Matchmaker || belletheoutsider
Ever since that strange afternoon, riddled with confusion and longing, Rumplestiltskin had been busy with his latest scheme. He’d schemed many schemes in all his days as the Dark One, but this one would require a challenging level of finesse and cunning. Not to mention willpower, since its goal would give him quite a bit of pain should he succeed.
He spent almost two weeks working out the details, paying furtive visits, collecting names and other pertinent information. This task could not be taken likely. A fool might dare to question why it took so long, and took so much effort, to arrange for a visit to Sir Maurice’s realm and find Belle a suitable partner. One simple answer he would have given was that he intended to attempt this only once. He wanted Belle’s happiness, yes, which admittedly could be possible without a lover. But Belle herself was sweetly obstinate that it seemed necessary to convince her that better choices, objects more worthy of her affection, lay in the great wide somewhere. And if he had to drag her to them, so be it.
At last his arrangements were set. He’d sent a letter by dove to the knight-lord and expected an answer any day now. After finishing some work in his potions room, he moseyed down to the great hall where he often found Belle taking a respite to read or otherwise entertain herself. Conversation between them had become a little awkward since … well, then. For the last few days he pretended nothing momentous had occurred and changed everything.
Finding Belle in her favored chair, he strutted into the room. “And what, pray tell, has taken you away from your chores this time, dearie?”