To Belle, magic was like a craft. It was highly structured and predictable. You had to study hard for the foundation of the craft and then build up on it, block by block. There was calculated risk, but it was actually safer than many pursuit if you just knew the rule. She knew by studying the wonderful legacy left by the great wizards in writing and practiced it ever since.
Esmeralda... Esmeralda just broke everything of her expectation. She was unexpected, lively, made Belle fluster, but couldn't help basking in her glow. In fact, she made her feel.....
Stop, she told herself, it wasn't the moment to dwell.
Here they were forced into a corner by their enemies, Belle exhausted from the previous magic exertion, desperate to think of a way to get them out.
And Esmeralda put a hand on her.
Then she spoke.
Belle's ears hurt just from hearing the word. It wasn't the usual magic she was familiar with. It was from the the beginning of the creation. Everyone froze in their action, including her. The wind stopped moving. Even time seemed to stop flowing.
And Belle stopped hiding from her emotion. She.....
Then Esmeralda pulled her hand and they started running again and there was no time for conversation. But Belle knew that she would stop pretending what she felt about about Esmeralda was just friendship.
Or maybe she already did.