This part I really love :) I don’t want to spoil it, but I think you’ll love this part as well. There’s just something so touching about it… Well, until the bad news comes…
“Ariel, do you realize how beautiful you are?” She blushed shyly and averted her eyes from his intense blue eyes. “So beautiful… Do you dance?” Ariel didn’t know what this word meant, but she remembered Ursula saying that she would now be able to dance as beautifully as she sang. To answer Eric, she scrunched up her face to express that she was confused.
“Come here, I’ll show you.” He rolled out of the bed and walked around to the side that Ariel was laying on. They were often in his room because it was the only place that was private. Everywhere else was crawling with people, and Ariel and Eric liked to talk to each other in the privacy of his room. They never were intimate, mostly because Ariel did not understand his flirting, but also because Eric was secretly wanting to marry her and not turn her into a whore.
Ariel accepted his waiting hand and tried not wince at the pain she felt in her feet. She wondered if the pain would ever subside. He placed the hand the he was holding onto his shoulder and let his hand rest on the small of her back. Then he gently reached for her other hand and held it in his. With his right hand, the one on her back, he gently pushed her closer to him. She resisted slightly but let him control her. She smiled as she stumbled into his chest.
“There we go. Now, follow my lead.” He stepped towards and she did the same, but ended up stepping on him. He started laughing and said, “No sweetheart, when I step towards you, you step away.” Ariel nodded her head in determination. She was going to learn to dance, no matter how much it hurt her.
He stepped towards her again, and she stepped away with the mirroring foot. Then he swayed slowly and she swayed with him. Their steps were small and slow, but Ariel felt her heart beating rapidly and she was afraid that Eric was able to feel it too.
“See? Not so hard, right?” She nodded her head and leaned back so that she could look into his eyes. But to her astonishment, he leaned into her and his lips met hers. She had never kissed a merman before, but her sisters had and had told her about it. So she closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around his back as he slid his arms tighter around her back.
When they pulled apart, they were both trying to catch their breath. “And I thought you were innocent and naive. Where did you learn to kiss like that?” She lifted her hand to show that something was taller than she. “Your mother?” Ariel used her fingers to show that he was close to the answer. “Sister?” Ariel nodded her head and held up one hand, to show that she had five. “You have five sisters? Where are they?” Ariel shrugged her shoulders, not wanting to explain that she was from the sea.
He was about to question her further but there was a knock at the door. Before he could answer, the door opened and his father walked in. “Oh, I’m sorry. Am I interrupting something?” The old man had a deceptive look to his eye.
“No, father, I was just teaching Ariel how to dance. What do you need?”
His father grunted and said in a low voice, “May I speak to you alone please?” Eric started to protest but the old man lifted his hand and left without another word.
“I best go, or else he’ll send a guard to retrieve me. I’ll be back before too long, okay? Will you be here upon my return?” Ariel nodded and kissed his cheek. When he was at the doorway, he turned back and Ariel waved to him. He smiled and waved back.
Ariel had fallen asleep in the prince’s bed. The sun had set a few hours before Eric came back. Ariel didn’t notice he had returned until she felt his soft lips on her forehead. Her eyes fluttered open and she saw the smiling face of the beautiful prince. “Hey beautiful. Sorry it took so long.” Ariel shrugged her shoulders and sat up to kiss him.
But he pulled away. “Ariel, I can’t.” She didn’t like that he looked so stressed. She patted the empty area next to her and he jumped over her and landed on the soft mattress next to Ariel. She placed her hand on his cheek and searched his face for an answer.
“I was just speaking with my father. He said that I need to marry the neighboring princess. I don’t even know who that is! I don’t love her. I love… never mind that. But how does he expect me to love and marry a girl I don’t know?”
He looked into her eyes and felt a stabbing pain in his stomach when he saw how hurt she looked. He sighed and said, “I just don’t know what to do.” Ariel got out of the bed and started twirling around. She didn’t know if what she was doing was the proper way to dance alone, but she desperately wanted to make her love happy.
He didn’t say anything, nor do anything. He just sat there and watched Ariel dance as she tried to not show her pain. “Ariel, I love that you’re dancing for me. Please, never stop. This is making me so happy. Thank you.” Ariel smiled and continued to dance, even though she was certain that her feet were bleeding.
She couldn’t handle the pain anymore so she went back to the bed and laid down next to Eric. “Thank you so much.” He kissed her forehead. “I’m not going to marry her. I can’t.”
Ariel left him so that he could get some sleep. However, she was not tired and decided to visit the beach.
She silently stepped out of the large castle and let out a sigh as her feet touched the sand. This was the first time that they did not hurt her when she walked. She walked out to the edge and stepped into the water. The coolness was refreshing.
She sat down and let her feet float in the water. As she looked out to the sea, she noticed movement to her left. She tried to make out what it was, but there was no moon to offer any light. Then she saw the water moving restlessly around her.
Then she saw a head pop out of the water. She gasped and it came closer. “Ariel! Ariel, it’s me, Shia!” Ariel tried to greet her, but then quickly remembered that the sea-witch had her voice.
“What the hell are you doing? Where have you been? Where’s your tail?” She cursed a few times and Ariel was appalled to hear her sister use these explicit words. “Ariel! Answer me! What’s wrong with you?”
Ariel sighed and tried to speak, to show her sister that it was impossible. “What is going on? Why can’t you speak? Ariel, what have you done?” Ariel looked her sister in the eyes and tried to explain using her hands what had happened.
“I understand. I can’t believe you did this! You don’t even realize what is going on down there! Father has been freaking out. Everyone has been searching for you, and many people thought that you were dead. This boy better be worth it.” Then Ariel told her sister about the prince, and the new news and what it possible meant for her.
“You’re not serious are you? You are going to die because this idiot is going to marry someone else. Are you really that naive?” Ariel cringed at her sister’s cruelty, but knew that she was right. She dropped her head between her knees and started to cry.
“Honey, it’ll be okay. We’ll figure this out. And, for the record, your legs look amazing! I might have to get a pair.” Ariel laughed because she knew that her sister was joking, but it made her feel better. “Hang in there Ariel. Everything will be okay.”