Chapter Ten

Beauty was standing there. But how was she supposed to help me?

"Rose?" she asked, as if she didn't believe what she was seeing.

"Beauty, " I replied desperatly, "It's me. I need your help, but I'm not really sure how, or why."

Beauty looked past me, at the Beast. The color drained from her face, but remained calm. "Is that the Beast?" she asked calmly, but her shaking hands betrayed her fear.

"So you know all about it? Good. Beauty, please listen to me." I began.

Tears streamed down her face. "My father told me all about it after you left. He has not let me leave the house in all this time, because I wanted to go after you. Finally he told me that you had died, and to lose hope." she sobbed, "And I believed him."

I pulled her into a hug. She had thought I was dead? I could think of nothing to say to comfort her except, " Beauty, I'm alive, and I need you to help me."

I turned to the Beast, and pulled her hand towards his lying form. "He is dying, and it's all my fault. The Beast is not the evil monster you think he is. He is good and kind, and he cared for me. Now I must help him. A magical ring brought you here, so somehow you must help me save him." I knelt at his side. His back was barely rising, I could tell each breath was a struggle.

Hesitantly, Beauty knelt beside me. I put my face next to his ear and whispered, "Beast, if you can here me, help me to save you." I put one hand on his back.

Suddenly a vision engulfed me. All my dreams were played again before me, and I struggled not to cry aloud at the pain of remembering. And then, my very last dream came to me. I was in a room, all alone. On a parchment before me, was a prophecy. Somehow, I could understand it with no difficulty, though it was more like I felt the meaning, rather than read it. It said a willing girl must come to save the life of her father, for a crime he had committed. She must love the Beast, and he love her in return. And then the curse on him would be broken.

I came out of the vision and sucked in a breath. I took Beauty's hand. "I know what to do."

I placed both of our hand's on the Beast's back, and took a breath. " I love the Beast, and here is the girl who willingly just gave her life to pay her father's debt. We both did. The prophesy is fulfilled."

And suddenly a white light blinded me, and I felt everything drop away. Everything was still, and I couldn't feel anything. Then it was like I was caught up huge whirlwind, blowing me somewhere far away.

"Beauty." said a husky voice I remembered. "Beauty, open your eyes."

The wind had faded, and I was on solid ground once more. I realized my eyes had been closed, and I opened them slowly, as if waking from a long night. The sight I saw was one I would never forget. There was my Beast, standing, uncursed. I had no doubt it was him. He stood the same way, and the same unsure half-smile lit up his perfect features. His hair was the same dark brown his hair had been, and his eyes the same light blue.

"Beast!" I cried, wanting to run to him. And yet I couldn't. He was to grand, to perfect. And I had lied to him.

"Beauty, it's me." he saw my hesitation, "I don't hold anything against you. You had no choice, I see that now. I can only hope that after you have done so much for me," he guestured to the shining palace behind him, "that you can forgive me for doubting you, and for making you go through this hell. Beauty, please. Will you marry me?"

Tears ran down my face. "No." I whispered, "I can't. Beast, I'm so sorry." Despite my words, I ran into his arms.

The Beast let out a little laugh, "Beauty, I love you. I understand if you don't love me in return, after all this." I felt him kiss my hair.

I looked up at him, into his perfect eyes. "I love you to, Beast. But I don't deserve this. I'm only the broomstick maker's daughter."

"Rose," said Beauty, suddenly next to me, "For once in your life, take an opportunity to be something more. Be happy." She was smiling at me through tears. I noticed with a jot that she was wearing a beautiful dress, and jewelery sparkled on her neck and ears. She looked ready for a ball. She laughed at my expression. "If you think I look beautiful, look at yourself." And she held up a mirror. I gasped as I saw my face. My hair was a pile of curls framing my face perfectly, a small tiara placed among them. I was wearing a dark red dress, the most beautiful of any I had seen in my wardrobe. I laughed, and wiped away my tears.

"I'm sorry." I said again, looking up at the Beast. "If it will make you happy to have me as your wife, then I will marry you." and I reached up to kiss him.

Thunderous applause exploded around me, but I could not tear myself away from that kiss. When finally our lips parted, I looked around me to see many faces, so many familiar faces. There was Mother and Father, looking extremely regal and happy. After that the crowd of people stretched on farther than I could see. The Beast took my hand and knelt before me. He took out the small box I had woken up to seeing these past months. My husband took out the rose ring, and placed it on my finger.

I knelt beside him, and we kissed again. He picked me up and carried me towards the castle, everyone following. Someone struck up a joyous tune, and it swelled behind us.

And thus lived Beauty and the Beast, happily ever after.