AN: Thanks to everyone who gave their support for this story. Y'all are rock stars. It's been a great ride, and a part of me is sad to see it end, but maybe we'll meet again sometime. Cheers - Airplane

Chapter 37

Eugene will only remember bits and pieces of the party that follows. The thousands of congratulations blur together, as do the music and toasts. He will remember leading Rapunzel in a dance, but they're holding each other so closely and she's giggling so much that they are basically doing it wrong. The dance instructor would throw a fit. He'll remember dancing with the queen while Rapunzel spins around with her father. He'll remember that the cake is delicious, especially as Rapunzel brushes frosting off his face. He'll remember that Big Nose cries and is comforted by a woman no one has ever seen before, who surprisingly enough looks pretty normal.

But mostly he'll remember how hard it is to keep himself from kissing Rapunzel. Constantly. And repeatedly, and with much more passion than would be appropriate in company.

She snuggles back against him as they release the first of the floating lanterns out in the courtyard. The warm paper bounces off his fingertips and drifts off into the sky, soon followed by a thousand more, and all the little lights reflect in her eyes.

Everyone cheers as they make their exit – cheering mixed with congratulations, mixed with catcalls. He leads her by the hand as they dash back into the castle, and they don't make it very far before they pull up short and fall into each other. He smiles into kisses and she's entwining their fingers together and slipping an arm around his shoulders to draw him closer. They grin at each other, then he kisses her one more time because it's just too hard to stop.

"Come on." Kiss. "We shouldn't stand around-" Kiss. "In the hallway."

"Right." Kiss.

Eugene groans, then squeezes her hand, and she follows him with a giggle.

"You're supposed to carry me," she says.


"It's bad luck if I trip in the doorway, so you're supposed to carry me."

"I think we're more likely to fall if I'm carrying you."

"My etiquette instructor said-"

"Ok. Ok."

He turns to lift her up, but she's faster than he is and climbs up onto his back for a piggy-back ride before he can sweep her off her feet. His arms slip under her legs automatically, doing strange things to the skirt on her dress.

He cranes his neck around to give her a sideways look. "I don't think this is what your etiquette instructor had in mind."

Her eyebrows draw together in confusion, and he swoops to peck her cheek before setting off again. She starts planting her own kisses across his cheek and down his neck with a grin, and when she runs into his collar she makes a little noise of protest and starts unclasping his jacket. Once that's done she starts on his dress shirt.

Eugene walks faster.

"Where are we going?" she asks.

He raises an eyebrow at her. "Where do you think we're going?"

"I think we're going to your room, when we should be going to my room." She laughs and corrects herself, "Our room."

He stops because she's absolutely right. He's gotten a bit used to his room and the concept of having her snuggled up in his bed.


He turns on his heel and heads the other direction while Rapunzel nibbles and kisses at his ear. This doesn't really help him keep his balance.

She has to open the door because his hands are full of skirt, and she hops down and doesn't give him time to turn before she hugs him around the middle, resting her head in the hollow between his shoulder blades, sighing because she's had a very long day. Now that she's here alone with him she can finally relax. He can too, and he takes a moment to close his eyes and work the tension out of his shoulder, as if she's draining it all away from him.

"Hi," she murmurs.

"Hey." He drapes his hands over hers and gives her a reassuring squeeze. "How ya' doing?"

"Good. Just tired."

"But not too tired?"

"Hmm. Not too tired."

He turns to wrap her up in his arms. "You look beautiful."

"I know!" She beams and pulls away to spin around, holding her skirt out to the side to give him a better look. "We match. Did you notice?"

"I did." He also noticed how much of her back she's showing off and how she's a good three inches taller in her heels - which he now notices have disappeared.

She blushes from the funny way he's smiling at her, soft and gentle and full of more love than she knows what to do with. She ducks her head to say, "You look good too, you know."

Cupping her face, he tilts it back up so he can look in her eyes and marvel at her flushed and freckled cheeks. "Thanks, Goldie."

Her eyes slip closed as he bends to kiss her, long and slow, without any need to rush, without any need to hesitate or pull back. She's his, and she wants him, and there's no one who can do anything about it. He would have thought that this lack of danger would make the whole thing less exciting, would make it too normal. But instead he feels free. For the first time in his life he feels settled, and he realizes that finding his place like this is really all he ever wanted, all he'll ever need.

She drags his hands to her waist, then around to the clasps on the back of her dress. And he tries to memorize every sensation: the creaminess of her skin against his rough hands, the texture of the embroidery across her dress, the taste of her pink lip stain, the gentle click as each of her clasps come undone.

Her narrow sleeves have sat precariously just off her shoulder all evening, teasing him with the thought that they might slip off at any moment. He pushes one down to uncover the full expanse of her shoulder, a shoulder he's seen a hundred times before, but for some reason has never looked so attractive.

The hooks down the back run all the way down to the curve of her ass, and once they're undone he moves to pull down her dress by the sleeves.

"Wait. It comes off over my head." She grabs her dress by the bust line and pulls, and Eugene tries to help her without knowing exactly which parts of her skirt are supposed to come free and which aren't. After a moment of struggling she reappears again, her hair a bit mussed and her cheeks a bit flushed, letting the mass of lifeless dress flop to the floor while her many layers of delicate, netted petticoats settle back around her.

While he inelegantly kicks off his boots, she slips her hands into his shirt, palms flat against his chest, and pushes both shirt and jacket off his shoulders to meet her dress on the floor.

"They're going to get wrinkled," she says, making no move to pick them up as he kisses her neck and delicately unties the strings on her petticoats.

"You ever gonna wear it again?" His voice is low in her ear, making her tremble, making her drag her hands up his arms, up his shoulders, up into his hair. Her petticoats fall to the floor.

He plants his hands on her hips and leans back to get a look at her, and his eyes widen and his jaw slackens and all he can really think to say is, "Wow," because his sweet, little Rapunzel has officially become the sexiest thing to ever walk the earth. Her corset is laced up the front, decorated with intricate white on white flowers, made of silk soft as air over a firm base that bunches her breasts in a way that makes his fingers itch to let them free. It wouldn't take much as they look fit to burst.

And then there are the stockings – stockings that stretch and strain over the curves of her legs, stockings that could very well be painted on, stockings held up by the most delicate of little ribbons attached to her corset.

The desire in Eugene's chest growls.

"I don't know how it all works," she admits, but he cuts her off with a kiss that's deep and hot as he holds her tight in his arms, just the way she likes, and lifts her clear off the ground to walk a half dozen steps and deposit her on the bed with a little squeak of surprise and approval.

He pulls back enough to peel off his undershirt, and her hands immediately roam over his bare chest, over his abs, awakening nerves he didn't know were asleep. She scoots backwards as he crawls onto the bed, climbing over her as she props herself up on her elbows to meet his lips.

Her leg curls up to rub against his side, looking for contact, looking for a way to get more. And he runs a hand up her stockinged leg, pressing every inch of her against his palm, feeling her shiver under his touch. With several meticulous motions, the little ribbons come undone and he trails his hand back down, peeling back her stocking, letting her leg breathe, letting her warmth seep into his palm. Undressing her is thrilling beyond words, as he strips away layers to find the girl beneath, as his blood pumps faster and a fire lights in his belly and his groin clenches. His fingertips brush over the curve of her ankle, and she presses against him more eagerly.

He wants to take it slow, revel in every sensation, remember every moment. He doesn't want a quick and dirty fuck before someone walks in on them. He wants to make love to her. He wants to make her to feel like a goddess. He wants to rock her world.

Rapunzel doesn't understand this, and considers his slow and teasing movements to be some sort of newly invented torture. She wants him. Now. And he needs to take her or she's going to scream.

She grabs at his belt and in three quick, aggressive flicks she has the buckle undone. With a belt end in either hand, she yanks him down to press against her. Eugene hisses, his face pressed against her neck as he squeezes his eye closed and pants. She rocks her hips against him and whimpers, nuzzling her face into his hair.

He takes off her other stocking a touch more quickly, and moves directly to her corset, kissing on her collarbone, feeling one breast beneath the thick material. She franticly pushes down his pants, but can't reach very far and settles for grabbing his ass, making him buck instinctively against her, making them both gasp at the contact. Never one to back down from an experiment, she repeats the action, and her head lolls back as he jerks against her again.

Her corset comes loose enough for her to feel the whisper of night air against her skin, and for her to pull it over her head, dislodging a few wilting flowers from her hair as it falls to the floor with a muffled thump. A thin arm slips around his neck to pull him down, flush against her, and he can feel her bare skin writhe against him, already showing the first glimmer of sweat.

He holds her tight, one tensed arm firm across her back while the other roams over silky skin. She holds him so close that he can feel the roll and boil of desire in her muscles, in the shortening of her breath, in her kisses that grow more and more reckless. They pull at each other. She tries to drag him down into pure sensation and abandon, heating every vein in his body, making him dizzy. He tries to hold them back, make it last, make it good. It's a struggle they willingly play out with mouths and hands and moans.

She struggles with his pants again, and he pushes himself off of her enough to shimmy out of them while she strips off her underwear. His pants land on the ground with a thunk, and he realizes that that's the sound a fancy watch makes as it hits a hardwood floor. Oops. Oh well.

She kisses him again and he sighs into her, cupping her cheek in his hand, settling over her. He pulls back to look in her eyes, to see her anxiously suck at her swollen lip, to see that underneath it all she's still scared.

"You- You alright?"

She nods, and wraps her arms around his shoulders, pulling him in for a hug and one last comforting kiss.

"Relax," he whispers, and she nods again, rubbing her forehead against his.

He trails a hand down her body, stroking her twitching, shivering skin, not helping her relax as they both wind tighter. He feels between her legs and she presses against him needily as he strokes her, drawing out the wetness of her and coating his fingers before pressing his length against her to send a bone shaking shudder up his spine.

With a steadying hand on her hip, he guides himself into her as carefully as he can. His eyes roll as she tightens around him, and he presses his forehead against her to ground himself for a moment, before he checks on her, his breath barely contained, his body on fire, his eyes clouded with need. She grimaces, and swallows thickly, her fingers digging into his shoulders. He doesn't think he can speak without moaning, so he drops a kiss against her cheek and strokes her hair.

Her voice comes out high pitched and strangled. "I'm- It just- pinches a little."

And then she moves. Just a small shifting of her hips to get more comfortable, but it's perfect, and he finds himself squeezing her tighter and kissing her passionately as he pulls away then back in. She cries out. Then again. And again. Clenching her legs around his waist and groping against his back for some sort of purchase.

There's only the heat of her skin, and the painful buildup of pleasure as she clutches him tight, as she moves beneath him to match his strokes, as she gasps against his ear, sending tremors from his eardrum to his tightening chest. She whimpers in half words and exclamations, her movements becoming more wild, more desperate as she urges him on, as he kisses her neck, as she bites at his shoulder.

Her arms fly up to cover her face, to try to hold herself in as she threatens to burst apart.

And he was absolutely wrong when he thought she couldn't get more beautiful than she was in her wedding dress or in her sexy underwear, because one of his choice swear words falls from her lips, and the thought that he is responsible for teaching her so many dirty things drives his passion to new heights.

He seizes her mouth with his own, gobbling up any new expletives, drinking her in. And the movement of his hips eases into a swirling pattern that has her eyes rolling back as she chants. Yes… yes… yes…

His hands run up and down her sides, trying to draw her closer, because he can feel her body tightening and he can feel the tension growing in a spot inside her as he pounds against it again and again. He can feel all of her and it's breathtakingly, mind-numbingly wonderful.

Her back arches and her head is thrown back, exposing the long, pale column of her neck, which he sucks so passionately it'll leave a mark. Her mouth opens in a silent cry he can feel against his tongue. He tries to keep moving, to make it last for her, but she's clutching him so tightly that it's hard to do without hurting her.

She collapses under him, arms dropped and sprawled over her head, body limp, her chest swelling with every labored breath. He gathers her up and rolls so she can collapse against his chest with a little, dizzy mew of satisfaction. "Eugene…"

He kisses her because he's still hungry and she responds languidly, breaking it off to nuzzle against his jaw line, leaving behind little, teasing kisses.

"Hey," he huffs, "don't you go to sleep yet."

"Mmm?" She runs a hand over his chest, brushing his skin with feather light fingertips, drawing out a tremor of excitement from every taunting stroke, pulling out a groan from deep within his chest that grabs her attention as his hands grip at her back.

With one hand splayed against his chest, she pushes herself up to look into his face, some mixture of curiosity, pleasure, and pride just visible under the sated tint in her eyes. He props himself up on an elbow and takes hold of the base of her skull to draw her closer so she has to meet his burning gaze.

"Don't. Go. To sleep yet." The dark desire in his voice makes her shiver as an aftershock sweeps over her, and she grins deliciously into a ravenous kiss as he adjusts her hips and eases into her again, guiding her into a rhythm that has her alternatively giggling and moaning.

She's naked and gorgeous above him, shamelessly enjoying every sensation, every caress of his hands over her body. He cups her breast and she covers his hand and gasps so he'll squeeze her tighter, so he'll rock into her harder. And with her own brand of wild enthusiasm, she pushes him closer and closer to the edge, she pushes him so he topples over and his vision blurs and there's a pulsing roar that threatens to make his head explode and all his energy is released into her to leave him sprawled against the bed in a tangle of limbs and breath and lazy kisses and murmured declarations of love before falling into the most restful sleep of his life.

In the morning he'll wake with her in his arms as the first rays of sunlight brush across her skin, shining in her hair, illuminating her sleeping face. He'll tuck a loose strand of hair gently back into her braids and pluck up a drooping flower that's come loose during the night. He'll slip it back into its proper place, or at least what he assumes is its proper place. He's not sure, but it looks good enough.

He'll press his lips to the crown of her head before relaxing back into his pillow and closing his eyes with a smile.

With her he's happy. With her he's at peace. And as long as she's by his side he knows…

He's where he's meant to be.