I do not own Ella Enchanted. It belongs to Gail Carson Levine.

Chapter four: she's coming undone (Ella's P.O.V.)

She was needier than before.

Her lips were more insistent, and with each kiss I gasped, and she swallowed the breath of my submission. I felt no emotions; just physical sensation. I focused on the way it felt when her lips brushed over the mark on my neck…the way it felt to touch her again…to feel how much she wanted me…and I tasted her; again, and like last time, even though she was on top of me, I was in control, giving her everything and yet taking everything away…

"Ella," she didn't scream for me like last time; of course not, what would happen if Mandy were to walk in?

"Don't stop, Ella, please…" she was whispering, and I knew how mortifying all of this was for her; me being in control, when I was the chronically obedient one.

"Yes!"

~*~

With a groan, Hattie moved off me, panting slightly still, her hair sticking to her face, cheeks and neck flushed red. She shakily fixed her dress, fussing over wrinkles that were barely visible. Her taste was still present on my lips; unconsciously I licked them, and she watched, looking both smug and horrified.

"G-goodnight, Ella," she said, attempting to smirk at me, and failing completely, only managing to achieve a weak grimace. She turned, and walked away, and I watched, propped up on my elbows, still lying on the table. There was a rush of footsteps on the stairs; she was running up them. I should have felt gratified, but I didn't. I felt nothing. She hadn't reciprocated; I'd given her what she'd wanted….

I slid off the table, and straightened my dress. I felt unfulfilled, but what could I do? As far as I was concerned, this was going to become routine, and I would get satisfaction as often as I could.

"Ella?"

I turned to face the kitchen door, suspecting that Hattie had come back downstairs. But, no, it was Mum Olga, who was lingering in the doorway, looking inquisitive and tired.

"Yes, Mum Olga?" She shifted uneasily, as if she many intrusive questions wanted to burst from her lips.

"Where is Hattie?" Her voice was no longer the syrupy nasal-toned annoyance that I had come to loathe; rather, it was cold and less nasally than I'd ever heard.

"She went upstairs to be," I replied, hoping that my dress hadn't become so mussed that she would notice the mark on my neck. With the way she was eyeing me, it was difficult not to be nervous.

"Have you noticed…her…mood?" She crossed her arms, and raised an eyebrow at me, as if daring me to make some sarcastic comment.

"Haven't you?" I took her bait, "Mandy says that you're worried about her being depressed over the prince. And anyway, I haven't spoken to her; I don't know how she's feeling." My tone was dull; monotonous, listless. But Mum Olga scoffed, both eyebrows raised in blatant disbelief.

"You were in her room only this morning, Ella, don't lie to me."

She knew?

"Have you heard her talk? It's worrying me, Ella," was she opening up to me? "She's…obsessed with becoming queen; I'm not surprised, she has bee since she was a little girl, but now. The prince is taken. I can't get her to understand--she has got to give up on him!" I had never before see Mum Olga so…frantic. Even more out of character was her venting to me. She continued, firing off more worries.

"Did you hear? The prince is going on his honeymoon tomorrow. Oh, of course you heard, we've never bee able to keep our quarrels private in this manor." she smirked, and I saw where Hattie got her looks. Their lips curved up in the exact same condescending way. I chuckled mirthlessly.

"She's starting to frighten me. And I can't talk to her, she won't listen, instead she makes it seem like I'm attacking her."

She was rambling now, but still I listened, curious about matters relating to Hattie for the first time in weeks.

"Ella, really, are honestly telling me that you haven't noticed?"

She only suspected that I had been spending time with her precious Hattie, so I was free to tell the truth, even if she hadn't really ordered me to.

"I only saw her this morning; she called me in to ask her opinion on a gown." Delicia's "gala" had been a lie, but I didn't feel the need to add that detail.

"Really? Well. Did she mention the prince at all?" I shook my head, and Mum Olga looked significantly disappointed.

"I suppose I can understand; after all, becoming queen is what she's always wanted. When she was a little girl, her father--" I had never heard anything about Hattie and Olive's father before, so I listened intently, "--who was a knight, would take her to see the king." King Jerrold? Char's father?

"She always loved the castle, she was obsessed with it. And of course Prince Charmont and Princess Cecelia were only children then, too. The four of them played together…" she trailed off in pleasant remembrance.

"Then her father died." I gasped, involuntarily, and sat down at the kitchen table, and I half-expected Mum Olga to sit with me, but she stayed standing in the doorway.

"Like I said, he was a knight, and there was a situation with ogres and…" this time, she trailed off in order to suppress grief; she closed her eyes, and took a deep breath.

"After that, we moved from Jenn to here. We never visited the castle again, but Hattie was just as preoccupied with it as ever. She talked of nothing but marrying the prince and becoming queen. It was…cute, when she was a child. But her innocent ambitions became an obsession, which, as you know, I nurtured. I regret it now, you know, Ella. She's very depressed; him marrying someone else has destroyed her. I don't know what to do."

I waited a moment, to see if she had finished. She spoke no more; she merely let her head fall back against the door.

"Hattie will have to work things out for herself, Mum Olga." I said. She looked at me, and sighed.

"You're right, as much as I hate to admit it. Goodnight, Ella." She rolled her eyes, and was gone.

Yes, I now knew where Hattie got her looks and her personality.

I cast a nervous glance at the table's direction, and set off upstairs, eager to get into bed and try to forget the things that Mum Olga had told me. They made me want to feel sympathy for her, and I didn't want to feel anything for her. I past Hattie's room on the way to my (guest) room, and I stopped when I heard noises that made my heart skip several beats.

She was crying. Not just crying, in the moderately quite sense of the word, but sobbing like a child, and I felt another pang of unwelcome pity. She sounded helpless and broken, just as Mum Olga had said. I didn't feel her concern, but I was curious, and so I opened her door, which was surprisingly locked, and entered, not at all shocked to see Hattie lying in bed, on her back, tears streaming down her face. It was pathetic and depressing, and yet I thankfully felt nothing.

I walked towards the bed and settled in beside her, turning on my side to face her. She didn't notice my presence. Tears streamed down her face, and sobs escaped her throat at regular intervals.

"Hattie…" it was sickening to watch, so I decided to put a stop to it. She jumped, and sat up, staring at me with wounded eyes.

"What are you doing here?" Her voice was even more nasally than usual, and it made me wince.

"Why are you crying?" I sounded exasperated, rather than concerned.

"Just go away Ella." She closed her eyes, and fell back onto the bed.

"Is it about Char?" I asked, knowing how to get her to stop being so difficult.

"Oh, you call him Char?" I had apparently worsened the issue.

"Hattie--"

"He never asked me to call him that! Never! NEVER!" She was livid. Her cerulean eyes were practically on fire with her fury.

"Hattie, stop it," my voice carried, and she crumbled, falling on me, and sobbing harder than ever. She was crying into my shoulder, clinging to me. I wanted to push her away, but thought better of it, and merely wrapped my arms around her. Suddenly, she looked up at me, and her tear-filled eyes widened, and then her lips were on mine.

"I'm sorry," she breathed, taking my bottom lip between her teeth, "I shouldn't have left you in the kitchen. I'm sorry." She took my face in her hands, and kissed me again, not as needy as before…she was being gentle and careful. Her lips connected with mine for the briefest of moments, and then she pulled away to brush hers against mine, and I would shudder, wishing for the ferocity that came with our previous trysts. But I said nothing. I only responded.

"You need me, don't you, Ella?" She was whispering into my ear, her hands slowly undoing the ties in the front of my nightgown. "Yes, Hattie," I was breathless, yet still apathetic.

Hattie undid the ties, and her hands ran over my breasts, and I shivered. She kissed me again, and my breath caught in my throat when her left hand slid up my dress, across my inner thighs…brushed against my damp knickers…

"Hattie…" I hissed, and she smirked, and I saw the Hattie that I loathed return, in the place of the one that I reluctantly pitied. I preferred this Hattie over the piteous one.

Her fingers pressed against me, and I gasped, arching my back, tilting my head back. As soon as my neck was exposed to her, she pressed her lips to the mark on my neck, kissing it lovingly.

"Hattie…now…" I bucked my hips, pressing against her hand. I was impatient, certainly not in the mood for teasing. She kissed the mark once more, and slid her fingers inside my knickers. I felt dazed; dizzy again, high and eager. She manipulated me easily, pressing against the right places, curling her fingers in just the right way, and kissing me with such fervor that I could only gasp.

A/N: Sorry I didn't have this up yesterday; I changed it halfway through. I feel like such a tease with that last scene, lol. Anyway, I'd love it if you guys would tell me what you think of the back-story I made up for Hattie, Olive, and Dame Olga. I felt like it fit well within the world of Ella Enchanted, and plus it fits so well with the story. Get ready, because the drama really kicks in soon.