Title: Disillusion
Author: Sapphire Smoke
Beta(s): BellaRei713
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Rating: M
Pairing: Cora/Eva
Summary: It was merely supposed to be an amusing game, breaking the princess's heart.

The driving force behind Cora's actions as of late seemed to have become the delicious combination of her burning hatred and lust for revenge. The feeling of wanting to destroy those who thought themselves her better consumed her sanity, fueling the decisions and experiences that, in hindsight, were probably best left unexplored. It was a maddeningly blinding emotion, one that shielded Cora from all the ways it could go wrong until it was far too late.

It was merely supposed to be an amusing game, breaking the princess's heart. Life in the castle was terribly tedious at times and the distraction seemed efficient enough to cure both her boredom and her desire for revenge against the girl who had once humiliated her. Cora was not, in any way, supposed to enjoy the way the child looked at her; with wide, innocent eyes, Eva's gaze now filled with a sense of trust and care every time Cora took her to bed.

Having only seen a mere eighteen winters, Eva knew nothing of the world. It was, perhaps, the girl's naivety that caused her to succumb to Cora's advances far too easily. Anyone with half a brain would have mistrusted the sorceress's intentions, yet Eva held such hope for the fantasy of romanticism that she overlooked the obvious and fell into Cora's arms without so much as a thought. It truly was disgustingly pathetic, yet Cora basked in her victory nonetheless as she ripped the girl's innocence away, claiming the prize as her own.

Eva's lips were parted, her bosom flushed a deliciously rosy hue as she gasped into the stillness of the room, holding onto the one thing she believed was true in a world filled with nothing but politics and lies. Cora pressed her lips to her ear, softly encouraging, "Hush, love, we wouldn't want anyone to hear," as she twisted her fingers within the girl's depths, drawing out a needy whimper as perfectly shaped nails dug into the skin of her back.

"Cora," Eva breathed, the name falling from her lips with reckless abandon, giving the entirety of herself over to the one person who had wanted to crush her heart into dust. Cora hated herself for her inability to stop this madness, as she feared what it could mean, but as she drew another shuddered gasp from the girl beneath her, the older woman trying to convince herself that she only allowed this insanity to continue for the intense sexual gratification it gave her. It wasn't as though her husband was the world's best lover, after all; she had to have her needs met somewhere.

Cora's tongue traced the hollow of Eva's throat, feeling the girl's pulse jump and quicken beneath her touch. Eva's thighs clamped tightly around the older woman's wrist, a needy whimper escaping her lips as she bucked her hips against her hand. Burying her face in her neck, Eva breathed in the woman's scent as though it were something to be cherished and remembered. It caused an uncomfortable feeling to twist in the base of Cora's gut, and to remind herself why she did this, her free hand came up to cover the girl's mouth as teeth sunk into porcelain skin, reminding herself that Eva was nothing but a mere possession. The cry of surprise was muffled and Eva's fingernails drew crescent marks upon her back, tearing into the blackness that consumed Cora's soul.

It was like an infection, the way Eva's innocence filled her with an uncontrollable need, eradicating the purpose that these stolen moments were supposed to have. The princess clung to her, trembling beneath the weight of Cora's body and the feeling her ministrations allotted her, breathing inaudible praises against her skin as she allowed a former peasant to consume her in the most intimate of ways. It was perhaps that which angered Cora the most, as she knew Eva would have never allowed such a thing to pass between them before a crown graced her head. It was a disgusting standard, and although Cora desired to punish the girl for it, she also did not wish to lose the source of the only pleasure allotted her in this empty place. It was a routine that, after all these months, Cora found incredibly hard to break.

A testament to her own foolish weakness, surely.

Her eyes darkening at that thought, Cora pressed the back of her thigh against her hand, pushing into Eva with furious intent, wishing to fuck the breath from the girl's lungs and the sanity from her mind until all Eva could see, all she could think was of Cora alone. A mere miller's daughter, filled with so much ambition and strength that she now had a princess constantly falling to her knees before her, begging to be corrupted by Cora's unwavering lust for power and control. Eva was owned, utterly and completely, and the older woman basked in the feeling of dominance it provided her. She just wished it was the only feeling that sought to consume her, for how much Cora was beginning to enjoy this was becoming rather dangerous.

There was something about the way Eva smiled when she saw her, the expression radiating from her delicate features as though the mere sight of Cora was something she held so very dear. A lifetime of being looked down on, of being belittled or outright ignored caused Cora to foolishly crave the feeling of importance, even from someone who once believed she was less than the dirt beneath her slippers. It was pathetic, truly, and every time Cora found herself flattered by the doting attention, she hated herself just a little bit more. She didn't need anyone, and she certainly didn't need her.

If anything, it was Eva who found herself desperately craving the attention that was paid to her. It was a belief that Cora constantly reminded herself of, as nearly every other night during the princess's visits she hid beneath the cover of magic, watching each time that Eva would find a delicate red rose placed upon her pillows in the guest's chamber, Cora's silent request for the girl come to her that night. Eva would bite her bottom lip, a smile breaking out across her face as she picked up the flower and placed it against her lips, smelling what she believed was proof of someone's care for her. The mere sight of it seemed to make Eva unfathomably happy, perhaps believing that she was being courted, and Cora found it pleased her for all the wrong reasons.

What used to be a rather straightforward plan was now clouded by an immense confusion caused by the foolish desire to feel important to someone, and the uncertainty the situation now held put Cora at a terrible unrest.

"Please," Eva begged against her lips, hands tangling in chestnut locks as pleasure etched across her face, her longing for a deeper connection being proven by how desperately she pressed against Cora, needing to feel all of her, to fall into her completely. It was such a foolish desire, for even should she manage to, it would only condemn her to the darkness and hatred that lined Cora's blackened heart. It would destroy her, for it was unfathomable that loving the sorceress would bring anything other than pain. "Please, I need…"

"Tell me," Cora encouraged, the words being hissed in Eva's ear in a near challenge. The princess flushed, still too young and innocent to speak openly about her sexual desires. But it was that which aroused Cora the most; the need to corrupt the girl as much as she could, for there was something immensely pleasing about molding a person to one's will. She traced the shell of Eva's ear with her tongue, eliciting a shudder and a whimper of desire before Cora breathed, "Tell me, my dear, and see all your needs met."

Her cheeks reddening further, Eva buried her face in the crook of her lover's neck as she forced herself to request through bated breath, "Please, your… your mouth. I-I need…" Her words were drowned in an audible gasp as Cora's fingers brushed the tender spot within her, smirking at her power over the girl's competent thought. Her grasp tightening in chocolate waves, Eva pressed her lips to flushed skin as she breathed, "Please, Cora… kiss—kiss me down there… I— Gods, please just…"

Though it wasn't nearly as explicit a request as Cora would have preferred to come from the lips of such purity and innocence, it certainly was good enough for the time being. Heeding to Eva's ever growing desire, Cora consented with a murmured, "As you wish, love," feeding into the girl's belief of respect and care that Cora desperately wished was born from a more sarcastic way of thinking.

It was an unfathomable picture of beauty though, being between Eva's thighs as her back arched and her breathing hitched, causing her hips to drive deeper into Cora's wanton tongue. Eva's hands grasped at the bedding, her toes curling as Cora tasted what should be forbidden to anyone outside of the husband that would soon fill the princess's future. Eva's body began to quake after mere moments and she turned her face to muffle her cries of pleasure into her pillow, hips bucking relentlessly against Cora's mouth as the older woman sought to drink up everything that she was. Possession, it seemed, truly did sate her better than the brief feeling of unbridled ecstasy ever could.

The pleasure was soon shattered, however, by the sound of a soft sob that enveloped the silence of the room after Eva had fallen from her high.

Cora blinked, taken aback so abruptly by the sight of the princess covering her face, trying to hide the shame of her tears, that no words could fall from her lips in response. An uncomfortable tightness settled in Cora's chest, threatening to tear her sanity apart as she realized, in one, singular moment of clarity and self-disgust, that some part of her actually cared. It was that thought which caused Cora's question of, "What on earth is the matter?" to come out more biting than she intended, as she needed Eva to believe a lie that was starting to look disturbingly akin to truth as of late.

"I'm sorry," Eva hastily apologized, looking thoroughly embarrassed by her own emotional outburst as she tried to scramble from the bed, seeking distance from the shame the moment entailed. "I… I should retire to my own bed, it's getting late…"

"Eva," Cora said strongly, a firm hand clasping around the princess's delicate wrist as she stilled her frantic movements. Eva turned towards her, eyes reddened and cheeks stained with fresh tears, the vulnerably in her demeanor seeking to shatter Cora's façade of emotional indifference. "No one has ever left my chambers in tears and I certainly do not intend to allow it now." She gently pulled Eva back towards the bed. "Sit," Cora commanded. "Tell me what ails you, my love."

Eva looked at her helplessly, brushing the fallen tears away with the pads of her fingers. "It's foolish," she whispered, her voice sounding so terribly small. "And it really does not matter, as nothing can be done to change it."

Cora took in the young girl's appearance, the distress masking her features as she looked at Cora as though she almost feared… loss, perhaps? "This is about your betrothal, isn't it?" Cora guessed, and the guilt and shame that filled Eva's eyes was enough of an affirmation to her question.

"Leopold is a wonderful king," Eva told her softly, as though any insistence to the contrary would condemn her to treason on the spot. "But I… we have yet to even meet; I am frightened that when the time comes, he will not care for me in the way that—" Her eyes met Cora's, the words dying in her throat from the look she was met with.

"Do not delude yourself into believing we have anything to offer one another outside of this room," Cora told her harshly, an uncomfortable feeling settling in her gut at the standards Eva had made; she did not want to become the thing the princess compared happiness to, for Cora had never felt true happiness in all her years of existence. What they had, whatever they had, was nothing more than a façade. "Women are married off because that is what the men of this realm believe we are built for. However, their status is a stepping stone for us to obtain true power, and to reject it would be nothing short of foolish. You are to be Queen, Eva; do you have any idea how many covet the position that was offered to you?"

Cora, perhaps, above all the rest. It was for that very reason that her words came out bitter and angry, unable to comprehend how Eva could not recognize how lucky she was, to have everything handed to her on a silver platter, when Cora herself had to shed blood, sweat, and tears to be able to claw her way to the top.

"But I don't want power," Eva told her, eyebrows knitting as though she could not fathom where Cora was coming from. "I want love. Is that not the most important thing in this world?"

Cora scoffed. "A foolish sentiment from a foolish child," she reprimanded her, causing Eva's head to duck in shame. "Love is not for people like us, no matter how badly we may covet it. Unless you wish to be stripped of your title and your status and live amongst the commoners – which, I assure you, dear, is not pleasant – you will do what is expected of you."

Cora wished she could believe that she was solely saying this for her own benefit, as being close with the Queen would give her an unfathomable advantage with future plans, but there was a small part inside of her that was concerned that Eva would never be able to survive outside the palace walls. She was bred to become Queen; no more, and certainly no less. The girl had no idea what she was wishing for, and Cora would rather she learn the truth from her than make a decision she could never come back from.

It sickened her a little, to realize that she may hold something akin to actual emotion for the girl before her. That was certainly not her intention when she began this silly little tryst, and Cora was fairly sure that nothing good would ever come from it.

Still, Eva was beginning to look rather wounded by the way she was speaking to her, and the expression on her face tugged at Cora's humanity. Cupping the girl's face gently in her hand, she brushed her thumb over the last of her tears. "I'm not saying this to hurt you," she assured her, as there was no fathomable gain in breaking Eva's heart; at least, not anymore. After all, it was far better to have an alliance with the future Queen than to scorn her for one, singular moment of petty revenge. "I merely wish to disillusion you, for your path in life has been set. You must walk it."

Wet lashes hit flushed cheeks and Eva leaned into her touch, exhaling a shuddered breath. "I do not wish to walk any path, should it mean I be stolen from your side," she whispered, the words coming out rather broken and painful. She looked up at her, blue eyes swimming in fresh tears as she told her, "It is you that completes me, Cora; not wealth, and certainly not power."

Despite herself, Cora could feel her heart softening at those words. Her smile was small, sympathetic, as she brushed the hair from Eva's eyes. "My poor, sweet girl," she breathed, wishing the sentiment meant so much less than it did. "You have brought so much pleasure to my life these last few months, but pleasure is futile and short lasting. You are meant for much grander things than my bed, my dear."

Eva shook her head, reaching up to clasp Cora's hand that still rested delicately against her cheek. "There is nothing more grand than you," she told her firmly, as though she believed every word. "How can you not see your true worth? Your beauty is unmatched, your ambition admirable. You are the person every woman wants to become, the one every man wants to take into their bed. You were born into poverty, yet fought against the challenges your upbringing presented you and learned to spin straw into gold, Cora; there isn't even a word to describe the level of awe you inspire in those around you. Your power stands unmatched against all others, and I am thankful every day that it is I you chose to be worthy of your affections."

They were words, just mere words, and yet the feelings they invoked within Cora were both unwavering and strong. Eva looked at her with such worshiping fascination, as though she were the reason the sun rose in the morning, and it was hard, not to get caught up in its wake. Closing her eyes, knowing her indifference was being defeated by something much more powerful, Cora leaned her forehead against Eva's. "Don't be a fool," she pleaded softly. "You know we cannot be together in the way that you want. Love is weakness; don't let it devour you, for I promise it will become the thing you regret most in this life."

"No," Eva breathed, shaking her head as she cupped the back of Cora's neck possessively. "I will only find myself with regrets, should I ever foolishly walk away from the beauty you bring into my life. And that, Cora, is something I never plan to do."

It was such a naïve promise from a naïve girl, and yet Cora found herself believing the lie against her better judgment. Her lust for power waned in the face of becoming someone's everything; finding unmatched importance from one, instead of the acceptance of many. It was a decision that filled Cora with regret in the years to come, as she allowed Eva to slowly chip away at the barrier around her heart until she had no defenses left. She allowed her in, offered her everything, yet when the time came for them to run away from the world and into each other's arms, Eva turned away from her in favor of starting a family.

It was merely supposed to be an amusing game, breaking the princess's heart. Yet, in the end, it was the remnants of Cora's broken one that lay locked tight in a box, reminding her what was truly important in this world, and how she should never be so foolish as to allow anyone to disillusion her again.

- FIN –