Rumplestiltskin looked outside the window of his tower and saw the Evil Queen riding away in her carriage. He hoped that she was ready to cast the Dark Curse soon, because he was starting to lose his temper with her.
It was all so much easier to get her to do what he wanted when she wasn’t the Evil Queen and just a girl trying to get rid of her mother, Cora. Oh well, he had only himself to blame for that, he thought.
The Evil Queen had learned well from him and became very skilled in finding someone’s weak point, a skill he possessed himself and she now knew his weak point was Belle. It was obvious to her and now becoming more obvious to him. Before her, The Dark Castle used to be Dark indeed. The curtains were always shut, and the smell of his magic was mixed with a musty and old smell. But with Belle’s arrival, there was a new smell in the castle. Hers, of course, she smelled sweet with a hint of roses. But also with Belle, there came the smell of fresh food being made. It was a hobby that surprised the both of them but certainly kept her busy. At first, it was mostly the scent of burned food, but lately the castle filled with the smell of sugar, cinnamon, fruit, and other delicious treats.
He sighed. He supposed the Evil Queen’s observation was right. But still, he would never admit to the fact that he was getting soft and he was starting to have a thing for his maid. Yes, he was still The Dark One, and her master, but part of him was also wishing that he was her lover as well. So instead of admitting to his feelings like a normal person, the situation had gotten to the point where Rumplestiltskin had to put an enchantment over the castle, to stop it from smelling so delicious and non-threatening. It was difficult to instill fear in the unfortunate souls looking for a deal when the castle smelled of freshly baked apple pie.
A few months ago, Belle would have blown up the kitchen if she ever attempted to bake something. When she first had attempted to bake simple shortbread biscuits, the kitchen filled up with smoke. She was close to tears as she took the cookies out of the oven, looking at the sweets that only resembled burnt sticks of wood when she was done with them.
Of course, Rumpelstiltskin had appeared in the kitchen; “Are you trying to set fire to my castle so you could kill the monster? Or are you creating a literal smokescreen so you can escape unseen? You promised forever, Dearie! ” He waved his hand and the smoke she had created from her baking disappeared.
Belle didn’t look at him. She refused to let him see her cry. “I know I promised forever! I was just trying to bake you some shortbread,” she cried out in frustration.
Rumpelstiltskin walked over to the oven and picked up one of the charred remains between his claws. “Ah I see, and are these the biscuits you wanted to make, or is this the wood you used to fire up the oven? I thought you lived here long enough to know you’re supposed to-” he stopped in the middle of his sentence. He was always mocking her cooking, but he decided she had enough for today. She was really trying her best to please him. A tear trailed on her cheek. He threw the biscuit (or what was left of it) back in the oven and walked over to her. He lifted her chin with his hand. “Belle, it was just a quip. I wasn’t serious. I know you don’t want to kill me. For some reason you are the only one who doesn’t want to kill this old monster, you strange girl.” He wiped the tear from her cheek. “Listen, if you really want to get better at cooking and baking, I can fill a section of the library with recipe books?”
Using books as a peace offering was always a good way to say sorry without actually having to say sorry and getting her to smile. He really loved her smiles.
“You would do that? Oh ,Rumple, I would love that!” Belle clapped her hands together in glee.
He waved his hand and Belle could feel the tingle of magic in the air. “There. Some cookbooks. But you know, you do have to follow the recipes. Cooking, and especially baking, is like making a potion. You have to measure the ingredients precisely, or the results can be disastrous,” Rumplestiltskin warned, vaguely gesturing towards the burned biscuits in the oven.
Belle ran up to him and hugged him “Thank you so much! I promise I will follow the recipes! You will be getting better food from now on!” She quickly let go of him when she noticed he was just standing there with his arms hanging besides his body. “Though… I think I will clean this mess up before l head to the library,” she stuttered.
“Yes... yes... that would be best. And, ehm,” he cleared his throat. “I will summon some food from the village for dinner. You’re a fast reader, but I don’t think we’ll be having a seven course dinner this evening yet,” Rumpelstiltskin replied. He looked like he didn’t know what to do for a moment and then he poofed away without the usual flourish of his hands.
Belle just smiled to herself and started cleaning the burned mess. She didn’t really know why, but she wanted to impress Rumpelstiltskin. Well, not just impress him, because he seemed impressed enough when she laughed at his jokes instead of running away crying. But she wanted to make him happy the way he made her happy. Because strangely enough, she was happy in the Dark Castle. Rumplestiltskin treated her with respect, unlike her former betrothed Gaston. He didn’t care for her, didn’t want to really know her like he did. Rumpelstiltskin was different, she could talk to him for hours about her favorite book and he would still be interested in what she had to say. She wanted to make Rumplestiltskin happy, and please him. Her cheeks burned when she thought of the other meaning of pleasing a man. She quickly opened some windows to let in some cool air. Not just so she could get rid of the burning smell in the kitchen, but to also to clear her head of any thoughts she had of pleasing Rumpelstiltskin.
It took Belle about 2 weeks to get through all the new cookbooks in her library. Now that she had actual recipes, she felt like making something edible would be an achievable goal. She was feeling more and more confident and during the weeks following and made quite a bit of progress. Rumpelstiltskin still sometimes teased her about her cooking skills, but it seemed like he was getting more and more impressed with her dishes as time went on. At least, that is what she assumed, seeing as he was too busy stuffing his face to make any comments. One of his favourites seemed to be the meat pie, so she made sure to make one at least 3 times a week, each time with a different meat. And of course, he had a sweet tooth as well so she made sure he had dessert every evening.
Rumpelstiltskin was kind enough to bring her ingredients from all over the realms, and new cookbooks with recipes on how to use them. She had made vanilla custard when he brought vanilla pods back from his travels to Agrabah, moon cakes filled with red bean paste from The Empire, lemon cake with poppy seeds from Oz (although he always seemed angry when he returned from that place), and he gave her a rose garden so she could make her own rose water. He claimed he just liked the smell of roses, and the taste of rosewater in her sweets.
Of course, that was his excuse, but Belle suspected he gave her the rose garden because they happened to be Belle’s favorite flower and he remembered her telling him this when she read a book about herbology. And maybe he remembered this fact about her because he liked her, she hoped. She liked him too. As a friend at first, but as time passed she got more feelings for him. She would often feel butterflies when he did something that would be mundane to others. The concentration on his face when he was spinning, the way he walked, the way he would look at her when she spoke about a story she had read in a book.
Or like the way he ate her food.
Oh yes, she really enjoyed watching him eat her food. The noises he made while eating sounded to her like a kitten eating. She thought Rumpelstiltskin had the cutest reaction to her serving dessert. He would do this wiggle in his chair and his eyes would go bigger. People always thought she was a strange girl, and she wondered just how strange she really was if she thought the feared Dark One was cute or comparing the sounds he made to a baby animal. It wasn’t just that he sounded cute, but the way he formed his mouth around the food, the way his tongue would slide over his lips to get every taste of the food she made, and she felt pride at that.
She wondered how his mouth would form over her, but then she quickly shook her head and focus on her own plate. She didn’t want to think about him like that too much. “It’s probably because we’re the only ones in this castle. It’s just him and me, forever. That would make anyone lonely and hungry for human contact,” she thought to herself. And yes, she really thought of him as human. She was convinced he was a man, not a monster as he called himself. A monster wouldn’t have given her a library, or a rose garden, or would think to bring her new and exotic ingredients.
After dinner, Belle would often retreat to the library and Rumplestiltskin would follow an hour later after he was finished with his work in the tower. He had eventually moved his spinning wheel to there as well. “It’s just that the light is better here in the library, Dearie!” he kept insisting. But Belle suspected it had more to do with him being lonely and seeking her company. Or perhaps because he really liked her, and she really hoped he liked her in the way she liked him; something beyond friendship.
Like any other evening, Belle had retreated to the library and Rumplestiltskin was spinning his straw into gold. She had started a new book about the various holidays in other realms. This holiday was celebrated in several realms, and she had heard from it from her friend Anna. It was called Valentine’s Day, and on that day people would send each other cards, flowers, or gifts. It wasn't a holiday just for couples, but you could also send someone you were in love with an anonymous gift. Or you could send it to a friend, to express your appreciation for your friendship. Belle thought it was a lovely tradition. She wondered who she would send an anonymous gift to. She didn’t have any contact with her old friends, and she wasn't sure they would want to keep contact with here now that she was living with the Dark One. The Dark One, well, she considered him to be a friend now. It would be impossible to send him something anonymously, but she could always give him a gift. If he really liked it, maybe she would have a chance of becoming more than just friends. And if he didn’t...well, she didn't really want to think about that, then she could always tell him it was a gift to honor their new friendship. So all she had to do was think of the perfect gift and everything would be okay.
Rumplestiltskin had a bit of a sweet tooth, of course, so she decided she would bake him a cake. A small cake. Or maybe cupcakes. She could bake them individually and if she messed up, she could always try a few more times. All she had to do was pay attention to the recipe. She had gotten so much better since her first attempts. Belle started searching her cookbooks for the perfect cupcakes until she came across raspberry rosewater cupcakes. That’s what she would make! He liked the taste of rosewater, and she had just picked fresh raspberries from the garden. It was perfect.
She started working on the cupcakes the very next day, carefully weighing all the ingredients listed in the book. She remembered Rumplestiltskin’s warning “Cooking, and especially baking, is like making a potion. You have to measure the ingredients precisely, or the results can be disastrous.”
She had placed all the ingredients in bowls on the kitchen table, and just needed one more ingredient: the rosewater. She searched the kitchen for a bottle but she couldn’t find any. Strange… normally there were several bottles of it, and now nothing. Then she remembered Rumplestiltskin would often raid the kitchen for ingredients for potions when he didn’t want to bother to get them from the village. She sighed, she had told him many times to just tell her when he took something out of her kitchen. But every time Rumplestiltskin had just giggled his impish laugh and reminded here whose kitchen this really was.
‘Two can play that game’, she thought, and she set out to his tower. If he could use the stock from the kitchen, then surely she could use his, right?
She opened the door carefully, peeking around the corner to make sure he wasn’t in there. She wasn't forbidden to go to the tower, it’s just that he alway became very nervous when she did. “Don’t touch anything! Watch out where you walk! This is dangerous magic!” he warned her. She smiled to herself, he was always so worried and protective of her. How different he acted towards other people. To them he truly was the Dark One, but with her, he was just Rumplestiltskin.
She searched the shelves behind the workbench for the rosewater. She had some difficulty reading the labels on the bottles, they were a bit dusty. With Rumplestiltskin fussing over her whenever she came in, she never had given the shelves a good dusting. Even when she wiped away the dust it was difficult to read. This wouldn’t do. She knew she had made fresh rosewater two weeks earlier so she set out looking for bottles without much dust on them. Finally she found it! She recognised the bottle shape, it didn’t have much dust on it, and it look like rosewater. She popped open the cork and carefully smelled the water. The familiar smell of roses reached her nose and she quickly popped the cork back in and went down to the kitchen.
She could finally start baking the cupcakes!
When Belle started to pour out the rosewater in her measuring cup, her mind kept wandering towards Rumple as she stuck a finger into the frosting and batter to taste test what she had made before putting it into the oven. She almost couldn't stop herself from eating the buttercream after she had made it; it was just so darn delicious today. She smiled, proud of her cooking.
After putting the cupcakes into the oven, Belle thought having freshly plucked rosebuds would make a lovely decoration for the cupcakes; and hopefully the fresh air would clear her head her bit. She went outside to the garden adjacent to the kitchen and went passed the fresh herbs that were growing there.
Rumple had magically planted those for her when she told him about the different herbs and spices being used in recipes from her cookbook. She smiled at the memory of him surprising her with yet another gift. He had led her blindfolded into the garden. A shiver went down her spine when she remembered him standing flush behind her, his hands warm on her shoulders, and his mouth close to her face when he whispered for her to remove her blindfold.
Suddenly, she was awaken from her daydream by a noise coming out of the kitchen. She instantly worried about her cupcakes. What is the oven had exploded ...again?! Just like it had when she had first started baking! All of her work for nothing! She ran towards the kitchen, but slowed down when she didn’t smell any burning and heard a familiar sound. The sound of Rumpelstiltskin eating! She could recognize that purring from anywhere!
Rumple had not spotted her yet so Belle quickly and quietly snuck back into the kitchen. He already got the cupcakes out of the oven and was now eating one with his back still turned to Belle. The bowl with buttercream was abandoned but she could see he had eaten quite a few spoonfulls of it. It was not enough to decorate the cupcakes anymore. Belle carefully picked up a wooden spoon from the table, sneaked up behind him, and smacked him on his bum cheek: “BUSTED!”
Rumplestiltskin yelped and turned around on the spot, his hands raised, ready to cast a spell. When he saw Belle, his face went from fear, to relief, to anger, then back to fear again when he noticed her expression. “Belle, I could have turned you into a snail! I might still do that actually, why did you hit me?”
Belle looked at him angrily, but with a hint of something else he didn’t recognize in her “You know how much work it is to make these cupcakes and you knew I tried to hide the buttercream but you still went ahead and ruined the surprise!” Belle smacked him again with the spoon.
“Ouch! Could you stop hitting me!? I’m sorry, okay, I was just hungry.. Are you forgetting who is master of this castle?! I will turn you into a fro-OUCH!” Belle didn’t let him finish his sentence.
“Now I hardly have any buttercream left!” Belle sulked. She stepped towards the bowl and when she reached for it, brushing Rumplestiltskin’s arm. She noticed just how close their faces were. “You ehm… have some buttercream right there...”, she reached for his lips and wiped a blob of buttercream from the corner of his mouth with her finger. She held her finger in front of his eyes, and before she could wipe it in her apron, Rumple took her finger into his mouth and sucked the sweet treat right off her finger.
Without breaking eye contact he thanked her “Thank you for that.” He licked his lips “You know, since you don’t have enough buttercream left to decorate the cupcakes, maybe I can eat the rest of it as well?”
Belle suddenly had an idea. Not to say she hadn’t had the idea before, but it just so happened to pop into her mind again due to her current situation. Her cheeks heated just thinking about it. Someone had to take the next step, and Rumple seemed to have taken the first one when he took her finger in his mouth. “Well, I could can decorate something else? And you do still look kind of hungry,” she suggested, hoping he caught the innuendo.
Rumplestiltskin saw something change in Belle’s eyes and gulped. “It seems I’m not the only one who is still hungry, my dear, but what exactly are you hungry for?” he asked. His voice sounded lower than usual and it re-awakened the butterflies in her stomach.
“Rumple. I-” Belle cut herself off. “I want you.”
“I want you to do things to me. With the frosting,” Belle said, not quite believing her boldness in this moment. It felt good.
Rumplestiltskin lifted Belle up the kitchen table “Are you sure about this Belle?” he asked.
“Yes,“ Belle smiled and started to unbutton his shirt in reply. “I’ve been waiting for this for the longest time! I want more!”
Rumplestiltskin chuckled and started working on the laces of her dress, taking his time. Belle huffed in frustration and moved her hands wanting to speeds things up but Rumpelstiltskin pushed her hands away “No, I want to savor this moment. And you still can change your mind, Belle. Just tell me if you want to stop and I will stop,” he said softly.
Belle leaned forward, making their foreheads touch each other. “I know you will, and I trust you. But right now, I need you to hurry up!”
Rumplestiltskin carried on with the unlacing and still took his time, wanting to ensure he would remember every last detail. Once the dress was unlaced, he pushed it down her shoulders, caressing them, feeling her soft skin under his scaley, monstrous fingers. He paused for a moment to make eye contact with Belle, asking for silent permission. When she whispered,“Take me,” ever so softly in reply, he pushed the dress further down, exposing her breasts, shocked. As if he were in a dream.
His hands slid down from her shoulders to her breasts as he held them and showered them with kisses. He then grabbed the buttercream, earning him a questioning look from Belle, and smeared some of it on her neck, making a trail across her chest towards her breasts, slowly making circles on her nipples. He pushed her dress further down so it would fall to the floor, and he made another trail across her stomach, down to her inner thighs. Belle spread her legs as on instinct. Rumple giggled. “Such an impatient girl.” He licked his lips and slowly kissed her. Their kisses became more frantic, he was no longer holding back, addicted to the sensation already. Every time Belle tried to touch him to get closer to him, he pushed her hands away. Not yet. He still wanted to savor this. Her groans became more frustrated, and suddenly Rumpelstiltskin pulled away completely. Belle wanted to complain, but he already attacked her neck with kisses and licks; following the trail of buttercream he had laid out. The taste of both Belle and the buttercream combined was absolutely heavenly.
His tongue circled around her left nipple, driving Belle mad. Then he took it in his mouth and sucked the remaining cream off with a pop, surprising Belle with the sensation. She could no longer hold back the moan she’d been holding. He let out a low laugh, the moan music to his ears, and moved to her right nipple, giving it the same treatment as the other one. He trailed off to her stomach, wasting no time here as he sucked and licked the cream off her skin. He caressed her breasts, and got back on eye level again, his face suddenly serious. “Belle, are you absolutely sure about this?” He dragged circles on her budding nipples with his thumb, waiting for her reply.
“Yes, I’m sure, now, stop asking me that. It’s not fair to ask me this while you’re driving me mad!”
Rumple smiled and pinched her nipple, drawing out a moan. “Oh, that is a lovely sound,” he smirked. “I can’t wait to hear it again.”He smiled and lowered his head to kiss her breasts, trailing down her stomach, ending at her thighs. He carefully pushed her back on the table so she laid flat on her back and conjured a pillow out of thin air. “We should have done this in a more… comfortable setting, but I’m not sure we will make it, so I hope this is sufficient,” he explained. “But I want you now.”
Belle leaned back, raising her hips in hopes that he would understand what she wanted. “I just want you too, Rumple.”
He looked up and down her body as his hands followed. “Not so fast, sweetheart, I have to follow the trail first!”
Belle huffed out in frustration as his hands moved to her hips, holding her as he bent over between her legs. He lightly tickled her inner thighs with his hair, as he left kisses all over them while going further up, when eventually he reached the place in the middle. Belle felt his lips brushing over her curls, followed by the sensation of light little bites. She never thought getting bitten would feel so good.
He had already started to lick her outer lips, when he took her labia in his mouth and sucked on it. He pushed her legs further apart and with his hand he parted her curls and lips. Belle almost knocked the cupcakes off the table, feeling a moment of panic by being so exposed. It was just for a moment and Rumpelstiltskin didn’t even notice it. He pushed his tongue further in. The combination of his curls dancing between her legs, the feeling of his tongue lapping and the vibration of his moans against her almost made Belle come then and there.
Then, he suddenly stopped licking, looked up to her with a devilish smile and dove back down again, licking her clit like it’s the last thing he would ever taste. Just when she felt like it was becoming all too much, he carefully slid one finger in her and curled it so it hit a particular sensitive spot within her.
Belle felt a tingling warmth coming from her toes spreading all over her body and exploding behind her eyes. Rumpelstiltskin gave her a few moments to gather herself, but he didn’t take his finger out of her yet. Belle looked at him, puzzled and panting.
“You don’t think I’d let you get away with hitting me, did you?” he smirked. Her eyes grew big and Rumplestiltskin immediately worried that he had scared her.
“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you. You hurt me more with that spoon more than I will ever hurt you,” he reassured her. He lowered his head again and started lapping at her clit again, this time slower.. He also slowly worked another finger in her. She was relaxed and wet enough so it didn’t hurt, she just felt more full. He started moving his long fingers in a steady but fast rhythm inside of her.
Belle was still very sensitive after her orgasm and it felt too good. “Oh gods, Rumple, please, please- I can’t- oh gods-” she begged him, not really knowing if she wanted him to stop or not to ever stop. He laughed against her and the vibrations hit her clit, surprising her and she let out a scream.
“Oh, so you like that, don’t you?” he continued to hum against her. Belle almost started to panic because it was almost too much to handle. She felt the familiar feeling from before coming over her again, and this time it was much more intense. She was sure she screamed something, probably Rumple’s name, but she wasn’t sure. She felt his fingers being removed from her body, and she shivered.
Belle was feeling dizzy and her skin was still tingly and sensitive from the unfamiliar touches. Now it was suddenly over and she was left wanting more. More of his touch against her skin, more of him inside her, more of everything. She felt overwhelmed. Rumpelstiltskin picked her up and for a moment they were engulfed in a purple smoke. When the smoke cleared, she looked around and noticed they were standing in her bedroom.
Rumpelstiltskin smiled shyly, suddenly looking like he was unsure of what to make of everything. “I uhm- I wasn’t sure if you wanted to go to my bedroom, but now I’m not sure I should have come to yours. I know it’s private, but I didn’t want to you to walk to your room. Your legs couldn’t probably hold you just yet. You are also all sticky from the buttercream, my dear. Why don’t you take a bath?” he suggested.
“But- what about you?” Belle asked. “You have given me pleasure, but what about you?” she caressed his cheek.
“You are here forever my dear, remember? There is enough time for me later. We don’t have to do everything in one night. Now, let me run that bath for you,” he replied.
After Belle washed all the stickiness of the buttercream and her own juices off her body, she dressed herself in her nightgown and braided her wet hair. When she walked out into her bedroom, she was happy to find Rumpelstiltskin still there, looking a bit awkward sitting in one of the chairs.
Belle walked over to him and sat on his lap, curling up against him with her head against his chest. Rumplestiltskin froze for a moment, not sure what to do with himself, and then soothingly rubbed her back. It all felt a bit awkward, now that they were out of the kitchen.
They had shared something intimate but that moment was over and now they both didn’t know what to do or say. And there was something bothering her. “Rumple… what just happened in the kitchen?” she started.
Rumplestiltskin snorted “Well, I’m sure you have read about it in one of your books”.
Belle smacked his chest “No, that’s not what I meant. I meant that we- we normally don’t act like that with each other. I wanted to make those cupcakes Valentine’s Day, so I could show you how much you mean to me. But that it would end like this- well I hoped it would but it all happened a lot faster than I had planned.”
“Ah that,” he hesitated. “I might be able to explain. You see, I noticed you have been in my tower and there was a potion missing.”
“A potion?” Belle sat up with a jolt. She could have grabbed a dangerous potion! Who knows, she wasn’t able to read the label properly! She looked at Rumplestiltskin but he didn’t quite dare to look her in the eye. A realization hit her “Wait- Rumpelstiltskin, was that a love potion I used?! Do you deal for love potions?!” she cried out.
“It wasn’t exactly a love potion. Those don’t exist anyway, you can’t make someone love you. Lust potions however, do exist.” he explained. “But you didn’t use a lust potion either!” he added hastitly when he saw Belle’s face. “You accidently grabbed a potion that is a bit similar… a potion that takes away your inhibitions. It doesn’t make you do anything you didn't want to do in the first place. it just makes you a bit more- free to act upon your desires. So I guess, what you really desired… was me.” he looked smugly as he said this.
“Don’t give me that look, Rumple,”Belle replied “because I remember you eating from the buttercream too and you were a happy participant so I guess you desired me too!”
Rumple scoffed. This was true.
“But there will be a next time, right?” Belle asked, almost nervously. “This wasn't just-”
“Yes, Dearie. There will be a next time.” Rumple said as he kissed the top of her head. “Lots of times more, if you want.”
“Yes. I do. I really do,” she said as she snuggled back into him.