Continuing Tales

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 5 of 25

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First Truths

Her humming. Gold had once thought to never hear it again. A warm cup of tea from the chipped cup he hadn't used since the day he had learned of her death warmed his hands as he sat in his workshop. His tools for repairing old knick knacks lay forgotten on the table as he sat with eyes closed listening to her rummage about in the upper rooms.

He could almost imagine her how she had been in his castle, dusting or sweeping with the same hum drifting pleasantly through the air. He had listened to it then too, except he usually plied the wheel while she hummed. Sometime he'd even smile as she'd change her tune almost like a game to see if he could guess the song. Like his spinning it was soothing, and like Belle it was lovely.

"Drifting off are you?" Anna's voice asked jokingly, tearing Gold away from his reprieve.

Gold tried to force his heart not to constrict hearing her light hearted voice, but he could do that no better than he could grow wings and fly. "Perhaps." He admitted while stifling a yawn; he really hadn't felt this comfortable in a long while. For the first time since they had been brought to this realm, his home was actually feeling like a home.

Even though they talked mostly at ease around each other now, they never mentioned the night of threats and kindness when he had come to her rescue. Pretending it hadn't happened always seemed the better option than the awkwardness of bringing it up again. There was a sort of tenuous understanding between them of what to talk about and what to ignore, just as it had first been in his castle.

The beauty sighed as she fiddled with the cords of the apron she had on tied behind her back. "I'm done the last upstairs rooms so I guess I'll move onto the living room and start there."

"It's around 12, Miss French, why don't you take a break, go to the diner and have some lunch." Gold suggested as he put down his cup gingerly.

Anna smiled sheepishly as if embarrassed as she folded her blue apron up. " I'm alright. Money's tight anyhow. I finally convinced my father to stop slaving away for the miser Laffue so he can focus on finding a real job. I'm all we have to go on right now so it's really not in my means." She replied with a slight shrug.

He let it go at that as if he didn't care, and watched her exit to the living room her box of cleaning supplies in hand. She shouldn't be like this, he knew, her scrounging about to make ends meet miserable and downtrodden. It was nothing like the Belle he had known. Something in this world had beaten her down or transformed her; making his Belle lost in the one he saw now who worried just to get in her rent on time.

Picking up his tools once again to work on a broken cog from a small clock, he began to wonder just how he could get his old Belle back. Gold immediately cringed at the thought that had sprung up, scolding himself harshly for being such a fool. He shouldn't care what Belle was like or why; it was all part of Regina's schemes anyway. He should simply treat her as any other person and wash his hands of it.

Of course Gold knew he should, but deep down in what still passed as a heart, he knew he wouldn't. A disbelieving scoff escaped his thin lips as he shook his head slightly; he hadn't convinced himself to push her away in this world yet, why would this time be any different.


"You will treat your tenants, the French's, better." Mr. Gold stated, standing quite at ease in the rundown office of one Mr. Laffue.

The bent over old gentleman, Laffue, was blinking rapidly in the dim lights of his office, beads of oily sweat slowly brooking down his wrinkled brow. He didn't know why Gold was here, only that when Mr. Gold did show up it rarely ended good for those he had decided to pay a visit to.

"I treat them like any other customer." Laffue whined pitifully the words coming out like a wheeze.

Gold shook his head slightly, muttering a faint mirthless chuckle, a muscle jerked in his jaw if trying to contain a boiling anger that made Laffue want to shrink away and hide. "Now you see, that's a lie. I know what little rat hole you have them in, and that's about to change." He turned deadly serious all at once, his calm demeanor only seeming like a thin veil that hid his malice. "You will give them the best room in this dump, lower their rent, and stop harassing them for more money, or I will personally see to it the next place you end up is a hospital room." Placing his gold cane tip on the old man's throat lightly but steadily apply pressure bit by bit, Gold glared menacingly at the terrified motel owner. "Do I make myself clear?" He asked simply.

"Yes!" Laffue squeaked in terror.

Underlying rumors of Gold's savagery were always swirling about town; he could put you in the intensive care ward and no one would be the wiser or have the courage to accuse him of such. Anything to have Mr. Gold from hounding him was better than ending up on a respirator, even if it was for the two bums living there.

Gold seemed to look down upon the old fool, a satisfied grin of power just hinting the edges of his thin lips. "Good." Taking his cane away from old mans throat he looked Laffue up and down once more then tugged at his jacket before tuning away and opening the door. "Glad we had this little chat."

On this inside, half of Rumpelstiltskin was yelling at him this was wrong, he was only sinking deeper into his useless emotions and Regina's plot, whatever it could be. Instead of firing Belle or staying out of her business, when he should have, and knew better, he had become a protector of sorts; watching out for her, and wanting desperately to gain back the Belle he had known.

In retrospect he should have been very worried about the odd turn of events, and he probably would have if it was anyone else. What consequences may come from the deeds he couldn't seem to help himself from committing, in his heart all he could see was a second chance of regaining one he thought gone forever.


"Back so soon?" Regina asked mockingly pleasant as a man entered her office.

A scrawny man in black strode into her office, nothing could be seen of his eyes or most of his face that was hidden behind large dark shades and a black baseball cap even though it was near midnight. Wordlessly he placed a plain envelope on her neat desk then took a step back, his hands folded in front of him.

The Madame Mayor grinned as she plucked the packet from her desk and opened it. A stack of pictures from the packet slid into her hand; some dark, but with just enough light to make out a distinct gold tipped cane, and the bright blue of a maid uniform.

A few more were of better quality and showed faces that were undeniably Mr. Gold's and Annabelle's as they were caught right in the exchange of handing over money.

The Madame Mayor arched an eyebrow at the pictures that had been snapped of the handing over of money. She had not expected that little bonus shot, but her clever mind could deduce a myriad of ways to exploit the meaning of the photo of Mr. Gold handing over private funds to his maid. Just more ammo in her ever growing arsenal.

Regina could not contain a superior smirk as she gazed over the potentially damning pictures. Her ploy for preying upon Mr. Gold's emotions for Annabelle was starting off tremendously well. She hadn't known the depths of his affection for this woman, but looking at these pictures, she knew it was only the tip of the iceberg.

She had forgotten the satisfactory feeling having some one caught in her web, floundering to be free but only entangling them ever deeper, but she happily welcomed it back once more. It sent a devious thrill racing through her that she had missed since her days as the dark queen.

"Oh Mr. Gold what have you gotten yourself into." She clucked mockingly, containing a chuckle.

"Mr. Laffue has also informed me he's ready to talk." The dark figure finally spoke.

Regina smirked once more at the doubly delicious news; this was going faster than she expected. For someone as big as Mr. Gold, he seemed to be falling rather fast into her plot with no wat to stop himself. But then again, Regina knew, there was an old saying that the bigger they are the harder they fall, and Mr. Gold was as big as they came in a place like Storybrooke.

Flicking her hand dismissingly towards the door, she watched the black figure nod once to her then stalk out back to his observance that she was paying him handsomely for. Leaning back in her chair, feeling rather triumphant, she finally allowed a dark chuckle to escape her lips.

When all was said and done, she would finally have Mr. Gold crushed beneath her heel like the little worm he was. She could imagine it now as he watched his power being leeched away, helpless and hapless, and with the knowledge he had done it to himself. To her there was nothing more satisfying than watching some one be the leader of their own demise.

Placing the pictures back into the anonymous packet, the mayor deposited them into a locked cabinet hidden in a panel under her large desk; they would have their uses in time…

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 5 of 25

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