Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with the WWE.
Author's Note: Hey! Thanks for your reviews for the last chapter, guys! Much appreciated! This is the last chapter for this story. I had to include this aspect of the movie since, well, it's my favorite, lol. And, I also realized that there were a few aspects of Beauty and the Beast I didn't include in this one, so I will say that a sequel is in planning stages. I'm not exactly sure when it'll start getting posted, but it's being planned out. So, keep an eye out for it! Thanks again, you guys! Enjoy the last chapter!
Chapter 9- Transformation
Adam stared down at the crimson quickly staining his shirt with fear. Though the pain hadn't quite registered, he knew he had been shot. His gaze moved to where the old woman was standing, finding that she was still watching him impassively.
Jay looked up at him with worry as he pushed himself up to his knees, watching as his best friend's face drained of color while he wavered on his feet for a moment before collapsing to the ground. "Adam!" He quickly got to his feet and pushed his way past some people until he reached the other man, Drew, Taryn, and Randy joining him soon after. The rest of the large group backed away from them while Jay dropped down next to Adam, gently turning him onto his back. He was coughing a little as he gasped for breath, his eyes closed tightly in pain.
Belle ran down the dark street, suddenly stopping when she heard the loud sound of a gunshot echoing in the night air around her. Fear coursed through her as she wondered what was going on, but she shook the feeling off as she hurried past the cemetery. She had to find him before...
But when she rounded the corner onto the street the hotel was on, she stopped and gasped at the sight before her. A large group of people was standing on the street, an old woman off to the side watching them. Then, one man collapsed to the ground, and when the rest of the crowd backed away from him while four people she recognized approached him, she immediately knew who it was. And her heart nearly stopped.
Belle saw Jay, Drew, Taryn, and Randy look up as she ran toward the group, fighting her way through the lingering crowd before kneeling down next to Adam. She could feel the dark eyes of the woman on her intently, but she ignored it as she looked down on Adam, tears rushing to her eyes when she saw how pale his face was and the blood quickly blossoming on his chest...
"Hold on, Adam... Please..."
Jay looked at her sadly for a moment before he quickly looked up when he heard footsteps approaching them. He got to his feet and stood in front of Belle protectively when an older man with a handgun hobbled to the front of the group.
"I'm not going to shoot the girl," he told him, putting the weapon down at his feet. "But you have to understand. My daughter was killed by that man..."
"Adam didn't kill anyone..." Jay calmly began.
"No, he didn't," Belle added, struggling to hold back her tears when she recognized him as one of the men that had been at her house. "I can testify against the real killers, I don't care. I was almost another victim. But John told you Adam was the one just so he could have me. So Adam couldn't... You just helped his selfishness."
The man looked at Belle for a long moment, eyes widening with horror as he slowly stumbled backward. "But... Oh, my God..."
Jay looked away from the man and turned his gaze back to Belle, looking at her sadly when he saw a few tears falling from her eyes. He placed a comforting hand on her shoulder for a moment before taking a couple steps back from her and Adam, wanting to give her a little time with him. Drew seemed to understand since he did the same, pulling Taryn close to him. Randy remained close to Adam, looking at Belle coldly. But when he saw the tears on her cheeks, his gaze softened, and he sighed as he joined his three friends.
The old woman watched the sight unfold, her gaze staying on Belle almost with interest.
Grateful that they were giving her some space, Belle quickly tried to wipe away her tears before leaning forward, gently brushing some of Adam's blond hair out of his face.
At her soft touch, Adam's eyes slowly fluttered open, and his disoriented gaze found her face. "Belle..." he muttered in a voice hardly above a whisper. "You came back..."
Belle tried to give him a smile, but it was difficult with the tears that were falling from her eyes. "Of course I did," she replied. "I couldn't let... I just wish I could have gotten here faster. This wouldn't have happened..."
Adam gave her a slight smile. "It's probably better this way... Belle..."
"Don't say that," Belle told him anxiously, leaning forward more. "I'm here. I'm not leaving. We're together now... And that's not going to change. I promise. It's going to be okay..." Despite her words, she felt more tears falling from her eyes.
Seeing them, Adam's gaze saddened as he slowly raised his hand and rested it softly on her cheek, gently wiping her tears away. Belle grabbed his hand and closed her eyes as she held it in place. "I'm glad I got to see you... one last time before..."
Belle gasped quietly, opening her eyes. "Adam, please," she muttered, holding his hand tighter. "You can't give up... Don't you know how much you mean to me? I've found where I belong... Here with you. Please... Don't die, okay? Stay with me..."
Adam gave her one more weak smile before his eyes slowly closed, his head lolling limply to the side as his hand slipped from her grasp and hit the hard ground.
"No..." Belle ran her fingers across his cheek and through his hair, placing her other hand on his still chest. "No... Adam... Please don't leave me... Please, you can't do this... Don't die..."
When she got no response, the tears fell freely from her eyes as sobs shook her. Jay sighed heavily, feeling tears form in his own eyes as Taryn silently cried from Drew's arms and Randy ran his hand over his head before lowering his gaze. Adam was dead.
Belle then gently lifted Adam's head up and cradled it against her chest, burying her face in his hair as she continued to sob. Why couldn't she have told him the most important thing she had needed to say to him?
Once she was able to control her tears a bit more, Belle held him closer and whispered, "I love you."
The old woman moved her gaze away from the sobbing Belle, looking up at the nearby church clock and seeing that it was just about midnight.
In Adam's hotel room on the fourth floor, the rose wilted even more as its last petal fell, slowly drifting down until it landed gently on the wooden table.
Belle continued to sob, holding the lifeless Adam close to her. She completely ignored the rest of the people around her as they murmured quietly to themselves while watching her grieve for a moment longer before they started to leave. But she didn't care. All she cared about was how she had been too late to save Adam, the man she had grown to love.
Jay sighed heavily, feeling a tear escape from his eye at the loss of his best friend. Randy stood next to him, clenching and unclenching his fist while Drew tried to comfort Taryn. But they all had the same thought on their mind.
What was going to happen to them now?
Then, they looked up when they heard the ringing of the nearby church bell, signaling the hour change. They were startled to see that the old woman who had set the curse on them one year before was standing across the street, looking at Belle and Adam with a blank look in her dark eyes. "What do you want?" Randy demanded while Jay took a step in front of the pair protectively. The old woman didn't answer, turning to look at the clock once again.
"Guys, it's midnight," Taryn whispered anxiously, knowing their time was up. Drew held her tightly as she clung to him, Randy lowering his gaze from the woman to stare intently at the ground. Jay sighed and closed his eyes as the chimes continued to echo ominously around them, all four of them holding their breath while they waited tensely to see what they would become.
... Ten... Eleven... Twelve.
Once the bell stopped sounding, Randy looked down at his hands, surprised to see that nothing was changing. He quickly turned to Drew and Taryn, who were looking into each other's faces to see if anything had changed, which it hadn't. "Nothing happened..." he muttered in disbelief. "Nothing happened..."
Jay quickly opened his eyes when he heard Randy's words, and he looked down at his hands and felt his face. He was right. They hadn't changed. "The curse was broken?" he asked, turning to face his three friends.
"It must have been," Drew said, looking at Jay for a long moment before all four of them turned to look at Belle. The old woman looked at her as well, a gleam appearing in her dark eyes.
She was still kneeling on the ground, holding Adam's head against her chest as tears fell freely from her eyes, murmuring, "I'm so sorry, Adam..."
Then, Belle gasped when she felt Adam's body tense in her arms, and she watched with shock when he began to cough as he tried to take a breath and color gradually returned to his face. His eyes slowly fluttered open, his weary gaze confused as he looked around him. Belle noticed that they were now a beautiful shade of blue, appearing brighter and containing more warmth. They were just like the eyes she had seen in the older picture of him and Jay, no longer dark and cold.
At the quiet sound of his name, Adam looked up at the shocked Belle, and a smile spread across his face. "Belle," he muttered as he tried to push himself out of her arms.
"Easy," Belle cautioned as she helped him into a sitting position. "Are you all right? I mean..."
"Yeah, I feel great," Adam told her, his smile still lingering as he looked up at his four friends watching him. "Better than I have in so long... It's like this pressure has been lifted off my chest. It's such a relief." Then, his eyes landed on the old woman still standing across the street, watching as she gave him a kind smile before turning and walking away from the hotel, disappearing from sight.
Though still wondering how he was even alive and what had caused the dramatic change in him, Belle couldn't help but smile as she watched Adam. He almost seemed like a completely different person.
Then, Adam's eyes narrowed with concern when he saw that she was struggling to hold back tears. "What's wrong, Belle?" he asked, taking her hand as he wiped a few stray tears away.
Belle smiled at him and laughed, trying to blink her tears away. "Nothing's wrong," she answered, squeezing his hand tightly. "I'm just... so glad that you're here and alive and-!"
"Not a monster?" Adam finished quietly.
For a moment, Belle could only stare at him with surprise. Then, she reached forward and placed her hand on his cheek. "You were never a monster before," she told him.
Adam looked back at her with disbelief. "Belle..." Then, he sighed. "I would have been if it wasn't for you."
Belle looked back at him, not understanding what he meant. Adam sighed, and she gave him a warm smile as she lowered her hand. But before she could say anything, they both looked up toward the night sky when they saw the gentle snowfall from earlier had once again started. She laughed a little before turning back to Adam, who was already looking at her. A small smile appeared on his face as he reached forward and placed his hand on her cheek, watching as she closed her eyes before he leaned forward and gave her a tender kiss.
Smiling against his lips, Belle pulled him closer to her in a more passionate kiss. Jay smiled as he watched them while Taryn laughed happily and hugged Drew. Randy looked away, trying to hide the hint of a smile that was forming on his own face.
When they pulled apart, Belle smiled up at him and ran her fingers through his hair. "I love you," she muttered, glad she could finally tell him.
Adam returned the smile as he kissed her forehead. "And I love you."
Before Belle could say anything else, they both looked up when their four friends approached them. Jay reached down and pulled Adam to his feet, hugging him quickly before helping Belle up and hugging her as well. Belle smiled as she was hugged tightly by Taryn and then Drew after they embraced Adam.
Then, she watched with surprise as Randy slowly approached her, knowing that he had always been a bit more wary of her than the others. He looked at her for a moment before a small smile appeared on his face, and he wrapped her in a hug as well. Belle hugged him back, knowing that he had accepted her.
When Randy backed away, Belle laughed when Adam came over to her again, lifting her into his arms and spinning her once before setting her down. She grinned broadly, laying her head on his shoulder as his arms wrapped around her. As he pulled her into another kiss, she knew she had finally found where she belonged.
"So let me get this straight," Belle muttered. "The old woman we saw at the hotel last night gave you that rose and put a curse on you and the others a year ago?" She was sitting on the couch in her living room with Adam next to her. It was Christmas Day, and after the events of the previous night, it was nice to relax.
"I know it sounds crazy, Belle, but believe me, that's what happened," Adam said, shaking his head. "It started the night I had that match with your dad. I was turning into this... I don't know, it's hard to explain. But if I wouldn't have found you within that year time frame, I would have become this inner beast that this woman said she saw in me... Nothing like cutting it close."
Belle sighed before smiling at him, resting her head on his shoulder. "If this came from anyone else, I wouldn't believe it," she told him. "But I can see the change. I believe you."
Adam laughed a little, wrapping his arm around her and resting his head against hers. "But, it's over now," he replied quietly. "The curse was broken, and everything's pretty much back to the way it was."
"Yeah, look at this," Belle muttered, reaching forward and picking up that day's newspaper off the small table in front of them. "That gang that attacked me was caught and found guilty for the murders in that area. Unfortunately, all John and Mike got charged with is disruption of the peace since you didn't stay dead, but regardless, you're cleared."
"Well, that's a good thing," Adam replied with a slight laugh. "But unfortunately, they didn't get the charges you wanted because I didn't stay dead?"
Belle laughed. "That's so not what I meant," she told him in her defense as she tossed the newspaper back on the table. "I'm glad you're here!"
"I know, Belle." Adam smiled, pulling her closer and giving her a soft kiss. "Just giving you a hard time."
"Jerk." But there was a playful smile on her face as she gave him another kiss. "That would explain why I couldn't see anything to draw for you before..."
"Do you have anything now that the curse is broken?" Adam wondered, looking down at her curiously.
Belle looked back up at him, staring into his blue eyes for a moment before a small smile spread across her face. "Possibly," she muttered allusively. "I don't know. You're still a mystery to me."
Adam smiled, running his hand through her hair. "I hope that's a good thing."
"I would say it is," Belle replied with a wink. "That just means I have to figure you out."
Laughing quietly, Adam pulled her closer. "I have no doubt you will," he told her. Then, his eyes landed on her open sketchbook sitting on the table in front of them since she had been working on it earlier. "I do think you need to change the sketch for you, though."
"What do you mean?" Belle looked at her rose sketch before looking back at Adam.
Adam leaned forward, picking up the sketch before sitting it back against the couch with it. "Well, it's still wilting a little," he said. "But, I do remember you saying that you found your home with me."
Belle smiled, taking the sketchbook from him and setting it back on the table before sitting on his lap. "And I meant it," she replied, brushing some of his hair behind his ear. "I'll have to change it tonight."
"That would probably be a good idea," Adam muttered with a smile of his own. Then, he leaned forward and kissed her softly. Belle stopped him from moving too far back, pulling him into another more intense kiss. She wrapped her arms around his neck while he wound one arm behind her back and placed his other hand on her leg. She ran her hand through his hair, pulling him closer.
But then, they broke it when they thought they heard Mark's car pull into the driveway, startled, but it had only been someone turning around. Belle laughed, Adam joining in soon after as she laid her head on his shoulder. "So, uh, what is everyone doing now that you're not staying in that hotel?" she wondered once their laughter died away.
"Well, Drew and Taryn are going on some getaway before they go down to New Orleans," Adam said, his smile still lingering. "Randy is going back to his wife and daughter in Missouri, and Jay is heading to his home in Tampa."
"What about you?"
Adam looked down at her. "I'll probably do the same," he told her. "Who knows, I may go back to WWE someday. Jay and I are both thinking about it."
Belle sat up more, taking his hand in hers. "Back to Tampa?"
"I... want to stay with you," Belle said, finally meeting his gaze. "I don't want to lose you, Adam. Not when I've finally found where I belong."
Adam sighed, brushing some hair out of her face. "You won't lose me, Belle. I would never let that happen," he told her. "Don't you have a little bit of school to finish up?"
"One semester," Belle confirmed with a slight nod. "I go back to California in a couple weeks."
"Well... We'll have to get your dad's approval, of course," Adam muttered thoughtfully. "But how about this? When you're done with school, we get a place together. Just you and me."
Belle smiled. "Sounds like a great idea," she replied. "I would really like that a lot, Adam."
Adam smiled before he quickly kissed her. "Okay. We'll look into it," he said. "But, we'll worry more about that later. It's Christmas. Your dad's going to be home soon, and I think we should at least get started on decorating that tree."
"Okay." Belle got off his lap, grabbing an Aerosmith CD and putting it in the stereo while Adam started winding the lights around the tree they had put up. She then grabbed the box of ornaments and set it down next to it before she started to help him with the lights.
They heard the car pull up in the driveway a short time later, and Mark came into the house from his trip to the store. He laughed a little when he saw that the Christmas tree was now filled with lights, and Belle and Adam had started on the ornaments. "Hey, guys, it looks great," he commented, setting the bags on the couch while he took his shoes and coat off.
"Thanks, Dad," Belle replied, finishing hanging up her couple ornaments before going over to him and giving him a quick hug.
"Well, I mean it. You kids are doing a good job." Mark smiled down at her, ruffling her hair a little before looking at the other man. "Hey, thanks for helping fix the car, Adam. You were right about the fuel pump needing to be replaced. It's running nice and smooth now."
"My pleasure," Adam told him as he walked over to them too once he was done hanging up a few more ornaments. "It was the least I could do since-!"
"Hey. It's over, kid," Mark gently interrupted with a broad smile, putting his hand on his shoulder. "Whatever happened a year ago is done. And you're important to Belle. That's what matters to me."
Adam nodded, a small smile appearing on his face as Belle beamed at him. "Thank you, Mark," he replied quietly. "Your acceptance means a lot to me."
"Yeah, well, just be glad you passed my judgement." Mark laughed again before picking up the grocery bags from the couch. "So, I got a ham for dinner," he told them as he walked toward the kitchen. "I figured we could try to cook it together..."
"Sounds great, Dad," Belle said with a smile, taking Adam's hand. "Sound good to you?"
Adam leaned down and kissed her cheek. "Yep, sounds like a plan," he muttered in agreement.
Belle laughed a little, catching his lips in a quick kiss before following Mark into the kitchen, bringing Adam with her. She was going to spend Christmas with the two men she loved most in her life, and she couldn't ask for any more than that.
For the first time in a long time, she felt like she was truly home.