Regina feels ready. A look of challenge meets Archie's inquisitive glance.
"How is Henry doing at school?" He finds it easier to begin with a question about her son.
"Straight A's. He's a model student," Regina's lips lift in beaming pride; her eyes ignite even as her hands twist in her lap. Archie notices she doesn't remove her purse from over her arm.
"What about her?" Regina becomes defensive at the mere mention of her son's birth mother. Archie scrawls a brief note before clearing his throat to continue.
"How is Emma doing with Henry and…with you?" Archie clarifies while busying himself with his notes to give Regina a moment to gather her thoughts.
"Ms. Swan is…capable….I believe," Regina nods resolutely as if this is a great revelation to her.
"So you two haven't been fighting?" The end of Archie's sentence betrays his surprise.
"We have our moments, but no- nothing physical," Regina seems pleased with this.
"An improvement," Archie remarks and gives a half nod. "And how is everything else?"
He states the question purposely vague, curious to hear Regina's interpretation.
"I haven't used magic. The craving is still strong, but I've been keeping in control," Regina's hands fly to the sides of her thighs and she rocks forward in slight discomfort. She looks down as if she's embarrassed to talk about it.
"Do you feel these sessions are helping?" He has to ask as he can never tell how she feels. Usually, he can always tell how someone feels. Regina is a hard woman to read.
"Yes," she replies immediately, but elaborates no further. "How did Ms. Swan do?"
Regina's lips tighten and she fixes on Archie, her head tilted in genuine curiosity.
Archie licks his lips and furrows his brow for a moment, his mouth opens and closes before he replies, "Regina, you understand that I can't talk about another patient's session."
"Of course," Regina looks toward the bookshelf, her lips pursed. She wants to ask something more, but she remains silent.
"Do you want to talk about her?"
A long moment of quiet engulfs the room.
"I'm thinking of asking Ms. Swan to dinner—To have dinner with Henry and me after our family session. If it goes well, I mean," Regina smiles then, a cold and distant curl of her lip.
Archie mulls over this information, "I think that would be a positive step. Regina, how do you feel when you watch Emma and Henry interact?"
Regina presses the back of her hand to her face as if she's trying to cool it. She thinks on the question, and Archie can see she's trying to answer honestly.
"Upset…jealous. I don't like it…Henry looks at her and…" Regina falters and Archie sees her throat move as she swallows. He is familiar with Regina's history to an extent, and he sees the misplaced anger and blame she lays upon Emma. He feels the need to change the subject before Regina withdraws.
"Shall we talk about your mother?" Archie inquires. He wonders how Regina was raised.
Regina feels her hands clench into fists as they lie useless in her lap. The last time she saw her mother was the first time she used magic, and the memory drags up the familiar euphoric burn in her fingertips.
"Not today. I think we're done here. I will send Henry in," she stands so swiftly that Archie wonders if she feels lightheaded.
He doesn't protest that she cut the session short.
"Thank you, Regina."
The door shuts behind her.