Continuing Tales

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 19 of 25

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First Truths

The small court of Storybrooke was stiflingly hot for a day in late spring. The chairs looking to the stands were filled with sweaty, hot bodies that only made the sweltering air in the room; worse for it felt as if all air was being strangled out of the court.

It seemed as if half of Storybrooke had been jam packed into the room, with the other half began going about their usual business waiting for one scrap of information from the inside like ravenous wolves.

Every one was excited about the trial, the Madame Mayor was suing Gold for the more than half his business deeds and titles where it had been admitted she had been business associates with him! Such things had always been speculated in the dark, but now the rumors were coming to a head to be seen and scrutinized by the Storybrooke public.

Fans swirled lazily overhead in the crammed courtroom trying vainly to relive some of the blistering heat, and the windows had been yawned open to allow what rare breezes came from the outside world to flow through adding only a hint of relief.

Emma stood in front by the judge's bench, her arms crossed and a trickle of sweet brooking down her temple as she bore the heat in threatening silence. She wasn't garbed in her normal attire of jeans and shirt with her leather black jacket, but now dressed as any officer of the law would be, her hair bound behind her, with a crisp brown ironed police uniform, with the Storybrooke county name sewed in on the sleeve, a belt equipped with the normal police arsenal, and polished black boots.

By the doors in the back, Ruby had been reinstated as active deputy for extra support. She looked just as Emma, but wasn't authorized to have anything but a bottle of pepper-spray on hand and a night stick that she swung in boredom back and forth in her hand.

Some people protested her as deputy, but Emma knew the scarlet waitress had a knack for sniffing out trouble or seeing when it was going to start.

Normally the court didn't even have a bailiff, due to the normal day to day where nothing major ever happened. But today, all knew was different; the two biggest powerhouses in the county were going head to head in a frenzied grab. A special circumstance to say the least.

To the side, the jury box was filled with twelve people each looking frightened out of their wits.

It had been a hard task for Emma to actually find twelve people in all of Storybrooke that were directly connected to Gold or the Mayor, but it had been done. They had come kicking and screaming with every excuses from a heart attack to insanity, but it had been done, and Emma had dragged them all there. It wasn't as if she didn't understand their fear; it was the mayor and Gold! They were terribly scared to be pulled up into the whirlwind of it all. All knew that it would come down to who were they afraid of more and what would be the repercussions of their choices.

Mr. Gold sat rigidly in the wooden backed chair, nothing showing on his ever calm and neutral features. It seemed that not even the press of heat could affect his stony demeanor. In front of him on the table rested a black brief case and a few sheaf's of paper; the only arsenal he deemed to show in the preliminary trial.

Belle sat directly behind him, only apart by the barrier that distinguished the onlookers from the scene. He could practically sense the silent support she emanated soothing some of his worry. He could feel her worried gaze boring into him as he looked forward to the empty judge's perch. She was concerned and afraid for him about what that Harpy might do, and with good reason. Belle knew probably better than anyone not to under estimate Regina's poisonous words.

Across from him, Regina was the only frigid thing in the room. He wouldn't have been surprised if wisps of cold and snow stared swirling up from her lithe body. She reclined lazily in the chair, a wide ruby smile marbled unto her sharp face, as she rhythmically rapped her nails along the table in front of her.

She too had procured a black brief case that rested ominously on the oaken table like some foul offering. Gold couldn't help but wonder what revelations or damning evidence it could contain in its leather bindings ready to be slung against him and ruin him.

"All rise." Emma stated suddenly, as she saw the door that led to the judges study creep open an inch.

The scuffling of chairs was almost unison as ruddy, older gentlemen waddled out in his black judge's robe. Under one arm he carried a thick folder as he scuffled up to his seat.

"Court is now in session, the honorable Judge McClain presiding." The sheriff finished as she made a sitting motion with her hand directed to the people, not bothering with the rest of the courtly procedure. It was all pomp and formality that no one had time for any way. Every one, including Emma wanted to get to the meat of the trial.

Straightening a wrinkle in his black suit, Gold retook his seat, but flashed a venomous glance at Regina as he did so, silently starting the battle with the glint of steel in his eyes.

"The Madame Mayor, Regina Mills vs. Travis Gold." Emma announced before handing yet another file to the squinting judge.

Wiping a tear of sweat from his brow with the back of his hand, the judge nodded as he smiled a watery grin at her. "Thank you, sheriff." Pushing his glasses farther on his face, the judge perused the file intently before flashing his gaze to Regina. "Madame Mayor, you have the floor, your opening statement, please."

Regina stood and flipped opened her briefcase in one smooth motion, a lovely soft smile playing upon her lips. "Thank you, your honor." She turned to the nervous pews of jurors, her gaze kind and yet sorrowful. "It pains me that is has to come to this, but I saw no other way to solve this predicament. Over the past few months the usual strict and efficient Mr. Gold has been declining in his business procedures."

"That's not a crime." Gold interrupted calmly.

The judges cast a glare the business mans way. "Mr. Gold, no interrupting." He warned though the scolding sounded frail and almost frightened.

"Oh no, he's quite correct." Regina continued, with her sickly satisfying grin. "I wouldn't have a case, nor would I be so concerned if that was the only problem. Unfortunately, corruption and malice have been plainly evident these few months, and I truly fear for Storybrooke businesses. As we all know, Mr. Gold owns more than half the town. What would happen to the Storybrooke's economy if one of our most upstanding citizens fell to corruption?"

With that lingering question still wafting through the heated air, Regina took a seat, flashing Gold and evil smirk. "That is why I have brought Mr. Gold here today to try and save some of those businesses which I had the pleasure to help by joining in association with Mr. Gold."

Seeing that the Madame Mayor was finished with her statement, the judge made a slight puffing cough like sound before he flashed a motion of his hand towards Gold; watching the business man intently.

Gold snorted derisively once, as he rose. His cane was gripped in his right hand as he faced the judge grimly. "Your honor, I see no grounds for any such claims of 'corruption'. I run my businesses like I always have." He turned slightly to Regina with a ghost of a grin. "Furthermore, one has to have evidence of corruption to prove anything and even still to sue for private property and business deals is a very far shot."

Regina turned to him, her black eyes glittering in a devilish manner that put a pit in Gold's stomach. There was not one hint of worry in her pitiless black eyes. She had truly planned this well; very, very well.


"Do you truly think she has a shot of winning this case, Rum?" Belle asked as they talked alone, tucked away in a small niche of the courthouse, relaxing slightly thanks to the judge's call for recess

Mr. Gold loosed the strangling tie from about his throat slightly, wiping some of the gathered sweat away from the back of his neck. It was hard to tell, so far Regina hadn't put anything up that was to damning. Yes she had admitted to being a business associate on some of the deals, and yes she had admitted to letting some things slide.

In all reality it seemed an easy case that either he would win or the judge would have to dismiss, which made Gold very, worried. When things seemed simple with Regina that's when she was the most dangerous. "I don't know; it's too early to tell." He mumbled.

"Which means you don't know what she has planned or what she could possibly have against you." Belle concluded darkly; her brow knit in ponderment. Placing a hand on his shoulder she smiled reassuring at him, refilling some of his hope. "It will be alright."

What would he do without her? What had he been doing when she wasn't in his life? Her soft words, her smiles, all buoying him, and making him strong. Gold smiled in the face of her optimism, even though in his gut his doubt ran free. Placing his hand atop hers, her sighed quietly. "I suppose you're-"

"Mr. Gold, we'll be starting again soon." Emma announced as she stepped around the corner. Her admonishing gaze fell to Anna in a silent tell that said they really shouldn't be seen together. She was still highly suspicious of Gold and his supposed relationship with the Annabelle.

"Good luck." Belle wished to Gold as she, pecked him on the cheek with a soft kiss before disappearing back into the court.

Gold watched her go, the press of her lips still felling as if they were there on his cheek. His small smile faded when she dipped back inside to be replaced by a grim frown.

"Miss Swann. I will be calling on that favor tonight." Gold stated suddenly as he began to limp back to the court room. Now, he knew, would be the best time to play his hand while Regina was still prancing around like a victorious peacock for luring Gold to court. As an after thought he turned back to face her frowning features. "And I suggest you leave the badge at home."


The night cooled most of the heat of day away bringing a comfortable atmosphere to fall upon the shire of Storybrooke that made Regina feel very relaxed. She slowly strolled through the dark streets of Storybrooke in very high spirits.

Even though it was still warm enough for most to forgo even a sweater, the Madame Mayor had a thick black coat on, mostly to hide her movements and keep the occasional midnight stroller, such as doctor Hopper with his Dalmatian, or a restless walker from identifying her.

She couldn't help but let a wide Cheshire smile don her lips as she walked down the dimly lit avenues. Not even one day from trial and Mr. Gold was trying to strike a deal. Such was his nature of course. There would be no deal struck, she knew, she was only coming at his request to gloat as she watched him writhe in panic.

After all, with all the work she had done in the long road to crippling him permanently a little basking in victory was due she believed.

The quaint antiquities shop sign that said 'open' still hung on the door, telling Regina that he must have been too worried about the trial to even think about anything else, especially keeping his shop in check. As she entered, the only light that was shining was a shade less lamp in the back room like a beacon in the midnight blackness.

Reaching into her purse, just in case Gold might go to far, Regina made sure the sheriff was on speed dial, and the gun in her purse was locked and loaded. She strode through the shop that held the odds and ends confidently as like a moth entranced by the light that she came nearer to.

"Ah, Regina please have a seat." Gold invited off handedly pointing to a chair by his work bench as she padded inside. He had a small screw driver in his hand as he worked diligently on an ivory music box.

The Madame Mayor smiled nastily at his nonchalant attitude that was no doubt masking his frenzied panic. "What do you want, Mr. Gold?" She asked before dropping into a seat opposite of him, her hands folded delicately.

"A deal of course." Gold replied as he twisted the screw driver absently. "Perhaps we can put these courtly procedures behind us and come to accordance privately. I'd make it worth your while."

"It'd never compare to what I'm pressing charges on you for now, would it?" She laughed slightly. Shaking her head, Regina looked around the room. "Nothing you could offer would be greater than taking half your business from under you, Gold. You'd be fairly crippled in the business world with a loss such as that."

"But I'm offering you a guaranteed set amount." Gold countered as he placed the box down gently. "Remember Regina, you never know what I have up my sleeve. There's no assurance you'll win."

Regina laughed coarsely as she snatched up a trinket on the table fingering it curiously. "Do you assume I simply woke up one morning and decided I would take the infamous Mr. Gold to court? That it was just a passing fancy? No, I watched and waited for the right time to strike, which of course was when I released your precious Belle to play upon your empty little thing you call a heart."

She watched in satisfaction as Gold's features tightened, his onyx eyes narrowing hatefully. "So you tricked me all along with the intention of still taking me to court?"

"Don't you know me yet, Gold? Of course I did, but I can't take all the credit. Oh no, your weak, pitiful, sad heart just had to lead your actions instead of your head. You let love to precedence, and look where its go you? You did it to yourself, like a fool!" She grinned maliciously before rising.

Brushing off her thick coat, she spoke carelessly to him as if her words were not meant to cut him. "Well this little chat was nice, but I must be going." With that she walked to the door, only turning around once. "See you in court, Gold."

Gold's eyes watched every step she took as she waltzed through his shop to the exit, and even when she was outside, his glances followed her till she had disappeared around the corner. Over-confidence, foolish, foolish Regina.

Sitting back in his chair, he let a shaky sigh pass his lips as he pushed the ivory box away and opened it, revealing a black tape-recorded; the red recording light still flickering. Clicking it off, he stood up, just as the sound of ruffling and rummaging emanated from one of the walls that had a large wardrobe in front of it.

He smiled thinly as Emma popped out, looking rather shocked. Had she just heard what she thought she had?

Gold clasped both hands over his cane handle as he looked at the seemingly confused sheriff. Her head must be reeling with questions, none of which he was going to answer as specified by the favor he had called in.

Feeling quite like his old devious self the other world had known, he smiled at her thinly. "Well Miss Swann, I most certainly hope you caught all of that conversation."

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 19 of 25

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