Title: 'Til Death Do Us Part (an adult retelling of The Little Mermaid)
The day you get married, is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Dreams are made of such things. But I forgot. I could blame the witch if I wanted to – in fact I did, for quite a while after – but the fault can only lie with me. Being with him made me so happy – so very, very happy – that I chose to forget. I chose amnesia. If I had had any foresight into how my flippant choice would ruin him, I would have saved him the heartbreak. I would have forfeited my knowing him, my own selfishness, lived forever in the pain of unfulfillment, if it meant he could be spared....
When you love someone so much that your heart aches without them in your life, would you give up everything you've ever known to be with them? Would you give up your identity?
This is exactly what Aria did. But her sacrifice comes at a great cost, with startling consequences. With no memory of her previous life, she's forgotten what she really is, and who she's left behind: a jealous, possessive God, who's finally found her, and will stop at nothing to keep her heart from ever straying again.
In this dark and erotically passionate retelling of The Little Mermaid, can a love founded on humanity, stand the passing of time, an angry sea-God, and even death itself?
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(Novelette length: over 10,000 words)
"I do," I utter, trying hard to keep the tremble out of my voice, locking my eyes with his and using that earthly gaze as my lifeline. I swear, that sometimes, his eyes are solely responsible for keeping me upright, as if they save me again and again – what from, I couldn't tell you.
He slips the gold band onto my finger. The etching on the inside of the ring matches the one on his own and reads, Simon and Aria. It glides on as if it were made only for me. Like Cinderella's slipper, I muse to myself. I look at my prince.
"I now pronounce you, man and wife."
He beams at me. Those beautiful eyes that remind me of forests and woods, crinkle at the corners and he leans in without hesitation, his lips scooping mine up in a kiss that always seems like the first one.
How can I be this lucky?
I giggle erupts from my throat.
"Now the fun begins," he whispers in my ear.
My giggle grows louder and I feel like a school girl – what on earth am I doing getting married? I can barely take life seriously.
The congregation stand and applaud. The school girl within me blushes, and all at once turns into a queen.
It's perfect. The day is perfect, despite the thunderstorm battering against the old stained-glass windows. Storms unnerve me. I've always hated them. I used to have dreams – still do, in fact – of giant waves of some ferocious sea, tossing my broken body about as I try to escape, like a killer whale playing with a seal cub. I never do escape – until I wake up, that is – how does one escape from miles and miles of nothing but ocean?
He grasps my hand as we walk down the aisle, his warm palm, the only thing keeping me from legging it out of the church and running through the trees of the small wood that embraces the holy sanctuary. Even the thought of the storm wouldn't keep me from running today. I'm free. That's how I feel – utterly free.
He tugs at my hand as if he knows what I'm thinking. I suspect he does. He loves the wild child in me, he once told me. He loves the way I see the world through new eyes every day, the way I want to explore everything.
We walk out of the old doors and a bolt of lightning announces our departure from the church. It's so loud, I unwittingly look up and swear I see furious eyes in the sky, made blurry by the pelting rain. I shiver. I'm not superstitious, but I've always felt as if I am a part of nature, like a dryad or nymph, or some similar creature you're told about in fairy tales as a child. I have always thought that nature is something to be respected and nurtured, and I can't help feeling that some part of the planet is angry with me, although I can't hazard a guess at why that would be.
I grip his hand tighter, and he turns to smile at me, his face nothing but reassurance and love. The storm fades just a little.
He winks at me. "We'll be out of here soon, Aria. And don't worry about your dress – you look even more beautiful wet than you do with the sun in your hair."
His voice is low, his words loaded with hidden meaning, and I can't help the heat that creeps up my spine. The rain suddenly feels like a hot shower. Strange how the feel of rain on my skin should be so stimulating, when thunderstorms engender such a negative reaction from me.... Or maybe, I reason, it's the man holding my heart that causes the stimulation.
'Til death do us part....
The words wrap around my mind like soft, silk binds, and I cherish the imagery. Eternity can only be with this man – there will never be another who knows me so well.
Reading my mind, he looks at his watch. "It's only just midday. No one's expecting to see us at the reception lunch for at least two hours." A wicked gleam flashes in his eyes in synchronicity with another flash from the sky. He brings his voice down a notch. "I want you so bad right now."
I gulp, suddenly aware of exactly how my body feels. Visions of us, writhing on the grass, in the rain, in our bridalwear, has me breaking out in a sweat underneath the white satin lining of my gown. Oh, god.
I want you too.
My eyes say what my tied up tongue cannot, and he sees it. He always sees me.
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