Touch of Gold – (Rumpelstiltskin)
Olivia de Mil is a mere daughter of a miller. However, her bragging father tells a nobleman she can spin wool into gold. Now, Kin (Rumpelstiltskin de Bar is the only one who can help her, but his touch of gold is more of a curse than a blessing.
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Excerpt from Touch of Gold
“She has a unique skill that makes her very desirable,” said the baron.
“Skill?” The knight stood up, dropping her hand and his eyes raked down her body. “Yes, I’m sure I know what you mean. But surely, her skill in the bedchamber can be enjoyed without actually having to marry the girl.”
She gasped, not sure what to say to that, and the baron just laughed.
“I don’t mean that, de Bar,” said the baron. “Come closer and I’ll tell you exactly what this girl can do that makes her so valuable.” The baron leaned in, and so did the knight, and she was trapped right in the middle. Anxiety coursed through her. Glancing over her shoulder, she wanted to signal her father to intervene and help her, but he was busy holding out his wooden goblet for more whiskey, not even paying attention to the situation at all.
“What is it that she can do?” asked the knight in a deep voice.
“She’s skilled in spinning,” the baron whispered. “And she’s going to make me rich.”
“Baron Pettigrew, although my spinning is of the finest quality, I don’t know why you think it’ll make you rich,” Olivia boldly interjected. “Surely that’s not the case.”
“That’s not what your father said,” answered the baron. “Unless he’s lying. If he is, you’d better tell me now because I don’t take kindly to those who weave tales that are untrue.”
“That’s right,” said Kin with a nod of his head. He took his finger and ran it across his throat, making a face and letting his head fall to the side with his tongue sticking out and his eyes crossed. She wished he’d bite his tongue. It sounded as if her father would be beheaded if whatever he’d told the baron was a lie. She might too. Olivia glanced back to her father again, realizing he’d collapsed atop the trestle table face down in a drunken stupor and was going to be of no help to her at all.
“I assure you, my father is not trying to deceive anyone,” she said, trying to save both their necks.
“Good then,” said the baron, standing up straighter. “Then tomorrow you and your father will accompany me back to Shaftesbury where you will prove your skill to me, and assure me that your father is telling me the truth. If I’m satisfied, we will be married. But if I find out the man has lied – you will both be killed. Do you understand?”
“Killed?” Her eyes shot back over to her father, knowing that when she found out what lie he’d told the baron, she would want to kill him herself.
“I still haven’t had the pleasure of hearing about this coveted skill of hers,” said Kin. “What is it about her spinning that is so valuable that you are willing to marry her?”
Olivia waited with baited breath as the baron leaned forward for the second time, and Kin’s head came closer as well. Trapped between them once again, there was no mistaking the baron’s next words.
“She can spin wool – into gold,” said the baron, surprising Olivia so much that she couldn’t help but cry out.
“Gold?” she squealed, feeling lightheaded and dizzy. It was getting hard to breathe. She kept envisioning Lord Kin drawing a finger over his throat and her own head on the ground next to her.
“Now that’s a skill I’d like to see for myself,” said the knight with an amused chuckle.