Peter has a tentative smile on his face, almost as if he doesn't know how I'm going to respond to him. Honestly, I'm feeling tired and a little upset, and I'm still mildly terrified of him. But, I'll hide it.
"Hi." I say, a weary smile gracing my features.
His smile widens, he takes a few steps into the room, "I was able to speak with Marina. Your coronation is tomorrow. You'll need to wake up bright and early to get there on time."
I frown, "Aren't you coming?"
His smile darkens, "Well, without Terence, I don't have the magic I need to breathe underwater. So that's going to be a no."
"Well," Peter's smile brightens again, "get some sleep. I'll wake you up in the morning."
He turns to leave, but as his hand touches the bear pelt, I find myself not wanting him to go. Who is it that I feel love for? Maybe I should try to find out. I shouldn't let his past affect my relationship with him.
He turns, "Yes?"
I can feel a soft blush creeping up my cheeks, "Will you stay with me tonight?"
He pauses, tilting his head ever so slightly, "Yeah. I'll be back in a few minutes."
He smiles at me and leaves the room. At that moment my eyes fall on the pair of pajamas at the foot of my bed. A very soft looking pair of light pink sleep shorts, and a long sleeved white shirt that looks very similar to Peter's. I climb off of the sheets and peel off my boots. I pull off my pants and slide the shorts up my legs, reveling in the softness of them. I tug my shirt over my head and replace it with the new one. As I pull it on, I discover it is his. It smells like him. A sudden sense of sleepiness falls over me, surrounded by Peter's scent I feel relaxed. I run my fingers through my hair and blow out the lantern, climbing underneath the covers. I'm so tired, I'm about to fall asleep. I can't yet. Peter enters soon enough, quiet as a mouse. I wonder what he would do if he thought I was asleep?
He climbs in behind me, I can feel his warmth against my back. He moves cautiously, as if he's trying not to wake me. He wraps his bare arms around me and pulls me into his chest, it's then I realize he's not wearing a shirt. This revelation sends a rush of butterflies through my stomach. Peter softly brushes my hair off of my face and presses a gentle kiss to my temple.
"Sleep well," he whispers softly, "I'm here."
It's taking literally all the will power I have not to turn around a press a big kiss to his mouth. This is all so confusing. Is it possible to love two different people? Is it possible to love a murderer? No. Not a murderer. That's in the past. He wouldn't hurt me. Slowly, I turn to face him. Although I can't see his face clearly in the darkness, I can tell there's a hot blush igniting his cheeks. Love. Love. Love. Love for Peter?
"I didn't know you were awake." he mumbles softly. Despite his embarrassment, however, his hand tightens in my hair.
I smile, "It's okay. But I have a problem."
"What is it?" he asks, a slight tinge of worry in his tone.
He pauses, "I what?"
"You missed." I whisper.
My adrenaline is firing at a mile a millisecond. I wonder if he can hear how fast my heart is beating. I swing my leg over his hips, straddling him, and press a kiss to his lips. It seems as if everything I've been feeling evaporates. I want this. I want him. Peter doesn't kiss me back at first, he's too shocked to think. But then he moves into action, gripping my waist with his hands, and kissing me back. Hard. I can tell we're thinking the same thing. Right now, the clarity cuts like a knife. It's always been him. It feels as if we can't get enough of each other. Like we can't stop. With Kai, there was an easiness, as if we had known each other for so long that it was habit. But with Peter, it's new and exciting, and it makes my stomach ache with butterflies. I can feel something between the two of us, something that looks like it's struggling to break out of his pants… Suddenly I'm snapped back to reality. I'm being crowned tomorrow. I have Kai. That's how it's supposed to be. Not like this. I pull away and climb off of him. We're both out of breath.
"What's wrong?" he pants.
"I-I'm sorry. I just…"
He sits up and softly cups my cheek, I can't look up at him. I'm having a hard time thinking.
"Hey," he tilts my face up, forcing me to look into his eyes, "It's okay. It's fine. I understand."
I look up at him, suddenly on the verge of tears.
Peter leans down and presses a kiss to my forehead, before pulling me back onto the pillows beneath us. I curl into his chest, not even bothering to sort through the flurry of emotions battling their way through my head. I try to keep my tears quiet, but Peter hears. He pulls away from me.
"Oh, Relia," he chuckles softly, and wipes the tears off of my cheek with his thumb, "please don't cry. Why are you crying?"
I laugh through my tears, "I'm sorry. I just feel bad that I just… I just can't."
"I can't… be with you right now. I'm sorry."
He's about to say something, but I cut him off with a kiss. I sink into his chest, and his arms wrap around my waist, holding me against him. This love feels new and exciting, and dangerous. I'm not supposed to be loving him, I'm supposed to be loving Kai.
"Just give me some time."
"I'll wait for as long as you need." he murmurs.
"Get some sleep. I'll be right here."
I curl against his chest again, soaking up the warmth. Suddenly everything clicks into place. Love. It's for him. I love Peter. I. Love. Peter. My grin is so wide my face might break. But there's still something else there. A little bit of love that doesn't belong to Peter or Kai. I fall asleep before another thought can hit me, tucked into Peter's chest.
I wake up to the dim early morning light and soft lips on mine.
"Good morning." Peter murmurs, his voice still husky from sleep.
"Good morning." I respond, rolling into him.
"You should get ready to go."
"I suppose I should."
He climbs out of bed and stretches. I admire how his strong arm and back muscles flex beneath his skin as he turns back to me. I can't tear my eyes away fast enough, he catches me staring and flashes a wicked grin. My cheeks heat with my blush as he slowly, gently climbs back onto my bed. He kisses me again, long and deep. I sigh into his lips. I could get used to this. But I can't. I pull away ever so slightly and run my fingers through his hair. Those bright emerald eyes shine as brightly as the gems themselves.
"I need to get going." I whisper.
He pouts and kisses me again, "I know. I just don't want to."
"Is it a bad thing that I don't want to either?"
"I would say that's a good thing." he says, smiling at me.
I giggle, "Okay. Let's go."
I move to stand and climb out of the bed, but he catches my arm and yanks me back down onto the pillows.
"A few minutes won't kill anyone." he says softly, eyes roaming over my body.
Peter laughs and peppers my neck with kisses, laying me down onto the pillows and positioning himself above me, in between my legs. He continues to kiss me, letting his hands roam about my waist and stomach. I run mine through his hair and down his back, involuntarily wrapping my legs around his waist. He opens my mouth with his lips, massaging my tongue with his. It's so sweet and light, yet we're in quite a position. It feels as if he's taking his time. It's because he respects me, I told him to give me time and he is. It's my turn to take the next step. Which won't be happening until I sort through my feelings. Which may take a while. With that thought, I gently place my palms on his shoulders and push him away.
He sighs, "I was hoping you wouldn't stop me this time."
I smile comfortingly at him, "I know. But we really should get going. I have a feeling that this is something I can't be late too."
He chuckles, "You're right. Change and come eat breakfast."
He smiles at me warmly, and exits the room. I can hear the boys shout their good mornings from the breakfast table. Peter mumbles something softly, something that I can't make out. Hm. I climb out of bed and change into my pants and shirt, slipping on my boots and tying my sash around my waist. I run my fingers through my hair and pinch my cheeks for some color. I have to look good today. I exit my bedroom to find the main room empty. Not a single boy in sight. I wonder where they went?
"Boo." I hear from above me.
Looking up, I find Peter sitting on the ceiling, a lazy grin on his face.
I smile up at him, "What are you doing up there?"
"You know, when you get someone to look at something while someone does something else while they aren't looking?"
I roll my eyes, "I know what a distraction is."
He bursts into laughter.
"Why are you laughing?"
He pauses to catch his breath, "It seems my distraction worked."
"It-" I stop myself as I realize what he's saying.
"Surprise!" the boys shout.
I turn my attention away from Peter to find a table laden with meats, fruits, freshly squeezed orange juice, and even something that looks like pancakes.
Bunny runs up to me and wraps me in a hug, "It's for your coronation."
He awkwardly stumbles over the word "coronation", making it sound more like "cornshun", but it's sweet all the same.
I hug him back, "Thanks, Bunny."
"We even made your oatmeal!" Slightly says proudly, as Nibs lifts the lid of a steaming pot full of my apple cinnamon oatmeal.
"Oh, boys. Thank you!"
Peter drops to the floor in front of me, taking me by the hand and leading me towards the table. Bunny takes my other hand. Peter pulls out a chair at the end of the table with a bow.
I giggle, "Why thank you, kind sir."
He grins at me as I sit, he pushes my chair in behind me.
"Dig in, gentlemen!" Peter shouts, and the boys oblige gratefully.
I take a little bit of everything. My first bite is the oatmeal, the boys pause their feast to see how I like it.
"It's even better than mine. Good work."
Slightly and Nibs high-five each other. After we've all eaten our share, the boys clear the plates and cups. I stand to leave.
"Good luck!" the boys call as I climb to the trapdoor with Peter. With one last hug from Bunny I make my way out into the warm morning sunshine. The birds are chirping and the sun is bright. A black mass casts a shadow over us, and Peter draws his dagger as he moves in front of me.
"Stay back. He's dangerous." he growls.
Butterflies erupt in my stomach. Knight, or, Luca, looks positively terrifying. He's huge, and his obsidian eyes are sharp with anger. His ears are flattened back against his skull, and he lowers his head as if he's prepared to strike. Is he upset with Peter? Or is he just protecting me? He revolted against his own brother back home when Hook showed up because he wanted to protect me. I need to trust that he won't hurt me.
"It's okay." I murmur softly, stepping out from behind Peter and extending my hand to the huge horse.
Knight immediately softens, nuzzling into my hand. Peter slowly tucks his dagger away, a stunned expression on his face.
"How do you… What does…" he trails off, speechless.
His reaction tells me that he doesn't know who Knight really is. I'm not going to reveal Knight's real identity to him. What if they get in to a fight?
"What's wrong?" I ask, pulling away from Knight and stroking his smooth back.
"He's the Dark One. The possessor of black magic. He's dangerous."
"This is Knight. He's my horse."
"Knight." Peter repeats, looking up at his shimmering white horn.
"He's here to take me to my coronation."
Peter cocks his head, "Alright then."
I smile at him and walk forward into his arms.
"I'll be good from here. I'll see you later."
"Be back by sundown." he replies, dipping his head to kiss me.
His kiss is soft but full of passion, again as if he's holding back. I know he is. It only makes me love him more. Knight nickers, interrupting us. Is he annoyed with Peter? Or does he want to get a move on? I'm frustrated that I don't know what he's thinking.
"Bye." I whisper.
"Bye." he responds.
I press a kiss to his cheek, and turn to Knight.
He bobs his head yes, and gestures to a large boulder. I get the message, and climb on to the boulder. I swing my leg over his back and tighten my hold on his mane. Peter waves good bye as Knight trots away through the forest. Conflict avoided. Knight stops a little way from the shore to allow me to change, I wouldn't want another catastrophe with Hook. I feel yet another pang in my chest to think about those days spent on his ship. Absentmindedly, I lightly trail my fingers along my knee to find it… smooth? Where are those ugly scars? I feel absolutely nothing but smooth skin. How is that even possible? I suppose it must go back to Henry and his mentioning of my fast healing ability. This is most definitely going to be a good day.
I turn back to Knight. How do I communicate with this horse?
Knight stills, gazing down at me with a stony expression, but does nothing. Maybe he's not ready to talk to me, yet. A brief thought flutters through my head. What if my mother was lying? No. She wouldn't. I just shouldn't be so trusting of people. My mother wouldn't lie to me. I take off my boots, pants, shirt, and sash, wrapping my bikini bottoms around my wrist. I turn back to Knight to say goodbye, but he's gone. Oh well. I pick my way through the trees until the forest floor turns to sand beneath my toes. The water shimmers in the sunlight, illuminating a familiar small boat on the water. I recognize Hook just as his sword plunges into Kai's chest. My scream is so loud it seems the world has stopped.