Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

The Beast

He used to be one to count with, one to be in priority all the time.

But that was then, now... It was a completely different thing. He was forgotten by most people, everybody thought he was dead, he had just disappeared all of sudden, not leaving any trace behind himself.

He hid away in his summer place, on of the many mansions he used to own. It had been sold, he knew that, but no one dared to come close to it, not with the monster living there. They all feared him, yet few people had seen him, the ones who had seen him, didn't knew how to explain it or he locked them up, and he became to be much like a myth, something not really existing.

That's how he wanted it to be, he looked awful now, grotesque, no longer the kind of man that people looked after, that people wanted to be close to. His was more their nightmare than dream now.


Eric licked his lips, dangling with his feet in the water as looking up at the mansion. He would always feel intimiated by looking up at it, as if he was a small little boy, and not a teenager that was on his way to become a man.

He had lived here his whole life, and the oldest in the town said the story about the 'beast' was older than them, but Eric was convinced over that it hadn't appeared until a couple of years ago, when he just had became a teenager.

The place was drawing for his attention, he never could look away, there was just something with it that he enjoyed and feared at the same time. But the place was empty, the Beast was just a history for the kids not to go into the dangerous mansion, it could fall apart any miute.

Eric didn't care, in a couple of days he would be counted as man, no longer a child. He bit down on his lip, pulling his feet up from the water and put on his shoes, ignoring the slight discomfort of it.

He glanced at his friends, but they were all too busy with their own buisness, splashing water on each other and yelling curses.

Smiling, he walked away from them, walking in direction to the mansion, dodging the branches and twigs for it to not mess his hair up, feeling how his heart was changing rythm as he walked close to the mansion.

As he walked pass the gates he felt as if there was no returning back, and he shivered visbly as raising his gaze to look at the building, again letting his teeth sink down on his bottom lip.

Maybe he was just plain stupid, or curious, he didn't know what, but it was impossible for him not to continue, feeling his heart beating faster and faster the closer to the mansion he got. Now he no longer could hear his friends laugh or yell, there was only the wind making sounds, all of sudden sounding so threatingly.

As he reached the door, he stopped briefly, feeling something close to guilt over just walking inside someone’s home like this. But he shrugged the guilt away, reminding himself that no one lived in here.

He pushed the door open, blinking surprised when looking around in the house. It was clean, there wasn’t dust lying around as a thick layer, the floor seemed to have been scrubbed firmly not long ago. Who would do that in a empty house?

Carefully he walked inside, yelping loudly when the door slammed shut behind him and he looked around, breathing out slowly when realizing it was just the wind making it close. He had to laugh at himself, for actually believing there to be someone here. The place was empty; the floor just was… that kind of floor that never really got dirty.

He turned around again, walking into something big and soft, and he backed away, looking up. He wanted to scream, but the sound got stuck in his throat as looking up at the one hovering over him. He stumbled back, falling down to the floor, as staring on the person, no sound coming out.

“What are you doing here?” The man asked, his low voice being like a growl, the sound sending shivers down Eric’s spine and made him sniffle involuntary.

“I-I… I was just…” He looked down, not daring to look at the man. The little he could see scared him, the person wasn’t looking like a normal human, he was more like a… He inhaled shaky, pulling back. The Beast. The one they talked about and he had believed to be just a story. “I’m sorry, I’ll leave.”

The man looked long on him, his eyes glistering slightly as looking at the teenager in front of him. His eyes narrowed, the boy being one of those almost perfect people; slim body, big blue eyes that looked so innocent it annoyed him immediately, the fully lips looking inviting for both men and woman, he was sure of that. The boy was just too perfect, not a flaw anywhere.

“You’re staying.” He said shortly, turning around the next second.

Eric blinked, staring at the back of the Beast, before he shot up, his eyes turning dark. He hated getting told what to do, without having any saying about it, and he didn’t cared at all if this thing would be angry or not, he had never been the one to think first and speak later.

“You can’t decide about that.” He hissed, sending the man’s back a cold glare as he stopped, then Eric turned around, marching to the door.

He heard a low growl behind him, making him cringe and again sniffle, the sound making him feel small and vulnerable, and for some reason he felt sorry for the Beast, it sounded heartbreaking somehow. An arm was by his head all of sudden, slamming against the door he just had been on his way to open.

He flinched back, letting go of the door handle as looking up, this time actually screaming. He looked into a pair of yellow eyes, glowing brightly by anger, and he bit his lip, staring wide eyed over the face of the man. The cheek bones were all strange and different, the skin looking to be stretched over them almost painfully, with sharp teeth showing in a predatory grimace.

A low breathe came from him, feeling how tears was rising in his eyes, moving a hand up, touching the Beast’s cheek. “What happened to you?” He asked softly, feeling commiseration for the man.

For a brief second the Beast looked in loss of words, then he bit his teeth hard together, gripping hard on the boy’s arm and snapped it away from his face, long nails digging into Eric’s arm and made him wince painfully, trying to tug his hand away.

“You’re staying here.” The Beast hissed, his eyes glowing so brightly yellow that Eric had to look down for it not to hurt his eyes, feeling how his tears was falling down his cheeks.

Eric wanted to interupt, he wanted to say no, and just leave. But he couldn't, the man had a firm grip around his arm as he was dragging him through the manson, and Eric just felt it as if there was something more holding him back, making him unable to leave even if he had been allowed to it.

The Beast stopped, letting out low growls as if he was talking to someone, but Eric couldn't see anyone. The grip around his arm loosened as the man sighed low, glancing behind him on Eric, the yellow eyes gleaming in a subdued color.

Wondering he tilted his head to the side, smiling carefully towards the man, his cheeks still wet by tears. The Beast growled again, continue to walking. Though he walked in a different direction now, he didn't go down the stair that Eric had expected for him to do, but he was walking towards another stair, that went up instead.

The man didn't say anything, only letting out low annoyed growls as he was talking to someone, or more answered someone than having a conversation with them. They reached a high door, and the Beast opened it, pushing Eric inside and got the young boy to stumble down on the floor, wincing loudly by the pain in his knees he looked behind him, flinching when the door was slammed shut.

Inhaling shaky he looked down, staring on the floor as the tears started to come again and he wrapped his arms around his shaking body, not understanding how stupid he had been.

He should have listened to the stories.


Eric leaned his head back, looking up at the sky and on the sun rays shinning through the clouds as sighing deeply.

Two weeks.

Two weeks he had been in the manson, not seeing anyone other than the brief glimpses of the Beast. He started to walk around much like as in trance, not having anything to do, or anyone to talk to, he had the day pass by reading; something he had hated to do before.

He closed his eyes, licking his lips as just letting the sun warm his skin, the emptiness in him growing. He wanted to leave, but still he couldn't. It was impossible for him to just walk out the gates, either the Beast would stop him, or something inside of him stopped him from leaving.

A shadow moved over him, making him open his eyes, and flinched back, biting down hard on his bottom lip not to let out any sound.

The eyes wasn't glowing, the shine was more weak, though it didn't stopped Eric from feeling intimiated by looking into them, as if they were filled with evil and hate. Still he was looking into them, being almost hypnotized by the weak glow and unusual color.

"Why haven't you ran away?" The Beast asked, his voice still being in that low growl, almost sounding as if he was unused to speaking, but there was a soft tone in it, that got Eric to blink, slightly confused.

"You told me to stay, Sir." He said quietly, lowering his gaze.

He could never stand to look too long on the man, even though the features was facinating him deeply, not understand how anyone could look like that, having a grotesque apparence, and somehow made Eric's body flame up by something he couldn't describe. Or just didn't want to describe.

"And you do as I told?" The Beast asked, smiling softly, as he sat down next to Eric on the bench, turning his head away for Eric not to see him. He still loathed his own face, hated to see himself, and he didn't want to give people the pain to look at him, even though he hated them. "You're a strange kid."

Eric laughed, shaking his head as looking up again, raising his gaze to the cloud. The sun was almost complelely hidden by the clouds, throwing a dark shadow over them and the garden, the sun rays shinning through being so small it hardly helped.

"I'm not a kid, anymore. Sir." He said, glancing on the Beast, soon having to look down again. "I turned man last week."

The Beast looked up at Eric, looking wondering. He could see the small blush over the boy's cheeks, looking almost embarrassed, and he felt something close to guilt, a feeling he hadn't felt much of in a very long time. He knew that when a boy or girl turned sixteen in the village it was a major celebration, they were old enough to marry, to get a job; to start their life without their parents guidelines.

He took that away from the teenager, that now was a man.

He bit his lip, standing up. Wondering Eric looked up, inhaling deeply as the Beast looked down at him, their eyes meeting for a couple of seconds. Eric felt the warmth spread through his body, that unidentified feeling he didn't really liked, still somewhat enjoyed.

Right then he didn't see all the grotesque in the face, he only saw the eyes, looking friendly, in a way, and he smiled weakly, then he looked down. His cheeks was flushed red as he stood up, running away up to the manson and to his room.

The Beast looked long after him, then lowering his gaze to the ground as moving a hand up, touching his cheek, the skin feeling abrasive under his touch, the disformation of the cheekbones making him sigh low as lowering his hand again.

He was a monster, the Beast, he knew that, no one could stand looking at him, which Eric just proved for him.

He shouldn't get the feeling of disappointment.


Eric pressed his head against the cover, feeling the regret growing in him by having ran away like that. He regretted running away, even though the man's face scared him.

The Beast scared him, that was true, but there was still something with him that made Eric like seeing him, always trying to catch glimpse of his face those few times they had been close. Biting down on the pillow he groaned, trying to make sense of his thoughts, but it didn't want to work, he only got more confused when trying to focus on just one thought.

He let go of the pillow, looking up as the door opened. No one showed in the doorway, but he had got used to that now, it happened so often that it was almost normal for him now. He guessed for the house to be haunted, but it felt to be friendly ghosts in that case, they never scared him, more acted as servants.

Seconds later a note was laid in front of him, appearing from nowhere, and he said a faint 'thank you' as smiling, then taking up the note. If they were friendly, he would treat them with as much respect as he could without seeing them, hoping that they would continue to treat him good then too.

He read the note, blinking wondering and then read it again.

"You're invited to dinner with the mansion's Master.

Be sure to be there."

Exhaling slowly he looked up, staring at the now closed door, wondering if the ghosts or whatever they were was making fun of him. To his surprise he realized that he didn't hoped that, he hoped that he really would be eating together with the Beast, and maybe have somewhat of a conversation with him, and that he wouldn't run away then.

Smiling he sat up, sliding off the bed to fix himself up, trying to pick out something good to wear, the wardrobe being full of clothes his size - something had surprised and scared him at first, but now simply didn't care about. It was just another addition to all the strangeness in the mansion.

One hour later Eric walked down the stair, dressed up as nicely as he could, and walked into the dinning room, stopping in the door way. The windows was scrubbed clean for the first time since he came there, there was actually some light coming in and he could see the Beast by the fire place.

The room looked cosy, not as intimidating as before, and there was food on the table, the table was set nicely, and from what he could see, the Beast was dressed up too.

Carefully he walked inside, smiling shyly when the Beast turned around. The man was wearing a jacket of some type with a collar high enough to hide his face away.

"What's all this for?" Eric asked, still with the shy smile over his lips as he walked inside, hesitating slightly before bowing; it felt to be the right thing to do.

The Beast chuckled, he too bowing slightly, then he straightened up, holding out his hand for Eric. Hesitatingly Eric laid his hand over the Beast's, the skin feeling cold and raspy, still it filled him with that strange warmth he couldn't describe.

The man lead him to his seat, pulling out the chair for him much to Eric's surprise, but he still sat down, smiling for himself. It was a sweet motion, the Beast acting as a gentleman, and he felt his stomach twitch slightly. Subconsiually he laid his hand over his stomach, wanting it to calm down, hoping he wasn't getting sick and would ruin this dinner.

The Beast misunderstood his motion, and he let go of the chair, moving away from Eric as turning his face away, hating that he made Eric so disgusted. He should be used to that know, he knew that, that's why he had been hiding away, that's why he made those stepping inside this mansion regret it immediately.

Still, he couldn't stop himself from feeling hurt by it.

"Y-you never answered me on what this is about." Eric asked lowly, watching the Beast as he sat down on the other end of the table, lowering head for Eric not to see him.

"You should celebrate turning a man somehow." He said softly, glancing up on Eric with a teasing smirk, the yellow eyes glimmering.

Eric stared on him, more than a little surprised. He hadn't thought that the man actually would care, that it was just something that a man like he couldn't care less about. He smiled unsure, testingly at first, then the smile widdened, being so wide it almost reached from one ear to the other.

"Thank you so much." He smiled, his voice filled with happiness and his eyes glittering as he swallowed hard. "Thank you." He repeated again, lower this time as looking down, his cheeks flushed red.

The Beast smiled, not smirking or grinning, but a soft warm smile Eric couldn't see.

That's when the Beast realized how unused it was for him to smile.


The Beast looked down from the window, seeing Eric kneel down by the flowers, selecting out the one he thought was the nicest and picked it up, continuing to walk by the flower bed he stopped for every time he found a new flower to pick up.

The boy had been living with him for three months, and they had got used to each other by know. At least he was used to see Eric many times during the day, he doubted Eric ever got used to look at him.

Eric straightened up again, looking down at the flowers he held in and turned around, walking into the mansion again, probably to put the flowers in a vase. The Beast smiled softly as looking after the boy, watching him disappear into the mansion again. He felt a tenderness for the boy, something he hadn't felt for long, but he no longer cared about it.

"Do you think he's happy here?" He asked lowly, the words feeling strange for him to say.

"I think he's missing his family and friends." A soft voice said behind him. "But I think he likes it now."

The Beast sighed, shaking his head slightly. He didn't look behind on the one that had spoke, knowing that there was no one there for him to look at. They were called The Grey People, servants he had conjured for many years ago to keep the mansion under control. He didn't think Eric knew what kind of person he really was, he probably just thought he was someone having been borned this way, he couldn't know that this had come almost over night.

He had been borned being a magician, the only word fitting for what he was, and had been taught Dark Art his whole life. He had forgotten about the curse over his family; the one forgetting about love and kindness, would get a apperance fitting their inner soul.

"Should I let him go?" He asked, turning around this time, looking at nothing.

He could practically hear the smile from the person, even though he had yet not spoken. That was another thing with The Grey People, they expressed kindheartedness, their emotions being so strong that you instinctly knew what they were feeling.

"I think he would get dissappointed by that."

"What do you mean?" The Beast asked, but the person had already left.

He sighed again, shaking his head slightly as trying to understand what he had meant with that. For all he knew, Eric would be thrilled to leave, to never have to see his grotesque face ever again, to never again have to be close to him and feel disgust.

It was long ago since he had been feeling care for someone, that stopped already when being a child, but Eric brought out emotions in him he didn't want to think on. Emotions he shouldn't bother to think about; it was just to waste.

There was a soft knock on the door, and the Beast looked up, slightly bewildered saying 'come in' before he got time to think on it, the next second he regretted it, but it was too late then.

"I'm sorry, Sir, but I was looking for..." Eric trailed off, the flowers having been held by his chest being lowered down, hanging carelessly by his side as he was staring on the Beast.

For the first time he really saw him, seeing the face without any shadow laying over him, without any collar hiding up his face; he wasn't even wearing a shirt. He let out a shaky breath, unable to look away, the sight almost hypnotizing him. The face was grotesque, he couldn't deny that, and the eyes was glowing dark, but there wasn't anger or hate in them, only something close to confusion.

His eyes moved down, over the broad shoulders, almost seeming ridicolously broad, down over the chest, and he whimpered lowly, dropping the flowers. That warmth was spreading in him again, that fire burning his body and leaving him in confusion, only knowing that his body was aching for something.

Subconsciously he rubbed his wrist against his crotch, not realizing what he had done before feeling a shiver run down his spine, and he snapped his hand away, the motion surprising both him and the Beast.

"Eric," The Beast started, but the boy had already spun around, running away as quick as he could with the tears running down his cheeks.

He wouldn't have known what to say anyway, the boy's acting having surprised him. He thought Eric had been scared at first, that the round eyes and open mouth had been of fear and the start of panic, but when Eric had done that, that slight touching, he realized that it was something something completely different.

Eric had got aroused, even though the boy clearly didn't know what was going on, this was something completely new for him, something he had never experienced ever before. He was too naïve to really know what had happened, why his body reacted like that, and with a sudden shock he remembered that in this village, the talk about intimate love between two people was also something they got to know about when turning sixteen.

Inhaling shaky he he turned around, picking up a shirt and took it on, then he moved down the hall way, still not sure what to really say, only knowing that he needed to talk to the teenager.

He found the boy in his room, his legs pressed tightly together and with his hands gripping on the sheets, the cheeks wet by tears. When hearing the door opening, he looked up, a scared shine in his eyes, looking completely bewildered.

"I think we need to talk." The Beast said softly as walking inside, sitting down on the bed. Immediately Eric flinched away, scared of what would happen.

"I'm so sorry." Eric whispered, his cheeks burning red as he looked down.

"Sweetie, don't say sorry for that, don't you understand that the way you reacted delighs me?" The Beast asked as reaching out to softly brush Eric's cheek with his hand. "A man like me is not exactly spoiled with a reaction like that."

Wondering Eric looked up, the blue eyes being widden in confusion, clearly not understanding what the man was talking about. But he realized that what he had done didn't anger the Beast, but instead had made him happy in some way, and that calmed him down slightly, even managing with smiling up towards the man.

"What happened with my... body then?" He asked lowly, unsure.

The Beast smiled, stroking Eric's hair from his face and tucked it behind his ear.

"That's what we have to talk about."


Eric blinked, looking up at the window, almost getting blinded by the sun shinning into his eyes. Murmuring lovely he turned around, wrapping his arm around the man next to him and nuzzled his face against the broad back, breathing out lowly.

Softly he ran his fingers over the chest, up over the broad shoulderblades, looking so disformed and intimidating. But he didn't care, he had learned to love them, just as he loved the Beast.

After two years, he no longer saw the grotesque in the man's appereance, he only saw the man he was.

He never regretted having walked into the manson.
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Sorry for not having it beta'd, it'll be fixed as soon as possible!