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Wondering how the Beast was cursed?

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

Check out the prologue to my miniseries, "Beauty and the Beast" and find out what happened to our prince the night Elavee came calling... Read the prologue here, or download the file from Book Funnel!


A Beauty and the Beast Prologue

Frisky Fairy Tales Book 0.5

Nikki Dean

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or

reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission, except

in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and

reviews. Copyright © 2017

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, locations,

organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either

products of the imagination or are used fictitiously. Any

resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead,

is entirely coincidental.

Chapter 1

"Ten francs says she'll slap you." The Duke of Chambeau gave him a wink and a grin.

"Make it a hundred, and I'll take that bet."

Duke Fernand threw his hands up in mock surprise. "A hundred. Looks like we've got a cocky git right here."

Prince Sebastian jingled his coin purse, then took a drink of his ale.

"And you can't tell her who you are."

"I never have to," the prince replied, arching his eyebrow. He spread his hands out to his sides as he leaned back in his chair. "Why would I?"

Cocky bastard. Fernand grimaced. But he's right. With those wide shoulders, shining sandy brown hair and bright blue eyes, they fall at his damned feet. I wish one would tell him where to get off, just once. "I hate you."

Prince Sebastian laughed. "I know you do. And I'll take your money anyway." He crooked a finger at the barmaid nearby. She tossed a triumphant smirk at her friend as she sashayed over. At least five other men watched her ample hips' exaggerated swing as she went by.

"What can I do you for?" she asked with a purr. "Had to come back for another round?"

The prince grabbed her ass, squeezing it right there in front of everyone. She jumped, then laughed.

"Another round? You've already slept with her, haven't you?" Fernand demanded. His outrage quickly turned to chagrin as he realized he'd been played. "Damn it, Seb. I should've known when you insisted on coming to this hovel instead of someplace a little more suitable."

The barmaid glowered at him. "Iffna you don't like it, feel free to leave. No one needs your lot here."

Seb laughed as he got up, tossing some money on the table. "You can go if you'd like. I can find my own way home."

"But your father would have my head."

Prince shrugged. "True. So stay. Pick a girl, on me."

Fernand rolled his eyes, content to sit with his drink, alone. "No, thank you. Lyssa would have my head if I brought home some kind of ailment." He shivered at the word.

Seb's barmaid drew back in outrage. "I'll have you know that none of the girls round here have anything like that. We're all healthy as horses, 'cept maybe Alison. And she's just got a stomach bug, not anything like what you're talking about."

She turned to Seb with a swoosh of her hair and hips. "Where'd you find this lousy ass, anyway? Making assumptions about people he doesn't even know." She shook her head. "I should have him tossed out."

"Now, now, Meg, there's no need for that. Why don't you let me make you forget all about him?" Seb asked with a wink. He pulled her close, stroking her back. She relaxed against him, turning her attention from Fernand with an indelicate sniff. "There, now. That's better. Just let him sit and drink himself stupid so no one sees him out without me, and can tell our fathers that we weren't together this evening. It's only Fernie's company that gets me out of the house to come see you."

Meg gave Sebastian a sugary sweet smile. "Whatever you say." He patted her ass as they headed toward the stairs to the upper rooms.

Her hip jostled Fernand as they walked by, knocking ale from his cup. He glared at her back. "She did that on purpose," he muttered as he tried wiping the drink from his shirt.

"Probably so," a young lady replied a moment later. She sank to the bench Sebastian had vacated. "Here, use this." She pressed a semi-clean bar towel into his hands.

"Thank you. I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in companionship this evening, so there's no need to waste your time on me."

She sighed. "I'm not that kind of girl. At least, I didn't think I was." Her eyes were on Sebastian and Meg as they climbed the stairs. Meg's eyes twinkled as she looked back at her friend from before, waving to her with a quick come on motion. The second girl ran to join them.

Fernand watched his companion's face fall even lower than it already was, if that was even possible. A few tears rolled down her cheeks.

"Ahh. You fancy that scoundrel."

She nodded, miserable as she stared at the rough planks of the table between them. Her fingers were twisted together, and her nails looked as though they'd been chewed on.

"Don't waste your time on him. He's a cad." He took a drink, then frowned when she didn't respond. Most women in her position would have agreed. "What's your name?"

"Alison." Her shoulders hunched as she pulled in on herself. "He used to come visit me. Well, he did once."

Fernand nodded. "Was he your first?"

Alison sniffled, trying to hold back more tears.

"All men aren't like him. I'm sure you'll find someone else to give your heart to soon enough. You're pretty, and seem like a sweet girl."

"I can't," she whispered. "No one else will have me, soon enough."

Dread filled Fernand's chest, coupled with a sadistic tinge of delight. Finally, he's gotten in over his head. I always knew it would happen eventually. "What do you mean?"

She looked away.

"Are you expecting?"

The girl burst into tears, hiccuping and everything. Fernand instinctively pushed himself back from the table with a grimace.

She noticed and wailed harder. The other patrons nearby began staring.

"Pull yourself together. This is no way to handle it. Have you told him?" Fernand demanded, trying to snap her out of it. "Stop that!"

She wrapped her arms around herself, rocking back and forth.

Dammit. Fernand quickly switched sides of the table and put his arm around her, patting her shoulder. Damn Seb for leaving me with his mess.

"I - I told him la-last week," Alison stuttered between sobs. "He didn't believe me since we'd only been together once, two weeks before that."

There's no way she could have already known after a mere two weeks. Seb was right to dismiss her. Suddenly feeling guilty for thinking ill of his friend, Fernand rounded on the shaking girl beside him. "Two weeks? What did you think he'd say, whore?"

"Wha- what?" Her head whipped up to face him. "I'm not a whore! I told you, I've only been with him!" Her eyes bulged as she tried to defend herself. "How dare you! You don't know me at all!"

Fernand went back to his side of the table, unwilling to be near her. "But you obviously know him," he said with a sneer. "Did you really think he'd fall for that? It's the oldest trick in the book. Trying to catch a prince with a baby that isn't even his."

Alison's jaw dropped. "I would never! And Sebastian's not a prince, he's a silk merchant!"

"Ha. Of course you wouldn't. You're just trying to convince him, and everyone you see him with, that he got you pregnant and you knew within two weeks. Don't be ridiculous."

"But it's true! I - I was feeling poorly and I never get sick. Ever. I knew my cycle was supposed to start, so I told Sebastian the next time I saw him that I thought there was a possibility, and he laughed in my face."

Fernand stood, his lip curling with disgust. "I don't want to hear about your cycle," he hissed, his eyes darting back and forth to see who may have heard her. No one was paying attention. "Now get out of here before I call the barkeep over and tell him that you're trying to trap my friend with someone else's bastard."

Alison sucked in her breath, offended. "I would never do that. It's his baby! He's the only one I've ever been with!"

"Ha. I'm sure." Fernand waved her away as though shooing a stray dog away from the table. "Take your lies to someone else."

She burst into tears again, then rushed for the open door. She slipped on the way, just catching herself against the door frame. An old, beggar crone looked up from her seat beneath the open widow and held out her hand.

"Come dearie, tell Granny what's troubling you."

Alison shook her head, unable to speak through her grief. She rushed away down the sidewalk. The crone rose to her feet, agile for someone her age, and followed.

Chapter 2

"Mmm, just like that. Suck harder," Sebastian ordered. Meg and her friend both complied, one's lips locked around his cock and the other's on his balls. He snapped his fingers at Meg, then pointed to her chest. She swiveled, her mouth never stopping its rhythmic sucking, while she brought her breasts into his reach.

"That's a good girl," he muttered, grabbing one. She jumped a little, but he didn't notice. He began rocking his hips, focused entirely on the mouths on his cock while he kneaded her breast.

Meg rolled her eyes at her friend, then gave a half-assed moan. Sebastian grunted at the sound, pinching Meg's nipple as she took him farther into her mouth.

She moaned for real this time and he grinned. "I can always tell when you're faking."

"Then give me something to be happy about," she replied. Sebastian pushed her head back down onto his cock, then pulled her hips over his face. Her friend, Yvette, narrowed her eyes in jealousy.

Sebastian attacked Meg's wet pussy with abandon, driving his tongue into her slick channel. Her thighs tensed around his head and it was her turn to rock, riding his face while she sucked him into the back of her throat.

Sebastian groaned, on the verge of orgasm. He slapped Meg's ass and she moaned, her lips vibrating around his shaft. He did it again, and so did she. Driving his fingers into her, he pressed against the front of her canal, stroking her hard while he sucked on her clit. It didn't take long before Meg was frantically sucking his cock, nearly out of her mind with pleasure while she pressed down against his mouth. Sebastian brought his other hand up and slid the first two fingers of that hand in as well, filling her to capacity.

She moaned deep in her throat, vibrating his cock. His hips arched, instinctively seeking more. He spread his hands slightly and slid each pinky into her tight, puckered rear entrance. Meg tilted her hips, trying to get more of him there as well. Just like he knew she would. He alternated thrusting with each hand, driving his fingers in deep and fast.

She shattered. Nearly screaming against his cock, her whole body shuddered against him. Her overwhelming response had him teetering on the edge of cumming. Yvette joined in, humming against his sac and hurtling him into a pleasure-filled abyss.

He came hard. Turning his head, he bit Meg's thigh as he grabbed her hips, thrusting into her waiting mouth. To her credit, she didn't spill a drop and finally let his still-hard cock slip from between her lips. It smacked wetly against his belly.

They lay there for a moment, Meg still sprawled across his body while Yvette licked and sucked on his balls. She curled one hand around his cock and began pumping it again, purring because it was still hard.

"You've had your fun, now hop off," Sebastian said with a light slap to Meg's ass. She moaned and rolled away to puddle on the mattress beside him. "Come on now, you've still got tables downstairs. Don't tell me I've taken you out for the rest of the night."

She groaned and pushed his hand away, then buried her face into the blanket. "I'll get up in a few minutes. I'm on break, you know."

He laughed, then groaned as Yvette began pumping him more aggressively - harder, tighter and flicking her wrist so that her palm rotated around his head with every upstroke.

"Come here, love, and let's get you taken care of too. I still need to fuck."

Yvette's eyes lit up as his words and she scrambled to her hands and knees, about to crawl up him.

"But first, grab my pants, will you? I need something from the pocket."

Her eyebrows came together in confusion, but she did as he asked. The prince removed a condom from his back pocket and rolled it down his length. Tossing the wrapper aside, he gestured for Yvette to come here.

"I'm sure that's not necessary, milord. I'm as healthy as can be."

"It's not you, I promise. I would just rather not have any accidents, if you know what I mean." He winked.

Her belly fluttered. He's so damn gorgeous. He could wear a dress if he really wanted to, just so long as I get to fuck him. She bit her lip as he crooked a beckoning finger at her. She crept up his body, giving his balls one last lick as she went. He smiled as she lifted her skirts and rubbed her wet pussy up and down his length, teasing them both.

Sebastian reached down and pressed his thumb into her curls, brushing against her clit. He went farther to rub her pussy lips, delighted to find that she was already soaked. Yvette lifted hips and put him just within her entrance.

He grinned at her, allowing her to set the pace and take him as she chose. She dipped down a little, clenching as his broad head penetrated her folds.

"You are a big one, aren't you?" she said with a moan. He gave her a tight smile, already getting impatient. "I can't wait to-"

She suddenly slammed down on him, impaling herself with one smooth motion. The suddenness of the motion took his breath away and he grabbed her hips.

But she had other ideas. As quickly as she'd mounted him, she rose again, leaving just his tip in her. She rotated her hips, twirling him inside her. Hitting all of the sensitive spots along his ridge, even with the condom on.

He ground his teeth together. This girl is good. She dipped down again, taking him fully for another brief instant.

Her pussy clenched around him, squeezing him tightly. She ground her hips against his for a moment, then moved to rise up again.

He growled, grabbing her hips. Holding her down. Yvette flushed, arching her back as he pressed upward, driving himself deep into her.

"You like it rough, hmm?"

She nodded.

Sebastian grinned, then sat up suddenly, flipping them both so that he was on top. He grabbed her ankles and shoved them down near her ears, tilting her hips at just the right angle. Yvette wrapped her hands around her calves to help him, totally comfortable in the position. Sebastian moved his hands to the back of her knees for stability, then lifted his hips, sliding almost all the way out of her tight channel.

He drove himself forward, pounding into her. She gasped, pressing her head back against the pillow.

He kept going, roughly fucking her for all he was worth. She moaned, long and loud, as she came, shuddering around his cock. He groaned as he orgasmed again as well, emptying himself into the condom. He lay there for a moment, too spent to move, save releasing her legs. She wrapped them around his waist, cuddling him against her as she lay too, panting.

Eventually he pushed himself up, slipping from her arms. He took off the condom, dropped it in the trash bin and rinsed his hands in the washbasin. Cupping some water in his palm, he gave his softening cock a quick rinse before patting it dry with a small towel.

He turned to find both women still in heaps where he'd left them.

"Come on, ladies. It's time to get up. You've still got work to do," he said, the edges of his mouth lifting upward with a quirk. "Let's get to it."

Sebastian gathered his clothes and put them on, within moments looking nearly as impeccable as when he came in. All except his hair, which he quickly pulled back and tied with a leather strap.

Neither girl moved until he started slapping asses. They both grumbled, then exchanged looks and giggled together like schoolgirls. Each of them pulled their skirts down and straightened their hair, helping each other tighten their laces.

Soon enough everyone was presentable, and Sebastian pulled out his coin purse.

"Put that away, and just promise you'll visit again soon," Meg said, running her hand along his chest. Yvette nodded, her eyes twinkling at the thought.

"Sometime when we're about to close, so we don't have to go back to work right after," she agreed. "I don't know how I'll make it the rest of the night."

Sebastian slung an arm around each of them as they headed down the hallway toward the stairs. "I'm sure you'll manage. You'll have to if you want me to come back, right?"

"I suppose we'll have to." Meg heaved a sigh as though the idea of his next visit was such an inconvenience.

Yvette laughed, and Meg did too. Sebastian took advantage of the opportunity to slide a gold coin into each girl's cleavage right as they rounded the stairs, making it impossible for either to remove it without being seen by the whole bar.

"Scoundrel." Meg stuck her tongue out at him.

"What?" he objected, his face the epitomy of innocence. "I just want to be sure you're getting as much out of it as I do."

They both rolled their eyes, then ducked out of his embrace. "The master doesn't like it when we girls are too friendly down here. We technically aren't whores, and he doesn't want us to be known for it."

Sebastian shrugged. "I don't see any whores. Just beautiful ladies willing to suffer through my inept pawing."

Giggles followed in his wake as he made his way to Fernand's table. Sitting down heavily in front of his friend, he gestured for another barmaid to bring him a drink.

"So, did you enjoy yourself down here? I'm happy to see that you stuck around."

Fernand glared at him, then looked down at his mug in consternation. "It was interesting, to say the least. A friend of yours dropped by."

Sebastian tensed, already knowing where this was going. "What happened?"

"She cried. Told me everything. It was all very convincing, up until she got to the part about being pregnant for two weeks, and already having told you. Two bloody weeks. Can you believe she'd even try to claim that?" Fernand sat back in irritated disgust. "I don't think it's even possible to tell that early."

"That's what I said!" Sebastian replied, his voice low and angry. "I checked with the doctor Father has on staff, of course, and he agreed. She claimed that she just knew, and could feel it inside her." He took a gulp from the ale that was set down beside him. The barmaid smiled at him, fluttering her eyelashes hopefully.

He didn't even notice.

"Damn it, Seb. Why didn't you tell me? And why'd you want to come back here of all places, knowing she's here?"

Sebastian shrugged. "I honestly thought that was the end of it. How was I to know she'd come to you with her story? I thought she'd go back to whoever the real father is, if there's even a baby at all. We only fucked once, and I wore a condom." He neglected to mention that it broke and slipped off halfway through. He'd ended up having to fish the blasted thing from the bedsheets later. Still, he pulled out of her just as he came. That had to count, right?

Irritated, Sebastian tossed some money onto the table for their drinks. "Let's go. I don't want to sit here another minute now that I know she's trying to harass my friends into thinking that I'm abandoning my responsibilities. Which I highly doubt even exist. I'll keep an eye on her, and if she starts showing, I'll deal with it. Set her up somewhere maybe, so she's taken care of and not causing any trouble. We'll have to see if it even looks like me."

"At least it was me she told, and not someone else, right? Now that you know she's spreading rumors behind your back. You can't reward that kind of behavior, even if it is true."

Sebastian slammed his empty glass down onto the table and stood. "What would you have me do about it? Have her tossed in the dungeon? Abandon her and a baby entirely? Don't be ridiculous."

They left, walking down the street together. "Rumors are just that. Rumors. She can't prove anything, and I highly doubt she'll try again after you didn't buy into it," Sebastian said as they climbed into his coach.

"You're probably right. Still, she seemed extremely upset. Like she believed it herself. I was convinced until she said that she knew so early."

The prince grimaced. "She was very convincing about a lot of things. Until it was too late."

"Oh? Didn't realize she was a virgin, eh?" Fernand gave a chuckle. "And here I thought you were an expert at that sort of thing, Seb."

He shook his head. "I thought so, too. But she said she'd been watching me for a while, how I'd go up with Meg or one of her friends. Then she'd hear about my considerable talents, and she was just waiting, hoping that I'd notice her one day. Which makes sense, even for a virgin I suppose, but she never said anything about that. In fact, she was telling me on the way up to her room that she couldn't wait to feel me between her legs. What kind of virgin says that?"

"Apparently one that heard too many stories from the other girls," Fernand said with a laugh. "If she weren't so damned determined to ruin your life, I'd say you deserved this."

Sebastian cracked a smile. "I suppose it is my own fault for being so irresistible."

Chapter Three

"Sebastian?" The girlish voice came from the courtyard. "Sebastian, where are you?"

"Did you hear that?" Sebastian looked up from his cup.

"Hear what?" his younger brother, Sam, asked. He looked around the room, his eyes hazy.

"I thought I heard someone call my name." Alison.

"Probably just a maid. 'Oh, Sebby, I need you to look at something for me. The sheets are too high on the shelf, could you help me reach them?'" Sam laughed.

Sebastian had the good grace to blush. "You're not supposed to know about those things yet," he muttered.

"You do realize that I'm only a few years younger than you, right?" Sam shot back. "I bet you'd bedded twenty women by the time you were my age. And how am I too young to know about that, but not too young for all of this wine?"

"That's different." Sebastian grinned. "And you're more than just 'a few' years younger. I'm twenty-one. You're ten."

"So? I still bet you were a cad, then, too."

Sebastian grinned. "You'll never get me to tell."

"Sebastian? Are you in here?"

The brothers looked at each other, confused. "I heard her too. But who is she?" Sam whispered. "No one is supposed to be in the castle this late, and I don't recognize her voice."

Sebastian turned toward the door, his fists out by his sides. "Go to your room. Don't come out until I come get you."

"No. I want to stay and help if there's an intruder in the castle. I'm not a child, Seb." Sam crossed his arms over his chest.

"Sebastian, we need to talk." The voice grew more demanding, changing. That's not Alison. She'd never speak to me like that.

Someone beat on the door to the parlor. "Sebastian, let me in!"

Sebastian grabbed Sam's arm and opened the window. "Go, now! It's not far, and you have to tell the guards! I'll keep her busy, but be careful. You never know if someone else is with her." He began lowering the boy down.

Sam grabbed his wrist, his eyes wide with fear. "How do you think she got in? What if the guards are all dead?"

Sebastian paused. "I don't know, Sam. Look for a guard on your way, but go straight to Mama's and Pere's rooms now. If," he swallowed thickly, "If something's happened to them, you need to run. Get out of the castle and make your way home. The council will take care of you."

"What? No! Seb, I won't leave you!"

"Samuel! I'm not asking! I'm ordering you, as your brother, to do whatever it takes to keep yourself safe! Now, go!" Sebastian let go.

Sam's mouth opened with with terror as he fell the last few feet, but to his credit, he didn't make a sound. "I love you, Seb. Please be okay."

"I love you too, Sam." The door rattled behind him. "Go! Hurry up!" Sam ran.

Sebastian pulled the window closed just as the door exploded inward, ripped apart by some unseen force.

"Here you are."

He turned, then stared. The most beautiful woman he'd ever seen stood before him. "Who - who are you?"

"Don't you recognize me?" the woman asked. Alison's voice fell from her lips.

"You're not Alison."

"Are you certain about that?" The woman moved too quickly for him to see, flowing across the room like a fish darting through the water. "How do you know I'm not your poor little flower, dumped in the trash after you crumpled her heart and left her with a bastard to deal with?"

Magic. She's an enchantress, or a fae. He went cold with fear, real fear, for the first time in his life. It wasn't a pleasant experience. Run, Samuel. Run.

"Ha. I didn't touch her heart, only what she asked me to between her legs. And there's no way she's carrying my babe. We only slept together once, and I didn't release inside her."

The woman bared her teeth, then snapped them together. Her narrowed eyes pinned Sebastian's feet to the floor. "Is that what you think? Are you really so arrogant, so conceited, so selfish as to think that just because you doubted it, that it wasn't true?"

"Wasn't..." He stared at her. "What did you do to her?"

"Nothing she didn't ask me to, just like you!" the woman sneered back at him. "She came to me, heartbroken, telling me all about how her beloved used her and then denied her when she told him about the consequences. All because he didn't want to stop whoring around with other women. She said you told her that you loved her."

"No, I didn't! I never said those words to her, because I've never said them to anyone!" He threw his hands in the air, some of his fear forgotten in his anger. "She lied to you. I'm a prince for God's sake. Love isn't a luxury that I get to afford, if it even exists. People only want your title, or your money, or tell you they love you for the things you can do for them. Even my parents won't lie and say that love is real. Not that kind, anyway."

"Oh, it's real. Real enough to break a girl's heart."

"She'll get over it. They always do." He set his hands on his hips. "Now, if you don't mind, I was about to retire. Kindly show yourself out the same way you came in." Please let Sam be safe. And my parents.

"I'm afraid it's not that easy. You see, Alison and I made a deal, and now I have to honor it. Fae can't go back on their word, you know."

He tensed. Dread ran its cold, hollow fingers up his spine. "What do you mean?"

"She traded me. A life for a life. The only thing that can save you now is the very thing you denied from her, my princely beast." She whipped out a wand, aiming it at him. "You didn't believe that she could love you, even without knowing about your precious title, or all of this garbage."

The enchantress waved at the room surrounding them, her lip curling as she said it. "You believe that this shit is all that matters. This and the cock between your legs. But little do you know, it's all just a big pile of nothing. I can take it away from you at the snap of my fingers, and you couldn't do a thing about it. Do you know why?"

He didn't respond, frozen in place again.

"Because you're worthless. You don't care about anyone but yourself, and you have no idea what truly matters in life. And these people that surround you are just as bad. Allowing you to roam about wreaking havoc and wrecking lives. They're just as responsible for your fate as you are."

"I don't understand. Why does Alison matter so much to you- "

"You stupid man! It's not about Alison anymore, don't you understand that? It's about you and every man like you! You need to be taught a lesson!" she shrieked. Wind whipped around the room, throwing everything about. "You all do! And you - you're going to be my example."

She jabbed at him with the wand, shouting something unintelligible. Sebastian raised his hands, trying to shield himself. Except they weren't hands anymore.

Giant paws stuck out of the sleeves of his shirt. He gaped at them, then tried to demand that she fix it. Guttural sounds were all that came from his mouth.

He fell to his knees, panting as his body transformed. His clothes shredded, unable to keep up with his changing form as he grew, then twisted, turning into something from a nightmare. A long tail sprouted from his back, and a shaggy mane fell into his eyes.

The enchantress laughed. He tried to rise to his feet, ready to strangle her, but she sidestepped him easily. He fell, completely off balance, and his claws raked down the wall, peeling up chunks of paper and wood.

"You'll only be cured if you meet a woman willing to do what Alison thought she could. Willing to look past your flaws and selfishness, willing to truly fall in love with you. Willing to give you her very existence, and choose this monster over even herself. But that's only half of it."

Only half? It's already impossible. Love doesn't even exist, and even if it did - no one in their right mind would love me like this.

"You have to love her, in return. Let go of your petty selfishness, see her for who she truly is and fall in love. But - you can't tell her, or anyone, any of this. For if you do, the curse will become permanent and you'll never be human again. None of you will."

"But how-" he managed to growl.

She laughed with sadistic delight. "I don't know. I don't care. Just remember - you can't tell. I'll know if you do. And you wouldn't want your poor servants to stay like this forever, would you?"

"My servants? What have you done, you bitch?!" The words were garbled, but more or less intelligible.

"Go see for yourself." The enchantress waved at hand at the gardens, where his parents occasionally liked to stroll.

He roared. The sound was deafening as he leaped, crashing through the window to get to the garden. He ran on all fours, tripping over his new paws in his haste to find his family, or anyone else. Finally, he stopped. Several new statues graced the center of his parents' private garden. Tears streamed down Sebastian's face as he tried not to look at them. Told himself that it didn't matter, they were only statues that had been there for years. If anything, his parents were most likely turned into monsters, like him.

Not statues. She couldn't have turned them into statues. They couldn't be gone from the world so easily as that.

But he couldn't help it.

They were his parents. Caught mid-walk, his mother had a parasol above her head to ward off the mist drizzling through the air, and his father wore a suit, as he so often did. He even wore them at home, claiming that he had worn them for so long that he didn't know how to be comfortable in anything else any more.

Now he would forever be wearing his favorite one, the stone coat hugging his shoulders and falling gracefully around his waist, just the way he liked. It would never be taken off again.

The beast roared, unable to contain the grief pouring through him. Rage took its place, then finally, despair.

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