Emma wrapped her hands around the bars, feeling the cool metal dig into her skin.
“You can’t keep me here forever, we both know that.”
“You should be thanking me for locking you up Swan, you should know that. The entire town is out to get your head, or wrap a rope around your neck, whatever swift death is easiest.”
Emma snorted and slapped the bars with her hands. She stepped back and sat down on the small cot in her cell with a huff. “They are nothing but backward fools, they have nothing on me.”
“I may be the Sheriff but even I cannot stop an enraged mob from enacting the justice of the people.”
“The justice of the people? Don’t make me laugh. They wouldn’t even know they’re going after the wrong person if the real murderer admitted it to their faces.”
Graham sighed and turned to glance at Emma. “It is what it is and you will stay here until everything has calmed down.”
Emma shook her head slowly and leaned back against the cold brick wall, tipping her hat into her face and closing her eyes. Maybe she could get some sleep in before she left this town for good.
She woke up with a jerk when someone called her name loudly. She groaned at the stiffness in her neck and shoulders and pushed her hat out of her face. It was past sunset and someone was standing in front of her cell, holding a small lantern, casting ghostly shadows on the walls of the small sheriff’s office.
“How nice of you to join me,” the person hissed in annoyance.
Emma smiled. She got up from the cot and stretched her arms above her head, her neck complaining quietly that she’d fallen asleep in such an odd position.
“A woman needs her beauty sleep,” Emma replied with a smirk and stepped toward the bars of her prison.
“Do you have it?”
“Of course I have it.”
Regina pulled a key from the folds of her long skirt, the skull on its end glistening in the flickering light of the flame. She pushed into the lock and it opened with a clearly audible click. Emma smiled at Regina whose lips stretched in return. The cell door swung open and Emma stepped out. She wrapped her arms around Regina’s waist and pulled her close with one strong tug.
“Emma,” Regina breathed, trying to sound scandalized, “we have to leave.”
“A few moments more won’t matter,” Emma answered quietly.
She’d been in this damn cell for far too long. She leaned forward and captured Regina’s lips in a kiss, her tongue darting out for a taste. Regina gave a quiet noise of protest but melted into Emma’s arms at the first swipe of tongue against her lips. Emma bunched the thick fabric of Regina’s skirt into her hands and roughly pulled her hips closer.
Regina’s mouth opened in a gasp and Emma used the opportunity to sneak her tongue past Regina’s lips. The first touch was hot slick wet and sweet. Emma growled. She’d missed this so much. She buried her hand in long dark tresses and tugged gently, eliciting yet another quiet noise from Regina. Their kiss eventually slowed and ended with a few short pecks, leaving Emma completely dazed and Regina blinking rapidly.
“Now we can leave,” Emma whispered and pulled her hat back onto her head because it had slid off during their kiss.
Regina smirked and turned, taking Emma’s hand and leading her toward the door.
The town was dark and quiet as Emma hurried down the main road, holding on to Regina’s as tightly as she could. Little clouds of sand rose around her boots at every step and her heavy breathing was swallowed by the sounds of nightly animals surrounding the grasslands of Storybrooke.
“The horses are ready, we just need to get them from the stables,” Regina said, having trouble gasping out the words between running and breathing.
Emma nodded. Her eyes were darting around, looking at every house, searching for movement, the flicker of a flame. They could be watching them for all she knew, but everything seemed quiet. She was moving through the shadows and hoped that it was enough to hide them from any prying eyes.
Graham must’ve known that Regina would come for her, yet he hadn’t put a guard in front of her cell. Emma smiled to herself. That scoundrel.
The stables were coming into sight and Emma breathed a quiet sigh of relief. She couldn’t keep running much longer and by the way Regina was tugging at her hand she wasn’t doing much better either.
The horses were nervous as they entered the stables. Emma stopped and took a moment to catch her breath, turning to Regina.
“How are you going to…?”
She was about to ask her how she was going to ride fast with that skirt, but Regina simply gripped the fabric and ripped it off her hips, revealing tight brown leather pants similar to the ones Emma was wearing.
Emma stared and Regina rolled her eyes, bunching the skirt up in her hands shoving it into a saddlebag.
“Come on, we don’t have time for that.”
“Pity,” Emma smirked as Regina raised an eyebrow at her.
She took the saddlebag and fastened it to the side of her brown stallion. She nodded toward a white horse tied to a post and Emma cautiously approached the animal. She was a good rider but she had a healthy dose of respect for horses and always made sure they liked her before actually getting on top of them. The white horse seemed friendly as she approached and she snatched an apple out of a basket on the ground, handing it to the horse as a peace offering. The horse munched happily as Emma patted its neck. Good enough, she could work with that.
By the time she was done getting acquainted with her new friend Regina was already sitting in her saddle, tapping her hand nervously against her thighs, holding the reins in a tight grip.
Emma took a quiet breath and walked over to Regina and her horse. She reached up and rested her hand Regina’s thigh, staring up into deep brown eyes.
“Are you sure this is what you want? You’re giving up everything you’ve known.”
Regina smiled and covered Emma’s hand with her own. “I’m giving it up to be with you and that’s all I will ever want. Now get on that horse and let’s move, otherwise I won’t have to worry about being with you at all.”
Emma chuckled quietly but turned and walked to her horse. She grabbed the saddle and placed one foot in the stirrups before gracefully swinging her other leg up and over, getting settled and lightly nudging the horse to move. She followed Regina out of the stables and into the darkness, away from the town and her past.
She rode through the flat grassland for a little while, keeping an eye on Regina and on their surroundings, looking for an orange flame in the distance. The second part of their plan.
“There,” Regina called, pointing at something to her left. Emma’s eyes followed her outstretched arm and sure enough, there was the smoke of a small fire rising into the night sky, the flame barely visible in the distance.
Regina spurred her horse on and Emma followed suit. Something important was waiting ahead, of that she was sure. But before she could reach the fire, or that important thing, the image blurred and disappeared.
Emma opened her eyes and stared up at the dark ceiling of her room in the Bed and Breakfast. It was well past sunset and there was a noticeable chill in her room. She shivered and sat up, groaning loudly.
That pain medication had knocked her out for almost the entire day, but she was feeling slightly better. Her side was still aching, but it wasn’t as bad as before.
Emma rubbed a hand across her face and shook her head. What a freaky dream. She had to stop watching old western movies.
She swung her legs out of bed and got up, looking around the room for a moment. It was quiet and the silence was only disturbed by the loud growling of her stomach. She rested a hand on her belly and rubbed. She’d not only missed breakfast but slept away the entire day without getting anything substantial into her stomach. Luckily Granny’s wasn’t far, and Ruby still owed her a meal on the house.
Emma had gone to bed fully dressed and she just grabbed her jacket, pulled it on, and walked right out of her room. She moved slowly and managed to get to Granny’s without any incidents and only in a little bit of pain.
Ruby was beside her as soon as she stepped through the door. “Emma, I haven’t seen you all day, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I just took some pain killers and fell asleep. I’m fine, really.”
Emma moved to one of the booths and sat down, Ruby right at her heels.
Emma nodded. “Grilled cheese if you have it. I think I deserve some greasy goodness after a day like this.”
Ruby smirked. “I’d say so. It’ll be ready in a bit.”
Ruby took off to get her order and returned in less than ten minutes with a perfectly brown delicious looking grilled cheese sandwich. Emma was pretty sure she was drooling as her stomach growled. It sounded like applause to her.
“There you go, hope you like it,” Ruby said and glanced around the diner. It was pretty empty aside from a couple sitting at one of the tables with their burgers, so Ruby slid into the booth opposite Emma and rested her chin on her hand.
“So, you never got around to telling me why you are in Storybrooke.”
Emma took a bite from her grilled cheese and closed her eyes, moaning quietly.
“It’s a long story,” she eventually answered, wiping her hands on a napkin.
“We have time.”
Emma smirked and pointedly looked at Ruby until she raised her eyebrows in understanding.
“Oh so it’s that kind of long story, gotcha.”
“You know you’re going to have to tell me eventually.”
“We’ll see about that.”
Emma chewed on her grilled cheese and watched Ruby watching her. She had her head slightly cocked to the side and a small smile on her face.
“You’re really attractive.”
Emma blinked a couple of times and forced the large bite in her mouth down her throat.
Ruby jerked her head up as if just realizing what she’d said.
“Sorry, I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable or anything, but seriously? There are not many people coming to Storybrooke and you’re the first new face I’ve seen in months. As much as I enjoy Graham and his boyish kind of cuteness, I really was looking forward to someone halfway decent-looking coming into town. Anyway, there is this fair tomorrow, you should totally drop by. We have food, games and other fun stuff. I will be at the kissing booth and I expect you to stop by at least once.”
Ruby raised an eyebrow at Emma and waited. What else could she do but nod and agree to swing by the kissing booth? At least once.
Emma smiled as Ruby beamed at her, obviously pleased with herself. She’d gotten the new person in town to come to their fair and if that wasn’t a reason to be excited nothing else seemed to be. Emma left the diner with her belly full and her side hurting only when she took deep breaths or climbed the stairs to her room.
With everything that had happened, it hadn’t been a completely awful day. Sure, she could’ve gone without getting punched in the ribs by a drunken idiot, but between kissing Regina and Ruby making her dinner she didn’t have much to complain about.
She went to bed with a small smile. She was looking forward to the fair and seeing Henry, and maybe even Regina. Surely the mayor had to make an appearance if there was a fair in her small little town?
Oh yeah, it was going to be an interesting day. Who’d have thought that there was so much excitement in a town like Storybrooke?
She closed her eyes, hoping with quite a large part of her to encounter the horseback-riding Wild West version of Regina in her next dream.