"It could never be more than a simple quick fling. Rumpelstiltskin knew that the night he seduced Cora up in the tower. A way to pass the time, a way to feel something from someone that could be close to as powerful and just as dark as he could. He didn't see much of her future. He focused only on what was important; her daughter. She would be important for the curse. Anything else would be taxing at most and not all headaches were easily driven away.

He couldn't love Cora because they understood each other. She would go on to marry a prince and mother a young girl that was very very important. Rumpelstiltskin had planned to take the child and raise her to do what he needed but she'd actually read the cursed parchment….and now he was sneaking to her room whenever he could at night during the engagement.

Like a young adolescent boy.

But he had to. If anyone found out he visited her….he taught her magic. Well….he didn't expect Xavier would be so forgiving about that. Xavier refused to deal with the Dark One.

Wimp. He was only going to insist on the man's firstborn grandchild.

So he played a better deck of cards….kept his own interference quiet. There were only two people that knew he came there at night….he was always gone with the handmaiden came in the morning. Any…proof of his being there was also gone. As far as anyone knew…she was pure.

So he thought of a million jokes the day before the wedding, when he came in to find her trying on her dress, "Enjoying the view as much as I am?"

He came up behind her; he placed one hand at her back and gave her a passionate kiss. She returned it with more affection than she ever showed her fiancé in the months they were engaged.

"How dare you," she mockingly chided, "I'm a married woman."

"Not yet," he waves his hand absentmindedly, "Wedding's tomorrow."

Tomorrow and it would be over…this little tryst of theirs. Rumpelstiltskin may take a woman while she was unmarried but once that ring was on….he refused to get in the way of that marriage. He wasn't the pirate that stole his wife.

"Hm," Cora kissed him again, "Well, then it's alright."

He pulled back and gestured to her figure, "Love the dress."

He went to go sit down, he heard Cora behind him, "Royal brides have to be snow white."

Rumpelstiltskin giggled as he walked to the chair, "When you see the future, there is irony everywhere."

He might have been exaggerating. He knew a little bit about the future. He knew there was a girl named Snow White….with pale skin, red lips, and black as night hair. He also knew there was something about a swan that would stand against Cora's child but that…was all he knew. That wouldn't clear up for him."

He sat in the chair and Cora…almost looked regretful, "You know, I thought I wanted this. White and bright, all the admiration. But then I look at it. Fifth in line to be Queen….."

She lifted her skirt so she could walk over to him, "That won't happen without an awful lot of bloodshed. And what you give me…"

He shuddered, he didn't want war…but Cora was ambitious, she didn't care who she stepped on to get what she wanted. Much like him and she wanted to be queen….but here she was looking at him in that way that no one had looked at him in centuries….

He couldn't. She was going to mother the woman responsible for taking him to his son. He couldn't give in no matter how desperately lonely he was.

He reached over and took her hands in his, "I can give you nothing but darkness and isolation."

She wouldn't be happy. He liked to believe that he'd give her the world to rule if she just asked it but he wouldn't. He'd take her up to the mountains to be his and he wouldn't share. Because every time he gave leniency, he lost his loved one. His father, Milah, Baelfire….Cora was no different than him. She wouldn't be happy, but he saw the longing in her eyes that he saw in his every day, "And love."

Rumpelstiltskin froze. He couldn't let himself love her. He couldn't. HE couldn't deviate from his plan now that he was so close.

But he also realized that he actually did but was trying to ignore it for his plan, "Yeah. And love."

A moment passed…that was the closest the two had come to admitting they loved the other. Cora watched his face, "I want that."

So did he. So much. He wanted a family; he wanted to be loved…even if it was a sick twisted love that would end as soon as it began probably.

But he needed his monster…

He could find a way around it. He always did. Or rather fate would…

He stood and moved closer, "What if I, uh… What if I, uh… Amended, our contract? Instead of you owing me some random firstborn child, you owe me my child?"

Cora stared into his eyes, "I can make that deal."

He nodded, many people would deny he was even a man but many Dark Ones had fathered children before. He knew he was capable of it, "As can I."

Cora almost looked relieved. She took his hand and searched his eyes, "Rumpel, can we really do this? Can we really have this?"

Rumpelstiltskin hesitated, they could leave right now if she wanted to…but between here and home there were a number of things that could go wrong. She might want to turn back, "If you truly wish it."

She could change her dress, they could leave.

Cora nodded and he felt his chest….it felt hard to breathe, "There is one…"

Rumpelstiltskin felt his blood run cold. Always wanting something, always a reason… "What?"

Cora's eyes flashed dangerously, "It's the King. He humiliated me. He made me feel the way you've shown me I never have to feel. I want to kill him. I want to show him his heart before I do it. So he can see it and know what I'm doing as I crush it."

Rumpelstiltskin grinned. The bloodlust…the thing fueling both their magic…he understood it better than anyone. "And that is why I love you."

And there, he said it to her.

Cora placed her hand on his chest. He felt his own heart beneath her fingers; he was sure she felt the flutter.

He would have someone who loved him….even if it was a selfish love and wasn't true or pure…he'd still take it. There was no one that could love him truly or purely anymore. He was too far gone.

"Show me," she told him.

Rumpelstiltskin nodded, "I will show you everything."

Cora smiled, "Then I'll do it tonight."

Rumpelstiltskin could almost feel sorry for Xavier…if his humiliation of Cora hadn't have happened. It reminded Rumpelstiltskin too much of his own humiliation in front of his son, "Let's seal that promise."

Cora…his Cora pressed her lips against his.

That night she met him in the garden. She carried a box full of the dust that had once been the king's heart. HE saw his future for certain now. They would blame him…they would accuse him of killing the king and kidnapping Cora away to be his. They would send men…and those men would die.

He led her quietly away from the garden to the waiting carriage. He supposed that he could just…take them to his castle with magic but not now…there were things to discuss.

"Rumpelstiltskin?" Cora started.

"Yes Darling?" he couldn't take his eyes off her. Someone bloody well wanted him. They gave up their aspirations and life goals to be with him

"There's something you should know….about my daughter…my firstborn."

"In due time darling," he looked down, "You're not pregnant yet."

"No…I already have one."

Rumpelstiltskin felt his blood run cold and then the anger started to surface….and she didn't tell him this…why? "What?"

"Eva forced me to give her up," Cora stared at him dead in the eye, "I want you to get her back."

A/N: Well, this is bound to be a very dark and twisted story.