Peter watched with what he hoped was eager anticipation as she wiggled her way out of her too tight jeans. She was a ginger and very pretty, with wide blue eyes and pink, kissable lips. He was aroused, but his passion was half-hearted.
A stupid sorority girl using sex to get her way. He thought it funny that girls used him to get the grades on their bullshitted papers changed. As if Professor Darling wouldn’t notice the white-out blotting out the old score.
She looked up at him through long eyelashes, giggling a little.
“You want to do this here or on the mattress?”
He thought about that, the pros and cons of one over the other. Just as he opened his mouth to answer, his phone buzzed in his pocket. The girl frowned, hands on slim hips.
“Is there a problem?”
Peter ignored her, pressing the phone to his ear.
“Hey, did I catch you at a bad time?”
The girl squatted, unbuttoning his pants. He sat back, letting her. It was easier than the alternative.
“Nah. You all right? I thought you were in London this week?”
“I was. Are you still at University?”
He forced down a groan. “Yeah,” he choked, “I am. Why?”
“I was wondering if you could help me with some research.”
“I can-” he pushed the girl’s head down, “can try, sure. What about your boyfriend, can’t he help you?”
Barely concealed hate laced his words.
“I’ll tell you about it later. You all right?”
Hope blossomed. “Fine. What’s your paper on again?”
She told him. He repeated it out loud to hide his climax, making a date with her at the library in a half an hour.
Two hours later he sat behind a desk staring at Midsummer Night’s Dream, reading but not seeing the words. She had stood him up! No phone call. No text. Not a damn thing! He tried not to hear the worries running around in his overactive imagination. He wouldn’t let the “what if’s” through. If something happened, she could call him, provided she even remembered she had a phone. His eyes felt heavy. He shook his head. What if she called?
His eyes slid down, taking his head with them.
“Hey! Hey, wake up!”
“We need to go!”
Someone grabbed his hand, tugging him up. Peter fought his blurry vision, trying to see the tiny thing in front of him. When they finally focused, he saw a small woman; blond, blue eyed with moth wings. Memory twitched. He knew her.
“We have to go!” She insisted.
“You know where! Now, stand up and let me help you.”
He did as she asked. She flew around him in a circle, sparkling yellow dust falling with her furious wingbeats.
“Think happy thoughts,” She said sarcastically, grinning.
She rolled her eyes, motioning behind him. Something soft hit his cheek. He jumped.
“It’s a wing. A sparrow wing.”
“You grew up. You forgot you’re part bird. Does it matter? We need to go!”
He was airborne, speeding off out of the University gate and into the night in seconds. He knew where to go, instinct made him look at the stars and soon, he recognised familiar shapes in the clouds and the paradise underneath. A scream tore through the fluffy billows, echoing far above cannon fire and shouts of men at battle.
“What’s going on?” Peter shouted, his voice squeaking.
“It’s Hook! He’s got the Lost Boys and Wendy!”
Anger propelled him forward. He grabbed the dirk from his cracked leather belt, blade toward his forearm. Below him the Jolly Roger sat, listing to her right, smoke billowing from her forecastle and fore mast. Something was wrong. Another ship stood to her port side, firing cannon volleys in rapid succession, injuring the Roger further. Peter didn’t have time to understand. He landed on the main yard line.
“HOOK!” He screamed, ready for battle.
No one answered. On the deck men ran back and forth. Peter recognised Smee and called his name. The old man looked up through rheumy eyes. They widened when he found Peter.
“P-P-P-Pan!” He cried. “Help us!”
The rest was lost in a haze of gunfire as the second ship made to board the Roger. Peter stood, bewildered at the scene unfolding before him. In a fit of bravery unlike the fat old pirate, Smee grabbed an ornate rapier from his dead captain’s hand and rallied the rest of the Roger’s crew to battle. Peter could just make out what he was saying as thick line was thrown over the deck.
“It’s an insult to our Captain and to us! Are we men-”
Gunfire ate the rest of his words.
This can’t be happening, Peter thought, shifting the blade in his hand, watching the ragged crew fight for their lives and their ship.
“PETER!” Wendy wailed, straining against the rope binding her to the thick mast.
“PETER!” Other, smaller voices, echoed.
His head snapped to the sound. A small, rat-faced man hovered around the main mast of the new ship. He was dressed as a captain. He was Peter’s target. A bell chimed in his ear.
“Tinkerbell?” He asked, looking at her, remembering her name.
She smiled, dressed to fight, “Let’s go!”
“WENDY!” He screamed, launching out of bed.
Kind brown eyes looked at him. A pair of hands pushed him back down on his bed. “Woah, calm down yeah? I’m right here.”
“Where?” He fought the fog in his mind.
“You’re in your room. You’ve been fighting a fever.”
Memory returned to him. “You stood me up!”
She hugged him. “Forgive me? I got caught on the tube. Signal is terrible underground. Still friends?”
“Forgiven,” He smiled. “Still friends.”
He would explore his feelings later. Out of the corner of his eye hovered a bloodstained Tinkerbell.
“Did we win?” He whispered.
She nodded, smiling ferociously.