Beauty and the Beast HSM Style

Chapter 9

Taylor poked her head out of her room, cautiously surveying the looks of the hallway. It was as dark as it was when she had locked herself in the bedroom, and now completely deserted. Everything looked just as it did before; nothing was out of place in the slightest bit. The red rug was still flat against the cold tiled floor, any paintings that hung up from the wall weren't ripped or tilted in the least, and everything appeared to be exactly where it was supposed to be. Surely just from looking at all that it was safe enough to come out. But Taylor wanted to be positive before she did step out of her room. She glanced in the other direction expecting something out of the ordinary, yet it appeared just the same as the previous direction of the hallway. That didn't stop her expectations, however. She wouldn't be surprised at all if the Beast jumped from out of nowhere and attack her. Did he really seem like the kind of guy - figuratively speaking of course - that would do that? Possibly; it was hard to tell. The Beast became angered so easily that Taylor didn't desire to take any chances around him. Luckily for her, there wasn't a sign of anyone around. Taylor didn't care what the Beast said, whether he was the master of the castle or not. She could already hear her stomach rumbling so she was going to get some food even if he didn't approve. Stepping out of the bedroom and quietly closing the door behind her, the young girl began to creep down the corridor. She walked past some curtains which, must like the rest of the area, were in one piece. What she was unaware of was that there were three dim lights coming from behind them. By the time Taylor was gone and further down the hall, faint chuckling and giggling came from behind the satin curtains.

"Oooh monsieur..."

The accent almost sounded British. Shortly after, a French-ish accent followed pursuit.

"Oui oui..."

Zeke found himself spinning out from behind the curtains, almost as if he had just woken up from a quite pleasant dream. He put his hand to his head, trying to keep himself standing still and so everything wouldn't look like it was spinning. Tiara followed from behind, looking quite dazed herself.

"That French accent really turns me on," she said, though it sounded like she was still coming to.

"Well then perhaps we should go another round," Zeke replied with a smile in his heaviest possible accent. He took Tiara and dipped her, only to pick his head up and gasp, dropping her seconds later. "Oh mon Dieu! She has emerged!" His eyes landed on Taylor, who had already made her way down the hall and was nearly out of sight. Leaving Tiara where she was and slightly confused, Zeke made his way down the corridor as fast as he could to catch up with Taylor.

In the kitchen, Gabriella was attempting to put Donny to 'bed'. "Alright Donny, into the cupboard. Time for you to go to sleep," Gabriella said as she helped her little brother into the cabinet where numerous other tea cups were already sound asleep.

"But I'm not tired," Donny groaned with a yawn.

"Yes you are," Gabriella giggled.

"No I'm not..." Donny replied, his voice fading. In a matter of minutes, his sleepiness did indeed get the better of him and Gabriella was able to close the cupboard doors. She made it look so easy, too. All she had to do was quietly and calmly tell him how tired he was, and then after no more than five minutes of arguing Donny would grow more tired and fall asleep shortly afterward. But that didn't mean the peacefulness lasted too long.

"What do I do, slave over a hot stove and no one even eats a crumb? I made my semi-world famous steaks and it's all ignored."

"Oh calm down Jack. I know you made such a nice meal for the master and his guest but she's had a long day and needs some rest. It's been a pretty long day for all of us, too," Gabriella told the irritated stove. After all, she was merely trying to be reasonable. Jack just so happened to get annoyed easily, especially when it involved a favorite dish of his. It was something everyone in the castle - mainly the master - was supposed to enjoy but tonight no one could care less.

"But I even put extra sauce on it." Jack complained.

"Well we can't worry about making food for her until she comes out," Gabriella replied.

"Come out? Yeah right," Jason replied as he wiped his hands, most likely just after washing them. "If you want one dude's opinion the girl's being just plain old stubborn. Bet she won't be coming out for a good million years."

"But Jason you know this could be our master's last chance. If he doesn't learn to control his temper and allow her to fall for him then there won't be any hope for any of us," Gabriella said.

"Thank you for that update, Ms. Happy-Go-Lucky," Jason said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. "But at the rate we're going it's gonna be plain impossible to break the spe-"

But before he could finish his statement, the kitchen door cracked open and Taylor slowly stepped inside upon hearing conversation. Jason cut himself right off and spun right around to her as she came in.

"Splendid to see you up and about," he told her quickly with his best smile. "I'm Jason, the castle's resident clown..."

Taylor smiled and made her way over to Jason, kneeling down to get a better look at the clock. She no longer seemed surprised at any of the objects, aware that the castle must have been enchanted or magical. And all except for the Beast of course, everyone seemed nice enough. And so polite. She was about to take Jason's hand, which he was going to give her a proper French greeting...until Zeke rushed in and slid in front of Jason, taking Taylor's hand before Jason even had a chance to touch it. Jason rolled his eyes and tried to sound as casual as he could, though his tone still spoke with jealousy, thanks to the fact that Zeke had once again beaten him to the punch.

"And this is Zeke."

"Monsieur Baylor," Zeke said bowing and kissing Taylor's hand, trying his best to keep Jason out of the way while he wooed her. "Bonjour, mademoiselle."

Jason tried to push his way through Zeke to get his turn, but being that the two friends were so competitive with each other, especially when it came to girls, Zeke wouldn't let Jason pass. And with Zeke's flexible candelabra body he was able to move almost any which way to prevent Jason from stepping forward, even going so far as to stick his behind so close to Jason's face. Jason was only able to say everything in fragments through the minor battle.

"If there's…anything we can do…to make your stay…more comfortable…then please..." He finally got past Zeke, only to have Taylor lift her hand up so Jason would have to settle for a smile and bow. "Please let us know," he finished. Second later Zeke got his usual revenge by briefly striking Jason's hand with his tiny flame and burning his hand. Jason gasped and jumped at the pain, trying to cool his hand down. He should have been used to that by now.

"Well, I am a little hungry," Taylor admitted.

"You are?" Gabriella gasped with a wide smile. She couldn't contain her excitement. She hopped all around the kitchen waking up everyone - or rather everything - that was sleeping in there to give them to good news. "Did you hear that? She's hungry! Start the fire. Wake the chimes. Bring out the silver."

Jack started his fire up right away, happy that his cooking would finally get the attention it desired. The tea sets opened up the cabinets for all the cups to come out and opened the drawers where dishes and utensils sat up at an instant. Jason, however, appeared a bit uncomfortable.

"Remember what the master said..." he muttered to Gabriella.

"Relax Jason. It's just some food. We can't have anyone going hungry now can we?" Gabriella replied as she monitored everyone moving from their 'beds' to the tables.

"Oh alright, fine," he caved, not in much of a mood to argue at the moment. "But we shouldn't feed her out here or in the dining room. We'd be safer bringing her back to her room with dinner or maybe to the dungeon with some ice cream..."

"Jay, I can't believe you'd say any of that!" Zeke gasped.

"What, about eating ice cream in the dungeon?" Jason raised an eyebrow. "But it keeps the food so cold in there."

"That's not what I'm talking about," he replied, bonking Jason on the head with his elbow. "She's not our prisoner, she's our guest. We should make her feel welcome here." He turned to Taylor who had already stood up and seemed so content about the kindness they were all displaying. "Come mademoiselle, right this way." Zeke told her, leading her out the doors towards the dining room.

"But we really should keep it down," Jason said. "If the master finds out he'll probably have our heads. Especially if we're so loud."

"Of course, of course," Zeke nodded, holding the door opened so Taylor could walk through. "But what is dinner without a little music?"

Jason's eyes widened as Zeke walked through the doors. The small clock tried to rush through the doors, but since they didn't slam shut and swung in and out, the door his Jason on the back swing and flung him to the other side of the kitchen.


Zeke was already in the dining room and hopping onto the table. He looked overhead to see a spotlight hit him from the ceiling as Taylor stopped at the end of the rather long table. He cleared his throat as he picked up a straw and used it to spin around what looked like a little hat for him and right into his hands. "It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now, we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair..." As if on cue, a chair came from almost nowhere and got behind Taylor, allowing her to plant herself down in it and at the table where she was able to watch Zeke. Simultaneously, a cart of dishes, utensils, etc, were waiting just behind the kitchen doors for their cue to arrive. Zeke finished as he then pointed to a few members of the tea set who appeared under a spotlight of their own and put his little hat over his head, " the dining room proudly presents your dinner."

A smile came across Taylor's face as Zeke started to pull out a few minor dance moves, just to move to the beat of the music. The members of the tea set that had been behind him started backing him up in the background with their own moves. Zeke started with the singing first before anyone else would join in.


Be our guest

Put our service to the test,"

The chair offered a napkin to tie around Taylor's neck for the meal, but Taylor politely declined and set it out on her lap instead. She looked back to the table to see a small jar pouring hot soup into a bowl walking by. Zeke came back over as soon as the dishes walked by with a large silver plate and a cover over it. He smiled and removed the cover with plenty of appetizers. Some looked crunchy, others creamy...and in so many different colors, too. She stuck her finger in one of the creamier foods that looked almost chocolaty but much grayer in color, upon Zeke's suggestion of course. Her face lit up as soon as the food melted on her taste buds; it actually was quite tasty despite the fact that it almost looked unappetizing.

"Tie your napkin 'round your neck, Cherie

And we provide the rest

Soup de jour

Hot hors d'oeuvres

Why, we only live to serve

Try the gray stuff, it's delicious

Don't believe me, ask the dishes."

Out from the china cabinet, dishes burst out and started spinning around like they were quarters on a table and ended up piling on top of each other to form much what looked like the Eiffel Tower and glistened under the bright spotlight.

"They can sing

They can dance

After all, Miss, this is France

And the dinner here is never second best."

Zeke went right over to her with a menu and placed it in her hands. Taylor looked through it for a few seconds only to have Zeke once again appear from behind it and almost lean up against the top of the menu. He jumped down and got to the middle of the table as numerous dishes with foods started making their way around him and passing by Taylor.

"Go on, unfold your menu

Take a glance and then you'll

Be our guest

Oui, our guest

Be our guest."

The dishes joined in with the singing. First what almost looked like steak or some other kind of meat passed by in a pan, followed by a freshly made fully puffed up cheese souffle, then two different desserts. Taylor tried a small piece of the souffle and then lifted up the cover for one of the other dishes after a small glass of chocolate mousse passed by. Jason poked his head out from the pudding, which was under the cover that Taylor had picked up. And once the words 'en flambe' were said, Zeke stuck one of his candles in the pudding but instead of burning the food he ended up burning Jason instead, making him faint back into the food and the dish hopped away with the pudding.

"Beef ragout

Cheese souffle

Pie and pudding 'en flambe'"

Zeke slid across the table in front of a rather large punch bowl where numerous silver spoons had appeared. They stood on top of the punch bowl, right at the edge. They began jumping into the drink one by one and then followed with some synchronized swimming. Zeke continued to let his voice fill the empty instrumentals. He even ended up ready to jump on one of the plate and slide across the punch.

"We'll prepare and service with flair

A culinary cabaret

You're alone

And you're scared

But the banquet's all prepared

No one's gloomy or complaining

While the flatware's entertaining

We tell jokes

I do tricks

With my fellow candlesticks,"

A large group of bass-leveled singing pitchers and jugs popped up around Taylor with soda almost flowing out of their mouths, rather their tops, because they were holding so much. An even number standing across from each other on both ends of the table, they began jumping from small sea-saws, which were merely spoons tilting against a coaster, and seemingly flying across the table. Every time one pitcher or jug landed, another one was flung off its current spoon and jumping across to the other side.

"And it's all in perfect taste

That you can bet

Come on and lift your glass

You've won your own free pass

To be our guest."

As Zeke's voice took over, solely singing the next two lines, Jason had gotten himself out of the pudding and was finishing wiping himself off with a large laced napkin.

"If you're stressed

It's fine dining we suggest"

Jason picked up his head and gasped as one of the jugs was off aim and was being aimed right for him. He started running as fast as he could on his stumpy little legs while the jug aimed for him head first. At the same time Zeke's voice chorused with the other pitchers and jugs.

"Be our guest

Be our guest

Be our guest"

Jason ended up tumbling and falling, the jug right on top of him. He wasn't sure exactly how, bot one way or another he ended up inside the jug - or the jug's mouth. Either way his head was sticking out of the jug. Zeke slumped in his posture as he made his way over to Jason. He swung his arm around his friend and Jason went from one of Zeke's candles to the other, blowing them right out. Zeke continued to be the sole singer.

"Life is so unnerving

For a servant who's not serving

He's not whole without a soul to wait upon

Ah, those good old days when we were useful

Suddenly those good old days are gone."

He put his hand over his head and fell dramatically into Jason's arms. Jason rolled his eyes at Zeke's act.

"Oh brother." he muttered.

That's when Zeke stood right up again and looked all over him, as well as Jason, for any signs of rusting. He ran in circles around Jason; this annoyed the clock and he tried escaping from Zeke, only to evidently be tripped by him and fall onto one of the spoons that was still against one of the coasters.

"Three years we're been rusting

Needing so much more than dusting

Needing exercise, a chance to use our skills,"

Jason rubbed his head after he landed. He looked over at Zeke, who took in a deep breath to make him appear fatter, then let out too much air so he looked skinnier than he already was as a candelabra. He slumped over, then almost looked like he was about to do a tap dance with a top hat and stick. Jason's eyes widened, seeing where Zeke was going with this.

"Most days we just lay around the castle

Flabby, fat and lazy..."

"Wait a, don't!"

"You walked in and oops-a-daisy!"

With a big old smile, Zeke jumped and landed on the opposite end of the spoon that Jason was one, making him fly across the table screaming.

The music and the mood really began to lighten up once Gabriella took over the singing. In the kitchen she was putting the last of everything back together. She hopped around the sink singing cheerfully as bottles of wine rolled on by. Napkins came out and folded themselves into the perfect elegant form, almost appearing like ballgowns as they danced around Gabriella. As the napkins danced away, Gabriella began spinning around with Donny almost like they were partners in a dance contest.

"It's a guest

It's a guest

Sakes alive, well I'll be blessed

Wine's been poured and thank the Lord

I've had the napkins freshly pressed

With dessert

She'll want tea

And my dear, that's fine with me

While the cups do their soft shoeing

I'll be bubbling, I'll be brewing"

Before she knew it, Gabriella was dancing beside Jack as he pulled out some more food from his hot oven. Upon seeing a small stain on her, Gabriella called for a table cloth and got it wiped off right away. The final cart rolled on past her and she jumped on with her brother, standing side by side with some salt and pepper shakers as well as the final jar holding some sugar. The cart rolled into the dinning room and the flour jar put a lump of sugar in Donny, who now had a fresh warm drink in his little tea cup form, upon Taylor's request of course.

"I'll get warm

Piping hot

Heaven's sake, is that a spot?

Clean it up! We want the company impressed

We've got a lot to do

Is it one lump or two

For you our guest?"

Jason popped his head back up at the table, having made his way from being flung across the dining room rather than just across the table. He gasped and almost lost his balance as more of the silverware joined the chorus, almost dancing over his hands as his fingers gripped the edge of the table so he wouldn't fall off.

"She's our guest."

Gabriella giggled and added to that.

"She's our guest."

The chorus repeated once again as Jason managed to jump back on top of the table.

"She's our guest."

Jason looked around behind him hearing even more singing. He gasped and tried to make a get away as Tiara and the other feather dusters started doing the can-can across the table, moving forward with each step they took.

"Wait don't come over no one listening?" Jason gasped while they all sang.

"Be our guest

Be our guest

Our command is your request"

Jason managed to get away from the feather dusters temporarily and then the flatware and silverware took over. The plates rolled across the table, the spoons and forks jumped across it in the opposite direction the plates were going, and some of the tea cups were trying to add their own little moves in between it all, even though they mainly ended up doing dances more like the Hokey Pokey instead. Hey, the tea cups were mostly kids or preteens, remember?

"It's three years since we've had anybody here

And we're obsessed

With your meal

With your ease

Yes, indeed, we aim to please."

In one long line, all the candelabras were leaning forward with their candles lit. They slowly began rising, each pair across from each other as they went down the row.

"While the candlelight's still glowing

Let us help you

We'll keep going,"

Once they all stood up the spotlight fell on Zeke once more, his really did look like he was going to do a tap dance with a top hat and stick. Behind him were numerous other enchanted objects joining in with the singing as they all combined their voices together once again.

"Course by course

One by one

'Till you shout, 'Enough I'm done!'

And we'll sing you off to sleep as you digest"

Curtains came from out of nowhere and opened up as the remainder of the utensils appeared atop a chandelier dancing and basking in the glow of its own candle lights. Zeke sat himself down on the tall white cake he had just been dancing on and put his feet - or where his feet would be, anyway - up so they'd look like they were resting up on a chair, and placed his arms behind his head so he looked like so he was relaxing. He even took a small bit of the frosting and stuck it in his mouth.

"Tonight you'll prop your feet up

But for now, let's eat up

Be our guest,"

Jason slid back into the middle of the table where the feather dusters were once again doing the can-can around him. A smile really grew on his face as he finally got into the music. He rocked his arms back and forth and started tapping his feet to the music. The spoons jumped back into the punch bowl, the utensils jumped off of the chandelier, the napkins spun around the punch bowl dancing, the carts rolled around the table, and everyone was getting up and doing some sort of dance to add to the music. On the final note, the wine bottles pushed their caps off and the drinks splashed around the table and Jason was doing the can-can right along with all the feather dusters. And just when he was about to finish and pull out his final ending pose, Zeke slid in and ended up pushing Jason out of the picture so Zeke was in the center on one knee with his arms wide opened.

"Be our guest

Be our guest

Please, be our guest!"

The lights returned to normal and dinner was done. The napkins, utensils, and everyone in between was already leaving the table and heading back to their respective locations. Taylor rose from her seat and applauded.

"Bravo. That was very entertaining."

"Thank you, thank you," Jason said as he bowed. "Thank you very much." He chuckled, having thrown his own impression of Elvis Presley into that. "It was a good show if I do say so myself." He congratulated anyone else that walked by and then yawned. Looking at the time he had on his face, as that was where the actual clock was, Jason figured that everything was all settled for the night. "Well would you look at the time? You'd better head off to bed and get some sleep now."

"I'm sorry, but I couldn't possibly go to bed now," Taylor shook her head. "It's my first time in an enchanted castle. There's so much to explore."

"Enchanted..." Jason chuckled as Zeke appeared by his side. "Yes, yes...that's exactly what this is. We're all enchanted." He nudged Zeke and muttered to him as quietly as he could, "Cursed is more like it. Did you blab to her?"

"Actually I figured it out on my own. It wasn't too hard," Taylor stated as she watched Jason tug on Zeke's nose, which then cause the clock to let go and fall backwards.

"Why...yes of course," Jason said quickly. "That makes perfect sense."

"I think I'm going to look around the castle. If that's alright," Taylor added. After all if she was going to be spending the rest of her life there, she would have to get familiarized with her new surroundings. She'd have to know which rooms were whose, what rooms were for what, and so on. Zeke's face just lightened up at the idea.

"Oooh, would you like a tour?"

Jason blinked rapidly and nudged Zeke harder that time. "Wait what do you think you're doing? You're not really gonna show her around are you?"

"Of course. It is the polite thing to do. What kind of hosts would we be if we didn't show her around her new home?" Zeke whispered back.

"But what about the master? If he catches her out of her room and after being fed, he's going to be very angry..." Jason replied.

Now certainly the last thing Taylor was, was stupid. But that didn't mean she knew everything either. Zeke and Jason were speaking so quietly she could barely make out half of what they were talking about. All she was able to gather from the two of them was that Jason was against showing her around and insistent that she go back to her room and stay there. But there was a way around that quite easily. All she'd have to do was lead him on, maybe pull a few minor flirting tricks, and she'd have him agreeing to give her a tour in no time.

"Well then perhaps you would like to show me around," Taylor told Jason ever so kindly as she leaned against the table batting her eyelashes. "I'm sure you know everything about the castle."

Jason chuckled nervously and turned red. "Well I don't like to brag but..." As he paused Zeke couldn't help but roll his eyes. The only things Jason knew about the castle were his way around it, where not to go, and how afraid he was of the room with no lighting because there was a picture of a clown in there that really freaked him out. "...I'd be honored."

With the dining room being on the first floor of the castle, it probably took around forty-five minutes to finish the tour of that area. Jason was now leading Taylor through the hallways of the second floor. They were currently passing through an area with many suits of armor and paintings from the Renaissance across the walls. While in retrospect they really didn't have much to do with each other, it didn't make a difference because almost no one needed to use that hallway to go anywhere anymore. They continued down the hall where more mismatched items were against the walls and hanging around, such as old useless Halloween decorations and Christmas lights.

"As you can see this hallway is mainly for the use of entertainment. We've got things from all around down here, yes we do," Jason explained despite the fact that he was completely making everything up. "And all of these are from periods like the Disco Age, World War Nine, and the Baroque Period."

Zeke shook his head as he walked beside Taylor, who was more fascinated with the historical objects like suits of armor and artwork while everything else was completely clashing and, to be brutally honest, unattractive. Zeke walked ahead and the barking footstool, Boi, ran right after Zeke wagging his tail. But what none of them knew was that the heads of the suits of armor all kept looking in Taylor's direction. Some said they were haunted, others said there was a random wind that made them do that. But Jason always took it too seriously. He was now behind the three of them and looked right at the suits of armor they passed by.

"Alright you can all stop staring now! Keep your vision eye-level and get back to where you were. C'mon. About face already!"

As if on cue, that was exactly when the suits of armor turned their heads to look in their original directions.

Jason sighed heavily and rubbed his head. "Alright, we've still got a lot more ground to cover so we probably should..." he paused and looked around for Taylor, having lost sight of her. He gasped as he saw her heading for a long carpeted staircase. Zeke had seen it as well, because they both ran over at the same time and got in front of Taylor just as she touched the first step on the staircase. The two smiled goofy, almost giving it away that something was hiding up the stairs.

"Is something up there?" Taylor inquired.

"Up where?" Jason asked a little too quickly.

"Up the stairs."

"What stairs?"

"The stairs you're blocking."

"We're not blocking any stairs."

"What Jason means is..." Zeke started, the hesitated only briefly to come up with a somewhat decent excuse. " that there is nothing up there. Just the usual garbage anyone would stuff in an attic or West Wing. Nothing out of the ordinary up there."

"So that's the West Wing," Taylor realized, looking up the stairs with her curiosity quite peaked right now.

Jason gulped and Zeke hit himself on the head, unable to believe he had opened his big mouth for once. There was only one thing to do... Put the blame on Jason.

"Nice going, Jay."

"Me? What'd I do?" Jason asked.

Taylor took a single step forward to try and get a better look up the stairs; because from the angle she was currently at, she could only see the first flight of stairs in front of her and then diagonally from that the second flight of stairs seemed to disappear into the darkness.

"I wonder what's really up there..." she thought aloud. "He must be hiding something..."

"Hiding something?" Zeke stuttered. "Whatever gave you that idea? Our master wouldn't hide anything up there."

Taylor took a few more steps forward, continuing her way up. "Then you wouldn't mind if I looked around."

But apparently they did mind, because they rushed to get in front and stopped her once again.

"Um...maybe you'd like to see some other area of the castle. Like..." Jason started. Wait a minute, what did girls like? Oh yes! "Like clothes. We have lots and lots of clothes. Make-up. Hats. Dresses. Skirts. Power suits. Boots. Heels. Scarfs."

"Maybe later," Taylor replied as she started walking again. Yes, she really was a stubborn one. Once she became interested in something it would be near impossible to change her mind.

Jason and Zeke once again scurried in front of her.

"The gardens, maybe," Zeke blurt out. "Or the library..."

"You have a library?" Taylor inquired.

"Yes! With books!" Zeke exclaimed.

"Lots of books!" Jason added.

"Mountains of books!"

"Thousands of books!"

"Piles of books!"

"Book loads of books!"

They went back and forth like that as the three of them returned to the foot of the steps and were starting to continue down the hall in the direction which they were originally going to walk in. Jason and Zeke linked arms as they practically danced down the hall repeating 'books' almost like they were making another song out of it. Boi caught up with them and wagged his tail, barking along with them as he followed. But it was just those three strutting down the hallway. The three guys. No girl. No human. Taylor wasn't following them. Books peaked her interest, most definitely; but when would she ever get another chance to see the infamous West Wing? But there were so many signs that were telling her not to go up there. The happy Zeke and Jason dancing towards the library thinking she was still following them and how crushed or scared they would be if she had gone to the West Wing instead. The darkness that slowly surrounded the second flight of stairs leading to the West Wing. The bright light that was surely coming from the direction in which the library was. The eerie music that started to play when someone even mentioned the West Wing. And most importantly, the audience that must be watching knowing what would happen if she went up there and constantly repeating 'don't go up there'. But none of those things mattered. Taylor wouldn't be listening. Taylor wouldn't pay attention to any of the signs telling her to turn around and go somewhere safer. And for all she knew, this could be her one chance to learn why the Beast was such a grouchy fellow to begin with. But whatever the reason was, whatever voice inside her head urged her to not go to the library, her mind was made up. She was already walking up the stairs and disappearing into the darkness.

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