The storybook has much of it wrong: like the bloody, vengeful fairy tales cleaned up with glass slippers and charming kisses, this tale has been cloaked with fairy dust, blunted with thimbles, for popular consumption. I am not certain even Peter remembers the truth of it: he was never a strong boy, not inside, and too willing to believe others' images of him. But I can't forget: however the light shifts, however the afternoon's dripping sunbeams might malform me, a shadow can never drift far from what casts it.
Both the fable and the history begin with Wendy: a girl, a London girl, asleep in her bed and awoken by the sight of Peter at the window. She'd called him with her dreams, spurred on by her mother's bedtime stories of a childhood half-remembered, and I watched from the floor as Pan considered her.
He did not plan to return the next night: but I did. She was a morsel of a mortal, a precious young girl in her early teens, with ginger hair, eyes the color of the Atlantic, and a sweet mocking mouth she'd inherited from her mother. She slept alone, an only child: the brothers, John and Michael, are chaperones invented for fiction. The parents were cordial but distant, formal Victorians who vaguely wished they'd had a son, or perhaps a well-behaved terrier they could show off at the park. The only real person in the house at 14 Whitebridge, the only one who ever mattered, was Wendy. Winsome, wistful, whimsical Wendy.
She might have been 15 when I came to her, or 13, or 17 -- seasons matter little to shadows, which makes it difficult to keep track of years, and I am too long accustomed to the immortal to gauge age by sight. She was old enough to dream of sex: young enough to feel guilty for it. For London at the time, that might well have described the majority of its females. But what drew us to Wendy was her intensity, the thickness of her dreams, the vivid impasto layers of imagination. The night I came to her, I felt her dreams pulsating along the corridors of moonlight dappled across Whitebridge Road, felt her knuckles twisting her bedsheets and her legs sweat-dampening the folds of cloth surrounding her, before the house was even in sight. I could taste her on the wind, on the London damp.
I had to have her.
I coaxed my way through the window, which she'd left unlocked and open a crack -- little enough to pass motherly inspection, but wide enough to be noticed and taken as invitation. I slid across the floor, into the shadow of her murmuring tosses and turns, and took substance.
I'm always more than mere shadow, but I can't become fully human without a host like Peter Pan. He would have her soon enough, in his always-boy ways, but I wanted her first. He might be a boy forever, but I had aged ... aged centuries, and grown long-since weary and bored with games of piracy and Indians. When I was without a host, I could take form of a sort -- retaining most of my twilight properties, but able to touch the world, to make myself felt.
I slid intangibly through Wendy's bedsheets and nightgown, letting her feel the cool press of my fingertips against her breasts. She didn't wake yet: her ginger hair was dark with sweat, her eyes clenched tight as if to keep from waking, and the way her head was tossed back against the pillows displayed an artful parabola of alabaster neck. I bent my neck in reflection of hers, sliding the rough tip of my tongue over that curve, across her lips, and then back down slowly, over the shivers of her neck and the folds of her nightgown, feeling her nipples stiffen as my cool breath struck them through cottons and linens and wools.
I glimpsed her dreams and the way my presence changed them: a cool blue panic interlacing through her bodice-ripping fantasies of pirates' conquest, heroes' rewards, and bondage. Her control over the balance of passion to guilt shifted -- the security of jeopardy she had only imagined began to crackle under the weight of new thoughts entering her head, things she didn't know she could imagine: the pirate with the hook became her father, the rapt audience became participants, the roses in her hands became thorny tendrils holding her to the ground.
She twisted in the bedcovers, throwing most of them off, and my fingertips slid around her wrists, pinning them between pillows. I pressed my thighs to hers, as solid as I could become outside of Neverland, feeding off the strength of her dreams. My nails became like rosethorns pricking her wrists, my tongue like a hook caressing the lines of her throat, and she rocked beneath me like a ship at sea. She awoke, pushing her hips up at me, her breath coming over in hitching little staccato whimpers as her throat convulsed as if trying to swallow down a cry.
Her dreams were too quickly fading, and I stole a kiss from the throes of her first orgasm as I slid through her, my substance depleted.
I lingered in the area of 14 Whitebridge the rest of the week, gathering power from Mr Darling's dreams of schoolgirls bent to his will and governesses forcing him to take his medicine from a dog's dish, and Mrs Darling's penny-dreadful meanderings. Wendy seemed upset by her "dream" -- she only picked at her meals, spoke only when spoken to, and seemed constantly preoccupied.
The fourth night, Mr and Mrs Darling went to the neighbors', 27 Whitebridge, for dinner and parlor games and port, leaving Wendy alone until late. She went to bed early and lay there, staring at the dark as I stared back at her, unseen in the shadows of her ceiling. Periodically she sighed, began to straighten her nightgown, and pointedly shook her head, placing her hands above the covers. I could taste her again, the want and need coming off her in shimmying waves, the seed I'd helped to plant germinating inside her.
Finally, she crept from her bed, as if afraid the house itself would hear her, although she must have known her parents wouldn't be home for hours yet. She walked to her bathroom, lit a lamp and dimmed it until it shone just enough to see by, and drew a bath.
The hot water filled the room with steam as she undressed, doing so slowly, pausing to run a hand along her arm or leg, shivering, pretending to be cold. When the water stopped and she stepped into the tub, she gasped at the heat, and lowered herself slowly, letting the water lap at her legs, her ass, her stomach, finally slipping down until she was submerged from the shoulders down, fractions of her breasts rising up like curved islands.
She lay there for a long while, eyes closed, and I hovered on the surface of the water, my body rippling with her movements as she traced her neck with her fingertips, maybe feeling for the cold spots my mouth had touched four nights earlier. Gradually her hands moved down over the curves of her young breasts, as she leaned her head back into the water, her ginger hair floating in front of me. As her fingers clasped around her breasts and squeezed, lifting them, she whimpered and rubbed her thighs together, lowering her head until water sloshed into her parted lips.
I moved against her, drawing on all the power I could muster, and descended through the water, causing it to rise up higher, covering her mouth as her hands clutched at her breasts. I bent my head down against her cleavage, as if she was offering me those small islands: I brushed cool lips against them, cooler still when surrounded by the still-steaming water, and dragged my mouth through the valley between her hands. She spread them apart, moving away from the suddenly-cool water, leaving me free to nuzzle my face between her breasts, pressing my lips to the thin skin of her chest.
Wendy swallowed the mouthful of water with a muffled moan, eyes still clenched tightly shut but legs spreading as her hands moved down to her stomach, her nails dragging down across the last few inches of her breasts on their way. I straddled her, my legs fitting into the space between her and the sides of the tub, my hands clutching the sides of her breasts and digging cold crescents into them, my mouth fitting perfectly against her neck beneath the water, sucking hungrily on her skin. God, how I wished for teeth, for sharpness, teeth to bite her, to rend her, to bleed her.
She felt me, though, teeth or no: her arms moved as if to wrap around me, but only passed through chill dark waters, coming back to touch her own skin, to run along it raising goosebumps beneath the surface of the bath, freeing airbubbles from the small hairs on her body. My tongue lapped against her neck, against that small concave parallelogram above her collarbone, in time with the shifting waves of water. Her hands moved lower, her knees scuffling up to spread her thighs apart as her hands drifted, curiouser and curiouser between them, uncertain what to do. She stretched her fingers out along the darker-ginger hair between her thighs, dragging them upwards and moaning.
My hands followed Wendy's, guiding them by cooling the water around her, directing her back towards heat, her heat, as her ass began to rock back and forth against the slick tub bottom, moving herself instinctively towards our fingers: hers curious and tentative, mine eager and wanting. I kissed her, sliding my cool ephemeral tongue between her parted lips to hear her small gasp and feel her chest press up against mine. Her tongue flicked against my lips and I pushed down on her thighs, my cock entering her as her wetslick fingers discovered that rubbing her clit gave her exactly what she sought.
The water ebbed and flowed around us, hot and urgent as we pushed together, her eyes fluttering open but finding nothing to account for what she felt inside her and on top of her, and she moaned a deep moan which made her seem older than she was as I took her tongue between my lips, suckling it. I took hold of the edge of the tub, pulling myself forward, deeper into her, as her fingers worked harder, playing with rhythms and texture, desperately reaching for release.
I wanted her, and I wanted her to suffer for it: I pushed her beneath the small waves, pushing down with my mouth until her face was submerged, her gasps cut off as water rushed around me and filled her mouth. I kept sucking on her tongue, feeling her chest hitch and her breath stop as she struggled against that spot of dark cold in the midst of the hot bathwater, the line of throbbing cool thrusting in and out of her beneath the steam. She pushed against me, fighting what she couldn't see, kicking her legs -- and her fingers never stopped moving. I could feel her clenching around me, feel her thighs shoving roughly against me and her tongue move wantonly in my mouth even as she fought for breath.
I held her down, breathless and suffocating, until she came, her fingers flying away in surprise, her back arching as she moaned again and flung her head back until her breasts rose out of the water again, steam rising off of them. I released her tongue and let her breathe, grabbing her hips and pounding against her, splashing water out of the tub as she inhaled through trembling whimpers, feeling her liquid smoothness grip me until I came inside her, a flood of cold darkness that made her shiver, raised goosebumps along her body and hair at the back of her neck, and for a moment she saw me in the lamplight: her eyes widened and her feet scrabbled against the tub bottom, pushing herself up into a sitting position as she covered her quivering breasts with her hands.
"Wh--" she started to breathe, but stopped as I laid across the rippling surface of the water again. I could almost hear her thoughts, hear her convincing herself she'd imagined a lover where none could be found, and I felt that delicious wave of guilt rise up in her again, in the subsiding of her orgasm.
It was the next night that Pan returned for us both. He would have her, in his little boy ways, but she was mine first.