Author's Note: This was heavily influenced by Angela Carter’s beautiful "The Company of Wolves." There was something erotic about the wolf hiding under the covers, waiting for the little girl in her red cape. Setting based on the song White Christmas, for the Ink on a Dark Ship Challenge on HxT Lightening.

Red Cape

By Passo


Harry walked on the ground, clutching the heavy basket filled with the things he carefully packed earlier. His cloak, wrapped around him, burned red against the white snow that covered the forest floor. It trailed behind him, barely touching his covered ankles as he hurried to his destination.

It was winter, and this was the winter of his youth—the season between childhood and adulthood that held much of the magic of life. Most forget this magic, but for some, the enchantment of this age stays forever. Who knew what this boy had in mind as he hurried this afternoon, his rushing footsteps creating their mark on the white sheet over the grass he played upon so many times in summer?

He knew there was someone waiting for him.

The door creaked as he closed it, the force of his hand causing some of the snow that had gathered above to fall. He touched his gloves to his reddened, cold cheeks as he faced the inside of the cottage.

"It's me," he called out.

"I know." The voice came from the room. "Come in."

He swallowed his apprehension and entered the bedroom. It was dark. The light from the fireplace didn't quite reach the room, and all the windows were shuttered. But he could still make out the form of someone on the bed, and feel the pair of eyes staring at him from beneath the dark fringe that shielded them.

"Shut the door. I don't like the light."

He did so obediently. He noticed that his breath had quickened since he entered, and he could hear himself inhale (exhale) as he turned, his heart thudding loudly against his chest.

The basket. "I brought something for you."

He nearly jumped when he thought he heard a growl. It was nothing, he told himself. And he was right. There was only silence.

"Would you show it to me?" the man on the bed asked softly.

He tried to dispel the vision of the feral grin that he imagined came with the question. He approached slowly, the basket stretched out before him. He stopped when his knees touched the covers. "I hope you like them. I'm sorry I came late, but I couldn't leave the Christmas dinner so early." He laid the basket on the floor.

"It is never over unless you say it is." The lids opened, revealing the crimson eyes that he feared so terribly during cold nights alone. The black slits widened, letting what meager light enter. "To better see you, my child," he suddenly said.

Harry felt the hands on his wrist, and the image of his cape sweeping to the floor touched his mind. But he didn't know what it was that overcame him that made him forget how he ended up on the bed. Was it fear? Or was it the dangerous fascination that led him here in the nest of his anxiety?

Searching lips closed over his nipples, suckling on the pink, puckered flesh that contracted with each touch of the tongue. Sharp teeth pierced his skin.

"To better taste you, my child."

He stared at his knees on the sheets. They led to his young thighs that trembled as his blood trickled down from his chest. Harry felt the pain, but turned it from his mind as he basked in the waves of exquisite pleasure he thought he would never reach beyond his dreams—shuttered within the dark bed curtains of his Tower.

He didn't remember when he slept, but he knew how he felt when he last lay on the pillow with his eyes open, his body tired but full, and his mind filled with the memories of what used to be a nightmare.

The next morning, the windows were open. Harry's first sight was the dazzling field of white dotted by pines. He stretched as he smiled, cheered by the sight. His dreams had not been less divine.

"Good morning," the voice whispered on his cheek.

Harry stilled. "I thought you didn't like the light."

"I changed my mind." One hand lay on his side, feeling the length of his body under the sheets. "How else could I love you better, my child?"

It was morning, it was their Christmas, and the red cape lay on the floor, beside the basket, gladly forgotten.


(December 2003)

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