Only a single click, a twitch of the fingers really, was needed to switch off the lamp to the right of the bed. It seemed only fitting that she extinguish the light on her side, leaving his the sole source of illumination in the room. Its warm glow diffused into the shadows, neither strong nor weak, but perfect for their purposes. Mood lighting, a part of her prompted, and the thought coaxed a small smile as she made her way back to him.

Hands fidgeting in front of him, she couldn't help but marvel at the emotion he radiated. There was no mask, no artifice, only a maelstrom of anxiety and love and something that looked suspiciously like a tentative flicker of hope fighting to stay alive inside it all. With any luck, that hope would flourish to drown out his unease, and Belle winged a prayer up to whoever might be listening that she wouldn't spoil the opportunity he had parted with so dearly.

Laying a hand against his chest, her fingers itched to resume the work she'd abandoned, but a small voice of reason rejected the idea. They crept upwards instead, pale against the cornflower wrinkles in his shirt, to hide in the grey-flecked hair falling over the nape of his neck. Stepping into the circle of his arms, the slight pressure of her touch brought him close enough to leave an unhurried kiss on the corner of his mouth.

A pause of shared breath, one crystalline perfect moment where in blurred into out, and her lips were on his almost before she'd registered the decision, undemanding now in contrast to her earlier zeal. Sipping kisses at first, unspoken offerings of love youand thank you exchanged in faint electrical impulses only their hearts would recognize. When he interrupted the easygoing rhythm to suck at her upper lip, the hunger belied in the tightening of his hold on her hip spurred the coil of a very different sort of spark low in her stomach.

Together. They would do this together.

Lips separating with a wet pop, the instinctive flash of his tongue as he sought to capture the last of her taste almost chased words from her mind. With a light tug on the forgotten vest, Belle recouped her wits and entreated shakily, "Help me, Rumple.Please."

The breath left her lungs to be taken in by his, slightly faster than minutes before. Her body missed his heat the moment he pulled away, and for a moment she worried he might not return, but it was only to remove the waistcoat and drop it in a puddle on the dresser. In seconds Belle was again wrapped in loving arms, the uncertainty tainting his flickering would-be smile completely at odds with the growing confidence the effort had inspired in her. Rising on tiptoe, she captured his lips with gusto, the hand fisted in his hair grounding them both.

She was content to stand there and kiss for as long as he wanted, lost in the river of sensations his tongue could produce. So used to being the one to initiate things of late, it came as a surprise to feel his hand slowly entwine with hers on his shoulder, and affection blossomed into wonder as a moment later, he brought them to rest on the first of the buttons yet fastened. Kiss stuttering briefly, her eyes flew open only to see his still resolutely screwed shut. A squeeze spoke thank you before her other hand left his hair and joined its twin, nimbly finishing the work they'd started. One button, then another, and another; slow enough to avoid the feel of an attack but fast enough to avoid prolonging any discomfort. Until now a quiet simmer, her excitement to see him, really see him again, flared hot under her skin.

Breaking the kiss as the last of the buttons gave way, Belle was relieved to see her love as out of breath as she. Lungs expanded and deflated rapidly, though whether more in desire or anxiety, she could only guess. Unable to quite meet her eyes, Rumplestiltskin's fingers twitched by his side, index and thumb rubbing in a way she knew comforted him, grounded him, meant to distract from the wide swathe of skin bared by the gap in his last armored layer.

Still, he didn't make to cover himself, and with every twitch that revealed the thought to have crossed his mind, Belle could not have been more proud. Her True Love was braver than he ever gave himself credit; only a respect for the moment kept her from remarking so aloud.

Not wanting him to feel exposed or scrutinized, she kept close, but refused to hide the enthusiasm naked in her features. Let him see, she thought, see and enjoy what otherwise he would miss under the cover of darkness. See pupils blown wide as fingertips gently pushed the button-up from his shoulders. The quickening rise and fall of her chest as his was bared inch by inch, appreciative fingers slipping down his arms to chase the fabric from skin she longed to feel against her own. One arm free, then the other, the shirt hit the floor.

The light on the nightstand was more forgiving than the one overhead, but its glow left little to the imagination. Without clothes, his torso was broader than she expected, and her first thought was that Rum looked more like the noblemen she'd seen growing up than the peasant he must have been. What once had only been touch memory in the dark resolved itself into a thicker waist and lovehandles that begged to be nibbled, his belly bulging soft and heavy over the support of his waistband. He had buttoned his trousers under its curve, the fabric creasing what could only be uncomfortably from being pushed into such a position.

Unable to stop herself, she trailed her fingers through the sparse hair at his navel. The sensation, so long a fixture of fantasies, charmed a grin to spread across lips longing to press where fingers now danced. With any luck he would enjoy that, she reflected inwardly, her eyes drinking in his body on the path upwards to meet his stare. Lust was new to the mix there, darkening his eyes and helping to smooth some of the lines fear brought out near his mouth. But still it was hope, fragile and honest, that soothed her most of all.

How he could ever think she would find fault was beyond her. To her, having fallen in love with a man gold-green and scaled, this was just one more change, and hardly one as drastic. If thin gold-flecked lips had whispered beautiful over and over the first time they had made love instead of those now flushed from her kisses, would the perfection of the moment have been diminished? Not likely. Belle moved to stroke the flesh on his sides, and when the light scratch of her nails just above the top of his waistband coaxed a shiver, she could only breathe one word:

"Beautiful."

Some of the tension went out of him at the statement, his shoulders and neck no longer rigid with barely disguised worry. A sad little laugh sneaked between his lips, no doubt at the memento of their first night, and his gaze fell once more from hers. "You can't mean that, love. But I thank you."

"I do," she replied simply, knowing that words alone would not suffice. A little bolder, she traced over the fuller flesh of his chest, and his gaze locked on to where one finger slowly circled a pert nipple. His nostrils flared with an indrawn breath. "Let me show you?"

Swallowing, he tore his eyes away from her ministrations, and it was his turn to level her with a single word, "Please."

His tone tugged at some thread inside her, sending shockwaves from her thudding heart to her core. A little shaken, she managed, "I'm going to need your help with the dress."

Tweaking the bud she'd teased, Belle gave herself a second to enjoy his gasp before slowly turning. After being deprived of it for so long, no matter how self-inflicted, Belle wanted him to undress her, a privilege he treasured. Peeling back layer after layer to worship her flesh beneath always left his hands trembling.

They trembled even now, especially now, as calloused fingertips swept aside her hair in a tender caress and alighted upon the cool metal of the zipper. It clicked faintly as he dragged it downwards, parting the two halves once the metal reached its end and needing only a weak push to drop the garment to the floor. She shivered as the air hit her exposed back, but the reverent touch of his hands against her spine took away some of the chill.

Like brands, his eyes trailed across her skin, and Belle didn't require magic to know his attention was captivated by the thin lace spanning her hips and back. Lacey had imparted an understanding of lingerie, and while Belle found herself without an affinity for the racier pieces, the knowledge came in handy as she'd selected the outfit earlier that afternoon. The rich claret color suited her style, worlds away from Lacey's blacks and blues, and when she turned to face him, the surprise of the bra's sheerness hinting at what it contained was enough to silence the words he'd seemingly planned.

"You like it?"

"More than anything," he whispered, unable to stop his gaze from sliding to her bust.

Plucking at the lace on her hips, she tried to hold her voice steady and said, "Look now, because I'm not keeping this on. I want you to feel me, feel everything. And then you'll know, sweetheart." Staring into his eyes, she slowly lowered the fabric, steeling herself against modesty when gravity took over and left her bare.

Rum choked at the sight, reaching for her almost unconsciously before seeming to think better of it.

"Gods, Belle… I…"

The plea trailed off with a soft puff of air, gaze fondling the curls once covered by silk in ways hands refused to. Despite the hope he might pull her against him, as his muscles clearly screamed to, his hands merely hovered over the pale skin of her hips and torso, enough to keep her from stepping closer when she tried. They lightly grazed flesh where the urge to rub, knead, memorize every centimeter with his palms stood out in the shaking of his forearms, desire held in check by the latent worry that seeing was one thing, bad enough, but to feel him –

The thoughts telegraphed across his features, and Belle wanted nothing more than to put a stop to them.

Leaving the bra on, a little treat for when the time came to take it off, she coaxed him backwards, taking some of his weight as they stumbled the few steps to the bed. His ankle would feel it in the morning, she reflected with an inward wince, but as the back of his knees hit the mattress and he obeyed her direction, sinking into its embrace, it seemed the pain was the farthest thing from his mind.

Peering upwards, he grasped instinctively at her waist, his firmer grip in counterpoint to the caress that swept aside the fringes of hair nearly falling into his eyes. They closed and he leaned into the touch, and Belle took the moment to observe with impunity. His trousers bunched in such a way as to hide the bulge she'd hoped to find there, if it existed at all, but the way his stomach rolled over the waistband, starting from his back and thickening as it reached his front, arrested her gaze before she could truly determine. The sudden spike of want crested, hot and shivery, both tempered and enflamed by the warm amber disks now open and blinking upwards at her.

"You're so handsome," she breathed. "I've been dreaming about this all day."

"Yeah?"

A little more certain, he didn't stop her as she straddled his lap, not quite pressing where she wanted to most. The juxtaposition of fabric against her thighs and even smoother flesh against her arms where they looped around his neck was intoxicating. His belly almost brushed hers, and when she scooted forward to bring herself against his still clothed cock, it pushed flush against her own.

Tension still hummed in every fiber of his being, and she started slow again with soft kisses, letting him get used to the feeling of having his arms full again. He deepened them after a moment, and she could tell when he began to let go and enjoy the kiss for the unconditional thing it was.

Giving in to desire, she glided over his shoulders and chest, the firm muscle exposed in the first still present even in the second, just with a bit more give. Her fingers played over his nipples, rubbing and circling in a way that had his breath quickening and pulled quiet moans from his throat. Aware of how delicate things were, Belle didn't try to reach anything else, no matter how much she longed to touch his thighs or stomach again. His arms were tight around her.

Kisses left his mouth to trail down his neck, alternating between teasing licks and rougher bites. Harsh gasps left his mouth with each firm suck on the flesh between her lips, and when she ground against his lap, Belle could have laughed from relief to feel him there, hardening against her thigh.

"I miss this," she said breathlessly, taking a break from lavishing his neck, "Missed you."

"I did too, love," he whispered, words that faded into a groan as she rocked against his still clothed erection beneath her. The sensation of his trousers against sensitive folds was incredible, and while for a second she worried for the ruin of his pants, his small countercircles and thrusts upward meant he clearly wasn't.

It had been two months, more really, since they'd done anything like this, and the way his eyes kept fluttering closed spoke to the same sensory overload she felt building within herself. Rum kneaded the flare of her waist with more force than she could remember, almost barely conscious of the way he brought her against him. Her lover was a passionate man, docile and ardent by turns in bed, and the return of both halves of him was like seeing the sun after so long locked away.

When his hands came to fondle her breasts through the restriction of her bra, Belle grabbed one and interlocked their fingers. "You need to feel something," she purred into his ear, bringing their joined hands to her core and slowly releasing his fingers.

"Feel that, Rum?" Her lip snuck between her teeth as he teased her folds with a single finger, the arm about her waist crushing her to him loosening ever so slightly.

Awe was written plainly in the slackness of his jaw, wide eyes scrutinizing her face so as to not miss any of the pleasure flickering across it. When she bucked against his hand, trying to speed up his motions, and instead brushed against his cock, those eyes snapped shut and he all but melted against her. "You've never been so wet, deargods," he moaned, and combined with the slow teasing around her opening, it sent shockwaves rippling down her body.

Raising herself onto her knees to give him better access, she forced her sigh to become words. She loved seeing this, seeing him unravel and uncaring that every inch of them was pressed together. "That's all because of you, sweetheart. There's no faking it, you know that."

He nodded, tucked under her chin, and pressed needy wet kisses against her neck. His middle finger, now joined by index and ring, swept through the wetness that was quickly forming. To her frustrated approval, they refused to speed up. Forward and backward, forward and backward, agonizingly slow and gentle.

She extracted herself from the jigsaw like fit after a moment, leaning close to suck on the lobe of his ear. Her hair spilled over his shoulder and neck, and he whimpered at the competing sensations when she mouthed against his skin, "I want you, and I'm just going to get wetter and wetter the more I see of you, the more I touch you."

Leaving off the part that his expert hands would also play a role, she felt his relief and courage as if they surged through her own body as the last of the tension left his shoulders. Belle took it as an okay to resume touching, and though his hands played with the complex folds of her pussy and hers followed the curve of his belly, sweeping up and down his sides as love handles pushed over the waistband, she couldn't say which touch was more private and dearly given.

To her delight, Rum seemed to enjoy her ministrations, her pressure too firm to be tickling as she stroked flesh longing for her attention for who knew how long. When she finally reached for the button straining in front, he took hold of the clasp of her bra.

Mouths fusing in a kiss dominated by teeth and tongue, they unbuttoned at the same time.

Their mouths separated with a wet sound, obscene and perfect, Belle climbing off so he could remove his pants and boxers more easily. He shimmied out of them as best as he could, clumsy from ankle and position, and she seated herself behind him to wrap him in her arms when he finished. Breasts pushing into his back, she licked in long swathes over the patchworked skin of his neck, admiring the roses sown by her eager mouth that would fade to irises and asters come morning.

"This was one of my favorite fantasies," Belle confessed, indulging herself by slipping two fingers into her mouth before bringing them to his right nipple. "It never failed to make me come."

He pushed into her hand, barely managing, "Tell me."

The statement, as much plea as command, made her ache. Swallowing down any lingering self-consciousness, Belle let her mind's imaginings fuse with the motions of her body. Her tone tried for coy, but came out almost strained. "I'd suck on your neck, like I was, and my right hand would tease your nipples, I know how you love it…"

She tightened her hold on him, pausing a moment to nibble just under his ear. "And my left would rub and stroke," her hand followed the direction of her words, moving down to cup his belly which sagged slightly without the support of his trousers. Her knuckles brushed against the base of his cock, bobbing temptingly with little shivers at her words, and a grunt came from low in his throat.

"I tell you how much I want you, love you," Belle took a breath, determined to say the last part no matter how embarrassing she thought it was or how funny the word sounded in her mouth, "and I liked to imagine that, that precum would drip from your cock onto my hand."

The gasp Rum let out at her confession was the best answer she could have received, made only better by the moan on its heels and the sudden shift of his body in her arms. He gently pulled her half into his lap, muttering brokenly, "The things I want to do when you say such things, Belle, you can't even imagine."

"You could always –"

Try me was lost to a low cry as he suckled her breasts like a babe, gentle nibbles interspersed with full licks making her toes curl. One hand supported her back in the contorted position as the other pinched her forgotten breast, but her own could do nothing but let his hair run through her fingers and hold his head where it was.

A nibble that was more of a bite ripped a cry from her throat, and the moisture pooling between her thighs begged her to hurry up. Tugging on his hair drew his head back, saliva still glistening on her skin and on his lips, and she couldn't resist ducking her head to capture his mouth for one long drag.

Parting, Belle took in the flush of his face and the darkness of his pupil all but devouring the brown around it. Her voice brooking no argument, she said, "Lie back, love."

With some effort, he did just that, using arms stronger than they looked to push himself closer to the headboard. He leaned back against the pillows propped at the head, and Belle was dismayed to see an echo of old worry flitting briefly across his face as he unfurled completely, revealing everything to her gaze.

Stalking closer on hands and knees, she straddled his thighs and licked her lips unconsciously at the view. There were red lines scoring the pale skin of his torso from his trouser waistband, and, bending over his eager cock, her lips sought them out in empathy, not pity. If he was wearing the wrong size out of pride, she made a mental note to change it.

"Do you know how beautiful you are?" She sucked at the flesh of his stomach, her gaze flicking up to hold his. He didn't respond, and Belle was reminded with a jolt how much it crazed him to watch her touch him, seeing her touch his nipples, thighs, cock.

Her time as Lacey had expanded her vocabulary of this world's slang and more sordid terms, and she found some slipping out without meaning to. "Absolutely sexy is what you are."

He grinned, a little shy for all that they were doing, and she burned into her memory the moment his eyes closed with a hiss as her breasts brushed his twitching cock. Intrigued by the avalanche of new ideas, Belle wrapped her hand around the straining length of it, pumping in time with his pained moans.

The question was out of her mouth before she could stop it.

"Want to try something different?"

His eyes snapped open, and he shook his head vigorously. "Yes yes yes. Do whatever pleases you, Belle."

Grinning in what she hoped was a sultry manner, more for his benefit than hers, she cupped her breasts in her small hands and watched him stare as if it was the most beautiful sight he'd ever seen. No matter that she was bent over clumsily, or the flesh in her palms wasn't as large as perhaps she'd like. Rum looked at her as he would a goddess.

"I'm a little more interested in what pleases you, right now," she replied with a cheek she couldn't contain, running one of her nipples up the vein that ran on the underside of his cock.

Whether from the sight or the sensation, he panted, breathing out "Do that again" in an accent so thick she could barely understand. Humoring him, she decided to one up the movement, her curiosity blending with desire and the love of seeing him, spread out and open, all for her.

Using her hands to hold her breasts together, she slid his cock inelegantly between them. The burning skin was like silk against the delicate valley of her tits, as Lacey supplied, and while she couldn't move very vigorously, it didn't seem to matter. Lube would have helped, as would having a bigger bust, but the wrecked sounds he was making as he pressed his head against the pillows belied any problem with the arrangement.

The beauty of it was all in the display: her touching herself and him, taking the time to flick a nipple here and there while her fingers made up for the part of his girth her breasts couldn't cover. There was hardly any power in his movements, only instinctual little thrusts that, by his moans and pleas to continue, seemed to be doing more than any pounding he could have given her pussy in the dark.

And the best part of it was, he had to look at his body to see her, but he wasn't seeinghimself for once. He was, quite simply, enjoying himself.

Precum, beading rapidly at the head, helped to ease her way, and she paused a moment to lap up a small amount. The slightly salty tang was as welcome as she remembered, and on a whim, she swiped a few droplets on her finger and held it out to him. He sucked on her fingertip without hesitation, eyes closing as his tongue curled and caressed her skin.

The movement left her breathless, and if this was even a fraction of how he felt when she laved his cock, Belle could understand the appeal.

Her finger left his mouth with a soft pop, and she was the one to swallow and look away from the heat in his gaze. Her bones feeling like electricity ran rampant within them, she returned to her earlier post. The head of his cock bobbed flushed and aching above his belly, and Belle knew that the lack of true intimacy had been as brutal for him as it was for her.

It wouldn't take long.

Bending down, she accepted him into her mouth, savoring the hoarse cry he couldn't contain. The time for teasing had passed, and she worked him confidently, her hand pumping the base while her cheeks hollowed with each suck around the head.

Before long, he'd begun to babble, his voice broken with pleasure as his hands scrabbled at the comforter. "Yes, Belle, yes, just like that… a little faster, sweetheart. You're so good at this, I can't – I'm so close, love, I'm going to cum."

And with the first blooms of salt on her tongue, he was almost shouting, incoherent combinations of her name and thank you oh love you that nearly drowned her in relief that everything had worked out. She swallowed without a thought.

While he floated down from his high, chest still greedily sucking in air, she crawled up to lie next to him at the head of the bed. Her own unsatisfied longing burned hot and throbbing inside, but she let him lie there and breathe, pressing kisses to her face and whispering the world into her ear. This was about him, had been from the very start, and she had no doubt he would do more than make it up to her - maybe even in thirty minutes, if he was feeling up to it.

Yet as every inch touched between them and his hand crept down to where she needed him most, fingers slipping into her entrance like coming home, Belle realized he was probably still nervous, and tomorrow some of his bravery would have faded.

But for now, she could see everything should she choose to look, and it was beautiful.