicit both a full body shudder and a rise from my manhood.
  281. “Oh? And here I thought I’d milked you dry,” came Kaia’s voice. I looked up to see her waiting off the stern, a fish in either hand. “Clearly I didn’t do a good enough job if you’re still able to react like that.”
  283. I grunted and said, “Must be that mana of yours. Or maybe I’m just more hardy than you thought.”
  285. “Mmm, maybe. Here.” She tossed both fish onto the deck not far from where I was leaning against the wall. “I’ll take mine extra seasoned if you don’t mind.”
  287. “Not at all. You seem to really like the added flavor,” I observed as I picked up the fish and wandered into the cabin. Before I started preparing them I made it a point to change into a fresh pair of clothes. Mostly because I felt they gave me added protection from Kaia’s roving eyes. I really wasn’t used to such attention. Something that Kaia immediately picked up on.
  289. “Why are you getting dressed again?” she asked with a toothy smile. “What if I decide to have a bit of dessert later?”
  291. “First of all, I’m totally spent. I doubt you’d get much out of me. Second, I actually have something you might enjoy instead.”
  293. “Hmm. It’d have to be pretty good to beat the taste of you.” Her eyes stared past me for a moment, almost glazing over. Then they refocused and watched me work. Due to the smaller size, I was able to have both of our fish finished in almost half the time. By then the only light to be had came from the interior cabin lights and the two outside on the back deck. Kaia had already pulled herself aboard when I came out with our meals in hand. Like before, I took up a spot opposite her on the back deck as we ate.
  295. “So…” I began, trying to start up a conversation. “What’s it like being a princess?”
  297. “Not much different than your gilded cage, I imagine.” She gnawed at her food, savoring each bite. “Dreadfully boring and confining overall. I was brought up in high society, meaning plenty of lessons on etiquette, matters of the state, and politics in general. It was important that I not embarrass the family, you see. I had no real friends to speak of, save my older sisters. Even then, they took far more to being royalty than I did.”
  299. “I see. I gather you don’t much care for it?”
  301. She shook her head. “Not particularly. I never enjoyed the constant questioning of my every move and the struggles for power. All I ever really wanted was to find a nice husband to start a family of my own. But even that was out of my reach. Somewhat like you, I can’t say how many suitors I had almost forced on me.”
  303. “And yet you’re here,” I pointed out. “Flirting with and attacking me. Did you run away or something?”
  305. “In a manner of speaking” Kaia admitted. The lines of her face hardened as she frowned. “I got into a large fight with my parents. I more or less told them that I was done being royalty, that I wanted to live a normal life. Then I swam as far away as I could. I haven’t been home in months.”
  307. I matched her expression. “Sorry. I guess this is as much a touchy subject as relationships are for me.”
  309. She waved me off, finishing up her meal as she did. “Do not mind me. Your cooking was excellent, by the way.”
  311. “I’m glad you liked it. I just wish I had the proper ingredients to blacken it.”
  313. “Blacken it?”
  315. “Yes. It’s something that involves a lot of spices and butter. I think you’d really enjoy it.”
  317. “Ah, perhaps. Speaking of which, what’s this dessert you had in mind?”
  319. I smiled back at her. “I’ll go grab it.” I quickly went inside and grabbed a small bar of chocolate from dry storage. Returning to the deck, I offered it out to her, “Here.”
  321. Kaia looked over the wrapper for a moment, then tore it open. She gave the rich cocoa a sniff, asking, “Another brown something. What is it this time?”
  323. “A bit of candy known as chocolate. Go on, I promise it’ll be good.”
  325. She glanced at me questioningly but said nothing. Then she took a small nibble out of the corner. Almost immediately her face brightened. “It’s sweet!” Without waiting for a reply she took another bite. And then another. Soon there was nothing left.
  327. “Hah. I’m glad you liked it,” I said, putting my own dish aside and stretching.
  329. “It’s not as good as you are, though,” Kaia replied. “But I think with one more thing it could be.”
  331. I raised an eyebrow at her. “Oh? What might that be?”
  333. Without warning, Kaia deposited her head onto my lap, laying sideways. “Pet my head, please.”
  335. I paused, then gingerly deposited a hand atop her skull. “Um. Sure. Any particular reason?”
  337. “Simply put? I like how it feels. The slightly longer answer? Tiny amounts of your energy get absorbed almost directly into my brain. It’s soothing and pleasurable. Plus you get me lying in your lap. Isn’t that enough?”
  339. “I suppose so.”
  341. With great care, I did as I was asked. I felt kinda silly at first to be honest. At least I did until a low, slow thumping made me look up. I searched for the source of the noise, only to find that the tip of Kaia’s tail was twitching. As were her pelvic fins. For an amazonian-sized shark, it was pretty damn cute.
  343. “Ahhhh,” she sighed contentedly, eyes closed. “I’d forgotten how heavenly this feels. Try using both hands.”
  345. “Sure,” I said, dutifully bringing my other hand to bear. While my right gently patted the top of her head, my left carefully rubbed along her jawline. The added stimulation had an immediate effect. The thumps from before were now heavier and more frequent as Kaia’s tail wagged. In addition, her normal breathing became much lighter.
  347. “Someone’s having fun,” I amusedly observed.
  349. “Shhh. You’re ruining the moment.”
  351. So I kept petting her. As I did, I let my gaze wander up to the stars above. The twinkling stars had no city lights to mask them, so they blazed in their full glory. They were one of my favorite parts of being out this far in the ocean. My last few thoughts before the day’s fatigue caught up to me were of them and the all but purring Mershark in my lap.
  353. ***
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