My darling Robin,
One year ago today, Emma and Hook brought Marian back from the past, brought your wife back to reunite your family once more.
I can admit now that I hated Emma that day. I was ready to sever the friendship she and I had worked so hard to build over the years because it felt like she was no better than her mother, that ruining my life would be a genetic trait passed down. It even made me second-guess Henry for a bit because of his blood connection to Snow. It didn't last long though. He's my baby boy, and I could never hate him.
But that's beside the point. I only knew that your wife was miraculously back from the dead and, as much as I didn't want to acknowledge it, I knew that you would follow your honor and go back to her. It broke my heart, made me hate myself for opening up to the possibility of loving you.
And just as I thought I would spend the rest of my life without you, without my soulmate, without love, it happened. The details are no longer important. All that matters is that Zelena's master plan failed and we saw through her disguise rather quickly. Thank the gods that you remembered details of that glamour spell that she thought no one else would. Now she'll spend the rest of her life in that cell in the hospital basement, magicless and hopefully penitent.
And now, here we are, a year later, living the happy ending I never thought I'd get. You wouldn't let me give up on love or myself, would you? You pushed and pleaded with me to give love a chance, give us a chance. I can never thank you enough for that, my love, not if I had a million lifetimes in which to do it.
How can I ever repay you for the patience you've shown me this past year and more? How could I ever live without you and Roland in my life? Without that beautiful little girl we've finally been able to adopt to round out our family?
"Regina? Love, where are you?"
A smile spreads across Regina's face at those five words wafting in through the partially closed door of her office. She can hear Robin shuffling at the front door, and her heartrate speeds up just at the thought of him being home again. It doesn't matter that he was at the store; any time apart from her soulmate is painful. She knows better than to take anything for granted, choosing instead to live life to the fullest with her family.
"I'm in the office, Robin. Is everything all right?"
"Just fine," he says, voice getting closer, and she knows he's going to come through the door any second. "How are you doing?" And with that, he pushes the door open and steps in, hesitating just over the threshold as his eyes scan the room. "I'm not disturbing you, am I?"
Regina slides the letter under a stack of files on her desk and stands up to meet him halfway to the door. "Not at all. I'm just about finished here." She leans up on her toes to kiss him, having eschewed heels for comfortable slippers against the early winter chill. "Did everything go okay with the boys?"
Robin pulls her closer for another kiss, grinning as she shivers at linger cold clinging to him. Regina relaxes into his arms, fingers combing through winter-damp hair, as the kiss deepens. A soft moan escapes her, eagerly swallowed by Robin as his hand moves from her hip to squeeze her ass. A soft gurgling sound pulls them apart and he glances around the room again.
"Monitor, Papa," Regina says with a smile. "Sara has been happily napping in her crib while you were gone. It took a bit for her to go to sleep, but she finally went down about an hour ago."
The soft smile on Robin's face is one of her favorites. It's reserved for the children and telegraphs his love of all three, even Henry. He's never made Henry feel out of place or unwanted, despite his age, just as she's been with Roland.
"I'm surprised you don't have her in the sling."
"She wouldn't stay settled for some reason today. I think she wanted Papa's broader chest and stronger heartbeat."
Robin chuckles softly at that. "If she's sleeping, we'll let her sleep. That will let me get dinner going while you finish up your work in here. Henry's at the station with Emma, doing homework until the end of her shift. Roland's at Granny's with John and Tuck, likely being spoiled rotten. It's just the three of us tonight, and I intend for you and me to spend some time in front of the fireplace up in our room, perhaps with some of your cider?"
Regina smiles at that. "I think that can be arranged, provided our little princess sleeps through the night. She's been fussier than usual today. She might be hitting a growth spurt already."
"All ready? But she's only three months old."
"Henry did it at her age. We may have a little girl who'll grow as tall as her papa."
"As long as she's as incredible a woman as her mama, I don't care."
"Flatterer," Regina says, cheeks heating up with a blush. "Go put the groceries away and let me finish here, then I'll join you to make dinner. I need to mix up some formula for Sara anyway."
Robin smiles and nods, kissing her again before he heads out of the office. Regina can hear him whistling softly, the tune one that he's taught the boys to sing. She returns to her desk and pulls out the letter, reading over it before picking up her pen to add to it.
We have been blessed with a wonderful gift, Robin, one that I don't intend to squander. You and our children are all that truly matter to me. No kingdom or magic or power can ever compare to the love that you have given me and let me give to you.
When I lost Daniel, I thought I lost all hope of happiness and love. I was so sure I wasn't worthy of it, I let myself be drawn into a depth of darkness and despair from which few can truly escape. But here I am: happy, loved, and living what I thought could only exist in pipe dreams.
One year ago today, after unraveling my sister's dastardly plans, I asked you and Roland to move into this house with me and Henry. One year ago today, we truly began a journey together, fully willing to navigate the highs and lows of a life together as soulmates. One year ago today, I finally realized what it was that I needed to truly be content in my skin and in my life.
We may not be married yet, or ever, but I am yours forever, Robin, and have been since that day one year ago when I nearly lost you. Whatever else we may be, you are my soulmate, my partner, and with our children you are my happy ever after.
I love you more than mere words can ever express adequately.
Smiling past tears that have welled up in her eyes, praying they won't fall and mar the precise loops and lines of her handwriting, she folds the letter in a manner not used since her time in the Enchanted Forest. She holds the small stick of wax over the fireball created in her left palm, letting the deep blue drops land on the creamy parchment paper. When enough is there, she extinguishes the flame and presses a seal to it, revealing a perfectly etched apple in its wake to hold the letter shut.
Pleased with how it looks, Regina slips the letter into the pocket of her cardigan and straightens up her desk, then heads out of the office to celebrate this important anniversary with her soulmate.