I’ll share a few mermaid secrets revealed to me by my heroine in the Ciel’s Legacy series. Her name is Ciel and in the first book, Tears on a Tranquil Lake, she was surprised to find herself transformed into a mermaid, living among pirates and merfolk. Years later, in Tortuga Treasure, she finally meets the man of her dreams, a pirate named Alvaro, when he is moments away from dying with a knife lodged in his back—not the best timing. In order to save him, she moves fast and turns him into a merman using the magic “kiss of life.” Worse luck for Ciel, Alvaro thinks he wants to become human again. She’s told me many times mermen are no easier to understand than men. Like any woman, she tries her best to please him, hoping he’ll eventually see how nice she really is and drop his wild idea. Ciel knows the process is rarely done and requires great talents in mermagic. Although well-trained and talented, she’s uncertain whether she can perform what is required. In this pub scene, she uses her mermagic, attempting to locate an item needed to return Alvaro to human form.
Excerpt from Tortuga Treasure: Ciel’s Legacy:
“Hey, yer quite a lovely. Come on in an’ join us,” a raspy, male voice spoke from behind. A large, rough hand touched my back.
I looked over my shoulder. The sight of oily hair on a scraggly seaman made me jump through the pub door held open ahead of me. Hidden in the shadows, a few male voices guffawed at my reaction. Their laughter came closer and I trembled. Were they drunk? What did they intend with me?
Swept inside, I quickly surveyed the room. I’d never been in this establishment, known to be frequented by rowdy deck hands. Only merfolk shunned for lying or cheating came here.
Save for employees and those taking their billiard shots, all men glanced our way. A few gave off such active lascivious vibrations I needed no touch to gain clear readings.
I leaned into my friend and whispered, “No Tom here.”
She placed a protective arm around me. “Don’t forget your song. We may need it.”
A chubby barmaid moved past, wearing a bodice cut low to display her large bosom. She snarled at us. “What’re ye two doin’ here, stealin’ all me tips?”
“No. Just looking for a certain person who’s not here, so we’ll be leaving,” I replied.
“I hear ye.” The wench rolled her eyes. “True or not, don’t matter. Ye’ll be stayin’.” She nodded to the closest group of seamen.
Protests came from all directions, as a dozen buccaneers surrounded us. “Leavin’. Nay. Why? Ye just got here.”
“Stay an’ play fer a while, darlin’.”
“Be glad to buy ye two lovelies a round o’ grog.”
When I turned toward the door, one grabbed my shoulder and another slid an arm around my waist.
Omarosa faired only a little better. Three encircled her, but at some distance; with her larger frame, she appeared a more difficult conquest.
The pirate wrapped at my waist pulled me hard into him. His breath reeked with whiskey and tobacco.
I grimaced, pushed against his chest, and squirmed backward a few inches. Another voice behind me indicated the arrival of another pirate. “She don’t like ye, Nate. Let me have a go, ye waster.”
“Nay. She jist needs a bit o’convincin’, that be all.” Nate chuckled and pulled me tight to his side. Lass, I know ye want to be me Jenny tonight, ain’t it so?”
Encouraged to respond, I took as deep a breath as possible, despite his hold on my ribcage.
His other hand squeezed my breast.
I gripped his wrist and yanked, but he dug his fingernails into my soft bare flesh. Tears welled in my eyes. I stifled the reflex to scream, instead, channeling my energy into a merspell. My song began as a soft trill. I kept it there, allowing the sweet sound to sneak up on the patrons, infusing a drug-like tranquility. If I forced a more sudden show of power, those unaffected would notice their friends falling under and attack me.
Thankfully, Nate’s hand dropped away from my breast, but he still clamped my waist, loosening slightly as I continued singing.
Omarosa spun around, checking my effectiveness, and soon added her own song. Hers possessed much less magic than mine, her song specialty being detailed communication. But, her tone harmonized and enhanced my spell.
Then, I paused to inhale and the enchantment wavered.
Nate regained awareness and thrust his fingers into my side. “Damned wench! Not lettin’ ye try more tricks,” he yelled into my face. He shoved me to the floor, pushed my head down with his foot, and yanked one of my arms behind me.
They flung my friend down and pinned her there with several large boots upon her back.
I began to sing, but lost my air as he jerked on my arm. “I’m gonna crack yer teacup right here fer me mates to enjoy the show. Then, ye’ll be me possession.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw him unzip his pants.
Tortuga Treasure: Ciel’s Legacy—Blurb:
When Ciel first looks into Alvaro’s eyes she finds love. Bad timing. In the next instant he’s fatally stabbed in the back by one of his pirate mates. Her girlfriends warn her it will only bring on a heap of trouble to save him. Unable to resist, she gives him the gift of a new life as one of her kind—a merman.
Will their love encourage him to embrace life as a merman? Can love survive if he wishes to return to human form? Either way, her friends speak true. No matter how much mermagic and dark vodou Ciel and her friends cast, blood-thirsty buccaneers chase them across the Caribbean until Alvaro finally decides.
Warning: This book contains a magical cock-a-too, lecherous scurvy pirate dogs, hoodoo healers, the mark of the evil Black Spot, plenty of dark Haitian vodou, and passionate encounters on tropical beaches.