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?
Other than pointing out grammatical errors, comments are greatly appreciated.
Thanks to Naughty Fae for the pre-read and encouragement
Link to previous chapters HERE
"Where are we going? How do we get out of here?" Xander's heart was slamming in his
chest and the sharp pain in his side was signaling his stress and terror. They were still on
the upper level of the castle pressed back into a dark, shadowy indentation in the stone wall
of the hallway. They had remained as still and motionless as possible until the hoard
of stampeding guards had all passed them, unaware that the prisoners they sought were
actually close enough to reach out and touch.
When they were certain the immediate danger had passed, Spike grabbed Xander by the
hand and he jerked. "Lower floor. Through the kitchen. There is a secret tunnel out into
the courtyard. I used to play there as a child. Hurry. Come on!"
From there, confident that Xander was right behind him, Spike took the lead as it all came
back to him as though it were yesterday. The twelve years of his exile faded away in a
blink. Nothing had changed and Spike knew the twists and turns of this castle like the back
of his hand. As a child he had spent long days running these hallways and finding small
corners in which to crouch and hide from his nurses and nannies.
Nothing had changed and even as he tried to focus on the serious business of escape,
Spike couldn't stop the flood of emotions that coursed through him at being back. The
memories of his father who had died believing his only son had been killed. The days in
the sun and the nights that he slept in the warm embrace of a false knowledge that nothing
on this earth could hurt him.
It was almost overwhelming and it caused Spike to stop, stumble and choke back the tears.
Xander gasped for air as his lungs strained to suck in oxygen. His head snapped in all
directions to look for danger while his ears strained to estimate the distance between them
and the sounds of shouting that echoed off in the distance. Adrenalin surged through his
veins while the pupils of his eyes contracted against the sudden flood of light that contrasted
to the last three days he had lived in near darkness. "What? What is it, Spike? Are you
lost? Which way do we go?"
The sound of Xander's voice snapped Spike back to the here and now and he quickly regained
his bearings. "What? No. Sorry. Come on. This way."
Meanwhile, the castle had exploded in chaos. Ladies of the court screamed and ran for safety
as the cry of 'escaped prisoners!' rang through the hallways. Like the hooves of the
huge galloping steed, the sound of the guards thundering boots resounded through every
level of the castle as it was searched. Children were rounded up and locked in the nurseries
for their own protection and the women of the harem huddled together in fear.
Skillfully, using his memory of the layout of the castle, Spike guided his companion around
the twists and turns hiding in service areas, supply larders and even cold, unused
fireplaces. They monitored the comings and goings of the frantic guards and they
successfully made their way down two more back, servants stairways. Finally, much
to Xander's relief, they found themselves in what appeared to be the main cooking room.
It was a vast area, open and cluttered with long tables laden with food and utensils that
indicated the cooks must have been intrenched in the task of meal preparation. Luckily,
the kitchen was empty as, in the call to arms, even the scullery maids and royal cooks had
been summoned to help flush out the dangerous traitors.
The room was hot and steamy. The bases of the stone ovens glowed a deep red from
the smoldering coals used in the bread baking process. To Xander, the warmth and smell
were heavenly and intoxicating. It was frustratingly distracting as his stomach grumbled in
want of the doughy delights. His fingers itched to reach out and snatch up a loaf. Surely
Spike wouldn't object. He could shovel it in his mouth as they ran.
Suddenly, before Xander could make good on his plan of thievery, Spike turned to face him
and the expression on Spike's face snapped Xander out of his ravenous fantasy.
The man-beast was wild-eyed and breathless as he gripped Xander's upper arms and shook
him. "This is it, love. Over in the far corner there is a recess that is all shelves. The bottom
two shelves of the tallest cabinet pull loose and behind them, there is a hidden tunnel.
The entrance is narrow and it's dark but it is our only way out. We will have to go through
on our hands and knees and it is a long way but we can make it, love. I know we can.
Besides, we can't turn back now."
Xander whined in a high-pitched tone as his claustrophobia again oozed to the surface.
"I'm scared, Spike. What if we get trapped in there?"
Spike grabbed his boy by the hand and began quickly tugging him towards the last leg of
their escape. "We won't. I used to play in there as a child. I promise, it is safe. Once we
get through the tunnels we can make our way around the bushes of the courtyard where we
can't be seen from the castle. After that, we swim the moat and disappear into the forest."
The mental image was just the distraction Xander needed to draw his immediate thoughts
from the coffin shaped tunnel. With a shudder, Xander cringed and wrinkled his nose as
he recalled the foul stench of the brackish water when he was first brought to the castle.
"The moat? Damn, Spike. I don't know if..."
But Spike knew they were out of time. Any minute now the servants and guards would
rush back in and scrutinize every inch of the room. The escapees had to get in to the opening
of the tunnel and quickly pull the shelves back in place to cover their tracks. "There is no
other way. We have to go and we have to go NOW."
Without waiting for Xander to hesitate, Spike roughly shoved Xander toward the furthest
corner of the huge kitchen. They ran toward the indented area where the floor to ceiling
oak shelves served as a pantry to hold sacks of wheat, jugs of honey and the various spices
and salts the King enjoyed in his food. When they ducked around the final corner they froze
in their tracks.
"Welcome home, William."
Xander heard Spike gasp. "Liam."
Almost casually, the King stepped out of the shadowy area that was the entrance to the
tunnel and Xander's stomach fell like a rock as he recognized him immediately. The man
wore the same heavy, silken robes, golden adornment on his hands and around his neck
and the same nasty smirk on his thin, pursed lips.
It was His Royal fucking Highness. King Liam O'Connor.
He was also not alone. Just as when he had come to Xander's dungeon, the King
was accompanied by the tall, thin, arrogant man in the purple, feathered hat. It was
the dangerous mage, Sir Rupert of Giles.
Calmly, the King withdrew a small round tin from one of the voluminous pockets in his
robe. After opening it, he took a pinch between his finger and thumb and stuffed it in a
nostril, sniffing it sharply. After a snuffled sneeze, he pulled a handkerchief from his sleeve
and wiped his nose. "Well, well, well. I can't say that I ever thought we would be here
together again after all these years, did you William?"
Spike protectively stepped in front of Xander as he squared off with his arch enemy. "How
did you know it was me? How did you know I would be here?"
Liam snorted and rolled his eyes. "That stupid twit of a wife of mine and her penchant
for singing in babble-talk. Apparently she has been dreaming of you and even our little
prisoner here. Luckily, I have scholars who do nothing but follow her around all day
and interpret her mindless mutterings. One of them reported that she seems to think
you have violated our little golden goose here and that he is no longer virtuous."
At that point, the smile left the King's face as he snapped his finger at his mage. Immediately,
Sir Giles reached into the velvet pouch that hung at his waist. He grabbed a handful of
granules in his closed fist. When he opened his hand, the flakes that rested in his palm
sparkled and twinkled like diamonds and rubies. They were mesmerizing and
visually melodious. They shimmered and twinkled and before Xander could ask what
they were, the magician raised his hand to his lips and with a big puff of air, blew the
colorful sprinkles directly into Xander's face.
"Ack! Pew! Shit!" Instantly, upon contact with the boy's skin, the confetti fell dull. It lost
its color and sparkle and it lay flat and drab as it bounced off him and sluffed to the
floor. "Damn. Fuck. What was that?" Frantically, Xander brushed it away and shook
it from his hair.
Liam seethed. His dark eyes flashed like lightning and his nostrils flared "It is the dust of
truth. It proves that you are fouled. Spoiled. Your innocence and virtue have been cast
aside and you have whored yourself to this... This disgusting creature! You are ruined.
Your loss of virginity is why you can no longer spin my straw to gold."
Xander balled up his fists. He squared his shoulders and stuck out his chest. "You have no
right to talk about him like that. At least he is not a thief and a traitor. And for your
information, I could NEVER...."
Spike placed his hand on Xander's arm. He knew that game was all but over and the
confession of who actually performed the natural magic of transformation was moot.
"Hush, love. It no longer matters."
Liam laughed as he reveled in his ultimate victory. Before him was the confirmation he
had wanted all of these years. The assurance that his younger cousin, the spoiled and
privileged Prince William was indeed suffering the curse of a demon infested body that
made his life a living hell.
At any moment now, the guards would arrive and William O'Connor would greet his
long overdue death, Liam wanted to enjoy these last few moments of triumph. That
knowledge alone was almost worth the lack of additional golden revenue. Liam was barely
able to conceal his giddiness.
With a sniff, the King turned to Xander and shrugged. "He is right, you know. It doesn't
matter. Of course I would have preferred to butt fuck you myself but that was when you
first arrived. Not only because you were very juicy looking but because there was a
prophesy that said an innocent boy would bring down my crown and for a quick minute,
I was afraid that was you. Obviously it isn't since you are seconds away from seeing your
lovely head removed from your body."
In direct opposition to King Liam's confident, cocky manner, Sir Giles twitched with
rattled nerves. There was too much conversation being bandied. The guards were taking
too long to arrive and, as usual, Liam was being a self-absorbed idiot. "Liam. That's
enough. Send for..."
King Liam placed his open hand on Rupert's face, mugging the mage and shoving
him backwards. "Shut up, Giles. I have waited a long time for this and you will not
rain on my picnic."
The King then spoke to Spike although his attention and hungry eyes never left Xander.
"Well, well, William. I can see how you would want him but really, how could he
allow something as disgusting as you touch him? Oh yes, the boy is very fuckable. Was
it tight? Did it squeeze your dick when you shoved it in his arse? Did he squeal like a
That was one insult too many and Xander shoved Spike aside. "It was not like that! We are
in love and Spike, I mean William, is wonderful! He is handsome where it counts. On
the inside. Not like you, you ugly troll!!"
Liam was livid! He lost his usual, cool and aloft persona and he stood nose to nose screaming
at the scroungy, peasant boy. "ENOUGH! He is cursed! He is foul! You have given yourself
to a demon infested monster!"
"If he is infested, it is your fault! You have done this to him. You ruined his life and you
stole his crown, his destiny and his title! William is the true king of this kingdom. He
always will be no matter what you do. You are nothing but a PRETENDER!"
"Ahhh!!!" Liam's arm flew up with his fist aimed at Xander's nose but before contact could
be made, Spike shoved his boy out of the way leaving himself in the line of fire. With a
crunch, the punch found its mark and Spike's head snapped back. In the blink of an eye
he retaliated with an uppercut that knocked Liam off his feet and flat on his royal ass just as
Giles scampered backwards to hide behind a free-standing butcher block. Sir Rupert was
a dandy and never a man who engaged in physical confrontation.
Leaping back to a steadier stance, Liam squared off with the other two. Six fists were raised
and three bodies swayed as all prepared for an all out brawl while their verbal taunting served
as a preamble.
"I beat your arse at a kid and I can do it again, William, you little shit."
"I remember, Liam, but things have changed and one of those things is the size of YOUR arse.
It may take me a while to wail on all that flab."
"Ha! Well, the sight of you makes me want to puke. I should have killed you in that forest
all those years ago."
Xander shuddered at the thought. "Yeah, well you didn't and now you will pay for all
Just then, the doors burst open and the room was jam packed with sword wielding guards
who shouted and shoved at each other in an attempt to get at the two infidels facing off with
their King. With a snort of triumph, Liam dropped his fists and watched smugly as the
prisoners were pounced upon and roughly restrained.
"Get off me!" Xander kicked wildly and struggled fruitlessly against the five huge men who
held him by the arms and legs. "Let me go! You will pay for this! You don't know who you
are fucking with!" But when Xander looked over toward Spike, he was shocked to see his
lover offering no resistance and the expression on his demon's face was one of resignation,
defeat and acceptance.
Still rubbing his sore jaw from the boy's powerful punch, Liam pointed his finger at the
escapees and then toward the back kitchen door that led outside. "OUT! Now! I want
these two taken to the rear court yard and held! I want every member of the castle
court assembled to watch. Then, send for executioner! Off with their heads!!"
Instantly, without question, the pack of guards complied. The hinged, split-door was flung
open and, in a cluster-fuck of disorganization they all tried to rush through at once with
their prisoners nearly being jerked apart in the process. For Xander, the most terrifying part
was not the certain prospect of having his young life terminated on the green grass of the
castle yard but it was the physical separation from his beloved beast, Spike. Xander knew
he could stand tall if only he could hold Spike's hand when the blade came down on the
back of his neck.
Spike's only emotion was an overwhelming regret. By coming to the castle, he had signed
the boy's death warrant. A boy so pure of heart and soul that even without the demon within
him, Spike knew that he could never hold a candle to Xander. It was Liam's final victory.
To allow Spike to find true love and then snatch it all away.
It was why Spike did not struggle. He was tired. If Xander was to die, Spike too would
welcome the oblivion of the final sleep. He had always known his destiny would be here in
this place and if that destiny was his death then so be it.
While the mad and frantic rush of people filled the small green space of the courtyard,
Xander continued to twist and turn his body against the grip of hands that seemed to clutch
at every part of him including a forearm that pressed at his throat. From behind, the owner
of that arm whispered into Xander's ear. "I got you now, you little fuck. I can't wait to see
your head come tumbling off your shoulder's and when it does, I will spit on your corpse."
Xander recognized the foul breath and deep, husky voice. "Riley. You prick. You will pay
for this. You are a traitor to King William."
"King William? Ha!" Riley roared with laughter but before he could enjoy the boy's
suffering any more, the royal trumpeter blew his horn and a silence fell over the crowd.
No one moved. Everyone from the Lords and Ladies all they way down to the beggars
from the drawbridge entrance held their breath in anticipation of what was to come.
And they didn't have long to wait.
Marching confidently to stand at the small open space that faced the gathered mob, King
Liam O'Connor raised his hands dramatically. "My subjects! I have summoned you to
witness the execution of two dangerous infidels. We welcome the spilling of their
blood! Behold! Bring the monster forth!"
A collective gasp rose from the crowd. They cringed back and parted like the Red Sea as
the terrible, deformed creature was paraded past them. They had never seen anything like
him and some questioned if he were man or beast. Most wanted to run and hide but the
truth was, they feared the wrath of the ruthless King Liam much more than the fangs of this
The executioner stood tall and straight. He had a brown burlap sack covering his head to
conceal his identity and he peered through the round eye holes cut into his mask. He held a
huge double edged ax in his hand and he watched impassively as the first of the prisoners
was brought forth.
Xander's stomach clenched as he watched from the side while his lover was led to the
chopping block. He shivered against the cold rush of terror that poured through his veins.
The tears coursed down his unshaven face and Xander's heart broke. He knew there was no
way to stop the inevitable but maybe there was one final thing he could do. He could make
sure that the last voice Spike heard was his and so, with that resolution, Xander began to shout
at the top of his lungs. Everything and anything. The words were not important. What
mattered was the connection between them.
"SPIKE! I love you! I love everything about you. I love your soft hair. I love your silly
toes. There is nothing ugly about you! I even love your funny RUMPLE FORESKIN!"
The instant the last utterance left Xander's lips, the air in the small courtyard cracked.
The gathered mob of observers screamed and held on to each other as the ground beneath
their feet shifted and shook with a violent tremor. A loud, ear-splitting clap of thunder
boomed while a white light flashed so brightly that many feared the sun itself had exploded.
It was blinding and the noise that rang in their ears left them wild with panic. The chaos
that ensued had even the King's guards stumbling about in self-preservation.
And then, as quickly as it had begun, it stopped.
The quakes beneath the ground ceased. The light faded back to normal and a deep silence
hung expectantly in the air until suddenly, one single voice from somewhere in the
crowd shouted out. "Look. Look at the prisoner! His is transformed! What magic has befallen us?"
All heads, including Xander's snapped toward the executioner's stand and what they
saw astounded them. Gone was the bent, twisted deformed monster that had been perched
on the cusp of be headedness and in his place stood a man of regal beauty and poise.
Some of the old-timers who had been in the castle all their lives were the first to recognize
him and they yelled. "It is Prince William. Son of King Edward. Our rightful King! He
has returned to us! Death to the King! Long live the King!!"
Immediately, the entire crowd picked up the chant. "King William! King William!
As the thunderous roar continued, Xander, who was no longer restrained shoved his way
through the throng of milling bodies. He rushed forward to the side of his lover and scooped
his Highness up in a less than regal, undignified bear hug. "Oh, Spike. My Spike. I
mean William. My William. I love you. The curse is broken. That must have been the
name of the demon."
Spike laughed as his feet were finally allowed purchase back on the ground.
"Rumple Foreskin! How silly. How perfect. Only you, my pet could think of such a thing."
Xander blushed. "I just remembered how much I loved..."
"Hey!" Suddenly an ugly concern seeped in to extinguish Xander's joy. "The King. Where
is King Liam?"
William frowned as he scanned the area, holding tightly to Xander's hand he looked in
all directions. "I don't know. When you called his name, the demon leapt from my body
and into Liam who stood next to me. I don't know what happened to him after.... Wait!
There! Good Lord! Over there!"
Everyone's attention was turned toward where the handsome William pointed but all they
saw was a statue. A garden statue of a grotesque gargoyle crouched as if poised to run. Its
body was bent and twisted and its stone face was distorted in a grimace of pain.
It was freakish. It was disgusting and yet, there was something disturbingly familiar about
the eyes and mouth. The final confirmation came when Sir Giles wrapped his arms around
the slab of carved rock and he wailed, continuing to sob even as the mage was dragged
away, placed under arrest and tossed into the round circular tower room of the castle of
King William O'Connor.