Episode Nine: Speed Dating (1.9)

Last time on Mermaid Bachelorette, Zissy and Skye buried the hatchet – and Ursula and Amira got closer! With another elimination on the horizon, who will stay and who will go?

Today was another round of speed-dating, although in truth, Shiro would not have called it that. They each had two hours with Amira this time, which was ample time for a short date. He was happy to see her when they met at the location he’d picked, a small club in Brindleton Bay.

“I’ve been here before – it has a pool, and I thought you might like the atmosphere.”

Amira smiled at him. “It’s lovely.”

She meant it, too. Outside, cherry blossomed, and she could hear the water lapping against the sides of the pool. She loved the openness of the room, too.

“So…Amira.” Shiro’s voice was soft. “Are you…nervous at all?”

“Yes.” Amira looked down. “I know myself well enough to know that whoever I end up with, I want to end up with. But all of you…all of the contestants are so nice.” She sighed. “I could genuinely see myself dating any of you, and this competition feels like I’m dating several people at once. But I do have to choose in the end.”

“Well, for what it’s worth, you always seem to follow your heart. And you’ve been inspiring me to do the same, so I don’t think you can make a wrong choice here.” He gave her a look as soft as his words. “I hope that the time we spend together will be happy, no matter what happens.”

The gentle piano behind them seemed to add a lilt to his words, and Amira felt herself relax a little. He was right – she was, after all, here to find the person best suited to her.

Her next date was Ursula, who was waiting for her outside a museum of some sort. She’d been told it was a surprise, and as they headed inside, she gasped.

Inside, it was wall-to-wall movie memorabilia. It was breathtaking.

“Isn’t this amazing?” Ursula led her over to a vintage poster, framed and displayed with pride. “All this stuff is such a treasure trove, I thought you’d like to have a look around.”

“It’s amazing!” She almost felt like jumping up and down with joy.

“Uh huh, check it out. I mean, this guy is pretty popular nowadays, but look at him then! Regular Clark Gable.” Ursula grinned. “And believe it or not, that pretty young thing is Colleen Gardner. You know, the one they want to play the Queen of England.”

“This place is beautiful, Ursula!” She marvelled as she looked around, taking everything in. “I’ve never been here in my life.” The grateful look in her eyes caused Ursula to flush, and look down at her shoes.

“It’s no biggie. Just enjoy it while you can, alright, princess?”

Amira blushed at that, and nodded.

After her thoroughly enjoyable trip around the museum with Ursula, where she found costumes she recognised from half a dozen movies, she made her way to the Von Haunt estate gardens, which was actually her idea.

“Amira!” Zissy squealed, thrilled to be taken on a date to such a beautiful and historical spot. “Oh, my gosh. The gardens here are just amazing! Have you seen how the lavender’s been planted? I mean, oh my goodness, and it’s so romantic too!” She seemed to almost be bursting with excitement. “How did you manage to get entry?”

“Well, I think that the producer might have had a hand in that,” she confessed. “I said I wanted to take you here, and they said they’d see if filming would be okay with the house management.”

“Oh!” Zissy looked overjoyed. “This is amazing!” She looked around. “Do you know the story of Lady Mimsy? I mean, of course you do, but…”

“Oh yes!” Amira almost swooned herself. “It’s so tragic, but they say that she and her husband still haunt this place to this day. If you see them, it’s supposed to be tremendously lucky if you’re with your partner. Imagine, a love so strong!”

They both laughed, blushing, as the lily flowers drifted on the water.

Once her date with Zissy had concluded, it was time to meet up with Skye. To her surprise, Skye had picked an old-fashioned library and seemed nervous when they sat down together.

“Well, here we are.” Skye laughed a little nervously. “This used to be where me and my friends did photoshoots as teenagers.”

“Photoshoots?”

“Yeah, we had this small cosplay group. I was the Yennefer, and we had a Ciri, a Geralt, and even a Triss. We used to dress up and come here for our photoshoots because it had stained glass windows.” Skye blushed.

“You used to come here in costume?”

“Yeah, we even went to GeekCon a few times. I always wanted to be an actress, but back then I guess it was more about our love of the games. We met through GeekCon when we were pretty young. I mean, I was cosplaying Yen, and Anna – that was our Triss – wanted a photo with me. We still keep in touch, but…this was always a special place to us.”

“That sounds…amazing.” Amira’s eyes shone. “You actually have a Yennefer costume?”

“I mean, it’s been sitting in a box for ages.” Skye laughed awkwardly. “But yeah, I do.”

Given how archaic the library looked, she could see why it had drawn Skye in the first place. It really did look like it was straight out of a fantasy book, with its balconies full of bookshelves and its stained glass windows.

“Thank you for bringing me here, Skye.” She smiled warmly at her, almost imagining a young teenager with dark hair wandering along the floors of the library.

“Come on, Amira!” Scorpius cheered, as he skated forward. “You can do it!”

“No I can’t!” Amira shrieked, wobbling on the skates. In the water, she would have been at ease with going fast, but wheels on your feet? Eep!

Once they’d finished skating (and falling, on Amira’s part) they headed over to sit down at one of the little tables.

“Well, that may be the first and last time I ever do that!” Amira laughed.

“I’m glad you tried it, though,” Scorpius said, beaming. “Trying new things is always so exhilarating.”

“That is one thing I like about you, Scorpius. You’ve got such an open attitude to life. It’s deeply refreshing.” Amira smiled at him. “I don’t think I’d ever have tried that on my own.”

“I’m glad to have been part of that new experience for you. I’ve got a friend who’s on a roller derby team, although that’s a bit more than regular skating!” He chuckled. “But I’ve enjoyed skating before, and I thought you might at least enjoy trying it.”

“I’m happier in the water, honestly!” she confessed, and they both laughed.

What a day! With our sweet siren swayed from all sides, who will be her buried treasure? And who will need to find another fish in the sea? Tune in next time to find out!

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

Episode Eight: Girls, Girls, Girls (1.8)

Last episode, we said goodbye to Arhun, that reclusive and romantic vampire! With one less competitor, how will the remaining contestants fare?

As Day Eight rolled around, everyone around the house found themselves busy. Maybe it was wanting something to do with Arhun’s presence being missed, or maybe it was the feeling that the competition had become even more real than before. Amira really was an incredible woman, and at the end of this, one of them would enter a relationship with her. With eleven days to go, they would have to work hard.

Zissy was checking on her social media, which had been picking up recently ever since she’d posted her review of GeekCon and its inclusive foods. A lot of sustainable eco-bloggers had followed her, something that made her perk up quite a bit.

09-01-20_10-47-23 AM

Meanwhile, in the living room, Ursula had engaged Shiro and Skye in discussion. As always, her confidence shone through as she spoke.

“The competition’s definitely heating up, but I’d say we all have a decent shot. And you, Shiro! On the first day, I was sure you were going to be the first one off, if I’m honest, but you’ve really come out of your shell.”

09-01-20_10-47-07 AM

“I’ll…take that as a compliment…” Shiro said, trying not to look as bemused as he felt. Ursula didn’t miss a beat, turning to Skye next.

“And you’re doing well for yourself, too. Personally, I’m a little jealous.” She laughed. “No hard feelings, though.”

“Ah, yeah…” Skye tried to sound natural, but the sharp contrast between how Ursula talked to her and how Arhun would have congratulated her stung slightly. If she’d known how much she would miss her friend, she’d have tried to help him in some way. Ursula and Arhun were very different.

09-01-20_10-48-41 AM

Behind them, Scorpius was working on a painting, humming a gentle tune. He wasn’t quite listening to the conversation behind him, but he could sense Ursula’s exuberance from a mile away. She’d probably had a bit of a shock, landing in the bottom two like that. But then that was for her to know.

09-01-20_10-47-42 AM

Some time later, Zissy was out for a morning swim around the back of the mansion when she noticed the weather starting to turn. It looked to her like a storm was incoming, so she flicked her tail and started to head back before the rain could start pouring.

As she pulled herself up the ladder and dashed inside, the heavens broke and the water became speckled with splashes, growing heavier by the minute. The clouds above rumbled, and Zissy watched through the window as the rain kept pouring down.

“I don’t think any of us are going outside today, people!” She breezed into the kitchen. “That’s a real Sulani storm out there.” She tried not to look too excited as she said it, but she couldn’t help but love the sound of the rain beating down on the waves.

“Oh!” Amira lifted her head. “Well…we’d better stay indoors today, then. Good thing today’s our day off, or we might have been sunk.”

Only she and Skye were in the kitchen, and as Zissy sat down to join them, she felt apprehensive. She’d hoped to go swimming today to clear her head a little after the rose ceremony, but in the end, it looked as though it wasn’t to be. A Sulani storm meant you had to be careful and stay indoors as much as was possible. The rain especially could be a problem, but the mansion was built quite high up.

“I’m sure it’ll let up later,” Skye said, gently. “Too bad we couldn’t all go for a dip.” Skye had also been planning on going for a morning swim like Zissy, but she’d stayed to have a quick chat with Amira. Just as well, really.

Skye went upstairs to get changed, while Scorpius finished off his owl painting.

“Nice painting, bud.” Shiro walked up. “What are you going to do with it?”

“Oh, I was thinking of letting it dry and hanging it up in the other room. It’d be a nice present for…well, whoever’s in the house next.”

“It’s really nice. Colourful, too.” Shiro gave him a grin. “Want a hand carrying it?”

While the guys were hefting the painting to a good place to dry, Ursula was sat on one of the benches, delving into one of the books she’d found. The bookshelves of the mansion were well stocked, and to her surprise she’d found one she’d been wanting to read for a while. The crew must have filled the shelves recently, because it was a relatively recent release – The Shadows of the Past by Mortimer Goth. Creeperific.

Back in the living room, Skye came to join a conversation Zissy and Shiro were having.

“I just feel like nature can be so scary, and we need to respect and take care of it.” Zissy sighed, happily. “I love storms. They have such wild energy.”

“I love the sound of the rain,” Shiro agreed. “It reminds me of when I was a kid. I never could sleep through storms.”

“Speaking of storms, have you guys ever played The Witcher?” Skye asked. “Or watched it?” She felt like she was reaching, but if she was going to join in the conversation she wanted to do so on her terms.

“Oh! I think I’ve seen some things about it online. Isn’t it like, Game of Thrones-y?” Zissy wrinkled her nose.

Shiro interjected. “Actually, I watched the first couple of episodes. It was all very well done…but I did find it hard to keep watching. It felt like it was made for the fans.”

Skye smiled at him. “I felt like it was too. Lucky I’m a big fan.”

“I prefer human stories.” Zissy smiled. “Documentaries, romances, old movies…The historical ones are the best, though.”

“You like historical stuff?” Skye asked, surprised.

“Oh, definitely. Pride and Prejudice is actually one of my favourite shows!” She smiled tentatively. “I love re-watching it. And did you know there was a show that came out about a historically sapphic woman who recorded her life in diaries?”

Skye’s eyes went wide. “You’re a fan of Anne Lister?”

“Totally! She’s got like, this super dangerous energy to her.” Zissy giggled. “I guess I like bad girls on occasion.”

“Ah, me too.” Shiro coughed. “I mean, not that I don’t like kind and lovely girls, though.” He was happy to keep this conversation going, as long as Zissy and Skye were getting along. Whatever they’d gotten out of their system during that fight, the rift seemed to be patched for the time being.

“Ooh, kind and lovely girls! Wonder who he means…” Skye winked at Zissy, who giggled again.

Later in the day, Ursula sought out Amira in the kitchen.

“Hey, I just…kind of wanted to talk to you. I know things are going to go however they will, but I’m really enjoying my time.” She steadied her nerves and carried on. “I’ve really enjoyed getting to go on dates with you, and I loved that I got to show you my favourite places in Windenburg. It meant a lot to me.”

“Ursula…” Amira smiled warmly. “It’s taught me something as well. I mean, home is important to everyone, and I know that Sulani is going to be somewhere I love all my life. But I really, I guess I took it for granted I’d stay here all my life. But I’ve learned other places can be just as beautiful. And in part, I have you to thank.”

In part. Ursula knew that probably meant she wasn’t the only one who Amira was thinking of as she spoke. Still, to see the warmth on her face was good, like fresh sunshine on the water.

Meanwhile, Zissy had just finished a brief yoga workout, stretching her muscles and allowing her mind to drift. She couldn’t help but be pleased that she and Skye were getting along, and yet she felt as though the idea of the rivalry had gotten to her head a little before. Scorpius had been good, as someone to talk to, but to see Skye so relaxed and open had made her rethink some of her earlier opinions.

Luckily, the indoor gym was a perfect getaway, if she needed to think. Yoga wasn’t always popular, and sometimes the others would leave her be if they saw her in there.

Downstairs, she helped herself to a glass of juice. Amira and Ursula had moved into one of the other rooms, talking about Windenburg and some local bars that Ursula liked. She stopped herself from sighing and instead drank more of the mango juice.

Perhaps, after all, first impressions couldn’t always be counted upon. She did sometimes tend to rely on them, and she’d found herself burned time and again by it, but right now, she was facing something important. She wanted to win this challenge. She wanted to be with someone who understood her.

But she’d been acting pretty much like the win was guaranteed, hadn’t she? And she’d been treating Skye like it wasn’t a fair competition. At the end of the day, the decision wouldn’t be hers. She just hoped it wasn’t too late to start trying her hardest.

A change of heart seems to be at hand! Will Ursula put her best foot forward? Will Zissy and Skye maintain the peace? Or will the contest for Amira’s heart bring new tension to the surface?

Keep watching to find out!

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

Episode Seven: I’m Coming Home (1.7)

Last episode saw our serene siren speedily swooning with her suitors! (Try saying that ten times fast!) But in today’s episode, one of those suitors will be heading home…just who will be sent packing?

The early morning found most of the contestants up and awake already. None of them had been able to sleep for long, given what day it was.

Elimination would be taking place today, and one of them would go home. Each of them was on edge, reviewing their date in their mind to see whether they thought it had gone well enough to keep them in the competition. Most of them found something that they thought had gone wrong. Still, it seemed as though everyone had had a good time.

“Arhun, it was…incredible. She’d never been to a swimming pool before. And when she’s nervous…” Ursula took a deep breath. “It makes me nervous too. I expected to be packing my bags first.”

07-28-20_1-12-16 PM

“Well, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.” Arhun could tell from her face that she was happy with how the date had gone.

“So, how are you feeling about tonight?” Ursula asked.

“Well, I think that if I go home now, I’ll have a lot to think on. Certainly, I’m feeling more confident in myself.”

“That’s the spirit. Man, travel is just such an amazing thing, though. If I’d known that this was going to be so fun…” Ursula laughed, just as Amira walked sleepily into the kitchen, smiling at the two of them.

07-28-20_1-11-25 PM

 

 

Shiro and Scorpius had ended up talking things over in the living room. As Scorpius had given him the initial push he needed, he found himself opening up more to the other man. Scorpius, Shiro thought, would have made a great therapist, and as it was, he made an excellent friend.

07-28-20_12-55-04 PM

“Showing my mer-form like that…” Shiro let out a deep sigh of relief. “I…feel more whole, now. Like I’ve…done something right.”

“It’s always right to be yourself,” Scorpius said, gently. “I think that even if you did it for her, you might learn to do it for yourself someday too.”

“Honestly, coming here was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Shiro admitted. “I think I was starting to feel disconnected to myself in San Myshuno. I love it there, but…the islands are always going to be a part of me.”

“That’s the spirit!” Scorpius said, cheerfully.

“What about you, how did your date go?” Shiro asked, somewhat nervous to hear what Scorpius would have to say.

“Oh, we talked about things, and had a good time…” Scorpius smiled to himself. “I really think Amira and I are quite like-minded.”

 

Skye came downstairs humming, bypassing Arhun and Ursula in search of breakfast. Last night had been amazing. Once again, she’d felt as though she really connected with Amira. She was almost tempted to think of Amira as her Yennefer, but then it was early days. Instead, she settled for concentrating on her breakfast.

08-28-20_10-53-50 AM

After she’d eaten, she looked for Arhun, and eventually found him in the study.

“So…”

He gave her a strange smile. “So,” he echoed. “Are we talking about our dates?”

She laughed. “I don’t know, are we? I mean, I had a good time, and I hope that you did, too. But I guess…we don’t know anything until this evening, and I kind of wanted to hang out a bit.”

“In case one of us ends up going home, you mean.” Arhun gave her that same look.

07-28-20_12-58-50 PM

“Well, yes. I don’t know what we’re being ranked on. But…” Skye leaned against the desk. “I also want to make sure you have my contact info just in case. I don’t want to go home and never talk to you again. You’re a cool dude.”

Arhun noticed how politely she’d phrased it, and took it to heart, entering the contact info she then gave him into his phone. It was true. Skye was one of the best things about the mansion. He just hoped that they wouldn’t lose their friendship later.

 

Skye wasn’t just securing things with Arhun, however. When she went into the living room, Zissy was stood, watching a documentary.

“Hey, Zissy.” Skye sat herself down.

“Hey.” The other girl gave her a tentative smile. “So, I guess…today is the day?”

“Yup.” She smiled, nervously. “I think we should…put aside our differences just in case, you know?”

08-28-20_12-14-06 PM

“Well, as long as there isn’t a repeat of last time.” Zissy seemed to relax somewhat. “I know that there’s some energy hanging around because of the elimination ceremony. I wouldn’t want us to add to that.”

The fact that she was at least admitting that there could be some fault on her part relaxed Skye too.

“So, this is…” She gestured up at the TV. “What is this?”

“Oh! It’s like, an expose on how much plastic there is that we don’t know about. It’s pretty interesting, especially given how much of it ends up in the ocean.” Zissy took a seat on the sofa, and began to talk about it. To her surprise, Skye found herself understanding and enjoying the conversation.

“Well, good to see them getting on,” Ursula commented, looking at the scene from by the easels. Shiro shushed her as Amira walked in, hair still wet from her morning swim.

“Hello!” She smiled brightly at Shiro. “I, um, I’m sorry for dipping out after breakfast. I felt like a swim to clear my head.”

Ursula looked between the two of them. Had something happened? Shiro and Amira both seemed flustered, with Shiro seeming much happier than he had before. She wondered to herself for a moment, but Shiro coughed.

“Yes, the water is always perfect on a sunny morning. Next time, we should go together.”

Amira beamed, and Ursula gave up trying to understand. She’d probably find out later.

08-28-20_12-13-48 PM

“So, Amira…” Shiro gave her a nervous smile. “I’ve no doubt you’ll look as beautiful tonight as you did at the last ceremony.”

“Charmer,” Ursula said, with a grin. “Although I have to agree.”

Amira flushed, looking pleased, and Ursula decided to give the boy a chance. She’d noticed how shy he was around Amira, and how long it had taken him to talk to her. It would be easy to step in and brush him off, or third wheel it, but it wouldn’t be kind. Instead, spotting Scorpius through the window, she waved to him and tossed a smile over her shoulder at the other two.

“I’ll catch you later, princess,” she said, winking at Amira. “Have fun!”

Shiro gave her a grateful smile that absolutely didn’t give her a feeling like she’d just cuddled a puppy. Nope, she was an independent, definitely not a sap girl. She looked back over her shoulder again at the doorway and saw them sat down next to Zissy, quietly talking with each other. Amira was laughing slightly, while both Zissy and Shiro looked on with a smile.

08-28-20_12-17-53 PM

Ursula sighed. She really was too nice for her own good sometimes.

“Ursula!” Scorpius gave her a large smile. “To what do I owe the pleasure, huh?”

“Scorpius…why are Amira and Shiro so much…closer now?” She winced as she said it. “I’m curious, that’s all.”

“Oh, Shiro finally showed off his merform. It was a big step for him.” Scorpius looked around. “I mean, I wouldn’t tell the others, but…you don’t strike me as the type to spread secrets.”

“I’m not. But…huh. Good for him.” She found herself smiling. No wonder his confidence was up.

08-28-20_11-53-31 AM

“Yeah. I think no matter what happens, that’s really been a big step for him. He’s really benefited from this trip.” Scorpius gave her a smile. “What about the girls, are they still being awkward?”

“Nope. I think they might even have buried the hatchet a bit. They were talking about plastic in the ocean or something when I left.” Ursula smiled. “Thankful for small mercies, huh?”

“Absolutely. Do you want to take a swim with me?”

“Nothing would please me more.” She grinned. “And who knows, Shiro might come out of his shell more while we’re away.”

The rest of the day’s hours until that evening’s ceremony were whiled away pleasantly. Whether through knitting…

08-28-20_1-18-39 PM

Chess…

08-28-20_1-21-50 PM

Or good conversations…

08-28-20_1-22-02 PM

The day went well.

However, eventually, they all had to gather outside for the rose ceremony, and wait for the bachelorette. All of them had dressed up for the occasion, and Skye, resplendent in a silver dress, manage to draw a couple of gasps as she walked past.

08-28-20_1-24-13 PM

Scorpius, so often seen in his swimming clothes or an easy outfit, also drew some looks of approval from his other contestants in a formal tuxedo.

08-28-20_1-24-32 PM

And of course, Amira, once more in a beautiful green dress, looked as lovely as ever. Each contestant hoped that they would not be left without a rose.

08-28-20_1-25-52 PM

“Over the past week, I’ve lived with you, gotten to know you, and had a wonderful time,” Amira said, looking at each contestant. “I’m so lucky to have met you all, but in accordance with the rules one of you must go home tonight.” Her lip wobbled for a fraction of a second, but she continued.

“Shiro.” She held out a rose to him. “There is no one else who deserves the first rose more than you do for your bravery and courage. You showed me sides of yourself I would like to see again.”

08-28-20_1-26-11 PM

His breath stuttered slightly. He’d hoped for a rose, but this made him even more determined to try and win Amira’s heart. She smiled at him, and then turned away.

“Skye.”

08-28-20_1-27-23 PM

“You are a companion already, and I hope you will accept this rose.” She offered it out to her, and their eyes met over the red petals, each smiling at the other before Amira turned away again.

“Zissy. You bring me back to my roots and remind me that to care for ourselves, we must care for the earth. Please take this rose.”

08-28-20_1-28-35 PM

Zissy gladly did so, her smile lighting up her face as she gently took the rose from Amira.

“Scorpius. You’ve been as much a friend to the other contestants as to me, and your kindness has…won you this rose.” Amira handed it over, and he smiled down at the bloom.

08-28-20_1-29-31 PM

Only two contestants remained, waiting for a rose – or to be sent home. Ursula and Arhun, who had just that morning been talking about how well their dates had gone. Each stole glances at the other, and at Amira, who stood in front of them.

08-28-20_1-31-44 PM

“Both of you are truly wonderful.” Amira’s voice trembled. “But in the end, I only have one rose.”

The silence seemed deafening, until Amira stepped forward, holding the rose out to…

08-28-20_1-32-21 PM

“Ursula. You broaden my horizons and show me new ways of thinking. I’ve enjoyed our time together. Will you take this rose so it will continue?”

Ursula looked down at the rose with a bittersweet happiness, and took it gently. She didn’t want to be in the last two, but she was very happy to continue trying to win Amira’s heart.

Arhun watched with a sad envy as Ursula stepped away. Amira sat down on one of the benches, her face the very picture of regret.

“Arhun, I’m sorry. I really enjoyed our dates, but I haven’t always connected with you as I have with the others. I don’t think that we’re the right people for each other, however much I enjoy your company.” She looked torn as she said it, and he knew it was time to come clean.

08-28-20_1-34-32 PM

“I shouldn’t have held back. I’ve been hiding a secret from you, Amira, because not everyone takes the news well. I’m not a mermaid, or a human. I’m actually…” He gulped. “A vampire. And maybe if I’d opened up a little more to you instead of hiding we could have connected like you wanted.”

08-28-20_1-34-51 PM

Amira looked down. “Well…I guessed that, actually. Or something like it. But you never told me yourself.”

That hurt a little, but he bowed his head gracefully.

“I’m still grateful I had the chance to win your heart,” he said, meeting her eyes. How deep they were, like the sea.

08-28-20_1-35-19 PM

Impulsively, she reached forward and hugged him quickly. “I mean it. You show such compassion. Don’t hide your light from others.”

08-28-20_1-35-30 PM

The ceremony over, Amira took her leave, and the contestants were left to their own devices. Skye pushed past the others to fling her arms around Arhun.

“Don’t go. You’re basically my best friend here. You’re like…my Jaskier.”

08-28-20_7-13-05 PM

He patted her back. “We’ll stay in contact, don’t worry. I’m sure that after everything’s done you and I can be good friends still. I’ve got faith that you’ll win her heart.”

She sniffled slightly, hugging him even tighter before she stepped back.

“I’m going to miss you, you dork.”

08-28-20_7-14-08 PM

“Believe it or not, Skye, I believe I’ll miss you too. Don’t forget to message me, okay? Keep me updated.”

And with that, he had only the evening left to hang out with his fellow contestants before the production crew came to ferry him away. However, he felt in his heart that he would miss Sulani and the week’s experience he had had.

Fangs for the memories? With Arhun gone, only Scorpius is left keeping the new peace between Zissy and Skye…and with Skye now blue, will she continue her pursuit of Amira?

Tune in next time to find out!

(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 Six: Finding Your Fins (1.6)

Welcome back to Mermaid Bachelorette! Last episode, the contestants and Amira held a party at the mansion – and this time, it’s back to the speed dating! But who will make the biggest impression? Stay tuned to find out!

As the sun shone above onto the canopy, Arhun stayed in the shade, scrolling through reviews on his tablet. He’d come prepared this time, and wanted to show Amira a good time on their two-hour date today.

He felt as though he’d managed to impress her the last time, and didn’t want to fall short, or fall behind the other contestants. Like with everything, proper planning was the key – even if he had a major disadvantage facing him.

06-12-20_1-18-24 PM

Inside, Scorpius and Shiro sat together. They’d been told that they wouldn’t be seeing Amira until they reached their chosen destination, and Shiro had felt comfortable enough to talk to Scorpius.

“I’ve got something planned for today,” he said, quietly. “But I’m pretty nervous about it.”

“Well, I wish you the best,” Scorpius said, smiling. “Zissy and I talked, and she said Amira really liked the ruins, so I thought I’d take her to the old castle in Windenburg.”

“How is Zissy?”

06-12-20_1-15-16 PM

“Well, she’s doing alright.” Scorpius sighed. “I think she knows she pushed Skye too far, so she’s a little wary of doing it again.”

Shiro gave him a nervous smile. “Well, I don’t think any of us want her to do it again.”

“Agreed.”

 

Amira and Arhun arrived together at a place that she’d never before seen, and she was almost puzzled, until he turned around and smiled widely at her.

“Welcome to the Balance Spa!”

“Oh my goodness!” she squeaked, looking at him. “A spa? You booked us a spa?”

06-12-20_1-26-28 PM

“Yep! We’ve got a short stay, but I managed to book some things for us. I hope they’ll be enjoyable to you.” He tried not to sound too formal, but Amira’s delight was clear as she looked around. The sound of water was everywhere – he’d read a review saying that this spa had the most relaxing fountains out of all of the nearest ones, and so his research had paid off. This morning had mostly been spent idly checking feedback on this spa.

And they were right about the fountains.

06-12-20_1-31-33 PM

They spent an hour meditating together, in a candlelit room that seemed to have the perfect ambience. Amira found herself soothed and relaxed, and the water feature that trickled just behind them helped immensely.

06-12-20_1-29-55 PM

Once their hour was up, Arhun led her upstairs, where they’d been booked into separate massages. She found that she appreciated that he’d made such a gesture, as she’d have felt a little uncomfortable if he’d assumed they’d get a couple’s massage on a second date.

The masseuse smiled as she rubbed her shoulders. “Just relax…”

And Amira did.

06-12-20_1-34-33 PM

Next door, Arhun was chatting away to the man who was rubbing his feet.

“I’m in a…new environment, and it’s rather difficult,” he admitted. “Some of my housemates don’t get along.”

“Oh, I hear that. It also explains some of this tension.” The man pressed hard. “But that’s a good reason to treat yourself, right?”

“Definitely.” Arhun sighed as he relaxed back into the chair.

06-12-20_1-33-55 PM

 

 

The next date location might not have been a spa, but Amira found herself loving it just as much.

“Shiro, this place…it’s beautiful!” She looked around the secluded beach, while Shiro found himself a little captivated by Amira. He loved how she reacted to new places, new things, with such vibrancy.

“Well, it seemed like your kind of place,” he said, quietly. “I thought that we could go swimming.”

06-12-20_1-36-56 PM

Amira turned around, surprised. She’d not seen Shiro’s mermaid form, although he’d come in dripping water occasionally, and so she followed him down to the beach, waiting patiently.

“My family…we’re very distinctive,” he said, trying not to think exactly how distinctive. “I wanted to show you, but…” He stepped into the water. “I think I was afraid, before.”

06-12-20_1-38-10 PM

A dark fin flicked as he dived past a shoal of colourful fish, the mermaid shape shifting into focus under the beautiful water. Amira stepped in, watching with wide eyes before following suit.

06-12-20_1-40-34 PM

“So…this is me,” he said, as he surfaced. “Do you….”

“Shiro, you…” Amira’s eyes were as fixated on him as they had been on the beach. “You really did this for me?”

“Yeah, I, uh, I guess I did.” He looked embarrassed. “I wanted you to see this. I mean, not a lot of other people have seen this, and…I know that things between us –” He took a deep breath. “You’re the first person to see this side of me in a long while, but I wanted you to.”

“I’m glad I did,” Amira said, softly. More and more, Shiro kept surprising her.

06-12-20_1-41-05 PM

 

 

After that revealing date, Amira ended up at GeekCon, ordering veggie burgers for herself and Zissy.

06-12-20_1-45-54 PM

Zissy, on the other hand, was having a whale of a time behind her, playing a competitive game. All around, people were having fun, wearing costumes, and playing video games. Personally, Amira thought that Arhun would have very much liked it here…had it been inside rather than in a square. She’d started to notice he preferred not to go outside.

But Zissy seemed to be having a good time.

06-12-20_1-45-02 PM

When the match ended, Zissy came over to Amira with shining eyes.

“It’s so good that they’ve made their options more vegetarian!” She smiled down at the food. “Seriously, I love when events are inclusive like this.”

“It’s…a lot to take in,” Amira said, looking around her. “It’s very popular, huh?”

“Well, I guess! But a lot of these popular events seem to find it pretty hard to be inclusive, and not everywhere sources responsibly. Even GeekCon – their shirts are…” Zissy hesitated. “Fast fashion, to be honest.”

06-12-20_1-47-06 PM

“Fast fashion?”

“Not made to last and mass produced. It’s too common and it’s so bad for the environment and the planet. I mean, people think it won’t hurt, but it always does.” She eyed the distant merch stall apprehensively. “But everyone does it. Everyone keeps buying the latest fashions, even if the clothes they have are perfectly good. It’s so wasteful.”

It certainly was something to think about for Amira, who had been given new clothes just for the show. As much as she loved the environment, it seemed more and more like Zissy knew more than she did about it.

 

 

Next up was her date with Scorpius, at an abandoned castle just outside Windenburg.

“Amira!” He took a look at her, and gave her a warm smile. “How are you holding up?”

“Well…” She hesitated.

06-12-20_1-50-58 PM

Scorpius was one of those people who was easy to talk to, she knew that much. He’d been getting along well with everyone. She found herself drawn into opening up a little.

“It’s a lot of responsibility at the moment. Sending someone home – I just wasn’t ready for how I’d feel, especially when everyone has their own good qualities.”

“It’s the nature of the show, not something that you’re to blame for. Everyone signed up for this, and you were enough to make them sign up in the first place.” He gave her a warm smile. “You can relax a little on that front. We all know that there’s the possibility that we’ll lose.”

06-12-20_1-53-13 PM

“That…actually does make me feel better,” Amira admitted. “Especially with the next elimination coming up so soon.”

They wandered the grounds, until Amira found a campfire and decided to show Scorpius what she and her siblings used to do in the summer at the beach with two batons that were free for public use.

She spun around, extending her arms so as not to catch her hair in the flames.

06-12-20_1-54-27 PM

 

 

“My mother taught us all how to fire dance,” she said, as she came to a stop, spinning the sticks.

06-12-20_1-54-46 PM

“Well, I think teachers are only as good as their students,” Scorpius said, impressed. “You’ll have to give me a lesson sometime!”

 

Amira’s next date was at a swimming pool, something she’d never experienced before. She nervously looked around as she climbed up the diving board.

06-13-20_10-39-24 AM

“I figured you wouldn’t have been somewhere like this before,” Ursula called, her voice echoing in the large hall. “It’s pretty neat, and in this sort of place they don’t get many mermaids. Not like your beaches.”

Amira didn’t quite know how to respond.

06-13-20_10-39-38 AM

Once in the water, she looked around for Ursula. She wasn’t sure about the smell of the swimming pool, but felt relieved to see the other mermaid.

“There, see? Not so bad.” From the other girl’s smirk, she could tell her discomfort had been easy to read.

06-13-20_10-41-59 AM

“I…I’ve never been to somewhere like this,” Amira admitted, looking around. “This is all new to me.”

“Well, I come here all the time. It’s a neat place to come if you don’t wanna trek to the beach and need to hydrate.” Ursula smiled. “I mean, it can be crowded, sure, but Windenburg is pretty cool, if you give it a chance.”

06-13-20_10-42-33 AM

Amira was struck suddenly by the thought that perhaps Sulani, much as she loved it, might not be so loved by every mermaid. Shiro clearly loved San Myshuno deeply, and Ursula had, both times, taken her to Windenberg. That she’d ever leave her beloved island had never crossed her mind before, but could she really expect someone else to leave their home for her? She looked around her, and decided to think on it more later.

“I don’t need to be in the sea to have a good time swimming with you,” she said, honestly, and Ursula gave her one of her small, happy smiles.

 

 

That evening, however, her date was with Skye, and at a bar in Sulani. Even though it wasn’t in the water, and even though it was at night, rather than in the sunshine, she found herself much more relaxed and opening up to Skye a little more.

“Sulani is just so idyllic, you know?” She gave her a nervous smile. “And I know what people say about mermaids and the islands and how we never leave, and that just isn’t true, but it’s where I grew up. It’s what I know.”

“Well, I guess that you took a big leap of faith with this show.” Skye’s hand reached for hers. “And I’m glad you did. Meeting you…it’s really been an experience.”

06-13-20_10-53-09 AM

She wanted to say more, confide in Amira about how Zissy and she had fallen out, but she and Arhun had talked and he’d warned her that it probably was best to leave it for now. If Amira felt too conflicted, Skye would definitely regret it. Still, it felt like lying not to tell her.

“Actually, Amira?” Skye looked around. “I know a place not far from here. Do you want to come with me?”

“Sure!”

The ‘place’ was a bench over a little bridge near the bar, surrounded by thick, lush leaves that were better than any giant umbrella you could find.  Amira smiled as Skye sat down next to her.

“Amira, I wanted…to say that no matter what happens, I’m happy that we got to know each other.” Skye took a deep breath. “Because, I really like you.”

“I…like you too.” Amira blushed. “I don’t know how this is supposed to balance, but I feel like I can relax around you.”

06-13-20_10-56-04 AM

That settled it, for Skye. If she told Amira about the screaming match she’d had with Zissy, Amira’s relaxation might be done for.

“Hey, what else are potential datemates for?” she teased.

 

Amira thought things over when everyone was back at the house. Sure, things might not be perfect, and certainly it wasn’t conventional, but this was enjoyable. She didn’t know who she would or wouldn’t get along with, and tomorrow would be a hard decision. But after talking about it with Scorpius, thinking about things, and finally getting to know everyone that little bit better, she felt as though she’d found her rhythm again.

06-13-20_11-03-24 AM

She’d just have to wait and see what tomorrow would bring.

(Side note – I’m unsure if Amira and Zissy’s Hot Weather outfits were their original outfits, as I think I have some lingering issues from the patch. Please let me know if this is so!)

(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 Five: Penguin Party (1.5)

Last episode, we saw the rising tension between Zissy and Skye come to a head with a fight that Arhun broke up. Will they overcome their differences, or is their rivalry for Amira’s heart too powerful? 

The soft sound of the waves lapping against each other in the bay woke Amira from her slumber. She’d been dreaming of something, she was sure…something she could barely remember.

05-29-20_8-50-31 AM

But as she woke up, she remembered what day it was on the timetable and felt her heart lift.

Today was a party – not just any party, but a Black and White Bash! She got out of bed with a smile on her face. Everyone had had an outfit prepared for them by the wardrobe team, and she couldn’t wait to see what hers would be like.

05-29-20_8-51-11 AM

 

Ursula sighed aas she headed towards the gazebo where they’d once again been told to gather. The outfit she’d been given wasn’t her style at all – she really felt like she could have given the wardrobe team some pointers on personality and what to do with black and white.

05-29-20_9-15-35 AM

Arhun, on the other hand, was delighted with the dapper black suit he’d been given. Just for today, he’d opted for contact lenses, which usually he disliked having to put in.

05-29-20_9-14-45 AM

Shiro was similarly pleased with his outfit, feeling quite sharp, although he usually would have preferred a tie with more…pizzazz.

05-29-20_9-15-17 AM

“I feel like we’re in a band,” Skye joked to Ursula, as they headed to the gazebo together. “We look…”

Ursula shook her head. “I’m never going to hear the end of this. This is so not my style.”

05-29-20_9-18-20 AM

At the gazebo, they found a bartender waiting along with a smartly dressed Amira, already chatting with Scorpius.

“Everyone, I’m so glad you could make it! Please, help yourselves to Zebra Fizzes, and let’s get the party started!” Amira’s eyes were shining, and she smiled happily at Scorpius. “I’ve never actually  been to a Black and White Bash, not before. It’s a real novelty!”

He laughed. “Well, at least you get to see us all in formal clothing.”

Skye took a proffered Zebra Fizz from the bartender, smiling as Amira kept talking. She was really loving how animated Amira could become when she became passionate about something.

05-29-20_9-22-34 AM

“And, um, the zebra says, well, if I’m not a donkey, how come I’m such an ass?” Amira blushed as she said it and Skye laughed at the joke.

Scorpius smiled, and Shiro headed to the bar. It was nice to see Amira so in her element, even when she was experiencing something new. She really did take to new things so easily.

Zissy passed behind Skye as she was sipping at her drink, and almost said something, but hesitated. If Skye and she had another fight, now, it would be in front of Amira, and it would definitely put the energy of the house at risk again.

 

05-29-20_9-24-00 AM

So, she said nothing, moving to sit down with Scorpius instead.

“Amira, you look lovely,” Shiro said, giving her a sunny smile. She blushed again, and Skye smiled too.

“I think you’re looking very handsome yourself, Shiro. And all of you, of course.” She patted her dress down. “I wasn’t too sure about whether it suited me.”

“No, black definitely suits you. Maybe we can goth you up sometime,” Skye said, winking at her.

05-29-20_9-25-31 AM

“Scorpius?” Zissy said, quietly. “How am I doing?”

“Well, I’d say you’re doing well considering that you’re very close and neither of you have tried to pick up the argument again.” Scorpius smiled. “Well done, Zissy. Everything seems to be going well.”

Zissy breathed a sigh of relief.

05-29-20_9-26-45 AM

After drinks, they looked to Amira, who gave them a shy smile.

“The show has also provided us with entertainment. Today, we have Baron Gold with us to sing!” She looked down, embarrassed. “Sorry, my mom’s a big fan of his, so I’m really excited. She’s not going to believe it when she sees this episode!”

“Oh my gosh!” Zissy looked up, delighted. “I’ve heard him before! He’s–” She squealed, and even Skye looked impressed.

 

When they went inside, Baron Gold gave them all a smile. He’d been ushered into the living room next to the piano.

“Ladies and gentlemen, for this private entertainment, I’d like to ask if any of you have any requests. I am Baron Gold, and I’m here for one day only.”

“Please…” Ursula stepped forward. “I’d like to hear ‘Heart of the Sea’.”

It was a bold move, but the Baron winked at her and began. It had been a hit single of his a while back, and was wildly popular among mermaids, being considered a romantic classic.

05-29-20_9-35-38 AM

“Oh, this is my favourite…” Zissy whispered.

“When we are parted

Don’t cry for me

We’ll meet again

At the heart of the sea,”

05-29-20_9-34-21 AM

“Hold a shell to your ear

Hear the sound of the sea

Swim to its heart someday

And there you’ll find me,”

05-29-20_9-35-18 AM

Amira closed her eyes, seeing herself back home, hearing her father sing along as he danced her mother around. This particular song was full of so many memories. Her sister had even said that when she got married, she was going to have this as her first dance.

 

Baron Gold performed a few more songs, taking requests, until he bowed, and looked around them.

“I was not sure about this, but I have to say, you’ve been a wonderful audience. Until next time!” He smiled, and Amira watched as one of her mother’s favourite singers left.

“I still can’t believe that actually happened.” She fanned her face. “My mom’s going to  combust.

“Let’s keep partying!” Scorpius cheered. “Come on, we should try showing off some moves, right?”

“Dancing? Sure, why not.” Ursula grinned. “Let’s do this.”

 

“Nice moves, Shiro!” Ursula said, as he spun past her. He grinned, pulling a stunt that he’d learned in one of the nightclubs.

“Thanks, you too!”

05-29-20_9-38-12 AM

While the alternative music wasn’t exactly up her street, Skye cast a flirty look over at Amira. True, Amira didn’t have dance moves as good as Shiro’s or Ursula’s, but seeing her dance was a treat in of itself.

05-29-20_9-39-01 AM

Amira caught the look, caasting a shy smile back Skye’s way.

05-29-20_9-39-12 AM

“I should go get a drink,” Amira said, breathless, a little while later. “I’ll see if there’s any Zebra Fizzes left…”

Zissy watched her go. She had been very sure that this party would be a chance to get closer, but somehow things hadn’t panned out that way. She’d need to step up her game tomorrow.

05-29-20_9-41-10 AM

“Hey, Ursula…” Skye said, quietly. “You know, that was a smooth move earlier with Heart of the Sea.”

“It’s a popular song,” Ursula said, grinning. “I was thinking–”

“Hey, guys?” Zissy cleared her throat. “I was thinking…should we watch a movie tonight?”

Skye was in such a good mood, she didn’t even challenge it.

“You know what, Zissy? That’s a pretty good idea.”

05-29-20_9-42-31 AM

Huh. Ursula smiled to herself. So those two could get along, given the chance.

 

At the bar, Amira was helping herself to one of the Zebra Fizzes. These were so  good, although she hoped her mom wouldn’t scold her for leaving to have a drink. Her feet hurt, and she’d been dancing for a while.

Today had been so amazing. She had been impressed by the romantic move on Ursula’s part, and she’d gotten to talk a lot with everyone. In fact, the party had been a resounding success as far as she could see.

05-29-20_9-43-37 AM

As the party wound to a close, she and some of the contestants decided to take a quick dip in the hot tub, seeing as how a cool breeze was starting to come in across the waves. As the heat soaked in, they ended up talking.

“You know, I’m really enjoying the competition,” Shiro said, with a smile. “There’s so much to experience, and I think because we’re together, it makes it even better.”

“Yeah, I agree,” Ursula said, giving him a quick smile. “Enjoying new things with other people…it’s a crazy thing, but it’s amazing.”

06-06-20_11-06-33 AM

“I’m just enjoying being in Sulani,” Scorpius said, with a smile on his face.

“You know what, buddy? Me, too. I didn’t think I would, but…” Shiro closed his eyes. “It’s beautiful here, and I’m more relaxed than I was in San Myshuno.”

06-06-20_11-07-13 AM

“Hey, you know what I enjoyed?” Skye broke in. “Today! The party was a lot of fun, and those outfits…”

“Hah! Not mine!” Ursula laughed. “Seriously, mine was…so not me? But you’re right, it was kinda fun. And those Zebra Fizzes are something else.”

06-06-20_11-07-27 AM

Amira gave them all a wide smile.

“I think I enjoyed it more because of the company,” she said, quietly and happily. “Baron Gold, the drinks, the conversation…it was everything I’d hoped it would be.”

06-06-20_11-08-28 AM

“Don’t forget the dancing,” Ursula reminded her.

“How could I!” She laughed. “I don’t think I’m going to be winning any trophies for that any time soon.”

It was true, Amira hadn’t been a particularly graceful dancer, but Ursula personally thought that was rather cute.

Later, Amira went up to her room, sitting down in the wicker chair as she breathed a sigh of relief. She’d been so excited for the party that now she was all worn out.

06-06-20_11-25-44 AM

Tomorrow would be a round of speed dating, again, and she was looking forward to it, getting to know the contestants all over again. She’d been surprised, today, by one or two, and she leant back in the chat, hearing it creak.

Tonight, with its soft breeze, was slowly making her more and more tired. Soon, she settled down to sleep, changing into her pyjamas and settling down underneath the covers. Tomorrow was another day.

Will the truce between Zissy and Skye last? Will our sweet siren follow her heart? Find out next time on Mermaid Bachelorette!

(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 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.

05-25-20_10-31-49 AM

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.

05-25-20_10-05-59 AM

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.

05-25-20_10-06-54 AM

“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.”

05-25-20_10-07-22 AM

“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.”

05-25-20_10-09-46 AM

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.

05-25-20_10-13-08 AM

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.

05-25-20_10-15-25 AM

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.

05-25-20_10-21-11 AM

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.”

05-25-20_10-45-25 AM

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.

05-25-20_10-44-14 AM

“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!”

05-25-20_10-45-38 AM

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?!”

05-25-20_10-46-21 AM

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.

05-25-20_10-47-02 AM

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!”

05-25-20_10-47-25 AM

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!”

05-25-20_10-48-35 AM

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.

05-25-20_11-04-19 AM

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!”

05-25-20_11-04-55 AM 

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?”

05-25-20_11-05-32 AM

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.

05-25-20_11-17-55 AM

“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.

05-25-20_11-19-21 AM

“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.”

05-25-20_1-50-12 PM

“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.”

05-25-20_1-51-27 PM

“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.”

05-28-20_8-49-47 AM

“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.

05-28-20_8-55-21 AM

“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.”

05-28-20_8-54-57 AM

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?”

05-28-20_9-01-36 AM

“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.”

05-19-20_1-29-49 PM

“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?”

05-19-20_1-30-27 PM

“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?”

05-19-20_1-48-16 PM

“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!”

05-19-20_1-46-52 PM

“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.”

05-19-20_1-56-46 PM

“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.”

05-19-20_1-57-49 PM

“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.”

05-19-20_2-00-54 PM

“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.”

05-19-20_2-01-38 PM

“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?”

05-19-20_2-03-17 PM

“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.

05-19-20_2-05-22 PM

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.

05-19-20_2-08-12 PM

“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.”

05-24-20_11-10-23 AM

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.”

05-24-20_11-11-10 AM

“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.”

05-24-20_11-11-26 AM

“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.”

05-24-20_11-14-19 AM

“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.

05-24-20_11-18-13 AM

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.

05-24-20_11-19-32 AM

“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.”

05-24-20_11-20-24 AM

“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.”

05-24-20_11-20-50 AM

“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.”

05-24-20_11-21-49 AM

“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.”

05-24-20_11-22-10 AM

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.

05-24-20_11-23-16 AM

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

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

05-24-20_11-24-41 AM

 

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.

05-24-20_11-28-47 AM

“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.

05-24-20_11-29-39 AM

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?”

05-24-20_11-31-11 AM

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.”

05-24-20_11-31-52 AM

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…

05-24-20_11-35-18 AM

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.

05-24-20_11-41-19 AM

“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.

05-24-20_11-43-26 AM

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.”

05-24-20_11-44-31 AM

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.

05-24-20_11-46-24 AM

“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.

05-24-20_11-47-38 AM

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.”

05-24-20_11-48-49 AM

“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.”

05-24-20_11-50-50 AM

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.

05-24-20_11-52-52 AM

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

“My last rose…”

05-24-20_11-54-03 AM

“Is for Arhun.”

05-24-20_11-54-48 AM

“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.”

05-24-20_11-56-17 AM

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.”

05-24-20_11-59-42 AM

“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.

05-16-20_9-48-42 PM

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.

05-16-20_9-50-34 PM

“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.

05-16-20_9-52-55 PM

“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.

05-16-20_9-54-23 PM

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

05-16-20_9-56-23 PM

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.

05-16-20_9-57-02 PM

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.

05-16-20_10-00-28 PM

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.

05-16-20_10-02-08 PM

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

05-16-20_10-06-55 PM

Others not so much.

05-16-20_10-05-12 PM

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.

05-17-20_10-08-22 AM

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.”

05-17-20_10-12-07 AM

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?”

05-17-20_10-14-22 AM

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!”

05-17-20_10-20-30 AM

 

 

 

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.”

05-17-20_10-32-53 AM

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

05-17-20_10-34-31 AM

“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.

05-17-20_10-35-25 AM

“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.”

05-17-20_10-37-18 AM

“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?”

05-17-20_10-44-06 AM

“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.

05-17-20_10-45-26 AM

“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.

05-17-20_10-45-54 AM

“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.”

05-17-20_10-50-37 AM

“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.”

05-17-20_10-51-56 AM

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.

05-17-20_10-50-49 AM

 

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.”

05-17-20_10-55-55 AM

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.

05-17-20_10-54-27 AM

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.”

05-17-20_11-03-55 AM

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!

05-07-20_8-51-20 PM

“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.

05-16-20_5-40-37 PM

 

“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?”

05-16-20_5-51-55 PM

“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?”

05-16-20_5-54-17 PM

“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.

05-16-20_5-55-07 PM

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.

05-16-20_6-14-55 PM

 

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.

05-16-20_6-15-36 PM

“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.

05-16-20_6-39-58 PM

“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?”

05-16-20_6-40-49 PM

“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.

05-16-20_7-05-51 PM

“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.

05-16-20_7-04-25 PM

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?”

05-16-20_7-12-24 PM

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.

05-16-20_8-09-55 PM

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.

05-16-20_8-10-54 PM

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…

05-16-20_8-33-54 PM

…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.

05-16-20_8-44-03 PM

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.”

05-16-20_8-47-24 PM

“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.)