Once upon a time there was Beauty and there was the Beast. The spinners of tales would have you believe these two fell in love and lived happily ever after.
The spinners lied!
The Beast was a shifter and Beauty became a huntress and founded a long line of huntresses aided by the power of silver magic.
Kieran Belle is a descendant of the House of Beauty and a tracker who longs to live a life free of killing shifters. Aided by his father he escapes to college in Little Rock, Arkansas where he meets the boy of his dreams, Corwin Cooper.
Corwin Cooper is a descendant of a clan of shifters, who has never shifted himself. Having finally decided to go to college, Corwin arrives and meets the mate his inner wolf cries out to claim for his own in Kieran Belle.
Ancient prophecy says Kieran is destined to become the legendary Silver Hunter. Dark forces seek to derail prophecy and end the House of Beauty. Can a child of the shifter-hunting House of Beauty and a descendant of shifters find love and happiness or will dark forces and opposing heritage tear them apart?
There was once a very rich merchant, who had six children, three sons, and three daughters; being a man of sense, he spared no cost for their education, but gave them all kinds of masters. His daughters were extremely handsome, especially the youngest. When she was, little, everybody admired her, and called her “The little Beauty” so that, as she grew up, she still went by the name of Beauty, which made her sisters very jealous.
Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont, 1757 English translation.
Not exactly, how you remember the tale of Beauty and the Beast is it? It’s because Beauty’s descendants have altered it through the ages. Even Madame de Beaumont’s version doesn’t come near to the truth of what happened at the end of the tale. Under the influence of the descendants of Beauty, storytellers crafted a tale teaching you that Beauty transformed the Beast back into the handsome prince with true love because it’s the way magic in fairy tales works. In truth, Beauty’s story is much darker. It’s a tale of conflict with a creature from the darkest of myths, a shape shifter given to serving a corruption so foul it had pulled spirits from the heavens. The forces of Creation brought forth magic of many varieties to combat the corruption, but even the most powerful of mages is mortal and open to corruption. Ebony magic originally meant to be one of Creation’s protectors was warped into the darkest of the arts. Powerful practitioners twisted the souls of men and beasts together into the first shifters. Ebony magic’s opposite and equal, Silver magic became creations sole salvation. During the last major magical war, the most powerful Silver practitioners banded together to weave a spell to lock shifter’s powers to the phases of the moon. All magic has its price, and the binding spell tied itself to the bloodlines of the mages who cast it. As long as there are Silver mages, the spell will keep the shifters bound to one animal shape strongest when the moon is full.
The never mentioned mother of Beauty and her siblings was a descendant of one of these Silver magic families. She passed the potential for Silver magic on to all of her children, but only in her youngest son was the ability to use the power active. Her line was a hunted family because they were the key bloodline in the ancient binding spell. She chose her youngest son to carry on the line because those who sought to break the binding were looking for a female witch. When Beauty went to take her father’s place at the castle of the beast, her little bother gave her a gift of the Silver magic. He triggered a change in her, which would allow her to cast one powerful Silver spell in her hour of need. Searching the castle for the beast, she found the prince locked away in his own dungeon and together they slew the beast with the gift from her brother. Hidden away is what happened after happily ever after?
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Kethric Wilcox (1966- ) was born in Melrose, MA to average middle-class parents. He graduated high school, went to college for a while before dropping out to work in the travel and tourism industry for nearly four years. He relocated to Little Rock, Arkansas and returned to college to get his B.A. in both graphic design and history. Currently he works as a graphic designer and writes paranormal gay romances in his spare time.