It was Belle’s third day helping out at the little school in Esterbush. After a month of running away from her father and her impending marriage to Gaston, she believed she had found a perfectly safe haven. Esterbush was a small town at the edge of the Frontlands, close to the sea but also at the edge of a large forest. It was several kingdoms away from her father’s kingdom of Navarre, and it had to be the last place where the guards would come to look for her.
She no longer wore her fine dresses, but instead she was dressed a little wilder, wearing brown pants, leather boots and a bodice which was much easier to travel in. It was a bit of a miracle that the local teacher had allowed her to help him out, and she was repaid in food and shelter from the cold which would certainly get worse as winter started to creep in. It wasn’t much, but it was enough, and she loved the opportunity to pass on her knowledge to the children around her.
While she read stories to the youngest ones, or practiced their writing with them, she didn’t get much time to spend with the older ones, but after just three days, she had noticed that there was one child in the group that was unlike the others.
While all the kids were playing outside, he would sit by the side, often with a book, looking as distracted as a kid his age could, and this sparked Belle’s curiosity.
“Hey,” she greeted him softly as she approached the boy with the heavy brown hair. “What are you reading?”