Emma saw at her desk in the sheriff's station doodling on a pad of paper. It had been a quiet week. Aside from a few kids getting caught playing near the abandoned mines, the people of Storybrooke seemed to be on their best behavior. This bored Emma a bit. She was still trying to adjust to life in a small town and not having to constantly chase people through various cities. It was a welcome relief though; she had to admit that.
Emma glanced up at the clock. It was half past ten in the morning already. She knew Graham was going to be in late, but she didn't think he would be this late. Her fingers danced on the desk next to her phone debating whether or not to call him.
Things between the sheriff and her had been complicated ever since he had suffered the sudden heart attack the night he ended things with Regina. Emma had insisted that Graham was working too hard and forced him to take some time off. Even though both of them had felt a real connection with one another when they kissed, it seemed like Graham's episode was some sort of sign that they shouldn't be together. But that hadn't stopped them from shamelessly flirting.
"Oh fuck it," Emma said aloud. She picked up the phone and dialed Graham's number.
"Sheriff Graham," he said. That accent of his made Emma melt every time. She still hadn't figured out how a man from Ireland had ended up in a small town in the middle of Maine, but she wasn't complaining.
"It's Emma," she said as nonchalantly as possible. "Where are you? I thought you would be in by now."
"I'm just about to head in," he responded. "Sorry, my errand took a lot longer than I thought it would."
Emma heard an odd squeak on Graham's end. "What was that?"
"Oh nothing," he said quickly. "Just the car door. Sounds like I need to oil the hinges again. I'll see you in a few minutes, Emma."
"Ok, bye." She hung up the phone and began drumming her fingernails on the desk, sighing heavily. There wasn't even any paperwork to file.
Emma ran her fingers through her long, blonde curls and got up from the desk. She sauntered over to the dartboard and picked up the darts. Graham still remained undefeated, but Emma, her competitive side refusing to give up, was not going to stop trying. He couldn't be perfect all the time, could he? Emma smiled to herself because she knew she wasn't just thinking of his flawless darts record.
With her toes on the duct tape line on the floor, Emma took aim, reached back, and fired. The dart ricocheted as usual off the board and fell feebly to the ground. What was his secret? He claimed to have played darts for as long as he could remember. She needed to take him to the shooting range. That was her forte. Darts and handguns are two completely different things and she was confident the sheriff was not as good with a weapon as she was.
Emma continued to toss darts, only getting a few of them to stick, though no where near the bullseye.
"You know the whole point is to hit that little red circle in the middle." Graham waltzed into the room, his joking smile on his face.
"Very funny," Emma smirked back. She noticed him carrying a pink box of Granny's donuts. "What do you want, Graham?"
He shrugged. "Who says I want anything?"
"You never buy donuts unless you want something." She walked over slowly and opened the box in his hands. "And you only buy me bear claws when it's something big." Her eyes flicked to his. "Out with it, Sheriff."
Graham bit his lip. "Well, I, uh... I kind of bought something for the station and I probably should've consulted you first."
Emma raised her brow. "Uh, Graham, you're the sheriff. You can buy whatever the hell you want for here."
"Yeah, but this probably should've been talked over with you first."
"Oh for God's sake, what is it?"
He handed her the box of donuts. "Sit down and eat your bear claw while I go out and get it."
"Ok..." Emma did as she was told, savoring the sugary sweetness from the donut that she normally never allowed herself to eat. But Graham gave this one to her so it was ok to break the rule. She noticed a second bear claw in the box. Now she was curious. What could he have possibly gotten to warrant the need of purchasing two bear claws?
As she bit into her donut for a second time, Emma heard the front door open down the hall followed by what sounded like the pitter-patter of little feet. Just as she stood up to investigate, a small, black fuzzball came bounding into the hold area, Graham trailing quickly behind holding a leash. This was the last thing Emma had expected.
"You got a... a dog." She just stared at the fur ball.
Graham surveyed her for a second. "You're mad," he concluded.
Emma tore her eyes from the curious puppy who was busy sniffing around and looked at Graham. "No! No, I'm not mad," she insisted. "Just surprised!"
"So you're ok with this?"
"Yeah." Emma bent down and picked up the dog. "What made you want to get a puppy?" She giggled as the pet licked her face.
"I don't know," he shrugged. "I just figured we've had a boring week around here..."
"You got a dog because we haven't been busy?"
"Yeah. I thought it might spice things up. Plus I should be able to train him to be a good police dog."
"I suppose you never know when we might need one." Emma set the puppy back on the floor allowing it to wander. "What's his name?"
Graham smiled. "I thought we could pick one out together."
"Hmm ok." She studied the dog as it searched around the desk. "Well, I have an idea."
"So do I," Graham said.
"What's yours? It's probably a lot better than mine."
"I can guarantee you that it's not. I couldn't even come up with a clever name for my goldfish."
"What was it?"
Graham sighed out of embarrassment and said, "Mr. Gold."
Emma burst into a fit of laughter. That was one thing, among many, Graham was always good at, making her laugh. Before coming to Storybrooke, she hadn't laughed so much in a long time.
"I'm assuming you didn't tell the pawnbroker that one?"
"That would be a no," Graham chuckled. "I told you, I'm terrible at naming pets."
"Well, is your name suggestion Mr. Dog?"
Graham gave a sarcastic laugh. "Very funny. And no, it's not."
"Let's both just say the name we thought of at the same time, ok?" She knew it was a cheesy solution, but she didn't care.
"Fine," he agreed.
"Ready?" Graham nodded. "On the count of three. One... two... three!"
"Hunter." They both looked at one another and smiled.
"Well," Graham said bending over to pick up the dog, "looks like we have a winner, Hunter!"
Emma stepped over and stood close to Graham petting Hunter. She could smell the sweet musk of Graham's cologne which made it even harder to resist him. "Yeah, it's a good name." She leaned down and kissed the top of Hunter's head. "Welcome to the family, Hunter."
Graham looked at Emma curiously. "Family?"
Emma tried to shrug it off. "Yeah, well, you know, the sheriff station family."
"It's a good family," Graham said sweetly, gazing into Emma's eyes. "Although, we do seem to spend a lot of time at work." He ignored Hunter's soft bite on his fingers.
"Yeah that's probably not a good thing," Emma agreed, hoping this was going where she wanted it to.
Graham put his ear close to Hunter's snout. "What's that, Hunter?" He scrunched his face squeamishly as Hunter licked his ear. "You think we should have a nice family dinner at home tonight?"
Emma shook her head and smiled as she continued to watch the sheriff. It was impossible for her to resist his sweet charm.
Graham looked back at Emma. "Hunter thinks we should have a welcome home dinner for him tonight."
"Oh he does, does he?" Emma joked, scratching behind Hunter's ears. "I suppose I can cancel my plans to watch TV in my sweatpants so I can attend."
"You can bring your sweatpants if you want. Hunter doesn't mind."
Emma laughed. "I'm sure he doesn't. It's a date."
The dog barked wanting to be put down on the floor. "Hunter is very excited," Graham said, a smile widespread across his face. "He can't wait to show off his cooking skills."
"He does seem like quite the show off," Emma teased. "I suppose I should go do rounds though, Sheriff."
"Probably," Graham agreed. "Why don't you do a couple and then take the rest of the day off, deputy. I'm sure the new recruit and I can handle things around here."
Emma nodded. "Sounds great. Can I bring anything to dinner, Hunter?" she called down at the floor.
"Bottle of wine?" Graham suggested. "I don't think Hunter knows anything about good wines."
"I've got it covered. See you at seven."
Graham smiled. He thought about going in for a kiss, but decided he would save that for later. Now he had to play out the most perfect meal for her and he couldn't be more excited for it.
Emma grabbed her jacket and walked out of the station. She could not wipe the smile off her face; it was like a coat hanger was stuck in her mouth. This was going to be the quickest set of rounds she had ever done on the town. The only thing she had on her mind now was what she was going to wear. She had to look perfect for the very first family dinner in her life.