It was Don Taylor's last day before he began his family leave, and it couldn't end soon enough. It seemed that every time he turned around, his boss and good friend, Jason Blackwell, was giving him, 'Just one more thing.' He had the program installed into his office computer and the computer at home to allow him access to his work files should he need them, and had copied all of his important files onto several flash drives. In Don's mind, the day seemed to just drag on, and his thoughts were on his lovely wife Angel, who was waiting at home, and very pregnant with their first child. When Don met her just over two years ago, he had no idea how she would forever change his life.
His thoughts drifted back to the storm that brought her into his life, how it shook the tiny hut he was staying in that was supposed to be a second honeymoon for him and his now ex-wife Amy. Instead it was a chance for Don to refocus and re-purpose his life. After the storm, he went to clear the debris off the beach in hopes of a nice bonfire to cook some fresh fish over during his stay, only to find Angel's naked, unconscious, injured body lying under the palm branches. The huge lump on her beautiful head that caused her to lose her memory, and how entranced he was by her sheer beauty that captivated his soul. He knew a lesser man would have taken advantage of her in such a state, but he resisted his urges and sexual desires and instead carried her to his hut, loaned her some clothes, and nursed her back to health.
When she first regained consciousness, she was frightened, and rightfully so. Here she was in a strange place with a strange man, and was injured. Two days later, he gave into his desires and they made love, resulting in his taking her virginity. Of course, this was nothing compared to what he learned about his Angel the next morning when in a moment of romantic whimsy Don learned her real secret, Angel was really a mermaid.
By this point however, it didn't matter to Don, he was already head over heels in love. They spent the remainder of his vacation making love and Don had to make some quick decisions. He called his boss and for the first time in his life, gave an ultimatum: transfer him to the office on the island, or accept his immediate resignation. Luckily, Don's old boss was more than willing to allow the transfer as long as the current supervisor, Jason Blackwell, was willing to accept Don.
Don and Jason shared stories about the relationships with their respective mermaids over beer and a sampler platter at the local bar and grill. Don made it clear he wanted to make Angel his wife, regardless of whether or not she could have his child. Jason discussed in depth the negative reaction he experienced with his, the pain involved with breaking the heart of a mermaid, and the difficulty to get them to forgive. A loud knock snapped
Don out of his memories. "Come in!" he called out.
Jason Blackwell stepped in and said, "Hey there. How's it going?"
Don sighed, he feared Jason was here to pile on 'one more thing.' "Good. What's up?"
Jason looked surprised, but Don knew better. "Nothing. Hell man, you act like a nervous father or something."
Don rolled his eyes. "Sorry. It's been a stressful day."
"I'm sure, but right now, we have a meeting to get to."
"Meeting? What meeting?" questioned Don.
"Did you forget to check your e-mail again?"
Don sighed. He had avoided looking at his e-mail for fear it would just delay his departure just that much more. "Yeah, I guess I did."
"Well come on, I assure you, it will be brief."
Don hung his head as he slowly stood up. He wanted to leave early, but knew with all that needed to be done before he could leave, that goal was quickly made impossible. At this point, even leaving at his normal time was now a lost hope. He walked up to a smiling Jason and said, "I'm sorry man, I know I've been out of sorts all week. I'm just worried about Angel. She's only swimming in the cove now, and I fear her family will think I'm keeping her from them."
"Don, you know better than that," said Jason as they walked. "I'm sure she's fine. Just as I'm sure her family is well aware of condition."
"Yeah, but I wish I could meet them. Well, other than Grace that is."
"I understand. She came by again last night," said Jason.
"Yeah. We talked for hours before we..." Jason lowered his voice, "fucked."
"Have you seen your daughter yet?"
"Kinda, she stays in the cove. Ah here we are, after you."
Don opened the door to the conference room.
"SURPRISE!" cried out a chorus of voices.
Everyone in the office was there with big smiles. A pink banner along the back wall read, "Congratulations New Dad!" The room was decorated in pink diapers with flowers and seashells all over.
"What the heck?" asked Don.
"Who says men can't have a baby shower?" exclaimed Jason. "Now, we all understand that in Angel's delicate condition, she couldn't join us live, so..." Jason pulled out a tablet computer and said, "she's joining us virtually."
There on the screen, Don saw the face of his lovely wife. "Angel!"
"Hi Don!" she said smiling.
Don hugged the tablet and smiled down. "Did you know?"
"I only found out a few minutes ago when Jason called. He explained to me this was the last thing you'd be doing today and the staff really wanted to do this for you ... um ... I mean ... for us."
"I'm glad you can be a part of it with me," said Don.
Don sat in the "chair of honor" as he enjoyed some cake and opened presents. The staff had bought some baby clothes, toys, and even a crib. Jason agreed to bring all that to the cove for Don the following day, and even though Angel would have to wait for her cake, she was able to enjoy this unique human ritual, the baby shower.
Angel smiled as she watched Don interact with his human co-workers and friends, even though she couldn't really see them since Don kept the screen aimed at himself. She couldn't help but wonder how these people would react if they knew the truth about her. Occasionally, Angel would have to shift her weight as the baby moved within her swollen belly until Don's desk chair was just too much for her and she bade him farewell. She logged out of his Skype account and slowly rose. Yes, it was time to swim in the cove. It was the one thing she could do to keep their daughter calm until Don came home.
"I know little one," she said to her belly, "you want your daddy. Well, he'll be home soon enough. So, in the meantime, let's go for a swim."
Angel waddled down to the cove, stripped off her clothes, and walked into the water until her tail morphed. She floated in the water as she looked at their home and smiled. Her mind wandered back to the day she knew she needed the Elder Council's help.
They had been married for over a year, with no child. Don had admitted when they first met that this was the key issue with this first wife early in their relationship. He felt bad that he couldn't give Angel a child. Angel knew that asking for the Elder Council's help with this was risky, but unlike her other requests, this one was about adding a member to their clan.
Angel swam down for her monthly visit, ready to make her plea. The Elder Council only met when either a new human man was coming to the island, or if an issue needed to be addressed. In this case, it was her lack of a child. The Elder Council was made up of the most senior mermaids, all who had love and lost, including her own mother. Angel greeted her cousins and other extended family members, including Grace who was still not willing to forgive Jason yet. Soon, the members of the Elder Council took their places in the private chamber, while Angel waited.
Their most senior member, Melpomene, said, "I understand there is one among you who wishes to address the Elder Council."
Angel looked around, then said, "I do."
"Come with me child."
Angel swam in, and saw the Elder Council, including her aunt and her mother waiting for her. Melpomene took her place and said in a soft voice, "What brings you to us?"
Angel sighed. "I have been with my human husband for over a year now, and still, I have no child. He tells me he can give me no child but I feel he is wrong."
"Why do you feel this way child?" asked Melepomene.
"I dream of Don holding our curly haired daughter. Please, I beg the Elder Council, help me give my husband the one thing he feels he cannot."
"We do not like to interfere with the lives of humans," said Calliope
"But he's my mate!" cried Angel. "He's all I ever wanted. Please, I know he will make a good father to our daughter. This is only the second time I've asked the Elder Council for anything."
"Third," said Calliope in a sharp tone. "Or have you forgotten?"
Angel paused for a moment. "I stand corrected. But seeing how the Elder Council ignored my first request, I don't think this one request is asking too much."
Melepomene raised her hand to keep any others from speaking, then said, "We will discuss it child and you will have your answer before you return to the surface."
Angel left the chamber and waited nervously. It was one of the few times she couldn't talk to anyone about her request, even her own mother. Two full days passed before she was called back into the chamber. Nervously, Angel waited to hear her fate.
.... There is more of this story ...