As soon as I had said the words, I looked into my Beast's eyes, trying to calculate his reaction. I had prepared myself for the worst; after all, how likely was it that he felt the same way about me? What I had not prepared myself for, however, was what I saw when I looked up. I was just in time to see his beautiful blue eyes roll back in his head, and to watch him collapse onto the floor. What was happening?
'Beast?' I asked tentatively. No response. He couldn't be..? I threw myself on the floor and shaked his huge chest. 'Beast?'I asked again. Still nothing. No. No! I was in shock. What had happened? Just seconds ago everything had been so perfect, and now... I didn't even know what was going on. The first tears started to roll down my cheeks. Just as I was about to turn on the waterworks, something changed. Though, perhaps, something wasn't the right word, everything fitted better. Slowly, gradually, my Beast rose up in the air. At this point I was beyond shock. Of course I knew magic existed – how else could the past few months be explained? - but to see it happen right in front of me was a different story altogether.
I saw the Beast's body stir and all I could do was hope that somehow, miraculously, he had come back to life again. Suddenly, one of the Beast's paws transformed into a human hand. I jumped back, frightened and more than a little confused. What was going on here? Before I had much time to think about it, his other paw and legs followed, and before I knew it, I watched my beloved Beast's face transform into that of a man. The man eased down onto the ground, almost gracefully. Tentatively, I approached him, my hand stretched out, as if to touch this strange, beautiful man. At that moment the man stirred, and I jumped back again.
The man stood up and turned around. As I examined his face, I realized that I had seen him before. The painting in the West Wing! This man was obviously royal. I curtseyed clumsily, not used to it. 'Your Highness' I mumbled, keeping my eyes down.
'Belle, it's me!' The voice sounded almost familiar. He lifted my chin gently, forcing me to look up. I peeked at him nervously, and found that the man was now standing just inches away from me. Hesitantly, I raised my hand and combed my fingers through his hair. It was quite soft, as the Beast's had been, but I wasn't convinced. As I looked into his eyes, however, everything fell into place. I knew it was him right away, I would always recognize those deep, beautiful, blue eyes. Nobody had eyes like that.
'It is you!' I exclaimed, and I laid my hand on his cheek. Relief washed through me. He is alive! At this moment I didn't want any explanations, I just wanted him, my Beast. His touch was soft, and I could feel my eyes roll into my head a little bit as he stroked my face. As I looked into his eyes, he moved his face slowly closer to mine. I closed my eyes and waited for our lips to touch.
I knew I was awake, but I didn't open my eyes just yet. The dream I had was just to perfect, I didn't want to lose it. Belle told me she loved, which is why I knew it must have been a dream. Despite the happiness I felt over the dream, I also felt something close to sadness. It was just a dream. I sighed, and decided it was time to get up. While getting up, I realized how drowsy I was. I lifted my paw to rub my face in an attempt to put the drowsiness away. When I caught sight of my paw, however, I stopped. It wasn't a paw. It was a hand. A human hand. Quickly, I checked my other paw, which I was stunned to discover had been turned into a hand as well. But how? The answer came to me less than a second later. Belle! It hadn't been a dream after all! I spun around, ready to face the love of my life.
I watched Belle's face carefully as she looked at me. All of a sudden, she did something I had not expected; she fell down in what I supposed was to be a curtsey, though it was quite obvious Belle was not used to doing this. 'Your highness,' she mumbled, keeping her eyes locked on the floor. For a second I just stood rooted to the spot, not sure what exactly what was going on here. Then it hit me; she had been in the West Wing, obviously she had seen the portrait. I used to take great pride in that portrait, but that was a long time ago. That man no longer existed. I needed to convince Belle of this.
As I walked towards Belle, I realized my heart was pounding. Why am I so nervous? She loves me, I love her! I told myself, though it didn't make any difference. As I stood in front of Belle, I took a deep breath. 'Belle? It's me!' gently I lifted her chin, wanting her to look more closely. If anyone could see past everything, it was Belle, of that I was absolutely sure. I watched Belle's face closely as she looked at me. I wondered what was going on inside her head. As Belle touched my hair, I forced myself to stand still, not wanting to frighten her. At long last she looked into my eyes. As my blue eyes locked on her brown ones, my heart skipped a beat. Never had I seen such beautiful eyes. Never had I seen such a beautiful person. Once again, I felt the familiar butterflies in my stomach.
I kept watching Belle closely. After just a second or two, I could see realization hitting her. Could it really be this easy? I had to remind myself this was Belle after all, if anyone could look into my soul so easily, it was her.
'It is you!' She exclaimed, caressing my cheek. Never had I heard more beautiful words, except perhaps when she told me she loved me. Without thinking about it, I raised my paw, hand, to brush a lock of hair out of her face. My eyes held hers as I slowly leaned closer to Belle. Though I was unsure of what exactly I was doing, I knew it felt right. Belle lifted her face to mine and closed her eyes. Finally, finally, our lips touched.
Our kiss started gently, but something pulled us closer together and unconsciously my arms wrapped themselves tighter around Belle's waist. Though I wished our kiss could last forever, I was the one to pull away first. Belle looked at me, her eyes full of love and wonder. 'It really is you!' she said, as though she still couldn't quite believe it. I smiled, realizing I owned her an explanation. Now was not the time for that though. This was a time for celebrations. 'It really is me,' I ensured her.
I had no intention of letting go of Belle anytime soon, so I kept my arm wrapped around her waist as I looked around. The castle seemed to have returned to its former glory. That could only mean one thing; the spell truly was broken. Screams of joy from various directions seemed to confirm this thought. I looked at my love and took her hand. 'Belle, let's go find you father!'