The gentle creak the wheel made with each spin was a sound now so familiar to Belle that she found it soothing. She set the last of the silver spoons she’d been cleaning back into place and glanced towards the corner of the room, to the figure putting the wooden machine through its daily paces.
It was with some surprise that she realised she no longer thought of her captor as a monster, a beast. To her, he was now simply Rumplestiltskin. The thought made her chest tighten, and she found herself unable to tear her gaze from him, fixated on the way the straw moved effortlessly through his fingers, spinning out into a golden strand.
“Why such an interest in my work, dearie?”
The voice, which no longer grated the way it had when first she’d arrived, jolted Belle from her reveries, and she looked up, meeting his eyes.
“I just like watching the wheel.” A lump rose in her throat.
“Bring me some more straw then,” Rumplestiltskin said, returning his attention to his work.
Belle hurried to obey, the creaking of the wheel matching the beating of her heart.