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Veiled in Stars and Silver by J. Ann Curtis.png

Veiled in Stars and Silver

A Peter Pan Retelling

By J. Ann Curtis

He's the dread pirate captain who kidnapped her brothers.

She's out for revenge.

For seven years, Wendy has been preparing for the day that she can finally return to Neverland, rescue her brothers, and take her vengeance on Captain Hook. But when she finally returns, things in Neverland aren't how Wendy remembers.

Since when did Peter come off shallow and grating? And the captain of the Jolley Roger has a strange allure that is oddly difficult to resist. When Peter tells her that her brothers are dead, her world is shattered.

And yet, Hook claims they are alive. He will lead her to them if she retrieves a powerful weapon capable of destroying all of Neverland. She can't trust his searing forget-me-not gaze. She shouldn't agree. But Wendy will do anything to find her brothers.

Even bargain with evil itself in the form of one James Hook.

Veiled in Stars and Silver is one of ten books in the Enemies Ever After series, a collection of standalone short novels featuring enemies-to-lovers fairy tale retellings with a touch of steam.

Read a Sample

It was all a lie. 

He’d told me what I wanted to hear, getting me to lower my guard. My brothers—alive? At Marooners’ Rock? Just sit here, Wendy, and watch me cast this fake spell to find them. I was such a naïve fool.

I jerked against my bonds as my captor forced me from his quarters and out onto the main deck. The ship’s mast rose like a massive monolith in front of me, the stark white sails rolled up tight.

“Drop canvas and weigh anchor,” Hook announced to his men. “We’re moving.”

Pirates lounging about stirred and moved to comply. Smee, Hook’s first mate, a short, round man with rosy cheeks and a grin on his face, approached.

“Say, captain. What have we got here?”

“An assassin sent by Pan to kill me,” Hook said as if it were any other afternoon aboard the Jolly Roger. “We are throwing her overboard. Get the weights.”

“Aye, captain.”

He kept a tight hold on me, dragging me over to the opening in the rail.

“She looks familiar, captain,” said another pirate with only one leg, eyeing me.

“Why, tis the Wendy Lady,” exclaimed another. “An all grown up, Wendy Lady.”

We stopped at the opening. Waves lapped against the ship’s side, a darkness lingering under the cool green surface, revealing the deep beneath us. Hook pressed into me from behind, his fingers digging into my arm.

“See the water, lass. It is a breathtakingly easy death at the hands of the sea. The sudden cold will shock your mind. Drowning will almost be a mercy because within two minutes you’ll be dragged to the depths of Davy Jones’s locker where the very pressure will crush you.”

My heart pounded in my chest. The strands of my bonds binding my arms bit mercilessly into my skin. I wanted to struggle, but feared he might shove me off right there.

Smee came lumbering back with a boulder. A length of rope circled the stone. He dropped it to the deck with an enormous thump.

Hook shoved me toward him. “Attach it to her ankle. And make sure it's tight.” Can’t have her flying away.”

“You. Come tie this on her ankle,” Smee commanded a nearby man with a long beard that reached to his belly button. The pirate came forward and tried to tie the rope around my ankle, but I kicked the man in the face. He fell onto his ass, holding a bloody nose. The salty tang of satisfaction gathered on my tongue.

Hook only looked amused. “Hold her down, boys.”

More pirates suddenly surrounded me. Their rotten breath blasted my face and their fingers dug into my skin as they gripped my arms and pinned me on my back against the deck. I struggled, but they gripped my legs and held me still while they wrapped the scratchy rope around my ankle. When they finished, they dispersed, and Hook hauled me to my feet.

I glared at him. “I should have killed you.”

“Oh, Wendy.” His hook traced the line of my cheekbone, brushing a stray hair from my face. “What I am doing here is much bigger than you or me. Today, I am afraid I must be the villain you’ve always believed me to be.”

I let out a defiant laugh, though it sounded hollow even to me. “If you kill me, you’ll never fi—”

He lunged and smothered my words with a kiss, shoving me back into the railing, pushing my shoulders past the ship’s support so that he had me off balance, leaning precariously over the side of the ship. Only the flat of his hook pressed against my shoulder blades kept me from toppling overboard.

Fury built in me. If I shifted my weight to my right leg, I could knee his groin with my left. But that would leave me dangerously unbalanced. I could slam my head into his, breaking his nose with my forehead. But while that would be painful, it could also blind him with rage and he might push me overboard.

His lips were hard, his touch claiming. His good hand traveled over my body. It dipped into my pocket, and I jolted a little as something sharp pricked the outside of my thigh. A weight fell into my pants. One of my throwing knives.

What the hell?

He withdrew from my pocket and gripped my hair, breaking the kiss and lifted my braid to his face, breathing in, then he rubbed his cheek against mine as if he were savoring me, the harsh stubble of his face grating against my skin.

“If you wish to see your brothers again, do not mention the dagger to Pan.” His voice was deathly soft in my ear.

He stepped back, dragging me with him, dropping me so my feet steadied on the deck, his smile cold and devilish. “I guess I am a rotten codfish.”

His crew gave a boisterous laugh.

My head spun, and a fire curled in my chest. His threat and his sudden kiss raging in my bones. For a moment, the knife in my pocket didn’t mean a damn thing. I spit in his face. “I hate you, James Hook.”

The spittle slid down his cheek to his chin, but he didn’t make an effort to remove it. A strange heat stirred in his gaze.

He kept a firm grip on my arm, so I was unable go for the knife, and spun me around, my feet at the edge of the opening between the ship’s rail. The water rolled against the barnacle covered siding far below, dark and uninviting. “Two minutes, then death.”

He kicked the stone tied to my ankle overboard before giving me a healthy shove, right off the ship into the churning sea below.

I hit the water’s surface, feet first.

The shock of the frigid water froze me in place. A thousand icy needles dug into my veins, slicing into my thoughts, so sharp I nearly released the breath I held. The weight pulled me deeper and deeper, the light of day darkening into nothing but an impenetrable blackness. My thoughts muddled around me and I struggled to clear them.

One thing rang in my mind and I latched onto it. Two minutes. I had two minutes before I died.

I needed to move.

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