It wasn’t the moon casting its frosty light across her face that woke Belle from a deep slumber. Nor was it the winter breeze drifting in through the open window and chilling any exposed skin it could find. In fact, it wasn’t anything discernible at all. It was a feeling deep within her soul, a sense of expectancy strong enough to rouse her even though she had been given a potent sleeping potion which had been carefully prepared for her by the old witch in the wood.
Swinging her feet to the floor, Belle wiggled her toes to alleviate the sting from the cold stone. She padded to the window and knelt on the cushioned seat there, pushing the shutters slowly wider to prevent the tell-tale creak from giving her away. If her father discovered that the potion hadn’t been potent enough, she dreaded to think what lengths he’d go to next time.
Poor man. Belle knew that he loved her and only wished to save her from herself. But trying to save someone who has no interest in salvation is close to impossible. She was living proof of that. Just look at her, leaning out of the window, measuring each breath in order to calm her galloping heart. She needed to quieten the throbbing beat in her ears if she was to have any chance of hearing what she so longed to hear.
Five minutes passed before she heard it. It came from somewhere deep in the woods, echoing through the trees. At this distance it sounded plaintive and forlorn, a single soft cry carried to her on the air. Belle was aware that, up close, the sound would be piercing enough to make her ears ring, fierce enough to make her knees buckle with fright. But her romantic heart couldn’t resist imbuing it with a sense of yearning that she wasn’t certain its maker even felt.
Nevertheless, the sound had come to her and she knew what she must do. Sneaking from her room was easy enough for, confident in the potion as he had been, her father had neglected to lock her door. If the neighbours had been their usual prying selves she might have been thwarted, but at night hushed giggles floated from open windows and soft gasps drifted from around dark corners, so Belle knew they were all too busy with one another to notice her slip out of her front door and away.
All they would have to do to discover which way she’d gone would be to follow her footprints in the snow. But that would only get them as far as the woodland’s edge. They would stop there with their lit torches and pitchforks in hand, but Belle didn’t share their fear of the dark, nor was she afraid of what prowled within it.
A second cry quickened her pace. There was an edge to it that felt like impatience and suddenly she was worried that if she didn’t reach the clearing soon, she would be too late. So she ran. Flitting around mossy boulders, tripping on gnarled roots. Branches snagged her hair, scratched at her skin, tore at her nightdress.
By the time she stumbled into the clearing, Belle was dirty and dishevelled, soaked through with sweat and melted snow. At once she realised that she was alone, and her stomach churned. Tears glittered on her lashes, her chin dimpled as her bottom lip began to tremble.
Oh, the ache! How would she ever relieve it? Gaston would be happy enough to slip under the kitchen table and kiss her private lips while she stared unseeingly at an open book. Making her tremble and sigh had become easy for him in recent months. But she didn’t want to tremble, nor did she want to sigh. She wanted to shake and scream, she wanted the raw ache in her belly and between her thighs that would see her satisfied until the new moon.
Pulling her tattered nightgown closer, Belle winced as frigid air bit at the wet trails on her cheeks. She turned back, hoping she could sneak back home as easily as she’d snuck out, but before she had even left the clearing, she heard a familiar sound. A huffed expulsion of breath followed by the scratch of claws pawing at the ground.
Next came the rustling of dry branches, the snapping of fallen twigs, and the crunching of something heavy walking through the snow. Eyes focused on nothing, Belle stilled and listened. She could hear the steps getting closer. Closer still. Tiny bumps appeared on her skin, lifting every hair in a head-to-toe rush that left her entire body tingling.
The first thing to hit Belle was his scent. Musty, earthy, and wild, he smelled like hot blood and danger. Like a damp animal infused with the scent of a man. Unbidden, the heart-rending memory of the final blackened petal dropping from a withered rose came to her and she took deep breaths to ward off her guilt.
When the one behind her exhaled, a white fog skimmed the top of her head. The moon came out from behind a bank of cloud, casting his shadow over her, making it appear as though she wasn’t there at all. It was so wide, stretched out so far, she was reminded of just how small a woman she was. How fragile, how helpless. How thrilling!
Moving slowly, Belle turned again. She felt the absence of his heat on her back, shivered as she felt it warming her front. It made her breasts swell, their peaks harden so much the tickle of cotton nightgown became a sting. Heat blossomed between her thighs, the ache increased, and all before she even looked at him.
The first sight of him was always a shock for he was unlike any other man she had ever seen. Gaston had cultivated a patch of dark, wiry hair that ran from his chest to his thighs, of which he was immensely proud, but it was nothing compared to this. In comparison, this man was a beast.
Belle reached out with a trembling hand to touch the Beast’s forearm. Coarse fur parted between her fingers and he bent his wrist towards her, gently scratching hers with a sharp claw. Belle shuddered, slowly rocking her hips, smiling at the Beast’s thickly furred chest as her thighs began to slip and slide against each other.
They could stand that way for hours. Belle stroking his arms, his chest, burrowing to find his nipples so she could squeeze them until he began to growl. He would let her touch wherever she wished, even if what she wanted was to fondle the hardness at the top of his legs. All she had to do when she was ready was let her dark eyes see the glowing yellow of his.
Lip caught between her teeth, that’s exactly what she did. The moment she met his gaze he was upon her. Spinning her, pulling her against him, shredding the remaining tatters of her nightgown and raking his claws over her breasts almost hard enough to break the skin.
Belle choked on a gasp, her mind reeling when the Beast’s muzzle pressed into her throat. She could hear him inhaling her, feel him tasting her, his tongue rasping, making her quiver. His fangs scraped her skin and she wondered what would happen if he bit her. She knew that the only reason he hadn’t was that he’d chosen not to. If he decided to, she would be powerless – desireless – to stop him.
When he withdrew his mouth, Belle felt a sense of loss, but only until she realised that he was turning her again. Lifting her, drawing her close. His shaggy fur made her nipples itch. She moved her chest against his, rubbing her breasts against him, moaning when he dipped his head to lick the itch away with his rough tongue.
Digging his claws into her buttocks as he positioned Belle over his… his… his cock. The word bounced around in her head, exciting her, thrilling her. Cock. Oh, what a wicked word! Gaston referred to his own appendage as his poignard, but the one time the Beast had let Belle hear his guttural voice it was to command her to fuck his cock.
This time, he was going to fuck his cock with her. With a hard swing of his hips, the Beast tried to bury himself inside her. Belle grasped his shoulders, muffled her cries in his furred neck. He lifted her higher, brought her down, lifted her again and pulled her back down, thrusting each time until, with a growl rolling in the back of his throat, he found the end of her.
Belle held on, whimpering, moaning, dizzying as the Beast used her to stroke his cock. She could feel his bones shifting beneath his furred skin and she knew they didn’t have long. He would have to be fast before his transformation took place. Once that happened, she would no longer be lover, she would be food.
As feral as he was becoming, the Beast also knew this. With an impatient grunt, he lowered Belle to the ground. He left her on her knees for just a moment and she squeezed her welted breasts while he pushed his cock into her mouth, giving her a taste of both of them.
Then, with a careless shove, he had her chest to the ground, buttocks in the air. Leaning over her, biting her throat to keep her still, curling his hips into her again and again, taking her with deep, hard thrusts. It was the first time he had ever fucked her as though she were an animal. Savage, controlling, marking her, no longer driven by the desire of the man but by primal instinct.
Belle’s body spasmed and shook, she clawed at the muddy ground, cried and howled and came. She didn’t notice the Beast jerking then falling still, she didn’t feel his cock pumping inside her, didn’t hear him roar. She didn’t even realise it was over until wind was whipping her hair about her face and trees were racing past.
Sitting in the garden beneath her bedroom window, Belle watched the monstrously large wolf glance over its shoulder, seeing longing, hunger, and resentment in its yellow eyes.
Some of the villagers said it was a tragedy that Belle hadn’t come to love the Prince before the final rose petal had fallen. How those people would be shocked if they knew the truth. For, even while the rose was still in half bloom, she had loved him deeply. But because of her desire for the beauty she saw in his beastly form, she had refused to speak the words, dooming him to an eternity of shifting between animal and half-man with each turning of the moon. She had chosen not to break the curse because she wanted him wild and untamed, his lust for her untempered by humanity.
Yes, if people knew the truth, they would have to admit that the true beast in this story was never the Prince… it was Belle.