Seal of Approval

"She was his queen, and God help anyone who dared to disrespect the queen" - Suicide Squad

Moderators: Eddie Blake, Tahlia Faras

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Tahlia Faras
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Seal of Approval

Post by Tahlia Faras » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:17 pm

Against All Odds

I wish I could just make you turn around,
Turn around and see me cry
There's so much I need to say to you,
So many reasons why
You're the only one who really knew me at all
~ Phil Collins

Tahlia hadn’t quite given up the penthouse that had been her home, and base, almost since she’d arrived in the strange, compelling city that was becoming a permanent residence. Options, at least when it came to places to hole up, were never a bad thing, and besides - it had sentimental value. It didn’t mean she wasn’t looking forward to moving to the recently renovated spaceship parking that she and Eddie had designed together, positioned at the top of their Casino. The Golden Pearl was almost ready to open, and that was just the beginning. Walking along the shoreline of what would always be their beach, the petite blonde glanced down at the ring of purple sapphires and diamonds on her left hand, and shook her head. Who would have ever guessed that?

From where she stood, staring over the water, she could see both the old penthouse, and the new. The Pearl gleamed in the corner of her eye, washed in the gilded sunset, and if anyone had been standing in their new home, they would have been able to see her, too. It was one of her hard and fast requirements - as many of the windows as possible looked over Seaside Beach, and the balcony incorporated a fire pit and chairs - a much more comfortable widows walk for when Eddie had to surrender to the call of the waves.

Experimentation, no one who knew the memorable, zaney if a bit odd, couple would ever doubt that the two of them didn’t spend quite a lot of time experimenting with… things and stuff. Likely it was believed so strongly that getting big wood on a beach would seem tame by comparison, and yet… Eddie ran his hands across the rough plane and smiled his pleasure at the way that massive beam felt in his hands. He’d had to race ahead of Tahlia in order to be the first to touch it, but he had a very strange passion for wood at the beach, especially a fine example like the one today had produced. It had his passion running high, and Eddie was tall, so that meant much higher than normal people. Some things were just far too difficult to contain, good wood needed to be shared with the important people in your life. He looked back over his shoulder towards Tahlia, that isn’t it impressive half grin sliding across his lips and exposing just a hint of white teeth.

“I can feel something, maybe we can figure out what its name is?” Eddie’s voice raised itself between them as he did his best to be heard over the crash of the waves. “You don’t always get such perfect shape out it, remember that one time, it was a bent mess and too soft to be much good. A very disappointing subject for sharing.” He leaned over the wreckage, random flotsam that had come to shore on the night tide and stayed behind likely so that he could find it. Not that he was so self important as to believe shipwrecks came to the beach to visit him. No, definitely not Eddie, he let the fact that they did speak for itself, and damn anyone else for trying to prove differently. “Do you think this is an ancient ship, or is it just one from a place that refuses to allow progress to make life better?” This was Rhydin, and Rhydinian’s were the most stubborn people in the galaxy.

“Who says progress always makes it better, baby...some things need to be hands on, don’t you think?” No one who knew them would be surprised at the banter, or for that matter, how quickly words could turn to deeds. Her former assistant had certainly gained an appreciation for earplugs in the time she’d worked for the couple, and had still only managed a few months before she’d found employment somewhere much more sedate - a weapons manufacturer. Not Kruger, though - Tahlia wasn’t sure where her soon-to-be brother-in-law was these days, but she was sure he’d show up when and where he meant to. He had a gift for that.

Half-turned toward the sound of Eddie’s discussion of wood, and it’s various uses, the blonde bombshell wasn’t paying attention to the water, or the beach, or much of anything but the dark-haired Selkie who held most of her attention at any given moment. The sea, quietly lapping in the background, stilled completely, and then erupted, bubbling like an over-heated hot tub. Amidst the roiling waves a tangle of tentacles hid, stealthing in the rising tide toward the couple on the sand. Just before they struck, a voice echoed from the depths, echoing and crashing - a language Tahlia had heard before, but was still barely conversational in - if it didn’t have to do with food, or pleasantries, she was a little lost. In any case, she wouldn’t have had time to translate, as the voice crescendoed, those sneaky sucker-crusted limbs wrapped around pale legs - and a second later, were dragging a golden-haired figure into the water, flippers flailing uselessly at the sand.

Most people would say there’s something you don’t see everyday, and it was still relatively true for Eddie, except that he’d seen it more than enough. Seriously, he needed to convince someone that the tentacle thing was supposed to pay...fetishes, you know. “Nau yu na wan op.” It could be argued that this from him was more than a simple death threat just by the way it slid from him without even thinking about it. If what he became were witnessed, and the language he’d spoken been understood, there would have been no doubt about how far Eddie Blake was willing to go. Any witnesses were much too far away to really understand what was being seen. Still, as fast as the giant leopard seal was, Tahlia and the tentacle that had first grabbed her and changed her into something gold and flippery… well that could have been hallucination… was nowhere to be seen.

Why? The thought had come to him before now of course, why did the cephalopods keep trying to take who belonged to him? Surely they didn’t believe they’d found Tahlia first, nonsense, and even if it weren’t he’d certainly found her best no matter how much that argument didn’t make any sense. Eddie was irritated because it was becoming a theme, and far less coincidence. It was swiftly turning into something that needed to be investigated. Not right now of course, he’d caught a glimpse of brightness that had nothing to do with sunlight, and it was much too close to where the Rokea had taken up patrols. That coloring would easily be noticed. Eddie put on one of his famous, if only through self proclamation, bursts of speed closing with the torpedo like form and pushing her down deeper into the water to keep her from being spotted from above.

Tahlia, or rather, the golden-furred creature formerly known as Tahlia, had no time to process what was happening to her. There hadn’t been a pile of clothes, and most importantly, no purple stone left sparkling on the sand, so whatever it was had changed whatever was on her with her. The petite blonde was still her on the inside, and for reasons that Eddie was very familiar with, she avoided the ocean for the most part. Honestly, she didn’t really like anything bigger than the custom-made, leopard seal sized tub in their home overlooking the very beach she was being stolen from. Really, they were going to need to talk about things with tentacles and their relationship.

What all that meant was that she did not have the natural instincts that Eddie did - she was a human trapped in a seal body, and things just didn’t work the way she wanted them to. Add to that the tentacle seemed to be forcing her to the surface to bob like a balloon, and she was swallowing as much water as air. She’d only just managed a gulp of the latter, and a plaintive bark for help when she got hit by a very familiar freight train. Although why he seemed to determined to drown her she didn’t know. Still, in that form or any other, it was her Selkie, and she didn’t try to fight him - at least, not until she realized that lungful of air was disappearing fast.

Eddie, having gotten his way as usual, swam a length ahead of Tahlia seal...Sahlia? Teal?... semantics… as he passed by he sent out a series of clicks and whistles to her. The warning was given, and he was Cosain so she’d certainly follow him he obviously knew best as he dove deeper and put on a modest burst of speed. It wouldn’t do to outrun her when he still had so much to show her. Was he worried about her condition? Definitely, but they were together and that meant it was entirely fixable, right? More sounds came from him, letting her know where they were going and what they’d get to see. This was an opportunity he doubted he’d ever get again. The chance to show Tahlia what the real world looked like. Others might insist that land was the real world, but let’s be serious, only about a quarter of land was the real world, the other three quarters were under water.

Listening as he swam, Eddie heard no answering chirps from her. He could hear other things, the deep thrumming pulse in his ears that came from his own heart as he swam being the most comforting. There were other things, boat and ship engines, the clack of crustaceans as they moved along the seabed. Nothing from the other seal, a quick turn allowed him to see behind himself only to discover that he was alone. When exactly had she left him? He hadn’t noticed in his excitement, now it was a hunt again. With a hard thrust of his body Eddie turned completely and swam back the way he’d come as fast as he could go.

If her studies into whatever arcane tongue had done this to her were going slowly, they were still leagues faster than her studies of the clicks and pops that were the seals native tongue. In her defense, it’s very hard to learn a language when your vocal cords are the wrong shape and size. That Eddie had said something she had no doubt - but she had no idea what. On the other hand, she knew exactly what her lungs were trying to tell her. They needed air, and they were being very demanding about it. Ducking under the bulk of her guide and lover, she headed back the way they’d come, in an awkward set of flops and flails that would have pegged her as easy prey even if she wasn’t headed the exact way she wasn’t ever supposed to go.

It was exhausting, and she didn’t have anyone to show her how to make it easier - how to just relax and hopefully the instincts she didn’t have would take over. All she knew was that she needed air, and then, maybe, she could figure out where Eddie had gone and how to get to him. She was so focused on getting to the surface that the shadowy forms emerging from the depths they hadn’t reached escaped her notice. Breaking through, she barked in relief, and filled her lungs, thrashing a little as she tried to figure out what the flipper to limb correlation was. It had to be different for selkies. She was smart - she could get this. Her dress wasn’t going to fit though, if she was - there were a series of frantic, panicked barks and honks as it sank in that she might be stuck like this.

Don’t go that way, he’d said! Never go that way! He might as well have said nothing at all because Tahlia did the exact opposite. It shouldn’t surprise him, clearly she had a mind of her own! Then again, she wasn’t exactly swimming at the moment, a fact made pretty obvious by the way she imitated a grounded fish. Eddie had no idea that could be done under water. It was too late to warn her, he wasn’t the only one with eyes on Tahlia he was just the one that wasn’t looking to turn her into a main course… just dessert. Why did they always have to be outnumbered? It would be nice to be the ones with overwhelming force for once, something to even up the playing field at least. He made his move the moment he saw one of the Rokea commit to an assault on the seal who was pretending to be a floatation device… even if it did bark.

The water exploded not far from Tahlia, belching out an odd shaped creature that seemed to have a body bent at a ninety degree angle. It was half skin and half thick fur in an odd pattern reminiscent of a certain leather jacket she’d be familiar with. The Goblin shark in Eddie’s mouth was only a little over the three meter mark, although he was trying to cut that down by at least the one meter closest to the tail. A tailless Rokea was the best kind because they sank. He tightened his jaw, sinking long teeth into the shark and shook his head to gouge out great chunks of meat before letting go and checking the second shark. It had wisely decided that there were other places to swim, which left Eddie the opportunity to talk to Tahlia some more. “You need to pay attention! There’s predators out here!” He was displeased clearly, it came out with every barking vocalization he sent her way. He dipped beneath the surface staying close to it as he swam toward the gold furred seal.
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Eddie Blake
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Re: Seal of Approval

Post by Eddie Blake » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:18 pm

The sounds she made in response might have been words, but they made no more sense than a human would - just imitating random noises rather than language. She had no idea what Eddie was barking at her about, although they’d been together long enough that she could tell he wasn’t happy. She wasn’t either, which he might pick up from the frantic nonsensical sounds coming out of her still-cute-for-a-seal face. Not even half his length, and as slim and sleek in this form as her other one, confusion kept her from reacting to the shark disposal system - after all, it wasn’t exactly the first time for that, either. She did see them now, though, and having seen them, realized the danger they were in. She might as well be a lame duck for all the good she was going to be at getting back to shore, assuming they could - and even Eddie couldn’t take on every shark on his own to keep her safe.

Her coloring hadn’t changed, and silver ringed jade eyes followed the giant shape as he flowed closer, wishing more than anything that she was telepathic. Her little gift for reading dreams and desires...well she knew what those were. But that wasn’t going to help get them out of here. Was that why he’d been diving down? She had no idea, and she couldn’t so much as order a cup of coffee in her current form. Glancing back at the still circling sharks, she forgot the delicate balance of movements to keep her head above water, and dropped below the surface with a gurgled yelp and a series of corkscrews as she tried to right herself again.

Gentle was something which Eddie didn’t do often, not in this form at least. He’d figured something out but had no idea exactly how he was going to deal with it. Tahlia couldn’t swim, it was a foreign concept to him, he’d been swimming since practically the moment he was born, technically before that but the pool was much smaller. He didn’t know what to do other than show her...gently. He listened for the intake of a breath before taking the back of her neck in his mouth and propelling them both forward and down. Hopefully her instincts took over enough for Tahlia to seal off her nostrils, ugh he hated puns. Pressed to her he moved, letting her feel every motion of his body against hers in an attempt to make her feel what to do. Whether that would work was still up in the air, or rather beneath the surface. There was one certainty in the attempt, swimming this way (for him) was far more difficult.

Eddie couldn’t see, not properly with his head turned this way. He couldn’t talk either, not with his mouth unsealed. He could hear her trying, but he was pretty sure that the woman had no idea what she was saying, he couldn’t see anything pink especially a sloop, there weren’t any sailboats around for miles. He ran his flippers along hers, trying to show her how to gain speed and change directions all the while listening to the depths for anything that might be dangerous.

Thankfully, instinct took over enough to keep her from losing the air she’d managed to take in, and it didn’t take her long to figure out that Eddie had realized at least the two most serious barriers to their continued survival. Closing her eyes, because she didn’t need to see for this, and it almost made it easier to let her body do what it knew better than anything. Anyone who had met the seemingly mismatched pair had likely seen the almost preternatural way they read each other - micromovements, a glance, a breath, enough for them to communicate entire conversations. And that was nothing compared to what happened when they were alone.

It took a few tries, a few moments of battling down the panic that rose to nearly choke her, before she felt secure enough to try to shake loose and try on her own. It still felt foreign, still felt like she had to think through every step, but at least she had a blueprint, even if it meant that if her attention wandered for a moment she’d lose track and flounder for a minute until she got her rhythm back. And she still couldn’t communicate - not beyond a nuzzle of her head along his jaw, those silver green eyes nearly black with suppressed fear. Exploring his world was one thing, but had they traded one seperation for another? And how was she supposed to run a casino like this?

It should have been something to celebrate. How often had he tried to describe the world he knew only to find that he ran out of words? Even someone as good looking as him began to become nauseating when all he could say was it’s amazing. His rule of thumb was three uses then he’d go to his fallback position of quiet mystery dude with a great jacket. Eddie was torn, he had Tahlia just where he wanted her… well no this was different from that.. Where was I? OH! Able to partake of the full majesty of the undersea Tahlia may be but Eddie had seen this particular seal before if ever so briefly. He hadn’t been meant to see however, he knew the who responsible because of it. That stupid big eared mouse company may have blunted the edges from the reality of the sea witch, but every seafae knew the truth. She was ruthless and lacked simple empathy. She had also managed to get under the skin of the large selkie with her unprovoked attack. Okay, it may have been slightly provoked, she had been leveled by his mother that one time… but that was ancient history. She couldn’t possibly hold a grudge over that. It was barely a love tap. Either way it left him with a dilemma, he could hunt down the witch though that would leave Tahlia at the best and worst mercies of the sea, or he could get her to safety which would certainly give the eight legged freak time to disappear. Live seal Tahlia is far more precious than humanoid Tahlia sleeping with the fishes. Besides there was probably someone who could reverse this, right?

Knowing that Tahlia was having minor translation issues, nothing to do with Eddie’s accent, he swam circles around her to get her attention because that wouldn’t be confusing at all. After his fourth circuit he darted off towards a place he knew would be safe, turning back after three body lengths just to make sure she was following. This would be so much easier if we had the ropes. The clicks and whistles said all of that, and Eddie even gave a wide mouthed laugh… certainly nothing intimidating in that behavior. Maybe he could get her to bite onto his back flippers? He wiggled them in front of her face just to see if she’d get it.

If there was a word to describe Tahlia, with all the whistles and clicks, and Eddie circling around like she was the center of a merry-go-round, it was confused. She couldn’t understand a word, and the circling was making her just a little dizzy. A shake of her head had her dipping down, but it was getting a little easier to regain her balance, and catch up. Eddie seemed to forget she was much smaller, and slower, and she struggled once again to catch up, wondering what the seal equivalent of raspberry was. She’d have to ask, assuming she ever could.

Getting a little frustrated, and tired from having to work and think about every step, Tahlia snapped her teeth, and got a mouthful of flipper in return. She might have let go, but she realized they were moving faster, and she didn’t have to work as hard. Eddie didn’t seem to mind her tagging along, and she let her eyes close, not realizing the little bubbles rising from her nostrils, or the leak of seawater across her tongue.

Fast Eddie was only slightly hindered by the passenger, it was a lot like having two teenagers sit on his feet while he tried to walk. It was going to take a while to get up to full speed, he wondered if there would be a way to blame Reggie for it. He’d come up with something. They were moving at the same speed at least. That was an improvement. Adjusting his course a few degrees south of west, Eddie headed for an island which he knew to be mostly abandoned. There were turtles, but they kept pretty much to themselves. It was only 4 nautical miles away, sure a little more than 4 for land locked folks, but heck that wasn’t even 8 kilometers! They’d be there in no time flat, especially if he ever got a good burst of speed going. There was just the small issue of Rokea patrols. They’d be easy enough to avoid so long as he and Tahlia stayed low in the water. Rokea prefered to attack from below, every selkie knew that except maybe the one biting him. What did being in seal form make her anyway?

Diving deeper, he navigated a path that had plenty of twists through coral valleys. He’d have done a little hunting if he were alone, there’d be plenty of time later. Hopefully she wouldn’t have a problem with really fresh sushi...okay still wriggling sushi, but that only made it more fun!

Tahlia wasn’t so worried about food, at the moment - she was more concerned about where he was taking her, and the subtle tightness around her ribs. Giving a slight tug upward, she tried to hint, without ever actually letting go of his flipper, that perhaps checking the surface might be a good idea. At least a little - enough to help with what she was beginning to realize was a lack of oxygen. Breathing, it seemed, was not as instinctive as one might think. The fact that she was looking up though, meant that she missed the shadowy forms on an interception path - in V formation and aiming straight for the two seals - like they knew something wasn’t right with at least one of them.

The tug didn’t appear to be working, and she turned her attention back to tug harder - out of growing necessity, and not because she didn’t want to admire the scenery he was dragging her past. Twisting herself accidently in the process, the little blonde seal caught one of the shadows out of the corner of her eye, and forgot about things like - not opening her mouth. The gurgling bark hopefully got the Selkie’s attention, because the Rokea were coming up fast, mouths open, and looking more bloodthirsty than usual.

Things happened all at once, the squadron of skulking sharkshifters sweeping in from the flanks was registered first, and maybe that was what that first tiny tug was about. Eddie’s muscles bunched, tightening in preparation for one of those unparalleled bursts of speed. When he released however, the passenger he’d brought along let go and he took off like a bullet. It was immediately obvious that Tahlia was gone, even the brightly colored pelt had disappeared into the darkness of the depths before he could manage the hard 180. He’d barely heard the burble-bark come out of her, let alone even attempting to interpret the strange noise. It was a little like a puppy trying to intimidate a fish with its head in the fish tank. Every seal knew you didn’t try to bark underwater, you could open your mouth to feed or you know… play with your food, but barking required inhaling and doing that underwater was dangerous! A seal could drown that way.

The turn and burn hadn’t taken much off of Eddie’s energy and what it had he quickly poured more of himself out to regain. Why? Because there was so much that needed to happen. Dire as losing Tahlia was, and he might be slightly freaking out over it, saving her would require direct interaction with the menace which seemed to be asking for a specific type of tee shirt. V-neck, the thought might have amused him under different circumstances. He wanted to blurt the joke out to Tahlia, whom he was certain would totally get his humor, except she wasn’t anywhere. He would have to discourage the hunters in order to have the time to find the girl. He had no doubt that he would, he was good at finding the girl. His collision with the quartet was harder than it sounded, the clash of bodies muted by the water. That was when he heard it though, a series of shrill whistles speaking in western Dolphinian. It was a language similar to Imperial Porpoisian, but lacked many of the imperative verb forms. Not that this was important right at the moment, at least not as important as what they were saying about seeing an oddly colored squee squip squee. Eddie’s command of Western Dolphinian left a little to be desired. There was only one thing that he could think of which would draw attention as oddly colored. He trilled a command at the grouping, this was his harbor after all, and the dolphins had no love for Rokea either after the Red Tide. When they engaged the already confused sharks, he broke off and swam hard in the direction they’d come from looking for the one thing which he could feel was missing.

The lesson about barking requiring inhaling was one the oddly colored whatever they’d called her had learned almost immediately. The trickle of seawater across her tongue became a flood, and all the frantically useless flailing and flopping did was to drastically reduce the little air she had left. Tumbling through the water, the silver green eyes slid closed, fighting and losing the war to stay open until she hit the deck. Literally. A long forgotten wreck sat beneath the water, perfectly placed to send the small form a golden seal bouncing and rolling against the warped wood, and knocking the last of the air from her lungs. Disoriented and alone - two of her least favorite states, Tahlia shook her head, peering through the silt-clouded water for the torpedo-form of her mate - or trying to at least. Even seals can’t breathe water, and the lungfuls she’d taken in were doing their work.
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Tahlia Faras
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Re: Seal of Approval

Post by Tahlia Faras » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:20 pm

The mottled missile propelled himself through the water, his temper only slightly less volatile than the explosive object he mimicked. Eddie’s temper was being held in check by concern. Under different circumstances he’d have stayed until the Rokea were fish food. He came upon the sunken derelict, a sight that would have normally peaked his desire to explore. Now all he wanted was to change the scene in front of him, the limp form of the golden seal displayed across the deck. He nudged at her, but no amount of nosing roused Tahlia. If only he had hands, but why dream of what he didn’t have? No, despite the fact that his actions might hurt her, Eddie opened his mouth and grabbed hold of the much smaller form. He swam hard for the beach, it wasn’t far he tried to will into Tahlia’s brain but no matter how hard his mind pushed there was no change in her. Sand and surf provided the proof to his unspoken words, though it left him with a different problem. The shallower the water, the more difficult it became to drag her from it. The surge of the waves helped, lifting them and carrying them forward onto the nearly uninhabited beach. Not that he was spending any time to acknowledge the turtles. Eddie shifted, his arms going around Tahlsealia. With every wave he dug in with his heels and heaved her further up the beach until there just wasn’t enough force left in him or the sea to do anymore.

Tahlia remained limp and lifeless as he hauled her onto the beach, devastating proof of all Eddie’s worst fears. The little blonde had never failed to respond to his touch, even if she was deeply asleep, there was always a slow smile, a purr, and the immediate turning of her body to his. Now, there was nothing, even with the slow seep of ruby droplets against golden fur from where his teeth had gripped her. She was motionless against the sand, uniquely colored eyes closed, seawater seeping lazily from her muzzle. Somewhere deep, a spark of life still flickered, dimmer with every tick of the clock - the sea witch’s spell apparently strong enough to weaken her impressive defenses.

Weakened defenses is a silent thing usually occurring over time. Not always of course, but “you’re letting him kill Martha” is a horrible example… highly criticized. They also couldn’t be further from applying to Eddie, who put a lot of time and effort into bolstering any weaknesses in his defenses. His indomitable bulwark never weakened, it simply shattered like the good crystal against the marble floor. Eddie had expected the usual outcome, he’d saved Tahlia...she’d be okay, safe in his arms. It wasn’t supposed to be this. He stroked her face trying to coax something out of the form barren of movement...of breath. His attempt to hold back the overwhelming force flooding through his aching chest was audible. It came out like hiccups as he desperately tried to suck back in every ounce of...well...everything. His failure rose out of him, culminating in the very essence of rage and despair.

“NO! YOU CAN’T HAVE HER!” Had he been anywhere else his voice would have shut down everything and drawn all eyes to them. Here the sounds of surf muted him to an impotency which barely scattered the gulls from the sand. Eddie bent his head over her, rocking hers gently in his lap. His hands still slicked the golden fur back hoping with each movement to coax life back into the limp form. “Don’t go with them, pumpkin. They don’t need you. They don’t love you...I do.” He spoke quickly, like a street hustler going hard at it for a sale. Fast Eddie, pulling a fast one, only this time there was no grift, just a guy trying to say everything before he ran out of time. Arching his back and ignoring the protests of insignificant things, like his spine and every muscle in his back, Eddie spoke directly into her ear. His hand came up pointing to the water as he talked in a hard edged whisper. “Don’t let that jealous bitch lie to you, you belong with me.” The press of his forehead against the side of her head came half a sob before his mouth managed a kiss that was half pleading and half goodbye.

It was the kind of moment that should have included fireworks, or a cyclone of glittering magical sparkles that lifted her up off the sand, accompanied by the swell of music played by a full orchestra somewhere off screen. But the rights to that kind of thing require months of negotiations. Instead, there was just the rush of the tide, the water sweeping around their huddled bodies,foaming as it soaked into the golden fur - and washed it away. Eddie was not left empty handed. Instead of a compact seal-shaped bundle, he would find a form he knew intimately, if a little changed by the experience. The crimson hair that lay beneath her glamour was gone, replaced with drenched tresses the same color as the fur that had covered her just moments before. The lank twists framed an old scar, a fluer de lys branded into her skin centuries past, while just beneath the curve of her left breast was evidence of a blade that should have killed her, but hadn’t - and along her ribs, an oakleaf shivered,the burn long healed. It was the black pearl nestled in her navel that gave any hope - barely moving - but moving none-the-less. Subtly sun-kissed skin was cool to the touch (although to be fair, anything would be cooler compared to the heat radiating from the Selkie), but not the chill of death. There was still a spark, and whatever magic was on that beach paled in comparison to the effect of that single kiss - broken with a rushed, frantic breath and the snap open of silver-edged jade eyes. One hand rose to curl into Eddie’s hair, and she lifted her forehead to his, panting softly.

“I love you too.”
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