I came up with this story the night before Valentine's day. I hope you do enjoy it.

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who was born into a thriving kingdom. She was known for her beautiful long brown hair and her dark curious eyes. Though she grew with riches, her heart was kind and pure. Her mother named her Belle, for her laugh rang like a bell in the air.

Her mother died at a very young age, but even that didn't taint her kind nature. But her father grew cruel, and lost all their riches in the kingdom. Soon, he was dethroned and they were made into social outcasts, shunned and hated by the entire kingdom. Years past, and they became well in debt to their landlord, a man known to be ugly in the heart as he was ugly skin deep. Her father had no money to pay the man back, so he offered Belle instead. The beast, known by all to prefer to live in isolation, happily accepted.

Belle became a slave to the man, attending to his every need. She cleaned the house, washed his clothes, and would cook his meals. At first, the beast assumed that he would have to break her in, that she would fight back. But, to his surprise, she followed every command swiftly and steadily until she learned how to manage the household. He would watch her clean sometimes, seeing her long, beautiful, dark hair swinging around her as she danced and sang a happy song while working, or beaming in the sunlight whenever the curtains were drawn back. Belle started a beautiful garden of roses from the cold, hard earth outside his manor, and she would beam the brightest when she was near them. As a boy, he remembered trying to grow lily's for his mother, and no matter how hard he tried, they never bloomed. He was doomed to hate flowers ever since.

He was confused by her bright presence in his gloomy and dark home. Belle must have noticed the gloom surrounding her as well, because as soon as the roses would bloom, she would bring in basket fulls into the house, spreading them out among the various vases or bowls in the house. Soon, that was all you could smell in the house, and he realized how much he loved the flowers that once brought him pain.

Belle was happy to work for the beast, even if that meant her destiny and future was made for her. She liked the idea of doing things herself, remembering the times when everything was done for her as a princess. She hated the idea of feeling alone in the large castle, but she realized she never was. The beast kept a watchful eye on her, never leaving her alone unless she was in her room. The feeling of him watching over her helped her stay calm and happy in the castle, relieved to feel the caring of another once again, even if it was different way than everyone else's. Though he usually addressed her with a cold nature, Belle was sure there had to be some sort of kind nature to the beast. She learned just how caring the day he showed her the library.

Thousands of books rested neatly on bookshelves that took up the whole room. Whenever Belle was finished with her daily chores, she would come into the library and read to herself all the wonderful stories that were tightly bound into the books. She always felt happy reading those books, because they kept her busy while she was locked away in the castle. She read any book her heart contented to, whether that was a book of maps, or a book of faraway places. The books helped her lived out her dreams of seeing the world, even if she never left the castle.

The beast would always seem to come into the room, pretending to look for a book while he listened to her read. She knew he was listening because he never seemed to leave until she was finished reading. But, whenever he did come in, she didn't have the heart to tell him that she was on to his little game, so she just spoke louder so he could hear better, her smile almost giving away her act.

Belle's voice enchanted the beast, and he was thrilled he would hear it more often when he visited her in the library. Her imagination filled the library, giving the many words and pictures in the books that remained dusty for years life, a character, and a sort of light the beast could never fathom, even as a young child.

This daily habit helped Belle see the cruel nature of the beast was just an act. He really was kind, considerate. The passing years of isolation just made him lonely. He just needed someone to stay with him, and she realized she was happy that he chose her.

As the years passed, she realized that she had read all the books in the library. Sad, she walked slowly into the library, knowing that there wasn't a new book to read for herself and the beast. But, once she walked in, she saw a beautiful book lying in her accustomed chair beside the window. The cover had delicately painted Roses, framing the name "Belle" in elegant gold lettering. Gasping, she opened it, ready to immerse herself in a new story.

But she was surprised to find the pages blank, except for one word.


So she did. She wrote all about the time she had there, and the kindness he showed her while she stayed. She wrote about she knew as the day passed, he would listen to her talk and sing the stories she read. She wrote about the beautiful flowers that grew in the magical soil of his castle, and that she loved he never made her stop growing the flower. Once she was finished writing, she brought the book to him at dinner.

"What's this?" he asked her curiously, pretending that he had never seen the book before.

She smiled. "My thank you."

He raised his eyebrows. "You're thanking me for holding you captive?"

She laughed, her voice truly sounding like a bell. "I'm thanking you, because you gave me this book." She told him, "I thought you'd like to read it."

The beast got up, grabbing the book and placing it back into her hands. "I want you to read it to me."

She blushed, looking a bit uncomfortable. Looking at his eyes, she saw them soften.

"Come sit down," he said, patting his lap, "I will listen no matter what you wrote."

So she did. Belle leaned against his chest as she read her story. The beast turned the pages, mesmerized by her story. Did she really think of him in this light?

As she read, he slowly moved his hands until they were around her waist, pulling her close to him. Her reading faltered for a moment. He thought he had scared her, so he tried pulling away.

"No-" she said, stopping her reading. Her little hands gabbed his, and placed them back on her waist, "My hand writing was messy, I couldn't understand what I wrote." He smelled of books and roses.

"Oh," he mumbled, his true nature slowly coming out of his conservative and cold shell. She smelled of roses and sunshine.

She continued to read, but not before she grabbed one of his hands. Once she finished reading, she gently closed the book and leaned against him to look at his face.

"How did you like it?"

"I thought it was beautiful," He told her, brushing a stray hair from her face, "How did you know I would come in to listen to you read?"

"You would only leave until I was finished reading."

"Why didn't you ever say anything?" He asked her curiously.

"Because," she said quietly, "I liked the fact that you listened."

The next day he let her go to the bookstore in town.

"You're letting me go?" she asked, shocked.

"I don't expect you to come back," he replied, "But if you do, I'll be waiting."

Belle sang all the way to town, earning awed stares. Was that the beast girl? Did he really let her go?

Walking into the bookstore, she grabbed a couple books, struggling to hold them while she made it to the owner. She really should have thought to grab a basket for the books. Maybe next time he would come with her so she could carry more.

"Hello Belle," said a voice she thought that she never hear again, stricken with age and cold demeanor.

"Papa!" she cried, her books dropping to the floor and hugging him tightly, "Oh, I've missed you so!"

She was startled to find that instead of returning the hug, he just stood there, looking angry that she touched him. As she moved away from him, she realized that his breath reeked of alcohol, poisoning each breath she took. "Papa," she said, suddenly frightened, "What's happened to you?"

"My Belle is gone," he said, his words chilling her to the bone. "You're dead to me now."

"What, but Papa, I'm right here and-"

"Do you realize what you've done!" He said, panicked, gripping her dress by the front and shaking her roughly, "I don't have the money to pay for my house! You're a selfish, evil person! You should have stayed with him, and been a good daughter! Now that you've run away, he will probably ask for double!"

She tried to explain her situation, but he silenced her with slap to her face.

"Silence," he commanded, "You've caused enough trouble."

He locked her away in his house, dirtier and more run down than she remembered. She would lay on the cold brick floor, looking at the sunlight that would filter in through the window that was barred in. The only thing he left her was a book. This one was blank as well, but this time, she didn't write in it. She left it blank. Nothing was worth to write down anymore. Her beast was gone.

She screamed, cried, and begged for her beast. Belle didn't know how many days had passed since he let her go, but she tried with all her might to yell for him. Her father would come in everyday, and ask her what she wanted. She always said the same thing.

"I want my beast."

When she replied this, he would hit her, leaving a harsh red mark on her skin. But her answer never faltered.

"I want my beast."

But she knew as each minute passed, her heart began to filter with the darkness that consumed her father. The sunlight slowly began to fade from the window.

She would always remember the moment her beast came for pain he had in his eyes once he finally kicked down the door, wooden fragments splintering across the room. Anger flickered in his eyes when he saw the bruises that her father left on her now almost translucent skin.

"Belle," he whispered, running to her side.

"Beast!" she cried, leaping to him. Gently, he lifted her up, cradling her to his body. She was cold, so cold.

"I love you," he whispered as he took her away from her childhood home.

"I love you too," she said, gripping him to her tightly, "And I always will."

Belle was finally tainted. She had found the darkness within.

I hope you enjoyed my story, please review. I would love to hear your opinions about this story.