"No. You don't understand," he said, and his voice was thumbtacks and taffy, a dozen sharp edges where he was stretched to the breaking point. "You don't understand."

And she didn't know his name, was reduced to saying, "Peter," for the wide green glass of his eyes, "Peter," for his childish dreams, but he shook his head.

"If you want to go, then go, and she plucked at her tights and mumbled. I don't have anywhere to go.

But he was unforgiving, and, "There are plenty of roads. And rabbitholes. Everywhere leads to someplace."

So she stood up, and she looked at him, at the hair that slid over porcelain cheekbones and the mouth that wouldn't smile for her now. She did her best to memorize the slope of his throat.

"I'm sorry, Peter," she said.

"Good-bye, Alice," he said.

She turned back to look at him once, but he was already gone, leaving her nothing but that cold cheshire smile.