In the Velvet Darkness, Chapter 4

Previously: Chapter 3 [A]

Nowhere to run to.
Rated A.

* * * * *

Saturday afternoon and night

They made it to Regina’s house on the first attempt, which Emma felt wasn’t quite as appreciated as it could have been, and she pointed this out several times while Regina chopped and peeled the ingredients for their meal. At first, she wasn’t sure why Regina hadn’t just conjured the whole meal itself, but then she remembered that cooking was Regina’s way of thinking things through; her kitchen was the one place she felt most in control.

She jumped up to sit on the counter beside her, legs dangling against the cupboard below. Regina was humming something to herself, possibly classical, and Emma wondered what it must have been like for Henry to have his mother sing to him as a child. He really had been a lucky child, even if it had taken both of them a long time to appreciate just how lucky. Emma knew from the memories Regina had given her of the complete and unselfish love she had given him as a little boy.

“How come there’s gas but no electricity?” she asked.

“Because this is the spell of an amateur,” Regina replied, her mouth curled in distaste that someone had done a shoddy job with magic.

“Do you not think it’s weird that our homes aren’t like the others?”

“In what way?”

“All our stuff is here and just like we left it, not like everywhere else.”

Regina considered that for a moment, looking around the kitchen, which looked much as it did every other time Emma had been there. “That’s a good point, actually.”

“Thanks. I have my moments.”

“Yes, you do. Not many, but some.” Regina’s eyes flashed with amusement. A quick flick of her wrist made an open bottle of cold beer appear in Emma’s hand, a glass of wine in front of Regina. “Consider that your reward for your recent awe-inspiring show of incredibly basic magic which even a child could have achieved.”

“Aw, shucks. You’re gonna make me blush.” She tipped the bottle to her lips and took a sip. It was so cold that she could hardly taste it, but it felt good running down her throat. She got a better taste the second time, and it was sharp and clean and better than any beer she could remember trying.

“I’d say that the reason our homes are better facsimiles is that we were definitely the intended targets. Because the spell is focused on us, it did a more complete job of creating our normal realities. We should probably visit my office and the Sheriff’s Station to confirm.”

That made sense, Emma supposed. She took another drink of her beer, and then examined the bottle, which had no identifying label of any kind. “What is this anyway?”

“Something that Lucius Adamson makes in his micro-brewery.”

“Storybrooke has a micro-brewery?” Emma swung her legs back and forth, heels kicking against the cupboard door, which earned her a firm glare but not an actual telling-off.

“Lucius was a cooper and a bootlegger back in the Enchanted Forest.” Regina picked up the vegetables she had been chopping and dropped them into a pan of cold water sitting over a burner. “He’s started making handcrafted beers which, by all accounts, are really rather fine.”

“No argument here. This is really good stuff.” Emma raised her bottle to her lips again. “How come I didn’t know about this illegal activity?”

“I have no idea. But it does raise the question of how you managed to get elected Sheriff if you’re so incompetent that you don’t know one of the worst-kept criminal secrets in town.”

“Hey, the people adore me, and, more importantly, I ran unopposed, much like the Mayor.” She nudged Regina’s hip playfully with her knee. “What’s a cooper?”

“A barrel-maker.”

“That probably comes in handy for a bootlegger. How did you find out about him?”

“I asked Ruby to recommend a beer she thought you might like. She suggested speaking to Lucius.”

Emma stifled a grin. Regina had bought beer just for her. Sweet.

“Does the whole town know about this place?”

“I have no idea.” Regina added salt and some spices to the sauce she was making. “I can show you his brewery later, if you like. It’s really just a shed out on the north edge of the forest, but we’ll pass nearby when we’re following the town line.” She dipped a wooden spoon into the pan and then held it up for Emma to taste.

“Mmm. That’s perfect.” In a different life, Regina would have made an excellent chef. Even if she didn’t love her for a million other reasons, Emma could have fallen in love with her cooking alone. “Maybe I can raid him some time and confiscate some of his fine, fine product. For purely official reasons, of course.”

“I’m sure he’d give you some for free if you offered to leave his business alone.”

Emma held her bottle to her chest in mock-horror. “I hope you’re not implying that the Office of the Sheriff can be bribed.”

Regina stopped her meal preparations and stared at her evenly. “Not the Office of the Sheriff, no. Your father is incorruptible. You, on the other hand, could be easily bought for a slice of pie or a cold beer.”

“I’m outraged that you would even suggest such a thing.”

“If I know one thing, Emma, it’s that you and Henry are ruled by your stomachs.” In less than a second, Regina’s face went from playful teasing to sorrow, her eyes closing as she thought of the boy who wasn’t with them. Without thinking twice, Emma put her beer down and slid down from the counter, stepping behind Regina and wrapping her arms around her waist. Regina stiffened, her head bowed.

“It’ll be okay. We’ll be with him soon.” She tightened her hold, resting her chin on Regina’s shoulder and feeling her relax against her. “It’s gonna be okay. You’ll get us back to him, I know.”

Regina snorted, but tilted her head back to rest her temple against Emma’s cheek. “Some Saviour you are, expecting me to do all the work.” Her hands covered Emma’s own, threading their fingers together.

“You’re the brains. I’m just the hired muscle.” Emma closed her eyes and enjoyed the feeling of Regina in her arms. It felt right in a way that nothing else ever had. For once, the overpowering lust which had been simmering inside her all day was not her first thought. All she wanted to do was protect this woman, take every little hurt away. Love her till the end of her days, a tiny voice at the back of her head supplied.

They stood like that for a short while longer, not speaking, merely drawing comfort from each other, until the water in one of the pans bubbled over and Regina tapped Emma’s arms to be let free. When Regina didn’t say anything and remained at the stove, Emma hopped back onto the counter, sad that their moment had not lasted longer. But from the way Regina had moved away hesitantly, Emma knew that she had been as reluctant to break their hold as she was.

She sipped at her beer and watched Regina finish her preparations. She waited until Regina was taking a sip from her wine, stirring the sauce with her other hand, before she spoke again.

“So, like, sporty was just your way of implying that I’m totally gay, right?” She tried not to snigger when Regina nearly choked on her wine, her face turning beet-red before she glared at Emma. “Just asking.”

She didn’t expect Regina to actually reply, but the other woman calmed herself almost immediately and took a fresh sip of wine, this time without the spit-take, and then faced her, arms folded across her chest.

“Yes. Yes, it was. What’s your point?”

And Emma had no reply at all to that, so she ducked her head and sipped her beer, avoiding eye contact until she felt Regina go back to her cooking.

Shit, she was in so far over her head.

+

They transported to the Sheriff’s Station after their late lunch and, as expected, it was more lived-in than the other places they’d been. The report Emma had abandoned half-way through on Thursday evening was sticking out of the printer and the coffee machine needed emptied and cleaned, which was definitely nothing new. Regina wrinkled her nose in displeasure at the untidiness of Emma’s desk, but didn’t make any comment. Their next stop was Regina’s office and it was neat and spotless and, according to Regina, just as she’d left it. All they’d managed to do was confirm their suspicions yet again, so they transported back out to the town line, as it seemed their best hope for a fresh lead.

Things between them seemed fine—well, as fine as they could be for two hyper-emotional people stuck in a town with no other people and no daylight and no noise and a weird glowing barrier. By unspoken agreement, they kept their conversation light, more like their Sunday night talks than the more heated exchanges they’d been having since being stranded together.

Emma’s lust was back full-force, and she regretted that it was early winter and that Regina had changed into more appropriate forest-trekking clothes. The burgundy blouse with its enticingly revealing front had gone in favour of a sweater and a deconstructed military-style jacket-coat thing (clothes not being one of the things Emma knew much about, along with magic, spells and, apparently, women). She was even wearing a pair of no doubt ridiculously expensive hiking boots, and Emma missed the heels and their promise of the occasional stumble into her arms. On the bright side, Regina continued to walk ahead of her and that gave plenty of opportunity to stare at Regina’s ass. And she was at least still wearing Emma’s jeans.

By nine o’clock, they had found nothing new at all, and the high point had been a quick tour of Lucius Adamson’s illegal brewery. To be thorough, they headed back to the small clearing where they’d heard the crickets and launched the baseball. A quick check showed that nothing there had changed. The baseball remained stuck, and the faint chirrup of insects still didn’t extend more than a few hundred yards from the small anomaly in the barrier. Despite much eye rolling from Regina, Emma insisted on conjuring a second baseball. It connected a foot or so below the first with a dull thud and dropped straight to the ground. Regina didn’t have to say ‘I told you so’ for Emma to read it in her badly concealed grin.

They’d already agreed earlier that day to spend their nights at Emma’s house, and it didn’t need said that they both wanted to be there because it was where Henry had been seen last. Regina transported over some clothes, enough for a few days. While she was in the bathroom, getting dressed for bed, Emma stood in her living room, hands on her hips, staring at the couch. There was no way she could take another night there with Regina, not when they had both acknowledged that emotions were running too high as it was, not when all she could think about was the way Regina felt against her earlier and how she wanted that feeling every day for the rest of her life. And, in the silence, in the dark, with no-one else but the two of them, it would be far too easy to give into her stupid fantasies of what could never be.

Love as an adult was nowhere near as easy as it seemed at seventeen. At seventeen, the world was before you, a shining horizon of possibility. At seventeen, Neal had looked like her future, after all. At thirty-something, you knew that life was not fair, that happy endings were often granted to the people who least deserved them, while those who needed them most saw their hopes dashed time and again. The risks were so much higher, because there was nowhere to run—no picking up and taking off in the middle of the night with a sweatshirt and cab fare—when you had a child and a slew of other adult responsibilities. There was no wallowing in loud music in your bedroom when you had a teenage son, mostly because that sort of behaviour was his prerogative. Three-day benders were out of the question when you were the Sheriff and you only got one full day off a week, and had to maintain a public image befitting the job.

And there was Henry himself. No matter what else happened, they would always be Henry’s parents. They would always have to find a way to get along together for him. And they were good at being his parents now. If she ruined her relationship with Regina by overstepping her bounds just because they were stuck in some spell, it wouldn’t be fair to Henry to have his mothers at each other’s throats again.

And then there was the most important thing: Regina Mills deserved a lot better than Emma Swan. Regina deserved someone who would always put her first, who wouldn’t hurt her, who would give her all the happiness in the world. Emma had wasted so many opportunities in Neverland and any number of times before the second curse, and when she first came back from New York. She had been so caught up in her own feelings, in having parents who didn’t love her the way she needed them to, and in Neal and Hook and things that didn’t even matter now. She had thought that Regina would always be there when she was ready for her. Someone who truly deserved to be with Regina would never have treated her like that. Someone who deserved Regina’s love would have done everything and anything to be with her; they certainly wouldn’t have been arrogant enough to think that they were the only one who could see what Regina was, that they were the only one who would want her.

“You look like you’re a million miles away.”

Emma spun around and, damn, Regina in a pair of black silk pyjamas, barefoot, no make-up, hair tousled, and so achingly beautiful, was not the answer to the churning in Emma’s gut.

“Thinking.”

“Don’t hurt yourself.” A lifetime and a few curses ago, that statement would have been dripping with scorn, but Regina was smiling at her almost shyly. Emma shrugged and jammed her hands into the pockets of her jeans before they betrayed her and reached out for the woman before her.

“You want coffee or tea or something before we turn in?” It would be a distraction, give her something to do other than stare and want and stare some more and think about how her hands would feel slipping under that silk and touching Regina.

“Can I trust you with hot water?”

Emma rolled her eyes but didn’t answer. As she headed to her small kitchen area, she saw Regina settling herself on the couch, tucking her legs underneath her and retrieving the book she’d been reading the night before. It wasn’t long before she was taking two mugs of coffee through and Regina looked up, smiling at her so sweetly, and, once again, Emma couldn’t help thinking that this was the way things were supposed to be, them taking care of each other, sharing, being together. She sighed heavily as she sat down.

“I’m sure we’ll figure this all out tomorrow,” Regina said, misinterpreting Emma’s unhappiness as being about the spell and not the foolishness of wanting the impossible.

“Yeah, I know.” And she did. She still had complete faith that Regina could solve their problem. Only, there was a significant part of her that now didn’t want the spell to end so soon because, apart from missing Henry, being with Regina like this was pretty close to perfect. “Do you want me to light some candles?”

Regina shook her head. “Not unless you do.”

For the first time since they had been stranded, Emma turned the conversation to Henry—not how much they missed him, which was a given, but stories from their year in New York. Looking back, Emma had known that their family hadn’t been complete, as had Henry. Without their memories, they hadn’t known what was wrong, but Emma knew now that they had both been missing Regina. That wasn’t what she said out loud, though. She told Regina about science pop quizzes which he aced and their joint frustrations with American history, about getting caught in a rain storm in Central Park which left them both with terrible colds for weeks, and her inept efforts at taking him shopping for clothes because he grew out of things faster than she could buy them. As she spoke, she thought of the innate traits and facial expressions which made Henry unequivocally Regina Mills’ son, even when Regina herself was not around. And even though she’d heard some of them many times before, Regina lapped up every anecdote because she could listen all night to how wonderful her son was.

A second coffee became a third before Emma ran out of steam. They sipped their drinks quietly, the silence and the darkness settling in around them again.

“May I ask you a personal question?” Regina said, and Emma chuckled at the correct use of ‘may’.

“Depends. I thought we were supposed to be avoiding the big emotional stuff.”

“You don’t have to answer.” Regina looked so serious that Emma swallowed, fearing that she really wouldn’t be able to answer whatever it was. “It’s just that I noticed that there don’t seem to be any of Hook’s things in your home, and you’ve hardly mentioned him at all.”

Emma nodded slowly. She’d wondered when Regina might bring up Hook again. “That’s not actually a question.”

“And that’s not actually an answer.” Regina ducked her head to avoid Emma’s eyes as she spoke. “You’ve seemed ill-at-ease recently, and I, I worry about you.”

Her first instinct was to say that there was no need, but she liked the idea of Regina worrying about her, so she decided to tell the truth. “We’re not even together right now. We had a fight about Henry and the drinking. I told him not to come back until he was ready to apologise. I guess he’s not ready to apologise yet.”

“Oh.” Regina glanced sideways at her. And Emma could read the slight hurt that Emma hadn’t once let on that anything was wrong, even though the drinking incident had been nearly two months ago, which did, she supposed, make it look like she was keeping things from Regina.

That wasn’t how she saw it, though. Emma kept her life compartmentalised. There was Emma and Hook, which was one thing, and Emma and Regina and Henry, which was the best thing, and then there was Emma and Regina, which was the scariest thing. They were three very different parts of her life, and they weren’t something which she allowed to overlap very often. She managed her life by making sure they were kept separate.

She sighed. “Even when we are, he’s not, I mean, I don’t—” She exhaled and rubbed her thumb against her coffee cup, the Red Sox one Henry had given her the previous Christmas. “This is Henry’s home, and Hook doesn’t get to stay here. It would be confusing for Henry.”

It had nothing to do with Henry. Hook was never invited to stay because if he came to Emma’s house then Emma couldn’t leave. And Emma never stayed the full night at his, not even in the weeks when Henry was with Regina, because she could never sleep beside him. She looked at him and all she could ever see was the fact that she had tied him to her with promises she could never keep, even if she hadn’t said them out loud. He had taken her commitment as read from the fact that she had never contradicted his assumptions. And, in the dark of the night, the feelings of self-loathing started closing in on her because she was using him as another form of running. As long as she was with Hook, her true feelings were safe and hidden and contained, and that wasn’t fair on either of them.

“For Henry?” Regina obviously was not fooled.

“He’s just a boy. He doesn’t need his life complicated by the men his mothers choose to date.” Emma bit her lip, unable to offer a better lie.

“You’re not dating men plural, Emma. You’ve been with him for over two years,” Regina said. It was true, but it still felt like a low blow, and Emma gave her a look which said as much. Regina shrugged her shoulder. “And it’s not really my business. I apologise. I didn’t mean to pry.”

“No, it’s fine. I, it’s—” She continued to knead the cup with her hands. “We don’t usually talk about this stuff. Well, I don’t. I’m not good at it.”

Regina nodded, then turned more fully towards Emma. “What I was trying to say—ineptly, as it turns out—is that if you ever wanted to talk about things, you could come to me, and I wouldn’t judge you.”

Emma couldn’t keep the incredulity from her voice. “You? Not judge?”

“I said I wouldn’t judge you. I didn’t promise to be as kind about that pirate or your idiot parents.”

They both grunted in laughter at that, because Regina was friends with Snow and David now, and their relationship was complicated, but definitely family.

They slipped back into silence. After only a few moments, Regina shifted her left leg and tucked her foot under Emma’s thigh. Without thinking, Emma’s hand moved to Regina’s shin, feeling her warmth through the silk.

“It never felt completely right with Robin, you know.”

“What?” Emma whipped her head around in shock. Regina put her coffee down and wrung her hands together, grasping her right thumb with her left hand and twisting.

“It was thrilling to be courted, of course. And he was a good man.” She shook her head. “He is a good man, still. And Roland is a wonderful boy. And I have no doubt that, given time, we could have grown to love each other and made a pleasant life for ourselves. But he wasn’t—”

“Daniel?”

“No, he wasn’t like Daniel at all,” Regina agreed. There was still a flash of pain in her eyes and Emma marvelled at how much Regina must have loved Daniel to be affected after five decades and everything which had passed since. “But, that wasn’t what I was going to say. He wasn’t the world to me. I wasn’t in love with him.”

That was even more shocking. “But I thought Robin was your soulmate?”

“It’s not the same as True Love, although it can be. You can be soulmates with someone and never have it develop beyond a very deep friendship.” Regina stared at a fixed point on the back of the couch, and she scraped her fingernails across the grain of the fabric. “I wondered afterwards if the people who were destined for each other were the Robin who never met Marian and the woman I could have become if I had left Leopold. I always felt that I was not the one he saw when he looked at me, that perhaps he carried some idealised vision of who I might be, or might have been.” She shook her head. “It wasn’t ideal, but I wanted to give it a chance, because there were moments when it felt so easy to give into his affection and the closeness, and it had been so long since I, well, since I had felt that someone was interested in me like that. But it always felt like work.” She searched Emma’s face for understanding. “Do you know what I mean?”

Emma nodded. She had the distinct feeling that there was a second question underneath, but she wasn’t entirely sure she knew what it was. She did, however, know what it felt like for her relationship to feel like a constant effort.

“And, this is going to sound self-serving,” Regina said, “but I didn’t sacrifice everything I have held dear over all those years to settle for something which felt merely good, but not great. No matter what, I would never have been able to replace Robin’s wife and he could never have—” She rolled her neck and exhaled. “I would never have fallen in love with him. He would never have been my great love.” She reached her hand out and placed it over Emma’s where it rested on her leg. “It’s part of why I found it so easy to forgive you for what you did.”

“Then why haven’t you dated since?” To be honest, she had somewhat assumed that Regina had been pining for Robin and her lost great love. Also, she was quite shocked to find out that soulmates and fairy dust and all that crap wasn’t quite the destiny that everyone had led her to believe.

“No-one’s asked. Apparently, my reputation still precedes me in this town.”

Emma recognised that as a lie or at least another attempt at the self-deprecation which Regina fell back on far too readily for Emma’s liking. There were others who had asked Regina out. Emma could remember a summer afternoon in Granny’s when she had simmered with rage and jealousy at hearing some guy who came over with the second curse, a former noble from Midas’ kingdom who was friends with Kathryn and Frederick, making plans to ask Regina out to dinner. He was young and good-looking and he’d probably slayed dragons himself, because apparently that wasn’t as big a deal as Emma had thought. And he’d figured he had a chance, said as much to the buddy he was talking to, and all Emma had wanted to do was march up to him and warn him to stay away from her woman. Only, Hook had been sitting next to her, and Regina wasn’t hers, and she had no right to feel that way, so she had forced her pecan pie down and pushed her unhappiness inside.

“You’re thinking again,” Regina said.

Emma looked down at their hands, and then up to Regina’s face. She was so beautiful and unguarded, and there was a reason that they really shouldn’t have started to discuss anything emotional because Emma was almost overwhelmed with how much she felt for Regina, and how increasingly stupid she felt for never telling her about it.

“Why is Kathryn still Kathryn, but Jim is Frederick now?”

Regina laughed at the unexpected change of subject. “They both want to be the best versions of themselves.” She pursed her lips. “Jim was not a happy man, but Frederick loved being a knight, loved Abigail. And Kathryn wasn’t happy as Midas’ daughter. She certainly wasn’t happy at the thought of being with your father in either reality, but Kathryn is a lawyer and a stronger, more independent woman than Abigail. Being Kathryn gives her choices that Abigail would never have had. In many ways, she hated the life of a vacuous princess as much as you would have, if you had grown up in that world.”

They had discussed it often, how Emma was glad that she’d grown up in twentieth-century America and not the Enchanted Forest, because she wouldn’t have been able to cope with being a princess. Regina would tease her occasionally about the marvellous dresses that she would have had to wear, and Emma could only shudder at the thought of what Snow White would have thought appropriate for her daughter. What she always thought, and never admitted, was that the worst part of growing up with her parents would have been the loss of Regina in her life. They would have been true mortal enemies, locked in a war. They would never have had Henry. Emma would never have seen that affectionate smile Regina had when she was indulging Henry—or her, because Regina indulged her, too—and she would never have seen her like this, all late-night softness and pyjamas and kind eyes and quiet warmth.

“I’m not in love with Hook,” she blurted out before she could stop herself.

“I know.”

“You do? How?”

“Because I know you and you know me,” Regina said, repeating Emma’s words from earlier that afternoon. She was tracing lines across the back of Emma’s hand with her fingernails, and Emma knew her hand was trembling, but she tried to breathe evenly. “Because you throw yourself into things without thinking it through. Because you so often do the wrong thing for all the right reasons and then spend far too long trying to fix things, when that’s not always possible. Because sometimes you try so hard to be what you think other people want you to be, instead of who you really are. And, believe me, I know how hard it is to pretend to be something you’re not.”

Emma could feel tears pricking at the back of her eyes, and it was becoming way, way too much, so she withdrew her hand and did what she did best: she ran away.

“I really need to pee. I’ll be right back.” As she bolted from the couch, she saw the frustration on Regina’s face, but couldn’t bring herself to dwell on it.

When she returned, Regina was washing their cups, her bearing stiff and formal, more like the mayor Emma had first met than the woman who was now her closest friend.

“You should take my room tonight,” she said, trying to project a casual demeanour, as if it were no big thing at all. “You didn’t get any sleep last night and this couch isn’t that comfortable.”

Regina turned around, drying her hands with a dishtowel, fixing her with a pointed stare. “You seemed to sleep well enough.”

What could she say? That it was because of the company and not the location? That Regina’s hand on her neck was the single most soothing thing she had ever known?

“Yeah, but you deserve a real bed, and I don’t think there’s much chance that either of us is going to disappear.”

“I suppose not.” Regina bent her head and breathed deeply before folding the towel and placing it carefully on the counter. She seemed disappointed, which confused Emma even more because Regina couldn’t possibly have wanted to spend another night on the couch with her, could she? She probably just wanted human contact because she was unsettled by their isolation and their overly personal conversation. And now Emma felt the need to fix it.

“I could, uh, take the chair in my room, if you’re still worried, though.”

Regina frowned. “You’re not sleeping in a chair, Emma.”

“I’m not bothered about sleeping. I’d feel better if I watched over you anyway.” What was it with her mouth rushing ahead of her brain? She’d made herself sound like some creepy stalker. She cleared her throat. “So, yeah, you go through and I’ll be right there once I’ve finished up here.” She gave what she hoped was a reassuring smile.

“That’s not necessary. I have no doubt that you can watch over me quite successfully from out here.”

“Yeah?”

“Unless you’re suggesting we should share your bed?”

Emma’s eyes widened at that, and her mind filled with possibilities of everything she would like to do to and with Regina Mills if she were in her bed: naked Regina, writhing and mewling beneath her, begging for release as Emma licked her way slowly up her inner thigh, hands exploring slick skin, teeth grazing and drawing soft moans.

“No, that’s not what I—” She stopped as she saw Regina’s grin, and realised she was teasing her. She felt her shoulders relax. “I’ll just get something to wear and then you can get settled in.”

She went through to her bedroom, Regina following close behind. She found the clothes she’d been wearing the previous night and picked them up. Not because they smelled of Regina, but because they were comfortable. Yeah, comfortable. She gathered them to her chest while Regina remained by the door, leaning against the wall, watching her.

“So, bed’s there, obviously.” She inclined her head towards the king-sized bed which dominated the room. She couldn’t look at it without thinking that Regina would be sleeping in her bed, between her sheets, where Emma had wanted her for so long.

“Obviously,” Regina agreed.

“And, yeah.” She shook her head at her own embarrassment. “I’ll set an alarm for six.” She took a few steps forward. “You know where to find me if you need me.” And, seriously, that was the best thing she could think of to say?

“I do.”

“G’night, then.” She ducked her head and tried to move past Regina and escape from the bedroom before she made things even more awkward than she’d already managed to.

“Emma?”

She stopped, barely one foot in the hallway. Damn, not fair. Stupid Kryptonite name thing. She turned around and Regina was biting her lower lip, looking at her from beneath her lashes, and—not fair, not fair, not fair—it was insanely hot.

Regina raised her hand and cupped Emma’s cheek, and she gasped, almost flinching at the unexpected touch. Emma watched, transfixed, as Regina’s tongue flicked out and wet her lips slightly. Her eyes searched Emma’s, and then she moved her head forward slowly, pulling back just before their mouths met.

“Close your eyes,” Regina whispered.

That was the very last thing Emma wanted to do, but she did it anyway, because Regina was asking in that voice she would never resist. She felt a downward pressure on her cheek, so she bowed her head slightly, and then the softest lips were pressing to her skin. Regina kissed each eyelid, then just below, on her cheek, slowly moving across until she kissed the tip of Emma’s nose. She traced lower, moving to Emma’s jaw, and then across to her chin, before kissing at the corners of her lips. And then finally, Regina tipped Emma’s head back and her lips were pressed against Emma’s own.

Of all the ways that Emma had imagined their first kiss, and it was something she thought about most days, even when she was trying not to, she hadn’t ever pictured something so gentle and pure. Passion, she’d figured, would be a given between them. Rage, even, was a distinct possibility, from the way they frequently clashed. Teeth and tongues and writhing and moaning and heat and urgency had all been in there, though.

But Regina’s hand was soft and smooth against her cheek, her fingers resting gently while her thumb stroked along Emma’s jaw, and her lips were barely a whisper against her own. Her kiss was light and tender and adoring. Emma wanted to sink into it and never stop, because being kissed by Regina was a thing of total sensuality. Being kissed by Regina wasn’t just one kiss: it was a thousand tiny kisses, brushes of lip against lip, lingering at times yet never quite enough. Being kissed by Regina was a series of barely audible sighs and a throaty humming noise which vibrated against her mouth and caused her whole body to shudder with need.

And then it was over, Regina pulling back slowly, with a few final feather-light kisses which showed her reluctance to end it. Emma opened her eyes again and saw Regina smiling, her eyes dark and warm.

“Goodnight, Emma.”

“Yeah.”

Regina slipped inside the bedroom and closed the door quietly, leaving Emma standing there, shell-shocked and needy but filled with such hope and longing. She lifted her fingers to her lips and stared at the closed door in front of her.

Fuck.

+

Right across town, unseen and unheard by either of its inhabitants, the baseball fell from its resting place in the barrier, dropping to the other side.

* * * * *

Next up: Chapter 5 [X, NSFW]

5 Comments

  1. Lyn
    Posted 3 June 2014 at 7.21pm | Permalink

    I don’t think I’ve commented on this story yet, but I just had to after this update! I really fucking love it. As much as your Spashley writing will always be my #1, I’ve got a growing appreciation going for your other fandom stories. I’ve never seen an episode of this series, but you describe everything so clearly that it really doesn’t matter. I’ve had a feeling I know what’s going on here since chapter one, and I think, though I might be mistaken, that you actually hinted towards that in this chapter. But let’s not spoil it for others yet ;)

  2. spikkels8
    Posted 4 June 2014 at 6.54am | Permalink

    I have to agree with Lyn that even though your Spashley writing is always my #1 I do love your other stuff and enjoy them just as much … I haven’t commented and my apologies as every one of your posts deserve a thousand comments and likes!!
    Well done again and can’t wait for the next post. super excited!!

  3. Jude
    Posted 4 June 2014 at 2.19pm | Permalink

    That kiss .. followed by the baseball dropping .. such beautiful writing and imagery. And still with the mystery! It keeps me always wanting more, like a drug addled junkie.

  4. sam
    Posted 4 June 2014 at 2.43pm | Permalink

    I love all your works!! :))

  5. jsparky04
    Posted 16 June 2014 at 6.10pm | Permalink

    I know, I know, but better late than never. I loved this chapter. Just beautiful, Dev! (smiley) (smiley blowing kiss) (winky)

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