Warnings: Bad language and M/M sexual situations.
Disclaimer: The Bee owns none of the characters used
in this story.
Summary: A new take on the old fable of Rumpelstiltskin.
Xander is held in the tower prison of the evil King Liam and has
been ordered to spin a roomful of straw to gold. Can he do
it? Is there someone who can help?
Author's note: This story is not betaed or spell checked by anyone but me.
If there are errors that you simply have to point out, feel free but don't be upset
if I don't care.
Other than grammatical errors, comments are greatly appreciated.
Thanks to Naughty Fae for the pre-read and encouragement
Link to previous chapters HERE
Within minutes there was a great ruckus in the hallway leading to Xander's cell. It was
the echoing thunder of a dozen boots and half as many voices shouting and talking
amongst themselves in excited, anticipatory voices that grew louder and louder as they neared.
Immediately, Xander rushed backward pressing his spine against the cold, damp stone wall
of his cell as he braced himself and put as much space between himself and the oncoming
hoard as he could. As the sounds increased in volume and enthusiasm, the initial guard
stepped to the side, clearing the open doorway to avoid being mowed down. It was a wise
move when, only seconds later, five large, intimidating men charged in ducking their heads
as they passed beneath the low carved doorway to fill the round tower room to capacity.
To Xander, it seemed as if their arrival sucked every molecule of oxygen from the air
leaving him gasping to breathe.
Then, for what seemed like an eternity, no one spoke and time hung suspended. The six men
of the castle stared intently, first at the floor then the spindle of the spinning wheel and finally
at the trembling boy. They all wore matching expressions of incredulity and their
eyebrows appeared permanently arched near their hairlines.
Xander's lips were sealed shut in fear and anxiety as he awaited word of his fate. He was
certain that they would know the truth. They couldn't possible believe that it was his
handiwork that spun the worthless dry straw into a spool of priceless gold thread. The
whole idea was ludicrous. Xander glanced down at his clumsy, calloused woodcutters
hands and he barely suppressed a whimper.
As the entourage continued to gape silently at the boy's accomplishment, Xander's eyes locked
on the sabers that hung at the guard's belts. Even in this limited light, he could see that they
were easily sharp enough to lop off a man's head with just one swift, singular swing of
the guard's agile grip and muscular arm.
Xander breathing became shallow and erratic. His heart pounded in terror. He knew there
was only one way out of the cell and the doorway was now blocked by the hulking bodies
of the men who held his fate in their hands. There was no hope of escape. He was fucked.
He swallowed hard and wished that someone would say something. Anything that would
give him a hint as to the duration of his life. Five minutes? Ten?
When he finally spoke, the tone in the lead guard's voice was soaked in disbelief and awe
as he quietly muttered. "He has done it, your Highness. It is true. The boy has the power
of the gods."
Xander's mouth dropped open and his eyes bugged. He didn't know which part of Finn's
soft words of astonishment were more shocking. The fact that they believed Xander had
the power of magic or the stunning revelation that the man standing nearest to the wheel
was the King himself.
King Liam O'Connor! The most powerful man in the world!
Xander immediately dropped to his knees. He lowered his head and he whispered in a
reverent tone. "Your majesty."
Liam's gaze shifted from the greedy glow he had fixed on the spindle of gold to a
disdainful squint aimed toward the groveling slug on his dungeon floor. As he stared down
at the young dark-haired boy, a myriad of thoughts and emotions ran through the regent.
First and foremost was disgust. This lad was a peasant. The kind that usually earned the
toe of the King's boot and possibly the bulls eye of Liam's spittle.
The second impulse Liam registered was carnal as the royal penis twitched against the fine
silks and smooth satins of the regal robes and pantaloons. The boy was a subject. A
possession, in the same way the land and the creatures that roamed it were. Within this
kingdom, King Liam was God and nothing was off limits. The game of the forest was there
for the king's hobby of hunting. The water in the streams was to quench his thirst. The
trees grew only to be felled for his warmth. And the lowly serfs and peasants had no
standing above the creatures, the streams or the foliage.
It was an understood rule that any young man within the land was to be royally deflowered
and although no one beyond the walls of the castle could define the reason for it, the
anal deforestation was a standing order that was not to be questioned.
But the lands were vast and the miles surrounding the castle stretched far and wide. It was
a reluctant acceptance of this that was the foundation to an admission that there were
probably a spattering of young men who, in the totality of their lifetimes, would never
come within miles of the castle and therefore presented no threat to the King's crown
and title. Of course, when one of these boys found their way here, his impalement was a
given and therefore, it was hard, literally, for Liam to stare at this delicious arse and know,
for now, he was forbidden entrance.
And yet, overriding both of these two compulsions was the one that affected the King the
His body tingled and his flesh crawled with the possibilities presented and he now knew that
the erection concealed within his billowing robes was only partially for the body of the boy
and more probably for the shinny gold on the spindle. King Liam O'Connor had stumbled
upon the mother fucking goose that laid the fucking golden egg!
Immediately, his expression softened and shifted to what he hoped appeared friendly
and congenial although he had little experience in either of those. "Stand up my boy.
Stand up where I can get a better look at you."
Xander blinked as a new wave of terror washed over him at the very thought of being
directly addressed by the King himself and he had no experience in which to reference
his response, Therefore, despite the direct order, Xander hesitated which caused two
guards to quickly grasp him painfully by each elbow and jerk him roughly up. He
was momentarily dangled in the air before being plopped into an upright position and
released to stagger unbalanced. "Eep!"
Liam slowly sauntered around the trembling lad who stood stock-still with his head lowered
and his dark hair flopping into his lovely brown eyes. As he cruised in a circular path,
Liam inhaled the musky male scent of the unwashed boy and it was all he could do to
restrain himself as he imagined his hard cock sliding into the boy's channel and he wondered
if he would be able to feel the boy's magic course through and touch the head of the King's dick.
It was a tantalizing thought.
Liam grinned widely. "Well, well. So it would appear that you are a very talented lad, are you not?"
Xander's gaze darted up to meet the Royal eyes then back to the floor as he wondered how
on earth to answer that. His mother had always taught him that the truth will out, but in this
case, a lie with evidence to the contrary seemed to be the only viable solution that would buy
him some time. Or maybe there was something in between. A half truth that buffered his fib.
A reply that was neither here nor there. "I do my best for you, your Highness."
Liam stopped directly in front of the boy. "So I see. I am very impressed. You see, to be
honest, when my sorcerer told me of you, I scoffed. I did not believe such things were
possible and yet here you are. You have done what no human should be able to do. I
should love to have you show me how it is that you can do this."
Xander's heart leapt into his throat. His head snapped up and his eyes bugged in horror.
"What? NO! I can't... I mean I.... You can't...."
Liam's eyes squinted into a scowl. He was not accustomed to being rebuked or refused.
As Xander continued to stutter and stammer, Sir Giles stepped forward in an effort to
appear knowledgeable. "Sire. I believe what the lad is trying to convey in his limited,
ignorant terms is that magic such as this must be done in secrecy and solidarity."
Thrilled and relieved at the potential out, Xander jumped on the excuse with both feet as
he adopted a quasi-serious expression. "Yes sir. That's it. That is the problem exactly.
What he said. I can't do it if anyone is watching." Xander's head bobbed up and down
so vigorously that Liam wondered if the boy had scrambled brains.
On one hand the King was disappointed not to be able to watch the boy's dirty hands work
to fill the royal coffers and yet, in the bigger picture, what did it matter? As long as the
magic continued he didn't care if the lad ate the straw and shit out gold coins onto the floor.
"Oh, well of course. That's fine. Just fine. Well, don't let us disturb you any longer. Now,
I will see to it that you are brought a platter of meats and fruits and a flagon of ale. Please,
relax. You are probably exhausted from your night's work. Sleep. The hours of the sun
are few and the night will again be upon us before we know it."
Immediately, Liam began snapping his fingers and shouting orders towards the door
guards. "Finn! Morgan!! Bring this boy a horse-hair mat on which to rest as well
as nourishment to fill his belly and sustain his strength! Go! Now! Bring him some food!"
Xander's head snapped around as he watched the soldiers scramble to comply and a new
concern bubbled within him. "But, Sire. Your Highness. I was told that if I did as you asked,
I would be freed. As you see, I have, ahem, spun the straw. I have done as you ordered.
Please, Sire. Can't I..."
Liam waved his hand in the air and chuckled at the absurdity of the request while, in
an uncharacteristically generous mood he chose to ignore the insolence of a mere peasant
boy questioning the King. At the same time, for now, keeping the kid happy seemed the
best option. "Of course. Certainly. As you know, I am a King whose word is as gold
as that thread. If I said it, you may take it to the bank. However....."
Xander's mood shot northward in hope and elation before plummeting in an emotional
whiplash snapped back by the King's last word. Tentatively, Xander asked. "However?"
Liam huffed as his arms waved dramatically in all directions of the small, circular cell. "I
would have thought it was obvious."
Xander frowned. Clearly it was not. "Sire?"
Liam rolled his eyes and snorted at the boy's lack of rational thinking. Ordinarily he would
have had the kid tossed to the wolves for even uttering a response but, in the spirit of greed
and exploitation Liam tried to emulate a face of patience. "It's just that you haven't
really completed your task now have you? I mean, this small bit of straw was simply left
with you as a test. One which I must say, you have passed with flags flying and for that,
we all give you a hearty HO."
Taking the King's words as cue, all of the guards in the room pumped their fist in the air
shouting an unenthusiastic "HO! HO! HO!" Which caused Xander to step back in concern.
Once the verbal reward had been issued, Liam smiled. "However, the understanding was
that you would spin a ROOM-FULL of straw into gold in order to secure your release and
you haven't done that now have you?"
Xander scowled and looked all around the now clean space. This felt like a trick question and
he was unsure of how to respond. He scratched his head thoughtfully and a small shaft of
straw tumbled from behind his ear. Apparently 'room-full' was a relative measure for
which Xander had no reference. "Um.. I thought... Isn't...?"
Liam smiled triumphantly as he spun on his royal slippers and headed for the door. "All
right. I'm glad we had a chance to come to this agreement. Now, for the day, you will be
well seen to and this evening the fresh straw will be delivered. Overnight, you will do
your magic and then, if you are successful, we will revisit our contract when the first light
of the sun crests the horizon."
Although vague on the conclusion, Xander knew that this was not the outcome he had prayed
for. "What? No. Wait. I..." But even as Xander issued his protests, the King and his
entourage had fluttered about in a billowy sail of robes and fabrics and were already
filing through the doorway and conversing amongst themselves.
As the last of the guards swung the heavy, oak door closed behind him, Xander realized what
had just happened. He had been royally screwed. Frantically, he rushed across the room
and threw himself against the solid sealed exit, pounding his fists and called after them.
"NO! Come back! Let me out!" Unfortunately, his pleas fell on disinterested ears and
the echoing sound of the retreating boots quickly faded away.
Overhead, Spike swayed back and forth. He had watched the exchange with interest and
more that a little worry. In the short term, he was fairly unconcerned for the boy's safety.
He knew that Liam's lust for wealth would override his craving for the flesh and his pleasure
in torture. No harm would come to the boy as long as Liam thought Xander was an asset
and that also bought Spike time to evaluate the situation.
Besides, this hidden vantage point gave Spike an opportunity to really observe the lad in the
light of day. He was stunning. Dark, handsome, slim and tall. Xander glowed with
an innocence and purity of heart and he was clearly endowed with the honest, unspoiled
values and qualities of someone raised far from the corruption of the castle's intrigue.
But was he the one? Was there 'one' or was the whole dream nothing but that? A
stumbling wandering through the land of slumber that had no foothold in reality. The dream
had been so long ago that even the memory of it had faded around the edges and
Spike sometimes questioned its existence at all. Still, he resolved to stay. Even if Xander
could give Spike no release from the curse of the dubik, something coaxed him to remain
and assist the lad. After all, there was no urgency to return to his forest, his cave and his solitude.
With the decision made, Spike tucked his head beneath his leathery wing and he yawned.
He closed his eyes and he ignored the hunger that rumbled in his stomach. Secure in
the knowledge that, for now, his boy was safe, Spike began to doze.
And as the last of his wakefulness slipped away, Spike could have sworn he heard an odd
sound next to his ear. A strange, melodic, high pitched laughter that floated like the tinkling
of a bell. His heavy lidded eyes fluttered open although he was certain it was only the
tentacles of sleep reaching out for him. When he confirmed that he was alone, Spike
sighed and gave himself over to the arms of Morpheos.
Below him, the boy also found himself exhausted from the wild ups and downs of the
day. Within an hour of his meeting with the King, two of the castle servants had arrived
and snatched the spindle off the wheel replacing it with an empty one. After that, five,
large, castle eunuchs filed in and deposited twice as many bales of straw than they had
brought the night before filling the cell with the dry, dusty smell of grain.
Minutes later, a plump wench with an ample bosom shuffled in bearing a large a
hammered metal tray that bore wooden bowls of food. After setting down the platter
she hustled out and immediately returned with a large empty pale which she held in an
extended arm towards him. "You'll be using this, boy and be quick about it. I has other
things to be doing."
After a second or two of confusion, Xander was horrified and humiliated when the meaning
was made clear and he was impatiently watched as he evacuated his bladder and bowels
into the bucket which she then removed from his cell without comment.
Minutes later, the page, Andrew arrived with a mat flung over his shoulder and back.
"Hi. Remember me? I gots a bed for you. Wow. They says you is the real banana. That
right? You can really do magic?" Without waiting for Xander to respond, Andrew flopped
the mat onto the floor and he flipped a fast salute of his hand to his forehead. "Well, gotta
go. Sleep good." And before Xander could respond, Andrew was gone.
This time, when the solid door slammed shut and the metallic rattle of the keys secured the
lock, there was a finality to the sound that resonated deep within Xander's soul. He knew
no one else was coming. There was nothing Xander could do and the fact was, he really
was spent. With a resigned slump, Xander dropped down on the lumpy mattress and he
curled into a fetal position. Before tumbling into sleep, Xander's lips muttered one last
prayer. "Please come to me, Spike. Please help me."
After that, no other sound disturbed the silence of the small tower cell and as the two
inhabitants slept, they wandered through discombobulated dreams of swords and castles
and long haired girls with cryptic messages. Together and separately, their minds floated
far beyond the stone walls to places of safety and security until Spike felt the physical
approach of the moon that tugged him from his sleep.
With a stretch of his wings, the small bat looked down at the boy who twitched restlessly
in slumber. Grateful for the last few minutes before Xander woke, Spike swooped down
and landed on the floor next to the rejected tray of fruits and meat. Hungrily, the small
rodent devoured a ripe banana and sucked the juice from two fat nectarines. He gorged
on a beet and he belched after one last grape.
With a grin that exposed his sharp, pointy fangs, Spike flopped over onto his back and
he snickered at the sight of his extended, sated round belly. He would have been happy just
to lie there and conjure up a hefty pile of guano however, there was work to do and no time
to waste. So, with a grunt, he heaved himself to balance on his claw feet and he stripped
away the enchanted cloak that concealed his true self.
Instantly, the transformation from bat to beast took place and Spike stretched the kinks from
his deformed, bent frame. He then crept closer to the unconscious boy and Spike tipped his
head as he got a better look. He fought the urge to touch and instead, he hustled over to
the creaky, wooden wheel. There, he settled in. He scooped up a handful of straw and
his foot began the rhythmic pumping on the pedal.