Painting Layers of Love (Chapter Nine)




Synopsis: Belle French lives alone and she likes it that way. She’s lived alone ever since the terrible car accident which killed her mother and claimed her eyesight. Belle spends her days painting, in complete solitude, until one day she wakes up and hears movement outside. Somebody has moved into the cottage next door. She had grown comfortable in her solitary existence until Mr Gold crashes into her life. Now her future is uncertain, like a blank canvas, waiting for her to apply the paint and decide what kind of story she is creating.

Note: Banner by the awesomely amazing @rowofstars who has very kindly and patiently beta read this chapter. Thank you so much! In this chapter there’s a prompt from @rowofstars for a reenactment of the deleted mirror scene from Skin Deep. This fic was voted TEA Best Drama and I’m still utterly overwhelmed and so grateful for the support. Thank you all! I hope that you enjoy this chapter! 🙂

Warning: Deals with depression and anxiety.

On Tumblr: Chapters One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight

AO3 Link

Time alone,
after something happened, was Belle’s enemy. Her head became a very dangerous
place and she couldn’t run from herself. She was afraid of her own mind, and
the negative spiral of thoughts she couldn’t escape. Sometimes it was hard to
remember a time when this hadn’t been her life. Still, despite the lack of
conflict for the last couple of years, Belle knew how best to manage it. She
had to try and distract herself enough that her subconscious could process what
happened, so that by the time she consciously thought about it again, her brain
didn’t proceed to torment her.

That was the
idea anyway. Everyone needed time to process events, it just took her longer
than it did for other people. Not wanting to be alone with her own thoughts was
why she had clung to Nick and asked him to come for dinner. Neither of them had
been in the right frame of mind for company, and that had proved disastrous.
Belle was fairly sure it ranked in the top five of the worst days of her life.
Their talk the morning after had been more positive but just as monumental, and
that time Belle hadn’t made a mistake. They’d finished their tea, and parted on
good terms and that was enough.

They both
needed time.

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Baby steps. I’m glad that they’ve decided to make a change but also that they’re taking it slowly. I think that Belle certainly is a very impulsive character and tends to jump into things, and then ends up overloading herself and being back at square one, or worse. They’re treading very carefully and considering the issues they both have, that’s the best way. I’m really enjoying watching these two unfold and trust each other more and more. 🙂

Yup that’s Belle all over and she knows that about herself, so she’s trying hard to keep herself in check. With this slow is the only way to go because fast would be a mistake and I want them to have a happy ending, well a happy ending of sorts. This was a happy chapter, nothing broke, but we’ll have to see what happens next. With things like this it does tend to be two steps forward, one step back. I’m glad you liked it! Thank you so much for commenting 🙂