"Want to make a bet," Emma asked.

"I don't think you're in a position to make a bet," Regina smirked.

"I don't have to be on top to win," Emma said.

To prove her point, Emma rested her hand against Regina's pelvic bone while she pressed the pad of her thumb on Regina's clit. She circled over it as she brought her other hand to Regina's ass. She squeezed one of Regina's cheeks and smiled.

Regina fell forward and put her hands on either side of Emma's head. She hummed her approval of the other woman's actions as she smirked down at the blonde.

"Clearly," Regina said as she leaned in and kissed Emma's neck.

Regina pulled back to add on to her statement.

"Fine. Another bet. What do you wager?"

"If I can fight off exhaustion better than you after an all night sexcapade, you have another week of dress up and lap dances."

"I guess I could indulge your fantasies...since that won't be happening anyway. If I can get you to collapse before I drift off to my victory sleep, you get to put on a show for me just like you made me do with this strip tease and lap dance tonight."

"Well, I really don't think you can count what you did as a strip tease."

Regina's expression immediately turned into shock, her mouth agape.

"Not that I didn't enjoy it," Emma quickly added when she worried she had offended the brunette. "I did. I really did."

Emma smiled again.

"I mean...I thought I made that clear," Emma's smile transformed into a lopsided smirk.

Regina shook her head with a smile.

"Yes, you did," Regina confirmed.

"It's a bet," Emma agreed to Regina's terms. "Yes?"

Regina continued to smile as she pressed a single fingertip to the exposed part of Emma's chest – her sternum. She traced out three letters as she spoke them to Emma.

Y-E-S.

For all the times Emma had ever felt unwanted and abandoned, that night with Regina easily eradicated those doubts about her worth from her mind. And though Emma swore she would never rely on sex to communicate that type of intimate feelings, the way Regina grabbed at her for dear life did just that. She felt wanted and needed and, if it were true enough for her to say it...loved.

But that was too far a leap considering the nature of their new relationship. Appreciated seemed a more fitting word since they'd agreed to be exclusive only a day or two ago. Regardless of being able to put into words how that particular night with Regina affected her, what they did felt good. It felt right.

The music on Emma's iPod had stopped about thirty minutes prior, but neither woman noticed. All other sounds aside from those they made together long forgotten, Emma rubbed her clit against Regina's without a single thing between them. Her lips hovered above Regina's lips and brushed occasionally due to their rocking movement. She panted against Regina's mouth and stared straight into dark brown eyes below her.

Emma swallowed hard before she heavily exhaled against smeared red lips. She tightly closed her fists around the thin, white bed sheet with her hands on either side of Regina's biceps. Without any ability to control herself, she whimpered when she rolled her hips again and pressed down on her overly sensitive clit.

Their eyes could have bored holes into each other given how focused they were on the other. They had certainly spent a few different times staring at each other during such activities, but to both of them those times only felt like a build up. All those times before seemed to be taste of the strong, powerful emotions they then held in their gazes. Nothing compared to what they saw in each other then. But nothing prior to that time had become irrelevant because of it.

"Em- Em-muh," Regina breathlessly panted as she ran a hand up the other woman's arm until she gripped blonde hair and a tensed shoulder. "Can't...hold...on."

Emma moaned at Regina's confession and slowed herself mid-grind to hold out the painful to the nerves yet altogether pleasurable sensation.

Regina dug her nails into Emma's shoulder and incidentally tugged on Emma's hair. She made half-crescent impressions on pale skin and pressed the heel of her foot into Emma's ass. She brought the younger woman completely down on top of her and arched into her. Their sweat covered bodies and wet centers slipped against each other just as Regina pushed her head back into the pillow and gave in.

She squeezed her eyes shut and Emma's first name ripped its way out of her throat. She hugged the younger woman to her when warm liquid pooled between her thighs and tangled a hand in messy blonde tresses.

To feel Regina let go like that against her had Emma tumble over the edge less violently than the brunette, but still gave her the feeling that she'd been kneed in the groin. For the first time since she started sleeping with the Mayor of Storybrooke, Emma didn't utter a single name or title as she reached climax. Her lips were parted in a silent moan against Regina's chest just below the bruise she'd given the woman's collarbone a couple days earlier.

Regina felt Emma go limp on top of her. It something that would have made her cry due to the images of her past life it normally brought to the surface for her, but with Emma she hummed as she wrapped her weak legs around the blonde like a koala bear.

"God, Regina," Emma breathed out against Regina's exposed chest. "That was..."

Emma trailed off and after a minute of comfortable silence, Regina voiced her own thoughts on their most recent round.

"That was quite a performance, My Knight," Regina smiled as she lazily combed her fingers through Emma's hair.

"Only the best for you, My Queen," Emma replied before she chastely kissed between Regina's breasts.

"You aim to please."

"Mhmm," Emma smiled and wriggled around in Regina's hold until she managed to move a hand between their legs.

Regina groaned as Emma shifted. Emma brushed against her clit and caused a new wave of pain to wrack her body. Any slight pressure there only served to torture her at that point.

"Ready to go again," Emma asked as she cupped Regina's sex.

When the heel of Emma's hand lightly pushed against her clit, she gasped.

"No," Regina admittedly with her eyes closed.

"Oh, thank god," Emma breathed out her relief.

Regina's eyes popped open to stare inquisitively at the other woman.

"I wasn't sure I could handle another orgasm," Emma continued with a smile. "Besides, my fingers are starting to cramp."

Regina huskily chuckled, her voice filled with the pleasure she'd previously experienced.

"Yes, I had noticed you switched to your non-dominate hand the last time. Nice dexterity, by the way," Regina commented.

"Why thank you, Your Majesty," Emma tiredly grinned. "Guess I can put ambidextrous on my resume now."

"I hope you're not looking for new work, dear. I have no intention of firing you so if you're updating your resume, it's because you're quitting."

Emma weakly laughed, her exhaustion evident.

"Don't you worry, Madam Mayor. I haven't made any plans to leave the station."

"So...shall we call this a tie then," Regina asked.

Emma perked up similar to that of a young child on their birthday with expectations of presents at Regina's words. She paused a moment before she rolled onto her side next to Regina and the other woman released her from her legs.

"We've never had a tie before," Emma said.

"I know," Regina smiled at her.

"Wow. I- I guess it is a tie."

"Congratulations, I think we've just settled the score."

"Mm. No," Emma shook her head. "I'm sure if we tally it up, this would be the only exception. I don't think I ever got even for the six or so orgasms you forced me to have in the backseat of your Mercedes. Plus, there was another night you did something very similar to that if I'm not mistaken."

"Are you calling me the victor," Regina smugly though somewhat incredulously asked.

"I'm not saying that at all," Emma smirked. "I'm just saying we're a long way from settling the score."

Regina raised an intrigued eyebrow.

"It's not like either of us is going anywhere, right? We have plenty of nights to try and get even with each other," Emma elaborated. "Oh, which reminds me."

Regina watched Emma pull herself into a sitting position and lean against the headboard. Emma checked the time on the alarm clock behind Regina before she continued.

"Can I spend the night again tonight?"

Regina partially rolled over and twisted her body just enough to read the digital read out of the clock. It was two thirty in the morning. She turned back to Emma with a grin.

"If you can come up with a lie to tell Henry," Regina stated. "Is there a reason you want to stay over or are you just asking because you like being with me?"

"Both."

"Oh?"

"Mary Margaret's been seeing this guy. David something or other."

Regina tensed at that information, but Emma didn't seem to notice while Regina kept her expression neutral.

"He woke up from a coma not too long ago and has been staying at the hospital the last couple weeks," Emma continued. "But now they're releasing him and he doesn't have any family or a place to stay. So she offered him the apartment for a place to crash until he finds something."

Regina swallowed and tried to find a way to keep Emma from seeing her worry. It surprisingly wasn't as hard to do when words just started to effortlessly pour out of her.

"And that's a problem for you?"

Usually, it took some planning and feigned concern for Regina to react to hearing such a thing, but with Emma, a normal response came naturally.

"She's been seeing him, Regina. She says he'll just be staying on the couch, but her bed is like, two feet from it. I'm not naïve to think they won't go at it while I'm trying to sleep upstairs."

"Well, you can stay here."

"Thank you," Emma said as she slouched down in the bed again and leaned in.

She gave Regina a peck on the cheek and wiggled around until she found a comfortable position next to the other woman.

A silence fell over them for a few minutes and Regina thought Emma might have already fallen asleep with green eyes closed in front of her.

"Emma," Regina softly asked.

"Hmm."

"You know Henry's book?"

"Yeah."

"How he thinks...I'm the...Evil Queen?"

Emma opened her eyes and frowned. She propped herself up on her elbow and cupped the side of Regina's face. She swiped her thumb back and forth over Regina's bottom lip a few times and started to speak.

"He's just a kid. He gets mad at you and then he finds a way to be okay with being mad at you because he doesn't like getting angry with his mom. His way is thinking your the 'Evil Queen'," Emma explained with air quotes.

"But what if I was her," Regina quietly asked, afraid of the answer. "Would you...still want to be with me?"

"Regina, you're not her. Like I told Henry, you have your moments," Emma paused to lightly laugh. "But I look at you and I don't understand how he can see you that way. I look at you and I see Regina."

Regina slowly smiled. It seemed a little pained, but mostly happy.

"But you are a Queen, Regina," Emma continued. "Even though fairy tales don't exist. You knighted me and everything, remember?"

Regina laughed and felt the tension leave her.

"I remember."

"And Queens need their beauty sleep so...goodnight, Regina," Emma said and leaned in.

Emma chastely kissed Regina on her neck just under her jaw, but didn't stop at a single kiss. She repeated her actions from earlier in the day and kissed Regina over and over until she heard the woman giggle.

"Stop," Regina said between giggles. "Em-ma."

Regina laughed through her words and made pathetic attempts to swat Emma away. Her weak efforts only showed how much didn't really want Emma to stop and both women knew it.

Emma smiled into her next few kisses and gripped Regina's hip as the other woman squirmed.

"Emma. ...Emma!"

Emma pulled away and bit her bottom lip as she smirked. She lifted herself up just enough to look into Regina's eyes then said, "Maybe I won. I got you to call me Emma."

But before Regina could respond to that, Emma dipped her head and resumed kissing her neck. More giggles erupted from her and she'd never felt so light, so weightless, until then.

"Sta-hop," Regina laughed and tried with a bit more effort to swat Emma away. "A minute ago you were drained. Go to sleep!"

Regina smacked Emma's arm and the impact echoed in the room.

"Ow," Emma laughed, a wide smile on her face as she pulled back again. "Geez. That's gonna leave a hand print. It's not like I'm doing anything you don't like."

Regina shook her head with a smile.

"Well, I'm tired...and ticklish and I'd like to get some sleep before getting up for work in about four hours."

"Oh, you're ticklish, are you," Emma deviously stated with a gleam in her eye that suggested her temptation to act on that new piece of information.

"Miss Swan, if you even think-"

Regina had tried to be stern. She even pointed a warning finger at Emma, but the blonde's mind had already been made up and her devilish curiosity won out.

Emma danced her fingers over Regina's side, across her hip, down her her left thigh, and finally she found one of other woman's sensitive spots. She tapped her fingers against bare skin on Regina's inner thigh. The tapping didn't elicit anything more than an eye roll and annoyance from the Mayor, but she grazed her fingertips across Regina's skin in a slow, sensual movement and caused Regina's leg to jerk.

Regina gasped and tried to move away from Emma's teasing touch. She giggled again, but it was short and quiet.

"There it is," Emma proudly grinned and started to slide her fingers up and down the back of her inner thigh. "How is it that you never laughed any of the other times I touched you here?"

Regina's face twitched several times from a normal, neutral expression to a smile brought on by the tickling. She rolled onto her back in an attempt to free herself from such attention, but Emma moved with her and persisted.

"You've never..." Regina started with laughter in voice. "Touched me there."

Emma frowned.

"Really? I thought I had."

Regina bit her bottom lip through a wide smile then uncontrollably laughed as she kicked at the bed and squirmed toward the headboard. In response to Emma's comment, she shook her head against the pillow under her head.

"No. Close...but not there."

Emma hummed as she continued to run her fingers along the sensitive skin. She looked at Regina as though she were scheming some master plan then slid down the bed. She pushed Regina's leg up and tilted her head as she maneuvered herself beneath the raised leg. She draped the leg over her shoulder and leaned in to place a chaste kiss on the spot she had previous tickled.

Regina whimpered and tensed her leg, which squeezed at Emma's neck and shoulder.

"Emma," Regina reached down toward the woman and gripped the blonde's outstretched forearm. "Stop."

Emma pulled her arm toward herself so that she could take Regina's hand in hers. She laced their fingers and pushed Regina's hand onto the bed to rest beside them then pushed that hand into the mattress.

Emma kissed Regina's thigh again and again and moved inward from where she found the brunette to be ticklish.

Regina squeezed Emma's hand harder with each kiss that caused her to laugh.

Emma smiled into her next kiss when she moved closer to Regina's center.

The shivering stopped and Regina's laughter died down. Her giggles turned into moans and her attempts to squirm away from Emma became an arched back and bucked hips for a stronger touch.

Emma pulled away when she felt the change in Regina's behavior and smiled with her head still between the woman's legs.

Regina loosened her grip on Emma's hand, but didn't fight her way out of the blonde's grasp. She grinned down at a confident looking Emma.

"You must be feeling pretty good about yourself right now."

"Oh yeah," Emma replied with a smirk.

"Well, my dear, you've successfully found my weakness," Regina said before she dropped her tone and mumbled under her breath. "One of them at least."

Emma hadn't caught the last part of Regina's statement.

"Don't worry," Emma started as she slid up Regina's body and brought Regina's leg with her as she moved. "I won't tell a soul."

Emma lifted their joined hands from the bed and kissed Regina's knuckles. The tips of her long, blonde hair lightly brushed Regina's breasts and upper arms.

Regina squirmed again beneath Emma from the pleasurable yet painfully teasing tingling she felt in her neck and the places where Emma's hair touched her.

"Did I find another spot," Emma quietly asked with a grin.

"No," Regina's voice came out almost as a strained purr. "It's just a really light touch."

Emma chuckled.

"So...inner thighs and light touches. I'll make sure to remember that."

Regina rolled her eyes.

"Do you always sound like a lovesick teenager when you're in a relationship," Regina asked.

"I've only been a lovesick teenager once," Emma replied. "And back then I was a teenager."

"Nice to see your maturity level has changed over the years," Regina deadpanned.

Emma laughed.

"You don't like this new side to me?"

"I wasn't aware this was new."

"It's new to you."

"Perhaps, but I suppose I should have expected it."

"Are you calling me a child," Emma asked as she feigned offense.

"You eat like one, talk like one, dress like one. I don't see how that wouldn't very well make you one," Regina said with a grin.

Emma rolled her eyes with a smile.

"Goodnight, Regina," Emma said as she settled into the bed in the space beside the other woman.

"Goodnight...Emma," Regina said as she rolled partially onto Emma and cuddled up with the blonde.

Regina draped an arm over Emma's waist and snuggled the younger woman closer after she slipped a calve between her legs. She nestled her head in the crook of Emma's neck and allowed the woman to wrap an arm around her in a warm embrace.


After an almost sleepless night thanks to her and Emma's evening activities as well as another nightmare, Regina opened the door to an establishment she preferred not to frequent. The bell on the door clanged to announce her presence and within a minute, the familiar and disliked man she loathed visiting limped into the front of the pawn shop.

"Mayor Mills, what a surprise," he grinned. "How may I help you?"

"I need this to end," Regina said without premise.

"Need what to end," he made his question into a statement.

"I don't want to hurt anyone and I...I'm afraid the more I prolong things, the harder it will be if the truth comes out."

"What truth would that be, dearie?"

Regina glared at him.

"I have a feeling you already know."

"I couldn't possibly know anything you haven't told me."

She scoffed.

"Save it," she coldly snapped. "I- Maybe I should give in."

"Give in to what?"

"If I just let it break, they might not hate me as much as my dreams suggest."

Though she spoke aloud, she truly only spoke to herself.

"It wouldn't be completely horrible if I just..."

She trailed off and Mr. Gold scrutinized the woman's body language and tried to read between the lines to understand just what it was the Mayor was talking about. He slowly started to piece everything together and took a step toward his counter.

"Maybe she'll understand if I just explain," Regina quietly and hopefully said.

Gold's eyes lit up in realization and he took another step forward with a grin that slowly spread across his face.

"She," he repeated Regina's choice of pronoun. "And who might she be?"

Regina's eyes flicked up and met Gold's gaze. She lost a little color in her face as she looked at him and realized just how she'd slipped up.

"That is none of your concern," Regina growled after she took a moment to hide her worry over revealing as much as she had.

"Well, it is my concern if it means breaking the curse, dearie," he slowly said, a knowing grin in place.

Regina's jaw dropped.

"You...you do remember!"

"Of course, dearie. It is my curse after all. You didn't think I'd make a curse that would bring us to this specific land just to make myself forget why I brought myself here, did you?"

"What- You wanted me to enact the curse."

"Well, I don't just give away curses for the fun of it," he shrugged in his infamously impish way. "Now, tell me, dearie. Who is she?"

Regina shook her head.

"It doesn't matter."

"I believe it does," he said as he stepped out from behind the counter.

"It doesn't matter because that fleeting moment of doubt is gone. I won't let the curse break...Rumple."

"On the contrary, dearie. Emma will break the curse one way or another. I made sure of it."

Regina huffed and spun on her heels before she briskly headed for the exit.

"I don't know why I bothered coming here," she said.

"Because you need help. The question is, how can I help you?"

Regina stopped with her hand on the door knob and peered over her shoulder at him.

"But I think we both know you were hoping I'd remember because I did after all give you the curse. The only one adept at answering your questions about it would be me."

At that, Regina turned back to Gold with an icy glare directed his way. She took three steps toward him and pointed.

"You want the curse broken, don't you."

He just stood there and waited for her to go off on him like she usually did.

"Why?"

He took in a deep breath and clenched then unclenched his fists around the handle of his cane before he answered.

"Because I'm in search of something. Something outside of Storybrooke."

"And you think that by breaking the curse you'll be able to find it?"

"Of course. The curse made it so that none of us can leave town. Once it's broken, that rule no longer applies."

"Like hell I'm going to give you what you want."

"And yet, it's now something you seem to want too. I wonder...what made you change your mind? Surely when the curse breaks everyone will be out for your blood. Why risk your life, your power, just to break the curse you so desperately sought from me?"

Regina gritted her teeth and balled up her fists at her sides.

"Per chance does it have anything to do with the woman you mentioned? You don't have many friends here, dearie.

"In fact, the only person I've seen you hang around from time to time is Kathryn from the nail salon. But you only seem to talk when babysitting Henry is an issue or you need a good manicure. It couldn't be Mary Margaret for, well, obvious reasons. No, no. Then there's the Sheriff, but...in case you haven't figured it out, she's the Savior."

Then, as if all the pieces of the puzzle finally fit, Gold slowly said, "Oh."

His grin went from twisted to horrifyingly devilish.

"She's the only person I've ever seen you fight so hard against. And yet, I haven't seen much fighting lately."

Regina just stood there and let him figure it out for himself. Her expression was the only thing to change with each piece of evidence laid out on the table and the final conclusion being voiced as he talked through his suspicions. By the time he stumbled upon the no-longer-fighting-with-Emma part, she looked almost sad to have been discovered.

"Henry doesn't seem so miserable. And I believe the two of them have spent plenty of time together. ...Especially since poor Graham's untimely death."

Regina gulped and looked down at the hardwood floor, ashamed.

"I'd heard the rumors about him and Miss Swan. I may not get out much, but small town gossip gets around. Besides, you and I are both aware that I know a lot of things regardless of my physical presence.

"No matter how I know, I do know that she still showed up at the diner with bruises on her neck even after Graham's passing. Curious, isn't it?"

Regina shook her head and tried to play it off as casual information that held no importance.

"She's not the most conventional woman as I'm sure you can tell. She could have gotten around," Regina said.

"Ah, yes. I did manage to see her on the cover of the Daily Mirror. Miss Lucas is quite an interesting choice for her to be publicly affectionate with, don't you agree? Especially if she wants to keep seeing Henry. Ruby's hardly the best person to find a partner in when there's a child involved."

Regina's jealousy took over at the mere mention of Emma and Ruby.

"Ms. Lucas is hardly anything more than eye candy."

"Ooh," Gold chuckled. "It appears I've struck a nerve."

Regina closed her mouth and kept a steady gaze with him as she swallowed. Her eyes, for once, didn't give anything away.

"Emma's quite the character, though, isn't she," Gold continued. "I'd even use the word fascinating. Edgy and yet still feminine. Careful yet still untamed. She knows how to ignite even the smallest of fires and turn it into something so grand and dangerous. She certainly knows how to get to you."

"As can you," Regina growled.

"Ah, yes. But I've known you for some time now. I also trained you and can spot desperate souls. Our history makes it easy for me to press all the right buttons with you, dearie. But Miss Swan, she's only been here a short while. How is it that she manages to get under your skin?"

"Same as I know how to get under yours."

"I'm man enough to admit the only way you've succeeded in that is by knowing my weaknesses. But how could she know any of yours?"

Regina gulped and averted her eyes.

"Unless...she is your weakness," Gold said as he closed most of the distance between them in the shop.

Regina refused to look at him.

"That's it, isn't it. You care for her."

"She only knows of Henry. He's my weakness."

"That's not what your eyes say, dearie," Gold sounded more like Rumpelstiltskin than his cursed identity.

"I don't care for her," Regina lied as she coldly looked at Gold.

"Liar."

"Call me whatever you like, she's nothing more than trouble. And clearly, you can't help me so we're done here."

Regina turned and headed toward the front door once again.

"Well, it doesn't really matter what you feel for her. She'll never return those feelings."

"She's done plenty to suggest otherwise," Regina admitted without any other thought than the flashes of memory from all her and Emma's time spent together.

She stopped in her tracks the second the words left her mouth.

"And the truth comes out," Gold smugly said and caused Regina to turn toward him yet again.

"I don't love her," she furiously insisted.

He put a hand to his chest in feigned shock.

"Who said anything about love?"

Regina sucked in a large amount of air and her chest heaved with her more erratic breathing. She rigidly stood before him even though her shoulders appeared tense with an invisible weight atop them.

"Is that why you're asking about the curse," he curiously asked.

"I'm not asking anymore," she quietly said then tried to leave for the third time.

With her back to him, Gold decided to have the last word as he liked to do in finality of their meetings.

"She'll never love you," he told her. "Not the real you. When the curse breaks, she'll see you for who you really are."

Her throat burned from holding back tears as her eyes watered. She opened the door and the bell above it clanged again.

Gold chuckled before Regina slammed the door shut.


She hadn't needed a manicure. Not really. Her nails may have needed trimmed since her last appointment, but that could have easily been remedied at home. But she'd gone to the nail salon anyway.

"Regina," Kathryn smiled when the brunette entered.

"Hello, Kathryn," Regina forced a friendly smile, her eyes red and puffy after her recent conversation with Gold.

"What can I do for you?"

"Cut down my nails and give me a pedicure?"

Kathryn frowned and tilted her head to the side as Regina set her purse on the front counter and opened it.

Regina looked up when she realized Kathryn had gone quiet and noticed the woman's expression.

"What?"

"You've never asked me like you're worried your request is a burden to me."

"Oh. Well, we are friends. I'd hate to be inconsiderate," Regina answered, sounding a little off her game.

"Are you okay?"

"Yes. Why?"

"You don't sound like yourself."

"I..." Regina trailed off as she thought over her next words. "It's been a very long day."

"And it's not even noon," Kathryn said in a somewhat impressed tone. "Must be difficult being Mayor."

"Indeed," Regina replied as she dug into her purse and plucked out her wallet. "Think we can talk over nail care?"

Kathryn smiled and stepped behind the register to start a transaction.

"Of course."

Regina paid for Kathryn's handiwork before she even sat down, but that was how it had always been. She knew Kathryn would do a fantastic job and it tended to make her look like a trustworthy Mayor.

The two of them fell into their routine whenever Regina stopped by for an appointment. The salon never had many customers, but it did get business. There were only two other women who worked there, but Regina never saw them. She knew Kathryn's schedule and always came in when she knew it would most likely be the two of them.

That routine made it much easier for Regina to discuss what she had to with the blonde.

But, even after a full morning of looking over paperwork with a sore thumb, she hadn't hidden the evidence of her night with Emma.

"Oh my god," Kathryn exclaimed and nearly jumped out of her seat at the sight of the dark purple bite mark on Regina's thumb. "What happened?"

Regina's eyes widened when she followed Kathryn's line of sight.

"Nothing," Regina quickly answered. "I...spilled something and it got all over my hand. I licked it clean, but Henry surprised me and I accidentally bit myself."

"Ah. Looks pretty bad," Kathryn said as she took only seconds before she accepted the lie.

"It's just like any other bruise. Irritating but not too painful unless you poke at it, or in this case if you move your thumb around too much."

Kathryn nodded and started to buff Regina's fingernails.

"So..." Regina carefully, strategically started as the woman continued to work on her nails. "Are you seeing anyone?"

Kathryn looked up from the nail she worked on to regard Regina, taken aback.

"I'm flattered, Regina, but I'm not interested in women that way," Kathryn replied.

"Oh, no. I'm not asking because I'd like to see you."

"Oh."

"I only ask because I noticed a handsome man walking around town the other day. I believe his name is David."

"Sounds familiar," Kathryn said as she looked to actually contemplate where she'd heard the name before. "Oh, he's been around with that woman. Mary Margaret, right?"

"Yes. She and him seemed to have formed a friendship."

"Well, I don't want to get in the way of anything," Kathryn shook her head.

"Nonsense. I'm sure they're not an item. If you'd like I can even talk to him, see if he'd be interested in going on a date with you."

"That's nice of you. Really. I just...I don't think it's a great idea. Maybe someone else?"

"Fine. Don't date him, but will you at least just meet him? I was planning on talking to him later today, introduce myself. You should come with me and get acquainted."

Kathryn made a sour face and stared at Regina in a long moment of awkward silence.

"I...guess that would be okay. I mean, there's no harm in making new friends, right?"

Regina grinned, though she made it look more like a friendly a smile.

"Right. So, after we finish here, how about you and I pay him a visit?"


Emma dropped Henry off at Regina's house and drove back to the apartment she shared with Mary Margaret. Since she knew she would be staying the night, she figured she could plan ahead and grab a few things like a fresh pair of clothes and her toothbrush.

She could have gone to the apartment in the morning before work like she had before, but she barely managed to keep her eyes open when she drove from Regina's to the apartment then to the station. In fact, she surprised herself most days when she actually managed to drag herself out of the apartment to make the drive to the station. Usually, she had to resist the urge to crawl into her waiting bed for a few more hours of sleep, especially since sex with Regina meant pulling near all-nighters.

Instead of waiting until morning, however, she chose to avoid a potential accident due to droopy eyes and sleep hazed vision. Just before she headed up the stairs to her small bedroom loft, her phone buzzed in her jacket pocket. She pulled it out to see she had a next text message from Mary Margaret and read the message on her way to her room.

"Are you busy tonight?"

Emma frowned and typed out a response on the way to her dresser.

"Dinner with Henry. Why?"

The next message was almost immediate.

"After dinner. Girls night?"

Emma grabbed an outfit and stuffed it into a small overnight bag before she replied.

"I can't."

"Why?"

"Does it matter?"

Emma felt the phone vibrate with a new message, but didn't read it yet. Instead, she grabbed her toothbrush then had a thought and grinned. She went straight to her dresser and dug deep into her underwear drawer. She pulled out a rubber toy she hadn't used since before she arrived in Storybrooke. She grinned and put it in her bag before she grabbed her phone and looked at the message.

"I need a drink. :("

Emma stared at the phone, confused but concerned. She tossed her bag onto her bed and replied.

"Is everything okay?"

Emma stood and waited in front of her bed, her bag packed, for a new text. It took about a minute before the next message came in.

"I'm sad."

"Where are you?"

"Rabbit Hole."

"TWO drinks before I get there! I'll be there after dinner. DON'T drink anymore than that. Okay?"

Emma waited for Mary Margaret's response for another five minutes, but it never came. She zipped up her bag and drove back to Regina's house.

When Regina opened the door, she smiled at Emma, but the blonde didn't look as happy and instantly her face fell.

"Emma? What's wrong?"

"I had this weird conversation with Mary Margaret. She sounds...off," Emma frowned, her phone in her hand and her bag draped over her shoulder.

"I'm sure it's nothing to worry about, dear. Come in and have some dinner," Regina extended an arm to pull Emma into the house, but didn't touch the woman. "I made Henry's favorite fun food."

Emma took Regina's cue and stepped inside. When Regina said "fun food," she smiled and lightly laughed.

"Tacos," Emma asked.

"Mhmm," Regina smiled and shut the door behind Emma.

Regina took Emma's bag and set it by the staircase then grabbed Emma's wrist and pulled her in for a chaste kiss below her jaw.

"I have a surprise for tonight," Emma said when Regina pulled back from the kiss.

"Really," Regina asked in a thick purr.

Emma nodded, unable to form words after hearing that tone from the other woman.

"What is it," Regina said as she ran her fingers up one side of Emma's jacket zipper.

She grabbed the collar of the jacket and yanked Emma closer until all space between them became non-existent. Their lips brushed as she made their noses teasingly touch.

"It's a surprise. Telling you would go against the definition of that word and all spontaneity would be lost."

Regina grinned and throatily chuckled, but she still didn't pull away. She kept her fist firmly clutched around the collar of the red leather jacket with their lips so very close.

Emma's eyes moved from lustfully darkened brown eyes to temptingly plump lips. She slowly pushed forward, but she never got to connect her lips to Regina's.

Regina released her hold on Emma's jacket and took a step back before she turned away. She walked toward the dining room with click after click of her heels and looked over her shoulder after a few steps.

"Coming, Miss Swan," she asked with desire in her eyes and a prideful grin.

Emma smirked then followed after her.

Within a few minutes, the three of them were situated at the table in what could then be called their usual places. Several minutes after that, Emma and Henry had caught Regina up on their day at the station. At that point, the conversation fell flat and no one had a single thing to say.

Henry played with his third taco of the night and cracked the hard shell. The meat spilled out onto his plate and got Regina's attention.

"Henry," she scolded with shock and annoyance.

Emma laughed.

Henry smiled at Regina, which elicited a natural smile from the woman.

"Don't play with your food," Regina told him through her smile.

"That's not playing with my food," he started as he broke more of the shell then looked at Emma as he scooped meat onto his finger. "This is."

Emma didn't act fast enough, still unclear of Henry's intent, and got hit on one side of her face with the meat Henry flung at her. Her mouth hung open and she sat frozen with her eyes focused on her laughing son. She swiped the meat away then glared at him before a devious grin spread across her face.

Regina watched with much interest as Emma grinned and moved quickly. The blonde cracked the hard shell of her own taco in half and grabbed a fist full of the meat and toppings inside it.

Emma threw her food at Henry and loudly laughed when it splattered across his entire face.

"Oh, it's on," Henry declared with a smile and dug both hands into his food and haphazardly tossed it at Emma.

Emma ducked behind the table, still in her chair, and the food covered the table and her back. Some even managed to get in her hair, which Regina noted within seconds of Emma sitting up again.

Emma reached for the remaining tacos in the center of the table and Henry followed suit. Like two kids going after dodgeballs at the beginning of a game, they each grabbed two tacos – one for each hand – and shot out of their chairs.

Regina's eyes went wide when she realized the mess the two were about to make, but couldn't stop them before they both defensively turned their bodies away from each other and threw a taco at the other.

They laughed as meat, lettuce, and sour cream tumbled down each of their arms. In Henry's case, he had bits of Pico de Gallo on him as well while in Emma's case, she received a chunk of diced tomatoes.

"Children!" Regina scolded.

Emma and Henry turned to Regina and their laughter died, but neither one could stop smiling. After a few seconds, they exchanged a look then simultaneously threw their last tacos at Regina.

Before the tacos left their hands, they each managed to crush the shell and made it easier for the food inside to coat both sides of Regina's face. Some of it fell onto her chest while the shells and some remnants of the its previous contents landed in her lap.

A tense silence filled the room and Emma and Henry stood still as they waited to see Regina's reaction.

After several long seconds, Regina gracefully got up and reached down for the half eaten taco on her plate. She placed two fingers inside the shell, one on each wall, then pushed them outward. She cracked the shell open and pushed the separated walls flat onto the plate then watched Emma.

Emma glanced up at Regina and the grin told her the woman had purposefully cracked the shell like that to get to her. She saw Regina's fingers start to move again and looked down to watch what Regina did next.

Regina grinned and slid the same two fingers used to open the shell over the food inside. She curled her fingers and scooped up whatever she could.

Emma gulped and her cheeks burned as she watched Regina's fingers. Her chest flushed a rosy red that indicated her sudden arousal.

"Whoever I tag first gets stuck cleaning this up," Regina said, still grinning.

"Uh oh," Emma said with wide eyes as she looked across the table at Henry. "Run."

Henry and Emma bolted from the table. Henry rushed into the living room and Emma headed for the foyer.

Regina went after Henry first and cornered him at one end of the couch while she waited from the other end for him to run. They remained at a stand off of sorts while Emma watched near the staircase with a smile.

Henry looked left and right for a few minutes before he chose a direction and sprinted back toward the dining room.

Regina bent at the waist and reached out to tag Henry with the food in her hand, but he ran wider than she'd originally anticipated and missed. She nearly tripped over her heels with her weight distributed unevenly in her bent position, but righted herself before she followed him into the dining room.

With his head start and her heels on the different levels of the first floor, she didn't reach him before Henry made a fast break toward the study. He closed the door with her only a couple feet away and locked the door. She tried the handle anyway, but after a few jiggles she gave up and looked over at Emma.

Emma laughed under her breath until Regina looked at her. She saw Regina's grin attempt to reach the brunette's ears and flew up the stairs two at a time.

Regina laughed and chased after her.

The door to the study opened after the click-clacking of heels left the hardwood floor and quietly thudded against carpeted stairs. Henry peeked his head out of the doorway with a smile and casually went up the stairs to see how the food fight would end.

Emma sought shelter in Regina's bedroom, but the brunette caught up to her and decided to play dirty before Emma could trap herself in the master bathroom.

"Miss Swan," Regina drew out in a long, sultry purr as she slowly strode toward Emma.

Emma stopped and turned at the sound of Regina's voice.

"Won't you touch me?"

"Not with that food in your hand," Emma replied with eyes as wide as a young child's when they realize they're in trouble.

"Not even if I told you I was ready for my surprise?"

"Never said it was for you."

"I'm sure whatever it is, it will give me immense pleasure," Regina purred again.

There remained only a couple steps between them. Emma started to back up toward the bathroom, but Regina took a step forward for every step she took back.

"The kid's still awake," Emma said as she backed into the door frame.

When she collided with the door frame, Regina pounced.

In a single breath, Regina closed the distance between them and pressed her body flush against Emma's.

Emma softly moaned as she felt Regina grind against her. She leaned her head back against the door frame as well and closed her eyes.

"Oh, I'm gonna love your part of the surprise tonight," Emma half moaned, half panted.

Regina grinned and leaned in. She dipped her head and kissed Emma's neck. She snaked her tongue out and got to work on a hickey, but when Emma rested her hands on Regina's hips she pressed her food covered fingers to Emma's sternum. She pulled away from the kiss and watched Emma's reaction as she slid the food down her sternum and stopped grinding against the blonde.

"Damn," Emma said as she looked down at the trail of food Regina had made.

"Looks like you're on clean up duty," Regina smirked.

Emma smiled and used her hands on Regina's hips to push the woman away.

Henry came to stand in the doorway when Emma wiped up some of the food on her chest and slapped it on Regina's neck. He smiled as Regina gasped then tried to rub more food on Emma.

Emma pulled Regina into an embrace, the brunette's side to Emma's front. She took two hits to her forehead when Regina swatted dirty hands at her.

When the two of them started to laugh together, Henry's smile slowly faded and he cocked his head to the side with an inquisitive look. He stared at them for a few more moments before the playfulness between them finally registered with him. He'd never seen Regina look so carefree and alive. It seemed like years had disappeared from her features in that moment, but she wasn't the only one that looked happy.

Emma's lips got way too close to Regina's neck for Henry's comfort and each time he thought she'd kiss his mother, he winced. But she always pulled away even though they hadn't seemed to notice him there yet. Emma smiled and squeezed Regina closer then stumbled around the room with her while they refused to give up the fight.

It wasn't until Emma spun them to face the doorway straight on and their laughter weakened their feisty attitudes that they saw him.

"Henry," Regina said as she sobered up.

"Kid," Emma mimicked Regina, her tone a little lower and less shocked.

Though they knew he stood before them, Emma still hadn't let go of Regina, but the brunette hadn't bothered to push out of her hold either.

"So, who won," he asked with his cute half-smile.

Emma and Regina both breathed in relief and laughed.

Emma relaxed and let go of Regina while Regina smoothed out her outfit given her new found freedom.

"Your mom," Emma hitched a thumb at Regina and walked toward him. "Should've known."

Before Henry could question Emma's approach, she opened her arms and smothered him in a hug.

"Aw, eww," Henry groaned and tried to worm his way out of the embrace.

Emma lifted him and when his feet no longer touched the ground, she held him close to herself so she could swing him and force him to lay on the ground.

"No! So...much...food," Henry whined as Emma pinned him to the ground. "It's all squishy."

Emma laughed and wiggled them around.

Henry whined without words that time then did something that no one expected.

"Mom, get her off me," he called out to Regina.

Regina beamed.

Emma kept Henry trapped beneath her and turned to look at Regina with a smile.

"Mo-hom," Henry laughed a little when he called for her that time.

Regina stepped forward and knelt down beside them. She looked them over again in a couple quick seconds then crashed into Emma. She rolled in the blonde's direction, half of her body on top of Emma's, and caused the three of them to roll the same way.

"No, you're supposed to be on my side," Henry kept whining. "Well, Emma's supposed to be on my side, but...she's the one that attacked me."

Regina and Emma laughed at his statement.

"I'll show you an attack," Emma said then nuzzled her her nose into the crook of his neck.

Henry laughed.

"No, no, no," Regina corrected. "This is an attack."

Regina leaned in and peppered Henry's cheeks with kisses.

He squirmed under them and tried to push them away at the shoulders.

His failed attempts only made Emma and Regina laugh more. Emma only buried herself further in his neck and smiled against it while Regina continued with her kisses.

Regina kissed her way toward his chin and Emma moved up toward his other cheek. The two of them met in the middle and Regina accidentally pecked Emma on the cheek.

Henry stopped wiggling his head from side to side and looked up at his mothers. His eyes opened to see Emma move at lightning fast sped to peck Regina on the cheek in retaliation. He hadn't known Regina had kissed her first though.

Regina's eyes were downcast, almost closed, so she didn't see Henry's eyes on them. When Emma's lips pressed against her cheek, she smiled and leaned her head closer to Emma's.

Emma kept smiling, her eyes as closed as Regina's, as she lightly bumped her temple against Regina's forehead.

Henry kicked around beneath them and finally, they let him breathe.

Emma and Regina pushed off the floor into kneeling positions then reached out and helped Henry sit up.

Henry tried to catch his breath then scrunched up his face in disgust as he looked down at his food covered clothes and skin.

"You need a shower, kid," Emma chuckled when she looked at him then picked away a bit of meat from his shoulder.

"Like you look any better," he replied.

His tone seemed too harsh for him to be joking, but his lips were curled the slightest bit upward.

Emma turned to Regina with a frown that the brunette returned.

"We all need a shower," Regina stepped in much like Emma had to act as a buffer between her and Henry. "But you need to clean up the dining room first."

Emma rolled her eyes at the command, but got up anyway then held out a hand.

Regina took Emma's hand without thinking and Emma helped her stand.

Again, Henry noticed the gesture. He didn't smile or laugh, but he didn't scoff or yell either. He just observed before the three of them went their separate ways in the house.

Regina came down the stairs to check on Emma and saw the blonde on all fours in the dining room, her ass on display in a skirt. She grinned and walked into the room without a sound. She stepped behind the younger woman and lifted her foot between parted legs. She ran the top of her bare foot over Emma's panties and felt the woman shudder.

Regina's grin spread and when her toes teased Emma's opening, she pulled her foot away only to kick Emma forward with her foot against the younger woman's ass.

Emma lurched forward, but kept herself up on all fours.

"Couldn't wait until after my shower," Emma asked then turned over and sat on the floor.

Emma stared up at Regina in awe, her mouth agape.

Regina shook her head and water droplets rolled down her chest from her wet hair that curled in various places. She wore a red, silk neglige that stopped mid-thigh, but it didn't reveal much more than that.

Until Regina slowly stepped closer.

She kept one foot on either side of Emma as she made the space between them disappear. Regina only stopped when Emma had no choice but to look up her nightwear. She gripped the hem of her neglige and pulled it toward her hip to give Emma a good peek.

Emma licked lips before she bit her bottom lip.

"You...are not wearing any underwear right now," Emma slowly said like saying the words helped her process what she'd seen.

"Don't keep me waiting too long," Regina purred then tangled a hand in Emma's hair.

Regina pulled Emma's head between her legs.

Emma ran a hand up one of Regina's legs from her calve to her inner thigh. She brushed against the tickle spot before she pressed her lips to soft skin at her inner thigh.

Regina shivered and tightened her grip on Emma's hair as well as the hem of her neglige.

Emma pulled away and Regina let her go. She stepped back from the blonde and smirked at the dumb smile plastered on the younger woman's face.

"I'll be in the bedroom," Regina said as she turned to face the stairs and walked into the foyer.

Emma watched Regina walk up the stairs until the dining room walls prevented her from seeing the brunette anymore then took a minute to collect herself. After she calmed down, she turned back onto all fours and went into hyper-speed to clean up.

When she finished the floors, she took a wet paper towel to her face and cleaned off what she could before she tossed the paper towel in the trash and headed upstairs. She saw two bedroom lights on from the space between the bottom of the doors and the floor. She walked past Regina's room and softly knocked on Henry's door.

"Kid?"

Emma slowly pushed open the door and cautiously peered inside.

Henry laid under the covers in his usual loose T-shirt and pajama bottoms wide awake, his eyes focused on his comforter as he picked at the material.

"Hey, it's a school night," she said as came into the room, but left the door partially open. "Go to sleep."

"It's only eight o'clock," Henry said with a frown, his eyes still trained on the comforter.

"You sound upset. What's wrong?"

Emma took the final steps between her and his bed then sat down on the edge.

"I forgot."

"Oh, come on. I know you know why you're upset."

"I forgot that she's the Evil Queen," he elaborated.

"Henry," Emma warned. "We've been over this."

"I forgot she's the Evil Queen and you kissed her," he said and finally looked at her.

Emma's mouth open and closed, completely thrown by his words.

"I- You saw that?"

"Part of me knows that she looked really happy, but part of me knows she's only going to hurt you."

Emma shook her head.

"Whoa. Henry. No. That's not- It was just a little kiss."

"But that wasn't the only time you kissed her, was it."

Emma blinked a few times, shocked into silence.

"No," Henry groaned in disappointment. "You're not supposed to kiss her. You're supposed to break her curse!"

"She is not the Evil Queen. The curse isn't real. Henry, she's your mom. She's Regina."

"How long?"

"How long," Emma repeated his question, confused. "She's been your mom since you were three weeks old."

"No, how long have you been kissing her."

"Go to bed," Emma said, having no other way to respond to his question, then stood up and turned to leave.

"The whole time you were looking for Evil Queen behavior, you were getting closer to her, weren't you. You lied to me."

"It's not like that, Henry," she tiredly tried to explain.

"Then what's it like? You lied to me, Emma. You don't believe me and you lied to me."

"Henry-"

"Leave me alone," he grumbled and turned onto his side to put his back to her.

Emma sighed through her nose and flipped off the light switch before she closed the door behind her on the way out. She sulked back to Regina's room and didn't feel any better when she opened the door to see Regina. Even though Regina laid on top of the sheets in her revealing neglige wearing reading glasses with a book in her lap, it still didn't get Emma to smile.

Regina frowned when she saw Emma's deflated look and watched the blonde flop beside her on the bed. She set her book on the nightstand and removed her glasses.

"What happened," she asked.

"Henry's mad at me."

Regina reached out and ran her hand through Emma's hair. She repeated the action slowly, over and over, to comfort Emma and slid down the bed to be eye level with her.

"He saw me kiss you when we were wrestling him," Emma added.

"How did he respond," Regina asked as she swung a leg over one of Emma's and snuggled a little into her side.

"He's upset because I told him I'd keep an eye out for any Evil Queen behavior from you, but he knows that I was just using that time to be with you. He's a really perceptive ten year old, you know that?"

Regina leaned in and kissed Emma's temple.

"I think I made him blame himself for this."

Regina furrowed her brow.

"Why? How could he ever be responsible for us being together?"

"Because he forgot you were the Evil Queen."

Regina stayed silent.

Emma turned her head and saw the sad look on the brunette's face.

"Those were his words. He's tried to spend almost every hour of every day we spend together trying to convince me that's who you are. I finally got him to shut up about it after I told him to drop it when we went bowling the other day. I guess he figures because he let you be his mom again and didn't see you as the Evil Queen that it made it okay for me think that way too. And now he's convinced that you're going to hurt me and he hates that I lied to him about what I was really doing with you."

Regina hummed then leaned in again and kissed Emma a few times on her temple.

"You need a shower," Regina changed the subject.

Emma pulled her head up to look down at herself and noticed the apparent sight of meat that still covered her in places. She groaned and thumped her head back down on the bed.

"Do I have to," she whined. "I'm so comfortable here. And Henry's never been so disappointed in me before."

Emma turned her head to look at Regina and pouted with puppy dog eyes.

"Oh, no," Regina admonished. "Don't look at me like that. It stopped working for Henry a couple years ago."

Emma pouted even more and batted her eyelashes several times in rapid succession.

"I really want to get clean, but I'm tired," Emma started. "Help me?"

Regina sighed and pushed herself onto her knees. She placed a knee on either side of Emma's waist and watched the younger woman lick her lips at the sight of Regina's neglige ride up to her hips. She grinned and lifted herself off the bed.

"If you want me," Regina said as she started to backed up toward the master bathroom. "Come get me."

Emma quickly pulled herself into a sitting position and followed after Regina as though she worked on autopilot or was in a trance.

Regina's eyes glittered with lust and pride with a smirk.

Emma snapped out of her trance and matched Regina's smirk with a devious grin. She looked predatory just seconds before she attacked and pinned the brunette hard against the closed bathroom door.

Regina slammed into the door and throatily chuckled and placed her hands on Emma's shoulders.

"What about my surprise," Regina asked, her smirk still present.

"We'll save that for tonight's round two."

Regina laughed and Emma lifted her into her arms. Regina easily took the hint and wrapped her legs around Emma's waist before Emma opened the bathroom door.

The two of them went into the bathroom and Regina kicked the door closed behind them as they laughed all the way to the shower.


A/N: I know it was a couple days late, but it's finally updated! And there's more plot now too. I don't know if you think that's a good thing, but we're back on track for the many different things I have in store for Emma and Regina once that curse breaks.

Please leave a review and let me know what you thought of this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it. Also, thank you so very much for all the reviews, favorites, and follows this far. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your feedback. :)