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From Tidal Wave Vivian Arend 2008

Alexia waited as long as she could before struggling, pushing away to reach the air she needed as stars appeared in front of her eyes. A tinge of fear shivered up her spine. Why was Anthony not helping her? His hand cupped her neck, keeping her mouth open on his and suddenly her cheeks puffed out like a balloon.

If it were possible she would have laughed. It took a few tries to coordinate the timing but eventually she realized if she breathed normally, her mouth sealed to Anthony’s, his body provided the oxygen for them both.

They dropped to the ocean floor, the current wiggling them back and forth gently. It was awkward to look around plastered to Anthony. She took a deep breath and pulled away, her fingers clinging to his arm to keeping him near enough that as soon as she needed more air it was simple to touch mouths and breathe in.

Alexia wished she had a pair of goggles. The blur of the water continued and she blinked hard at the sting of the salt. Suddenly it felt like she blinked and when she opened her eyes the watery world around them had turned crystal clear. She turned to Anthony and looked carefully at his face. His eyes sparkled back at her from behind a thin membrane, like a set of clear eyelids and she realized her body had changed.

Shit, it was true. She was going to be able to turn into something not human. She pointed toward the surface and Anthony nodded. He gave her a final breath of air and swam them upward with an easy dolphin kick, his strong body holding her close.

As their heads broke the surface Alexia let out a shriek, threw her arms in the air and splashed the water around them like a little child in a puddle.

“Holy cow, I could see you! As clear as if I was above water, Anthony. I could see you!” She hugged him hard and they both submerged under the next wave as it broke over their heads.

Alexia surfaced sputtering and spitting, Anthony supporting her head and letting her catch her breath. “You asshole, stop laughing at me.”

He brushed a hand over her cheek. “I’m thrilled, Alexia, but it seems you still need to work on the breathing water bit.”

She stuck out her tongue before lying back on the surface, her heart pounding. It was really true. Her mind spun with excitement. She pulled up to tread water again, grabbing Anthony’s arm. “Show me your dolphin.” He raised a brow and she bit her lip. She must have come across like a bossy child, and that’s not what she intended. “Please?”

He nodded. “Remember, the best way to ride is to hang onto my dorsal fin. And don’t go sticking your fingers in my blow hole—that’s kind of like sticking your finger up my nose and it’s not very polite.”

Alexia squirted water at him.

“Be careful, sweetheart. I have a bigger water pistol than you do.” He kissed her one last time, his lips clinging to her mouth before backing away to tread water from five feet away.

She watched closely, but she missed the actual moment of his change. One minute she stared at his sparkling green eyes and beautiful smile, the next—he was a sleek grey dolphin, his head hovering at the surface of the water. His smile changed appearance but still warmed her heart.

He moved forward, bumping softly into her side. Alexia slid her arms over his skin, marveling at how soft he was. She took a slow swim around him as he bobbed up and down in the water, rubbing his fins, sliding her hands over his wide torso. She tread water in front of him and brushed her hands over his nose and up his sloped forehead all the while marveling this was Anthony. She swam to the side to look into his eyes, seeing there the intelligence and patience she’d seen in the man.

He lifted his head and dropped under the waves, returning to her side slowly. Alexia reached for his dorsal fin and hung on. The smoothness of his swimming made it easy to cling to him as he kept her head above the water.

Together they flew.

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mamasand2

Viv, I adore the sound and the feel of this excerpt. It ‘hooked’ me and then ‘reeled’ me right in.

Sandie

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