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The Dark One: Chapter 25


The branches of the Neverland forest pull at my hair and scratch at my face.

But I keep running.

Vane is faster than I anticipated and I can feel the earth shaking beneath his feet as he gives me chase and draws nearer.

The terror settles in as I round a grove of trees.

It’s a clawing terror that erupts from my throat in useless, shaky gasps. Tears well in my eyes, clouding my vision and my shoulder slams into the skinny trunk of a birch tree.

He is silent as he chases me. And my heart is beating so fast in anticipation, I can feel it drumming in my teeth.

He’s going to catch me.

He’s going to catch me.

How long do I run?

How far?

I look over my shoulder and find him just a few feet behind me. He’s gone to the dark shadow now. Or maybe there is no separation between them, only determination.

The terror squeezes my heart and makes it skip several beats, then flutter hard like it’s about to explode.

Goosebumps rise on my arms and a shiver races down my spine and my chest is too tight and my breathing too shallow and—

He snatches me around the waist and slams me against the trunk of a tree. The bark bites into my back and the wind is knocked out of me. I’m tingling between my legs in hot anticipation of what he might do to me.

His hand comes to my throat as his weight sinks over top of me and he kicks my legs apart. His cock finds the pocket between my thighs and rubs against me, forcing a high-pitched moan from my lips.

“Is this what you wanted, Darling?” he asks in that hollow, vibrating voice that belongs to the shadow, which makes the hair at the nape of my neck stand up straight. “I told you not to run.”

It’s hard to think straight inside of the terror. There is only the base instinct to run and cry and beg. But I fight it. Giving in is the only way to meet him in the dark.

Shaking, sobbing, I wind my legs around his waist as the terror pulses on the edges of my vision. “This is…exactly…what I wanted.” I have to take several hiccupping breaths between words.

“You don’t know what the fuck you’re asking for.”

“Then show me.”

With a growl, he rips off my dress, tearing it into scraps of fabric.

The darkness of the Death Shadow surges around his eyes like an inky mask and the terror doubles in my veins, stealing the exhilaration.

Fuck, fuck.


There must be a way to fight that effect. I don’t want to be terrified. I want to be fucking high on the pleasure of having him.

His cock slides up my wetness, hitting my throbbing clit, and I squeeze my eyes shut, purging the unspent tears.

I’m so terrified, my head is pounding. I want to crawl out of my skin. I want to fight and run.

Vane is an ocean wave pulling me deeper and deeper.

He rocks his hips back, stealing the heat of his cock before he shoves it in roughly, causing me to cry out.

He’s so fucking big it hurts on impact and my teeth clack together.

“I will split this wet cunt in two,” he says. “You’ll be begging me to stop.”

“No, I won—”

He sinks inside of me, filling me up, and then brings both hands to my throat and squeezes.

My eyes automatically bug out.

He fucks me. Hard. Fast. Brutally. The tree rattles above us.

There is no air, no air to beg, and tears stream down my face.

He is relentless.


Fucking me and fucking me as his teeth gnash together and his black eyes spark with life.

How did…how do I…

I can’t breathe. My vision tunnels. His grip tightens.



I am in too deep.

I didn’t know what I was doing.

He tried to warn me.

I didn’t listen.

I’m going to die here.

My hands scramble for purchase. That base instinct trying to escape.

And then my fingers close on a tiny, sharp branch just overhead.


I need pain.

I break off the branch with a snap and with every ounce of energy I have left, I stab the end into my palm and drag it across the meaty flesh. The pain is sharp and immediate and every muscle clenches up.

The terror vanishes, overrun by the sharp agony in my palm. I grab one of Vane’s hands still around my throat. I pull and slap at him as the darkness creeps into my vision and then suddenly he’s blinking, staring at the blood as it runs down my chest, as it fills the divots along his fingernails.

“Darling.” His voice is hoarse, and his grip loosens, but his eyes are still black.

I come back into my body as oxygen fills my lungs in one deep, body-shaking gasp.

“Fuck me,” I tell him and inhale deeply. “Fuck me now.”

His hands sink to my ass, spreading me, and he fills me back up. Every inch of him, every hard ridge. He pulls back out, slamming back in with enough force to make the tree groan.

“Oh yes, fuck,” I say and wrap my arms around his neck and hang on for dear life.

There is nothing gentle about him. He’s still consumed by darkness, but he has control of it and me and he’s taking what I’m freely giving.

And it feels so fucking good.

“Rub that pussy for me, Darling,” he says and slams us against the tree again. “I’m so fucking close to spilling inside of you.”


“Yes,” he says on a growl.

I reach down between us and swirl two fingers over my clit and immediately toe the edge. “Oh, shit. I don’t want to come yet.”

I want to linger. I want to savor this. Every second of it.

Vane is mine. He’s mine and I’m his and I’m never going to let him push me away ever again.

I hold my fingers tightly against my clit as if that will ward off the pleasure threatening to pound through me.

Eyes squeezed tight, I lay my head back against the tree as Vane punishes me with his cock.

“Winnie,” he says. “You’ll make that wet pussy come for me and you’ll do it now.”

“I don’t want to,” I say on a moan.

“Look at me,” he orders and I pry my eyes open. The blackness has receded from his gaze, and his violet eye is glittering with heat and desire and need. He needs me and he needs this and more than anything in the world, I want to give it to him.

Vane will always be the last person to demand anything from me and he will always be the one I want to please the most because of it.

“Okay,” I say.

He grabs my hand and captures two of my fingers in his mouth. He sucks me with his lips, circles my fingertips with his tongue, soaking me before guiding my hand back down to my clit.

“Let me have you, Win,” he says. “Let me fill up that wet cunt while you scream my name.”

“Yeah. Yes.” I moan loudly as I soak my clit with his spit. I’m so wet, it’s dripping down his balls as he sinks into me all the way to the hilt.

I have him.

I have him.

I barely have to touch myself before I’m flying over the edge, my voice echoing through the woods. “Oh my god. Vane! Fuck! Vane!” He pounds into me. Fast. Relentless. Giving my pussy the fucking it deserves.

He’s growing harder, more frenzied with his movements, and then he’s grunting into me, spilling inside of me. “Fuck, Win,” he says on a growl, his cock throbbing against my clenched inner walls.

Thunder rumbles overhead.

He growls through his teeth, pumps more into me, his fingers now bruising on the backs of my thighs.

I pant for several breaths as my soul floats back into my body. “Oh my god,” I say again. “That was…” I have no words. I don’t know how any word could sum it up.

Vane rocks in and out of me in slow, languid thrusts, like he’s savoring the feel of me still wrapped around his cock.

“You weren’t supposed to run,” he says and leans forward resting his forehead against mine. Our breath mingles.

“I’m glad I did.”

“I could have killed you.” He slides in again, still impossibly hard for having already came.

“But you didn’t.”

“You think you’ve won something.”

“No,” I say and press my lips against his. His mouth is unmoving for all of a second before he’s kissing me back. “I claimed something. I claimed you.”

He growls against my mouth and I feel his cock straining inside of me. “You keep thinking that.”

“I did. You’re mine now. And there’s no turning back.”

He digs his hips into me, sinking the head of his cock all the way to my uterus, I swear to god.

“Perhaps you have gone mad, after all.”

I kiss him again, more deeply this time and his tongue slides against mine. I thread my fingers through his still damp hair as thunder rumbles again. When I pull back, I tell him, “Don’t deny me ever again.”

“Needy little Darling.”

“Fucking right, I am.”

He presses in. “Make me a promise.”


“So fucking eager it annoys me.”

“Shut up and tell me.”

His mouth trails over my jaw, then down my bruises, my raw throat. “If I ever lose control, promise me you’ll knee me in the balls or stab me in the face.”

“I will never do that—”

“Promise me,” he says on a growl and drags his teeth over the sensitive flesh just beneath my ear. I yip in surprise and shrink in on myself. “Promise me, Darling. It’s the only way you get me.”

I sigh. “Fine. I promise to stab you in the face.”

He finally pulls out of me and I pout up at him as my feet hit the forest floor. We’re both naked and without clothes.

“I have a shirt you can have on the beach,” he tells me and pushes me back toward the lagoon.

I realize too late the mistake I’ve made.

He has a clear view of my back.

He grabs me by the arms and pulls me to a stop. The air is charged and silent until Vane inhales and says on a growl, “Darling, who did that to you?”

I whirl around, giving him my front, but he takes me by the shoulders and spins me back again. His fingertips ghost over the scars and I couldn’t stop the shiver that overtakes me even if I tried.

“Who?” he repeats. “Give me a name so that I can cut the skin from their bones.”

“It was no one.”


“It was my mom!”

His hand splays over the base of my neck, fingers curling over my shoulder. I sense his stillness and his reluctance.

“Merry did this to you?”

“Not directly. She hired people to do it.”

“She paid money for this?”

The anger makes his voice vibrate and when I turn back to him, his eyes are black once again.

“When Pan finds out—”

“He already knows.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t want your pity. I wanted your respect.” As soon as the admission is out, my face blooms with embarrassment. I hadn’t meant to say so much.

When his face falls, I immediately regret letting the words spill out. “You wanted my respect so you let me pound you against a tree instead?”

The blush intensifies. “Maybe. I don’t know.”

He steers me toward the beach again as lightning chases a rumble of thunder overhead. When we come back out on the lagoon, he scoops up his black t-shirt and bunches it up in his hands so all I have to do is stick my head in and let him thread my arms through the sleeves. I drown in it once it settles over my body and I think he appreciates the sight more than he’d like because he can’t stop staring at me. He won’t stare at my naked body, but he’ll enjoy the sight of me in his clothes.

I’ve never been self-conscious until now.

I fold my arms over my middle, digging my toe into the cool sand.

“We should have never sent Merry back once we knew she was pregnant,” he says. “We should have never let her raise you alone.”

I scoff. “What, and keep her here? So you all could help raise me? That sounds creepy and worse.”

He looks away, knowing I’m right.

“I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and I was where I was supposed to be.” He glances back at me, violet eye bright. “And now I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be once again.”

He yanks up his pants, tucks his cock inside. He must smell like me and that gives me a ridiculous little flare of joy. “Where you’re supposed to be is home,” he says and shoves me toward the path once he’s buttoned his pants. “You’re shivering and it’s late and now you’re bruised even more.”

I grin up at him. “I like you being rough with me. “

“Stop it.”

“I’m allowed to like it.”

He grumbles. “Not at the expense of the oxygen in your lungs.”

“Mmm, speak for yourself. I wouldn’t mind experimenting with that under controlled circumstances.”

“You want me to choke you?” He scowls over at me.

I think about it a second. “Yes.”

“Fucking hell, Darling.” He puts his hand at the small of my back and gives me another push like he’s aghast at this idea. “Get back to the house. Before I give you exactly what you want.”


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