|Sleeping Beauty by Elf Asato
Author: Elf Asato
Written: July 6, 2003
Disclaimer: All characters used belong to Yuki Kaori.
Notes: Based on the fairytale...
By Elf Asato
Once upon a time there was a daughter born to a King and Queen, who had longed for a child. They called this royal babe Aurora. Holding a christening for this child, they invited the fairies – only seven were found, but that was quite all right since the King and Queen each considered seven a lucky number – who came bearing gifts for the newly born. In the midst of their celebration, though, the Fairy Uglyane dropped in uninvited and demanded to know why she hadn’t received an invitation. The king expressed his regret that the invitation had not gotten to her, but instead the fairy approached Aurora and cast her gift – one day she would prick her finger on a spindle and die. The King and Queen were appalled, but the other fairies countered the curse, telling that by that prick Aurora would not die…but fall into a deep sleep which could only be lifted by true love’s first kiss. The King immediately ordered that all spindles be burned. Seventeen years passed and Princess Aurora grew into a beautiful young woman, but one day she encountered an old woman from the depths of the castle doing something extraordinary – spinning on a spindle. Ever curious, the Princess tried her hand at spinning, but the second she touched the spindle, she was pricked, falling instantly. To protect the Princess and keep her safe, the fairies froze the entire kingdom in a deep sleep and laid the Princess down to rest. Due to the fairies’ magic, thick briars grew to cover the castle entirely.
Many years later Prince Florimond strolled through the countryside and noticed the castle covered in briar. One of the peasants told him that there was a Princess kept there for many years and she could only be woken up by true love’s first kiss. This set the Prince afire and he dashingly fought his way through the enchanted briar, finally laying eyes on the sleeping beauty once all the briar was destroyed. She was so beautiful and without hesitation, the Prince sank to his knees beside her, trembling, and gently placed his lips upon hers…breaking the spell at last…
Cain’s eyes fluttered gently as something warm but surprisingly tender graced his lips softly, feeling as if it were by silk. He felt so relaxed and languid as that wonderfully delicate sensation pulsed through his body that it was almost a sin for it to end. As the sensation fleeted away from his so innocently parted lips, Cain opened his golden eyes halfway, equally surprised and pleased at the hazed image kneeling before him. A tiny groan escaped him as he propped himself up on his elbows, a seemingly laborious ordeal, and gazed at his Prince Florimond directly; he had fallen asleep on a couch while reading Sleeping Beauty, if the book carelessly discarded across his stomach was any indication. Cain blinked several times to clear his vision before emitting softly, “…Riff.”
“Did this story bore you to sleep…Cain?” Riff asked, his voice barely above a whisper as he gently removed the book from his master’s stomach and marked the place, setting it aside on a nearby table.
While offering a lethargic smile, he admitted, as their locked eyes never strayed, “I was hoping to catch an afternoon nap and I thought that rereading that story would do just the thing.”
“It seems it has,” Riff replied evenly as he placed his hand across the exposed flat of the younger man’s stomach, as if replacing the book that once was there. He tenderly raked his fingernails back and forth across the flesh, finally withdrawing his hand and bending down to kiss the warm skin near the naval.
Cain had closed his eyes tightly, as if focusing every last ounce of his concentration on the tickling sensations emanating from his stomach. When they ceased and even Riff’s lips withdrew, his eyes opened once again and he gazed down coolly at his butler and friend, their eyes locking once again. “I liked how you woke me up…”
A soft smile played upon Riff’s features as another hand went up to the side of Cain’s face, caressing his cheek tenderly with a thumb. “…Did you now? I just happened to see what you were reading and…” he trailed off as Cain took hold of the hand and kissed the palm of it lightly, discarding it on his leg with a vaguely wayward smile a few moments later.
He leaned forward a bit, grasping him by the shoulders, and placed a demonstrative kiss on Riff’s cheek. Brushing his lips against the warm skin, Cain’s hand slid from a shoulder and traveled up into the other’s fair hair where he slowly ran his lithe fingers through it, massaging the scalp hypnotically. He traced a slow path to Riff’s lips and kissed them gently while his tongue flicked out along the bottom lip.
Riff exhaled softly and brought his hand up to the back of Cain’s head, pressing them closer as he kissed his lips fully. As Cain immediately leaned into the kiss with a satisfied moan, Riff cupped his cheeks with both hands and brushed a few tendrils of dark hair from his forehead. After a few moments, Riff broke away from the kiss with a discontented sigh from the other and smiled serenely into hauntingly green eyes speckled with golden dust.
Cain determinedly leaned forward again to give the other man a peck on the cheek and whispered breathily into Riff’s ear, nibbling his earlobe in the process, “…Yes?”
Giving Riff’s earlobe a sharp bite, Cain muttered tersely, “What?”
“Master Cain!” a maid called loudly from her spot in hovering over her master. Her eyebrow twitched and she seemed slightly disgruntled about something.
Cain, startled, took in deep, gasping breaths as he looked around him in a near daze; Sleeping Beauty laid still impeccably on his stomach, Riff was nowhere to be found, and he noticed that he still laid on the couch, staring blankly at the ceiling as if he had just woken up… “Y-yes…?” he faltered slightly, propping himself up on his elbows as he looked up at the formidable maid.
The maid seemed very displeased and she spoke curtly with her hands on her hips, “Some very important guests have arrived and Mr. Riff is downstairs greeting them. It would be advisable if you did the same instead of continue your nap, sir.”
In no position to disobey, Cain nodded his head slightly and watched with weariness as she left him to attend to other issues. One she was gone, he reluctantly sat up, the book falling from him onto the floor, and with a sigh rubbed his face, thinking upon matters. A few seconds passed and Cain rose up from his spot, gripping the couch to steady himself. As he turned to the door and trudged along to it, he ran a hand through his dark hair and muttered exasperatingly:
“I have got to stop having dreams like this…”