A/N: The Ella Enchanted fanfic archive is lacking stories that involve…oh, I don't know, lust? We have all of these mushy-gushy lovey-dovey Char x Ella stories, but what about the ship that is all about lust and passion? I think that Ella Enchanted is an amazing book, and I think that we should play with the ships, and not just do the Char x Ella things. I mean, seriously, Hattie/Ella is just awesome. Well, I hate explaining myself, so I'll just let the story speak for itself. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Ella Enchanted, it belongs to Gail Carson Levine.

The Truth Hurts

If she had known that this would happen, she would have refused to allow Hattie in the castle. It would have been easy; after all, she was queen, wasn't she? She had the power now, didn't she? If that were true, she wouldn't be staring daggers at her no-longer stepsister, who was returning the queen's gaze with an equally malicious glower of her own. The queen narrowed her eyes, wanting nothing more than to turn away from Hattie, and never have to see her again. Of course, that could have been the case, if she had just denied Hattie entry into her castle. It was such a stupid blunder that the queen mentally smacked herself.

"Are we going to stare at each other all day, Ella-dear?" Hattie broke the peaceful silence; her syrupy, nasally voice cutting into it with such violence that Ella imagined blood coating the atmosphere.

Ella did not answer. Rather, she turned away, crossing her arms, assuming the posture of absolute indignation. Hattie scoffed, a smirk playing on the corners of her lips.

"You're terrible!" Hattie said, with mock sorrow coating her words, "you invite me here, and all you do is ignore me. How rude." At these words, Ella turned to face her again, green eyes alight with fury. "I'm terrible? How easily your forget the way you treated me when I lived under your roof."

Hattie looked aghast.

"Oh, please," Ella mumbled, rolling her eyes. Hattie glowered at her, and suddenly, her previously syrupy voice had congealed, and it carried with it an air of such malice that Ella flinched when the words reached her ears.

"I have given you what he'll--" she gestured towards a portrait of Char, that hung on the far end of the dining room, "--never be able to give you."

Ella merely stared at her like she were discussing the existence of unicorns (which was debatable, given the false sightings).

"You tortured me," Ella breathed, still indignant, "you used me." Hattie's eyes flashed.

"The truth hurts, doesn't it?" Ella continued on mercilessly, "I hate you. I hate your mother, and your sister. And that will never, ever change." Hattie sighed heavily, allowing her head to fall back as she turned her gaze to the ceiling.

"I always hated you. And I still do, Ella, make no mistake." Her tone became thoughtful, "But you know," her gaze was on Ella again, "I always enjoyed what we…had." Her emphasis on the past tense managed to make Ella wince.

It was so…strange, hearing Hattie admit that the affair they carried out was over. It was over the instant Char had seen her at the ball. And Ella wondered if Hattie shouldered any guilt; because after all, it was her jealously that had ruined the feeble bond that her and Ella possessed. Ella was tempted to rub it in, to taunt her, but something managed to stop her; some little voice inside her head that was obnoxiously holier-than-thou.

"Don't add salt to her wounds."

Ella snorted, and turned to the glass of water that was on the table to her left. She picked it up, and drank deeply, trying to rid the sudden bad taste in her mouth. Hattie was watching her, another smirk tugging at her lips.

"What is the reason you've come here?" Ella inquired, placing the glass back on the table. The obvious, unanswered questions hung in the air. Hattie showed no signs of having heard her; rather, she was staring at the empty glass of water, a wicked glint in her eyes. Ella wondered what corruption could possibly be correlated with a glass of water, but then she reminded herself who she was dealing with.

"Well, I came to see you, of course," Hattie spoke in a tone of feigned innocence, her blue eyes still trained on the glass. "Of course you did," Ella mumbled, standing up. Hattie followed, and in a movement so swift that Ella was sure she'd imagined it, Hattie was beside Ella.

"What--"

"Ella, I came to see you, one last time." Hattie's lips were at Ella's ear, and the insinuative breath sent a chill down her spine. "No…no, no, no….Char is here…never, get away from me…"

But Hattie had not planned on obeying the queen today.

"Oh, Ellie," she breathed, wrapping her arms around Ella's neck in an embrace that was a mockery of lover's passion. "Don't call me that," Ella spat, her voice cold. "Oh? Why not? Oh!" Hattie grinned wickedly, placing her lips to Ella's ear, "It makes you remember, doesn't it?"

Ella shuddered.

"It does, doesn't it? Oh," Hattie sighed, resting her head on Ella's shoulder.

"Ellie."

Hattie moaned; her inflection that of someone in the highest plateaus of pleasure. Ella wanted to hit her.

"You bitch, stop it." Verbal abuse was going to have to do. Ella didn't like the memories that played through her head, the vivid dreams that she knew she was going to have after hearing Hattie moan that insufferable nickname.

Hattie chuckled lightly, nuzzling Ella's neck in a mock-affectionate way.

"Just one more time," Hattie cooed, looking Ella in the eyes. "No one will ever have to know," she went on, her eyes sparkling with eagerness. Her tone was much too…nice. Any other time, she had been possessive, forceful, and self-centered. Ella was wary.

"Of course…"

Ella braced herself.

"…I suppose, if you refused. I wonder, Ellie, how Char would react if he knew about our…exploits."

There it was. The attack that Ella had anticipated.

"He wouldn't believe you. After all, it would be your word against mine."

"You underestimate me." Hattie said simply, her tone suddenly hostile. She released Ella, and just as the young queen was prepared to move away, Hattie grabbed her hips, and pressed her against the dining room table. Ella gasped; a sharp intake of breath signaling her surprise.

"No," Ella gasped, closing her eyes. "No?" "No," Ella confirmed, her voice a tab bit stronger.

"Such a shame. Such a shame." Hattie chanted, sighing heavily, and releasing her hold on Ella's hips.

Ella stood perfectly still, breathing very fast. The strength she had felt when she refused Hattie's advance had vanished.

"You're so indecisive," Hattie said, "when really the decision is quite obvious."

It was all over then.

Soft, moist lips were pressing against Ella's, hungry and insistent. Ella felt waves of heat pulse through her, and a sickening, defeated moisture between her legs. She kissed back, and she felt weak; the curse was gone, she didn't have to succumb to Hattie's desires.

But perhaps…no! She refused to think that--to admit--that it was herself she was denying, not Hattie.

"Mmmm," Ella couldn't help herself; the kiss of the older woman was familiar and wonderful and right and wrong and horrible and brilliant and--

"You want this," Hattie whispered, having broken their kiss. Her hand slid up Ella's skirt, and was resting at the apex between her thighs, offering everything and yet giving nothing. Ella squirmed; the heat that ravaged her body had settled in one fateful spot.

"No, no, no," Hattie laughed; a high, amused cackle that rang through the room ominously. "I'm not going to indulge you unless you tell me what you want."

Somehow, Ella had anticipated this. Hattie wouldn't rest until Ella had admitted everything.

"Hattie--"

"No. Tell me what you want."

"I will not. I am queen. I am no longer cursed. I don't have to bend to your will."

"Don't torture yourself."

"I'm--n-n-not…" Hattie's fingers pressed against the bundle of nerves between Ella's thighs.

Ella's head fell back; this was just so familiar.

"Tell me." Her fingers moved again, deftly, giving Ella just enough.

"I want you to…"

"You want me to what?"

"I want you to fuck me." The frankness of her statement surprised even Ella.

Hattie smirked wickedly, and in one fluid movement, Ella's moist knickers were being dragged down her thighs. They slid down her legs, and Ella sat on edge of the table, and kicked them off, eager to receive what Hattie had promised.

Their lips met again, and Ella instinctively wrapped her legs around Hattie's waist. Ella bit Hattie's bottom lip, reveling in the barely audible whimper of pain that escaped the older woman in response to the action. Hattie pulled away, and grasped the bottom of Ella's dress; it was green, the same color she had worn at her mother's funeral, when they first met…

She pulled the dress over Ella's head, and tossed it aside, smirking at the debauched and exposed queen in front of her. Ella, too, grinned like a Cheshire cat, and let her legs drop from Hattie's waist. She leaned forward, and pulled at Hattie's dress. She tossed the older woman's garment aside, and it joined hers in the corner of the dining room.

Ella slid a hand between Hattie's thighs, and her grin widened when she felt the oh-so rewarding wetness. She slid her knickers off, and Hattie sighed contentedly in response.

"Ellie," the nickname didn't sound the least bit insufferable now; as they found their way onto the table, entwined in a web of loathing, desire and sardonic romance. And in that web, Ella remembered; she relived. The way it felt when Hattie's hands slid over her breasts; soft, tingling, goosebumps rising on her skin. The dizzying sensations that erupted when Hattie's fingertips teased the bundle of nerves between Ella's thighs…and the mind-fuckery in the way she came; tightening around Hattie's fingers, releasing and tensing, shuddering and gasping and moaning her name desperately.

"Hattie, please…yes…yes…Hattie…!"

And then Ella remembered and relived what it was like to control Hattie so completely, to feel her shiver when her hands slid over her breasts, when she kissed her tenderly. Ella loved it when Hattie arched her back and spread her legs as much she could, allowing Ella to desecrate any purity she had left. And it was wonderful when Hattie came; wetness coating her fingers, the tensing of muscles and the sudden tightness--

--and the moans, nearly screams--

"Ellie! Yes…yes…Ellie! Ella!"

It was worth it; abadonening her wretched royal pride, to lay beside Hattie, face-to-face, legs entwined, panting, for one last time. Coming down from the highs of climax with Hattie by her side; with Char only a few rooms away, it was bliss. Ella had to admit it, pride be damned.

Because the truth hurt her, it cut her deeply, relentlessly gouging her insides, her sanity, even. But regardless of how much hurt, the rewards for realizing it always numbed the pain.

At least for now.