The mermaid peaked above the water, holding her long white hair with one hand while the other palmed the blade on her hip. It wasn’t often the mermaid had to use force, but it certainly set her mind at ease when dealing with the sealers. The dock was clear, all except for the sealer. Diving back under, she grappled around for the heavy bag to keep their loot in. Once again she surfaced without uncertainty, staring at the seller.
He was the seller she liked to look at the most,. As far as humans went, he was not bad looking. He wasn’t a merman by any standard, but the mermaid enjoyed looking at him. He was tall, broad shoulder, with hair like the night sky. His eyes were the same color as the seaweed. If she were alone, only then would she admit she had a desperate longing to stare at his full lips, maybe even kiss them. However, she was not alone. members of the battalion were only a few lengths away. She was not here to flirt, even though she probably would. She was here for business.
Her long air clung to her tattooed shoulders and torso, the ends drifting around her like an aura. The seller had done business with this one before, but for the life of him he could not remember the mermaid’s name. He did remember the purple anemone eyes and the freckles that traipsed across her pert nose. The pointed ears stuck out among the glossy slick hair. He wanted to touch her. He bowed to her and she nodded. Consented to do so, e sat down on the edge of the dock, one foot dangling over the damp boards. Joseph spoke, smiling.
“To you as well.” Unlike the humans, her voice was both rough and soften, like thick wool. It was only when they sang that they sounded unearthly. The rules that bound mermaid carriers and human sellers did not allow her to sing, nor he to trap. Only to do business.
“I know I have done business with you before, but I can’t remember your name.”
“Ingenue,” she replied.
“Young and innocent. Tell me Ingenue, are you young and innocent as your name implies?”
She blushed, looking down.
“Perhaps. Why do you ask?”
“I”m always curious about those with fins and gilded tattoos.”
Their eyes met and she didn’t look away. It was he who broke the connection to give her the books. The transferred the new with the old until he was left with old book and she with new. he spoke then, watching her fascination with the literature.
“If you permit me, I would like to say thank you.”
“I do permit you,” she responded.
“Then rise up Ingenue.”
With a push, her torso and hips rose from the water, easily visible in the sunlight. Her tattoos shone as Joseph took her hand and kissed it warmly. Blushing, she whispered. Her lips barely moving, he nodded.
Se swam away with the book, excited for tomorrow. while the relations between human an mermaid were frowned upon, no one said there was any harm in flirtation. After all, he did promise her a book.