The Rose

Belle, trained assassin extraordinaire, has a new mission. Find the Beast, a huge, fierce myth that could probably tear Belle's throat out in two seconds, take all of his secrets, and kill him. Not him- it. Belle must stop thinking of this fascinating creature as something that could possibly have feelings.

And it had feelings. It had motives, and plans, and purpose.

And Belle?

Belle wanted to know more.

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8. Chapter VIII

The tree was strong, it’s branches staying in my grip regardless of their cold surface. I quickly evaluated each branch before stepping on to them, tugging at them slightly. Soon, I was at the top of the tree several metres from the ground. The wolves were yelping and barking up at me, but I was satisfied. I had escaped the infamous Beast. The wolves got bored after a few minutes, and went on the hunt for new prey. I couldn’t stifle my grin.

Until I saw the Beast.

He had been hiding in the opposite tree, waiting for the wolves to leave. I groaned as he leapt onto the low branches of my tree. I had nowhere to go. I could jump trees until I escaped the forest, but my father was not in a good enough state to be jostled around that much. I felt him grip my hand, and pull me into a hug. I hadn’t hugged anyone in years. I held him tightly, awaiting my fate.

When the Beast reached a branch just below us, he scowled up at me. ‘What are you? Some kind of spy?’ He hissed.

‘No. An assassin, actually.’ I flashed him a fake smile. Might as well humour myself before I was undoubtfully killed.

‘An assassin.’ He huffed. I gave my father’s hand one last squeeze, before pushing him onto my back. I started to descend the tree, but the Beast grabbed my ankle. I frowned at him, but before I could do anything else, he pulled me down. In one quick movement, I was hanging by one hand on a branch. I couldn’t heave myself up, not with my father on my back. The Beast seized my wrist, pushing himself down so that we were face to face.

‘Tell me why I shouldn’t kill you right now.’ He spat. My breathing was shallow, my muscles sore from the long stretch. I forced myself to stare into his eyes.

‘Because I can break the enchantment.’

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