I found a bench nearby and sat down, letting the air waft over me. We were a distance from the ocean, but I could almost feel the Atlantic calling to me. It was both confusing and warming. Like a lover I had never known, beckoning me home.
He jumps into the water, and I laugh, removing my shirt before jumping in after him. The water helps push me along, and I catch up to Kai in a heartbeat. I wink at him before shooting forward, and I can almost hear him yell the word ass towards me. Maybe…maybe I haven’t ruined everything.
I watch him go, wishing I could be as easily freed. My mind is trapped with thoughts of Nerites, and I need to cut him loose so I don’t hurt those that I care about. I already hurt Kai. I can’t feel what he feels for me, and I knew that before I touched him. I close my eyes and stretch my arms out to find the ship. It’s bow is currently crashing into waves a few kilometers ahead of me.
She ran to me. I picked her up in my arms and twirled around as if we were filming the dramatic I will catch up to you at the gate before your airplane leaves type of scene from a rom-com. Of course, that made her blush profusely, and that was fine by me. I enjoyed making my Pheephee blush. Who would not take pride in seeing a goddess turn red at your whim?
I was filled with more emotion than I felt comfortable showing, letting the sea churn for me instead. The waves hit the mountainside so hard it kicked spray through the broken windows. “Is there even a Nikolas?” I asked quietly.
Laughing, I untie us from the dock. “The wind is always in my favor. The Anemoi are old friends. We are going to want to head southeast to the Dodecanese Islands. There should be one covered in mist. Only the eye of a god can spot it.”
I couldn’t let him stay here. While the realm he created was beautiful, it was lonely and cold. I knew what happened to the souls in Propalyia. Eventually, they all flung themselves over the gates, only to be impaled, and returned to their homes. They hated me for it, which was why I kept my distance, why they moaned throughout the forests. Every human desires peace, and there was no peace in Propalyia.
The morning passed as it normally did, with me sleeping in the sun, relaxing under his rays, hoping the darkening of my skin would help to hide the bruises. It was around mid-day that I saw a shimmer in the sand. I got up, making my way closer.
I didn’t know how long I would be healing on this gorgeous island. Looking out the window, I watched the sea, calming after a storm that could have caused massive destruction. It hadn’t, and that thought gave me hope for the future.
“As they do me,” I kept Sel’s gaze a moment longer and kissed her forehead. “You and I are bound, we always have been. I am sorry for being away for so long. But hopefully, we can now work to heal the oceans of the world. And not all mortals are ruining us.”