"Matty and his sea prince, Aldis, are back in this second installment and they face more problems with Aldis’s former best friend, Haelen, who is trying to kill Matty - all because Haelen loves Aldis and wants him for himself. But there are other issues for the two men as well: from Aldis not being able to provide financially for Matty all the way to Matty feeling bad about “stealing” Aldis away from the ocean, his family, and his other friends. One thing is sure though: these two men love each other deeply and whatever happens, they need to stay together. Matty loves Aldis deeply, but he is also worried he’s taking his lover away from his heritage and the ocean. The idea of separating for any reason scares Matty even more, so he struggles through dealing with all his insecurities. Matty also has to deal with the fact that Aldis wants to take care of him completely – leaving Matty to feel a little less than an equal partner. But Matty will not accept that, and I loved how he stands up for himself despite the odds. His courage in facing the mermen who come after Aldis is remarkable and goes to prove the strength of his love for Aldis – not that I had any doubts. Aldis knows exactly what he gave up when he changed Matty into a mer to save his life, and he has no regrets. He is determined to make Haelen give up on his ridiculous plan for them to be together, and he is equally certain he will find a way to help provide for Matty now that they are together. Even when his father sends a group of warriors to drag him back into the sea, Aldis is not willing to change his mind. He thinks he has a plan, but when it comes right down to it, the solution is not what he expected it to be. If you like mermen and want to see one deal with living in the human world, if you want to know how Matty and Aldis are doing now that they have decided they belong together, and if you’re looking for a read that is all about lovers fighting for the right to be together, a few almost assassinations, and lots and lots of merman on human action, then you will probably like this novella." -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
Matty Ramiro was still getting used to the fact that he could breathe under water. It was a strange new reality that he was slowly coming to accept after his lover, a prince of mer people, had given him enough of his blood to change Matty’s body.
And Matty loved that mer prince with all his heart, enough that it broke his heart how Aldis couldn’t return to his home.
Well, he could. There was always that choice, but Matty was the ball and chain that held the man back, that kept him from going home since changing a man into a mer was, apparently, the biggest taboo in New Atlantis.
If Aldis ever wanted to go home, he’d have to leave Matty behind, and he’d already made it perfectly clear that he wasn’t willing to do that, to let any of that happen.
Especially since Aldis’s friend, Haelen, had tried to kill Matty.
Oh yeah, Aldis’s best friend for two hundred years was in love with him, and together they would probably make a gorgeous couple since, of the few mers Matty had ever seen in his life, they were all stupidly beautiful.
Matty tried not to think about that so much. The point was Aldis had chosen him, and now, Matty was back in the water.
He was in the water, eyes wide open, vision perfect despite the lack of goggles, and he was testing out the new speeds he could swim with his flippered feet and webbed hands.
He was pretty slow. Not too good at this at all. Well, to be fair, he was a decent swimmer, even before he’d gotten the flippers and webbed fingers, but Aldis made Matty’s strokes seem like a toddler splashing ungracefully in the kiddie pool.
And Matty could hardly take his eyes off the man.
Matty wore swimming trunks he’d brought from his house. Aldis still wore the shorts that clung to his thighs, and the cloth that was wrapped around it. It wasn’t a loincloth, not really. Loincloths that nothing beneath them as far as Matty knew, and Aldis had told him there was a seashell beneath the material, acting as a cup to defend his cock and balls from attack, kind of like what a football player would wear before going into a game.
Matty had seen it himself. Aldis’s cock and the seashell. He supposed it made sense for the prince of the sea to have to wear such a thing, just in case he went into battle.
Aldis glided above Matty’s head, spinning with a grace that made jealousy heat up within Matty’s veins, long black hair floating ghostly around his shoulders and back, and when he spun to face Matty, there was a smile on the prince’s lips that Matty understood only too well.
Right, Matty knew where this was leading, and he could already feel Aldis’s hands on his body, touching him and stroking him. Matty’s nipples peaked, and his cock twitched as he thought about it. He wanted to be touched. He wanted Aldis’s hands on him, and he couldn’t wait.
But Aldis didn’t touch him on the second pass. He swam close enough for Matty to reach out and touch him, but Matty never seemed to be fast enough to put his fingers onto that smooth, pale skin, to feel the warmth of those muscles beneath his hands.
Matty wasn’t in bad shape. He was a little softer around the middle than Aldis was, but he thought he looked good sometimes.
Aldis, however, looked like he could be a cover model for GQ or Men’s Health. All the swimming. That had to be it.
With all the swimming Matty was doing, he hoped it wouldn’t be too long before he’d catch up to Aldis and look like that.
Aldis swam by a third time, still with that tricky smile on his face, and this time his hands reached out, touching Matty’s neck and hair.
Matty sighed, allowing himself to be taken away by that touch, but as he reached his hands out to touch back, Aldis was gone.
Matty groaned in the water.
Why are you teasing me like this? he asked, using the mental link that he was still having trouble with.
There were no words for the mer people when they were underwater. Unless they were in New Atlantis, which Aldis had described as being surrounded by a protective air bubble in the deep, depths of the sea, then they had to use another method of communication.
Matty thought of it as thoughts and images he used to convey words. Aldis said he spoke like a toddler sometimes because he was still trying to figure out how to get his thoughts to mean words. It was difficult, and something else the handsome prince made look all too easy.
Matty shivered when Aldis touched his shoulders this time, leaning in close, as though he was about to whisper the words he wanted right into Matty’s ear.
Of course he couldn’t, not in the water, but Matty got the message loud and clear.
I thought you liked being teased?
Aldis let his fingers slide against Matty’s nipples, gently tweaking them in the water. Matty sucked back a breath of air through the gills on his throat and behind his ears. He leaned back into the touch, and he wanted more of it.
Aldis’s chest constricted sharply, as if he was laughing at Matty in his mind. Matty thought he caught the sensation and thoughts of laughter through him, and he had to fight against the urge to thrust his elbow back into Aldis’s ribs.
Aldis leaned in and kissed Matty’s shoulder, making up for the offense, and Matty decided it was good enough. For now, at least.
Are we going to have sex in the water again?
Matty tried to make his thoughts as clear as they could be with that question.
Yes, Aldis replied.
He wanted Aldis’s cock. He wanted to be fucked, the same way he’d been fucked the first time.
It was never full-on fucking, however. Aldis loved this man, so that was an element that was surely added into the mix.
Despite Matty’s wants and desires, the way his eyes continued to glance over to the side, way off in the distance where the water turned dark and deep, Matty couldn’t hide his lust. Aldis didn’t think he could if he tried, but Aldis still winced at the reminder of the shark, and of Haelen’s betrayal.
He cupped his mate’s cheek. His love. His chosen one. Matty had been his since the day they’d met so many years ago. Matty had been a child then, but he was no child now. Now, Aldis was free to have him.
Aldis pushed his thoughts forward, making sure Matty understood their meaning when the smaller man’s eyes widened.
That’s it, love, I will keep you safe. Nothing will happen to you.
And Aldis meant it. He would fight to the death if it meant keeping his lover out of harm’s way. His chest still constricted with fear whenever he thought of the assassin sent to drown Matty before he had his gills.
Aldis would never let such a thing happen again.
He felt Matty’s confidence in Aldis before he saw his smile, and Matty’s smile was bright in the sunlight that streamed through the water.
So beautiful. So lovely and perfect, and he belonged to Aldis.
Aldis leaned in, pressing his mouth to Matty’s, kissing him, pushing his tongue swiftly into Matty’s mouth for a sweet, lingering taste.
His body pulsed. Aldis no longer sensed the animals around him, nothing save for the pests crawling on the sandy floor. He made certain to keep half his attention on the creatures around him so as to not get distracted and allow a predator close to his lover. Not like the last time.
Matty curled his arms around Aldis’s neck. He gripped a little too hard at first, and Aldis had to pull away with a smile, tapping the side of his neck at the sight of Matty’s confusion.
A slight look of embarrassment flushed against Matty’s cheeks as he was reminded that the neck was one of the places where Aldis breathed.
Matty was always welcome to touch, but he couldn’t be too rough. Even with the spare gills behind his ears, the neck was still the most important place for breathing.
Matty nodded, his smile abashed and adorable.
You are so beautiful.
Aldis kissed his mate, knowing his thoughts had translated well to Matty, whose skin was turning a lovely shade of pink in the cool water.
So beautiful and perfect, and he belonged completely to Aldis.
Aldis needed to get him out of those ridiculous-looking swimming pants. Aldis would have preferred it if Matty had come into the water naked, but he always insisted on wearing something.
Matty helped him to push down the swimming trunks. His thoughts were a swirling, jumbled mess that Aldis could not translate. Whatever he was trying to tell Aldis was lost on him because Aldis could not understand a word of it. He was too focused on Matty’s skin, on kissing him, on admiring his cock when it was exposed in the water. When Aldis licked it, then sucked the thick organ into his mouth, all thoughts left Matty’s head.
His hands clenched into Aldis’s hair, gripping him tight as he thrust his hips forward, humping into Aldis’s mouth, and Aldis took him all the way.
The webbing between Matty’s fingers wasn’t as pronounced as any other mer’s. Neither were his flippered toes. The flippers were smaller, not as wide like they should have in a proper mer.
It was a product of being a man changed into a mer. Not only was it against the law, but the result wasn’t always the way it should have been.
For that, Matty’s fingers were better able to thread through and grip Aldis’s hair as Aldis pleasured him.
Aldis wanted to give Matty more. He enjoyed the way Matty’s fingertips scratched at his scalp, and he wanted more of that feeling. He wanted Matty to yank harder on his hair because the pleasure seemed to work off the pain in some strange way he couldn’t quite explain.
Aldis used one of his hands to hold Matty’s hips steady, and the other to grab onto his testicles.
Not grab. That was the wrong word. Aldis stroked and rolled them lovingly against the smooth webbing of his hands.
Matty had once described the feel of Aldis’s webbing. He’d claimed to like it, that it was smooth like a hard-boiled egg, though stronger. All the same, Matty’s body bowed backward, his cock jumping in Aldis’s mouth, and he spilled hot, warm fluid that Aldis swallowed, sucking back more of it, needing all of it.
At the same time, Aldis’s own prick pulsed between his legs. When Matty’s leg found its way between Aldis’s thighs, Aldis very nearly started to hump it.
It didn’t help when Matty pushed that hairy leg against his cock.
Aldis tensed. He pulled his mouth away from Matty’s cock to glare up at the man, but this time it was Matty who held that look of delight, that expression of teasing and lust and want.
You are a pest, Aldis said.