Belle’s laying on her side, facing away from him, when he opens the dungeon door.
Rumplestiltskin’s rather hoping for a dramatic little show. That she’ll jolt to attention, a bundle of adrenaline and unease and that half-way exasperated expression she makes when he throws a curve ball her way. But, no, she doesn’t wake.
She doesn’t have the sense to sleep with one eye open and maybe she’s just that exhausted; or maybe she’s gone stupid with trust, but the creaking sound of the heavy door isn’t enough to stir her.
Ah, well. It’s not the greatest disappointment he’s faced today, that honor goes to empty bottles on empty shelves and precognition that doesn’t go so far as to be useful with the shopping.
The world isn’t going to end because of one ruined potion due to one lacking ingredient, but nor is it going to change.
A rookie mistake.
He should feel ashamed.
Maybe he does. And, maybe it makes him feel that bit more like a cold, calculating villain as he enters Belle’s room. But it’s just too hard to pass up having the perfect source to replenish the empty bottle when it’s right there, right underneath his castle and when it will not cost either of them a single thing.
Pleasure is easily enough acquired and he doesn’t see why she should complain about it.
He watches her for a moment, laying there like a diamond in the gutter. She’s young and credulous and so very approachable...
He’s not asking for tortured tears or that she birth a child for his lucrative benefit.
He owns this woman. She’s just another piece of property, as easily used, disposed of or traded off to the highest bidder.
Rumplestiltskin is a great fan of high bidders and, this time, that just so happens to be himself.
He combs his fingers through the back of her hair, over and over and over, until she stirs and turns to face him with half-asleep eyes.
“Rumplestiltskin...?” she asks, raising herself to sit up and grab the sheets to cover herself modestly. She’s tired and confused but not anxious. Not frightened.
She simply waits patiently to hear what demand he’s about to make, just waits.
He can’t imagine how she can sit there trusting that he’s not going to ask the world of her. Tell her there’s been an accident with a meat cleaver and a child’s head and he really does need it cleaned before morning... or that he requires the still beating heart of a virgin and since she’s right here...
But the only tension in her body is her hands gripping the blankets to her chest.
Belle gives a puzzled little smile and he laughs; he doesn’t know what he’s thinking, waking her.
She’s only just stopped crying, homesick, in the kitchen and it wasn’t until yesterday that she finally managed to ask for the tome she’d been staring curiously at for days.
Rumplestiltskin’s laughing and she’s trying to keep up, to look at him with the same amusement he’s watching her with, “Well?” she asks.
He doesn’t reply.
Her expression of mimicking delight falters.
She starts in surprise when he reaches out and touches her.
Rumplestiltskin rests his hand against her head, slides it down her face, closes her eyes with his fingers and she collapses backwards, just that easily, onto the straw bed.
Not that he’d entertained the idea of talking her into anything, of course. No.
...perhaps a little comical dialogue went through his mind. Nothing serious. But now there’s no possibility of it.
Besides, Belle doesn’t deserve to know what he’s doing, not when it’s so... oh, what’s the word? Improper? Depraved? Morally questionable?
He doesn’t go so far as to think it cruel or abusive but, then, his standards are rather high in those regards.
He sits beside her and says her name. Her eyes open, glazed and unfocused, staring vacantly in his direction.
Rumplestiltskin smiles and says, “Perfect.”
He leans over, shooing away the blankets and rearranging her listless hands at her sides. “This,” he says to the mindless girl beneath him, “won’t hurt a bit.” He giggles and it’s such a shame that she doesn’t get the joke, that she does nothing more than blink slowly in response.
He presses a finger against the hollow of her throat, drags it down her chest, between her breasts and to the curve of her belly.
His head is cocked to the side, listening. He’s looking for something. Sending minute pulses right down into the center of her and waiting for them to bounce back in just the right frequency, in just the right measure.
There’s a primary element inside Belle’s body, one that he can easily slip a curse into, just as soon as he hears that little echo back to signify that it is-- ah. There it is, right there.
Rumplestiltskin presses too hard, his nails dig into the skin beneath the nightgown she wears, but he doesn’t feel an overwhelming need to be gentle and compassionate. He pushes, instead of soothes, the magic into her petite frame because Belle’s not here right now to complain.
“Or are you?” he questions rhetorically, snapping his fingers in front of her face and chuckling to himself about it all.
Belle’s only reply is a raspy breath and a blank stare and he moves away from her, waiting.
He doesn’t have to wait long.
She takes a deep breath that swells her chest and gets caught stuttering in her lungs. She shivers and moans a needy, wanton sound and Rumplestiltskin smiles and says, “There we are.”
The atmosphere hasn’t really changed, only Belle has, but he’s focused so greatly on the modifications he’s making that the air feels charged and heavy and tense to him.
He looks her over, critically inspecting her like she’s merchandise he may not wish to purchase for its flaws. It’s a simple curse but, and as with all curses, it’s best to keep an eye on it.
She’s a victim of his deals and a victim of his whims, but at the end of the day Rumplestiltskin feels confident that she’s perfectly safe in his hands. He has a great many more reasons to keep her well than not, after all.
She’s trembling like she’s waiting in anticipation for something already coursing through her body but it isn’t until she releases a low and keening moan that his attention is drawn back to her.
He watches her face for a moment, the way her eyelashes flutter and lips part. When next he looks over the rest of her it’s that bit harder to see the product and not the woman. It requires that bit of effort to keep his attention clinically focused.
It makes him feel young.
Belle’s not really here. This isn’t her, it’s just a body.
A gorgeous body, to be sure, but none know as well as Rumplestiltskin how easily gorgeous bodies are acquired.
“But then,” he says to his mindless caretaker, “You already know that, don’t you?”
He chuckles and Belle turns her head to look at him and, oh! she’s so very vacant behind those eyes. It’s a pitiable sight to behold, that someone so vibrant with personality and quirk should be so dulled.
...but it’s his own fault so he goes on ahead and suffers through it.
It seems the right thing to do.
Her moan is deep and throaty and it’s so perfectly pitched for the fact that it is Belle’s voice. He tilts his head and listens. Waits and waits and waits to hear it again.
What she whispers instead isn’t deep or throaty or even a word.
But it does sounds like a plea.
The spell is cast. There’s nothing else required of him except to wait.
But her eyes are so empty and she’s making such trembling noises...
He can’t help himself, he never can, not when someone wants something that he can provide.
He curves a finger through the air, strums the cords of those enchanted nerve endings and her body obeys, arching and shuddering and gasping, gasping, gasping into his influence. Under his power.
He doesn’t know if Belle’s the type who can’t articulate in the midst of her desire or if she’s buried too far away, beneath his hypnotism, but he is greatly enjoying her frabjous words.
He giggles and lets her go. Lets her collapse in a tousled heap, her sweat damp hair tangling around her and her skin glowing and glamorous.
She’s dragging in great lungfuls of air and they catch in her throat and make her chest swell. It’s not Belle who’s panting and writhing but oh, oh! she is so glorious. And if she could only hear the noises she makes...
He chuckles at the mere idea of it, but, no, she’ll never know, will she? He’s the only person she will ever again see and he has no intention of informing her and no intention of...
Belle’s breath hitches, stutters and stops. His eyes narrow curiously. He’s not concerned, not really, because there’s nothing he can’t fix; but curses, like Queens and ogres and deals, are dangerous things. Belle won’t be able to tell him if the burn in her veins is ecstasy or organs melting. That’s why he’s here, after all. To look out for her well being.
She shudders, moans, flushes a whole new shade of red and it’s business as usual.
That’s all well and good but Rumplestiltskin still puts his hand to her sternum because he wants to be sure, to be absolutely positive, that she’s not hurting.
Better safe than sorry.
He braces himself because he’s reasonably sure of what it is he’s going to find and while it would give him quite a laugh to get swept up in it all, the reality of it is quite off-putting.
She’s a storm of electricity and thunder inside. Oh, oh, oh and such delicious friction. Wanton and carnal and there’s nothing dainty about her now.
A chaotic hurricane of ecstasy and pressure, debauched lust and excitement that rivals the glee of a perfect deal that advances a master plan.
It makes him giddy and he has to laugh.
He touches her face, her hair, the curve of her jaw and she doesn’t know, not really, but he goes on ahead and assumes her resonating sigh is her welcoming his caress.
It makes him shiver.
And there, there, there, there she is, locked deep away. It’s hard to see her, buried so far below, and he doesn’t try. Perhaps he could safely claw his way into the very soul of her, but part of mastering magic and keeping power is acknowledging boundaries. It’s about being, always, so very aware of cause and effect, of understanding how easy it is to slip up and knowing how quickly that can result in breaking and rending and torturing oh so far past the point of no return.
It’s about understanding all the things, all those many, many things, that should never be touched.
Of course, it doesn’t mean he can’t, he’s proven that time and time again, but there are parts of Belle that no one else can reach and shouldn’t and so he doesn’t.
That, and he can always ask; she’s such an open book.
He’s not paying attention because he’s a fool with too many thoughts and because Belle’s doing that thing where she’s soft to touch and lovely to look at so the only warning he gets is her back arcing off the bed and her voice crying out. And the reason, the sensation, oh it slams right into his brain. It triggers his nerves and he hisses at the overwhelming pleasure of it.
He lets her go because that just won’t do.
He’s satisfied she’s safe, perfectly safe, in there and, seeing as he’s yet to meet a person who appreciates him loitering inside them, he doesn’t look again.
Her arm rises, hand flittering in the air like it needs to do something productive and, of course, touching isn’t the same as reading so he slides his hand along hers.
How very noticeable it is to see that they don’t complement each other.
He slides his fingers between hers and when he squeezes she screams at the ecstasy he can push into her skin.
But, of course, the magic has always been at his fingertips.
It makes him chuckle and then giggle and then laugh. She’s yelling and writhing and moaning and sobbing.
It makes his fingers go lax.
It’s choked and stifled and it isn’t a bad sound, it’s not terror or pain or misery... but it still hits him like a slap to the face.
He’s toying with her.
She looked him in the eyes and said, “I will go with you, forever.” She had to pry herself from her fiancée’s arms. She’s gone from blankets stuffed with goose feathers and triple stacked mattresses, right into a dungeon and he’s toying with her.
He shakes his fingers free of hers and her body melts back down to the bed. He has dozens of other puppets to choose from. Ones of whom he isn’t creating a rapport with, nor has the need to share a home.
He sighs and looks down at her. “Lower your hand,” he says and, obediently, she complies.
At least he isn’t feeling those irritating sentiments of guilt and morality.
All the same, he’s not here to play games. Really, he should know better by now. He himself is living proof that magic does not appreciate excessive exploitation. The price he paid, pays, for his power, oh... isn’t it oh so high? But there’s no reason for Belle to endure its benefits.
He rests his hand heavily on her breast and while it’s not the most benevolent magic he uses to coil inside her, waiting and waiting and waiting to capture the essence of her pleasure, previous experience informs him it’ll leave no lasting damage.
Her back arcs and he has to press rather hard to keep her flat against the bed. She whimpers, but he doesn’t think he’s hurting her.
In a few minutes it won’t matter anyways.
Her heart is thudding hard under his hand. She’s loud and her breathing is erratic and it seems almost a shame to take this from her. But, then, that is their relationship. He wants something and she hands it over.
How he got along without a plucky caretaker in the past is a sad, sad question.
He wants to lick his lips in all the anticipation but figures it’s about time he got back into the professional swing of things.
Even still, his fingers itch to brush the wet hair from her face, already fallen into her eyes. Though that is, of course, something a person does after their victim’s curse is broken and they are no longer using black enchantments to pluck out the choicer bits and pieces of their very being.
But that doesn’t take long at all, does it?
She’s close, so very close. Her cries are loud and strangled and wanting...
...and fade into something altogether distressed and raw. Yes, he imagines it would sting. He says, “Shhh, shhh, shhh,” and she goes silent as he pulls his hand back. A trail of iridescent red, a long gossamer ribbon follows in its wake. His eyes glow in the sight of it and, oh, he wants to taste it. To know what she’d be like on his tongue.
But, no. He’s greedy and pleased but all he does is bottle it, safe and secure.
Belle’s still humming a needy sound. Taut and craving and thirsting for more.
She’s not in pain, not yet. It’s still fun and games inside her enslaved body, but that won’t last. It will go on, repeating itself on loop until she’s so worn down, so exploited and possessed that it will hurt to breathe or move or think. And it won’t matter, it will carry on and on because that’s what curses do. They abuse and torture. Dig inside their victim’s infrastructure and twist until it’s too much, much too much.
They soothe only their givers need for vengeance and nothing is so sweet as the sound of an enemy begging for mercy.
But she’s fine, of course she’s fine.
Safe, in his hands.
He breaks the curse and Belle collapses on her dungeon bed. It will take some time before she’ll be able to catch her breath, but she's quiet and vacant and still.
Awaiting his next command.
Rumplestiltskin says, “Stand up,” and she obeys.
She staggers, missteps, and he has to catch her. She’s tired and unsteady and overexerted so he supposes he’s obligated to give her the day off.
However will he survive without someone to make his tea?
The air around them is thick with the scent of sheer sex and that’s a bit of work to vanquish. Restoring the bed is not, nor is a quick cleanse of Belle’s body. It’s almost a shame to return her hair to its sleep tousled state when he so enjoys it falling in curls around her face...
Her nightgown is a bit more problematic but he can’t very well ask her where one finds an identical replacement.
Well, well, well... And, of course, if there’s anything she’s going to notice, anything different and worthy of suspicion, it will be that.
But she’s his, isn’t she? To use, dispose of or trade off.
He does his best with restoring it and all in all the entire process takes less than eight minutes, so he has nothing to complain about.
He sits her back down to the bed. “Now then, dearie. What were you up to, hmm?” he tilts his head, looking her over critically. He pushes back her hair, “Show me,” he says.
Belle shifts under the covers, transfers her weight about and grasps the covers to her chest. She cocks her head to the side and it’s just that easy.
He wriggles his fingers theatrically in front of her and she blinks, flinching back from his gesture. As it turns out, he is graced with her exasperated expression. “Well?” she asks, still waiting to hear the reason for his presence.
So easily believing he’s entered this room mere moments ago.
“Have a lie in today, dearie. I don’t require your services.”
She shoots him an irritated look, that he should wake her to tell her to sleep. He beams giddily in response and it’s three in the morning, she has to be feeling wretched, but she rolls her eyes and echoes his grin like his amusement is contagious.
She shakes her head as though he’s a child who needs her constant patience and gentle reinforcement to understand how one properly behaves, “You could have left a note.” Hung it right on the door and let her be.
He shrugs. He could have.
She slides lethargically onto her back, like anything more than slouching down and laying boneless is all too much effort. “Is it good morning,” she asks, “or goodnight?”
He’s not planning on resting one bit. He has his missing ingredient and it sings in his mind that he can get back to work, that he can accomplish what no one else, no one else, could dream of doing. He says, “Whatever you want it to be.”
She gives him an almost-not-quite jaunty ‘be gone with you, then’ wave and he laughs that she’d dare dismiss him in such a way.
But of course she does, of course, because that’s his response. That giggle. She knows he’s not going to break his toys and she knows that’s what she is.
That’s all she is...
He looks back before he shuts the door behind him because he doesn’t think she’ll be awake before lunch and he doesn’t want his work interrupted with any sort of nagging concern that anything other than exhaustion is keeping her asleep.
But, no. He sees no lasting remnants of curses or spells or essences being torn out of unsuspecting bodies.
His jaunty salute goodbye is chocked full of energy and glee, but she’s already crashed out unconscious.
One last thing, then. Just one...
He curls his fingers into the shape of a finger gun and shoots into her a few picturesque images of fathers and fiancées, friends and society gatherings.
He smiles as her eyelashes flutter and says, “Pleasant dreams.”