A Human, a Merman, and the Unexpected

By: Charlie Richards

Beneath the Deep: After succumbing to a merman’s charms, a human must learn how to deal with the unexpected consequences.

Tran Poleman has been fighting his attraction to the merman Garan Vermidian for many months. He’s watched his best friends, Wayne and Easton, succumb to the mating pull and bond with mermen. They seem happy, and while Tran wants a little of that for himself, he doesn’t trust this bond the mermen call Adelfi Psychi—soul mates. He’d thought he’d found a guy that could make him happy once before. It had ended with Tran in the hospital, fearing for his life. How could he put his life, his heart, in the hands of another? Still, Garan is kind and charming and persistent. Tran’s resolve weakens, and when the merman offers to do what few men have ever done—to bottom for him—Tran gives in. After waking in the man’s arms, Tran runs. Wayne and Easton eventually track him down... and he learns his dalliance had unexpected consequences. Garan is pregnant. Can Tran put his past behind him? Or will he miss his chance to embrace a future full of love?

Chapter One

Tran Poleman gasped with relief when the treadmill machine’s speed setting went from run back to a slow jog. The short sprinting intervals were kicking his ass... but he sure liked how it made it look. His ass, of course, as well as the amazing muscle tone in his legs and keeping his figure trim.

Just one more interval.

With that thought in mind, Tran focused on settling his breathing back into a steadier pattern. He’d been going to the gym three times a week for the last several years but had skipped a few times recently. Having seen Garan Vermidian lurking around the weight areas had sent Tran into hiding.

Tran knew Garan was a merman. Some would call them a water spirit, briny nix, or nixie. The creature could turn his glittering green and silver-scaled tail into a gorgeous set of legs, in Tran’s opinion.

While Tran would have loved to have shared a romp with the sexy man, there was a problem. Garan seemed to think Tran was his soul mate, something the merman called Adelfi Psychi. Tran didn’t do relationships. Not anymore.

And that was what Garan wanted... a permanent relationship.

It had taken a week holed up in his home for Tran to grow stir-crazy. He’d chastised himself for allowing anyone... hot merman or not... to control his actions in such a way. Tran had learned never to allow another that kind of power over him, and he’d learned it the hard way.

Tran certainly felt the days off now—in his legs. His calves and thighs twinged as he power walked, keeping up with the moving belt beneath his feet. His lungs heaved as he grabbed his water bottle and gulped several swallows.

Putting the bottle back, Tran took in the readout again. Three minutes to catch my breath. He focused on his breathing as he stared vacantly at the TV mounted above and to the left. By the time the machine beeped at him, letting Tran know the next interval was about to start, he felt as if he’d caught his breath.

As the track sped up, Tran did the same. He focused straight ahead as he ran. Almost immediately, he felt the ache in his legs again.

Damn. A week off and I’m so out of practice.

I can make it though.

Tran ran, glancing intermittently at the screen while he counted down in his head. He felt a bead of sweat drip down his lower back and into the crack of his ass. As soon as the machine beeped out the last five seconds of the interval, Tran couldn’t resist reaching backward and rubbing away the itchiness.

“Gods, you have a gorgeous ass,” a deep voice behind Tran rumbled. “I’d love to do that for you.”

Tran whipped his attention to the left. If the machine hadn’t already begun to slow, he would have tumbled off the side. Gaping, Tran just managed to keep walking as he stared at Garan Vermidian.

Holy shit! How could I have forgotten how fantastic he looks?

Unable to pull his gaze away from Garan’s broad-shouldered form, Tran drank in the view. Garan really was stunning. The merman had a wide torso and thickly muscled limbs. His blue eyes were deep, intense, and his smile appeared hungry.

Garan’s thick tawny hair hung around his face, reaching his shoulders, the damp ends brushing his skin. It drew attention to the fact that there was a slight sheen of sweat over Garan’s skin, telling Tran that he’d been at the gym for a while, working out in some way.