And the camping trip had been going so well.
‘AGHHHH,’ screamed Simon.
‘AGHHHH,’ screamed Whippet, as he clung to a slippery plank. ‘We’re all going to die!’
‘Nobody’s going to die,’ said Lucy, hanging beside Whipped, gripping on to the edge of a dangling plank by her right hand, ‘but the next few minutes are going to be a little adventurous.’
“I focused on him. Everything still seemed blurry, but he was close enough that I could see him. He was completely soaked. His jeans, shoes, jacket, and shirt. He was just as wet as I was. His normally messy blond hair was darker and flat to his head from the weight of the water.
Dark shadows haunted his eyes and his lips were pale from the cold.
“You jumped in after me,” I whispered.
“I’d jump into the pits of hell for you, Rim.”
“You know I was never very good with violence.”
“But you’re a ninja,” said Tia.
“Ninja-slash-thief,” he replied. “Not ninja-slash-assassin. Similar basic training, but entirely different specializations. I don’t fight my way out of trouble. I disappear.”
“That’s probably why they sent a ninja-slash-assassin to keep you from doing that.”
Marvin moved to Alec’s side. After a quick hug and a whispered reassurance from his mate, the merman was all bright smiles and warm, welcoming chatter. It was artifice, but Marvin was good at being charming, especially when nervous or under threat. In merfolk, charm was a survival trait. Luring sailors to their deaths using beauty and siren song wasn’t all mythology. Marvin had simply moved onto luring locals to barbecues using throwing pillows and canapés. Everyone needs a hobby.