“The Wizard of Oak,” Killian reads after he steps out of the truck. Emma walks up to stand next to him. “What kind of name is that?”
Emma laughs and puts the strap of her purse over her shoulder. “They make custom furniture and come highly rated.”
He presses his lips together as they walk into the store. He looks around at the furniture on display and leans down to look at the price tag on a rocking chair.
“Bloody hell, Swan,” he hisses. “This chair costs more than my rent!”
Emma tries not laugh. “Shhh!”
“Who needs a chair that costs that much? Highway robbery is what it is!”
She laughs out loudly which causes the sales clerk to look at them. They both give her a small smile before Emma turns to him.
“I’m going to talk to this nice lady. Will you keep yourself out of trouble for five minutes?”
“As you wish.”
She rolls her eyes and walks off.
Things went back to normal between the two of them after what happened at the pub over the weekend, and though they haven’t shared any stolen kisses since, he’s not worried.
Killian never intended for her to hear what April had to say, and when he realized she did, it made him want to vomit. The only woman he wants is Emma, that’s why he chased her outside. He wanted to tell her that, but then she threw out the line of them being friends and he felt as if his heart was ripped from his chest.
The rest of the night went by in the blur, he wanted to chase after her again, but he knew he couldn’t leave. The worst was that he knew the longer she had time alone with her thoughts, the worse it would be. When he found her card behind the bar, it was like a gift from the heavens. It didn’t matter how late the time was, it gave him an excuse to show her without having to say the words that he didn’t want April. That he turned down her offer and was home.
He also made it very clear to April that she would never get her rain check, and when she asked if Emma was his girlfriend, he didn’t hesitate with telling her yes.
Killian walks around the store looking over the pieces of furniture until he sees something that catches his eye. His head tilts as he spots a bed frame with a ships wheel. His fingers ghost over the carving and he feels a pull for something he can’t quite understand. It’s almost like he can feel the sway of the current under his feet and the spray of the ocean on his face.
“That’s pretty,” Emma whispers as she walks up to him.
Killian’s brow goes together. The ship wheel is calling to him; it seems… familiar. But he can’t understand why.
Before he can answer, a voice calls out from behind them.
Emma and Killian look up to see a man walking to them with a floppy brown hair and a big smile on his face.
“I’m so glad you’re here.”
“Walsh, hi. I got the call my end table was ready?”
The man, Walsh, smiles at her before his eyes move to Killian’s. Walsh freezes and his jaw drops when he looks at him.
“Hook?” he breathes out in shock.
Killian’s eyebrows go up to his hairline as Emma’s brow goes together.
“Sorry?” Killian asks.
Walsh’s face goes hard. “What the hell are you doing here?”
Killian’s hand goes into a fist and takes a step forward. “Excuse me?”
Emma puts her hands up and steps in between them.
“Do you two know each other?”
“I’ve never seen this man before in my life,” Killian hisses.
Walsh seems to snap out of it and shakes his head.
“No,” he stammers out. “Sorry. I thought you were someone else. My mistake.”
He turns back to Emma and throws her another smile which causes Killian’s jaw to clench.
“Emma, I just need you to sign a few things, then you can take your piece home.”
She turns back to Killian and puts her hand on his arm. “I’ll be right back, okay?”
He gives her a tight lip smile before she walks off. Killian keeps them in his sight and inches closer. The way Walsh walked up to him gave him a bad feeling and he wanted nothing more to punch him in the face. That feeling only increases as he listens to their conversation.
“I’m sorry about that, Emma. It was completely my fault. He just looked like someone that I knew.”
“Yes, well, if I could just sign the papers, that would be great.” Walsh chuckles and hands her a pen. “Is my end table in the truck outside?”
They are both silent as she signs before he takes a step closer to her.
“I was actually wondering if maybe I could take you out to eat sometime.”
Killian’s nostrils flair and suddenly he can hear Henry’s voice in his head.
“Then ask her out before someone else does.”
His entire body goes stiff. It isn’t like he hasn’t seen guys hit on her before, since her first night in his pub, she has made it a point to stop in whenever Henry sleeps out and she gets hit on all the time. But this is different. This isn’t some drunk guy trying to get a piece of tail. This is a man that wants to take her out on an actual date. Which means he wants to get to know her.
Killian’s heart pounds in his chest and he looks down at his feet.
“Are you serious?” Emma snorts. “First, you walk up and are completely rude to my boyfriend, now you’re asking me out on a date? What the hell kind of business are you running here?”
He sucks in a breath. It isn’t the first time she’s called him her boyfriend. It’s actually turned into a game between them, unlike the first time he did it to help her, it doesn’t bring pain anymore, it’s normal.
Even if it isn’t true.
Walsh opens his mouth but Emma cuts him off.
“No, you know what. Forget it. If I hadn’t already paid for my end table, I would be refusing to buy it. Just give me what I came for and never speak to me again.”
Emma storms back over to him.
“Killian, let’s go.”
Walsh tries to approach her and Killian takes a step forward.
“Watch it,” he growls.
The man holds his hands up. Emma and Killian don’t spare him another glance when they walk out. Their ride back is filled with growls and rants. Though it makes him happy that she was angered about Walsh asking her out, he still can’t seem to shake the bad feeling that is coursing through him. He stays silent as he grabs the table from the back of the truck. She insists on helping him carrying it up but he refuses. The entire time, all he can picture in his mind is Emma with someone else. If he hadn’t gone with her to pick up the table, would she have accepted his request for a date?
That thought alone eats at his very core.
“Are you sure you got this?” Emma asks as they walk down the hall toward her apartment.
Killian breaks himself out his thoughts and snorts. “I’ve got one hand, love. Not one arm.”
She rolls her eyes and opens the door for him. “If you could just put it down…”
“I know, Swan.”
Visions of her and Walsh swim around his head as he places the table down.
“It looks good there, right? I think it looks good there… or maybe I should put it on the other side. I’ll wait for Henry to see what he….”
“Have dinner with me.”
Emma’s brows go together as she turns to look at the clock that hangs on her wall.
“Now? It’s barely after lunch,” she says with a chuckle. “Don’t tell me you’re hungry again.”
“No,” he shakes his head. “That’s not what I meant.”
“Oh. You mean later?” She walks over to her kitchen and opens her fridge. He holds back his groan of frustration and wipes his lips. “Sure, you want to order out or I can cook. Henry should be home around threeꟷ”
“Go on a date with me.”
Killian watches as her back goes stiff before she turns to face him. Her face shows surprise.
“What?” she asks in a whisper.
His heart pounds in his chest and his body shakes. He can’t remember the last time he has ever been so nervous in his entire life. Even with Milah, she never made him nervous. But Emma Swan is a different creature.
Killian takes a step forward and he reaches up to scratch the back of his ear. “Will you go out on a date with me?”
He knows he’s changing things. The first week they met, they both made it very clear that they don’t date.
Made things easier.
Sure, they flirt on a daily basis, and refer to each other as boyfriend/girlfriend to strangers, even share some kisses, but the flirting is harmless, the other is only so people will back off and not hit on them, and the last is…. Well that’s just a bonus.
But he can’t help it, he wants Emma more than he’s ever wanted anything in his entire life, and he is willing to risk it all on the slight chance that she…
Killian’s mouth falls open and Emma bites her lip to hide her smile.
She giggles and pushes a piece of hair behind her ear as she nods. His smile starts to hurt his cheeks.
“Right,” he chuckles out as he wipes his sweaty palm on his pants. “Um, tonight?”
Emma starts to nod before her face drops and Killian feels like he’s been kicked in the stomach.
“I don’t know if I can find someone to look out for Henry on such short notice.”
He runs his hand through his hair and comes up with a plan. “Why don’t you let me worry about the lad?”
She crosses her arms and tries to hide her smile.
“You want me to let you worry about who’s going to look after my son?” He nods and she laughs. “Okay, then.”
He grins and moves toward the door. “Eight o’clock good for you?”
“Yeah, that’s great.”
Killian steps forward and takes her hand in his. Emma’s mouth falls open as he lifts it to his lips and softly kisses it.
“I’ll see you tonight.”
Emma doesn’t realize that she’s stopped breathing until her apartment door closes. Her head feels dizzy and she has to actually talk herself out of pinching herself to make sure she isn’t dreaming.
Killian just asked her out on a date. An actual date.
Her heart starts to race in her chest and she has to force herself to calm down. She’s been on dates before, it isn’t like this was her first… but it is her first with Killian.
Emma’s left arm shoots up and she looks at her watch.
She has seven hours. Seven fucking hours.
She lets out a groan and leans down to put her head on the kitchen counter. Kilian Jones is most definitely trying to kill her.
Emma spends the rest of her day trying to keep herself busy. She cleans the entire apartment from top to bottom and absolutely refuses to pick an outfit out until she’s getting ready, because she knows if she picks her outfit out with hours to spare, she will just end up ripping her closet apart second guessing everything in it.
When three o’clock rolls around, her nails are tapping against the wood on her dining room table as she waits for Henry to arrive. She knows that once he’s home, she’ll be able to distract herself until it’s time to get ready.
The apartment door opens and Emma practically jumps out of her seat. Her smile is in full force when she rounds the table to get to the hall, but it quickly fades when Henry jogs down the hallway and throws his backpack at her.
“Hi, mom. Bye mom!”
“Hey, kid!” She calls out but Henry doesn’t stop.
Before he can run back out the door she calls out to him again.
Her son turns around and looks at her like she’s interrupting something very important.
“Where’s the fire?”
“Killian texted me and asked me to come over right away, I have to go!”
Her mouth drops open and Henry is gone before she can say another word. Her lips pout and for a second, she’s a little pissed off at Killian. First, he gives her a seven-hour window to wait until their date, then he takes her son so that she can’t distract herself for the remaining five hours.
He is definitely trying to kill her.
Emma walks out of her bedroom when she hears the apartment door open and close.
“Kid, where have you been?”
“I’m sorry, Killian and I were just…”
When Henry rounds the corner he stops and his mouth drops open. Emma watches as he looks her over with a smile.
“Wow, mom. You look so pretty.”
She lets out a soft chuckle before she looks down at the dress she chose. It has knit tank straps with a square neck line, scoop back, a flare style full circle skirt and it’s red.
“Do you think Killian will like it?”
A wide smile spreads across her sons face. “Definitely.”
Emma lets out a breath of relief and walks over to put her arm around Henry.
“Are you sure you’re okay with this?”
Henry looks up at her like she’s crazy.
“Are you kidding me? Who do you think was the one that told him he needed to step up and ask you out?”
Henry gives her a smirk. “Now you guys don’t have to sneak kisses when you think I’m not in the room.”
Emma’s jaw drops and she looks at her son in shock. He chuckles and pulls her in for a hug.
“I want you to be happy, mom, and Killian is the first person that we have ever met that does that. I see the way you two are around each other. You laugh all the time.”
Emma closes her eyes and puts her nose in her son’s hair. They stand there in silence for a couple seconds before Henry pulls back and smiles up at her.
“Killian is a good guy. I like having him around.”
Her brow goes together and fear starts to slowly creep up her spine.
“Henry… maybe this isn’t a good idea. What if it doesn’t work out… I don’t want things to be weird for you. I know how much you like him. I’d hate for you to lose your friend…”
He shakes his head and takes her hands in his.
“Mom, stop worrying. I already had this conversation with Killian…”
Emma’s mouth falls open again and Henry nods.
“He said the same thing and told me that no matter what, he would still be in my life. And I’m going to tell you the same thing I told him.”
“Yeah, what’s that?”
“I’m not worried, something tells me we’re all going to be together for a very long time.”
Tears prick her eyes and she has to take a deep breath so she doesn’t ruin her makeup. Her stomach does a flip when there is a knock at the front door.
“He’s here. Okay, wait! What about you?”
Henry smiles. “I’ll be here; Killian asked Mrs. Cuse to listen out for me.”
She tries to argue against him being alone when he gives her a smile, almost like there’s a joke she doesn’t know about, before he pushes her to the door. Her hands shake as she reaches for the handle and when the door opens, her mouth drops open.
Killian stands out in the hall looking like sex on legs. He’s wearing dress shoes, black slacks, a dark gray button up and a black blazer. She can’t help but run her eyes up and down him as she tries to come up with something to say.
“You look stunning, Swan.”
His voice breaks her out of her stare and she shakes her head slightly.
He holds out a single red rose to her and gives a smirk. “I know.”
The tension in her body melts at his cockiness and she can’t help but roll her eyes with a smile. Emma takes the rose from his hand and twirls it around in her fingers. She opens her mouth but stops when she sees Killian looking over her shoulder with an amused smile on his face.
Emma turns and has to bite her lip to keep from giggling when she sees Henry standing there with his arms crossed and a stern look on his face.
“I expect you to have her home at a reasonable hour.”
Both Emma and Killian chuckle and Henry raises his eyebrow. Killian clears his throat and stands up straight.
“Of course, lad,” he says with a nod. “I can assure you, your mother couldn’t be in better hands.”
“Mhm, she better.”
Emma rolls her eyes and turns to give Henry a kiss on the cheek.
“Be good, okay, kid?”
Henry gives her a nod before he pulls her in for another hug. She smiles when he whispers in her ear to have fun and gives him a light kiss on the cheek. Henry grumbles as she wipes her lipstick away with her thumb before he gives her another little shove. Her feet stumble but Killian’s hand on her elbow keeps her from falling.
When the door to the apartment closes and they are left alone in the hall, she feels her cheeks tint and she has a hard time keeping the smile off of her face.
Her eyelashes flutter as she nods. She wants to speak but she can’t seem to find her voice. It’s not until Emma feels his hand on the small of her back that they begin to walk down the hall. She tries to hide the shiver that his fingers cause and concentrates on walking.
“Thank you,” when he looks at her confused she motions back to the apartment. “For making sure Henry is taken care of tonight. Was Mrs. Cuse upset?”
Killian hits the button on the elevator and her brows go together when she sees he’s hit the up button instead of the down. He gives her a smirk.
“She was fine with it. I told her we would be close if there was an emergency.”
They step onto the elevator and she turns to him when he hits the button for the top floor.
“Okay, where are you taking me?”
Killian chuckles and shakes his head. “Do you ever let anyone surprise you, Swan?”
She presses her lips together and stares at the doors with a hint of a smile on her face. The last time she was on a date was when Henry was eight and the guy surprised her by taking her to monster trucks. It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy it, it’s just when she mentioned that her son would have loved it, the guy got distant and when he dropped her off, she never heard from him again.
It wasn’t a heart break by any means, it was more of a way to pass the time and see if dating was for her.
Until she met Killian Jones.
The elevator dings and Killian takes her hand and leads her to the stairwell. When he tries to pull her through the doors she stops.
“Where are you taking me?”
“It’s just up here…”
He tries to pull her hand and she pulls back.
“Killian, we haven’t even left the building. You’re not taking me somewhere to murder me and hide my body are you?”
He lets out a full belly laugh and takes a step closer to her. She holds back a gasp as he moves his face inches from hers and feels his breath on her lips.
Emma looks back and forth between his eyes and nods before she even realizes it. Killian’s face breaks out in a huge grin before he tugs her back to the steps and she giggles at his cocky expression as they climb the steps. Killian opens a heavy door and Emma can’t help her gasp.
The roof deck of their apartment complex is illuminated by hanging lights that are strung across antenna’s, there’s a table with a red and white checkered cloth over top of it, with two plates filled with food on top and a lit candle in the middle.
Her mouth opens and closes as he pulls her onto the deck with a smile. She’s still looking around in awe as he leans down to prop the door open. When she quirks her eyebrows at him, the tips of his ears turn pink.
“Ugh, the door locks from the inside when closed all the way. And please don’t ask me how I know that. It most certainly wasn’t because I closed it on meself and had to call your boy to come rescue me,” he explains as he leads her toward the table.
She shakes her head and sits when he pulls the chair out for her.
“Killian this is…”
“I knew you wouldn’t want to be far from Henry and I figured this way we could be close but still be alone.”
He hangs his jacket on the back of his chair before he sits down and smiles. He really did think of everything. She wants to ask him how he’s managed to get them food and keep it warm, but she bites her tongue. Killian has obviously gone out of his way to make sure that everything is perfect and she doesn’t want to ruin anything because she’s curious.
“You do look beautiful, Emma. Red is a very dashing color on you.”
“Well, you did mention that you liked the color,” she mumbles.
“Right you are, love.”
Emma brushes her hair behind her shoulders as Killian pours them each a glass of wine. She’s not sure why, but when she notices his hand shaking she lets out a sigh of relief.
“Why does this feel so awkward?”
Killian huffs out with a chuckle and shakes his head.
“I don’t know if awkward would be the correct word, Swan.”
She leans her elbows on the table.
“What word would you use?”
His tongue pokes out to lick his bottom lip before he looks up at her.
Emma looks him over with a slight smile on her face. She’s never seen him this way before. He’s always been so cocky and confident, but now he’s insecure and fumbling. She doesn’t want that. The person she wants is the person she met months prior. She reaches her hand out and grabs his right hand before he can pull it back to himself.
“Hey,” she whispers.
Killian looks up at her through his eyelashes and she suddenly wonders why she hasn’t noticed how beautiful they are.
“I’m nervous, too. But can we try and forget all that and just be us?”
His fingers lace through hers and he nods.
They spend the entire dinner talking and opening up to each other in ways neither have done in years. The conversation flows between the two and she forgets about her worries because it all feels so natural.
Spending time with Killian is easy, they understand each other. They both have things that have happened to them in their past and neither have to explain when a question goes unanswered or a story stops in the middle because the memory is too painful.
Emma tells him about some interesting things Henry did when he was growing up and he listens with rapt attention. She notices how his eyes light up while she talks about her son and it makes her insides sing. Killian truly cares for Henry.
He asks so many questions, what Henry’s first word was, what he was like as a baby…
Then he tells her about some of the adventures they’ve had since they met. How Henry taught him how to play his ‘Knights and Dragons’ game and was celebrated when he slayed the fierce dragon Henry spent days trying to defeat, and how Killian helped him with his history project about pirates.
Emma thought she knew the extent of Killian’s relationship with her son, but it was much more than she ever could have dreamed of. They were close, extremely close, Henry told him things she thought he only told her and she would bet her next paycheck that there were probably things he told Killian that he never told her.
Throughout the night she also can’t help but notice how aware he is of her needs. When her drink needs to be topped off, he’s pouring more before she realizes, when she’s finished with her food, he takes the plate so that it’s not sitting in front of her, and when she shivers, he walks over and puts his jacket over her shoulders.
She tells herself the goosebumps are from the wine and not from the smell of his cologne that’s on the jacket.
“That’s amazing,” she says with a smile after he gets done one of his stories. “Liam sounds like he was a real hero.”
A soft smile comes to his face but his eyes stay on his glass of wine. “Aye, that he was. A better man than I could ever wish to be, I dare say.”
Emma takes a sip of her wine and leans on the table.
“I don’t know. I kind of like the man you turned out to be.”
Killian gives her a smirk and she blushes as she looks down at her lap. When she looks back up, he wipes his lips and shakes his head.
“Can I ask you something, Swan?”
She has to hold back her chuckle. “If I said no would that stop you?”
He bites his bottom lip and stares at her for a quick second before he speaks.
“Why did you kiss me that night?”
Emma wraps her arms around her stomach. Not once have they addressed the white elephant that was always in the room with them and now that he was finally asking, she feels insecure. Why did she kiss him that night? She’s asked herself that question a million times, but she was too afraid to admit it to herself, let alone him. So she does what she always does, and falls back on her wit.
“Well, you did dare me.”
He chuckles and leans forward on the table. “I’ve dared you plenty of other times, never once did you take me up on it… until that night.”
She licks her lips and they both keep their eyes locked on each other. His eyes plead for the truth and it causes her to let out a sigh. She feels vulnerable and open, but also wanting to tell him the truth.
Killian stays quiet as she leans forward and reaches up with her hand to brush her fingers over his prosthetic. His body stiffens before she grasps it in her hand and looks up at him.
“I wanted to.” His lips twitch and she bites her lip. “Why did you dare me?”
His eyes search her face with a soft smile.
“I wanted you to.”
When they hear bells chime form the church down the street, she’s surprised that it’s eleven o’clock. Her mind drifts to thoughts of Henry and how he’s doing. Killian must notice her shift because he mumbles about how they should get back, and she knows that there is a hint of disappointment in his voice, because it courses through her, as well.
She doesn’t want the night to end, she wants to spend more time with Killian because he makes her feel things she thought she would never feel.
Emma tries to offer to help clean up, but he rebuffs her gesture and just ushers her off of the deck and when his fingers lace through her own, she can’t help but smile.
They are silent as they walk down the steps and she doesn’t argue when he continues instead of going for the elevator because it’s more time she gets to spend with him.
“Do you think that lad was okay tonight?”
“I’m just hoping he ate dinner and that he wasn’t a bother for Mrs. Cuse. I should make sure…”
“No need, love. I told her I would pop in when we were done.”
She gives him a small smile in thanks and they are outside of her apartment before she even realizes it.
“I’d invite you in, but I probably have an eleven-year-old passed out on my couch right now.”
Killian gives her a bright smile. “I suppose we’ll just have to wait till next time.”
“Next time?” she asks in a soft whisper.
He brings their clasped hands up to his lips and gives the back of her fingers a tender kiss.
“Will you go out with me again?”
She bites her lip before she nods. His perfect teeth bare from behind his lips before he slowly moves closer to her.
Emma closes her eyes and lets out a soft whimper as they kiss. Her hands move up over his chest and she has to keep from moaning at the feel of his muscles under her fingertips. She opens her mouth when his tongue touches her bottom lip and his arms go around her waist. Her hands move up and run through the back of his hair.
The kiss ignites a fire in her and she wants nothing more than to end their night in a more pleasurable way, but she knows that she can’t, and it isn’t just because Henry is home, it’s because she knows herself. If Emma sleeps with him, she’ll find an excuse in the morning for them to not see each other again. It’s in her nature, and she doesn’t want that. Not with Killian.
She wants him in her life, she feels like she almost needs him in her life.
So when he pulls away with a puff of air across her lips, she doesn’t argue. She simply turns around so that he can pull the jacket from her shoulders with a big smile on her face.
When she gets into her apartment and closes the door, she leans back and brings her hands to her face. Giddy can’t begin to describe how she feels.
High is more like it.
Emma is high on Killian Jones and she’s loving every second of it.