|The Sound of Text Messages
Author: Ryunn Kazan PM
"Hello?" she answered with a dry throat. "Good Evening my lovely Lady Belle! This is your volunteer neighborhood florist!"-"Jefferson stop texting me!" she growled. "PLEASE TAKE ME BACK! I'M DYING!" *JumBelle*Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold & Belle - Chapters: 3 - Words: 9,130 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 11-10-12 - Published: 07-18-12 - id: 8334449
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It was a quiet, warm Friday night in Storybrook, Maine. Most citizens of this unchanging town were returning home from their workweeks to indulge in an eventless weekend with their loved ones. Others, such as Ruby Lucas and the younger generation of girls in the town, were digging in their wardrobes for their skimpiest outfits and favorite lip-gloss for a night on the town.
Belle, also known as Bella French, watched from the living room window as car after car sped past her home. She was to be a homebody tonight, despite being invited out by Ruby. She had had some not so pleasant experiences with "girls night out", most of them leading to her waking up with a bloody headache with her chastising Mr. Gold nursing her back to sobility over the phone.
Speaking of Mr. Gold, he was calling her right now.
"Hello my lovely lady Belle!" He greeted loudly over the speaker.
Belle gave her ear a second to stop ringing before she answered him. "You better not be drunk again."
He chuckled. "I like to be sober on my dates."
She dropped the book she had been fiddling with on the table and focused her full attention on the conversation. "No way! Who is she, where are you taking her?"
"Is that jealousy I hear in your accusation, Dearie?"
She scoffed but was glad he couldn't he could see the look on her face. "Hardly. I just want to know what fool would dare throw their reputation aside to be seen with you." She bit her tongue as soon as the words left her mouth, knowing good and well she just added to what everyone else in Storybrook would say. He burst out laughing much to her relief, static pricking against her ear as he calmed down.
"Well if you must know, dearie, I'm talking to that fool at this very moment!"
"Come out with me tonight! We'll drive far away from this place and drink until the next full moon!"
"And wind in a ditch somewhere." Belle added. She smiled, wishing that she could jump in his car and let him take her wherever he wanted. Just her and her imp. "You know we can't." she said disappointedly.
She could almost feel his mood drop over the phone. "Can't blame a guy for trying."
She moved her curtain back and caught sight of him under the light pole, their spot as she christened it. It was quite odd to see him there during the day and put her senses on high alert. "Besides I'm suppose to meet Jefferson at the dinner tonight. It's Friday, you know."
"You're willing to waste a perfectly good Friday night with that psycho but not with someone who truly wants spends time with you?"
She sighed, her irritation building as his did. "I can't exactly call what we have spending time together."
He was silent for a moment before laughing, bitterly. "Oh so we're punching nerves now? Well dearie, I can play that game just as well: why do you think Jefferson takes you to Granny's every Friday evening?"
"Because the library is closed." She answered with confidence. Why did he always use her relationship with Jefferson against her?
"That's his cover-up story, darling." He hissed. "Every Friday evening at 7:41, exactly eleven minutes after he leads you to the bar seats closest to the door, a little girl and her parents enter the dinner. That, my lovely lady Belle is why he takes you there. It's only an excuse to get closer to his little girl."
Belle lowered her phone for a moment to take in what he said. She knew good and well how crazy Jefferson was about regaining his daughter, and the idea that he would take her somewhere just so he could see her made plenty of sense.
"Now that I think of it," Mr. Gold went on, "I dare believe that little Grace and her parents go the park every Wednesday around noon, the same time he takes you to that bench in front of the swings."
She always thought that Jefferson chose the most random places for them to meet up at, but only now did she put the sound of Grace's laughter into the pictures. She had always been there, but Belle hadn't seen Jefferson staring at her each time he showed up.
"What exactly are you trying to accomplish by telling me that?"
"I was trying to help take the wool off your eyes dearie. He doesn't want to spend time with you. He just needs and escort each time he stalks the little girl so that he won't look like a predator. You mean little is anything to him."
"You have the right to call him a stalker." Belle growled. "You don't think I know you stand outside my window every other night? Or that you walk back and forth past the flower shop just to see what I'm doing?"
"I'm looking out for you."
"And Jefferson's not? I am the closest thing he has to a friend, and he is mine, whether you approve or not."
"You're right, I don't approve. Which is exactly why it sickens me that he's treating you like this."
"At least he didn't throw me out on the streets and leave me for dead." She could make out the slight paleness in his face at that comment, but she wouldn't apologize. "Now if you would excuse me, I have someone waiting for me." She shut her phone and pulled the curtain over the window, not wanting to see him.
She heard the sound of a roaring engine moments late speeding down the street. She knew she'd eventually apologize, but at the moment she wanted to hold on to the anger he had caused her and turn it into booze.
"Who pissed you off?" Jefferson chuckled as Belle slammed down on a stool at the bar. She gave him a look that stated he needed to wait for her to get a drink before he started teasing and questioning her. She ordered a shot of cranberry juice with just a few drops of whisky to settle her nerves.
"Relationship troubles?" he pondered as he leant his head on his fist.
She scoffed. "I can't even call it that. He is such an asshole sometimes I could shoot him."
"You'd be applauded by many." Jefferson muttered with a sip of his own drink.
Belle mused over the man she was infatuated and angry at. In this nightmare they were stuck in, he was heartless, cruel, vicious, and ready to crush anyone. She hadn't seen any of those traits until just thirty minutes ago, and now she feared she was on the verge of hating him as well. But she knew she never could. Yes, he had hurt her then and now, but he was a part of her that she wouldn't trade for anything.
They were like oil and water: one was greasy and unhealthy, while the other was cool and refreshing. Put them together and they were perfect.
"What did he do?"
Belle looked up to see Jefferson gazing at her intensively. She smiled. Maybe Gold had lied to her about Jefferson not caring about her out of jealously. "Well," she began, "I had, let's say, an argument with you know who right before coming here and-"
"Daddy, can we have cake this time?"
Belle looked away from Jefferson long enough to see who was yelling so. Her breath stilled when she saw little Paige Morrison holding her hands together and whispering 'please' to her "father". The man sighed and muttered something that made Paige squeal and jump into his arms.
A crack shocked Belle out of her trance and she turned to Jefferson. The shot glass in his fist had been reduced to shards of glass easing their way into his skin.
"Jefferson!" Belle hissed, grabbing his wrist and pulling the bloody chips from his skin.
"She shouldn't be hugging him." he stated quietly. "Not my Grace. My little girl…"
The words "she's not your daughter" hung on Belle's lips, but she knew that nothing made him more violent then having his title of "father" ripped from him. No matter where they were, Grace belonged to Jefferson, no objections.
Luckily, the cuts weren't too severe and needed only a slight bandaging from the first aid kit behind the counter. Jefferson's eyes remained locked on the little girl woofing down a large slice of chocolate cake. She was finished just as quickly as she had began and skipped out the door while her "father" paid the bill.
"Bye!" she exclaimed to them as she left.
Belle literally had to hold Jefferson down to keep him from going after her. "You can't Jefferson; you know that." She held on to him tightly knowing that anything could happen if she let him leave his chair.
"Is he alright?" asked the waitress filling in for Ruby that evening.
"He's fine-just give him two more of those." Belle stated with a nod towards their empty shot glasses.
He slammed his fists into the countertop, seething and shaking from the Grace withdrawal.
Belle could only feel sympathy for him. There was a time she was clawing at the walls from missing on a certain imp and her family so much.
Maybe Gold was right and Jefferson was using her, but the way she saw it, it wasn't to cover up his possessiveness, it was to be his console. He needed someone to tell him it was going to be alright, even if it was an all out lie. And she needed to feel useful. Gold had so much power that she sometimes felt like a mere trinket in his eyes; like he didn't need her. But with Jefferson, she wasn't just the beloved wallflower, she was an equal, and she could do something with their friendship.
She soothed him as he gulped down his shot—and hers—before he finally let out a nervous laugh. "Sorry."
"Don't even worry about it." She assured. "If things were different, you'd do the same thing for me."
He gave her an unsure shrug and she smacked him on the shoulder. They laughed and things were as they should be—until the stool beside her pulled back.
"I'll have what their having."
Belle felt her body stiffen as Mr. Gold fell into the seat just a few inches from her own. She held her head high and kept her gaze directly on the forest wallpaper and on Jefferson, who had on his "well this is awkward" smirk.
"We can move." He suggested loud enough for Gold could hear him. "It seems the view's become a bit too…golden."
Belle managed to hold in her chuckle. "I think we're fine." She saw Gold's tense shoulders loosen a bit.
"'K." Jefferson said. "Just say the word when the company becomes too bothersome."
"You may address me directly, dearie," Mr. Gold hissed without looking at them. "I'm more than interest in being a part of your drivel."
Belle sighed and grinded her jaw, "Don't do it." She whispered to him.
"Well," Jefferson began with a sip from the new drink the waitress hurriedly sat down before them, "at least our conversations are a bit more personal, unlike your late-night phone sex."
"Jefferson!" Belle exclaimed. She didn't recall telling him that much of her relationship with Gold. Not that they did do something that extreme; though there were nights when Gold's brogue made her warm all over and she had to laugh off her needs while he husked rather inappropriate comments in her ear.
Gold let off one of his smirks that showed that someone was about to get their ass kicked. "Oh you'd like to get that lucky, wouldn't you Hatter."
"Oh God," Belle groaned into her hands.
Jefferson leaned in closer, his hot, strong breath hitting Belle's neck. She realized when she peaked that he had one hand on the back of her chair, pulling her closer to him. "What makes you think I'm not."
Belle blinked maybe twice before she realized what was happening. Gold had somehow, with no cane mind you, dragged Jefferson off his stool and had him pinned against the wall beside the door. She shrieked and shot up to try to solace their kill-fest.
"You son of a bitch!" Gold screamed while he shook him.
"Leave your mother out of this!" called a drunk Sean from across the diner who was being told to shut up by a more sober David Nolan.
"Really mature!" Belle called in his direction as she pried Gold off of Jefferson and used her body as a shield between them.
"Get out of the way Belle." Gold hissed in a warning tone.
"He's right Bella," Jefferson pressed, knowing how irate the mention of Belle's fake name fired up the former Dark One, "we wouldn't want you to get Goldie Locks blood on that pretty dress of yours."
"Let's see how much of my blood's on her after I bash your head in!"
By now they were spitting threats at each other as Belle tried desperately to keep them apart. David must have sensed her distress for he stepped in and held Jefferson back while Belle tried to keep Gold at bay.
"You're trash Gold!" Jefferson screamed.
"And you're the sorry excuse for a pedophile I've ever met Hatter!"
Jefferson lunged and Belle was accidentally thrust into several out of place chairs, causing her to hit her head on the table before dropping to the floor. She watched hazily as David become a piece of bruised meat in their sandwich of physical combat. She buried her head in her arms. Damn her for thinking that she could find happiness with two men who either had one too many death wishes or had absolutely nothing to lose.
Gold had his hands around Jefferson's neck while he was using every once of his physical will to break Gold's ribs. These actions stilled when a loud bang made all the patrons of the fight freeze on command.
"What the Hell is going on?!" Sherriff Emma Swan exclaimed, pistol raised at the ceiling.
The seven or so onlookers in the diner stepped back, returning to their tables or sprinting to other exits to avoid being a part of the controversy between the Belle fighters. Only David remained, trying to keep them as far apart as he could while Emma put her gun away. She and Jefferson locked eyes first. She had far from forgotten the kidnapping incident that almost got them both killed. However, due to the incriminating evidence the events of that night could place on Mary Margret, Emma had no choice but to pretend it never happened. His eyes smirked at their encounter, but his swollen lip bled and took some of the irony out of the situation.
She turned to Gold next who was still seething fire at Jefferson. He had the same murderous look in his eyes the night she all but yanked him off of Moe French. Jefferson seemed like the last person in Storybrook he would pick a fight with. He owed him nothing and even if a verbal insult was thrown his way he would have brushed it off; she herself had said some very unladylike things to him that he merely grinned at.
She turned to James then who was red in the face. "Well?"
Hesitantly, he nodded off in a farther direction. Emma turned and gasped as Belle finally picked herself up among the clutter of chairs, blood tinkling down her lip.
"Oh shit!" Jefferson muttered in disbelief.
Gold was just as pale and attempts to approach her. "Are you-"
"Don't touch me!" she back lashed, throwing her hands up in defense. She backed away, tears streaming down her cheeks.
"Bella wait!" Jefferson begged.
She ignored her friend's plea and shot out of the dinner, oozing through the crowd while trying to control her sobbing.
"Belle!" Gold called after her.
But she kept running, hurt and angry at herself and the men she let hold her heart.
Gold tried to spring after her but Emma was already dressing him in handcuffs. "You're under arrest."
Jefferson bowed his head and made his way to the door, whistling a low tune of innocents.
"No you don't!" Emma hissed, grabbing him with her free hand. "You're under arrest too."
The ex-hatter cursed and allowed Emma to drag him back and handcuff him.
"And it's a pleasure doing it." she hissed with a twig of irony.
He mustered a smirk before turning to his attacker. "Look's like we're cell mates for tonight."
"Don't drop the soap." Gold snarl, earning a satisfying pale from the hatter and sheriff alike. His eyes searched the streets for his beloved Belle but found no trace of her except the accusing eyes of the onlookers. He could still feel them even when he was thrown into the back of the squad car, Jefferson crashing into him shortly later.
"Well." the hatter sighed.
"Well what?" Gold growled.
He smirked, that insanity bright. "You've certainly looked out for her tonight, showed her "stalker" just how far you're willing to go to keep her safe."
Emma risked the safety of herself and her passengers to glance at the rearview mirror. Mr. Gold looked as if he was about to pass out.
"How…" his look of disbelief changed into a snarl. "You bugged her phone!"
Jefferson shrugged like the question was completely acceptable. "You're not the only one who's willing to go to extremes to protect our darling Bella." his expression became grave, serious and still maddening. "And I will protect her, if not from you than myself."
"And what," Gold hissed, the confined space making his urge to choke Jefferson to death all the more harder, "is that suppose to mean?"
He flashed him that mysterious grin loaded down with so many questions and threats before he turned to the window to enjoy the sites as much as he could through the mesh-covered glass. He hoped to see Belle, but was never too fortunate with matters relating to her.
Emma's eyebrow lifted with concern and question but decided that all of that could wait until they were safely at the station-and the two in the back were locked up in separate cells.