Once upon a time a young English lord lost his brother in a terrible fire. Unable to bear the guilt of not being able to save his beloved sibling, the young lord soon fell to a curse through which his mind deceived him into believing he faced the fiery flames which had taken his brother’s life, night after night, and his family was forced to send him away.
Five long years passed, years in which stories of the young lord-turned-mad-earl were bandied about from parlor to parlor, each more embellished and frightful than the last until all London began to quake in secret, silent fear of the beast he had become. Then one night at a ball, said beast stole away with Lady Jane Cerrigwyn and made her his reluctant bride.
Lady Jane is horrified to find herself wed to a madman, but perhaps, she thinks, all is not as it seems for by day the earl wooes her as carefully as any lover might. But by night, bound by terror and the tragedy of his past, he locks himself away, far beyond her reach.
Dare she try to save him from the madness that consumes him, or will the demons he fights each night prove too strong for any to defeat? Either way, Jane knows she must somehow find the courage to confront the beast of Edenmaine…
This is a novelette of around 12,000 words, or about 40 pages. A sweet, short story based on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.