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“So you’re the dragon.” The green mist dissipated around the chair.

Maleficent regarded the woman—a girl, really—and noted the sharpness in her dark eyes. They gleamed with ambition and intelligence. But Maleficent liked all things that gleamed. She was excited too. Maleficent could smell it no matter how well Cora hid it. She did nothing in acknowledgement, merely pursing her lips.

“I can feel it.” Cora smiled. It was genuine, youthful, but most of all, it was a hungry smile. “I can feel your magic. It’s…it’s old, like his, but different.”

As she fought back the urge to roll her eyes, Maleficent stood. “Be careful. I might be insulted.” She was ageless, timeless. She was the last of her kind.

“I intended no insult.” Maleficent rubbed her fingertips over the globe of her staff and the doors locked. “I only mean…”

“I don’t want your flattery, my dear. I came to see you for myself.” Maleficent smirked. “Spinning straw into gold has his mark, but you…you wanted more than absolute power. Very…interesting.”

“It was only absolute to him.”

Maleficent closed the gap between them and touched Cora’s cheek with the back of her hand. “Smart girl. And now you want to know what I can teach you.” Cora nodded, but Maleficent held her finger up to silence her before she began. She moved her staff slightly; it was natural, unassuming, so much so that Cora gasped when her arms raised themselves above her head, bound at the wrists with something unforeseen to an untrained eye.

“Magic,” Maleficent began, noting how Cora did not struggle, “takes control.”

“I thought magic was about…emotion.” Cora was smirking, and Maleficent liked the way it looked. She continued to stroke her staff, fingers circling the orb slowly, endlessly. The laces of Cora’s gown became untied, moving down her back like golden snakes.

“Mmm. There is nothing more difficult to control than raw emotion.” The dress slipped away and with it, the shift underneath following. Maleficent blew her own breath over the orb, and watched as Cora’s skin prickled. In the air between her fingertips and the glass, she could feel Cora’s nipples tighten. “Control is power.” Stepping closer, Maleficent paused to run her fingernail down the soft skin over Cora’s heart. “And I know just what you are willing to do for power.”

Cora raised her chin. “And you’re trying to show me just what power is?”

“You can lick those pouting lips all you’d like, but this is about control.” Maleficent moved the staff again and Cora’s legs spread apart. She went back to the chair, leaning into it to admire what she saw. Human youth was fleeting, and that was one of the things Maleficent found confounding. She could not hoard it away with her other treasures.

“I know how to control myself.” Cora moved her arms, thin lines of muscle showing her strain as she pushed through the greenish purple miasma that only they could see. It was impressive to watch her wrists inch apart; Cora used her anger, her desire well.

“You can do better.” Maleficent settled into the familiar weight of her staff across her knees; Cora’s arms snapped outwards. When she closed her eyes, Maleficent could catch her scent. “Magic is more than simply using your emotion.” Her voice was flat. Any child would have known that, but it had been a long time since Maleficent was a child. “Of course, showing you only half of what was necessary proved an inefficient way to control you.” She chuckled.

“Then show me what to do.” The demand made Maleficent open her eyes. She rested her fingertips on the orb. Heat radiated from it, and Cora moaned. “Don’t come.” Maleficent made a tight circle with her fingertip on the glass.

Breathless, Cora looked directly at her, staring into her eyes without fear. “Why?”

“Don’t. Come.” The orb puled with Cora’s heartbeat, and Maleficent moved her fingers deftly, watching Cora’s face change. Pleasure suited her as much as her strong will did. From across the room, Maleficent could feel her—slick and warm, though never warm enough for a dragon.

“I can’t…” Cora said, breaking the silence that had fallen. Maleficent felt the tremors of the orgasm before it came in full. But Cora was silent, letting it pass through her. Sweat glistened on her chest.

“You failed.”

Cora’s head snapped up. “This time.”

This time. Maleficent smiled; Cora wouldn’t take long to teach, but she wasn’t finished with this lesson yet. She stood, gripping her staff as she stepped closer. The heat in the room increased degree by rushing degree, and with each slow step, Maleficent’s true form began to unfold. She swung her tail, knocking the chair and everything near it aside.

Cora’s eyes were wide and held, Maleficent deemed, the appropriate amount of fear. Smoke curled up from her nostrils, and slowly, she scraped one of her claws across Cora’s lower back, feeling the skin rip easily. Youth faded. Beauty faded. But the scar would mark Cora forever.

And Cora’s cry was barely out of her lips before Maleficent was gone in a swirl of smoke.