My newest write on Conceited Crusade.
The Beast grew tired of waiting for the man she promised her heart to.
It became clearer with each passing day that he would never join her in the woods.
He had told her as much, which crushed her heart into a fine powder.
She mourned his loss, howling at the moon nightly until her howls evolved into raspy whimpers.
The hazel eyed man lived in a world she could never be a part of.
She learned to accept this.
So she wandered the woods a lone Beast, eventually learning to beat the hunters at their own game.
Even as broken hearted as she was, she wouldn’t let any man believe he could possess her.
No one could ever have her because she was not one to be used or owned.
She played coy with the hunters, letting them get within inches of trapping her and then escaping at the last minute, disappearing without a trail, leaving her feeling satisfied at wiping the smugness from their self-serving faces.
While exploring the isolated parts of the woods one day, she caught the sight of a different looking man.
He was not a hunter, nor was he from the city.
He was a Wanderer.
Immediately she hid from him, but curiosity drew her to follow him around to see if he was like the others.
After a day, she knew he was different, from the way he treated the other creatures and the nature around him.
Still, she kept her distance and decided to go her own way.
The Beast didn’t realize that the Wanderer had caught her watching him.
He was immediately drawn to the skittish creature and began tracking her.
The Beast grew wise to his scent and did all she could to deter him from getting near her.
She climbed the highest, most jagged mountains, ran in the darkest nights, and swam through the deepest rivers.
Still he followed.
There was a part of her that wanted him to follow, yet she dared not let him get too close.
She was not ready to be found.
There were times where he would leave food for her, food he had caught for himself and chose to share with his elusive creature.
The Beast was puzzled yet moved by his generosity and began shortening the distances she put between them.
The Wanderer was a creator of sorts and loved to make beautiful things.
One day, the Beast was watching him from afar as he drew on parchment.
He was so enthralled and concentrated on his creation that it made the Beast very curious as to what he was drawing.
She crept closer to where he was sitting, but still she could not see his subject.
So she crept closer and closer until she was several feet behind him.
The Beast knew she was exposed but she had grown fond of the traveler, for his persistence and patience while pursuing her and this formed a sense of trust in her mind, even as she took extra care to be silent enough so she could slip away unnoticed.
But when the Beast saw his artwork, she lost herself and let out a small gasp.
He had drawn her, forged her essence on paper, and it was beautiful.
The Wanderer turned and looked at the Beast who could not be captured or tamed and loved her immediately.
He told her she was even more breathtaking up close.
The Beast said nothing, but chose to stay within eye sight of him the rest of the day.
The next morning, the Beast woke up to wild flowers besides her.
She found the Wanderer fishing by the river and thanked him.
She smiled, the first real smile in a long time.
She chose to sit next to him while he fished.
As evening came, the Wanderer shared his meal with her and made her a bed of leaves and thistles.
As the Beast curled up in her bed, she watched as he slept.
She memorized his face and the way his chest moved as he breathed.
She decided to leave her bed and nestled into the side of his body.
Dawn woke the drowsy Wanderer and he felt his heart leap as he realized the warmth radiating next to him was the soft body of the Beast.
The Beast opened her sleepy eyes and yawned, watching him as he watched her.
He told her, “I’ve been looking for a companion. Someone who is my equal in every way. Someone I can love and trust without abandon. Someone fierce, loyal, complicated, affectionate, and kind. Someone who is very much like you.”
The Beast looked into his gentle blue eyes and realized she did not want to leave his side.
She felt no ties, anxiety, or obligation to him.
There were no invisible ropes or places he had to go where she could not.
It was different.
She felt respect, trust, love, and affection for the Wanderer.
It was then that she realized she has been looking for the same thing as he had been.
And he was exactly who she had been searching for.
From that day on, they wandered the woods together, forever finding a home with each other.
*Prompt is : Fairy Tale
**Read the prequel, “The Beast and her promise” here.