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Who could ever love a Beast?

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Once upon a time, in a far-away land, lived a young alpha prince with his loving family. They were kind and just monarchs who truly cared for their people. Unfortunately, when he was still a small boy, some insurgents from the Hydra County, led by Johannes Schmidt, managed to sneak into the castle and kill his mother. His father, mad with grief, started a war that would last for many years and even involved the prince once he reached adulthood. The prince was sent to the frontlines to fight the war, like his father before him, and came back a different man.

During a battle, the prince was taken prisoner and tortured by the enemy. He managed to escape their clutches only after two years of imprisonment. Even if he knew he had not been abandoned and there had been multiple rescue teams looking for him, he knew he had to save himself or he would be lost to the enemy forever.

Finally free, he decided to go back home and leave the others to fight the war that was near its end, as he had killed their leader during his escape. On his way back, word reached him that his father had died while the prince had been in captivity. The prince, now King, found he couldn’t feel grief for his father’s death though, he could feel nothing...

His time in captivity had profoundly changed him. He wasn’t the same man that had left home three years before. His more basic Alpha instincts made him unsociable and angry, and became selfish and unkind by taxing the nearest villages in his kingdom unjustly. He even declared that no one could enter the castle without an appointment, unlike in the past, when everyone could simply ask to talk to the royal family and they would let them in with open arms.

When the loyal servants that had been his friends all through his childhood talked to him, he would growl at them and close himself in his rooms. He had no feelings of regret and sent men to prison for the slightest offense or if they had even remote relation to the Hydra county. He was not himself anymore and the servants decided to just let him be, unable to figure out how to help him.

The King started to only talk with the nobility and even while entertaining in dances, he looked at everyone with bland disdain and spite, wary of whoever could stab him in the back.

One rainy day, the king was broodily sitting near the fireplace, when someone knocked at the door. Not wanting to see anyone, he ignored whoever it was, they had no appointment after all. The knock persisted though, until he was forced to send a servant to open the door. He hovered over the poor servant’s shoulder to find an old woman waiting outside, in the downpour.

“What do you want?” he snarled.

The old woman tried to enter the castle, soaked to the bone and evidently looking for somewhere to stay the night but the king wouldn’t let her in. She then offered him a beautiful rose. “Please, good sir, let me stay the night in exchange for this rose. I don’t ask much, just a corner in which I can rest my old bones and warm up and get dry” she pleaded.

The prince stood firmly where he was and growled at her, “I don’t want strangers in my castle! There is nothing for you here, go look somewhere else!”

She tried to plead with him again, but to no avail. Only when she had no doubts about the king and knew he was beyond saving, suddenly she transformed into a beautiful enchantress. No rain could soak her anymore and she was looked at the king with disapproval. the sheer power she exuded and her fierce expression, made the King feel fear coursing through him. He knew some kind of punishment was coming and he was afraid...It was the first feeling he had after coming home and it was not welcomed.

“You are a cruel King, James Buchanan Barnes, your parents would be ashamed of you. You have no feelings left in your heart. you are nothing more than a BEAST. I condemn you to look exactly like you act! No one will remember you but the ones living with you. They let you become the beast you are and they are as much at fault as you. You will all be cursed and forgotten until you learn about love and feelings again! Don’t be deceived by someone’s appearance like you did with me or threaten anyone that comes to you from the outside world for they could be the one to help you find yourself again”

With her declaration, a light surrounded the king as the curse took over. He could feel his body changing as his hands and legs became paws, the clothes tore from his body when it grew larger and he could feel hair growing on every inch of his body, his face turned into a muzzle with pointed teeth, and his eyes started glowing. He fell to the floor and tried to plead with the fairy but was unable to speak, he could only growl in that moment. Next, the enchantment transformed the castle and all its inhabitants, starting a falling snow that covered the garden.

The enchantress held the rose and offered it to the beast again. “This is an enchanted rose, when the last petal falls, if you have not learnt to be a good man and Alpha, to love and feel again like a human being, you will be condemned to remain a Beast FOREVER!” After sharing her warning, the enchantress disappeared into the cold night.

The beastly king hid in his castle, surrounded by his servants that had been transformed in household items. He couldn’t look at himself, nor love and feel...he deserved to be a beast forever. He protected the enchanted rose in a crystal chalice and spent hours looking at it every day, hoping without hope that it would help him and make him understand how to feel again. How could he do it alone? Who could teach him about love? No one could ever love him while looking like he did and no one came knocking for a long, long time...