A/N: Inspired by the song "Love and Anger" by Kate Bush. (I am not a fan of writing in second person POV (because I am not good at it) but this story seemed to only want to come out that way- ha!)
You still remember the taste of the stolen wine. You were 12 summers and she, 14: Caroline. Playing "Prince and Princess" and breaking curses in your room one hot night. Her body was curvy and soft in all the places that yours was still flat and hard. Her lips were sticky and sweet. You didn't hear mother come in. Her discipline was swift and thorough. You never saw Caroline again. You wanted to ask how something that felt so right and so good was considered so bad and so wrong. You never did. You couldn't. Mother was too strict and far too unforgiving to ever risk such a question. It was unnecessary to ask. Through her actions she had already made the answer clear.
You were prepared with care; adorned with jewels, bathed in perfume and dressed in fine garments. You were another gift for the king. Your body didn't respond to him when he kissed and touched you on your wedding night. You remained cold and unfeeling. You let him believe that it was his fault. You let him think that it was his age which repulsed you. He didn't know your young heart was hate-ravaged and broken. You were unable to love any man. You wanted to tell him, but could never find the words. His visits to your room were thankfully rare.
You ordered the traitorous Huntsman to your bed chamber in order to punish him. You kept him chained so he couldn't touch you. You took from him, and you continued taking even after the curse was enacted. For years when time stood still, he was safe and convenient. Even in the new world you didn't risk indulging your proclivities. He suspected at times, you were sure. He barely knew you, but he knew you better than anyone else. You took comfort in him. He never asked, but you would have told him your secret.
You were drawn right away to her strength and bravery, but you'd never let her know. She had been willing to risk her life to save him. For a moment you forgot to bury the part of you that seemed to constantly claw its way up no matter how hard you worked to push it down. You were certain she had seen it in you. You wanted to let it all go. You almost closed the narrow gap between your bodies. You almost kissed her. You couldn't burden her like that. You couldn't trust her not to reject you.
When you finally invited her into your son's life, you had also unwittingly invited her into yours. It couldn't be avoided. She was too invested. You had your reasons for not getting close to women. The farther you retreated, the closer she came. A late night, another version of "Prince and Princess," lips sticky sweet with wine. She asked you outright. There was no shame in the question. You dismissed her. How easy to take the opportunity and confess. You weren't ready.
You were always burying it; masking your feelings with insults and sharp barbs. As quickly as you could bury, she dug. She uncovered the truth without you realizing it. She chipped away at you, unraveled you. With each confrontation and every conversation she forced you to be honest. She brought you to the surface. You needed her. You thought you'd have to beg her to love you. She loved you without you even having to ask. You were hopeful. Asking her to be discreet wasn't an option. You'd never ask her to bury anything, even when you were the one exposed.