Continuing Tales

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 17 of 25

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First Truths

The office of the Madame Mayor looked as it usually did. Everything was how a normal study of a city official should be seen to the public: files tucked away in steel cabinets, the thrumming low hum of fax machines and copiers as they awaited use, and even the little worthless conjured pieces of paper from some college or other nailed up to the wall in her spacious office.

There were of course pictures of her adoptive son, resting on her mahogany desk, which displayed moments of birthdays and special events with the widely grinning Henry. To her, the pictures were an open admittance to just a touch of motherly love from the nearly compassionless mayor.

Regina leaned back in her burgundy leather armchair, allowing a feeling of absolute power sweep over her body as she gazed across her surroundings. True, it might look like any other office, but in reality it was a palace; the place where all schemes and plans were sewn and blossomed into life. And if it was a palace then truly she was queen. The place held many secrets some dark and some unfathomable, all waiting to be used at any given point should the need arise. Needless to say she was quite proud of the citadel she had built in this world.

A red light suddenly blinked in the corner of Regina's vision, briefly making her put aside the utterly pleasing feelings of ruler ship and tyranny. Clicking a button she spoke pleasantly into the mic as if she were oblivious to what the contact would be about.

"Yes what is it?" She asked her secretary, her tones bitterly sweet like poisoned honey.

The poor woman on the other end of the line sounded like a frightened mouse cornered by two ravenous cats that were waiting on a move from the other. "Um…ma'am, Mr. Gold asked me to contact you again for a fifth time." The secretary revealed; her voice almost laced with pleading to send the more than likely irate Gold into the mayor's office.

Regina had been making the pawnbroker wait for nearly half an hour simply because of the pleasant knowledge that Gold was under her time limits now. He wouldn't dare leave, or walk out and that itself filled the Madame Mayor with an evil giddiness knowing that she dictated what Rumpelstiltskin did.

"I forgot he was there." She replied nonchalantly, feigning an innocent slip of the mind. "Yes send him in, please."

Regina couldn't help but give a low chuckle as she detected a faint sigh of relief from her secretary before the line went dead and the red light blackened.

Putting on a tight smile she listened to the rhythmic tap of Gold's cane as he slowly lumbered down the hall, each step seemed to resound a burden knowing he was willingly letting her play him around. She could almost feel his anger pulsing from behind the door as he stood there for a moment, probably gathering himself, before walking in to face the object of his hatred.

"Good morning, Gold." Regina greeted with a wicked smirk playing upon her glossy ruby red lips.

Gold grimaced and grunted slightly as he sank into a chair across the large desk. Both his black leather gloved hands rested on the handle of his cane as he glared hatefully at her, almost forcefully holding back a snapping curse. "It was until you called. What do you want now, Regina?"

"Right down to business, are we?" Regina chuckled in mock scolding. "It can wait for a few moments. Tell me, how have you been since that nasty incident at the fair?"

Gold shrugged carelessly, feigning apathy; he could play this game of false niceties with Regina as good as any. "The bruises are healing nicely."

"Yes." The mayor drawled with just a touch of wicked malice. Picking at some invisible particle under her ruby painted nails she forced herself not to grin. "It's a good thing Annabelle was there or it could have gotten ugly."

At the mention of Belle, Gold couldn't help but let a flash of anger glimmer in his eyes as his jaw tightened. It infuriated that he so flagrantly had a wound Regina could prod at over and over to torment him.

"What do you want?" He spat; not wanting to be around the mayor longer than was possible. The words of Belle's tale came back to him now in her vile presence. Words of how Regina had tortured her, and locked her away sent fury flooding through his veins.

"Dr. Whale called me about your condition. He said Annabelle seemed genuinely concerned for you; not many can say that." Regina carried on as if Gold had not spoken at all. He could not demand anything of her anymore, run the show, or manipulate the end, she knew. His precious Belle was too important for him to even try now. No, he would swallow his pride and endure for as long as she chose to fancy the conversation.

Flicking her hand dismissingly at Gold's narrowed glare, Regina reached into a drawer handing Gold a plain thin white packet.

Gold stared at the pack incredulously before shifting his stony onyx gaze back to Regina, not daring to touch the pack unless told what it contained first.

"Still so suspicious." Regina reprimanded as she simply slid the packet over the desk letting it rest in front of him. "Just a small list of changes I want you to make with some of your debtors." She informed him easily.

A faint disbelieving snort escaped from Gold as his lips dipped into an even deeper frown. "No."

"No?" Regina echoed, though there was nothing but amusement in her voice, like he had said something completely ridiculous.

"I am no ones puppet!" He snarled dangerously. There had been a time when he could have laughed in her face at such actions of her trying to control him, but he knew better than anyone he was not in the best position in their little game.

Shaking her head sagely, the mayor of Storybrooke, stared at him like a parent would a petulant child. "Now, now, let's be rational, Gold. You wouldn't want your little maid taken would you?"

"Belle is safe. I made a few changes to my security so that your goons won't get to her. You should know you cannot play the same move on me twice; it will never work a second time." Gold rebuffed, trying hard to keep his temper in line.

"Safe." Regina mulled over the word, tapping her chin as if in thought. "How odd, I didn't think roaming the streets of Storybrooke in a storm was safe. I bet Sheriff Swann won't either. Oh and I do know better about playing my hand, Gold. That's why I must stay one move ahead."

Gold paused for a moment, his face giving away a tad of panic that zipped across his features before he could mask it with a neutral air. "Miss Swann won't believe you." He stated flatly, though his tone was less than confident.

"But she believes her gut feeling which is telling her that you are using dear little impressionable mentally unstable Annabelle for your own misdeed." Regina replied swiftly. Another grin spread upon her face as she looked at Gold's ever darkening features.

"How quick do you think Emma Swann would break down your door, guns blazing, equipped with a search warrant and rightfully drag the 'damsel in distress' out of the home? She does so have a knack of popping up in places she's not wanted at an alarming speed. And even after that, how quick do you think she could slap out papers linking you to some perverse scheme against the pretty maid? To put it simply, Gold, why would I need goons, when I have a perfectly good law official just waiting to snatch Belle away from the beast of Storybrooke?"

Staring at the mayor who now possessed an air of superiority, Gold knew that when it came to manipulating others there was no better than Regina Mills. He hated that fact but he had to admit it just the same. True, it was well known Emma had no love for the mayor, but she had been poking around far too much not to jump on a chance to take Belle, even if the request came from the mayor. She was just another bloody pawn in the ever dangerous game of power.

Gold could repel, Regina's thugs, or 'hired men' that would take Belle, but Swann was a different matter altogether. They both knew how special she was.

His eyes slowly fell upon the white packet, now with an ominous air that actually made him wary to pick it up. If he held it he would be catering to Regina. It would be another silent message of 'you have all the control'. The thought made him want to grit his teeth to the knowledge that he would have to bow to her will once more.

"I hate you." He hissed bluntly as he snatched up the pack and stuffed it into his suit pocket quickly as if someone would see him taking it.

Regina barked out a harsh grating laugh that echoed coldly through the room. "Trust me, Gold, the feeling is mutual."

He didn't respond to that, but only got up from the hard backed chair, visibly fuming, as he limped towards the door like a beaten dog. Regina waited patiently before he was halfway out her office, still savoring the fact he pandered to her just as he done the first time.

"One last thing, Gold." She uttered forcing him to stop. "What do you do after a queen has dismissed you?" She asked, placing her hand together before her.

Surely she couldn't be serious; here and now in this day and age given where they were. Gold inwardly shook his head steeling his resolve; he wouldn't do it, he was Rumpelstiltskin for heavens sake!

"Gold, I'm waiting." Regina trilled vilely pleasant. "Unless of course you have changed your mind and want Miss Swann rummaging around your business."

Turning back, Regina could see the cold fury in his eyes that flicked like bright embers of his hate. She could almost see him shaking in rage, the hand on his cane curled in a death grip around the gold gilded handle.

A few second passed in dead silence, before Mr. Gold dipped in a low bow then turned away and stomped off, leaving a victoriously cackling Regina behind. She pleasantly listened to the unnecessary hard thumps of his cane as he all but barged out in a fury that brought a smile to her face. Leaning back once more in her chair, Regina couldn't help but think how good it felt to be a controlling queen in a palace once again.


Gold could barely hold back his scalding anger as he strode through the streets of Storybrooke. People usually avoid the cold, cruel Mr. Gold as he walked among them, but today they literally stepped aside, almost feeling the heat of his fury as if it was a physical force pushing them away.

The nerve of that conniving, scheming, toad! Gold thought bitterly as he turned down the final street that led to home. He would make her pay, once he found a way from under her thumb. She would curse the day she ever had the gall to blackmail Mr. Gold using the lovely Belle as her pawn.

The sudden thought of Belle, safe and waiting there for him put a bit of ice to the fury, but not nearly enough to quench it all. With a curse, he paused for a moment, and dug into his suit pocket to take out the pack. He practically yanked it open as he took out the first and only sheet of paper. What fury had been quelled re-ignited a thousand times brighter as he read the words. He could almost imagine Regina's smirk as she had typed it out. Foreclose on the Storybrooke cleaning Co.

He crumpled the paper in his shaking grip, taking out what ire he could on the note. He wouldn't have been surprised if it had burst into flames from his rage as he tossed it to the ground to be destroyed in a muddy puddle.

Forcefully he turned back down the street, limping towards the Storybrooke first national bank to make a few changes on the accounts Regina desired him to; cursing her name darkly with every step.


Belle hummed to herself quietly as she dipped her hands in soapy water; washing a few dishes. She hummed tunes that she had sung long ago in his castle. They were light hearted little ditties that made her smile and the chores seem to fly by as she dusted and swept the empty halls of the Dark Castle. They had been good times, she remembered, only him and her, going through the days unable to identify what was growing for the other in their hearts but knowing it was something different and special.

"What is that you're humming?" Gold asked smoothly, coming up from behind.

Before she could reply his arms wrapped around her body, pulling himself close. Belle shivered pleasantly at the skimming warmth of breath shifting by her ear, and the feel of his mouth as he kissed her delicate neck.

Rum was always showing her small gestures of affection tucked away in the privacy of his…their home. Belle had often thought, rather amusingly, he was making up for lost time of not having her close, but in a way, so was she.

Turning to face him, Belle wrapped her arms around his neck, smiling lovingly at him. "An old tune from Avonlea." She revealed freely.

"Pretty." He replied simply, a soft smile coming to his lips. Even in his rage, Belle could always quench the anger that burned in an unholy inferno inside him.

A hand went up to tenderly brush the russet curls from her lovely face. Gold still could barely believe she was there and in his arms, alive and safe. But it came at a price, everything did, and his price was being under Regina's thumb, doing as she bid him with his business.

She wrinkled her nose and smiled almost admonishingly at him as she clucked her tongue. "If I remember correctly you used to term it as being worse than the noise of a cat that just had a bath."

Those had been special moments in the months she had stayed there, joking back and forth with her with no true malice to be had in his words. But had she known that it was only a bit of fun? It had been such a long time. His brow furrowed slightly, a small frown tipping at the edges of his lips.

"I knew you were joking." She revealed with a chuckle before he could say a word.

His shoulders slumped slightly in relief at her words. It was odd how he could still feel like he was walking on eggshells around her, fearful one word might have her away and out of his grasp leaving him feeling void and empty once more.

Belle seemed to read his thoughts as if they were being clearly displayed on his face. He had the look of one that had found a dear treasure and was afraid it would be lost. She knew the feeling very well, and the agonizing heart ache that came along with it when it happened.

There was only a moment where all they did was stare at one another, each with their own thoughts of love loss and love regained, and the price for both. Banishing that unpleasantness away, not willing to think upon it, Belle leaned up to him, nipping the edge of his jaw line with a series of soft kisses. In a way it was reassuring him that that there was no need to fear her going away.

She could only grin as an odd noise like the mix of a groan and a sigh bubbled from his mouth as her lips worked their way to his own, kissing every bit of flesh along the way.

The unpleasant reminder of the papers Regina had handed him came at the absolute worst time, as her lips met his. It angered him that Belle was being used in Regina's game to force his hand. It infuriated him that he was actually letting it happen. Was the price of having Belle back to great? The answer he knew was yes, but he was still willing to pay it in full for as long as it took until he figured out a way to be the master of his own business yet again.

A moments thought of revealing everything to Belle briefly flashed in his head but he let it fall away as quickly as it had risen. Belle would not like to know she was being used to make him dance to the Madame Mayors tune. What would happen if she did find out about the blackmail? Even the thought made his heart constrict; he never ever wanted that to happen. He would rather stay under Regina before he unleashed that hurt upon Belle.

As he was letting the thoughts whirl about his head, Belle deepened the kiss almost urgently her body pressed so close it almost felt as if they were melding into one. With one last thought, cursing Regina darkly, he let the tremulous thoughts ease from his mind and let the world fall away as he held his love.

He gave himself small consolation that Regina was not the only one with a few aces up her sleeve, and it was about time he brought out some of his own.


Emma yawned sleepily as she shifted uncomfortably in an unmarked vehicle. The ash gray of dawn was just hinting the treetops telling the sheriff she had staked out Mr. Gold's house all night.

So far she was coming up with nil. She'd hadn't seen nor heard anything to clap Gold in cuffs for manipulating Annabelle, and certainly nothing worthy of procuring a warrant. With a sigh she leaned her head back closing her eyes tightly. There was a feeling of frustration and abject powerlessness as the blonde haired sheriff saw no way to pin anything on Gold and question Annabelle freely.

A rap on her window startled Miss Swann making her jerk upright in alarm, a hand going for the gun by her side.

The frowning features of Mr. Gold stared upon her through the dirty glass pane. His breath slightly fogged the window from the outside as he looked at her incredulously, almost as if he was tired of some sort of game. "If you're done staking out my home, Miss Swann, I'd like you to take a small stroll with me."

He smiled blandly as Emma stepped out of the car, seeming to bristle with hostility and mistrust. The young sheriff crossed her arms, glaring accusingly at him. "So, are you ready to admit what you've been up to?" She asked icily.

Gold snorted derisively as he began limping down the deserted gray sidewalk. "Hardly, Miss Swann. I want to talk to you about the favor you owe me and how I'll be calling it in soon…"

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 17 of 25

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