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When Did You Last Let Your Heart Decide?

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Ariel doesn’t stop to think about it often.

So this is what the surface world has brought her:

Life as a figurehead, worshiped at cool distance by her man and her people.

A love life of duty and great sacrifice, but no real love. Of Idol worship that ultimately added up to a baseless nothing.

***

Aladdin doesn’t think about it much.

Of a life of adventure, given up to chase a true love that would never work out.

Of trying to change the street rat within.

Maybe he’ll never be good enough for Jas, or maybe she’d changed, but somehow they were now just as interesting and real as the couple on the wedding cake

***

They meet at a reception filled with overstuffed shirts. She was staring into the aquarium and he had been trying to steal a canapé. Smiles were exchanged, pleasant greetings, and hands patting thighs.

Hips pushed up against walls. Hands eagerly caressing firm new flesh. Heat, pain, lust, joy. Her operatic trills muffled by his lips, and his lower cries muffled in her flows of red hair.

She tastes like the ocean, he thinks, as he kisses her.

 

***

“I’ve always wanted to see the world,” she admits.

“I can show it all to you,” he says.

They board a steamer out of her kingdom the next day and head for parts unknown.