Regina chased Snow White through the pathways of the maze, it did not take her long to catch up to her and grab hold of her arm to stop her leaving the maze, “Stop, please,” she pleaded softly.
Snow sniffled with tears in her eyes as she looked up at her step-mother.
“What did you see?” Regina asked her whilst still firmly, but gently holding onto the child’s arm.
“You were kissing Emma,” Snow said softly, “Why were you kissing your maid?”
Regina knelt down in front of the young girl whilst keeping hold of her so that she would not run away from her, “What did you hear?” She asked, ignoring the question for a moment.
“I heard her say that she loves you and I heard you tell her that you love her,” Snow revealed quietly.
The dark-haired Queen nodded, “Remember when I told you about secrets?”
The young Princess nodded but did not say anything in return.
“Well, I need you to keep this a secret,” Regina said softly.
“But you shouldn’t be kissing your maid,” Snow started to argue in return.
Regina sighed heavily, “I love Emma more than I ever thought it was possible to love another person and I’m lucky because she loves me too.”
“Don’t you love my daddy?” Snow asked her with a slightly tilted head and a look of confusion on her face.
Regina looked down and bit her lip with tear-filled eyes before she looked back up at her step-daughter, “It’s very complicated with your father, I…”
“You didn’t want to marry him did you?” Snow questioned as a tear slid down her pale cheek.
The Queen looked at her with an expression of surprise, “Where did you hear that?”
“I heard Ella telling one of the other servants that your mother had an arrangement with my father and that is why you had to marry him,” Snow revealed, “Is it true?”.
“It is true, I didn’t want to marry him but I didn’t have a choice in the matter,” Regina revealed, “That is why you can’t tell anyone about Emma and me. She makes me happy and I love her so much.”
“Why don’t you marry Emma instead?” Snow asked her.
“It isn’t as simple as that, my little snowdrop,” Regina said with a sad voice as she cupped the little girl’s cheek, she had become rather fond of the child in the time that she had been forced to spend at the castle with her, “I do wish it was.”
“Is it because of the arrangement?” Snow questioned timidly.
Regina nodded, “Unfortunately.”
“What if I asked my father to let you marry Emma instead?” Snow suggested with excited eyes and a smile.
“No, I need you to keep it a secret,” Regina repeated with urgency as she held on to both of the young girl’s hands, “Please!”.
“I could ask for it for my birthday, my birthday is coming soon, father said so,” Snow revealed before suggesting, “I could ask for you to marry Emma to be my birthday present instead of new dresses and a new pony.”
Regina looked panicked, “No, I need you to promise me that you will not tell anyone about what you saw or heard in the maze today, please!”
Snow White sighed heavily and nodded, “Fine,” she reluctantly said before adding, “Can I join your picnic?”
The Queen nodded, “Promise me that you will keep it a secret.”
The little Princess nodded, “I promise.”
Regina smiled and hugged the little girl before standing up and leading her back to the picnic.
Emma looked up at them worried.
“Everything is okay, Emma,” Regina said softly.
The blonde maid glanced over towards the young Princess who was standing beside the Queen, “Sure?”
Regina nodded in confirmation, “Yes, everything is fine.”
Emma smiled lovingly at the woman standing in front of her before turning her attention to the little girl beside her. “Hey Little Miss, are you okay?” She asked her softly.
Snow White nodded, “I’m okay.” She said quietly.
“Then where are my hugs?” Emma asked her with her arms out to the young Princess.
Snow White grinned and launched herself into the arms of her step-mother’s personal maid before burying her face against the woman’s neck quite happily. She was a very loving child but she was not always surrounded by very loving people other than that of some of the servants and her step-mother. Unless her step-mother was in one of ‘those moods’, however.
Emma smiled up at Regina whilst she held Snow White in her arms where the little girl seemed rather happy to be sat.
The child tended to keep her distance from Emma and the other servants when her father was around as he did not appreciate her being so close to those that he did not deem to be worthy of such a thing. However, the majority of her time after her mother’s death was spent with servants of some kind as he was busy finding another wife and with his royal duties. He had no idea how to raise a child and so was quite happy to allow others to do it for him but for some reason he expected her not to grow attached to those that did raise her.
She had grown fond of Emma very quickly from Regina’s first visit to the castle, even quicker than she had with Regina. In fact, it was Emma who had helped Regina to bond with the child at the start. Little did she know at the time that Regina would end up being forced to marry the child’s father. She had originally, and rather innocently, thought that it was just a visit.