The merman began to approach. Felicity made to get out of bed, and in her panic ended up on the floor in a tangle of covers. Seeing her alarm, he rushed over and extended a hand to help her up. He looked somewhere between concerned and amused at her pitiful attempts to stand.
Felicity paused to brave a glance up at him, then tentatively reached up to take his hand. He even felt real to her, she’d not been expecting that. Her heart picked up the pace; beating so fast now that she couldn’t drag air into her aching lungs quick enough. The air she did manage to take in, felt heavy and gloopy in her chest. The room began to go out of focus and dark around the edges as she slipped into unconsciousness for the second time that day.
“Don’t panic; try to slow your breathing.” He reached out and took her other hand too, turning her to face him. “I’ll explain; do you remember getting into difficulty in the sea? You saw my naughty sister breaking Mermaid Law and going to the surface - in full daylight! You followed her in; the tide was too strong for you. I came to help you, and here you are. You’re safe now,” he said, with a reassuring calmness and sincerity that transferred to her through his steady gaze.
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