ONCE UPON A TWILIGHT CONTEST
Title: Clear Sight
Word Count: 4,718
Summary: Bella Swan stumbles upon a mysterious man who is as still as a statue but with a beating heart. She releases him from his paralysis and he helps her out... by kidnapping her. Not that she minds too much.
This story is being submitted as an entry for the Once Upon a Twilight Contest, hosted by wishimight and staceygirl aka jackbauer. For complete contest details, to read the rest of the contest submissions, or if you are interested in entering, please visit the contest community at:
Entries accepted until 8/20/09
Voting begins 8/22/09
Ireland, present day.
My entire body was one massive ache.
I imagined that this sensation was akin to what a piece of tenderised meat would feel like. Pounded.
I dragged myself up off the floor and clutched at the stair rail as the world tilted and swirled alarmingly. Dark light exploded across my vision, leaving me blind until the little spots disappeared. Weakly I made my way up the stairs, my stomach revolting, trying to reject what little food was in there. I grimly kept it down. In my state I wouldn't be able to clean up the mess before they got home and I didn't feel like getting another beating.
Half way up I was forced to sit, my body screaming at me to rest, to stop this madness. I lay my head down on my arm and closed my eyes briefly. I suppressed an insane giggle as the lines of 'The Grand Old Duke of York' made their way through my head. And when they were only half way up they were neither up nor down.
Neither up nor down. It seemed an apt enough description to me.
I looked down the stairs and wondered whether it would be better just to throw myself down them and put myself out of my misery.
I decided against it. I wasn't high up enough. All I'd manage would be to hurt myself worse –and then how would I get up?
I slowly made my way up by crawling on my hands and knees, step by step, one at a time, until I reached the top.
Sweet success. I hauled myself down the corridor into my tiny, mangy little room and shut the door before sinking into unconsciousness on the dusty floor.
I woke up a while later, jerking awake when I heard the sound of the front door slam. My heart started pounding a mile a minute and the adrenaline rushing through me was enough for me to stand up and grab for my emergency bag before jumping out of the window onto the soft hay bale I'd rolled there for just this purpose.
I didn't exactly sprint down the road. Not even adrenaline could make me do that it this condition. It was more of a quick shuffle as I moved towards the forest where I knew they wouldn't follow me. The drunken sots were far too superstitious to do that.
Still, I always made sure I was deep within the forest before I stopped.
Usually I stuck to the same area so I wouldn't get lost. But this beating had been the worst to date and the adrenaline had left me feeling even sicker and shakier than before. I lost my bearings and just wandered, hoping to find some familiar landmark.
Instead of finding my way back to the trail I tripped and fell into a hidden glade.
Tripping and falling is not something new to me. I'm a clumsy person by nature. This glade, however, was completely different to anything I'd ever seen before.
The colours were so vivid! The small wildflowers in the grass were like little gems in the midst of a swaying field of jade and emerald. The sunlight was a warm gold, bathing the clearing in light. The sky was clear and blue. I looked up at it dazedly. Surely it had been overcast when I'd left the house?
As I walked further in all my aches and pains started to fade, I hardly noticed this phenomenon so enthralled was I by the beauty of this hidden place.
Suddenly I stopped and gasped.
There, in the very centre of the meadow, was a man.
If man was the right word.
His hair was like a living thing, moving gently in the breeze. It looked like bronze, but finer than any bronze wire I'd ever come across. Softer too, it looked as if it would feel like a pet cat's fur.
He wore strange clothes. His shirt consisted of green velvet that seemed to shift shades, going from forest green to lime, passing through emerald, olive and jade to get there. The sleeves were wisps of multicoloured silk that extended down his arms. Some were gold, some silver, a few blue and more green. No two were exactly the same shade.
His breeches –because that was the only word that came to mind- were black leather. They seemed to be moulded to his form and the stark contrast between its solemnity and the vividness of his shirt was startling.
I moved closer, walking around so that I could see his face.
My heart broke.
His face. His face!
His eyes were blazing; copper in a Bunsen burner.
His mouth could have been sculpted by Botticelli. His nose, the work of a master. His eyebrows were far darker than his hair, high, arrogant black arches.
I looked down, unable to take in any further glory and caught a glimpse of the rest of him.
His hands could have come from Michelangelo's David. He'd probably cut them off just so he could give them to this man.
His velvet shirt was loosely laced, allowing me a glimpse of his glorious chest.
Only when I noticed that his chest wasn't moving, that he wasn't breathing, did I start to wonder why he was so still, unblinking.
I carefully put my head to his chest, listening for a heart beat. I sighed in relief. He was alive. I looked back up at his face and I was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to kiss him, to place my lips to his.
I didn't stop to think. I simply submitted to the compulsion.
I held the kiss for a second; it was almost like kissing a marble sculpture. Cold and unresponsive.
And then his arms came up around me and his lips moved against mine, burning up with heat and very eager.
He held me tenderly enough that I didn't hurt yet tight enough that I couldn't get away after my initial shock. His lips were pressing hard against mine but not with bruising force.
His tongue softly touched my lip, sweeping across and pushing a little, begging for entrance.
I let him in and he was everywhere in an instant, moving across the roof of my mouth, rubbing my gums and stroking my teeth, dancing with my tongue.
A soft caress alerted me to the fact that his hands were wandering over my body, caressing me.
We broke apart but his eyes were on mine, boring into my soul. Smouldering. The green flames banked with black earth.
"Thank you." He said fervently, his voice caressing me like warm water running over my skin.
Dazedly I asked, "What for?" although a part of me knew it had something to do with his stillness when I'd first found him.
He'd brought his head down to nuzzle my neck and didn't bother to raise it before answering me. "For freeing me." He said, his warm breath moving over my collar bone and making me shiver in pleasure at the feeling.
Straightening, he looked me in the eye, his face very close to mine and one arm lazily encircling my waist, holding me close. "You broke the curse, little one." He told me, his lips so close that I breathed in his breath when he spoke.
Sweet breath, as if he'd consumed a bouquet of summer berries. I could identify the smell of blackberries and strawberries but the dominant scent was something foreign to me. It was more tangible, more a taste than a fragrance really. Something enthralling…
"I wonder how you did it." He murmured, breaking me out of my reverie.
I looked at him in confusion. "Did what?" I asked; my voice distant, different. It should have worried me, this change in my voice, but it didn't.
He stroked the hair from my face as he answered me. "Found this place, saw me, figured out how to release me." He shrugged. "Stopped me from reading your mind."
I choked in surprise. "You can read minds!" I exclaimed.
He smiled reassuringly at me. "Not yours."
I felt my brows furrow. "Why?" I asked. I mean, it was nice that he couldn't hear my every thought but…why couldn't he hear my mind?
He raised his eyebrows, looking slightly amused. "I don't know. You must be very special." He rubbed his thumb over the crease in my forehead. "Pretty girls shouldn't frown" he murmured absently.
I blushed and ducked my head, hiding behind my hair. "I'm nothing special." I told him softly. I might not believe them when they told me I was worthless, useless and pathetic but I did know that I was weak, a coward. If I'd been stronger I would never have let them touch me. If I'd been braver I would have run away. Run so far they would never be able to find me. Toughed it out 'til I turned eighteen and could run off to America rather than being a submissive punching bag for another six months.
"Hey!" he said angrily, the words suddenly a raging sea, tossing around the poor vessel caught out in a storm. "You are special. You found me when no one could. You saved me." Strong hands that would not be denied forced me to lift my face to him. "You are special." He reiterated, his eyes, hard agates now, suddenly boring their way into my soul, as if he wanted to force his way into my mind to make me accept the truth. "Who has told you otherwise?" he demanded.
Suddenly his eyes went to my long sleeves and he knelt before me and pushed them up, paying no attention to my protests. He hissed furiously and he turned his gaze upwards. His eyes were pure onyx now with no hint of green. "Who. Did. This." He said; his voice deceptively calm. I wasn't fooled though. He looked like he was ready to commit murder.
I tried to turn away from him but his grip on my arms tightened inexorably and though it wasn't hard enough to hurt I knew I couldn't escape.
I thrashed from side to side, trying to get away although I knew it was impossible. "Please, please," I begged him, tears rolling down my face, "I need to get back. I need to go home!" I was sobbing now. I didn't want this beautiful stranger to see how pathetic I was.
Something seemed to snap in him because he was suddenly towering over me. "You want to go home?" He said softly, dangerously.
I shivered in a sudden fear but nodded anyway, ignoring my screaming instincts. I knew intuitively that the stranger wouldn't hurt me but I was afraid anyway. Afraid he would be disgusted by me.
His sudden smile was too wild to reassure me. His eyes still burned with an unnatural light. No longer pure black but still dark and furious. "Then I will take you home." He told me.
Before I could protest he'd pulled me into his arms and the world disappeared into swirling light and colours.
When everything returned to the way it had been we were no longer in the clearing. Instead we were in an old fashioned bedroom where the bed posts were taller than the bed was long. Long red, velvet curtains hung down, obviously meant to keep the draft out at night. The bed was incredibly soft and the pillows were even softer. They were both a creamy gold colour. Tapestries decorated the walls and wall brackets containing lit candles and braziers warmed the air. I couldn't see much more than that since the bed curtains obscured the rest of my view.
I turned on my side to look at the man lying next to me. He looked incredibly smug and his eyes were now the same smouldering green they'd been when we were kissing. It made me want to pounce on him and kiss him all over again but I ruthlessly suppressed my raging hormones.
I took a deep breath, counted to ten and then let it out. I quickly ran an inventory of everything I wanted to ask and decided on what were the most important questions.
"Who are you?" I asked, having come to the conclusion that this would be easier if I knew his name. Plus, 'what' are you seemed far too rude.
He grinned lazily. "I am Prince Edward Anthony Masen of the Léargas Shoiléir court of faerie. But you can call me Edward."
"I thought there were only two courts of faerie." I said automatically as my mind reeled. I'd kissed a prince. Oh my god I'd kissed a faerie prince! He'd even kissed me back! Obviously that curse had messed with his head some.
"Two main courts." He clarified as his fingers drew patterns on my hands. When had he caught a hold of them? "The Seelie and Unseelie are the ones everyone knows about but contrary to popular belief they spend most of their time up in Scotland. They don't really care what happens down here so long as none of us decide to get uppity and call ourselves King or Queen."
I decided not to start discussing mythology with him. "Where am I?" I asked instead, worried about what the answer would be.
He smirked, an expression of pure satisfaction on his face. "Home." He said simply.
I had a sudden feeling of foreboding. "This isn't my home." I protested, already with a good idea as to what his reply would be.
His smirk intensified. "It is now that I've kidnapped you."
I bit back a groan. Or it might have been a laugh. I wasn't entirely certain. All my tears had disappeared. I had a feeling Edward wouldn't be letting me go back no matter what I said. I'd fight him on principle but I was unbelievably relieved.
"Are you planning on letting me go?" I wanted my suspicions confirmed before I decided on my line of attack.
"No." With one arm propping up his head and his hand holding my hand he looked like something straight out of a romance novel. His smouldering eyes did nothing to dispel that thought.
"What if I have someone waiting for me?" I challenged.
He sat up, a look of displeasure on his face. "If they're so blind they haven't noticed all the bruises then they don't deserve to have you back. And if they're the ones who've done this to you," he waved his hand at my arms and my exposed stomach, "then they're very lucky that they're still alive."
"What if it was my husband?" I snapped, annoyed at his high handed declaration. Even if it was true who was he to point it out to me?
His eyes burned and he snarled. "Then by tomorrow you will be a widow!" He promised; his eyes alive with vengeance, all signs of indolence gone.
I shrank back. Terrified by the burning passion in his eyes.
"I meant what if it was my husband waiting for me." I explained hastily, not entirely sure that that had been my meaning.
"Then I'll still kill him." There was no hint of exaggeration or deceit in his face. He meant every word. "What miserable excuse for a man allows this to happen to his wife?"
"I'm very clumsy." I said, defending this nonexistent husband of mine.
Edward snorted contemptuously. "Darling –what is your name?"
I blinked. "Um, Bella, that is, Isabella Marie Swan, but I prefer Bella."
"Bella then. Bella, if I were your husband and you were that clumsy, I'd never let you out of the house alone."
I shivered at the thought of this gorgeous man being my husband. Forget him letting me out of the house –I wouldn't let him out of the bedroom!
His hands were wandering again. This time they played over my stomach, caressing the gap where my shirt had ridden up before moving higher, pushing my shirt further up. I gasped at the sensation. His fingers were pure magic.
"What are you doing?" I asked, my voice shaky with lust.
He smiled sinfully up at me. "I'm a faerie, Bella." He rolled my name around my mouth as if he were savouring the sound. "We have certain powers. I was just trying to heal your bruises."
"Oh," I breathed, my mind having completely dissolved into mush, "ok then."
He did something and, between one blink and another, my clothes disappeared, leaving me in my bra and knickers. His hands continued moving over my body, lightly stroking over my skin and thoroughly muddling my poor brain.
"It's not right." I said vaguely, some dim notion telling me that there was something wrong.
"What's wrong?" he murmured, his hands slipping under me to rub my bum. I didn't think I had bruises there but my mind had decided to take a holiday so I couldn't be sure.
"It's not fair for me to have fewer clothes on than you." I told him. I knew there was something wrong with what I'd said but all I could think of to say was that childish assertion of unfairness.
His hands migrated downwards, brushing the backs of my knees. "Is that so?" he murmured. "Would it be fairer if I had fewer clothes too?"
It was very confusing. Two voices in my head were screaming bloody murder and jumping up and down. One was yelling 'yes!' while the other was shrieking at me not to be such a bloody fool. And then there were his hands. His evil, wonderful, magic hands.
"I guess so." I said tentatively, hoping I'd made the right choice.
His clothes were gone. The only thing on his body were a pair of very modern looking boxer-briefs.
I would have remarked on this fact had my mind not cruelly deserted me in my hour of need. If I were its boss I would fire it.
Or maybe give it a promotion.
He parted my thighs under the pretence of feeling around for more bruises, running his hands dangerously close to my knickers, his fingers brushing up against the lace edging. I made some sort of mewling sound, making Edward laugh.
"Sounds like I've got a little kitten in my bed." He said playfully. "Tell me Bella, do you think it's fair that I've got a bare chest while you still have a bra on?"
I shook my head as I ogled said chest. It was very…well defined.
I really wanted to lick the definition.
Suddenly I felt my nipples harden as they were exposed to the air and Edward's gaze. I squeaked in protest. I seemed to be losing my ability to talk.
He raised an eyebrow, smiling wickedly down at me. "What? You just agreed that it wasn't fair for you to have your chest covered while mine wasn't."
"But your boxers cover more than my knickers do!" Ah, there were my words. But once again I had the sinking feeling that they were the wrong ones.
Oh yeah, definitely the wrong ones.
Edward had magicked away our underwear and we were starkers.
There was absolutely no way I'd be able to communicate coherently now that we were both naked and I could see how much he enjoyed looking at my body.
A hum of satisfaction left his throat, only an octave or two off a purr.
"I seem to have found all your external bruises." He informed me. "However you might have some internal ones that I haven't found. Do you mind if I look for them?"
My mind might have been too far gone to understand what he was asking but my hormones were fully cognizant and my body thrust itself towards him.
He chuckled lowly and his fingers explored the junction of my thighs, stroking and teasing, applying pressure and then just skimming lightly. When he reached my entrance he circled the entrance, dipping in slightly before pulling out until I was bucking against him, trying to get him deeper. He smirked at my antics but complied with my wordless request.
His fingers rubbed against my channel for a moment before pulling out. I looked at him in disbelief and he grinned.
"My fingers aren't long enough to reach everywhere I need to." He explained smoothly. "Do you mind if I use something else to heal you?"
I stared at him in disbelief then quickly shook my head. "I don't mind." I told him, amazed at my ability to form coherent sentences. I could only surmise that I work well under pressure.
He moved up, aligning himself to me, and then he gently surged into me, breaking through my hymen. I hissed in pain and he stilled.
"You were never married." He muttered under his breath.
I felt like slapping him. "You would have slept with me even if I'd been married?" I asked in outrage.
He winked at me. "Definitely. Adultery is fine by me if I'm committing it with you."
I would have continued the argument but he moved himself very deliberately, making me gasp in shocked pleasure. "It doesn't hurt." I said wonderingly.
He smirked arrogantly. "I told you I could heal you."
I clenched my muscles around him in retaliation and he shut up very fast, letting out a low moan. "So damn tight." He muttered weakly.
He started moving slowly, building up his rhythm and coaxing me into meeting his thrusts until we were both gasping in pleasure.
He carefully angled his thrusts until he rubbed up against me just so and I let out a pleasured mewl and clenched tightly around him in an attempt to hold him there.
He let out a shaky laugh and said "You know, sweetheart, I've always been very fond of cats. But you've just taken it to a whole new dimension."
I was mildly irritated by the fact that he could still manage coherent sentences but when he continued to rub against that one spot, hitting it hard and fast, everything except the sheer ecstasy of sensation disappeared from my mind.
It was heat.
It was fire.
It was life.
I cried out his name, my eyes flying open to see his eyes boring into me, their flames burning through my body, like putting a flame to tinder, like throwing down a bottle of nitroglycerin.
I burned, I exploded.
It was rapture.
I was ecstatic and agonised.
I knew that I was no longer my own. I was his.
As I came down from my high I felt him curse, a stream of Gaelic curses surging off his tongue. His eyes caught mine again and the lust fuelled flames softened, morphed into some emotion I could not recognise but was no less powerful, no less passionate.
My name flowed from his mouth reverently along with sweet endearments and then I was flooded with his heated seed.
His mouth was everywhere, kissing me, cherishing me, his hands stroking me, pulling me even closer to him.
There was no soreness, no pain. My bruises were gone and my skin unblemished.
I laughed unsteadily. "Well that certainly gives a new meaning to sexual healing." I said, trying to lighten the mood. The intensity scared me. No one had ever looked at me like that before.
He looked up at me and smiled. It was a smile devoid of all his earlier smugness and arrogance. "My love." He breathed, his eyes alight with joy.
I stiffened and tried to back away but he refused to relinquish his hold on me. Merely rolling so that I was above him, technically in a position of power. Although I realised that I couldn't get away this small gesture made me feel better. More in control.
"I'm not your love." I told him firmly, trying to ignore the fact that we were both naked.
"Why not?" he asked, utterly unfazed by either my declaration or our nakedness.
"Because you are a fairy prince and I'm human." I told him in exasperation. "I'd never fit in! Your people would never stand for it!"
He grinned delightedly. "But that's where you're wrong!" I looked at him in surprise. Did he really want me around? "There are humans in my court. Not many but they're there. And this would be the perfect court for you. We are the court of the Clear Sight and you my dear," he affectionately nuzzled my face, "are clearly sighted. How else would you have found me?" he put a finger to my lips to stop my protest before I could even start. "Not to mention I am the supreme ruler of this court. What I say goes. My way or the highway." He winked at me.
I glared at him, totally incensed. "I thought the fey were supposed to be unbelievably glamorous. Have you got such a shortage of women that you've to go after human girls?"
He looked at me amusedly. "Nice try, little one, but people have been trying to rile me up for centuries. It'll take more than that to do it. And for your information just because they're beautiful doesn't mean they're intriguing. I'd hate to have to live with someone who bored me out of my mind no matter how great the sex was. Believe you me, when you can hear someone's every thought you get bored very quickly."
I shook my head in consternation. "Where are my jeans?" I demanded, looking around for them.
"You know I've never understood this new fashion of letting women run around in trousers." He murmured, not making the slightest move to let me go. "A woman's arse should be hidden away from sight and left for their lover to admire in the privacy of their bedroom. Not to be put on display for all and sundry to ogle and fantasize about." I think I choked in shock. "I do hope you aren't too fond of them m'dear. I'm not going to let you out in public wearing them."
"Let me…!" I couldn't finish my sentence I was so incensed.
"I suppose I could always let you wear them around the house." He mused, not paying the slightest attention to my outburst. "They do look ravishing on you after all."
"You listen here mister!" I burst out. "I don't care if you're a fey prince or emperor of the galaxy. No way do you get to dictate what I can or can't wear."
Again with the eyebrow. "Of course I can." He said haughtily. "You're my woman."
"Why you arrogant, chauvinistic…" I couldn't think of anything strong enough to convey my feelings but it didn't stop me cussing him out for a good five minutes.
"Of course," he murmured, his soft voice cutting across my colourful tirade, "if you were my princess then I wouldn't be able to lord it over you."
That shut me up sharpish.
"But I want to go home!" I argued weakly. It was a lie but some portion of my brain was defaulted to 'self destructive idiot'.
"Not gonna happen." He said cheerfully. "You're my woman! I'm the prince and you're in my principality. I make the rules."
"But if I'm princess you can't lord it over me." I said suspiciously.
"So I can go home if I marry you then?"
He shook his head.
"But why not?" I asked, frustrated.
"Because you'd be my wife and you'd have duties to the people."
I looked at him in disbelief. "So I can't go home if I don't marry you because you are apparently my lord and master and if I do marry you I can't go home, even though you can't command me, because I'm your wife and a princess?"
He grinned cheekily. "Damned if you do, damned if you don't, love. But just think, if you married me you wouldn't have to do everything I told you to do!"
I rolled my eyes. "Talk about a catch-22." I murmured.
He pulled me flush against him again, rubbing his growing hardness against me. "There are perks." He told me in, what I am sure he thought was, a consoling tone. "Enjoy them now and think about hard things later.
AN: Review and I'll give you a quick (yes, very quick) summary of what happens afterwards. I'm not going to continue this. Anonymous reviewers…yeah, I dunno what I can do for you. If you leave an email address or a website or something I suppose I could contact you like that. Any questions etc. I'll be happy to help you with. If you want to just drop me a line saying 'it sucks' that's fine. See my flame/constructive criticism policy on my profile (basically if you're gonna criticise at least tell me who you are so I can respond and tell you how much I appreciate it. No, I'm not being sarcastic.)