Chapter 5: Right Where We Belong


"Did you feel that," Neal whispered as he pulled back, "That was real."

Emma nodded and brought Neal back to her. They were so lost in each other that they failed to hear the door swing open.

"Henry," Mary Margaret called after her grandson.

Henry's eyes had widened as had David and Mary Margaret's. Neal and Emma quickly backed away from each other.

"Sorry," said Mary Margaret, "We told him to knock first."

The shock on Henry's face wore off and he smiled.

"Neal," he said going up to hug his father.

"Hey buddy," he replied hugging back. "You grow another couple inches?"

Henry shrugged, "It's only been a week. How come I haven't seen you lately? And don't tell me you've been busy too. Family always makes time for each other."

Neal looked at Emma and she looked at both him and Henry. She had told Henry that she would never lie to him again but this was an adult matter.

"It's complicated," said Neal.

"I'm eleven," he said, "I think I can take it."

Emma couldn't help but smile at her son. "We know that you probably could but this is between your dad and me Henry. We've just needed some space to figure things out. I'm sorry it's kept you from Neal though. That was mostly my fault, not his."

"So did you figure things out yet," Henry said with the widest grin that Emma had seen in a while.

It wasn't hard to figure out what the boy was thinking.

Mary Margaret stifled a laugh, "Henry, I think that's kind of personal."

Neal reached out and took Emma's hand. She let him slightly drag her closer.

"I don't know Emma," he said to her. "What do you think?"

"We're working on it," she said more to Neal than to anyone else in the room.

Neal smiled that smile that always made Emma go weak. After all these years he still had a way of getting through, of making the walls she had built seem like sand instead of stone.

Neal reached into his right pocket. "Then in that case," he said his hand gripping over something that no one could see. "I think we make it slightly more official."

He opened his fingers to reveal Emma's keychain in the palm of his hand.

"Hey that's your necklace," said Henry. "I thought you lost it."

Emma could only look at Neal in wonder. "You kept it?"

"Well I wasn't just going to leave it on the tabletop in the bar." Neal took a step toward Emma still holding her hand. "Remember the day I got this for you?"

Emma laughed, "How could I forget. We weren't exactly the best versions of ourselves back then."

"Maybe not but that day was still special. The keychain belongs with you, us. Maybe now it will mean something positive."

"It always did Neal. I was just angry when I said those things. I thought you would have picked up on it."

"Guess I'm a bit slow. So will you wear it again?"

"What do you think," Emma said.

Neal smiled and walked behind Emma. She held her hair as he unhooked the clasp and then placed it around her neck.

Emma closed her eyes and reached up to touch her swan pendant. She had gone without it for weeks. She had told herself that it didn't bother her but deep down it had. Now she was grateful to have it back.

Neal looked over Emma's shoulder, "Right where it belongs," he said leaning in to kiss her. It was simple, more of a peck since they couldn't do that much in the presence of company.

Henry smiled, "So mom can dad stay for dinner?"

"I don't know buddy," said Neal. "It's getting late, I should probably go."

Emma tightened her grip on Neal's hand. "You're staying. No more running," she said to him.

Neal smiled, "Okay, no more running."

The family of five settled in for the evening, David and Mary Margaret heading to the kitchen to begin cooking dinner.

Emma and Neal had spent a week avoiding each other. There would be plenty of time later to show their faces in town together as they had once before only this time was different but tonight it was all about family. No longer was it going to be two exes making things work for the sake of their son, sure there were still a few kinks to work out but instead it would a couple brought together by fate.


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