I’ve had some absolutely amazing feedback on Chapter Seven of Painting Layers of Love and I’m going to do a spot of revision. So if you’ve already read it, I’m going to be reblogging the changed version later. It’s not going to change the events of the chapter, but hopefully it will make everything make more sense and fix some characterization issues.


You guys are going to kill me … actually scratch that I think I might kill me. What did I just do? I am so mean. I actually feel legitimately bad about this. I didn’t even know I was going to do that until I did it, and yikes …


#i am a terrible terrible person#i can’t even promise a quick update#it might be ending on a cliffhanger again#don’t worry i hate me too


I didn’t mean to, it just sort of happened … somehow. I do actually feel quite bad about it. Some authors like angst, but personally I just feel this intense need to fix it. Poor Belle and Gold, they’ve both had a very bad day.

I really need to make some progress on my RSS but I’m still trying to post fic at least every Tuesday. What I might try and do (no promises) is do Chapter Eight for next Tuesday, so Painting Layers of Love will be updated two weeks running. Considering how this fic has suffered on the update front, it’s probably due a boost anyway.

Oh you know what, it’s only 5pm, maybe I’ll start chapter eight now. I need to make this right!

PaintingLayers!Nick: What would it mean to you if Belle really does return your feelings? Would you change your life for her? Can you imagine how she might fit into your life away from the cottages? I know it’s early at this point, but it seems to me she merits those what-if thoughts, with how special she clearly is to you.


I haven’t allowed myself to consider that Belle could ever regard me as more than a friend. I consider myself fortunate enough to have her friendship.

However, if we are to enter the realm of fantasyland. My son Neal believes that I will hurt her, and he is probably right. It wouldn’t be intentional but work has consumed my life. Would I change for Belle? I’m not sure I know how, I’m not sure I could. I’m not sure there would be anything left of me if I tried.

#does anyone else spend an inordinate amount of time trying to select the perfect gif to accompany the answer?

Painting Layers!Gold – Are Belle’s paintings really that good or were you just being nice?


I’ve been accused of many things dearie, being nice isn’t one of them.

I haven’t asked how Belle lost her sight. From her paintings I assume she could see at one point. When I first saw the paintings, I believed they must have been painted when she could see. I was impressed then, learning that she had painted them recently … words fail me. Her paintings are incredible, she has a real gift.

Painting Layers!Belle – What’s your favorite thing to paint? Have you ever thought about painting something special for Nick? Maybe something he can take with him at the end of his sabbatical to remember you by? ;)


I like to paint landscapes mostly, both of the places I’ve been and of the places that I once wanted to visit. Well, I say that’s what I like to paint, I have no idea whether the image in my mind translates to the canvas. It could be an unrecognizable blob of mixed paint.

Nick has been very kind, and very complimentary, but I don’t know. He probably wouldn’t want one of my paintings anyway. Don’t tell him, but … I don’t usually paint people but after he let me map his face, I tried to paint him. I could never, ever show him, I wouldn’t want him to be offended.

Painting Layers of Love Belle: So you have confessed your feelings – or implied that his weren’t unrequited – what do you think will happen next? I think Nick would make a wonderful boyfriend.


Oh *blushes* I think so too but (whispers) I don’t know if I’m ready.

#sorry I know that’s a rubbish answer but there was nothing else I could really say without spoiling the next chapter#don’t worry I’m not planning on leaving it a month this time

Painting Layers of Love (Chapter Six)




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: I’m sorry it’s been such a long time since the last chapter. I rather over-committed myself and something had to give, unfortunately it was this. I’m going to try very hard to return to a regular update schedule from now on.

Banner by the incredibly amazing @rowofstars who also made this aesthetic which I’m still gushing over. Thank you so much! 🙂

Warning: Deals with depression and anxiety.

On Tumblr: Chapters One, Two, Three, Four, Five

AO3 Link

Belle followed
Nick over to his cottage, clutching her book tightly in her right hand. She
reached the doorway and hesitated, her hand against the cool brick of the
cottage. She could hear the soft tap of Nick’s cane as he moved further inside
the cottage and she shifted uncomfortably, knowing she was lingering but
temporarily unable to make herself take another step. Belle felt tears stinging
at the corner of her eyes, and she angrily blinked them away, cursing herself
for being so pathetic.

“Belle, give me
your hand,” Gold said gently.

She felt his
hand brush her left arm and she grabbed his hand, clasping it firmly. He tugged
it gently and she automatically took a step inside and then another. Belle took
a deep breath, her mind spinning, and she took another, and then another. Her
legs trembled, and she wasn’t certain whether she was going to bolt or collapse
to the ground. Then Nick put her hand against the wall, the plaster was smooth
but she felt a droplet of paint.

Keep reading

NOW THAT I’M ACTUALLY COHERENT OH MY GOD. I am just. Uh I still may not have words to describe how I feel about this chapter. SO MUCH HAPPENED. But it was all SO GOOD. (I am annoyed and happy with Neal at the same time. His teasing was good natured but doing it so Belle could hear was kinda bad. I think now he understands how fragile she can be and that kind of thing is not cool. But yay because feels are out in the open now!)

Okay. So Gold somehow knowing and also not knowing what to do for Belle is so endearing. He’s trying SO HARD to do the right thing and even if he messes up a little, like inviting her over to his cottage. He knew she didn’t really want to go (she kinda did, but she was scared) and he let her make the choice to do it. Gold is really great about respecting Belle’s decisions about what she can and can’t do, but at the same time he notices that she hasn’t come in the house and that she probably doesn’t know her way around. So he helps her figure it out. That was really hot by the way, like oh god body proximity and touching and it was useful but also just a little bit sensual. GUH!

Belle. Oh Belle. She is just so brave. She is trying so hard and pushing herself, and once again it backfires. She really thought her crush was “safe” because there was no chance of it being reciprocated. Once there was she was in crisis mode. She didn’t know how to deal, she was faced with the thing she’d been repressing for so long – that she’s lonely and does need people in her life.

Her breakdown was very well done. I even felt anxious on her behalf reading it. The blind panic, the confusion, the desperation was all great, and it really built up and boiled over, until she just had nothing left to give. I felt a sense of relief when she collapsed on Gold, even though it all wasn’t over. The end though. Oh my goodness. They are both just so sweet and confused and have so many issues. *hugs them and this fic*

*jaw drops* I don’t think there’s a gif in the world that can say what this comment means to me. Thank you so much!

Yeah the Neal thing kinda happened because he and Gold were stuck in the kitchen, and I didn’t know how to move it along and then it was like “zomg I just threw a hand grenade into the story!!!” which is when I posted the evil laugh gif the other day. I wasn’t sure if you guys would love me, or hate me for it. However, to be honest it needed to happen because something had to change. While it’s very slow burn, the story still needs to move along.

Oh man I want to respond to every part of this comment, but everything I write just winds up going spoiler alert, as I talk about what I think will happen next. Honestly, you know this is something of a prompt verse, and I only have a very loose outline, and your comments are really inspirational. I keep having to copy my reply to my planning document.

Just thank you so much. You are amazing, and a truly wonderful person.

rowofstars replied to your post “Painting Layers of Love (Chapter Six)”

Still waiting on that Skin Deep deleted scene redux with the painting… *NUDGE NUDGE* Now might be a good time since there are feels out in the open. And maybe some Gold backstory?? Failed marriage, failed relationship, all work and no play??

Haha, why do you think I threw a hand grenade into the story? I have all these prompts, and I was staring at my planning document, and then staring at the story, and it’s a bit like staring at two hands, how do I get them to come together? Well, the story had kinda got to a point, and it needed to take a step forward, something had to change so that things could develop.

Basically, I confess this might also have been why it took me a month to update. I was stuck but now, not so stuck anymore 🙂 So … yay all the prompts suddenly become possible. The painting thing is definitely going to happen. Same with Gold’s backstory. It’s all on a list. The painting thing won’t be the first prompt of yours I do next, but it will happen.

Thank you so much! Your support of this fic is incredible 🙂



I need more reaction gifs. Anyone know where I can get some? For now this one will have to do …

I’m chipping away at Chapter Six of Painting Layers of Love and it just took a turn I did not expect. I’m blaming Neal entirely.

so excited to hear you’re working on this!

I know! I feel really guilty about it. I have no idea how it’s been a month, I swear I blinked and it happened. Anyway, I’m determined to update this Friday and then try and update fortnightly again. Hopefully that will stick this time! 🙂

@beliza-fryler thank you! That’s really nice to hear. I hope you will enjoy the chapter.