In this chapter I have introduced Storybrooke. Gold may seem a little OOC but you will see why later in the story. He does remember in this story.
Ashley is not pregnant and there is no Sean or Belle.
"Cinderella, you ungrateful, and miserable wench, where have you been?" Lady Tremaine snapped as Ella came back in the house over an hour after being whipped and left.
Ella knew she didn't really have an answer to give that wouldn't give her another good whipping so she stayed quiet.
"Why haven't you cleaned my chamber yet?" Anastasia griped, looking vexed at her stepsister.
Drizella wasn't anywhere to be seen. At this Ella was extremely glad. Out of the three Drizella had the biggest and loudest mouth.
At this point Ella couldn't take anymore then what Tremaine and Anastasia threw at her.
"Get to work! Anastasia time to go. Our carriage is waiting," Tremaine snapped and went out the door.
Anastasia sent a sneer toward Ella before flouncing out the door.
Ella sighed and went to straighten Anastasia's chamber and yanked the drapes down to wash with Drizella's laundry.
By the time she had done that it was 3 o'clock and she still had to clean the whole place.
Their house was like an oversized cottage. It wasn't exactly a mansion but it was still a lot to clean.
Every time she bent over she cried out or hissed in pain. It seemed Tremaine's whippings were getting harder and harder each time.
If only she could runaway and never return to this miserable place. She had never tried to runaway before for fear of what would happen if she were caught.
"Nobody is here. I could go right now and they'd never catch me." Ella swept harder then. If only she could finish the cleaning she could make a run for it.
She was almost done with the sweeping so she finished it furiously; ignoring the pain that it caused her back.
She had accidently turned the sheets pink again but of course it wouldn't matter after this. She wouldn't be there to get slapped by Drizella or Anastasia.
Ella quickly put the broom back where it belonged and then went up the flights of stairs to get to her attic room.
Hastily she began to throw what little bit of things she owned in a sack. Two rag dresses, a few undergarments, and a pair of worn shoes. Ella didn't have any jewelry or anything sentimental. She didn't even have any food or bedroll but at least she would have freedom.
"Why such a hurry, Dearie?" a voice sounded from across the room.
Ella shrieked and dropped her sack. "Wha-? Who's there?"
The voice giggled and Ella swung around to look in the direction of it. There was nothing there. What was this? Was she hallucinating?
"Running away are we?" the voice said again in a different direction.
"Show yourself!" Ella said shakily picking up her sack and clutching it to her chest.
"Very well," the voice giggled again almost gleefully.
Ella's eyes widened as a very lean man came into her view. He wasn't very tall and his hair was dark brown with golden streaks in it. His eyes were golden brown. Only the most unusual thing about this man was his skin which was greenish gray-gold.
She had never seen anyone like that before.
"Who are you?" Ella asked cautiously.
He grinned showing crooked yellow teeth. He bowed, "Rumpelstiltskin." He drew the name out on his tongue.
Ella didn't know who he was and how he got up there. Only that he was a stranger and needed to leave.
She scowled at him, "What are you doing here?"
"I came to help you, Dearie," Rumpelstiltskin purred, beginning to circle her like she was his prey.
"I don't need help, I'm plenty capable of taking care of myself," Ella protested staring him right in the eyes as he walked around her.
"I see," Rumpelstiltskin put his index finger to his chin in a thinking motion. "That's why you have giant welts and various bleeding cuts all over your back from being whipped." It wasn't a question.
Ella inhaled sharply in surprise, "How do you know that?"
He stopped circling her. "I've been watching you Cinderella."
"You've been watching me?" Ella gasped in surprise.
"Only today actually. Oh but, trust me dear heart. It was enough to see what kind of life you lead."
Ella blinked. "W-why?" She was at a loss of words. Who would even care or really know about her. She was nothing…a nobody!
"I want to make a deal with you," Rumpelstiltskin smirked then.
Ella furrowed her eyebrows, "A deal?"
Rumpelstiltskin clasped his hands together. "Yes, Dearie. Now tell me, what do you wish for most?"
"To be free," Ella said before thinking. She didn't really have to think. It was all she had ever wished for all her life after her father died.
"Then all I ask for is your companionship and—for you not to runaway yet," Rumpelstiltskin said.
Ella stared at him, "What do you mean companionship?"
"You are to let me visit you whenever I please." He explained. "Do we have a deal?" Rumpelstiltskin giggled.
Ella didn't have to think twice. This man was offering her freedom. Even if he seemed strange he was her ticket to freedom. She wasn't going to let it go either.
"Deal" she confirmed.
"You stupid girl! You've ruined my favorite blouse! I paid over a hundred dollars for it!" Elizabeth screamed at Ashley.
"Ashley!" Trudy, Ashley's stepmother shouted from the kitchen.
"I'm coming," Ashley called cringing. Nothing she ever did was right. She was clumsy and couldn't do anything. She was called stupid and crazy all the time. Trudy had made Ashley slave over her and her daughters Elizabeth and Amy ever since her father died. Trudy blamed Ashley for Jordan Boyd's car crash.
Jordan had been driving little Ashley to ballet practice one day and a car ran a red light hitting their car.
The wreck had been fatal for Jordan Boyd but Ashley survived. ..If barely. Trudy from then on hated Ashley and blamed her for his death.
Ashley never wanted to anger her stepmother too much. She hardly had to do anything and she was beaten or slapped by both Trudy and her stepsisters.
"You lazy, ungrateful brat. You forgot to get the bread out of the oven. Now its black as charcoal!" Trudy snapped.
Ashley paled visibly as she saw the pan of bread in the sink. "I will make more."
"No you won't yet! Go put the tea set on the table in the living room for me. I need a break."
A break from what? Ashley mentally rolled her eyes. Trudy Boyd never did anything. She was so rich she only had to work one day a week.
No one would know Ashley came from a rich family. All her clothes had holes in them.
Ashley quickly got to work on the tea. She had to be quick at it. She set it all on a tray and began her way out the kitchen.
"Mom, I can't figure out what I'm going to wear tonight on my date," Amy ran through knocking into Ashley most likely on purpose very hard.
Ashley cried out as she tried to keep her balance and her grip on the tray straight. She fell flat on her face; the china set crashing to the ground, shattering into a million pieces. The scalding tea splashed all over her. It stung horribly but what hurt more were the slivers of glass embedding Ashley's face and hands.
She kept herself from doing more than cry out. She felt tears fill her eyes at the pain. She got up wincing. Slivers were all in her hands and in her cheeks.
"What have you done?" Trudy screamed grabbing Ashley by the arm roughly.
"I-I'm sorry. I tripped," Ashley couldn't fight the tears.
"You're sorry?" Trudy's voice rose higher and higher. "That was my best tea set!" she smacked Ashley across the face so hard the girl fell back to the ground.
"Mother?" It was Elizabeth. "You have a visitor." She stepped back to reveal no other than Mr. Gold. He stared at Ashley who was still on the floor, not bothering to get up. Bloody cuts covered her face.
Trudy eyes widened in shock and she immediately stood up straighter and put on her 'people' smile. "Good afternoon Mr. Gold. Are you here for your monthly rent money?"
Gold didn't pay attention to Trudy and simply bent down extending his free hand that wasn't holding his cane to Ashley.
Ashley stared at him in surprise. This man was known to be hard and cruel. Why was he doing trying to help?
When Mr. Gold didn't say anything and kept his hand extended she took it. Their eyes locking. Ashley wasn't sure why she felt she knew him from somewhere. And by somewhere she didn't mean anywhere in StoryBrooke.
He pulled her to her feet. She winced and tears stung her eyes again from the sharp pain. He frowned and let go and turned her hand over to see the glass slivers. He let it go to look at Trudy. "Yes Mrs. Boyd, the rent," he said coolly.
Ashley stood in shock at what happened.
Trudy extended an envelope and Gold snatched it before disappearing out of the door just like that.
Review! Thank you all for reviewing the first chapter.