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Under the Mistletoe

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Emma accepted a glass of wine from a uniformed waiter and surveyed the room. It was Stoneybrooke’s annual Christmas party, held at the mayor’s home. Even though it was becoming harder and harder to think of Regina as the Evil Queen, Emma still couldn’t shake the feeling that she was entering hostile territory…possibly because she still sometimes saw Regina looking at her with a predatory look. Given Regina’s history with Emma’s family, any close scrutiny from the other woman made Emma wary.

And speaking of the devil (or would that be Mr. Gold?), Regina was crossing the room with two champagne flutes in her hand. Emma quickly drained her wine glass and looked around to see if there was anything stronger.

“Sheriff Swan, I’m so pleased you could make it,” Regina said, offering her a flute.

“Champagne?” Emma asked, examining the liquid carefully. Regina might be slowly moving away from her Evil Queen persona, but past experience had taught Emma that it paid to be wary.

“Sparkling cider.”

Emma sat the drink down on a nearby table a little too hard. “Given my family’s history with your apples, I think I’ll stick to wine.” She took another glass from a passing waiter and wondered idly if she could arrange to have alcohol served anytime she had to deal with Regina.

“As you wish.” Regina took a sip from her glass and looked up. Emma followed her gaze to see some greenery suspended above them. “Mistletoe.”

“I don’t think I’ve actually seen mistletoe used as a decoration before,” Emma commented.

“I like to observe traditions. Besides, in its own way, it has every bit as much of a history as my apples. Are you familiar with it?”

“From Norse mythology? I have, actually. When the Norse god Baldur was born, his mother made every living thing promise never to harm him, but she overlooked mistletoe. Loki then tricked Baldur’s brother, Hod, into throwing a weapon made of mistletoe at him and it killed him.”

“Impressive. I didn’t know you were so well-versed in mythology. But that wasn’t what I was referring to. I was referring to the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe. And you, Sheriff Swan, are under the mistletoe.”

Emma opened her mouth to retort, but Regina silenced her quite effectively with a kiss. The kiss was soft and warm and tasted faintly of the apple cider Regina had been drinking. Regina pulled away and carefully plucked a berry from the mistletoe, dropping it carefully into Emma’s half-empty wine glass. “If you’ll excuse me, I have other guests to greet. But if you want to discuss mythology later, I hope you’ll find me.”

Emma watched Regina disappear into the party and gently placed her. wineglass on the table beside her then carefully picked up the glass of cider. She took a tentative sip and smiled. Apple cider definitely went better with mistletoe than wine, she thought.