The final volume of the fairy tale bundle is Like a Queen, lesbian stories based on traditional fairy tales. Today’s excerpt is from “The Stepmother’s Girl” by Quatre Grey:
For weeks I have cooked, cleaned, repaired, tended, mended, answered to the every whim of my stepsisters and of you. I had long since recovered from the aches and soreness of the hard labor but my patience with my step-sisters haughty attitudes and your cold harsh tone is growing thin. I have not received the pleasures of your satisfaction and gratitude at my apt obedience that I had anticipated. I have been given no reward, and am losing the simple joy I once had in servitude.
Tonight my step-sisters are at a party and my father sleeps soundly in the upstairs library. You call me to your personal chamber–you never share a bed with my father–for instructions on another menial task about the estate. Your chamber decorated like your gowns; draped in blacks and reds, midnight shades of purple and blue, like the lair of an ancient vampire. My clothes worn and dirty but as neat as I can make them, I step into your room and shut the door behind me, coming to stand at an easy attention while my eyes adjust to the dim illumination of the oil lamps. I hear you in an adjoining room, one I have never been allowed into and have heard referred to as your painting room. From the door left ajar, your voice beckons me in. I hesitate a moment before stepping to the door and entering.
The light is even dimmer here and yellow flame flickers off polished black leather, metal, wood. Shadows sneak and obscure the structures in the room. You stand by a wall which props up several large paintings and cradles an easel in its corner. These painting supplies and oil-covered canvases are the only objects I can clearly discern here. You glance up from your musings and paralyze me with another of your gazes I am unable to resist. Stepping towards me, slow with the soft rustle of fabric, you continue to hold me in place with nothing but those eyes.