Third Thursday Short

More Fairy Tale Retellings!

I might have a Beauty and the Beast problem…

Today’s prompt is “What if the Beast (of Beauty fame) was gay?” While that could lead to several nasty places (Beauty “fixing” the Beast of his gayness) I took it in a slightly different direction. I did love this prompt a lot, and I might expand this little bit into a novella or book someday.

“Beauty” and the Beast

There was yet another girl in the castle. I didn’t bother with any attempt to look civilized. Dropping to all fours, I crept to the door. The fire roared, highlighting the decay of the hall. I had gotten rid of two girls with the dust alone. This girl seemed to be made of sterner stuff.

I shook out my fur, making myself into as much of a Beast as I could. This one would need a personal touch. My tail lashed as I prepared to pounce.

She was not a girl. I nearly bit my lip in shock. Damn fangs. I noticed the shoulders first, broad and strong inside the heavy brocade coat. Pure white stockings showcased well-formed calves. The coat flowed to cover the upper legs, but the hands were delicate, encased in a froth of lace. Chestnut hair, pulled back in a queue, glowed in the firelight.

I should’ve worn a coat. In fur, I wasn’t exposed, but neither was I decent.

The man turned as I entered. He was younger than I thought, beardless but beautiful. I wasn’t aware that I could blush.

“Why are you here?”

He didn’t flinch from my rumbling. Better and better. “I’m here for my sister.” He was spoiling for a fight.

I sighed. “Name?”

“Ivan.”

“No. Your sister.”

“You don’t know?”

I settled down near the fire.

“She’s been here two years. You’ve allowed her to send things home.”

My tail tapped on the floor. His eyes followed the movement.

“Rose,” he said, as if I was stupid.

“I’ve five Roses.”

Giggles drifted down the hall. They were flocking again.

He blinked, then sat abruptly. “Five?”

I beckoned with a claw. “Description?”

“Gold hair, curls. Black eyes. We call her Daisy.”

I nodded. “She will be fetched.”

He didn’t question how. He was perfect. Goddamn curse. Goddamn fairy. We waited. He shifted. I used to be good at this. Words. I needed words. 

“We don’t get many of your kind here.” Not those words!

Ivan raised an eyebrow. “My…kind?”

“Men. Or, well, brothers, fathers. You know. They don’t make it past the gates.” I couldn’t hold his gaze.

“Were you expecting many?” At least he sounded amused. 

“You have no idea.”

“How’d that happen?” He waved one elegant hand to indicate the gigglers.

I groaned. “It’s been a long curse.”

“And you’ve liked none. Of five.”

“Twenty, right now. Five Roses, nine Belles-”

A servant came to whisper in my ear. I frowned at Ivan. “I’ve one Rose called Daisy. She doesn’t have a brother.”

Something ugly crossed over Ivan’s face. An old hurt. “I’m Daisy’s brother.”

“She doesn’t claim you, if that is true.” My heart twisted for his pain, but I wouldn’t just give one of the girls away.

He fisted his hands inside the lace of his sleeves. “I was born Ivy.”

Ahh. That’s how he made it inside the doors. Perhaps the fairy wasn’t so stupid after all.

“Could I offer you a room, Ivan?”

My challenge to you:

Write me a version of this prompt, or continue my fic. I want to see your interpretations, gentle readers!

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