Since I'm in the middle of writing it now, I thought I'd throw an excerpt up for you guys, since I've been getting a lot of emails about the second book. And check back regularly-- I'll be popping excerps up regularly in the next few weeks as I write :)
Have a great weekend!
I swam even closer. I didn’t know what I was doing now, what I was thinking. All I knew was that I couldn’t resist the sweet, dangerous siren’s song of the shore. Not this time. Not right now.
I was almost there now, was so close that my toes brushed against the ocean’s floor even with my head above water. The cold squickiness of the sand squished beneath my toes as the waves crashed against my shoulders. It was all I could do to keep my balance against the raging of the early morning ocean. I stumbled under the onslaught, nearly fell, and that’s when I figured out what I had done.
For the first time ever, I had changed without conscious thought. For the first time ever, my tail had effortlessly become legs again. Despite all of the powers my mother had handed down to me, shifting had never come easy to me. Moving between human and mermaid form usually took long, agonizing minutes.
Kona told me it was normal, as did my queen and many, many others. They assured me that, with time and practice, it would get easier—and faster. What would they say now, I wondered as I stumbled towards shore. Would they be proud of my instantaneous change, or alarmed by it?
I didn’t know, and as voices rang through the air for the first time, I didn’t care. They had come.
At first I couldn’t see anyone, could only hear them. A laugh, a shout, the excited murmur of people about to do what they loved. But I knew those voices, those laughs. They belonged to—
Scooter strolled across the sand, his beloved surfboard under his arm and his crazy hair blowing in the soft wind.
Tony came next, his dark skin shimmering in the early morning sunlight.
Then Bach and Logan, my best buds from my former life.
But even as my lips curved in response to the huge grin on Logan’s face, I was searching for him. My eyes combed the sand while every cell in my body strained that last little distance towards the shore.
There! There he was! A little late, a little rumpled, he was bringing up the rear and closing fast the gap between him and the others.
A shudder worked its way through me when I allowed myself to finally think his name. I’d put him out of my mind for all these long months, refusing to dwell on what we’d had—what we’d lost. Or, more precisely, what I’d thrown away. But now he was here, right in front of me, and I could barely catch my breath.
The board in his hands was new—and sweet—but everything else about him was exactly as I remembered.
Same wild, blond hair.
Same warm brown eyes.
Same strong jaw and broad, well-muscled chest beneath his favorite electric green wetsuit.
Same wicked grin.
I felt myself melt at the sight of it, was surprised I didn’t turn into a puddle and mix right into this ocean that had taken so much from me. And given me so much, I reminded myself. The ocean had given me everything these last months—as had Kona. But never had it been so hard to remember that, when my sight and my heart and my very soul were filled with Mark and the others.
I took a deep breath and could almost smell the sweet, musky scent of him. I longed for it, as I longed—in those moments—for the feel of his arms around me.
Would it ever go away? I asked myself bitterly. Would these feelings I had for him ever disappear completely? Or was I stuck with them forever? Mark had been such a big part of my life for so long that there was a part of me—even after all these months—that felt empty without him. Incomplete. Like a surfer without a board, an ocean without a shore.
Without making a conscious decision to do it, I moved even closer. Not so close that I could hear what they were saying but close enough that I could get a good look at Mark’s gorgeous face.
Like the rest of him, it was exactly as I recalled.
As the days and weeks and months had passed, I’d expected him to fade from my memory, until he became nothing more than a boy I used to know.
Until I couldn’t remember how he looked.
Or how he tasted.
Or how his hands—rough and calloused-- used to feel on my back when he pulled me close and murmured that he loved me.
That hadn’t happened. Instead, everything about him had grown clearer in my memory, like it had been minutes and not months since I’d last set eyes on him.
God, I’d missed him. The thought I had held at bay for far too long came crashing down on me like a tsunami. Missed him so much that I ached with it.
It was stupid, ridiculous, wrong.
I closed my eyes as I berated myself, unable to look at Mark any longer. I’d made my choice, after all. Long before we had officially broken up, long before I had returned to the ocean to carry on my mother’s duty, I had chosen Kona. Beautiful, wonderful Kona, whose eyes were so deep and dark that I could drown in them. Whose smile wasn’t wicked but sweet, whose scent wasn’t dark and musky but clean and fresh like a summer sea.
And Mark had made his choice as well—a cheerleader, for God’s sake—as different from me as he could have possibly gotten. No matter what I had told him, no matter what I had told myself, it had been a slap in the face.
I held on to that thought, and the emotions it brought back, in an attempt to ground myself. To focus. I didn’t belong here, didn’t belong with Mark anymore than he belonged out at sea with me. I needed to remember that.
I would remember that.
Filled with determination and a renewed sense of purpose for the life I had chosen, I opened my eyes. Searched the sand for one last glimpse of my friends as I prepared myself to go back where I belonged. But as I scanned the beach, memorizing the tableau they all made standing there, Mark turned … and looked straight at me.
Our eyes locked—across the wide swath of sand, across the endless yards of ocean—and I saw his beloved chocolate brown ones widen in shock. For long seconds, he didn’t move and neither did I. And then he was tossing his surfboard on the ground and running straight into the water.
Straight to me.
So, what do you think?