"Your... oh gods... your Majesty," Jefferson gasps, the last syllable dissolving into a squeak. It's not exactly dignified, and Regina can't help but laugh as she grips him just a little tighter.

"Oh, you like that?" Regina croons, rolling her hips again, her body undulating in response. Sweat beads in the valley between her breasts now, and she's so close she can taste it. "You want more from me, Hatter?"

"Please," he gasps, all hopes of denying her evaporating with that word. When she releases the magical bonds at his wrists, his only move is to grab her hips, holding her in place as he thrusts into her even harder, damp hair falling in his eyes as they both moan in anticipation.

"Then tell me," she demands, grabbing him by the throat. He sputters in shock, because she caught him on the exhale, and he's already panicking at not being able to draw breath into his lungs. Regina flexes her fingers, grateful of all the hearts she's crushed to give them this strength. She could kill him this way, just as surely as she could take his heart and crumble it to dust.

"What?" He gasps, his face already turning a nasty shade of puce.

"Tell me why," Regina explains, her internal muscles clenching around him, but she's not giving in, not yet. His hands leave her hips to try and wrest her hand away but she binds them back against the bed with a nod and an unspoken whisper. "Why you did it."

"Okay," Jefferson huffs, his eyes watering now. "Okay!"

Regina releases her grip, enjoying how he rocks against her when coughing wracks his body for a long minute.

"Why did you join forces with Rumple?" She asks.

"Because he paid me," Jefferson snaps. "Gods, did you expect any answer but that?"

"And your... oh... your doctor friend?" Regina feels her back arch at his insistent thrusting, and she grits her teeth to bite back a reaction.

"He wanted a heart," Jefferson growls. "Regina..."

She slaps him, for the impropriety of it.

"Your. Majesty," she groans. She strokes two fingers hard over her clit and comes, with a cry. After all this time, she's finally learned to take her own pleasure first.

The ripple that runs through her is more than Jefferson can withstand and he comes a moment later, unable to stifle his shout. Regina rakes her nails down his chest where skin is exposed beneath a half-unbuttoned shirt, and the hiss of pain from him is what pushes her to the second climax.

She rolls off him, less than gracefully, and they lie together on the rumpled sheets of the castle's least-used guest room, high in the South Tower. Her skirt is still hitched up around her waist, the simple blouse undone. When they meet outside the castle she dresses in her widow's black, becomes the myth of the Evil Queen that's beginning to spread like wildfire as her deeds and training become harder to conceal.

Here in the castle she's learning to exert the same power in the disguise of a loyal wife and doting stepmother; these fools, just like Rumple, will never see it coming.

"Fetch your hat," Regina says, once she's caught her breath. "I don't want to see you again."

"I didn't know it would-"

"Enough!" Regina raises a hand to silence him, easing her way from the bed and strolling across to the window, skirt smoothed down and retying her blouse.

"Is that it?" Jefferson says, stepping back into his breeches. "No punishment from the Evil Queen?"

"Not today," Regina says, her smile as sickly sweet as it is fake. "But I shall have it, Hatter."

One day he'll stop moving long enough to love something, and one day that will make him stand still. Regina vows to herself that she'll take it-wife, child, beloved pet even-just to show him how it feels. She'll create another void in the shape of a person, and she won't be sorry for it.

"I'll be on my guard," Jefferson says sarcastically, the reprieve making him cocky. He hesitates for a moment before spinning the hat, but Regina looks away and he conjures the purple tornado anyway.

He doesn't see the King throw the door open, but the King does not miss the last seconds of a man disappearing before his eyes. Regina raises her hand instinctively, but the guards are on her like a pack of wild dogs. Remember the plan, she tells herself as they drag her from the room. She knows now who will have to pay, and she can control her magic until the time is right.