"Let's go." Hook murmurs.
No. I have to show him I'm okay! That large hand doesn't remove itself from over my mouth despite my struggles.
"Yes, Cap'n." Smee replies.
I can hear the sound of oars being dragged through the water, and the lagoon becomes quiet. They're gone. Dammit! What's going to happen now? Kai spins me around and presses me into his chest.
"What are you doing? I thought I told you not to come up here."
I'm still shaking from the sudden shock of being grabbed and silenced, but he thinks nothing of it. Those blue orbs pierce mine, waiting for an answer.
"I-I'm sorry. I just wanted to see who it was."
He sighs and lets go of me, "Curiosity will get you killed, Relia. Please be more careful."
I smile up at him, "But some risks are worth taking, right?"
Kai stares at me thoughtfully for a few seconds, "Right."
He grabs the back of my head and tilts my face up towards his.
"Is this a risk worth taking?" he whispers softly, eyes searching.
I slowly reach up and wrap my right hand around his neck, entwining my fingers in his thick hair. His breathing quickens, his eyes focus on mine. Looking for my answer.
I bring up my left hand, and place a fingertip at his collarbone. Softly, I trace the defined lines of his chest, my finger swooping down over his stomach. He lets out a soft sigh as I feel the contours of his body, allowing myself to lightly skim the area where skin meets scales. My finger glides back up to his face, where I brush my thumb over his jawline. Kai closes his eyes, letting the tide move him. Has anyone ever touched him like this? I bring my left hand behind his neck to join my right, and pull him closer to my face. He's breathing hard, his bare chest rising and falling in front of me. I feel… powerful. It's me making him feel this way. His eyes open again, and lock on mine. They look brighter than before, as if they're glowing. He brings his hands up to cup my face, adrenaline pumps through my veins even quicker than before. He holds me delicately, like I'm a piece of glass. I softly tug on his hair, trying to show him it's okay. I'm not fine china. Kai's lips curve up into a delicious smirk. He got my message. He leans forward, pressing my back into the cold rock. We're so close our noses are touching, I can feel his heated breath on my cheeks. The world seems to move in slow motion, the sound of the waves is amplified in my ears.
Suddenly, we're on each other so quickly it's hard to tell who kissed who first. He tangles his fingers of his right hand into my hair, holding me steady. His other hand travels down to my waist, grasping firmly and pulling me into him. I pull on his neck, dragging him deeper into our kiss. We fit together perfectly. He presses me harder into the stone, sending excited tingles up my spine. He moves his mouth to my jawline, leaving a trail of burning kisses. He kisses my neck. I gasp softly as his lips find my sweet spot, which he lightly bites. I move my hands from his neck to his back, feeling his muscles flex beneath my palms. He moves to my collarbone. As he continues his path along my shoulder, his left hand lightly trails back up my side. My body erupts into goosebumps as he moves his mouth back to mine and kisses me with more passion than before.
Kai's lips are salty with the sea. I let out a soft moan that was totally not meant to be audible, but he hears. He laughs into my neck as he moves back to my sweet spot. I gasp again as he gently nibbles on my neck, making my body shiver. I didn't know he could do this. My eyes snap open as he bites harder on my neck, I wrap my fingers into his hair and tug, telling him that I love it. I glance over at the sandy beach, my pants and boots are still there. My original goal floats back into my hazy thoughts. Peter. I have to get back. I need to confront him about Luca. I untangle my fingers from his hair and grab both sides of his face, pulling his head up from my neck. He responds by bringing his hands up to my face, too. We're both panting. We just stare into each other's eyes, catching our breath.
"I have to go." I whisper softly.
Kai smiles gently, "I know."
I smile back. His smile makes me happy.
"Please come back soon." he says, almost pleading.
I rise out of the water and press a light kiss on his full lips. He kisses me back, running his hands through my hair. We pull away and gaze at each other. I drop my hands first. He lowers his left, but keeps his right hand on my cheek. He laughs suddenly, cocking his head at me. It makes me laugh too.
"I just…" he rubs his thumb along my jawline, "you're so very far from normal."
"I'm going to take that as a compliment."
My smile leaves me glowing, I feel truly happy for the first time in a while.
"You should." he mumbles as he kisses me again.
"It seems like," he pecks my lips, "I've been waiting," he kisses my cheek, "for so long," he kisses my neck, "to kiss you." he says, kissing my forehead.
"Now I can't stop." his smile radiates happiness.
I press another kiss to his lips, combing my fingers through his tousled, wet hair.
"I'll be back soon."
"I'll be waiting." he stares into my eyes for a moment, before his hand slips from my cheek.
"Bye." he says.
"Bye." I smile at him.
He gives my cheek one last quick kiss before he dives into the waves, leaving me alone in the afternoon sun. I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding, and with it comes a feeling of giddiness. I can have Kai. I have Kai. He's mine. I smile to myself. I change back to my set of human legs, climbing out of the lagoon and to my clothes. I pull on my clothes. I yank on my boots. With one last glance at the shimmering waters, I make my way back into the towering trees of Neverland. I wander through the forest, waiting for the hideout to reveal itself. I'm not in a rush. I let my mind drift through today's events, daydreaming about who knows what. The sound of snapping branches snaps me out of my thoughts, I stop in my tracks. Where is that sound coming from? It hits me then, the branches above my head are cracking. No sooner have I peered through the trees Peter lands less than a foot in front of me. He's out of breath, and angry.
"Why do you keep leaving?" he demands.
I raise my head, a bit of defiance in my gaze, "I'm sorry. I had to go see my mother."
That answer surprises him, he pauses, "Your mother?"
It feels nice to be the one to know something first. Like how he killed someone? I keep seeing blood on his hands. I blink, shaking the vision away. He finally takes in my soaked clothing and hair, and realization dawns on his face.
Now it's my turn to pause, "You knew?"
"Knew what?" he asks, but something in his voice tells me he knows exactly what I'm talking about.
"Selene is my mother. You knew?"
He breaks into a cocky smile, which only infuriates me more.
"Of course I knew. It was my idea to bring you to Neverland in the first place."
"And you never thought to tell me?"
He cocks his head, eyes hardening. Oh, so know he's mad at me? He killed someone. Suddenly, I find myself not wanting to confront him. What if he kills me, too? No. He wouldn't. Luca probably did something to him. His death was probably necessary. Peter isn't a violent person. The blood on Peter's fingertips catches my attention. I blink, and it's gone again. I should stop worrying. He did what he had to do, and he wouldn't hurt me. I need to stop worrying about his problems as if they're my own.
"It didn't seem important at the time."
I move to walk past him, but he grabs my arm as I pass.
All of that irritating childlike behavior has seemingly disappeared. Now it's back to normal Peter. His eyes soften a little. That odd burst of anger passes as if it was never there in the first place.
He smiles brightly, "I have an idea. I'll send a message to Selene. You need a formal coronation!"
"A coronation?" I ask, confused. I'm not quite ready to trust him and his mood swings.
"You are a princess, after all. We just have to make it official."
There's a part of me that wants to hold a grudge. But, this is Peter Pan for goodness sake. I let a small smile creep onto my face.
He smiles at me, "How does tomorrow sound?"
I blink, "Tomorrow?"
"Absolutely. The sooner the better, huh?"
At least I'll get to see Kai again.
"Great. I'll meet you back at the hideout."
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going to pull a few strings for you."
Peter jumps into the air and soars out of the treetops, leaving me alone. I sigh and glance back down at the forest floor, where the trapdoor has appeared. Well, that's convenient. I open the door and descend into the hideout. The boys are on me in an instant.
"Where were you?"
"Why are you wet?"
"What did you do?"
"Peter was looking for you."
"He's going to be so mad."
A sudden headache comes on, I close my eyes and rub my temples. When I open them again, the little boys are staring at me expectantly.
"I'm just a little tired. Could I have some alone time, please?"
They back away immediately and let me pass. I push aside the thick bear pelt and enter my room, flopping onto the bed. I'm trying to sort through the rush of emotions flying through me and file them away. Here we go.
Happiness. Happy because of Kai, and Peter, and Mom, and… Hook. I banish the thought from my head before it can blossom into something more. It's just him trying to enact that stupid revenge plan, and I'm just a pawn in the game. I almost laugh at how naive I sound. Ah, teenagers and love. Kai's gaze floats back into my thoughts, and that excited jitter runs through me again. Do I want to live under the waters in a crystalline palace as a princess with the man of my dreams? It almost sounds too good to be true. Maybe I do. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I hate maybes. Peter makes me happy because it's him. He's so kind, and funny, and smart, and, well, Peter. He's everything I thought Peter Pan would be like, in a twenty year old's body. My mother makes me happy because I'm not alone, I have someone who is on my side and won't keep things from me. Unlike some other people on this island.
Sadness. Sad because my dad really is dead. I thought that maybe this place would be magical enough for a miracle, but maybe that's a bit of a stretch. Oh well. FEAR. Fear because I don't know what Aleksander is planning and when he might strike, and it seems like there's a war brewing between mermaids and pirates that could potentially be over me, and there are still so many things I don't know. What is going to happen next? How can I make sure that everyone I love will be okay? And, Peter killed someone. How do I know that he won't hurt me? Was what he did justified? Knight is so sweet and loving, is Luca the same? Or was it just an act?
I inhale and exhale, burying my face deep into the pillow. My head and heart both feel a lot clearer, but there's still something there. Something I can't quite decipher. It hits me then like a punch in the stomach. Love. I feel love. Towards whom? Kai, I know. But there's something else. I can't figure it out.
"Knock, knock." Peter's voice comes from behind me.