Old 03-17-2015, 03:34 PM   #1
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Belle and the Beast

Belle walked along the banks of the sea looking out as her fathers ship descended. It was always sad to see him go off on one of his voyages, but his fishing provided food, and the items he sold at market always provided the funds he needed to repair his boat.

There never seemed to be enough left over to take a break. Her mother had been gone five years now. It was just her and her two younger brothers Sven and Jacob. They were a handful all on their own. But she had never seen her father happier when he got his boys.

Since her mother passed away she had been doing the cooking and cleaning. She felt often that her youth had been taken away too earlier. Now that she was 19 the boys were old enough to work at the docks. This freed up her days to do the chores and read. Oh how she loved reading tales of Demons and knights. Though often she found herself feeling for the poor creatures that were misunderstood.

Perhaps this made her a bit of a dreamer, perhaps she was meant for a different life all together. If her father had his way about it she would be married off. It would be one less mouth to feed.

On occasion she would be courted, but she was never really fond of her suitors. They were all so typical. She didn't want to marry a fisherman, she didn't want to be a wife and treated like a slave. Belle enjoyed her free time and the ability to read her stories. It was her escape into a different world. A world she would never know. Maybe she should just give in to the pressure that her father and brother and give in to what her life was suppose to be.

Belle sighed and twirled her long red hair around her finger. As she opened her book her face lit up and she began to read another story.

Last edited by Perplexia : 03-18-2015 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:26 PM   #2
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The Beast stood on his balcony, looking out across the vast expanse of endless, blue ocean that his bedroom overlooked. The balcony was large enough that he’d been able to move most of the furnishings from one of the parlors out there, with a comfortable armchair, ottoman and chaise lounge it was like a separate sitting room, joined to his sleeping chamber at the top of the tallest spire of his once lavish palace. The spray from the ocean air had weathered the furniture, but The Beast cared little—the cracked grains of wood and sun faded cloth better suited the current state of this place, now that the people had all abandoned him here, these ruined furnishings better suited his mood.

With no one else around, appearances were no longer of any use.

The Beast was staring at the horizon, there was something not quite right, the winds were making the heavy, velvet curtains billow into his bedroom, blowing directly at his little island from the East. The sun was high enough that he could watch that odd spot without needing to squint against the brightness of the sun. It had looked like little more than a wide reflection on a high wave in the morning but now, as the sun approached its zenith in the sky, The Beast was beginning to recognize it as something much more ominous—

Sails.

A ship was on the horizon of The Beast’s small, remote island and the winds were driving them right toward his shore. The reefs around the island were treacherous for low-hulled boats, and even the shallows were a deadly labyrinth of volcanic rock which could tear a lethal hull breach in the side of a wooden boat like it was made of paper. Even the treasure seekers and would-be looters had stopped trying to land on The Beast’s island, when enough came back with nearly-fatal wounds, telling blood chilling tales of demons spewing from the smoldering crater at the center of the island.

It might have been five years since The Beast saw a set of sails—those aboard the small fishing vessel must not have heard the tales. Better then to send them home with new ones. The Beast leapt from the crumbling stones that lined the edge of his balcony, sending a shower of dust and pebbles down the cliff face below. His wide wings outstretched, pitched backward and caught the wind blowing toward him. He attained lift almost immediately, rising ten feet in a flash, and then tipped his wings forward, as though he were going for a dive but with the wind so strong, the steep pitch of his wings allowed him to glide smoothly, ocean waves rushing below.

The Beast’s eyes never left the set of sails on the horizon, growing larger as he glided toward the ship at a speed comparable to falling. One mighty flap sent him upward, once more perching on top of the rushing wind and gliding across the distance between him and the intrusive vessel. When he drew close enough to see the movement of men on deck, The Beast rolled over, tucking his black feathered wings into his back and diving headfirst toward the vessel. He heard the screams before he had to open his wings again.

When his wide, black wings spread open again, they captured a wide dome of air, halting his fall in an instant and creating a terrible blowback that cast up a spray from the water beside the boat and carried enough force to knock every man on deck onto his back and snap the jive arm on the sail. The Beast perched lightly onto the rail of the deck, his hooved talons sinking into the wood with enough force to raise splinters at the edges of his grip.

Go away from this place and never return. This area is a tomb for mortals such as yourselves. Never come back here. Be thankful I’m allowing you to leave with your lives.

The Beast took hold of the net, still swinging in the wooden crane that helped them haul their bounties over the side, the net was full to bursting with yellow-fin tuna. The Beast tore the net away from the crane, snapping the weathered rope as easily as if it were a rose petal, and tossed the net over his shoulder like a bag full of daises.

These shall be your penance for poaching the bounty that rightly belongs to me. Now turn around before I demand a steeper price.

With that, The Beast flapped his wings forward and tore away half of the rail with him as he took to flight. The wide panel of splintered wood was carelessly released into the water once he took to flight again. He flew home confident that the fishermen were sufficiently terrified and looking forward to a decent sashimi breakfast.

***

Though the captain was sufficiently terrified, the damage done by the gust of wind that the Demon brought with him was too great for this small fishing vessel to overcome, tacking against the wind back toward home. The repairs would be many and expensive, and Captain O’Hara couldn’t afford them without a prize to bring home. With their net stolen, the bounty would have to be something other than fish.

“They’re true! The old tales, they’re all true! A demon!” First Mate Jacobs was shouting, still cowering on deck where he’d been knocked by the demon’s wind.

“Ready a longboat.” Captain O’Hara called to his crew, keeping a brave face in spite of his terror.

“You can’t be serious Captain! You mean to make for land? With that monster looking on.”

“That monster has robbed us of any choice. If we limp back now, it’s a coin flip that we’ll even survive the trip in this wreck—we’ve strayed too far in search of the deep migrations of the Ahi. And even if we were to survive the trip home, there’s no way we could afford the repairs on this boat, our livelihood would sink at anchor from disrepair and we’d die slowly watching our families starve. Better not to return at all.

“I need four strong and able men, who can wield a rifle with skill, to come with me—we need to find materials to repair the sail and a prize to afford proper repairs when we return. Any less and we’re all dead anyway.”

“I’ll go with you Captain. Better to die at your side than to suffer like a coward.”

“Aye.”

“You’re all mad!”

“Lower the boat anyway, Jacobs. We’ll see how good this demon who speaks the common tongue is on his threats.”
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:49 PM   #3
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Another two days had passed without sign of her father. He was normally gone for two days and on occasion it was longer. But something in her gut told her that something was wrong.

She made a trip into town despite the winds for supplies. The fishermen were all in arms about a great storm that was out the ocean. It had stolen their catches and robbed them of a couple ships.

"Treacherous sea beings" one man claimed as he headed into the pub. Another shook his head "No it's the gods" as he followed the other into the Broken Horseshoe. Belle simply shook her head. "I will not let these superstitions hinder me" she thought staring down at her feet and almost running into Gaston.

"oh Belle my sweet, when will you consent to being my wife?" "Never Gaston" she advised walking around him. "come now your hips are meant to bare my children." With that he got a firm slap across the face and she walked on. She could hear people laughing at him as she entered the general store.

Eventually she made it home and her brothers waited for her. "wheres dinner?" one was bold enough to ask. Dropping the flour on his foot she picked up the knife and walked toward him. "Listen here little brother, I am not your maid, you'll get dinner when i make it. If you don't like that then go get a wife."

Her nostrils flared at him as she held the knife toward his genitals. "I would back off Sven" Jacob advised with a chuckle. Jacob was always the more logical of the two.

"Some help you are" Sven growled back to him. "You should know better" Jacob advised as he walked into the kitchen and retrieved the plates to set the table.

Belle retreated with temper in hand. Rarely did she loose it, but she refused to be treated like an object, especially by these two.
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:26 PM   #4
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The men’s nerve seemed to ebb as their oars brought them closer to the island. It had been a good thing that they hadn’t sailed any closer, below the surface of the water, the reefs and channels around the island were like a maze, they could have easily sunk themselves by running aground on lava rock. In the paddle boat, however, it was easy to see the outcrops and reef beds through the crystal waters.

When it came time to haul the boat onto the sandy shoal that rested below the cliffs upon which the ominous palace stood, the volunteers who joined Captain O’Hara were trembling so badly that they could scarcely grip the ropes on the sides of the longboat.

Nonetheless, the fearless Captain led them off the beach, inland.

O’Hara was surprised to find that instead of uncultivated wild, the inland part of the island was an abandoned township—long ago overgrown into ruin but undeniably planned and crafted by civilized hands. There was a dilapidated goods store, a collapsed inn, an overgrown tavern and even a ruined bank. Loose cobbles formed a pathway that had once been a road, before the long, green tongues of weeds and grass had woven their way up through the weak, impermanent mortar.

“A bank!” O’Hara called behind him, his rifle leveled in front of him. “We might find more than we even dreamed of here.”

When the others caught up, O’Hara led them cautiously through the main street of the ghost town. The door of the bank was rotted through and dangling from a single hinge, just the faintest push sent it crashing inward where it promptly shattered to splinters on the ground.

What had once been a cage to defend the bank’s deposits was now little more than an orange, rusted fence around several stacks of moss-eaten crates.

“There…” O’Hara grinned, a devious greed lighting his blue eyes.

The cage gave little resistance and true to his greedy instinct, when he tore back the lid of the top crate on the stack, it was full of Spanish gold coins. A fortune.

“My God…” O’Hara sighed, dipping his hand into the crate full of coins, letting them slip between his fingers and tinkle back into the chest, “men! Come have a look at what I—“

O’Hara stopped short, none of his landing crew was anywhere to be seen.

Shouldering his rifle in a hurry, O’Hara kept the muzzle pointed at the door as he filled his pockets hastily, trembling from head to toe and suddenly soaked with sweat. That thing, it was out here. He had to get back to the boat—had to regroup with the rest, the coins would make a handy device to convince the men that they had to make their way back. If they could kill the beast that haunted this place, they could bring every coin of this treasure back with them.

O’Hara took off for the longboat, sprinting with the coins jingling about in his pocket, some even swinging free of his heavy pockets to tinkle off the loose cobble stones that made the path. In his haste, his foot caught the top of one particularly upraised stone and he fell face first to the rocky pathway, coins scattered in all directions.

The Captain opened his eyes slowly, the pain of landing on rocks sufficient to keep him frozen for a long moment with eyes clenched shut. As his vision settled into sharpness, he realized that he was looking into the eyes of Adams’ severed head—the body was unseen.

O’Hara screamed until his lungs fell empty of hair, took a long, hiccupping gasp of air and then screamed again. He stumbled to his feet, slipping again on the blood soaked grass before finally retaking his feet. He continued screaming, looking at Adams’ head and tried to run, but collided with the immobile chest of The Beast before he got three steps.

“No! No! Oh God, no! Please no!” O’Hara managed to scream in a single breath before The Beast’s monstrous claws wrapped around the chubby Captain’s throat.

You should have listened to my warning, Captain. Now I’ll have to spill your insides and sink your ship. I can’t have any word of this place leaking back to the mainland. I’ll allow you last words before I kill you. One leader to another.

The Beast’s grip on his neck relinquished, and O’Hara was able to sob breaths into his lungs again.

“Please! Please, don’t kill me. Please! I have a family.”

Do you think that you’re the first to beg me? Do you think that you’re the only one who thought to beseech mercy for your children? I gave you warning, this is more mercy than I show to most. You’re a fool if you expect more.

“I—I’ll do anything! Please! I—I can pay you.” O’Hara was grasping at straws and they both knew it, the Captain regretted his words as soon as he’d said them.

Pay me? What, with my own gold? The Beast demanded, shredding one of O’Hara’s pockets open with a claw and letting the Colones spill onto the stones. You’re nothing but a fool. I regret giving you the opportunity to speak.

“Not gold! Something else! I—“ O’Hara’s eyes pinched shut as The Beast raised his arm to deliver the killing blow, his mind was floundering, desperately trying to think of anything to appease The Beast, in the same moment, his pride was the last to give way, but it did so all at once. He lost control of his bladder and made a bargain so despicable he would have previously thought it unspeakable, “I have a daughter! A beauty, to be sure. You’re lonely, why else would you give me the right to last words—let me live and I’ll give you my daughter as your bride!”

It was impossible to know how long precisely that moment lasted, since O’Hara had his eyes shut, waiting for the final blow to land. It seemed to last for months. When he finally dared to open his eyes a fraction of an inch, he saw The Beast halted, as if frozen in time aside from the clenching muscles in his jaw.

Bring her then, I’ll see her before I decide on your fate. If she’s as meek and pathetic as yourself I might derive more amusement from her than I would from killing you. But remember how far and fast I fly. If three days pass and I see no sign of your sails on the horizon, I’ll hunt you, your daughter and all of your kin. You’ll likely need to commission another vessel for this task.

O’Hara nodded feebly as the demon let him go, he sprinted the rest of the way to the longboat. He rowed the rest of the way back to this ship by himself, yet he’d made better time going back than he had made going with a full oar team.

Once back aboard his ship, O’Hara tentatively reached into his left pocket. It was still full to overflowing with gold coins.

“The wind seems to have improved, these repairs look sound enough to get us home. Weigh anchor and bring her about.”

“But Captain, what about the men—the prize? What you said about our livelihood sinking at anchor…”

“Adams and the others died valiantly. We’ll split this prize with their families—after we’ve purchased a new ship.”

Captain O’Hara flipped a gold coin to his First Mate and the crew quickly got to work obeying the Captain’s orders.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:18 PM   #5
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It was the next night when her fathers torn ship pulled into port. He was quiet and tired. He would barely look at her. She assumed he was just tired, but soon she would learn that it was something more.

The next day Captain O'hara send the boys away to look for a new ship. They were thrilled with the idea. "Belle" He called from the front porch. "yes father" she retorted wiping her hands on her apron. "Do you need some ale father?" she was use to waiting on him hand and foot as her mother did.

"No girl take a seat"

Belle sat on the stump that he normally used to rest his feet.

"As you know the last voyage was profitable. We made enough for a new ship and new gear, and now i'll be able to take your brothers on as part of the crew."

"Yes thats wonderful father" she responded.

"But all of this comes at a cost."

"I'm not sure I understand father"

"You're the cost Belle, there's no other way to put it. I am ashamed that I made a deal with the devil, and to fund our new life i had to give you up."

"You're not making any sense father do you have a fever?" She questioned reaching up to check his head only for him to grab her wrist.

"Listen to me girl. I'll give you a choice. He will come for us all and kill us if you choose not to go, but you can run away from here and go far. I'll just tell him I lied about having a daughter. Or you can go with me to him where you will stay with him for the rest of your life and be his bride. I should have never offered you as a payment. I will regret it for the rest of my life. But there is no choice. If i breath a word of the island he'll take out the whole town. He has the strength to do it. He's a fierce beast he is."

Tears fell from her eyes not quite sure of what to make of her fathers delirium. She was silent for a few moments as she watched tears fall from his eyes as well. If anything he believed what he was saying. Never had she seen him cry before.

"I will go father" she finally said softly. "I will not risk the lives of my brothers, nor the town. It is important they do not know of what you have done. All they need to know is you've arranged a marriage for me and I've agreed to it. Do you understand father?"

"I"m sorry that i was weak my child" he said tears still falling.
"Don't worry father, I will be fine. I will go pack my things. You should probably go into town and meet up with the boys to get the ship so we an sail out in the morning."

Captain O'Hara nodded and wiped his eyes taking the last swig from his mug.

Belle stood and took the empty mug giving a fake smile of reassurance and went to her room. So a horrid beast was to be her husband. It would be much like marrying Gaston she amused herself by thinking.
The truth was she was terrified. As much as she had always hoped for a life away from all of this. It never occurred to her that there could be something worse.

Belle packed her trunks with all of her books and clothing. It was odd how all of her belongings fit nicely into two trunks. This was her life.

That night she made dinner as always and answered the questions that her brothers threw at her. "I can't believe you agreed to this" Jacob said with firm disbelief. "You've never wanted a husband before."

"Jacob, as much as i wish the world is different the truth is we all have a role to play. My role as a woman is to get marred and bare children. Your role as a man is to provide. We all know that this is the way it is. My new husband is not a fisherman. So i get part of my wish. That is the most one can hope for."

There wasn't any arguing with the sense she made on the topic. The boys were disappointed they weren't allowed to go with her and her father the next day. Belle had made the point with her father that the only people that should go was the crew that survived the last time since they were paid well enough to keep their mouths shut.

Belle stood at the bow of the boat staring out at the ocean as the sun shined partly behind the clouds. Luckily the weather wasn't bad and the seas didn't rock her senseless. She let her long hair flow in the breeze. Her dress billowed in the wind and the smell of salt filled the air.

"Land" someone had called out. The rocky shores stood out in front of the dreary looking island. It was large enough to have once supported a population. Perhaps there was still one. Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad she thought.

Then she saw the wings and the beast that landed upon the ship. Her eyes filled with fear but she didn't run. There was really no place to run. Her father stood partially behind her with his hand on her back.

"I promised you my daughter and here she is. Her name is Belle. Please sir, please be kind to her."
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:07 AM   #6
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The days that followed The Beast’s deal dragged on for what seemed an eternity, though it was truly less than a week. The first thing he did was to dig graves for the men he’d killed, as he always did when people arrived onto his land and needed to vanish. He didn’t know the men’s names, but he left cobblestone markers over the graves, labeled 1, 2, 3 and 4. Good enough he supposed.

Once that was done, he spent a day and a half trying to make the palace look halfway presentable. He started with dusting in the morning, but gave up by the afternoon when it became clear that he was just pushing the dust around more than cleaning it. He cleared away cobwebs and vines that had crept up the walls, set furniture upright that he’d overturned in rage some years ago. It was still a ruin, but at least it resembled something livable—if not its past grandeur.

The third day was spent trying to find some scraps of his former clothes that would fit him. It was a fool’s errand. Luckily enough, one of the slain fisherman had a pair of sack cloth pants that The Beast was able to fit around his thighs. Shirts were categorically too fragile for his shoulders, as they were now.

On the day she arrived, The Beast was out on his balcony again, standing ominously on the edge, watching the Eastern horizon. It was after midday when the sails appeared, larger than the last set—it seemed the Captain had invested in a new boat in lieu of repairs. The Beast wasted no time, taking to the wind and soaring out to meet the vessel.

The horizontal sweep of his wings was more subtle this time, as The Beast perched on the deck of the ship. The backdraft from his wings swept the long, silken curls of the girl standing on deck back behind her shoulders. The Beast stood there, towering over her and looking deep into her eyes—blue, like her father’s, like the furthest patch of ocean on the horizon. She didn’t flinch at the sight of him, that was a good sign.

Captain O’Hara rushed forward, grasping his daughter by the shoulders and peering at The Beast from around her, using her like a human shield. O’Hara made it clear that he was honoring his word, The Beast respected that, but didn’t want to hear from him.

Enough. Let her speak for herself. It’s nice to meet you Belle. Has your father told you why he brought you here?

The Beast tried to hide his claws in his palm, his wings still outstretched and angled forward, in case this was all an elaborate trap to catch him. The Beast lightly took hold of Belle’s dainty, pale hand on the knuckle of his claw, his thumb just lightly perched on the back. He tipped his head forward.

You may address me as Sir. It suits me better than any other mortal name.
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:24 AM   #7
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His voice was deep and rich as he spoke to her. Yet at the same time it showed that he was quite intelligent and articulate.

Belle nodded as he spoke to her. "Yes Sir" she replied trembling slightly as he took her hand. But he was being so gentle with her. This was a good sign.

"I'm here as payment for all that you've given my father. I'm to be your bride." There was a slight tremble in her voice as she spoke to him but soon she found her bearings.

"I have two trunks here with my stuff. If you'll grant the men permission to take them and me to shore. It's been a long trip and i'm a bit tired sir. I'd like to rest before the ceremony or tour. I'm sorry i'm not sure what you had in mind."

Belle forced a polite smile across her face. He wasn't what she expected from what her father described. His torso was almost that of a man, his horns reminded her of a ram, and his feet reminded her of deer.

She had read about beast like him in one of her many books. though none had wings like his. There would be more time for measuring him later. At the moment she waited for his permission to get taken ashore.
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:03 AM   #8
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At Belle’s request, The Beast smiled for what felt like the first time in decades. She had smiled first, that made him feel comfortable and accepted—not a feeling to which he was terribly accustomed. Rather than answering her directly, The Beast looked past her to her father, locking eyes with cautionary sternness.

Drop anchor here, Captain. This boat has a lower hull than your last vessel. Once at anchor, you may send her bags with two men—but not yourself. You’ll never set foot upon my island again. Set the bags out on the beach, they’ll be retrieved from there—but any who takes even one step beyond that sandbar will be a dead man. The gold you stole from has been moved, not that anyone could make it that far again.

With that, The Beast leaned forward, stretching his wings outward to their full span as he placed a gentle kiss on the back of Belle’s hand. Her skin felt so impossibly soft between his black, leathery lips that he almost lost his footing as the boat pitched from the weight transfer of dropping anchor.

I will transport Miss Belle to her quarters. As long as my instructions are followed to the letter, your debt with me is square Captain. I expect to never see you or any of your kind again. You can tell who you please, what it cost you to come to this place. Say goodbye to your beauty, you’ll never see Belle again.

The Beast allowed father and daughter to make their adieus, before taking Belle’s hand again and draping her arm around his neck, being careful not to brush any part of her arm against his horns. He placed her hand among his long, black hair, reaching to the small of his back. With his other arm, The Beast swept Belle’s legs from under her, being careful not to let his claws tear at the billowing layers of her dress. He cradled her across his chest like she was a scarf filled with chicken eggs, and took one step away from the Captain.

One solid, forward sweep of his wings and a faint jump, both he and Belle were fifteen feet above deck, eye level with the young man perched in the crow’s nest—he appeared to be crying. Perhaps he knew Belle somehow.

Another flap and they were forty feet up, the ship like a toy in the wide expanse of water below. The Beast tucked one wing and spread the other, angling to the right and rolling forward, making certain that Belle was held carefully. She was light, even for a human, but the weight made a difference—the muscle memory of wings is far more instinctive than deliberate.

His wings flapped again, and then he was able to perch atop the wind and glide, the black limbs making deep arcs on his back. It wasn’t long before they were over land, he swooped toward the beach, letting her see the ruins of town from the air, since she had mentioned a tour.

He flapped a few more times to ascend the high tower of the palace on the Western side. The Beast had put the majority of his efforts into cleaning and making presentable the second tower bedroom, the room opposite his own. It was now, by far, the most restored room of the entire palace. The fixtures were polished, and though a far cry from the lacquered lavishness that the wooden accents used to be, the wood was stained and polished. He’d gone through the clothes that had once been his mothers and arranged some things in the closets and drawers, but he was glad that she had her own things nonetheless.

One final sweep of wings brought the two of them onto the West balcony. He perched lightly on the edge of the balcony, letting her down onto the stone edifice gently, the sun just beginning to set at his back. A bouquet of red roses from the garden had been arranged beside the four poster bed, lined with clean, fresh sheets. The Beast stood there on the edge of the balcony, looking down at his new bride, still unable to quite believe her beauty.

I hope that things are to your liking. It’s been a long time since I was blessed with company. Please make yourself comfortable and rest. I’ll place your things outside the door once the boats arrive with them. I don’t intend to disturb you until dinner is ready, just after sundown.

With the sun setting behind him, The Beast leaned back and fell away from the balcony, careening in freefall until the last moment to spread his wings. Given Captain O’Hara’s history, The Beast was resolved to meet the longboat at the beach, to ensure that no man ventured further than they were permitted.

Even as he watched the approaching boat, he couldn't get the image of Belle out of his mind. Was she truly to be his? Could she be the answer to all of his long forsaken prayers?
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:20 AM   #9
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Belle tried to be strong for her father hugging him goodbye. "I will be fine" she advised him. Before to long she was up in the air in the arms of the beast. He carried her like a flower, so gentle giving her a full view of the island before setting her down in her room.

"It's beautiful" she advised him softly. "thank you for any effort you put forth. It is very much to my liking" The room was three times the size of her own. She waited for him to be gone for she collapsed on the floor with tears. It was partly leaving everything she had ever known and the rest being her desolate situation.

It only took her a couple minutes to suck it up. It could be worse she advised herself. He could be completely hideous, and he could have been a lot rougher with her father then the was. She had cringed slightly at the warning he had given her father and the crew. He was not one to be messed with, his survival depended on it. She was now his property.

His property she repeated to herself. The one thing she never wanted was to be owned by a male much less a demon. But like she told her brothers so convincingly it was inevitable for this time period.

The castle that she now lived in was decrepit in a lot of ways. Time hadn't been kind to this place, neither had the salt air. Gathering herself from the floor she went and smelled the roses. They were elaborate and beautiful. she had only seen pictures of them. Even their fragrance was intoxicating.

She crawled up on the large cushy bed and laid down. It was the most comfortable thing she had ever laid upon in her life. It only took her a few minutes before she was asleep. Her small frame heaved lightly upon the bed.

Belle was awoken with a knock at the door as he advised her dinner was ready. "I'll be a couple minutes." she responded. Her trunks were outside her door where he said he'd leave the.. He had somehow managed to get them there and aligned without even disturbing her. That told her that he could be thoughtful and light fingered.

Dressing in one of her better gowns she fixed her hair. Slowly and carefully she made her way down the winding oak staircase. She could tell at one point it had been grand. This whole place had been at some point. It took her a few moments but she found the dining hall.

He rose when she entered and she gave a light curtsy. "Where do you wish me to sit sir?" she questioned awkwardly. "Should i serve you first?" His eyes didn't hold any malice or anger toward her. They were someone kind. But she knew he was not a force to be reckoned with.

Last edited by Perplexia : 03-18-2015 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:14 AM   #10
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The exchange of bags had gone smoothly, as The Beast got too impatient and flew out to land on the boat before it reached the surf. The men sent to bring the bags were sufficiently terrified, so they gave no argument when he told them to turn around and never look back. Though The Beast didn’t look back either, he assumed—from the genuine terror in their eyes, that the men obeyed. This time, he didn’t take the scenic route over the gutted township, he flew straight to his room with Belle’s bags.

Without delay, The Beast carried the two bags through his room and across the hall. He placed them outside her door, and when he stood upright again, he hesitated. He couldn’t quite explain or justify it, even within himself, but the closest he could get was to imagine that he was unused to acting against his impulses. His impulse was not to move another step away from her, from Belle, the beauty—he wanted to move closer.

They say that old habits die hard.

After stacked decades of following his every impulse without hesitation, The Beast followed his impulse again—but he did hesitate. The Beast turned the bolt as slowly and carefully as if he’d been breaking into his own rooms, following the gentle sound of Belle’s shallow breathing. How like music it was.

On silent, careful feet, The Beast crept into the Western Master Suite with trunks in each hand. He left the door open, not wanting to risk the sound of it closing whilst in the room. He set the bags down, at the foot of her bed and rose back to his full height, looking down at the sheets he hung out to dry that same morning, rising and falling slowly with this beauty’s slumbering breath.

He ought to have left, he ought to have gone, and closed the door softly behind him, but he wasn’t ready to fight his baser urges just yet—still out of practice. He knelt beside her bed and watched her, leaning closer until he could feel her gentle breath against his face. His heart raced. She was so small, especially compared to him, and her long, red hair was finer than silk, it captured the reds and oranges of the setting sun, filtering in through her window. He reached out, to gently slip a lock of amber hair behind her ear—but when his hand came into view, he flinched, remembering the reality of their situation.

He was her captor, she was his prize. There was no love there, he was The Beast—not a man. Not anymore.

He was too close to oppose his bestial impulse now, taking that stray lock of copper on his claw as gently as if it were a monarch butterfly that had landed, escorting it behind her ear before making his slow, silent exit from the room. Braving the contradiction of his desires and his actions. Those desires were wicked and he, a monster.

***
Gutting the tuna was easy, The Beast’s grotesque claws made short work of flesh of all sorts. It took a little longer to skin and present the long sides of fat rich, maroon flesh. One he cut into steaks, the other he hung in the wooden smoke shack that sat on a veranda behind the kitchen, where the cooks used to smoke cigars after they’d finished cooking for service.

The finer details of cooking had become much more difficult. The Beast struggled to light the grill for nearly an hour before the coals began to glow. Sautee pans were made for human hands, not demonic claws and picking up plates without shattering them was another difficult task. After several hours, though, he was able to scrape together a passable meal. Asparagus spears with crushed garlic and rosemary butter, scalloped potatoes in white wine sauce and seared Ahi, only slightly overcooked, but still rare in the middle, glazed with hoisin sauce and seasoned with smoked cumin and star anise.

The Beast wasn’t sure where Belle would want to sit, so he made place settings for each of the ten places at the long, weathered cherry wood dining table. The plates were rimmed in gold and decorated with ornate, blue inlays.

The Beast went upstairs quickly after placing lids over the entrees to ensure that they didn’t grow cold while he rushed upstairs. Despite his rush and the perceived urgency of serving the food while still hot, The Beast knocked gently on Belle’s door and spoke softly.

Dinner is served. Please join me at your leisure.

He made his way back downstairs, setting himself at the head of the table, as always. He waited for what felt like eleven lifetimes in anxious tension. He was hungry—starving even, but he knew that custom and courtesy demanded that he wait for his guest to arrive before digging in. He drummed his sharp nails on the wooden tabletop for a while, until he realized that his sharp claws were leaving gashes in the surface, and he stopped right away.

When Belle entered into the dining room, The Beast’s breath stopped in his chest abruptly. He felt like he was falling and dying all at once, nothing tethering him to reality save the fierce eye contact he maintained with the beauty drawing closer to him. My God. She’s an angel.

When she asked about seating, he kicked the underside of the table so hard that the metal warming lid rattled against the serving platter in his rush to pull out the chair closest to him.

Please, allow me to serve you this one time. The Beast answered as warmly as he could.

He smiled, remembering her smile from earlier, on the boat—he wanted to see her smile again. Once she was seated, The Beast removed the lid from the plate of tuna steaks, struggling only slightly with the serving tongs—otherwise he would have stabbed the steaks with his index claw, but in her presence he felt the need to at least pretend to civility.

I overcooked the fish, I’m sorry to say. The Beast muttered as he added asparagus and potatoes to Belle’s plate. I’m out of practice.

When both plates were filled (both portions served to fit The Beast’s size), he realized the final impediment that he’d overlooked. The serving utensils were impossibly delicate for The Beast to operate efficiently, but the tiny pieces of carefully arranged silverware beside his plate was simply impossible.

The fork slipped from his claws, clattering to the table before he pinned it under his index digit. Then is clattered off the edge of his plate. The third time, it landed at a funny angle and clattered over, close to Belle. The Beast was embarrassed.

Do you… do you think that you might be willing to feed me?

Pathetic. Dinner ruined.
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:48 PM   #11
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Belle jumped a little when his leg hit the table and caused the dishes to rattle. But he made up for it by quickly rising in all his beastly glory to pull out her chair and push her in with the gentleness of a lamb.

He insisted on serving her. She couldn't remember ever being waited on before this was a new treat. Her eyes studied the mounds of food on the plate knowing that she wouldn't even be able to get a quarter of it down without busting the seams of her dress.

Her heart went out as he struggled to serve the food. With his claws it must be difficult she thought to mimic societies expectations of table mannerisms. But this didn't stop him from trying and with that she found herself having a deep admiration for him. He was truly trying to put his best effort out there. She appreciated this. It said something about his character that he was willing to go the extra mile for her comfort.

As he sat she smiled softly and took her first bite of food. It was then she noticed the trouble he was having using the silverware he had so neatly placed for them. When he asked her for her help in feeding him. It touched her once again. She rose with grace and caution and came over to him. She placed the napkin around his thick neck slightly touching his skin. His skin was tough but smooth. She found herself wanting to touch it again but resisted. Instead she picked up his silverware. Then returned to her seat where she took her own silverware and placed it in the center of the table.

"I always found utensils to be menacing" she said softly picking up the tuna with her fingers and taking a bite." this was her way of giving him leeway to eat however he chose. She could have fed him but that would have been embarrassing for him. Instead she wanted him to feel as comfortable being himself with her as he was obviously making her try to feel.

"Did you make all of this on your own?" she questioned then adding "It's very good. You're a great chef." She smiled warmly at him as she continued to eat. "Is it just us here on the island?" she hadn't noticed anyone else. It wasn't as if this bothered her. But it was certainly a large place for just the two of them.

"There is a lot i'd like to do to the house with your permission of course" she said softly. "I thought perhaps we could work on it together as we get to know each other. I would also need your help reaching some things, and perhaps lifting some things while we make repairs. Would you be willing to help me with this endeavor?"

Her situation was not ideal but Belle was determined to make the best out of it. She could either sit in her room and cry, or try to improve the situation by getting to know him. He was definitely doing his best to make her feel at home.

Eating more then she probably should have she pushed the plate forward a little and wiped her fingers on the napkin. "That was a wonderful meal thank you. May i help you clean up?"
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Old 03-21-2015, 04:04 PM   #12
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The Beast returned his guest’s good natured smile when she rose to help him, if he’d still possessed human pigmentation, he would have been blushing. In the candle and torchlight of the dining room, he shuddered slightly when her delicate fingers trailed along the back of his neck, wrapping his napkin around his chin. The Beast turned his head to avoid letting her hands come into contact with his long, curving horns.

Though his face didn’t show it, he was slightly disappointed when Belle ate with her hands—in spite of his embarrassment, he had allowed himself to look forward to her cutting and feeding him bites of food with her fork. Still, he couldn’t blame her. His jaws had crushed the throats and skulls of countless unfortunates who ventured too close to his island. He didn’t blame her for not wanting to let her delicate fingers anywhere near his maw.

The Beast followed Belle’s lead, deftly slicing a steak into five neat wedges with one motion of his claws and spearing one on his index finger. In spite of being overcooked, the fish was still rare enough that it didn’t fall apart as he lifted the piece of flesh to his mouth.

His smile grew wider when she complimented his cooking, asking a series of questions which all had the same answer.

Yes, I made the food. There hasn’t been anyone on the island for decades until your father… he trailed off, not wanting to divulge too much about their arrangement until he knew how much she knew. You are my first welcomed guest in almost thirty years.

The Beast scooped up his pile of asparagus spears with his index and thumb, disposing of the bunch in two bites before following it with another piece of fish.

This place is your home now, Belle. Anything you desire, I’ll do everything in my power to facilitate. Tomorrow, I can show you around the grounds if you want—most has fallen to ruin, with the exception of the rose garden. I would be delighted to help you in any way that I can.

The Beast made short work of the food on his plate, hunger making him eager and not wanting to fumble with his food and hands for longer than he needed to in her sight. He wished for her to touch him again.

Please, that would be wonderful. Would you care for wine? I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner. We have a cellar that was once the envy of eight nations.

“We,” what an odd concept for The Beast, who had spent so long alone, by himself—without comfort or relief from his solitude. He briefly wondered who he’d meant by “we,” perhaps eating at the table had roused old feelings in him that made him think of his late parents. But deep down, The Beast knew that he’d meant her—Belle. What had been his was theirs now. She and him were now a “we,” and there was no turning back.

Come with me. The Beast smiled, tugging the cloth napkin from around his neck and easily pulling out Belle’s chair with her still in it. He offered her his hand, I’ll show you.
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:40 PM   #13
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Belle found it ironic how he used the word guest when he referred to her. She wasn't a guest, she was a prisoner. There really wasn't an option for her presence on the island. She knew that he meant it with kindness but the truth was this wasn't really choice.

She was touched when he told her that it was her home now and that he would do whatever he could to make her comfortable. "thank you" she replied with heartfelt emotion. It helped to lighten the circumstances of her situation.

Forcing a soft smile to her face she spoke softly "I would enjoy a tour with you".

He pulled out her chair and offered her his hand. She looked at it blankly for a moment and slowly placed her small delicate hand into his claw. They walked hand in claw down to the cellar where the dust was thick and caused her to sneeze. "We'll need to clean this" she said placing another smile on her face.

With another sneeze she blushed and followed him deeper into the enclosure eventually settling on bottle. Keeping her hand in his she followed a few steps behind until she tripped and grabbed his strong firm arm to steady herself. His muscles were like a firm rock. The same tough smooth skin covered his arms as well she discovered.

Blushing lightly she said "I'm a bit of a klutz sometimes."
They exited the cellar and went to the drawing room where a fire was starting to die out. Shivering lightly she released his hand and made her way over to it crouching down to throw a few more logs on file. Rising slowly she wiped her hands on the hem of her dress
showing a bit of her calf as she did.

Taking the glass of wine from him she chose to sit next to him. The candles and the fire illuminated the room nicely making for a nice romantic setting. "I'm sorry that you've been alone for all of those years." she said softly. "Do you mind if i ask how old you are?"

Sipping her wine lightly she looked at him as he spoke studying him. His grey skin looked almost blue in the lighting. She liked the way his mouth moved when he talked. The more he talked and expressed himself the less of the beast her father described existed.

Perhaps it was simply her nature to find the good in people. As the wine made her drowsy she found herself leaning against him comfortably. "Is this okay?" she questioned not sure if the proximity she was in with him made him uncomfortable.
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:01 PM   #14
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The Beast took Belle’s hand in one claw and snatched a large, burning torch from its wall sconce as he led her back into the kitchen and down the stone stairs downward, into the cellar. The wines had been expensive when his parents had purchased them, now covered in dust, with most labels faded away into yellow illegibility. He allowed her to select a bottle of her choosing, a vintage Cote De Nuit pinot noir—The Beast was happy to part with it, anything for his Belle.

He led her back to the main level of the palace, to a sitting room where a fire was burning, placing the torch in a sconce on the far wall to ensure that they had enough light. The crystal stemware was clean and ready, as he’d anticipated an after dinner drink would be called for. When he turned back to her, with the crystal glasses balanced neatly between his claws, he saw her tending the fire—already growing accustomed, it seemed, to the duties of occupying and keeping up an estate of this size without servants.

When Belle had her glass, the two of them sat on the chaise lounge, facing the fire. She’d leaned against his arm, when she stumbled in the cellar, and The Beast’s heart had not stopped racing ever since. Everything about her—this beauty—was so impossibly soft and warm, it was a constant struggle for The Beast to keep his baser nature in check. He wanted to touch her intimately.

When she apologized for the years he’d spent in solitude, The Beast smiled warmly. It was sweet of her to worry over his loneliness, though she’d only met him that same day. She had a kind heart, and The Beast appreciated that. Her question about his age, however, was a slightly more distressing. It wasn’t easy to answer.

I was twenty-six. The Beast said stoically, staring into the fire as he felt Belle drawing closer and his pulse growing faster. That was the last time that time—as you might interpret it—touched me. It’s been twenty-one years since then. I’ve lived as a monster for almost as long as I lived as a man.

When she leaned against his shoulder, some lingering impulse from his life before—the man he was before he became The Beast reached out, instinctively draping his arm around her delicate shoulders, holding her body gently but comfortably against his own. The Beast also seemed to invite the closeness that Belle worried would upset him, the wide, black wing on his back spreading out to drape across her bare shoulders like a shawl, his black feathers caressing the back of her neck.

It’s better than okay, Belle. Being close to you, like this…

Words failed The Beast—none of the comparisons he could think of paled in contrast to the true emotion he felt with her body so neatly tucked against his side. Instead of trying to explain, with frail and insubstantial words, he resolved to show her instead. With one arm across her shoulders, The Beast caressed her face with his other palm, keeping the claws well clear of her soft, nubile flesh. He turned her face toward his own and gently kissed her, his lips soft and pliant despite their pigmentation. His eyes drifted shut and he leaned toward her, hugging her body closer with the subtle urging of his wing.
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:46 PM   #15
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She was glad to hear that he was okay with her leaning against. Him. His arm draped over her shoulder making her even more so comfortable. His beautiful wing sprawled out embracing her and pulling her close. She closed her eyes at the light touch of his palm against her face. His lips gently claimed hers and she found herself not pulling away instead she followed his lead and returned the kiss.

Softly she pulled back and ran her fingers ever so lightly over his face. Her body was comfortably almost in his lap. "You were my first kiss" she said softly blushing. "I'm not sure what happened to you to make you this way. But I don't see you as the terrible beast that was described to me. You've been nothing but considerate, sweet and kind since my arrival."

Her fingers continued to stroke his elongated face as her eyes stared into his. "I understood that i was to be your bride. But now I understand that there won't be a ceremony. Please be patient with me and allow me some time to get to know you, and open my heart to you. I realize that i have no right to ask this, and if you say no, i will obey you."

In reality she had no rights to ask for such a favor. But she hoped that he would grant her some time before claiming his rights to her. She wanted to get to know him, to admire him, and he was already off to a good start. But her morality had a problem with there not being a proper ceremony.

Her head lay upon his chest as she waited for him to respond to her.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:41 PM   #16
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A low, gentle sigh escaped from The Beast’s nose when the unexpected happened—Belle kissed him back. She didn’t recoil, flinch and run or even grimace as their lips touched, as he expected her to, as they all had, as they always did in his dreams and his imagination. She kissed him back.

The Beast’s heart was battering the inside of his chest like mad and even after the kiss was broken, his eyes stayed closed. Belle touched his face, her delicate, gentle fingers lightly trickling over his features as her body scooted closer still, draping herself across his lap and chest. His breathing was ragged with pleasure and his palm moved gently across her face and into her hair.

His black eyes looked deep into her blue ones, his lips still slightly parted as she began to speak. She reminded him that she was promised to him as his bride, The Beast nodded faintly, realizing that she’d kissed him out of duty instead of desire. She told him that she wanted to take the time to open her heart to him, which made him think that maybe there was more than duty and the threat of violence leading her actions. She would obey him if he insisted.

No—I—My intention wasn’t for anything beyond… I had no intention, truly. I simply couldn’t resist the urge to kiss you any longer. I have no intention to demand anything of you. What you want is what I want for you.

When her head came to rest on his chest, The Beast hesitated again, but laid his palm on her head gently, his wing curling around her again to keep her warm and close. He worried that the sound of his heart might be too loud with her ear so close, and worried that the deep resonance of his voice might rattle her teeth, but he resolved to give her the opportunity to make her own choices.

If it’s a ceremony you want, I’ll give you a ceremony. By tomorrow evening, I’ll give you what you desire—if your want is still to marry me. I have no intention of pushing you toward anything that you’re not comfortable with. I’m glad, though, that you chose to share your first kiss with me.

The Beast planted a gentle kiss on Belle’s scalp, lowering his hand to her shoulder and clutching her to himself. It never occurred to him that he and Belle might be intimate in a physical sense, the logistics of it seemed impossible. But it was hard to sound convincing, that sex wasn’t his intent, with his huge, demonic cock growing thicker and rigid down the leg of his loose, sack cloth pants. He hoped that she wouldn’t notice.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:08 PM   #17
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Belle listened intently to what he said. His wing enfolded her and embraced her giving her a new sense of security. Raising her head up she looked in his eyes. He was giving her choices, and he wanted her to be happy here with him. This was confusing and not at all what she expected. After all she was still a prisoner here. He could make demands of her if he chose to do so, yet he did not.

"you truly are a gentlemen" she said softly as her eyes searched his. "where i come from the men, they expect the woman to obey, to clean and cook for them, and be bred like cattle." She let out a light laugh.

"But you, you are concerned with my happiness. This isn't what I expected. I would like the opportunity to get to know you better before we are wed. I would like to care for you as a wife should in her heart for her husband. I already like you a great deal. I feel very at home and comfortable with you. This is all new and alarming to me."

Her lips slowly rose to his and kissed him softly. "Did i do that okay?" she questioned blushing a little at her forwardness to feel his lips once more upon her own. "I think this wine has me a bit intoxicated, i think i should retire for the evening, we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow. Will you do me the honor of escorting me to my room?"

In truth she didn't want to leave the comfort she found under his wing. This was all perplexing to her. Emotions and lack of sense clouded her mind. He was an honorable man but he wasn't a man. This was something she needed to remember. Perhaps she should have thicker walls up. But really what was the point of that. She was here. There was no leaving this island. At this moment she wasn't even sure if that was something she wanted.

Time would tell. It was time that was needed to gage the situation. Time to get to know him and open her heart to the possibility of love. This was something that he offered her which was the most valuable treasure she could have ever asked for.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:06 PM   #18
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Belle looked up at The Beast and he smiled, her beauty was infectious and he never grew tired of looking at her face. She showered him in compliments, building up to what he interpreted as her intention to ask to be set free again, or perhaps a plea to allow some better suited man to come and serve as his proxy in the marital bed. It wasn’t as bad as he’d expected, but the gist was roughly the same. She wanted time.

I’ll wait as long as you say we must. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed yourself thus far.

Time was a funny thing for The Beast—in one sense meaningless, as he didn’t age at the rate most mortals did, but in another sense so precious, so finite and critical that wasting even a moment was folly bordering on madness. The changes were setting in and he had no idea how much time he had before the changes to his appearance became permanent. None of this, however, was Belle’s fault, The Beast reminded himself of that.

Of course. The Beast smiled as Belle mentioned feeling the effects of the wine, it would be my sincere pleasure.

With his arm and wing still draped around her shoulder, The Beast helped Belle to her feet and escorted her back up to the tower by torchlight, keeping the flame far enough from her to avoid any stray embers finding their way to her precious, soft skin.

Goodnight, Belle. The Beast said gently, leaning in to kiss her lips tenderly one last time. I look forward to seeing you again in the morning.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:24 PM   #19
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"I look forward to seeing you again in the morning."Belle smile up at him again. "Thank you for such a wonderful dinner and stimulating conversation."

Opening her door she stepped inside and turned back to him. "Good night." she whispered shutting the door softly separating the two of them. Sitting at her vanity she picked up her brush and ran it through her hair several times before undressing into her tunic. Crawling into bed she pulled the covers over her and fell asleep quickly.

The next morning the birds singing and strong beams of sunlight woke her from her slumber. This was the first time she didn't have to worry about feeding her brothers and her father. In a way he freed her from the life she would be expected to have with a human husband.

His rights to her he graciously waived for the time being. He promised her time.
One would normally find it difficult to adjust to her situation. But he was so kind and gentle to her, she find it hard to be hateful or rude. It wouldn't improve the situation in the least. If anything it would only make it more difficult to bare. But with the kindness and graciousness he'd shown her thus far she found herself grateful to him. Even a bit of admiration for all he had been through and for remaining the gentle soul he appeared to be.

Belle got dressed in her cleaning gown and made her way to the dining room to clean up from their last evenings meal. However it appeared he already had. This made her smile as she went into the kitchen. There was a large basket of eggs and assorted meats. Singing softly to herself she began the task of making them breakfast. She saw his appetite and gagged to be sure he was well fed before their tour.

Somehow he had gotten a hold of a pig and she salvaged back sausage and ham from it. Belle wondered if there was livestock here as she continued to make breakfast. She even went as far to make homemade biscuits one of her specialties for him.

"It's almost ready" she said with a bright smile to him as he entered. "I hope you don't mind that I cooked for you. It was the least i could do after the meal you prepared last night. I'm not going to be able to carry it all, would you help me?" she asked looking into his dark eyes.

"I look forward to our tour after we eat" she then added.
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