Chapter 4

Seventh Bay

Chapter 4

Storms

“God damn it Jason, what the fuck is your problem?” Jason flinched as his father shouted at him. He’d only seen his dad this mad once, right after his mother had died. His grandma (who had never liked Jason’s father) tried to take Jason away from him. He’d screamed at her for a solid ten minutes, telling her she had no business trying to take his son away. In the end, it had turned into a legal battle, which his grandma had lost.

But back to the moment. “You didn’t get home until one last night!” Jason’s father yelled. “You never stay here long, you come home from school and ten minutes later you’re out the door! You don’t talk to any of your friends. They’ve stopped calling, by the way. Not like you seem to care. You don’t tell me where you’re going. You barely talk to me at all!” He was red faced, completely pissed.

Jason winced. “Look, dad. I go to the bays. They’re safe enough, and I don’t go to the parties. I just go because they remind me of mom.” And just like that, the blood drained from his father’s face. Any mention of his wife always ended whatever argument they were in. He stood stiffly, and walked out of the room. Jason was saddened, but he knew better than to tell his dad what he was actually doing.

He got up, wrote a quick note, and slipped out the back door. He was in such a hurry that he didn’t even notice the shadowy figure rise from the bushes and follow him.


Laven grabbed the rock above his head, pulling himself higher. He knew that Jason would be here soon, and wanted to greet the human in a rather . . . spectacular way. He pulled himself higher. It was low tide, otherwise this would have been easier. At high tide the cave he’d found was flooded, all the way to the hollow above. Unlike the cave he’d shown Jason, this one was deeper underwater, close to the mouth of the bay, It too opened on the rock above, in a hollow that was full of seawater. It looked like a little pond in the rock.

He climbed higher, sweating now. He almost found himself wishing for legs. They would have been very useful in this climb. His tail just hung uselessly below him. He slapped it against the rock in frustration. His hands were sore.

At last, he pulled himself up into the hollow. This one was actually on the side that Jason always came from, so Jason could get to it. But Laven had other ideas. He pulled himself to the edge, and looked down to the water below. It was easily deep enough for him to dive, even from this height. He was sure Jason would be amazed at the sight of him diving into the ocean.

He could hear Jason now, walking down the narrow trail that led to their beach. Laven always got nostalgic when he looked at the beach. It was where he and Jason had first met. When Jason appeared on the rocky shore, Laven called out, “Jason!”

Jason looked up, and surprise flickered across his face. Laven laughed, and threw himself off the rocks. Jason cried out, probably in surprise, just before Laven hit the water. He sliced through it with ease, and used his momentum to carry him towards Jason. When he surfaced, Jason was a few feet away, swimming towards him. Laven smiled. He’s learning.

Then Jason dunked him underwater. Laven growled, surprised at the human’s sudden aggression. He surfaced, and Jason yelled at him, “What were you thinking? You could have died!”

Laven blinked. Then he laughed. Jason was worried about him! The silly human thought he’d been hurt. Jason flushed angrily. “It’s not funny! You can’t go jumping off-”

Laven kissed him, cutting him off. Jason protested weakly, then submitted to the kiss. Laven pulled back, smirking. “I’m fine. A fall like that is nothing to me, not into the water. Besides, I found another cave, and this one leads up there. We could meet there at high tide sometime.”

Jason touched his lips, a shocked look on his face. Laven sighed, and took his hand. “Come on. Let’s go swimming.” And he pulled him under.


Above them, on the cliff Laven had dived from, crouched a young man in dark clothing. He quickly pulled out a cell phone, and dialed a number. He waited a few moments while it rang, then said, “Dude, it’s me. I found out what Jason’s been ditching us for. Do you still have that old fishing net of your dad’s? Just answer the question. You do? Good. Bring it with you and meet me at the sixth bay at midnight. Okay? See you then.” He hung up, and looked down at the human and the merman swimming happily below.

Jason was enough of an asshole for ignoring them for the last few weeks. And then he pulled a stunt like this? Keeping something this big from his friends? He’d pay for it. And then, maybe, he’d remember what his priorities were.


Laven sighed. They were in their cave, staring up at the star-like points of light on the ceiling. Jason rolled onto his side, a questioning look in his eyes. Laven explained, “It’s getting dark. You’ll have to go soon. I’ll miss you . . . .”

Jason smiled sadly. “You’ll see me tomorrow. I’d never willingly go a day without seeing you.” Laven smiled at this, and pulled Jason into a kiss. Jason kissed him back, wrapping his arms around the merman. Laven chuckled, and pulled away. Jason pouted, but Laven was already slipping into the water. “Come on, you. Don’t want you to get in more trouble.” Jason had told him about his father getting angry. Laven personally didn’t care much for anyone who yelled at Jason, but if it could be avoided, he knew Jason should appease his father.

Jason nodded, and jumped into the water with Laven. They went under, and angled out of the cave and towards the surface. They swam on the surface out of the bay, and past several others. Jason’s house was right on the shore, so they would swim all the way there. Laven was curious about where Jason lived, though he disliked being in open sea. Sharks weren’t a major threat to him, as his own fins were razor sharp and he could swim much faster than most sharks. But still, they were dangerous, and Jason wasn’t as adept as he in the arts of water fighting.

When at last Jason told him they had arrived, Laven stared up at the human dwelling in awe. He’d only seen houses from a distance. Now, he was perhaps thirty feet away from one. He and Jason swam closer, silent in the darkening waves. There was a disused dock right behind Jason’s house, which the human climbed up on. Laven pulled himself up, so that he was sitting on the edge of the dock. Jason sat beside him for a moment, delaying the inevitable parting.

At last, Laven pulled Jason in for one last kiss, then slipped back into the water. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He smiled, and then he was gone, beneath the waves. Jason stood, and walked up to his house. Fishing the spare key out of his pocket, he unlocked the door and let himself in.

A glance at the clock on the kitchen wall told him it was after eleven. He crept into the den, but his father was passed out on the couch. Jason smiled sadly. He really was worrying his dad too much lately. He went back to the kitchen and made himself a sandwich. But he hadn’t taken a bite before the phone rang.

Darting over to the phone before it could wake his dad, Jason picked it up and asked quietly, “Hello?”

“Hey old buddy.” Jason froze. He knew the voice, but there was an undercurrent of malice that he’d never heard in it before. Matt continued. “You never call anymore. You don’t stop by. We used to be like brothers Jase. And now you’re always off spending time with that freak?”

Jason stopped breathing. He could have sworn his heart stopped beating. “What did you do to him, Matt?”

Matt laughed. “The fish is fine . . . for now. Come on down to your little hangout and we’ll talk.” He hung up. Jason was out the door in seconds, running towards the Seventh Bay.


Laven swam lazily now that Jason was safely on land, Sharks were no threat to him, he could slice them to ribbons, and he was much faster. He passed the bays slowly, running over his last moments with Jason. The way the human’s lips had felt on his own . . . the way Jason had melted into him.

As he swam into his bay, he was too busy thinking about Jason to notice the net that hung across the rather narrow opening. It was nearly low tide, and the water was only four feet deep. He swam right into it, instantly getting tangled. He gasped, which would have been a problem without gills. He struggled against the mesh, lashing at it with his tail. It severed a few cords, but the material was designed to give. He slashed at it again, but now there were others in the water.

He felt hands grabbing at him, trying to subdue him. He punched someone, and heard a muted curse. A foot slammed into the side of his head, and stars danced in front of his eyes. He weakly tried to fight off his attackers, but there were at least five of them. They hauled him towards the shore, keeping clear of his hands. But then one of them tried to grab his tail.

Laven lashed out with a snarl. The human backed off with a scream, his hand almost cut in half. He clawed his way to shore, sobbing and wrapping his shirt around the hand. Laven felt grim satisfaction, until someone kicked him again. Then, working harder and their breathing strained, they pulled Laven onto the sandy beach.

Laven thrashed, trying to regain the water. On land, he knew he had lost any advantage. He was nothing compared to a human on land. Two of them pinned his arms, and another sat on his tail. The guy was heavy, too heavy for Laven to lift, even with his powerful tail. One of them walked up and knelt next to Laven’s head. “So, you’re the one who’s been keeping Jason from us.”

Laven glared at the human. He was handsome, Laven could see. But his features were screwed up in an ugly smirk. Laven spat at him, and he stepped back quickly. He raised an eyebrow at Laven, and pulled out a cell phone. He’d obviously stayed on land while his friends dragged Laven to shore, because he was totally dry. He dialed a number, and Laven’s rage grew as he started talking to Jason.

He snapped the phone shut, and smirked at Laven again. “I told Jason you weren’t hurt. But that can change real quick if you don’t watch yourself. Understand?” Laven hated it, but he didn’t respond. Matt turned away from him, towards his wounded friend. “Levi, how’s the hand?”

Levi was still sobbing, clutching his hand. “H-hurts like fuck!” He strode over and kicked Laven in the side. Laven grunted, glaring daggers at the human. He flexed his tail, but couldn’t dislodge the human sitting on it. Matt smiled, and knelt next to Laven.

“I don’t see what he sees in you, fish.” He ran a hand up and down Laven’s tail, making the merman see red. The lack of water was already making him uncomfortable. The oils on the human’s hands started to burn the sensitive scales. Then Matt’s hand brushed right there, and Laven jerked against the humans holding him down. Matt raised an eyebrow, then realization flashed across his face. He rubbed the spot, and Laven thrashed again, but even his superhuman strength wasn’t adequate. Matt smirked at the distressed merman, and Laven’s only thought (other than rage) was that Matt needed to learn some new facial expressions.

Despite his revulsion for the human, Laven felt himself beginning to become aroused. He swore at Matt, and redoubled his efforts to get free. The human smiled, and rubbed harder. Then Laven felt something give.

With a massive surge of strength, he threw the large human off his tail. With quick strikes, he slashed at the ones holding his arms, and they backed up quick. Laven jumped on Matt, pinning him to the ground. He brought his tail up, so that it tickled Matt’s chin. Laven could hear the other humans scrambling, and he knew he couldn’t fight them all off, at least not without killing them. He had no aversions to the thought, but he knew Jason would be disappointed, or ever hurt. So he leaned in close, and whispered menacingly into Matt’s ear, “Touch me like that again and you’ll be drowning in your own blood, human.”

They pulled Laven off Matt, and started throwing punches and kicks. One of them produced a switchblade. Laven blacked out not long after that, but whether it was pain or blood loss, he wasn’t sure.


Jason ran as fast as he could. He tripped twice, scraping his hands raw. But he got up and ran on. At last, the path that led to the seventh bay was ahead. He sprinted up it, ignoring the way his sides screamed at him, the way his breath rasped and his lungs burned.

He crested the cliffs, and instantly zoned in on Matt and his gang. They were gathered around a limp form on the beach. His heart in his throat, Jason jumped and fell more than ran towards them. They looked up, and I noticed that a few of them were bleeding. Levi was nursing a ruined hand. Anthony and Ray were dabbing at deep cuts on their arms. And Laven . . . .

Jason shoved Matt out of the way like he was nothing, and pushed David, Roy and Isaac away. They stumbled back, but to Jason they had already ceased to exist. He knelt next to Laven, brushing a hand along his arms, across his ribs. He appeared to have a few broken ribs. Jason couldn’t be sure if anything was wrong in his tail, but he was bleeding everywhere. He was unconscious.

Jason rounded on Matt with a growl. “What the fuck did you do to him?” Matt raised his hands, likely to explain or turn the situation around. Jason didn’t let him. He punched Matt in the face, then rounded on the others. Levi was in no condition to fight, and the others looked hesitant to fight me. Jason jerked a thumb towards the path. “Get lost.”

They ran, but Matt stayed behind. Jason pulled his shirt off, and used it to stop the bleeding in the worst places. Laven looked too beat up. And if Jason didn’t do something . . . .

Jason looked at Matt. “If you want me to ever talk to you again, you’ll help me. Then maybe I won’t kill you for what you did to him.”

Matt nodded weakly. “What do you need?”

Jason snapped his fingers. “Your phone. I can’t do anything for him here. Maybe at my place . . . we have a few first aid kits. Quick, the phone!” Matt pressed it into his hand, and Jason dialed a number, and took a deep breath before hitting send. “My dad’s gonna love this.”

 Chapter 5

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