"Come on," Emma whines. "All these trees look the same to me."
"You promised to come hiking with me," Ruby says, hands on her hips. Which are covered by her very short khaki shorts, which give way to those killer legs that have been distracting Emma all goddamned morning. "This is hiking," Ruby points out, doubling back to take Emma's hand.
"I thought you meant, like, walk for half an hour, maybe?" Emma says, reaching for her water bottle. "If I'd know we were gonna climb Everest I would have brought better snacks. And maybe morphine."
"Not feeling very fit, Sheriff?" Ruby teases, smacking Emma's ass for emphasis. "I must not have been giving you enough of a workout."
"Oh, you did," Emma says, grinning widely as she loops an arm around Ruby's waist and pulls her in for a kiss. "Mmm, muddy and sweaty. Just how I like my women," Emma adds, only rolling her eyes a little.
"We're nearly there," Ruby says, almost dragging Emma the rest of the way. "Just over this ridge."
"You said that last night," Emma mutters, trying to pick up the pace a little. She soon stops her grumbling when she sees the gorgeous clearing Ruby has led them to, almost like… well, something out of a fairytale. The lake is as still as glass, and Emma finds herself itching to shed her clothes and dive right in. She hopes that's on the agenda.
"Oh, go on," Ruby sighs, leaning in to kiss Emma's cheek. "I know what you're like about water."
"You gonna join me?" Emma asks, dropping her backpack on the ground and kicking off her sneakers. "It's hotter than hell out here."
"I'm going to set things up," Ruby says, shrugging. "But by all means, enjoy yourself."
"Okay, that made you sound like Regina," Emma warns, shoving her shorts and underwear down before getting rid of her tanktop and sports bra. "It's private here, right?"
"As much as anywhere can be," Ruby says, fiddling with her own backpack. "Not many people in Storybrooke seem to explore the woods, except me."
"Great," Emma says, her arms folded across her chest in a nod to modesty. "I'm going in."
And she does, striding right in through the rushes by the lake side, gasping as the cold hits her shins and then her thighs, but the relief from the sun's heat makes it more refreshing than painful.
With tentative strokes, Emma strikes out across the smooth water, thrilled at the quiet splashes she's making as she goes. Nobody ever thought to give her lessons as such, but a few foster homes down the line she had tagged along to the public pool with the other kids and after a few flailing attempts she'd picked up enough from watching them all swim around her. She's never going to make the Olympic team, but she probably won't drown either.
Thoroughly cooled down, Emma makes her way back to the shore where she left Ruby, pleased to see that Ruby has stripped down to the bikini under her hiking clothes. Emma takes in the sight of the blanket, and the little picnic spread out on it, and understands why Ruby's backpack is so much bigger than her own.
"Wow," she says, lake water dripping off her as she walks over. "I should have brought a towel, huh?"
"You'll dry," Ruby says easily, tugging Emma's arm until she too is down on her knees on the blanket. "Or at least, some of you will."
"I like where this is going," Emma confesses, as Ruby tucks Emma's wet hair behind her ears. "This is a nice treat after all that hiking."
"That was more like a stroll, babe," Ruby says, and this time when she kisses Emma it's soft, not demanding at all. "But you know how cops are, always eating donuts at their desk."
"Hey," Emma says, lying down and pulling Ruby on top of her. "You don't have any complaints to make about my body, do you?"
"Hell no," Ruby says, completely sincere. "Although I should probably check it thoroughly. I'd feel bad if I missed something."
"Yeah?" Emma asks as Ruby begins running her tongue along the column of Emma's neck. "Well, don't let me stop you, Rubes."
"Fine," Ruby agrees, her hands already skimming over Emma's hips. "You taste like the lake now," she adds as her mouth trails down over Emma's chest, seeking out a waiting nipple and rubbing her lips ever so gently over it. Emma arches up into the touch, wanting more. Ruby can be the world's greatest tease when it suits her, and Emma's lost many an hour to quietly pleading for release and loving every second of it.
But there's no torment this time, because Ruby's fingers are already pressing between Emma's thighs, and Ruby starts to lick Emma's hardening nipple instead of just gently brushing it. Already turned on, Emma's impatient, and so she slips her own hand between Ruby's legs and works her fingers at the same quick pace.
"Not inside," Ruby murmurs. "Still sore from last night. In the good way," she adds at Emma's noise of concern. And then they're kissing again, rolling onto their sides as their hands keep rubbing, keeping flicking until in short, sharp gasps they're coming one right after the other.
"That was really nice," Emma says, stretching lazily. "I could get used to this nature stuff."
"Please, we were hardly getting down and dirty in the mud," Ruby says, patting the soft wool blanket. "Although maybe later."
"I could always tie you to a tree," Emma suggests, stealing another tender kiss. "Have my wicked way with you like that."
Ruby stiffens for a moment, a strange expression crossing her face. Concerned, Emma reaches out to touch her cheek.
"You okay?" she asks.
"Fine," Ruby says, shaking her head. "I just had the weirdest thought, but it's nothing, seriously."
"Well, if you're sure," Emma says, still watching her carefully. "What's for lunch, Rubes? I'm starving."
Ruby laughs and reaches for the carefully packed Tupperware. "Wait and see, Ems. Wait and see."