Episode Four: Cat Among the Pigeons (1.4)

Last time on Mermaid Bachelorette, Callum was sent home after failing to click with Amira. Now that only six contestants are left, things are starting to get heated…

After the elimination, it was a ‘free day’, according to the tinny voice in the speakers that had woken them up that morning. The contestants and Amira could do as they wanted for the day, which Amira supposed was a good thing. Giving them time to think and recover after an elimination was, on paper, a good idea.

However, Amira woke up early, and wandered out onto the deck of the house. She felt bad for how things had turned out, and she really did wish Callum the best. She just hadn’t been able to feel a connection with him.

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She also knew the eliminations would only get harder from here on out as she got closer and closer to each contestant. It wasn’t going to be easy.

“Well, these are…”

“Delicious!” Zissy chimed in, before Ursula could finish her sentence. “Tofu dogs for breakfast! I must be in heaven.”

“What were you doing up early enough to make breakfast for all of us?” Ursula asked, quietly, while Zissy tucked in. Skye approached the table at that moment, and Amira just looked away, an expression of guilt on her face.

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Skye took a bite, not expecting much from the veggie food, but pleasantly surprised.

“These are…actually pretty good.” Skye smiled at Amira. “I guess we can add ‘good cook’ to your list of attractive qualities.”

“Oh, thank you!” Amira blushed slightly. “My mother taught me a few tricks in the kitchen, although a lot of it has to do with condiments.”

Zissy smiled down the table as well. “I think it’s wonderful you can cook such beautiful vegetarian meals. We’ll have to get together and cook one sometime?”

Behind them, Scorpius hesitated. He’d wanted to join Amira, but Skye and Zissy had been circling each other like cats last night and it looked like it was still going on.

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“So, Amira…mind telling me where you got that amazing dress?” Ursula asked, changing the subject smoothly.

“Oh, I actually brought it with me. My mother likes traditional dress, so it was a present a couple of years ago. She’s got a good eye, don’t you think?”

“Uh, yeah. You looked like a million dollars!” Ursula seemed impressed. “I mean, I thought we pulled out all the stops, but your wardrobe’s seriously impressive.”

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“Some of it is down to the show,” Amira said, shyly. “They told me to bring a few nice outfits, and I…well, I did.”

“I’m with Ursula on the dress. I can’t wait to see what you pull out of the hat for the next ceremony.” Skye winked.

Shiro came into the kitchen followed by Scorpius, and unseen by the girls, Shiro gave Scorpius a silent thumbs up before sitting down at the end of the table with a book.

“Well, I’d better go get started on my Sunday yoga,” Zissy said, breezily. “I need to centre my energy a little.”

“Cool beans!” Scorpius said, happily. “See you later, Zee.”

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And so, the various contestants started their day, busying themselves with various hobbies.

Zissy practiced her yoga, trying to keep her inner peace and focus on herself. It helped that the mansion came with a spacious gym that looked out over a natural view of Sulani.

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Ursula, on the other hand, was working hard on her chess moves. She wondered if Arhun would be up for a game, but then he seemed to be a little shy. She was sad, if she was truthful, that Callum was gone, as they’d gotten along quite well due to his easy-going nature, but she had simply hugged him and given him her number to keep in contact. She wasn’t really the sort of person to cry over spilled milk.

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Shiro, having helped Scorpius navigate breakfast, was relaxing out in the water on one of the floats. The sound of the waves gently pushing against it soothed him, as did the warmth of the Sulani sunshine. It really was beginning to feel more and more like home here.

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All in all, things were going pretty well up until Skye and Zissy were in the living room together and Zissy decided to try and talk to Skye about how everything was going.

“Skye, I thought we should have an honest chat about our feelings, seeing as how we’re the top two contestants at the minute.” She gave Skye a raised eyebrow. “It’d be silly to have unspoken bad blood between us.”

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Oh, hell no.

“Zissy, I know you think this is a good thing to do, but I am not going to have a talk about our feelings with you.” She couldn’t stop a little disdain from entering her voice.

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“I think it would be a good idea, Skye! I mean, otherwise we’ll get competitive, and it could get pretty ugly. I won the first challenge, and you received the first rose, so it’s natural to feel some resentment. As long as we talk it out, we should be alright.” Zissy smiled innocently. “Don’t you think?”

“No, I don’t think!”

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The vehemence in Skye’s voice seemed to shock Zissy, who leaned back from the now fuming Skye.

“I told you I didn’t want to talk! Some resentment? The only resentment I have is with how you seem to think it’s okay to badger me like this, or the fact that you thought it would be okay to ask me to even do something like that, or maybe even the way you think it’s alright to interrupt people when they’re talking with Amira! But you’re so focused on what you think should happen that you’re not thinking about…” Skye trailed off. “You know what, I’m not even going to apologise for that, because you wanted to know my feelings, and my feelings are that you’re a pretty selfish person, Zissy.”

Me?!”

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Arhun had wanted to come in to watch some TV, but the sound of raised voices had him hurrying in trying not to catch the girls’ eyes.

“Me, selfish? Do you know how much I do for the planet, for the environment?”

“Oh, how could I not? It’s all you talk about!” Skye rolled her eyes. “Like it’ll make any of us step back and humbly let you win!”

“Like you could ever be humble!” Zissy was really riled up. “I really have been trying to like you, Skye, but you make it super hard!”

You were the one that started it!” Skye was painfully aware of how childish it sounded to say that.

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For a moment, Zissy seemed cowed, but she soon recovered.

“I started trying to clear the air, and I won’t have my actions taken out of context. You’ve been hostile to me since Day One, and I think my positive energy threatens you, because you know that your negative energy isn’t something people like!”

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Yikes. That cut hard. Skye tried very hard not to let the hurt show on her face, but luckily for her, Zissy decided to try to appeal to Arhun.

“Arhun, tell her! Tell her that she’s being hostile!”

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Arhun sighed. He really had not wanted to get involved – he’d seen enough of this sort of catfighting behaviour before, and he’d not been wanting to see it again, but he stepped between the two girls.

“Tell her she can shove her energy right up her ass!” Skye interjected, before he could speak. Zissy shrieked angrily.

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Arhun smiled awkwardly. “Ladies, please don’t–”

Zissy cut him off. “You’re the worst! I’m done trying to get through your negative energy. You’re all negative!”

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With that, she swept out of the room, as much as one can sweep in a bikini. Skye blinked a tear back, and turned to Arhun.

“Thanks for having my back, Arhun.”

“No problem. You had mine on Day One, remember?”

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While Skye recovered, Arhun sighed. “Besides, I don’t think she was in the right to push you like that. It just sounded to me like she was angry at you.”

“She said she wanted us to talk about our feelings because we were the top two contestants. Apparently her going on the date and my getting the rose mean we’re the top, but…Honestly.”

“Huh. Maybe she was angry you got the rose first, then.” Arhun sighed. “I think she needs to figure things out for herself. Maybe she’s not used to being angry on her own behalf.”

“Whatever it is, I don’t want her talking to me like that again. Ugh, and we share a room. She shivered. “Tonight’s going to be awful.”

“Maybe she’ll calm down?” Arhun suggested, weakly. “Or I could room with Scorpius for the night, and you could stay in my bed.”

“That’s….really sweet.” She smiled at him. “Thanks, Arhun.”

 

Zissy’s mood didn’t improve, unfortunately, and some of that anger seemed to have settled on Arhun. When he walked into the living room, she stopped what she was doing to glare at him before sweeping out.

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“Oof. How’d you upset the princess?” Ursula asked, looking amused.

“Well, uh, she and Skye were having a fight, and she asked me to tell Skye that she was wrong, and I stepped between them. I believe most conflicts have…logical resolutions.” He looked between Shiro and Ursula, both of whom gave him slightly pitying looks.

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“Zissy…I haven’t seen this side of her before.” Shiro shook his head. “I think she and Skye make each other pretty volatile.”

“They’re oil and water, of course they do.” Ursula waved a hand. “Honestly, Arhun, why not let them fight it out?”

“Because Zissy was getting pretty nasty, and Skye isn’t a bad person.” Arhun sighed. “I think Zissy thought she’d get the first rose.”

“Let’s be honest though, we all thought that. She just shouldn’t have banked on it.” Ursula seemed very relaxed, and it somehow made Arhun less nervous. “They were clashing since Day One, and this won’t be the last time they argue unless one of them goes in the next round. We just have to be more prepared next time.”

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“Shiro?” Arhun looked to the other man. “What do you think?”

Shiro sighed. “I’ve seen enough of this sort of thing to know that this isn’t going to be the last of it. Ursula’s right. We can step in if it gets too bad, but this was brewing from the start. Either they’ll get over it or they won’t. And besides, Zissy being upset with you will fade. It’s Skye she’s got a bone to pick with.”

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“I…offered up my room to Skye for tonight,” Arhun admitted. “I thought that if they were in a room together, I could sleep on one of the sofas and give them each some more space.” Not that he was really, well, a sleeper, but no need to go into that.

“Well, that at least is a pretty good idea.” Ursula sighed. “Wasn’t looking forward to sharing a room with that hot mess of a situation.”

 

“So…” Scorpius sat down with his sandwich next to Shiro. “I never got to hear about how your date went!”

“Oh, man, it was amazing.” Shiro smiled widely at him. “Don’t think I could have done it without you cheering me on, but I took her to the art gallery in San Myshuno, and we just had the best time. She’s got this real love of colours, so I got to show her all my favourite paintings.”

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“That sounds like a classy date.” Scorpius was impressed. Shiro had seemed so closed off and shy at the beginning, but he really seemed to be blossoming now.

“Yeah! Although I heard you guys went swimming, so I’m guessing she loved that.”

“It was amazing, dude.” Scorpius smiled at his fellow contestant. “She’s a fast swimmer, and it was nice to see her in the water. She’s really something.”

“Talking of really something, Zissy and Skye had it out,” Shiro said, quietly. “Arhun ended up breaking it up, but they’re both pretty…mad right now.”

“Oh…” Scorpius shook his head. “I would have thought talking things out would help matters?”

“More shouting than talking, I think. Arhun said they were fighting.”

Scorpius looked down at his plate. He really didn’t like conflict. Perhaps he could go have a talk with Zissy.

 

“She is so… so….Ugh!” Skye raised a fist to hit the punchbag, while Arhun sat behind her on the meditation stool. He had suggested she work off some of her remaining anger, and to her surprise, yelling while punching the bag seemed to actually help.

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“I agree that she may have overstepped some boundaries.” Arhun sighed. “Zissy is still a fellow contestant though, and you’ll be living in the same house.”

“I know.” Skye aimed another punch at the bag. “I just have to try and not let her get to me. But I know she thinks I’m beneath her!”

“To be fair, you don’t know exactly what anyone’s thinking.” Arhun sighed. “Focus on your punches. Make them as good as you can. Controlling your anger is the first step to letting it go.”

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Skye sighed. “Alright. One more round.”

 

Scorpius found Zissy out on the deck, sitting at the chess table and looking quite sorry for herself.

“Zissy…” He sat down with her. “I know I’m the last person who should butt in, but I heard about what happened.”

“She’s so negative.” Zissy turned her head away. “I can’t deal with someone that negative.”

“No one is entirely negative. Besides, I know who you are. You’ve dealt with a lot of people and fought past a lot of things for the sake of the environment. But this environment is important too.”

“Which one?”

“The house. It has its own energy, and right now it’s not great. Sometimes, you have to learn to get along with people rather than trying to…” He trailed off. “Well, did you want to talk about it?”

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“I wanted…to clear any resentment between us.” Zissy looked down. “And she acted like I’d done something wrong!”

“Well…” Scorpius sighed. “I’m sure going over the fight too much won’t help, but if you try to get along with her, I’m sure that she’ll appreciate it in the end. Putting in the effort makes a lot of difference, and understanding others goes a long way.”

“Is that why you came to talk to me?” Zissy asked. “To understand?”

“Part that, and part wanting to help you understand. Skye has her boundaries, and you’re a very open person. You need to understand her. Understanding others is just as important as your connection to the earth.” He shook his head. “It’s probably silly, but we’re all on this planet together.”

“No, I get that! It’s…It’s just hard when you come up against someone who doesn’t get you.” Zissy smiled at him. “But thanks, Scorpius. I mean it.” She squeezed his hand across the table, and then stood up, heading inside.

(Shiro belongs to 15aewar, Ursula belongs to VanPelt81, Skye belongs to Irishsong, Zissy belongs to marryacheesecake, Arhun belongs to Butterfreeguy, and Scorpius belongs to INFINILoki! And as always, Amira belongs to me!)

Episode Three: The First Rose (1.3)

Welcome back to Mermaid Bachelorette! Today, our lovely Bachelorette will be going on a date with every contestant, and at the end of the day, one will be sent home. Who will go – and who will make a splash?

As Day Three rolled around, everyone was excited and nervous. While Zissy had a head start, none of the rest had been on a proper date with Amira yet, and in addition, they would be going to the places they’d put down on the application as their ideal date spot. Although each date was going to be short, they knew it had to make an impression, as today also held the first elimination.

First up was Scorpius, who met Amira at a popular beach in Sulani.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of outfit changes today,” she joked, smiling at him. “So…we haven’t really had the chance to talk much.”

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“I guess we haven’t!” He laughed. “Sorry about that. It’s just been amazing already, coming to the mansion and meeting so many new people. Can you blame me for saving the best until last?”

He was rewarded with a shy smile. Amira, he thought privately, was very pretty when flustered.

“Besides, you’ll love it here. It’s a real popular spot among mermaids and humans alike. Have you ever been before?”

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“I think when I was younger?” She looked around. “My family likes to keep to the more secluded places.” Still, there was a sparkle in her eyes as she looked around the beach. “I’d love to take a swim with you.”

“Awesome!” Scorpius grinned at her.

 

“So…tell me about your family.”  Scorpius floated gently beside Amira, admiring her colourful mermaid form. He hadn’t had a chance to see it before.

“Well, they’re very chilled out, compared to some. My mom and my dad are super in love, too, and both of them were happy for me to come onto the show because they believe you should find love in your own way. I have two older sisters…” She trailed off. “Anyway, what about you? What’s your life like?”

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“Well, I…” Scorpius smiled, softly. “I like to be around people. I like making friends, and I’m a great believer in the idea of found family. But…I can’t help but feel like I want a family of my own.” He flushed slightly. “I want someone to share my life with, so that’s why I came onto the show.”

“I’ve…got similar reasons.” Amira drifted a little closer. “I love my family, but…I want to find The One, you know? The person who I can truly call my other half. This might not be the most conventional way of doing it…”

“It’s worth a shot, though,” Scorpius said. “You know, you’re really nice.”

The compliment seemed to hit home, from the way she smiled and looked away, so he dived away from her. He didn’t want to pile it on too thick and make her uncomfortable.

“Last one to the beach is a rotten fish!”

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“Hey!” She laughed, and dived after him. Scorpius was kinder than she could have imagined, she thought, as she swam along trying to catch up to him.

 

“So…I’ve never been here before,” Amira admitted, as she took a bite of pastry. Ursula was halfway through her dish already, and looked as though she was thoroughly enjoying herself.

“Oh, this is my favourite place to come. I’m not really a ‘little cafes’ kind of girl, but…” She waved a hand. “This place has the best pastries in Windenburg.”

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“I’m certainly a fan. So, Ursula…I don’t think we’ve managed to get to know each other much yet.” Amira gave her a bright smile. “I’d love to know more.”

“Well, I like alternative stuff. What’s your experience of that?” Ursula seemed to be giving her an appraising look. “I’m pretty into fashion, too.”

“I can tell. You’re always very put together.” Amira spread her hands. “And your make-up is always incredible. I’ve always just gone for anything that says it’s waterproof, and even then it’s hard.”

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“Well, I’ve always liked darker colours anyway, and as for the makeup, practice makes perfect.” Ursula flicked her eyes downwards. “Waterproof make-up doesn’t always work, though.”

“I know…” Amira sighed. “It’s always so difficult to find anything that’ll survive a swim.”

 

“Zissy, this is beautiful!” Amira exclaimed, looking around the ruins of the island. “How on earth did you find it?”

“Oh, it’s a Windenburg beauty spot, but I was swimming past it one day and just had to see it for myself.”

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“I don’t often leave Sulani, and I’ve not been to Windenburg that much when I do.” Amira turned around. “It feels so old.  And it has a pool?”

“Yes, isn’t it amazing?” Zissy felt her enthusiasm well up. “I can’t help but love it. Places like this need to be taken care of, and they’re just so  beautiful.” 

“It’s the perfect place for a date,” Amira said, shyly. “Thank you for bringing me here.”

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“Of course…” Zissy said, looking mischievous. “After all, two natural beauties together? What’s not to like?”

“You charmer.” Amira stifled a giggle. “So, how old is this place?”

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“No one’s really sure, because it’s got all sorts of contradicting documentation, but the Sloth Society – you know, the Princess Cornelia Foundation’s people? Well, they claim that they have a diary entry of her visiting this place before it was ruined, but given that her diaries are so precious, and the Foundation has exclusive access, it’s a bit unsure whether it’s true. They say it was a private island palace before it was like this.”

“Oh, imagine…” Amira looked out over the pool, delighted. “A palace with a pool…It sounds perfect!”

 

“Oh!” Amira breathed in the scent of chlorine as she stepped into the lounge. A pool glittered out on the balcony, but while she longed to have a swim, she was sure that it wouldn’t be a good idea in the cold of San Myshuno.

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Callum was waiting for her at the bar, looking very nervous.

“I, uh, thought that…it would be pretty romantic,” he said, quickly. “It’s supposed to be a good place to go on dates, so…”

“It’s, um, very lovely!” Amira couldn’t help but shiver, however. The cold weather nipped at her shoulders and she knew almost instantly that she wasn’t dressed for the weather here. She’d not anticipated an open lounge.

However, company could make up for it.

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“So, um, the pool would usually be open and we could go swimming, but they don’t open it until night, and then it’s uh, heated? And you can swim under the stars.” Callum hadn’t anticipated having to go to his chosen spot during the day. He’d kind of shot himself in the foot, and he couldn’t help but want to tell her how it was.

“That sounds…lovely.” Amira smiled. “Have you been here before?”

“Yeah, uh, a few times with my friends. We like to come here for karaoke and even if we’re not good, it’s nice to try new things, don’t you think?”

“Yes, you should always try your best.” Amira fidgeted on her stool, looking at the bartender who was mixing her drink.

 

“So…” Skye gave Amira a grin. “We finally get to go on a date!”

“Hah! I admit I’ve been looking forward to it.” Amira smiled warmly. “How have you been finding things?”

Skye looked directly at her. “Well, yesterday made me a bit more determined, let’s just say that.”

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Amira blushed, but looked around. “So… tell me about this bar.”

“Well, it’s the only place they don’t just play what’s on the radio, and the owner has a decent taste in music. Plus, they’re pretty good people, and my roommate used to work here.” Skye looked around fondly. “I mean, I’m not too buddy-buddy with my roommates but at the same time, this place has a lot of good memories.”

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“I hope I’m not too bold in hoping for this date to be one of them,” Amira said. She liked Skye – the other girl was interesting, honest, and sparky.

“Well, I think it’s going to be a great date, even if it has to be a short one.” Skye winked at her. “Partially because the bartender knows how to make some of your fancy Sulani drinks.”

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“Really?” Amira lit up.

“Yeah, he’s a bit of a cocktail whizz. Don’t tell him I said this, but his Cupid Juice is so good it’s practically Cupid in a glass.” Skye raised her eyebrows. “You and I should try it together sometime.”

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“That sounds like a date to me,” Amira said, with a shy smile.

“I’m in if you are,” Skye said, in a low voice, before calling down the bar. “Hey, Arch! Mind getting my date here one of your coconut specials?”

 

Amira’s next date was somewhere far grander. Somewhere with fountains, fine art, and lots of glass windows.

Shiro might not know a lot about Sulani, but he did know a lot about where in San Myshuno was a good place to take a date.

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As he’d hoped, Amira was suitably impressed. The bright colours, gorgeous paintings, and modern art surrounding her was overwhelming, and she looked at Shiro with an expression he’d never seen on her before.

“Shiro…I’ve never been anywhere like it.”

“Let me be your tour guide, then.” He spotted a painting behind her that she might like, a muted one showing off trees in different colours.

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“It’s like seeing all the seasons at once!” she whispered, as though she had to keep quiet. “Winter, spring…summer? But there’s no autumn…”

“I like to come here and look at the different pieces when I can.”

“Oh…do you live in San Myshuno?” She looked surprised. “I didn’t know.”

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“I do now.” He sighed. “I grew up in Sulani, but I wanted to see the world, and this was the bit of it I happened to find a home in.”

“That sounds…like something I’d want to hear more about.” She tilted her head. “I don’t hear of many people leaving Sulani, though.”

“Well, I used to work in my family’s restaurant, until I took it over. It…wasn’t always the best, and then when it was my turn to make ends meet it just wasn’t what I wanted to do.” The quiet of the gallery seemed to pull the words out of him easily. “I’m a mermaid, like you, though, and San Myshuno just doesn’t feel like home did.”

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“What did home feel like to you?” she asked, quietly.

“Oh, it’s not…you can’t put into words. The heat, the sound of the waves, the songs on the radio they never play anywhere else…” He sighed, happily, and stretched his arms out. “Home was all that.”

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“Then…” She hesitated, but he could hear in her voice the next question.

“Why don’t I come home? Well, I guess San Myshuno also has a bit of it as well. It’s so beautiful and just as full of life. The festivals, the people, the sound! Sulani’s not that busy and even in holiday season it’ll never be a city.” He smiled at her. “Come on. Let me show you my favourite painting here.”

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She hurried after him as he walked confidently towards where two paintings lay. One was dim, muted, and the other had more colour than she’d ever really thought to see on one canvas. It was full of life, despite only being buildings.

She stopped beside him, looking at the painting. It was clearly the city that they were in. San Myshuno, full of life, even if you could only tell from all the lights in all the buildings.

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Taking a deep breath, she took his hand, looking directly ahead at the painting.

“It’s beautiful,” she said, softly. “Really, really beautiful.”

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It was raining when she and Arhun arrived at Brindleton Bay, and she winced as heavy droplets hit their head.

“It’s so overcast…” She looked around. “It was so sunny earlier.”

“Oh, I like the weather,” Arhun said, nervously. “So, um, usually this place would be closed, but I happen to, er, know the owner.” He rubbed the back of his head. “He said he’d leave it unlocked and if we lock up after ourselves, he’ll come check everything in the morning.”

This surprised Amira, but she followed him into the open museum. It was pretty nautical, which caught her attention.

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“Now this is my favourite piece of the collection.” Arhun stood fondly in front of a sepia painting of a sailor and his dog. “This is the great-great-uncle of the current owner. Lovely guy, uh, apparently.”

“He looks like a kind man,” Amira said. Her attention was on the piece next to Arhun, however.

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She loved paintings like this, where the artist had painted craashing waves, capturing the sea at its finest. Arhun noticed her gaze.

“Ah, yes. This was painted years ago, but it’s very haunting. There’s just something about a stormy sea…” He let his eyes flick to Amira. “Don’t you think that’s just beautiful?”

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She seemed lost in the painting, and he snapped out of his own little art trance.

“Amira?”

“Oh! Yes, sorry. I just…I love that painting.”

“It’s very beautiful.” He gestured around the museum. “As is everything here. There’s something about this whole place that just…speaks to you.”

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He wasn’t wrong. A nautical museum might not typically be a great place for a first date, but for a mermaid, it was very romantic, bottled ships and all.

Sooner than she’d have liked, it was time for the ferry back to Sulani…

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And also time to make a difficult choice.
“Hey, so…” Scorpius looked around at the other contestants. “How did things go with your dates?”

“Oh, you know, not bad.” Zissy smiled, and Skye smiled back even more forcefully.

“I think mine went pretty well too,” she said, pointedly. Ursula ignored them. She kind of hoped it wouldn’t always be this pointless bickering.

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“Thank you for coming,” a voice said from behind them, nervously. They turned to see Amira, in a beautiful green and orange formal dress, a smile on her face but obviously still nervous.

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So this would be it. No matter what, one of them would be going tonight. Amira took a bunch of six roses out from behind her back and laid them on a bench, picking one out.

She walked towards Skye, holding out a rose.

“Skye. I really enjoyed our date today, and I enjoyed talking to you as much as I always do. This rose is for you.”

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Skye took it, feeling as though fireworks were going off. She had received the first rose! She smiled at Amira, and went to sit down.

“Zissy, I loved both of our dates, and I think you’re a very interesting person who I’d love to get to know better. This rose is for you.” Amira handed the next rose over, and Zissy gave her a peaceful smile.

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“I’d love to as well,” she said, taking her rose.

“Well, that’s put the cat among the pigeons,” Ursula murmured to Arhun.

“Shiro, this rose is for you.” Amira smiled brightly at him, their hands almost touching again. “I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed our date today. Seeing San Myshuno with you was amazing, and I’d love to do it again.”

Shiro felt his heart beat just a little faster. He took the rose, but he couldn’t shake the feeling of holding hands with Amira like that.

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He really, really did want to win. Scorpius’ talk hadn’t been the only spark to the fire. Getting to know Amira today had given him more determination than he rightly knew what to do with. But before he could say anything, she had gone back to the bench for another rose.

“Scorpius, this rose is for you. I’d like to get to know you further, and I enjoyed our date.” She grinned. “I plan to win our next race.”

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“I’ll swim with you anytime,” he said, gallantly, and took the rose gently from her.

“Ursula.”

The next name had everyone stand a little still as Amira held out a rose.

“I’d like to give you this rose, although it’s a shame it can’t be the colour that suits you. I loved getting to know you, and I’d like to do so again.”

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Amira turned around as Ursula took the rose, looking nervously at the last two contestants, who watched her silently. One with a soft look, one with a worried one.

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She took a deep breath, and stepped over until she was standing in front of them.  Focus. Breathe. 

“My last rose…”

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“Is for Arhun.”

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“Today you took me to a place that we both loved, and I got to know you for perhaps the first time. I’d like to do so again, if you’d like to get to know me.” She gave him a nervous smile as he smelled the rose.

She then turned to Callum, who looked shocked. She bit her lip.

“Callum, I don’t have a rose for you.” She held her hands close. “I enjoyed meeting you, but I don’t think we’re too compatible.”

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Callum felt his heart sink, but not quite as much as he thought it might. Really, while Amira was really nice, he would more miss Scorpius, who he’d made friends with.

Amira wished she could hug him, but knew it wouldn’t be appropriate, and so instead turned and walked away. She looked over at Scorpius pleadingly, who’d been watching intently. He walked Callum over to the bar as soon as he could.

“I’ll miss you, man,” he said, quietly.

“Yeah, me too. Do you think we can still keep in contact? You’re a good dude, even if I screwed up.”

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“Don’t think of it like that. Think of it as fate having someone else out there for you. And hey, at least we became friends.” Scorpius gave him a smile as warm as the Sulani sun.

“Yeah. Yeah, I’ll think of it that way. I’ll be rooting for you, dude.” Callum patted his friend’s arm. “I really am gonna miss you. If you’re ever in the area, you can always crash with me.”

“Thanks, Cal. Now, come on. You’ve got some time before you have to go. Let’s go say goodbye.”

It’s our first farewell, but not our last…and the feud between Zissy and Skye looks like it’s only just getting started. 

Tune in next time on Mermaid Bachelorette!

(Shiro belongs to 15aewar, Callum belongs to Simslover163, Ursula belongs to VanPelt81, Skye belongs to Irishsong, Zissy belongs to marryacheesecake, Arhun belongs to Butterfreeguy, and Scorpius belongs to INFINILoki! And as always, Amira belongs to me)

 

 

Episode Two: Eggs and Dates (1.2)

Last time on Mermaid Bachelorette, we were introduced to our contestants and Amira, the siren they hope to swoon. Friendships were formed, and our contestants are settling in. But will today be as egg-citing for them?

The next morning rolled around, and for Zissy, that meant an early start. She loved getting up early, and given their location, she decided to take an early morning swim.

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By the time she finally made it out of the water, the rest of the house had already started to wake up (minus one or two who were still asleep, and she ended up sat with Callum, eating breakfast and telling him about the benefits of morning swimming.

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“I just love feeling hydrated in the morning,” she said, smiling widely. “There’s nothing better than a good swim.”

“I mean, maybe when the sun’s in the sky,” he said, munching. “But, girl, you were out before it was even properly light.”

“I’m an early riser,” she said, proudly. “Always have been. Besides, Sulani never sleeps.”

“Yeah, pretty sure you’re misusing that term,” Ursula said as she walked into the kitchen. “What are we discussing?” She popped a pastry into the microwave, which Zissy couldn’t help but make a face at. Pre-packaged junk turned her stomach.

“Early morning swimming.”

“Oh?” Amira entered the kitchen, followed by Arhun. “I’d love a swim. Besides, you haven’t seen me in the water.” She gave them all a mischievous look. “Meet you out there?”

“I’m…not a strong swimmer,” Arhun admitted, while Ursula gave Amira an appraising look that might even be construed as flirty. Zissy lit up.

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“Come on, Callum!”

“I’m game,” Ursula said, winking. “Let’s go!”

A beautiful sight greeted them as they stepped out onto the porch. Mermaids differ, from pod to pod, and Amira’s pod was known for vibrant colours.

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“Oh, wow…” Callum said, awestruck, before both girls slipped into the water, leaving him to jump in after them.

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Ursula swam out towards Amira, calling over to her, while Zissy stayed with Callum, flicking her tail strongly.

“See? It’s so warm in the morning,” she said, encouragingly. He dipped below the surface with a whoop.

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Eventually, the four of them headed back inside, still in their swimsuits and dripping water, just in time to hear a little airhorn sound effect.

“Will all contestants please gather at the gazebo?” a voice asked, loudly, over the speaker system. “Please gather at the gazebo for your first challenge!”

I should probably go inside,” Amira said, a twinkle in her eye. “Good luck, everyone!”

 

While some were up bright and early, Skye had not been one of them.

“Why the hell is the contest so early in the morning?” she grumbled.

“It’s a challenge,” Zissy corrected her. If Ursula hadn’t shot Skye a warning look, the blonde might have regretted making that little comment.

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Arhun spotted a letter at the gazebo table. “Hey, guys, I think that might be what we need?” He pointed it out.

“On it.” Ursula strode forward, opening it and reading the letter inside, which was covered with bunnies.

Greetings, contestants!

Today you’ll be hunting for eggs, not love! We’ve hidden eggs around the house. You have three tries to find eggs in this first round. Each egg equals a point in today’s Egg Day activities — 

Ursula stopped reading. “It’s Egg Day?” She sighed when everyone looked at her. “Fine, okay.”

–in today’s Egg Day activities. Once you’ve finished, come into the kitchen. Good luck!

They all dashed off immediately, Ursula dropping the letter and starting her hunt around the gazebo.

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The egg hunt’s first round wore on. Some were lucky…

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Others not so much.

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They all gathered in the kitchen once they’d had three tries to find eggs.

“So, what now?” Skye asked, looking around. She’d found two, but Zissy had managed to find three, which irked her. Of course her rival would find one on every try.

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A voice came over the speakers again, causing a couple of contestants to jump.

“Greetings, contestants! 

Each of you has as many tries as you have eggs to find more. Do your best, and return here afterwards!”

“That’s me and Scorpius out, then,” Arhun said, sadly. Whether it had been through distraction of trying to avoid a severe sunburn, or pure bad luck, he hadn’t found a single egg. Scorpius hadn’t either, but seemed pretty chilled out about it.

At the end of the second part of the egg hunt, Zissy proudly had six decorative eggs, while Shiro and Skye each had four. Callum hadn’t found another, but Ursula had.

“What now?” Shiro asked, bemused. Amira walked in, smiling.

“Well, now it’s a knockout.” She smiled. “The rules are that whoever has the least eggs this round is disqualified–”

“Me.” Callum sighed. “Oh, well.”

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The third round saw Shiro, Skye, and Zissy all find more eggs, but no such luck for Ursula.

“I wasn’t going to win anyway.” She grinned. “Might as well go change, huh?”

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Unfortunately, the fourth round was a tie. Shiro and Skye both had six eggs, while Zissy had managed to score eight.

“How do we solve this?” Skye asked. She really didn’t want to lose at this point.

“I mean, neither of us is going to get more eggs than Zissy,” Shiro said, reasonably. ” So I think we both lose this round.”

“Okay, then.” Amira opened a letter that she’d been holding. “Winner of the Egg Challenge…You and Amira will be going on a solo date this evening to the Spice Festival! Dress to impress!” She smiled. “I guess you and me are going on a good old-fashioned date, Zissy!”

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San Myshuno was luckily just a ferry ride away from Sulani, and one that wasn’t even that far. A private boat was assigned to each girl, and they agreed to meet at the entrance to the festival before they left.

“Wow…” Zissy looked impressed as she looked Amira over. “Nice outfit.”

“It’s, um, kind of party gear for me.” Amira smiled. “You look really lovely too.”

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“Pretty party gear.” Zissy gave her a flirty look. “Are you ready for the heat?”

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“Ooh, spicy.” Amira laughed. “I want to check out the merch first, for sure.”

“Oh, they always have all the spices there! Let’s go!”

Zissy watched as Amira started chatting away to the vendor, asking her about what she had in stock. Eventually, she decided on a t-shirt, but Zissy couldn’t help but be a little impressed at the way she seemed to be as at ease in the city as she was on Sulani.

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“Meet me at the fountain in five minutes,” Amira said, grinning, once she’d bought the tee, before heading off in the direction of the toilets.

 

Five minutes later, as promised, Zissy returned to the fountain, looking around for Amira.

“Oh my gosh…” Zissy laughed when she spotted the difference. Amira was already wearing her new shirt, the happy little chicken leg plastered across her front. “This might be the only time I’ve been happy to see chicken.”

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“I know, it’s so cute!” Amira already seemed to be having a good time. “Everything smells wonderful, and you know, I saw a stall back there that said all its food is vegetarian-safe.”

“Oh, yeah, most of the Spice Festival stuff is!” She smiled brightly. “I’ve been a few times, ’cause it’s really pro-veggie, and even though the curry challenge is pretty spicy, there’s always really nice stuff like samosas, bhel puri…” She stopped, and gave her date a quick smile. “Like, it’s pretty welcoming for someone with dietary requirements.”

“You seem to really know your stuff.” Amira looked impressed. “How many times have you been?”

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“I read a review in one of the blogs I followed and came to check it out a few years ago. I basically come as often as I can. It’s not as beautiful as Sulani, but…it’s pretty close.” Zissy smiled brightly. “And honestly, I really love it.”

As the evening wore on, Zissy found that she was very much enjoying herself. She tried a Simsmopolitan, a drink she usually thought of as being quite fancy, while Amira headed over to the food samples.

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“Samosas….Zissy said these were pretty good…” Amira mused to herself, reaching out. She was enjoying herself just as much as Zissy was. The bright lights, good food, and dare she say it, charming company, was making for a really fun evening.

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“No, I mean it! Mom’s there watching as this tiny little fish is hanging off Dad’s tail, and…” Amira laughed. “He just refused to admit it was a fish. All, ‘I’m telling you, Laila, this thing’s a shark!”

Zissy giggled. “He sounds like a fun guy.”

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“Yeah, he and Mom both. They were so hyped about me coming onto this show, too. I think they were pretty proud I was chosen. I’m excited, though, mostly.”

“I…” Zissy took a sip of her drink for courage. It was easier to be brave about the environment than to be brave in these situations. “I hope I get to meet them.”

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Both girls blushed.

“Wow, you can be pretty bold.” Amira gave her another impressed look. “It’s pretty refreshing.”

“You have no idea how nervous that made me!” Zissy laughed.

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At 9pm, as scheduled, the crew brought them back to the mansion via boat, and the girls were stood outside, waiting to go inside. Both of them had thoroughly enjoyed their evening out, and if they went past those doors, it was officially over.

Amira turned to Zissy, a big smile on her face.

“I really enjoyed our date, Zissy.” She seemed to flush slightly. “It was a lot of fun.”

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Zissy almost wanted to reach across and hug her with joy. She’d also enjoyed herself hugely on the date, but more importantly, there hadn’t been a boring moment in their conversation.

Instead, she gave Amira a brilliant smile. “Me too!”

 

 

Oh, man.

Skye felt hurt and gloomy as she sat upstairs, listlessly pushing pieces around the board. She’d been doing her best in the challenge, but Zissy had somehow managed to knock it out of the ballpark. Amira had seemed really excited for the date too, which hurt.

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Maybe it was because she’d gotten way too ahead of herself, but she’d thought she had a bit of a lead because of the conversations she’d had with Amira already. However, challenges took more work than that, and sometimes they were completely luck-based. She’d done well, sure, but not well enough.

Shiro, the other runner-up, was out on the porch with Scorpius, chatting away idly.

“I really…I guess I thought I didn’t have much of a chance, before,” he said.

“No, man, you totally do. Me and Arhun, we tapped out first round, but you came joint-second? That’s something special!” Scorpius was in his element, hyping the other man up. “Amira’s real nice, and I bet if you talk to her, you know, have a real chat, you’ll find you really get each other.”

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Shiro had, actually, felt a rise in confidence. He’d done pretty well in the first challenge, and while he might not have had a proper talk with Amira yet, he wanted to now that he felt he had a chance.

“You know, you’re a pretty good listener, Scorpius.”

“Anytime!” Scorpius patted his shoulder. “Remember, talk to her.

What a spicy episode! Looks like Zissy is moving in for a win…But will she be able to deal with all of Skye’s salt? We’ll be here all night, folks…

Tune in next time on Mermaid Bachelorette!

(Shiro belongs to 15aewar, Callum belongs to Simslover163, Ursula belongs to VanPelt81, Skye belongs to Irishsong, Zissy belongs to marryacheesecake, Arhun belongs to Butterfreeguy, and Scorpius belongs to INFINILoki!)

Episode One: Meeting the Cast! (1.1)

Welcome to Mermaid Bachelorette!

In sunny Sulani, it’s not just the beaches or the weather that can charm you. Mermaids have been around for centuries, and these sirens are well-known among the local population as creatures of the ocean who walk among them.

Meet Amira Carlisle, our first ever bachelorette!

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“Hi, my name’s Amira and I’m the Bachelorette! I love swimming in the ocean, travelling around to interesting places, and I’m hoping to find my match here on the show!”

Amira and seven contestants hoping to win her heart will be living in the show’s mansion in Sulani for nineteen days. At the end of the nineteen days, only one contestant will be left. 

But who will it be?

* * *

Callum was liking the mansion so far. It was big, pretty roomy, and even though their first day was a rainy one, Amira had been really nice. Now, he was playing chess with another girl.

“So, uh…Ursula, is it?”

“Yeah.” She looked down at the board, eyes running over the pieces.

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“Didn’t really catch everyone’s names properly when we were moving in. You know. Hectic, and all that.” He smiled as she moved one of her pieces forward. “I’m Callum.”

“I know.” Her eyes flicked up from the board, finally. “Hey, are you in one of the single rooms or one of the shared ones?”

That was something he’d been surprised at on the application form himself.

“I’m sharing with Scorpius.” He smiled. “Pretty decent dude.”

“All the girls aside from our lovely bachelorette are in one room,” Ursula told him, as if imparting some great wisdom. Callum blinked.

“I mean, I…usually see shows where the contestants are either men or women, actually. It was one of the interesting things about this one, you know?”

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“Yeah, I hear you,” Ursula said, with a grin. Maybe this would be more fun than she thought.

 

Meanwhile, downstairs, Amira was getting to know one of the contestants.

“So, uh…what drew you to the contest?”

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“I mean, can I be honest? I love Sulani. Like, I really love it. It’s one of the most beautiful places, and it’s not yet been, uh…” There was a pause. “You know, ruined by people.”

“Oh!” Amira smiled. “I’m pretty fond of Sulani myself. You can swim freely here, you know?”

Exactly. Sulani and the rest of the world should be preserved.” Zissy beamed over the vegetarian dumplings she’d prepared in front of Amira. She was, apparently, a hardcore vegetarian too. In fact, Amira was pretty sure she’d seen Zissy on the front of a magazine before, but it was probably better not to mention it.

 

Another member of the household was thinking about Sulani, but in a very different light.

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Shiro was trying to relax. Trying, that is, and failing. He knew he should be indoors making an impression on the Bachelorette, but right now he was trying to settle his nerves. He’d tried to stay away from the island, but when the show had asked for contestants, he’d found himself applying. And now here he was, in a waterfront mansion. He could hear the water lapping gently against the wood of the porch, and it felt as though he’d given up.

Maybe she wouldn’t pick him, and he’d end up going back to San Myshuno. Maybe.

But another part of him thought that it was altogether possible that even if he didn’t win, the islands would still be as irresistible as ever.

 

Scorpius was deeply engrossed in trying out one of the easels that they had set up in one room of the house. Heck yeah, he’d always wanted to try one of these bad boys out. He was pretty happy all things considered. His roommate was a decent guy, Amira was really nice (and really pretty, too), so all in all, his first day was going great.

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Skye smiled at one of Arhun’s jokes. Okay, so she was feeling a bit nervous, and maybe that was why the bar was a little lower than usual.

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“Hey, Arhun, you much of a…fitness guy?” she asked.

“Ah. Um, well, I do like to keep in shape, but…” He floundered a bit, and she bit back another smile as he looked around the gym.

“I guess if we’re all here it makes sense,” she said, eventually, taking pity on him. “So, you and me are supposed to be rivals.”

“I think friendly rivals,” Arhun said, almost immediately. “And through friendly competitions.”

She couldn’t quite see him as a threat, after saying something like that, but rolled her eyes.

“It’s not just the competitions. In the end, Amira’s going to be deciding if she likes us. I mean, shouldn’t you be trying to talk to her right now?”

“I…” He looked embarrassed. “I mean, I also want to get to know everyone else.”

Okay, he was a sweet guy. She was going to have a hard time if she went up against him. It would be like kicking a particularly nervous puppy.

Still, when she bumped into Amira sitting on the couch, she sat down next to her.

“Mind if I join you?”

“Not at all!” Amira’s warm smile lifted her spirits slightly.

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“So, you probably know all our names, right?”

“I mean, you know mine.” Amira’s warmth didn’t slip for a second, but there was a sparkle in her eye.

“Well, even so. I’m Skye.” She raised an eyebrow. “You know, it’s really weird being in a house with so many people. Usually I’m all on my own. I bet it’s weirder for you, though.”

“No, actually!” The girl beside her seemed enthused. “I really like getting to know you all, even though we’re only on Day One. It’s really nice – I mean, those of you I’ve been able to talk to properly. I was talking with Zissy, and she’s…pretty deep into the environment.”

“So it’s not weird to think you’ll end up with one of us?”

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“Well…I’ve got a pretty open mind.” She winked at Skye. “And I like interesting people. They didn’t tell me much about you guys, other than the fact that some of you are also mermaids, but I get to find out about things by myself.”

“Huh.” Other mermaids, but not all of us. Okay. 

“Speaking of which, Skye…” She was taken aback the use of her name. “I want to, you know, get to know you a little?”

“Well, I like music.” She raised an eyebrow. “Mostly rock, some classical. I like the sort of stuff you can really get into. Not…much into pop music.”

“So you have specific tastes?” Amira asked, interested.

“Yeah. I like what I like.” She snorted. “Definitely not a fan of pop love songs.”

Amira laughed. “I think I know the kind you mean, if that helps.”

“I wouldn’t mind so much if they weren’t everywhere. All the music in the world, and what do they blast all over the radio?” She scoffed. “That stuff. But this house has a pretty decent sound system. Maybe I can show you some of my music sometime.”

“I’d like that,” Amira said. Skye thought she might actually mean it, the way her eyes lit up.

 

Later in the day, Shiro looked up to find Amira almost right next to him.

“Oh, uh, hey.” He flashed her a somewhat awkward smile.

“Hi there.” She seemed pretty at ease, in comparison. She really did fit right in here. He’d been told she was a local, somewhat, so it shouldn’t have been surprising.

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“I…thought I would come out and have a look around,” she admitted. “I’m mostly exploring the house and talking to everyone, if they’re not busy.”

“Ah…” He looked down. He knew he probably wasn’t making a great impression. “Yeah, I’ve been out here.”

“It’s beautiful even when it rains.” She smiled, softly. “I’m really grateful that we’re here.”

Ouch. He rubbed the back of his head. “I, uh, yeah. I’m going to go inside, though. Grab something to eat.”

He looked at her, seeing only a really nice, very pretty girl. He wondered what she looked like in the water. Maybe he was being too guarded, but Amira smiled as she watched him head back inside.

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She wasn’t the only one exploring. When the skies had cleared up somewhat, Scorpius hopped onto one of the boats outside, Callum dipping into the water soon after him.

“Dude, check these out.” He waggled a paddle. “Reckon I should take her for a spin?”

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Callum laughed, diving beneath the water, flicking his tail up. It felt nice to be in the water again, especially in a place like this.

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From the porch, Zissy watched the two of them. Her gaze drifted past soon enough though, fondly looking across Sulani. What a view… She certainly wanted to enjoy her time here. Even with all the modern necessities, the house seemed to be in touch with Sulani’s roots, something that made her very happy.

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She thought back to her earlier conversation with Amira. While Amira might not be as dedicated as she was, it was clear that the Bachelorette loved Sulani, and Zissy definitely wanted to get to know her better. It might just be the first day, but she felt as though she was in with a good chance.

So good, in fact, that when Skye and Amira were talking lightly in the living room…

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…they were joined by her as soon as they moved to the couch.

Skye tried not to be annoyed by this, instead trying to continue the conversation as Zissy sat as though she was blissfully unaware of the intrusion.

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Eventually, Amira yawned.

“Sorry, Skye. I think I’m going to turn in.” She smiled at both of them. “See you tomorrow?”

“Of course!” Zissy said, immediately. “Maybe we can talk some more about Sulani?”

Amira lit up a little. “I’d like that!” She waved as she left the room, and Skye turned her smile on Zissy.

“Nice to finally meet you. I haven’t seen you since this morning.”

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“Oh, I…” Zissy smiled at her. “I wanted to talk to Amira a little. Get to know her a bit more. I think we had a connected moment.”

“Mm.” Skye did her best to sound disinterested, but it was true that Amira had mentioned Zissy before and practically called her interesting to boot. Zissy might, despite everything, be a real rival.

Are those some claws we saw? It’s only Day One!

Catch up next time on Mermaid Bachelorette!

(The lovely house I am using is by Meave21Goldrose! I found it while scouring the Gallery for an island mansion and it’s just perfect.

Shiro belongs to 15aewar, Callum belongs to Simslover163, Ursula belongs to VanPelt81, Skye belongs to Irishsong, Zissy belongs to marryacheesecake, Arhun belongs to Butterfreeguy, and Scorpius belongs to INFINILoki!

And of course, Amira belongs to me, lol.)