a.n

So I've had this idea since Jefferson said: "You and your friend are not leaving here until you make my hat! Until you get it to work."

The thought of Emma being forced to stay in that huge house making useless hat after another intrigued me. Would she eventually succeed? Would they grow close or not? I will explore that in this story, so warnings for forced imprisonment and slight creepiness.

For the purpose of this story I've decided to drop Mary Margaret from it. She's not wanted by the police or in trouble but living like normal. Everything that happened between Emma and Jefferson is canon baring MM and obviously Jefferson getting kicked out the window.

The story is inspired by The Collector by John Fowles, which is an awesome book fyi. Hope you enjoy what follows.


Her hand grabbed onto the door frame, the tendons under the skin taut but with a forceful tug her fingers lost their grip. Arm hooked around her waist I threw her into the room and then slammed the door closed before she could escape. My head was bleeding, I could feel the blood running down my neck and for a moment I wanted to be sick. She had hit me with my telescope, wielding it like a baseball bat and she had a mean swing. It seemed she also had a way with words.

"LET ME OUT YOU CRAZY BASTARD!"

"I'm not crazy," I leaned against the wall, suddenly weak and pressed a hand to my head. I felt dizzy.

"You can't do this!" She screamed and began kicking the door. The force of it made the door rattle in the frame and for a moment I thought it would give but the doors in the mansion are made to endure, I had tested them myself. I moved over to it and placed my hand against the wood, feeling the boom of her foot repeatedly kicking.

"Emma, please calm down."

"Fuck you!"

"I don't mean you any harm."

The kicks against the door stopped and I could hear her laughing. The sound was horrible and I moved away from the door. The calm, soft spoken woman from before is gone. Not that I believed that was really her, I had been watching her long enough to know that her calm is a mask over her anger. But she was very cool under pressure until reaching boiling point. When people are placed in threatening situations sides you never thought possible emerge, I knew that well. She had stopped banging on the door and I knew she was searching through the room she was trapped in, looking for a way out. She wouldn't find one, not in there.

Taking the opportunity to tend to my wound I climbed wearily up to my bedroom and inspected myself in the bathroom mirror. Blood was running down one side on my face and into the collar of my shirt. With a grimace I unbuttoned it and threw it onto the bath. I took a dry wash cloth and began cleaning the blood away from my face. Thankfully the bleeding seemed to have stopped. Gingerly I dabbed at the cut on my scalp and hissed. The pain blinded me for a minute and I had to steady myself against the basin. It hurt but it seemed to be shallow. Blinking away spots I cleaned the wound the best I could and then went back into my bedroom.

Emma was silent, the ruckus that she caused earlier now ended. I sat on the edge of my bed and looked down at the bloody cloth. My hands were shaking and wouldn't stop and my heart was racing. I closed my eyes, trying to get a grip on myself and calm down. I never wanted this to happen, not like that. I never wanted to hurt her but I couldn't see what else I could do. I had to get Grace back and that desire trumped any moral qualms I had. At least I thought it would but in reality it proved hard to reconcile. Thinking of doing something and actually doing it are two very different things. Inhaling deeply I got to my feet, fought a dizzy spell and put on another shirt.

Steeling myself and picturing Grace's face I went back down the stairs, descending carefully. The door stood closed as before but I looked up and down the hallway and then through the gap in the stairwell to be sure. I would put nothing past Emma. I stopped before the door and then knocked on it.

"Emma?"

Nothing. I moved closer and said her name again, more loudly but she did not answer. I tried the handle and the door was still locked. Not wanting to think the worse I looked back down the hallway and then pulled the key out of my pocket.

"Emma? I'm going to open the door. I know you're angry but don't attack me because you know I will fight back."

So saying I unlocked the door and opened it quickly, making the door bang against the wall. The large room beyond was dark, consisting of a bed, a cupboard and a desk. Unlike the other rooms in the mansion this one was the most bear and there was nowhere to hide. The window had been boarded up years ago, during one of my bored periods. A door that lead to the adjoining bathroom stood ajar and with a sigh I headed towards it.

"This is pointless…"

I kicked open the door and she came at me with a Gillette razor blade in one hand and cup full of bleach in the other. She threw it in my face and I manage to shield my eyes and blindly lift the gun at her. The bleach doused my face but thankfully missed the wound on my head. If it had the pain would have floored me and she would have escaped for sure. Luckily the slash of the blade did not come and I opened my eyes an inch. She was a foot away, enraged eyes switching between me and the gun wavering at her throat. She panted. I wiped my face against my bicep and then grabbed her arm, pulling her forward.

"I forgot about those."

"Clearly," she uttered, her previous fury gone and the calm tone back. She could switch it off and on in a blink, like her understanding it seemed. She had only been pretending to sympathise with me and like a fool I had fallen for it. That betrayal of my trust, however misplaced it was, enraged me more then the hat not working. I saw red...no, more then that I completely lost my head. Ha! I pushed her into the chair by the desk and took two steps away, gun still pointing at her.

"Well of there's one thing I've learned about you tonight it's that you're resourceful."

"And you're insane."

"And you're cruel."

She blinked at me and her mouth fell open, "You're accusing me of cruelty? YOU?"

"I thought you would help me but you don't really give a shit."

"BECAUSE YOU'RE TALKING CRAZY!" She yelled and slapped her hand down on the table.

I hate that word; I hate how powerless it makes me. No one takes you seriously if they think you're mad, even if you are. That's why I had to go to such extreme measures. Sometimes when the world discredits you, when even your word is called into question you have to act by any means necessary. But even after everything I had said and did she still didn't believe. I had spent years of toil trying to get back to Grace and I would not let that woman's cynicism stop me. I would make her believe if it was the last thing I did.

"I'm well aware of what you think of me but that doesn't matter. I just need you to do one thing and then you can go."

"Go?" Her righteous indignation stuttered and the first glimmers of fear appeared in her eyes. It was hard to witness but I know fear is the greatest tool towards compliance.

"I said that you wouldn't leave here until you had completed your task. I thought you would have done it by tonight but it seems I underestimated how stubbornly cynical you are."

"You — you can't keep me here."

"If I let you go would you come back and make the hat work?" Her answer was silence and I nodded. "That's why I never approached you until tonight. You never would have done it unless I took the initiative."

"You mean kidnapping?"

I said nothing, my teeth clenched together. I moved backwards to the door and she stood but did not follow me, her eyes on the gun.

"There's a bed and a shower and I'll get you clothes. You'll be comfortable." I wanted to laugh at what I was saying. I had been forced to live in that gilded prison for almost thirty years. I knew the comforts that it brought did little to mask the truth. It was a cage.

"Jefferson!" She cried out my name but I ignored her and locked the door. I pretended not to hear her yells and screams and after a few hours she grew quiet. I don't think either of us slept at all that night, anticipating what would happen the next morning.

All I knew was that I had to try again; I had to get her to work.


a.n

This story shouldn't be too long, 6-8 chapters max unless it gets away from me...