Disclaimer: To start off with I own nothing. It would be stupid for me to say I did, everyone would know I was lying and if anyone was stupid enough to think I could actually make money off this, they are also a bit out of touch with the modern world. But it means something to me. I do own a few of the characters but they make very little difference and I'm not making any money off them either.
Authors Note: I would like to make a few notes before the story begins. I have had this little tale running through my head for almost a year now. I would like to get it properly on paper, so that it doesn't have to be in my head anymore. This beginning may be a little confusing for some people. The first three chapters of the story are basically to bring people up to speed with what is going on. It starts seventeen years after the spell is broken and you will see all the favorite characters (except Gaston, whom is still dead... Ce La Ve). I have named the prince Christian. Not really from anything and I'm completely aware that it is an English name but whenever I was little for as far as I can remember he has been named Christian and I don't think I could write any Beauty and the Beast story without him being my Christian. So if he's not exactly how you pictured him... oh well. The rest of the characters were given names as well. I've never liked calling them by their last names: Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts. They had to have first names and so I gave them some. It's just to make the story more personal so don't get angry. If you are completely bored by this first chapter, I will post another boring chapter, and then another. Please keep reading, it's going to get really good. If you still hate it, tell all your friend to read it and you can form a club. But if you like it, tell all your friends and then you can write lots of fun reviews together. So either way, I would like to bring people together on mutual agreement. Okay? Good. And now with no more babbling...
Chapter One: Loneliness
It was morning. He noted it with an exasperated grunt and attempted to pull the covers on his bedsheets over his face. He found this difficult as he had completely twisted them over his body and entangled his long legs in the bottom sheet. Again he grunted, knowing
he should get up and face the day. It was going to be a long one he was certain he would not enjoy it. "What was it that I'm trying not to remember again?" he thought to himself as all the vague sleepiness of the night was slipping away from him making it more and
more impossible for him to rest any longer. "Oh, yes." he whispered aloud as he slowly allowed his eyes to flutter open. "I'm turning thirty-eight tomorrow..."
He thought of this with contempt, but it only lasted for a moment because he found that the longer he tried to stay angry at time for going past so quickly, the more he knew it would fly by quicker. He scanned his room as the daylight tendrils began to fill it with the brightness of a new day. His evening suit from the previous day had been taken from it's unceremonious place on the floor and laying nicely in a chair next to his bed but a finely tailored tunic with matching breeches to replace the clothes he had discarded the night before. He noted the leather boots that lay on the floor next to it and could tell they had never been worn because they were missing his normal holes and scratches. A cotton shirt was folded on top of the tunic and to finish off the ensemble was a gold encrusted crown struck with rubies and garnets.
He looked away from his clothes and onto his study. He had left pile of notes and quills scattered everywhere in a mess of letters, pedigree charts, and family history that the servants knew full well never to touch. Unwilling to think about anything of state at the moment he turned himself over and tried to bury his face in his pillows. They were soft and still warm from sleep. But as he was just finding comfort in his sprawled state he felt the sun touch his bare skin. Starting with his shoulders and extending to his lower back, it kissed his arms and neck in a tantalizing way that clearly said 'Time to get up. Come outside and greet me'. With another grunt he lifted his head and finally sat up. He had to admit, it was beautiful outside. It would be a perfect morning to ride down through the orchards. No one would be awake right now, except the servants who prepared breakfast and he could avoid anyone easily. He looked around
the room again, hugging his knees to his chest. "Could I make it back in time?" he thought to himself. The prince of Wales had arrived very late last night and he had spent a frenzied hour or two preparing beds and meals for him as well as his twenty-odd servants, five carriages, twenty-two horses and three hounds. Not that the king did not have room for them all, but he had expected Prince Donovan to arrive next week and had not been in a good humor to find the king (the prince' father) sending his diligent so early.
With those thoughts he made up his mind and threw his covers away from himself. If he was going to spend the rest of the day arguing points of trivial nature to a boy of no more then eighteen just so he could get the services of the King of Wales (Who didn't even have the decency to come himself) to aid France then the least he could do for himself was take in the day and make sure the sun still rose in the east. He walked past his stately attire to his wardrobe which held much more suitable clothing for a spirit such as his.
Pulling out a torn pair of trousers, a clean cotton shirt, his old ridding boots, a black riding vest and his leather gloves he threw them onto the bed one by one. Then turning around before riffling through his dresser for a pair of drawers he turned to the window
and threw it open full scale to get a good look at his lands that lay before him. He closed his eyes and extended his arms as the sun reached out and touched every part of his bare body. Oh the feeling of it was overwhelming... if only...
He stopped himself. Opened his eyes and shook his head angrily. "You can't start doing that again." He whispered to himself. "You're only hurting yourself". He looked again to his lands and decided he would ride through the orchards today. He had a new filly that was as high spirited as his attitude was this morning and would take everything off his mind before he was to take on "the beast" again. He turned to his bed and sighed. The feeling of overwhelming loneliness was creeping back in, as if it knew he wasn't strong enough this morning to brush it off with a wave and a nod.
He walked again to his bed, tiptoeing so that no servant or the like would hear that he was awake. He pulled on his drawers first and then his trousers, realizing that he would have to break in a new pair because the current ones held large holes a little too close to the crotch for comfort. He pulled on his shirt and tied up the laces loosely, his vest followed afterward. Taking his boots in his hand he crossed the room to the other side of the bed. It was a massive one. Made of Cherry-wood and Brass he had always loved its intricate carving on the head board and the way the feet were created to look like a base of trees. It was large enough to hold a family of eight but at the moment it seemed to hold nothing but cold memories. He fought the loneliness as he leaned over and with the gentlest of care smoothed the pillows on that side. It was the same every morning. He would ensure that when he went to bed he would be too tired to think about the absence, but in the morning it would all come rushing back to him, as if only waiting for him to give it proper attention. "Oh, I miss you" he said softly to the pillow. "I miss you and you're not even worlds away. Your just on the other side of the corridor" Then with a rush of impatience he pulled on his boots and tied his hair up loosely. It was neatly trimmed and sat regally on his shoulders. If he left now, he knew he would be back in plenty of time to get dressed and ready for his long day.
Despite himself he glanced back once more. The spot where his wife should have been sleeping still lay empty and as in every morning he knew it wasn't some dream that she wasn't there. 'You have made it that way' he would remind himself. But that didn't stop any kind of pain. It would linger with him long throughout the day and finally till tonight when he could throw himself onto his pillow, bare naked and exhausted till he would have to face it again on the following morning. With this King Christian, leader of France herself and husband to the most beautiful women this world had ever seen Queen Belle, strode purposefully out the door and down to the stables to heal his wounds on sunlight and the free wind.