“Mommy guess what! Guess what!”
“Yes what is it Wendy, my darling?”
A lioness and her cub in the twilight.
Photographer: Beverly Joubert/National Geographic Creative
Belle came out of her room after pulling her suitcase from the closet. “Simba, honey can you come here?” The cub was currently in a wrestling match with a pillow on his bed when he heard his name called. “Coming!” he yelled out as he jumped down from the bed and wandered down the hallway towards Belle’s bedroom. “Whatever it was I didn’t do it…” he said quickly just in case he was in trouble. Belle laughed and picked up and placed him on the bed. “You’re not in trouble love.” She said smiling. “Why should you be?” “Cause I always am around here?” he answered as he was placed down on the bed. “No you aren’t love.” Belle said smiling. “I have a surprise for you honey.” “Ooh! What is it?” the cub asked as his eyes widened in excitement. Lottie hummed happily, just completely in love at the moment. She ended up going to the castle, hoping for the others to be there. “We are going on a trip.” She said scratching him behind the ears. “We are?” Tilting his head to one side he began to wonder where they were going. “You mean both you and Uncle Adam are leaving?” Lottie pouted unhappily at not finding anyone downstairs, and instead went up the stairs, hoping to find Belle somewhere. “You too lovey and Ella.” Belle said excitedly lifting him up and laying him in her arms scratching his belly. “Where are we going?” His back leg began to kick a little bit as Belle’s fingers moved across his stomach. “Take a guess.” Belle teased cuddling him close. She sighed at not finding anyone in the library, and went straight to the Master Bedroom. “Belle!”
Belle turned her head and smiled. “Lottie!” She smiled and fell on to the bed, sighing happily. “And just what has you so happy dear?” “Uh…” his mind started reeling with ideas as he was held close. “The cafe?” “Honey why would I be packing a suitcase to go to the café?” She said laughing. “Howl.” She sighed happily, curling up to one of the pillows. “Pardon?” She said looking over at her in confusion. “Girls do a lot of weird stuff so…I dunno.” he answered as he looked over at Lottie. “I haven’t felt like this for him in a while, but-” She smiled. “What are you talkin’ about?” “Lottie what on earth?” Belle said completely confused. “We’re going away for a bit.” “I’m in love~” She said in a sing song voice. “Have fun on your trip!~” Belle rolled her eyes. “What happened to Sterling?” She asked sighing. “And thank you. Simba love keep guessing.” “Who?” She mumbled, still cuddling the pillow. “She’s got as many mates as the lionesses in Dad’s pride…” he muttered wrinkling his nose. “Seriously Lottie?” Belle said now thinking she was completely insane. It took a minute but she shrugged. “What about ‘im?” “Getting very close there honey.” Belle said smiling to Simba. The cub climbed out of Belle’s arms and padded towards Lottie poking her arm with a paw. “Did she hit her head or something?” “I’m starting to think so Simba.” Belle said placing her hand on Lottie’s head. “Do you feel alright love?” “Perfectly fine~” She sighed. “I just can’t help it.’ She bit her lip, smiling stupidly. It suddenly clicked. “W-we’re going…” “Hmmm where Simba? Where are we going?” She asked with a smile. “We’re going home?” His expression immediately became blank. He didn’t exactly know what to feel except a mixture of emotions that overwhelmed him as he sat between Belle and Lottie. “For a visit yes. What do you think?” “This is a dream right? Cause if it is I don’t wanna wake up!” Belle’s face lit up. “Not a dream honey! So are you excited?” A small smile began to tug on the corners of his mouth realization finally setting in. “I GET TO GO HOME!” Simba then jumped off the bed and started running around the room. “YAHOO!” “I’m so glad you’re excited!” Belle said excitedly. “Can we go now?” The cub was suddenly extremely energetic, more so than usual.
"Of course right when I finish packing love." Belle said with a small laugh. "Is Aunt Lottie coming too?" he asked looking up at her from the foot of the bed. "Go to the Pridelands? That’ll be fun!" "Won’t it though. I can see Simba’s excited!" “Mhmm.” She hummed, her thoughts somewhere else. Simba ran out of the room trying to find out where Adam was so he could tell him the surprise. "Uncle Adam! Uncle Adam!" Simba called out as he skidded across the floor before regaining his footing and jumped up onto the couch not really caring if the man was knocked over or not. "Guess what?!" He bows his head triumphantly into Belle’s shoulder, going limp, then pops his head up, looking down. “What?" Belle quickly pulled her legs back and pulled herself up straighter on the couch, smoothing her dress down. "Aunt Belle said I get to go home!" he beamed. He pulls away, and quickly sits beside her, looks at her questionably and confused. " Home?" Arching a brow at her then returning his attention to the cub. "I was thinking darling we could take a small trip to the pride lands. What do you think?"
"Yeah Uncle Adam, can we go?" Simba asked placing his small paws on the man’s knees as he stood on his back paws. "Yes I suppose." "Is something wrong love?" Belle asked getting the feeling he wasn’t thrilled. Adam sighed. “I’ll tell you later, Belle” beginning to put on his cloak. “Alright, Simba. Come get on the horse. Belle we’re going into town for a short while… there are some things… I need to…look into." The cub climbed down as best as he could from the horse as they arrived at the town square. He began to sniff taking in all kinds of different scents but there was one that stuck out to him that was coming from the Butcher’s Shop. "Uncle Adam can we go there first?" Simba piped up as he looked at the Butcher’s Shop. “For what? I think our meat locker has enough to feed your entire pride for a week." He chuckled. "I’m so hungry I could eat a whole zebra though…" “Alright, well maybe a little snack for you, to keep you occupied." He walked into the butcher’s shop, and ordered a sausage. The man giving him a large smile, recognizing Adam immediately. Giving the man a few extra coins then what is required he takes the sausage and comes back out to hand it to Simba. "Thanks!" Simba licked his lips as he grabbed the sausage in his mouth and began to eat it. "So…what’s the-" Simba looked around as he swallowed the last bite before whispering. "thing we gotta look into?" "Over there" He points heading to the ship station. "That’s it? That’s what we came all the way down here to spy on?" Simba asked quirking a brow. “Spy? I’m not spying, I’m checking in to make sure preparations are correct. There are a few changes I had to make, since the moons going to be full when we leave." He looks around and walked into the door allowing Simba to follow. "What’s the big deal about that though?" Simba knew that Adam changed into Beast but he didn’t really know that it was during a full moon. He figured that drinking gin all the time is what kept the transformation at bay. “Uh, I can’t talk about that right now, Simba—we’re around other people. Perhaps later." He talked to the other man, showing him his map and a checklist, and some calculations he made. "Uncle Adam can we go now? I wanna go back to the castle so I can go home…" “What? Didn— are you alright, Simba? Didn’t you wanna come?" He bent down and picked him up so he could see the town. “We’re about to get on the ship and check the main cargo." "Yeah I’m okay, it’s just that….I haven’t been home in forever-" he explained as Adam picked him up. "And I really wanna get there."
“I don’t think were leaving for the pride lands today…” He thought a moment. Belle was taking care of that, he didn’t really know nor have much detail on the trip to Africa. “Don’t worry we’ll leave soon. I just have to check a few things, make sure they are ready.” He sighed, not wanting to even think about this new trip he had to navigate. “Oh…” He became rather quiet as Adam continued on about his business.
Adam sits in his room, feeling rather lonely. “Anybody here?” Simba calls out not seeing anyone downstairs. Reads his book and drinks gin. This time it’s not an atlas but Belle’s book she made for him that one Christmas. He sighs. Missing her. Missing someone. Missing…. Missing. SIMBA. “Hello?” he tried again this time padding through the hallways upstairs. Poking his head inside the Master Bedroom, Simba was rather relieved to find Adam inside. “Hey Uncle Adam! I’m glad somebody’s here…I thought I was all alone in the castle.” “Simba!” He peered up happily, a bit buzzed. “I feel the same.” He stood up and fell onto the bed, collapsing into it, and then adjusted himself to look over at Simba. He patted the spot beside him, beckoning the innocent cub. “You do?” the cub asked raising a brow as he climbed up onto the bed. Adam nods, waiting for the cub to sit beside him. “Mhm.” Simba settles down in the spot that the man had indicated for him to sit in. “So…uh what’s up?” “Oh nothing.” He said petting him. “Just enjoying the day, now. Now that you’re here.” He narrowed his eyes in slight suspicion at the way that Adam was speaking. “Yeah uh, that’s great?” “What did I say something to trouble you, hun?” “Hun?” Okay now this was getting weird. “Di-did you drink too much or something Uncle Adam?” Simba asked starting to take a few steps back. “You want a present?” Adam asks. “A present? What is it?” “Some meat.” “You mean you actually have food up here?” he began looking around the room trying to see if it was in plain sight or not. “No no no.” He shook his head, and petted Simba slowly.
“It’s in the meat locker; we have to go get it. Make you a big strong lion.” He grinned. “You mean we gotta go all the way downstairs to get it?” A small smirk began to appear on his maw as he jumped off the bed and ran towards the door. “Race ya there!” Adam darted after Simba, remembering how it was to be a lion in this situation. The cub made it to the stair landing and ran down them as fast as he could. Skidding once his paws touched the floor. “Can’t get me!” he teased.
Belle scooped him up and carried him into her room. “Adam? Do you mind if we come in love?”
Adam looked over at the door, holding his pocket watch to see the time, and how much of the day he wasted ” resting” … He folded his arms to his chest, and crossed his legs as he sit up in the bed. “Mhmm.” Belle placed Simba gently on the bed and took a seat, resting her arm on Adam’s leg. “Feeling any better dear?” The cub’s ears flatten as he lay on the bed, his gaze focusing on the bed covers. Adam was a little irritated at all of this. If they had just waited for him to finish this wouldn’t have happened. All unnecessary emotion. Adam tapped his fingers into his coat, as a brow arched, staring at Belle. “Vous n’avez Pas Écoute bien, mon cheri. (you did not listen, my darling )” “Listen? Listen to what Adam?”
“ The trip… ” Glaring at his boots. “Adam I’m not upset about the trip. A little disappointed, but I understand.” ” It’s not for another few weeks…. darling….” He trailed, still tapping his fingers. “This was all unnecessary.” Belle looked up at him a bit surprised. “What?” “Mhm…” Sensing that there was some form of tension beginning to rise, Simba slowly shifted his body back glancing behind him to make sure he wouldn’t hurt himself once he landed on the floor. Narrowing his eyes. “Both of you left before I even got in another word…” He grumbled. “So far, so good.” he mused as he crouched low to the ground heading towards the door. ” And you…” Gesturing towards Simba, not even looking at him. Belle sighed. “I’m sorry honey.” She said moving her hand back and placing it on her lap. “Simba was just so upset and that got me upset and I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.” She said looking down at her feet. The cub froze on the spot, his fur beginning to bristle slightly as he was addressed. “Y-yeah?”
Tapping his fingers a bit more roughly. “I thought I taught you better.” “Adam love don’t be cross. He was just upset.” “Flying off the handle like that… ” Looks at her. ” I am about ready to renounce this throne because of the chaos that it is causing…” His shoulders tensed up as Adam scolded him, his gaze averting to the floor. “Adam please now calm down. This is all a big understanding. Now let’s try instead of getting upset trying to fix it.” “Do you see what this job is doing to me? I couldn’t even last an hour before losing my balance, and children are not suppose to talk to their elders that way. That is what got me in this mess in the first place!” Scratching at his jacket, now as he nudges Belle, and gestures her to talk to Simba, and make him apologize. “It’s not my fault that that lady made you like that…” the cub muttered as he turned his head away.
"Well then Adam that’s your decision to make." “I acted just the way you did when I was your age, and now I’m trying to figure out my life and millions of others Besides. Who told you about that? " "Does it really matter?" "If this is too stressful then maybe you should." " Alright, and then where do you propose we live? Maurice’s? " "Don’t get upset with me Adam I’m only trying to be of some support."
" I’m just disappointed that I couldn’t get that last minute in of respect. After all I do. After all I sacrifice it’s never enough ." "Yes because you are certainly the only one who ever has sacrificed for this family." She said folding her arms. " Ugh. Please, just— listen next time, alright? Don’t jump to conclusions, without hearing everything, first. Because this right here, was unnecessary … " He began to back off and instead of looking away, he chose to express himself with his eyes. " It hurts me.. "
Figuring he was off the hook for now, Simba continued his trek towards the door. Belle turned her face the other way debating on if she should leave as well. ” Alright. Fine. ” “Perhaps I should come back later.” Belle said quietly. “Do you want anything for dinner?” ” No.. . ” “Suit yourself.” She said getting up off the bed and heading out the door. “Glad that’s over…” Simba muttered to himself as he finally escaped the room.
Adam sat there, brooding to himself. No one gives a shit about what he does. No one thinks to respect him. For hell he was a beast for 10 years. His adolescence ruined by a curse, he was only just learning to control the temper he had, which before was so much worse. He decided that maybe they’d have a better time without him. That they’d rather go to Africa on their own. Everyone was so upset before over their own misjudgment, and now they are mad at him. Again. For no reason, no reason good enough. Taking these too strongly and yet when he—the master gets insulted with insolence, he gets the cold shoulder. That is not how this works. So he began to pack his bags. As he just made it outside, the cub’s ears perked up hearing shuffling from the other room. Curious as to what it was, Simba peered back inside seeing Adam pack.
He grabbed a small picture of his wife and Ella and stuffed it into the bag, a map, his latest atlas, and violin case. Screw piano. He had one in Monaco, which is where he was slinking away to for a while. He put a few cravats and shirts, his daggers and flasks into the bag, and grabbed the book Belle made for him. Red irises continued to watch carefully. “Un-” No, now wasn’t really the best of times to speak. Throws everything together and slings it over his shoulder, he walks past and heads downstairs. “Uncle Adam w-wait!” he called out trying to catch up with him. “What is it—?” Still walking briskly, grabbing the last bottle of gin from the bar, as heads straight out to the door. His eyes concentrated on where he was going, glaring entirely. “I just-…I wanna say I’m sorry…” he said almost in a whisper noticing Adam’s expression. ” Well— thank you. I accept it. ” His expression not faltering, though in his heart he wanted so badly to retreat back to his castle, his mind pushed him forward and for once he wouldn’t listen to his heart. He opened the castle door and aimed his way to the stable, where he’d retrieve the horse he fell off of earlier. A small frown appeared as he saw Adam walk out the door.
"So that’s it? You’re gonna be a coward and walk out again on us? I thought kings weren’t supposed to be cowards!" he shouted after him. Adam wouldn’t answer. This was for the best. This was for his family. Talking to them didn’t work, listening them didn’t work, no one listened to him. So maybe they’d realize his actions. His absence might be noticeable, maybe. Adam added the saddle, and baggage to the steed, giving the horse the muzzle/reigns and throwing on his red cloak. Maybe it’s better this way for a short while, mounting the horse he looked up at the castle for a farewell. “Tell Belle I’ll be back in a few days time." He said without emotion, the steered the horse around to the bridge and trotted off. The cub was beyond annoyed by this point. "Fine! Leave then, I-I can run this place all by myself!"
“Maybe you’ll do better seeing as how everyone else lets you do things you shouldn’t.” Storming back inside Simba tried kicking the door shut before letting out a roar in frustration. Belle heard Simba roar and ran quickly down the hall and opened his door. “Honey what’s wrong?” ”Uncle Adam’s being a coward…he left us AGAIN.” he explained as he tried taking off the cravat and sheath. Belle’s hand flew to her mouth in shock. “H-he what?” Simba plopped down to the floor thinking that rolling around would help get the stuff off. “Kings aren’t supposed to be cowards, but I guess that I’m the king now right?” Belle’s was in complete shock unsure of what to even say. DAMNIT she thought screaming in her head. It must be nice to just pick up and leave your problems whenever you wish. Belle was hurt and beyond furious. God forbid they talk though anything, no he just leaves AGAIN! She sighed and closed her eyes a minute to collect herself. “I suppose you are for the moment love.” “You can go after Uncle Adam if you want to…I can take care of stuff here…” “He went off…that way.” the cub said pointing in the direction he saw the man go. Belle looked up and sighed.
"Monaco." She said looking into the distance. Having finally gotten the items off Simba began wandering around the castle wondering where he should start first. Belle sighed and headed downstairs to see if Lottie had arrived yet. They were supposed to go shopping, but plans had obviously changed. After gaining a somewhat mental idea of what was to happen, Simba decided that he would do his mission later and padded towards the couch to lie down. Lottie was hanging out within the living room, smiling over at Simba as he came out. "Hey there darlin’." Belle walked in and sighed. "Hello Lottie." "Hey there Belle!" "Lottie can I ask you a favor?" Belle said somewhat upset. "Hey." he said simply before turning and padding upstairs. "What is it hun? Somethin’ wrong?" She rose an eye brow at Simba. "Nope.’ the cub answered flatly as he reached the top of the stairs and padded towards the master bedroom. "Well, have fun doin’ whateva’ it is. I’m gonna check with Simba actually."
”Nah….gotta think of a better place to start.” he mused before his eyes lit up. The study! Of course! Racing back downstairs he clambered up onto the bench. Slowly he placed his paws on the keys to make it sound like he was practicing. His ears perked up as he looked over at Lottie. “Yeah?” “You practicing singin’? Very sweet.” “Uh huh and Piano too…” he had to figure out a way to get her out of the room. “It kinda needs a lot of work so…is it okay if I practice by myself?” “Awww, can’t I listen for a bit?” He was starting to panic a little bit. The cub moved his paws up and down the keys in one fell swoop. “Tada!” She rolled her eyes. “Fine, I’ll check on Ella then come back, alright?” “OK!” he said with a small smile as he started “practicing” again. “Finally!” he mused thankful that Lottie had left. Standing up on the bench, the cub raised his tail and began scent marking it. “Since I’m the king now I gotta make sure the castle is safe, and my territory.” Once he had finished he moved onto a few more random rooms in hopes that this had worked before he heard footsteps approaching. Proud of his work, the cub padded back over to the couch and curled up on a seat pretending as if nothing had happened and spotted Lottie coming back downstairs.
The Next Morning…
Simba began to purr lightly as he fell back asleep in his bed. Belle smiled and kissed him on the cheek and quietly headed down the hall to her room. “W-what on earth is that smell?!” Adam snored. Adam is in the guest room he wasn’t sleeping in the master bed. Nope. Not anymore. Belle walked around the room and gasped when she saw a wet spot. She sighed heavily annoyed and stormed out of the room to get the vinegar. “Where on earth is Adam?” She said to herself. Simba snuggled deeper under the covers, curling up into a small golden ball, his tiny pink nose and lithe whiskers were now the only things visible. Belle returned back to the room and groaned as she got down on her knees scrubbing the carpet with a rag and the vinegar solution. “Unbelievable.” She mumbled to herself. “I leave for five hours and come back to this.” “Belle…” Adam called. “Just come in here, love…. we’ll deal with it and him, tomorrow…” Belle sighed and pulled herself to her feet. She headed over to the guest room after changing into her nightgown and slid under the covers next to him. Adam turns to wrap around her. “Things will be different tomorrow. New changes are to be made. ” Nuzzling into her shoulder, he kissed her forehead and reached over to turn off the kerosene light and held her close and tight. ”Bonne Nuit, Mon Ange.”
As sunlight streamed into his bedroom, the cub slowly woke up from a deep sleep. After standing up and stretching his paws to make sure the kinks were out of them Simba groggily padded out into the hallway and headed downstairs towards the kitchen. Belle noticed the sunlight enter the window and she groaned rolling over not even wanting to deal with today. Adam was already gone. Leaving a note for Belle, about where he went. Into town to get some high-end cleaning supplies that Mrs. Potts had recommended. Thinking that he was still alone in the castle, Simba padded into the study and curled up lying down in Adam’s desk chair. Belle finally decided to get up and found the note on Adam’s pillow. She smiled upon reading it and decided she would avoid Simba till Adam returned. Resting his chin on the wood, the cub let out a contented sigh as he was warmed by the incoming rays of sunlight. Belle headed into Ella’s room and shut the door playing on the floor with her trying to momentarily forget how upset she was. Adam retrieved some very good supplies, essence of lemon and some very good advice from some of the women down at the Laundromat. He returned with a multitude of things and sat them beside the door, wiping the sweat from his brow. It was a hot day too. Belle sat on the floor resting Ella on her knees tickling her and laughing. She is a good distraction. His eyes grew wide while his ears perked up hearing the front door open. Adam walks in to find Belle, bringing in a new mop and sorts. ” I brought reinforcements!” He says majestically and confidently. Belle sat up with Ella on her lap and giggled. “Thank you honey!” ” So… what other places did he get. ” Adam thought for a moment of all the places Simba— ” Shit… he didn’t…” ”Oh you don’t think he…” She said her eyes widening. He smacked his head and held on to it, in frustration. “OH I know he did… I am hiring a locksmith for every door in this place…” He muttered the last part. ”Here give me those so I can go take care of our bedroom.” She said standing up balancing Ella on her hip.
In a panic, the cub dove underneath the desk and pressed his body against the back part of the wood as he best as he could hoping he wouldn’t be noticed. Simba’s senses were heightened, as much as they could be for a young lion cub anyway, eyes darting around in the dim light, his ears perked up trying to listen for any incoming sounds. ” You sure? I can take her, if you would like. I haven’t really…. seen my daughter in a while.” He grinned sheepishly. “Of course.” Belle said smiling and handing her over. Taking the cleaning supplies from him. Adam took Ella gleefully and held her close, as he went to sit in the main chair. Belle leaned over and gave them both a kiss before heading out and towards her bedroom.
Adam blushed a bit, as the idea of having his daughter in his arms, and his wife so loving together at last—gave him a good thought. Happiness. Belle finished up in the bedroom and walked past the study stopping dead in her tracks as she smelled the god awful scent again.
"Dear God." She groaned heading in and looking for the spot. Adam slouched a bit, sitting Ella on his belly, holding both of her hands outward, giving her a big smile and then closing them into her chest so she’d fall forward and he kissed her forehead, and then he repeated again, then closed in and pecked her nose. “Ella!" He cooed. His stress leaving him almost instantly. The cub shifted into a sitting position as he hides under the desk. Ella was laughing hysterically reaching her hands and placing them on Adam’s face babbling away "dadadadada."
Belle finished cleaning up when she spotted Simba’s tail. “Simba!” Busted. “He’s not here.” he answered tucking in his tail. “Simba come here now.” “Mhnm.” Simba replied shaking his head. “Simba you can come out now and explain yourself or you can disobey me and be in deeper trouble.” “But I didn’t do anything though.” he said as his head slowly began to peer out from under the desk. “Really? You didn’t destroy my bedroom carpet as well as in here? Who did then?” “I didn’t destroy it. Uncle Adam said I’m the King while he’s gone and-” he paused for a moment to try and think. “And he’s not here, so there.”
Adam kissed Ella’s hands, playing peek-a-boo. “Where’s the beast?” He said lovingly then pulled her hands away “there he is! Rawr!” pretending to gobble her fingers. “Om nom no m” Gasping placing her hands on her eyes, “Where’s the beast?” He says melodically, repeating the action. “Om nom nom.”
"Wrong. He is here and just because you are taking his place does not give you the right to mess with our things. I am curious as to why you felt the need to do what you did." "I was marking my territory…" he muttered with a pout as he disappeared under the desk once more. "Simba you know better than that." She sighed. Simba didn’t even bother to reply as he curled up and lay down. Ella jumped a little as Adam popped out from behind their hands laughing even harder. "I’m very disappointed Simba." She said taking her things and leaving the room. Adam laid her down against him so he could hold and cuddle her. Running a hand over her soft feathery hair, he gave her head a kiss. Closing his eyes and rocked her. " Oh, mon caneton. " He whispers to her lovingly. Ella nuzzled against his chest and cooed quietly grasping at his shirt. "I suggest you go to your room before I talk with Uncle Adam. I’m sure he won’t be too pleased to see you in here."
Why were people getting so angry with him around here? All he was doing was marking his territory; he had seen his father do it quite often and had learned it from him. As Belle left the study, Simba quietly snuck out and ran to his bedroom and hid under the covers of his bed. Adam got up and sat Ella in a nearby bassinet since they had one in nearly every room, and decided he’d go get her teddy bear thing, or whatever it was. The thing that comforted her, and headed into the smelly bedroom that WAS his. He walked over to the crib picking up the toy-thing. Belle ran into Adam and smiled. “Is Ella sleeping love?” “About to be. I was just bringing this to her” Showing Belle the little bear-toy-thing. Belle sighed still upset over Simba but plastered on a fake smile. “Did you two have fun?” “A short while, but I know were both exhausted from yesterday. So… where else is it?” He asked with a quirked brow, lowering his voice.
Belle tried to keep up the smile. “It’s nothing love. I took care of it.” She said not wanting to upset him all over again. “Ok, well. I’d rather not confront or talk to him right now. I think it’d be best to keep myself away for a while. Don’t you think? You know what’d make me feel better? A bit of piano.” He said with a smile. “Perhaps you could play in the ballroom so I can listen while I make dinner? I love hearing you play. It’s so relaxing.” “That was exactly my idea, mon ange!” He said with pep in his step. “Though, the music— I need it, it’s in my study. I’ll go get it. “
"Adam let me. You go downstairs and have a drink. I’ll get it." " You sure you know where it is? I put it on the shorter book shelf. It’s in a leather folder with gold metal corners." He replies quirking his brow, then nodding to the drink suggestion. Though it was odd, since Belle never encouraged it. Realizing that him ‘having a drink’ meant there was something more, something else. He figured it was good to get a drink, not sure if he wanted to know what it was—because he had to be mentally impaired to hear it first. Oh boy.
As soon as the cub saw Adam get up and leave, he ran and hid behind the pillows on the couch, or at least tried to considering there probably weren’t very many that were his exact size. Belle sighed and got up, bringing everything over and putting leftovers away then starting the dishes, downing the rest of her wine, hopefully it wasn’t too bad since she cleaned the study before hand. Adam knew it. He knew it! Sensed it and tried to ignore it. Marching to the study. He better not hav—oh no he didn’t! He jumped into the room and looked around it with narrowed eyes. Nothing seemed completely different. It just looked clean which was rare, and the smell of the lemon seemed to mask the other scent that still lingered— which he still rubbed his head. Both relieved and still angry. He walked over to the piano to make sure that his instrument had not been damaged. Simba made absolutely sure that he was as hidden as well as he possibly could be on the couch, his tail tucked in beside him so it wasn’t sticking out like it normally was, though his hair tuft was another story. Little strands of brownish gold peeked out from a small section from under the pillow pile. Belle finished up in the kitchen and headed upstairs, not even noticing Simba in his hiding spot and headed up to go check on Ella. Adam wasn’t going to burst this time. He told himself. He wasn’t going to burst. Wasn’t going to lose his temper. No.. no… maybe… He growled lowly in frustration, and took a key from his pocket and walked out into the hall. Belle quietly slipped out of Ella’s room holding the book she had been reading to her in her hands reading it as she made her way down the hall bumping into to Adam she looked up embarrassed.
"Sorry honey." She said immediately closing the book and slipping it under her arm. “Sorry…" He said lowly, heading to the one place that he knew was locked up tight. Belle continued to her room and climbed onto her bed reopening the book. It was best to just leave it alone and let Adam cool down. It was quiet, too quiet. A small pair of eyes began to appear from the pillows looking around to see what was going on. Adam tore down the huge curtain in the room after unlocking it. It was a little like an attic. Belle ended up falling asleep with the book open faced down on her chest. The cub began climbing out of his pillow fort and started walking around thinking it was safe for him to appear. With a sigh of relief he made his way upstairs and down the hallway towards his bedroom. Adam took a few of the things and piled them into the corner to clear the room. It was certainly dusty, but it was ready to be used. The cub finally made it to his room and climbed up onto the bed as a small sleepy smile appeared on his maw, as he flipped over and closed his eyes.
Belle woke up and stretched wondering what time it was and what everyone else was up to. Belle got up at of bed and headed down the hall sticking her head into various rooms before finding Simba fast asleep in his room. Finally finished, he dusted his hands with claps and rested them against his sides proudly. “This is going to be magnificent, and the view … Perfect.” He made his way back down stairs, chipper and quick. Belle made her way back downstairs and started straightening up the living room seeing as the pillows were all out of sorts. After straightening the living Belle sat on the couch trying to think of what else she should be doing. The young prince still slept upstairs peacefully, his ear twitching from time to time as his paw moved in his sleep. Adam came back downstairs, telling his servants of the mess and to search the rest of the castle for anymore “mess” …
Belle was curled up on the couch now daydreaming. Simba began to purr loudly in his sleep as he rolled onto his back, his paws settling on his chest. Walking into the living room, his foot making a thunk as he hit the ground. ” Well.. It’s settled…” He said dusting his hands, smiling, letting go of his anger. Belle quickly snapped out of it upon hearing him enter. “Settled?” She asked unsure of exactly what that meant. “Yes, I am moving the study to a more secure location. You can have that room for anything you desire. But I realized I need something that needs a lock.” He sighs. “I see.” Belle said sighing. “I don’t suppose I need the room for anything love.” She said unsure of how to respond. “I just feel that it is better this way, to prevent further accidents. My study is important for this throne, and my sanity…. anyways, where’s Simba?” “I understand completely.” She said giving him a small smile. “I’m not sure honey. I haven’t seen him since dinner.” “He needs a talk… ” “Yes I know.” She said. “I suppose we should go look for him then.” Simba began rolling around eventually enveloping his body in the sheets. “Alright I’ll start by looking down here, let me know when you find him.” “Alright.” Belle said standing up and heading up the stairs. “Simba?” She called walking down the halls. “Mhnm…No.” he moaned in his sleep as his head tilted back. Not hearing Simba, she moved farther down the hall. “Simba where are you honey?” As he continued to move around in his sleep, Simba fell off the bed landing with a small thud which jerked him awake for a moment or two. Belle heard the thump come from Simba’s room and walked in. “There you are. Are you alright?” He smacked his lips together and lifted his head to find Belle walking in.
"Uh huh…" "What was the thump?" She asked heading farther into the room. "I dunno." he answered as he yawned, his body still wrapped up. "Come with me please love." Adam called out a few times. " Simba…" "I ungh…I can’t move!" "What do you mean you can’t move?" She said trying not to roll her eyes.
Simba’s eyes became half lidded as Belle spoke. Was she really being serious? “I. can’t. move.” he said slowly not even able to indicate his predicament with a paw. Belle sighed and walked over untangling him from the sheets. “Alright let’s go.” “Where are we going?” he asked as he stretched his body once it was free of the sheets. “Downstairs, to the living room.” She said being as vague as possible. “Adam I have him.” She said calling down to him. Upon hearing the name, the cub’s body froze in place as his claws dug into the floor to try and stay put. “I’m not going, I’m staying right here!” ”Now Simba, don’t be difficult. You knew your actions would have consequences.” “OH?” He followed her voice back to where she was heading. Belle turned to see Adam, grateful he had arrived, seeing as she was starting to feel a tad guilty, even though she knew he would have to be disciplined it made her feel bad.
Simba’s claws stayed out as he lay down on the floor stubbornly. Adam tapped his foot impatiently. “Can I go back to sleep now?” “No you may not.” Belle said trying to keep her patience. “You may however come downstairs like we told you to.” Retracting his claws, Simba padded slowly towards the landing on the stairs. As he came to the steps, the prince hopped down step by step the entire way pausing every few moments to make the trip seem much longer than it actually was. Belle sighed and walked over to the couch, folding her hands on her lap and sitting straight up hoping Adam would take the lead on this.
Finally having made it to the bottom step, Simba walked over and placed a paw on the living room carpet. “Well I was here and now I’m gonna go play. See ya!” he said quickly before trying to take off. “SIMBA!” Belle called after him. “What? You said that I needed to be in the there and I already was…” he replied as he glanced back over his shoulder. ”Very funny, now get back here and stay.” “You guys never said that I had to stay though…” he said flicking his tail and taking a few small steps forward in the opposite direction. ”Now why on earth would we ask you to come down here just so you could run back out of the room?” “I don’t know, you guys came and got me. How should I know?” “Just sit still for a moment.” Belle said looking over to Adam. The cub stayed still for probably a total of around a minute before he was on the move once more. With a small shrug of his shoulders Simba headed towards the front door to go play outside. Belle fell back into the chair and sighed. She certainly wasn’t going to go catch him again. Making his way through the pet door, Simba poked his head outside smiling as the sun warmed his face.
Belle groaned and looked at Adam. “I suppose I’ll get him.” She said heading out of the room and pulling him out of the cat door and scooping him up, placing him on the couch. “Stay put.” Adam sat there with his arms crossed. Belle looked over to him moving her hand out to suggest he start. A small lump formed in his throat as he peered up at Adam with his arms crossed. “What’d I do?” He inhaled. “You marked my territory….” Belle crossed her legs and laid her hands on her lap looking over at the two. “Now honey why did you do that?” “But that’s what Kings are supposed to do when somebody else comes…or was it leaves?” The cub couldn’t exactly remember which one it was. “’Cause Uncle Adam said I was the king while he was gone so I marked stuff so people would know it was mine while he was gone…” “Except it wasn’t yours. You’re supposed to watch and defend the kingdom. Not mark it.” “That’s what I was doing!” Belle just sat there looking back and forth between the two of them not even knowing what to say. He did a small eye roll as he turned his head and looked away. Simba was learning about the human side of being king but it started to make him wonder if they knew about the lion side of it. “Simba do you understand what this place is? It isn’t the pride. We’re not lions… ” “I know…” “We just do things a bit differently sweetie. That’s all.” “But all I ever hear around here is ‘rules rules rules’. ‘Don’t touch this’ and ‘Don’t touch that.’ What am I supposed to do around here for fun if I can’t even use my teeth and claws on stuff?” ”Belle?” Looks over at her to get her input. Belle looked over at him her eyes a bit wide like a deer caught in headlights. “Well.” She paused. “Perhaps we could turn the old study into a room just for Simba and we could set up certain things precisely for his claws and teeth.”
"Old study? What happened to it?" Simba asked leaning his head to one side as he looked between both Adam and Belle. “I changed it." He said solemnly and justified then nodded ad Belle’s idea, slightly. Thinking it to be a good idea. "Why’d ya do that?" “Because I didn’t like my things getting urinated on.” "Alright then it’s settled." Belle chimed in. "Oh…can I still see it? I promise I won’t do anything bad in there. Please Uncle Adam?" Simba asked as he placed his small paws on the man’s chest and looked up at him with a desperate look. Belle bit her lip and looked away so they wouldn’t see her start to smile and almost laugh. Adam sighed. " Maybe later… but from now on when I am not home, there is no going in it. It’s locked." “…Does this mean I get the key when you’re not home too?" Belle took a slight breath and composed herself and turned back to the two of them. "Perhaps not my love, but you’ll have a key to your very own room." "But that’s not fair…where are we gonna do lessons then?" Belle looked over to Adam to see what he was going to say, before making a suggestion. “We’re discontinuing them till you behave." Belle’s heart sank upon hearing that. They were being a bit too harsh for her liking, but instead of protesting she stayed silent, debating whether or not to leave the conversation and room altogether. "You can’t do that though! Y-you promised you’d teach me…" he said, his eyes growing wide in concern. “If you can show me that you can be good, and not destroy my study, also, show your respect to your elders, such as those that take care of you. … Then we will resume our lessons together… you think you can do that? " Tilting his head. It seemed good enough.