We last left off with Danny rejecting Steve after Steve shared his truth with him. Steve did not expect such a reaction and was saddened by it. Thinking he would be abandoned by his seal family, too, he was surprised to learn otherwise. Lilly and the pups were right by his human side. As we move on to this final part of SEAL of Approval, how do you think it will end? Will Danny and Steve be able to mend their broken relationship? and what does this all mean for Lilly and Steve? It’s time to wrap it up and answer all these questions and more with the conclusion. Hope you have enjoyed the story.
“Hello, Steven.” He sits down in the other chair.
“Uh, what are you doing here?”
“Well, I’m guessing you have been texting with my daughter and she has been on me, almost daily, to come over here and talk to you. To hear your explanation for this crazy belief of yours that you can turn into a seal. So, for her, here I am.” He still hasn’t looked at Steve.
Steve, not sure what to say, fumbles for the words. “I appreciate you giving me the chance.”
Quickly, Danny turns to him, eyes full of hurt and betrayal, glaring at him. “How could you? How could come up with this ridiculous story? I still don’t know what happened here that day, but you cannot expect anyone to believe that you can just turn into a seal! It is impossible.”
Steve sighs. “If I go inside for a minute, will you promise to stay here? I need to get something. Will you stay?”
Danny considers for a moment and then nods. “Fine. But you have fifteen minutes to explain all this to me. If you can’t by then, my resignation will be on your desk in the morning. I will be going back to HPD.” He stares out at the water.
“Don’t move.” Steve gets up and runs inside. He goes to the safe in the study and gets out his father’s journal. Danny may not believe him, but he can’t deny the words written in his father’s handwriting. Rushing back out, he sits down, again not sure where to begin.
“It’s all true, Danny. I swear it. If I didn’t have this ability, I probably wouldn’t believe it, either, but I do. So did my father and grandfather.”
Danny looks at him as if he’s crazy. “You’re gonna bring your father and grandfather into this? Seriously? You are crazy, Steve. You need help.” He moves to stand up.
“Hey, you said I have fifteen minutes. It’s only been two. I still have thirteen left.” He reaches out and grabs Danny by the wrist. “I plan on using every last second.”
Slowly, Danny sits back down, not wanting to break his promise. “Okay. Go ahead.”
“I found this journal of my father’s not long after I moved back in here. I was looking around and found a loose floorboard in the downstairs bedroom and this was one of the things hidden. Danny, this tells everything. How my grandfather first moved here because of this ability. When my father discovered it and talked to my grandfather, he had become one with the island and so was able to become a native monk seal. By the time I found out I could do this, hell descended on my family and I never had the chance to sit down with him. I was sent away and never really saw him again. I carried this with me all these years and when I found this, I knew I wasn’t crazy or sick.” He pauses to see if any of this is making a difference. Danny continues to look out over the water as the sun starts to set.
“Okay. This trait is passed down through the male genes. No, Mary does not have this ability, nor does she know anything about it. Only the men have this trait. It’s passed down like any other genetic trait, but doesn’t manifest until after puberty hits. As I said, I was about fourteen when I found out I could do this and within a short period of time, my mother ‘died’ and Mary and I were sent away. I was so confused but I used it to my advantage. I thought I was a freak so I kept it to myself. It wasn’t until I found this journal that I realized just how lucky I was to have not said word. Besides the consequences I’m experiencing now, they would have locked me away, either for life or to dissect me. I don’t know which would have been worse.”
He stares out at the reflections on the water, loving the site and smell.
“Why me? Why us?” Danny speaks up.
“Why you? Come on, buddy. I thought that would be obvious. You and the kids are the most important people on this earth to me. I can’t think of anyone I would rather know. I know you would never betray this secret and would accept me for what I am. At least, that’s what I thought.”
Danny holds out his hand. Steve places the journal in it and sits back. He listens to the sounds of the ocean while Danny skims through the book. Thirty minutes later, as the sun is almost down, he feels Danny move.
“I guess this would explain why you love the water so much.”
Steve almost bursts out laughing. “Yes, it does.”
“Why now? Why not years ago? Or years from now? Why’d you have to do it now?”
He takes another deep breath. “We’ve known each other over eight years and there’s no one I trust more with my life. Grace is gonna be going off to college soon and Charlie? Well, soon he’ll be too old to accept something like this at face value and I needed that. I knew he would be thrilled to know this kind of secret and even more thrilled to keep it. I needed his innocence, while he still has it. It was just time.”
“I see. How come I didn’t show up here and find you out swimming with your seal friends?”
Steve clears his throat. “Um, they’re not friends. They are my offspring. When I first got back here, I met a special female and she and I have been together ever since. She understands and accepts what I am and has conformed to some of my human eccentricities, as she calls them. So far, we have had seven pups together and one on the way.”
Danny glares at him. “You don’t have to make things up now, Steve. Pups? One on the way? Do they have the ability to become human? Do you know how ridiculous this all sounds?”
“I know, but it’s true. No, they cannot become human. The trait apparently only occurs on the human side, meaning only we can turn into seals. And yes, I do mate. She is a beautiful seal and I my feelings for her go deep. As for why I’m not out swimming with them? I can’t. Did you not see that part in the journal?”
“I guess not, Steve. Why can’t you?”
He knows Danny is going to take this the wrong way, but there’s no other way to put it. “I can no longer turn into a seal. Once the secret is shared, if the one it’s shared with cannot accept it or believe it, the ability is taken. So, I have not been able to change since that day.”
Danny looks at the man he thought was his friend, fuming. “So this is all MY fault? Because you chose to share this crazy tale with me, you can no longer change? If you could in the first place. You’re gonna blame this all on me?”
“No, Danny. I don’t blame you. I blame myself. I never should have burdened you with this secret. I should have just continued to keep to myself. I am the one to blame. No one else.”
“Oh, I see. Now I’m not good enough to share it with? I get it. Now that you made the mistake of sharing it, I’m suddenly not good enough. I can’t be trusted. I can’t believe you! One minute, I’m the one you trust the most and the next minute, I’m not good enough and you never should have told me. One of the biggest parts of your life, and I’m not good enough now. God, Steven, I can’t believe you. You know I would never break a secret like this. Not even under threat of death. Something this important to you would go with me to my grave. You know that. What makes you think that you shouldn’t have told me? Hell, this is something you SHOULD have told me years ago! It would have explained so much. All those times you disappear for hours. How the hell you can stay underwater for so long. My god, this is not a classified op. This is something you share with your best friend!” Danny is breathing heavy, sweat running down his face. “I just can’t believe you waited this long to tell me. That hurts, Steven. It really does.” He sits back in the chair, darkness surrounding them.
“Wait. What are you saying? Sounds to me like you had a change of heart.” His own heart skips a beat, hoping he is hearing what he thinks he is.
Danny sighs loudly. “Go. Go be with your other family. You should be able to now.” He gestures out to the water.
“Go! I always knew you were different and crazy. You’ve just proven me correct. Go be with your family.”
Steve, not wanting to tempt fate anymore, stands, strips and runs into the water. The last thing he hears before going under is Danny’s voice. “I did not need to see your naked butt running out into the ocean. I always knew you were an animal!”
Story by P_Street_7609
Fan Art by Becoming_Bryna