Continuing Tales

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 13 of 25

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First Truths

"I brought lunch." Anna claimed as she walked into the quaint little pawn shop owned by Mr. Gold.

The bell above the door clattered as she shut the door and flipped the open sign to a 'be back later' notice on the other side. The place looked much neater ever since Gold had hired her to work in his shop. When she'd arrived it was a veritable whirlwind of odd and ends having lost any rhyme or reason to its assortment.

Anna couldn't help but utter a chuckle remembering in some places where the dust had been almost an inch thick, causing her to go into a sneezing fit that'd make Gold chuckle slightly as he gazed upon her with a strange glint in his eyes. It was a look he gave her that made her stomach twist and her whole body feel warm.

It had been a few weeks of hard work to make things ship shape, but the place was looking fresh and new with everything in its correct order.

"What's it today, Miss French?" Gold asked good naturedly as he appeared from the back room.

Placing the bag on the counter, Anna dug in revealing a white box with a red dragon logo on it. She shook it temptingly in front of him, a soft grin on her face. "Mulan's Chinese." She replied as she searched for a fork.

"Hmm, going around the world today are we, Belle?" Gold chuckled quietly. Sitting down on a stool he helped himself to the noodles inside one of the boxes.

Anna held back a laugh, shrugging just slightly. "Well, I always did want to see the world."

Gold grinned at her as he sat back allowing himself to stare at her. It still never ceased to amaze him how she could be here with him all over again. He had once disbelieved the notion of second chances, but now he was a firm believer. The only question now it seemed was did she still feel the same way about him? After all this time, to a different realm, was love so strong? After what he had done to her, could an inkling of her heart still want the beast of Storybrooke?

Anna picked away absently at her food as silence grew around them. She had been trying to chalk up her courage to ask him something ever since morning. Did she even dare mention that the Storybrooke spring festival was coming up; did she dare ask him if he would like to attend with her?

What a sight that would be, Anna thought half amusing to herself. The looks they would get, enjoying the pink and white booths and the warm glow of lights on the first day of spring. She could almost hear the hushed murmurs of the gossipers now. The outcasts, together enjoying the warm night air, and a fair designed for good honest sane folk. What could it hurt to ask?

"So, Gold-" She began only to have a faint buzzing suddenly go off.

The wealthly loner dug into his pocket producing a ringing phone. "A moment." He stated his tone apologetic as he tapped a few keys.

His once thin smile melted away, as he eyes moved quickly, reading the words on the small screen.

"Is everything alright?" Anna asked, her lunch now completely forgotten.

Gold quickly deposited the cell back into his pocket as if Anna had been trying to look. He shrugged though there was a frown now upon his lips. "Nothing really, a minor complication with one of my associates." Cringing once in pain he stood, up and grabbed his jacket. "I'll be back soon; if I'm not close up shop for me would you please."

"Um, sure." Anna replied in confusion. Before Gold left out the door, the beauty touched his arm faintly, searching his eyes for any hint of what had happened. "You sure everything's alright."

"Of course." He lied smoothly before stepping out into the mildly chilly day.

As soon as he left, he spat a curse, the message on his phone still running through his head.

We need to talk.


Gold had only gotten a handful of messages personally from the Madame Mayor, but when he did they were short, and never good. He had no doubt this one would live up to the other rare few standards.


"Ah there you are, Mr. Gold." Regina greeted with false warmth that was all to fake even for her. She sat in front of a magnificent chess board carved of marble black and white. The pieces of the same quality set up and in their right positions before her. She proffered a hand to the empty seat on the other side of her. "Please, have a seat."

Gold, glowered at her, thought only moved to slam the door behind him. "I didn't come here to play a game, Regina. What is it you called for?"

Regina chuckled slightly as she toyed with a white pawn on the board. "Funny, you used to love a good game, old friend. How alike we used to be." Shrugging mockingly innocent, the Madame Mayor turned back to the cold Mr. Gold, a faint smile pulling at her lips. "I just wanted to let you know that I will be taking the 15 acres of forest on the outskirts of Storybrooke you own."

It was Gold's turn to grin faintly at her ludicrous words, a small chuckle escaping his lips as he flashed Regina a look of incredulity. "Now Regina how on earth do you plan on doing that, now? I told you no over and over. That land is my property, and it will not be sold. You can take it to court but I'll win and you know it."

Regina flashed him an admonishing look, clucking her tongue once. "Dear Gold I wasn't asking; I was doing you a favor by informing you so you don't look a fool in front of the realtors association next month."

"Have you lost it, Regina? That land is mine!" He snapped, his eyes blazing angrily. Regina's calm was disconcerting to him. Her coolness was a sign that he knew something horrible was about to come down on him.

The mayor shrugged carelessly, trying hard to keep back a grin. "Not if you want to keep your little maid, or lover as I've heard about town."

Belle, of course it was going to be about Belle. Why else would she be looking so confident like a lion having trapped a wounded animal?

"Go ahead; you can't do anything to a woman whose has done nothing wrong." He scoffed once, before turning. "Don't waste my time again, Regina, your paltry threats are as empty as your soul."

"Oh really?" Regina asked slyly just as Mr. Gold put his hand on the door knob.

Turn it and leave, he screamed inside, but there was something in Regina's voice that made his gut clench. She wasn't bluffing; he knew that victorious little catch in the Harpy's voice so very well.

"Pictures, witness', statements." The mayor rambled off casually. "I have it all, Gold, every thing to condemn your pretty little Belle to a life of asylum. Does she even take her meds anymore? The ones that if she doesn't violate her terms of release?"

She had them, he knew, she had it all and more, it was simply Regina's way to come to battle fully armed, and with a trick or two. Turning around to face her, his features were alight with anger that vaguely masked his panic. "And what makes you think you'd win your battle to put her back if I went up against you?" He had influence, he had wits, and she must have known going up against him would surely be a vast undertaking.

Grinning slyly the mayor cast him a devilish glare of knowing. "Don't try to fool yourself, Gold. After all the pain and anger you've caused the people of Storybrooke; after all the enemies you've made from practically everybody in his whole town." Regina paused, smirking vilely pleasant reveling in Gold's fear. "Don't think for a second that a jury won't take away the one thing you cherish so dearly. The people of Storybrooke have been waiting to jump on a chance like this; to make you feel the way they do."

"We're done here." Gold spat, through grit teeth as he turned back and jerked the door open.

In his head he knew it was true, there wasn't truly one person he could say didn't have a family member he hadn't dealt with. Those feelings of revenge would burn bright to the point where no argument would make them change from the verdict of guilty. All he was hoping for, praying for, rather, was that Regina was bluffing, chosing not to bring anything to court.

"Take one step out that door, and I won't hesitate to make that call to the asylum." Regina threatened calmly. Even though he wasn't looking at her, Mr. Gold could hear the smile in her voice. "Of course the choice is yours, Gold. Leave and keep your measly 15 acres and lose Miss French all over again, or do as I say. And don't worry, I won't make things so blatantly obvious like taking over all your business. Why would I kill the goose that now lays my golden eggs?"

Would he pander to the vile snake? He knew with out a doubt before he could make it back to the shop, Regina's goons would already have come and gone. Belle was in jeopardy and he found himself for a second time completely helpless to aid her before it was to late. Wordlessly, even though his whole body screamed not to, he turned around to face the mayor who reclined in her seat with a wide Cheshire grin.

"Good." Regina chuckled, beckoning once more to the chess board. "Shall we begin, old friend?"

Gold limped forward stoically, his eyes never leaving those of the mayor. If looks could kill, she would have been nothing but a puddle of blood on the carpeted floor. "I'll find a way to fight this, Regina. You've gotten lucky but you haven't won. You will never win against me." He snarled lowly, but even he had to admit the words did not have their normal luster behind them. With a small grunt he fell into the chair, feeling more though as if he were bowing to her; and in a way, he was.

"Oh don't glare at me that way." Regina mocked as if she hadn't even heard him. She basked in every ounce of hate he threw at her, taking a moment to completely revel in her thrill of power over him. "If you think about it, you've no one to blame but yourself. All you have to do is push her away, and you have your power back. All you have to do is treat this one woman like every one else you trample over."

She leaned forward over the table, her eyes searching his, as a sneer came suddenly to her face. "You tired to do it once and your heart shattered, and now you can't force yourself to do it again. Pathetic."

Gold turned his eyes away from the victorious mayor, unable to face her scorpion words that cruelly barbed in his heart. He wouldn't, he couldn't, he'd never let Belle go again, and that was the part that galled him the most because in the end, Regina's words were spot on.

Looking down at the new chess board, his grip tightened over the hilt of his cane, as she let a devious laugh pass her lips. Her words seemed to float to his ear and whisper smoothly. "Your move."


It was late before Anna had heard the front door unlock and the floor boards creak under his weight. Even though she had told herself time and time again he was fine, a part of her had been slowly gnawing away with worry.

She sat with a book under the warm glow light of some twenties decade floor lamp reading of forgotten lands and mythic kingdoms. On the bright side of his being absent she had finally managed to gather enough courage to ask him to the spring festival.

Snapping the book shut she leapt up to race to the hallway to meet him. A wide smile played on her face as her heart leapt. "Gold, I-."

He looked at her, no glared at her with a fury so profound she took a step back. His lips were pursed into a tight frown, as if he was keeping himself from snarling at her.

Shut up! Shut the hell up! For some reasons they were the only words that would pop into her mind as she stared at him. They echoed through her head as if he was shouting them aloud.

A pit in her stomach grew; wavering her thoughts, and confusing her. Why was he looking at her like that as if she had done something wrong?

Gold stared at her for a long moment, anger and rage just bubbling beneath him. With out a word, not trusting himself to say anything, he limped up the stairs.

This was all her fault, if she hadn't come back into her life, if she hadn't been so deplorably desperate, if she hadn't claimed his cold heart he wouldn't find himself under Regina's iron heel! For the first time since she had arrived, he cursed Belle, and the feelings he couldn't help but have for her.

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 13 of 25

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