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A Moment Echoes ~ Chapter 7

Took me a while to get back on the horse with my new laptop. I have art for you though, art for this fanfiction. I'll post it later.
Enjoy!


Thank you TrudiRose!

A Moment Echoes: Chapter 7
Rating: Mature

 

   

 Years ago, before Belle had ever stepped foot in the castle, many passing moments had fashioned the conditions that she had come to live in. While the young prince languished in his newly cursed form, alternating between lethargic depression and irrational fury, the rest of the castle seemed to go on in stride. Performing their old duties in their new forms. Hope was high in the beginning, as the servants kept the castle in proper order, waiting for their imminent release. But time went on, and as each year passed, it took much of their resolve with it. Slowly the castle had become resigned, turning the bustle of cheerful upkeep into dreary habit.


    The prince, once far too aloof to connect to those who served him, seemed humbled in some ways by his transformation. It had taken him time to relearn walking, especially when his new body was so insistent that he go on all fours. His moods weighed heavily on him at times, making him feel as though he was simply too weak to move for hours or days. Lumiere had been the first to come to the Beast, when he had not appeared for his meals. Many of the servants were kept at a distance by his anger, but as Lumiere reported the wretched state that the prince had come to, a few others began to help as well. Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts all became the few meager sources of direction and hope for the bestial prince. With their continuing focus, they managed to partially cajole the once proud royalty out of his crushing despair. Despite his frequent relapses, the small group began to bond. And although the prince continued to treat his rescuers as mere servants, in times of tranquility or doubt, he would also acknowledge them as friends and advisers. 

 

    Prince Adam had never been an eager student, and efforts to continue his lessons after the transformation were quickly smothered by his stubborn refusal and explosive, violent anger. Reminders of how his future had been stolen from him tormented him. What good was the education of royalty if one would never be able to preform royal duties? What duties could be performed with the appearance of a monster? The servants of the castle had deemed him the Beast long before the curse, as a source of humor for those who served him. In the wake of the malicious spell, however, he took it as his title, and ordered the castle to refer to him as such. The small joke quickly died.


---

Wrinkled, twisted plains had replaced the usual subtle undulations of fine linens that covered Belle's bed. The two occupants were far too involved with one another to be bothered however. Their passionate petting had mellowed, allowing for a much more leisurely exchange of affection. They lay on their sides facing each other. Belle's free hand gently stroked the fur on Beast's face, gliding along the lines of his jaw and brow line. The different shades of his fur shone in the gentle morning light, shifting with the movement of Belle's fingertips as she brushed through to the skin beneath. Her other hand was lovingly cradled in his large palm. The soothingly rhythmic affection produced a gaze of glazed adoration from Beast. Belle met his stare with her own, a faint smile on full lips hinting at the sense of contentment she felt. Although her eyes were half-closed, still tired from her late night and early awakening, her heart was thrilled. There was some guilt, but not much, they were both still fully clothed after all. The weight of taboo was gone from her heart, at least for now.

"I'm glad you found me." she whispered, not out of a need for secrecy, but in keeping with the subdued atmosphere in the room. Although she had meant it simply, she couldn't help but blush when she realized how it could be construed. She turned her face into her pillow to hide her bashful smile. Her fingers slid from his cheek to beneath his chin, as if to hide from it's mild embarrassment behind his beard. 

Beast had to smile as well, his hand on the bed tightened carefully around hers, while his other sought out her hand from his neck.  "I'm glad too." He kissed the fingers that had been petting him. Belle peeked at him from her pillow, then turned her head back towards him. Her hand splayed when his lips drew away, caressing his cheek once more, hungry to touch him. 

"You're so soft." Belle stated in a dreamy voice. The words had slipped out, meant as a sincere compliment, but his expression became decidedly unflattered. Belle's sleepy mind couldn't stop the giggle that followed. She rose up on her elbow to close the short distance between them with a kiss, hoping that it would make amends. Beast accepted her kiss without thought, allowing her to distract him from the small sting to his masculine pride.

But she continued, "I like it," she whispered, positioned above him now, her face close to his. She steadied herself with a hand on his chest, and subtly pressed, suggesting he lay back as she repositioned herself. Beast seemed captivated, struck, following her lead and laying his head back on the pillows beneath; his eyes fixated on her. Now kneeling on the bed, Belle moved closer. Belle nervously bit her lower lip, looking at him with uncertain expression, hesitating. Beast looked back at her, anticipating her next move. Pushing past her discomfort, she leaned forward, and pressed both hands onto his chest, fingers spread wide, greedy for the tactile sensation of her hands on cool fur and the shifting muscles beneath as she she slid them down his chest, over his ribcage. Pleasure spread through Beast wherever the pleasant pressure went, causing him to squirm somewhat, his hands clenching in the sheets. He fought the urge to touch her just yet, not wanting to interrupt the moment. The brunettes eyes lowered to follow her hands. Hot, gut-deep admiration for the power beneath her palms washed through her, transforming her expression into something wanton. Beast witnessed the change as the flush returned to her face, could smell the shift in her scent, but remained still until he felt her small hands drift over his lower abdomen. His body responded automatically, pressing his hips towards her touch as a low moan that reverberated through the room escaped him. Beast shut his eyes tightly, reigning in his rising passions, but almost immediately his eyes opened again, his gaze returning to her quickly to continue watching. His response excited her deeply. A sudden, eager confidence in her ability propelled her as she leaned forward to kiss his stomach. Pressing her cheek where she had laid her kiss, Belle looked to Beast as a heated, intense feeling circulated through her, urging her to make him moan again. His eyelids lowered, and he reached out for her, wanting more of her touch, wondering at the pleasure she seemed to receive from it as well.  Belle held onto his forearms, allowing him to pull her forward till she was reclining across his torso on her stomach. 

 She moved to straddle his waist awkwardly. Her palms traveled away from each other, measuring the broadness of his shoulders, then sliding down his bicep. She paused there, squeezing the firm shape, looking for all the world as though she were pinning him to the bed. She remembered the night he had saved her from the wolves, these arms had defeated an entire pack of them for her. The memory of his bravery and strength aroused her further. Beast's breaths began to quicken, but he did not move, letting her do what she wanted, transfixed by her assertive behavior. He looked up at her face, taking in the desire in her features with a mixture of disbelief and hope.

Belle's fingers tugged at his hands, wordlessly leading them to her waist as she shifted restlessly on top of him.

"Touch me" she whispered.

"Hmnh," Beast responded breathly, gripping her hips as his abdominal muscles flexed under her. Her enthusiasm and boldness were almost too much. He struggled to let her take the lead. He could feel his erection returning, pleading for his release. He wanted to show his patience, his resolve. But it was hard not to push for more when she was so close, seemed so willing. His body responded to her words before his mind could. 

 Again his hips rose, lifting her, but he was quick to divert his need to move into his hands. Rubbing his palms up her back, thumbs tracing the curve of her sides, feeling the silken material and the shape of her body, Beast attempted to return the sensual massage she had started. Belle arched her back, turning her face to the ceiling and pressing into his hands. She felt him grip her tighter, fingers pressing firmly into her flesh, and looked down to see him watching her still, his pupils visibly dilating as they took took her in. She felt a sudden flare of excitement, and moved her hips into him. A rumbling groan was dragged from chest as his body moved to meet her without hesitation. 

It was then that the sheer influence her body had over Beast occurred to Belle. The thought made her heart pound. How deep his love was for her, how badly he desired her. The primal wanting that she sensed from him pleasured her almost as much as his touch, and excited her two fold. She wanted to draw more from him. The idea that she could bring him to such a state thrilled her, making her feel needy for him. Her breasts ached to be touched, but just as her hand rested over his to gently hint him there, she shifted forward, and the glare of the sun caught her eyes, causing her to look away while her eyes watered. The time they had spent together in her room had been enough for the sun to shift, rising higher into the sky, and entering Belle's room through her uncovered window. 

"Ow," Belle said, irritation coloring her tone as her hand covered her eyes and she sat back, waiting for the discomfort to fade. 

Beast fumbled for what to say, his hands still holding tightly to her. His mind struggled to adjust to the sudden change in mood.  "Do you want me to close the curtains?" he offered. He was hopeful they could continue unabated.
Belle, feeling somewhat put off and self conscious now, glanced from beneath her hand to the clock in her room. "No, it's almost time for Mrs.Potts to come with Breakfast..." Just mentioning the older women made Belle feel embarrassed by her activities. She moved to get up from Beast's stomach, looking at the pillow beneath his head. "We need to get you-" Belle was cut off, -as her efforts to move from her perch was hindered by Beast's grip. He was silent for a moment, holding her where she was and simply looking at her with an expression that was hard to read. Belle met his eyes, smiling. 

"Are you planning on letting me go?" she said teasingly, running her fingertips lightly over his hands. 

Beast smirked softly himself, his eyes drifting to where their hands touched, still resting on the curve of her waist. 'Never again' his mind responded and he shook his head no. But he knew that wasn't what Belle had meant. He had his own questions. His expression went serious. He tilted to his side, letting her slide gently down beside him. Enveloped in his shadow, Belle looked up at him. Beast took her hands in his, looking down at them while he gathered his thoughts. When he looked to her eyes, he looked as if he was bracing himself, embarrassed, and still struggling to push his renewed arousal from his mind.

He spoke softly. "Belle, do you really... want me this way?"

Belle paused. She felt the blush coming to her cheeks, but knew her answer.

"Yes." She whispered, "Absolutely".

Beast took a deep breath at the exhilaration he felt. He had thought so, but to hear her say it! He couldn't stop the smile that crept to his face. 

"Even though... you know that my, ah, that I'm different?" He looked intensely at her. 

Belle thought she might be glowing red from the heat she felt in her face. "I know," she said simply, then cast her glance downward. "I... always figured that it might be the case.." She looked back to his face, hoping she hadn't shocked him too badly.

Beast did look slightly taken aback. The thought that Belle might have logically assumed the unique state of his genitalia did surprise him, but not nearly as much as the thought of her considering the subject in the first place. Thick brows began to furrow in thought. He knew that Belle was smart, but had vaguely assumed that perhaps her child-like sweetness and compassion would also lend itself to a child-like innocence. How long had she been thinking about this? What conclusion had she come to? In Beast's mind, he could easily see Belle imagining something short of the truth, and becoming horrified when she realized she had been wrong. The scene played out like a nightmare: the wedding canceled, Belle leaving the castle for the final time, unable to fathom marriage to a man who had been transformed to a monster whose every body part reflected some fierce creature. The imagined scenario was heart-wrenching to him, and quickly put a damper on his ardor and his mood.

Belle, seeing the change in his demeanor, bit her bottom lip, pulling their hands closer to her. 

"Well, they're not for looking at anyway" she stated factually, but her smirk belied her humor. Beast couldn't help a small huff of laughter, his eyes drawn to her hands as her fingers played over one large knuckle on his own hand. Feeling encouraged, Belle continued.

"I hear that they're all pretty ugly actually." 

There was another snort from Beast. Long ago, in shallow niche covered by a convenient tapestry; young Prince Adam had hid in hopes of avoiding his music lessons. While he waited, he had heard the voices of a small group of maids agreeing on that same point. But most had also agreed that good looks evened the score by far. At the time, Prince Adam had grinned wickedly, knowing that his father was considered a handsome man, and that he himself greatly resembled his father. When the women had passed, he had quietly slipped away, congratulating himself and feeling very proud. 

Though he felt foolish for it, he simply had to add, "Most men though, they can make up for it by being..." Beast searched for the words, "Better in other places."

Belle tilted her head so that their eyes could meet, the fingers that had played on his knuckle traced his brow, at those distinct features, Belle considered her attraction to Beast. What was it that drew her to him? The sweetness that he had finally begun to share with her? Or the softhearted vulnerability that perfectly offset his intimidating exterior? Those wonderful moments when he forgot himself, and had a happy moment with her? She thought of these things, and it made her heart swell. The intensity of the feeling made her feel alive, warm and energized. But those wouldn't cheer him up. She remembered the thrill of his tongue on her skin, his big hands squeezing her hips. Belle knew that she loved Beast, but she didn't speak till she had his eyes on hers, wanting him to see her seriousness.

"I think you're handsome," Belle said softly.
 

Beast snorted in disgust, "Don't lie." He looked back to their hands, his hands joined as if in prayer around the one she left in between them.  

Belle let a look of exasperation cross her features, but her expression softened quickly. The fingers that had touched his face gently stroked over his cheekbone, but when he didn't respond determination quickly set in. Belle's hand wrapped around his horn and steered him to face her for a searing kiss. Her mouth crushed against his, his lips pressed tight against hers, until a soft groan opened his mouth just ever so slightly. Her tongue dared a swipe against the moist inner part of his bottom lip. Beast clasped his hand over her shoulder at the wet contact, a quick intake of breath testifying to his surprise. He tried to respond in kind but being larger, couldn't manage the finesse within her much smaller mouth. Instead he swiped over her extended tongue, nearly melting at how soft and warm it felt. Belle hummed softly in pleasure.

When Belle pulled away, she was puffing slightly, her lips darker and pouting. Brown eyes simmered up at him, and her hands gripped his shirt.

"I love you. Don't you understand? That makes you the most handsome man in the world to me."

Beast looked at the petite women lying next to him wide-eyed, his self-doubt was stunned silent. After a few seconds of quiet, Beast swallowed. A part of his mind still felt bereft that he couldn't offer her traditionally handsome features in return for her beauty and sweetness. It didn't seem fair that she, who was worthy of so much, would settle for a cursed prince with a broken crown, a foul temper and no power to his name. 
 

"I wish you could have seen me before the curse."
 

Belle was slow to admit her interest, "I'd like to see what you looked like."

Beast knew he had destroyed every painting of his former self long ago. Looking down to his hands he wondered if there was any way to get out of admitting he had done just that. 

"Are you sure?" Beast started, his eyes flicking up to hers, then quickly darting away, "You won't... think about it?"

Belle smiled. Of course she would think about it, but never in the way he supposed; not yearning, not disappointed, just to look at, to know, wondering. 

"You don't have to show me," she assured him, "I'm just...curious." She paused, considering as her eyes rested on his chest, where the darker line of fur began and then spread downward. 
 

She wished there was some way that she could prove it did not matter. She wished she could physically push all the doubt out his mind with her hands, rather than try to with her words and her actions. But what could she do with a picture of his old body? Try to pick out the flaws? Convince him that he was more attractive to her now than he would have been before? It didn't seem likely to work.

"You know, everyone in my town thought Gaston was handsome." she stated in an even tone. Hearing the other man's name, Beast frowned in thought, as if trying to recall some detail. 

"He would ask me to marry him, he would tell me about all the sons I would give him" Belle continued, faint distaste in her voice, "he asked, demanded, that I marry him, with the whole town waiting outside, and I still told him no." 

Beast suddenly remembered in a flash, the face that went with the name. Pale blue eyes and black hair, a maniacal expression on chiseled features, wielding a spire from the castle's roof as a weapon, water and darkness pouring down from the sky. 

<Were you in love with her, Beast?> 

Beast had barely heard what the man had said at the time. Belle was there, Belle was at the castle. He needed to live. He had a reason to live. 

<Did you honestly think she'd want you, when she had someone like me?>

"I never said yes, because I knew that he was an ugly person, even if no one else knew." Belle reached out to stroke Beast's cheek, bringing him back, "<You> make me happy, that's why I'm here."
 

There was a polite cough from behind the door, and Beast jumped. The sound of steps walking away from the door followed. Embarrassed expressions were exchanged, and hasty plans were made to take a walk in the snowy garden after lunch. Beast righted his clothing and took a long look at her as he stood beside where she sat on the bed, prepared to leave, and yet not. Belle looked back, wondering what he was thinking, and feeling - belatedly, she thought - under dressed.
 

Beast took a single step towards the door, quickly turned back to her, pressing one soft kiss to her cheek and then hurrying from the room. 

"I'll see you after lunch," he mumbled, closing the door behind him. Belle, whose hand still rested on her cheek, could have sworn he had to jerk his tail out of the way to avoid smashing it in the door in his haste.
 

 

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
dj_rocca
Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
This story is so wonderful. I can't wait for more! Each chapter it gets better and better and you handle it so amazingly!
valoscope
Feb. 22nd, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
I only recently found your fic in the beauty_beast archives, and I'm so glad you're continuing! This is the best fic of its kind I've ever seen for Beauty and the Beast.

I love how Belle and the Beast are not completely clueless about what's going on, but still have their characteristic approaches to the situation. The other characters are also wonderful and the intimate scenes quite hot, making this a truly well-rounded fanfic.

Can't wait for the rest!
one_windiga
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
I was so excited to see the update notification for this in my inbox! And lo and behold, this new chapter is even better than the last ones! I love how confident yet comforting Belle is here. You portray her strength very well.
(Anonymous)
May. 13th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)
i've only just found this fic. it's amazing. your handling of the subject is fantastic. i hope you update
robot_khamscott
Jun. 28th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
i discovered this story a while back but unfortunately forgot about it :( im so glad i found it again and that your planning to finish it! its definitely one of the best b&b fanfics iv ever read!

p.s i hope you dont mind that iv friended you, i dont want to lose this story again ^_^

cant wait for the next update!
ksha2222
Aug. 18th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
Completely addicted to this fic now. I cant wait to see more! =)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )