The third time it had happened, had been on the anniversary of Graham's death. She had been alone in her apartment, staring at an unopened bottle of wine and crying silently—the tears had come suddenly, both depressing her and taking her by surprise. She missed him, still grieving the unfair loss of life. He had been a good man; slowly he had chipped away at the walls she had stacked around her, helping her to tentatively consider the distant and scary notion of trust. Still thinking of him, she had just been about to call it a night when Hook had barged into her apartment, dark and striking—his casual words to her had faded to a mere tisking noise when he had seen the tears in her eyes and the trembling of her lips. The third time had been slow, gentle, and meaningful. He had scooped her up without a word and she had let him, allowing him to walk her up the stairs to her bedroom—she hadn't even attempted to stop him when he had laid her on the bed. And when he had ghosted his lips over hers, whispering sweet words of endearment, she had placed a hand on his chest, over his heart, quietly asking him to stay. When she came that night, he had wiped away the fallen tears that had escaped her eyes, following her shortly after and collapsing onto her unsteadily. Afterwards neither of them had immediately spoken, words of regret and assurances that it wouldn't happen again stuck in her throat.


It had happened in an instant.

And in that moment before it had happened she had been happy…truly happy—a content and exciting feeling had rushed through her fast as he had cupped her face in his roughened hands, his eyes full of unmasked wonder, his fingers trembling ever so slightly. And then it was ripped away from everything else she had ever cared about and had come to rely on—taken from her without thought.

Sniffling, Emma cursed silently and shifted on the stool at the breakfast bar, trying to block out the unwanted and depressing memories.


"I remember."

"You remember what?"

"Thank you."

Thank you—a goddamned expression of gratitude.

And it had been the last thing he had spoken to her, his words filled with such awe and reverence and hope.

But it didn't matter.

None of it mattered anymore.

He was no longer here.


His heart crushed to dust...his life taken out of spite.


Because of her.

With his words continuing to echo hauntingly in her head, Emma stared at the unopened bottle of Pinot Noir through slightly blurry vision; her hands clenching into tight fists, as her brain taunted her with images of the former sheriff—his easy smile, kind eyes, and friendly charm. Releasing a deep shuddering breath, she swallowed over the tight lump in her throat—the feelings of guilt and regret nearly suffocating her, overwhelming her completely.

Try as she may it was impossible not to think of him—the date of his death forever stamped in her mind. And as she remembered the man who had threatened to break down her barriers, had tempted her to let him in, had encouraged her to trust—she couldn't help the fresh wave of tears that sprang to her eyes. He had been a good man…better than most. He hadn't deserved his fate and had been taken from the world, from her, far too soon. And she cringed as a whispered voice reminded her that his untimely death had been her fault, Regina's hate and wickedness having manifested because of her arrival in Storybrooke.

"I'm sorry." she whispered softly to the dark and empty loft. And her heart broke as she continued to think of him—his absence had left her thirst to trust again suddenly renewed, her once strong barriers while still in place, irreversibly weakened.

No longer impenetrable.

"Graham." she whispered his name softly, sadly…the simple word wavering around the edges, her voice trembling with emotion as she brought shaky fingers to her lips, the phantom feeling of his kiss mocking her in her overly distressed state. "I'm sorry." she said again, her voice thick with emotion.

She felt so lost and unsure—the heaviness in her heart weighing her down, its dull rhythmic beating reminding her of his ultimate sacrifice. And it was nights like these, when she allowed herself to remember, that she couldn't find it in her to be the compassionate savior—daughter of the eternally good and pure Snow White and Prince Charming—her raw hatred for Regina vibrating hot and intense throughout her body.

She had torn him from her.

She had taken away that chance at something.

Something good and pure and honest.

Something more.

And quickly she blocked out the voice in her head that was whispering in a harsh and hissing tone that he hadn't been right for her, he hadn't been what she really wanted, what she really needed.

He hadn't been him.



Annoyed she reached out for the bottle of wine, gripping it tightly with a deep frown, her heart picking up in pace, her eyes hot with unshed tears. She hated herself for allowing her thoughts to take a turn in that direction. Thinking about the pirate in that way was definitely something she wasn't willing to explore. And another small voice in her head reassured her that she was merely drained from the weight of the day—the anniversary of Graham's death taking its toll on her.


Angry she swatted away a sneaky tear that had slipped past her eye—the trailing wetness surprising her, the steady stream that followed making her feel pathetic and helpless. Desperate she tried to will her tumultuous thoughts away needing to think about anything else other than that night, Graham, Hook…her ever-evolving feelings. But her brain was cruel and ruthless—the images of the sheriff with hope and wonder in his glimmering gaze, collapsing before her, his body lifeless before it even hit the ground, flashing before her eyes.

And the blood in her veins went cold with the haunting and ugly picture, a quiet sob escaping her lips, her body suddenly trembling violently.

Had Graham still been alive maybe she would have allowed him past her defenses, maybe she would have eventually let him in. But instead he had left her, merely making her weak and vulnerable in the process. Her once thick and unbreakable walls were wavering, just waiting to come crashing down. And with the realization, no matter how hard she tried to drown out the voices and images that suddenly berated her, she couldn't help but think of him. And she hated herself for thinking of him because he was nothing like the gentle and compassionate former sheriff.

Oh no.

He was infuriating.

He was incorrigible.

He was dangerous.

And he terrified her more than any man she'd ever met….

Pulling her jacket closer to ward off the slight chill in the air, Emma shifted on the hard and uncomfortable bench she sat on, her eyes drifting from the elementary school building sprawling in front of her to her hands clasped tightly together in her lap. Glancing at her watch she let out a long sigh when she saw that she still had five more minutes to wait before Henry's class let out for the day—the realization causing her already sour mood to take yet another dive.

Drawing her lower lip between her teeth, she chewed on it lightly, closing her eyes as she leaned back against the bench. She was stressed and irritable and tired, so very, very tired…and she blamed it all on certain pirate who had unfortunately taken up a permanent residence in her unwillingly brain. She couldn't stop thinking about him; about their last time together, about their first time together, about how she secretly craved another time together. His touch had branded itself into her skin, his scent constantly invading her senses. She needed him. She wanted him. And with the thought echoing promisingly in her head, she tried to suppress the surprising whimper of defeat that rose up in her throat, her mouth turning down into a tight frown.

"I find it quite amazing how enchanting you can appear even while melancholy Swan."

Her eyes flashing open at the sound of his voice, she shot her gaze up, feeling her cheeks go hot with a sudden wave of heat as she saw him standing in front of her, looking as dark and dangerous as ever. Dressed all in black, his long leather coat swaying gently in the soft breeze, his dark hair ruffling ever so slightly, he shot her a disarming smile, followed by a quick appraisal with his vibrant blue eyes.

"You're tired…you're beautiful, brilliant…but tired all the same."

It unnerved her how well he could read her.

"I'm fine." she muttered, her eyes drifting past him to the school, silently she willed Henry to walk through the doors, praying she wouldn't have to endure Hook's presence much longer.

He was too observant.


At her obvious brush off, he made a low humming noise of disagreement in his throat while edging slightly closer, "I haven't figured out whether you are just a bloody terrible liar or if perhaps I'm just that well-practiced in reading you."

"Hook..." she said his name quietly, her heart slowing in pace for a moment as his eyes continued to burn into her before quickly it leapt, hammering rapidly against her chest. And suddenly she was back outside the diner again, pushed up against the unforgiving brick wall—his mouth, hot and branding, devouring her cries, his body heavy and unyielding pressed against hers, his muffled grunts ringing in her ears.

"Pray tell darling, is that blush for me?"

Without thinking she raised a shaky hand to her flaming cheeks, swallowing quickly, she shook her head, attempting to chase the unfortunate images from her brain. "Listen I—"

But before she could continue, he was walking towards her, the air around him seemingly sparking with something electric and dangerous as he closed the small distance between them. Coming to a halt beside the bench, he flashed her a fast smile before drawing up his good hand, surprising her when he offered her a single white daisy.

"What—what's this?"

His lips twitched, his features gentling at her breathy and confused question—the soft look he gave her scarily endearing. "It's a flower my dear."

"I—I…"she shook her head at him, words failing her, she stared at him mutely.

"Generally when one is given a gift, it's proper to accept it with thanks..." he paused, letting the sentence hang, his eyes suddenly flashing wickedly. "Would you like to thank me Swan?"

Her gaze narrowed at the dripping innuendos that hung from the simply phrased inquiry even as a shiver ran down her spine and ignoring his question she answered him with one of her own. "Who's garden did you rip off?"

His smile only widened at her sharp tone, and offering the flower again he held her stare. "It's merely a single flower Emma, take it."

Casting him a pointed look, she tilted her head to the side, and lifting her mouth into something that was lost halfway between a smile and a scowl she reached out and took the flower, noting the way her skin tingled hot when her fingers brushed his. Pulling her hand back quickly she stared down at the daisy, twirling it in her fingers. Daisies were so bright and happy and friendly…everything she decidedly was not. But still, she couldn't help the tiny sliver of warmth that sneaked its way into her heart as she continued to absently spin the flower.

No one had ever given her flowers before.

And even though it was one small daisy, one he'd probably swiped from some poor unsuspecting soul's garden…it still touched her.

"What are you doing outside of my son's school Hook?" she asked him, disregarding the slightly husky tone of her voice.

"I wanted to see you." He said the words casually, carelessly, as if it the simple fact shouldn't surprise her.

When she was sure she could keep a straight poker face, she glanced up at him, silently cursing him for his damn eyes—their intensity and flashing emotions, nearly too much for her to process.

"How did you know I'd be here?" she murmured, and unconsciously bringing the flower up to her nose, she sniffed at it a little.

"You keep a fairly tight schedule love, every day at quarter past three you come to your boy's school and wait on this bench with a scowl on your face and a faraway look in your eyes." He leaned closer, the action causing her to shrink back a bit on the bench. "Lately you seem more distant than usual. I have to wonder what's weighing so heavily on your mind."

Rolling her eyes, she quickly got up from the bench, needing to level the playing field. Brushing past him, she put a few feet of distance between them, breathing easier when he remained where he was, merely cocking an eyebrow up at her sudden and quick movements.

"You stalking me now Hook?"

He laughed at her question, the sound low and deep and seductive. It shot straight to her belly, warming her from the inside out, and silently she cursed her traitorous brain for the hot images that replayed over and over again in her head, the pictures causing her face to heat again as desire quickly leapt to life inside of her.

She needed to pull it together.

She was outside an elementary school for Chrissakes.

"Like I said I wanted to see you."

Her eyes met his, and noting with some wariness how he took a step closer to her, and then another, she tried to remain calm—her breathing suddenly uneven. "Why?"

His lips kicked up at the corners, his eyes softening considerably. "I think about you constantly Swan…I can't stop, no matter how hard I try. I want you. I never even had you...truly had you...and yet somehow I miss you."

At his abrupt declaration her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open as she stared at him dumbly—her heart feeling uncomfortably full, her eyes stinging annoyingly. Unable to move, she watched as he continued to advance on her, stopping in front of her, the tips of his boots nearly brushing hers, the heat of his body warming her. Raising his hook, he brushed back her loose hair, placing it behind her shoulders, the sharp metal lingering near her throat as he stared down at her unblinkingly—the feeling of cool steel against her skin bringing a shiver to her body, the tremor rippling throughout her fast.

"I need you Emma," he said simply, in a calm almost soothing voice.

"I—I…" she stuttered, her mind racing, her lips and tongue unable to form words as she tried to process what he was saying, his honest and real words throwing her more than his blatant suggestions and obvious innuendos. "Hook—"


Her eyes snapped away from his, quickly she took a small step back from him, his hook dropping away from her as she did. And she watched as his face fell slightly, before seemingly quickly recovering, he turned his attention towards Henry who was walking towards them excitedly.

"Hey!" her son spared her a fast smile before focusing his attention on the pirate, his face lighting up considerably as a look of awe crept into his eyes. It still surprised her how, since Neverland—since Killian had proved to him that he was indeed one of the "good-guys"—how star-struck the kid could appear when around Hook—his never-ending questions relentless, his obvious admiration somewhat endearing. "Hey Captain!"

Hook flashed her son a winning smile, his serious demeanor suddenly gone. "Hello my boy."

"What are you doing here?"

"I had something I needed to speak with your mother about."

A knowing look flashed into her son's eyes, something that both intimidated her and surprised her—the expression on his young face too perspective for her liking. Silently she begged the kid not to question them any further, feeling somewhat ridiculous for feeling like a teenager getting caught with her boyfriend—the roles of parent and child completely reversed.

Thankfully her son's non-existent attention span, when it came to something outside of battling evil witches and saving a cursed town, was something she could always count on and watching as his eyes lit up suddenly, she breathed a bit easier, knowing she was in the clear, something else obviously consuming his over-active mind.

"How's the Jolly Roger?" The slightly wistful tone in Henry's voice couldn't be missed; his blatant love for the pirate ship no secret.

"Better than ever." Hook told him, amusement flashing across his features as if he knew some joke the rest of them were unaware of, and pausing he considered Henry for a moment before flashing him a bright smile. "I can take you sailing anytime you'd like my boy. Merely say the word."

At the invitation Henry's eyes lit up even more, an excited gasp passing his lips as he turned towards her—she was almost positive that at that moment her expression was equally as surprised as her son's.


She sighed, her eyes drifting to Hook, she shot him a long meaningful glare not appreciating being blindsided by the invitation, her gaze narrowing when he merely smiled innocently and shrugged carelessly. "Henry look haven't you had enough…"

"Come on you heard him, he said it was fine…how about this weekend? Saturday?" He glanced at Hook who merely raised a brow in silent agreement, the smile spreading across her son's face near blinding. "Please come on. Please."

"You're more than welcome to join us Swan…if you don't trust me to keep him safe."

Her eyes shot to his at the statement, her expression gentling as his curious and challenging gaze held hers. Of course she trusted him with Henry, he had proved to her time and time again in Neverland and after that he'd do anything and everything to keep him safe. And as the thought circled in her brain weighing on her significantly, she felt her throat suddenly close tightly, a prickling of panic dancing up her spine as she broke from his gaze fast and watched as Henry stared at him adoringly, his face brightening when Hook glanced away from her and winked at him with a quick grin.

"Fine…fine. It's fine…Saturday it is."

At Henry's ecstatic shout followed by an amusing fist pump, Emma watched as the two began talking about the upcoming outing, Henry firing off question after question, and Hook answering them easily—the amusement in his tone only masked by gentle affection. After awhile, she somehow found herself trailing behind them, lagging slowly as they began to walk away from the school.

Henry's high-pitched and excited voice answered by Hook's deep and lilting one, rang in her ears as something heavy and meaningful weighed in her heart….

As another tear made its way down her cheek, Emma blinked her eyes rapidly, trying in vain to stop them, her efforts only succeeding in making them flow faster and harder. Wincing, she closed her eyes, attempting to gain control of her swirling emotions, desperate to shake away any lingering thoughts of Hook. She was so confused—scared and surprised by the intense range of emotions she felt for him. And she hated him for making her feel the way he did. The whispered revelations in her head, speaking things that were too scary for her to fully accept. Things about trust, promises, and unwavering commitment. Things about something she feared and tried to deny more than anything—something that had broken her and shattered her completely once before...


And as the simple word circled in her brain, briefly she allowed herself to consider, had he still been around, what Graham would say, about her current situation, imagining his calm and roughly accented voice, his teasing and reassuring tone. A smile lit her face at the thought, until quite suddenly it began to waver and dip, giving way to a deep frown as a cruel voice in her head ripped her harshly from her musings. Almost violently it reminded her that her thoughts were nothing more than wishful thinking—there was no use imagining 'what if' scenarios…Hook and Graham would never exist together in the same world with her.

Graham was no longer here.



And it was her fault.

"Oh God." she whispered as the thought brought on fresh memories of the night he had died. And as the vivid images continued to haunt her, she couldn't help but hate herself almost as much as she hated Regina for killing him, the blame for his fate weighing heavily on her shoulders. "I'm sorry….I'm so so sorry." her voice broke as another wave of grief hit her fast—her stomach dropping and her heart clenching. "I'm sorry…

And just as she was about to let go, to allow her despair to consume her entirely, a sound behind her had her whirling around in the stool. The sight of the door swinging open, followed by a dark figure strolling into the apartment taking her by surprise—her brain muddled and slow unable to fully process the intrusion.

"Bloody hell Swan, you call that a lock…what the devil is wrong with you, I could have been…" Hook's voice trailed off as he took in the sight of her, his eyes bright and piercing even in the dim light roamed over her face, his mouth opening before closing again as he stared at her hard. "You're crying."

She tried to laugh at both his sudden presence and his blunt statement, the sound gurgling up in her throat and getting stuck there, coming out closer to a hysterical moan—the soft noise both embarrassing and revealing.

"Why are you crying?"

His voice drew her attention back to him, and for a moment she felt hot blinding anger spike its way through her body, suddenly she was furious with him for turning her world upside-down—irrationally angry with him for being alive and well as the former sheriff of the town lay beneath the ground in a cold and lifeless grave.

"Leave…just…dammit Hook just go."

Her lips trembled with the words, her voice coming out weaker than she would have liked. And unable to face him any longer, knowing she was seconds from shattering in front of him, she turned around and gave him her back, hoping he'd take the hint and leave her to her self-induced misery.

He waited a moment or two before moving.

She hadn't expected her heart to drop when she heard the sounds of his footsteps retreating. She hadn't expected the burning tears that stung in her eyes before falling steadily down her cheeks when she heard the sound of the apartment door closing. She hadn't expected the swift and strong feeling of betrayal that ran through her fast as silence hung heavy in the empty loft

She hadn't expected to expect him to stay…

Letting out a silent sob, too tired to attempt to hold back her despair any longer, too upset that Hook had left her without question, that Graham was still dead and that she was once again alone; she cried silently, her entire body aching and humming with the too many emotions that were quickly consuming her. And she was so lost in her own tears that she barely registered when his shadow fell over her, his familiar scent slowly drifting up to her, the warmth of his presence gently making itself known.

"I said—"

"I heard what you said darling." his voice was quiet, his tone low and smooth.

And before she could respond, before she could demand he leave again, before she could allow herself to feel humiliated for letting him see her so vulnerable and broken, he bent down and in a movement so graceful and fluid it nearly took her breath away, lifted her into his arms, holding her against him bridal style.

"Hook…" her voice was small—she wanted to tell him to put her down, she needed to collect herself—the urge to demand he leave her alone on the tip of her tongue. But as she spoke his name her resolve left her, leaving in its place an ache in her heart and the overwhelming need to be held and comforted…

By him.

Unable to fight the impulse any longer, she collapsed against his chest, allowing her tears to flow freely as her muffled cries sounded throughout the loft, his whispered words attempting to drown out her self-pity and loathing, as he effortlessly carried her across the room, his arms strong and sturdy around her. Dimly she noted when he slowly began to walk up the stairs, his voice still speaking quietly in her ear, the vibrating sound lulling her into a daze as tears continued to stream down her face, and the gravity of the trying day continued to settle upon her.

She didn't even question how he knew exactly where to go, pushing open her bedroom door and walking into the room without pause. Slowly he moved towards her bed, his voice still soothing her, his words letting her know that he was there for her, he had her, he wasn't letting go. Gently, tenderly, he lowered her to the bed, his eyes narrowing slightly when she let out tiny whimper—somewhere in the back of her mind a voice angrily hissed at her, annoyed by her further show of weakness. Bending over he brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes, her head unconsciously tilting into his hand with the action, her body protesting the loss of his warmth since he had laid her down.

"Emma, love, why are you so distressed?"

She shook her head, feeling exposed, she'd had never broken down so fully in front of anyone before, her emotional barriers usually keeping such unlikely reactions at bay. She felt more than silly for reacting so strongly to the anniversary of Graham's death…she'd lost so many people throughout her life…why she was so affected by him failed her.

"It's nothing I—I lost a friend today…" she whispered lamely, her voice hoarse and raspy and she watched as his eyes narrowed in confusion, alarm crossing his features. "Not today exactly," she amended quickly, breaking away from his gaze, "just…he died a while ago…it's sort of the anniversary of his…his death…it's stupid…just forget it." Her words were stuttered and stilted, the uncertainty in them clear and obvious.

"Did you love him?"

His abrupt inquiry was spoken quietly, no accusation laced in his tone, it was merely a simple question—given her tears and distress one she supposed was rightfully asked.

"No." she murmured softly, and pausing she swallowed, her burning eyes raising to meet his as she smiled sadly. "but I think maybe I could have." And with the words another tear trailed its way down her cheek, the wetness branding into her, reminding her of what she had lost, the death and grief she had caused.


"It's my fault he's dead. I—I challenged Regina, I came here and upset her delicate balance of things. She saw me as a threat…she killed him because…" she stopped, swallowing over her narrowed throat, the lump there refusing to go away. "She killed him because of me."

It was odd to say it out loud. To admit that she had been the direct cause of someone's death…someone she had cared for and respected. And as the words rang out in her room, she shuddered violently, a mixture of a whimper and moan falling from her lips.

"Darling stop." Hook's voice was near pleading, bordering on frantic—suddenly, he was sitting down on the bed, his body brushing against hers. Cupping the side of her face with his good hand, the pad of his thumb wiped away her tears as they continued to fall, his blue eyes gentle and concerned. "You're stronger than this Swan. You're just tired…anxious…you need rest." His mouth lifted into a small smile as he stared at her hard, his eyes searching hers seemingly looking for answers—he appeared desperate to make her pain go away. After a moment of long drawn out silence, he sighed, and leaning forward slowly, dusted his lips across hers in a soft and chaste kiss. "Sleep Emma."

She couldn't stand the thought of him leaving.

Panicked Emma raised her hand, and placing it against his chest, splaying her fingers out over his heart, she looked at him openly, honestly, allowing him to see whatever emotions might have been swirling in her watery gaze. And watching as surprise flashed across his features, something close to awe settling in his stare, she took a deep breath. And refusing to break eye contact, keeping her hand firmly against his chest while noting how the steady beating of his heart had picked up in pace, she gathered her wits, summoning her wavering strength.

"Stay with me."


Lifting herself slightly she sat up a bit, so that her face was close to his, their somewhat heavy breathing mixing together, his close proximity enveloping her. And leaning even closer to him, so that his features were blurred and they were a mere breadth away, she allowed herself to speak what was in her heart, disregarding the panic in her head.

"I need you."

And with the softly spoken words she closed the space between them, kissing him tenderly, her lips moving hesitantly, luring his into a slow and gentle dance. Immediately he responded, wrapping an arm around her waist he shifted on the bed, drawing her closer as her tongue tentatively sought his, her heart pounding and her head buzzing as her body registered that for the first time in days, weeks, however long it had been since he had last held her…she felt right.


"Emma," he pulled back from her, his good hand and his hooked one coming up to rest on her arms, keeping her at bay—his eyes glimmering, their blue depths swirling with his unsaid feelings. "You need rest. I don't want you to…" he trailed off, his voice slightly pained, the sound defeated and bordering on broken. And watching as he warred with himself, she felt a warmth spread throughout her…his internal battle obvious. He wanted her, that much was clear…but he didn't want to take advantage of her.

"Killian." she said his name freely, without thought, pressing her lips against his once before pulling back. "I need you." Pressing the palm of her hand harder against his chest, she locked eyes with him once again. "Please."

She had always thought herself above begging, too proud and stubborn to put herself out there. But with him things were different, with him those walls were slowly coming down, one shaky barrier by one shaky barrier. And at that moment, with the whispered memories of Graham's death still registering in the back of her head and Hook's body so close to hers, she couldn't bring herself to care, unwilling to stop the moment of vulnerability from happening.

She allowed him to see her exposed.

For a moment she allowed him past her walls to the lost girl hidden behind them.

Hearing her words, apparently seeing her need, her meaning—he nodded once, his jaw clenching, his expression surprisingly impassive. And catching her lips in another kiss, he pressed his body into hers, laying her back down onto the bed, shifting himself so that he was hovering over her.

Greedily she drank in his kiss, wrapping her arms tightly around him, needing to feel him pressed against her—the realization of how much she had craved him, wanted him, missed him both jarring her and exciting her. Whimpering as his stubble scratched her sensitive skin, his body seemingly unconsciously moving against hers, gently grinding into her with the promise of what was to come, she unhooked her arms from around him and began to undo the buttons of his shirt, needing the hot feel of his skin against hers. When her hands began to tremble, her throat suddenly closing in on her, her actions becoming faltered, she broke away from the kiss, muttering a violent curse. Leaning back, he raised a brow at the profanities spilling from her lips, picking up one of her hands, he kissed the knuckles gently, his eyes seeking hers.

"Sweetheart…we don't have to. If you're uncertain—"

"No." she cut him off fast, her tone firm and unyielding even as her feelings rushed tumultuously inside of her in a confusing rage. "I need you." she said the words again, refusing to back down, refusing to let him question her motives, her reasoning.

She needed him.

Regardless of what had happened earlier, her previous line of thinking, her prior thoughts, whether she was acting rash simply because she was emotional—that fact remained true, remained firm, remained unwavering.

She needed him.

Looking down at her a moment, his mouth lifted slightly, his sea-blue eyes as gentle as a calm summer's day. "Always so defiant," he whispered, releasing her hand, he made quick work of his shirt, tossing it carelessly to the floor beside them. "Always so stubborn," lifting himself off the bed he unlaced his pants, pulling them down and stepping out of them, his eyes still bright and unblinking on hers. "Always so brave," lowering himself back onto the bed he placed his hand at the bottom of her shirt and pulled it up slowly, lifting it over her head with her delayed help. "Always so enchanting," staring down at her, his eyes roamed over her half-naked form, drinking in the sight of her as she lay before him. "Always so beautiful," moving his sure fingers to the loose sweatpants she wore, he stripped them away, leaving her completely exposed before him.

And as she lay naked beneath him he said nothing else, his eyes holding a possessiveness that both thrilled and alarmed her. Their blue depths tinged with something deep and claiming—silently they took hold of her.


The message was as clear as day. And at that moment she was—there was no denying it, no arguing it.

She was completely his.

Covering her body with his, he found her lips again, kissing her deeply, thoroughly, her arms immediately welcoming him, her legs falling open and accepting him gratefully. And as he hovered over her, his strong and scarred body, pressing ever so lightly into hers, she closed her eyes for a moment, his hot and throbbing length pressed against her—quite suddenly she was wet and aching.

She needed him inside of her.

She wanted him so much it terrified her.

"Tell me you want this Emma…tell me you need it."

She hesitated.

She didn't need it.



"I need you." she breathed without restraint and arching her hips upwards, she pressed her hands into his back, pushing him into her, crying out when without a moment's hesitation he heeded her invitation and thrust himself fully inside of her, not stopping until he was completely sheathed within her—the intrusion causing her body to lift towards him, her legs coming up to wrap around his waist, her head tilting to the side as her eyes closed tightly, both her mind and body absorbing the overwhelming sensations.

"Look at me Emma." His voice drifted to her ears through the faint roaring that had begun to sound in them, and turning her head at the demand she met his steely blue stare, his eyes intense, his emotions clear and unguarded. "Don't look away."

Slowly he began to move, thrusting into her deeply, knowingly, taking her gently and thoroughly. Part of her protested, claiming she just needed a distraction from her depressing and angst-filled thoughts—the urge to tell him to go faster falling silent on her tongue as a larger part of her welcomed the change in pace, whispering that this had always been what she had craved from him. Their previous encounters somewhat detached and frantically frenzied, their emotions denied.

"Killian," she whispered softly, her voice trembling as he shifted his angle and hit her in a spot that had sparks of light dancing in front of her open eyes. "Oh God." she murmured softly, her grip on him becoming tighter—his leisurely movements, sliding in and out of her slowly, close to tortuous.

And as her breathing became heavy and labored, the sound of their panting and her occasional moans sounding nearly explosive in the silent room—he didn't speak a word, his usual teasing encouragements and hot words replaced only by his shuddering breaths and broken grunts. Pushing even more deeply into her, his rippling muscles quivering over her body as he braced himself above her, his hips moved in synch with hers, the ease with which they came together not going unnoticed in her hazy brain.

They had always made a decent team.

They complemented each other.

They worked.

And she knew that somewhere, behind the still present memories of Graham, of Neal, of her parents, of everyone who had ever deserted her and had left her on her own, was a deep and burning nearly paralyzing fear. She was afraid to open herself up, to care—anyone she had ever needed had left her. Whether by death or choice, the outcome was always the same time and time again.

She always ended up alone.

"Emma." he said her name calmly, pushing into her fully and stopping when he could go no further, a gasping moan escaping her, ripping her from her untimely and depressing thoughts. "Don't darling."

"Wh—what?" she rasped, canting her hips upwards, vaguely registering his sharp intake of breath with the action.

But instead of smirking at her, instead of saying something witty or clever, he merely braced himself on his bad arm, the movement stirring him inside of her, the feel his throbbing length shifting ever so slightly and pressing against her walls dragging a low moan from her lips as once again bright spots shot before her eyes.

"This." he said, drawing her attention back to him, and with a sense of detached awe she felt him gently wipe away more tears she had unconsciously cried, the feeling of them trailing down her face having gone unnoticed. Releasing a shaky breath, she raised her eyes to his, the pained expression on his face nearly doing her in. "I can stop, " he said the words quietly, meaningfully, and her heart clenched while her throat tightened. She knew that it was true, she merely had to say the word and he would stop without question, without blame.

Bringing her hand to his, swallowing thickly, she placed her smaller one on top of his larger one and pressed it against her cheek, smiling tremulously when he brushed away another tear. "Don't stop…" pausing, she felt her lips continue to tremble as her body quivered beneath his, the too intense emotions inside of her battling for release. "Killian I—" she stopped again unsure what she wanted to say and how to say it, so instead she stared at him, hoping what he needed to see was reflected in her hazy gaze. "Don't stop."

His lips twitched at her words, his body tensing slightly as they continued to stare openly at each other. And after only waiting a heartbeat or two, he nodded, moving inside of her once again, the feeling immediately causing a slow pressure to build deep within her belly, spreading fast down her body, as his movements increased ever so slightly, his thrusts somehow becoming deeper, even as he kept that same slow and steady pace. As her toes began to curl, her vision wavering around the edges, her body tingling, as he hit her again and again in the spot that had her crying out his name and digging her nails into his back, she braced herself. Tensing for a moment, she opened her eyes, having been unaware she had closed them in the first place. And meeting his stormy gaze, she blew out a shaky breath as his thumb brushed away another hot tear that slowly streaked down her cheek, the gentle action doing her in—she shattered beneath him, calling out his name as she clenched him tightly, wave after wave of pleasure surrounding her and threatening to pull her under. Pulling him closer to her, she felt him begin to pump himself into her faster, drawing out her climax while seeking his own. And as he continued to take her, she sobbed out incoherent words, words that shouldn't be said in the heat of the moment, words that begged him to stay with her, to never leave her—her heart so full, her head so light, her body reeling.

And when she felt him tense, his body going rigid before thrusting into her once more, she trembled beneath him as he buried his face into her neck and came apart above her—whispering her name, his loyalties, his faith, his commitment…offering it all to her in his lilting and broken voice.

Later she knew she'd tell herself it was all said and done in the heat of the moment—she was emotionally distraught and he was attempting to make it better.

Later she would allow herself to once again deny what was really and truly between them.

Later she'd tell herself keeping him at arm's length was for the best.


Now, she let her legs fall open slowly, cradling him between them, her arms slid limply down his back, her breathing still heavy and labored began to slow, as her heart continued to pound fast against her chest. And as he drew in a deep breath, pulling out of her with a satisfied groan, words of regret caught in her throat when he shifted and rolled away from her, bringing her with him. Settling her at his side he drew her to him, so her head was resting on his shoulder and his arm was wrapped around her.

A heavy and telling silence slowly overtook the room—the sound deafening.

"I know what you're doing right now Emma." he spoke suddenly, his voice gruff and deep. "I know that you're trying to rationalize what just happened, what keeps happening." Lifting his head he turned it slightly, her own raising a bit to meet his gaze. "Don't."

"Killian…" she started, somewhat startled by the fact that he knew exactly what she had been doing.

"I am going to hold you. We are not going to speak, we are not going to do anything, I am merely going to hold you...because right now that's what you need…."

"My parents…" she muttered, feeling stupid and juvenile when he shot her a slightly exasperated and questioning look. "It's just that they'll be home in the morning and I'm sorry it's awkward and weird and—and we're not…we aren't…I don't know what we're doing and it's been a long day and I'm sorry I broke down in front of you and—and…"

"I'll be gone before the sun rises…we're not going to talk about it Emma." He cut off her ramblings, and bringing his hook up, he placed it under her chin, tilting her face towards him gently. "Don't deny this…not tonight."

Trapped in his unwavering gaze she shook her head slowly, "What do you want from me?" she whispered softly, unable to stop the words from spilling from her lips, unsure if she really wanted to know the answer.

And whether he had seen her uncertainty or he was just unwilling to respond, she wasn't sure but he didn't say a word. Instead he merely dusted his lips over hers before tucking her back against his side, holding her in a loose embrace as silence once again enveloped the room.

But while he had said nothing at her abrupt inquiry she had seen the quick and honest look that had flashed in his eyes.

A look that had told her exactly what he wanted, exactly what he needed from her.

It was simple really, something she should have seen coming from the moment she had begged him to take her after returning from Neverland.


And whether it was the trying day—both her mental and physical exhaustion finally sneaking up on her, she found herself pressing closer against him, the need to deny whatever was slowly building between them gone for the night, the aching grief that had consumed her earlier replaced by a feeling of gentle and surprising contentment.

It was the first time in over ten years that she allowed herself to be held after being intimate with a man.

And with the shocking realization ringing in her head, her still racing mind began to calm as the heaviness in her heart lifted slowly. Tired, her eyes still burning from her previous crying jigs, she finally let herself begin to drift off into a much needed sleep, his strong arms wrapped protectively around her, promising to keep the nightmares at bay while holding her close—the warm and familiar embrace feeling like home.


This sucker got away from me. I feel like I may have veered a bit from "Mine" but I did try to give a bit of a nod to it somewhere in the middle.

And I do truly believe even with all these intense revelations it wouldn't be surprising to see Emma in a scenario like Mine where in the beginning she is denying Hook—I see her quite easily pulling back from him in the light of day after the storm has cleared.

Anywho, review?