So here we are - a new story. Hadn't planned on writing another multichap story so soon, but I couldn't help myself.

This story will have a few jumps in time, but these will be written in Italics and past-tense. And the next chapters will be longer than this one. This was just to get the story in motion :-)

Hope you enjoy this brand new story! And have a great day!

They walk beneath the glow of the streetlights and the light of the distant stars overhead. Their hands are entwined, each bearing a gold band on their ring finger; a symbol of the eternity they promised each other a few years ago.

They are wrapped in coats and scarves. It is early September and already autumn is approaching, its cold air trying to force its way through their many layers of clothing. She has taken off her left glove, and he his right, so their fingers can lace together.

Belle swings their joined hands gently back and forth, laughing as a playful gust of cold wind tries to rid her of her beret. Rum smiles down at her lovingly, her carefree laugh still making his heart swell.

She notices he's watching her and turns to meet his gaze.

"What?" she asks, her bubbly laugh trying to penetrate her smile.

"Was just reminded of why I fell in love with you, is all," he says, leaning in for a kiss.

She quickly closes the distance between them to press a chaste kiss to his lips, before letting go of his hand. She skips ahead before turning to look at him, still walking away from him.

"You've gone soft, Rum," she teases, "Wouldn't have pegged you for such a romantic."

He grins at her, quickening his pace to catch up to her. He manages to grab her arm and pulls her flush against him, wrapping his other arms around her waist, not letting her escape. He leans in, their noses touching, their breaths mingling in the small space between them.

"I can assure you, dearie, right now I am the very opposite of soft," he whispers against her lips.

She catches the innuendo immediately – he always did love that about her – and catches his bottom lip between her teeth, eliciting a soft groan from him. He lets go of her arm and lets his fingers travel the nape of her neck. He grabs a handful of her chestnut curls and tugs gently, forcing her to dip back. She grabs his coat for support as the arm around her waist keeps her pressed against him.

"I really shouldn't give up this easily," she says between kisses.

He nods. "Yes. Any woman with a scrap of dignity would've at least tried to resist." He still doesn't let her go. Instead he lets his tongue trail along her bottom lip, asking for admittance.

But before their tongues entwine, she pulls back and steps out of his embrace. But she doesn't really mean it. He can see it in her eyes, how the dazzling blue now seems to be on fire – all because of him.

"A real man doesn't say no to a little chase," she says, smirking. She curls her index finger, beckoning him to follow her. He returns her smirk and suddenly charges after her down the sidewalk. She half screams, half laughs as he comes running towards her and she sets off in the opposite direction, smiling as she looks over her shoulder at him.

She holds her beret with one hand as she playfully leaps off the sidewalk into the middle of the deserted road. He stands on the edge of the sidewalk, watching her as she walks along the white line in the middle of the road, her arms stretched out, steadying her.

"A real man isn't afraid of taking a little walk on the wild side," she teases, watching her feet as they follow the white line.

He laughs. "A proper lady knows the street is no place to be this late at night," he retorts, the tips of his shoes dangling off the sidewalk.

She looks at him and raises an eyebrow.

"Who on Earth said I was a 'proper lady'?"

She spins around with her arms still outstretched and doesn't stop until it's too late, until she's too disoriented to act.

A pair of headlights come skidding around the corner. Rum hears the sound of tires screeching against tarmac and watches in horror as the lights speed towards Belle. And they don't appear to be slowing down.

He shouts her name and starts towards her, getting ready to reach out and pull her away from the approaching danger, into his arms where she will always be safe.

But he's too late.

She stumbles from her recent spinning and barely manages to shield her eyes against the blinding lights, before the engineered pile of metal crashes into her.

And he sees it all; as if time has slowed to allow him witness the person he loves the most die.

The car crashes into her legs, sending her flying over the hood, her head crashing against the windshield. He sees how her skull breaks the glass and how her body is pushed over the roof of the car, only to slide off and fall to the pavement.

He sees Belle now lying in a crumpled heap on the ground, her left arm bent at an impossible angle, her face filled with cuts. He rushes to her side and cradles her head. He stares in horror at the dark blood now coating his fingertips.

The car never slows. He sees it speed down the road and turn a corner. He wants to run after it, to kill whoever did this to his Belle. But he cannot leave her.

"Help!" he cries over and over, his voice cracking with the effort. He doesn't notice he's crying until the cold, ruthless wind chills his tear-soaked cheeks. He sees a figure running across the road towards them.

As he gets closer, he recognizes his dark hair and eyes. Jefferson.

He is already on the phone, calling someone who can save her, someone who can prevent her from leaving him for good tonight.