An erotic selkie romance.
I wrote this story based on the mythology of the selkies, seal shapeshifters who lurk along the coasts of Scotland. The stories have always fascinated me, and when I started writing this story, it dragged me in harder than almost anything else I’ve ever written.
If you like shapeshifters, Scotland, and a little historical in your paranormal, give Lady of the Seals a try. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
It’s all over for David Fraser, a sailor who’s lost in the ocean. But after a week at sea, he’s rescued by a mysterious, beautiful woman who tends to him at her home on a small island near the shores of Scotland.
Gilly is a selkie, a seal-woman who can shed her sealskin to walk among humans. She is intrigued by David, powerfully drawn to him, and he to her. But when he learns her secrets, his betrayal may mean the end for both of them.
Seven days. Seven days alone at sea in a lifeboat and still no sign of land.
He was nearly out of water. The food had been gone for two days. He had been hungry so long he couldn’t feel it anymore. Only the tarp from the bottom of the boat had kept him sheltered from the relentless sun. Still, his back was tight and painful from sunburn, his lips cracked and dry.
He hunched in the bottom of the boat, aching with hunger, with thirst, with the sun. The drinking water was almost gone.
He had a knife. He could slit his throat, bleed himself out into the water. It would be better than this. Or he could cut himself and go overboard. The sharks would come. Painful, perhaps, but it would be quick.
Picking up the knife, he turned it in his hand, watching the glint of the sun off the blade. Then he looked up, into the sky, the sea.
A dark streak on the horizon.
Land. Finally, land.
He picked up an oar and began to paddle.
* * *
Just past noon, the clouds came. The dark hump of land was no closer.
As the clouds lowered, panic set in. This was no light rain shower coming in. He could tell by the smell and the way the wind felt on his face. And the dark ridge of land was still far away. Too far away. The hope it had brought him faded.
Rage flared, hot in his chest, and he flung the oar, watching it sail through the air, into the rising waves. He flung himself to the bottom of the boat and wept.
The rain came. The wind came. The waves lifted the tiny boat, flung it with a sickening crack down against the ocean’s surface. His mouth filled with water. He was too tired now even to weep.
Another wave took the boat, higher this time, and there was nothing he could do as it cracked open under him and delivered him to the ocean. Nothing he could do as the waves broke over his wearied body.
And as the ocean took him, he could think only, Thank God there is no pain.
* * *
She loved storms. The smell, the wind, the movement of the ocean. She had watched this one as it came, and had slipped off into the water to ride the glorious tumult.
She didn’t dare go too far from the shore. In calm water, she could swim for hours, but in the storm she had to stay within sight of land or risk drowning. But the sheer beauty of the gale lured her. A little farther. A little more…
Something brushed against her lower body. Startled, she dove under, fast. Surely not a shark. It was dark under the surface, but she could see enough to tell it wasn’t a shark. It was a man.
She slid up under him, catching his weight on her shoulders. He was not a small man, and his weight unbalanced her for a moment. But the buoyancy of the water helped, and soon she was making headway, swimming him out of the storm. But he was so still she feared it might be too late.
The waves took them the last few yards. Landing on the beach, she took a moment to catch her breath. Then she rolled toward the man’s still, silent form.
He wasn’t breathing. His lips were gray. If he were to live, she would have to save him.
She changed quickly; she couldn’t help him at all if she wasn’t in human form. She laid her head against his chest. His heartbeat made little more than a murmur. Putting her mouth to his, she breathed for him until he suddenly convulsed, spewing water. She rolled him to his side as he vomited up the ocean.
Still, he was cold, and seemed not to have the strength even to move. He just lay there on the sand, breathing, eyes closed.
“Shh,” she whispered. “’Tis all right. You’re well now, lad, you’re all well.”
His lips moved but no sound came from them. She bent close, until his breath touched her ear, but still could not make out the words.
“I’ll be back,” she whispered into his ear. “You’ll no’ last the night like this. I have to be keeping you warm.”
* * *
It was a dream, he thought. It had to be a dream. Or maybe it was heaven, because how else could this have come to pass? He had been halfway to death—more than halfway—and now he lay on the beach in the arms of a beautiful woman with large, brown eyes.
Barely conscious, he registered her presence as if she were a dream. But her skin against him warmed him, gave back some of the life the cold ocean had tried to take.
She was naked, he realized slowly, and so was he. They were rolled up together in a mass of heavy wool blankets, skin to skin, her breasts against his chest, her long legs scissored between his. He remembered, vaguely, the touch of her mouth on his as she put her own life’s breath into him. Now she shared her heat.
He looked at her in the darkness as she lay there against him. Her eyes were closed, and he was almost certain she slept. Gently, he drew his hands down her back, and set his lips against hers. She tasted of life, and the salty ocean. He opened her mouth with his, tasting more deeply, and she stirred against him, and opened her eyes with a smile.
His hands slid down her body, cupping the soft, warm roundness of her buttocks. Her thighs pressed against his and then opened loosely, inviting him in. Wrapped as they were in the blankets, it was difficult for him to align his body the right way, but he eased his thigh between hers as he kissed her. The wetness of her sex made hot dew on the skin of his leg.
She moved closer to him, all of her body a warm welcome to his. He hefted her breasts, bent to take one, then the other, into his mouth. Warmth and more warmth, silky and soft and beautiful.