One Kingdom of colorful reefs and corals in the bright open ocean. Another more down deep in caves and not so much light. The two not really enemies, not really friends. Both have been told stories about the other and just tend to stay away from each other. It helps that mermaids tend to stick in their pods anyways.
Each Kingdom has a Prince. The one of colors is to wed a Princess. Though it seems his heart just doesn't see him loving a female. Nor wanting to be told who to marry.
The other Kingdom's Prince his heart is set on seeing the Ocean, way before marriage. To see something other than these dark caves! Hidden away! He wants so much more than what his father has planned for him. He wants to explore! To see danger! To see colors other than hues of black, blues, and lights.
Well, the two Princes end up meeting. Knowing instantly the other is from what Kingdom. Though both have heard terrible things about the other, they just cant help but be lured to the other and not believing the rumors.
Does love bloom between the two? Their parents would simply not understand loving a mermaid not from their pod, not their kind. Especially the one is to be married! What will happen to the two lovers?
Aedan wasn’t too surprised that Yule denied the house. He was kind of expecting it but Aedan still intended to push the issue. The houses here were pretty much a free for all especially the more simple ones. Galon had set up a neighborhood of houses for some of the workers. Eventually the city grew and the need for free housing disappeared as people built their own homes. Now the housing was used for temporary guests that were going to stay long enough to not stay in the inn but not long enough to build a house.
“It’s fine. The houses are nothing special and are predominantly there for the migrant workers. Our farming season is coming to an end so the occupants in the houses are starting to leave. Thats actually how I met Kye... his pod roams from kingdom to kingdom and I just happened to run into them,” he said fondly. A large smile split his face as he turned to look over at his face.
Aedan let out a soft sigh and gently leaned into Yule. “This is when they get disgustingly lovey dovey,” he said in a mock whisper.
Kye looked away from his mate to look at the two Mers before him. His dark eyebrow arched up at them. “Don’t be jealous Aedan. When Galon says run into me he legitimately means run into. He mowed me down and I ended up with a hurt tail,” He said the last part with a soft grumble. “Don’t worry about the house situation. We won’t make you take a house but it is an option. The inn gets a little uncomfortable if you stay for awhile,” Kye added gently.
Galon looked scandalized that Kye would bring up their little accident. “You said you wouldn’t bring that up!” He said with a huff. “It was an accident and I’ve apologized profusely ,” Galon with a grumble.
A soft sigh left Aedan’s lips as the two began to gently bicker. The whole time a teasing smile was on Kye’s lips while Galon’s brow were furrowed. “Oh by Poseidon they are going to argue the rest of the meal,” He said to Yule as he ate some more seaweed.
For a few minutes Aedan silently ate his meal while watching his uncles bicker back and forth. A soft smile played at his lips at their childish antics. He wished that one day he could have a relationship like this. It was a simple, loving, relationship where his uncles could sit their and gently tease each other. It was everything Aedan wanted but can’t have. He was doomed to fall into a loveless marriage all while falling in love with another. Life sucked.
Trying to think of anything else but his impending doom he turned his attention over to Yule. It was easy to forget his death sentence when someone like Yule was nearby. “Is there anywhere you want to go first? The inn? The fields? The hatchery to see the baby seahorses? There is also a nice shopping district if you just want to look around,” he said over the continued bickering of Galon and Kye. They had moved onto arguing about the one time Galon got the lost, or something like that.
Yule could feel the slight tense rising for Aedan in his tail. Had he crossed a line? Had he misread Aedan? Oh no, he will have to apologize for this later! But then Aedan seemed to relax for a second and he could have sworn he felt the other male seem to tighten his own grasp on Yule's tail. Maybe he had just surprised him? Yule smiled, but luckily he could mask his smile in the conversation he was having Galon.
[b "Ha, it's okay. There isn't much choices down there, you are right. It's tough down there. We do venture out of the caves to search the dark waters. Were get other little life forms in the deep sea. The most surprising tasty thing we have down there. Are these fish with lights dangler off their heads. They are disgusting to look at. But damn, they taste great. At least, the best down there. They still taste like crap."] He shared a laugh among the other large male. That was till he noticed his two hosts holding hands so boldly on the table. For Yule, he was not use to such bold actions. It was shunned and frowned upon his people. He stared at their hand holding. Though his face didn't read disgust. It was more, of a soft look. Joy. His dark blue eyes were bright and his smile was soft. He would never be able to do such things in his Kingdom. Never. It took Galon addressing him again and wishing him to enjoy his time here. Yule glances back to the other with that, glow still his face. [b "I'm sure I will. I feel...so glad since I left. I just needed to stretch my tail and see new things. My mother and father always told me I was too adventurous and free spirited. It was going to get me in trouble one day. It hasn't yet."] Yule laughed bravely mocking his royal family.
As his laughing calmed down, Aedan had chimed in now. Yule turns to watch Aedan, carrying that warm glow still with him. He heard Aedan pitching their idea out for Yule staying at an inn for a while. Till word gets around and people get use to a Cave Mer being among them. So Yule may see Aedan's reef capital one day. [b "That sounds fine. I couldn't impose on taking a home though. I, haven't done anything to earn it. I'm currently unable to pay for it too. I could figure that out though."] He said not sure if he would be okay taking a possible home from someone who could be much more needy than him. [b "I think the inn would be fine for me. I could meet other drifters! And it's so alive in there! There was a fight going on in the one outside of town. Oh! That reminds me. Where's the nearest arena? I forgot to mention that."] He said turning to look to Aedan with a spark of excitement, to only be matched with an unsure look. But then he remembers he is suppose to be playing some poor farmer boy. A poor farmer boy rarely fights in those...unless it's a sick punishment. Farmers don't usually train to fight. They could if they wanted, but they don't have too. [b "I..umm...did it to train. Farmer's life wasn't for me. So I stuck around those to train and practice. To try and become a guard."] The darker male came up with a quick little lie, which he hated. But he just wasn't ready to tell the truth.
Aedan was not excepting Yule to do more than stroke his long beautiful tail against his. He was proven wrong when he went to take a bite of seaweed and felt Yule’s tail lightly wrap around his. Instantly Aedan froze as he tried to compose himself. It wouldn’t do well for him to turn bright red. His uncle would start asking questions and Aedan would die from embarrassment from it. So he sat there for a moment, frozen, and begging the gods to keep him from blushing. After a few long moments he took his chances and began to eat all while his heart was hammering in his chest.
Why couldn’t he meet Yule when he wasn’t betrothed? They could have potentially been together if they met sooner. Aedan’s father wouldn’t have disowned him. It would have just been a great shock to the King and Aedan would probably not be in the running to become the Crown Prince. Everything would be good in life then. But they didn’t meet earlier and he was engaged to some Princess. These thoughts flooded Aedan’s mind and his joy disappeared rapidly. He could feel his tail go limp and a frown tugging at his lips. The distress he felt was pushed to the side as quick as possible as he continued eating his meal. When Aedan looked up from his food he saw a concern look in Kye’s dark eyes. Aedan glanced over at Galon who was talking with Yule and hadn’t seen Aedan’s good mood vanish. Turning his attention back to Kye he just slightly shook his head. They would talk about it later.
With that understanding between the two of them Aedan looked up at Yule as he tried to catch up on his and Galon’s conversation.
Galon found himself liking Yule. He had a good personality plus he saved his favorite nephew. That was a win in his books. “I’m glad you are enjoying the meal. I was always curious on what Cavemers ate. I can’t imagine there being a lot of diversity but I could be wrong,” he said between bites. His free hand found its way to one of Kye’s that was on the table. He intertwined their fingers together before sending a small smile over to his lover, completely missing Aedan’s slight head shake. When Kye squeezes his hand he went back to eating while listening to Yule’s response to his question.
Galon gave a small nod as Yule talked about his plans. “Well I hope you enjoy your time here,” he replied.
Aedan figured this was the time to chime into their conversation. “Uncle Galon, could you perhaps find a place for Yule to stay? I was going to suggest the inn but because he plans on staying for awhile I think it would be best that he had a more permanent residence.”
Galon thought about it for a moment. The Inn was nice but after a month of living there it could get tiresome. He knew from experience. He once angered Kye so much he had to leave the house for his own safety and instead of face the little ball of fury known as Kye he hid in the inn. His plan backfired on him because Kye was more mad that Galon for avoiding him. That ended with Galon begging for forgiveness and while he was allowed back in their bed Kye was rather pissy for awhile afterwards. Needless to say the Inn was nice for a week or two. Beyond that? It was horrible. “I think I could find something. I think a couple recently got married and intend to move in with each other. That would open up a house,” Galon told Aedan.
Aedan gave his uncle a small smile. “That would work if Yule is okay with it,” he said before looking over at Yule.
To Yule's surprise, right as he ran into the wall. He had heard Galon kindly explained that he didn't have to apologize. Little as these three knew, with Yule being Prince of that Nation that had hurt Galon so, Yule indeed needed to apologize. [b "Oh, I know I don't have too, but I wanted to."] He said as his hands rubbed his forehead and nose, chuckling along Aedan who seemed to thought it was a little funny. [b "I've felt worse."] The cave mer laughed harder as he took his seat at the table. Curious about what the food he was going to be served.
The two younger males weren't left alone long enough for Yule to flash Aedan a funny grin with his forehead red. For their hosts were back with food and Yule's eyes had widened so big at the site of the food! It looked so fresh and more tasty compared to the rough and tough food down in the caves.
With his excitement of the food arriving, he smiled brightly and gave a respectful bow nod to his hosts. [b "It looks delightful. Thank you so much."] The cave mer licked his lips and had felt his tail brush gently against Aedan's tail.
Instead of yanking his tail back quickly, for a split second it was an accident. But his dark eyes had saw that Aedan didn't really flinch or slide his tail away from Yule. No, actually it looked like he didn't mind. Of course Yule wanted to grin and tease the beautiful siren all the more, but not in front of his family. That was just crass and not charming at all. But their tails couldn't be seen and with most of his lengthy dark tail tucked to fold out from under the table. He let his fin rest on his and rub his tail ever so gently. Caressing him delicately. Sure he was probably going to get scolded by him later. For what chance could he, a Cave Mer have with a beautiful creature such as Aedan.
Though Aedan then gently rubbed back! Yule sat up straight with his eyes wide again and he froze for a second with his first bite of fish wrapped in seaweed inches from his lips. Aedan had just returned the gesture! An intimate gesture! One that addresses interest in the other! Was Aedan flirting back?! The dark male forced himself to keep his cool, something he rarely losses. But this beauty next to him seems to know how to get under his skin and Yule was loving it that he could!
Fighting the urge to grin and be even more bold with the other male, which was harder than he thought. But he just let their tails wrap around lightly and finally he took that first bite. Instantly his mouth watered as he shoveled in more food and couldn't seem to get enough. [b "This is amazing! THe fish is so soft and a nice chew to it! I'm so use to tough and hard meats down in my Kingdom. I love this!"] He said before popping another piece of fish in his mouth. Just before he was about to take one more bite, Galon had spoken out again. Asking What Yule had planned on doing. Staying or going.
This had caught him off guard. How does he answer? Of course he wanted to travel and see everything and anything life up here had to offer. But then there was Aedan. Who he had just met and he could already feel himself not wanting to leave the siren he had seemed to befriend. [b "I...did want to see everything. I wanted to travel. But I think I'll look around this town for a while since its my first time to an above ground town. I want to see all that I could here first."] Yule said calmly but felt a little unsure. Would traveling be as fun with out Aedan? Could he really leave him? That sounded awful and he was pretty sure he wouldn't enjoy traveling with out Aedan. But there was one little problem. Aedan was to be wed and that thought still stings a little. [b "I think I have all the time in the world so I'm going to make sure I take it all in with this town first."] Yule finished with a big smile and shoved more food in his mouth to chew happily.
Galon had smiled when Yule said he liked the city. He had a lot of pride for the little part of the world he had carved out for himself and people who were considered outcasts. There was very few things in his life that he had to be proud of and the city was one of them. Having an outsider say they liked it help stroke his ego a bit too. As for the Cave Mer that had attacked him... that wasn’t one of Galon’s proudest moments. Before Kye and Galon had met Galon had been sent to secure lands well beyond the kingdoms borders. Galon was good at his job and managed to disrupt some of the Cave Mers during one campaign. Galon has apologized and disappeared before retaliation. A few years later he met Kye and abandoned any military ambitions. He even abdicated his position as crown prince to be with Kye. What Galon didn’t know was his father’s anger would cause retaliation. There was no proof but Galon was pretty sure his father used the Cave Mer incident many years back to cause the Cave Mer kingdom to hate Galon. While fleeing his home with Kye they had moved towards the far edge of the kingdom which just so happened to put them close to the area that Galon had once nearly invaded. The Cave Mers must have found out because Kye and Galon were ambushed. Kye got out with a small scar but Galon was left in bad shape. The wounds had healed well but if anyone looked long enough they could see multiple scars on the red tail. Funny enough Galon wasn’t mad about his scaring. He was mad that they had hurt his sweet and perfect Kye.
Instead of sharing his story Galon turned and smiled at Yule. “There is no need to apologize. It is long in the past,” he said right as Yule ran into a wall.
Aedan heard a thunk and withheld a small chuckle because Kye had come into view and he was busy introducing his Uncle and his friend.
“You are welcome,” Kye said with a soft smile as he swam out of the room. Even though Galon was told to sit down he followed after his lover to help bring out breakfast. It was a lot of food since Galon didn’t like breakfast but it was enough to tide most over until lunch. Breakfast was mostly seaweed with some finely cut up fish. Kye even set out a bowl of seaweed without fish for Aedan. Soon enough the two returned to the small dining room and set everything down. Galon seated himself at the head of the table with Kye seated next to him. “Dig in. It’s seaweed with some fish,” Kye said as he began to serve Galon.
Aedan felt Yule’s tail brush against his own causing him to blush a bit. Kye and Galon weren’t gone long enough for Aedan to bring it up so he just silently sat there. It wasn’t like he disliked it. In fact he greatly enjoyed the gentle reminder that Yule was besides him. The only issue was Aedan grew up being taught that tails brushing against each other was an intimate thing that only mates did in privacy. Yet here was Yule, tail brushing against his, in his Uncle’s house. Aedan was warring with himself for a few moments before giving into what he really wanted to do. As he took his bowl he gently flicked his tail out against Yule’s as acknowledgment. It took all the years of training to be an effective Prince to keep him from blushing as a maiden.
“I’m glad you are liking the city. Do you have plans to stay here or are you going to continue exploring?” Galon asked as he began to eat.
Yule gulped as this older Mer was quick to point out that Cave Mer's don't tend to go out in open waters. Which was true. Though he looked to Aedan to see if the Cave Mer was trying to pull a fast one over him. Thank goodness Aedan had his back and confirmed he was telling the truth. Then Aedan confesses how Yule had saved him, though it was some giant squid. But this weight was lifted off Yule's chest when the older male believed them and ruffled Aedan's hair. Getting a nice laugh out of Yule, who thought it was rather funny.
Galon went on to welcome Yule to his two that doesn't have a name, and Yule just thought it was awesome how it was basically building it self it seems. It really was amazing. [b "I love it. It's like nothing I have seen or heard of."] He smiled warmly and spoke friendly to them. To add to more amusement and surprise to Yule's time here. Galan calls out to another, mentioning breakfast made Yule's stomach growl loudly in the room. [b "Ah, oh..sorry about that. I'm a little hungry. I don't mean to bother.] Though it was made clear he was no bother at all, so Yule bows out of respect.
Next, Galon wrapped an arm around Aedan's shoulders and yanked him along. Then apologized for being rude, cause the last CaveMer he met, was trying to kill him. This raised Yule's curiosity. For CaveMers didn't leave, not without the King knowing. Though maybe another snuck out like he did? But he swears, Cavemers love being Cavemers, that's how it always seemed. [b "Really?...I'm....sorry about that. I don't know why a Cavemer would be do that...with out...an order..."] He was so confused about what Galon had said, not paying attention and smacks face first into a wall [b "Ow."] He mumbled and rubbed his forehead as he follows inside the kitchen.
Then Yule met the other Mer in the kitchen and it was a male. And it was obvious they were mates. Their energy between the two, a fool wouldn't be able to tell. It was just something Yule has never seen before. Two males being open about it. Something about it was so, refreshing. Yule just gently smiled and shook the hand of his other host. [b "Thank you for the meal."] He was kind to the other and noticed his dark colors. Was he not a reef mer? Where was he from? There are so many other kingdoms and nations. Yule wants to see them all.
Next, he sat himself down next to Aedan and grinned at him a goofy smile as he sat at the table next to him. Under the table, he let his tail brush gently against Aedan's. Just wanting to, touch a him, even if it was only a little. Not sure why he wanted to, he just did. Then he would speak out to the others. [b "I really am loving the town. I love the stones the homes are made of. It's all so, different here. I love it."] Yule was all giddy and excited. Being out of those caves really have made him the happiest he's been in a long time.
Galon’s bushy red eyebrow arched as he turned his gaze over to his nephew. “Open waters? Cave Mers don’t tend to leave the caves,” he steadily said as his eyes remained on Aedan.
“He is telling the truth if that is what you are looking for Uncle Galon. We ran into each other on the other side of the gorge. Yule even saved me from an octopus a little bit later,” Aedan replied as he shifted uncomfortably. His Uncle’s gaze was always hard to be under. It was like he had the ability to tell when someone was lying and extract the truth. Aedan was never able to lie to Galon but it wasn’t like he was lying to begin with. He did run into Yule on the other side of the gorge and Yule did save his life.
Galon’s eyes softened and he ruffled Aedan’s hair. “Okay. I believe you. Welcome to my town. It doesn’t have a name and it’s become a running joke so it will probably never have a proper name,” Galon said as he looked back to Yule. Galon didn’t think that the town would ever be a town so he hadn’t named it. But soon one building became two, two became four, four became eight, and so forth. After so many years of the town being unnamed the occupants thought it funnier to keep it unnamed instead of name it. Galon was fine with that.
“Kye, darling, we have two guests for breakfast. If you could set up two extra places it would be appreciated,” Galon added over his shoulder. Further on the building a soft play could be heard.
Galon wrapper and arm around Aedan and gestured for Yule to follow. “I’m sorry for being rude. The last time I dealt with Cave Mers they were trying to kill me though it doesn’t excuse my rudeness,” He told Yule as he began to swim through the building.
Aedan followed closely at his Uncle’s side. He knew about Galon and his long but successful military career before his exile. He also knew that he Uncle wouldn’t hold any prejudice against Yule especially since what happened was far into the past. So he remained silent as they swam into the dinning room.
In the room was another Mer. He was similar to Aedan’s build but besides that he was greatly different. He had short dark black hair and piercing brown eyes. His tail was a plain shimmery blue and that was it. “Uncle Kye this is my friend Yule,” Aedan said upon catching sight of his Uncle’s mate. Aedan once more wiggles out from his Uncle’s grasp and went over to give Kye a hug.
“It’s nice to meet you Yule and good to see you again Aedan. Why don’t you three sit down while I grab the rest of breakfast,” he simply said.
Aedan nodded and swam to the low table. He sat down and patted the spot next to him for Yule to sit.
If it wasn't for the tight grip Aedan had on Yule's hand, the Cave mer would have swam all over and gotten himself lost. Surely. Yule just wanted to look at everything. The quick shortcut they took through some kind of market had his eyes staring at everything. Things he has never seen and he wanted know. To materials up here he has no idea what they are. Clothing, tools, food, just about anything and everything. He wanted to touch and explore.
It wasn't till they finally stopped and Yule could only assume it was because this was it. Where his Uncle was. The home was lovely. The stone was white but, shimmery a little. His free hand ran over the stone slowly as he touched and studied it. While the other hadn't let go of Aedan's hand. Not that he wanted too. It was a new sensation to him too. Holding a male's hand. Especially for this long. Yule liked more than he understood.
Yule listened closely when Aedan mentions to be mindful of his Uncle and Yule just chuckles. [b "That's no problem. Really."] He spoke then glances down when he felt Aedan let go of his hand. How had he grown so use so quickly to holding his hand? Why was it so magical so quickly? Not that he was given much time to think on it. For Aedan was leading him inside and calling out to his Uncle.
The Cave Mer was curious as to what his Uncle looked like. It wasn't long till he got his answers. A large brawly mer came out hugging Aedan quickly picking him and hugging him instantly. Yule couldn't help but laugh at the site. Aedan clearly hating it. Yule took mental notes for later.
Once Aedan was free and introductions were being made, Yule grinned and happily took the hand offered to him and shook Galon's hand firmly right back. Though his face went shocked when the older male called him out on being a Cave mer. Not that it was hard to figure out, he just hopped it wasn't that easy.
[b "Oh..Umm....we sort of just ran into each other out in the open waters."] He gulped growing a little worried that maybe Galon here wont be so accepting of his kind like Aedan and his brother were. Yule glanced to Aedan a little nervous like, wondering if maybe he might not be welcomed here after all.
Aedan kept a death grip on Yule’s hand as they got closer to town. He knew that Yule would be interested in the town, which was fine, but Aedan was on a mission. His mission was to remedy the fact that he didn’t feed Yule sooner as well as find some food for himself. Already he could feel his stomach churning and protesting in hunger. While it hadn’t been nearly as long as since Yule last ate Aedan was coming upon almost a day since he last had food. His last meal had been a late breakfast the day before. Between running off, the squid, and trying to sneak Yule our he hadn’t even thought about food. Until now.
“That makes sense. I can be somewhat picky but not as bad as some of my siblings,” he replied as the got closer to the inn. Aedan ate pretty much anything but he had a few hard no’s. His biggest no was shrimp. There was something about them that held no appeal to Aedan and he refused to even entertain the idea of eating them. He also wasn’t too fond of eating fish but would eat it.
Aedan glanced over at Yule as he laughed and smiled. His stomach did a few flip flops that weren’t hunger related. [i ‘He is so handsome,’] was the first thought to go through Aedan’s mind. It was also the first thought he dismissed. “Yes we will,” Aedan responded. They would make the best of what time they had.
The two of them made it pass the inn in no time and were slowly breaching the inner city. While the capital had been dead this city was all hustle and bustle as people scurried off to do their work. No one gave Aedan and Yule a secondary glance. Out here it was much easier to be royalty than it was in the capital. The capital was slow and lazy; they did absolutely nothing and were constantly worried about titles. Here no one gave two shits about titles. They only cared about furthering themselves and the community.
Soon enough Aedan found himself right outside a house that was in the dead center of town. It was larger than most of the homes that were within city limits but was also much smaller than the palace. “My Uncle, Galon, is kind of loud and boisterous. So be warned,” he said as he let go of Yule’s hand and knocked on the door.
“Come in!” A voice yelled.
Aedan took a deep breath and opened the door. “Uncle Galon. Uncle Kye. I brought a friend with me,” he called out as he went into the room.
Before Aedan could even get a foot into the living room a large burly mess of red sped out. Galon remained true to the royal coloring of the Reef’s royalty. His hair was a fiery red mess and his tail was bright red with some streaks of orange. Galon was also, according to Aedan, twice his size. This was showcased the moment Galon pulled Aedan into his arms for a hug and basically engulfed him.
It was only after a lot of wiggling did Aedan get free and swam back to Yule’s side. “Uncle Galon, this is my friend Yule. Yule this is my uncle,” Aedan said as he tried to fix his hair.
Galon looked Yule up and down before offering one of his large hands. “Yule. It’s nice to meet you. I would greatly appreciate if you could tell me how my nephew ended up running into a cave mer,” he calmly said.
The race idea had worked better than Yule thought, for it looked like he broke Aedan back there. With his sweet words back there. Seems the beauty had enjoyed them more than he could handle, and Yule liked that Aedan liked them. A lot.
Then he was informed that it was inn up ahead and that there are others in the little town. One of them will be Yule's new home while they figure out about where to put him or what else he wants to do up here outside of the caves. Which could be just about anything. From staying here close so Aedan could come visit. To traveling all of the waters. Learning about others. Seeing new Kingdoms and cities sounds amazing. Traveling sounds amazing. But Aedan was doomed to this marriage that he wants nothing to do with. Maybe he can somehow, help him out of it? Somehow?
Suddenly he felt a soft warm hand in his and Yule went wide eyed as he looked down to see it was Aedan's hand holding his. The other Mer didn't allow Yule to ask what was the hand holding. For Aedan was off giving him tour. HOlding his hand seems to be a means of keeping the wondering spirt close by. Though, Yule wasn't complaining. If fact, he thought they looked mighty cute holding hands. Sweet little Siren Aedan holding the big mean Cave Mer's hand. Surely would have turned heads. If looked like they were more serious than just two goofy friends. If Aedan knew Yule was a Prince, would things change? It didn't matter, what mattered getting some food.
[b "Mmm, I'll eat anything you put in front of me. I'm not picky. Cant be down there. You'll die if you're picky."] He chuckled and stared at the Inn as they swam past it. Thanks to Aedan holding his hand and forcing Yule to stay on track, he wasn't able to go peek in through the windows. He was only able to peek from out here as they swam past it. Hearing laughing and music. Loud talking and the clinks and clanks of people eating on plates and such. The male rubbed his stomach with his free hand.
[b "Alright, food then show me around before you leave. Got it. We will make the best of what time we have. I feel like that wont be a problem for us."] He laughed confidently with a smile to match.
A bright red blush crossed Aedan’s cheeks when Yule said that he was too precious to be down in the caves. Somehow Yule managed to send Aedan into a speechless state, again. The only sound coming from him was his spluttering when Yule took his hand and kissed it. The action was a chaste action at best but paired with Yule’s words bordered intimate. Just hearing Yule say he would follow Aedan anywhere caused his heart hammer in chest. Aedan couldn’t find the right words to say to that. He scoured his brain for what felt like eternity and he couldn’t find a single word that perfectly described what he wanted to tell Yule. Even if he did find a word his mouth was not cooperating. Thankfully Poseidon took pity on him and challenged him to a race.
Yule ultimately won the race because Aedan’s mind took a few moments to restart. As he swam not too far behind Aedan came upon a realization. He was forming a crush on Yule. This knowledge should have been evident since the moment he said he would follow Yule to the caves but it hadn’t been. His mind and heart hadn’t completely caught up to each other at the time. Now they were back in sync and Aedan marveled at this new knowledge. Most importantly he didn’t know what to do with it. He was to be married to some stranger and Yule was also nothing more than a stranger. They had only met the day before! Yet here Aedan was, risking the wrath of his father, to sneak Yule out of the capital city and somewhere safe.
Thankfully the town was near by because Aedan couldn’t take any more musing or foreign emotions.
“It isn’t much but I’m glad you like it. The city is barely older than me and his a much smaller population than the capital. But it is a cozy town,” he softly said. It wasn’t as colorful as the capital but it had its own character. Aedan’s uncle had painstakingly planned out the city to be what he had wanted and had used what material he had available. Due to his Uncle’s never ending work the city was becoming a prosperous mecca for the Reef capital’s outcasts.
A large smile settled on his lips as Yule spun around excitedly. Aedan really wanted to know where the other Mer got all his energy! Aedan didn’t even need to look to know what building Yule was curious about. “It is an inn. I think the city has a total of three. I’m hoping that the inn closes to my Uncle’s home has some availability so you have somewhere to stay until we can find you a home,” he replied. His Uncle lived in the center of the town and was willing to help anyone who needed it. Aedan didn’t foresee any problems with Yule finding a place within the city. “Let’s get to my Uncle’s first and then we get food and explore. I have a few hours before I have to go home,” He added as he swam up to Yule and took his hand. Aedan told himself that the hand holding was to keep Yule from wandering and less because he wanted to hold his hand. If asked that would be his story too!
The Cave Mer was running his hands through the soft sands up here, picking up a gem of some sort after he expressed he didn't want to go back. Mid way through lifting up the soft blue gem, he heard Aedan share that he didn't want Yule to go. For he would have to follow and laugh at himself lightly thinking he wouldn't make it down there.
Aedan's words had taken Yule by surprise. That sentence having much meaning. Yule's eyes had widened a bit as he looked, well surprised and flattered. No one has ever said they would follow him anywhere. Not, like that. Sure his armies did. But they were loyal to the royal family. Those words replayed in his head as he saw how innocently sweet Aedan looked. Seeming to be surprised that even he said that. Yule couldn't lie to himself no more. There was surely going on here. Right? They just met, would they really be able to tell?
So he didn't make things awkward, Yule's express softened and his eyes seemed to glow with admiration for the other mermaid before him. [b "I wouldn't plan on ever taking you down there. You're too precious for down there. That world is corruption. The Caves don't deserve you Aedan."] Yule dropped the stone down into the sand and flew up rather close to the pale beauty before him. Once he was close enough he took Aedan's left hand and lifted it up to kiss his hand sweetly. Letting his lips touch the back of his hand gently, followed by lifting his head and letting their eyes meet for a bit. Then topped it all off with this relaxed glaze to his eyes and charming smile. [b "I would be more than pleased to go anywhere with you though. Anywhere but there."]
If his father was to see this, or his son talking like this. His father would have a heart attack. For one, Yule was basically being a traitor for abandoning his Kingdom and Throne. Second, he was saying these things to a male. His father would kill him for that alone. But his father wasn't here and he was never going back. He thinks he could maybe have a life up here with Aedan, even if it meant just friends. For the beautiful Reef Mer was to be married after all.
When their little moment faded, due to Yule challenging Aedan to race him and stuck his tongue out playfully. Causing them to rush into a race. Aedan said it was a straight shot after all.
This was probably leading into the most amazing day of his life, and it got even better when Aedan points out the town up ahead. There it was, the town. Off in the distance. Right away Yule noticed it wasn't as colorful as Aedan's home. But that didn't make any less beautiful! It was still amazing! Made with wonderful stones of the ocean floor. [b "WOW! My kingdom is made from stones too! But these are up here in the light! I had no idea there was such rocks up here too!"] Once again his face was lighting up with excitement! His tail would flick with too much joy and he was pumped up for an adventure. [b "Lets go! Lets go! I want to see others. I want to see yet another civilization!"] He spun around to face Aedan quickly then back forward once again. Now noticing a building coming up first. [b "Ooo! What's that place!?"] For someone so hungry, he seems to have endless energy.
Aedan smiled at Yule as he apologized for something that wasn’t his fault at all. “No need to apologize, Yule. Emiyn and I have argued since the moment he could talk. He likes to mother me even when he was little and I was the one watching him,” He said his head cocking to the side as he thought about how Yule said he hadn’t had siblings in awhile. He could guess what happened to them but he figured it was better not to. “I think Emiyn and I argue the most but we are also the closes,” he added as reassurance to Yule.
Even though Yule said it was fine and that he hadn’t been hungry Aedan still felt bad. He let his pain cloud his mind and failed to take care of his friend. At least the swim to the next city wasn’t too long. Yule’s hunger would be addressed soon enough.
Normally Aedan took this trip in silence but he found having a companion with him was pleasurable. He loved the interest Yule had in ever little thing that Aedan took for granted. Anytime Yule stopped to marvel at something Aedan wouldn’t be far. Seeing Yule happy and excited was much more adorable than baby seahorses. Just seeing Yule so happy made his stomach churn with joy. “I’m glad you don’t want to go back. I would have to follow you there and I don’t think I would last long in the caves,” he said without a thought.
His words gave Aedan some pause. Would he willingly follow Yule to the caves to live with him? Probably. Though his chance for survival would be bordering one none. He couldn’t fight, he could see shit in the dark, and he wasn’t a female so he couldn’t provide Yule with heirs. He would be useless there. From what little information Aedan had gleaned from Yule being useless was somewhat frowned upon but he would still follow.
Shaking his head he looked off to the distance. Not too far was another set of building on the horizon. “Look Yule we are almost there,” Aedan said. He could just make out a handful of buildings and from knowing the town he could tell that the first of the buildings was an inn.
Yule winced with one eye shut seeing the brothers still picker and saw Emiyn poke at Aedan's back. Aware that must have hurt still. Sure he helped healed it up faster, but it was still healing. None the less. He was actually thankful to his stomach changing the subject and to speed up the process of them getting on out of here. [b "It was nice to meet you too. I hope to maybe be allowed to see you again too."] He gave a nod and little wave to the younger brother leaving. To only then swim next to Aedan closely as it was finally time for the two of them to get a move on.
[b "I'm sorry I got you two fighting. I shouldn't have teased along about you not being able to fight. That was rude of me. You two always bicker? I haven't had a sibling in years and even then, we were years apart."] He wanted to talk on this trip. It will make the thirty minutes go by much faster for sure. [b "And don't sweat about not getting food last night. I was still on a high from that squid fight. So I wasn't even aware that I was hungry then. But now, that I'm not doing anything. Oh yes, I feel it now."] Yule pats his stomach and keeps a friendly smile on his lips. In hopes to lighten his new friend's mood.
The swim went fast enough with the two of them talking. Though now and then Yule couldn't help but stop and look at shells and the wild life. He still cant believe how up here feels like a whole different world from where he was from. [b "I'm never going back home. Never. How could I ever return to those dark caves? Up here, everything is so alive."] He spoke as he looked at some giant shell in his hands, all the while following Aedan.
“Alright be safe on your way back and come back before dinner. Dad said the council meeting will be starting after dinner,” Emiyn said as they stopped on the outskirts of town.
Aedan was rolling his eyes as he brother continued to give him a per-departure brief. Anytime Emiyn was assigned to guard him it normally ended in a long briefing about safety. Ever. Single. Time. A small sigh left his lips as he crossed his arms. “Emiyn I'm ninety-nine percent sure I'm the older one and don't need to hear about safety every single time an arms length away from you.”
Emiyn fiery red eyebrow shot up as he grabbed Aedan's shoulder and spun his around. Without a thought he poked on of the angry red marks on Aedan's back, causing him to hiss. “What were you saying Aedan? Being older means nothing. You are like a newborn seahorse with the inability to truly protect yourself but the ability, and luck, to find trouble.”
Aedan spun out of Emiyn grasp and glared at his brother for poking his back. His back hadn't hurt at all but him poking around at his back was not appreciated. Now it hurt. At least Yule chimed in talking about how he couldn't wait to explore. Sending a glare at Emiyn he turned all his attention back to Yule, even floating closer to him. “I can't wait to show you. The Reef Kingdom is vast and there is a lot to see. Thankfully it is relatively safe too and I don't need to have a safety brief to swim our perimeter,” Aedan said tossing the last part of his sentence to Emiyn, who he continued to glare at.
Only Yule's growling stomach broke Aedan's glaring at his brother. “I'm so sorry Yule! I should have gotten something to eat from the kitchens last night,” He apologized. After being slammed into multiple rock faces yesterday he had completely forgotten that food existed. “I'm sure Uncle will let us raid his pantry,” He added as he too noticed the mother and child.
“Be safe Aedan and it was nice meeting you Yule. I hope I see you soon,” He said as he took the helmet and cloak from Yule.
A soft sigh left Aedan's lips as his brother swam off. “Alright. Lets get going so we can get something in your belly. It is about half an hour swim to hit the outskirts of my Uncle's city,” He said as he gestured for Yule to follow him.
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