Disclaimer: I own neither the book nor the movie. Woe is me.

Author's Note: The pairing is QueenxStayne. Simply because I love it. Sue me.

Warning: Implications of sex.

XXoXXoXX

She awakes slowly.

Arms surround her, caging her in their web. She shifts slightly, raises one hand over the bare skin of her back. Her fingers scrabble for purchase, finding it in the grasp of the long, spidery hand scuttling along her spine, and she entwines her fingers with those pale digits. His body settles against hers; all is still.

She lays there quietly, wishing for nothing more than to continue this moment of silence and warmth. She listens intently to the sound of his breathing; shallow and raspy, in and out, in and out. And in his silence she imagines words in those open lips.

'I love you,' he whispers, or rather, she imagines him whispering. Because she knows that he'll never say something like that to someone like her. Because she knows that he comes here because he is commanded to do so.

Because she knows her attraction is one-sided.

And so she keeps quiet for the moment, satisfied in her imagination but painfully yearning for the real thing.

Her eyes fall onto the crumpled sheets, thrown haphazardly over them during the night. She focuses on the pasty blue smears of makeup staining the sheet, the patches of foundation sifting into the fabric.

For a moment, she wishes she could keep it; a reminder, almost, of the love she wanted but would never have. But she knows it must be burned, for if the servants were to catch sight of it, there would be talk.

And executions.

A stray beam of light makes its way under the thickset curtains. She watches it with both irritation and a sense of foreboding. For the light signals the end of their time together.

She feels the shifting of the cloth, and the arms that held her release and slid off fluidly. She doesn't need to turn to know that he is sitting up against the headboard, looking down at her. Because this is how it always goes, and how it always is.

When she finally decides to look at him, she catches him off guard; he's staring at the window.

She winces at this. She knows he does not love her, that he never will, but it hurts nonetheless that he is sitting there, waiting for his time to leave. That he loathes her presence so much that he cannot bear being in her company any longer than he must.

He must see her looking at him, because he turns his attention away from the window to her. He locks eyes with her for only a moment before glancing towards the door and back at her again.

It feels as if a stone is lodged in her throat.

She knows what he wants. "Go," she chokes harshly. He looks at her for a moment, as if hesitant, but he slowly climbs from underneath the heap of sheets and blankets and lets himself slide from the bed. He dresses slowly, but she does not look at him this time. Because she's hurt. Because she's angry.

Because she's too busy hiding her tears.

She cries silently in the bed, hiding her face in the sheets. Her tears are hot, and angry, and shameful, but she lets them fall anyways, and they soak into the already damp sheets. She bites her lip to keep from screaming.

A hand touches her back.

She slaps it away. The hand draws away.

The door shuts behinds him.

And now she screams, because she hates him. Because she loves him.

Because Stayne will never, ever be hers.