Come Away With Me.

Once upon a time, there was a Beast and she loved him, could feel the love inside her heart whenever she saw him, whenever he let go of the past enough to feel.

But there was another beast.

"Do you think he loves you?" he asked when he visited her. Belle had given up on ignoring him because it never helped. She still didn't raise her eyes from her book.

"That's not important," Belle assured, despite the sudden sadness that seemed to bloom. But love didn't have to be mutual to be felt, she knew this. Even if Beast only considered her a friend... "What I feel is enough."

The man – he had said his name was Xaldin – smiled and knelt by her side. His eyes were prince-like blue but there was an emptiness that hurt her. Not darkness, for she had stared into darkness before, but some sort of void there that made her heart ache.

"Is that so?" He asked. Xaldin leaned forward, one of his hands over her knee. Belle glared a little. "Are you sure this is what you want? A fairytale ending, princess?"

Belle wondered how he could make that sound as an insult and she put her book down besides her, a hand on top of the covers. "There's nothing wrong with wanting a happily ever after."

"Of course there isn't," Xaldin assured. He was still looking at her intently. "But there's nothing exciting about that. It's been written before, hasn't it? True love wins, the prince and the princess overcome all the trials and then they live happily ever after."

Her hand twitched on top of the book she had just been reading. "That's not– "

"Come away with me," Xaldin asked, like he had asked from the first time. His hand moved up towards her thigh but his eyes kept hers captured and Belle couldn't move, could hardly breathe. "I'll give you much more than that."

"You don't love me," Belle replied. She still gasped as Xaldin's hand pressed against her through the clothes, the leather of his gloves rough, pushing her thighs open even when she closed both hands around his wrist.

"You're right. I don't," he agreed, and then he smiled. His smile was the wolf's one, but he rubbed his hand and she gasped again, mouth open. He brushed his lips against hers softly. "But I can give you much more than just a fairytale, princess. Think of all the worlds I could show you, all the adventures you'd have if you came with me."

She trembled and shook her head a little. Xaldin kept rubbing his fingers against her, slowly, thoroughly.

"You deserve more," Xaldin whispered against her ear. Belle licked her lips, forced herself to keep her eyes open.

"More than love?"

"You deserve to be free. I can give you that," Xaldin promised, tugging at her ear with his teeth, reaching to untie her hair. He wound his hand there and tugged, baring her throat and he bit hard, pressing his fingers more firmly against her. Belle was unable to stop herself from moaning after that as her body trembled and she felt as if fire ran down her back.

Afterwards, Xaldin laid her down over her own bed and he smiled at her again. Belle felt her throat closing.

"Come away with me." he asked again. Belle closed her eyes and turned her head away. "Very well then. I'll come back."

She felt the darkness there for a moment and then there was nothing and she was alone. Belle knew she was going to be waiting for his next visit. This wasn't Ever After yet.