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Beauty, the Cruel Prince, and the Hunter

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It's a warm summer day when Belle, wearing her usual ensemble of a long-sleeved modest white shirt under her modest blue dress with her white apron tied over the skirt and her blue hair ribbon keeping her long brown hair in a ponytail and her brown flats, leaves her and her father’s home and walks to the village. She hears the sound of carriage wheels coming closer, so she backs up to get out of the way. The carriage stops in front of the bridge Belle crosses to go into Villeneuve. She sees that the carriage is a fine one with a crest on it, though she doesn’t know who the crest belongs to.

The door of the carriage opens and a handsome but angry young man exits the carriage, turning to yell to someone inside the carriage, “I will make that girl marry me!” He turns and strides in her direction. Belle looks around fearfully, knowing that the young man was talking about her since she is the only woman in sight right now and she doesn’t know the man’s intentions towards her, but judging by his anger it doesn’t seem good. The young man glares and runs towards her.

She runs toward the forest, calling out “Help! Please help!” as she runs. Unfortunately, the man catches Belle and drags her back to his carriage. Belle screams as she is dragged, but the man hits her to make her stop. The man roughly pushes Belle into the carriage. Belle hears Gaston yelling, but the angry young man ignores him and slams the door of the carriage. She sees two other people in the carriage, a man and a woman. They, and the young man, are all finely dressed.

“Take us home now!” The angry young man yells to the coachman. “There! I’ve found someone to marry me!” The angry young man angrily tells the other occupants of the carriage after he turns back to face them.

The other man, who looks older than the young man who forced belle into this carriage, sighs deeply. “Adam, this is not the way you get another person to wed you,” The older man replies tersely.

Adam glares at the older man. “I will get a wife the way I want to, father!” He angrily says.

Belle curls up in a corner of the carriage. She feels scared of Adam and what else he could be capable of in anger, but she also feels helpless to get out of this situation. Belle hopes that Gaston can save her.

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Gaston is riding his horse through the woods when he hears screams for help that sound like they are coming from Belle. He races to follow the sound and comes out of the woods near Belle and Maurice’s home to find Belle being pushed into a carriage by an angry man who looks like he is a nobleman in front of her house. He recognizes the man as Prince Adam, who he has seen before when the family would occasionally visit Villeneuve. Gaston rides to the carriage, shouting, “Stop! Wait a minute! You can’t just take people!” He hopes to save Belle, but he is too late and his words are ignored - the carriage door is slammed shut and the carriage is driven away from the cottage.

The hunter lets out a string of frustrated swearing. He can’t follow the carriage since that would be too obvious to do and, considering the man is Prince Adam, following it might get him locked up or killed which wouldn’t help Belle at all. He stays a while to watch where the carriage will go and sees it travel into the woods. He then turns his horse to the village. He will tell Maurice that Belle has been captured by Prince Adam and then he’ll figure out a way to look for Belle that won’t make the situation worse.

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Belle looks up when the carriage stops. She had been looking down during the ride so that she wouldn’t anger Adam since she doesn’t know what to expect from him nor what can set his anger off.

Belle feels Adam tightly grab her wrist. The other occupants of the carriage exit the carriage after the door is opened. Adam then drags Belle out of the carriage and into a large and imposing castle. The inside of the castle is beautiful and ornate and bustling with servants going about their business. "This is your home now." Adam tells her gruffly. He then drags her up a long flight of stairs and to the West Wing. “We will marry soon.” He growls at her as he forcefully pulls Belle into a bedroom. “This is my room and this is where you will stay. You will do what I tell you when I tell you to do it. Do you understand, woman?” Adam demands.

Belle narrows her eyes at him, anger and annoyance at his impudence and disrespect. “No! I am not your property! My name is Belle, not woman, and I do not appreciate being talked down to and disrespected.” She retorts.

Adam backhands Belle hard in the face and she stumbles from the blow. “You will never speak to me like that ever again!” He shouts at her, grabbing her arms roughly and shaking her. “I am your prince and soon I will be your husband and you will obey me in everything!” Adam yells, releasing one of her arms to smack Belle again.

Belle keeps quiet, only letting out a pained sound as he hits her again. She looks over at the door when she hears a knock.

“What!?” Adam yells, dragging Belle with him to the door of his bedroom. “What is it Cogsworth? I am busy.”

“I’m sorry, your grace, but your parents wish for you and the girl you took from the village to come down to the dining room for lunch. I’m sure you and the woman are hungry.” Cogsworth tells Adam, seeing Belle in the angry prince’s hold. All of the servants know that Prince Adam is mean, cruel, and controlling to others.

Adam huffs irritably. “Fine. We’re coming. Get the priest here soon. I want Belle and I to be married as soon as possible.” He orders the older man.

“Yes, sire.” Cogsworth replies, looking at Belle sorrowfully before he leaves to do as he was ordered.

Adam turns to face Belle. “You will behave and only speak when spoken to. Other than that, you are to remain silent.” He orders before dragging her through the corridor and down the main staircase to the dining room.

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When Gaston returns to the village, he dismounts from his horse and goes to find Maurice. He finds the older man in the marketplace and walks up to him, feeling sad about what he’ll be telling Maurice about Belle. He takes a deep breath before he speaks. “Excuse me, Maurice. I need to tell you something.” Gaston starts.

Maurice turns to Gaston and smiles at the man. “Hello, Gaston! What do you need to tell me?” He replies, hoping that everything is okay since Gaston looks worried.

“Belle has been kidnapped by Prince Adam Bastien. I heard her screams and cries for help, so I rode after the carriage to get to Belle, but I was unable to reach it. I want to devise a plan to retrieve Belle and bring her home.” Gaston tells Maurice, feeling his heart pounding in his chest from nervousness.

Maurice looks shocked and horrified at the news, but doesn’t want to make a scene in the marketplace, so he tries to keep as calm as he can. Keeping calm will enable him to better help find Belle. “So, that’s why Belle never made it into town today. Yes, good. A plan to get Belle home is good. What should we do?” He replies, fidgeting with the loaf of bread in his hands.

Gaston takes another deep breath, relieved that Maurice wants to help find Belle and that he didn’t completely freak out, though he figures that the older man will break down later at home. “Well, we’ll start by riding from where I saw the carriage and go from there. I saw it going into the forest. I know that there’s a castle deep in the forest which is where the Marquis and Marchioness Bastien live with their son, Prince Adam. They are the rulers around here. I’m not sure why the Prince took Belle, but we’ll get her back.” Gaston explains to Maurice. He had seen and been introduced to the Bastiens a few times in his live when they would make occasional visit to Villeneuve. Mostly it was a high-ranking servant who would come to collect taxes from the village.

“Alright. That’s a good idea. Thank you for trying to rescue Belle, Captain.” Maurice answers, worrying for Belle’s safety with the nobles who rule over the land where their little village is at.