"I told you, you have magic."

Upon hearing an unexpected voice behind her, Emma Swan froze in the process of washing up her dinner dishes.

Well, silverware. Since Mary Margaret had been arrested, the quasi-reluctant Sheriff had been living on take out, reverting to her pre-Storybrook ways.

Slowly, she turned, regarding the man who was leaning against the far wall. His head was lowered slightly, so that he was peering at her through the thick fringe of his eyelashes.

"Jefferson," she greeted her one-time captor/hat obsessed delusional guy, cocking her head to the side, "How did you get in here?"

Though he wasn't making any threatening or aggressive moves, their history made Emma wish her gun was still at her hip instead of tucked away in a drawer.

As though reading her mind, Jefferson smiled at her, a warm, genuine expression that she could admit made something inside her letter. Pushing away from the wall, he took two steps before crouching beside something she had noticed due to his presence.

A hat.

The hat he'd kidnapped her to make, the one he insisted would possess the magic to take him home.

The hat she'd picked up from amongst the shards of glass that littered the driveway after Mary Margaret had knocked him out the window (in self-defense!). For some reason, she'd been unable to bring yourself to dispose of it and had taken it home with her. Until now, it had been sitting harmlessly on a shelf.

"How do you think?" he asked, smiling coyly, touching a reverent finger to the hat brim.

Wetting her lips, she followed the path of his finger across the satin as she murmured, "Well, obviously you broke in. It's happened before."

He tsked her. "No, no, no. You know where I came from. You believe, or did, for at least a moment. That's why it didn't work at first. You just thought me crazy until you saw…."

He gestured vaguely to his scarf covered neck and Emma couldn't help but remember the gnarled scar.

"You are crazy," she told him, but put no venom into the accusation.

Jefferson chuckled. "Only a little," he said lightly, then winked at her. "Stand back."

With that, he grasped the hat and, with a practiced flick of his wrists, sent it twirling. He darted back to the wall while Emma remained in the kitchen area, wondering how long they were going to play….

Oh, shit.

Originating from the hat, a whirling dervish opened in the floor. It was beautiful in a way and she felt her hair fluttering. Feeling drawn to it, she took a step forward….

"No!" Jefferson yelped, scurrying along the edge of the room until he reached her side and placed a restraining hand on her arm. "If you get too close it will pull you in."

"How is this possible?" she wondered aloud, so shocked she didn't try to put any distance between them.

"Magic," he replied, thumb brushing the smooth, soft skin at the crook of her elbow. "Your magic."

The last two words were breathed practically against her ear as the whirlpool collapsed into itself, leaving a wobbling hat in its wake.

Turning to face him, Emma asked, "That actually happened, didn't it?"

She wobbled a bit herself, prompting him to grip her tighter and steer them over to the couch. When they were settled there, he answered, "Unless you think crazy is contagious, yes, it did."

This changed…everything. "Henry's book!" she gasped, lurching forward to snatch it up from the coffee table. "So you're really the Mad Hatter?"

He pursed his lips. "My name is Jefferson…but yes, I am the Hatter."

"Your daughter…."

He shook his head sadly. "As I said before, I would never do anything to harm her. The curse that brought us here has affected our home as well. The forest is…frozen, I suppose would be the word. I can't bring Grace there until the curse is broken."

Emma took a breath as he peered at her, hope and sincerity shining in his eyes. Her hands tightened on the book. "You think I'm the one who break it. How?"

"I have no idea," he admitted, still close, so close. "But I'll help you figure it out."

Placing the storybook down on the table, Emma gazed at the cover. If she hadn't already begun to believe, tonight's revelations would've shocked her even more. As it was, she was almost amused that it was the actual crazy person who finally convinced her that Henry's tale of curses and other worlds was real.

"Smiling suits you," Jefferson said, brushing lock of her hair back behind her ear, fingers stroking along her jaw line.

She leaned into his touch without thinking and met his gaze. Jefferson's eyes were soft (bedroom eyes) and her heart seemed to skip a beat when his lips parted slightly, revealing a glimpse of even white teeth and the pink tip of his tongue.

Not breaking eye contact, Emma reached up and touched her fingers to the neatly wrapped scarf guarding his throat. Silently, she asked for permission and, though she could feel his heart rate jump, he nodded almost imperceptibly.

Gently, she unwound the scarf, revealing the scar he kept so carefully hidden. Considering what it implied, she thought it had healed well. The cut was clean and thin, of reddened, a regular line of skin transacting the slender column of his throat.

His Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed and Emma lifted a finger to touch the scar. In contrast to the lightly stubbled skin higher on his neck, the scar was oddly smooth. His breath seemed to catch as Emma let her fingers slide around the nape of his neck and bury themselves in his hair while her some continued to caress the scar.

It was impossible to say who leaned toward whom, closing the small gap between them, maybe they both did. Their mouths met, a barely there brush of lips, enough for her to register the softness and warmth of his mouth. She knew she should pull away, but when she felt him tilt his head, letting his parted lips gently encase hers, that thought quickly fled.

A little moan escaped her when he pulled away, not going far, simply resting his brow against hers, puffs of cinnamon scented breath hitting her lips. She opened her eyes slightly to see what was going on, but as their eyes met, she was lost, hands roving and lips crashing together once again. It wasn't a soft kiss, but one full of hunger, passion and need. She could feel the rumble of a moan in Jefferson's chest as she moved her lips against his, pressing herself closer, shifting on the tiny couch for better access.

One of his hands fisted in her hair, and something warm and wet nudged her bottom lip. Emma opened up to him without thought, giving in to the hunger they both clearly felt. His hands became braver with every brush of their tongues, gliding down her back to dip beneath the waistband of her jeans. All her senses seemed to be on overdrive and the fire that had been burning through her veins kept pushing for more. She wanted more.

Emma kissed him harder, pushing him back into the cushions as she moved to straddle his lap. His hands moved to grip her waist and he let out a stuttering groan when she rolled her hips, experimentally pressing down on him. Even through the layers of their jeans, she could feel his arousal, straining up towards her and that knowledge brought a flush to her cheeks.

Gathering her resolve, she pulled her lips from his. "Jefferson," she said, voice soft, barely above a whisper. "It's been a long day. Bed. Now."

"I can do that," he replied, and she couldn't resist closing her lips fleetingly on his bottom lip. It was just there, so close, and she hadn't even had to move, just clasp her own lips around it and give the tiniest bit of suction.

He responded with a tiny moan that seemed to cause a significant number of Emma's higher brain functions to go off line. Reaching up with one hand, he buried his fingers in her hair and tilted her head to the side, fusing their mouths together. His tongue slid into her mouth, tasting her, ghosting over hers, flicking the roof of her mouth. She met his actions with her own, stroking and tangling and teasing. He groaned and, sliding his hand from her hip around to the small of her back, pulled her against him, feeling her breasts press against his chest, her thighs parted around him, bringing certain portions of their anatomy into closer contact.

He held her like that for a long moment, and she enjoyed the feel of him breathing under her hands, hearing his heartbeat, strong and steady. Her fingers curled into his shirt, clutching the fabric and she shifted her head a little, kissing the side of his throat.

She heard his sharply indrawn breath, and then his arms tightened around her, startling her as he surged to his feet. She kissed Jefferson's throat again, which prompted him to lower his head and kiss her in return. He was kissing her like a man who really meant it, tongue hot and insistent, hands on her back, holding her close. His body felt solid and warm against hers and she shifted her weight, stance widening slightly and he slid his muscled thigh right between hers. She could feel the proof of his desire, hard and hot, against her hip. She moved against him urgently, and a low groan rumbled out of him.

Emma moaned with need and frustration and she thrust her hands up to short, dark hair, clutching him, kissing him harder. She felt surrounded by him, absorbed in his hot, eager mouth, his hungrily roaming hands and the distinct bulge pressing against her hip. She rubbed against his hard thigh, and he moaned again. His hands slipped down to her hips, his fingers curling into her ass, pulling her against him a little harder.

The friction of his thigh between hers felt good, and something deep inside her began to burn out of control. She whimpered, very softly, and he tightened his hands on her bottom, easily lifting her to allow her to wrap her legs around his waist. He pulled back fractionally from her mouth and murmured, "Bedroom?"

"First door on the left," she murmured, kissing from his throat to jaw to ear, and, as he carried her toward her bedroom, his lips were all over her face and throat, covering her in soft, warm, intense kisses that clearly conveyed how much he wanted her. His hands roamed over her hips, thighs and ass, caressing and squeezing, though he stumbled a bit when she rocked her pelvis into his.

She laughed slightly at this reaction, and, against her neck, she felt him smile in return. "Ha ha," he gave a good natured mumble, then she felt a jostle as his knees bumped into the side of her bed. His hands found firm purchase on her hips and pulled, causing her legs to release him.

Again, laughter bubbled up as he dropped her the short distance to the bed and she bounced slightly, allowing herself to drop back onto her elbows and look up at him.

He stood between her knees, dark pants and brocade shirt and vest a contrast to his pale skin and eyes. For a moment, he simply gazed down at her without saying a word, just smiling.

Growing impatient, Emma said, "Well? You just gonna stand there all night?"

That nice smile broadened and, in a quick motion, he was on top of her, weight supported on his forearms and body pressing hers down onto the mattress. Emma reached her hands around his sides and flattened her palms over his shoulder blades, able to feel heat, hard muscle and scarring through the thin cotton. Warmth swirled through her, melting her bones and her muscles, heating her skin, making her nerve endings spark. He kissed her again, tongue stroking hers, teasing and caressing, and she moaned, tightening her own hold on him.

She was caught up in their oral interaction that she jumped when questing fingers slid against her stomach, under her shirt and one rough digit stroked over her naval. "Jefferson," she breathed, somewhere between a gasp and a laugh and he chuckled.

"Has anyone ever told you that you have the cutest little belly button?" he asked, sliding down her body and using both hands to push her shirt up and bunch it below her breasts.

"Can't say they have," she replied, craning her neck up to look at him, but relaxing as he placed soft, warm kisses on the exposed skin of her stomach. It didn't seem like a particularly mind blowing gesture, but she allowed her eyes to close as tingles coursed through her body. Almost of their own volition, her hands shot up and tried to find purchase in his short hair. She breathed in, focusing on the scent of him, a scent that was intoxicating and unlike anything she'd ever experienced.

But whatever he was doing with his lips and tongue scrambled her focus in the best way. After an indeterminate amount of time, she felt his hands on her shirt again, and her urged, "Lift up."

She raised her shoulders up off of the bed and, together, they managed to pull her top up and over her head, tossing it somewhere to the side. His mouth brushed over the swell of her breast that rose above her bra, plain white cotton and she wished she'd chosen something a bit sexier that morning, but Jefferson didn't seem to mind. She shivered and said, "That's nice."

He lifted his head and grinned at her, a grin that somehow managed to be self-deprecating and arrogant all at once. She smiled back and gently kneaded the back of his head, encouraging him to return to his ministrations.

Jefferson's mouth caressed her breast, just above the edge of her bra, and warmth filled her veins. She moaned, squirming a little beneath him, and her fingers dug more deeply into his hair. His nimble hands reached underneath her, fumbling at the clasp. It didn't take long for him to get the clasp undone, and the bra fell open, allowing her to shrug it down her arms and send it the way of her shirt. She heard his sharply indrawn breath.

"Emma," he whispered. "You're beautiful."

She flushed, then felt silly that it was his words that caused the reaction, not the fact that she was lying underneath him, bare from the waist up.

Jefferson lowered his head and brushed a kiss over her nipple. Pleasure rushed through her veins, and she heard Jefferson's laughter, muffled since his mouth was still against her breast. His lips parted, warm and soft, and he began tonguing her nipple, very gently. A sudden rush of flame surged through her, and heat pooled between her legs.

"Yes," she moaned, hardly recognizing the sound of her own voice. "Yes, Jefferson."

Encouraged by her response, he drew her nipple between his lips and applied gentle suction. The heat between her thighs suddenly flared, and she quivered. She leaned her head back, closed her eyes, and moaned. It felt wonderful.

As he continued, his hand slipped down her abdomen, down over her trousers, and then his fingers delved right between her thighs. Her legs were already parted around his hips and he began to stroke her. Despite the denim in the way, it felt incredible.

"Ahhhhhh..." Her body arched, and she clutched at him, one hand pulling his mouth closer to her breast, the other twisting in his shirt.

"You're going to come for me," he whispered hotly against her breast. "You're going to come really, really hard."

Hearing Jefferson say that made her quiver harder. Her fingers dug into his shoulder. She felt the softness of cotton beneath her hand, and realized he was still entirely clothed, right down to the boots. They needed to do something about that.

His hand felt so good there, exactly what she needed, and yet...

"Off," she muttered, tugging awkwardly at his vest. The need to feel his skin against hers was growing more powerful.

"Not yet." His voice was barely more than a whisper of liquid sex. He moved away from her breast, up her body and spoke in her ear, his hands going to work on the button of her pants. "You first, Emma."

He wrestled with her boots, then eased her jeans off and tossed them aside. Now there was nothing between them but a flimsy barrier of cotton and his hand moved against her panties (also plain white cotton, but hey at least they matched her bra), gentle but relentless.

She shuddered violently, mind was filled with Jefferson, the scent of his skin, the low, sexy growl of his voice, the feel of his hand between her legs, stroking her...

Her body arched, hard, feeling like an electric current was running through her and she gave a helpless cry.

"That's it," he whispered. "Come for me, Emma."

Her muscles clenched, deep inside, and she felt little ripples of pleasure coursing through her veins. She was so close, so close...

Ring! Ring!

The sound of her phone ringing wrenched Emma from dreamland at the worst possible moment. She gasped, eyes roaming around her empty bedroom to land on the hat, sitting so innocently on the shelf.

"Oh yeah, this is healthy," she mumbled to herself, running a hand over his face and reaching for the phone. "Sheriff Swan."

Maybe work would take her mind off her… interesting dream.


Comments, pretty please?