Just a Taste: Snow White and the Vicious Curse, Chapter 2
Look out! Snow White and the Vicious Curse: Chapter 2 is launching in paperback soon!
The ebook version of this story dropped in 2021, and I cannot wait to have a physical copy on my shelves! (I installed custom bookshelves in my office this summer, and I have a special place for all the books I have published just waiting to be filled up.)
Curious what you are in for? I'm dropping a sneak peek below, along with the blurb and the trailer- just in case you need to whet your appetite.
Once Upon a Time…
The Wicked Queen has the Kingdom of Seven Hills in her perfect fist. The King and all of his subjects are at her mercy. But the Magic Mirror sees all, and the little princess is growing up - her budding beauty threatens the Queen’s unchallenged position as the most beautiful woman in all the realm.
The Queen unleashes a terrible power, shattering the promise of a bright and happy future for the dear Princess Snow White.
When not even this terrible curse can destroy the young woman, the Queen sends the Huntsman out for the kill.
Will the Huntsman blindly obey his beautiful Queen?
Will Snow White survive the utter devastation her stepmother lays in her path?
Find out in Snow White and the Vicious Curse: Chapter 2
Snow White and the Vicious Curse - Sneak Peek
"No, no, no!" The Queen snapped, glaring at the seamstress that cowered at her feet. "They are disgusting. You simply have to start over.” Then, with one graceful hand, she tucked her fingers into the neckline of the silk gown and tore it from her breasts, shredding the tapestry of beading and delicate embroidery that embellished the bodice. The seamstress gasped and fought back tears as the Queen destroyed weeks’ worth of work and kicked the dress aside.
Reeling on her husband, King Osgar, and his valet, Tripp, who sat off to one side, the Queen was such a vision they scarcely heard her as she stomped towards them. Cheeks flushed, breasts heaving, nostrils flared, the Queen was an avenging angel, a wrathful goddess so beautiful one might forget how very dangerous she could be.
“I thought that one was lovely, darling," the king mused, his loins stirring despite the murderous glint in her eye.
"It was filth," the Queen snarled, stalking across the width of the chamber to stand directly before the king. “You dare present me with this ruin of a seamstress?" The Queen's arm flew out, her finger pointing accusingly at the trembling woman struggling to pick the scattered beads from the rugs. "She would see me humiliated. I wouldn't milk a cow in that gown." Tripp snorted. Hot black eyes turned on the valet, and he gasped for breath under the fury in her gaze.
“A joke at my expense, worm?’ the Queen hissed, her voice acid in the air.
The valet clawed at his rapidly closing throat. “The thought of such beauty, such grace, such elegance doing menial work -” Tripp rasped to silence, his face red, eyes popping before his words mollified the Queen, and she shrugged, disinterested in his distress and cut her gaze away. "I want her whipped before she's thrown out of the castle."
The Queen spun on one delicately arched foot and stalked from the room, leaving the valet choking and gasping breaths, staring in confusion at her gracefully retreating back.
King Osgar stood slowly and made to follow his wife from the room. At the doorway, he paused, turning to his valet and trembling seamstress. "Pay her twice what we owe her, but keep her out of the Queen's sight for at least a fortnight."
The valet nodded, struggling to close his mouth. The king smiled apologetically at the seamstress, who appeared both grateful and shaken before he headed out the room.
King Osgar found his wife in her dressing room, her maid struggling to fasten the ice-blue silk gown as the Queen stalked angrily back and forth.
"Simply ghastly," she snarled, her pretty lip curling unpleasantly as she spun on her heel. "Not fit for a peasant. I am Queen, for fuck sake, not some milkmaid. My gowns should be resplendent, Exquisite, divine –"
As the Queen twisted again for another pace, the maid’s fingers caught in the golden fall of hair and tugged sharply on her mistress's scalp. The Queen stopped pacing, her hand flying to her temple, her eyes flashing as she stared at the few strands of golden hair snagged in the maid’s horrified fist.
Like a bolt of lightning, the Queen lashed out, her open palm flying against the maid’s cheek with such ferocity that the girl's head snapped to the side.
"Here now!” King Osgar called out, shutting the door behind him. The Queen turned on him, her beautiful face horrifying in her rage. Pulling up short, King Osgar halted his approach. His eyes slid from his furious wife to the maid. He watched her slowly straighten, her cheek flaming pink, eyes brimming with tears as she reached out and closed the last clasp on her mistress's dress before curtsying deeply and turning away.
Frowning, the king turned back to his bride. "Your temper, my queen," he admonished softly. "Must you be so hard on the servants?"
The Queen’s flashing eyes filled with fat tears as she eased her face into one of heartbreaking sorrow. "I mean no harm. It's just that I want to look perfect for you, my king."
The high flush in her cheeks faded as she approached him. "Don't you want me to look beautiful?” she asked, her voice satin and smoke.
The king swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry. "You always look beautiful, my dove."
The Queen stepped closer, the gold in her eyes fading to ash and shadows. "And don't you believe I should be surrounded with beautiful things?"
The king's vision narrowed until all he could see was his queen. "Of course, darling. You deserve to be drowned in beauty." His voice was thick, words plodding.
The Queen blinked, her gaze flashing out the window. "I have been Queen for more than five years. I am lonely. I miss my homelands. Your peasants send fewer gifts than they did when I first arrived. The fresh flowers do not come so often.” Her lower lip quivered, then her eyes flashed again. “I'm forced to dress in rags, and I’m surrounded by incompetence." The Queen sighed, slipping disgusted fingers across the creamy silk gown that shone like stars in the firelight, gesturing vaguely at the maid who was crouched at the hearth stroking the fire. "It is as if you do not want me to be happy." The Queen turned hot black eyes on her king, and his knees trembled.
"Nothing could be farther from the truth, my light." He took a wooden step forward, then another. "My beauty." Another. "My world."
The Queen's eyes darkened to the bottomless black of a moonless night, and the king’s knees buckled. Kneeling at her feet, Osgar stared up at her, an animated shell. Oh, how he bored her.
"What do you want, my Queen?" His voice was little more than a moan between dry lips. "Let me please you. Let me serve you."
The Queen smiled, amused for the first time in days. "What would you give me, my king?” she asked, her voice a song of mercury and dark joy.
"Anything," he moaned.
"Anything?" The Queen asked.
"Anything," he repeated, shuffling closer on his knees.
The Queen smiled. Without moving her eyes from her kneeling husband, the Queen snapped her fingers at the maid. "Fetch the king’s valet. Have him bring a quill and parchment."
* * *
Tripp, the king’s valet, rubbed the ache from his wrist when he finally set the quill aside. The Queen's list of demands filled several pages, even in his neat hand. He tried not to look at his king, so unnerved was he by the man’s vacant expression, but anytime he cut his eyes to the Queen, the valet lost track of his task. His eyes wanted to devour her, to feast on her beauty like a starving man.
Hatred grew in his heart that he could not understand. Hatred and jealousy of his king. A man he had known since they were both children, whom he had sworn to protect with his life.
But this woman.
This goddess of a woman stole his will to think and terrified him in equal measure. When she turned her eyes his way, the valet would have gladly gutted his king for another glance, a kiss. But, instead, his dreams of running his hands over that golden skin tormented him, and he had taken to overdrinking, drowning his traitorous thoughts in strong ale and loose women. Women with blond hair. Women he would fuck from behind, his eyes clamped shut, the Queen’s mocking face bouncing behind his eyelids.
“I need a drink,” Tripp groaned to himself, his mouth aching for his first swallow of ale.
At last, Tripp turned to his king, and at that moment, he saw his old friend, his ally, his liege. He would die for him, this staring shadow of the man he once knew. In a breath, Tripp knew they were both lost, and the bewitching woman would be the death of them all.
Lowering his voice so the Queen couldn't overhear, the valet asked, "All of it, sire?"
King Osgar turned vacant eyes on his lifelong friend. "Anything she asks for. Everything she wants," he repeated for what must have been the thousandth time.
Fighting to ignore the temptation of the Queen swaying softly in the afternoon light that poured like rain through the window, Tripp forced his eyes to the stacks of pages before him.
"The kingdom will suffer, Osgar," he whispered, praying the Queen was still out of earshot. "If you give her everything she wants, the very kingdom will have to go without."
The king’s hollow eyes struck a chord of ice in the valet’s chest.
Swallowing over the lump of rising dread, Tripp nodded, gathered the pages, and made to leave. He had almost crossed the threshold into the hall when a thought struck him.
“Your highness, I had the pleasure of seeing the wee princess earlier. Such a bright and sweet little child. I daresay she is already as beautiful as her mother."
Had he not left the room that instant, before the words could sink in for the Queen, Tripp might have watched the waves of sick fear then fury that contorted her angelic features. Had he not been forcing his gaze to the pattern in the carpet, Tripp may have watched the Queen's cheeks flush red and then drain of even her ethereal golden glow.
Black cloak billowing around her, bare feet slapping against the cold stone, the Queen stormed down the long dim corridor and, with a scant glance around, thrust back the hunting tapestry to reveal the small curved door behind. The Queen rushed down the dark, tightly spiralled staircase, fingertips tracing the familiar curve in the stone until she reached the threshold of her room, and the torches around the walls flared to blinding.
Before the Queen stepped into the room, heart racing, eyes wild with panic, one slender finger caught in the knot at her throat, untying the ribbon and letting the black cloak fall from her naked skin. She stopped before the mirror’s dark surface, watching the shadows twist and writhe, staring hard into the mirror’s reflection. The torches around her flickered and flared in the cool air.
“She can’t be. She simply cannot be,” the Queen muttered to her smirking reflection as her eyes rolled over her flawless skin, the full, high curves of her breasts, the fresh pink nipples that tightened in the chill and thrust towards the mirror in an invitation.
She pushed the waves of her shimmering hair over one shoulder and turned her neck to admire the long lines of her legs, the swell of her hips, the lush curve of her ass.
“It just can not be. Look. Look at yourself, Callista - Queen Calista. Look. Still beautiful. Still powerful. It can’t be -” Swallowing down her panic, the Queen bit deeply into the pillow of her lower lip to keep it from trembling.
Her guts roiled with black emotions she had not felt in years. Pain, bright and fresh, bloomed along the edges of long-forgotten wounds, and the Queen doubled over, hands fisted in her ribs against the ache. Twin tears blinked from her eyes, fell like raindrops, and splattered against the black stone floor. The Queen watched them and summoned her strength.
“Pull yourself together. You are Queen now. No one will cast me aside again. She cannot be -” Straightening slowly, the Queen stared at her reflection, the glimmer of tears in her eyes, the shoulders shuddering with threatening sobs.
Her reflection raised its left hand, its mouth still twisted in dark joy at the Queen’s pain. The Queen’s right hand shadowed it. Then it flew viciously against the Queen’s cheek, shocking her with the sting that knocked her head to the side. Something healing uncurled in the physical pain, smothering the emotional pain, focusing it, bringing the Queen out of the shadows of her past and back to this moment.
Her breath clouded in the sudden chill, her heart icing over the old wounds once again, as she straightened, smoothed the tears from her cheeks, and ran her fingers through the tumble of gold hair that hung down her back.
“Mirror, mirror,” her voice, now solid and clear, shimmered in the air between her flesh and her reflection. “On the wall, who in the realm is fairest of all?”
The reflection in the mirror slid its slender hands over the delicious curves the Queen had just been admiring, and the Queen trembled at the sensation. Her lips parted, and her head lolled to one side, watching the devilish grin on her reflection widen as its hands slid higher, cupping her breasts and toying with her nipples.
The Queen gasped when the reflection’s fingers clamped down and squeezed the tight buds firmly. Her head came up, and her mouth opened, meaning to object, but the sensation stopped just short of pain and ignited an urgent tug in her womb.
The reflection’s hands slid over the silky curve of her belly, then tugged on the golden curls between her legs. The Queen moaned, leaning back to brace herself against the stone table, lifting one leg to open herself to deeper caresses. The reflection laughed at her wanton pose and, stroking her trembling mound, teased another series of moans from the Queen.
Following its lead, the Queen’s fingers slid slowly between her legs, parting her secret lips and dipping into the well that hid there. Again, the Queen moaned, bucking her hips. The fingers slid along her slit again, teasing and taunting, stoking the fire that burned between her legs until the Queen’s breath rushed out in urgent pants.
Her hips snapped against the cold hard stone, and the fingers teased on, dipping deeper and deeper, sliding over the wet satin skin, then swirling around the tight bud of intense pleasure at the apex of her thighs. Finally, when she could stand it no longer, the fingers slid lower again, pressing into the hot wet opening at her core as the Queen growled her satisfaction. A second finger slid next to the first and spread the deep aching space open as the Queen gasped and worked her hips against the thrusting fingers.
From the edges of her mounting pleasure, the Queen heard a voice break through her echoing moans. The reflection, still filling itself and the Queen with hard thrusting fingers, spoke:
“You, my Queen, have a beauty quite rare, but tiny Snow White is growing equally fair.”
The vain queen froze, writhing on her fingers as the words stole the orgasm from her quivering thighs. She stared into the half-smirk of her reflection, and her whisper whipped around the small room.
“What did you say?”
The reflection tilted its head and waited, and the Queen gnashed her teeth - it would, of course, respond only to rhyme, so she asked again, naked and trembling before the ebony twists of the frame and the beautiful reflection with the cruel glint in its eye.
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in the realm is fairest of all?” Her eyelid twitched, and she held her breath, fingers still wet from the dew of her excitement as the dark voice replied, slowly, viciously, “You, my Queen, have a beauty quite rare, but tiny Snow White is growing equally fair.”
Nails cutting into her palms, the Queen screamed her fury at the mirror. “A child? A bloody, snot-nosed babe is as beautiful as I am?” The anger twisted dark and brutal in her chest as she stomped her bare feet on the stone floor, eyes rolling in their sockets, breath heaving beneath her perfect breasts.
She wanted to scream till her throat bled. She wanted to smash the mirror into a thousand icy shards. She wanted to burn the smug smile off the reflection that stood motionless and watched her tantrum, mocking her with her reflected perfection.
Instead, the Queen stalked, still naked, skin glinting with icy sweat in the torchlight, across the stone room to her shelves of dark ingredients. Between the bottles of baby mice, vials of virgin blood, and stardust, she snatched a dagger from its sheath. She drew its razor-sharp blade across her palm with a single decisive swipe. A breath hissed through her teeth as the pain flashed from the wound to the tips of her breasts. She closed her fingers over the wound and extended her arm to drip blood onto the black stone altar.
“Send me the Huntsman,” she whispered as the torchlight flared to blinding before sizzling back to flickers.
In the woods beyond the castle walls, a young man with a broad chest and handsome face pulled his bowstring tight and notched his arrow as he sighted the young buck grazing between the trees. The Huntsman slowed his breathing, calmed his heart, and waited.
The space between seconds stretched into endless nothingness. Then, somewhere in the trees behind him, a rustle in the woods brought up the buck’s head. Its ears twisted back and forth between velvet horns, still thoughtfully chewing the leaves it had pulled from the ground, more curious than afraid.
The Huntsman sent up a silent prayer of thanks to the spirits of the forest, then loosed his arrow as a blinding pain cut across his palm and brought him to his knees.
The anguished cry that broke from his throat startled the deer, and it lurched away just as the arrow sailed past. The Huntsman gripped the wrist of one hand in the fingers of the other and stared at the smooth red line that burned like a razor of red coals in his palm. Then, gritting his teeth and blinking tears from his eyes, he forced himself to his feet and took two staggering steps towards the palace. The pain eased slightly as he moved back towards the stone towers of the castle, and he paused only long enough to sling his catch of the day - a large hare and three pheasants - over his shoulder before moving purposely towards his Queen.
Halfway up the spiralling stone stairs, the Huntsman stood on the threshold of the round black stone room and tried not to stare at the firelight glinting off the Queen’s naked back. He cradled his hand against his chest. The ghost pain haunting him through the agony had eased with every step.
“I have a job for you,” the Queen whispered over her shoulder, not taking her eyes off her reflection. “I need three birds. Three live birds. A crow as black as ebony, a dove as white as snow, and a cardinal as red as blood.”
“Of course, my queen.” The Huntsman bowed and moved to leave, grateful this task was so simple. But the Queen’s voice cracked like thunder in the stone room.
“Wait.” The Huntsman’s spine tingled, but he turned back to her. “I’ll need something belonging to the child as well.” The Queen turned to face the Huntsman, her eyes black as night.
The Huntsman hesitated, his skin crawling under her unearthly gaze.
“The child, your majesty?” he asked, trying not to shudder as she locked her eyes on his.
“Princess Snow White.” The name was spit from her mouth like poison. “I need something personal of hers. A toy, a ribbon, a lock of hair. Bring the birds and the item back here before the new moon.”
The Huntsman bowed low, trying to keep his eyes from the miles of smooth pale skin, the puckered rosy nipples, the tight nest of blond curls at the apex of the beautiful queen’s thighs. The room shuddered with something dark and dangerous, and he wanted nothing more than to head back into his beloved woods and away from the anger and fear he could taste in the air.
The Queen turned away, dismissing him with a flick of her graceful fingers. The Huntsman backed from the room respectfully.
With the breath still tight in his chest, he turned and rushed down the steep stone stairs, away from the Queen and her bewitching darkness.
When the cool night air broke over his face, he breathed his first full breath. But the moment of relief was short-lived. The hair at the nape of his neck twitched. While the Queen had faced him, her eyes black as death, her reflection had been staring at him too. The memory of the twin images pinning him, impossibly, with two sets of hard black eyes raised an icy sweat across his back as he ran into the forest.
The birds were easy to find. The Huntsman knew the woods, knew where the birds fed and roosted. So it was the work of three days before he had the three birds in a cage, ready to present to his Queen. The item from the princess was another matter.
Hiding in the shadows, the Huntsman watched the princess and her tight crew of protectors. He watched the way they laughed and smiled with her. The Huntsman saw the love in their eyes as he struggled to catch a glimpse of the little princess. Then, between the skirts of her maids, he caught a glimpse of night-black hair, her twin pale arms reached high, awaiting an embrace.
One morning, he saw the yellow flash of her skirts as she twirled and danced amidst the winding garden paths, the patches of shimmering snow. He could see how her protectors adored Princess Snow White.
The Huntsman focused his attention on the servants, learning how closely they watched her, and how carefully they guarded her. Their care was born of love and not fear, and therefore there were gaps in her observation. There were moments when all backs were turned, seconds when the Princess wandered out of sight. The little cherub often danced out of reach and had to be called back. These were moments, and the Huntsman intended to take full advantage.
Two nights before the New Moon, his palm started to burn again. The pain was a low, insistent ache that grew as the hours passed. He had begun to fear that time would run out, and his throbbing palm would be the least of his concerns when his opportunity finally came.
From his favourite vantage point, a gnarled and twisted tree that stretched into the sky like a giant amid toadstools, he watched his chance unfold and sent up a silent prayer of thanks to the old gods.
Perched on a low branch of the tree, the frost-crisp crimson leaves that snapped and shuddered in the biting wind shielded his wiry body from view. He watched the princess skip farther and farther from her guardians.
He pulled a tin flute from his pocket and began to play. He watched the princess’s maids walking the grounds together, bundled up against the wind, faces turned to the sun. A bright yellow cloak flashed across the gardens, a stripe of red nearly lost in shiny black curls as the princess chased skittering leaves, just out of sight of the maids.
Lying back against the branch, the Huntsman played a song a blackbird had taught him, an enticing ditty that charmed the birds from the trees and soothed even the most anxious of animals. Through the web of dark branches, he watched her tiny head lift and swivel, left and right, trying to pinpoint the origin of the music. The leaves obscured her face, but he saw the thick yellow cloak turn towards his tree and smiled around the flute as her little raven head drew closer.
On he played, careful to keep the music loud enough to reach only the princess but not her maids nor the castle beyond. Her little feet carried her quickly through the rest of the garden, beyond the dormant flowerbeds, to where the branches of the Huntsman’s tree cast shadows on the icy ground.
The Huntsman slowed his playing, then stopped as she came into view below him, a blood-red ribbon tied in a bow at the crown of her head. The princess slowed, her little chin sweeping around as she crept into the thicker shadows, as hapless as a doe in his sights.
The Huntsman, silent as a shadow, lay upon the branch, then twisted to swing beneath it, hanging low. When the princess passed under him, he reached out and took the loose end of her bow, sliding the crimson ribbon from her hair, before pulling himself back up onto the branch.
The Huntsman watched as Princess Snow White paused, looking slowly around, taking in her surroundings, then she froze and tipped her tiny face up to peer at him.
“Hello,” she whispered, her eyes wide and trusting.
The Huntsman stared down into her beautiful little face, and his heart hitched.
“Hello,” he whispered back.
“Do you live in that tree?” Snow White asked, her eyes taking in the tree and the cathedral of branches laid out over her head.
The Huntsman’s lips twitched. “Not always.”
Snow White nodded slowly, emerald green eyes thoughtful, her little mouth pursed as she considered his answer. “I cannot imagine it is very comfortable on that branch.”
The Huntsman swallowed a laugh.
“I have a secret, Tree Man,” Snow White curved one small hand around her mouth. “Would you like to know what it is?”
“What is your secret, little one?”
“It is almost my birthday,” Snow giggled, her green eyes twinkling in the winter light. “I will be six years old, and our chef has promised to bake me an apple pie. My maid says that cake is for birthdays and pie is for holidays, but I like pie best, and on my birthday, I would like to eat what I like.”
The Huntsman smiled, charmed by her admission, and the stubborn tilt in her chin. She turned her gaze back to his face, her eyes tracing his features, his leather clothes, then landing on the flute he still clutched in one hand. Her pretty eyes widened, gaze snapping back to his face.
“It was you. You played the song.”
A feeling spread through the Huntsman, warm and new, like the sun melting frost from the trees.
“It is a beautiful song. You are a very skilled musician,” she said, her little face twisting into a scowl. “I have to play the harpsichord. I am terrible at it. It sounds like chickens fighting.”
The Huntsman barked a laugh at the unexpected confession.
“Maybe I could convince my governess to let me play the flute instead. I would enjoy it so much more if I could practice outside, for the animals and the birds.” Innocent pleasure swept the furrow from her brow as she considered this option. She nodded decisively, then met his eyes again, and the Huntsman’s heart constricted.
From across the gardens, a voice raised. “Princess Snow? Snow White, where are you?”
The little princess turned her cherubic face back towards the castle, and she sighed softly before tipping her chin up again to look at the Huntsman.
“I shall bring you a blanket and pillow from the palace, Tree Man. And you needn’t worry. I won’t tell anyone you sometimes live here.” And with one more heartbreaking smile, she turned and ran away, her little arms swinging.
Just as she stepped out of the shade of the tree, she paused to call over her shoulder, “Thank you for the song,” then she ran back to her maids.
The Huntsman watched her through the breaks in the tree branches until she and the two maids slipped from sight. He blew out the breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding and pressed his fist with her ribbon hanging from it to his chest. The tiny princess had taken a piece of his heart when she smiled at him, and he was unsure if he would ever recover. Then, sighing over the sweet joy of their interaction, the Huntsman climbed down from the tree. With two long strides, the shadows of his beloved forest swallowed him home.
Continued in Snow White and the Vicious Curse
Regina Grimm is the author of erotic fairytales written for the uninhibited readers 18+.
Check out her books:
Snow White and the Wicked Curse: Chapter 1
The final chapter, Snow White and the Poisoned Apple.
Prefer to read the whole story at once? Grab your copy of Snow: The Complete Erotic Series now! All five books are coming soon in Paperback.