Bound to a Siren: A Dark Little Mermaid Retelling
Bound to a Siren: A Dark Little Mermaid Retelling
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Dive into the heart-pumping adventure of Bound to a Siren by Athena Rose!
This is book 2 in the captivating Romancing the Seas series. Get started with Married to a Pirate, where Georgette is forced to marry a pirate.
In Bound to a Siren, Serena agrees to marry the human Prince Edward to stop the brutal war between sirens and men. Meanwhile, Georgette and Captain Stone have to face the demons of their past.
What if the little mermaid's father plotted to kill the prince? And what if forbidden magic was the only way to save him? Enter 'Bound to a Siren' by Athena Rose, a daring twist on a beloved tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
In a desperate bid to rescue the prince, the little mermaid makes a heart-wrenching sacrifice, surrendering her immortality to bind him to her. Her father has no choice but to release him. But then the prince drops a bombshell that shatters her world: he claims to feel nothing for her, and he never will.
She puts on a brave face, but inside, she's haunted by doubts about her own worthiness of love. Will she ever find true love beneath the waves?
Their love story takes a dangerous turn when they fall into the clutches of pirates. Chained together, surrounded by menacing foes, the prince's protective instincts ignite. He roars at the pirates to back off, but they don't listen. In a fit of rage, he breaks free and growls, 'Get your disgusting hands off my woman!'
Are you ready to dive into this captivating tale? 'Bound to a Siren' promises a thrilling journey through love, sacrifice, and the boundless depths of the heart."
Meanwhile, Georgette and Captain Stone must face their own demons of the past as they navigate treacherous waters in an attempt to form new alliances and put an end to all of the brutality. In the thrilling second book of the Romancing the Seas series, Bound to a Siren, readers will be taken on an epic journey of adventure, danger, romance, and ultimately, a heartwarming and satisfyingly happy ending. Dive in and start reading now!
TW: Death, pregnancy loss, infertility, sexual violence, and childhood trauma.
Romancing the Seas reading list:Book 1: Married to a PirateBook 2: Bound to a SirenBook 3: Sworn to a Demigod 4: Vowed to Hades
This series is written for mature audiences only.
Bound to a Siren Chapter 1 Look Inside
Bound to a Siren Chapter 1 Look Inside
Prince Edward stood still and silent as his father surveyed the room of Naval officers waiting for instructions. After listening to his report of the siren attacks, King George looked grim. There was not a sign of compassion on his features for the way things turned out with Georgette.
Nor did he bother to ask about Prince Mannington and whether he would return. He supposed that though Mannington was firm and commanding like their father, Prince Edward possessed his ability to shut away emotions altogether.
Since Georgette and Captain Stone had chosen to sail away on the Duchess to whatever ungodly danger lay ahead, King George and his Queen had not uttered a single word on the matter.
A formal announcement was made that Prince Edward and Georgette’s nuptials would not take place due to a conflict of interest, but nothing stopped the whispers around the palace. The staff looked upon Prince Edward with pity and he hated it.
His father’s cold stare was a welcome change.
King George’s lips formed a thin line as he hummed deeply for several long moments.
Prince Edward knew what orders were coming. He had numbed his emotions after losing Georgette, but his stomach tightened all the same when his father finally uttered the instructions.
“I, King George, command the British Royal Navy to hunt down and kill every siren in the Pacific Ocean. Edward, you shall work with the blacksmiths to create weapons made of steel—as I understand it is their weakness.”
Prince Edward curled his fingers to make a tight fist. He did not want the sirens to attack innocent sailors, but he could not condone hunting them like prey and slaughtering them in cold blood.
There had to be a better way.
Arguing with his father, however, was a one-way ticket to the Tower of London, so he held his tongue and gave a curt nod.
When they were excused, his heart weighed heavily as he walked out of the palace with his men. He walked in silence, listening to the soft murmurs of the men around him and ignoring the stares from the city folk on the streets.
When he reached the docks, he took a left away from his men and found the water’s edge. He walked along the sandy shores for what seemed like several miles until he found himself on a private beach surrounded by rocks. The sun had already begun to set.
He shut his eyes and uttered the one name on his mind. “Serena.”
When he opened his eyes, a head of red hair was emerging from the waters.
To his surprise, the sight of the siren brought him comfort. He found himself smiling despite his low mood.
“Hello, my Prince,” she said, her voice laced with sympathy. She tilted her head and seemed to look right into his soul. He was certain she could see past his regal mask and feel the pain he was forced to endure.
“What happened with your lady Georgette?” she asked, her voice soft and musical.
Prince Edward’s chest tightened at the name of his lost love. When he spoke, he tried to keep his voice steady. “She is a siren.”
Serena’s lips curved upward in a lopsided smirk. Prince Edward inhaled deep and slow. “But you knew that already, didn’t you?”
When Serena did not argue, he dragged a hand over his stubbled chin with frustration. “All this time you knew, and you did not tell me?” he asked.
Serena swam closer and raised her torso out of the water, her fin peeking several feet behind her. The burnt orange sunlight danced across the shimmering scales of her fin in the most unearthly way. It was oddly soothing to watch.
“It is not my truth to share,” she said simply. “But that is not the reason she is not with you.” Her eyes bore into his.
Prince Edward scratched the back of his neck, unsettled under the strength of her discerning gaze. “She fell in love with the pirate,” he muttered under his breath. Serena nodded and he knew she heard his words. Then he frowned. “But you knew that too, didn’t you?”
Serena swayed and began to play with her damp hair. It dazzled in the amber light like a waterfall of fire. “Then tell me something I do not know,” she said. “Why did you call me?”
Prince Edward sat on the sandy beach to meet her eyes. “There is a war brewing between men and sirens. King George has ordered my men to hunt and kill any that cross Pacific waters.”
Serena’s shoulders stiffened, but she kept her expression neutral. “You underestimate our powers if you think we are frightened by the whims of a few men.”
“This is not a few men,” he insisted. “The entire British Navy and their allies from abroad will be on the hunt.” He clenched his fists. “I cannot stop it. Nor will I be a part of it,” he said, removing his Naval jacket with a noise of frustration.
Serena blinked at him slowly. She seemed to remain unfazed by his words, so Prince Edward gave her a piercing stare. “They’re making weapons of steel.”
Those words hit Serena hard, and she jumped back as though he had thrown a dagger in her direction. Her pretty eyes widened with alarm. “Why are you telling me this?” she asked.
Prince Edward shrugged and started to trace lines in the sand with his finger. “You went above and beyond to help me in my endeavor. It is time I repay the favor.” He finally met Serena’s gaze again as a cool ocean breeze rippled through his hair. The wind picked up a sweet scent and he wondered if it was hers. “I cannot bear the thought of you being hunted,” he confessed.
Serena’s face brimmed with happiness as though he had recited the most romantic poem for her benefit.
He interlocked his fingers and sighed as he crossed his legs. “Can you get me a meeting with Isis? Perhaps I can talk to her, and we can arrange an alliance of sorts?” he thought aloud. Serena scoffed.
“That is entirely impossible,” she said, giving him a frank look. “Isis is vengeful, and she is done talking with men. You want your heart ripped out? That is all that waits for you if you approach Isis.”
Prince Edward chewed the inside of his cheek as he recalled the sight of his brother’s lifeless body on Imerta. As friendly as she appeared, he did not think Serena would offer up a single tear for his benefit should the negotiations go wrong.
He thought again. “What about Poseidon? He is your father, no? Can you get me an audience with him?”
Serena hummed lightly and swayed from side to side in thought. “The god of the sea does not deal with land folk. Especially men.”
She twirled her hair and her gaze trailed down the prince’s body before meeting his eyes again. “Except…”
“What?” Prince Edward asked, leaning forward with rapt attention now. “If you think of a way I can speak with him, then whatever the price, I shall gladly pay it.”
Serena’s teeth glittered in a dazzling beam. “He will grant audience to a man who wishes to ask for the hand of one of his daughters,” she explained, shimmying her shoulders now. “And you are right, Lord Poseidon is my father.”
Prince Edward swallowed as he understood what she was suggesting. “Will you take me to him if I pretend to ask for your hand in marriage?” he asked, not entirely sure of the wisdom of this idea.
But he could not think of a better plan. This was his only chance to save innocent lives. Besides, another mission would keep his mind from dwelling on heartache.
Serena nodded. “I shall take you to him now, if you want.”
Prince Edward agreed and walked back to the docks. He told Serena to hide herself while he got a small fishing boat, and he did not call out her name until he had sailed far out into the sea. Port Harbor had shrunk to a tiny strip of land in the distance.
The sun was almost entirely below the horizon now, and a deep red tinge flooded the sky when he whispered Serena’s name.
Her head popped out of the water almost instantly. Prince Edward sucked in a deep breath as her slender hands gripped the edge of the boat and she lifted herself out of the water to look at him at eye level. “We must go to Atlantis,” she said, her voice a purr. Prince Edward looked at the murky waters and raised his brows. “How will that work?” he wondered aloud. “I will surely drown before we get there.”
Serena rose higher, her long tail flipping back and forth to keep her steady. Then she took his cheeks in her cool hands and leaned forward. Her face filled his vision.
“Do you trust me, Edward?” she whispered, looking deeply into his eyes.
Prince Edward could not honestly say that he did, but he was unable to think of a reason to back out of the plan. Besides, her touch sent a rush of delightful tingles through his senses. He nodded.
Suddenly, her bare breasts were pressed against his chest, and she was kissing him fully on the mouth.
The earth turned on its axis as Prince Edward tumbled out of the boat and Serena dragged him underwater, her lips still pressed against his.
Prince Edward felt his panic rising as he realized he was being dragged to his death. He wanted to scream, but it was futile with Serena's lips sealed over his. Yet, as they moved in harmony and the warmth of her embrace surrounded him, he was flooded with a sense of calm. Gradually, his fear receded, replaced by an indescribable peace until the weight of his distress was gone.
Prince Edward was no longer fearful as Serena’s lips caressed his own. He was content to drift helplessly in her embrace, even to his demise.
Then, suddenly, Serena breathed into his mouth and a flood of cool air rushed into his lungs. By some unknown magic, she was breathing life into him.
They descended further into the darkness of the ocean until he could no longer tell which way was up or down. The water was pitch black and seemingly endless, yet still, he was content in Serena's arms. Now that his sense of urgency and danger had evaporated, he did not care if they stayed in the darkness for all of eternity.
As they moved further and further into the depths, Prince Edward embraced this new peace that had taken hold of him. The two of them swam together in accord, their movements growing more and more graceful—almost ethereal—as they glided along like two sea creatures made for each other.
A warmth spread throughout Prince Edward’s body. He felt entwined in an embrace that seemed to transcend time and space. He could not say how long they had been sinking—it could have been moments or hours. Anything seemed possible.
A sponge-like substance gave way as his foot collided with it. Startled, he instinctively wrapped his arms around Serena for protection and was immediately reminded of the pertness of her breasts on his hard chest.
The sensation of her soft curves against him sent a zing through his body that he had never experienced before. Even through the fog of the moment, he was aware that their entanglement was scandalous by any moral measure. But a deeper part of him could not help but savor it in all its forbidden glory.
As they continued to drift through the darkness, Prince Edward found himself marveling at this newfound feeling of safety; as though nothing bad could ever happen as long as they stayed together.
She had become his lifeline. Something deep within him knew that if he were to let her go now, he would drown. Moving on instinct, his hands found her waist and clutched it, prompting her mouth to move. His eyes were closed, but an image of her smirking flashed through his mind.
His feet hit solid ground suddenly, and Serena’s body ripped away from him so fast he reeled.
He staggered a few paces, dragged a hand over his clammy face, and blinked several times to make sense of his surroundings.
The sea flowed above his head in a foaming pattern that looked equal parts sponge and bubble. It was as though an invisible wall divided the vastness of the waters around him from the space he was in.
The depths were as silent as a tomb.
It struck him that they were not standing in pitch darkness. The inky blackness that had accompanied them on their way down had given way to a soft, almost moonlit glow. The light seemed to emanate from clusters of glowing rocks on the sandy floor.
A flash of movement to his left caught his attention.
Serena now stood before him, her eyes twinkling in the dim light. Her long, glittering tail was gone. She stood on two legs, and she was entirely nude. Prince Edward took one involuntary step backward. He felt a mild heat radiating off her, warming not just the air around them, but also his heart. She looked like a Grecian statue, standing there so confidently, carrying so much grace — beautiful and strong all at once.
His eyes roamed over her body, taking in every inch of her with his eyes—from her slim yet shapely legs, up to her curves and full breasts, and finally, the long red hair that flowed past her shoulders like a river of lava.
His eyes met hers and he realized she had watched him take in her body. His face heated as he remembered his manners and averted his gaze. Her giggle surprised him, and he looked at her again. She flicked her wrist just as he looked her way, and a silver gown materialized from nothing—flowing over her body like molten mercury until it had fully covered her nakedness.
Serena spun and the dress glimmered in the reflection of the water. “What is your verdict, my Prince?” she demanded, her eyes heavy with anticipation. They sparkled, daring him to deny her. “Do I have your approval?” The question hung over him like a guillotine blade awaiting its inevitable descent.
Prince Edward swallowed and tried to make sense of what was happening. “Approval for what?” he asked, looking up again.
A school of fish swam by, their movements lazy and carefree, seemingly oblivious to them. They glowed with an ethereal light as they swam past, illuminating the area with their pale blue hue.
Prince Edward's attention was drawn away from the vibrant scene and back to Serena by the sound of her melodic laugh. It was like a siren's call, urging him closer to her. He hadn’t taken a step before she moved to him, playing with her hair as she walked. She seemed to float, and the sight of her luminescent form approaching him with the deep darkness of the ocean surrounding them struck deep terror and delight in his heart.
She now stood before him, with eyes as deep and dark as the ocean fixed on him. "We are to meet my father, remember?" she reminded him. "If you want his approval, we shall have to convince him that we are hopelessly—" She cupped a hand between his legs abruptly, causing Prince Edward to lurch back in surprise. Her hand remained firmly cupped, and he almost lost balance. Serena's mischievous smile only grew wider, adding a wicked glint to her gaze. "—and utterly in love," she finished. Prince Edward swallowed, standing as still as he could manage. “I am not sure what your customs are, but where I am from, it is most inappropriate to touch a man like that,” he said, carefully extracting himself from her grip. “Even if we are in love.”
Serena stepped back and her expression softened, as though she had just remembered something important.
“My apologies, my Prince,” she said gently. “It seems our customs differ greatly in this matter. Where I am from, touch is the only language of love. To deny it would be to cut ourselves off from one another's souls. It is most unnatural. If you wish to be convincing in my father’s presence, you will need to get comfortable touching me."
Prince Edward remained a few steps away from her, unsure of how to respond. Serena huffed a disappointed sigh.
“Very well,” she said, flicking her hair back from her slender shoulders. Then she reached for his hand. He managed not to flinch and allowed her to take it in hers. Serena smiled again as she twined her fingers with his. “Perhaps, a compromise. May I touch you like this?” she asked.
Prince Edward remained still and stared at her. “I… suppose it would be acceptable,” he replied carefully, his throat tight with hesitation.
Serena smiled in relief and brought his hand to her lips, pressing a gentle kiss to it before lacing their fingers together again. Prince Edward's pulse quickened as the warmth of her skin transferred to his own.
"There now," Serena said as she released him and stepped back. Her hands swept up to rearrange her hair again before settling on her hips as she regarded him with a satisfied smile. "Much better. Now we may just convince my father of our love."
Prince Edward nodded silently, part of him still skeptical of the situation he had found himself in. But as he watched Serena's gaze soften, he loosened in response. He knew that this plan was insane, and yet here he was, drawn inexplicably and willingly into something that could only lead to destruction.
Too late to turn back now. He had chosen his course and he was determined to follow it.
He looked around them again and glimpsed the mouths of caves. Sparkling stalactites and stalagmites glowed within them in various hues of purple and blue, casting an eerie light within and out toward them. The air was still and dense, his breathing—as unusual as it was to feel that he was breathing—faltered. He glanced at Serena who stood there expectantly, her gaze never leaving his face. “Is this Atlantis?” he asked her quietly.
She scoffed. “No. What a terrible disappointment that would be if it was,” she said. “Come, my Prince.”
The further they went, the more beautiful their surroundings became. The stalactites and stalagmites sparkled like stars beneath the gentle waves of blue light that surrounded them. The walls glistened with a rainbow of gemstones and crystals and awe rushed through Prince Edward as he beheld their magnificence.
Serena laughed. “Worry not, my Prince," she said with a smile. "Atlantis is but a four-mile walk from here. Trust me, you will know it when you see it. And consider yourself quite lucky. My home is at the bottom of the Atlantic you see, and no human has been there for more than two hundred years.”
Prince Edward nodded, dazed by the information.
He glanced over at Serena, taking in the sight of her gleaming form. He found himself entranced by more than just her physical beauty. She captivated him, and he could not understand if it was her walk or her smile, or just the confidence of her mannerisms. She was like a fire he could not help but be drawn to, knowing full well that fire would burn.
A wave of conflicting emotions washed over him as he walked alongside her. On the one hand, he had an irresistible sense of peace and calm down here with her. Yet, he was filled with guilt, knowing that her sisters above were facing peril and she’d had no choice but to accompany him. He never wanted her to have to make this kind of sacrifice—especially when it meant she could be in danger too.
Despite the danger ahead, he could sense a contentment coming from Serena that he had never felt before. It made him question how she could remain so calm while their lives were on the line. He wondered if she knew something he did not. Most likely. He was struck then by a remembrance of the fact that the magnificent woman he was looking at was not human at all.
The thought made him swallow against a hard lump in his throat as he processed it anew.
If they were to succeed, and Poseidon agreed to grant him an audience, how could he negotiate with him? What did the prince have to offer, that the god of the sea might help him?
Before he had a chance to consider the weight of his odds, bright beams of golden light flooded his vision. The brightness was so intense that it was like the noon-day sun in the height of summer, and Prince Edward had to raise a hand in front of his face for protection.
Serena’s hand squeezed his. “We are getting close, my Prince,” she said with a squeal. Then she tugged on his hand, dragging his ear to her lips. “There are eyes and ears everywhere from now on. Follow my lead.”
Prince Edward nodded, more than aware of the stakes. When he looked around, he noticed they were now on a path lined with small wooden houses. Massive golden gates stood tall in the distance.
As they approached the gates, Prince Edward began to notice animals he did not recognize. They crawled on their bellies like lizards, with spiked armored shells. But instead of reptilian heads, they looked like monkeys.
Other forms began to step up to the path. Prince Edward looked wildly around him. He was met with a sea of eyes. Eyes of men with broad arms, muscular bare chests, and thick legs dressed in subligaculum— a brown canvas of leather. Serena stopped walking.
Prince Edward slowly realized that these must be the Atlanteans of legends—a race of strong, proud warriors who dwelled in the depths of the sea.
Serena stepped forward with confidence, her hand still tucked into Prince Edward's. She stood tall and spoke in a foreign language, gesturing widely as she spoke. Before he could get over his alarm at the fact that he could understand her, he was struck by the fact that he knew what the language was—ancient Greek. The men understood her as well, their expressions quickly changing from animosity to respect. It seemed Serena had earned their trust in a matter of moments.
But then their eyes turned to Prince Edward once more and their faces hardened again.
“Kiss me,” Serena ordered, her voice harsh for the first time.
“What?” Prince Edward asked in a daze. Before he could process what was happening, Serena’s body was on his again.
She gripped his back, pulled him to her, and rose on tiptoes.
Prince Edward’s eyes remained open in shock, and he read the suspicion the warriors wore as they looked on. He supposed they were not accustomed to strangers. If he could not persuade them he was with Serena, what would happen to him here at the gates of Atlantis?
Prince Edward turned his full attention to Serena, determined now to put on a show. Serena’s hair floated against their faces. He brushed the soft strands away from her brow and cupped her face. The flame of her body heat flooded him with warmth. A tender smile played across his face, then he leaned in and captured her beautiful lips with his own.
A swell of whispers grew around them and died down into mutters as they broke apart. Prince Edward noticed that the men were no longer standing with their arms crossed, but now conversing with each other.
Serena beamed at him and put her mouth to his ear. Her breath tickled his neck. “You are quite a gifted kisser, my Prince. Even now I feel the warmth of your mouth.”
Then she turned and waved to the men watching as they continued toward the gates.
“Let us proceed.”
Most of the men nodded, but one Atlantean, particularly tall, stepped in their path just before they could move any further.
“What are you doing, Serena? Why have you brought a human here?” he demanded. His figure was an imposing form, and Prince Edward sensed an unmistakable sense of authority in his stance.
The surrounding Atlanteans fell silent. Serena’s hand grew stiff in Prince Edward’s, and he gave it a reassuring squeeze.
“Stand down, Ajax. He is here to see our father,” she replied. Her shoulders trembled slightly, as though she had considered squaring up to the man but was not entirely committed to it. He had a long, black braid of hair resting on his shoulder. Battle scars were spread across his muscled torso. Prince Edward’s jaw tightened at Serena’s words. Our father. Did that mean that this beast of a man was a big brother?
He looked about at the sea of skeptical stares aimed in his direction and wondered just how many brothers Serena had.
“Poseidon is away on business,” Ajax said. “Our orders remain unchanged. All humans who near here are to be slain.”
He pulled out a dagger from his sheath and aimed it directly at Prince Edward’s throat. Prince Edward was too stunned to react. The rapid thump of his own heartbeat filled his ears.
Serena bristled next to him. She was angry now. "You would dare kill my love?" Her words were a menacing hiss. "You know the law, Ajax. A human may enter Atlantis so long as their heart is pure. A human seeking marriage to one of us sirens has a right to be heard." She shook with restrained rage.
A murmur rose around them again. Ajax lowered his knife and cocked a brow at Prince Edward instead. “Who are you, human? And what do you want with our sister?” he asked. Prince Edward resisted the urge to cower and squeezed Serena’s hand again. This time, he was not sure whether it was for her benefit or his own.
“My name is Prince Edward. I am here to seek Poseidon's approval to take his daughter as my wife,” he declared confidently.
Ajax's dark eyes glinted like black diamonds, then turned into slits.
Prince Edward stood his ground and held Ajax’s gaze. He knew he had to make a bold move if he was going to win the approval of the Atlanteans. So, remembering Serena's words, he slid a hand around Serena’s waist and pulled her close until her hip bumped his. She reached around him as well and gripped his waist.
The Atlantean warriors standing in a circle around them seemed to go still at their public display of affection. A smile appeared on Ajax’s face.
“Very well, then, Prince of the dry land. What say you prove your worth by winning a challenge? We cannot allow you to lay claim to our sister until we are sure you are able to protect her.” Ajax gestured to the others to back away from him and Serena.
Prince Edward’s stomach was in knots as he nodded his agreement. An Atlantean stepped forward and thrust a spear between him and Serena. The cold steel was inches away from his neck. Serena hissed.
Ajax raised his hand.
"We only need your human friend for a short time," he assured her. "We shall return him soon."
Serena and Prince Edward shared a long look full of emotion before they let go of each other. Ajax turned and walked down a narrow path away from the city gates. Prince Edward followed with a rock at the pit of his stomach.