Pale cream rose with icing pink edged petals

Valentine’s Day Salute by Roxanne Knight

Valentine’s Day Salute by Roxanne Knight Valentine's Day chocolate rose

Out of this World

Jack tossed back the remnants of the glass of whiskey and glared at the foil covered chocolate rose. “Some Valentine’s Day this turned out to be.” He was mortified to realise that only his pride was shattered.  He crushed the rose. “Damn.” Blood mingled with the red of the foil. He looked at the offending engagement ring half hidden in the mess in his hand. “One stupid idea after another.” He glared at the ring for a moment then tossed the whole lot over the side of the yacht.

Serria floated beneath the waves. She had been swimming all morning trying to escape the realisation that she had made a fool of herself. Over a man of all things. Plunk. Serria reached up to catch whatever had landed on her head. “Freaking litter bugs.” She glared at the crumpled mess of rapidly vanishing chocolate, green plastic leaves and red foil she had caught. Without stopping to think she zoomed to the surface of the ocean and threw the disgusting rubbish at the head of the male who was the only possible culprit.

“What the…?” Jack spun around to see what had hit him. The sudden movement combined with a tad too much whiskey and Jack slipped catching his head on the boom as he toppled into the sea.

“Huh, serve him right.” Serria watched as the man slowly sank lower and lower into the blue. “Why isn’t he swimming?” Then she noticed a slight discolouration of the water near his head. “He must have hit his head when he fell.” Serria swam down and caught him in her arms. She carried him to the surface. That was the easy part. Getting him back aboard his yacht was another matter. Serria looked up at the sides of the boat. They didn’t seem impossibly high, but with the dead weight in her arms it would be like trying to climb Mt Olympus. This was deefinitely one of the times when legs might be an advantage. Luckily they weren’t too far from shore.

Serria looked at the man in her arms. Dark lashes lay soft against the hard planes of his face. His skin had a warm golden tone that Serria found fascinating. She placed her cool white hand  on his cheek. “So warm.” Something stirred inside Serria. She shook her head. “Dratted man. Okay, let’s get you to shore.” She turned him so that he lay along the length of her body, the back of his head pillowed on her breasts. She was very aware of his warmth rubbing against her nipples. She stilled and shifted him more to the side so that she could support him with her arm, away from her breasts which seemed to have become overly sensitive. Then, with a flick of her mighty tail, they were off, flying across the surface of the sea.

In minutes they had reached the shallows on the shore. “Now for the tricky bit.” Serria needed to get him out of the water, so she could stop worrying that he might drown. But how? In the shallows Serria felt like a beached whale. “I look like one too.” Without water to support his weight he hampered her movements, pressing her into the wet sand. Serria rolled to dislodge his dead weight. He slid sideways and landed face down in the water. Serria sighed. “Thank goodness, you weigh a ton. Oh, squid ink!” Quickly she lifted his head up out of the water.

If she could just roll him far enough up the beach to reach him without having to stand in the water maybe she could pull him clear of the sea. It was hard work. Serria’s strength came from the sea and the further out of the water they came the heavier her burden. But at last she had him high enough that he wouldn’t be carried back out by the next large wave and she would be able to get a good enough grip to drag him without getting her feet wet once she had transitioned.

Then, resting on her elbows, Serria gave a vigorous heave of her tail and flipped it clear of the  sea. Her body twisted and her tail arced through the air and landed on dry sand. She felt the tingle start in her caudal fin and then fire licked across her scales. The pain intensified for a moment and then eased, and in place of her glistening argent tail were two shapely legs.

Serria pushed herself to her feet. She stumbled backwards. “Ow.” She landed on her backside, but immediately sprang up again. “Neptunes trident, that sand is hot.” Cautiously she turned to the man. Still no sign of life. Grabbing him under the arms she hauled, and inch by inch Serria dragged his inert body up the beach. Eventually, tired and dripping sweat, she reached the shade of the she oaks that lined the edge of the dunes.

Carefully Serria examined his head. Yes, there was a cut and a swelling, not large, but obviously enough to have knocked him out. It had stopped bleeding and didn’t look bad enough to cause problems. Except he was unconscious and didn’t seem inclined to wake. Perhaps if she found some water for him to drink.

Serria gazed up and down the beach looking for evidence of a stream. There at the far end of the beach she saw a line of silver snaking down to the waves. She headed down the beach and broke into a run only to fall flat on her face. “Stupid feet.” Pulling herself up she kept going albeit a bit slower. She reached the stream and looked around for something to carry the water in. At the edge of the waves was a large discarded clam shell. It would do fine if she could just reach it without getting her feet wet. Sea water meant her tail would come back. Serria walked as close to the sea as she dared. Then she crouched on all fours before flattening herself and stretching for the shell. “Got it.” Serria wriggled backwards away from the beckoning waves. Laughing with relief and success she washed the shell with water that had come down from the hills that she could see in the distance. Then because she was feeling so hot and sticky after her exertions Serria ladled the cool water over herself, enjoying the chill as it cascaded over her abnormally warm skin. Refreshed Serria filled the shell from the clear fresh stream.

When she got back Serria lifted the man’s head onto her lap. She gasped at the heat from his body and stared mesmerised by the contrast of his warm golden skin against her cool paleness. His hair gleamed darkly like the wing of a cormorant, while hers shone silver white in the dappled sunlight. “Ocean’s apart.” And yet her heart raced when she looked at him. Her hand tingled as it skimmed across the wiry hairs that darkened his chest. Serria’s breath caught as her eyes followed the arrow of dark hair that disappeared under the waistband of his boardshorts, and her hand itched to follow. “Get a grip.” She pulled her hand back.

Serria lifted his head slightly and placed the shell of water to his lips. Nothing. She dipped her finger into the water and rubbed it across his lips. Smooth and warm. His lips parted slightly. Serria dipped her finger in the water again and slipped it into his mouth. He sucked and a jolt of electricity spiked her core. She jumped and the shell tipped, emptying itself into his face. Serria found herself staring into deep brown eyes.

Jack stared. Eyes the blue of the early morning sea peered into his. He blinked. No, she was still there. He was looking into the face of an angel. Lips made for kissing. His eyes followed the soft curve of her cheek down the long line of her neck to a shoulder carressed by silver hair. Silver hair? Definitely an angel. So he must be dead. Was he. He didn’t feel dead. Not that he knew how dead felt precisely. His head hurt like the devil. That could mean he was alive, couldn’t it? Jack continued to stare. His eyes followed the length of her hair. Lower. Breasts. Naked breasts. Do angels have naked breasts? His hand reached out and touched the perfect coral tip peeking through the strands of silver. The nipple puckered and a soft moan floated on the air. Not an angel then, but certainly out of this world.

Esther Howland Valentine, circa 1850: "We...

Esther Howland Valentine, circa 1850: “Weddings now are all the go, Will you marry me or no”? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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