So it went on: when the moon was at her richest and fullest the queen would touch me in pleasure, then open me and drink of my blood. She'd heal the cuts that she'd inflict upon me. She possessed the magic to numb the pain of her blade, but she chose not to use it. I learned of her deep capacity for cruelty in that way. The blood magic kept her young and preserved her beauty. It did not come without price. There was an exchange: even as I'd crawl from her chamber, too weak to stand, I'd feel her power in my own blood just beyond reach.

I discovered the mirror by accident. I spent many hours staring at my own reflection. I seemed to age in acceleration. If it was from the Queen's magic or my own misery I did not know. I thought of my family, if only they could see me as the Queen's prisoner for that was how I now recognized myself. Before my eyes the image in the mirror shifted and swirled and my mother was revealed to me. A funeral, my youngest brother: Jacob. He expired before his second summer.

Four winters had passed since I'd been chosen as the Queen's handmaiden. On the nights when the King was in the palace little attention was minded me. Every so often the Queen would come to my chambers, tracks of fallen tears staining her cheeks. She'd lay with me and clutch me to her like a living doll. She'd smell of the King's sweat and ale and she'd cry against my shoulder. When she calmed, she'd turn from me, and I'd listen to her whisper in a language foreign to me: A spell to wither and destroy the King's seed.

She did not want a child of her own. She had a step-daughter, a kind and fair girl. She'd often send me to attend her, and then implore me to recall every detail. Her questions were personal and no matter what I told her it never was the answer she desired. I knew she watched me through the mirror. She did not know I could see her just after we had joined each cycle, and her magic still lingered in me. It did no harm, but I grew careful of my actions even in private. I grew afraid I'd garner her wrath at one misstep. I had witnessed many of the serving girls harshly punished for petty failures at the Queen's hand.

As the time passed, my solitude and fear mounted, as also did my own desire for a child of my own. The other young women of the palace were allowed to have husbands and babies. I was only permitted to hold and mind the young while their mothers worked. If only I could have my own I'd love my child so: kiss her sweet head and bounce her plump body on my knee to elicit gleeful squeals. I'd watch the other girls break to nourish their offspring from their breast, and thought of how I'd cherish a baby in every moment I lived.

It wasn't long before I saw my chance: the hushed talks and gossip in the palace corridors revealed the queen had taken a new prisoner: a male. His lodging was across the hall from my own room, and I caught glimpse of him as he was hauled in by guards. A rugged man, a tug older than myself: a virile man.

I made my preparations and when the chance arrived seven moons later I took it. I borrowed keys from the housemaid and stole into the new prisoner's room. My skills of seduction were rough and unpolished as I only knew of the Queen's tastes for passion. The prisoner was hesitant, convinced I'd been sent by her, but when I covered the mirror that overlooked his bed so she would not see our coupling, he relented to me.

The pain of penetration was nothing compared to the sting of the Queen's dagger. I felt serene as he took me; this visit was not for my pleasure. I only had my end purpose in mind. I knew it would be a long while before I would learn if the endeavor had been a success, but I could not risk visiting him again.

The Queen did not learn of my fornication with her prisoner. If she had seen or caught word, the retribution would have been swift. However, there was something I hadn't foreseen. I went to her as always on the night of the full moon. I knew the cycles of the moon as well as I knew those of my own body. We lay together and when she performed her beauty ritual, as she had taken to referring to it, her eyes always alive with lust for me. She took of my blood, and I braced for the draining feeling it never came to pass.

She grew frantic, cutting and slashing at my skin until her mouth and hands were covered in red. She turned her fury on me, asking what I had done over and over, her volume escalated on each word. I flushed with shame as it still pained me to displease her even after all she had robbed me of.

My blood was no longer virgin.

A/N: This was just a little experimental departure from my usual style of writing. OUAT doesn't focus on the Evil Queen's desire for youth and beauty like in most versions, and I was reading about The Blood Countess: Elizabeth Bathory, and thought it would be kind of interesting if the Evil Queen used blood magic to maintain her looks.