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
Shortly after the break of dawn, the sun reached the perfect angle to offer a small
sliver if bright light that shone through the slotted opening in the tower. It bounced off
the furthest wall and it filled the room with a long, slender finger of white light that
extended down the stone of the small, round room eventually reaching the floor and the
solitary figure that slept there. When the illumination bounced off his closed lids, Xander's
eyes fluttered open. "Spike?"
Drowsily, the young prisoner sat up and flinched as the dull ache in his butt and the bruises
on his skin reminded him of the intensity of his activities the night before. He was still
naked and his stomach and thighs were coated with an itchy, flaky mess the volume of
which astounded even him.
As his head turned in all directions and now, with the benefit of enough light to see, he
sadly acknowledged that he was again alone. Spike was gone. Gone wherever and however
he came and went. Logically, Xander was glad his lover was able to seemingly evaporate
into thin air and pass through the impenetrable stone walls. If he had remained and been
caught by the King's guard, it would no doubt cost Spike his head and probably Xander's
But his heart had other inclinations. Xander wanted his man. He wanted his Spike.
But that was not to be and at least, if the King was to be believed, at some time today,
Xander would be allowed to leave this tower and castle. If he was given his freedom,
Xander vowed to search the countryside wide and far until he found his lover even if it
meant seeking the enchanted forest that Spike spoke of as his home. It was Xander's
goal. His promise to himself.
Dragging himself to his feet, Xander came more fully alert at which time his instinct for
self-preservation stirred within him. It was morning and soon the parade of the King's
men and servants would begin. The guards should be first to collect the spindle of gold
thread that Spike had woven followed by either the page or the charwoman with the
buckets. One for his bodily waste, which Xander feared he couldn't hold much longer,
and one with water to drink.
Then, after the gold had presumably passed King Liam's inspection and approval, the
young boy, Andrew, might be around with a bowl of food. After last evenings round
of strenuous jousting with Spike, or Sir Dicks-a-lot as Xander had playfully named him,
even gruel would be welcome this morning to satisfy the grumbling in his empty belly.
With the list of impending visitors looming large in his mind, Xander quickly scrambled
to collect his clothing from around the room where he had discarded them. He flinched
in discomfort as he tugged his trousers over his crusty, sore skin. He studied the fingertip
shaped bruises and blushed happily each time his butt hole sent out sharp stabs of pain.
He then stepped into his boots and wriggled into what was left of his tattered shirt. It
seemed almost silly to toss the shredded fabric over his shoulders but to appear before
the King's men bare chested was too indecent to consider.
No sooner had he righted himself than he heard the loud clank of the huge metal key in the
lock of the solid wooden door and the creaking of the hinges as it swung open.
Xander immediately complied to the burly guard's command by lowering his eyes and
moving away. As soon as he did, three hulking men stomped in. They were different
than yesterday's guards. They were huge and intimidating. Their skin was darker than
any man Xander had ever seen and it glistened and shone like polished onyx. They wore
no shirts and their barrel chests were smooth and totally hairless. They were clad in soft,
tan, leather pants that were unevenly torn off at mid calf and had colorful sashes tied at
their waists. They wore no shoes on their feet and no hair on their big, dome heads.
Xander wondered if these men were slaves imported from other lands. Spoils of war. If
so, it only confirmed Xander's understanding of King Liam's reach of power and control.
Two of the guards stood with swords drawn between the prisoner and the open doorway
while the third collected the spindle of the wheel replacing it with an empty one. It was
a seemingly innocent move that diverted Xander's attention away from the question of the
strange men's nationality and sent fear and adrenalin coursing through Xander's veins.
The guard's action implied an expectation very contrary to Xander's. An empty spool
meant another day.
Summoning up his courage, Xander lifted his face and he spoke in a voice that cracked
and trembled with hesitation. "Please, sir, wait. I was told that I would be given my freedom
if I spun just one more wheel of gold. As you can see, the task is done. I..."
Xander jumped at the voice that boomed like a cannon. The singular word was more than
an order. It was a threat that carried an undertone of accusation that was both confusing
and terrifying. So much so that he had to risk disobedience to learn what crime he
had committed to elicit such a response. "Sir? What have I done wrong?"
The raw hate and fury that poured from the King's guard was almost palpable. "You are a
thief! You are a highwayman, a disgusting pirate who has attempted to purloin the
King's property! If it were up to me, I would lop off your head this very instant!!"
The hulking guard swung his blade in dramatic, sweeping arches so near to where Xander
stood, that he could feel the swish of the air that the sword left in its wake.
Xander's eyes bugged and his jaw dropped as he attempted to defend himself. "I have NOT!
I would never... What is it that you accuse me of stealing? I am NO thief, sir!"
On the return of one of the wide sweeps of the sword, the burly, black-skinned guard swung
his arm around and pointed the tip of the blade in the direction of the floor and directly
toward the small mound of straw that Xander had slid aside the night before. It was
done innocently. It was an attempt to coerce Spike to stay as long as possible and it
was forgotten in the heat of their passion. And now it appeared to be the evidence of
Xander's character and intent.
"You have tried to hoard a store of the King's straw in which to spin to fill your own
greedy pockets with gold. King Liam will be told of this vile transgression and you will be
dealt with severely!"
Xander's eyes darted between the open doorway that teased him with the offer of escape and
the massive, black sentinels holding raised sharp sabers between. A physical flight had
no chance of success and a verbal defense was pointless. As far as the King's men
were concerned, the proof of Xander's guilt was in the pudding. Or, in this case, the straw
and yet he had to try just once more. "No, it isn't like that. It was dark. I have no lantern
and couldn't see. I thought I had used all the straw."
Xander's excuses fell on deaf ears as the three guards turned on a wave of huff and hostility
to march from the room, slamming the heavy door behind them. Oddly, Xander's
resulting emotion was not panic or dread. Instead, as he found himself alone again, he
simply snorted and shook his head as he realized that they had been looking for any
justification to keep him confined and that he himself had supplied the excuse.
Spike was right. Xander knew that if he was to ever get out of this tower, it would not
be through the King's generosity.
Slowly walking the perimeter of the round room, Xander's hands intently examined the
cold, damp, mossy stone walls as he muttered to himself. "How do you do it, Spike?
How do you get in and out? Why can't you take me with you? Damn. I wish you were
here with me. What am I going to do. Spike? What am I going to do?"
Stopping directly beneath the open slits in the wall, Xander tipped his face up and he stared at
the small area of sunlight and freedom. "Are you out there, Spike? Are you near by? I'm
going to pretend you are and since I feel better when I talk to you, that is what I will do.
I'll talk to you this morning until I fall asleep."
Far above the boy who paced like a caged lion, Spike hung from his wooden beam and
he shuddered from frustration. He knew that Xander was losing hope and to be honest, so
was he. There had to be a solution but, for the life of him, Spike couldn't imagine what it
was. One thing was certain, if the boy met his death in the tower of this cursed castle,
Spike would forfeit his life too. He could not return to the enchanted forest alone. Not
after finally finding love and acceptance. Xander was Spike's destiny and there is no moving
on from that.
Within the hour of his confrontation with the guards, Xander again heard the metallic key in
the lock and the door swung inward. Much to his relief, the charwoman came in bearing
the buckets and this time, shame did not hold him back. His bladder was very nearly ready
to let lose and it was all he could do to get his penis from his trousers before the hot, stream
of acrid urine began to fill the wooden pale. "Aaahhhhh. Oh, geesh. Thank you."
The old woman's face showed no emotion and she gave no response to his appreciation.
Instead, she simply sat the clean water bucket near the wall and waited as he shook his dick
and tucked himself away. When she didn't pick it up, Xander frowned and shrugged. "What?"
"You ain't gonna shit?"
Xander cringed at the humiliation of his situation. He shook his head and lowered his eyes.
"No. I didn't eat much and.... No."
Uninterested in the reasons behind the boy's lack of evacuation, the charwoman bent over
and grabbed for the rough, rope handle. With a grunt, her ample arm jerked causing the pee
to slosh over the rim of the bucket and onto her hands. The charwoman seemed unaffected
by the warm, wet violation as she slapped her palm on the door and called for the guard to let
Xander's next visitor was Andrew who swept in around mid-morning with a large wooden
bowl covered with a cloth. "Hi! Hey, you ain't dead yet. When they told me, I was
real surprised. Glad but surprised."
Xander snorted at the greeting. "Yeah, I'm kinda surprised and glad too. Course the day is
still young and there ain't no tellin' If I'll still have my head by night fall or not."
Andrew nodded his agreement. "Too true. Too true. Folks in this room do tend to leave in
a couple pieces, but shit, I wouldn't worry none about that now. I gots you some food. It
ain't the fresh fruit and taters that I brung yesterday. It is back to gruel. You musta
pissed somebody off. You piss somebody off?"
Xander took the offered bowl and flinched when he peeled back the linen and the sour,
rotted smell assaulted his nose. Xander knew without a doubt that he would not be
shitting tomorrow either. That is if he was even still alive. "Oh, I think they were a
bit disappointed in me." When a large, blue horsefly landed in the gruel, Xander flipped
the cloth back over the slop and he handed it back. "I'm not very hungry. I think I'll pass."
Andrew giggled. "Yeah, its pretty bad. Say, Xander, can I ask you a question?"
Xander braced himself. He had a pretty good idea of what Andrew wanted to ask. The lad
was no doubt going to probe for the hidden secret of Xander's ability to spin the straw to
gold. He knew the page would not accept the fact that it was not a skill Xander possessed
and there was no way Xander would betray Spike by admitting that it was he and not Xander
who brought magic into the tower room each night.
After all, what did Xander really know about Andrew? Perhaps he was a spy for the King
sent here to extract valuable information. Spike himself had said that the castle was full
of intrigue and treachery. This was a complicated situation that must be tread lightly but
Xander was prepared and the servant of the King would soon learn that he was not dealing
with a fool.
Xander schooled the suspicion from his face. "Sure, Andrew. You can ask me anything.
What is it?"
Andrew beamed happily. "Can I have your shoes? Not now of course. I mean after they lops
yer head off and you don't need them anymore. Ain't no sense in letting them go to
waste. They's a bit worn but still got lots of miles left in 'em. What do ya think?"
Xander's mouth fell open. That was certainly NOT the subject of conversation he
had anticipated. When he gathered his composure and recovered from the shock, his only
answer was to march past where the lad stood and beat his fist against the door,
shouting, "Guard! Guard! Get this little shit out of my cell!!"
In an instant, the door flew open and Andrew was snatched by the nape of the neck. His
feet stumbled and danced as he was dragged away. "You ain't mad is you? I can still have
the boots, can't I? I'd ask fer the shirt too it's all boogered up and besides, usually gets real
messy when the sword...."
The slamming door cut off the rest of the indelicate request and Xander just snorted.
"Damn, Spike, the buzzards are circling already. Well, by my estimation, that should be
the last of my visitors so I might as well get some shut eye. Fuck, my stomach is so empty
I can feel my belly rubbing against my backbone. Course, I suppose that's better. They say
if ya got a full stomach when you die that you shit yourself and that ain't a shame I want to
leave this world with."
Spike's tiny bat eyes blinked back the tears as he watched his boy lay down and curl up on
the lumpy, horse-hair mat. He wished he could lie with him and offer some semblance
of comfort to them both but knew that was out of the question. They were trapped. Xander
in this tower dungeon and Spike within the walls of the magic that controlled him. It was a
cruel, unbearable torture and seemed to be the final victory for Liam.
As Spike continued to mentally curse his cousin and conceive elaborate punishments that
he would enjoy enacting upon the King and his lackeys, Spike was suddenly jarred from
his musings by another rattling of the keys in the cell door lock. His head emerged from
under his wing and he watched as his boy jumped to his feet to scamper backwards. The
smell of fear and uncertainty hung heavy in the air.
Despite his lack of sleep, Xander had been wide awake as he lay motionless on the dusty
floor. He had hours to wait. To anticipate his fate and no matter how he looked at it,
the outcome was not good. He was certain that by now, his alleged false theft had been
reported to the King and Xander was well aware that the punishment for stealing from the
crown was the swift removal of a body part. He knew this because several people in his
own village had been crippled when their hunger or need had driven them to take what was
not theirs. A hand, a foot, an arm, an eye. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason between
the level of crime and the punishment enacted.
On the other hand, Xander had produced a spindle full of gold for a greedy king whose
ravenous appetite for wealth was apparently insatiable. It didn't seem logical that King
Liam would cut off something Xander might need to work the wheel. It was a minor
reassurance that didn't prevent a shudder of fear to coarse through Xander's body when
he considered all of the parts of his flesh that could be removed without interfering with his task.
When he heard the guard again at the door, Xander whimpered. He leapt to his feet and
he scooted away as he waited to see if the messengers would come bearing bundles of straw
or pain and penalty.
What he didn't expect was that his visitor would be a woman.
As the door whooshed open, a tall, lithe grand lady with black flowing hair and pale,
porcelain skin floated in as if she were entering a ballroom preparing to dance. Her eyes
were dark and carried a far-a-way gaze that gave Xander an uncertainty as to whether
she was even aware of his presence in the room.
She wore an elegant, dark blue satin gown. It had sleeves that ruffled at her bony wrists and
a full skirt that stirred the straw dust on the floor as she moved. The garment was
embellished with gold trim at the forearms and the high, empire waist. It was sinfully
low-cut and pushed her breasts up and together to form two round, full half moons that
drew Xander's reluctant attention. Between those two orbs was nestled an elaborate cross
made of filigree gold and sea pearls.
With an unnerving squeal of delight, the woman spun and twirled on her toes while she
waved her arms above her head while Xander watched from a cautious distance. Her eyes
never looked directly at him, not even as she spoke. "I knew you were here. I have dreamed
of you and I could feel you as soon as you arrived. I have waited so long!"
Xander squinted at her. She had waited for him? Silently, he scratched his head in
confusion. She still had not acknowledged him in any other introductory way and when
she issued her words, it did not fully appear to be to him. And yet they were alone. Not
even a guard had accompanied her into his cell.
Tentatively, Xander lifted his hand towards her. "I'm sorry? Ma'am?"
When Xander spoke, it seemed to catch her attention and she immediately stopped dancing.
She stepped closer and tipped her head slightly to one side then the other as she studied him.
At first, a small frown wrinkled her forehead then, as quickly as it formed, it was gone and
was replaced by a genuine smile that played at her full, ruby red lips. Straightening up,
she flipped her hair back to expose her smooth, pale shoulders. She then shocked the hell
out of him by extending her hand with the expectation of having it kissed as she formally introduced herself.
"Good day, young sir. I am Queen Drusilla Elizabeth O'Connor. But you may call me Dru."