Continuing Tales

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 6 of 25

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First Truths

After a few tortuous weeks of bad luck, and shaky starts, things seemed to be looking up for Annabelle French. As it turned out Mr. Laffue did indeed seem to posses a heart by moving them to a better room, there hadn't been any mental 'episodes' with her condition, she had a steady paycheck, and her father was looking for a job that wouldn't break his back.

Her employer wasn't as bad as people whispered he was either, sure he could be cold and calloused, but she always saw a different quieter side of him when she worked at his vast home. He would always be tucked away in his workshop or wandering the huge home like a lonely lost ghost that strayed this way and that from room to room as if he would find some kindred spirit waiting one day. Given that he didn't have friends of any sort, she guessed perhaps he was a trifle lonely, and she was probably the only company he had on a regular basis.

While some might have found his solitude unnerving and creepy for being the richest man in Storybrooke, Anna actually found it quiet nice and refreshing being around him. In the depths of her heart, she might have actually admitted she enjoyed it.

"Why do you call me Belle?" Anna asked curiously as she polished Mr. Gold's rather large silver collection of odds and ends stored away in an old cupboard.

Besides her occasional humming it was always quiet in the home with no music or laughter or voices, almost like a crypt. Rare small talk with her employer was all she had to fend off the silence.

Gold looked up at her from the table he sat at. Stacks of paper that had the word inventory printed in large block letters on the top were piled before him in neat stacks. Placing his pen down, a ghost of a smile played on his lips. "It's part of your name." He replied simply.

"Sure, but it's just that everyone else calls me Anna or Ann. You're the only one who calls me Belle." She shrugged.

"Well if you don't like it, I'll stop." Gold stated before picking up the pen again and looking back down to the numbers before him.

Anna shook her head slightly. "Oh no, I quite like the name Belle, it's pretty, and I think much better than Annabelle."

"You don't like the name Annabelle?" He asked casually, though in truth the conversation intrigued him, sparing a glance her way. It was happening again; the images of the old and the new mingling in his head. She didn't have her maid's uniform on but the old blue and white dress she wore in his castle, her light brown tresses tied loosely behind her.

The beauty frowned as she bent to her task. "It's not that I don't like my name, it's why I was named Annabelle. From what my father used to tell me, I was named after an Edgar Allen Poe poem."

"It was many and many a year ago

In the kingdom by the sea

That a maiden there that you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me."

Gold recited the first line of the poem slowly as if savoring the words, even while he was still scrawling out numbers in the inventory ledger.

Anna stopped polishing the silver, turning to Mr. Gold, a smile playing upon her face. "You read Poe." She pointed out.

"I like his work." Gold admitted with a cavalier shrug.

Turning to him fully now, she seemed completely off track of her work. She had gotten like that sometimes in the castle, working on one thing then her endless curiosity leading her stray to something else. It had been frustrating and endearing to him all at once like sometimes finding a window only half clean and her totally engrossed in something else trying to unlock its mystery or ask him a question. She always did finish of course, but only until she had gotten a satisfactory explanation.

"What's your favorite poem of Poe's?" She asked suddenly.

Gold paused for a moment, his pen halted on an inch above the paper. The tiniest hint of a sad smile came briefly to his face. Horrible memories of regret and loss flashed before him briefly before he shook the thoughts away. "The Raven." He whispered to hide the hoarseness in his voice.

"And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming

And the lamplight over him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted-nevermore…"

Anna finished the last verse of the poem, her tones subdued as if catching his infectious melancholy.

"You know Poe too I see." Gold pointed out to fill the silence that had blossomed in the room.

Smiling sheepishly the beauty turned back to the silver, squirting more of the cleaner on the dulled trinkets. "I should. The Raven is my favorite as well. It strikes a nerve in me and I don't know why."

Could it be? Sparing another glance at her as if he could read anything of her feelings he searched her curiously for a moment before he shook the feeling off. It was probably only a coincidence.

"But since we're on the subjects of names, what's yours?" Anna asked.

A grimace suddenly came unbidden to his face as he remembered the rather unpleasant moment with the vile harpy, Regina. She had humiliated him, forcing him to speak his name of long ago that he had never uttered since coming to this world. But he could see Belle was genuinely curious, meaning no harm in her innocent questioning; he found it hard to keep his anger bubbling when it came to her even though the memories of hissing his true moniker stung still.

He grunted once scribbling a few numbers down. "It's Mr. Gold; you know that."

"Your first name." Anna clarified with a smile and a slight chuckle that was reminiscent of the old Belle.

Gold could not help but smile faintly at her, but merely shake his head turning back to his task.

Seeing that he wasn't to keen on answering, Anna pursed her lips, cocking her head slightly to the side in a puzzled fashion. "Well, if you will not tell me I will simply have to guess. Rodney, Roger, Richard, Rick, Raymond-."

"So many 'R's'." Gold interrupted. It was amusing in its own way to see her ramble off names, even though he wasn't exactly sure why she was so certain it stared with an R. If he wasn't completely assured the curse had worked on her he might have guessed it was some sort of repressed memory from her past life.

"I feel like your name should start with an R." She replied placing the knick knacks back carefully into the cabinet. "I won't have to go on instincts if you tell me though." She teased pleasantly.

What could it hurt? Gold thought, amused by the effort Belle was putting into her guessing. "Travis. Travis Gold. There are you satisfied?" He admitted, feigning annoyance.

"Quite." She nodded once victoriously as if seeing through his thick façade of annoyance. Annabelle was strangely comfortable around all his moods, and could even tell as if instinctively when he was merely trying a bit of humor or serious. It felt normal to talk how they did, almost completely natural as if it had always been like that. Shaking the feeling off the young maid smiled, and shrugged as she put the last piece of silver back in the storage. "Funny, though I still think it should start with R…"


"We need to talk." Emma growled to Regina as she strode into the mayors office. Closing the door behind her, the blonde haired beauty stood in front of it, her arms crossed, and eyes glaring at Regina accusingly.

Regina was more than a little surprised to see the annoying woman of a sheriff come stomping into her office, but she reminded herself that whatever it was the trouble-maker knew she always was in control. "What is the meaning of this, Miss Swann? I have a meeting to get to in five minutes." Regina snapped indignantly, trying to get past Emma.

"This'll only take four." The sheriff replied grimly, moving when Regina did to block the way.

The mayor stared at the sheriff hard for a moment, and then sniffed once as if willingly relinquishing the option to get past. "What is it then?"

"Annabelle French." Emma stated plainly.

Regina forced the muscles in her face not to constrict at the name. Emma Swann the constants thorn in her side seemed not to be able to help herself in poking her nose where it wasn't wanted. "What about her?" The mayor asked calmly as if she were innocent.

"I tried to get to her files; look up some information on her. Funny, how whenever I do that I usually get told that someone has already obtained the files." She glared accusingly at Regina. "That someone is you."

The mayor shrugged as if such facts had no clout, but not denying that she had taken the files. "What do you want to know about Anna French, Miss Swann? She's a poor girl with head problems trying to make a living in this world."

The sheriff crossed her arms again, searching Regina's sharp face for any inkling of a lie. "Why when someone new pops up in town you care about it so much, Madame Mayor? And since you brought up the head problem thing, I contacted the facility in Boston where French was supposed to be living and the doctors there don't know any person with the name Annabelle French having been a resident." Emma replied.

Inside Regina was cursing Emma Swann seven ways to Sunday, but on the outside she merely smiled coolly letting the words brush past her carelessly. "Annabelle's mother was an old friend before she passed. When her daughter was diagnosed with her mental problems in order to keep the gossip and shame to Moe French to a minimum I had her put under the alias of Rose Catton while at the institute. Call back, and check the name. I guarantee they will have known her."

Emma glared at her a moment longer, but knew that Regina had answered every accusation thoroughly. Even though she knew something still wasn't right, she couldn't call the mayor on it just yet. "Fine." Emma ground out, begrudgingly letting the mayor pass.

"After you, Miss Swann." Regina smirked triumphantly holding the door open for Emma to leave first.

The sheriff stalked out the door, but stopped and turned suddenly just as Regina followed behind. "I hope you know that one day that excuse of someone being an old friend won't cut it." Emma growled then walked away.

Regina watched the sheriff walk away, only momentarily savoring her small victory over the pesky Emma Swann before she dealt with the serious trouble that the woman posed. Despite everything she thought about Swann, she was a brilliant investigator and a good sheriff, better than most she had hired or come across. If she discovered something, there was potential that Emma Swann might free Mr. Gold from her web, ruining her scheme.

With a decisive nod, Regina knew it was time to move the fall of Mr. Gold along just a bit faster in order to keep the new sheriff from tampering too much.

Striding down the hall she dug into her purse flicking open her cell phone and tapping a few buttons on the screen. Making her voice pleasant, although that was far from how she felt, she spoke. "I'm sorry but please tell the board of supervisors I won't be able to attend this evening." Regina said to the other person on the line as she strolled out the door main door of the mayor's office, and into the streets of Storybrooke.


"Hello, Doctor Steven." Regina greeted the pharmacist at the local drugstore with a thin smile.

Doctor Steven, or 'Doc' as many called him was a shortsighted, but kindhearted man who owned the Storybrooke Pharmacy and drug store. He pushed his thick bottle bottom glasses up his face as he turned to Regina offering her a weak smile. "Oh, hello, Madame Mayor. What can I help you with today?"

The woman placed both her hands on the counter leaning in forward to the short and stocky pharmacist. She wasn't keen on useless pleasantries when she had other business to attend to. "Do you remember when I loaned you money so Mr. Gold wouldn't shut down your pharmacy?"

The short doctors usually ruddy face went suddenly pale at her words, his eyes widening as if a nightmare come true. "Yes." He replied cautiously almost frightened to speak the word.

"Do you also remember I said I might have you do something for me one day?" Regina pressed coyly savoring the uncomfortable squirming she forced from the man.

He only nodded in reply, not acknowledging with words as if someone might be watching, even though they were the only ones in the store at the moment.

Regina grinned wickedly. "Good." Taking an unmarked bottle from out of her purse she slid it over to the now sweating pharmacist. "I want you to do this one thing for me then we will be even; no more debts and no more favors are slate will be clean. Replace these pills for the ones of a woman named Annabelle French. I promise she won't come to any harm; in fact you could say I'm helping her."

Her face suddenly became hard as her black eyes seemed to glower at the doctor. "If you can't do this then I may just have to check my records again, and see that a certain pharmacists owes me 5,000 dollars." She added as an after thought, making sure the thick headed fool got her meaning loud and clear.

With shaking hands Doc popped open the unmarked bottle to look at the pills. They were unremarkable white capsules with a thin clear liquid substance inside that pooled in Doc's hand when he opened one. "These are just useless water pills." He stuttered in confusion to the mayor.

Regina nodded as she hefted her purse back over her shoulder, smiling pleasantly, but seeming more devious in the gesture, her voice like poisoned honey. "My dear Doctor Steven that's entirely the point."

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 6 of 25

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