“Please let him live. Please save him. Please.”
Belle had to admire the swiftness with which अलादीन brought Dr Sweet running to the gym. Had she been anything other than hysterically wracked with sobs, she might have been और impressed द्वारा it.

“What happened?” asked Dr Sweet.

“Gaston’s a murdering bastard, that’s what!” roared Flynn, who was still being restrained द्वारा John.

“Let me see. Belle.” Dr Sweet took her द्वारा the shoulders and attempted to ease her away from Adam.

“No!” she sobbed, clinging to him.

“What’s happening?” Meg had come running into the room and now she stared at the sight before her. “Oh, my God!”

“Belle, please, I need to treat him,” Dr Sweet said, gently but firmly prising her away from him. Belle covered her face with her hands, tears flowing free. Meg hurried up and hugged her. Belle wriggled in her grip, trying to get free. “No, get off me!”

“Is he going to be alright?” asked John. अलादीन was helping him to restrain Flynn.

“I’ll have to get him back to my surgery,” कहा Dr Sweet. “Will आप boys help me?”

“if Flynn would learn to control himself,” muttered John, giving Flynn a little shake. “It’s not worth it,” he hissed.

Hercules reluctantly let Gaston to his feet. Belle rounded on him at once. “You murderer! How could you?” She broke free of Meg’s restraining arms and lashed out at Gaston, attempting to hurt any part of him she could reach. In her hysteria, her blows were rather pathetic and feeble, but she didn’t care. “How could you?”

Gaston simply smirked. Paranoid that he might try to hurt her, even in the presence of Dr Sweet, Flynn caught hold of Belle. “Belle, it’s going to be alright,” he said, shakily.

She shook him off and sank to her knees. Meg crouched beside her. “Belle, he’s right, it’ll be ok,” she murmured, soothingly.

“What’s going on in here?”

It was Mr Ratcliffe, followed द्वारा सिंडरेला and Mr Phil. Dr Sweet picked up the dagger and turned to Flynn. “I take it this was the weapon involved?”

Flynn nodded, grimly. Gaston didn’t seem the least bit sorry for what he’d done; if anything, he seemed extremely proud of himself. Dr Sweet looked up at Mr Ratcliffe. “Adam’s been attacked; he needs urgent medical treatment or...”

He broke off; he didn’t have to say it. Belle knew what the end of that sentence would be.

“Attacked?” Mr Ratcliffe turned to Gaston, piecing together the pieces of the puzzle. “By you?”

Gaston scoffed. “I did the world a favour!”

SLAP!

Meg had struck Gaston right across his smug face. It came as a surprise to no one that Mr Ratcliffe didn’t reprimand her for it. “Bringing weapons into school and attacking students is strictly prohibited!” Mr Ratcliffe snapped. “I am surprised at you, Mr Hunter! Immediate expulsion and I will be bringing the police into this!”

He seized Gaston द्वारा the scruff of his neck and propelled him from the room. “Come on,” Meg murmured to Belle, helping her to her feet.

“No!” she moaned.

“We’ll do no good sitting here,” she pointed out, leading Belle from the room. Belle threw a glance over her shoulder. How could everything have gone wrong so quickly? One मिनट she had been holding Adam in her arms and the next, he was dying in front of her eyes. She was sure of it. “He can’t,” she whispered. “No, he can’t; not like this; not now.”

“I’m sure he’ll be just fine,” Meg replied, soothingly, rubbing her back. “Dr Sweet’s a great doctor; he’ll be able to save him.”

“You don’t know that!” Belle cried, breaking free of her embrace. “You can’t say things like that when आप don’t know whether या not they’re true!”

She turned and ran from the building. “Belle!” Meg called after her, but it was no good. Meg sighed, sympathetically. What a thing to happen. The whole ordeal with Mr Frollo had been one thing but that was just brutal.

Outside, the weather seemed to have noticed something was wrong, for it was now raining quite hard. Belle didn’t care, even though she was quickly soaked to the skin. If Adam...if he didn’t survive...how could she go on?

“Please,” she whispered to the heavens, praying to whatever powers were out there to offer help या guidance, “Please let him live. Please save him. Please.”

She couldn’t tell whether it was the rain of her own tears that soaked her face as she ran. She wasn’t going anywhere, just circling the school, telling herself that if she managed to complete the whole circuit of the school, Adam would live.

Twice she circled it; and then a third time. Three was a magic number, wasn’t it? She ran around it four और times and then when she had लॉस्ट count, she eventually fell to her knees, sobbing. Her दिल felt like it had stopped beating; she couldn’t feel anything but sorrow, and fear.

In the school, Meg paced restlessly outside the gym until Hercules found her. “How is he?” she asked.

“Dr Sweet’s doing all he can,” he replied. “It’s touch- and-go. Where’s Belle?”

“She ran outside. I think she needs to be alone.”

“Flynn’s raging. He says he’s going to kill Gaston if Adam dies.”

“He won’t.”

“Won’t he?” Hercules asked her.

“No, because we all will if that happens,” Meg vowed, clenching her fists.

When she felt that she could cry no more, Belle made her way back into the school. Soaking wet, her clothes dripped stale rain water onto the corridors, echoing throughout. They sounded so lonely. All memories of being with Adam flowed back to her; taking him on in the class debate, him rescuing her from Gaston, walking with him to the library, him walking her back to her room, her hearing his संगीत in the Drama room, him coaxing her to sing, लेखन the प्यार duet with him, being in the Book Club, him comforting her, her falling off the ladder in the पुस्तकालय into his arms, being with him in the castle, dancing with him, him asking her out...her falling in प्यार with him.

She began to cry again. “Surely I can’t have any tears left,” she thought, “and yet still they come.”

Meg and Hercules found her crouched in the corridor, crying. “Belle...” began Meg and then, unable to say anything, she sat down beside her and put her arm around her. Hercules sat down on her other side and patted her shoulder.

“I just don’t believe this is happening...” she sobbed.

“Neither do I,” कहा Hercules, grimly. “I mean...it’s just...well, आप read about things like this in other schools but आप never think about it happening here...”

Meg stroked Belle’s hair. “You should change out of these wet things, Belle; या you’ll catch a cold.”

“I don’t care!” Belle moaned. “If Adam dies, I might as well शामिल होइए him!”

However, eventually, her फ्रेंड्स were able to coax her into going up to her room to change into something clean and warm. Belle felt numb, like an automaton, as she moved. All feeling, emotional या physical seemed to have been removed from her limbs. She sat on her bed, unable to utter another word. Meg put her arm around her and held her. “It’ll be ok,” she murmured. “It’ll be ok.”

There was a knock on the door. “Belle?” called Hercules. “The Doctor’s here.”

Belle stiffened but got to her feet. Was this it? What would he say? She felt like a woman waiting for a telegram back in wartimes. To her surprise, when she opened the door, Dr Sweet had a relieved look on his face.

“Miss French,” he said, “I thought you’d like to know that Adam’s just fine.”

“Oh!” With a sound that was something between a sigh and a swoon, Belle felt her legs buckle. Hercules quickly steadied her. “He’s alright? He’s going to be alright?”

“He’s going to be just fine. Luckily the wound wasn’t as deep as I thought; it’ll heal soon.”

“May I see him?” Belle asked.

“Well, he’s resting now, but आप can see him in the morning, when he’s awake.”

“Thank you!” Belle gasped, flinging her arms around his neck. “Oh, thank you!”

He chuckled and extracted her from him. “Just doing my job, Miss French. Now आप should get some rest too; doctor’s orders.”

Belle was too overcome with relief to sleep much that night, but she did her best. Nevertheless, she was up before the घंटी, बेल was due to ring. She dressed quietly so as not to wake her फ्रेंड्स and then hurried as quickly as she could to the surgery.

Dr Sweet opened the door before she could even knock. “I saw आप coming down the hill,” he told her, ushering her into the room where Adam had been sleeping the night before. She had expected him to be lying down, but instead, to her surprise, he was on his feet, looking none the worse for wear.

He smiled at her. “Belle!”

Without stopping to think, she rushed into his arms. “Ooh!” Adam winced as she accidently caught his wound. “Careful.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” Belle exclaimed, extracting herself from him, hands over her mouth. “I didn’t think!”

“It’s alright.” Adam smiled at her. “Nice to be missed.”

She looked up into his deep blue eyes and realised that it didn’t matter where या how she कहा it; she just had to. It was true and he needed to know. “I प्यार you!” she exclaimed and then she flung herself into his arms and kissed him.

Adam sighed against her lips. “And I प्यार आप too, Belle,” he whispered as they parted. “With all my heart.”

She clung to him. “I was so scared...I thought I’d लॉस्ट you!”

“Belle, that’s never going to happen,” Adam told her. “Never.”

She was about to say what she had कहा to Meg; but then she realised that somehow they both knew this was true. “I know,” she breathed, as he kissed her again. “I know.”

“And I प्यार आप too, Belle...with all my heart."