"I do hope you like apples," Regina adds as she hands over the tupperware. Her entire plan hinges on Emma accepting the pastry as a gesture of friendship, but if she suspects for even a second, Regina knows the last trace of her magic will end up thrown in a trashcan the minute Emma gets home.
That cannot be allowed to happen.
And it's working. The relieved smile, the way Emma turns to leave; Regina can practically taste her success. Soon she'll be rid (almost) permanently of the woman who's come to occupy her every waking moment, and her nightmares besides. The familiar surge of adrenalin that comes from a win is surging in her chest but then something—perhaps years of habit from cleaning up after Henry—makes Regina call out after Emma one more time.
"Miss Swan?" Regina wants to kick herself.
"Yes?" Emma sounds irritated now, having been called back twice.
"You got some flour on your…lovely…jacket," Regina points out. "Let me," she adds, moving in with the dishtowel and reaching for Emma's arm. "I thought I'd cleaned up, sorry."
Emma actually squirms at Regina's touch, even through the cheap pleather. "Uh, thanks," she says, her voice unusually deep. It's enough to make Regina linger a second or two longer than she should, another swipe of the towel when the flour is already gone.
"While we're um, you know," Emma continues. "You have some sugar on your face."
"Do I?" Regina touches her cheek in surprise. She was so careful, it's unlike her to get anything on her, even the apron is no more than a precaution.
"Not there," Emma sighs, as though she's being forced to stay against her will. As though even these extra moments in Regina's company are painful for her. "Here," she says, slamming the Tupperware down on the counter and extending her hand towards Regina's other cheek.
She can't help it; Regina actually gasps at the contact of Emma's thumb against her skin. After David's rejection, after long, lonely months without Graham as a plaything, Regina's become unaccustomed to another person's touch. She feels the previously unnoticed granules of sugar fall away under Emma's hand, and that's the moment when Regina makes her second mistake.
She looks at Emma.
Regina's expecting to see annoyance, or even boredom, but instead she sees something between lust and curiosity radiating back at her. Emma's eyes are heavy-lidded, her lips slightly parted as she stares at her own hand touching Regina. She's mesmerized, it seems, and Regina's starting to feel the same way.
But then Emma's thumb keeps stroking, and it's moving now. Instead of the smooth plane of Regina's cheek, it's moving over her jaw, pressing down on her chin for a moment until it sweeps carelessly over her bottom lip. The gasp that escapes Regina's mouth is unintentional, and for a moment she's concerned that she's broken the spell. She blinks—once, twice—but when Emma's hand finally drops away, it's replaced by her lips.
"Miss Swan," Regina protests weakly between kisses. "I did not invite you into my home to—" oh hell, what's another kiss going to hurt?
"Is this what's wrong with us?" Emma asks as she lets her mouth trail to the sensitive spot beneath Regina's ear, nudging her hair aside to get better access. "Is this what we've been missing this whole time?" Emma asks, before nipping at Regina's earlobe.
And Regina can't bring herself to answer because in this moment she is so painfully vulnerable that it makes her tremble. If she opens her mouth to speak she fears that the words to undo her will come tumbling out: yes, I am that Evil Queen, or that turnover is poisoned or please don't break my curse. Control seems very far away, entirely outwith Regina's reach, and so she forces herself not to speak, not to reply.
Instead she reaches for the zipper on Emma's jacket, pulled all the way up to the neck as though that would have afforded her any protection. Regina thinks of her knights with their armor, and how even the most practical uniforms left them with weak spots; Regina's only surprised that a dusting of sugar should be her own.
But then the jacket is open and Regina's hands land on warm skin, encouraging her to slip those hands beneath the simple black tank top, something Emma's throaty little moan certainly seems to approve of as she continues tormenting every nerve ending on Regina's throat.
"Oh," is all Regina trusts herself to say as she runs her hands over Emma's ribs, encountering the simply cotton of her bra. That's enough to make Emma back Regina against her own kitchen counter, knocking the baking tray to the floor with a ridiculous clatter and a hiss of pain from the heat it retains.
"Here," Regina mutters, reaching for Emma's injured hand, the same one that touched her first and started this, drawing that fateful thumb between her lips and sucking on it gently. She swirls her tongue around it, before releasing the thumb with a pop and repeating the trick with each finger in turn. Now Emma's other hand is tugging at Regina's white blouse, while Regina rests one hand against the bare skin of Emma's stomach, focusing solely on what her mouth can do to those fingers.
Something more primal takes over then, as Emma takes her hand back and unfastens the fancy buckle on Regina's belt. It's just a sharp tug to have the black pants pooling around her ankles, and when she steps out of the material, Emma hisses 'keep the heels' just in time. Regina just smirks in response, tugging at Emma's jacket and then they both pull the tank top up and over her head, the cascade of blonde curls almost dazzling in the warm light.
Emma isn't so careful with Regina's blouse; after fumbling with the first button, she loses patience and tears it open, tiny buttons rattling all over the floor. Regina would complain if Emma's mouth didn't immediately fall on her newly exposed breasts, and in a matter of moments both bras are dispatched to the floor as well.
Which is the moment Emma chooses to lift Regina up onto the counter, the cool marble making her hiss at the contact against her bare legs. Emma's kissing Regina as she wriggles out of her skirt, and there's a long, slightly awkward moment as she fights her way out of those high boots and panty hose, but it also affords Regina a second to catch her breath.
It feels decadent, being naked in her kitchen like this. The weak afternoon sunshine is kind to her, and she feels confident in her body set out on display like this. She certainly has reason, going by the hunger in Emma's eyes as she moves back in to claim her prize once more.
Her hands are relentless, stroking in determined lines down Regina's back while they kiss—still furiously, tongues meeting and vying for dominance in every move. Then Emma is squeezing Regina's breasts, offering each one up to the attentions of Emma's mouth, her tongue even more deft as she licks and sucks each nipple to a hardened peak, drawing moans and cursewords from Regina that she's barely aware of even hearing before. It's torture, in the most exquisite way, and as Regina arches her back into the touch she wonders if she might come from this contact alone, a wonder only strengthened when Emma alternates the attentions of her mouth with sharp twists of her fingers, causing Regina to cry out until she's practically sobbing with the need for release.
"Gorgeous," Emma admits as she moves back a little, leaving Regina to mourn the loss of contact. "So fucking gorgeous." She says it almost like an insult, like Regina daring to be beautiful is somehow offensive to Emma, and yet Regina finds that she doesn't care. That's when Emma presses Regina's shoulders with the palm of her hands, tipping her back gently until she's lying flat on the counter wearing nothing but her heels.
Emma bends then, the counter too high for her to get on her knees (and oh—how Regina feels herself clench at the thought of Emma on her knees), lifting Regina's legs and draping them over Emma's shoulders.
"Ready?" She murmurs against Regina's thigh, before kissing her way down that inner thigh and then pausing for just a second before kissing the same path back up the opposite leg. Regina can feel herself trembling, can feel how wet she already is, and Emma hasn't even touched her where she needs it most. Any hopes of feigning indifference are well and truly dashed, but Regina is too turned on to care.
Emma uses her thumbs to spread Regina a little wider, rubbing her lower lips in a kind of massage that has Regina's hips arching up for more. It makes one of her heels scrape across Emma's bare back, and she hisses but doesn't complain. Instead, she blows lightly on Regina's cunt, a tickling sensation that might just drive Regina insane, until it's replaced with a gentle flicker of Emma's tongue. It's just the tip, barely contact at all, but Regina feels her synapses begin to fire in anticipation.
And then Emma's tongue is everywhere at once. Circling, lashing, pressing in pulses that make Regina feel like she's going to burn up altogether, until that tongue is slipping inside in firm, wet thrusts that have Regina clutching at Emma's blonde hair with desperate fingers.
"Yes," she begins to chant. "Yes, yes, yes."
Moments later, Emma tongue is stroking hard and fast over Regina's clit; Emma's mouth clamps down so she can alternate sucking and licking until in one frantic burst of noise and light and too much-too much-too much, Regina is coming hard all over Emma's face.
The release is total, the satisfaction sweeping over Regina like a wave. She feels boneless, giddy, ridiculous to be laid out on the furniture like freshly-rolled dough, but she laughs and strokes her fingers through Emma's hair as she rests her head on Regina's stomach.
"Get up here," Regina whispers after a couple of minutes, self-conscious in the silence. She kicks her heels off, drawing her feet up onto the counter as Emma climbs up and kneels between Regina's spread thighs.
"Sure you're ready?" Emma asks, still panting slightly and her pupils blown with arousal. Her hands are already back on Regina's breasts, fondling them with intent, but Regina has tricks of her own in store. She begins to tease one of Emma's nipples in return, until Emma bends forward and kisses Regina, letting her taste herself on Emma's mouth.
"Damn," Regina says, pulling away just enough to nip at the base of Emma's throat. She bites the tender skin and then soothes it with her tongue, repeating the process all along Emma's collarbone as the other woman half-collapses on top of her.
It takes a little nudging and rearranging, but with a slap on Emma's ass, Regina encourages her to straddle Regina's now-closed legs. That gives her all the access she needs to the slick heat between Emma's thighs, and the simple act of rubbing her clit with two fingers has Emma climaxing with a sob that's muffled against Regina's cheek. Unsatisfied, Regina works those two fingers inside Emma in short, sharp thrusts. On shaking arms, Emma raises herself up, back arching as she meets the movement of Regina's hand thrust for thrust until she's coming again, much harder, and Regina presses her thumb just to the side of Emma's clit to drag it out. When Emma eventually grabs at Regina's wrist, she relents, withdrawing her hand.
Emma falls on her heavily this time, knocking the air from Regina's body. She's surprised to discover she doesn't mind, enjoying the warmth of Emma's body pressed so tightly to her own. As she recovers, Emma reaches for Regina's hand, mirroring Regina's own sucking of the digits until she's cleaned her own wetness from every finger.
"Fuck," Emma finally says, her voice a little ragged. "I guess we needed that."
"Hnnng," Regina replies, nudging Emma to finally get off her. "Perhaps," she adds, once Emma has slipped back to standing and Regina is sitting up once more.
"Oh," Emma says, holding up the now empty Tupperware. "Oops," she says, looking at the mangled turnover on the floor. "I guess we knocked it off."
Regina feels the fury rise up like an angry dragon and she's half a second from lashing out when she gets a hold of herself.
She'll find another way. She can… be content for a few hours.
Besides, Emma Swan is leaving town and the curse may not even be necessary now. Emma looks at her with a sadness that far outweighs the crime of destroyed pastry, and Regina waves a hand to dismiss it even as she lowers herself off the counter and reaches for her shirt.
"Honestly, I'm not the world's greatest baker anyway," Regina lies. "It might have been horrible, and then you'd have thought I tried to poison you."
"Right," Emma says, laughing nervously. "I should, uh, go? Probably."
Regina pretends to consider an alternative as she steps into her pants. "Well, Henry will be home from school soon," she says wistfully, already anxious to have the other woman leave her house. "And I don't want him seeing—"
"Oh God, no," Emma agrees hastily, shoving her pantyhose in the pocket of her jacket as she pulls her tanktop back on and buttons her skirt. "I'm sorry about the cake," she adds. "It was nice of you."
Regina holds back her laugh, but it's a close call. She's certainly given Emma Swan a lot more than a simple pastry this afternoon.
"Well," she says, holding her blouse together with one hand. "Did you need me to see you out, or…?"
"I'm fine," Emma says a little too quickly. "We'll talk again, once I know where I'm moving to, okay? About Henry, I mean."
"Of course," Regina agrees. "About Henry."
Emma turns to leave then, bare legs stuffed into her boots and jacket still in her hand. This time Regina doesn't call out, doesn't distract or delay her. It's only when she hears the front door close that Regina stoops to pick up the remnants of her plan.
"It might not even have worked," she tells herself as she throws the apple and pastry in the trash.
It's only when the last traces are wiped from the floor that Regina sits down on the cold tile, finally letting the tears come.