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The Never King: Chapter 20

WINNIE

I’ve never slept in a bed with someone else, but as I climb in beneath the sheets with Kas on my left and Bash on my right, I feel oddly content.

It’s like sleeping between two ridiculously hot sentinels.

One of them has created an illusion on the ceiling and another on the floor so that it feels like I’m nestled in a magical forest grove. Pretty little pink flowers glow in the dark.

I am so happy and I don’t know why and I don’t know what to do with it.

It’s a sensation that fits like a coat that’s too small, like I might burst the seams if I stretch too far.

I snuggle into Bash’s side. He’s shirtless and the hazy pink glow lights him up in technicolor. “What’s that?” I ask and nod at whatever he has in his hands.

He winds his arm around me and holds up my arm, tying a rope bracelet around my wrist. There’s an acorn cap threaded through the rope.

“A kiss,” he says.

“What?”

He laughs through his nose. “The acorn cap is a kiss. It’s a thing here. Just pretend it is.”

“Okay.”

Kas lies on his back, the long line of his body close to mine, our legs touching.

A star darts across the ceiling, leaving a trail of glittering light.

“Two days ago, I thought I was going to go mad,” I say, twisting the bracelet around my wrist, admiring the knot work. “Even though Pan kidnapped me, this is somehow better.”

Kas snorts. Bash laughs, the deep treble sounding through his chest.

“You might take that back,” Bash says.

“Why?”

He sighs. “Go to sleep, Darling.”

“I’m not tired.”

Crickets chirp beyond the window and there’s the soft warble of birds in the tree just beyond my room.

Kas shifts closer and hits a sensitive part of my back and I hiss in response.

“What is it?” he asks.

“It’s nothing. I’m fine.”

“Did we hurt you?”

“No.” I laugh. “You did the opposite. I’m fine, really.”

In fact, there’s something about Neverland and these Lost Boys that has made the pain fade.

Over the years, I’d gotten use to the constant ache in my body, the pounding headaches, the sharp, sudden bursts of pain in my nerves.

When you’re carved up by witches and so-called voodoo priests, pain becomes second nature. I would take the pain over losing my mind any day, so I never complained. I did what my mother told me to with the slimiest hope that I wouldn’t turn out like her.

Thinking about all of this brings some of the memories back and it makes my stomach dip. I know what she did to me was wrong and if I look too closely at it, it makes me want to breakdown and sob.

So I don’t.

I don’t want to look at it at all.

Your mother is supposed to protect you, but it was my mother’s desperate need to save me that caused me the most pain and anguish.

Her love was hard to take some days.

I rest my hand on Bash’s flat stomach and close my eyes as Kas twirls a length of my hair around his finger at my back.

I start to drift off even though I didn’t think I was tired.

I guess getting fucked by Peter Pan and the Lost Boys is exhausting.

“Darling?” Bash says.

I’m barely awake. “Hmmm?”

“What’s your favorite food?”

The question floats around in my head, shrouded in the haziness of sleep.

It takes a lot of effort to decide and even more to get the answer out.

“Croissants.”

He laughs lightly. “Really?”

I’m drifting further. The bed is so much more comfortable than my inflatable mattress and Bash is warm at my front and Kas at my back and before I know it, I’m out.


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