*-I don’t own any of these characters outside of Madeline and Monique Simone, I’m just borrowing them.
*-Based on Persuasion by Jane Austen. Persuasion is the story of Anne Elliot and Captain Fredrick Wentworth whose engagement is broken off by Anne eight years before the story starts because her family does not approve of him. When Captain Wentworth returns a wealthy man, the question is whether or not Anne and Fredrick still love each other.
*Persuasion- Belle (Anne Elliot), Adam (Captain Wentworth), Maurice (Sir Walter Elliot), Gaston (Charles Elliot), Madeline Simone (Lady Russell) and Monique Simone (Louisa Musgrove).
Adam kept reliving the last eight years over in his mind, the last time he saw the love in her eyes. He had tried to move on with his life, even had considered marriage to another.
He had met Monique Simone through the English captain assigned to head his personal guards, James Harville. She was pretty, amiable and he enjoyed her company.
Then Adam ran into the one woman whose imprint on his heart was so large, it could never be ignored.
Her name said it all, she was beautiful, both inside and out. He loved her with everything he had; she had brought light to his life, where previously, there had been only darkness. It was her alone that saved him from a life of misery and loneliness. He loved her smile, her laugh, her warmth; he loved her patience, teaching him to read for the first time. He was ready to spend his life with her, to be the father of her children. Then the beast within him resurfaced and any hope of that life disappeared.
“This is MY kingdom! You will not destroy what has lasted for the last two hundred years!” his voice reverberated through the castle as he slammed the door to their quarters.
Wincing, Belle knew what her aunt and father were thinking.
“He’s just having a bad day, that’s all”.
From the moment Madeline had learned of her niece’s engagement and how she came to meet her fiancée, Madeline was suspicious of Adam, but she kept her opinions to herself, at least for the present time.
“Adam?” she asked gently, entering the room.
“I am their prince; they should be listening to ME!!!”.
“Maybe that’s not the reason, yes you are the prince, but if they are here to assist you, why not at least listen to what they are saying” Belle tried to counsel him.
“You wouldn’t understand”.
“Let me understand”.
“You’re a peasant, I wouldn’t know where to begin” Adam regretted the words the moment they left his mouth, but it was too late.
“If you want a princess, I suggest you find one, though I don’t know what princess would take you, considering your condition when we met”.
“Belle, I didn’t mean that, I meant….” He searched for the apology to make the words disappear, but they hung like a brick wall between them.
“I know what you meant. I am aware of the status I was born to, now if you excuse me, your highness, I will be sleeping with the other peasants tonight” with a mocking curtsy, she disappeared into the bedroom she slept in before his transformation.
“Belle, I…, I’m sorry” he stood at her door for nearly ten minutes before walking away.
Belle waited for his footsteps to disappear before running to her aunt’s room.
“Oh my dear girl, I’m sure he didn’t mean what he said. Men may say stupid things, my Henri, may he rest in peace, we had our fights, but at the end of the day, we got through the fights”.
“It’s not that, I knew, at least I thought I knew what I was getting into when I agreed to marry him..”. Belle continued to cry, not knowing that her father heard every word.
“Perhaps you should postpone your engagement”.
“I…We cant, everything is prepared, we cannot stop now”.
“My dear girl, marriage is forever, if you have any doubts, it is better to consider them now”.
“But Aunt Madeline, I love him…”.
“I’m sure you do, but you’re so young, you have not even begun to see the world. To be engaged at nineteen to a man who has clearly exhibited that he has anger issues; it would break my heart to see you and your children living with such a man. Your sons would never learn how to truly respect their wives and your daughters; they will never learn self respect with such a father. I am aware of your feelings, child, I was young and in love once myself, I am only thinking of your future”.
“Young man, I should like to talk to you” Maurice said sternly, knocking on the door to the quarters where Belle and Adam normally slept.
Adam’s father had died years ago, but he remembered the voice his father had used when he was in trouble, and Adam knew he was in trouble.
“Monsieur, I swear, I did not mean what I said, I spoke in anger…”Adam started to apologize.
“You have hurt my daughter very deeply. Prince or no prince, the man that Belle marries, I expect that he should treat her as she deserves to be treated, not as you have treated her tonight. Whether or not this marriage goes on as planned is not in my hands, but if you continue to treat her as you did earlier, I will make my objections known before the wedding”.
“I am sorry, monsieur”.
“I am not the one you should be apologizing to” with those final words, Maurice walked out.
Adam tried to approach her over the next two days, but she was shadowed by her father or her aunt, who put a continual blockade between the two of them.
Finally, he found her alone, sitting in the garden as the sun set behind the castle.
She knew he was there, but she pretended he wasn’t, until he sat down beside her.
“I am very sorry; I hurt you, my love. Those words were said out of anger and not meant for you. I could not imagine loving anyone more and I cannot wait for the day when we are married” he took her hand in his, the sun glowing as it dipped into the mountains.
“I can’t marry you” she said quietly.
“You don’t mean that” Adam was shocked by her words as she placed the ring in his open palm.
“I’m sorry, I love you, but I cannot marry you” he watched her walk away, still feeling the shock of her words.
He sat there for what seemed forever, until he heard the sounds of the carriage at the front gates.
“Belle, wait” he watched her ride away.
“She’ll come back, master, she has to” Lumiere, always the optimist said behind him.
“Sure” Adam agreed, returning to the castle. He wandered the halls, until he found his way to their suite. Everything about the room reminded of Belle, in his mind, the words he had so stupidly blurted still hung, the memory still fresh in his mind.
Two hours later, he ran up to the front gate, thinking he heard the sound of hooves on the soft ground.
But there was no one.
“She will return, master, she has to” again, Lumiere was behind him.
He spent the next eight years regretting his words.
The moment he ran into her and their eyes locked, he could feel his heart stop. She looked the same, except for a sadness in her eyes that no one else seemed to detect.
Over the next few months, they spent time in the same social circles. Monique was part of that circle. He observed Belle, she seemed not to notice or care that an attachment was forming between himself and Monique.
Adam decided that she had moved on, especially when Gaston reappeared and despite their past, her interest was piqued. It was time to marry and sire an heir, Monique would do.
Then they traveled to Normandy for day trip and feeling playful, Monique followed the others up the ledge to jump down. The first time, she squealed in delight. The next time, she fell.
“Get a physician, now” Belle suddenly barked.
The others seemed shocked at her sudden control.
“I said now!”.
When the physician examined her they were relieved to know that Monique would survive.
Adam checked on her every few days and was surprised to Belle sitting there.
“I, uh, didn’t know you would be here”.
“It’s the least I could do; Monique has been a good friend”.
The next few moments proceeded with awkward silence.
“I’m sorry if I ever hurt you”.
“Perhaps we weren’t meant to be, I will leave you with her” he watched her leave, not sure of his next move. She had taken his heart all of those years ago, and even after had he would marry Monique, Belle would be the woman he would always think of.
The next thing he knew, had had fallen asleep, only to be woken up by Captain Benwick.
“I will watch her, highness; you should get your rest”.
“Thank you, Captain, I think I will”.
Over the next week, business called Adam away from Monique until he heard news that shocked even him.
“Monique and Captain Benwick are engaged!”.
He sat for a few minutes, unsure how to react. Then he felt the one thing he didn’t expect: relief.
Pulling out a fresh piece of paper, he let out everything that had been boiling inside of him. He didn’t know the outcome of his letter, but he hoped for the best. After finishing the letter, he called for a messenger.
“A letter for you, mademoiselle” the maid handed Belle the letter.
She opened the letter to have a rose fall out. There was no question whom the letter was from.
“I have tried to move on with my life, and I had thought after eight years, that I had. But I have not. You are the one woman who has ever owned my heart, I gave it to you once and I give it to you freely once again. I am aware of my past and I hope you can forgive me for the wrongs I have unnecessarily inflicted on you. If you heart is taken by another, I understand, however, if your feelings are unchanged, I look forward to life we may have together. My journey home will commence at midday, I eagerly await your response by then.
She could feel tears stinging her cheeks, he still loved her.
“Inform my father I am going out, I will return” not caring that Philippe was unsaddled; she rode as fast as she could. It was nearly mid day, if she lost him this time, her heart would never heal.
“Mademoiselle” she ran past Mrs. Potts, Lumiere and Cogsworth.
“Where is he?” she asked, hastily jumping off Philippe and tying him to the rail.
Before she could get a response, she ran inside.
She ran through several rooms to find them empty. Then she heard his voice.
“I, uh” she started to say, but there were no words. The only thing she could do is kiss him, feel the sweetness of his lips on hers.
After they parted, she whispered, “I’m sorry”.
“There is nothing to apologize for, it was my mistake”.
“But I was the one who stayed away, I should have come back sooner…”.
“Can we both admit that we made a mistake and leave it at that?”.
“Yes” she agreed.
“We must go to your father”.
“My father?” Belle asked.
“I must make amends for what I did, you understand, don’t you?”.
“Of course” she replied.
He saw the worry in her eyes and knew how much she cared for her father. If Maurice chose to not give his blessing, it would not bode well for their second reunion.
An hour later, entering the townhouse Belle shared with her father, he could feel his heart beating, despite her hand firmly entrenched in his.
“Papa, there is someone here to see you” she knocked on her father’s study door.
The door was opened to reveal not only Maurice, but Madeline.
“My dear girl, we were so worried, when we were told that you ran out…” she stopped when his eyes laid on Madeline.
“Madame, monsieur” he bowed as a sign of respect, but knowing that it was not Belle, but Madeline who had truly broken them up eight years ago.
“I have come, monsieur, about an urgent matter”.
“You wish to marry my daughter, again” it was obvious why Adam had come to visit.
“Yes, monsieur, I have come for your blessing”.
“Belle, are you sure you want to marry him?” Madeline asked.
“Yes, aunt, very much”.
“Are you sure, after all…”.
They were all surprised when Maurice spoke up.
“It is alright, monsieur, Madame is right in her response; however, I want to know that despite her opinion of me and her ability to persuade Belle, my life is nothing without her”.
“Belle?” Maurice turned to his daughter.
There was no denying the love between Belle and Adam.
“You have my blessing”.
“Merci, papa” Belle embraced her father.
“I want you to know, young man, that I will hold you to your promise of treating my daughter properly”.
“That I will do, monsieur, I promise you”.
Madeline cleared her throat, making it obvious that she doubted Adam, but that was ignored.
A year later, Adam entered their suite to find his wife’s eyes half closed, sitting in her favorite spot on the couch. The birth of their child was less than a month away and the bed was becoming increasing uncomfortable.
Sitting down next to her, he removed her stocking before massaging her bare feet.
“Just what I needed”.
“Come here” he said.
She switched sides as they sat next to each other. She groaned as he began to rub her shoulders.
After a few more minutes of the massage, her head lay in his lap.
“I love you”.
“I love you too”.
They were found the next morning, sleeping on the same couch in the same positions.
“I am sorry to wake you, highness”.
“What time is it?” Belle asked.
She groaned, it was time to get up.