Happy Wednesday, all! It’s WIP Wednesday, and since I’m in the home stretch of the Aimee novel, here’s an excerpt from the work in progress!
Aimee nearly dropped the glass of rum when she heard the words. Hook took her hand into his good one, intertwining his fingers with hers. It bordered on some kind of impropriety, but Aimee had to confess that she rather likes the feeling of is hand against hers. Even though he was a gentleman, he was a man who was not above work, for though his hand was well cared for, the palm was callused.
“Why do you ask such a thing?” she said to him, her heart beginning to beat rapidly. “I have nothing to offer you, Captain, other than being nothing but an incessant thorn in your side. You would have to protect me from Peter…”
“The boy forgets,” Hook repeated. “He forgets…but I do not.”
Aimee put her glass down on the desk, holding out her free hand. Carefully he placed his iron hook in her open palm. “I dreamed of you,” he went on. “I have dreamed of you for a very long time. Have you dreamed of me as well…Aimee?”
She stared into his piercing eyes, and it was then that she recognized that gaze. He was her cavalier, the one of whom she had dreamed before she had left France for Martinique.
She now understood why he seemed so familiar to her, and why he seemed to almost ache so for her to be near him, and why, just now, she felt so drawn to him.
“I have dreamed of you,” she told him. “Shortly before I left France, I dreamed of you…and of the boy.”
“Dreams,” he murmured. “Such an odd thing they are.”
“Yes,” Aimee said, her eyes widening. He took her hands and kissed them, his warm lips lingering on her wrists for what seemed some moments. He lifted his head and relinquished his hold on her hands.
“Think on it,” he said, “of whether or not you would like to stay in Neverland. I would forever be at your service.”
“But why?” she asked him. “Why would you like me to stay with you?”
He rose, drained his glass, and set it down. “Mademoiselle…Aimee, I have been in Neverland for almost a century. I have had nothing to sustain me but my desire for revenge on Peter Pan…and when one lives only for revenge, one finds that life can grow very bleak. I lived alone, with nothing but this hatred for the boy in my heart. Loneliness is a terrible thing, Aimee, and that was part of Pan’s curse: to grow old and die in this land, and to be forgotten by those who knew me and reduced to nothing but a villain in a child’s game. It changed when we first met.”
“I don’t understand,” Aimee said.
“Peter’s curse upon me might be broken, and perhaps I would someday be able to sail from Neverland,” Hook replied, “but only after the curse is lifted.”
“And you believe that I could lift it?” Aimee said.
“I know that you could,” he said. “If not…”
He shrugged “If not,” he said, “then if you should stay, we would pass many pleasant moments together. But I you choose to leave, I will do what I must to ensure that you reach the Faerie Queen’s island safely, so that you might return home to France.”