Creeping, lurking, stealthy shadows, you’ve been waiting for ages.
Curl under the black water, silky sheets, ripple, break, breathe.
When you don’t command the seas, sometimes the only thing to do is drift through currents, water pulsing, heart beating. Undulating fins, one with the ocean, empty and aching, hollow. Tongue over razor teeth, overgrown fingernails snarled into almost-claws.
Pressure equals your mind, world silent and steady. Twirling in vast light-ridden patches, a playground, because there was a time when life was fun and games. Go back, remember family, bright green and red eyes both, splashes and laughter and blood.
He was a killer like you, ruthless, no mercy, searing and bright. Flame and fire, a fighter, burning except when smiles were ice. Someone to fear, someone to be feared, but you weren’t frightened for a second. No, no, you knew what lay beneath that pretty smirk. Human like the rest of them. Weak, pathetic, easily snapped and broken.
She was a siren, a cloud of tangled black hair and beauty. Long lashes, pale skin tinged gray. Gleaming green tail like her eyes, delicate hands, so close to human it seemed the same from a distance. Twins, the pair of you, born of sea foam and salt, raising each other, but she had the voice and you the lust.
You wanted him.
She was only too happy to help.
Sweet songs, coaxing, pleading, jagged rocks. Quiet giggles as wood splintered and cracked, crashing waves leaking scarlet and pink. There were smashed bodies, mangled split-open bones, screams of terror and pain. The cacophony was a symphony and you both basked in it, glorious death, glorious demise.
You spared his life.
You shouldn’t have.
He was shaking but unhurt because you protected him from the fierce ocean. You pulled him gently to a side of stone where he wouldn’t see his fallen comrades, unbuttoned his jacket, and he squirmed but you and Jade were both damn skilled in the art of seduction, so he never said no. Kisses over his neck and collarbones, down his chest, tongue lapping at sweaty skin. His back arched, fingers scrabbling in your hair. You pinned his wrists, sank razor teeth into his ribs, until he bled on your lips and cried out. Wanted to keep biting and scraping, especially with the way he writhed and whimpered beneath you.
Not even difficult.
So you and Jade both played with him for ages, resisted the urge to crush his heart and lungs into dust.
Let him go.
You really shouldn’t have.
Shouldn’t have underestimated the cruelty of human beings.
He repaid you for your kindness with a fishing net that tangled Jade up, hopeless and helpless. You tried to hack through it but all you had was a knife meant more for stabbing than sawing. Not enough time, never enough time. Above the surface, she screeched indignantly and he cut her throat before she could sing him into another stupor. Let her life leak out in the heat of the sunbleached day.
Just like that, your twin was gone.
Just like that, you needed revenge.
It’s been five years of waiting for him to take to the seas, and then to be vulnerable enough for you to grab hold. Rage burning, simmering in the back of your throat, never dying. An endless source of energy. In those five years, he’s lost one of those pretty red eyes in a fight, killed more than he’d care to admit, plundered and stolen what wasn’t his, never felt a single pang of remorse.
You two are rather alike in that sense.
And now, a storm.
And a man washed overboard just perfectly, everything you’ve patiently waited for, fingers digging into five-years-older skin. The ocean almost boils, waves tossing every which way, grim darkness threatening to sink his ship for the second time in his soon-to-be-cut-short life.
He grabs you instinctively, salt water washing around the both of you, clogging up his nose and throat and lungs no matter how hard he tries to breathe. That makes it easier for you, loosening his clothes, exposing his chest, letting him tremble and shiver in the cold. Your clawlike fingernails peel his flesh from his bone in ribbons, digging as deep as possible. Strength, torn inside out, he throws back his head and screams as you expose shiny pink strips of muscle and always always always the blood.
Salt in the open wounds.
You could tear him wide with your teeth, dig your fingers into the wounds and pry his flesh apart, until his insides spilled out and he couldn’t draw breath to scream. He could watch himself die, know there was nothing that could be done, this is what happens when you kill my sister. You could wrap his intestines around your neck like a scarf, slide your arm up the back of his throat.
Aren’t you a pretty little puppet.
But too much blood in the water might attract predators, and you know he’s afraid of drowning. So instead of disemboweling him, you flick your tongue against his ear. He wants to let go, but that means being at the mercy of the storm. Instinctively, he considers you the lesser of two evils.
You pull him beneath the waves, feet upon feet upon feet, into a place that’s calm and serene. He struggles, kicks, bubbles exploding from his mouth and trailing up toward the surface. You’re certain that’s the only way he knows which way is up.
Hands close around his throat, thumb digging into his windpipe. Crush his trachea, crush everything. Let him struggle but he knows he can’t get away, not this time, and he killed Jade.
He killed Jade.
He betrayed you.
This is the most satisfying experience you’ve ever had, his pulse jumps weakly and you keep up with the pressure. Watch him gasp for air, nothing but water rushing into his lungs, desperate, searing, aching, burning.
Press your lips to his, give a puff of oxygen. Choking, scrabbling at your hands even though you have the advantage. Desperate, writhing, screaming under the water. Dragging in more salt, body growing heavier. Pull him down, down, down into darkness, not even light to comfort his one good eye. Pull him down into hell.
You don’t let go until long, long after he’s stopped struggling, until long after his heart has stopped beating. And even then it’s hard, because the temptation to dissect every piece of him is still so much. So much, too much.
Lick your lips and let him fall.