The waves pounded against the shore and the sounds of laughter echoed from within the rocks. Peony was giggling with two other girls her age as I dropped down between the rocks. The trio looked up, every inch children caught with hands in the proverbial cookie jar.
I just gave them a smile.
“Don’t mind me. I’m here to talk to the Tide Master.”
One of the seal-girls gasped and the other girl’s eyes went huge.
“The Tide Master? Really? Well, he’s in his cave…but…”
I gave the poor girl another smile and tousled her hair.
“Don’t worry, he’s expecting me. And Peony, stay out of trouble and don’t go farther out than you can swim by yourself.”
As I climbed further down into the cliff, following the secret roads, I hoped that Peony really would listen to me. Mistress would be angry if we lost the changeling girl to the Sea Fae. Selkies were notorious for that kind of thing. I could hear the waves still and knew that soon the water outside the rocks would be well over my head. This cave was only intended as a meeting place between those of us from the land and those from the sea. Descending the last few feet, I stepped into the great receiving cavern and found myself gazing at the great bulk of the Tide Master.