Coming December 30th, 2014
Contemporary Romance Novella
Losing Gwen was one of the hardest things I've ever had to survive. I've never loved anyone the way I love her.
But finding her was never about that. And now that I have found her--now that she knows the truth about me and the Island, I have to trust her to believe. Because her leaving me didn't just destroy me--its killing Neverland.
I need her to love me. But we all need her to believe again.
Peter Pan has grown up and found the girl who left--but the stakes are higher than ever in this romantic conclusion to the story begun in Girl Lost.
Gwen is leaning against the window. Every time I leave her, I forget. She’s not all gangly limbs and huge eyes and dirty hair hanging in her face, flinching at her own shadow. Not anymore. That Gwen still haunts my island, but this—this Gwen is breathtaking.
She thinks she’s broken. Fractured pieces of a broken mind, held together by medication and stubborn denial. But she doesn’t see herself, not the way I do.
Lane had that right. She’s breathtaking—even now, when I know she’s sad and broken. She stands straight, a pair of thin sleep pants curving around her ass before falling loose and free to the floor. Her shoulders are back, graceful and strong, under the thick sweater she’s wearing, her hair pulled into a messy knot at the top of her head.
She can see me, my reflection in the dark glass. And I see the tension in her tighten, drawing her up and sharp, until she’s almost vibrating with it. “Why are you here?” she asks, her voice low and hoarse.
She sounds like that when she’s been crying. I know—I’ve heard her so many times, heard her tears. Wiped them away. Whispered happy thoughts until I teased a smile from her.
“Peter,” she snaps, and I jerk, out of the memories and into the moment.
“You ran away.”
She gives an unladylike snort. “You decided you were a delusion of my past, and then you expected me to sit there and listen to your insane ramblings. Thanks, but no. I can’t do that. I’ve had enough crazy for one life.” She bites her lip, and then blurts, “You stole my file, didn’t you? That’s how you know about the Boy.”
“Do you remember the firefly meadow?”
She goes still, and I smile, gently. “You do.”
“That wasn’t real,” she whispers, and I feel the shudder.
“We’d hide there, from the lsot boys. And you’d fall asleep telling me your happy thoughts, and wake up to a galaxy of fireflies, and we’d chase them until you made yourself sick, laughing. And then I’d hold you and we’d stare at the stars, and you always said they were different. It smelled like jasmine and honey-“
“And wild woods and freedom,” she whispers, her blue eyes impossibly wide in her pretty face. I take a tentative step toward her, and touch her fingers.
Why are your stars different?
“It wasn’t a delusion, Gwendy. You know it wasn’t. Trust yourself.”
She shudders. “Can’t. My mind lies. It wasn’t—“
“Gwendy,” I say, desperately. Her eyes are filling with tears and I can feel the disbelief, the way it will tear apart the world I’ve known, and the girl I’ve loved, and I can’t. I move without thinking, catch her head and bring her lips to mine.
Northern was supposed to be a fresh start—a place where people didn’t know who I was or how I had spent years in and out of mental institutes. People didn't know about my parents death or the island no one heard of. But when Peter sits next to me in lit class, I can’t stop the memories, and I don’t want to. He looks too much like the boy from the island, and despite my best intentions, coaxes my secrets from me.
He’s gorgeous, irresistible, a little mad, and completely lost—we are a pair of broken cogs in a world neither of us truly fits into. He is somehow gentle and fierce, heartbreaking in his devotion and savage in his defense.
When Belle, his best friend, shows up, pale and lovely and sick, Peter pulls away from me, a startling withdrawal. It’s a relationship that scares and confuses me. She is at times warm and friendly, and other times is violent and unpredictable.
Peter says that he wants me, but refuses to let himself get close. And there are secrets, surrounding both of us, that border on nightmares. As the memories close in, as Belle gets sicker and more violent, I’m torn between what is true and what I believe, and what this magical boy knows about my mysterious past.
Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.