The ocean held many secrets, most of which, quite surprisingly, lay in plain sight for anyone to see. As Tara swam towards the exit of the cave with the human still in her arms, she was more than grateful of that fact, because it meant that there was nowhere in the ocean more safe for the two of them than her secret hiding place. Tara found the small cave when she was a teenager. Its location is very close to the borders of her clans underwater city, and was far enough out of the way for her to be alone, yet close enough to her clan to feel safe. Many was the time she had swam there to think about the greater mysteries of the ocean world: Why she felt so alone, why she could not confide in others her deepest desires and most of all, if there was anyone in the world who she could feel love for.
Her legs kicked fiercely as she sped into the cave, knowing that the spell she enacted would not last long. Tara hoped that it was the spell that had caused her unconsciousness. She didn't want to believe that she had accidentally caused the death of an innocent. She would never be able to explain it to the others. Or forgive herself.
She saw the cave wall above her head vanish and replaced with water. She knew then that she had made it into the cave's air pocket. She headed for the surface, feeling her arms and legs beginning to ache. The weight of this human and of the bulk attached to her slowed her down and caused a rather large drag on her ability to swim.
As Tara broke through the surface of the water, she became aware of another ache. Like the others, it was due to the presence of the human. Unfortunately, this ache was completely different and was more difficult to ignore. Now was not the time for it, though, and she knew it. Better to deal with that problem later, if for no other reason than to ensure the human's continued survival. Once she was awake and breathing, then she could deal with these feelings and their possible ramifications.
Loosening her unnaturally tight grip on the human, Tara slowly dragged her body to a cluster of nearby rocks. Reaching her destination, she gathered all her strength and lifted her up, carefully laying her on top of the smooth surface of one of the rocks. The heavy equipment on her back caused her to nearly topple over, but Tara moved quickly to steady her.
Tara began to remove the 'foreign' materials from the human's body. She first moved to the backpack, struggling a bit with as she tried to remove it. But, not being familiarized with this human's contraption, the task was difficult and time consuming. Tara had no time to waste; this beautiful human's life depended on her figuring out the best way to strip her of this heavy burden. She tested several of the straps, finding ones that, once removed, made it easier to slip off. She continued for several minutes, removing the other equipment and clothing until the human was lying nearly nude in front of her, the only covering she wore the red cloth tied with string.
She was prepared, now. As Tara jackknifed under the water, she swam to a nearby collection of small rocks where she usually kept her medicine bag. Normally she and the others who practiced their magic would only do so with each other and not on their own, but she always knew that an emergency would arise that would require her to be ready, and that it never hurt to have some supplies handy.
Granted, she never would have figured that an emergency to save a human's life would ever present itself.
"If Baji knew I was using my talents to heal a human, I'd probably never hear the end of it," she thought as she began to remove the last rocks covering the hole where she kept her bag.
As she did so, she took a moment to reflect on the form that awaited her in the cave above her, recalling some of the details of that exquisite body. Her long red hair was a shade darker as the cloth that she adorned, framing a face that sparkled with the radiant beauty of a child. Green eyes and small, yet undeniably perfect breasts that had been covered by the strange upper garment she had unzipped during her earlier exploration of her body. Well toned legs and sculpted thighs that, though not as muscular as hers, were smooth to the touch, completely devoid of the scales that covered her own.
The human's most attractive feature, however, was her lips. They were...Tara had no idea how to even begin to describe them. Every time she did she found herself wondering how pleasurable it would be to bring her own lips in contact with the human's and gently press, nibbling then parting them ever so slightly to allow her tongue to enter her mouth and explore deeper.
She also briefly thought about how different they appeared. In addition to the lack of scales, she lacked gill slits. Her hair was short and cropped neatly around her head, contrasting with her long and free floating golden locks. What's more, she had made an effort to keep herself from being nude. That was what she found the most strange about her patient. From what she was doing, it made her appear to be as at home in the ocean as Tara herself did, notable physical differences notwithstanding.
She removed the last rock covering her bag then, and reached forward with one arm to grasp it. She kicked her feet and began to swim back to the surface. Breaking through the calm water, she gently swam over to where the human lay and crawled on all fours onto the rocks, taking several seaweed wrappings from her bag and began to place them across the human's exposed abdomen.
After she placed the final one down, she withdrew a clamshell. Muttering an ancient chant and running her fingers across its surface, the clamshell popped open sending tendrils of mist in the enclosed space, which eventually evaporated in the cave's walls. The clam's juices, contained inside the shell, would aid in bringing the human back to consciousness, by drawing her essence to the surface.
Replacing the shell in her bag, she crawled on her hands and knees, stopping mere inches away from the human's face. Tenderly, she began to anoint her head with the clam's juices, creating tiny intricate patterns, invoking the Gods and Goddess of the sea to watch over their children of the ocean.
As she continued, she began the chant necessary to complete the spell. “Oh Goddess, may your light shine brightly on this visitor from above and show her the way back into my..." She paused, caught herself, and hastily amended, “your warm and waiting embrace. Oh God, let your eternal wisdom allow her to come back from the spirit world so that she will see my..." Again, she caught herself and hastily added, “thy waiting arms."
As her fingers finished tracing the pattern on the human's face, she gently placed them against her lips. She bent forward, gradually parting her own lips and lightly pressed them together. She found herself unwilling to break the kiss, though she knew she must. She had to say the final incantation to complete the spell. She parted lips with the human, gently whimpering as she did.
“Come back to us, gentle maiden from above," she whispered.
Willow felt as if she was floating. Granted, this wasn't a feeling that was strange to her. What did make it strange was how uncomfortable it made her feel. She felt guilty in letting herself get as carried away as she did. She began to realize why her parents didn't want her to become involved in diving, insisting that she could never deal with any dangers that may arise. It was just as glad that they weren't here now, she thought. They'd never let her hear the end of it.
It had really been an experience, though. She had to admit that. She hadn't had a more powerful orgasm since her first time in that public swimming pool all those years ago. She remembered from high school how all the girls giggled and said that they never forgot their first sexual encounter. She never could understand it herself, though after he midnight escapade, she could understand a bit better. And now, she wished she could travel back in time and tell them how wrong they were.
Still, a small tingle of fear gripped her heart with one hand as her excitement gripped it with the other. Regardless of how good it made her feel, she had nearly died. But instead of feeling her lungs fill with water and her body grow cold, she just felt...nothing.
She was surprised to find it was a good nothing. She didn't feel dead, nor did she feel alive. It made her feel...uncomfortable.
"But, hey," she thought. "At least I'm still alive. Or am I? Well, if I were dead, I'd certainly know it. I wouldn't be here overthinking my own mortality if I were dead, now would I? No, no, I'd just be waiting in a big line at the pearly gates waiting for the keys to my permanent suite at the Hotel Heaven..."
Her thoughts trailed off as she became aware of the fact that wherever she was, it was making her feel chilled to the bone. "OK. Good. Cold. Oh, wait. No! Cold! Wait. Feel cold, not cold cold. At least I know I'm cold. That's gotta be good, no matter how grim it sounds."
She also became aware of the fact that someone was speaking to her. Had someone found her body? No, nobody could have found her body. She had made this trip by herself. Nobody knew that she had left. No one knew she was here.
Except...except that strange girl she had seen as she tried to find her way to safety. Thinking back on it now, it must have been the seriousness of the situation that she had found herself in that made her mind play tricks on her. That had to be what it was .She was oxygen deprived and in a heightened state of panic. It must have been the only way to explain what she had seen, because strange looking naked women just don't appear out of nowhere.
Through the darkness surrounding her, she heard a beacon calling to her. And she also felt that beacon pulsing over her body, exploring it gingerly. She had the cautious feeling of many slim, nimble fingers touching her chest, caressing her thighs, teasing her breasts and across her face.
Normally the thought of someone casually exploring her body in this manner would disgust Willow. After all, being touched in naughty places was something she didn't like unless she was the one doing the touching. But what surprised her was that she noted how respectful the touch felt, as if whoever was doing it feared to cause her harm.
She also noted, with a small hint of surprise, that it didn't feel that bad.
“Hello?" She thought, trying to get the attention of the mysterious presence. "I don't know who you are, but I'm a human, not a house of cards! You don't have to be so gentle with the touching." She thought for a moment.
"Then again, soft fingers...soft, nimble fingers...soft, nimble fingers dripping with water...soft, nimble fingers dripping with water across my naked body..."
She felt a grin form on her face. "I changed my mind. Keep with the gentle touching, please!"
Just as her mind was getting accustomed to the feel of sensual touching, the hand moved away. If Willow could find the strength to move, or even whimper, she would have.
"Hey! Get back here with the fingers!"
The thought had barely breezed through her consciousness before the touch came back. Or rather, it was a new touch...in a new place
The touch seemed to set her every nerve aflame, bringing her back into consciousness.
Her eyes popped open without any warning, and was surprised to find, staring back at her, something that could only be described as a dream.
After all, nothing in real life could have been as beautiful.