It was a slow night, but even if it hadn’t been, Sam would have noticed the man as soon as he walked into the bar.
He was about as close to a 10 as Sam had seen in a while— to his own personal taste, at least. 20-ish, medium height, with shaggy blond hair, and built shoulders. Green eyes. Sam could see the color of them across the room, caught in the streetlights coming through the bar window.
Blond guy was scanning the bar, and caught Sam’s gaze. He gave Sam a half-smile, and Sam considered that enough of an invitation. He walked over, looking for some opening, and handily, one presented itself.
“Look at that,” Sam said. “We’re wearing the same necklace.” Blond guy had on a tight blue t-shirt and a pendant on a leather cord: a blue diamond with a gold spiral on it.
Blond guy’s mouth twitched into a surprised smile, as if that had been the last thing he’d expected Sam to say. “So we do.”
“Buy you a drink?” Sam asked.
Blond guy was doing his own appraisal of Sam, from his sandals to his jeans to his pink shirt, open at the collar to reveal the necklace. “Sure,” he said. “I’m Evan.”
“Sam. What are you drinking?”
“Anything with an umbrella.” When Sam snorted a laugh, Evan said, “Hey, I don’t get up here all that often. I want to try everything.”
That was an opening if Sam had ever been handed one. “Really?” he asked, attempting to get the tone right.
It seemed like he’d gotten his message across, at least. “Why not?” Evan said, his eyes tracing their way over Sam’s body again.
They had some ridiculous rum cocktail named for a pirate— this was a beachside bar— and then they danced. The dance floor was dark and hot, with flashing lights that made everything even harder to see. Evan was a handsy dancer, Sam discovered. He was touching Sam wherever was polite— shoulders, chest, neck— and then his hands began straying toward more daring places.
Evan had a bit of an unusual scent to him, too, though it was nothing bad. Sam expected sweat and maybe cologne, but Evan smelled more like saltwater than anything else. Not fish or the salted harbor air, but saltwater. Sam supposed he might be one of those athletes that took a swim in the ocean every day.
When they relocated to a dark corner, Sam tested his athlete theory, running his hands under Evan’s shirt to feel his muscled shoulders, down to his trim waist. He definitely felt like a swimmer, and Sam was going to ask about it, but Evan had his tongue in Sam’s mouth, and that was really more important.
When he could get a breath, Sam said, “You want to get out of here?” Evan nodded, a wicked smile on his face.
Sam expected to head to the alley behind the bar or maybe a hotel room if Evan had one. He did seem a little bit like a tourist. But instead, Evan took Sam’s hand and tugged him toward the beach.
Definitely a tourist, Sam thought. “Hey, man,” he said, “I know it sounds romantic, but I can tell you, sand gets everywhere.”
Evan gave him a curious look. “I thought out in the water,” he said.
“In the— it’s cold!”
Evan stopped tugging on Sam’s arm. “If you don’t want to, I understand. We can just—”
“No,” Sam said hastily. “Water’s fine. Try everything, right?”
Evan looked a little surprised again, but he laughed. “That’s right.”
Sam tugged him closer, and they kissed as they stumbled across the beach. Evan unfastened Sam’s shirt and left it in their wake, then pulled off his own t-shirt and tossed it. The pendants from their necklaces clinked together as they ground against each other.
One nice thing about the beach, Sam noticed, was that it was completely dark out here, which was awfully nice if you wanted to be half-naked or completely naked. Sam’s eyes seemed to be adjusting slowly, though. As they splashed through the first ankle-high waves, it almost looked like Evan’s skin was turning darker in places.
Sam was a little more interested in getting Evan’s shorts off than he was looking at what was already bared, but just as he was sliding down the man’s zipper, Evan gave a cry of surprise and let go of Sam, backing away. “Oh, dear god,” he said. “You have legs.”
Sam was at a loss. “Am I not supposed to have legs? I’m fairly attached to them.”
But that was when Sam finally realized what he was looking at. The dark patches on Evan’s skin were scales, like a fish would have. They ran up from his waist and over his shoulders in graceful spirals. And below his shorts was— well, it was a tail. Like— like a mermaid. Sam couldn’t understand how Evan was standing on it until Evan took another step and Sam realized that it was a split tail. Two fully scaled tails with large, delicate fins running down the outsides. The largest fins were at the bottom, and they were waving in the shallow water.
“Oh,” Sam said.
Evan came forward again, sort of half-walking, half-gliding and grabbed the necklace around Sam’s throat. “Where did you get this?” he demanded.
“Street vendor. It was for some ocean charity, I think.”
“I have to go,” Evan said.
“Yeah. Okay.” Sam backed out of the water and onto the beach. Evan vanished into the sea.
Sam didn’t go back to the bar for a couple of weeks. The first night he did, he realized he had gone with the sole intention of seeing if Evan had returned. Which he had not. So Sam left.
But he’d only gotten about a block away when he met Evan on the sidewalk. “Hey,” Evan said. “Uh— I didn’t know where you lived.”
Sam was trying very hard to look at Evan only from the waist up— where he was still ridiculously attractive in another tight shirt— but after a moment, his eyes did drop down. Evan was wearing shorts, and below those were two entirely normal legs.
Evan didn’t seem surprised that Sam was looking. “I’m sorry,” he said.
Sam shrugged, as if perhaps to imply that it wasn’t the first time he’d been dumped for being the wrong species. “No worries, man.”
“So, um— I need your help.” Evan fished the pendant out from under his shirt. (Sam had stopped wearing his, for obvious reasons.) “I need to find the artist who’s making these. It’s, ah— it’s been causing a bit of confusion.”
“And what are you going to do if you find her?” Sam asked.
Evan pulled a wallet from his pocket and showed Sam a very large bundle of cash. “Buy the rest of her stock and ask if she wouldn’t mind not making this design again.”
Sam pointed farther down the sidewalk. “She was on the boardwalk a couple of weeks ago. Might still be there.”
They walked along together. Evan still smelled like salt water, which now made sense. “I have so many questions,” Sam said.
“I’m not a specimen.”
Sam tried not to laugh. “I’m a marine biologist.”
Evan tipped his head back with a groan. “Of course you are. Fine, you can ask two questions.”
“Internal at the moment.”
“Well, not me personally.” Evan shot him an amused smile. “But, yeah. Just don’t say ‘fascinating,’ okay?”
Sam made a face as if he had never heard of the word. “Of course not. Boring as hell. Mermaids— mermen. Merpeople? Oh, here’s the artist.”
The artist, whose name was Ariel (no, really) was very happy about the cash. She was also quite savvy about business, and somehow Evan ended up in a contract to buy ten of the necklaces a month in exchange for exclusivity of the design. After all, Ariel said, a percentage of the sales did go to a “protect our seas” charity.
As to the provenance of the pendant— Ariel said she’d found one on the beach one day, and liked it so much she’d reproduced it. Now that Evan was objecting, Ariel worried it might be copyrighted. Evan assured her it wasn’t. But he did leave out the part where it was confusing to horny merpeople if humans were also wearing the I’m-a-merperson identification symbol.
“Now what?” Sam asked, as they left the booth. The sun had fully set over the water and the vendors were closing up.
“Now we fuck, and then I go home,” Evan said.
“Oh, thank god,” Sam said. “About the first part, I mean.”
Evan gave him a full smile now, looking flattered.
“And then?” Sam asked. “Will you come back?”
Evan shrugged. “I might.”
“Because I really would like to get some skin samples—”
“Oh, fuck off,” Evan said, with a snort.
“Well, maybe I can visit you,” Sam said eagerly. “I can scuba dive. Or if there’s some way you could—”
“What, give you the ability to breathe water with a kiss? Don’t believe everything you see on TV.”
“You mean like merpeople?” Sam asked. “Anyway, it’s just— you would be an incredible tour guide.”
“You could never tell anyone. Scientists hate that.” Evan took Sam’s hand and tugged him onto the beach again, into what was now full darkness.
“How do you know? Are you fucking other scientists?”
“I saw it on TV.” Evan pulled Sam into a ravenous kiss. He was just as handsy as before, grabbing Sam’s ass to grind their hips together.
They stumbled into the water, stripping each other’s shirts off. Sam tugged at Evan’s shorts. “I want to see you, please.”
Evan smirked as he unfastened his shorts and kicked them away. As Sam’s eyes adjusted to the dark he could see the scales spread over Evan’s body, now that he was back in the water again. Delicate spirals of scales appeared over his chest and arms. His face seemed to change slightly, growing more gaunt. Twists of scales curled up his neck and onto his cheeks.
Evan’s legs turned back into his split tail, fully covered in dark blue scales with gently waving fins. Evan also had a cock, which was fully hard. It didn’t have scales, but it was still blue in color.
“Ready to try everything?” Evan asked.
“Hell, yes,” Sam said.
Evan grinned. “Fuck me then.”
Sam struggled a second with his own shorts until he managed to strip them off. Evan took his hand and began leading him into deeper water. Sam hissed a little as taller waves began to hit him, and Evan slowed. “Oh, I forgot you think it’s cold. Hang on.”
Evan walked (swam? It was hard to tell at this point) back toward the beach and led Sam into the calmer waters beneath the pier, until only their lower legs (or tail) were still submerged. “Better?” Evan asked.
“Yeah.” Sam surged forward and kissed him. Evan’s body was warm where Sam’s was chilled, and Sam took advantage of it, clinging to him. They backed up until Evan was pressed against one of the support legs of the pier.
Evan moaned into Sam’s mouth, and his hand moved between them to tug on Sam’s cock. “Oh, yeah,” Evan breathed. “I need that inside me. Come on.”
“I don’t have any lube,” Sam said, as he was mouthing at the smooth scales on Evan’s neck.
“You don’t need it. I’m sort of naturally—”
“What, really?” Slowly, Sam slid his fingers down, past Evan’s leaking prick and between his tails, where he was slick with some sort of natural oil. “For insulation?” Sam asked. “Or speed—”
“No science,” Evan protested, moaning as Sam slipped a finger inside his ass. It went in easily, but Evan was still incredibly tight.
“Sorry.” Sam put in another finger and started to stretch him.
“Oh, fuck, yes,” Evan said. He lifted up one of his tails and wrapped it around Sam’s waist.
After a few minutes, Evan must have decided he was ready, because Sam felt a flurry of fins across his legs, and in some agile movement that Sam could not quite track, Evan turned away from him, bracing his hands on one of the pier supports. Sam pressed up against him at once, and Evan spread his tails farther apart.
Evan’s ass was only partly scaled, with a spiral of blue on each cheek. Sam was worried that Evan was underprepared, but whatever natural oils he had made it easy for Sam’s cock to slip into his taut ass in one firm push. “Oh, god,” Sam gasped. “Oh, fuck, you’re tight.”
Evan pushed back against him. “Come on.”
Sam put a hand on Evan’s hip and started to thrust. Evan moaned his approval. “Oh, Sam, you’re so hard. Discover a new kink, did you?”
“Did you?” Sam asked.
Evan gave a short laugh. “I think so, yeah.” He pushed back against Sam again. “Come on, give me more.”
Sam put his arm around Evan’s waist, pulling him tight against him as he started pounding him with stronger thrusts. He circled Evan’s cock with his other hand, jacking him off.
“Yesss like that,” Evan said.
Sam’s feet were going numb in the shallow water, but he could feel Evan’s tail fins fluttering against his legs, the smooth scales sliding on his skin. “Yeah, new kink,” he said. “Fuck.”
Evan’s moaning was broken with a laugh. “I’m— Sam, don’t you dare stop— oh, god.” Evan gasped as his cock pulsed in Sam’s hand, spurting come over Sam’s fingers. “Oh, yes,” Evan moaned. “Harder, harder— yes, like that—”
Sam was thrusting into him almost wildly now, and his orgasm slammed into him with blinding intensity. He pulled Evan tight against him while he pumped him full, keeping up his thrusts until the last spasms finally left him.
“Holy shit,” Evan said.
Sam staggered back a bit. “Wow. That was incredible.”
Fins swished against Sam again and then Evan was facing him. He put a hand behind Sam’s head to pull him into a deep kiss. There was so much hunger in it that Sam felt some of his uncertainty fade.
“So you’ll be back, then?” Sam asked, when Evan finally released him.
“Fuck, yes. And maybe next time I’ll take you to my place. You’ll have to bring your scuba gear.”
Sam clutched at his shoulders. “Really? So where do you— how—”
“You’ve asked your two questions for today.” Evan kissed him again, passionate and deep. “But you can ask two more when I come back.”
There was a flash of fins again and then Evan was in the water behind Sam. “See you soon, sailor.” He winked and was gone.