Author’s Note: This is written with great respect, love and gratitude for the talents of Robert Carlyle, Emilie de Ravin, and everyone involved in of Once Upon A Time. I do not own these characters, nor do I own the songs mentioned in this story.
I’ve had some questions about Izzy-B. I had the idea for her a year ago, and it is very satisfying to flesh her out to be a multidimensional, complex character. Like most Storybrooke personas (with the exception of Lacey), Izzy-B has some of the original person (Belle) in her, but there’s a lot of other influences as well…Katherine Hepburn’s character, Tracy, in “The Philadelphia Story”, Margret from “M*A*S*H”, Lorelai from “Gilmore Girls”, Phoebe from “Charmed”, a dash of me, and something else that I can’t quite name. Like Belle, Izzy-B has a bit of an intuitive nature, thus she senses something restraining her, but does not realize it’s a curse. This makes her behavior a bit erratic, because she wants to break free of something, without knowing what that thing is.
There are 4 musical interludes via YouTube in this chapter.
There is some violence in this chapter, but I tried to keep from going overboard with it.
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Epilogue
11 days until Emma’s arrival
Breakfast rush at Granny’s Diner is unusually hectic today. So much so, that Ruby cannot seem to get a moment to pump Izzy-B for information about her date with the mystery man. Hence, Izzy-B is left in peace to eat and read at the counter. Ruby sighs frustratedly, seeing Mr. Gold enter the establishment. She has lost count of the times that she has fantasized about running him down with her red Camaro.
Looking like he just sucked on a lemon, Mr. Gold strides over to Izzy-B, saying forcefully, “Miss French, I’d like to discuss the status of my order. Any delays are unacceptable!”
With a steely professional tone, Izzy-B answers, “Of course, Mr. Gold. Perhaps we should go ahead and discuss your concerns now.” He opens up his brief case, and they are blocked from Ruby’s view.
“Oh Hell no! That arrogant bastard isn’t bugging my friend during her breakfast!”, Ruby fumes.
Ruby tries to angle closer to see how she can intervene. Dumping a plate of eggs on him would be fun, however would likely get their rent quadrupled. Ruby notices something peculiar. As Izzy-B looks up at Mr. Gold the tilt of her head exposes her neck. Ruby suddenly spies a pinkish rash on Izzy-B’s neck. In a flash, Ruby determines what it is; whisker burn. Ruby feels a bit appreciative to Gold for disturbing Izzy-B’s breakfast, because she would not have noticed the whisker burn otherwise, since Izzy-B is wearing her hair down today.
Ruby thinks, “Of course, that’s why she wore her hair down. Guess her date went well. Good for her.”
Mr. Gold eyeing Izzy-B in her dark blue jacket with matching skirt and coral pink blouse. He says, in a husky whisper, “You look wonderful this morning. That’s a lovely blouse.”
Izzy-B whispers back, “Thank you. The color reminded me of the rose sitting on the nightstand next to my bed.”
With an arch of his brow, he says wryly, “Lucky rose.”
In a cautioning tone, she says, “If you don’t stop being irresistible, I might do something to you right here with everyone watching.”
Hopefully he asks, “Lunch today?”
Disappointedly, Izzy-B shakes her head, “Probably not the rest of the week. It’s a hellish week at work. I’ll have back to back meetings the next few days. This evening, our band is playing during Wednesday Happy Hour at The Rabbit’s Hole. I could stop by your shop after, if you’re going to be around.”
He smirks, “I’ll be there with bells on.”, and subtly hooks his pinkie around Izzy-B’s pinkie as they pretend to look at some paper work.
The view of their entwined fingers is blocked to the dinner patrons, however from behind the counter Ruby sees it. Moreover, she observes the flush of Izzy-B’s face.
Ruby’s mind races, “Oh…my…GOLD! It’s him?! He’s the mystery man! The culprit of the whisker burn! I need to talk to Izzy-B now!!!”
Before Ruby can do anything, Granny bellows, “Girl, stop daydreaming! There are customers here!” By the time Ruby has a break between customers, Izzy-B has left for work.
Thirty minutes until Happy Hour at The Rabbit’s Hole:
Mr. Gold enters the bar that is still relatively empty of the workaday crowd. He spots Izzy-B and Clarice fussing over each other’s stage attire. Izzy-B looks decidedly different from this morning…red spiked heel knee-high boots, tight black jeans, and a white button-down men’s dress shirt with the two top buttons undone, the sleeves rolled up and tied in the front exposing her midriff. Clarice is sitting in a chair painting something on Izzy-B’s midriff. Mr. Gold’s mouth goes dry at the sight, and then he is unnerved to notice the sandy haired, already inebriated, Dr. Whale also watching.
Jeremy greets him from the side, “Hello Mr. Gold.”
“Good evening, Mr. Andrews.”, Mr. Gold replies.
With a bit of humor in his voice Jeremy says, “Warning, you’ve entered the estrogen zone. They have their little rituals before shows.”
Gruffly, Mr. Gold says, “I don’t intend to get in the way, if that’s what you’re implying.”
Jeremy chuckles, “Oh they won’t let you get in the way, but be careful. You may be assimilated.”
A split second later, Clarice notices Mr. Gold, and with a devilish grin bolts up, “Great, Mr. Gold! We need a second set of eyes here…preferably male ones.” Pointing to the painting on Izzy-B’s midriff, “Does this look centered?”
Izzy-B blushes slightly. This is not how she wants to present herself to Randall, but then she thinks, “Oh, what the Hell!…He’s on my turf now.”
He gazes upon a painted orange, red and yellow sun with Izzy-B’s navel serving as the center of the sun.
With a rasp in his voice, Randall says, “It looks fine. Quite nice.”
Izzy-B enjoying his reaction, says, “Look at the rays in the bottom left quadrant. Do they go out far enough? I can’t tell from this angle.”
He thinks to himself, “Oh you wicked woman, one day you’ll pay for this.” Mustering his composure, he says, “Now, that I look at it more closely. The rays right here…”, pointing nearly touching her skin, “…should be extended a quarter inch.” He smirks at how her skin flutters when his hand nears her abdomen.
Clarice chimes in, “Enough, you two. You can get a room later. Now, I have to finish the sun.”
Mr. Gold inquires, “Why exactly do you have a sun painted on your stomach?”
Izzy-B says slyly, “It’s a power thing. I like to have it when I perform. I pretend I’m drawing the sun’s power to my Chi; the energy center and life source. Technically, the Chi is a couple inches lower, but it would look odd having the sun not centered around the navel. The rays are on the Chi though.”
Jeremy then vocalizes ‘The Twilight Zone’ theme, which earns him a glare from both Izzy-B and Clarice.
After extending the rays, Clarice grabs from her bag a tube of false eyelash glue and a golden yellow crystal. She puts glue on the back of the crystal and presses it into Izzy-B’s navel. Watching Izzy-B and her band mates, Mr. Gold truly feels like he has fallen down the rabbit’s hole.
After a minute, Clarice says with a tone of mischief, “Let’s check that it’s staying in. Do it, Izzy-B!”
Izzy-B flexes and releases her abdomen muscles to create a wave motion; ‘belly roll’. Satisfied that the crystal stayed in place, Clarice looks at Mr. Gold who looks rather befuddled, then back to Izzy-B and says, “Hey, how about a diamond?”
Though Izzy-B feels awkward, knowing that Mr. Gold is watching, she complies, contracting her abdomen muscles to move her navel up, then to her right, then down and finally to her left.
Clarice says excitedly, “There you go, Mr. Gold, proof positive that Izzy-B is an alien from another planet!”
Mr. Gold shifts awkwardly as it is clear that Clarice is baiting him. Izzy-B rolls her eyes and says to Clarice, “It’s just a matter of muscle control. You could learn to do it too.”
Clarice retorts, “You kidding? I’ve got enough work cut out for me keeping ‘the girls’ in place. Thank God for double-sided tape! Don’t want to scare anybody.”
Izzy-B retorts, “If they get loose, Jeremy won’t mind.”
Jeremy whispers sharply to Izzy-B, “Looking to have your life shortened, Tinker Bell?”
Waving him off, Izzy-B says, “Talk to Clarice before she gets with some guy, and I have to hear you complain about it.”
Jeremy mumbles, “I have to do a mike check.”, goes to the microphone on stage and sings, “Test, one, two, three”, to which Izzy-B and Clarice respond singing, “anything but that”, burst into a fit of giggles.
Mr. Gold is at a loss, watching Izzy-B and Clarice begin a poorly executed Tango and sing,
“So you think–might as well
Dance a tango to hell
At least I’ll have tangoed at all”.
From the microphone, Jeremy says, “Here I learned to play guitar to get women, but chicks just dance with each other.”
Izzy-B shouts back, “Phoebe Cates in the red bikini made you all raised on the radio.”
Jeremy singing The Ravyns a cappella,
“But all the simplest equations
never add up very far
When all my musical persuasions
kept me reaching for the stars
I was raised on the radio
Raised on the radio
Just an all-American boy
I’ve got my favorite toy”
Hopping up on a bar stool between Izzy-B and Mr. Gold, Clarice declares, “Phoebe Cates is an interesting topic.”
Despite herself, Izzy-B asks, “How so?”
Looking between Mr. Gold and Izzy-B, Clarice says slyly, “Well, Kevin Kline is sixteen years older than her, and they’ve been married for decades. He obviously rocked her world.”
Izzy-B squints at Clarice and says in an annoyed tone, “You’re completely subtlety impaired.”
Clarice shrugs, says, “Just sayin’.”, and goes to talk to the bartender.
Izzy-B says sheepishly, “Sorry about her.”
Mr. Gold says, “No matter. It’s interesting to see you in your element.”
Not sure if that is a compliment, Izzy-B asks, “You staying for the show?”
He responds, “I can stay for a bit; then I have some work to finish at the shop.”, and then looking at Dr. Whale staring at Izzy-B intensely, he adds, “I can come back later, if that would please you.”
Izzy-B’s smile beams her approval and she says, “That would please me greatly.”
More patrons have filed into the bar, many of whom are noticing Mr. Gold and Izzy-B together. Jeremy tunes his guitar, and the keyboardist and drummer finish setting up. Clarice returns with two slices of lemon, and she and Izzy-B each suck on a lemon slice and grimace. Clarice joins the other band mates, strapping on her bass.
Izzy-B responds to Mr. Gold’s confused expression, “It clears the grunge out of the pipes. I’ve got to do my sound check now.”
Mr. Gold nods.
Izzy-B straps on her Blue Burst Quilt Maple Top Ovation Acoustic Guitar. Mr. Gold’s ears perk, as he hears her play a familiar melody, and then sings a verse of “Ae Fond Kiss”. Her band mates look at her in confusion, as they have never heard the song, while Mr. Gold looks at her with a mixture of awe and appreciation.
A few songs into the performance, Izzy-B switches guitars, strapping on her B.C. Rich Bich Dragon’s Blood Electric Guitar. She and Jeremy play harmonizing leads in a cover of Night Ranger’s “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”. Standing back to back, though Jeremy towers over Izzy-B, even with her in heels, she matches his stage presence.
“I love the way you shoot
I love the way that you shoot to kill me
It’s taken miles and lines
To learn the right from the wrong”
Izzy-B swaggers in front of the stage, joining the vocals singing,
“I’ll keep you hanging on
So, don’t tell me you love me
Don’t tell me you love me
Don’t tell me
I don’t want to know”.
Mr. Gold notes the hard, commanding expression on Izzy-B’s face, and then later, as she sings, “Magic Power” by Triumph, her expression becomes carefree and vibrant. He wonders, if he could know Izzy-B for a hundred lifetimes, would he ever know all of her facets?
Izzy-B looks at Randall with amusement as she sings,
“So turn me on, turn me up
It’s your turn to dream
A little magic power
Makes it better than it seems
I’m young now, I’m wild now
I want to be free I got the magic power
Of the music in me”.
Having left the Rabbit’s Hole to tie up some loose ends at his shop, Randall makes his way back to the establishment. He notices Jeremy and Clarice talking intently at the side of the building, while on the sidewalk stands Izzy-B with Dr. Whale. Izzy-B has on a long black jacket, her purse slung over her shoulder, and a guitar case in each hand. Frustratedly, Izzy-B puts the guitar cases on the sidewalk and glares at Whale, as he says something to her.
With her hands on her hips, Izzy-B yells, “Look, back off!”
Mr. Gold tightens the grip on his cane, rushing forward with visions of bringing the cane down on Whale’s drunken head. Jeremy and Clarice hurry to check on Izzy-B. In what seems like a blink of an eye, Dr. Whale grabs Izzy-B harshly, kissing her, she knees him in the groin, whips his arm around his back forcing him face down on the sidewalk, before Mr. Gold, Jeremy and Clarice can reach them.
Izzy-B growls through clenched teeth, “Go home and sleep it off, Whale…and if you ever touch me again, I’ll break your arm!”
Enraged, Mr. Gold raises his cane over Whale. Izzy-B grabs the cane in mid-air and glares at Mr. Gold, “Don’t! I’ve got it handled. Now, I’m going home.”, grabbing the guitar cases and walking away.
Mr. Gold follows her worried, “Are you okay? Did he hurt you?”
Izzy-B sighs frustratedly, “Yes, Randall, I’m fine. I have no problem handling a drunken lech.”
Randall Gold says solicitously, “My car’s behind my shop. Let me drive you home. You shouldn’t be walking home alone at night.”
Izzy-B huffs, “God! You’re as bad as Graham! Nothing dangerous happens in Storybrooke…I’m fine.”
Incredulously, he retorts, “‘Nothing dangerous happens’? You were just mauled!”
She shakes her head dismissively, “That’s just Whale. He’s a drunk jerk, but not really dangerous. Besides, I took him down quite well.”
With a stern tone, Randall says, “Belle, I insist on driving you home.”
She stops and glares at him with her arms folded in front of her.
He softens his tone, “Belle, please.”
She gazes upon his caring expression and the streetlight shining in his flowing hair, shakes her head and sighs, “Well, I suppose we haven’t gotten much time together today. Okay, but let’s drive around a bit first. I’m still kind of keyed up.”
He nods saying, “Your wish is my command.”
She smirks saying, “I’ll have to remember that.”
In Randall’s black Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance, they drive down many back roads through the woods talking about their day and the fact that people will likely talk about them after his presence at The Rabbit’s Hole. Randall finally asks whose shirt she was wearing for the performance. She laughs and explains that she bought a men’s shirt, because a woman wearing a man’s shirt adds to the rock intrigue. Randall finds himself wondering what Belle would look like in one dress shirts; just the shirt.
An hour later, as Randall pulls into Izzy-B’s driveway, he notices her yawning and sleepy eyes. He says, “Long day, Sleeping Beauty?”
She smirks and nods, “I had a major case of brain drain after a full day of back to back meetings. Then I got pumped up for the show, but now that the adrenaline is wearing off, I am crashing.” Touching his cheek, she adds, “It’s not a commentary on the company.”
Izzy-B’s gaze flickers down to his lips and back to his dark eyes. Sliding closer to him, she tilts her head up, as her hand moves from his cheek through his silky hair. Their noses graze each other, as their mouths unite in a fervent kiss, drawing each other in. His fingers plunge into her lush mane, as they indulge in one another. Parting, they say their farewells, and he watches her enter her house, before driving away.
The next morning, Randall and Izzy-B have a quick phone conversation, confirming that she cannot make lunch due to meetings, and that she will try to stop by his shop that evening. Shortly passed noon, as he looks upon the contents of his mini-fridge, Randall laments having to lunch alone. His mood suddenly brightens at the sound of the bell in the showroom of his shop. Thinking that one of Izzy-B’s meetings must have been canceled, he steps expectantly from behind the curtain dividing the showroom from the back office and storage area. His expression turns bitter seeing who has entered his shop.
With a girlish pout, Regina says in a saccharin tone, “Expecting someone else?”
Stiffly, Mr. Gold says, “Just hoping for anyone, but you, Madame Mayor.”
Regina smirks, “Sure you weren’t expecting the French girl?”
He retorts, “She hasn’t been a girl in many years. What do you want, Regina?”
With mock offense, Regina says, “That’s a fine attitude, when I came here as a friend.”
He scoffs, “We’ve never been friends. I’m quite sure you have no friends in this town, unless you count your boy-toy sheriff.”
Regina rolls her eyes dismissively, “I’m just here to give you some friendly advice to make good use of the French girl, while you can.”
Trying not to show his anger at her insinuation about his relationship with Belle, in a disinterested tone, he asks, “Is that supposed to be some sort of threat?”
She gives a mirthless laugh and purrs with acid, “Threat? Oh no, Gold, it’s just sound advice. See she had quite the reputation back in the day. She was a passionate supporter of the high school football team…and the marching band as well. I just bet before long Little Miss Doe Eyes will find some young buck to mount her.” Enjoying the glint of rage in his eyes, she adds, “Take what you can get from the little chippy, before she ends up in bed or up against the wall with someone else.”
His blood boils with rage, as he clutches his cane fantasizing about ramming it down Regina’s vindictive throat. Dryly he says, “You know it takes quite a small person to spread malicious gossip.”
With teeth gleaming, she smiles and leans in and whispers, “Oh, but the best gossip has truth to it.” Turning on her heel to leave, she calls back in a sing-song voice, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
An hour passed closing time at the print shop, it is already dark outside; Izzy-B is finally done with her meetings. Drained, with the beginnings of a migraine, Izzy-B hopes she has successfully protected her staff from the wrath of the new owner, Albert Spencer. Apparently, being Storybrooke’s District Attorney does not give him much to do. As she walks, she questions her life choices. She wonders if Randall would want to buy a farm in the middle of Nowhere, Montana and populate it with a myriad of animals that they could tend. She smiles softly at the image.
Caught up in her musings, Izzy-B is startled when Kieron Gold steps out of the alley. With a lascivious sneer, he says, “Izzy-B, looking for a bit of fun?”
She thinks, “Oh no, not this guy!…what’s the deal with the guy-liner? Okay, remember he’s Randall’s son…be nice.“, and then she says with more edge than she intends, “Sorry, I’ve had a long day. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of ‘fun‘ at The Rabbit’s Hole.”
She feels somewhat guilty for inflicting him on The Rabbit’s Hole crowd, however she is in no mood to deal with his juvenile come-ons. If he were any other guy, she would be readying herself to drop kick him across the street.
He leans in and says, “But you’re so tense, and I have the perfect therapy. Wrap your lushes legs around me for a while, and I’ll have you purring like a kitten. I assure you, I’m a better shag than my dad.”
Anger flashes in her eyes, as she says through gritted teeth, “If I ever want to catch a disease, I’ll look you up.”, and turns on her heel to leave.
Suddenly, Kieron grabs and pulls her, slamming her against the brick wall in the alley, as she lets out a panicked scream. The impact knocks the air from her lungs and her head throbs as a light seems to flash at the corner of her eyes.
He pushes his forearm harshly against her collarbone and throat, growling, “So you want to play that way, do ya? More’s the better. I like it rough.”
Disoriented, confused about how she ended up in this position, she freezes in fear, as he crushes his mouth upon her own, burning her tongue with the sting of cheap whiskey. Unable to pull her mouth away, as his forearm presses her harder against the wall, his hand quickly begins to pull up her skirt, painfully squeezing her inner thigh in the process.
The pain snaps Izzy-B out of her petrified state, knowing what will come next if she does not act now. Swiftly, she rams her knee into his crotch, and when he doubles over, she shifts ramming her other knee into his nose. With Kieron on the ground his nose bleeding profusely, she turns to run. Noticing his hand about to grab her ankle, she pulls up her leg and stomps down on his hand with the spike of her heel, as he cries out in pain.
Graham hearing a commotion runs towards the alley. Just before he reaches the alley, Izzy-B storms out. He runs to her, “Izzy-B, are you okay?”
Still storming away, she says, “Yes…no…I don’t know. That creep tried to…to…”
Graham trying to remain calm says, “I get the picture. Can you come to the station and make a statement?”
Suddenly turning to him with angry tears threatening to fall, she says, “Look, Graham, I can’t deal with that right now! Do whatever you want with that creep…I’m out of here!”, and she rushes off.
Graham enters the alley seeing Kieron on the ground; cuffs him and smirks seeing the damage that Izzy-B has done to Kieron’s nose.
In the back room of the pawn shop, Randall hears a notification from his laptop computer that he just received an email. It is from an anonymous sender and titled “You should see this!” He opens the email and the image inside. On his screen appears a slightly blurry security camera photograph of what seems to be Izzy-B and his son in a passionate embrace. Randall looks as though he has been tasered, gaping at their entangled mouths and Kieron’s hand on Izzy-B’s thigh.
Click here to read more.
Author’s Note: Though the next chapter will be angsty, I promise a little treat at the end. Please review/comment! I do enjoy reading your thoughts on the story. The blue Ovation acoustic guitar is a nod to Belle, while the B.C. Rich Bich Dragon’s Blood electric guitar is a nod to Izzy-B. By the way, without looking it up, who knows to what movie the “Phoebe Cates in the red bikini” refers? FYI: The origin of the tango song wasn’t referenced in the story, but it is “The Tango Maureen” from the musical “Rent”.
Click here to read more.
“The Tango Maureen” from the musical “Rent” Warning: Just in case others can hear the music your playing now, be aware that the F-word does show up twice in this song.
“Raised On The Radio” by The Ravyns
“Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” by Night Ranger
“Magic Power” by Triumph
Click here to read more.