Continuing Tales

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 22 of 25

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First Truths

The night of warmth and fire entangled in the gentle caress of his Belle still lingered like a mystical essence upon Gold's body in the early morning as he shifted from his tranquil sleep.

He could smell the sweet scent of the dewed grass and the rich scents of Storybrooke come filtering in through his window a perfect addition to what he believed had to be the perfect beginning to morning with his love.

He could still feel her soft kisses and the hungry way she explored his mouth as his hands smoothed across her lovely skin like the remnants of a pleasant dream not fully abating from his thoughts.

Gold grinned drowsily, trying to fight the last effects of sleep from his muddled mind. Even though it was early, he reached out a hand to find where she lay in the wide bed. He desired to pull her body close to his own, whisper mischievously in her ear and nuzzle her neck as he bestowed gentle kisses to her impossibly soft lips to bid her good morning.

"Belle." He murmured sleepily, his hands outstretched searching for her body.

Beside him, he could feel that the fabric was limp and cold, telling him that there hadn't been anyone there for a while. "Belle?" He echoed again, this time in confusion as he finally opened his bleary onyx eyes. Where could she have gone?

Grunting slightly, he propped himself up on his elbows to spare a quick glance across the room that was slowly becoming brighter as the gray dawn snuck upon the earth. He could see no trace of her in the room, no lingering trail of clothes or even a hint that she had only stepped out for a moment. It was almost if she had never been anything but a dream conjured of his love-sick mind.

Listening carefully, he couldn't hear the familiar whistle of the blue and white tea kettle, or the hiss and popping of bacon cooking over the stove. It was too early, even for Granny's to be opened yet, or any other out of the way place for that matter.

A slight twinge of…something jabbed inside of him, but he shrugged it off as he swung his legs out of bed and fumbled for his cane.

"Belle?" He very nearly shouted her name now, just in case there was some hope she was in the house. In his heart, however, he knew it was a false hope he had tried to briefly infuse in himself.

The ache in his leg seemed oddly dulled; only in a mulled throbbing this morning as he limped down halls, searching the vacant, lonely rooms that held nothing but slowly gathering dust. That something inside him was beginning to grow at a rapid pace; clawing at him and filling the business man with a panic as each new place he searched only held a voided emptiness.

He had a terrible feeling he knew what happened.

Grimacing, but not from the pangs of his bum leg, Gold traipsed down the stairs, his eyes searching the bottom tier of his abode frenziedly. He dare not call for her again, fearful it would echo off the walls as he would all but roar her name in desperation as he searched. Not surprising, even downstairs she was not to be found in any room, and nothing showed signs of a forced entry or struggle as if she could have been carried away by some malicious entity.

Limping doggedly into the kitchen, he sighed heavily as he plopped into a chair, his heart racing at a blurring speed. She was gone. Simply spirited away in the night with out any word; with out saying good bye.

Rubbing his hand over his now scruffy features, he tried to take a deep breath and sort things out in his mind to calm himself. He had long ago learned from experience, panic only led to trouble and mistakes. Hadn't he learned that tragic lesson the first time she had kissed him? He had allowed panic to control him then, and that had led to his heart being crushed.

Despite his effort to calm it didn't do any good, not when it was about the woman he loved. His thoughts would not stay in place, each jumping to different scenarios or outcome and guessing concerning her whereabouts. What had occured? Where was Belle?

"Focus." Gold hissed in a harsh whisper to himself that almost came out like a curse. Placing his elbows on the table he held his head in his hands willing himself to calm. He felt the panic clawing its way up his throat as he steeled himself to concentrate and put things in order.

That's when he saw the letter on the table.

It was a plain white envelope with his name written in her flourished handwriting, leaning against the kettle he had so desperately tried listening out for earlier.

He wondered why he had paid no notice to it before now, but then again his mind was far to frenzied in his bubbling panic to even pay attention to such a small item.

A weight came crashing into his heart as he picked up the letter, his hands shaking tremulously as he fumbled to open it.

It was written on stationary she had borrowed from his office; a long slip of paper with a rose print gilding around the edge works. The paper smelled slightly of the honey suckle fragrance she sometimes dabbed upon her neck, and had more than once lingered on the collar of his shirts in a tantalizing aroma. Even at that thought of her perfume lingering on his body, a small sad smile peeked at the edge of his lips.

Her hand writing, so neat and well penned scrawled across the paper, filled Gold with dread as he forced himself to read.


No doubt you are confused about my disappearance, so I will attempt to explain it as best I can with-out letting my emotions run too wild of me. With my memories restored to me I have had many nights to lay awake and think about our world. It was a world we were stolen from, spirited away to this realm of oddities.

We don't belong here Rum, we need to get back to our world, but if Regina gains your control that will never happen. Emma Swann might be the one to break this curse that chains us here, but you are the shield that buffers her from the worst damage Regina attempts to inflict. One of the tactics I learned from the wars was that a knight without her shield is quick to fall.

I can not let that happen. I can not let Regina keep us enthralled in this realm. So I go to turn myself over to the psyche ward at the hospital. Hopefully, they will me safe to the institution and not into Regina's claws.

He paused there for a moment, to dab his dry lips with his tongue. So she had known all along what the verdict had been. In retrospect, he was a fool to believe that she didn't. Even before he had left the court the buzz over the outcome was about town in a gossip inferno that caught up every one in its wake.

But he had been so tired and disheartened after he had arrived home. His mind half concentrating on the financial, and the other to some how tell Belle how things would play out.

He had been so relived to think that she didn't know, totally disregarding all notions that she had something up her sleeve.

I hope you understand why I left how I did, Rum. My heart was already breaking at the mere thought of being away from you again, and I knew if I told you my plan you would try to convince me otherwise. I know with out a doubt I would have listened to your words; desperate for any excuse not to leave your side.

It seemed that her once neat script wavered slightly as his eyes scanned lower. There were a few smudges that stood out, and tiny pin pricks of wet spots that made his heart clench. They were the sign of tears.

My only wish for you as you read this is to feel anger towards me. I wish that heated wrath and unbridled temper inside you would grow anew and be unleashed. I wish you cursed my name and hated the very thought of me after what I've done. I believe anger would be far better than the intense hurt I feel ripping my soul into a smoldering nothingness. The same hurt that I know you, as well, feel now.

I will miss you, Rum, my love. The caress of your lips, and the gentle touch of your hand, and the smiles that I feel so very lucky to have seen, and known that they were just for us. I will miss the way your body seemed to meld to mine last night, and the enchantment we shared entangled in one another's arms as the fire of passion flared about us.

My only regret is that we did not share anymore of those nights. Perhaps if we ever venture back into our rightful world, we might again embrace in that magic.

The only thing I took with me is that blue night shirt you gave me that stormy night you found me on your stoop. I keep it as an everlasting memory of you; to think back upon the first time I stumbled across my love again and to remind me that love is the greatest power of all.

Even as I took this special treasure I left one for you in the envelope; an item I've had even at the institution for those long years. I never knew why I had it or even kept it, but I knew it had to be something wonderful and special, like you.

His brow furrowed slightly at the words, as he put the paper down with trembling hands. Flipping the envelope, he shook it slightly to loosen whatever she could have put in it. He sucked in a sharp intake of air at the tiny object that fell into his awaiting palm. It couldn't be, after all these years, being such a small thing most would over look.

His finger smoothed over a bit of tiny ivory porcelain that had a hint of blue painted on the cermaic. It was in a roughly triangular shape with miniscule jagged edges.

The little chip that had fallen from the cup…how after all these years had she managed to keep such a treasure that to him was worth more than all the spun gold in the world. Picking up the paper again he began to read the last part of the letter slowly, his eyes recording every word to memory.

I hope you understand now why this had to be done, and forgive me for leaving with-out saying good-bye. It tortures me more than words can express, leaving how I did. Perhaps one day we can be together again in the Dark Castle, and you can save me from falling off ladders and we shall have our happiness. Until then I bestow all my love upon you; my dearest friend, companion, mate.

Yours eternally- Belle.

By the time Gold finished, her tears were not the only ones to have smeared against the page. He let the hot droplets brook down his face and onto the letters, erasing them in his grief.

In his hand he clutched the chip until he could feel its jagged edges digging into his palm and breaking the skin to let a burst of blood come forth.

She was gone. Despite his fight to keep her, and all his will not to lose her again; she had left to save Storybrooke... to save him. She shouldn't have done it. Not for him, not for his sake, not for the beast.

A ragged cry escaped his throat, not unlike the one that he had uttered so long along when he'd thought her dead and gone forever. He hadn't wept since that day, and found himself now with no reserving his grief that finally erupted from his throat.

Blood dripped freely from his balled hand that held the chip; digging even deeper into his palm as the last remembrance he possessed of her. Still in this life he was a coward as well, having not the courage to tell her the verdict; so fearful he would lose her if he dare speak the words.

A grimace hardened on his tear stained face at the torturous thoughts that bombarded him. Her words, once spoken in a cold cell still rang with the utmost truth that cut his soul. He was a coward, a bloody coward.

She had made a decision enveloped with only pain to try and give others a fighting chance against Regina's power. But even after her letter pleading with him to be strong, telling him why she had slipped away in the dead of night, he found that he did not possess the courage to let her go.

He was afraid without her. He was a cracked, hollow shell with her gone, and he found that he did not have as such strength as she to simply depart from her. He was a coward because he was terrified to let her go.

No, he would not let this happen again; he would not leave her alone at the mercies of the evil and not try to bring her back. He had let fear hold him back in one world and the consequences had been a crushed heart.

He knew it was the last thing she would want, but it would take all the magic, good or evil, in this world or the last to keep him from going after her.


To say Regina had been surprised when he had gotten an urgent call from the hospital in the dead of night would be one of the biggest understatements of all time.

She hadn't been truly all that asleep when the phone rang. It was more like wafting in and out of fitful dozes; half dreaming of a man she had known and loved long ago, and the lingering feeling of regret she had about destroying her little pet, Graham. He often had his uses on nights like these when sleep refused to grant her any peace.

She could barely believe the no less surprised words drabbling out of Dr. Whale's mouth as he related who was sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. The little pawn Annabelle had walked in and asked to see Whale directly to make arrangements of having her shipped to the mental institution at first light.

As Whale had told it, she had only arrived with a blue nightshirt in her hand, and seemed to have misty far away look in her eyes. She had only spoken a few words to him and hadn't let another sentence pass her lips.

Now fully awake Regina had sprang out of her wide bed banishing the foolish thoughts of having another by her side.

As if her victory against Gold hadn't been such a challenge, and now this former maid had to act the hero and attempt to ruin all her hard machinations!

Regina muttered a low curse as she began to pace, just incase Henry had been woken by the phone ringing and was now listening in. Never in a millions years had it crossed her mind that Gold would ever let Belle go again. The foolish imp simply cherished the wench enough to face losing his prestige and power in the community and even letting Regina win.

After a moment of intense thought, Regina shook the thought away that Gold had gone against his nature. He would have never let Belle leave, meaning she might have gone on her own more than likely with-out his knowledge which would explain such an odd hour of arriving at the hospital.

If that was the case then…A slow smile crossed Regina's lips at the sudden devious idea that had bloomed into her thoughts. She could use this to her advantage very well and on top of that add insult to injury against the impetuous Mr. Gold.

Her malicious grin only widened as she picked up the phone by her bedside to give Dr. Whale his orders on how to proceed with the unforeseen change of events.

As the phone chimed in its static ring, Regina couldn't help but think whoever termed the phrase 'you can't have your cake and eat it to' was the biggest moron alive. You could in fact have both when you were Regina Mills. She could deal with her long time enemy once and for all and shatter his heart in the process; proving that you in fact can have both and be equally satisfied.


"Regina." Gold spoke her name in a breathless gasp as he limped through the door to her office.

He looked as he usually did, or at least tried to, but there seemed to be something disheveled, and off about him this morning. His dirty brown hair was uncombed, a growing beard unshaven, his onyx eyes almost wild, and his normally sharp business attire looking a tad less than on point.

He was in panic, and was doing his best to hide that fact, but utterly failing under the Madame Mayors insightful gaze. She leaned back in her chair, doing nothing to try and make him believe that this was a surprise meeting. They both knew what had taken place and she, for one, would relish sinking her claws into him one last time before she devoured his heart.

"Mr. Gold." She replied simply.

He stalked in, being careful not to slam the door behind him. His eyes darted swiftly to Regina's own telling her, even though he was attempting to veil it, that he was a truly frightened and desperate man. "Where is she? What have you done with Belle?"

The Madame Mayor kept her face strictly neutral as she nonchalantly heaved her shoulders in a shrug. "Nothing."

"Nothing?" He spat back, his voice dripping with a bubbling hatred. Digging into his suit pocket, he seemed to glare almost insanely at Regina, making her tense slightly. Had she finally pushed him to the point where losing everything, even his life, meant nothing when he had the chance to take her own?

That fear was abated instantly as he threw a thick manila packet on the table, near fit to bursting, onto her desk.

"That's everything, Regina." He revealed, his voice quivering slightly with his accent. "Deed, titles, loans, land, even my shop. If you but tell me what you've done, and give her back."

Oh he was desperate, Regina knew then, so deliciously pitiable in his want for his love. Shaking her head slightly the mayor simply quirked an eyebrow in Gold's direction savoring the emotions roiling inside him that lay just under his surface. This would be fun.

"Did you think it was going to be this easy, Gold? Did you think that you could come in here and throw your wealth on my table and think I would just tell you what I've done with her?" She sneered slightly, her eye flashing in the fires of anger. "You humiliated me in court with that little stunt you and that insignificant gnat, Swann, pulled. I was made to look like a scheming moron who wanted to gloat over a fool proof plan! And you think I would not desire revenge for that embarrassment that's now all over Storybrooke?"

Gold grimaced at the words she had spoken, knowing he should have foreseen such actions. In any world, Regina was not one to let a mockery or disrespect concerning her go without repercussions. "What do you want then?" He asked lowly.

She paused for a moment pondering almost, searching for some answer that would balm her embarrassment and utterly crush him in the process. "Beg." Regina replied venomously, letting the one word linger on the air for a few moments. "If you want her back so badly then get on your knees and beg, Rumpelstiltskin." She hissed fiercely.

Regina's revenge had always been brutal, playing upon the strengths and weaknesses of a person to bring them low.

Gold had always been prideful and confident of his power, eternally looking down upon the weak and needy as he had once been. But that was before Belle, when life's only meaning was to be feared and hated through out the world. It was when pride and a feeling of ultimate superiority had been the closest he had ever attained to happiness.

Once, he would have never even considering doing such for Regina. In fact he might have transformed her into the toad she truly was for making such an insolent request of him. But that was before Belle, before she had shown him what true love was and how pitiable everything else paled in comparison.

Now with out her, he realized pride was worthless, nothing could compare to true love and the happiness it wrought.

Wordlessly he dropped to his knees, only grimacing slightly as his aching leg screamed in pain. He gave it no second thought now, if only he would have Belle back, safe with him. "What have you done with her?"

Regina sighed almost in mock agitation though Gold could sense she was enjoying his utter humiliation with every agonizing second that passed.

She had a glowing conquering look about her features as she looked upon him. "Mr. Gold I haven't done anything to your little lover. The judge made an order and I'm bound by law not to interfere." She grinned then, the most devious smile he had ever seen marbled across her sharp face. It was a smile that made a gulf form in his stomach with cold raw fear. She was telling the truth, and worst of all he knew why.

"You haven't done anything." He concluded in a dire whisper, the realization of what was happening and what had or what was about to occur hitting him like a ton of bricks. "She's really on her way out of Storybrooke."

The Madame Mayor nodded once her glinting eyes silently applauding him for putting two and two together finally. A slight chuckle escaped her smirking lips as she drank in his look of ashen appall and numb terror. "And we all know what happens to people who try to leave Storybrooke; don't we, Rumpel?"

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 22 of 25

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