Beauty and the Beast part 2

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Beauty and the Beast part 2

Post  Whisper on Sun 23 May 2010, 8:29 pm

I ran. His roar followed me all the way to the opposite wing. I could still hear him when I locked myself in my room. Or perhaps I merely imagined that.

Now, in the harsh light of day, I stand before a mirror and behold a coward. My gown is blue today, to bring out my eyes, but all I see is the dark tinge beneath them and the sallow paleness of my skin. Sylvie did all she could to make my auburn curls shine, but none of it can hide the truth.

No matter how many times I pinch my cheeks, I cannot bring colour into them. My lips feel dry as dust. I am weary, and ashamed.

My Beast is no doubt waiting for me, but I cannot bear to face him.

Oh, Lysette, why are you here?

I make myself walk down the grand staircase, past the whispering servants with their pitying gazes, into the small solarium where I usually break fast with my host. Today, it is empty.

“Lady Lysette.”

I face Jacques, about to tell him yet again not to address me as a lady, but the look on his face stops me. “Where is he?” I ask.

“The master bid me to send his apologies,” Jacques says. “He regrets he will not be able to perform his duty as host today.”

“His duty?” The word chills me.

I can see in his eyes something is terribly amiss. “I believe,” he says, “the master feels rather the worse for wear after…”

Does he remember? Does he have any recollection at all of our meeting last night? “I understand,” I say. “Can you tell me where he is?”

“I’m afraid he does not wish to be disturbed. The master has instructed me to provide you with anything you wish. He has even made his carriage available to you, if that is what you desire.”

“Did he?” I feel my ire return some pink into my cheeks. The anger is a welcome spark of fire to the cold weight in my gut. “Does he expect me to leave? Is this some sort of fare well?”

Jacques looks away. In all my time here, I have never known him to do such a thing.

“H-has he given up, then?”

The loyal butler swings his head to look at me once more, his eyes wide. He smoothes his expression expertly, but his voice is unsteady when he speaks. “Please understand, my lady. The master has come a ways since his curse. We all see it, though he cannot.” There is deep emotion in his words. He is telling me something he ought not.

I listen.

“But with every rise of the full moon, he is transformed, reminded of what he used to be. He is not allowed to forget. It is part of his punishment to remember his sins, and it has become much more of a burden than…”

So he remembers. I tell Jacques, as bravely as I can, “Please inform your master that his guest is determined to stay. And that I shall see him again tonight.”

Jacques draws himself up, I see relief and joy in him, but though I notice his mouth quirk in a suppressed smile, he says, “Apologies, my lady, but the master has forbidden you to enter his chambers again. He fears it is not safe for you to do so at this time.”

“Because the moon peaks full tonight?”

Jasques inclines his head. “It has proven to be the most … trying in the past.”

“I see.” I smooth my skirts. I need that moment to collect my thoughts. “Then please tell him he has nothing to fear. I shall amuse myself reading this evening.”

“I shall inform the master.” He bows and leaves quietly.

I eat by myself, watching the gardeners tend the blooms outside the window. When I finish, I convey my thanks to the cook and remove myself to the library. It is stunning, filled with books large and small, stories of adventure and love, volumes on every subject known to man. I could spend eternity familiarizing myself with those printed words, though, on this day, I do not allow myself the luxury of exploration. As I have told Jacques, I will be reading tonight.

But I will not be alone.

I choose my book with care.
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Whisper

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Re: Beauty and the Beast part 2

Post  Liberty on Wed 26 May 2010, 1:53 pm

I’m hooked. I hope you write more.
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Re: Beauty and the Beast part 2

Post  thisangel on Wed 02 Jun 2010, 12:41 pm

Again, this is wonderful. I too am hooked! I am certain this will be published, when it is done. Fair play and looking forward to more!

Smile
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Re: Beauty and the Beast part 2

Post  Whisper on Fri 04 Jun 2010, 1:43 am

Thanks guys Smile

I'm posting this story on my blog here: http://aliannedonnelly.blogspot.com/ I figure if I'm going to post, I might as well make it "official." So further chapters are and will be posted there Smile
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