"How far do you want me to go?" Sidney asks, his voice crystal clear in Regina's ear. She covers the phone with her hand for a moment, considering. She thinks about the clock moving, about James finally waking from his coma, and mostly she thinks about the way Henry looks at her. A child so young shouldn't understand hate, shouldn't be encouraged to turn on the woman who's done everything to keep him safe, to make him happy.
Emma Swan is forcing Regina to fail, over and over again. There's no question now that Regina will have to do whatever it takes to secure custody, to dissuade any half-baked challenges before they arise.
"As far as it takes," she instructs her most loyal servant. "Make sure you get the faces, nice and clear."
She hears the whirr of Sidney's camera as she hangs up.
Regina tells herself she isn't worried when Sidney doesn't drop off the USB drive until the next morning. Usually she would chastise him for making her wait, but it's probably not wise to have anyone visiting the house after Henry's bedtime. There's no point in gathering dirt on Emma Swan if Regina is careless about her own appearance to the town at large.
"Anything good?" Regina asks as Sidney takes a seat on her office couch. He looks particularly proud of himself today, and Regina scowls as she remembers how creepy she found him even when trapped in a mirror.
"I think you'll be pleased," Sidney says, licking his lips in anticipation. "We could review them together, if you need prints..."
"No, thank you," Regina snaps, because suddenly it's absolutely imperative that she view these images in private.
"I'll let you know if I need hard copies." He doesn't take the hint when Regina returns to sit at her desk.
"I assume by now that you can see yourself out, Sidney?" she asks, taking temporary delight in the way his face falls. It's an old habit, but a satisfying one.
"I'll bring you more if, uh, anything else develops," Sidney says, fussing with his hat a few moments longer than is necessary. Regina raises her eyebrows and he finally takes the hint.
There are ten pressing matters waiting on her desk, Regina is well aware. A town gets a lot harder to run when time starts passing again after all. Knowing that, she holds the drive in her hand for a few extra seconds, before giving in to the temptation. If she's going to ruin Emma Swan, Regina wants to know exactly how.
It occurs to Regina, half a second too late, that she didn't actually think to ask Sidney about the identity of Emma's late-night liaison. Not that it matters, really, it's more a case of proving that Emma is promiscuous, unfit to be a mother in the terms that courts and their backdated morality like to judge by. Regina has always marvelled at the fact that, while this world is allegedly more advanced than the one she tore them all away from, they can be positively medieval in their attitudes here. So long as it serves her purposes though, Regina has no complaints.
She's expecting Graham (which, admittedly, provoked a pang of jealousy) or more likely Dr. Whale to be the quick and easy lay Emma picked up, but Regina actually gasps at the first image she comes across that reveals Ruby to be the one-night stand.
There's no denying the attraction between the two women, and Regina doesn't flick through with the disinterest she had been determined to hold on to. Instead she lingers, tilting her head as she examines each high-quality image. Emma is clearly the aggressor, which Regina is surprised to find she likes. Liking anything about Emma Swan is a new and unsettling experience, but Regina continues to scroll slowly through the images, almost completely ignoring Ruby as she goes.
No, Regina's focus is on the way that Emma's mouth charts a course down the neck, and sucks on the collarbone (both the shutter speed and the clarity of this camera's shots were worth every penny Regina 'borrowed' from the town's funds). She finds herself staring intently as clothing begins to disappear, always at the urging of Emma's strong hands, in capture after capture.
It's only when the phone rings that Regina is startled from looking at the screen, stunned to see that over half an hour has passed. She shakes her head, closing the image browser and snaps at the unfortunate idiot calling to interrupt her.
She has enough, and that's all that matters.
Emma Swan is having a very boring day, all told. It's been such a whirlwind since meeting Henry and being drawn into a war with Regina that she's barely had time to miss her own life. Now, sitting in Granny's diner and staring at the Want Ads that don't seem to actually want anything, Emma is jonesing for the noise and bustle of Boston, and the distraction of actually having a job to do.
Ruby drops off another hot chocolate, with a wink and no check. Emma knows it's probably silly to come back here after her one-night stand, but Ruby actually seems to get it, which is refreshing.
She's just swiping her finger through the whipped cream when Ruby returns, this time with a large manila envelope.
"Granny says this was just delivered for you," Ruby says, looking pretty intrigued. "Guess someone doesn't know you're moving in with Mary Margaret, huh?"
"Why would anyone be sending me mail here at all?" Emma wonders aloud, taking the envelope. "Thanks," she adds, effectively dismissing Ruby. Unexpected packages are always best opened in relative privacy.
Finding glossy photographs inside makes Emma's stomach sink even before she can pull them out to look. She cautiously edges them past the edge of the envelope and the first glance is enough to turn the sick feeling flip instantly to rage.
There's not even a moment's doubt over who would do this. Regina.
Emma is so angry that for a moment she can't breathe. Her hands clench at the thought of picking up a chainsaw again, of reducing that precious fucking apple tree to matches. Honestly, the thought of revving it in Regina's direction is pretty damn tempting for a moment, too.
She takes a deep breath and forces herself to focus. If she's going to deal with this, she has to set the playing field up right. No matter how tempting it is to storm right over to the Town Hall and throw down, Emma knows she has to be smarter about this. She takes a look at the pictures one more time, smirking just a little at how hot she and Ruby look together, before stuffing them hastily back into the envelope.
The plan comes together as she finishes her rapidly-cooling cocoa, and Emma runs through the variables over and over again. One way or another, she will have her revenge tonight.
The sun is setting when Emma bounds up the steps of Regina's porch, but before she can knock (loudly) on the white door, it opens to reveal Regina on her way out.
"Miss Swan," she sighs. "I have no time for your interruptions. I need to collect Henry from his therapist's appointment."
"Don't worry about that," Emma says, blocking Regina's path. "He's going to be staying at Mary Margaret's tonight"
"Excuse me?" Regina looks genuinely stunned, and Emma feels the first flush of victory.
"You heard me. So while Henry is safe and looked after, you and I are going to have a little chat," Emma says, backing Regina through the front door without needing to lay a hand on her. Emma knows she will, if it comes to it.
"Do I need to have you arrested again?" Regina threatens, but there's just a hint of panic in her expression. Seems Madam Mayor isn't used to the peasants revolting, and Emma is more than happy to capitalize on that.
"Go ahead," Emma says, with a practiced shrug. "Only I hear Graham is already out in the woods and will be for some time. Oh, and if he shows up here I can show him these..." She adds, pulling the envelope from inside her jacket.
"Your college transcripts?" Regina mocks.
"The illegally obtained pictures of me," Emma corrects, already certain that Regina is to blame and in no mood for games or denial. "Did you enjoy them, Madam Mayor? Only I noticed it took until this afternoon to send them to me. Busy morning of... studying them?"
Emma hadn't intended to use sex as a weapon tonight, not least because she's fairly sure that Regina isn't interested, but embarrassing the prissy, uptight bitch is definitely on the agenda. Until she sees the blush on Regina's cheeks and the quiet gasp of a point that hits too close to home.
Well, well, well. Isn't that interesting?
They're standing in the foyer now, the huge staircase curving up over their heads. Emma kicks out behind her, closing the front door. She can't help noticing Regina isn't running, isn't lashing out, but instead is letting Emma back her up against the wall.
"Show me," Regina says, bluffing. "What illegal activities has someone captured on film, hmm?"
Emma pulls the photos from the envelope, throwing them over her shoulder and letting them fall on the floor.
"You're really going to pretend you don't know?" Emma asks. "Well, let me show you."
She grabs Regina's hair, right at the base of her neck and pulls her away from the wall.
"Take a look, Madam Mayor," Emma spits. "Nothing illegal here."
"A court won't like it," Regina fires back, looking at the photos in spite of herself. "Let go of me."
"Nuh uh," Emma replies, nudging the back of Regina's knees hard with her foot. It's enough to make Regina stumble, fall forward on the polished wood floor. Emma doesn't let go of her hair as Regina lands hard on her knees. "Take a closer look, hmm? What's so bad about two attractive, single people hooking up?"
"Ask the judge who grants me the restraining order," Regina spits, trying to pull away from Emma's grip.
"Maybe he'll like what he sees," Emma teases, shoving Regina's face closer to the photos, closer to the floor. "I bet you do."
"Go to hell," Regina fires back. "What you do in your own time is none of my concern. But you will keep it away from my son."
"A woman who sleeps with other women can't raise a kid?" Emma asks, finally releasing her grip on Regina, watching her fall. "I think you should probably tell the rest of New England that."
"You will not-not-be raising Henry," Regina snaps, getting back to her feet. "And after this little assault..."
"Don't act like you weren't enjoying me having my hands on you," Emma teases, surprised by her own body's reaction that that statement. There's a kind of... jolt somewhere in her abdomen, a little tugging sensation behind her nipples. Oh sure, Regina's hot in that ice queen kind of way, but Emma's days of messing around with closet cases are way behind her.
"Get. Out," Regina shouts, and this time she's the one advancing on Emma. "And don't you ever come back here," she adds, grabbing the leather of Emma's jacket and all but dragging her back towards the door.
Emma, however, has more than enough experience of people trying to manhandle her, and so she fights back, on sheer instinct. It ends with Regina pinned against her front door, arms above her head, held at the wrist by Emma's hands.
"You won't get rid of me that easily," Emma hisses, her face millimeters from Regina's own. "And I said we need to talk."
She's expecting another torrent of abuse, or maybe just some garden-variety whining, but Emma is definitely not prepared for Regina's lips pressed hard against her own. It knocks the air from Emma's lungs, and she almost staggers backwards from the shock.
But that's probably what Regina was aiming for, and so Emma stands her ground.
"Careful, Regina," Emma warns. "Or I might think you want some of what Ruby had. And a fine, upstanding mother like you would never, right...?"
"I-" Regina starts to retort, but the protest dies on her tongue. Emma looks at her carefully, seeing dark eyes that can't hide the confusion, the trembling lower lip that just touched Emma's own.
"Oh, for fuck's sake," Emma sighs, before kissing Regina properly. Regina whimpers against her mouth, whole body tensing as Emma's lips caress hers, and she actually moans when Emma risks a cheeky swipe with her tongue.
"I'm not..." Regina trails off when Emma releases her. "I mean, I don't-"
"Clearly," Emma says, ever the smartass. "Want to take this somewhere more comfortable? And you'd better call off the paparazzi, too."
"There's no one...that is, there won't be anyone taking photos tonight," Regina says, some of her arrogance returning amidst all the fluster. Emma's still gripping Regina's wrists, and their bodies are still flush against one another. Emma can feel every breath Regina takes, and somehow doesn't want to run like hell.
"So where's the bedroom?" Emma asks, peeling away but still holding onto one of Regina's wrists, leading her through the hallway of her own home. "Or are you going to surprise me and say you've got some kind of dungeon in the basement?"
"Shut up," Regina groans, pulling Emma towards her as they approach the first step on the staircase. "I should not-" she punctuates her words by biting down on the pulse point on Emma's throat. "Be doing this."
"I'm pretty irresistible," Emma points out, all swagger and confidence now, because there's really not a lot that makes her feel as good as a hot woman falling all over her. Regina sucks hard, no doubt leaving an angry red mark in response.
"Again," Regina says, her lips smacking as she lets go of Emma's skin. "Shut up."
"Bedroom," Emma gasps as Regina squeezes her ass through tight denim. "Or I'm gonna do you right here on the stairs."
And somehow, in stumbling, groping steps, they make it up to the second floor. By that point Emma is down one jacket, one shirt, and Regina's skirt has landed on the fancy chandelier thing when Emma tossed it aside.
"Oh," Emma pants as Regina's short nails rake down Emma's back. "Should have known you'd have claws."
"You have no idea," Regina says, smirking, before unhooking Emma's bra and throwing it over the bannister. Emma's measured response is to grab two fistfuls of Regina's purple, silk blouse and yank-hard-until the buttons go flying off in all directions.
"That's better," Emma says, as Regina puts her hands on her hips in outrage.
"Miss Swan-" Regina barks, her chest heaving as she looks down at the damage to her clothing.
"Live a little," Emma replies, taking advantage of the now open blouse to get her hands on Regina's breasts. And what a nice handful each one makes, barely covered by plum-colored lace. "And take me to bed, would you?"
Regina looks like she's trying to summon the strength to say no, to kick Emma out into the darkening night while Regina gathers up her clothing and her sanity, but she can't seem to resist the gentle massage of Emma's hands.
"This way," she snaps, pulling away and marching down the hall. Emma scurries after her, grinning the whole time. It's pretty impressive that some inspired making out is enough to transform Emma's wishes from wanting to throttle Regina to wanting to make her come until she can't see straight.
Regina's bedroom isn't the insane Architectural Digest thing Emma was expecting, instead it's warm and pretty damn inviting; all soft whites and New England charm.
"Awwww, no sex swing?" Emma mocks, drawing an exasperated look from Regina. "It's okay, I'll improvise."
Which she does, in short order. Stepping up behind Regina, Emma pulls the ruined shirt from her shoulders and doesn't hesitate before dispatching the bra. She kisses the back of Regina's neck, open-mouthed and a little careless, enjoying the breathy moans that fall from her mouth. Emma stops only to unzip her boots and kick them off, her jeans quickly following. Her skimpy cotton shorts press against Regina's matching (of course) lace panties and Emma returns her hands to more enjoyable activities.
She rakes her nails over Regina's abdomen, smirking at the hiss it draws from the other woman. And that's when Emma catches sight of the scarf-one of those fancy silk things with the busy pattern that seems way too old lady for either of them-and it sparks an idea to life.
Snapping one of the little straps on Regina's garter belt makes her jump, but she's happy enough for Emma to push her down onto the mattress. Instead of getting right on top of her, Emma walks over to the dressing table and snags the scarf, even happier to discover it has some friends underneath. Seems the Mayor was indecisive about her wardrobe this morning, and Emma is going to reap the rewards.
"What do you think you're doing?" Regina asks, imperious even as she leans on her elbows dressed in nothing but a strip of purple lace. She starts to sit up as Emma gets on the mattress, on her knees, but Emma pushes her back down easily.
"Control freak like you," Emma starts to explain. "Seems to me you're probably just crying out for someone else to take charge." She runs the first of the silk scarves through her fingers, before reaching for Regina's wrist. "You need a safeword?"
Regina's eyes widen at that, and Emma wonders if she's pushing it too far.
"Satin," Regina blurts after a long, silent moment. She sighs, rotating her shoulders a little and Emma continues leaning over her to bind one wrist in silk and then the other before tying the other end of the scarf to the heavy headboard.
"Very nice," Emma confirms, kissing each of Regina's breasts in turn before straightening up again. "One more thing, though."
"Yes?" Regina snaps, but it comes out as more of a whine.
Emma raises the other scarf, the first one she saw and pulls it through each hand in turn.
"It also seems to me," Emma goes back into patient, explaining mode, which isn't easy with the insistent ache between her thighs. This is a test for her own self-restraint as much as Regina's. "That you've been looking at things you shouldn't. And maybe somebody needs to teach you a lesson about that."
"Oh, please," Regina scoffs, but Emma is on her again, slipping the cool silk over her eyes and tying the knot at the back of Regina's slightly raised head with deft fingers. "I didn't say you could-"
"Am I going to have to gag you, too?" Emma asks. "Because I bet there are plenty more fancy scarves where these came from."
Regina's mouth snaps shut, and the angry little pout just makes her look even sexier, tied up and awaiting Emma's touch.
Emma wants to drag it out, to leave Regina squirming and wanting and maybe, just maybe, having to ask nicely for once in her goddamn life; but she's hot and she's naked and Emma is only human, after all. She shimmies back across the mattress, parting Regina's thighs and placing herself between them.
"Ready?" Emma whispers, her finger tips skimming the lines of Regina's torso. Emma lifts her hands away, holding her breath and keeping completely still until Regina begins to twitch a little in anticipation.
"Well?" Regina snaps, after a long moment. It's clear she's pissed at having to give in, and Emma just smirks at that first little victory. In one swift movement, she brushes her fingers over Regina's left nipple, causing her to cry out softly.
Emma keeps her hands in motion, touching Regina randomly, without warning. Regina arches or twists towards the touch each time, her breathing becoming ragged as Emma gets more daring in where her fingers land. Before long, Emma can see that Regina has soaked through her panties, and that's as good a time as any to bend forward and run her tongue over the damp lace.
Regina actually squeals at that.
Seizing the moment, Emma tugs the underwear down Regina's legs before repeating the swipe of her tongue, only this time with no barrier. Regina tastes earthy, tastes good, and Emma's too greedy to restrict herself to one lick this time. Regina moans in varying frequencies as Emma circles her clit very softly and then with much more pressure.
"You're gorgeous," Emma admits as she begins to kiss her way up over Regina's stomach. "That's one of the things I hate most about you, you know? How gorgeous you are."
"Not like I can help it," Regina grumbles, her voice lighter every time another kiss lands.
"S'pose not," Emma concedes, before latching on to Regina's already-hard nipple. Sucking gently, Emma teases and flicks with just the tip of her tongue until Regina is arching almost completely off the bed, and that's when she bites down just hard enough to make her curse.
"Fuck!" Regina spits, but she makes no effort to pull away from Emma's mouth. "How did you know..."
"...that you like it a little rough?" Emma finishes. "This isn't my first rodeo. Let's just say you seem the type." She emphasizes her point by lavishing the same rough attention on Regina's other nipple, enjoying the way that Regina clutches at the sheets and cries out even louder. Emma's pretty sure she could get Regina off from this alone, but she has other plans.
Emma pulls away reluctantly, noting with a smile how Regina's hair is tousled all around her blindfold, how her face is flushed and she's licking her lips in anticipation. Emma did that to her. No matter what Ms Smartass Mayor tries from now on, Emma's always going to have this image to hold on to. It feels a lot like winning.
Which is why Emma crawls off the bed altogether, standing up and stretching while Regina goes slack-jawed in disbelief.
"You wouldn't!" Regina cries out. "Get back here!"
Emma says nothing, throwing down the gauntlet in silence. Regina's obviously a smart woman, she can work out what she needs to do next. Emma shuffles her bare feet on the luxurious carpet, taking the opportunity to shimmy out of her own (yup, soaked through) panties, letting them fall right on top of Regina's own.
"Please," Regina chokes out the word like it's the worst curse imaginable. "Please, come back."
"Say my name," Emma breathes, leaning in close to Regina's face once more.
"Please, Emma," Regina really struggles this time, but she forces the words out. Emma hesitates, wondering if there's a reason why her name is so difficult for Regina, before shrugging and deciding that's just another thing they'll probably never get around to discussing. But she kisses Regina as her reward, and Emma is generous with her tongue, licking and stroking with intent.
Impatient again, Emma gets back on the bed, kneeling between Regina's thighs once more. Emma runs a testing finger along Regina's slit, delighted to find that she's dripping wet now.
"Okay, Regina," Emma says, running one fingertip slowly around Regina's entrance. "I think you've been good enough." And then she slips that finger in, enjoying the contented sigh Regina forces out. "But I don't think one finger is going to get the job done, do you?"
Regina shakes her head, biting down on her lip as Emma adds a second finger. This time she curls them, grazing that rough patch of skin that makes Regina's hips buck up towards her.
"Need more?" Emma asks, keeping her voice playful as she rolls her wrist and plunges back in again, deeper this time, and definitely harder. Regina grunts her agreement, already beyond words it seems. Emma gathers three fingers together when she next pulls out, and Regina practically sobs when those three fingers thrust into her.
"You feel pretty good," Emma admits. "Nice and tight around my fingers, Regina." Emma leans forward, her free hand seeking out a nipple and twisting it. "But I don't think slow and gentle is going to do it for you, either, is it?"
Regina shakes her head again, and Emma takes her cue to start working her fingers hard and fast. Regina meets her with the movement of her hips, muttering curses under her breath as she gets closer. Emma watches the wanton display with something like pride, knowing that this isn't something Regina achieves easily.
From there it doesn't take much: the addition of a thumb pressed against Regina's clit, a few more sharp thrusts of Emma's fingers and suddenly the air is filled when the shuddering, shrieking noise of Regina's climax. Emma pauses for a few seconds once Regina's calm again, and then starts up all over again. This time Regina is quieter, but the gasps are deeper, her whole body trembles; when she comes a second time Emma feels her fingers getting soaked, and there's no wiping the grin off her face after that.
"Fuck," Regina mutters, when she regains her words. "Fuck."
Emma pulls her hand free with something approaching tenderness. She's careful in the way she presses against Regina's side, and only when Regina turns her face towards Emma's does she claim another kiss. Emma finishes by pulling the scarf away from Regina's eyes, laughing a little as Regina blinks furiously, adjusting to the light.
"Hey," Emma says, muffling the words by pressing a kiss against Regina's shoulder. "You okay?"
"Of course I'm okay," Regina snaps. "And if you untie me, I'll show you exactly how okay I am," she adds, a wicked smirk now in evidence. Not even a couple of orgasms can tamp down Regina's competitive instinct, it seems. Emma finds herself shivering in anticipation as she reaches to undo her slightly amateur knots.
"So," Emma asks as Regina rubs at her newly-freed wrists. "Just how far do you want to go?"
"Oh," Regina answers, rolling on top of Emma. "About as far as you can take, Miss Swan."