“Hey Sweets.” Gabby looked up at the mellow tenor of her boyfriend's voice.
“Jace! I’m so glad you could make it!” She jumped up to give him a quick k*ss on the cheek. Jace brushed her curly red hair back from her face, his own obsidian black hair blowing around his head like a mop. Jace held her hand as they sat back down on the sand. Gabby had invited him to come to the beach with her family for the day. Jace had had work that day, so he had flown to meet them for the afternoon.
“I love this place here.” He said settling down on his back and closing his eyes.
“Hey lovebirds,” Gabby’s father, Jason, called. “Anyone want to go out to the reef?” Gabby jumped up.
“Yes!” Jace followed her quickly. The waves were tall, but Jason guided them out and past without any trouble.
“Can I tell you a secret?” Jace whispered, leaning close to Gabby, causing butterflies to flare up in her stomach. She felt her face go red when her father coughed loudly.
“Yeah.” She looked up at her boyfriend, who stood confidently beside her, like a lookout. He gave her an embarrassed smile.
“I don’t know how to swim.” Gabby cracked up laughing, it was hard not to.
“Really? You're an elite fighter and a dragon, and you can’t swim?” She giggled. He nodded a rakish grin on his sharp features.
“I can doggy paddle.” He offered, which caused her to lose it again. He hugged her from behind rocking back and forth slightly with the rolling of the boat.
“It won’t be that bad.” She promised, as her father docked the boat. “I’ll teach you.”
“Careful kids, winds getting hard, maybe a storm.” Jason called. Gabby dove over the edge of the boat. Jace dropped in beside her and floated. For the next hour, Gabby taught him some general strokes, before they dove down to see the reef. By now the waves were high, but as long as they were under water, it didn’t bother them. But Jace made the mistake of swimming by the rocks. When he surfaced for air, a tall wave smashed him into a rock. He transformed into a dragon and sank, knocked unconscious. Gabby swam after the huge body transforming herself into a mermaid. She hadn’t told Jace yet. She shook his huge head as they sank lower.
“Jace, turn into a human!” She screamed at him. His eyes fluttered slightly, but his body responded, becoming human again. She caught him and plowed towards the surface. Jace ruled the sky, she ruled the sea. Gabby’s momentum carried her completely out of the water, and she shot into the sky. Her father waved. She frantically pointed to land, then swam for it, dragging Jace’s body with her. Her tail was like a torpedo. Two waves sprawled up on either side of her, reaching at least six feet in height. When she reached land, she dragged him onto the beach. Her father was on his way.
“Hands up mermaid.” Gabby gasped and reeled backwards, awkward on land with her lovely metallic gold tail. Three men stood in front of her guns pointed at her. Gabby sat sprawled between Jace and the men, frozen. “You’re coming with us. No silly moves now, come nice and slow.” Gabby began inching towards them. Fear flaring up in her gut.
“No.” A voice growled from behind her. Gabby didn’t dare turn around. The men’s faces looked like grey putty. The ground shook, then two huge armored and talloned paws hit the ground on either side of her. “You want my girl? Fight me.” Gabby stared up at Jace. He was in battle mode, spines flared, and his mouth and throat glowing from the fire brewing inside him. Every crack in his smooth scaly plates began to glow red orange as a low, blood boiling growl slithered from his throat. Someone grabbed her arms and dragged her back. Gabby looked up, terrified for a second. Her father pulled her away from the danger zone. Her attackers were slowly backing away.
“We got the message big guy, we’re going.”
“If this happens again, I will track you, and make your life very unpleasant.” Black Dragon snarled. They nodded and fled. Jace collapsed, turning human and coughing up water. Gabby ran to him, now human. With her father’s directions, she performed CPR till he was breathing easily. Jace sat up and hugged her.
“I love you Gabby.” She hugged him back fiercely. Tears forming in her eyes as she clutched him.
“I love you Jace.”