O Mistress Mine
Ten: Eight Letters
A/N: *Nervous laughter* I'mma just leave this here.
Three Weeks Later
The crisp coldness and warm colours of autumn had captured the Kingdom of the Lost, leaving behind no trace of the humid summer other than the dark tans of the workers. Even Emma held a golden glow from her time spent in the glorious castle garden which now held red and orange fire in between its branches.
And even though summer had left them, romance had not withered or flown away but was blooming as brightly as the sun was still burning in the clear sky. Killian, on that autumn day, was blissfully happy. He was sat upon his silken sheets, of which were adorned upon his king-sized bed (for what else would a king sleep on?), pulling Emma Swan onto his tap and capturing her smiling mouth in a tender kiss. Her fingers played with his dark hair and his arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer to him.
The last three weeks had been the happiest he'd been in decades. The happiest he'd been since he found out Milah was pregnant. This memory sent a sharp pain through his heart but as Emma's kiss became slightly more heated the ghosts faded away and he focussed on the future he had in front of him, rather than the one he lost.
And what a beautiful future is was; slightly curly golden hair, falling over her shoulders, bright green eyes and a rosy mouth that smiled as you'd image Aphrodite to. He could see too in Emma's relaxed and unguarded form that she was as happy as him. Happiness seemed to flow through every vein, strengthen every bone and smooth every worry. What problem could he not face without Emma by his side?
Then as he broke the kiss, pushing a strand of stray hair behind her ear, she said it.
"I love you."
It came completely as a surprise, so much so that he lost the ability to speak. So blown away with the feeling that his heart might explode right out of his chest that he simply stared at her, in absolute awe.
Of course, he loved her. He loved her before he liked her (or had he always liked her? his heart had been shut off so long that the emotions she brought out in him were explosive and bewildering).
In his silence Emma's heart hammered. She had no intention of ever omitting those words to anyone ever again but in him arms, with him looking at her like that- It just happened. With every fibre of her body she knew they wrung true but as he stayed mute and stunned she trembled in fear for what she had just ruined.
"I-I'm sorry..." she stammered trying to pull out of his embrace. She tried to say she didn't mean it but she could not make her mouth to form the words.
He grabbed her, hauling her back into his lap and chuckled. Her cheeks flushed but before she could say another word he was pressing another soft kiss on her mouth. His hand moved up to cup the back of her head as she could feel him pouring his soul and feeling into the kiss. She understood him completely but her heart did not stop its thumping. Ecstasy was burning through her but she could not shake the fear. She steadied herself, she was going to be brave, for him and more importantly herself.
Once his lips had left hers they rested their foreheads together. "Emma," he said softly, "I know love isn't easy for either of us. We've both been burned by it. But I swear to you, I will not let you go. Seas may come to flood us and Regina may send all terrors to torment us but we will remain solid." He paused. "I love you. I do. I should've said it right away but you know the danger of love but I want to know the joys again. And Emma, sweetheart, you've made me so happy."
Emma's fingers held his face tenderly, her soft fingers brushing over his stubble. "As you've made me," she murmured. With this words he kissed her again, this time leaving no room for breaths or whispered words. It was all heat. Their clothes were pushed off and wet kisses trailed down down their bodies. Red love bites bloomed in between her legs and at the curve of his neck. They lost themselves in each other and for awhile they forgot about Regina and the war she might bring.
Three Months Ago
The air was thick with smoke. Ash and dust spilled down Graham's throat making him struggle for air. This, and the growing heat from the flames around him, made his vision blurry and his movements clumsy and slow. He could hear the cries of the Black Knights getting louder and louder with every false move he made and every wall of fire he met. But one single thing drove him on.
Right now she was in danger and even if he lost his life for it, he would have to save her. Then, just after he heard the whoosh of the arrow over the crackle of burning wood, an arrow pierced the back of his leg. He cried out and crumpled to the floor.
He pushed himself up, a thick sheen of sweat across his forehead, and stumbled helplessly away from the armed men. Another arrow flew beside his head and pierced the tree in front of him.
He could not escape. But he could take some down with him. He held himself up against the tree and faced the dark figures emerging from the smoke. He lifted his bow and arrow, his arms shaking as his leg cried out in agony.
He let go of his first arrow and it flew past the nearest knight. His heart sank. As he expected, due to his wound, his aim was suffering. But he could not give up. He lifted his bow again.
He got the man in the shoulder. He dropped to his knees. A weak grin touched Graham's lips as he went for another of the Knights. Again and again he shot. Some were misses, some were not, one arrow even sank itself into a man's chest. But it was to no avail. There were too many of them and soon a sword was being pressed into his neck and the Evil Queen herself was leering down at him, a fireball in her hand.
He had been in a cell for what he calculated was thirty-five days. He could feel the fight fading from his soul as he slowly lost hope of ever seeing Emma again. He had no doubt in her mind that she was still alive, but he assumed by now she had fled far from the Enchanted Forest and out of the Queen's reaches. She was resourceful like that.
His assumptions faded as his cell door swung open and a woman's shadow fell across his unshaven face. He cast a hand above his brow to block the light streaming in from behind her to get a better look. As he had expected it was Regina. Dread and unease were heavy stones in the pit of his stomach dragging down his hope. (A part of him, a foolish part of him, had hoped it was Emma.)
The Queen titled her head, examining him with a playful smirk upon her dark red lips. "I've decided what I want to do with you, Huntsman," she told him, signalling some guards to hoist him to his feet. He didn't fight, nor make a word. "I'm not going to kill you which makes you in my debt already," she continued, walking from the cell and out into the bright hallway. Graham and the guards followed her. The two men's grip on his arms tightened and they exchanged suspicious glances at Graham's lack of resistance.
"In fact," she said as they started to climb some steep stone staircases, "I'm going to give you exactly what you want."
Graham raised his eyebrows, an unamused expression cast across his face. "Is that so?" His voice was rough and he remembered vaguely that he has not spoken a word for twenty-five days. Regina cast him a dark grin over her shoulder but said nothing more until he was thrown into a room he could only assume was her bedroom.
The Queen nodded at her guards and they left the room noiselessly. Then she turned to him and started to slowly make her way towards him. "I find," she began, "that friends of Snow White are often inconveniently loyal to her. And I feel that I can assume that her daughter will share the same testing characteristic as you've managed to untie your binds without my guards noticing."
Graham moved to run but Regina's hand flew up in a flash and suddenly he was being violently thrown against the wall. His head sharply hitting the rough stone behind him. She began to stalk towards him again, her eyes flashing with a twisted grin to math. "So, all things considered, I feel that it would be best to skip the whole rebellious phase-" Her hand sunk into his chest, making him cry out. He struggled against her magic as her fingers wrapped around his heart. "-and make completely sure that we're on the same page."
She wrenched his heart from his chest and his vision went blurry from the pain. Black dots danced across his vision but as she looked him in the eyes, they're faces only inches apart, he noticed that her eyes- but then she was kissing him.
The day passed for Emma in haze of happiness. Her lesson with Tinkerbell went better than ever before, her light magic was stronger than ever. Even the usually difficult task of summoning objects to her grasp and levitating books seemed easier than before which Tink noted with a hum of approval and smirk.
Emma hardly noticed the look she got from the gardeners as she almost ran through the garden paths, her cape flying behind her and her toes crunching on the freshly fallen leaves, for all she cared about was getting closer to the coy smile on Killian's lips as she tumbled into his lap. His arms wrapped around her waist as her lips dipped down to his for a quick peck - or at least that was the intention, because it quickly dissolved into a long lazy kiss. His tongue ran along her bottom lip as she made a small noise of enjoyment.
"How was your morning, my love?" he asked, breaking the kiss but allowing her forehead to rest upon his. Her fingers twined softly into his hair and a soft smile blossomed upon his lips.
But her words were cut off with the scream of a woman. The pair of them froze for a second before they burst into a sprint. Emma had the skirt of her dress gathered in her hands and she damned the fool who decreed she had to wear it.
In a matter of seconds they were hurtling around a bend of the garden hedges and Emma was completely and utterly unprepared for what she saw. Red was leaning against a wall, her hand clutching her chest, her skin pale and her eyes locked onto the man standing opposite her and more importantly what he had in his hands.
It was Graham, holding a red heart in his hands which throbbed in its stead rhythm. He himself was not so steady, he staggered on his feet, his skin was covered in a sheen of sweat and his eyes were wild. At their arrival his eyes flashed to Emma, and his face crumpled.
"I'm sorry," he cried, "She wanted me t-to take yours! She made me. She took- she took…"
Emma started to approach him slowly, "Graham. Calm down, it's alright."
But his grip on Red's heart tightened. "Don't get closer! I don't know how long I.. how long I can resist."
He started staggering backwards, into the thick bushes where the gap in the wall was, where he could escape. "Find me," his begged, his eyes pleading, "Find me and you get this-" He waved the heart, "-and your parents."
Then the world started spinning and Emma was in too much shock to do anything when he turned and bolted. Killian caught her when her legs went weak and she could barely hear him shouting for the guards. She vaguely heard Red's dry sob just before the world dissolved into blackness.
The first thing Emma saw when her eyes fluttered open was Killian hovering over her, his bright eyes as blue as ever. When the memories of before tumbled back into her brain she gave out a cry and flew upwards, out of Killian's hold and she staggered to her feet. They were still in the garden though there were several more people here.
Tinkerbell was seeing to Red and her husband, Duke Whale, was hovering nervously over her. Guards were weaving in and out of the, calling to each other and giving Red uneasy looks.
Then came the panic. A cold fist was grabbing at her lungs, and the world started swaying. Killian had already gotten hold of her arms and was holding her tightly, calmly and firmly talking to her.
"Emma. Calm down." She was still heaving. "You can't do anything until you calm down." She was getting dizzy. "I'm here. Focus on me. Focus on me and think of the stars."
Then he started naming them and describing them to her and slowly and surely she became entranced with his words and her panic eased. Then she was tumbling into his arms, his fingers locking into her hair.
"My parents," she breathed, "He said I could find my parents."
"I know, love."
"What does that mean?" she cried, her voice breaking, "I don't know what that means."
His fingers were running through her hair, soothing her as the sobs wracked through her body. It was all too much. Too much for her, as strong as she was this was too much. Finding Graham. Red's heart. Losing Graham. And the news that her parents might be alive? It was too much.
"Come on love," Killian said softly, "Let's get you some rest."
But he had scooped her into his arms and was carrying her back into the castle, "I'll gather all the details I can and when you have rested we'll make a plan, figure something out."
Emma wanted to argue, wanted to demand that he put her down but he was already tucking her under her blanket, pressing a soft kiss on her forehead and the exhaustion was taking her.
Before she knew it she was sitting round a table with Killian and several other people. These people consisted of the Whales, Tinkerbell, Smee and some of Killian's advisers. Killian was seated beside her, filling everyone in on Emma's story and her relationship with Regina. Once he had finished there was a long pause.
"I'm going after him," Emma said firmly, her tone leaving no room for argument.
But of course Killian tried anyway, "That is a dangerous plan. Regina wants you to come after him. Besides there's a lot more going on that just Regina hatching another hairbrained scheme."
Red sat up straighter in her seat and then spoke, "Before he…" She swallowed. "Before he took my heart he kept saying sorry. And that, that I wouldn't be a minority so it would be okay."
"Speaking of which," one of the advisers said, "Why is she here. For all we know Regina could be controlling her right now."
Emma said cooly, "This matter involved Lady Whale as much as it involves us. In fact she's more entitled to be here than you are."
There was a long pause as the adviser shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "So Regina has lots of people walking around without hearts," Emma continued, "Which is… more than a bit alarming."
"We need a plan," Killian said firmly, "We can't go marching into the Enchanted Forest out of the blue. We need to know where we're going and what we're doing. And we cannot be seen."
"And that's where I come in," Emma replied. "You may have many years of politics and before that adventuring but I spent most of my life hiding from Regina. I know the Enchanted Forest like the back of my hand and I can keep out of sight. I also know her - or rather my - castle just as well. I can sneak in and get out. So it's better if I go alone."
There was immediate outcry, the loudest from Killian. "You're going to get yourself bloody killed. You haven't been to that castle since you were eight years old, who knows what Regina's done to it over the years."
Emma sighed impatiently, "Fine. I refuse to sit here in this castle doing nothing but I'm not against forming a small party and venturing to the Enchanted Forest together."
Killian still didn't look too happy but accepted the plan regardless. "Okay, you, me and who else will volunteer?"
"Me," Red declared.
"Lady Whale I don't think that's the best idea-"
"Did you not hear what Em- Lady Emma just said?" Red cried, "He took my heart not yours."
Killian clenched his jaw, "You are heartless, m'lady. Which makes you more irresponsible and, despite Emma's faith in you, controllable. It's a risk I'm not willing to make."
"Graham controlled it!" Emma argued.
"Barely," Duke Whale pointed out, "He was raving like a lunatic."
"If you don't let me go where I can be watched, I'm just going to go. Alone. Right into Regina's castle and I am liable to rip Mr Humbert's throat out," Red said idly.
After some dark muttering and firm words from Emma, Killian agreed.
"I suppose you want Robin Hood to come with us too," Killian sighed.
Emma shook her head, "He would never leave his son. Especially when there is chance that he could never come back. I thought perhaps Robin could oversee the castle and the garden whilst we're gone."
"You talk as if you're the Queen," another one of the advisers said icily, "I think it would be best to leave the King to such things. Woman aren't meant to-"
"That's enough Mr Shaw, you may leave," Killian interrupted and when he shot the man a cold glare, Shaw leapt from his seat and raced out the door. "I'll leave you to write a letter to Mr Hood," he said, turning to Emma. She nodded, a coy smile on her lips.
Soon a party of four was made. Emma, Killian, Red and Smee. Even that number put Emma on edge for its size. No one had mentioned Graham's claim about her parents and she was glad. She didn't quite know if she believed it or not, it was hard to use her lie detector on a man who was a 'raving lunatic' as Whale had put it.
But as everyone left the meeting room, Killian gave Emma's hand a squeeze and a small weight lifted off her chest. She wasn't alone.
All I'm going to say about my very large gap in writing is that in between dealing with an emotionally-abusive (now x)boyfriend and A-Levels, I kinda let things slip. Who knows when I'll update again but I'm hoping soon. A lot of this was written back in August but was never published. I need to reconnect with this story but I hope to get back to it. That being said my writing style might have changed and I'm certainly a different person so here's hoping you will still like it.