Our dear sister takes one look at Pan claiming his shadow and leaps out the nearest window.
Never thought I’d see the fae queen running with her tail tucked between her legs, but goddamn, do I enjoy seeing our sister bested.
I’m covered in pirate and fae blood, and the fae blood glitters in just the right slant of light.
I’m not sure how I feel about fighting my own people, but I guess I have to get right with it real quick if I’m to overthrow my sister.
Pan’s still on all fours breathing heavily, back arched.
The air vibrates around him.
I don’t remember what he was like with his shadow. That was long before my time.
But I’m not surprised that the difference between Pan with his shadow and Pan without is the difference between a sunny day and a raging storm.
It’s an energy that rolls up my arms and down my spine.
I suddenly have the urge to get to my knees.
It reminds me of the same feeling I had when our father donned his formal court uniform on a fae solstice.
Something bigger than myself. Something unspeakably magical.
When Pan gets to his feet and slowly rises to a stand, I gulp down air.
He looks the same and he is the same height and he takes up the same space, but somehow, he has grown in size.
Goosebumps trail up my arms. The hair lifts on the back of my neck.
I know now that I picked the right side.
Pan is fucking scary as fuck on a good day. With his shadow?
There have always been whispers on the island that he is a god. No one knows where he came from, including him.
Now I think I believe the rumors.
Now I think they might be true.
Before I know what I’m doing, I’m kneeling on the floor. And my brother kneels beside me, and behind us Hook still cowers in a ball.
“What the fuck are we doing?” Kas whispers.
“Fuck if I know.”
“If you think I’m bowing to you,” Vane says, “you’ve got another thing coming.”
“Get up,” Pan tells us.
Kas and I rise and Pan comes over. I try not to shrink again like a trembling dipshit. I’m a king in my own right. The fuck do I have to be submissive about?
I have to recalibrate what I think and know about Pan now that he’s got his shadow back.
“Thank you,” Pan says and I swear his blue eyes glow a little more.
“We made our choice,” Kas says and I nod in agreement.
Pan grips us both by the shoulder and gives us a squeeze. And then he goes over to Hook, grabs him by the throat and wrenches him to his feet.
“Bloody hell,” Hook says on a grunt.
“You are a man who can make his own choices,” Pan says. “But if you choose to stand against me, you’re making the wrong one.”
Hook’s face turns red as he struggles for air. “Help me…stand against…the Crocodile and we…have a deal.”
“This isn’t a negotiation,” Pan says.
Pan looks at Vane over his shoulder and Vane shrugs.
“I’ll think about it.” Pan drops Hook to the floor and he lands like a bag of bones.
Hook coughs and sputters. “What about Cherry?”
I snort. “She’s been at the house the entire time. I take it you’re not very good at playing poker?”
“Just be glad she’s alive,” Pan says as he makes his way for the door. “Come,” he says to us. “I have a Darling I need to get home to.”
“We all do,” I remind him.
He meets my gaze and I have to suppress a shiver. “Yes,” he answers. “Let’s all go home to our Darling.”
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