Dream Worlds Are Born

Story 637: Zephyr & Adlai 2

Zephyr sat up in bed, looking over at his sleeping fiance and smiling. He leaned down to kiss her cheek then walked over to the bathroom in their room. They were on a cruise ship, It was not only the first cruise of her life but their first trip since their engagement. He had confessed to her part of the reason why her best friend Karen didn’t like to share too many personal details and the double edge to his sisters teasing when she’d joke about him being preternatural. She had taken the fact that he and his half sister were Nuckelavee incredibly well and this cruise was a way to thank her for it. He obviously loved the sea and he had already known she had not experienced a cruise in her life. They were taking one that would last two weeks, taking them to many amazing ports where he planned to show her the most amazing time of her life as a thank you for not only accepting him and his sister but agreeing to spend her life with him.

She had been overflowing with questions and he answered them with Karen at his side the best he could, even shifting for her both on land and in the pool. His form was different on land than it was in the water and he wanted her to know everything before he asked her to marry him. Her next question came as no surprise “do you look the same Karen?” she shook her head “some beings can have half breeds but not Nuckelavee. I may share a father with Zephyr but I’ll never be able to shift or have any special abilities. I wont even live forever like he will. I can’t give you a reason why. It’s seriously just as simple as not all beings can pass traits on if both parents aren’t the same breed.”

Zeph began speaking again “an example being if my dad had sex with an angel the child would just be an angel when they were born really. Karen has a human mother so is technically just a human because she wont develop Nuckelavee traits…it’s why we are so rare. Mixed breeding obviously happens a lot and thats fine for most, they wont go extinct but Nuckelavee are dyeing out”

He was thinking about that conversation as he showered. He was incredibly close to his sister, had tried to give her options to be immortal as well many times but she insisted she wanted to live a human lifespan. Now that he loved a human he wanted to offer the same chance to Adlai and hoped that maybe since Adlai was her best friend, if she said yes maybe he wouldn’t have to mourn his sisters death either. Though is stood to reason Adlai might be the same. When he offered her options to live forever with him she might make him watch her grow old and die aswell. He was near tears when he forced himself to shake it off.

This was going to be a happy cruise. This was his thank you to Adlai for loving him and he wouldn’t taint it. This was another conversation for their future, maybe when she brought up children. If she allowed him to make her immortal before children their children would be immortal and he knew that would make the offer much more tempting.

Zephyr just stood under the hot spray, lost in his thoughts until Adlai pulled the curtain back to join him “good morning” she said sweetly but obviously still trying to wake up. He smiled at her “good morning” she hugged him and despite the fact she felt cold since he was so warm he melted into it. “I know you signed us up for some stuff. Is any of that today?” she asked before starting to get her hair wet to clean it. “today is a free day. Nothing I planned starts until tomorrow. There was a few things today but nothing that wont happen again another day. Since this is your first cruise I thought you might want to start it exploring the ship”

“You’re so good at guessing what would make me happiest. Are you sure that isn’t some ability of yours?” she asked with a grin, grabbing the small bottle of shampoo to squeeze some out. “I’m sure” he enjoyed letting his eyes travel Adlais body as she cleaned herself. Once she was done he got out aswell “want to join the breakfast buffet or have room service?”

“I don’t think I can stay in the room another second. I’m too excited”

“Buffet it is then my love” The two dressed and left their room, both starving and eager to walk around. They were a little late to breakfast so it didn’t take too long to go through and fill their plates. Finding a place to sit however proved more difficult but they finally found a spot “this is actually better than I expected. Buffet food tends to suck” Zephyr chuckled “this is one of the more expensive cruises. All the food should be incredible, especially since I’ve paid for us to be able to have the special dinners every night.” she kissed his cheek “I love you so much Zephyr…thank you so much for this. You really have spent too much again”

“You’re happy, thats worth any amount of money. I want you to experience everything you’ve ever wanted. It’s for me too, we’re going to have so much fun during our life together, I’m going to make sure of it”

Adlai was ready to tour the ship the minute they were finished eating and Zephyr couldn’t help the laugh that bubbles up at her enthusiasm. They headed out together, his draped across her shoulders to keep her close. “I can’t believe how huge this ship is.” She said. “It doesn’t feel like we could actually see everything in a day.”

“Maybe if we ran?”

She smiled. “I think I’d be ready to pass by the time I reached the other side of the ship.”

He kissed her cheek. “Then I’d just carry you.” He came to a stop and turned, taking her hand and dropping down on one knee. “My sweet princess, I would gladly bear any burden, would carry you anywhere, as long as you rewarded me with your affection.”

Adlai started giggling when she realized he was doing one of his characters. “You’re such a dork.” She said through her laughter and he stood, grinning.

“But an effective dork.”

“You’re going to get caught by a fan if you aren’t careful, then we might have to hide you.” She teased.

“I’ve already been caught by one, gorgeous.” He winked and she blushed. He couldn’t help teasing her about her crushing on him, it was honestly adorable and warmed his heart just thinking about it.

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They kept a slow pace, even if they didn’t see the whole ship today they always had the following days between the activities Zephyr had planned for them. Honestly, if she didn’t feel like she experienced enough on this cruise he’d book it again because he truly did mean all the sweet things he told Adlai. He’d do anything for her love and to keep her happy with him. She was everything he had ever wanted and some things he hadn’t even known he wanted in a partner. One thing Adlaid couldn’t help but notice was how beautiful the ship itself was.

Great care and time had been taken in everything and it showed. She even began taking close up pictures, wanting to share them with anybody who cared to look. Even if she didn’t have people she could show, they would be nice to add to her background folder on her computer at home. She put all her best pictures in it so her desktop would change every ten minutes to something else she liked looking at.

Noon rolled around and they went to get lunch, Adlai wanting to eat outside. Zephyr was more than happy and it was even better when they looked over the side and noticed a couple of dolphins. “How cute.” She said.

“We’ll have to set up a time to swim with some.”

“You spoil me too much.”

“Correction, I don’t spoil you enough. I want to give you everything. I’d give you the world if I could.”

She giggled. “Sounds like something a super villain would say.”

“I’ll have to play one next time I get the chance.”

“I can’t wait, I can tell everyone my fiance’s the conqueror of worlds.”

“Lord of darkness and master of universes. My entire evil arc would be me stealing things to fund my ability to spoil the woman I love.”

She nudged him, laughing. “Dork.”

“I try.”

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They laughed joyously together a few moments and spent the rest of their day just admiring things and playing around with eachother. Their first activity the following day was a towel folding class. They were going to learn how the maids made those cute little animals that appeared in the bathroom every time the room was cleaned. Zephyr was glad he had made such a good choice. Adlai was beaming and just as excited as he pictured she’d be. They both took to it fairly easy which didn’t seem to be the case for everyone. Adlai took a few sneaky pictures so they could giggle later without hurting anybodies feelings now.

They had so much fun with it they ended up buying the DVD the class offered to help them learn how to make even more animals with towels. They knew they wouldn’t be doing it much but it had been fun and would give them another thing to do together once they were home. Adlai was thinking of maybe even teaching a few of her friends at home the skill.

Once they were back in their room they looked at some of the more derpy towel animals and giggled, just passing the time that way and talking until their next activity. The next thing was a comedy show you could buy tickets too. Zephyr was glad he had booked it in advance because as they walked in there were some disappointed people who couldn’t get a seat.

“Give me a second.” Zephyr said and went up to talk to the woman selling tickets. He leaned over the counter and lowered his voice. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to pay for their tickets for the next show.”

“Are you sure, sir?”

“Of course, it’s not that much.”

“Alright.” He handed the woman his card and smiled at the people who were waiting around. Once he had his card and the receipt, he asked her to hand out the tickets and then went back to Adlai.

“That was sweet.”

“They seemed like they were really looking forward to it, besides, a couple of them had kids so I couldn’t say no.”

She sighed, a smile spreading across her face. Things like this was why she loved him so much. He had a heart of gold and was always giving to others. She couldnt resists giving him a gentle, brief kiss on the cheek once they sat down. He grinned then leaned over to give her a gentle kiss on the head. He loved helping others out but it was even better now that it made the love of his life this happy. The comedy show ended up being well worth the money, having them both laughing with eachother long after it was over.

That night Adlai woke around two am. She wasn’t sure why, maybe someone had briefly been loud or maybe it was nothing at all. All she knew was that she was awake and she wasn’t falling back asleep any time soon. It was tempting to give Zephyr a kiss on the cheek before getting out of bed to stretch but she had woken him that way before and didn’t want to do that to him tonight, not when he was giving her this amazing trip.

She decided to go on a little walk, leaving him a not in case he woke while she was gone. The last thing she wanted was for him to worry. She slipped on her house coat and slippers then grabbed the room key and left, wanting to breath in the night air. The first blast of cool air gave her goosebumps, but she enjoyed it. She leaned against the railing and let her eyes travel up to the sky. There were so many stars out here in the middle of the ocean and she could help but let out a contented sigh. She loved it out here and loved Zephyr all the more for taking the time to put this together. She looked down at the ocean and felt herself get dizzy as she watched it move past. She blinked and stepped back away from the railing, feeling her stomach flip.

She took a deep breath, relieved when her head cleared. That was the first time she had become seasick, but she figured it was just her eyes trying hard to focus on the water and the ship’s movements at the same time. She pressed a hand against her abdomen and leaned back against the wall until it settled, then continued her walk.

Things seemed to distort again as she made her way to the front of the ship and she nearly fell, managing to twist her ankle as she stumbled. There was a bench nearby and she hobbled toward it, wincing with each step it took. “what is wrong with me” she half whispered to herself. Was this sea sickness or was something wrong? She almost completely forgot about how much her ankle hurt when she could have sworn some large creature ran past her “what the fuck” she exclaimed, adrenaline now coursing through her.

Something was happening unless she had some serious food poisoning or something else of that nature. Maybe she’d wake up and find whatever she was experiencing was just a dream. She stood and the noise she heard next was disgusting, deep and guttural sounding. Something sharp sank into her shoulder and to her horror when she jerked her head to see it was claws. Next thing she heard was a loud crack…she didn’t want it to be what it sounded like but she quake of the ship told her that crack had definitely come from the ship.

Zephyr jerked awake at the loud crack, reaching for Adlai, his heart jumping when he found she wasn’t there. He jumped up, feeling a dark sensation moving through the ship as he stumbled out of the room, spotting Adlai’s note. He sprinted out of the room just as an alarm went off and the captains voice came over the loud speaker. Others were already in the hall, their faces panic stricken. He pushed past them, going straight for an exist, only wanting to find Adlai.

Adlai cried as she ran away from the creature that had wounded her, her hand pressed to her shoulder to stop the bleeding. She felt the ship pitch a little and hand to grab the railing so as not to fall down. She heard the thing behind her and forced herself to keep moving back in the direction she had come from. When she saw Zephyr coming around the corner, she actually screamed, tears running down her face. He ran toward her and then past her, slamming into the creature.

Relief and a new flood of worry flowed into her at the same time. Relief her boyfriend was there to protect her but worry he might be fatally harmed in teh fight. Her boyfriend was a Nuckelavee, a demon when you broke it down but she couldn’t help but worry. These things could be anything and obviously wanted to slaughter everyone aboard. Thee mixed feelings soon settled more on relief when Zephyr killed the thing and threw it off the ship before scooping her up into his arms “Adlai” his voice was emotional as he spoke her name “Zephyr” her voice was filled with equal emotion.

“Close your eyes.” Zephyr ordered as the smell of blood hit his nose. “And cover your ears.”

Adlai did as she was told and squeezed her eyes shut and clamped her hands tightly over her ears. She felt another tremor move through the ship and let out a whimper. She didn’t understand why this was happening or how something so calm could go so wrong. She turned more into Zephyr and he held her tighter as he moved through the ship. Zephyr could feel dark energy moving through the ship and he realized that they had found their way into a pocket of sorts in the middle of the ocean. He knew they popped up from time to time and they had just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He needed to get Adlai off the ship before something else happened to her.

He had her climb onto his back as he ran for the edge, now his only goal was to get her far away from this ship and whatever else lingered in this ocean pocket. Thankfully he was the perfect sort of demon for this situation but his run for it wasnt clean, he had to kill off more, hoping this wouldn’t all be too traumatic for his beloved. This was supposed to be romantic, this was supposed to be the opposite of what was happening but he’d get her through this and hopefully, find some way to make up this horror she was now having to live through. He felt some relief when he could finally dive off the crumbling ship even though he knew they were far from out of danger yet.

He hadn’t spent very much of his life in the water, he was nowhere near an expert in navigating it and now he’d have to somehow get his beloved to land. He’d prefer swimming her home and he hoped maybe some other sea creature might be helpful so he wouldn’t end up swimming them to some foreign land that might traumatize her more than she’d already be from all of this.

Adlais muscles painfully tensed in the ice cold water and it broke Zephyrs heart when he felt it. This was nothing to him, he was made for this in the form he was in but his beloved would have to suffer and there was nothing he could do. Even if she wanted to change he couldn’t change her in the middle of the ocean, it would be so much to recover from for a mortal.

“Zephyr, are those things in the water?” Adlai asked through her shivering.

“I don’t know.” He wouldn’t lie to her, especially about something dangerous and he felt her grip in him tighten. “I’m not letting them take you from me, I promise.”

“All those people, I hope some of them made it off okay.”

“Me too.”

It was a few minutes later when he felt something moving through the water beneath them and he stopped, simply treading water. “What’s wrong?”

“Stay really still okay?”

“Is it bad?”

“I don’t know.” Adlai had been bleeding when they dove in and her wounds were still open, but that didn’t necessarily mean predator. He stayed ready all the same.

Adlai used every bit of will she had to keep still. Wounded and cold, her body wanted to keep shaking like a rattle. Zephyrs full concentration was on whatever was swimming beneath them. He grew more tense as it started to come up but he noticed it swimming so it wouldn’t pop up right before them. Once they were on the surface Zephyr knew the creature for what they were “You’re a Neried” he stated softly and the woman smiled, though her expression was concerned “yes, I noticed you two, especially the girls wounds. I can help, its dangerous for a wound like that to be in open water.”

“shes human, if you’re home is below she wont make it”

“I’ll bring some stuff up then but swim a bit further north. I woudnt sit right here. That wreck is going to attract much more dangerous attention than mine”

“Okay, I wont swim too much further” she nodded and went down and he swam as fast as he could, no longer worried about maintaining his stamina until he felt he had added enough distance between them and the wreck. The minuets now felt painfully long before the female Neried showed back up with a small bag “How are you…” she paused, obviously wanting her name. “I’m Adlai and I’m okay, just really cold”

“I brought something to help you with that too” The Neried assured.

The first thing she held out was a plant. “What’s that?”

“If you eat it, you’ll be warm.”

“It’s okay Adlai.” Zephyr said.

She took the plant from the Neried and took a bite. It was surprisingly sweet and she felt herself warming almost immediately. “Thank you.”

“Now, I would like to stop your wound from bleeding.”

“Okay.”

The Neried had a container in the other hand which she opened as she moved closer to Adlai. She dipped her fingers in and rubbed some blue jelly like substance on her shoulder. “There are small creatures in it that will help knit your skin. Once they are done, they will go back into the water.”

“Thank you so much.”

“You are very welcome.” She closed the container as soon as she was done. “There is an island to the further North of here, it’s a ways so I will call you some help. Please do not be alarmed.” She slid beneath the surface of the water. Adlai jumped when a fin broke the surface of the water, but the Neried soon resurfaced. “It’s okay, he’s a friend.”

“That’s a shark.” Zephyr replied.

“He will not hurt you, he’s nice.” She let her hand run over the shark’s back. “If you hold to his fin, he will take you to the island.”

Zephyr loved the sound of not having to swim this on his own. He was made for the sea but even a sea creature could get out of shape when it came to swimming long distances. Zephyr grabbed on without fear, knowing if the Neried trusted this shark, he could too. It was ingrained in their very souls to be good and wise creatures. It was nearly unheard of for them to cause others pain or be untrustworthy in the slightest. Silence fell betwee Zephyr and Adlai awhile but eventually he asked “how do you feel my love…” There was a sad pause to it that didn’t get missed by Adlai. "“I’m alright, really”

“I’m…so sorry”

“YOu could not have known this would happen. Terrible things can happen doing anything. We had such a good time baby, please, dont feel any guilt about the situation we’re in”

“I’ll try”

Even though they had been pulled to the island, they were both exhausted by the time they arrived there. The shark took them right up to shore and Adlai couldn’t help but give the creature a gentle pat before it was slipping back into the sea and Zephyr was carrying her out of the cold water. He didn’t stop until he was standing in grass rather than sand and then he dropped down and hugged Adlai to him. She could feel him shaking and she hugged him back. “It’s okay.” She said.

“I could have lost you.” He pulled back, his hand coming up to brush her hair back. “I was this close.”

“I know, but you came for me, I knew you would.”

“Are you really okay?”

“I’m a little cold and I hurt, but other than that, I’m fine.”

“Then let’s find somewhere warmer than the beach.” He stood, taking her with him.

“How are we going to get home?”

“I’m sure the coast guard will send a search party, we just need to wait.”

They walked hand in hand, getting away from the breeziness of the beach and finding a nice, hot spot with lots of surrounding trees to dull the chill what little breeze brought this far in. They stripped, knowing get the damp clothes off would help too. There werent others to see them anyway, at least not right here and Zephyr guessed the Nieried would have said something if there were inhabitants. He hung their clothes in a tree, making sure they sat in direct sunlight so they could pull them back on sooner.

Once they were naked they found a comfortable spot to cuddle and wrapped in one another. Zephyr kissed Adlais head and whispered “I love you so so much my darling”

“I love you too, this will definitly be a vacation to remember” Adlai giggled the words and it caused Zephyr to smile. It nearly made him cry he was so happy to hear she could laugh at all this already. “I promise I’ll get you home safe”

“we’ll get home safe together” she answered softly.

Adlai fell asleep and Zephyr couldn’t blame her. The attack had exhausted him as well, but he couldn’t let himself sleep until they were completely safe. The island being empty now didn’t mean it would stay that way. He gave Adlai a half an hour before he gently woke her so he could check their clothes. He needed to find somewhere on the island that gave them equal parts shelter and a good vantage point just in case someone or some thing showed up. They both got dressed and Zephyr took her hand and they started walking again.

“You know, this whole experience is going to be great for your career.” Adlai teased as they searched the island. “Voice actor saves fiance and escapes sinking ship.”

“Sounds like a bad anime relationship. Sinking ship.”

She laughed and he pressed a kiss to her cheek. “You’re such a dork, I love you.”

“I love you too.”

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