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She Wears It Well

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01. Towel

Mayor Regina Mills was vexed, to say the least. Her town’s Sheriff, Emma Swan, was standing in front of her in an entirely unseemly and revealing outfit. The mother of Regina’s son was wearing only a tank top which showed off powerful yet graceful arms and tiny shorts which were indecently flattering to her shapely thighs and curvaceous—

Regina placed a hand to her forehead as if that might physically stop the rambling of her own mind on being faced with a sight which overwhelmed her with far too many base emotions.

“Oh, hey, Regina,” Emma said, stepping aside to allow her into the apartment. “You’re early.”

“Hardly early, Miss Swan. We agreed four-thirty and it is now,” she looked at the cellphone in her hand, “twenty-eight minutes past.”

Emma frowned. “I thought we said five.”

“That much is evident from the fact that you’ve not bothered to dress yet.” She walked into Emma’s living room and made her way over to the couch, pleased that she managed to sound much more composed than she actually felt. She couldn’t stop herself from sneaking looks at the other woman and all that bare flesh on display, looking so soft yet strong and so, so tempting. “All this time and you still find it acceptable to open your door to all manner of strangers wearing little more than your underwear?”

Emma closed the door, shaking her head. “You’re hardly a stranger. And these are my running clothes, not my underwear. Gotta keep in shape somehow.” She patted her stomach and flashed Regina a smile. “Anyway, make yourself a coffee or something while I jump in the shower, and I’ll be ready before you know it.”

Regina wasn’t sure which bothered her more: the overly graphic images her mind was now supplying of rivers of water cascading down Emma Swan’s naked body, or the fact that Emma had actually gone out in public dressed thus. People—other people who were not Regina—had therefore seen her, seen far too much of that body which Regina wanted to possess. They had been treated to the sight of those toned thighs, stretching and lunging and pushing themselves to their limit. Jealousy, pure and fierce, shot through her.

She picked at some imaginary lint on the arm of the couch because she definitely couldn’t keep looking at Emma. Seeing what would never be hers was some form of torture. She shook her head and sighed at her own weakness. Queens did not yearn. Queens did not long for what could never be. Queens demanded, took, controlled, proclaimed.

Who was she kidding? She wasn’t even in charge of her town any more. The Mayor answered to a town council led by Emma’s idiot parents, Snow and David, and stuffed full of major and minor royalty from all the kingdoms. Oh, they needed her because, frankly, none of them was capable of arranging an orgy in a brothel, but she didn’t command anything these days. Although she wasn’t entirely sure that she wanted to command Emma Swan, when the idea of being commanded by her was much more arousing. Emma’s natural confidence was so very attractive, after all.

“You sure you’re okay? You don’t look so hot.” Emma’s concerned voice caused her to raise her head.

Hot was exactly how she felt. Regina was on fire with jealousy and need.

“I’m perfectly fine.” She fixed on a spot on the kitchen wall just beyond Emma’s shoulder and hoped she wouldn’t notice that she wasn’t quite looking at her, and put on her best politician’s smile. “Why don’t you hurry yourself so that we are not late for yet another important school event?” They were going to watch the dress rehearsal of the school play, in which Henry had a speaking role.

Emma rolled her eyes, but there was nothing but teasing banter in her voice as she headed for her bathroom and said over her shoulder, “Jeez, you miss one parent-teacher conference due to a zombie apocalypse and you never get to live it down.”

“It was only one Golem, Emma, and therefore neither zombies nor an apocalypse.”

When there was no answer, she stood and walked over to the small kitchen, picking up a jug and filling it with fresh water. She poured it into the coffee maker that she’d purchased as a housewarming present. Despite her best efforts to persuade the other woman of the pleasures of strong, plain coffee, the small pods next to the machine were all mocha or French vanilla or some other overly-sweet concoction. Was it any wonder that she could hardly keep Henry from stuffing himself full of sugar when this was his genetic inheritance?

“Oh, your coffee’s in the cupboard,” Emma shouted from the bathroom, seemingly reading her mind. “I picked some up at the store yesterday.”

Regina allowed herself a brief smile and opened the cupboard door to find a box of the dark roast espresso she favoured. She placed a pod in the machine and her usual cup under the spout and pressed the button. As she waited for her coffee to brew, she heard the sounds of the shower running and her mind turned once more to Emma being naked, not thirty feet away, just on the other side of a wall. It was insufferable, she told herself, that she should feel this way over anyone, never mind Emma Swan of all people. Every day, she woke up hoping that the feelings would have dissipated; they never did.

In quiet moments, like this one, she would recall all the times when they had shared magic and she had felt the very essence of Emma working its way through her. As an untrained magic user, Emma did not know to hold anything back, so every thought, want and need was there for Regina to read. Hundreds of mental images had been passed to her, and she had seen herself as the star of many of Emma’s sexual fantasies in a level of detail that she could never really push from her mind.

She was not so deluded that she didn’t know that there had always been a sexual undercurrent between them. Only a fool would have witnessed their fights back in the heady days before the curse was broken and not have acknowledged the underlying tension. But those feelings changed. First, she had developed an acceptance of Emma as their son’s other parent, her most powerful ally in keeping Henry safe. Then, after Neverland, she had come to appreciate the other woman as a friend, the kind who made sure that she bought in the right kind of coffee and who apologised for being late and who knew that ‘Miss Swan’ was now just an affectionate nickname and no longer an attempt to keep her distance. And if that were all she felt, she would have been able to process it and accept it. But what she felt now burned her.

The Hook Incident was the first time Regina could remember feeling a true stab of jealousy. And then came the eclipse. Their connection that day had been so much more sexually charged than their previous attempts at shared magic. That had been the first time when she had glimpsed the image of Emma pleasuring herself, Regina’s own name on her lips.

She wouldn’t call what she felt love, because love was a thing of summer meadows and innocent kisses and a gentle boy with wheat-coloured hair and the softest smile. What she felt for Emma Swan was lust and passion and jealousy and possessiveness and need.

She raised her coffee cup, trying to stop herself from exploring any further explicit thoughts. That didn’t usually work so well. Those images were rarely far from her mind.

“Oh, you found it okay, then?”

She turned and there was Emma in the hallway, wearing nothing but a towel and a smile, combing her fingers through her wet hair. Regina managed a slight nod in reply, words deserting her entirely as she fought the urge to stride over and remove the only barrier between Emma’s naked body and her gaze. As it was, she covertly watched the water drip from the ends of Emma’s hair, across her chest and into the valley between her breasts.

“Cool. I won’t be long,” Emma said.

“Take your time.” A short while to compose herself would not go amiss. She might even be able to forget that she wanted to trace the path of those water droplets with her tongue. Just her tongue. No hands. Or maybe her hands could go on Emma’s hips. Under the towel. No, take the towel off first and then—

“I thought we were late?” Emma’s words brought her back out of her haze.

“The reason I told you to be ready for four-thirty was because you are incapable of being on time. If I’d said five, you wouldn’t have been ready then either, but we would have already been running late. As it is, we have about forty minutes before we have to leave, which should be just enough time for you to make yourself presentable.” She blew on her coffee, trying to appear nonchalant. She really wished Emma would just take her almost-nakedness somewhere else. The effort she was expending in not reacting was trying, to say the least.

“That’s sneaky.”

No, sneaky was standing there in a towel and driving Regina insane with lust.

“If it makes you feel any better, I do the same thing with Henry.”

“I should feel better that you treat me like a child?” Emma gave her a lop-sided smirk.

“No, you should feel better that I care enough about you and your son to accommodate your persistent tardiness.”

Emma laughed and rolled her eyes. “Right, I’ll get dressed, then.”

“If you would.” Or, drop the towel and they could skip the rehearsal altogether in favour of hot, sweaty, animalistic sex.

“Oh, by the way, is this a dress-up thing or not?”

“Not particularly, but do try to wear something a little more appropriate than shorts.”

“Worried I’ll catch a cold?”

“Not worried, dear. I just don’t wish to be the one to tell Henry that his mother froze to death due to her own stupidity.”

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever. I know you care.”

Her problem definitely wasn’t a lack of caring. “Emma, stop talking and start getting dressed.”

When Emma finally disappeared into her bedroom, Regina slumped back against the kitchen counter. She wasn’t sure how she was going to make it through two hours in a darkened theatre with Emma right beside her, but she suspected that she would need a very long, very alcoholic drink at the end of the evening.


02. Bikini

“Mom! Mom! Did you see us?”

“Of course, darling. You did brilliantly.” Regina smiled over the edge of the pier and waved at her son, sitting proudly on a jet ski, his other mother behind him, holding onto the back of the bench seat. At twelve, Henry was too old for Emma to put her arms around him, but too young to be allowed out on a jet ski alone.

“Hey, Regina.” Emma gave her a slow grin, as she helped Henry slide off the jet ski into the water.

“Emma. Congratulations on not drowning.”

“I’m, like, a witch now. We don’t drown.”

Regina laughed at that. Although the description was technically correct, ‘witch’ was not the first word which came to mind as she stared down at Emma. A bulky orange life jacket was doing a very poor job of concealing the bikini Emma was wearing. Earlier that day when Emma had peeled off her band t-shirt to reveal a black bikini top which had surely been painted onto her, the dryness of Regina’s mouth had been in perfect counterbalance to the wetness she felt pooling between her thighs.

Emma Swan was glorious. There was simply no other word which would do.

As Queen, Regina could have had her pick of the most handsome and the most beautiful in the Enchanted Forest; on occasion, she did. Although she couldn’t remember every detail of the participants in those long-ago dalliances, she was certain that none could remotely compare to her son’s mother. Had Emma been known in the realms back then, bards would have written sonnets to her beauty; princes and peasants would have pledged their lives for just a glimpse of her; painters would have—

“Regina!”

Fewer inner monologues, more paying attention, she lectured herself as Emma appeared before her. She was no longer wearing the life jacket, which Henry was returning to Storybrooke’s resident surly mechanic, Michael, who rented out boats and jet skis in the summer months. Emma was less than a foot away, and her body gleamed and glistened in the sunlight, taunting Regina with its mix of hard planes and soft curves.

“Penny for your thoughts?” Emma said. A fortune in rubies wouldn’t persuade Regina to tell Emma what she was thinking.

“What’s next on the agenda for our family bonding day?” she asked, looking over at Henry as a means of keeping her eyes from Emma’s body.

Henry had insisted that both of his mothers spend the day with him doing fun stuff, which was, of course, mostly outwith Regina’s usual comfort zone. She liked her spontaneity planned and her fun tightly controlled. She had therefore left the arrangements to Henry and Emma, but that meant she had little idea of what their day would be.

“Ice-cream first, don’t you think?”

“Naturally. It must be at least two hours since you gave our son a fix of empty carbohydrates.”

She walked back over to the bench from which she had watched Henry and Emma risking life and limb on the aquatic death trap. There, she sat down and fished into the large beach bag she had brought with them. Retrieving a tube of sun cream, she called Henry over. While she could tell from his face that he resented her fussing, she had already stopped herself from warning against running on a wooden dock in bare feet. A mother only had so much patience.

“Mom!”

“Turn around, Henry. You need sun block or your shoulders will burn.”

“But I can do it myself,” he said.

“Be good and Emma will give you money for ice-cream.”

Emma laughed. “I’m buying?”

“Well, dear, it was your suggestion.” She felt a surge of desire as she watched Emma wiggling her hips into a tiny pair of cut-off denim shorts which hardly covered more than the bikini bottoms did.

Henry huffed and shrugged his shoulders as she rubbed the cream into his pale skin, muttering about wanting his ordeal to be over. His ordeal? He merely had to face the ignominy of being cosseted by his mother. He should try being an adult who was being pushed beyond breaking point by a temptress who was flaunting her charms for the whole world to see.

A group of young men passed, all of them staring open-mouthed at Emma. One of them even greeted her with a lazy smile and a tip of a finger to his temple in mock-salute.

“Good morning, Sheriff,” he said, as his eyes dropped to Emma’s chest.

“Hey, Luke. Nice day, huh?” Emma replied.

The young man just nodded and kept on walking, although he looked back in a lustful way which Regina found intolerable. The inclination to end his life with an explosion of fireballs swept through her. How dare he even glance at her like that? He was not worthy to breathe the same air as Emma—

“Mom! That hurts.”

Regina shook her head as she realised that she was kneading her fingers into Henry’s back. Finishing her task, she patted him more gently and told him she was done. He immediately held his hand out to Emma for cash.

“What do you want?” he asked, as he took the money from her.

“I’ll have a scoop of caramel swirl and one of chocolate. With sprinkles,” Emma said. “And nuts, but only if they’re chocolate-covered. And something to drink. Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, whatever. Large.”

“Mom?”

“I’ll have a single scoop of vanilla yoghurt and a bottle of water.”

“That’s not ice-cream, Regina. That’s like a punishment for not eating your veggies.” Emma bumped her shoulder against hers. “Live a little.”

“Vanilla yoghurt, Henry.” She smiled at him, knowing he was worried she would stop him from getting something gooey and calorie-laden. “But you get whatever you want—caramel, sprinkles, whatever.”

“Awesome. Thanks, Moms.” He trotted off to join the line at the ice-cream stand.

“Don’t you ever just indulge yourself?” Emma asked, as they both watched their son.

Rarely, she thought, and almost entirely around Emma and Henry. And occasionally late at night, or first thing in the morning, when her thoughts turned to Emma touching herself and then she ended up giving in to the same desire, imagining Emma’s hands all over her.

“Rarely,” she said, enjoying Emma’s grunt of surprise at her unexpected honesty.

“I can’t believe you wore a suit to Family Fun Day,” Emma said. “Are you not sweltering in this heat?” She spread her arms across the back of the bench and tipped her face to the sun, shutting her eyes.

Regina looked down at her own clothes, a light summer suit of long shorts and a jacket over a linen sleeveless blouse. How she loved the clothes in this land—so many choices and no need to wait weeks for a seamstress to prepare them.

“Some of us value our dignity and do not feel the need to put our considerable assets on display.” Once more, her eyes were drawn to Emma’s breasts. One small tug on the black string holding the bikini top up, and she would be bare for Regina’s eyes to feast upon.

An arrogant smirk formed at the corners of Emma’s mouth. “Considerable, eh?”

“I meant mine would be considerable if they were on display.” She blanched as she realised that her rebuttal was hardly an improvement on her original statement.

Emma turned her head and squinted in the sun, her focus on the front of Regina’s blouse. “Would they now?” She chuckled and let her head fall back onto the bench. “Take the jacket off, Regina. Enjoy the sunshine. Let the world see your considerable assets.” There was a world of sex and promise in the way in which Emma made the suggestion. “Besides, you’ll be just as dignified with your jacket off. You always look perfect, and we both know it.”

Regina suppressed a smile. She took great care over her appearance, and was honest enough to admit that a large part of that was wanting to impress Emma.

Emma rolled her head away, letting the subject drop. “He did good today.”

“I know.”

“He did everything I told him, and he never once tried to push it too far or do anything stupid or dangerous. I wouldn’t have done that at his age. I’d have broken an arm or ditched the jet ski, probably.” She made a soft noise, a cross between an exhalation and a laugh. “You raised a good kid, Regina. You should be proud.”

Of all the many things on which she could fault Emma—and, if pushed, she could probably fill a ledger with hundreds of things which perturbed her—acknowledgement of Regina’s parenting abilities was not one of them. Since their return from Neverland, Emma had been free with her praise. No parents, not even a former Evil Queen and the fabled Saviour, should have had to come so close to losing their son on so many occasions. It hung between them, bonded them.

“He is a good boy,” she said, “but that’s down to both of us. I gave him love, but you have brought him joy. You should be proud, too, Emma.”

Emma shrugged. “Yeah, but I’m still the junior partner in this arrangement. Everyone knows you’re his Mom. I’m just the fun one he knows he can get around with the puppy dog eyes.”

“He gets that from you.” It bothered her once, the fact that her son’s imploring eyes were the exact mirror of his other mother’s, but now she found it adorable, a word she had previously abhorred. The similarities between Henry and Emma were to be treasured, not resented. They meant that, when she was with one, it was like having both of them there. “You get exactly the same look when you’re trying to slide something foolish past me.”

“But the difference is he gets away with it and I never do.”

“I wouldn’t say never. You do quite all right with that tactic.”

Emma sat up, tucked her hands under her thighs and scrunched her face in confusion. “When? When do you let me away with anything?”

Regina shook her head fondly. For a woman of such bluster and arrogance, Emma could be adorably—that distasteful word again—unsure of herself at times.

“Well, I’m here today, letting you pick our activities, and I am going to take your advice and take my jacket off.” She rolled her eyes, as Emma gave her a clear look of ‘I told you so’. “But only because it’s such a beautiful day.”

“You tell yourself whatever you need to get by, Regina, but you’ve just told me that I have a secret weapon and I’m not going to be afraid to use it in the future.”

Regina’s mind nearly short-circuited at all the things which she would happily grant Emma, if only she asked nicely. Or possibly demanded. She hadn’t given up on that particular fantasy quite yet.

“Fear not, Miss Swan. I think I can still resist you, no matter what superpowers or secret weapons you bring to bear.”

“Can you now?”

She pulled her jacket from her shoulders and folded it neatly on the bench next to herself. “I’ve already warned you many times about this, Emma: you have no idea what I’m capable of.”

Emma’s eyes widened momentarily, before dropping to trace over Regina’s arms and then to the front of her blouse, which she had strategically left open to the third button, knowing that it would afford a slight glimpse of lace underneath.

“I was right.” Emma’s voice was quiet and sincere. “You do look perfect.” Regina flushed slightly, but put on her brightest smile as Henry approached them, precariously balancing their ice-creams and drinks in his arms. Before he reached them, Emma lowered her voice and said, “And if you need any help with sun block, you let me know because I am so there for you.”


03. Don Diego de la Vega

Halloween was Regina’s second-favourite holiday. They had celebrated All Hallows in the Enchanted Forest, although it had been a seasonal festival marking the end of harvest and the coming of winter, not the playful scariness of the modern American version. What Regina loved about it, though, was that it was a time for her to be with Henry; dressing him up and taking him trick or treating was always one of the highlights of her year.

The previous year, they hadn’t celebrated Halloween because of Neverland. Even if they had, Regina doubted that Henry would have wanted to go out with her. He would have wanted to be with Emma, Snow and David. She had never been so grateful for the difference a year could make. Now when he scowled at her, it was because he was a typical pre-teen and not because he saw her as anything other than his mom.

The town was holding a masked ball this year and Henry was going as Zorro. Emma had bought the Antonio Banderas films for him, and he had become promptly obsessed with the character.

Now that they were friends, this was the sort of evening for which Emma would come over to the mansion, so that both women could be part of all the major events in Henry’s life. Invariably, they would share a few glasses of wine and Emma would stay over. It was merely practical, Regina argued, for Emma to sleep in the guest room rather than walk home to her apartment, never mentioning that she was happiest when she had both Henry and Emma close to her. There were few things she enjoyed more than preparing breakfast for her little family, anticipating their delight at being treated to pancakes or French toast.

Emma, however, was on night shift for the week and wouldn’t be able to attend the Halloween Ball. Regina had suggested, therefore, that Emma prepare his costume.

As she stood outside Emma’s apartment door, she wiped her hands nervously against her woollen winter coat. Under it, she was wearing a cream peasant dress, a red silk sash tied around her waist to match the red mask she had placed in her purse. She hoped her son would approve. When Henry asked her to dress to match his outfit so that he could escort her, she had cried with happiness. Her son, her little prince, wanted to escort her!

Before she could even raise her hand to knock, Henry pulled the door open and flashed a quick grin, then rushed back into the apartment.

“Hey, Mom. You have to help me. Emma’s being all stubborn and saying that she won’t come. You need to help her get a costume together.”

She looked from her son to his other mother in confusion. Emma was perched on a stool at her kitchen island sipping at a bottle of soda. “I told you I’m working the night shift, Henry. No costume.” She rolled her eyes at Regina. “Anyway, let your mom see how awesome you look.”

Henry paused in his constant motion and turned around, holding his arms out wide. She saw black tuxedo pants, the satin line up his leg making him look far too tall to be the little boy she carried in her mind. A flowing black silk shirt—his grandfather’s, no doubt—was tucked into the waistband, around which he was wearing a leather belt with a rapier attached. A cape which had possibly once been a bed sheet, now dyed black, was fastened at his neck by an old watch chain. His mask was a black silk band with eye holes cut out and the edges sewn very professionally. A pencil moustache had been drawn just above his lip and a soul patch graced his chin.

Regina beamed with pride. “You will definitely be the most handsome man in the room.”

His face lit up. “And you dressed just like a Spanish lady, like I asked!”

“Well, of course.” She shared a look with Emma, silently communicating that there was little they would ever deny Henry.

“But you have to tell Emma to get dressed, too.”

“Working, kid. Important Sheriff things to do.” Emma sighed. Clearly, this argument had been going for some time before Regina’s arrival.

“But that’s stupid. Everyone’s going to be at the party, so you should be there to keep an eye on things.” He stamped his foot in a manner so reminiscent of Emma herself that Regina snorted with laughter.

“Something amusing you, Regina?”

She shook her head. “You’ve done a great job with his costume, Emma.”

“Ruby did all the hard bits, the sewing and stuff.”

“Stop that.”

“What?” Emma frowned.

“Deflecting when I try to give you a compliment. It happens so rarely, you should learn to accept with good graces.”

Emma’s mouth twitched with a smile, but she covered it by lifting her soda to her mouth and draining the bottle. “Well, it’s time for you two to get going and I need to head out on patrol.” She reached for the Sheriff’s badge in front of her and stood up, clipping it to the waistband of her jeans.

Henry stamped his foot again. “But you need to come to the party with us!” He gave Emma the puppy dog eyes. “Please, Emma?”

Emma looked over his head towards Regina, her eyes pleading for support. Regina grinned back and shook her head.

“I’m not helping you defeat your own secret weapon, Emma.” She tapped her finger to her chin, thinking about a way to make Henry happy and allow his mother not to lose face. “But your son is correct about one thing. Everyone will be at the ball, so you would probably be best to station yourself there for the night. It’s not like you don’t have a phone and a pager on you. And you could easily wear a costume to match your son’s which would still be practical for work.” She turned to Henry. “If you’re Don Alejandro, then don’t you think Emma could be Don Diego?”

“Oh, totally!” he agreed. “Why didn’t I think of that?”

“Don Diego?” Emma said.

“The original Zorro and Don Alejandro’s mentor.” At Emma’s blank look, she added, “Anthony Hopkins. Do you even pay attention to the movies you give our son?”

Emma placed her hands on her hips. “You’re saying I should go as an older man?”

“I’m suggesting that you should go as your son’s mentor.” Regina noted that Emma didn’t seem to be protesting that she shouldn’t go at all any more. “And Anthony Hopkins is a very attractive older man.” She folded her arms across her chest. “Just go change into a pair of black pants and a white shirt and bring your father’s sword.”

Emma matched her stance, folding her arms and jutting her chin out in resistance. “I don’t own any black pants.”

“What about the leather ones?” And the second she heard the words coming from her mouth, Regina regretted it, because she had never seen Emma wearing her black leather pants in the flesh. That had been a fragment of a sexual fantasy which she had seen in Emma’s mind. And in that scene, the pants had been bunched at Emma’s ankles, while Regina was kneeling before her, tongue deep inside her. And the noises—the grunts and the whimpers and the way she moaned Regina’s name like it was a goddamned prayer—were a symphony playing in her memory. She felt the blush spread across her face and dropped her head, desperate to hide from the questioning look Emma was giving her.

“Have you been rummaging in my closet when I’m not looking?”

“You,” she waved her hand in Emma’s general direction, still unable to meet her eyes, “are so the type for black leather pants. One hardly needs go through your meagre wardrobe to know that.” She tried to regain her composure. “Now, go and change so that we can all go to this party.”

Emma grunted in displeasure, but still stalked towards her bedroom, grumbling under her breath. Regina settled herself on the couch to wait, and Henry joined her, picking lint from his black dress pants.

“I knew you would persuade her, Mom,” he said. “She always does what you say.”

Regina scoffed. “That’s hardly the case, sweetheart.”

“She so does. All the time. Like, even when you’re not around and I ask her for stuff, she always asks me what you would say and then we end up doing that.”

“Well, I’m sure your mother just wants to make sure that she and I are being consistent with you.” She was more than a little impressed that Emma was taking a ‘What Would Regina Do’ approach to parenting.

“No, it’s definitely more than that. It’s like she’s trying to impress you or something.”

Before she could even think about what he meant by that, Henry started in on a story about some foolish stunt that one of the Lost Boys had pulled to impress a girl he liked. That story morphed into another, and Regina was starting to wonder what Emma was doing to take quite so long when they were interrupted by a coughing noise. She and Henry rose from the couch to face Emma.

“You look awesome, Emma. Just like Don Diego!” He looked up at Regina. “Mom, I need to go to the bathroom before we go. I’ll be right back.”

Regina just nodded, not really hearing her son or noticing that he’d left the living room because her senses were concentrated on Emma, who was staring straight back at her with a tentative smile.

“You look—” She wasn’t sure that she could complete that thought with something appropriate, because the first adjective which sprang to mind was ‘fuckable’. As she took in the tight, black leather pants tucked into knee-high boots and an even tighter white shirt which was showing a very comely amount of cleavage, she felt she might buckle under her own desire. Emma’s hair was tightly pulled back into a ponytail and slicked down with wet-look gel. She would gladly drop to her knees and worship Emma Swan. Letting out a shaky breath, she pulled her eyes back up to Emma’s face. “—nothing like Anthony Hopkins.”

Emma laughed, a delightful and delighted sound which warmed Regina more than it should. “Thanks, I think.”

Regina’s gaze was drawn back down to thighs encased in dark leather. “It’s definitely a compliment.” Her voice was huskier and quieter than she intended.

Emma pulled her sword from her belt and made a swishing motion in front of her, before raising it to her chin and bowing. “My lady.”

A queen who had commanded armies should not be so impressed with a small-town Sheriff who did not even know how to present her sword properly, but Emma Swan was the living embodiment of sex itself.

“I think you’re still missing something.” She tried hard not to stare down at the leather pants and distracting shirt, but she couldn’t stop herself. “If I might be permitted a little magic?”

“Like you’ve ever needed my approval for that?” Emma replied, with a glint in her eyes and a sardonic tilt to her lips.

Regina waved her hand with a flourish. “That’s better.”

Emma looked down at the ‘Z’ now embroidered in gold over her breast, and traced its outline with her fingertip. And Regina would have given just about anything for that finger to be her own.

“Mmm. And I make that two compliments in one evening. I must be doing something right.”

Regina took a step backwards, certain that she wouldn’t be able to hold herself back if Emma remained within an arm’s reach.

Henry reappeared from the bathroom, adjusting the belt around his waist and fiddling with his cape, not paying attention to the charged atmosphere between his mothers. “Are we all ready?”

“Sure, kid.” Emma kept her focus on Regina, a self-satisfied grin on her face. “I reckon we’re all done here for now.”


04. Mrs Claus

Delivering presents to the children’s ward for both the young patients and the children of the hospital’s staff had been a Christmas Eve tradition in Storybrooke for thirty years, even if Regina was the only one who could remember every occasion. Even now, many of the residents had trouble arranging their cursed memories into any real sense of a timeline.

Much to Regina’s dismay, the town council—although it had been Snow pushing them all to agree with her—had selected Baelfire as the replacement for Graham, the former Sheriff. And so, for the second year in a row, she would be forced to play nice with that scruffy excuse for a sperm donor who had fathered her son. She doubted that Snow had done it purely to annoy her, although the fact that she had more likely chosen him to make Baelfire look better in Emma’s eyes actually made it worse.

Snow herself usually played Mrs Claus, although with the short hair and those ears, Regina had always imagined her better suited to an elf. This year, her heavy pregnancy precluded her from taking part, and she had persuaded her daughter to stand in for her—‘blackmailed’ was the term Emma had used. As mother and daughter were not the same size, Ruby Lucas had made the necessary adjustments to the dress, which had been dropped off at Regina’s home that morning.

At ten minutes to four, a full forty minutes earlier than agreed, Emma showed up at the mansion, her irritation not well-hidden. She didn’t even say hello as she entered. She just picked up the garment bag in the hall and started for the guest room which had slowly morphed into Emma’s own room over the past year.

“You’re early,” Regina said, closing the front door and following Emma up the stairs.

“It was boring as all hell at the station, so I snuck out and left Leroy in charge.” She pushed open the door to her room and sighed over-dramatically. “I still don’t see why I have to do this. It’s Christmas Eve! I should be watching stupid Christmas movies and getting drunk on eggnog.”

“You’re doing this because tradition is important and children who are sick deserve a little cheer. It’s not like you actually have to do anything other than stand behind your beloved and hand over the presents.”

Emma went through into the en-suite, leaving the door open a crack so they could continue their conversation.

“I can’t believe my mother used her pregnancy to weasel out of this and dump it on me.” Snow’s impending second child was not exactly Emma’s favourite topic. Although she put on a good front for the rest of the town, especially her parents and Henry, she was more honest with Regina about the fact that it reminded her of all those foster families who had really wanted a baby of their own, not an older child who was nothing but trouble. “And, for the last time, can everyone please stop implying that I’m dating Neal?”

“Well, perhaps if you weren’t dating him, people wouldn’t jump to that conclusion, dear.” Only the previous week, Regina had taken Henry to Granny’s for pancakes and found Neal and Emma ensconced in a corner booth, laughing and having one of those conversations full of in-jokes and private references. And the lecherous swine was being far too familiar for Regina’s liking, his hand resting on Emma’s forearm, as if he had any right to touch her at all. Thankfully, Henry’s presence at her side had stopped her from marching up to them and making a fool of herself by demanding to know exactly what he thought he was doing.

“You know, I’m getting really tired of telling everyone that we’re not together. We’re friends, and not particularly close ones, but I figure that I have to be at least civil to Neal because I’m not exposing Henry to another clusterfuck between parents now that you and me have finally worked things out together. Besides, I spend the vast majority of my spare time with you so, if I was actually fucking someone on the quiet, you’re the much more likely candidate.”

Regina bit her lip, knowing full well that, if she were fucking Emma, the last thing it would ever be was quiet. She heard the thud of Emma’s boots dropping to the floor and then the swish of material which indicated that the ludicrously tight jeans, which hugged that tight ass so well, had followed.

“We both know that no-one in this town would ever believe that.”

“Why? Because you’re the Evil Queen?” The air quotes were evident in Emma’s tone. “You know that’s not how I think of you. But, seriously, why do people think I’m with him and not you?”

“Well, first, because he’s man and I’m a woman; and, second, because he’s the father of your son and a two-parent family remains the ideal; and, third, because you and I have what could only be called a difficult history. I’m not even sure that people believe we’re actually friends.”

There was a further swish of material and Regina shut her eyes, trying hard not to picture Emma standing only in her underwear. She craned her head sideways, but she could not see through the slight crack in the door. To remove her temptation, she walked over to the window and stared out onto Mifflin Street. Snow was starting to fall in a lazy fashion, but it was too light to lie, melting away as soon as it met the ground.

“Yeah, well, the first one is totally irrelevant. Two is a pile of bullshit because Henry already has two parents, you and me. And three is also bullshit because, you know, in the grand scheme of things, leaving me pregnant and in fucking jail and forgetting to tell me that he’s the three-hundred-year-old son of the Dark One is hardly what you could call an uncomplicated history. He is not my true love. He is so fucking far from that, I can’t even begin to—”

Regina barely noticed Emma’s speech halting as the garment bag was opened because she was still processing the assertion that Regina’s being a woman was somehow immaterial when it came to selecting sexual partners.

“Oh, holy fuck! I’m gonna fucking kill Ruby.”

“Would you please stop with the unnecessarily coarse language and just put the dress on?” She pressed her fingers to the bridge of her nose, knowing that the whole experience was going to give her a stress headache which no amount of alcohol later that evening would be able to lift.

“Uh, Regina, I don’t think you’re gonna like this.”

“What?” She glanced over her shoulder, but the guest bathroom door remained closed.

“I think maybe Ruby thinks that me and Neal are, like, whatever, and that it would be really funny to—” Emma sighed. “Ah, Jesus, Ruby. What the fuck? This is just bad. So, so bad.”

“Emma, please stop babbling and just show me what you’re talking about.” She turned around and leaned back against the windowsill, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Before I come out there, I just want you to know that I had no idea she was going to do this and I really am going to kill her when I get my hands on her.” Emma pushed the door open, and then stepped slowly into the bedroom, her face scrunched up in a wince, and, yes, possibly ‘holy fuck’ was the most apposite expression.

The Mrs Claus costume had been shortened. That was the first thing Regina noted. She could hardly fail to notice the white fur trim which barely met the top of Emma’s thighs. Somewhat incongruously, the second thing that she noticed was that the deep forest green really suited Emma’s colouring. The more pressing fact, however, was that the dress had been taken in to cling to every curve. The bodice was corseted, pushing Emma’s breasts up, and plunged in a deep vee, again with the white fur trim, showing off a level of cleavage which would make Dolly Parton blush.

“Um, there’s a note.” Emma rubbed the back of her neck nervously. “It says, ‘You can thank me later.’ But I’m sure as shit not going to be thanking her for this. I mean, even if I did want to—well, I don’t—but, if I did, then this still wouldn’t be the way to go about it. Given that the thing’s today, I guess we’ll just have to magic something else.”

Regina shut her eyes against the sheer unfairness of her life which kept dangling this body in front of her while simultaneously denying it to her. The anger with which she had pursued vengeance for nearly forty years was like a child’s tantrum in comparison to the strength of the rage which she felt coursing through her now, to say nothing of the lust which accompanied it.

“No! This is not happening. No woman of mine is going to be seen in public dressed like that.” She stalked over to the dresser by the bed and reached for the telephone. “I am calling Miss Lucas this instant and explaining to her in no uncertain terms what is and isn’t appropriate for a children’s gathering.” She stabbed at the numbers on the handset. “And to think I gave her family that stupid cloak to prevent her from turning into the wolf back in the old land and this—this pornographic travesty!—is how she repays me.”

The phone line suddenly went dead, and she jerked her head up to see that Emma had ended the call by pulling the cord from the wall. She was holding it out, her expression unreadable.

“Emma, what exactly do you think you’re doing?”

“No woman of yours?”

No, no, no, she did not say that. It was not possible that she actually said that out loud. She wouldn’t have been so stupid as to verbalise her jealousy. But, seeing the shock and what had to be horror on Emma’s face, she realised that, yes, she most certainly had and there was no way she could do anything but bluff.

“I said no Sheriff of mine.” She drew her body into her most imperious stance and held her hand out. “Now give me the phone cord.”

“No.” Emma dropped the cable to the ground and took a step closer. “You said no woman.”

“I did not.”

“Nope, you did. I specifically heard you say ‘no woman of mine’.”

“Then I misspoke in anger, as I meant to say Sheriff.” Emma was far too close, and she was reaching out to take the telephone from her. Regina watched, almost in the third person, as the handset was eased from her fingers and placed down on the bedside locker.

“No, you didn’t. You’re lying.”

“Now you’re being absurd.” She hoped that Emma couldn’t see she was trembling from their nearness. The blush across her cheeks was impossible to hide, but maybe Emma would assume that she was merely angry.

“You said I was yours. Do you mean that? Is that what you really think?”

“Emma, I—” She had no idea what to say, but she knew that standing there any longer was a terrible idea. “This is a ridiculous conversation and I am going to my office so that I can call Miss Lucas and tell her exactly what I think of her little joke.” She turned on her heel to leave the bedroom, hoping she could at least salvage a modicum of dignity. Emma’s arm shot out and prevented her from getting more than a few steps.

“You’re not getting to run from this,” Emma said. She managed to put a lot of authority behind the statement for a woman wearing a dress which was straight out of the Playboy Christmas Special.

“That’s rich, coming from someone who’s run from every important thing in her life to date.” She didn’t want to be cutting, but it was all she had to fall back on.

Emma ignored her. “Where’s Henry?”

The question completely threw her and Regina stuttered as her brain tried to catch up. “He’s at, I mean, he’s with your parents, and they’re, actually I don’t know where they are, but they’ll be meeting us at the hospital.”

“What time?” Her tone was sharp, and Regina felt her heart sink as she anticipated the fight that was sure to follow.

“Five-thirty.”

“Good.”

“But I fail to see what that has to do with—” The words died in her throat as Emma took her hand and placed it against her lips, kissing the tips of her fingers gently.

“I asked you if you think I’m yours.”

“Emma.” This couldn’t be happening. She was never handed the things she wanted; she gained them through pain and struggle and sacrifice. The universe took from her, and her life was a series of terrible prices to be paid for what she took back. She squeezed her eyes shut. “This is—”

“What?”

Words floated through her mind: foolish; impossible; inappropriate; wrong; pointless; hopeless; terrible; everything she had ever wanted. She couldn’t open her eyes. She wasn’t strong enough to face the fear that Emma would reject her, mock her for these feelings, hate her for her weakness.

“Tell me, Regina,” Emma said, taking Regina’s hand and placing it above her heart, the flesh warm under her fingers. She stared down and then back at Emma’s face, which was no longer unreadable, but quietly intense. “You feel that? You feel my heart racing?” She couldn’t, but she had no intention of moving her hand now that she was actually getting to touch Emma after so many months of wanting. “That’s how you make me feel, how you’ve always made me feel.”

She pushed Regina’s hand further inside the bodice and then removed her own hand, trailing down Regina’s dress until she was holding on loosely to her hip.

There was no way Emma could have been wearing a bra under that dress, but Regina had to check. All she could see was her darker hand against Emma’s pale, pale skin. And even the fur trim of the utterly ridiculous Mrs Claus dress couldn’t prevent the sight from inflaming her further because the contrast was so perfect, so much better than Regina had imagined countless times in her fantasies. She flexed her fingers, digging into the softness, watching intently as the skin yielded to her touch.

Emma’s moan was not quiet, and it made Regina jerk her head up again, only to find the other woman’s eyes half-shut, her bottom lip grasped between her teeth. So she pushed her hand even further until Emma’s nipple was pressed against her palm and repeated the flexing gesture, this time watching Emma watching her. Emma’s other hand came up to grasp the back of Regina’s head, her nails digging into her scalp, pulling her closer until their foreheads were touching and their mouths were only a fraction of an inch apart.

“Say it. Tell me that I’m yours.”

Regina stared into Emma’s eyes and tried to swallow. Her mouth was too dry to speak, she thought, and she didn’t know the words. But Emma was telling her what she needed to say. All she had to do was push aside a lifetime of unfortunate experience and put her trust in Emma.

“Please.” Emma’s whisper sounded pained and, as with Henry, there was little she wouldn’t do to make the people she loved happy. And she loved Emma Swan. Even if the repercussions of what she was about to do tore her apart later, she couldn’t deny the request, not when it was all she wanted for herself.

“Mine.”

Emma closed the tiny distance between them, taking Regina’s bottom lip between her teeth and biting down, then immediately soothing it with her tongue. Emma nibbled more softly a few times until, obviously more certain of herself, she kissed her hard, a frenzy of lips and teeth and tongues and complete need. She kneaded Emma’s breast more forcefully, earning another groan. As much as she was enjoying the raw sensations of their almost-furious coming together, Regina wanted to express her love, rather than her desperation, so she slowed their kisses down. She removed her hand from Emma’s breast and brought it instead to rest on her cheek, holding Emma like she was the most precious thing. Because she was.

And they stayed like that for long minutes, swaying together as their mouths explored each other. When Emma shifted, Regina went with her; when Emma mewled with need, Regina kissed it better, soft and slow.

“My Emma.” She broke their kiss to trace a line with her tongue along Emma’s jugular, pausing below her ear to sink her teeth in, suckling and nipping, leaving an angry red mark for the world to see.

“Fuck.” Emma’s breathing was harsh against her cheek and Regina could feel her straining to force their bodies closer.

She moved her mouth next to Emma’s ear. “Do you have any idea,” she said, her voice low and husky, “how hard it has been for me not to take you before now? Do you know how many times I have longed to tear the clothes from you and fuck you until you beg for mercy?” If Regina had any doubts that Emma might enjoy verbal communication during sex, the very deep growl which reverberated around the room was all the proof she required. “But, much as I want to drop to my knees and have you against this wall right now, I am not prepared to hurry our first time together so that we can go and meet your parents.” She licked the shell of Emma’s ear. “Your mother is, in fact, the very last thing I want either of us to be thinking of.”

Emma’s moan was loud and full of frustration. “There’s time.” She moved her head, trying to find Regina’s mouth with her own. “We’ve got time.”

She laughed. “Not right now, we don’t.” Reluctantly, she stepped back because proximity was not going to help her be strong enough to stop what they’d been doing, and was gratified to see the look of sheer disappointment on the other woman’s face. “Can you wait?” She bit her lip, uncertain. This overwhelming feeling of hope was not something she was used to, but she wanted to believe in it. For the first time in decades, she wanted to trust in someone who wasn’t Henry. “Will you wait?”

“Do I have to? Can’t we just have a quickie now, kinda tide us both over?”

“You’re such a child.”

Emma waggled her eyebrows. “Put your hand back inside my dress and you’ll see that I’m all grown up.”

It took a lot for Regina to roll her eyes, when what she really wanted to do was comply. “Will you wait?”

“Oh, come on. I’ve waited a whole year already.”

Regina’s smile faltered. “What?”

Emma frowned and also stepped back. “Are you kidding me? That day with the eclipse was the best sex I’ve ever had, only with no touching and all my clothes on.”

“You knew back then?” Her elation drained from her, as nausea took its place.

“Well, yeah, of course. I thought we both knew. Like you haven’t been flirting with me all this time with the eye sex and the teasing and the everything? And will you please stop staring at me like I’ve got a second head or something?”

“You knew. And you said nothing?”

Emma sighed in irritation. “Yeah, and neither did you. I figured at first it wasn’t something you wanted, like maybe I was the only one feeling all of that, or maybe the way I felt was just because of the magic and not really about you and me. And then when I realised that you did actually want me, I was waiting for you to be ready for this!”

And there was her anger again, seeping into her pores and filling her with its heat. How dare Emma Swan be so presumptuous as to assume that she knew anything about Regina’s feelings?

“You were waiting for me? How very accommodating of you, Emma. How noble. How selfless. Perhaps we should see about some kind of gallantry award?”

“What?” Emma’s face was contorted in confusion. “No. Fuck. No. Stop turning this around on me.”

“You knew, and you forced me into admitting what I felt for you.” She started to turn away, but Emma’s hand shot out and wrapped around her wrist again, the fingers digging into her skin this time.

“I didn’t force you into anything, I asked you. Nicely. Really fucking nicely, in fact.” Emma shook her head. “But, just so we’re clear that we’re on the same page here, I am completely and utterly in love with you, and that absolutely terrifies me. First it terrified me that you wouldn’t feel the same, and then it terrified me even more that maybe you did feel the same. And now it terrifies me that you’re going to pretend this hasn’t happened and this isn’t who we are to each other, but I’m not so fucking scared that I’m going to run away from this or from you. And I don’t want to wait, because I feel like I’ve waited a lifetime already, but, you know, I actually will wait if that’s what you need. Because you are the only important thing and I’ll do just about anything not to fuck this up.” Aware that she had been shouting, Emma lowered her voice again. “But I need you to tell me what you want. I need you to tell me what to do to make this happen.”

Regina just stared. It was one of the more rambling and nonsensical statements Emma had ever made, which was saying something, but it moved her beyond words. All her irrational fear and anger was seeping from her with just one look from Emma. It really was infuriating that the other woman could affect her like that. One look, one speech, and half a century of pain meant nothing next to even the remote possibility of a few moments of happiness with this damnable woman. But she could do this; she was going to do this. She could put aside all of the defence mechanisms she had so carefully built up and just say what she actually felt for once.

“Stop me.” She glanced down at Emma’s hand on her arm, and then back at her face, her eyes begging in a way that she couldn’t with her words. “I need you to stop me from ruining this.”

Emma laughed, a nervous sound full of relief, the fear disappearing from her eyes. “Hey, I’m much more likely to be the one who fucks this up.”

“I’m scared.” She hated admitting that she was weak, but Emma deserved the truth.

“I know.” Emma’s hand moved from her wrist to cup her cheek. “But I’m here now. I’ve got you. We can do this. We can make this work.”

She lifted her hand and placed it over Emma’s. “You really believe that?”

“You need me to give you the patented Swan puppy-dog-eyes and ask you to be with me? Because I hear that works out pretty good for me.”

“That look is only required when it’s for something to which I would otherwise say no.”

“So you’re saying you want to be with me?” Emma clarified.

She knew that she paused far too long, but the answering smile from Emma when she said, simply, “Yes,” was enough to reinforce her decision. She pressed her lips chastely against Emma’s. “I do want to be with you. But we have to take things slowly.”

“Okay, but not too slow,” Emma said, her free arm snaking around Regina’s waist to pull their bodies together. “Took us a year to get here, and there’s no way we’re going backwards. So, this,” she gestured to their intimate position, “keeps happening. Because we’re a thing now.”

“A thing, Miss Swan?” She smiled, leaning in closer. “Whatever does that mean?”

“We’re together. I get, like, kisses and stuff.”

“Stuff?” Being in love with Emma Swan was going to kill her.

“I dunno. Like, you have to be nice to me in public and let me cop a feel when we’re alone together and, you know, do girlfriend-y things.” Emma frowned.

Regina rested her forehead against Emma’s. “You have no idea what you’re talking about, do you?”

Emma laughed, but tried to sound sullen. “It’s not like you’ve done this before, either.” She paused. “Have you?”

“No, I haven’t. But I am already nicer to you in public than anyone else I know, and I cook most of your meals, and we have a son together which is, if you think about it, a little cart before the horse. I’m sure we can work this out.”

“Yeah?”

“Well, I might not have any experience in this, but I understand that working things out is what couples do.” Once again, she stepped back, giving Emma a smile of encouragement to show that she wasn’t trying to pull away, emotionally or physically. “But, first, we have to fix your clothing situation.”

“Because no woman of yours is going out in public looking like this?”

“If we’re going to do this, then all of this,” she looked down at Emma’s body, “is just for me, and I don’t share well.”

“Possessive much?” Emma joked.

“You have no idea.” Despite her smile, they both knew that Regina was being entirely serious.


05. Everyday clothes

The festive season was not the ideal time to try to start a relationship when there was a twelve-year-old boy in the mix and a complicated family structure which needed careful planning and management. There was Snow and David and Baelfire and Gold and Belle and the fact that half the town felt like they owned the Charming family. Both the Mayor and the Sheriff had real work and official duties which needed fulfilled in between the holidays. Just when she wanted it most, time became something which was in short supply.

But Emma made up for it by constantly leaving her scrawled love notes around the house in places only Regina would find them, or slipping a single rose under the wiper blade on her Mercedes, or texting lascivious suggestions at inappropriate times. Romance was something which Regina never would have suspected and which made her feel treasured. It also terrified her, because surely all she could do was fail to live up to the standards to which Emma seemed to hold her? But, even as she feared it, she knew that she wanted to be with Emma in every possible sense. So, she accepted the longing and still somehow reassuring looks with a smile and a nod, and she replied to every flirtatious text with teasing of her own, and she indulged in what her son would no doubt call ‘make-out sessions’ whenever the chance arose. And she let Emma’s confidence in her, and in them together, give her courage.

Which was why, on the day that school started back, she was in her kitchen and not her office at 8am. And why, when there was a knock at her front door not long thereafter, she was not surprised. She squared her shoulders and opened the door.

“Emma.”

“School started back today,” Emma said, by way of greeting, pushing past her into the house.

“And?” She smirked to herself, before turning around and leaning back against her front door.

“And my night shift just ended and I heard that you’ve taken a personal day.” Emma kicked off her muddy boots and placed them next to the collection of Henry’s winter shoes.

“I had something to take care of,” she said noncommittally. “What can I do for you, Sheriff?”

Emma removed her jacket and hung it up on the coat stand. It was one of the new departmental jackets Regina had ordered, telling herself that it was a necessary expense. So what if no other Sheriff’s Department in Maine had bespoke brown leather jackets with wool lining and their surnames stitched below the badge? And because she couldn’t just buy one for Emma and not her Deputies, she’d ordered four, paying from her personal account because she didn’t want to have to explain to the Town Council why she had spent several thousand dollars just to keep her Sheriff warm.

Emma tucked her hands into the back pockets of her jeans and stared at Regina’s dress, the same grey one she had been wearing the first time they had met. “You know very well why I’m here.”

“You wanted breakfast and can’t afford Granny’s?” She folded her arms over her chest.

“Not that kind of hungry.”

Regina chuckled. “That’s a shame, because I was in the middle of making you bacon, scrambled eggs and waffles.”

“You were?” The delight in Emma’s eyes was so predictable.

“I thought you might need your strength.” She turned on her heel and headed towards the kitchen, Emma scrambling behind her. She turned the burner back on and placed a skillet over it, reheating the bacon strips. She flicked on the waffle iron and turned to the coffee machine, pouring a mug of warm, dark liquid.

“So, you were expecting me?” Emma asked, as she sat down at the place which had been set for her at the kitchen table.

Regina brought her coffee and placed it next to her, leaning down to murmur in Emma’s ear, “Of course. You’re the something I need to take care of today.” She had to bite back a laugh as Emma let out a squeak of surprise. “Help yourself to cream and sugar.” She went back to her cooking as Emma took a few moments to recover before adding generous amounts of cream, sugar and hazelnut syrup to her coffee. How she managed to maintain that impressively slim physique was a form of metabolic magic which Regina couldn’t comprehend, although the mental images of Emma doing press-ups in an empty jail cell brought a pleased smile to her face.

“And why do you think I’ll need my strength today?” Emma sounded pleased with herself, and leaned back in her chair, pushing it onto two legs.

“Don’t try to be coy. It doesn’t suit you.” Regina whisked the egg mixture and poured it into a second heated skillet, spreading it with a fork and then beating it lightly. “I assume you’re here so that we can have sex for the next,” she glanced at the clock, “six or seven hours until Henry comes home from school.” She didn’t even turn around when she heard Emma’s chair clatter back to the kitchen floor. “And do try not to injure yourself beforehand. If someone’s going to break you, I’d prefer it to be me.”

“You, uh, I, um. Well, damn.”

“Well, I think it’s clear that I didn’t fall for your eloquence.”

Emma got up from her chair and came to stand beside her, not quite fully composed, with a dazed but happy look. She glanced down at the breakfast being prepared for her and then up at Regina. “So, what did you fall for, then?”

Regina thought about it while she fluffed the scrambled eggs. “Lots of things.”

“Like?” Emma reached down to steal a piece of bacon, but Regina slapped her wrist away.

“You’re kind and loyal and courageous. And surprisingly romantic.” She rolled her eyes at Emma’s knowing grin. “Probably because you have such a good heart. You’re almost embarrassingly inept at parenting, but you try so hard that it’s endearing. You are a very good friend, even when I don’t deserve it. You treat me like a woman, and not a fairytale character.” She turned the bacon out onto a paper towel, patting off the excess fat. “And, no matter what you wear, no matter how cheap it is, you manage to look utterly fuckable, all the time.”

Emma spluttered with laughter. “It was the Mrs Claus costume, wasn’t it?”

Regina leaned across Emma to check on the waffles. “Actually, I much prefer you in your everyday clothes, as you are now.” She looked Emma up and down, confirming her statement. The button-down green shirt wasn’t as tightly fitted as her jeans, but the top four buttons were undone, showing off the tank-top below and Regina liked Emma in a tank-top more than anything else. She unconsciously licked her lips. “You just being you, Emma, is truly the most beautiful thing. When you’re comfortable with yourself, like you are now, you exude a confidence, an arrogance even, which I find most irresistible. There are times when I can barely concentrate for whole days, just from wanting you so much. It helps, of course, that you fill out your clothes so well.”

“You’re saying you think I’m hot?”

“I would never use that word.”

She chuckled. “But somehow fuckable is okay?”

“Fuckable is a barely adequate description of how attractive I find you. Hot is just crude and trite.”

“What about a wet dream?”

“What about it?” Regina tried a mouthful of scrambled egg to check the taste.

“Is it okay if I tell you that you look like a walking wet dream? Or is that too crude and trite?”

Regina smiled to herself as she added an extra dash of salt and pepper to the eggs, thinking of what she already knew of Emma’s wet dreams.

“What?” Emma said.

“Nothing. Coming from you, I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Emma bumped her hip against Regina’s. “Don’t be all mysterious and shit. Tell me what you’re thinking.”

Regina sighed. “No.”

“Tell me.”

“No.”

“Uh-huh.”

“You can be so immature.”

“Tell me.”

“Stop this, or you’re not getting any breakfast.”

“Like you could deny me anything.”

She raised her eyebrow and gave Emma a bemused look. “And you think today’s the day to put that theory to the test?” She chuckled at the panic flashing across Emma’s face. “Sit down and eat your breakfast.”

Emma returned to the table and slumped down. “Don’t see why you can’t just tell me.”

Regina finished arranging Emma’s breakfast and put the plate down in front of her. “Eat.”

She fixed herself a cup of coffee and joined Emma at the table.

“You not having anything?” Emma asked around a mouthful of food. It had to be a sign of how much she loved Emma that Regina couldn’t find it in herself to reprove her for her appalling table manners or the way in which she hurriedly shoved the food into her mouth.

“I ate breakfast with Henry.”

“Did you have this, too?”

“No, that’s just for you, as a special treat.” She reached out and patted Emma’s forearm. “He had cereal and I had fruit.”

“Shame for you two. This is awesome.”

She sipped thoughtfully at her coffee. Emma was already far too smug, and that wouldn’t do. “I meant,” she said, “that I’ve seen many of your so-called wet dreams in vivid colour and, knowing that I feature in them so prominently, I take your comment as quite the compliment.” She smirked as Emma nearly choked on her waffles, then had to take a large gulp of coffee to wash it down.

“You’ve—”

“Seen your sexual fantasies whenever we combine magic? Yes.”

“How is that even possible?”

“Magic is just emotion and you are incredibly emotional, Emma. It seeps from you when we’re combining our forces—drips from you, one might say.”

Emma smirked at the innuendo, then tilted her head. “So, you weren’t, like, offended or anything?”

“Why should I be offended that you want to take your pleasure from me and give in return? Some of them were quite adventurous, I’ll admit. I’m flattered that you believe I am quite so,” she ran her tongue over her lower lip, enjoying the slight hitch it caused in Emma’s breathing, “limber. And you have quite the imagination. I think my favourite is when I’m on my knees, and you’re using all that attractive arrogance of yours to demand that I make you come with just my mouth.” She said it almost as if it were an afterthought.

Emma dropped her fork and pushed her plate away, her hands dropping to the front of her shirt and slowly undoing the remaining buttons. Regina felt a flood of arousal between her legs at both the deliberate action and the intensity of Emma’s gaze. Still, she continued to drink her coffee in a pretence of composure and waited to see what Emma would do. She shrugged the shirt from her shoulders and turned around to hang it from the back of the chair, and then she stood, holding her hand out to Regina.

Regina raised an eyebrow in a question, but Emma remained impassive, so Regina placed her cup on the table and her hand in Emma’s. She was instantly pulled to her feet, and led from the kitchen. Emma led her hurriedly up the stairs, pausing only for a second to check wordlessly that Regina was consenting. She nodded. How could she not agree to what she had wanted but denied herself for far too long?

Once they were in Regina’s bedroom, Emma kicked the door shut and pulled Regina hard against her, one of her arms snaking around Regina’s waist to hold her in place. Emma looked down at her lips. She expected a kiss, but received a comment instead.

“I really like your dress.”

“I’m glad.”

“How many times did you change this morning?”

“Several.”

“You know I think you’d look incredible in a potato sack?” Emma was still staring at her lips and Regina wanted to just lean forward so they were kissing, but she just nodded. “But I do like all your power suits, too.”

“I know.” She lifted her hand and trailed her nails from Emma’s elbow, across her bicep to her shoulder and around to her throat.

Emma smiled and looked Regina in the eye. “Maybe some time we could—” She shook her head. “Never mind.”

Regina continued to let her nails play across Emma’s throat. “Maybe some time you could bend me over the desk in the mayor’s office and fuck me raw?” She laughed as Emma blushed.

“Yeah, that.” Emma wrinkled her nose. “Sucks that you know all my fantasies and I don’t know what you want at all.”

Regina leaned in, letting their cheeks brush together. She whispered, “I want everything I’ve ever seen you want.” She traced her tongue around Emma’s ear and felt her shiver. “I want you. On me, under me, in me, however you want me.” She slipped her left hand down to rest on Emma’s wrist. “Give me your hand.” When Emma joined their fingers, Regina opened her mind completely and let Emma see everything inside—Emma’s fantasies and her own, all the same and different, endless variation on their shared need and wants—and Emma moaned loudly, a sound Regina knew too well. “That, that is what I want.”

Despite the king-sized bed behind them being the more obvious choice, Regina spun them around and pushed Emma against the bedroom wall because that image of being on her knees, making Emma come in her mouth, had been burned into her brain for so long that she didn’t want to wait any longer to make it manifestly real.

“Undress for me.” It was a request, not a command. “I want to see you, all of you.”

As Emma quickly pulled her tank top over her head, Regina pulled back enough to watch. In only a few moments, the zipper of her jeans was down and a bit of wriggling and a few swift kicks left her in only a pair of black cotton shorts. Regina gasped, because she had never seen anything quite so beautiful. It was one thing to fantasise, but another to have the real thing in the warm, soft, enticing flesh. Emma dipped her head, her breathing uneven. Regina traced her fingertips across her abdomen, feeling the muscle tense beneath her touch.

Her lips curled upwards. “You are glorious.” Emma started to shake her head to protest, so she leaned back in and brushed her lips against Emma’s cheek. “You don’t get to disagree with how I feel, Emma.” She covered Emma’s jaw in kisses, as both of her hands roamed possessively over the almost naked body before her. “My Emma.” And then she heard the loudest moan yet, and she chuckled. “Tell me what you want.”

“Skin, need your skin. Take your fucking clothes off.”

She nodded and presented her back to Emma. “Unzip me?” There was only a slight tremor in the hands which eased her zipper down. As soon as she felt it reach the bottom, she turned around and pushed the dress from her shoulders and let it fall away.

“Jesus Christ, Regina.” Emma’s eyes swept over her body, across the matching burgundy lace bra and panties, and lingering on the garter belt and stockings. She removed her bra, tossing it over her shoulder. Her hands fell to the straps of the garter belt, but Emma’s voice commanded, “No, leave them on for now.”

She stepped forward, her hands on Emma’s hips as she leaned in until their upper bodies were touching, and her own guttural moan of pleasure nearly drowned out Emma’s muttered, “Fuck, yes.”

“You like?”

Emma nodded furiously, her eyes darting between them as Regina rubbed herself against her. She scraped her nails up Emma’s side, then stroked the back of her knuckles against the slopes of Emma’s breasts. She insinuated a hand between them, her palm flat to Emma’s abdomen, slipping it lower and feeling Emma’s hips trying to buck towards her fingers. At the last moment, she didn’t slide her hand inside Emma’s shorts. She pushed it between her own legs with a very audible grunt.

“There were many times you got me so wet that I had to make myself come just to be able to continue with my day.” She moved her hand, moaning a little as she slipped two fingers inside herself, just deep enough to collect a sufficient quantity of wetness on her fingers. The tremulous little whimper that Emma made was exquisite. “I am so close to coming right now just from hearing you.” She lifted her hand and smeared her wetness across Emma’s bottom lip. And then Emma took the hint and lapped at the fingers presented to her. “What do you want, Emma?”

Emma smiled, grinned around the fingers which were glistening with Regina’s wetness, and she let them go with a indecent-sounding smacking noise. Her chin rose slightly because she was confident that she knew the answer. And, oh, that confidence made Regina feel weak and endlessly powerful at the same time.

“Hands behind your back, Your Majesty,” she said. “Get on your fucking knees and make me come in your mouth.”

Regina felt the grin spreading across her face. “Gladly.”


06. Negligee

Regina finished preparing the cold chicken and green salad for her dinner date with Emma and put two covered plates in the refrigerator. She didn’t think it too presumptuous to assume that it might be some time before they got around to dining: when Emma had swung by earlier to take Henry to his grandparents’ for an overnight visit, she had whispered some explicit suggestions about what she would like to do with their evening. None involved food, but the most prominent one had been for Regina to wear nothing but a negligee for their date.

She had selected the deep red silk one which she was confident Emma had in mind when she made the suggestion. The first time Emma had found it hanging behind the master bathroom door, she had indicated her desire to see Regina in it. Well, technically, she had offered to rip it off her. It was still winter, though, so she was wearing a short black silk robe over it. She suspected that Emma would still approve.

She was also seriously considering Emma’s other recent request, for them to tell people that they were dating. Although she valued her privacy and feared a certain amount of blacklash would be meted out to both Emma and Henry if their relationship status became public knowledge, it certainly appealed to the more possessive and jealous parts of Regina’s nature that at least the whole town would know that Emma Swan was hers and hers alone. And, although they had been together only a few weeks, she knew that Emma was The One. She hadn’t even told Emma that she loved her, never mind was in love with her, although Emma knew. Emma knew everything. Emma knew who she was and what she thought and how she felt. With a simple look, she felt like her soul was laid bare to Emma. And that didn’t terrify her in the way that it really should. It was freeing. It was warmth. It was trust. And, yes, it was love.

She rolled her eyes at her own thoughts. Falling in love—True Love, no less, in all its capitalised glory—with the child of the most sickening exponents of true love in the history of all realms was hardly the obvious outcome of her life to date. But she would tell Emma that she loved her. Over dinner. Or possibly before dinner, assuming the evening went as she expected. And then they would tell Henry and everyone else that they were in a relationship.

She heard a firm knock at the door. Normally, Emma would use her key, but she doubtless wanted the full experience of Regina answering the door. She padded barefoot across the hall and draped one arm against the doorframe as she pulled the door open, ready to greet the Sheriff. And then her heart sank as she saw the back of a man’s head. Tightening the sash of her robe and taking a less seductive pose, she shook her head. He was not who she wanted to find on her front porch this evening.

“Baelfire. What an unwelcome surprise. What can I do for you?”

He turned around, a bashful smile on his face. “Hi,” he said, only for his eyes to widen and his mouth to fall open as he took in what she was wearing. “Oh, fuck.” He tilted his head up so that he was staring anywhere but at Regina. “Regina, you’re, uh, you’re. Crap.”

Well, his vocabulary was certainly something he had in common with Emma, but, beyond that, she struggled to see what her girlfriend could ever have found attractive in this scruffy loser. A shared taste in cheap leather jackets, perhaps, or a capacity for criminal acts. Still, she mentally shrugged, she had a few character flaws herself, so was hardly in a position to judge. Maybe the Saviour was merely attracted to long shots.

She waved her hand dismissively. “I assume there’s some kind of point to this visit, other than just your gawping?”

“It’s Henry. He said he forgot his soccer boots and he has a game tomorrow. But, you’re obviously busy with something, so it’s fine. I’m sure he’ll cope without them.” He let his gaze drift down again and made a strange little grunting noise. “If you find them, you can, like, drop them off in the morning or bring them along to the playing field or, you know, whatever.”

She had to admit that she was enjoying his discomfort and she had half a mind to tell him her plans for the evening, but it wasn’t her place to let him know about her relationship with Emma.

“I am well aware that Henry has a game tomorrow, and he had his boots with him when his mother picked him up this afternoon. Did anyone even think to ask Emma before Snow dispatched you to carry out her errands?”

Neal winced. “Um, yeah, here’s the thing. Henry texted Emma, but didn’t get a reply, so Snow tried calling her, but she wasn’t answering her cell either, so then she called me looking for her and I offered to swing by here.”

She sighed. “I suppose you’d better come in while I check his room.” She motioned for him to enter, but to remain just inside the doorway. “I’ll only be a few moments.”

He nodded and she shook her head in irritation while she went upstairs. It didn’t take long to confirm that Henry had taken all of his soccer kit with him earlier. As she made her way back down the stairs, she could see him rocking on his heels and looking around the hallway.

“As I thought,” she said, “they’re not here. I’m sure that, if she has them, Emma will get them to him in plenty of time.”

“Okay, cool. I should go and let you get back to, uh, whatever. I’m sorry for interrupting you.”

“Indeed.” On a good day, when she didn’t already have significantly more pressing plans, she could hardly stand to be around him.

“Whoever it is, he’s a lucky guy.” He grimaced, making a half-hearted attempt at charm.

“No guy,” a voice said confidently from the porch. “Me. That’s all for me.”

Regina looked over Baelfire’s shoulder and let the grin spread across her face as she saw Emma leaning against the open doorway in her usual jeans and red leather jacket. The possessive pride on Emma’s face was impossible to misconstrue.

“Yes, it is, dear,” Regina said.

If she had been bothered to look, the shock on Neal’s face as he stared between the two women would have gratified Regina, but she couldn’t take her eyes from Emma, who stepped inside the house and walked towards her. She didn’t even glance in Neal’s direction as she passed him.

Emma smirked as her eyes trailed over Regina’s outfit. “All those lectures you gave me and you answered the door to him like that?”

Regina lifted her shoulder in a shrug. “I thought he was you. I should have known you wouldn’t be on time.”

“I’m worth the wait, though, right?”

It was truly adorable—and she was coming to terms with that word and the fact that she most associated it with Emma—how Emma’s voice could project such arrogance at the same time as her eyes betrayed her underlying fear of not being good enough.

“Oh, you most certainly are. You always have been.” She ran her tongue over her lower lip, and delighted in the sharp intake of breath she heard from Emma. Yes, preparing a cold meal had been the correct choice. Dinner would wait.

“You here for a reason, Neal?” Emma asked, finally turning to him and giving him a tight smile. She moved next to Regina, placing her hand on the small of her back.

“I just came to get Henry’s soccer boots.” He glanced over at Regina again, this time looking for support.

“He had them with him when you picked him up after school. He must have left them in your car,” Regina said to Emma.

“I know. I already answered Henry’s text to say we’d drop them off in the morning. Still doesn’t answer why you’re here.” Emma said to Neal.

“Your mom called me. I think she assumed you were with me.” He at least had the decency to look sheepish about his answer, Regina noted.

Emma’s posture stiffened. “Of course. I tell her I have a date, so naturally that could only be with you.” She looked at Regina. “See? This is why we should tell people. I want everyone to know we’re together.”

“Fine. We can both tell Henry after his game tomorrow, and then you can tell everyone else Miss Lucas hasn’t managed to get around to yet.”

“You mean it? We’ll tell him?” Emma smiled at Regina’s shy nod, then frowned. “And how does Ruby know anyway? You didn’t tell her?”

“Of course I didn’t. When I stopped by for your breakfast the other day, she informed me that she can smell you on me and vice versa. I didn’t dignify her comment with a response.”

“Oh.” The full impact of the statement dawned on Emma and her eyes widened. “Oh! You mean she, like, knows.” Her cheeks reddened. “Right, well, she never said anything to me about it.”

“So, you two are seeing each other?” Neal asked, alerting them both to the fact that he was still there.

Regina glanced down at her negligee and silk robe and then back at him. “Oh, I think you can assume we’re doing a lot more than that, Bae.” She paused, wanting to follow through on her decisions about their relationship, even if it was in front of the second-last person she would have chosen. She turned her head to Emma when she spoke, though. “I’m in love with her.”

“Yeah?” Emma said, moving in front of her and slipping her arms around Regina’s waist.

“Completely and utterly.”

Neal cleared his throat. “Right, well, I guess I’m done here.”

“Good,” Emma said. “Then you can take your eyes off my property and leave.”

Regina raised an eyebrow in challenge. “Your property?”

“Hmm,” Emma nodded. “You got a problem with that, Madam Mayor?”

“Not even slightly, Sheriff.” She lifted her hands to the back of Emma’s neck, threading her fingers into her hair.

“You really need to go now, Neal,” Emma said over her shoulder, her voice barely more than a growl as she toyed with the sash holding Regina’s robe closed. “Oh, but do me a favour? Keep this to yourself for a couple of days until we can tell the kid and my folks first.”

“Yeah, I don’t think anyone would believe me if I told them,” Neal said, opening the door and shaking his head towards the two women who were paying no attention to him. “I guess I’ll see you both tomorrow at Henry’s game, then.” He left without waiting for a reply.

At the sound of the door closing, Regina looked up to make sure he was gone. “So, you like?” she asked, taking a half-step back to allow Emma more room to see what she was wearing.

“You wore it,” Emma said, pushing open the robe to look at the negligee beneath, her eyes full of both awe and lust. The robe slid to the floor at Regina’s feet.

“You asked.”

“And you love me.”

“I’m in love with you,” Regina corrected.

“You get that I’m in love with you, too?”

“I should hope so,” she said, pushing Emma’s jacket from her shoulders. “I wouldn’t dress like this for just anyone.”

“Yeah, you’d better not dress like this for anyone else ever again.”

“Just you?” She eased Emma’s hands from her waist so that she could remove the long-sleeved t-shirt.

“Just me.” Emma grasped her hips and walked Regina backwards until her back collided with the wall, her mouth moving insistently against hers.

“Only ever for you,” Regina agreed between kisses.

“One day, we’re actually going to eat some food and make it as far as a bed.”

“I don’t have any complaints, if you don’t.”

Emma laughed and her mouth found the sweet spot on Regina’s neck, just below her ear. “So, Neal knows,” she pointed out. “Are you sure you’re ready to tell everyone else?”

“I’m fine with everyone in this town understanding that you’re mine. And I’m definitely very fine with your mother being tormented with mental images of how I defile her beloved daughter. Repeatedly and often.” She felt Emma’s chuckle against her throat, and lifted her hands to Emma’s head, pulling her up so she could look at her properly. “I love you. I’m not bothered by what anyone else thinks.”

“So, does this mean hand-holding and kissing in public and stuff?”

“Maybe. We’ll see.” Henry aside, she hadn’t held hands with anyone since Daniel, and that had been in secret. Emma’s wanting to publicly show their affection didn’t bother her nearly as much as she thought it would. In fact, she quite liked the idea.

Emma’s forehead wrinkled with concern. “You think Henry will be okay with us?”

“Our son? The one who has dropped extensive hints about how perfect you would be for me? Yes, dear, I think he’ll cope.”

“He said that?”

“Apparently, you’re supposed to be my Saviour, or some such nonsense.” She dropped her head to nuzzle into Emma’s neck and slipped her hands inside Emma’s tank top. “Although you’re not doing much at the moment to save me.”

“Yeah, and what seems to be the problem?” Emma’s lazy chuckle ended with a low moan as Regina raked her nails down Emma’s back. She brought her hands to the hem of her negligee, lifting it almost to her waist, proving that she was bare underneath.

Regina dropped her voice to a husky tone which she knew did indecent things to Emma, and said, “I was promised certain things by my partner, and she seems more interested in talking than following through.”

Emma’s eyes darkened as she stared down at the provocative sight of Regina slowly opening her legs. “And what do you need me to do about that?”

“Well, you can start by shutting up and dropping to your knees, Saviour. I’m sure a smart woman like you will figure out what to do once you’re down there.”

“Oh, I know exactly what to do.”

She was right, she thought a few seconds later, as her eyes rolled back in pleasure and she grasped at the back of Emma’s head. Emma knew everything.