When Regina walked back out to Robin's car she saw them all staring at her with what looked like pity in their eyes. She hated that look. That was the last thing she wanted from her friends. She shouldn't be doing any of this. Her friends shouldn't be involved at all.
"Did you get ahold of your dad?" Emma spoke up, breaking Regina away from her thoughts.
"Oh, yea. He said he's going to try to be home as soon as possible. We didn't really talk long…" Regina replied as she looked back at the house.
Her friends all stared at each other before Robin spoke up.
"Well I'm gonna get her back to my house…we'll see you tomorrow?"
The three nodded before Tink and Mary Margaret got back in Mary's car and Emma walked home. As Mary and Tink pulled out of the driveway and Emma disappeared from sight, Robin turned to look at Regina. She looked so small now. He internally yelled at himself for not being able to help her all along. He should have realized…but that didn't matter now. He just had to keep Regina safe…and the next step in that plan was bringing her to his house.
"Are you ready, love?"
Regina turned to face him.
"Robin, we don't have to do this. I can stay here. I don't want to bother your family. Plus, Daddy said he'd be home as soon as he could…I can just stay here."
Robin scoffed and shook his head.
"You think I'm going to let you stay here? What if for some reason they let your mother go and she shows up here? I'm not going to let her hurt you anymore, Gina…I want you to come home with me so you are safe. If you stay here, you are putting yourself in danger and I do not approve of that. You have never been a bother to my parents. They absolutely adore you. When my mother saw you when I brought you home earlier…I could see in her eyes that her heart broke, Regina. They love having you over…please, Regina…come with me…" Robin grabbed her hand as he ended his little speech.
Regina stared at him as he spoke, wondering how she got so lucky to have him in her life.
"Will you come with me, love?" Robin asked one more time.
She gave him a small smile and nodded. Robin grinned and kissed her cheek before grabbing her bags and placing them in the back seat of his car. They were back to his house in no time and he helped her bring her bags inside. When the two of them walked through the door, they immediately saw Robin's parents sitting on the couch watching the news. It didn't take long to realize what they were watching. As soon as Regina saw her mother on the screen, she grabbed onto Robin tightly.
"Well, news does travel quickly in this town…" Robin mumbled as he walked Regina over to the loveseat.
"Did you see any cameras while you were at your house, dear?" Caroline asked
"Thankfully, no…" Regina answered quietly.
The room got quiet after that. No one really knew what to say, and what they wanted to say, they didn't know how.
"Robin, dear, why don't you take Regina's stuff upstairs? Regina, can you help me in the kitchen for a moment?" Caroline broke the silence with a smile. Regina and Robin both nodded and Regina followed Caroline into the kitchen. Caroline stared at the girl for a moment with a blank look on her face. Regina didn't know what she was doing. She just stood, leaning awkwardly against the cabinet as Caroline stared at her.
"I'm going to ask you the one question you probably don't want to be asked, or you don't know how to answer," Caroline stopped, waiting to see if Regina stopped her, and continued when she didn't, "are you okay, sweetheart?"
Regina took a deep breath and tried to keep her composure, but she was slowly starting to crumble. Caroline noticed immediately and crossed the room and wrapped her arms tight around the young girl. As soon as Caroline's arms were around her, Regina just broke and the tears started falling. Caroline held Regina tight and let her cry. Regina let out all of the emotions she had been holding in all day. She hated to do this in front of Robin's mother, but she couldn't help it. But Caroline didn't mind one bit; she loved the fact that Regina could trust her enough to open up in front of her. She had always loved Regina, ever since Robin first told them about her. She held the poor girl tight and started silently praying to God that she would be alright.
Regina stayed in Caroline's arms for about ten minutes longer, rubbing her soothingly and whispering in her ear that she was safe, that she, Robin, and the entire family would make sure that nothing ever happened to her again.
As Regina pulled away, Caroline wiped away the last few tears that fell down her cheeks and smiled at her.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Locksley." She whispered and hid her face.
"Don't ever apologize to me, dear. You don't have to hide. Plus, you really needed to let it all out. And how many times do I have to tell you, it's not 'Mrs. Locksley', its Caroline dear." She gave the girl one last tight hug before pulling away.
"Now, why don't you go upstairs and find Robin. I know he's itching to talk to you…" She grinned, causing Regina to blush. She watched the young girl turn to walk out of the room.
"Oh, and Regina?" She watched her turn around, "you two make an adorable couple." Caroline winked at Regina and laughed as her face turned bright red.
Regina went to the guest room, expecting to find her things, and Robin, waiting for her, but when she got there he was nowhere to be found. She set off in the direction of his room and saw him sitting on his bed, staring at the floor. She stood in the doorway for a moment, watching him, wondering what was going through his mind at that very moment. She stared at him for so long, spaced out in the process, and didn't even notice that he was now looking up at her, with a small smile on his face. She only noticed when he coughed a little to get her attention. When their eyes locked, Robin grinned and held out his hand to her. Regina smiled and walked up to him and grabbed his hand. Robin pulled her down to sit next to him on his bed, but she didn't want to sit. She moved a little farther away from him and placed her head in his lap. Robin chuckled and wrapped one arm around her waist, and used the other to play with her hair. She couldn't believe how safe she felt in his arms. And she couldn't remember the last time she ever felt this safe.
They stayed quiet for a while before she rolled over onto her back and looked up at him with a smile, a genuine one at that. Robin grinned and placed a hand on her cheek. Regina turned her head and kissed his palm. Robin stared at her for a moment before grabbing her hand and pulling her up to sit next to him. Regina watched him curiously as he pulled her to sit sideways in his lap. He turned her head to face him and locked eyes with her. He leaned in and kissed her softly before resting his forehead against hers.
"Stay in here with me tonight…please…" Robin whispered.
"You want me to stay in here? But what about your mom?" Regina's pulled back to lock eyes with him.
"She won't care. If she has a problem with it, she'll just have to get over it. I want to be able to hold you in my arms tonight. Please, Regina…that's why I didn't even bother taking your stuff to the guest room. I want you in here."
Regina thought about it for about a minute before smiling at him and nodding.
"I love being in your arms…" Regina admitted, her face red with embarrassment. "It's the only place I really feel like I am safe."
Robins heart soared at Regina's confession and pulled her into a tight hug.
"That is my goal, love. I want you to always feel safe."
Regina smiled and pushed on Robins body with a little force, causing them both to fall back on the bed. Robin laughed at her actions and made himself comfy against his pillow. Regina pressed her ear against his heart and wrapped her arms around his chest, as best as she could.
"Robin…" Regina spoke softly after a while.
"Yes, my love?"
"What am I going to do…there's no way I can go to school on Monday…this is a small town, it was already on the news…I can't face everyone…"
Robin moved Regina around so that she was face to face with him.
"Babe, you are not going to go through this alone. You have me, you have Snow, Emma, and Tink…you are not alone. We will never let anything happen to you. And what do you think is going to happen on Monday?"
"I can't handle the looks of pity…I don't want people to feel sorry for me…I already hate the looks I get from you and the girls…I hate looking in your eyes and seeing you feel sorry for me. No one was supposed to find out about any of this…I didn't want to bring you into my mess…" While speaking, Regina had gotten up and was now staring out of Robin's window, her back facing him.
"Regina, look at me." Robin walked up behind her.
She shook her head and her shoulders started shaking.
Robin sighed and wrapped his arms around her waist. He placed his head in the crook of her neck and kissed her skin softly, and that's when Regina broke down. Her knees gave out beneath her and she let out quiet sob. She turned as best as she could in his arms. Robin quickly wrapped his arms under her knees and picked her up and walked back over to his bed. He sat down, his back against the headboard and held her close. He knew she had been holding in a lot of emotions lately, and knew that while she had cried while talking to his mother earlier, she was far from done crying. He wasn't sure what to do though. He wanted to help her, but had no clue how to do it. He just held her as she cried into his chest.
"I don't pity you, Regina…" Robin spoke a while later, after Regina's cries had subsided. "What I feel is far from pity. I can't begin to imagine what you've gone through the past couple of years, but I do know one thing, you are so incredibly strong. I don't know how you do it…" Robin tightened his grip around her waist and kissed the top of her head. "And as for you not wanting to bring me into this 'mess', you didn't bring me into it at all. I brought myself into it and if you think I'm gonna leave you anytime soon, you are wrong. I care for you so much, my love. I have for years. You mean the absolute world to me and I will do whatever I can to make sure you are safe. You are my future, Regina. I love you. I have for a long time now."
As Robin finished speaking, Regina looked up at him and looked like a deer in headlights. She sat up, in his lap and stuttered.
"You-you love me?"
Robin nodded and kissed her forehead.
"I do. I don't want to scare you, or overwhelm you, but I do. I thought you should know. You don't need to say it back, I just needed to get it out…"
Regina shook her head and placed her hands on his cheeks.
"I have loved you since the first moment I saw you…and I know I'll love you until my last Robin…I have never felt so safe."
Regina locked eyes with him and for once, she didn't hate what she saw. When she looked in his eyes she saw nothing but love. She then took in the rest of his face, her heart practically skipping a beat when she saw the grin that was covering his face.
Robin tackled her onto her back and hugged her tight.
"I love you." Regina sighed into his ear.
"Say it again."
"I love you." She blushed.
"Again, so the world can hear it."
Regina laughed, making Robin's heart soar.
"I love you!" She exclaimed, wrapping her arms around his neck.
Robin grinned again and leaned down and kissed Regina and that's when she knew, she never wanted to be anywhere else.
***I am so so so so soooooo sorry that it has taken me so long to update this story. This was the hardest chapter for me to write, and I honestly don't know why. And I have been pretty busy this summer. I've been to the beach around where I live a lot, I just came back from Marco Island, Florida, and I also got to go up to New York and meet my best friends for the first time in person. So I have had quite a busy summer, especially when you add in helping my best friend plan her wedding, visiting with family, and getting ready to move away from home and into my very first apartment for college. So I am very sorry, but I hope that this chapter makes up for it. I also want to apologize for something else. While I was on vacation, I reread the story and saw all of the mistakes I had made. I don't have anyone that reads this for me to check my mistakes, so I just kinda reread the chapters to make sure everything is okay, but obviously its not always enough. One of the biggest mistakes I have noticed is that for the majority of the story I have written that Tink's real name is Poppy, but in the last chapter or so, I have been writing Rose. I can't believe I did that. I am going to stick with Poppy, so I just wanted to attempt to mend that mistake. Anyway, I hope you all like the chapter. It's not the best in my mind, so I promise that it will get better very very soon. Thank you so much to everyone who has stuck by this story; I love you all. Also, not sure if anyone would like to or not, but if anyone is interested in following me on twitter, tumblr, or instagram, you can feel free to, information is located in my bio :)
Thanks guys :) Xoxo
And I promise, my authors notes will be much shorter from this point on XO