See chapter one for disclaimers! Thanks goes to TrudiRose as always for her wonderful Beta abilities!
Through ornately embroidered lace curtains, rays of undiluted morning sunlight shot and fell across the room in small pools of heat and clarity. Although it may have seemed to the untrained eye that the patterns that they fell into were random, Beast knew with unquestioning certainty that the shining daggers of malicious light were meant especially for his eyes. That, along with the oppressively stale heat from the fireplace, grated on him. He shifted heavily through an assortment of decreasingly comfortable positions, but there was no respite. The brightness and warmth of the room kept him from drifting back to sleep.
With some effort he lifted his eyelids, weighted with the luxury of long hours of deep, unperturbed sleep. His doctor’s advice to restrict movement completely unheeded, he lifted himself up on the bed to all fours for some rousing stretches. He extended one hind leg back as far as he could, extending even his toes for the satisfying pull of muscles as he unconsciously flicked his tail a bit from side to side. Sunshine washed over his form, highlighting the musculature that was so often hidden by his thick pelt. Beast rolled his massive shoulders as he held position, and then switched legs. Feeling slightly more awake, he shifted to sit on the edge of the bed. As he let his mind drift for a moment, it occurred to him to open a window and let out the heat in the room. He stood up to do just that, locating a pair of glass doors that led out to a small balcony. The view offered a snowy revision of the castle garden, twinkling in the sun.
Upon stepping out onto the balcony, he was met with a very cold breeze over his nether parts, and upon looking down discovered that he was exposed to the pretty winter scene. Immediately shocked and embarrassed, his ears went straight up and he pulled a nearby curtain to cover him whilst he scanned for anyone who could have seen. Relieved to see that there was no one around, Beast realized that he had awoken early, very much earlier than usual. It only took him a moment to remember why he had gone to bed so soon in the evening, and in such an undressed state. Fresh embarrassment flooded him. Belle, whose clever intelligence often trumped his own in a way that he had come to accept, had to have known why he had sent her from the room. Would she avoid him now?
Beast had never troubled himself to think that Belle could accept his furry exterior sexually. Previously, he had known that his form, while acceptable to her now, and perhaps even loved, was far beyond being considered for such activities. But now his mind was muddled. Weddings, for all their pomp and glory in the royal realm, boiled down to a wedding-night. The consummation of marriage. In a dream-like way, he realized what Belle might have been offering with her suggestion of marriage. Even if she hadn’t meant to, she must have known what would be assumed.
His Majesty still stood in the doorway of the balcony, breathing the cold air, and considered that perhaps the curse may have left him some small part of his manhood. That despite everything that had been taken away, he might still be able to lay with a wife. All the more, one that he loved, a beautiful bride, one that loved him back. He mulled over that. Weighed in his mind, he knew many men in his own lineage who had settled for less. He had an uncle who had claimed an entire small kingdom in battle, only to receive a very shrill and horse-looking woman for a wife. But Belle… Beast thought of her and shut his eyes, still clutching the curtain in his intensity. Had anyone who had been walking in the garden looked up to see him, they might have laughed at the image of a horned demi-god who appeared to be dressed in a very frilly toga.
Although Beast was loathe to admit it, marriage would have most likely never come up if Belle had not offered it. His brow furrowed over closed eyes. His devotion and adoration of her, even within himself, was undeniable. Had Beast been in his human form, he would have claimed her long ago, with marriage, among other things. Being the youngest of three sons, he could have easily convinced his parents to allow him to buy Belle into royalty so that they could marry. His other two brothers had married well, to princesses that provided more riches to their parents than love between the couple. But in his cursed form, he had never thought she might look to become joined to him, had thought that the mere suggestion would offend her.
But the events of the previous evening had given him much to consider. ‘--the man I love, the man I’m going to marry…’ She had shed tears for him, tears of joy that he was still alive, even while he mourned it. I love you, Beast. Wasn’t it a bit strange that she was always the first to say it? And then the kiss… It’s all right. Inwardly, Beast cringed, suddenly noticing a pattern. Too often, Belle comforted him when he was too cowardly to move forward. His instincts in such matters pointed out that the opposite should be true. He suspected himself of leaving her to do the hard work of taking risks, while he shirked the duties of any dignified male in the process of wooing his love.
Beast opened his eyes and straightened his posture, looking out onto the landscape with a determined expression. The circumstances that had preceded the transformation would have greatly shamed his family, had they ever known. For nothing was much more incriminating than the punishments of sorcerers. But pursuing Belle’s favor as he would have done had the curse never happened appealed to Beast’s sense of dignity. He took a deep breathe of crisp air, puffing out his chest, and released it. A billowing cloud of breath heavy with resolve dissipated in the brisk morning.
Beast decided that he would leave the work to Belle no longer. If against all odds, she had truly overcome his monstrous appearance, and was willing to accept him as a man, as a husband…then he would hasten to act like a man and lead, as best he could.
With that, the hulking being stepped back into the room to dress himself, leaving the doors open but the drapes closed. Hazy plans formed in his mind of inviting Belle to walk with him in the icy gardens. He wished he could tell her what he’d realized, and apologize for being so weak, but he knew that the words would come out wrong. He would simply show her. Bedecked in his usual garb, plus his favorite cape for the cold, he set out to do so.
Traveling the hallways, he dropped to all fours and ran in his excitement. Arriving at her room, Beast quickly stood up and hesitated, gently touching her door, but not knocking. It was very early after all, would it be rude to knock? It would certainly be ruder to just open the door, he supposed. Finally, he opened the door just a bit, and gently rumbled her name through the space.
When he heard no response, he tried again a little louder, and with the same results, peeked through the gap. Seeing her empty, disheveled bed, sheets thrown back and a pillow on the floor. Beast felt the most mild prick of irritation build. Why wasn’t she here? Where else would she be? His brows lowered and pushed together as he opened the door, stepping into her room. Her scent flooded his nose and the irritation dropped away like a stone. Blue eyes skittered over the room, absorbing. Belle, it seemed, wasn’t exactly tidy. Beast felt a blushing heat go down his neck when he saw a lone pair of petticoats hanging over a nearby chair. Reminded of his lack of invitation, Beast left her room, closing the doors behind him.
Figuring the library to be the next best place to look, the hirsute prince began to walk towards it. In passing through a hall of arms, he spotted Mrs. Potts at the end of it.
“Mrs. Potts!” he hollered, too impatient to wait till he was close enough to speak.
Mrs. Potts, in her gently refined way, did not respond till she was at a distance that her proper speaking voice could be heard. “Yes, your Majesty?” she chirped. Beast noticed as she grew closer to him, that she seemed…brighter, in some way. Her cheeks were rosier, her smile was wider even her eyes seemed clearer. While he was impressed by the change, the current issue of locating Belle pushed to the forefront.
“Do you know where Belle is?” Beast queried.
“Have you checked the library?” Mrs. Potts responded easily. “Belle went there often when she wasn’t watching over you.” She peered at him under raised eyebrows, accentuating the point.
“I was on my way.” Beast confirmed. He looked to the ground, again confronted with Belle’s show of love and loyalty.
“Well, I’m sure she’d love your company. But perhaps you could tend to your appearance before you do,” Mrs. Potts gestured faintly to her chin, as if stroking a beard, then gave an equally subtle point to a highly reflective suit of armor. A quick inspection revealed a mess of snarls that had developed while he slept.
“Hrrm,” he grunted in agreement.
Smoothing his hands back over the top of his head and gently running his claws through the fur there, Beast quickly combed in hopes of making himself presentable. With a couple of tugs through his beard, he thought he must have gotten at least the visible knots, and felt ready, bounding towards the library. Pulling open the large, arched wooden doors, he entered, and immediately spotted two pale ankles leading to dainty slipper-covered feet, visible from behind a green couch across the room. Absolutely astonished, Beast came closer, looking over the back of the couch to discover his beloved sleeping in the tender embrace of the library sofa. Resting on her chest was the inevitable book.
Beast stood frozen for a number of reasons. First and foremost was her manner of dress. Belle had always dressed very modestly, wearing long sleeves even when the weather permitted sleeveless dresses. Thus the effect of seeing her in a nightgown -- a satin nightgown no less -- had double the influence on him. Long expanses of porcelain skin were exposed to him: her long arms, her elegant neck. The creamy, off-white fabric brought gleaming accents to her womanly curves, and enhanced the pale of her skin. Dainty straps left her collarbones exposed. Beast was reminded strongly of his first tantalizing look at those collarbones, that night in the Ballroom.
Belle’s head was turned just slightly away from him, cheeks pink, lips pinker and slightly parted. She breathed, and Beast struggled to do the same. His eyes slid over her. Many thoughts flew through his head at once: the memory of yellow silk…the first time he had ever felt her body heat… the way she had felt as he held her against him, just last night…Beast yearned to feel those things again. Touch her, his body seemed to scream.
Standing hunched, Beast fought the temptation, worrying his paw-like hands, twisting them together. But still, he looked, his eyes drawn to her sleeping form. Finally, he was helpless to resist. Shaky fingertips tucked a lock of chestnut hair away from Belle’s face, and then gently smoothed over a brow. His other hand joined in mindlessly, mimicking the movements of his first. Reaching easily over the back of the sofa, Beast traced feather-light trails over Belle’s cheeks, her jaw line, her forehead, reveling in the softness of her skin, the sweetness in the structures of her face.
His heart was beating hard, even though his touches were innocent. He knew that were anyone to walk in, it would look badly on him. Even if he had been assured of privacy, Beast still would have questioned his own motives, always afraid that his monstrous appearance would taint his appetites as well. Perhaps if he had known that his behavior almost exactly mirrored Belle’s own explorations of him not so long ago, he would have felt more secure.
While Belle’s skin was soft to his touch, it was also chilled, and Beast looked to see the few smoldering embers that remained in the fireplace. Impulsively, he decided that he would carry Belle to her room, return her to her bed, and start a new fire in the hearth in her room. It warmed his heart to care for her as she had done for him, and he was eager to do it.
But as he went to scoop her into his arms he halted. The book, tattered and surely very old, was probably just as eager to fall to the floor and wake Belle, foiling his efforts. But to remove it seemed implausible, as its placement on her bosom currently retained her modesty. Beast hesitated, and then whipped off his cloak, letting it drape over Belle’s sleeping form. Then, carefully, he began to work his hands beneath her back, effectively tucking the cloak around her while he did so. Once he had his forearms beneath her, he shifted his hand, his thick fingers sliding through the silky hairs at the nape of her neck to support her head, and lifted. She wasn’t feather light, but she wasn’t nearly heavy either; her body was a pleasant weight in his arms as he cradled her against his broad shoulder, the book trapped between their chests. Beast was surprised to discover that he was not nearly as nervous holding her now as he had been the night before. As it was, he was quietly amused to find that if he turned his ear just right, he could hear the sound of Belle snoring, just ever so lightly.
Adjusting his grip to be sure he would not drop her, the prince hoped that the hallways to Belle’s room would be empty. Walking to the door, he balanced on one leg as he used his other foot to open the library door wider. Although his cloak protected her from potential embarrassment, eyebrows would be raised if he was seen escorting her to her room while she wasn’t properly dressed. After scanning the surrounding area, he stepped out of the library, trying to walk quickly without jostling his precious cargo.
Not too far away, two plainly-dressed men navigated a small town’s market. They did not walk too closely to one another. Yet in an understated way, it was clear that they walked together. Reginald kept an eye out for anything he might need, but surprisingly, most of his things had not been much affected by his time away from them. He had always been a firm believer in the use of cedar to ward away moths, and he found he still fit all of his clothing.
Cogsworth studied the distracted doctor’s ever-so-slight jowls in the morning sun. He remembered Reginald’s younger days in the castle. The physician’s face had always seemed too somber and aloof. But now, with the fine lines of time and gray hairs, Reginald seemed dignified, regal. Cogsworth decided that age suited the doctor.
Lumiere would have a field day with this. Like a pig to truffles, the flirtatious maitre’d always seemed to detect romance with ease. Cogsworth was utterly thankful that both Lumiere and Babette had taken to sleeping late.
Beast managed to arrive at Belle’s door without witness. To his utter annoyance, he realized that the doors were shut. With no free hands, he considered the doorknob with a grimace. Beast huffed, shifting Belle so that her legs draped over his forearm, her head resting in the crook of his other arm, as he held her in place with his hand at her waist. Being moved thusly, the book that had been pinned between their chests fell and made acquaintance with Beast’s foot, the sound of its preordained fall muffled.
Stifling a loud growl, the bruised Beast kicked the heavy book a small distance away. Having freed his other hand, he leaned forward and opened the door, careful not to make too much noise.
Thankful to see that the bed’s sheets were turned back, Beast set her down gently on the mattress, bending low, close to her face. He ran claw-tipped fingers through her hair, closed his eyes and breathed in her scent. Soap, tea, and the smallest hint of sweat, her sweat, came to him. He sighed and opened his eyes to gaze at her, supporting his weight with his hands on the mattress. His brunette beloved slept steadily. Beast began to slowly pull away his cape, but then hesitated as he recalled her lack of proper covering beneath it. It would have been a lie to say that he was not tempted. Beast hungered to see Belle, every part of her. But to take the choice away from her seemed to betray all the goodness she had shown to him.
He pulled the sheets to cover Belle, mourning it, but doing so all the same. He stood up straight, looking at her still, watching her face, then turned to start her fire. Halfway to the hearth, he remembered Belle’s book was likely still lying outside the door and went to grab it, placing it on the nightstand near her bed. Grabbing the small shovel in the stand just outside of the fireplace, Beast began to remove the cold ashes that remained of the last fire that had burned there. In his focus, he forgot to heed the noise, and the grating of metal against stone sounded through the room. But Belle seemed set upon sleeping, making a soft noise herself and turning over within the softness of her bed. Beast checked over his shoulder, then continued his work.
The fire blazed, and he could feel the difference in the room because of it. Highly satisfied, Beast felt one more adjustment was needed before he was done. Opening a window on the far side of the room would keep the air fresh and the room from becoming too hot, and seeing as it was something he preferred himself, Beast assumed that Belle would also appreciate the gesture.
But upon trying to open the window, Beast found that it was quite stuck. Confident in his ability to muscle past the problem, he tried harder, digging his claws into the wood, bunching his biceps, and tensing his abdomen as he strained to pull the window upward. For a few moments, the window held; then suddenly it shot open, with a loud, piercing squeal that made Beast’s ears lay back against his head. Beast froze for the second time that day, hoping against hope that the sound hadn’t broken Belle’s slumber.
A faint, groggy voice spoke behind him. “Beast?”
Just moments ago, Beast had felt proud of his thoughtfulness, but now he felt mysteriously embarrassed. His hands still on the window, he turned slightly to look out of the corner of his eye to her.
The sheets rustled as Belle sat up in her bed, holding his cape over her chest. Seeing him look so miserable and confused made her want to comfort him, despite her own confusion. Without thinking, the words “Would you like to sit down?” tumbled from her lips.
Beast turned fully towards her, looking surprised but quickly regaining his composure. Belle’s face seemed tinged with red, a little embarrassed herself. He walked to her bed, ambling up onto it. He was silent, panicked by how unprepared he was to take the initiative that he had felt so intent on just an hour earlier.
Belle felt the mattress respond to Beast’s weight, and she was reminded of his size. The tilt of the bed encouraged her to lean against him, as did morning laziness. But this state of undress would have made it entirely inappropriate. “Good morning,” she said softly, looking at his face, then down to her lap, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear.
“I found you in the library,” Beast explained, “you fel- uh, looked cold, so I brought you to your room and…” He gestured to the fire.
Belle smiled. “Thank you.” She was flustered. He had seen her in her nightgown? How scandalizing! The brunette beauty remembered in a flash that she had fallen asleep in the library, and wished with all her might that she had not. “Uh, did anyone else-?”
“No,” Beast stated. “Just me.” In the ensuing silence, Belle considered this. Her husband-to-be had protected her honor, built her a fire, and managed to keep the potentially humiliating moment quiet. Her limited romance novel experience told her that a show of affection would be appropriate, but Belle couldn’t find the bravery to initiate it.
All of this thought took the form of an awkward silence, which made Beast uneasy. He thought to change the subject. “You fell asleep with a book, I brought it too.”
Belle felt a charge of anxiety pierce her. She remembered all too well what she had been reading last night. There was no way to soften Manuel on the Reversal of Lingering Curses, was there? “Oh?” she said in a neutral tone, scanning his face for hurt or anger, hoping his illiteracy might have shielded him. She tried not to look around for the book, to show a lack of interest, but to no avail. Beast started to lean across her to fetch it from her nightstand, presumably to hand it to her. But Belle grabbed his reaching arm, stopping him short.
“That was very thoughtful of you,” she said softly, hand still resting lightly on his arm. She looked to the rug near the door, her long eyelashes and elegant neck displayed by her nervous body language. She did hope to distract him from the book, but meant her words. Beast was still, his eyes trained on her face. He breathed slowly. She looked up and their eyes met.
This time there was no hesitation, no offering that was timidly received. Their movement was synced, both wanting, both looking to please. Their lips met at an angle. Their difference in height and positions made it difficult only for a moment though, as Beast wasted no time gathering her into his arms and resting her bottom softly on the thick muscular thigh of his crossed leg. Belle gasped, breaking their kiss. The sensation of being lifted by those big hands, the blatant show of effortless strength, tempered with his gentle movements, brought the heat of her passion to her face. This was utterly different from the shows that Gaston had often put on, she thought. There was no move to dominate or claim, no crowd to entertain. Only her sweet Beast’s earnest attempts for her approval and affection.
Belle decided that she had struggled with her feelings toward Beast long enough. It no longer mattered what others might think. If she were honest with herself, the fear that his appearance had once evoked in her had subtly changed into a thrilling wonder. In ways that were unknown to her, his strange differences drew her like nothing she had known before.
Beast was disoriented by her sharp intake of breath. Thinking that he may have hurt her, he backed away a bit to look at her. Belle seemed fine, but Beast sensed something had changed. His heightened senses detected the sudden presence of a strangely sweet musk in the room, which confused him as well. Despite his arousal and feverish wish to continue kissing Belle, he found the smell called attention to itself, pulling in his focus. He breathed in deeply through his nose for more of the exotic scent, puzzled until he looked back to Belle, took note of her rosy cheeks and heightened breathing. They held each others eyes, Beast’s arms crossed behind her back. One of Belle’s hands clutched the front of his linen shirt, the other still held his thick purple cape to cover her chest. Still looking deeply into Beast’s eyes, Belle felt the spirits of wild daring pass through her, and her hand opened to let the cape fall away.
Now it was Beast’s turn to gasp. It was all too apparent that Belle was wearing no chemise beneath her nightgown. The neckline was not very deep, but revealed the very top of her cleavage, stopping just before the swell of her womanly flesh. He throbbed at the sight of Belle’s protruding nipples beneath the satin, her visible arousal bolstering him to action. He leaned forward, careful of his horns, and lay one tender kiss over her uncovered sternum. He could feel the shape and warmth of her breasts through the fabric of her gown, pressing into the ruff of fur surrounding his head. He turned his head, kissing the exposed parts of her breasts, encouraged when Belle let her head fall back, giving him her neck to explore.
He was dying to feel her breasts in his hands, but knew that simply allowing himself this impulse could bring the moment to an abrupt stop. Her scent filled his mind, making it hard for him to think, and it seemed to be gathering strength. Had any human male taken in the air, the fragrance would have been too subtle to notice. But to Beast’s keen nose, the aroma of Belle’s arousal was distinct and addictive, driving him to find more, opening doors to instinctive reactions that Beast had tried so hard not to act on.
Beast’s tongue sent goose bumps crawling over Belle’s flesh as it laid a hot, wet trail up her neck. Her breath caught at the feel of his tongue, rough like a cat’s, and she reached up with her free hand for something to hold onto as she arched toward him. Her hand slid over fur as silken as the gown she wore, she stroked his velvety ear and then grabbed his twisted horn, pulling him closer as she tried to pull herself up. A soft growl of pleasure escaped from Beast’s chest, and he moved to lay her back on the bed. Her legs went to either side of Beast’s thigh as he leaned forward on his knees, supporting his weight on one arm as he lowered her beneath him with his other. Belle could almost feel the power and focus emanating from Beast as he hovered over her, keeping his weight off of her as he continued to lick and kiss his way over her shoulders, throat and back over her chest. Their breathing was loud in the quiet room. Tingling sensations distributed themselves in waves throughout Belle’s body. Warmth and pressure gathered deliciously between her legs.
“Beast,” she said huskily, writhing for relief she wasn’t sure she wanted. Broad arms wrapped around her upper torso as Beast tried to get his legs under him again, wanting to pull Belle closer for another proper kiss. It was in this movement that the apex of Belle’s thighs straddled Beast’s leg. As Belle’s weight settled against him, she began to subtly undulate, soaking up the pleasure that resulted from it.
Beast had no frame of reference for the activities he and his beloved were participating in; the curse had been cast too early in his years for much different to be expected. The drive of a man too long repressed and the unconscious directives of his monstrous form led him like a blinded horse. But even he was not so blind and naïve to overlook the heat of Belle’s sex soaking through the fabric of his pants. He held her close, their lips meeting again, hearts pounding together, equally inflamed by love and lust. Belle’s hands began to search for buttons of his shirt, opening it so she could run her palms over more of his broad chest and that luxurious fur. His panting breaths became more ragged. Big, claw-tipped hands closed over hers, leading them to his furred shoulders and tightening, signaling that she hold on. Belle hesitated in fear of hurting him, but soon wound her fingers through his thick coat and held.
Straightening, Beast rose a bit from his kneeling position, and lifted Belle slightly. She brought her knees under her, and felt Beast move his own hips upwards, leading her to realize what he had done. With her weight resting on her knees, Belle had more freedom to move her hips and pleasure herself.
Belle was experiencing something beyond what she had ever thought she would achieve. Even the most heated of her reading selections had still been frustratingly vague in their descriptions of sensual encounters. Nagging guilt and a proper upbringing gnawed at her from a distant place in the back of her mind, but tides of pleasure coursing through her kept her going. The warmth of Beast’s large powerful hands on her, squeezing gently on her hips radiated a feeling of blissful satisfaction into her stomach, stirring butterflies. She pulled herself closer to the solid build of his body, earning a breathy groan from her partner. Her long fingers slid away from their hold, and she lovingly stroked the fur surrounding his face. Her touches opened his eyes to see her face, and Belle was shocked once again by the way his pupils had dilated. Not wanting to seem put off, she stretched upward for a kiss, unintentionally sliding her body against his.
As Belle moved, Beast moved with her, grunting softly, eyebrows knitted together as he struggled to coordinate his movements with his love’s. His erection was aching. While Belle’s leg, caught between his thighs, brushed against him through his pants, the stimulation was too indirect to satisfy, yet just enough to keep him actively aroused. Beast was determined to follow through, to give his lady pleasure. However, he doubted he could last much longer in this position.
Beast shut his eyes tightly, his painful arousal becoming too much to bear. Not at all helped by Belle’s breasts as they pressed into his chest, or the feeling of her lips as they kissed. His hands clenched, pulling the satin of Belle’s nightgown taught between them, helpless to the pained growl that escaped him. Belle leaned back, studying his face.
“Are you alright?” she said softly, nervousness creeping into her voice “What’s wrong?”
Beast shook his head, gesturing that nothing was wrong. Although he tried to hide it, his panting breath made speech difficult for him. His strong arms laid Belle back onto the mattress, although she gave a disappointed sound at the move. Then he lay down beside her, pulling her close again, but leaving a small space between their lower halves. They lay on their sides, facing each other. Belle was quick to press her face into Beast’s ruff, running her hands over his chest. Beast felt unsure of his next move. Even with his own needs begging to be sated, Beast wanted to bring Belle to completion more than anything… although he was not at all versed on how to go about it.
His thick fingers wandered down her side, then slid gradually to her belly. The knuckles of his hand slowly came to a stop just below her navel, asking permission to go further silently. Belle’s hand covered his, holding it there unnecessarily, her stomach twisting with indecision.
“Don’t you think we should wait?” she whispered, then added “For the wedding?”
Beast was immensely relieved that he would not have to stimulate her that way, when he was unsure of what to do, but also disappointed that he hadn’t brought her to a climax. But he knew that it was ultimately the lady’s decision how far they should go.
Even with a deep breath, his voice was thick and deep with lust, but he spoke as clearly as he could. “We can wait as long as you want.” He took the hand that held his, giving it a timid squeeze of affection. Then, in an inspired moment, he turned his head to whisper into her ear. “I love you, Belle.”
The sweet words, combined with the warmth of his breath and the brush of his lips against her ear, made Belle flush again. She moved to lean on her elbow, looking into his face and bringing his hand to her chest, holding it close to her heart. “Oh Beast, I love you too.” She leant forward to kiss him again, and with her change of position, Beast felt her breast rest against his hand. With that, the throbbing in his groin flared, and he had to set his jaw to stifle his reaction, resulting in a somewhat strangled noise.
This time Belle moved away to inspect him more thoroughly, her face showing concern. “What’s going on?” she said softly, running her hand tenderly over his cheek. “You can tell me.”
Beast hesitated, wondering if he really could just tell her what was ailing him. Her eyes seemed to show sincere worry, but he couldn’t bring himself to say the words aloud. In a sudden impulse, he pulled her flush against him, letting her feel the stark erection pressing into her thigh through her gown. Beast heard her breath hitch, but didn’t sense her trying to pull away.
“It hurts,” he rumbled, his cheek pressed lightly to her shoulder, not wanting to make eye contact.
“Oh” Belle responded, blushing furiously and a little intimidated by the length and girth of the hot thing that seemed to throb against her. She recalled words like ‘aching’ in the description of longing between lovers, but hadn’t ever imagined it might be literal.
“Do you…” Belle paused and started again, voice timid and a little unsure. “Is there something I can do?”
Beast was silent for a beat, then “I don’t want you to see it.” he admitted finally, shame forming a heavy stone in his stomach.
The bookworm was no fool, and hadn’t expected for the sorceress that had transformed him to spare any specific part of him, not when everything else had been so utterly changed. In the back of her mind, she had expected that he would be at least somewhat different from the common man even in the most intimate of places.
“Alright,” she said with a gentle smile. “I don’t have to see it.”
She petted the line of dark fur that bisected his chest, giving him a light kiss. “But maybe I can help make it stop hurting?”
Astonished at her offer, Beast looked at Belle with wide eyes, momentarily forgetting to breathe. “Really?”
Belle looked away, embarrassed, “Well, I’ve never- I mean, I’m not sure what to do, but,” she looked back to him, “I want to you feel what I felt.”
His mind racing, Beast considered his options, either Belle hadn’t completely understood, or she had, and was willing to continue anyway. Although he was desperate for her touch, wanted to be relieved, he couldn’t ignore the risk of her repulsion.
“No” he whispered in his deep voice, “not now, but…thank you.”
They continued to lay together, as the sun rose higher in the sky, feeling both exhausted and exhilarated by what had happened. Their hearts and minds were open for what lay ahead for them, and each hoping the other would be brave enough to move forward.
- Current Location:Dining room table
- Current Mood: relaxed
- Current Music:Family conversations