Continuing Tales

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 14 of 25

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First Truths

What was the matter with Mr. Gold? That had been the question that kept running through Anna's head from that night those long weeks ago. Her mind kept racing on what she could have done for him to suddenly start giving her the cold shoulder. He said not a word to her in the mornings, leaving her greeting a lingering word only half uttered as he snatched his meal and departed leaving her very much alone felt as though she were being shoved away.

The shop wasn't much better; she could count on her fingers how many times he spoke to her in a week. He'd sit in the front talking to customers in his thin cold manner or be burrowed away in a back room repairing an object or working out bills; the shop remaining silent as a crypt.

Of course she could still catch him staring at her every once and a while from a safe neutral distance, but there was something strange to his shimmering eyes now. Regret, frustration, anger? Gone were the days of warm smiles toward each other, moments of enjoying just being around the other, and sweet yet awkward conversations that allowed them both to simply be themselves.

Anna simply couldn't place what was wrong for the life of her, and finally she'd had enough of the unexplained wall he'd built between them.

"We should talk." Anna suggested quietly as she padded into the dimly lit kitchen of his home.

She had carefully planned her entry; it was late when he was enjoying his last cup of tea for the day before going to bed. Mr. Gold was above all a creature of habit, it was the perfect place to ambush him in a way where he couldn't make an excuse to leave.

Gold stared at her for a moment, his eyes narrowing slightly as he took a precarious sip of his steaming beverage. "About?"

"Don't pretend like you don't know." She replied slightly accusing, before slipping into a chair across the table. "Why are you shutting me out?"

Because it's your fault I'm practically that witch Regina's footstool! He wanted to snap back, but held his tongue and temper in check. Every day as he made the rounds of talking and collecting from his debtors, he could plainly see the leafy verdant tree tops of what once had been his land sprawling on the outskirts of Storybrooke.

Regina hadn't wanted the land but for one thing; to taunt him and remind him that it was hers now because of his failings. Everyday when he saw the towering trees and thick undergrowth, he knew that he, once the most powerful man in another realm, answered to her. Until, or if, he could ever get it back it would be a constant reminder that his weakness for his Belle was crippling him and stealing his heart.

"I have no idea what you're referring to, Miss French." He spat plainly, forcing himself not to snarl out the words.

Anna searched him critically, her brow knit furtively. "How can you say that? You act as if you've never known me in your life, and I don't know why."

Truth be told she missed his small smiles, and quiet chuckles, the warm looks he'd flash her that'd make her skin prickle pleasantly with Goosebumps. It felt like a void inside her with him acting this way towards her- cold and distant.

"You are an employee." He interrupted bluntly. "It's not my business to know you, only to know that you do your job and receive your end of the deal as specified."

Anna felt an anger and grief boiling in her that she couldn't help from rising at his so callously spoken words he snapped at her. "That's not true. I'm not just an employee and you know it."

He did know it. He knew it so very well, and that was what angered him most of all. To say he felt nothing for her, even now would have been the biggest lie he'd ever told.

"You're right, you're not just an employee. You are a stray I found on my stoop, and was stupid enough to pity!" He yelled suddenly. Rising swiftly from his chair, he seemed to look at Anna with an anger that burned brighter than she had ever seen it. "If you wish not to be tossed back in the street where I found you, I suggest you don't bring this up again."

Before she could reply he limped out the kitchen, his anger fevering his thoughts. What had he been thinking to take her in? She was trouble in his castle and she was trouble now; toying with his heart like a master puppeteer. Se didn't love him, she used him and now he was paying the price of his stupidity!

Anna sat there alone, nearly in shock at his hard words towards her. She had known about the Mr. Gold she had seen at that moment; the one he reserved for the citizens of Storybrooke. She wasn't afraid of that Mr. Gold like everyone else was, nothing of that nature, she just hadn't calculated how deep his words would go in ripping into her heart.

After the months of being around and with him, she had thought…assumed…guessed, he might have an inkling of the same feeling she did for him lurking somewhere inside. Now it was plain to see that he didn't.

Anna blinked rapidly trying to push the press of tears away. She scolded herself, as the sting pricked at her eyes. It was nothing to cry over, he was simply being Mr. Gold -cold, and cruel. It shouldn't hurt, but it did, worse than any pain she had known.

She managed to hold back the tears, all except one that slowly slipped down her cheek and dripped to the table.

If this was how Gold wished it to be between them, then so be it.


All day through the county of Storybrooke, the little town was abuzz with activity for the first day of spring. The preparations for the festival were in full swing as citizens tacked up streamers of pink and white, put up displays of fresh flowers and pictures that bloomed with new life.

The night before, a spring shower had drenched the town in a heavy rain that now made Storybrooke smell fresh and vibrant with the scents of honey suckle, and blue bells from the forest wafting into the town proper filling every one with a light and happy mood that went along perfectly with the day. Even the usual scowling, glaring sheriff was cracking a grin once or twice.

The only two people who didn't seem to enjoy it were the maid and the business man. The day's cheer immune to them both as they were caught in the mire of anger and frustration.

Anna watched the bustling citizen's zip about putting last minute touches to things and making sure everything was perfect for the fast approaching time of the festival. Normally she loved this sort of thing, the smiling and laughing and the good spirit all seemed to posses. People even bid her a hello, seemingly letting her association with Mr. Gold pass on such a glorious day.

The thought of him made the frown of Anna's face deepen. They hadn't said a word since last night, he acted as if she didn't even exist. But that was fine, she knew, soon he wouldn't have to give her the cold shoulder any longer. She'd no longer be around for that.

Her bag full of her only belongings still sat on the freshly made bed at his home were she had cleaned up any linger essence of her presence there. After tonight she would leave, perhaps that would fix whatever problem was plaguing him. She had no doubt it had something to do about herself. The only question was what it was exactly.

With a slight shake of her head, Anna dismissed the thought. It didn't matter, whatever it was, she could only hope that by leaving his home and his life he could go back to his normal self.

She would leave in the early dawn while the town was still out from their celebration. This evening however, she would attend the festival and think about the wonderful night under the soft lights and the warm breeze they could have had if he had not shut her out.


Across town Mr. Gold closed his shop up early, given the festive day. As he made sure the door was secure and slipped the keys into his pocket he couldn't help but think Belle would love a festival such as this.

He remembered the spring festivals those long years ago back in his castle. He'd never permit her to attend, but she'd always keep the windows wide open claiming to let the spring air in, but he knew it was really to listen to the songs and noises of the festivities coming from the village below. The soft happy sounds would waft through the castle carried by the fresh winds of spring.

He could remember so vividly her humming along to the faint tunes, and him inadvertently tapping his foot in rhythm along with her. They were memories that brought joy, but also anger that now those memories and feelings were being manipulated by one such as Regina.

"Gold, just who I was looking for." A feminine voice hailed him from behind.

Turning about he saw the glowering sheriff stride his way. He would have been on his guard usually, but her pace wasn't one that exuded a threat or suspicion.

He smiled very faintly at her adopting a small amount of decorum. "What can I do for you today, Sheriff Swann?"

"Mary Margaret wanted me to ask if you'd help out with the festival. David won't be able to make it, and she'd like to know if you'd fill in to sit in at the dunking game." She revealed.

The dunking game, Gold could only imagine the line that'd be waiting for a chance to make him take a dip. "Thanks, but no thanks, Sheriff Swann, as much as I truly would enjoy getting plunged in a tank of icy water, I think I'll pass."

"Come on, we'd raise a lot of money for the school." Emma rebuffed with a slight smile.

Gold nodded. "Probably enough to buy a completely new school with all the money set to dunking me. I don't think I'll be in attendance though."

"Alright." Emma shrugged nonchalantly. With a slight goodbye she passed on, striding down the street. In her head however, she was cursing her luck.

Gold scoffed as he began to head towards home. Him go to a festival? No, he and the citizens of Storybrooke had sort of a nonverbal non-acknowledged agreement. He got to torment them all through the year except on special days where they could pretend there was no beast of Storybrooke holding the fate of their livelihoods.

But he was miserable, why shouldn't he make everyone else feel as such? Misery certainly did love company as the old saying went, and Gold was truly miserable since he had left that foul Harpy Regina. Stopping suddenly the wealthy business, man turned around, a cruel grin on his lips as he limped toward the festival with the prospects of making some feel such as he did.


The spring festival was a glorious occasion. The streets were thick with people who milled about enjoying the crisp spring air, and warmth. Stalls were filled with everything from homemade goods, to special treats, and mingled together in a merry fellowship of happiness.

Anna couldn't help but break into a small smile surrounded by all the cheer. Leroy, also known as the town drunk was sitting in a dunking booth, his feet dangling from his perch as he taunted people who missed the target that would send him in the water. Booths of ring toss, and squirt guns were lined with people playing the games for charity, and a small stream of those ducking in and out of the mysterious black tent of the fortune teller booth.

Anna stared at the black tent that melded with the darkness, it had bright blue swirls painted on the canvas with a wide shimmering eye in the middle. What would her future hold away from Gold, she wondered.

Making her way through the crowd she quickly slipped into the tent; even though it was fun and games, what could it hurt to ask?


Gold felt so very out of place amidst the crowds that thronged along. Everything was happy and cheerful, the complete opposite of him and how he felt. He could feel the glares of those who spotted him in the crowd boring into him. It was a 'what is he doing here' look that caught on like wildfire.

Who was he trying to kid, even if he had come for the wrong intentions, or so he had told himself, it was a mistake coming to a place where he wasn't wanted in such a large setting. Beasts did not come to festivities, but stayed hidden away in their caves and castles, only coming out to terrorize the helpless populace. There was only one person in his lifetime as the devious Rumpel and Mr. Gold who had ever seen him as anything different, and he had so cruelly pushed her away leaving her in a stasis where he didn't want her to go, but kept her at bay.

"What are you doing here, Gold?" A slurred voice asked from the crowd.

Turning, Gold saw the hulk of Moe French come stumbling towards him. His eyes were red and shot, the strong odor of whiskey practically wafting off his form. Many people got a tad wasted at festivities, but all was usually kept in a fair order.

"I said what are you doing here?" Moe echoed again this time with a loud burp as he swayed back and forth. "Look around, Gold, no body wants you here. Why do you have to come and ruin things for good folk?"

His words got a few mumbles of approval from the crowd, as other began to turn to the spectacle.

Planting his cane in front of him, with both hands Gold smiled thinly as if taking it in stride. "You're drunk Moe, why don't you have a seat and let these people go back to what they were doing?"

"Why don't you leave?" Another faceless voice in the crowd cried out.

This was met by even louder noise of agreement from the crowd.

"You heard us." Moe slurred nudging his head towards the exit. "Get."

Gold chuckled faintly shaking his head slightly with an air of threat. "Now you see I'm none to keen on taking orders from former flower salesmen who can't pay his debts on time."

Moe's face seemed to turn beet red, either from the alcohol or the embarrassment of being called out in public. Whatever it was the deadly mixture of inebriation and shame was to blame of taking Moe far over the edge.

Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand he staggered closer to Gold his eyes flashing dangerously. "You take my van, my livelihood, and my daughter, you despicable beast. You can have this as well." He spat before dealing Gold a left to the face.

The blow from the hulking drunk sent Gold sprawling to the ground. In all honesty the move had taken him quite by surprise, he had wrongly assumed his reputation would shield him, even from a drunk.

It seemed to have also startled the citizens who watched him fall heavily to the asphalt. It seemed to be a sign that he wasn't a larger than life figure here in the midst of the festival. At the moment, he was only a man who'd made their lives hell. A bold soul suddenly threw a full cup of soda at the still reeling Mr. Gold dousing him in cold cola. It was as if a signal had come down to let the people vent their ire finally on the beast of Storybrooke.

"My husband works his fingers to the bone to pay your rent, Gold!"

"I can barely make ends meet since you foreclosed on my home!"

"You're nothing but a monster, Gold, a bloody, bloody beast!"

"You take advantage of a poor girl out a mental institute? How low are you, Gold?"

The words came loud from the crowd, invigorated by the anonymousness of being in such a large group. He couldn't identify the people who were assaulting him hidden in the throngs and dim lighting, they knew it and so did he.

Trying to protect himself from the bombardment of things being thrown at him, Gold tried to rise to run away. As he finally managed to get to his feet, a slip on the now wet ground sent him spilling down again, and this time he heard the knowing snap of his cane breaking in two as he went down again helpless to the salvo being hurled at him.


From inside the tent, Anna heard the noise when it began. As she waited her turn in line she dismissed it as a person already a bit drunk on the cheep booze the vendors sold, but then the voices got louder. Quirking her head to the side slightly she listened carefully, it sounded so familiar; could it be her father? She dismissed the notion with a slight shake of the head. Whatever was happening the sheriff would settle it out.

The voices were growing louder now, anger in their tones, as more joined in. People started talking all at once, curses and cries of rage along with the sounds of drinks splashing and other things being hurled. What in the world was going on?

Excusing herself from line the beauty fought her way out to see a mass of people encircled around one point. They were all yelling now, and throwing anything on hand: boxes of popcorn, drink, stray bottles, bought trinkets, and even small pebbles. Pushing her way through the crowd, Anna's endless curiosity begged to be relived to see just what the usual calm people of Storybrooke were so riled up over.

As she finally made it through, Anna gasped in shock to see Gold, veritably soaked, and surrounded by things that'd been tossed at him, his cane lying broken and forgotten somewhere by his side as he tried pitifully to get up.

In moments Anna's heart moved for him. It didn't matter what he had done, or what wall he had built around his heart. Moments of callousness were forgotten as she saw him laying there. "Stop! Stop it! Leave him alone!" She yelled running towards Gold. She stood in front of him bravely, her eyes searching and scanning the crowd. "Are you all a bunch of savages? Look at what you're doing to him."

The crowd fell silent at her words, the barrage of small trinkets and junk food coming to a staggering halt. People cast glances at one another, some a bit ashamed; they had gotten carried away in their fury.

"Belle?" Gold murmured in disbelief as he wiped a hand across his face to see through the liquid that doused him, and tried to rise. Could it really be her?

Turning back to him the brown haired beauty, knelt down beside him. Wordlessly, she put an arm under him helping him rise from the wet earth.

Flopping his arm around her, he stared at her for a moment through blurry eyes, it was her, she had come to his rescue for once. But why, he certainly did not deserve saving?

Her face was marbled with concern as she touched a delicate hand to his forehead bringing back a glossy crimson. "You're bleeding; let's get you home."

Looking around once more Anna saw her father standing at the head of the crowd. She knew without a doubt he had been responsible for what had just occurred. For a moment their eyes met, making Moe pause, he seemed to go flush with shame and back away into the night unable to face his daughter accusing look.

Focusing back to Gold, Anna stoically helped him along, out of the festival area. The crowd parted with every step as maid and battered business man headed for home.

Ironically enough it was the same home Emma Swann was just stealing out from. She made certain everything was as she'd found it as she headed out into the night back towards the festival. Her head was swirling with confusion and useful information concerning what she had discovered about Annabelle and Gold.


From the fortune teller tent, Regina, dressed as some mysterious palm reader, for her specific booth, watched the pair leaving at a painfully slow gait out into the night. Although she hadn't necessarily played her full hand in the sudden mob, the outcome of her small part made her grin from ear to ear in wicked pleasure. All according to plan, of course.

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 14 of 25

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