“No. She will not wish to see me.” This, Adam was sure of as many of the servants were terrified to even be near the West Wing because of the stories that they had heard.
“Adam, she knows that she still has a father; however the fate of her father remains unknown to her. You do not know how she will react.” Belle said, in an effort to calm her husband down.
“She will react as you did when you first came- terrified. I still remember that day; you could barely look at me. I was and am nothing but a Beast.” Adam said sadly, as he remembered the way that he had treated not only Belle, but all of his servants who had loyally stayed in his employ all these years.
“No, you are my husband and a father. Please, I do not know how long I can conceal you. My heart is breaking without you.” Belle pleaded, as her eyes began to well with unshed tears.
“How long have I been this way?” Adam asked, changing the subject. The days had blurred into each other, thus leaving Adam without much sense of time.
Belle replied with a sigh, “10 years, Adam. You have missed your beautiful daughter learning to walk and talk, as well as so many other important events that can't be regained once lost.”
“I know. But I have always been watching you and Irena from a distance.” Adam said, thinking of the enchanted mirror that he had used in order to watch Belle during the first enchantment, as well as watching his daughter as she grew up.
“Please Adam. Think about what I have said. Irena will be wondering where I am. I love you.”
Once Belle was gone, he went to the door where Belle had just been standing.
“I love you too and always will.” Adam announced to the empty room.
Adam stalked along the length of his room as had become his custom. He feared the outside world as he had before, always suspicious of his servants. As for the servants, many of them had heard rumours of a monster that haunted the West Wing and were too afraid to see if these rumours were founded.
As Adam stalked, he thought about what Belle had told him. More than anything else, he wished to hold his daughter and see the beautiful young woman that she had become, however he was afraid that she wouldn't be able to see beyond his exterior.
The next day, belle came to see him, as she had been doing on a regular basis.
“Belle…” Adam tentatively said as Belle walked into the darkened room. Since the beginning of the second enchantment, Adam had favoured the darkness as it was comparative to his mood.
“Oh, Adam.” Belle sighed, as she saw that her husband was dejected as he had become of late.
“Belle, is our daughter well? Does she know where you are?”
“Yes, she is well. She is having an equestrian lesson and so she does not know where I am.”
“Belle, could you please bring our daughter to me when she is finished her lesson. I… uh would like to meet her.” Adam said, as his nerves got the better of him, however he was curious about the daughter that he had despite never having interacted with her.
“I will. This must be so hard for you. You sound terrified of our child. Is it the idea that she will not accept you? She will, Adam. She has your courage, I see it every day.” Belle said with a smile, pleased that Adam had finally decided to meet their daughter.
By this point Belle was close enough to embrace her husband for the first time in nearly a month, as despite the fact that she had been visiting her husband regularly during the 10 years of the enchantment, Adam had expressed on numerous occasions his fear of harming her. This occasion proved to be no different.
As she embraced him, she could feel Adam become tense and relinquish her from his arms after a moment of contact.
“I don't want to hurt anyone, especially you.” He said, gesturing to his claws.
Suddenly a voice could be heard outside the room; however it was still at a distance.
“Mama? Where are you?”
“Irena. I will return shortly. All will be well Adam.” Belle said, reassuringly, however she was anxious that her daughter not find her in the one place in the castle said to be filled with danger.
After a few moments, Belle returned but this time with a small girl. She is tall for her age and shares the same auburn hair as her father; however hers nearly reaches to her waist. Adam is startled to find that his daughter also shares his bright blue eyes that pierce when looking at someone.
“Mama, what are we doing here? Is there really a monster in here like everyone says?” Irena asked, her voice filled with curiosity as she faced the great doors of the West Wing.
“Irena, you will be able to judge for yourself in a moment.” Belle said as she opened the doors.
“Adam? Are you still here?”
“Belle?” Adam replied from the shadows, fear seeping into his voice.
“Yes, please come into the light. There is someone here to see you.” Belle said, trying to coax her husband to reveal himself.
The sound of shuffling reached Irena as she stood, waiting. She then saw a tall figure, covered in fur.
Fear seeped into Irena however she dismissed it as the figure stood before her, seemingly trembling.
“Forgive me sir, but have we met before?” Irena asked, as she felt as if she knew the creature standing before her.
Unwilling to reveal his true identity too soon, Adam gruffly replied, “No, we have never met.”
Unmoved by the negative response, Irena stated, “You remind me of the figure in stories that mama used to tell me before I went to bed, of the kindness that he showed her.”
“Mama, is this the figure in the stories?” Irena asked, curiosity filled in both her face and voice.
“Um...” Belle began to say, unsure as to how much of the creature’s true identity she should reveal, for she had told Irena stories of when she had first come to the castle under Adam’s first enchantment and the kindness that she had been shown by him.
“I am. I am Adam.” Adam replied, surprised that Belle had told their daughter any stories about him as he considered that many of the inhabitants of the castle had forgotten about his existence due to his extended absence.
“I am Irena. Is this your castle?” Irena questioned, as she felt that this must surely be the owner of the castle, as when she had asked Belle, she had replied in the negative.
“Yes. Do you like living here?” Adam replied, thinking about how intelligent his daughter was and how much her character resembled Belle’s own character.
“Yes, some of the servants seem afraid of you; however I am not, at least not really. You seem scared.” Irena said, confusion as to the reason such a creature would be afraid of someone like her filling her voice.
“I am scared. Belle could you please tell her what happened to me, I can't.” Adam affirmed, finally ready to share his true identity with the only other person he considered it important to tell- his daughter.