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The Dark One: Chapter 22

CHERRY

For being immortal men, Pan and the twins and Vane have never been very good at noticing when I’m eavesdropping. They only notice me when it benefits them.

Apparently, I can add Winnie to that list too. I thought she was my friend but I guess not.

When they start down the stairs, I duck into the hallway out of sight.

They want to trade me back to my brother. They think I can get them what they want. Peter Pan and his dumb shadow.

Pan is the only one of the house I haven’t slept with. He’s no Vane, but I wouldn’t have turned him down if he ordered me to my knees. And now Winnie has him, all of them, all to herself. How many men can one girl have?

It isn’t fair. But I’m not going to cry about it. Much.

Maybe I can stay. I mean…they told me I could leave a long time ago and I didn’t. So why do I have to go now? It isn’t like Jas wants me back anyway.

No one seems to want me.

I hurry to my room intending to get dressed up for the bonfire, but when I push inside and flick on the light, something dark shoots across the room.

I yelp and duck as it slams into the door rattling the hinges.

“Oh my god. Is that—” It lunges at me and swipes a sharp claw-like hand across my arm, breaking open the skin. “Hey!”

It lunges again and I whip the door open, race out, and slam it shut, yanking hard on the knob as the door rattles.

“Holy berries and balls,” I whisper and look over my shoulder and down the hall both ways. Did anyone just see that?

That’s a Neverland shadow. That’s a Neverland shadow!

The door rattles again and I wipe the stupid grin off my face. Can it get out of a closed room? Can it travel through cracks and crevices? Does it know how to open a door?

When it goes quiet, I let go of the knob and step back, heart hammering against my eardrums.

I raise my arm to a slant of light from the lanterns and find blood welling in the cut. I swipe the blood away with my fingertip and wipe it on my dark blue jeans.

That thing is brutal. And it’s—

I need to tell Vane. When I tell him I have the shadow trapped he’ll see I’m useful after all. Maybe he’ll even be a little impressed.

Making sure the door is still shut tight, I hurry down the hall and out of the house.


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