A/N: I'm glad you are all liking this so far (: Last chapter didn't get too many reviews but those who did review deserve an update. I hope the next chapter gets at least five? :/ Enjoy!
"Belle?" Jack called through her door. He had decided he'd take her out tonight, just for fun. He deserved a day off and he couldn't think of anyone better to spend it with than Belle. He hoped she was awake already.
He knocked on the door with his foot softly, hoping not to scare her awake. He heard some shuffling from inside. He took a long step back and put on a friendly smile just as the door opened. Belle's hair was disheveled, and her eyes were squinting against the sunlight. She had in fact been sleeping.
Belle's eyes widened. She looked down at herself wearing the light gown. Her cheeks heated up and she ran inside, slamming the door behind her. Jack stood there, confused. He looked down at the two steaming cups of cocoa in his hands and then back up at the blue colored doors. He pursed his lips as he awkwardly looked around.
He sighed and just then the door swung open. Belle greeted him with a wide smile and she was readjusting her gray turtleneck sweater. He looked her over quickly and smiled. He always loved what she wore, such a nice sense of style. Simple and cute. She matched the body hugging sweater nicely with the dark blue skinnies and furry gray boots. Her hair was loose, framing her angelic face perfectly.
"Good morning, dear." He said, giving her a nice smile.
"Good morning!" She said happily. "What brings you here, Jack?" She asked with a tone that made him smile. So sweet and loving. He felt shivers run down his spine.
"Oh, I was just wondering if maybe, later tonight you wou-" He started but she cut him off.
She gasped, waving him inside, "Oh, please, please, come in, Jack." She said, moving aside so he could walk in. She closed the door and pointed at the couch in front of the fireplace. He sat and she plopped down next to him.
"Whoa!" He said, splinting his legs just before the cocoa that splashed had a chance to land on his pants. He chuckled as Belle apologized repeatedly, her face flushing in red. "It's alright. Here, I brought this for you. I hope it hasn't gotten cold." He said as he handed her the nicely decorated mug.
She took the mug and smelled it's contents. Her eyes closed and she sighed in delight. She smiled, "Thank you." She said before taking a sip. "Now, what were you saying?" She asked giddily.
"I just wanted to know if you had any plans for tonight." He said before taking a sip of the cocoa. Luckily his had cooled down enough.
Belle grinned, "Why? Do you wanna ask me out, Mr. Frost?" She teased, tapping his knee with her own.
He chuckled and shook his head at her childish antics, "Yes. Well, in a friendly manner, of course." He said quickly, not wanting to give her the wrong ideas.
He felt a slight tinge of guilt when he saw her smile drop for the briefest of seconds. She once again smiled, taking a sip from her cocoa. "What did you have in mind?" She asked excitedly.
"Well, I was hoping you would decide. You see, I'm terrible at making plans for these things." He chuckled sheepishly.
"I'm sure you know this place better than I, Jack. What would you like to do?" She asked. She waited for Jack's response but he just looked at her as if he hadn't heard her speak. Belle tilted her head, wondering if he was alright. She reached out and put her hand on his knee, giving it a squeeze. That got his attention, his eyes coming back to focus. "Are you alright, Jack?" She asked worriedly.
"I'm sorry, I just couldn't help getting lost in your eyes. They're so captivating." He said without thinking. Belle felt a wave of warmth go over he body, making her feel wonderful. She looked away from his face and giggled.
"Thank you." She whispered, feeling incredibly shy.
Jack cleared his throat nervously. He hadn't intended to make her feel uncomfortable. "I'm sorry, I-"
"No, no, it's fine, Jack, really." She said, looking him in the eyes again. He smiled in relief. "So?" He asked.
"Hm?" Belle questioned as she took a sip from her warm cocoa.
Jack chuckled slightly at her, "Have you any plans for tonight?" He asked her more clearly.
Belle smiled, "No, I hadn't made any plans for tonight. I am completely available. I'd love to..." She thought of a way should could say it without it sounding weird. 'go out with you', 'spend the evening with you'... "...um..." She couldn't think of any.
Jack laughed and gave her knee a pat, "Splendid. How does 6 o'clock sound?"
"Perfect." She said, letting go of the breath she didn't know she had been holding. She smiled at him as he got up from the couch. She followed him to the door, opening it for him. "Thank you for coming, Jack." She said sweetly.
"Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure. It always is." He said to her softly. He watched amused as another blush spread across her face. He couldn't help but smile. He turned on his heel and walked off without a second glance, hiding his grin. He was actually looking forward to tonight.
Belle ran inside, dived into her bed and squealed like a fan girl into her pillow. She sat up, out of breath, and grinned. He was so sweet and charming! It was almost unbelievable someone could be so kind. She put her hand against her tummy, swearing she could literally feel the butterflies. Just then her stomach growled.
"Hm, time for breakfast." She said, getting off her bed and walking to the door. "I wonder what Benny is doing." She mumbled, starting to walk in the direction to his house. Then she stopped, shaking her head. "He's not there." She grumbled, knowing he'd be at the factory, working. She turned in that direction instead.
She opened the large doors of the factory, walking straight to the work room. She looked around, smiling at the beautiful elf faces as she searched for the most beautiful of all.
"Looking for me?"
Belle turned and smiled widely. She never got tired of seeing him. Bernard smiled and pulled her into a tight hug. "Hey, Benny." She sighed happily.
"What brings you here so early?" He asked, letting her go.
"Oh, Jack went by my room a-"
"Frost?" He asked suspiciously. "What did he want?" He didn't like that Jack was visiting Belle. He didn't like it at all.
Belle shrugged, not noticing his disapproval, "He wanted to know if I was busy tonight. He asked me out. Not like on a date, but we're going to spend the evening out." She said innocently.
The vein in Bernard's forehead threatened to pop. "And you agreed to go?" He asked, almost behind gritted teeth. Somehow Belle was oblivious to his mood.
"Well of course." She smiled, "I had nothing to do anyway." She shrugged. Bernard wanted to throw his head back and groan but he restrained himself from doing so. He had a better idea.
"What a shame, I was going to ask you out tonight. Looks like he beat me to it. Oh well." He said, making an over dramatic shrug and sigh combo.
Belle felt her stomach twist. "You were? What about work?" She asked, almost desperately.
Bernard ran his hand over her cheek softly, "You know I can always make time for you." He whispered.
Belle blinked a few times. She was shocked at this. Not at his actions but the fact he'd give up work to take her out. She was torn. She knew she couldn't break it with Jack but she loves being with her best friend. There's not a moment she'd give up to be with him.
"Are you alright?" Bernard asked curiously after a minute of silence from her. She looked like she was deep in thought. Maybe he shouldn't have said what he did. Jack doesn't have anything against her. He should have thought this through a bit better.
"Well..." She finally said, "maybe you can join us?" She asked hopefully.
"No, no, that's fine." He said quickly. He sighed as she looked away sadly. He grabbed her hand and leaned in to her ear, "You know I've never been good at sharing... even for an elf." He whispered.
Belle blushed like mad and she smiled like a complete idiot. She giggled for lack of a better choice of words. "That's true." She managed to say in a whisper.
Bernard leaned back and smirked at her. "Why, Belle, I had no idea you had so many teeth!" He teased.
Belle instantly wanted to hide her smile but she couldn't. If possible, she smiled wider. Her face threatened to split in half. "Stop that!" She giggled, giving him a playful shove.
"Stop what? What have I done wrong?" He said, faking innocence. Belle just rolled her eyes and looked away, embarrassed. Bernard chuckled at her expense. He grabbed her elbow, gave her quick kiss on her forehead and started walking away, "I have a lot of work to do, I'll talk to you later, Belle." He said with a smile before disappearing behind the mess.
Belle had time only to sigh before, "Hey, honeypot, what brings you here?" Santa asked as he came and kissed her head.
"Hey, dad." She smiled, "I don't really remember what I came here for actually." She said with a sheepish laugh.
"It's still really early," He said as he glanced at his watch, "it's only 8:30." He said. "Are you feeling alright? You're never up at this time." He teased as he felt her face for a fever. Belle pushed his hand away a scowled at him.
"Jack went over to my room earlier to-"
"Jack? What did he want?" He asked curiously.
"I was getting to that!" She said exasperatedly. Santa waited for her to continue. Belle sighed, shaking her head. "He wanted to know if I was doing something later tonight." She explained.
"Oh, well, as a matter of fact, you do!" Santa said, suddenly very excited.
"What? No I don't. I already told him I was available." She said anxiously.
"Well, you two can go together if you want but you can't miss it. There's going to be a party tonight! You should know that!" He said, shaking her by the shoulders.
"A party? About what?" She asked curiously and confused.
"Belle!" He said, not believing that she didn't know. "It's your mothers birthday today!" He exclaimed.
Belle's eyes widened in horror. "How could I forget that?!" She wailed. She gasped suddenly, "That must be why she was acting so weird the other day! Gosh, I can't believe I forgot, I'm such a horrible daughter!" She cried out.
Santa patted his distressed daughter's shoulder, "Relax, honey, it's okay. It's human to forget things!" He tried soothing her.
"Not your mother's birthday!" She objected.
"Even your mother's birthday." He ignored her objection and continued speaking, "Just relax. Now you know and you still have time to get her something. You can-"
"Presents! I gotta go!" She said before running out, leaving her father with words in his mouth. She ran out, looking around for any open stores. "Nothing!" She hissed, jogging across the snow, looking over all the 'closed' signs. "This can't be happening! Of all days, today they had to be closed."
"It's Sunday." Belle gasped and spun around. There was an elf standing in front of her. "At this time, so close to Christmas, stores don't open. Specially not so early in the morning." She explained.
"Why not?" She asked, bewildered. She didn't know that.
The elf shrugged, "Santa decided it was best that way. No one would buy things and he'd leave us the presents. Make sense?" She asked.
"Yeah... it does." Belle said sadly, her shoulders dropping. "Now how am I supposed to get mom a present?" She whined.
"Don't be sad, miss. You're Santa Claus' daughter! You must have some gift making talents." She encouraged, giving Belle a warm smile.
Belle hadn't thought of making something herself. Her mother would love something homemade even better and Belle had probably some kind of skills. She grinned, swooping down to hug the elf girl, "Thank you! You're an angel!" She said before running off to her rooms.
Once she was inside, she looked around. "What can I possibly make mom?" She wondered aloud, wandering in her rooms for any ideas. "A drawing? A bracelet? A necklace?" She offered herself ideas. "No, she has enough of those." She sighed. She suddenly gasped. "I got it!" She shouted, running toward the door but she stopped half way. "But how on earth am I going to get there?" She sighed heavily. "Chet! He'll take me!" She said excitedly as she ran out of her rooms.
Belle ran across the snow, sticking to the shadows, and made it to the reindeer stalls. She sneaked in quietly and walked down the aisle, looking into the stalls for the rambunctious reindeer. She immediately heard his distinctive laughing. She walked over, patting his jerking head. "Hey there, Chet. Would you do me a big favor?" She whispered. Chet responded with more bubbly laughter. "I need you to take me down to the human world, boy. Think you can manage that?"
Chet once again responded with more laughter but he started running around excitedly. Belle took that as a yes and opened his stall door and Chet flew out, making all kinds of noise. "Shh! You need to be quiet and behave or I'll just take Comet!" She hissed, trying to calm him. She grabbed the reins and tied them on to him and he was steady enough to allow it.
Belle walked him to the door and then poked her head out to see if anyone was near by. She fell back, screaming in surprise.
"What do you think you're doing?" Bernard asked, walking in and pulling her to her feet. Belle patted herself free of hay and sighed, "I'm going down to my home so I can get mom a present for her birthday. All the stores here are closed apparently." She explained, pulling Chet outside.
"You're not going anywhere, Belle. It's too dangerous to go down there alone, specially on Chet." He said, taking the reins and pulling the excited reindeer back inside.
"Come with me then." She pleaded.
"No way." He said flatly, hoping she'd drop it. Of course she didn't.
"I'm going, Bernard." She said, taking the reins back and pulling Chet out again. "Don't try and stop me, you know you won't win." She said determinedly as she hopped on Chet.
"I know." He grumbled in annoyance. He knew he would have to go. "I'm not letting you go alone." He said as he climbed up on Chet behind her, keeping a safe distance from her.
"You're the best, Benny!" She said happily.
"Yeah, yeah, let's just go before we get caught!" He said reluctantly.
Belle grinned, whipping the reins and Chet took off. Bernard screamed and hugged onto Belle for his dear life. Belle laughed as they went into the air, Bernard freaking out. They reached the Northern Lights and then they were through to the other side. Chet took them straight to her house with no real complications.
"You should probably let go now, Benny." Belle giggled, glancing back at him over her shoulder. Bernard frowned, prying his arms away from her and jumping off, practically swooping down to kiss the ground. He wasn't afraid of heights but riding on Chet? Lord have mercy.
"Where do you plan to go?" He asked as he straightened his outfit.
"I don't know. I don't even know what to get her." Belle said as she put Chet in the garage. She knew her grandparents were away on vacation.
"So you came with no plan? You know I have to get back to the North Pole soon!" He scolded.
Belle giggled, patting his shoulder, "Relax, Benny, everything will be fine. I have an idea of what to get her now." She said.
"You do? What is it?" He asked curiously.
"I don't know. I said it so you'd relax." She giggled.
"Didn't work." He stated flatly.
"Come on, big baby!" She said, grabbing his arm and pulling him along. But then she stopped. "Maybe you should change so you can fit in." She said, looking at his red and green outfit.
"What? But there are a lot of wannabe's out there pretending to be elves. I think I'm pretty much fitting in." He said, shrugging his shoulders.
"Those people... many others frown upon them. Trust me on that, Benny. Come on, I'm sure there's something you can wear in the house. She said, pulling him into the porch. She grabbed the secret spare key and opened the door, letting Bernard in. "This way, sir." She said, leading him up the stairs and into her grandparent's room. She opened a drawer, picking out a black turtleneck sweater that hugged the body, very toasty. She threw it at him and he caught it with his face, then it fell to the floor. She opened another drawer and pulled out a pair of jeans but she knew they would be too big on him. Bernard was skinny and her grandfather had quite a tummy.
"I don't know about the pants." She said, turning to face him. She fell silent as she watched him pull the sweater on. Her cheeks became hot as she stared at his abdomen. She wondered what this boy did to have an abdomen like that. Maybe the constant running around and bending over he does at work.
"Hellooo?" Bernard called, waving a hand in front of her face. Belle snapped out of it, her face red again. Bernard grinned but didn't comment anything. "What about those pants over there?" He asked, pointing at a pair of pants hanging out of a dusty suitcase.
"Oh, those used to be my cousins. He left them here last time he came years ago. They might fit." She said as she grabbed them, handing them to Bernard.
Bernard chuckled, "I let you watch the first time but now you have to exit the room." He teased as he gently pushed her out of the room. He chuckled again as he pulled his pants off and then pulled on the others. Perfect fit, just a little bit loose, wiggle room. They were blue but faded. He opened the door to Belle and pointed at his feet, "Elf shoes." He stated.
"No problem." She said, walking off. Bernard followed her and they entered a room with turquoise walls and white curtains. The wall panels were white. The bed frame was painted white, the sheets the same blue color as the walls. The covers had designs of snowflakes. Bernard smiled.
"Here." She said, handing him a pair of black converse.
"I don't think they'll fit-"
"They belonged to a friend of mine. He left him here once and never asked for them back. I'm sure they'll fit." She explained.
Why was there another boy in your room other than me? That's unacceptable. Does your father know about this? What were you thinking, you can't trust men here, their vile creatures. Sickening. He wanted to say but thought better of it. He just slipped the shoes on. "Their okay. A little tight but manageable. More comfortable than my shoes, that's for sure." He said, kicking his elf shoes.
"Great. Let's get going then." She said, dragging him all the way outside.
"Where do you plan to go?" He asked the same question of a few minutes ago.
"Window shopping, see if anything looks good enough." She said, going into the garage and unlocking the convertible car. She unlocked the door for Bernard and he climbed in. He had ridden in a car before but he still didn't like it. Belle turned the car on and drove down the driveway. "Seat belt." She said as she drove onto the street.
They arrived at the commercial streets in a matter of minutes. Belle parked the car in a nice parking space and they came out of the car. Bernard waited for her directions. Belle sighed, sort of missing this place. "This way." She said, walking onto a sidewalk that led to the clothing stores.
"That dress is nice. Why not that one?" He said, pointing at a mountain green dress on a mannequin.
"We just started and that dress is horrible." Belle said, pulling him along down the sidewalk.
"What does Mrs. Claus like, anyway?" He asked, looking into the different stores.
"Well, nice things. Like, pretty gowns or something with pearls or-"
"That?" Bernard asked as he stopped walking, standing in front of a fancy looking store. He pointed at a mannequin wearing a Christmas red gown that reached the floor. It had the classic white faux fur at the top border and at the ends of the long sleeves. It was a shoulderless dress. The mannequin wore a white hat, matching the white bands of the dress perfectly. Around her neck she had a choker-like necklace of pearls, just shinning in the lights.
"Bernard, that's perfect! She can wear it tonight!" She said excitedly.
"'kay." Bernard said, pulling a silk bag out from his sock. He unfolded it and then opened it. He glanced at Belle, who was staring at him curiously, and grinned at her. He whispered something into the bag and then reached in. He pulled out the dress. Belle's eyes threatened to pop out of her skull.
"Elf, remember?" He said simply, putting the dress back into the silk bag.
"What? Then why didn't you do this when we were back at the..." She looked around and then lowered her voice, "North Pole. It would have been a lot easier."
Bernard rolled his eyes. "We had no idea what to get her back there. We'd still be thinking of what to get. Here, we found what we needed, and I made it happen." He explained.
Belle blushed, feeling incredibly stupid. Bernard sighed, "Can we go-" He started to complain but something caught his eye all of a sudden. Belle noticed and turned in the direction he was looking. There was a girl on the other side of the street, staring right at them. She was short, brown curly hair that reached her shoulders and a shy smile on her lips.
Belle turned back to look at Bernard but he was still staring past her, now with a goofy smile on his face. Belle scowled, looking back toward the girl. She was playing with her hair now, batting her eyelashes and biting her pale lips. What?! Belle shrieked in her mind. She turned back to Bernard. "Benny, I think we should leave now." She said. Bernard didn't seem to hear her. That pushed Belle closer to the edge. "Benny?" She asked worriedly, taking his hand in hers.
Bernard looked down at her, his smile fading, "Huh?" He said dumbly. He looked down at their hands and suddenly snapped back into reality. "Yeah, we should go." He said normally and grabbed her hand tighter, walking her back down the street. Belle smiled into her left shoulder, looking away from Bernard. She suddenly got excited.
"We don't have to go right back, Benny. Wanna go to-"
"No, I've already wasted..." He didn't liked the sound of that. He rephrased. "Well, not wasted, no time is ever wasted with you." He corrected, making her blush. Wow, he really liked that. "But I've spent too much time here already. There are still party preparations that have to be taken care of and in case you forgot, if Santa finds out we're gone, he'll let us have it." He explained.
Belle was too taken by what he said about spending time with her to argue. She just smiled, letting him pull her the rest of the way back.
A/N: Sorry about the long wait for the update, I could have sworn I updated it a while ago but I hadn't! Sorry it wasn't very good but I kind of last track of what I was going for. To be continued (: