Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Beneath-Surface-Deep-Blue-Book-ebook/dp/B06XFK2FBV
*Second Edition Release. The content and author have not changed.*
A whole different world exists beneath the surface.
The last thing Nisha expects while patrolling his territory is to find his mate, but his instincts tell him the handsome human diving into the surf is the one meant for him. Two bites and Kannon will be joined to him forever. But when Kannon’s father disrupts the mating process, Nisha releases his claim, hoping beyond hope his mate will one day return.
While free diving with his father, Kannon is bitten by a seductive merman. Although he swore to never go near the ocean again, the pull to return to the water and his mystery man remains strong. Finally, after fifteen years away, an impromptu wedding brings Kannon back to the Seychelles, and his destiny.
Kannon only plans to stay on the island for a week, but this time Nisha won’t let his mate go without a fight. Merfolk and human culture collide as the embers of Nisha and Kannon’s mate bond ignite, and Nisha must complete the mating before it’s too late.
A whole different world existed under the sea—lighting, sounds, even the feeling of otherworldliness. No matter how clear the water, it still played tricks, even on experienced divers.
The colorful tropical fish, artifacts, and the remnants of history buried beneath the waves—along with a mysterious landscape mostly untouched by humans—always gave Kannon a thrill. Parts of the reef weren’t very deep, so he had no trouble freediving.
This year for vacation, Kannon and his dad rented a boat and guide to take them to the reefs around the Seychelles. This was by no means the first time he’d gone snorkeling. Growing up along the California coast guaranteed Kannon was comfortable in the water.
The guide had warned them to stay together, but Kannon had other ideas. Besides, he wasn’t going that far off. After investigating the colorful reef fish and interesting coral formations—and seeing his dad was distracted—Kannon slowly but steadily wandered off on his own. An outcrop of rocks covered in algae caught his eye, and he went to investigate.
Many of the multihued native fish swam past him, curious as to what he was. It was funny how they circled him. Kannon held his hand out. A few braver fish darted in, nibbled at his fingers, and then swam off. God, what a rush it was. Nothing was better than this.
He drew closer to the outcrop, surprised it was much deeper than he’d first thought. Huh, not an outcrop, but the mouth of an underwater cave. Cool. From a distance it appeared to be nothing more than oddly shaped rocks. Peering inside, he was unable to see past the murky blackness within.
Curious, he reached his hand out, stretching toward the mouth of the cave. His scalp prickled. A tingle washed through him. The water around him caressed his body as he hung weightlessly, staring at the cave entrance as his dick swelled in his trunks. What the…?
It wasn’t as if he made a habit of getting horny while diving, so what the hell? Torn between desire and unease, he hovered in the tropical water. Chills chased up his spine, and goose bumps broke out over his body.
His heart rate sped up—not a good thing underwater—and the feeling of being watched crept across his nerves. Something was in there, and his mind screamed at him to get away even as the urge to reach inside nearly overwhelmed him.
Kannon’s body swayed dangerously closer. His nipples ached as the water flowed past, and he had to force himself not to whimper as need struck him. He jerked back. There’s something waiting for me, just waiting for me to reach in so it can... what? So it can do what?
Jesus, he needed to get a serious grip on his imagination, and crap, he had to surface too. Lack of oxygen made the decision for him. All this panicking on his part had used up his air—stupid of him.
He surfaced and shook the hair out of his eyes. Wow, is that our boat way over there? Oh man, Dad’s going to kill me. Worried about the fit his dad was going to have, he was totally unprepared for the strange guy who popped up next to him, although “guy” might have been overly nice.
Kannon yelped, but the dude across from him just smiled. The androgynous, fey face wasn’t quite human. The long pointed ears were a good indication, as was the glimpse of sharp little teeth.
Oh, and the gills at its neck.
Azure blue hair floated in the water around shapely shoulders and cobalt blue eyes stared back at him. It was a visage that was hauntingly beautiful, otherworldly, and a tad disconcerting. The creature smiled slightly as if he agreed. It—whatever it was—scared the bejesus out of him.
Then it reached out and dragged Kannon under the water. Oh. My. God. Terror struck, and Kannon fought, kicking furiously as he tried to twist away, but it did no good. The creature was too strong, and its hands were everywhere.
Kannon fought to hold his breath. He needed to get to the surface and… he froze—just stopped fighting as something thrashed behind the other guy, churning up the water. No way. He stared in shock at the, the... its upper part looked like a regular human torso, but the bottom—a tail? That’s a... a... no way!
The unbelievable sight of a tail—a long, shimmery tail with iridescent scales—was attached to the guy in front of him. It glistened in the sunlight that filtered through the water. There was only one human-like sea creature he knew of with a tail—and that was mermaids. Or mermen. Merfolk? Whatever. Those were make-believe.
And this make-believe creature was trying to kill him.
Then it kissed him full on the lips, and thoughts of his murder flew out of his head along with every other rational thought. Before he could react, it stopped the kiss and twirled him around so they were chest to back. Well now, if he had any doubt it was male, he had his answer now.
There was no mistaking the hard cock poking him. The merman held him securely as they floated in the water. That marvelous fluked tail slowly flipping back and forth caused their lower bodies to rock together. It was kind of nice and… then the merman sank his teeth into the fleshy area between Kannon’s neck and shoulder. Oh fuck! What the what?
Pain exploded through him, and he arched helplessly as he fought not to cry out underwater. But as rapidly as it appeared, the sharp pain faded. The creature’s hand gently trailed up and down his chest. Is that a fin below its wrist?
Lassitude invaded him. He knew, just knew, this was where he was supposed to be. He belonged here with the merman. Tingles raced through his body. I’m home. Even the teeth still buried in his neck didn’t bother him, but in the distance he heard something. A voice… and it sounded upset. Scared.
It dragged at his mind. He needed to do… to do something. That voice he heard was… was… someone special. He needed to listen to it and… something. The creature looked up and sighed. It trilled softly in his ear then propelled him upward. Water rushed past Kannon, and his head broke the surface.
The first thing he heard was his dad yelling his name, and the feeling of peacefulness faded. He wanted to cry at the loss, but right then he had other things to worry about. Oh boy, he knew that tone.
Reality rushed back, and Kannon started flailing around in the water looking for that, that… There was no one near. He was alone. His neck stung, his head spun, and he was alone. Sadness retreated, and fear speared him. What the ever-living fuck was in the water with him?
What did it want? Where was it? He wanted out of the water. Like right then. Immediately. Ten minutes ago would’ve been good. Holy crap, that thing had bit him too. God, was he going to turn into some kind of fish thingy like that merman? Oh. Oh. He clutched his belly. A merman. His stomach cramped and a headache he didn’t know was lurking struck like a snake. Whoo hoo, if the waves didn’t stop rocking him, he was going to be sick.
“Dammit, Kannon! Get over here. Now!”
Yup, his dad was cussing, and he never cussed. He was in so much trouble. As he swam toward his dad and the guide, he decided not to tell them what happened. They’d think he made it up to avoid getting in trouble.
It was only then he remembered he hadn’t been afraid of drowning.
* * * *
The sun pounded down on his shoulders. The fact he wore a black dive shirt wasn’t helping matters, but there was no way he was taking it off. Apparently the bite wasn’t as deep as he first thought since he wasn’t seeing blood all over himself.
He took a deep breath, and the tang of salt in the air stung his swollen lips. Gentle waves rocked their boat—just another day on the ocean, right? Unfortunately that couldn’t disguise the horror he’d faced earlier. White sand beaches and hot, sunny weather—what better way to spend a vacation, right? Right?
“Kannon Michel Thomas!” Charles, his dad, sat on the floor of the boat glaring at him. “Do you have any idea how badly you scared me?”
Bet you weren’t as scared as me. Everyone in a five-mile radius knew how badly he’d scared his old man because he resorted to using his full name. His full name. He was eighteen for God’s sake, and his old man used his whole name. His life was over.
“Why? What possessed you to go that far out?” His dad folded his arms over his chest.
“I’m sorry, Dad.” Kannon flopped back on the deck. Time to face the music. “I didn’t mean to. I thought I saw some interesting rock formations and—”
“And you just had to investigate. I get that, but in the meantime you scared ten years off my life. We’ve had the talk about being safe while snorkeling years ago. Do we need to go over it again? One minute you were close by and the next you were just gone.”
Kannon looked down blinking steadily.
Sighing, Charles hugged Kannon. “Okay, okay. I’m sorry I yelled. I was terrified when I couldn’t find you.”
Oh man, his dad must have thought he was on the verge of tears. Actually, he really was, but not for the reason his dad thought. Kannon wrapped his arms around his dad, hugged hard, and then backed off. How uncool would it be if someone actually saw him hugging his dad—even if the old man needed the hug? Hell, who was he kidding? He knew he needed it too.
“I know, Dad, I’m really sorry. I didn’t realize I’d gotten that far out.” Well okay, that wasn’t exactly true. He had totally planned to sneak off. He’d just gotten more than he bargained for.
“There are sharks, and jellyfish, and… and other things out there that can kill you.” His dad rubbed his shaved head. “I know you love the water, but the ocean can be deadly.”
Dude, you have no idea. Kannon shaded his eyes and squinted at his dad. “Please don’t be upset with me. You’re right. I shouldn’t have gone so far off.” Yup, now he felt lower than a sea slug’s belly.
“You’re a teenage boy, of course you didn’t think.” His dad lightly ruffled Kannon’s wet hair. “I might have gotten a little upset when I couldn’t find you, and maybe I overreacted a little bit. Just promise me you won’t go out so far tomorrow. As tempted as I am to restrict you to the resort’s pool area, I won’t.”
Kannon fought to hide the horror he felt. “Oh, ah, I thought we were going sightseeing tomorrow.” The last thing he wanted was to go back in the ocean.
“Well, we can if that’s what you want. Tell you what. We’ll talk about it over dinner. I imagine all that exploring has got you hungry.”
Kannon scooted over to where his dad sat. All he wanted was to get off the water and back to their bungalow. “Yeah, I could eat a whale.”
His dad’s sharp crack of laughter echoed over the boat. “Boys,” he mumbled. “Hollow from the toes up.”
Before the boat motor started, Kannon could’ve sworn he heard what sounded like an angry slap of a tail against the water. He wasn’t tempted to look. Nope, not even remotely. He was terrified of what might be looking back at him. Trepidation licked along his spine.
His mind still questioned what he’d seen while under the waves, but his lips stung from the kisses, and his shoulder ached where that, that… thing bit him. Good thing his dark dive shirt covered the mark. His old man would’ve had a cow if he’d seen his shoulder.
What would he have told his dad? Oh that? That mark? Well see, this merman came out of nowhere, dry humped me, then bit me. Excuse me while I binge on raw seafood. Don’t my scales look extra scaly today? Sorry my fin got in your way. Will this shirt go with my gills? I’ll be flopping around in my room if you need me. Oh, and how was your day?
What he saw just couldn’t exist, could it? His growling stomach shoved all thoughts out of his head. Well, almost all thoughts. It stood to reason his close call would’ve taught him something, and it did.Stay away from the ocean.