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anyone else but you.

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Her laugh was bitter as she thought about the irony of the situation. God, what a prick. Doesn't a man leave his wife for a younger woman, not someone older?  She read it again.

You are cordially invited to the wedding of Peter Gold II and Cora Mills. Please RSVP as soon as you can. 

Belle's ex-husband invited her to his wedding, and she didn't know wether to burn the invitation or shred it. If she was honest, Belle was impressed by the invitation. It was a respectable royal purple cover that had gold curved lines on the edge of the paper. He'll never stop his obsession with gold. Belle thought. In fact, the curved gold lines were also on Belle's wedding invitation. 

Don't think about it. Don't think about it. 

Belle sighed as she dialed her therapist's number. "Is Hopper available? Tell him Belle French is on the line." She waited for the secretary to tell Hopper as she awkwardly fiddled with her ring finger. There is no ring on it. Stop thinking about it. "Hopper on the line." This quickly caught her out of her reverie. 

"Hey Hopper." 

"Hello, Belle. What's got you down?" 

Belle's laugh was sharp. "Is there any set time to move on, or better yet, get remarried after a divorce?" 

She could practically hear the awkward silence over the phone. "No...? Belle, did you make a rash decision?" 

Her laugh was even more bitter. "By rash, do you mean getting remarried? No, my ex-husband did the rash decision for me." 

"Oh. It was three-months since the divorce, am I correct?" 

"Yes. three-months." The words left a sour taste in her mouth. 

"Oh, ok. Do you mind if I ask you about how you found out your ex-husband was getting remarried?"

Belle took a deep breath and laid it all out. "He invited me to the wedding." 

"HE WHAT?" She could hear someone scold the therapist. "I'm really sorry, Blue. I was just talking to a patient." His voice became more quiet. "He what?"


"That's a bit cruel, isn't it?" 

"That's my ex-husband. He always wants to get the upper-hand." 

Hopper was was quite for a second. "Are you going to the wedding?"

"What do you think?"

"Personally, Ms. French, it's your choice."


"You need more friends, and not the ones named Jack Daniel." 

"I thought you were my best friend, Neil." Will took another sip of his whisky. 

"That's debatable." Neil replied sarcastically. 

He snorted as he looked at his younger coworker. "Since I'm such a good friend, can I ask you a question?" 

Neil sighed. "Sure. Ask me anything."

"How's your father doing?" 

"I think he's doing pretty well since he's getting married again." 

Will chocked on his drink. "He's getting married again?" Neil nodded his head. "Again, again?" His friend rolled his eyes. "Yep."

"Jesus, I'm still not over Ana. And it has been what? Two years now? What happened to his young wife? Y'know, the one who was the same age as you?" 

Neil sighed his resigned sigh that was only meant for Will. "Yes. To be honest, Belle deserved way better than him like how you deserved way better than Ana."

"He's your father!" He made a point of ignoring the name that started with the letter A. Some fucked up rhyme, isn't it?

"I do love him, but when you consider the age gap, it's problematic. My dad also has some issues, and I think I'm the only one who wasn't severely fucked over by him." He was grateful that Neil decided to let the Ana topic go. 

He'll just leave the Ana talk to Alice. Will thought. 


"I haven't seen Lacey in a while." Ruby joked as she was sipping on her ice tea. 

"No, my clubbing days are over." Belle replied. Lacey was her sort of like secret identity that she had when she was more drunk. She was more reckless and rash. Belle didn't like that part of herself. She liked control, and she liked it even more after Rumple. 

"C'mon. I really want you to meet my girlfriend!" Ruby's eyes turned more bright, and Belle couldn't turn down her friend when she looked so happy 


 She laid her four short dresses on the bed. She brushed the sequined blue dress with her finger tips as she fought the memory that was coming full stop into her brain. 

The  strobe lights flashed as she was talking to the new secretary for Dr. Whale. She seemed sweet and curious when she asked Belle tons of questions regarding Enchantedtech Co. Her name was Ariel and Belle thought she had beautiful red hair. 

They were drinking samosas as they were trading stories from work. Belle remembered laughing at one involving Grumpy with a coffee maker. Suddenly, Ariel's eyes widened. Her eyes seemed to focus on something that was behind her.

"Oh my god, what is Mr. Gold doing here?" 

Belle raised an eyebrow as she turned around in her chair. Her eyes set on the man with salt-and-pepper hair in his usual royal purple suit. Yep, that was  defiantly the person she was working for. 

She always thought him a bit arrogant and full of himself. He was a bit merciless and cruel when it came to meetings concerning the company and its apparent greatness. He even threw her father under the bus when they combined their two companies together. That didn't win him any points with Belle who was still Mr. Gold's secretary at the time. But he was intelligent and had a soft spot for children. She remembered smiling when he was talking to his son, Neil. 

It was also a surprise to her that she went home with him that night. Belle didn't even know if she regretted that night at all. 

With a sigh, Belle put the sequined dress back in the closet. 


Belle did miss partying with her friends, and she missed wearing small dresses that hugged her figure and showed off her legs, but that didn't quell her anxiety when she read the bar's name. The Rabbithole

A sense of deja vu made her want to run the other way, but she didn't want to disappoint Ruby again. Besides, her new girlfriend seemed to actually tie down the adventurous and reckless Ruby. 

Belle finally opened the door. 


Damn. Will thought. 

He was currently wiping down the bar when he heard the all too familiar chime of a bell. Oh my god, I hate strawberry daiquiris. They're always so damn sticky. Will was still trying to wipe the messy pink mesh from hell away from the bar's surface, when someone's voice distracted him from his task. 

"Sorry to bother you, but have you seen a tall brunette girl that always orders vodka tonics?" 

Will rolled his eyes. Cleary, this person doesn't know how hard it is to clean strawberry daiq-fuckeries. "That's oddly specific, don't you thi-?" Then he saw her face.

She wore a short black dress that glittered in the light, and she had impressive high-heels that matched the dress. Her hair was pulled back, so that someone could fully see defined cheekbones and large blue eyes. His eyes flicked to the woman's lips that were colored a modest red. Huh. You okay brain?

He quickly wracked his brains for something to say. "I-I guess she's there." He pointed to two girls, sitting in a booth.

"Well, thanks!" The woman replied. Her smile grew wider as she walked away. Goddammit, she had an amazing smile too. Then, something evil tapped into his brain. What about Ana? Ana?  He quickly shook his head. 

That was when Neil finally decided to make an entrance. "Hey, Neil! You won't believe who-you okay, mate?" His coworker's face turned a bit pale. 

"Belle?" He finally said. 

Will eyes widened has he looked back at the girl who just walked away. Oh my god! Is she-? "Neil, don't tell me." 

"She is." Neil responded. 

He was flabbergasted. He turned around again, and then quickly turned back around. "Your father divorced her?"