WARNINGS: Drugs, obviously. I don't think any other warnings apply. If I missed something do let me know :)

BTW * denotes easter eggs decoded in endnotes. Extra points if you don't need me to explain them lol


Just Like Fire

Chapter Five

Emma continued to shake the sand from herself as she accompanied the smoldering beauty on the walk back to her bungalow. It wasn't much but the nervous gesture kept the artist from staring too long at any particular feature. Besides, she didn't want to trail sand into the dark beauty's home. What kind of first-ish impression was that to make?

A half smile curved plush lips as Regina observed the anxious behavior in her companion. A wicked impulse sparked a mischievous twinkle in dark eyes. The dancer was able to suppress the urge until they reached her porch. When the beautiful blonde gave her sneakers one last stomp to dislodge any sand there she could hold back no longer. "Oh, you uh… missed a spot," a misleadingly kind voice informed.

It was rather adorable how the blonde looked over her shoulder to try and see what Regina was talking about. "No, it's…" Graceful hands indicated the artist's back with conviction.

"Huh.."

The confusion pinching angelic features as Emma turned giving the brunette her back was irresistible. The moment that that rather mouth-watering backside was near enough Regina began brushing non-existent sand from the delectably curved surface. It was a complete and unrepentant gesture.

Emma gasped swallowing hard at the shockingly inspiring sensation. A static charge raced over her nerves in cresting waves in the wake of that innocence mocking caress. Very specific parts of her anatomy began to tighten as the artist struggled for control. In a lust induced haze, she floated between the overwhelming desire to give herself over and the stubborn refusal to accept this desire. If only Regina wasn't in a relationship. If only she could be sure that the familiar touch was more than platonic affection.

And maybe the striking dancer did want her too. Would that make cheating on someone you don't know easier? With a rough shake to clear her head, Emma cleared her throat as well to end the silent hell of temptation. "Did you get it," a strained voice asked.

Lost in the motion Regina had almost forgotten her pretense. As the temptation to cup and knead the firm muscle became all-encompassing a soft voice pulled her back. Well, at least the sharp pinch of restraint in that tone told the clever dancer that there was indeed something to restrain. But why? "Yeah, I think we're good here," a husky voice agreed as the sultry femme begrudgingly rose from her game. A quick flick of the wrist produced a key and another turned it opening the door for her guest. "Come on in," she invited.

Once inside Emma indulged in the sudden gust of air conditioning on her fevered flesh. With a soul-deep sigh, the blonde let her arms hang off to the side as she spun around letting the cool breeze hit every inch of the sweat-sheened surface.

Regina smiled at the endearingly earnest self-expression as she closed and locked the door behind them. However, when the soothed blonde beauty began to settle on the left side of the bed a warning finger rose to stop her. "Aht uh, no one sits on that side, but me," she informed her guest in a gentle but strict tone.

Pausing mid crouch the artist pointed at herself and then pointed at the right side of the bed in silent question. A gentle nod answered her. As Regina approached the dresser she explained absent thought, "The right side is Switzerland. Anyone can sit there. But no strangers on the left." The instruction was a common one given to new guests. The dark beauty set about preparing a bowl for them with focus. If she could focus on the smaller tasks then the nervous knot in her gut couldn't override her thoughts. So it was a surprise to hear her guest comment on the instruction.

Emma frowned at the description. Much as she may dislike it the truth was that they were relative strangers to one another despite the pull between them. Then again that is exactly what she was looking to remedy, wasn't it? "Well then, let's fix that," the hopeful blonde suggested. A soft smile curved pink lips at the expression of perplexed curiosity on her lovely hostess's face. "Let's not be strangers. What do you want to know," the endearingly open artist inquired.

With a soft snort, the rock-styled brunette held back her chuckle. It was an intriguing offer. Gathering the prepared pipe she crossed to ask, "Okay Emma, why don't you tell me about yourself?" Like any good hostess, the saucy femme offered her guest first spark.

"Thanks," a gentle voice replied accepting the token gesture. Emma cornered the bowl like a pro leaving plenty of green for her hostess*. As she held in her hit and passed the pipe, the artist organized her thoughts.

Regina smiled at the extended stoner courtesy. Apparently her not so innocent had spent some time in the community after all, even if she hadn't had a shotgun before today. Curiosity kept the brunette's attention on her lovely company as she hit the pipe soaking in smoke and words simultaneously.

On a slow exhale the earnest blonde explained, "Well, I'm a local girl back from art school on a kind of special hiatus."

"Special hiatus, huh," the sassy brunette inquired with quotation fingers.

Emma chuckled good-naturedly and shook her head amused that the clever dancer saw right through her word selection. The creative blonde debated avoiding the subject of her health and simply blaming it on the weed. But the idea felt dishonest and if she wanted Regina to open up to her then she couldn't start out dodging the truth. With a deep breath, the athletic attired young woman gathered her fortitude to admit, "Medical." The pinched and worried expression on the sultry beauty's face made Emma's heart ache, but she had to finish what she'd started. Holding back at this point could only make things worse. "I get these killer migraines and no one knows why. I'm set up to see some specialists soon though. It's probably nothing," a weak voice encouraged bravely. Before her bluster could falter the frightened blonde took a hit off of the pipe casually.

Regina could see right through the bravery and suddenly it became clear. Her sweet little artist wasn't the hippy stoner type it was true. But the beautiful blonde before her ached to express her art even as her candle flickered in the wind threatening to extinguish. An icy chill gripped a fierce heart. Whether the fear of becoming attached to her angel and not being able to let go or losing the loveable creature before having a chance to give them a chance was stronger was anyone's guess. The proud femme only knew a slow-growing panic in the back of her mind. "So what are you doing for it," a rich voice thick with unexpressed emotion inquired.

With a playful half grin, Emma wiggled the pipe before talking a slow draw from it. Sea green eyes held soulful brown as breath and expression were held until the brunette could not resist smiling along. On a slow exhale the charming blonde accented the overture with a goofy toned, "This seems to work just fine."

Regina let the laughter flow free shaking her head at the wonder before her. The dancer was in awe of how this luminous creature could stare the possibility of death in the eye and smile and joke. It was beyond inspiring. It was telling and in its own way alluring. It was no wonder the young woman possessed an old soul. "Well I'm glad to hear that you're maintaining,*" the dark beauty teased.

"It's the least I can do," Emma joked with a nonchalant shrug of her shoulders. The two laughing women continued to pass the pipe as they conversed. "So what about you, oh Queen of Fire?" The wide-eyed expression of befuddlement while plush lips tried to hold in the smoke was far too amusing to the blonde. Fighting past the chuckles the artist asked, "What's your story?"

Wine-dark lips pursed in thought. There was so much to say and too much that she wasn't ready to yet. Regina's initial reaction burst free deflecting, "So how long have you been away at art school?"

"Oh ho ho ho ho," Emma chuckled wagging a finger at the obvious feint. "Oh no, you don't."

"What? You said to ask you anything," the sultry beauty taunted with a coy smile.

"Alright, three years," the artist volunteered before insisting, "Now tell me something about you."

Regina laughed softly charmed by the reluctant admittance. "Alright." Deciding that turnabout was fair play the dancer conjured some answers that she was comfortable sharing, "I actually come from a hereditary line of firedancers stretching way back to some ancestor who might actually be nobility."

Gilded arches rose in naked curiosity. "Really, so you were raised in it," a soft voice urged for more.

With a long sigh, the disciplined woman admitted, "Yeah, with all the ingrained rights and responsibilities." When a blonde head tilted in silent request of elaboration the sultry femme complied, "My mother reminded me every day where I came from and what it meant. She would say that any Hawaiian girl worth her salt could dance the Hula, but it took a real woman, a noblewoman to dance with fire."

Unable to resist the temptation to ease some of the seriousness out of the air Emma teased, "So what you're saying is you've always had the ego of a queen." As aquamarine eyes noted aristocratic features screwing up in mock anger muscles tensed preparing for her due. Regina did not disappoint. With each slap of the arm, the blonde giggled harder at the playful punishment. "Ow!" The artist rubbed her arm with a cartoony pouty signaling that she'd had enough.

Regina crossed her arms and looked away from her guest in a silent expression of indignation. It was easier to disguise the pleasure and amusement in her eyes this way as well. It was easier not to laugh if she didn't look directly at the charming young woman sitting on her side of the bed, on her territory. Best not to let those sorts of thoughts in. There wasn't enough time to really act on such feelings before Henry got home. In fact, the young mother would need to start airing out the house soon.

"Well that explains how good you are if you've been doing this your whole life," a neutral voice frankly complimented the dancer in an attempt to steer her company into a more conversational mood.

With a scoff and a wry grin the dark beauty confessed, "Yeah well, mom didn't approve of me incorporating different styles and methods of fire manipulation." At the encouraging facial expression, the firebrand elaborated, "She felt that I was dishonoring our ancestors by expanding on their teachings, diluting the purity of it with outside influences."

Sea green eyes flowed over the movement expressionist with a new respect. "So one hometown girl goes rebel from tradition while another seeks it out in higher learning," an intrigued voice described their scenario.

"Believe me, I've had some higher learning along the way," Regina joked making a weed-toking gesture with her fingers.

The enraptured blonde giggled freely even as she argued, "No seriously, you have. You're like a road scholar."

A crooked grin pursed plush lips as the dancer allowed the foreign and charming viewpoint to wash over her. It was an interesting perspective. "I guess you could say that," a smoky voice agreed.

"So you took your act to Burning Man then," the blonde inquired in open curiosity.

As the bowl was cashed Regina set about putting all paraphernalia away and started opening windows. "Yeah well, it was small festivals at first. I quickly got invited to Burning Man from the Ren Faire circuit. (*) Then I got discovered by some larger acts that took me on tour with them. And now I'm back home with a steady job. And knowing where my next meal is coming from has been a pretty liberating experience," the private young mother admitted as much as she was comfortable with sharing at the moment.

Emma made a small contemplative sound as she digested the information. The bright blonde's instincts told her that there was more to that story but also that it was too early to press for details. "Well, I'm certainly glad to have you around," the artist admitted with a contagious smile.

Even as Regina returned the sweet smile a knot formed in her gut. As much as she wanted to share more with her beautiful guest time was fading fast. If she had any chance of her angel knowing her as herself and not just a mother she would have to act fast. "And as much as I enjoy having you around I'm gonna have to ask you to leave," a reluctant voice informed her guest.

Emma's heart sank at the news. Just when she seemed to be getting somewhere with her entrancing new muse their connection was severed. Not oblivious to her hostess's actions the artist correctly read that the brunette was airing out the house for someone else, someone coming home soon. More than likely the other half that occupied that territorial strip of bedding at her side. The blonde rose as if stung her fears springing forth unbidden. "Yeah, I guess the other occupant will be home soon."

Sharply focused brown eyes settled on the nervously shifting young woman appraisingly as she opened the door. "Yes, that's right," Regina admitted purposefully not confessing whom that other half must be.

"Then, I should probably be going," Emma mumbled dejectedly as she walked towards the door.

By the sag in strong shoulders, Regina could see that her artist's sadness was layered. Perhaps this had something to do with what was holding the other woman back, this assumption of another. As the sultry brunette began to debate whether or not to take mercy on her angel the decision was wrested from her. Standing in the doorway the young mother caught sight of her approaching child in her peripheral vision. It seemed one way or another it was time for Emma to know her a little better. With one last sadistic smirk the dancer stated in a playfully taunting tone, "In fact here comes the other occupant now."

Sea green eyes shot up in horror and panic. A brave heart ramped into overdrive preparing for whatever dramatic scene was about to unfold but nothing could have prepared Emma for the bundle of energy that shot through the portal to glomp onto Regina shouting.

"Mom mom mom, you won't believe it! I got an A on my report today," Henry announced with boundless glee.

A brilliant smile of relief burst over angelic features at the endearing sight as the gorgeous mother embraced the excited child.

Ruffling short brown locks with an encouraging hand and proud smile Regina replied, "Of course I do, smart guy! Never a doubt in my mind." The smoldering beauty fought to keep from giggling as the young boy struggled away from the kisses she rained on his cheek.

Henry squirmed his way free of the smothering affection only to finally notice the other person in the room. Big hazel eyes sparkled to land on what looked the front half of the blonde he had seen that morning. Without tearing his gaze from the clearly anxious but excited new adult the clever boy excitedly asked his mom, "Is this her?!"

At loss for how to respond to the overwhelming situation Emma simply pointed at herself in silent question before looking to Regina for an explanation. However, the ever tight-lipped femme provided no answers.

"Yes, she is," a warm rich voice throatily answered.

Just when the blonde was about to interject and plead for clarification the clearly not at all shy young man, who obviously took after his mother, grabbed her by the hand and dragged her back deeper into the bungalow.

"You're the lady who drew my mom," he accused pointedly.

Uncertain if that was a good thing Emma crouched to his level and simply nodded sincerely, "Yep, I am." All doubts the artist may have had about how this force of nature viewed her were dashed immediately.

"Finally! Someone else who sees how awesome she is," the young man enthused.

Regina chuckled proudly behind her adoring son.

A beaming smile claimed angelic features which Emma turned to Regina before meeting the boy's gaze again. "I know, right," she encouraged him shamelessly. The roll of eyes and shake of head her words earned her only broadened the blonde's smile.

"I keep telling people she's a rock star, but nobody believes me," Henry groused. A chubby digit pointed at the drawing above the bed as he reiterated, "They'll see it now though, thanks to you."

Completely taken by the emotional young man and his devotion to the stunning creature who had captured her heart and imagination Emma replied, "Hey my pleasure, kid."

Henry could tell by the way the artist lady smiled that he had charmed her. The groundwork was set. Now all he had to do was convince her not to leave. Using every ounce of young charm at his disposal the brave child pointed at the guitar on his shirt as he informed their impromptu guest, "I'm gonna be a rock star like mom when I grow up. That's why I did a report today on the Fender Stratocaster."

"Wow." Sea green eyes grew wide with the display of intelligence and even more artistic leanings. There was definitely a creativity in the blood.

The sultry vixen stood a bit straighter with pride at her little heartbreaker. It was endearing to see the blonde so easily wrapped around his chubby little finger.

"Yeah, what pushed the presentation over the top was when I scored 5 stars on Judas Priest," the boy proudly announced.

"Really," Emma inquired honestly impressed. She had played Rock Band before and that was no easy feat.

"Yeah, come on. I'll show you," the clever boy invited as he dragged their guest over to the PS4.

Emma turned a tightly drawn anxious expression on Regina silently searching for her hostess's opinion on the matter.

Regina honestly considered excusing the blonde for a moment, but only a moment really. The smirking vixen was having far too much fun watching her son order the beautiful blonde around. Without saying a word the stylish brunette closed the door and retook her seat on the couch.

Henry had the plan set and everything was working out perfectly. Mom let her stay. Now he could use the excuse of his report to show that the pretty artist lady could be a rock start too. If he could make his mom see that then maybe she would start to see this woman as part of their family, to see that she belonged. As the console warmed up hazel eyes turned on his mother pinning her with a look as he demanded, "Now remember your promise."

Regina chuckled as she shook her head at her spunky child. Of course, he would hold her to that now. "Of course, you'd never let me forget," she teased playfully sticking her tongue out at him.

Hazel eyes sparkled with mischievous glee as his plan fell together. Henry turned to the pretty lady as though the thought had just occurred to him, "Hey, I get a Mohawk for making an A on my report. You mind warming up the game for me while mom puts my hair up?"

The question was less of an invitation and more of an instruction Emma realized as the willful child unceremoniously settled a guitar controller around her shoulders.

"Thanks," the little voice stated as twinkling eyes disappeared over the blonde's shoulders.

The young mother's chest shook with restrained laughter as she welcomed her child with open arms. "Get my tools," she instructed with a slight playful swat on the backside. The giggles that the familiar gesture produced erupted a dazzling smile on dark features.

Henry quickly returned with a comb, hairspray and a hairdryer. The three sat in unspoken joy and comfort as Regina sprayed her son's hair up. The familiar ritual was further deepened by the occasional guitar riff perfected by her blonde nymph.

Henry was delighted that his mom couldn't seem to take her eyes off of the lady with the sweet smile who did actually play the game pretty well. His little heart swelled at the thought that this art woman would be good for them both. He could play games with her and her and mom could do mushy grown-up stuff. It was perfect.

Emma couldn't pry the smile from her face if she wanted to. Not only was Regina single, it seemed, but her kid was pretty cute and seemed to like her. A rebellious corner of a hopeful heart glowed to think of being there for the kid and bonding over video games or how awesome his mom is. Sea green eyes cast a guilty hopeful glance over her shoulder on a familiar riff she didn't need to look at. The radiant expression on cinnamon features melted the young woman to absolute unabashed mush.

It wasn't long before the Mohawk was complete. As soon as it was Henry moved immediately into phase two. "Hey, art lady," he addressed their guest forwardly.

Emma tossed the cute kid a smile as she whammy barred the last notes of the song she was finishing. "It's Emma," she chuckled to strains of the drawn-out note.

Henry couldn't resist laughing at how rock star the pose was as the blonde introduced herself. "I'm Henry," he offered along with his hand.

"Nice to meet you, Henry," she replied in a friendly tone as she shook the offered hand.

"Now that I have my hair up, it's my turn to be a rock star," he informed her holding out his hands expectantly. Of course, Emma politely handed the guitar controller over. And thus phase two began. This was the time in which the calculating child took back control of the game forcing the adults to spend time together. It was a fairly brilliant strategy that he would have to brag to Ruby about later.

With a sigh of relief to be out of the spotlight, so to speak, Emma settled next to her hostess once more. "So that's the other occupant," a teasing smile prodded. A coy grin and slow nod were her only response. "I can see why you keep strangers away from that side. I'd hate to see that one upset," the blonde stated with a playful imitation of intimidation.

Regina chuckled appreciating the territorial respect. "Yeah, if you think I'm a lot to deal with you haven't seen anything yet," the dark beauty playfully warned. It was best to establish her priorities right off the bat. Emma had to understand that Henry came first.

A half smile curved pink lips. The young mother's protection of the adorable boy only made Emma respect her more. There was so much more to learn and discover about the mysterious beauty before her and the artist was eager to explore. "Yeah but, I think I can handle it," the fit woman confidently stated.

"Is that right," a curious smirk inquired. So far the angelic beauty had shown courage, grace, and respect around Regina's child. These were all good strong signs. If Emma could continue to act appropriately in front of Henry maybe there was something promising here after all. The blonde's confident nod only further broadened a dazzling smile. The gesture fell when warm brown eyes fell on the clock. "Oh we took too long on your hair this time, little man," Regina announced leaping from the bed. "I better get on dinner before it gets too late." The statement accompanied the brunette's progress into the kitchenette area.

The air immediately felt cooler with the absence of the sultry beauty as though she carried the warmth of the sun with her. "Wait," Emma called out without thought as she stood in protest. This earned two pairs of dark curious eyes casting her way. Anxiety knotted her gut at the tension. Hoping like hell that she wasn't overstepping her boundaries the blonde offered kindly, "Well, since it's my first time hanging out with you guys and in honor of Henry's A, I think you should let me get dinner."

A small dark brow quirked wondering where this was going.

Graceful hands settled on full hips cocked in a sassy fashion as Regina demanded to know, "And just what's your idea, big spender?"

Hazel eyes widened darting between his mother and this new interest in rapt attention.

"Pizza?" Angelic features twisted in a curious anxious expression eager for some sign of acceptance or rejection.

"No one delivers to the island," Regina bit back in doubt of the offer.

Henry gazed back at the blonde like a cat watching a tennis match awaiting the next serve.

A slow crooked grin curved apple cheeks as Emma smugly informed the beauty, "I told you, I'm a local girl. I have connections."

Raven brows rose in silent amusement. "Oh is that right?" A coy grin pursed wine-dark lips as she awaited a response to her challenge.

"Yeah," Emma continued as she slowly closed the distance with confident strides. "Just let me handle it, no muss, no fuss, no dishes. I'll even clean up," the alluring blonde invited temptingly.

As though sensing his mom wavering and the possibility of the blonde staying growing Henry lent his voice. Rushing over he encouraged the idea pleading from his knees as though pizza were the most amazing thing in the world, "Oh please, mom!"

Regina cast a glance down at her ankles at her son. However, her attention was quickly stolen by a playfully pouting blonde repeating the sentiment. In obstinate struggle, the brunette looked up and away from the pleading faces to avoid laughing. As though sensing the waver in the twitch of her lips Emma joined Henry at Regina's feet in a chorus of...

"Please, mom.

Please, mom.

Please, mom.

Please, mom. "

"Alright, alright," Regina relented giggling with hands in the air. "Work your magic," she invited the blonde with a wave of her hand.

"Yes!" Henry shouted leaping into the air and punching it. As he came down the exuberant child met Emma's extended hand with a thunderous high five.

"Alright kid, good job," the ecstatic blonde complimented the young man. Emma's heart warmed at the shared gesture. It felt nice to be welcomed into a family even if nothing came of it. But the look that met hers in warm brown eyes spoke volumes of promise and reservation. The creative young woman made a mental note to proceed carefully as she placed the call.

An overactive mind whirled through the multitude of possibilities unfolding before her as the young mother watched her child return to his games and her potential lover set about providing for them. Even as the troubled woman recognized the gesture as nurturing and relationship building, a frightened defensive voice argued that she should be cautious what liberties she allows this new influence.

To her credit, Emma kept her word. With but one phone call all of their pizza wishes were answered. The blonde made everything seem effortless. Not once did she comment on the expense or imply that anything was required in return beyond enjoying the spontaneous feast. When they had eaten their fill and Henry lay on the floor stroking his distended belly Regina reminded him that it would be his bedtime soon.

"Come on, little man. Time to clean up," she informed him patting his leg.

"Ooooh, I'm so full. I can't stand up," Henry groused.

"Then take a bath, but you're not sleeping in that hair again," the young mother set a clear boundary.

"Okay," he agreed slowly rising to his feet.

"You get your clothes together and I'll come to check on you after I walk Emma out," Regina informed him in no uncertain terms.

Too exhausted to argue the young boy grumbled, "Okay." Without invitation or preamble little arms sleepily wrapped around a slim waist.

Emma was surprised by the gesture, but after a brief initial flinch the smiling blonde melted into the embrace returning the hug.

"Goodnight, Emma. Thanks for coming by and rocking out and for pizza and helping my mom," Henry exhaustedly listed his appreciation.

"My pleasure, kid. Anytime," Emma glowed giving the boy's back one last comforting stroke before he walked away obediently.

Regina watched the interchange struggling desperately to keep her heart from bursting at the seams. In order to keep from making a sentimental fool of herself, the composed brunette turned to organize the pizza remains. Her progress was halted by warm, gentle hands just as the bathroom door closed with a certain finality.

"Here, let me get that," Emma offered trying to contain the spark of connection that raced up her arms. "I promised after all," a charming smile informed as the gallant woman took the refuse off of the beautiful creature's hands.

With lips tugged to the side Regina pensively took in the young woman before her. The young mother followed alongside her companion on a quick trip to the dumpster. After all, it was the least that she could do. "So, you keep your word, you're great with kids, you seem to like to spoil me rotten. What's the catch," the sultry beauty remarked with playful skepticism.

After tossing the pizza boxes in the bin Emma turned a jokingly hesitant confession at the brunette, "Well, I am a raging pothead."

A glowing brown gaze radiated off to the side catching sight of an endearing smile. In a coy attempt to weakly fight those endearing charms a full hip collided with a slim one. The laughter that echoed from the blonde as she stumbled a moment from the path only broadened Regina's smile. The young mother took a moment to pause at the threshold with a pensive expression.

A halting hand paused the eager blonde's progress. "Alright, hot stuff." The expression of joy that met the admonition elicited a chuckle from the brunette trying so hard to be stern. "We have to get a few things settled."

Emma pursed her lips in though a moment before tucking her hands to her sides in an open expression inviting, "Alright."

A warning finger rose accompanied by a serious but not angry expression. "First off, never use my kid against me again, even in fun," Regina stated with no lack of certainty.

The young blonde woman nodded her agreement with a penitent expression. "Fair enough," an even voice admitted.

Pleased at the acceptance a half grin quirked coy lips as a sultry voice informed her intended, "And if you ever expect to get past 'shotguns', don't ever call me mom again."

Emma brightened her body instinctively leaning closer at the backward invitation. "I think I can manage that," the eager artist concurred. Sea green eyes dipped to cling to those plush lips she had come so close to sampling, so close and yet so far. Willfully dragging her gaze back to hypnotic brown pools a hitched voice sought clarity, "So no more shotguns?"

Even as Regina's head tilted in silent invitation of the beautiful blonde's slow progress a dark head shook slowly acknowledging those words.

A pink tongue darted out to caress speech from now glossy lips before whispering in a throaty voice, "No more excuses."

Emma's lips were so close that Regina could flick her tongue to taunt them nearer. Instead, the sultry beauty replied in an equally lustful tone, "No more excuses." It was now or never. The spirited dancer needed to know that the angelic beauty had the courage to stand for what she desired.

Every last voice that had screamed caution and restraint had been obliterated by the events of the evening. With the speed of thought, all self-control was abandoned as Emma fell into Regina's waiting lips. They were softer than the eager blonde remembered. Feeling them pressed so close dancing ardently with her own was a dizzying sensation.

Breath was a hated memory not missed as the stunning blonde delved the depths of her mouth. Regina moaned as her tongue dominated the innocent beauty's drawing her deeper under her spell. Graceful steps lured the invigorating beauty further into the room until the bed met the back of tan legs.

All logic or awareness of their surroundings was completely abandoned as Emma followed the dark beauty into the bed. Wrapped in a world of Regina hungry hands flowed over the curves that had haunted every waking and sleeping moment since seeing the sultry vixen.

Regina moaned into the kiss writhing wantonly under warm, firm hands. Heat raced up her neck as a long-neglected body awoke fiercely. Insistent hands flowed over a nearly bare back to slip brazenly beneath those little pale shorts.

Emma groaned at the tension brewing so forcefully below from the electric hands kneading her ass. Breaking the kiss with a gasp the glowing blonde gulped air as hungry hands rose almost timidly beneath a fishnet top. Aquamarine eyes searched dark brown pools as bold thumbs slid just beneath the edge of a black bikini top to trace the under curve of very responsive breasts.

Regina's back straightened like a rod as aching nipples strained against the material for attention. Well manicured nails barely had a chance to dig their appreciation into deliciously firm biceps before the jiggle of a door handle shattered both of their focus.

Emma's instant and immediate reaction was to turn to the side blocking Regina's body from the view of the quickly opening bathroom door. The appreciative smile from the dark beauty as Regina quickly adjusted herself warmed a swelled heart. Once settled the two quickly separated to sit as though nothing had happened.

As Henry emerged he noticed through rubbing the towel against his still wet hair that the adults seemed to sit up rather quickly. Curious hazel eyes rounded to stand in front of them drinking in their expressions. "Were you guys kissing," the bright boy asked.

Emma looked to Regina for some sign of what to say. The young mother paused in the hot seat debating on what to tell her son. She had promised not to lie or keep things from him but at the same time, everything was so new with the young artist that she didn't want to risk him becoming overly attached just yet.

In that pause, the hopeful young man offered, "Because I could go back to the bath. Make a bunch of noise."

Regina chuckled at her sweet son shaking her head. Henry never volunteered for showers. Baths were usually more of a compromise than a treat.

As much as Emma wanted to let Regina handle the situation in her own way, the more she started at those parted pausing lips the more she wanted to taste them again. The bold artist broke through the tense moment with an 'impartial opinion.' "Actually, little man, I think you missed a spot."

Hazel eyes popped as he turned towards the blonde with hope. Sensing an ally Henry rushed over to Emma asking, "Oh yeah?"

With a smirk, the charming artist pointed behind her own ear indicating, "Yep, right…"

With a sarcastic expression so similar to his mother's Henry leveled a harsh gaze on the blonde demanding, "Don't do the quarter thing. It's beneath us both."

Regina couldn't resist giggling at the way her son handled the blonde clearly trying to win him over.

Emma chuckled at the feisty display. "I would never," the blonde assured him with one hand pressed to her chest. The other hand slipped briefly into her sock in a gesture that was beneath everyone's notice. "But you really have…" A pinched searching expression kept everyone's attention up high as the hand rose up behind the boy's ear. Withdrawing digits from behind it expressive fingers rubbed together letting the gathered bit of sand fall free. "See, you missed a spot."

Henry brightened at the clever twist on the old gag. "Thanks, Emma," he squealed before racing back into the bathroom and slamming the door behind himself.

Even as the lock flipped on the handle Regina chuckled at the scheming pair. A dark gaze dancing with mirth settled on the charming blonde as she informed the beauty, "You know that will only buy us a few more minutes."

With the boy safely out of earshot, the earnest artist shamelessly confessed, "I don't care how far I get. I'm not done kissing you yet." No sooner had the words left her lips than they stayed true to them.

If the heart leaping into her throat didn't steal Regina's air then those incredibly smooth, sweet lips certainly did. The feeling of firm fingers combing through her hair seemed to almost involuntarily lower the dark beauty back to the bed. Laying on her side the sultry dancer curled a leg around a tight form as she returned the kiss with her whole body.

For a luxuriant moment, the two floated in blissful sensation becoming willfully lost in the wonder of each other. A simple kiss had never been so intricate, patient or driven yet withholding a flood of deeper desires. Regina had never experienced anything like this devoted unrushed seduction. The experienced vixen's cheeks pinkened like a schoolgirl's at the thought that she might mean more to the gorgeous artist.

Just then a handle twisted back and forth several times in warning. Both women leisurely chuckled out of the embrace as a small voice called out.

"I'm just drying off now. I'll be out soon," Henry shouted politely.

Emma's head dipped into the curve of Regina's neck as firm shoulders shook in silent laughter. The sweet stroke along golden tresses both soothed and aroused the artist. Aquamarine pools sparkled into chocolate mirrors with a smile. "I guess that's my cue," the fit blonde admitted temporary defeat.

"Yeah," Regina agreed with a regretful stroke of apple cheeks. Even as the humble blonde's body tormented hungry eyes in their slow lithe rise from the soft inviting surface a gallant hand was stretched the dancer's way. The dark beauty accepted it rising with a bit of a pout as she escorted Emma to the door.

"Alright kid, it was great meeting you. We'll have to hang again soon," the warm-hearted artist called out to the still closed door.

"Bye, Emma," a cheery voice called out.

Regina chuckled at the adorableness of the exchange. The simple joys brought some peace to the ruffled beauty. Sultry brown eyes gazed up from beneath thick lashes tugging the blonde closer with an exaggerated pout. "As much as I want you to stay," the aroused vixen confessed open-endedly.

Emma could not resist the gravity of Regina's charms if she'd tried. And she couldn't imagine one reason why she should. A gentle smile drifted closer to melt the pout from plush lips in slow adoration. "Another time," a soft lover's whisper promised against freshly sampled lips.

"I'm gonna hold you to that," the sultry brunette announced as she made up her mind. Whatever the risks presented by letting Emma into her life were relatively small, especially when weighed against all the potential benefits. It was more than a little scary to let someone in, but the more she trusted the seemingly dependable blonde the safer she felt doing so.


Notes: *" Emma cornered the bowl like a pro leaving plenty of green for her hostess." –For those of you who are unaware of certain stoner cultures and etiquette allow me to inform you… the "green" is, of course, a fresh unsinged patch of marijuana, as in not previously lit. "cornering the bowl" is the polite practice of having your flame strike the surface of the bowl at an angle in order to leave as much opportunity for a fresh green hit for your companions as possible. A bowl like a pie can be sliced into several pieces this way for the enjoyment of all.

*"Maintaining" not just a reference to keeping one's mellow vibe or frame of mind, also a direct reference to the stoner brother from the movie Dick with Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams. I highly (hehe couldn't help it) recommend it both as stoner reference and to giggle at accidentally toking up the president, just sayin' ;)

*Yes Virginia, there is a Ren Faire circuit aka groups of people who travel from one Renaissance Faire to another not unlike joining the circus lol

If you didn't know before, you're welcome. If you did and you didn't need this you can tell me that too. Feedback in the comments tells me so :D