Home > The Beast (Monsters and Beauties, 1)

The Beast (Monsters and Beauties, 1)
Author: Jenika Snow

 

 

Prologue

 

 

Beast

 

 

They called me the Beast.

A literal monster that stayed high in the mountains, my castle overlooking the village like an ominous presence.

They feared me. Rightfully so.

I was not friendly. I did not care about them or their hardships or issues. And they did not care about me either.

They would do well to treat me like the ravenous, rabid creature I was.

So I stayed away, secluded myself with minimal staff to run the castle, and let my inner rage be my companion.

Until the sun set.

That was when I ventured into the night. That was when I stalked the cobblestone streets of the village.

That was when I hunted her.

Belle was a human female I had known nothing about, but she instantly called to something dark and primal inside of me.

Ever since that first glimpse all those nights before, when I hid within the shadows and watched her come out of a small shop, I was positively transfixed.

Mesmerized.

Obsessed and territorial.

Because she was mine.

I did not fear anything and was not ashamed of my appearance or the barbaric way I acted. It was who I was, the animal I had been born.

But still, I kept to the shadows, not wanting the villagers or, most of all, Belle to see me. I feared I would frighten her away, that she would see the ugly visage of my face and body, my horns and claws, fangs and tusks, and scream as she ran from me.

But then there was the very thought of her running or me chasing her, hunting her down through the woods as I stalked my most precious prey.

I crouched low on my haunches, digging my claws into the dirt, staring at the small bakery she had just entered.

I could barely see her through the window from my positioning, but moments later, she stepped out, her long dark hair hanging over one shoulder in an intricate braid.

I could not help but envision wrapping one of my meaty paws around those silky strands and tugging her head back, baring her throat and looking at the soft spot where her neck and shoulder met.

Although I did not need to mark her, did not need to sink my fangs into her to lay claim, I still would. I would hold her in place with my teeth at her throat as I pushed my too-big cock into her and made her take every inch.

She would stretch so nicely around me, cry that it hurt, that I was too large, but I would make her feel so good she would be begging me for more.

I would ensure that.

She wore a light blue dress with a white apron tight around her hourglass waist, her body so lush and curvaceous that my cock instantly stood at attention, the heavy, ribbed length pulsing behind my trews, pre-cum already starting to drip out and dampen the front of the material.

I growled low and reached down, curling a big clawed paw around the girth, stroking myself like a deviant as I watched her adjust her basket before she left the village and made her way toward the small cottage she shared with her father.

Her father was a worthless human who spent what little money they had on gambling. If not for Belle, they would have no roof over their heads or food in their bellies.

But his downfall would be my gain.

I watched Belle until she disappeared, and only then did I focus back on the village center. The sun had set long before now, the townspeople scurrying away into their homes.

I kept close to the buildings as I prowled the village, stopping once I got to the tavern where I knew Maurice, Belle’s father, would be, where I had sent Pierre, one of my staff, to be present before sunset.

I looked through the sash window and into the pub. The antler chandelier hung in the center of the room from wooden beams that ran vertically across the ceiling, shining a yellow glow across all it touched.

The tables were scuffed and scarred, spilled ale covering the tops, and dripping onto the floor. I searched for Pierre and saw him over by the long planked bar, a mug of alcohol in his hand, his focus on Maurice.

Pierre was a spindly man, nonthreatening, and the perfect person to do my bidding. Because Gaston would see him as nothing of importance.

Although I could very well take Belle without this charade or planning, could rip Gaston’s head from his neck, I did not want to start my nuptials with Belle on the wrong foot, as the humans would say.

I focused on Maurice, who sat at the table with Gaston and a few of his minions, wooden chips they used as currency in their games in the center of the table.

Maurice was sweating, his face glistening with droplets that caught the light, his cheeks ruddy, and his hands buried in his hair as the sheer panic swamped him.

I knew enough about Gaston, the big and bulky human, to know he used the villagers’ weaknesses against them. And that was what he had been doing with Maurice for a very long time.

Taking advantage.

But that would change tonight. I would make Gaston an offer he could not refuse. And that was to pay off Maurice’s debt and then some, which would make the human bastard rich beyond words.

And would give me the only thing I had coveted. Belle.

When Pierre walked up to them and presented the leather coin purse from his satchel, showing Gaston, I could see the greedy gleam in his eyes.

It would be more riches than Gaston had or would ever see in his miserable life, so when he reached out for it and held the heft of it in his palm, I knew she would be mine.

I focused on my reflection, at my grisly appearance, and knew winning over Belle would be a feat in and of itself, but I would try until the end of time.

It was not like she had a choice in the matter because she was already mine, and nothing and no one would ever change that.

 

 

Chapter

One

 

 

Belle

 

 

My father had just sold me off. Bartered my body to erase his debt to the very devil himself.

A Beast of a man. Literally.

A creature whispered about amongst the villagers, feared by all, and known to have immense wealth and power that no one could ever conceivably stand up against.

I knew only a handful had ever seen him, but I heard the rumors of his appearance.

A beastly visage at three times the size of a man, and his monstrously huge body covered in fur. His eyes held an unearthly red glow, and his pawlike hands were tipped with claws. Then there were his fangs, ones that I wondered if he used to tear into flesh.

I visibly shivered at the image my mind conjured up.

I held in my tears as I clenched my hands tightly into fists. Anger, fear, and shock waged war in me.

“Don’t look at me like that, Belle. I didn’t have a choice.”

I had to give my father credit… he at least looked heartbroken.

“You always have a choice. How could you just give me away like that? And to him?” I hissed out the last part.

His shoulders sagged and he dropped his head, exhaling as if it were his life that was being ruined.

“We would have lost everything. The little land we own, our home, the livestock…” He looked at me. “We would have been penniless and out in the streets.”

“It would have been better than marrying that… that Beast.” I turned from my father, unable to look at him anymore.

It was no secret in the village that my father had a gambling addiction. He owed too many people money. He had far too many debts to ever be repaid in our lifetime.

And it finally caught up with him.

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