Free Riptide by Erica Cope

Book: Riptide by Erica Cope Read Free Book Online
Authors: Erica Cope
                  Our world is not for the fainthearted. The merfolk of Kestia can be cold--violent even. It is the way it is—but it's not the way it has always been.
              There was a time when the breathtaking and mystical world of Kestia was an underwater paradise. The Kestians lived in harmony. I do not believe there was ever a more peaceful place than here. 
              Harmonia and I were amongst the elite. In fact, Harmonia had been betrothed at a very young age to Prince Merrick who would one day be given the trident, making him the reigning ruler of the South Sea just as his father was before him.
              Everything was progressing smoothly. Harmonia had reached the age of maturity. She and Merrick were to be united by the next full moon, but today was the day that Harmonia's betrothal to Merrick was to be made binding and the month long celebrations would begin. These celebrations would lead up to their official union when they would be crowned King and Queen.
                I knew that she was practically giddy with excitement over finally having all her dreams come true. She was going to be queen—something she had been dreaming about since she was a child.
              I didn't really understand her obsession with Merrick. He had always seemed distracted to me, like there was something in the distance he was searching for though he didn't seem to know what it was.  I didn't think he would make for a very attentive mate, but I guess my opinion didn't matter since I was the younger sister and therefore not the one to be betrothed to him. 
              Sometimes though I wondered if perhaps she wasn't so much in love with Merrick as much as she was in love with the idea of being queen. But I didn't dare voice those thoughts.
              “Harmonia, wait for me!” I remembered calling out to her. I may have been stronger than her, but she was faster than me.
              “Swim faster, Delia!” she called back over her shoulder with a wide grin. She didn't slow down though. In fact, she was still smiling at me when another mermaid appeared out of nowhere, directly in Harmonia's path.
              “Watch out!” I exclaimed, but it was too late. Harmonia and the other mermaid collided violently.
              “Are you okay?” I asked as soon as I was close enough. Harmonia appeared fine, but the other mermaid seemed dazed and confused. 
              “I don't know where I am,” the fair-headed maid said in a soft, melodic voice.
              She was obviously a Merrow, from the Northern seas, based on her fair coloring and the shape of her tailfin. Kestians had bold colored tails with feathery fins. Merrows had smoother, pale fins that only flared out at the end like a dolphin’s.
              Her gold hair cascaded down her back, swaying gently around her face. I had never been face to face with a goddess before but with this mermaid's beauty, she could have easily been mistaken for one.
              “Who are you?” Harmonia asked, kindly.
              “My name is Elissa.”
              “Did I hurt you?” Harmonia checked over Elissa to make sure that she was okay. She didn't seem hurt, just sort of lost.
              “No, I'm fine. I just honestly don't know where I am or how I got here for that matter,” Elissa said.
              “You are in the Southern seas. Just outside of the kingdom of Kestia,” I told her. Her green eyes widened in surprise as she realized just how far from home she truly was.
              “Oh, my! I—I don't—,” she stuttered.
              “Come with us,” Harmonia linked her arm through one of

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