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an appetite for innocence

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The sun is shining on the dry, shadowless land; Hook is thirsty, and he doesn’t bother to listen to the plans Queen Snow White and the warrior girl are making to climb the beanstalk and get the compass from the giant; he is bored with them, and with the aggressive blonde who seems to know nothing about magic and giants, but still gets annoyingly bossy with him.

His eyes drift to the princess, sitting on a rock in all her grace, with an apple in her hand.

She is lost in her thoughts, retired into a corner of her mind, far from the discussions of the three women who don’t seem to notice how their failure to value her opinion hurts her.

Hook watches as Aurora digs her teeth into the fruit and bites, making a rich, cracking sound, a promise of sugary sweetness and full bellies.

She takes another bite, and the predatory way in which his senses are focused on her cuts up the sound into dozens of separate moments in his ears. He can hear the fruit crack and creak under her teeth, crack and creak - until some of the apple’s juice drips down her hand to her wrist, and, oh wonder!, the tip of her tongue flashes out of her mouth to lick it away, trailing up to the heel of her hand and catching it with her lower lip.

Hook stares, almost tasting the desire to steal her, the way he used to steal so many things. It haunts him already, the way her tongue had licked her own wrist clean of the juice: no modesty in it, yet no indecency either. It burns in his mind; such a thing makes a man hungry.

She doesn’t look up, doesn’t notice his eyes ablaze; he wonders what shade of red would colour her cheeks if she did. He wonders how many secrets she has, and if she would open her heart to him, and how what he found there would surprise him. He wonders what her skin tastes like.

It sits on his tongue, the idea of corrupting her. He basks in the thought, rough and sweet like rhum.

It sits on his tongue, heavy, and it makes him smirk, and it makes the blackness in his heart dance, feasting on such a gluttonous meal: the decay of such pureness, such innocence. It is almost poetic.

And yet he knows he would not be capable of such a sin; so he basks in the thought and lets it go, floating away, as he sings a pirate song.