Many Are the Deceivers

A STRANGE DECEPTION

"And, saying these words, this wicked wolf fell upon Little Red Riding Hood, and ate her all up."

(Charles Perrault, Little Red Riding Hood)

A chill ran down the length of her spine, despite the woolen cloak that covered her form. Her grandmother's warnings echoed in her mind. Beware the woods. Beware the wolves. Red Riding Hood shuddered. Superstition and excessive worry. That was all. Her grandmother was just trying to instill in her a healthy level of fear of the unknown. The forest, though dark and immersed in terrifying crunching noises, was really nothing to be feared. No creature lurked about with the sole intent of making her its prey. Of course not. What a silly notion!

"Hello little girl."

His voice cut through the darkness and into her very soul. Red turned to face its owner, but twirled around and saw no one. Her heart raced. Perhaps it was just her imagination taking hold of her? Perhaps her grandmother's silly warnings and superstitions had imbedded themselves so deeply in her mind that….

"I said hello."

A soft touch on her shoulder assured Red of the solidity of her forest companion. She whipped her head around, her red cloak's hood falling back and revealing her cascading locks of ebony hair. A smile greeted her. Warm, welcoming, yellowed. She suppressed a grimace. His skin was golden, his appearance filthy, but enticing. His eyes danced as he watched her appraisal of his form.

"So long it takes you to speak! Were you warned of the dangerous forest, dearie?"

Red nodded.

"I was warned of wolves."

He laughed; a cavernous echo in his chest that did little to ease the girl's spirits.

"I am no wolf."

In an instant his hand was around her neck, his mouth at her ear, their bodies pressed up against a large oak. He pinned her against the trunk with his lithe form.

"I am so much more than a wolf, dearie."

As quickly as he had pinned her against the tree, he was gone, leaving Red gasping and bewildered. She scoured the area around her, but to no avail. He was gone. Who was he? An unfamiliar heat built in the pit of her stomach, she throbbed in areas she didn't know could do such a thing. After a moment's repose, and assuring herself the man had left, she continued on her way for a few steps. A growl stopped her; a cold, animalistic noise that shook her to her very core. In front of her stood a wolf. A true, terrifying wolf, its jaws dripping with saliva as it took in her form. She shrieked, horrified. The creature leapt for her throat; there was no way out, she was about to die. She made her peace with her maker, begged her grandmother's forgiveness, and prepared for that final, devastating blow.

It didn't come.

She opened her blue eyes, the wolf was frozen mid-air before her, its jaws opened wide with vicious intent. She blinked. It remained frozen before her. The hand that had so recently been wrapped around her throat caressed her, its digits railing from her jugular to her rapidly beating heart.

"I have a proposition for you, little darling. Agree to it and this wolf shall never be of danger to you."

"And if I refuse?"

The man waved his hand. The wolf blinked. Red gasped. She did not wish to die so violently, surely any deal made, even with the devil she was almost sure this man was paled in comparison to being torn asunder by the wretched beast hovering in front of her eyes.

"I won't refuse. What is the bargain?"

"I want something of yours. Something precious. Something valuable."

Red looked into his eyes, truly, for the first time. The sparkling wit she found there confused and enticed her. But now was not the time to become entranced by something so foolish as a man's eyes, not with the snarling beast so close to her precious throat.

"I have nothing of value. I've no money. No connections. Nothing to tempt you."

He looked over her form lecherously.

"Are you quite certain of that? I want something precious. Do you have nothing that you consider precious?"

She blushed. She had never…she could not…one look at the wolf before her sealed her fate.

"I am untouched. Is that truly of consequence to you?"

He grinned. So vile a thing she had never seen prior; it was intoxicating in its wretchedness.

"I've so many contracts for the unborn I…." He trailed off, a gleam in his eyes. "I would very much like something tangible of my own I can enjoy."

Her jaw quivered. She bit her lip.

"Who are you?"

"You know who I am."

"Rumpelstiltsken."

He bowed.

"At your service."

Intrinsically Red knew how his deals worked. There was always a catch, always something extra that Rumpelstiltsken got out of his bargains. But, with death glaring her quite literally in the face, what was she to do?

"Where shall I sign?"

He manifested a long piece of parchment and a quill pen with a flick of his wrist. He smiled at her, his excitement palpable. This was quite the new ground for him, quite the new deal. But he would have enough babies of royalty to deal with once his plans were completed. He needed…he deserved something just for himself. Rumpelstiltsken handed the pen to Red Riding Hood.

"Sign on the dotted line, my pet, and we shall have our deal."

She laid the paper across his back and signed without the bat of an eye. He laughed uproariously, gleefully, wretchedly. Another flick of his wrist and the contract and pen were gone, as was the beastly wolf. In his hand, Rumpelstiltsken now held a crystalline wolf. He handed it to Red.

"A reminder."

She nodded.

"Thank you."

He chuckled. She glared at him."

"Why do you laugh?"

"It's nothing."

"Enlighten me."

"No one ever thanks me, especially once they know the full payment for their end of the bargain. But then, you don't quite know now do you, poppet?"

She knew it was too good to be true.

"You want my body. My innocence. Take it. You have earned your payment, I shall not protest."

He giggled with insane laughter, calming himself after a few moments repast in the action.

"That is not all I asked for, sweet, though I am exceedingly glad you will not put up a fight. It makes these kind of things so very difficult, you know."

She blanched. He stalked towards her, pressing her back against that same horrid tree he had her pinned against before their deal. His cool hands ripped open her cloak exposing the small dress she wore beneath it. He was everywhere on her body, his hands roaming her warm flesh; he cupped a breast, she arched against him and against her own will. His eyes found hers, silently holding his sanity for the time being. He kissed her, his surprisingly full lips pressing against her untouched red mouth. His tongue sought entrance into that mouth, a desire into which she unblinkingly lost herself. Red kissed him back with abandon, one of her long legs wrapping around his waist of its own volition, drawing his hardening body closer to hers. He groaned against her, tearing her dress into shreds, leaving her in naught but the cloak tied around her neck and a few scraps of underwear he quickly ridded her of. His fingers sought purchase between her dampened folds as he continued to roughly kiss her sweet, red lips. Never before had she been touched so, and Red found that she was losing herself to the dreaded Rumpelstiltsken; when his thumb flicked across her swollen nub and she spasmed in bliss around his golden fingers, she could not bring herself to regret her decision to sign her life away.

As the beauty before him recovered from what he very correctly guessed was her first orgasm, Rumpelstiltsken readied his hardened cock at her swollen entrance. He nipped at her neck and she groaned his name through clenched teeth.

"This is going to hurt, pet."

She nodded. It was all the assent he required. He thrust into her warm passage, tearing through her innocence with ease. Tears filled her eyes, but Red kept her leg wrapped around his waist; he slowed his thrusts for a few moments before he could no longer contain himself. He buried himself inside of her to the hilt, his mouth continuing its assault on hers, kissing her roughly as he rammed his hardness into her. She came around him, an action he had doubted she would be able to achieve in his taking of her innocence. As her walls pulsed around him, milking his member, he could no longer keep control. He came into her in groaning spurts, moaning her name again and again against her neck. They stood against the tree for moments or hours…eventually he took her cloak off of her and laid it on the ground beneath them. He laid down, pulling the shivering woman onto the makeshift blanket with him. He wrapped an arm around her and found himself immensely surprised when she curled her body against his own. He listened to her breath: shallow and light. He wished forever to hear that noise next to him, to forever have her body in close proximity to his own. She raised herself up so she could stare intently into his eyes.

"Is it always like that?"

"What?"

"You know."

He laughed.

"Ah. That."

"Yes, that."

"No."

She pouted. She had hoped…he brushed a stray hair out of her eyes and smiled in earnest.

"It's better."

Contented with his answer, Red snuggled back into Rumpelstiltsken's arms.

"And our deal? Is it complete?"

"Never."

"I do not wish for you to think of me as a welcher."

"The deal is ongoing."

She raised an eyebrow, he heard rather than watched the action.

"And its endpoint?"

"After the end of eternity…and two weeks beyond."

"Aside from this…arrangement, Rumpelstiltsken, what are the stipulations of the bargain? What is the catch?"

"Why do you need to know?"

"I have already agreed to it, you can have no qualms about telling me to what I have agreed. I shall not back out."

He grinned.

"You agreed to be mine. Always. In this world, in the next, in the every. Mine and no one else's."

"Do I receive assurance of a similar sort of exclusivity?"

"That was not part of the bargain."

"Make an amendment."

He glared at her for a moment before his crazed laughter again filled the woods.

"We shall see."

"I must return to my grandmother's house…she will be waiting for me. I would hate for a search party to find us."

He stood, holding his golden-skinned hand out to her in assistance.

"Would you hate to be found with one such as myself?"

Taking his offered hand, Red stood and wrapped her rumpled cloak around herself, hiding her nudity from Rumpelstiltsken and the other prying eyes of the forest.

"I would not wish for any harm to befall you for any mistaken thoughts any hunters or grandmothers would punish you for…I intend on honoring my part of the bargain, sir, as you have fulfilled yours."

With that, she picked up the crystal wolf from its resting place on the ground, turned on her heel, and walked away. Rumpelstiltsken watched as she retreated towards her grandmother's house. He suppressed a groan when his eyes fell on the blood-stained tree trunk against which he had stolen her innocence. He would make sure to enjoy this bargain until the end of his days, that much was certain.