Title: Cradle Me to Sleep

Pairing: Willie Loomis/Maggie Evans

Fandom: Dark Shadows

Theme: #22 Cradle

Maggie wept within the expanse of her hands as she sat curled up on her cot, her inner turmoil raging away as she thought about how much she hated being dirty, how much she disliked the food she was forced to eat, and how much she despised Barnabas Collins for forcing her to be his bride. She never asked for this life, but now that she was condemned to rot away in her cell unless she complied, she felt that she had no other choice but to give in.

This very admission alone caused her to cry harder, her sobs wracking her slender form as she buried her face in her pillow and willed herself to die. At least that way she could see Mama, again...

"Maggie? What in God's name are you doin'?"

Gasping, the dark-haired beauty shot up from her pillow in utter astonishment, a frown immediately gracing her lips upon spotting her only link to the outside world standing there idly before her. "What do you want, Willie?" she demanded, subconsciously grasping at her blanket as she shrank slightly back. "I-I'm not hungry, nor do I think I'll ever be, so you can just go ahead and tell Barnabas that I'd rather die than eat!"

"Aw, c'mon, Maggie, don't say such things" Willie pleaded, holding out the tray of food within his hands as a peace offering. "Ya know that I don't wantcha to die, right? Just eat it and we'll both be better off."

"Ha...a wonderful joke, Willie" Maggie whispered, pausing in order to wipe away at a lone tear trailing down her cheek. "I'll never escape here, so there's no use in trying to raise my spirits with ridiculous bouts of false hope."

Willie opened his mouth in order to argue, only to shut it and bow his head forward in utter despair. She was right, yet he was far too afraid to admit that.

Just when he was about to turn and head back upstairs, however, Maggie called to him pitifully from her cot, "Willie...um...I-I know that this sounds completely awkward and all, but could you possibly cradle me until I fall asleep? Pop always used to do it to me when I was a kid and...well...it always soothed my fears and made me feel as if I could do anything."

Willie's eyes briefly reflected the fear over touching the woman that Barnabas desired, yet he damned the consequences and approached the lovely brunette on unsteady legs.

Scooting over on her cot so that she could make room for her sandy-haired companion, Maggie willingly went into the astounded Willie Loomis' lap and wrapped her arms securely about his slender waist, his heart pounding fiercely within his bosom due to the intoxicating sensations running through his body at just merely her touch.

Although she hadn't been allowed to bathe since her capture, Maggie was still quite beautiful and alluring to the senses, her smooth skin brushing against his own like pure silk as she snuggled deeper into his embrace and sighed.

The tears on her face were now gone, but Willie could still feel her shiver every now and then from the after-affects of her sobbing. Placing his chin on her head, the sandy-haired young man began to rock her back and forth, marveling at the steady rising and falling of her bosom against his own as she breathed.

Before long, Willie glanced down upon Maggie's beautiful features and realized that she was asleep, his movements careful and steady as he gingerly (yet reluctantly) disengaged himself from her warm embrace and tip-toed back over toward the bolted door.

As he opened it, however, a soft "thank you" reached his ears and he smiled, regarding Maggie with warm eyes as he shut the door behind him and whispered a soft "sure" in return.

A/N: Okaaay, hopefully that didn't suck, but it was my first attempt at an all-out fluffy story, so yeah…hopefully it wasn't too bad. :) Somebody else should definitely join 30kisses so that we can have a Dark Shadows take over:-P PLEASE R&R!