But selkies... selkies were particularly magical. Their stories were stories of loving and letting go, of not trying to tame something wild if you really care about it. Selkies could fall in love with humans and shed their sealskins, but often in the tales their lovers would hide their skin and trap them on land. The selkies would be miserable, and would eventually find their skins and escape, never to look back.
I wanted to write a story that celebrated the nature of a selkie, and hinted at their powers without being too explicit or fantastical. Here's my attempt- warning, it's NSFW.
I only ever see him when I’m walking along the beach at dusk, the sun fading into the horizon, the pebbles warm from the day. And he never stays the night. I never ask him why, I just let him go. It’s just his way.
But his skin tastes of the ocean spray; his lips, like joyously drowning.
I’m not in love, exactly, or just in lust. He’s beautiful, of course- he has a swimmer’s body, tanned and fit, and his eyes are dark and warm. But that’s not what attracted me to him in the first place, or why we met.
I had been sitting alone, overlooking the tide coming in, taking some much needed time away from my most recent book. My cottage wasn’t too far from a pebbled beach, a shack abandoned for the winter months. Too bleak for holiday-goers but ideal for me. I’m not much for socializing. The cold wind swept through the closest village, scattering all but the most hardy souls in the autumn, the people migrating to somewhere warmer like birds. That’s when I moved in for a few months of solitude and focus. It was getting closer to spring, but the air still bit to the bone.
It’s not very fancy, the rental, or very big, but it was enough for my laptop, my kettle, and myself, and I could hear the water whispering inspiration to me like a lover. I’ve always had an attraction to waterways and transience.
But sometimes the cottage felt like a cage, and I had to escape its walls for the vastness of the sea. I’d go out, wrapped in my jacket, as dusk settled and the bitter wind stroked my cheeks. The night I met him the chill had gripped my heart, and I felt seized by a sudden isolation and melancholy, my cheeks suddenly wet with tears that fell into the foam at my feet.
It was in that moment of stillness I saw a man, his clothes damp and clinging. He was shivering. I figured maybe he was a fisherman who had some trouble with his boat.
“Hey there!” I called out, drying my cheeks on my sleeve and shooing my self-pity away. “Are you all right?”
He came over to me, his hands rubbing together as he blew on them. Lips slightly blue came back to provide a slightly sharp, toothy grin. “I’m fine, thanks. Didn’t realize anyone stayed in this ghost town over the winter.”
“I’m a writer,” I said, half explanation, half apology. I felt suddenly like I had invaded his privacy. His eyes were almost black, but filled with a sparkle like the moon on the waves.
“I see,” he said, and then, with a mischievous wink, “Are you in the market, perhaps, for a muse?”
I laughed, my mood lifting. “Not exactly, but you look like you could use a cup of tea and drier clothes! I have a cottage nearby, if you want to warm up some? Or do you live near here?”
The man thought for a moment, looking out along the beach, then back to me. “You could say that,” he answered, thoughtfully. “But a cup of tea sounds fantastic. Or possibly something stronger.”
I grinned. “I wouldn’t mind the company.”
So I led the way back my place, chatting with him along the way. His name was Dylan, I learned, and he had taken his raft out to go swimming earlier, only to dock later and discover his clothes had been too close to the incoming tide. He had managed to rescue them just in time to keep them from being swept away “but not,” he said with an exaggerated sigh, “before they had been blessed by the sea”. I chuckled as I turned my key in the door and invited him inside.
As I unearthed the bottle of whiskey and grabbed a dry robe, I stole glances at my new friend. It was startling how much he looked like me, now that I could see him properly- we had a similar build and hair colour, though mine was trimmed to the barest fuzz and his cascaded down his shoulders. Looking at him was almost like looking at my reflection in a river. I smiled inwardly, scolding myself that my attraction to him probably stemmed from vanity. Infrequent as my flirtations were, I did tend to go to men much like me.
I poured us each a double shot into some empty mason jars. I don’t entertain much. Dylan didn’t seem to notice, taking his drink with a grateful nod.
“Here’s a robe,” I offered, a bit shyly. “I can put your clothes in the dryer if you don’t mind the wait”.
“Would you mind if I had a hot shower?” he asked.
“Of course,” I said, feeling sheepish for not offering. “It’s right through that door.”
He took a long sip from his whiskey, picking up the robe and heading to the bathroom. I admired how his trousers clung to his narrow hips and muscular thighs, then shook my head and had another drink. Dylan was just a guy in need of some help. There had been no indication where his interest lay, and I was too awkward to ask.
The water started running, and I heard a startled sound. I rushed to the door, worried he might’ve been injured. “You ok in there?”
“Actually, I could use some help,” came the muffled reply, and I came into the bathroom.
I was confronted by his body, sleek, firm, and totally, totally naked. He seemed unashamed, perhaps even a little cheeky, while I struggled to look at his face and not his body. “I couldn’t get the water temperature right,” Dylan said, his voice lightly amused as he caught my stare.
“Oh,” I said, feeling a little flustered and very conscious of the bulge beginning to pulse in my jeans. I bent over and fiddled with the dials, only to feel his hands cup my ass.
“And I wouldn’t mind the company,” he added, his voice low.
I straightened up, my breath catching in my throat as he let his hands wander to my zipper. “If that’s ok, of course,” he winked, his hands brushing against my hard cock. I nodded, maybe a little too enthusiastically as he laughed at me- not mean-spirited, but the laugh of an accomplished flirt who’s succeeded at his seduction. Dylan’s fingers worked my jeans and boxer briefs off my body as his teeth (which were as sharp as they looked) bit my neck, making me moan and stiffen further. I pulled my shirt over my head clumsily and his lips met mine, hard and fierce, then tenderly. They tasted of salt and whiskey. Steam filled the room slowly, making me gasp for breath between our kisses. I didn’t mind. Dylan was like a siren song, and there was nothing to do but surrender.
He stepped into the shower, and I followed him. It was a tight fit, obviously not made for two, but I found the intimacy particularly exciting. Hot water rushed between and around us as we pressed ourselves together, hands slipping and sliding over skin, his cock stroking mine. He wet his fingers and slid them along my ass, a finger tentatively spiraling around the opening before gently sliding in. First one, then, as we kissed and I relaxed, two fingers thrust in and out of me, making me feel weak. I nuzzled my cheek against his throat as his fingers moved inside me, enjoying the sensation of stubble and the still-clinging scent of musk.
I hadn’t been with another man in a while. I felt a wild eagerness and tried to stifle it, remain cool. My hand tentatively moved over Dylan’s cock- his eyes closed with a sigh, his fingers pulling out to join mine on his shaft. Then those eyes opened and looked at me, through me, dark and endless. He seemed almost inhuman, and I was drawn to his spell, a ship tossed at sea- my wordless prayers were all to him.
“Bed,” he growled, his arms wrapping around me so his lips brushed my ear. “Please?”
“Yes,” I whispered, “yes yes yes” and we stumbled out of the shower to my bed, not even pausing to dry off, wet and wanting and wild. He threw me onto the bed and licked the water off my chest. Dylan was a feral animal, nuzzling and nipping my neck, his cock stiff and pressing against my thigh. I reached into my backpack to grab a condom, kneeling to slip it over his cockhead with my lips, sliding the latex along his shaft as I looked upwards into his dark eyes. He shuddered, drawing me up to him for another wave of kisses and bites before pushing me back. I let him watch as I grabbed the lube next to the bed- our eyes locked as I prepared my asshole and his cock. Dylan rubbed the head against my ass until I was begging and he was smiling wickedly. He relented at last, holding my hands down as he fucked me until I was dizzy, my stomach wet with my orgasm.
We fell back into the bed, nuzzling and kissing lazily now, the urgency replaced by affection. I removed the sheath of latex, replacing it with my tongue as I licked him clean. When eventually exhaustion overcame us, I slept more soundly than I had in weeks.
He was gone when I woke up, his clothes taken. There was no sign he had even been there. I made myself a cup of tea, feeling somewhat wistful but willing to let the evening be what it was and nothing more. I hoped it hadn’t just been a crazy fantasy. Over the next few days, I wondered less and less what had happened to him, and yet felt closer to him than ever. I understood his sudden and silent departure- Dylan, too, needed his solitude it seemed. We were alike in that way.
But I saw him days later, another dusk, and then another, always dressed the same. I see him sometimes even now. His clothes are damp every time, like he never learns his lesson about where to put them for his swim. And there’s always more surprises, in bed and out of it- but he’s always gone by dawn, and I never press. He knows a lot about the habits of seals, it turns out, so I guess that he might’ve been a marine biologist at some point. But we don’t often talk about work, preferring philosophy and mythology to everyday topics. Sometimes we’ll tell each other stories- I’ll read my most recent work, he’ll recite ballads. “The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry” is his favourite, and I enjoy hearing his low voice as he brings life to the romantic tragedy. Often we don’t talk at all, just appreciating companionable silence.
Is it a relationship? Not really. Yes? I don't know. Of a sort. I get the impression he would feel caught, trapped inside walls and commitments. And so I let him in and let him go, again and again, like the tides.
I don’t feel lonely, now, even if I spend much of my time alone.
After all, it’s just his way, and mine.