A Heart in Disguise

Chapter 14

I have already lost myself. The woman I once knew has been swept away by the winds of time, spinning my world upside into chaos. I dared not open my eyes for I knew if I did I might find her own. There's that twinkle in her eyes, one that I find all too appealing. I was supposed to be disguising myself, not my heart.

But what did that mean? How could I be disguising myself if I wasn't even her anymore? The Evil Queen was no more; long live the Queen...whoever that was…

What had become of my kingdom during my disappearance? There was an inkling of fear stirring in the pit of my stomach and instinctively I leaned further into the warm embrace, my head finding refuge in the crook of the younger woman's neck.

I was well aware where I was now. I was well aware whose arms were around me and I vividly recalled the night before. There was no shudder anymore, but merely a sigh. I couldn't fight it. Last night had proved as much.

My life had never been perfect. I had always been flawed from day one. I wasn't enough to appease Mother. She found every way she could to prove that to me without leaving a physical mark. The magic that I found, the power within it, it was never enough to make me whole. It gave me something that couldn't control: a vehement darkness that coiled around me and took over every sense I had.

I was far too young to know better and a man who had the face on an imp should have warned me even further to stay away, but it was the only chance I had. It was the only escape from the shackles that laced around my limbs. What did it matter if something happened to me? I didn't have anyone else to care.

There was my father, but he was merely a kind shadow in my life. And then there had been Daniel, taken away ever so cruelly by the hands of a woman I should have killed with my own bare hands. But that woman transformed from one to another and it had taken me this entire journey to finally place blame on the right one.

A sting far more painful than the loss of myself took hold of me as I realized that I would have to tell her. I didn't know how, but I had to tell Snow the truth.

I wasn't sure who I was. I had been living another's footsteps for my entire life. No matter who I was, I was never really me and I still wasn't. Yet now, I felt more complete than I had ever. Not perfect, the cracks still shown through, but they had been covered up by a disguise that was meant to shortly last, yet had become my life.

I couldn't deny what was happening to me any longer. I had fallen for Snow White, the truly fairest of them all.

By the time I woke again, recognizing that I had fallen back to sleep, I was alone in the room. There was a slight chill to my body from the absence of another. Pushing aside the covers, I sat up from the bed and made my way to the door.

I didn't stop to fix my hair. I didn't stop to slip on dark makeup. I simply pushed open the door and walked into the living room that connected to the kitchen.

Before I even had the chance to look around, I heard the playful bickering of the two women, apparently arguing over who was to fix breakfast. The wolf-girl grabbed a nearby sack and Snow gasped aloud as her face was covered in a powder of white.

I snickered softly, still between the rooms.

"Morning, sleepyhead," Red called out.

I muttered out a reply, shyly finding hazel eyes that had snapped over to me the moment my presence was known. She turned her attention to pouring me a cup of coffee from a pot. When the cup was extended outward to me I hesitated for a moment.

I had a déjà vu of the morning after Snow kissed me the first time. The awkward bitterness swept through me and in a second it was gone.

"Did you sleep okay?" she asked me as I held my hands around the steaming mug before taking a sip of the weak brew.

"I did. You?"


The nearly black liquid reflected my distorted gaze as I fixated on the cup, very aware of the awkwardness creeping around the corner. Snow leaned her hip against the table as I took a seat.

The atmosphere wasn't nearly as cloudy as it had been and I was well aware that the raven-haired woman was closer than what I would have called acceptable, yet I said not a word.

"I know you're still facing whatever demons in your head," Snow said out of nowhere causing my eyebrows to furrow and my lip draw downward, "but I hope we can do what we did last night again. Our talk, I mean."

My cheeks became hot and when I looked up I saw that her pale cheeks were red as well. I shifted my weight on the chair and replied coolly.

"Of course, dear."

"Alright," said Red's voice, "something is going on. What happened?"

Apparently she had been eyeing them the entire time.

"Nothing," Snow and I utter at the same exact time which caused an unconvinced smirk to form on the wolf's lips.

She wasn't a fool. Anyone could see that there was something brewing between them from a mile away. She simply shook her head.

I set my half empty cup onto the table and looked around for something to ease the stress I was feeling. My eyes landed upon the depleted stack of wood by the hearth. Making a comment on fetching more outside, I received a raise of eyebrows from the both of them, but I brushed it off. I wasn't afraid of getting my hands dirty anymore.

The wind was bitter this morning as it smacked against my face. I had been outside for probably about a half hour after finding out the wood needed to be chopped. It wasn't exactly my forte, but after getting the axe lodged into several pieces of logs I finally managed to split a decent amount. I was treading through the snow with another stack of wood when I saw Snow walking towards me.

She made an attempt to lessen my load which I tried to avoid. Nevertheless, she ended up taking half the stack and helping me carry them over to the cabin.

"We have to leave soon," she said in a sad tone.

I dusted off my hands and looked at her.

"How soon?"

"In the next day or two." I followed her gaze upwards towards the visible waxing moon. "Red doesn't want to put us in harm's way."

"I see."

The thought of us departing the warmth of the cabin made me shiver. Had we really been here for a month now?

"What would you say if I asked her to come along?" I completely froze and looked at her as if she had grown as second head, "She doesn't trust herself, but I know her more than she realizes. She couldn't hurt a soul and she's so lonely here since—."


It came out so bitterly and she narrowed her eyes, not out of anger, but out of curious surprise at my tone.

"Wilma, it's okay. She's not going to hurt us. I've known her for a long time."

"I know that! I just…I don't want her coming with us."

Pulling my jacket tighter around me, I stormed off to collect the rest of the firewood. I only made it a few steps when a hand stopped me.

"Why—? Wilma, are you…jealous?"

"What are you talking about? I'm not—"

"—Because that would explain a lot."

"That's nonsense."

I brushed her hand off of my shoulder.

"Wilma…please talk to me. Don't close up on me again. I'm trying to have patience with you…it's just…"

Whatever Snow said fell away from my ears. What had I pulled this woman into? I wanted to turn around and tell her that waiting for me was a death wish, but instead I ended up saying something completely opposite. Before I could bite her tongue, the next words slipped out so fast that I almost stumbled into the frosty snow.

"I don't want to lose you again…"

It was so soft and I believe my voice cracked.

I wanted to hide away from the world, but she didn't let me. Her arms wrapped around me from behind and soon after I had turned around in them. I needed to see those hazel eyes. I needed to tell her I was sorry, but I couldn't utter anything else. I didn't trust myself.

Hands that were surprisingly warm against my icy skin took hold of my cheeks and she leaned forwards, pressing a gentle kiss on my forehead as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

"I won't let that happen."

My eyes that had shut opened and I was staring straight into mesmerizing hazel eyes. I wanted to reach out and trace the line of her pink lips with my thumb. I wanted to run my hands through her hair. How did I ever come to hate such a beautiful woman?

"Whatever you think happened," I heard her say, "between me and Red, it's not true. She brought me into her home when the Queen's men were hot on my heels and she became my family. I just want her to be safe. I know she can take care of herself; she has for a while…"

Her words trailed off.

I didn't say anything.

She helped me carry all of the wood inside. After, we all sat down for breakfast and fell into our usual chatter.

Running. Hunting. Trolls. Knights. The Evil Queen.

I didn't shutter anymore at the last. She was merely a shadow now. I pretended to listen, laughed when they did. Meanwhile I was tossing scenarios in my head on how to tell Snow, when to tell her, and what that would mean for me.

Hope was hanging by a thread. Maybe she would understand. Maybe she would still let me into her heart. Perhaps I would forget about my kingdom and we would continue our journey to another and start a new life.

But that was just a fairytale

She would close up. She would shove me away as if I were a burning ember searing against her flesh and I would be left on my own in the blistering cold to find my way back to the life I had left behind.
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