Imperfect || Open

Belle kissed Rumplestiltskin on the cheek while he slept, and made sure her phone was in her coat pocket before she left the house. He’d stirred enough for her to tell him she was going on a morning hike and he didn’t need to wake up just yet.

The truth was, though, she needed some space and fresh air to think. Though he’d forgiven her for using the dagger, there’d been a growing distance between them. It made perfect sense–she’d struck him, betrayed his trust, and kept secrets from her own husband, a man who’d proven he’d die to protect her. She didn’t deserve to be forgiven for all that. And it was clear that what she’d done had hurt him; he was trying to spare her feelings by not spelling it out, but she’d heard it in his voice when she’d asked for his help to save Emma. 

It was still dark outside, though the eastern sky was showing a bit of light now. Belle made her way into the woods, following the hiking path. She wasn’t going to go anywhere dangerous (he wouldn’t want that, and it might tempt her to use the dagger again)–she just wanted to stop lying in bed, unable to sleep from her guilt. She didn’t expect to find anyone else in the woods at this hour.