She lay in her queen sized bed, beneath the silken covers. Her room was full of bright oak furniture, lightly varnished so as to keep the light in the room and not to juxtapose against the cream walls. The bed was opposite to the large fire that had two lions carved into its frame, sitting beside the blazing hearth. Above that was a portrait of herself with Darren, she refused to sit and be painted alone.

She looked up at the canopy above her bed as Darren pulled over the chair from her desk and grabbed her hand. Her eyes flickered, heavy with sleep, but she forced them open just to put his mind at rest.

Soon enough, as the sun just ducked beneath her large arch window, the doctor opened the door to her room. He immediately began to fluster about her, checking her temperature and listening to her heartbeat. After a few minutes he nodded, looking at Darren. "I can find nothing wrong with her; I am guessing she has just had a long day." He hooked his stethoscope around his neck and smiled warmly but still holding his professional look, "and may I offer my congratulations to you both."

Darren smiled. "Thank you very much. So, do you have any recommendations for Belle?" He asked, his hand holding onto hers comfortingly, though she barely gripped it back.

"Simply to get a good night's sleep and make sure she gets her sleep," he looked to Belle, watching as her eyes slid closed with a contented smile on her lips. "But keep an eye on her, if anything happens please call for me again."

Darren nodded, looking serious. "I will. Thanks once again. Is there anything I should give her, in terms of food and drink, or should she just continue her current diet?" He shook his head softly and kept his professional smile.

"She's perfectly healthy and fit. I see no reason for her sudden change. This is why I am so concerned. If there is a sudden change I'll come back and do some more tests. For now, I would suggest that you also rest and try not to worry, it would only place more stress upon her."

"I'll try not to," Darren murmured. "As you say, this was completely unexpected." He sighed. "Hopefully this will just pass and we'll have no reason to worry further." He smiled back at the doctor. "You may leave now. Unless... Would you care for some tea?"

"Oh no, my dear wife is cooking her roast today. I could not miss the chance. But thank you so much, Sir." He packed away a few instruments into his bag and headed back to the door, waiting for Darren’s reply.

"You're very welcome. I respect any man who shares my own wishes for Belle to be well." The doctor nodded and left, closing the door behind him so as to leave them in peace. But just as he left Belle stirred.

Her brow furrowed and she frowned, tossing her head against her pillow. She squeezed his hand tightly, though it was still weak in her grip and whimpered as a tear strayed from her closed eyes that were screwed shut.

"Belle?" he cried, worried. "Belle, can you hear me?"

She whined in a sub-conscious reply and let go of his hand before instantly searching for it again. "No... No, please. Please!" She cried as more tears ran down her cheek, soaking her pillow.

"Belle!" Darren yelled, grabbing her hand and kissing it frantically. "Darling, wake up. Wake up!" She woke up, her breathing steady and uneven, beads of sweat appearing on her forehead.

He pulls her up into a sitting position and hugs her tightly. "Belle, I'm here for you, honey. I love you. I love you so much."

"I dreamt you left me..." she cried into his shoulder, "you just... disappeared. It was like I didn't know who you were."

"No, I would never! Belle, you're my one true love. I will never leave you." He kisses her hand and her face desperately, quite affected by seeing Belle in such a state of agitation. "We'll be together forever, Belle. I won't ever let you down."

"Never leave me, ever?"

"I promise. I swear it. I swear it upon my life."

"Oh my word, I love you. I really do."

"And I you," he said, beginning to cry, half from relief that she's okay and half from still being worried about her.

"Oh, but darling, whatever's wrong?"

"I'm just so scared for you, Belle. So utterly terrified. Whenever you display worrying behaviour, I'm filled with uncertainty and the entire world seems dark to me. I need you to be happy, to complete my life, to make sure I'm never thrown into the stormy seas of bleak desolation."

"Then I will try so hard to guide you through the stormy seas. To be your beacon of hope in the desolate times," she smiled, her shaky hand caressing his cheek, wiping away his tears.

He hugged her tightly. "Never leave me, Belle," he whispered. "As selfish as that may seem in light of your current ... displays of worrying behaviour, I want you to promise me you'll always love me. I'd die without you, Belle. I swear it."

"I will never leave you. I will forever love you. I will be yours and you will be mine till the end of time. I promise you." She nodded solemnly, gazing into his shimmering eyes.

He kissed her swiftly on the lips. "Let the world not cause us to fail our promises." She nodded in agreement and patted the bed beside her. He cautiously clambered in and held her against his chest. She smiled, letting the soft labour of his heartbeat send her to sleep.

The End

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