Lovers at the Lake
by Asta Idonea
It was the shadow that woke him. The sudden darkness penetrated his slumber and seeped into his mind, dragging him back to consciousness. Bleary-eyed, Dušan blinked and looked up. At first he thought he must still be dreaming, because the shape appeared to be that of a human, and none of their kind had ventured this close to the lake for many years. He edged forward, curiosity overcoming caution, and watched the silhouette shimmer as the wind rippled the water. Then the figure began to shed its coverings, one layer at a time. A few moments later, it leapt into the lake.
Dušan gasped and shrank back. What was this creature? Surely a human would not be so bold as to dive into these waters, knowing what dwelt within their depths? Yet when he peered through the pondweed and observed the interloper, he discovered it was indeed a man—far younger and more handsome than any he had ever seen. A strong swimmer, too, for he traversed the lake with steady, confident strokes. Not that that would save him. Not if he awoke any of those below. Dušan cursed. It was not his place to rescue stupid humans. Yet the thought of seeing this one drown proved too much to bear.
He swam toward him, approaching from behind in an effort not to panic him and alert others to his presence. But the man must have felt the shift in the water, because he halted and turned. They regarded one another for a moment. The man's eyes widened, but to Dušan's surprise, he did not cry out or hurry to escape.
"You need to leave this place. It is not safe for you here."
Rather than heed the warning, the man parted his lips to reply and was rewarded with a mouthful of water. Dušan gave an exasperated sigh. Nonetheless, when the man began to flounder, he surged forward and helped propel him to the surface.
If you wish to read more, you can find the complete story in the Fairytales Slashed Volume 7 anthology which releases from Less Than Three Press on 15 March 2017.
Less Than Three Press: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=92&products_id=1301
Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.
Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO
Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO