A Beast Again

Chapter 6

“I want her to come to the castle so that I can talk to her.” Irena said firmly.

“You summoned me, young princess?” the enchantress asked, curious as to what the young princess before her could want.

Adam panicked before ordering his daughter, “Irena, stand behind me.”

Stubbornly, Irena shook her head before responding, “Papa, I want to speak to her. I am not afraid.”

“Very well young princess. What did you wish to say to me?” the enchantress asked, taking note of Adam’s panic at her presence with interest as she did not remember such fear the last time, only fury at his fate.

“I wanted to know why you have punished my father in such a cruel manner when he has already proven himself to have found love?” Irena asked boldly, inclining her head to one side as if in confusion.

“That is a very good question for someone so young. I can see that you are not like your father when he was your age. I punished him because I felt that he took the new life he had for granted, as well as teach you to appreciate the character of people and no their appearances.” The enchantress replied, feeling ashamed that she had placed the prince once more under the enchantment that had tormented him for so much of his life.

Irena nodded thoughtfully before replying, “That seems reasonable, but it is your doing that my father is unable to leave his rooms here in the west wing due to the fact that there are many servants roaming the halls at all times. Please show mercy upon my father. I have learned my lesson as this is the only form that I have known my father in. I ask this for my father as he has not held me in 10 years an even then he is scared of hurting me.”

Adam had been carefully listening to the exchange, becoming increasingly worried before interjecting with panic, “Irena, please stop talking. You will anger her and some terrible fate will befall you.”

Seemingly unfazed by her father’s panicked tone and words, Irena asked, “Will you do that? My father has trust problems that stem from your enchantment.”

With a sigh the enchantress replied, “Child, I can see that you are intelligent, like both your parents. I can also see some of your father’s anger, but this is tempered by your mother’s temperament. I shall not harm you. I can see that you accept your father as he is, therefore I am willing to allow him to return to his human form, however you must ascend the throne when you are 18 and marry by the age of 20.”

Irena nodded, bowing her head as she agreed, “I will do as you say. Thank you for your kindness.”

With a flick of her wrist, the enchantress was gone and in the place of a Beast stood a man.

Inspecting himself in relief and shock, Adam turned to his daughter thankfully, “Irena, thank you for freeing me. I was so scared for you.”

Unsure as to whom stood before her, Irena hesitantly walked forward, her curiosity somewhat overriding her hesitancy, saying, “Father? Is that truly you?”

“Dear Irena, this is most certainly your father. I reacted in the same way he first time.” Belle said gently, walking to stand beside her husband.

“Come closer please. I wish to hold my child.” Adam said gently, his voice thick with emotion.

Irena crossed the room to her father and embraced him, noting that his hair felt the same as his fur had only moments before.

A knock at the door to the West Wing alerted the family to the fact that they were no longer alone.

“Master?” A hesitant voice spoke up from the doorway.

All in the room turned to look at the servant standing in the doorway. It was none other than Chip who was now a young man.

“Yes? Chip! You have grown.” Adam said in amazement at the young man before him, as he remembered him as a small child.

Chip smiled before replying, “Yes master, I have. Mama wanted to speak to you in the servants quarters. I was sent to summon you.”

“Very well. Tell her I shall be there as soon as I have changed my clothes.” Adam replied, becoming aware that his clothes were torn, which had gone unnoticed in the euphoria of being a man once more.

Chip nodded, as if to leave the room, but stopped at the last minute, replying, “Good. Irena, would you like to go for a walk with me around the castle?”

“Of course!” Irena said happily, leaving the West Wing with Chip.

Adam glanced at belle, somewhat confused as to what he had just witnessed between his daughter and one of his servants.

“Has Irena been having frequent excursions with chip lately?” Adam asked, feeling left out as he had been forced to hide in his room for the past ten years due to circumstances beyond his control.

“Yes, every day. They are friends.” Belle said, trying to reassure her husband.

“I know that. She is too young to be in love with him, but he seems to think that there is more than friendship.”

Belle sighed before responding, “Adam, chip is only 5 years older than she is.”

“I am well aware of that. We shall discuss this later, I have to meet Mrs Potts now.” Adam said as he began to change his clothes in order to meet with Mrs Potts.

Indignantly, Belle asked, “Am I not to come?”

Annoyed, Adam responded, “Chip told me to come. I suppose you could come also.”

Stubbornly, Belle stated, “I shall.”

Adam and Belle began their journey to the servants quarters in silence, both wondering what would happen when their daughter realised the gravity of the decision that she had made with the enchantress in order to free her father.

Once they reached the servants quarters, Adam knocked on the door to Mrs Potts’ room.

“Mrs Potts? You wished to speak to me?” Adam asked.

Dropping a curtsey, Mrs Potts looked at Adam in amazement, saying, “Master? I did, but....”

Adam smiled, before saying, “You are wondering why I am in human form are you not?”

“Yes.” Mrs Potts replied with a nod.

“Irena rescued me.” Adam simply said.

“I wished to speak to you about planning a ball for the people.”

Confusedly, Adam said, “This is sudden,” as he did not remember holding such balls in the past.

Trying to reassure her husband, Belle replied, “Darling, we hold one every year, as a celebration of the harvest.”

“Every year?” Adam asked, fearful that they had been holding such balls whilst he was still a Beast.

“No, we stopped 10 years ago.” At this, Adam visibly relaxed.

“Then of course we shall have a ball. Is that all?” Adam declared.

“Yes master.”

Adam and Belle left Mrs Potts to begin planning the ball that would occur at the end of the month.

“Shall we go to the library?” Adam asked, wishing to spend time with his wife, something that he had been unable to do whilst the enchantment was in place.

“Adam, we should be telling Irena to go into bed. It is late.” Belle reminded him.

“Let her spend time with Chip, just this once. I have missed our stories that we used to read together.” Adam said, unwilling to be interrupted during his reunion with Belle.

“Fine!” Belle said, both annoyed and happy at the prospect of spending quality time with her husband.

They entered the library arm in arm.

“What shall we read?” Belle asked.

“Nothing, I just wanted to spend time with you. I will try to make up the time that we were apart, but I won't be able to, no matter how hard I try.” Adam said with regret at his negligence with regard to his wife and child.

“Don't try, just spend time with me now and always. Spend time with Irena, as well.” Belle suggested.

“Come here and embrace me. I have missed you so much these past 10 years.”

Belle snuggled up to Adam, laying her head on his chest. Adam revelled in the smell of his wife, the scent of paper being the most prominent due to her intense love of books.

They soon fell asleep due to the excitement of the day, however they were happy, even as they slept.

They awoke late the next day still in the embrace of each other. Belle attempted to rise, however she was pulled even closer to Adam.

Adam opened his eyes and realised that the door of the library was slightly ajar and that there was a servant standing in the doorway.

“Belle get up please. We are not alone.”

Belle groaned as she rose, sleep still in her eyes.

“Forgive me master for intruding, but I was sent to alert you to the fact that breakfast is waiting for you and the mistress in the small dining room.” Lumiere said, appearing a little embarrassed at witnessing such an intimate moment.

“Thank you. We shall be there momentarily Lumiere.” Adam replied.

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