Emma bounded up the stairs of City Hall after picking up lunch for her and David from Granny’s. A familiar voice stopped her mid-leap in the rotunda.
“Emma, I’m glad I ran into you.”
Emma slowed her steps to the police station. “Oh hey, Archie. What’s up?”
The tall man anxiously adjusted his glasses on his nose. “A little bird told me that there’s going to be an election for town mayor.”
“A little bird?” Emma echoed. With the town now free of the curse, she realized Archie could literally have been referring to talking wildlife.
Archie smiled sheepishly. “Ruby.”
Emma nodded and returned the smile. “Well, your bird heard correct. We’ve decided to have an open election for Storybrooke’s next mayor. It’ll probably happen within the next few weeks.”
Archie removed his glasses and wiped at the lenses with the bottom of his oversized sweater. “I, uh, well, I was thinking that I might like to run.”
Emma’s smile grew. “Really? I think that’s a great idea.”
Archie ducked his head and looked embarrassed by the compliment. “I don’t have any real political experience, but I think as long as you’ve got a good heart and have everyone’s best intentions in mind, you can’t fail.”
“That sounds like excellent mayoral advice.” Emma clapped the man on the arm. “You’re well on your way.”
The distinct echoing of high heels clicked in the rotunda. Emma knew that Regina couldn’t be far behind. She heard Regina’s steps falter only slightly when she spotted Emma with the therapist.
Archie sucked in a deep breath as if readying himself. "Hello, Regina," he greeted.
"Good afternoon, Dr. Hopper," Regina returned placidly. Her eyes landed briefly on Emma. "Sheriff Swan."
"Madame Mayor,” Emma returned evenly.
Regina scoffed at the former job title and continued on her way to the single elevator in the center of the city building. Unforgiving heels clicked down the corridor.
“I’ll let David and Mary Margaret know you’re interested in running,” Emma said absently. She found herself unwontedly staring at the regal woman as she waited for the lift. “And good luck with the election.”
Archie nodded his thanks and made his exit.
Instead of continuing downstairs to the police station, Emma strode in the direction of the fallen queen. "Where are you headed to?"
Regina stared straight ahead at the elevator that refused to arrive. "My old office. I still have some personal affects to retrieve.” She flashed a pointed look in Emma’s direction. “I suppose you’ll be wanting to escort me, Sheriff Swan, to make sure I’m not up to something evil – like stealing staplers.”
"Don’t you think we’re beyond titles by this point? It’s okay if you call me Emma.”
Regina mashed a manicured finger into the elevator button again as if to hasten its arrival. "I'd rather not."
"Why don't you take the stairs?"
"Because, Miss Swan, my office is on the third floor and these are new shoes,” she said with an annoyed sigh. “I'd rather not be distracted all day by the blisters on my ankles."
Emma couldn’t stop thinking about their kiss. It was driving her mad that Regina had not said anything about it – given her an excuse as to why it had happened or even to confirm that it had happened at all. With the way she’d been sleeping, or rather not really sleeping lately, she was having a hard time deciphering her dreams from reality.
"Have you been avoiding me?" she blurted out.
Regina arched an eyebrow at the outburst. "I'm talking to you right now, aren't I?"
Emma struggled for a witty retort, but before one came to mind, the elevator doors swished open. Regina stepped inside without another glance.
The elevator doors closed in front of the Sheriff’s face, whisking the brunette away.
“And I thought we were done with all this nonsense.”
Regina hung suspended from the sky. Tree branches cinched around her waist and snaked around her extended arms. “Hello, Mother.” The greeting was filled with lightly veiled malice, but also a kind of inevitability that she would be caught. “What evil have you conjured?”
“Not evil, darling,” Cora chuckled. “A barrier spell.” The branches loosened around Regina’s body and she tumbled from the air to land hard on the solid road beneath. “Designed to keep you where you belong.”
Regina gathered herself and pulled herself to her feet. She turned slowly to face her mother. A barely contained rage flickered behind caramel-shaded eyes. Her painted lips twisted into a disgusted snarl.
“I can’t leave?”
“Not alone – not without the King. We’ve been through this.” Cora’s voice lilted. “In two days you’ll be married. You’ll be Queen. After that you’re free to go…whenever you’re with him.”
The anger washed from Regina’s youthful features to be replaced with sorrow. “Mama, I don’t want to marry the King.” Her forehead lined with a burden too heavy for her young years. “I don’t want this life.”
Cora remained impassive, unmoved by her daughter’s emotions. “You’re just frightened of having all that power.”
“I don’t want power.” Her rasped voice lowered to a whisper. “I want to be free.”
Cora blinked slowly. “Power is freedom.”
Emma’s head jerked up from her desk. She hastily wiped at her mouth with the back of her hand and looked around to see if anyone had noticed she’d fallen asleep in the office.
Instead of the concerned look of David or some other Storybrooke constituent, she found herself alone. “What the hell,” she mumbled.
There was a knock on the door jam in the entrance of the police station. Emma looked up from the computer printouts on the desk in front of her. Regina stood in the doorway, arms crossed and smirking.
"I had a feeling I'd find you here."
“Well, I am the Sheriff,” Emma defended with an eye-roll.
"This isn't your shift is it?"
"No.” Emma shook her head. “David's patrolling."
"Then why are you here?"
Emma felt a little like she was standing trial with all the rapid questions. "I have paperwork to catch up on."
Regina stalked dangerously closer. Each stilettoed step sounded like a gunshot. She swept the stack of papers off of Emma’s desk.
Emma scrambled to her feet and uselessly reached for the papers. "Please don't.”
Regina’s forehead furrowed as she looked over the documents. She swept a defiant raven lock out of her face. "This doesn't look like your typical small-town crime paperwork."
“We don’t exactly live in a typical small town.” Emma gingerly eased the papers out of Regina’s hands. "It’s just some research.”
Regina rested her hand on a canted hip. "And what would you be doing looking up information on night terrors?”
"It’s for a case I’m working on.”
Regina arched an eyebrow, obviously not buying the flimsy excuse. “Defending the citizens of Storybrooke even while they sleep?”
Emma shoved the papers into a cabinet and out of sight. “You make me sound like Batman or something,” she laughed uncomfortably.
“Not enough tricks in your utility belt, I’m afraid.”
Emma worried her bottom lip. Oh, I’d show you some tricks if given the chance.
“Have you talked to Henry yet? About us spending time together?”
Emma’s face fell. “No, I’m sorry. I’ve been so busy with work and getting back into the swing of things, and Henry and I are looking for a new place to live, and now David and Mary Margaret want me to help with the new mayoral election.” The excuses tumbled from her lips, one by one.
“A new place…” Regina worked the muscles in her throat. It was obvious to Emma that she was trying to swallow down a hateful retort. “Have a nice night, Sheriff.” She turned sharply on her red shiny heels and clacked her way out of the office.
Emma sat in the patrol car, watching the lights turn on and off in various rooms of the Mifflin Street mansion. She imagined the former mayor moving from one room to the next as she readied herself for bed. Watching Regina was quickly becoming one of her favorite pastimes. She couldn’t avoid her in sleep, and she found herself inexplicably drawn to her in her waking hours.
She didn’t know why she’d been having dreams about Regina and her mother lately, but she suspected her run-in with Cora in the Enchanted Forest had something to do with it. Her Internet research had produced no helpful answers, but that wasn’t much of a surprise. This wasn’t the type of thing that Google could help her with. She imagined the only person in town with the answers she sought was the woman who continued to have a starring role in her dreams.
Instead of knocking on Regina’s front door and inviting herself in for a glass of cider, Emma continued to sit in her patrol car outside of the palatial home like she was on a stakeout. But Regina had committed no crime as of late; not unless you counted the sinful way she wore dress pants, heels, and blouses. She wondered what Regina would be wearing if she were to knock on her front door at this hour. She herself cared little for fashion, but when it came to Regina she noticed every refined detail. Regina was impeccable, which naturally made Emma want to smudge her perfectly applied lipstick or rake her fingers through her carefully styled hair. She wanted to rumple and crease dry-clean only button-up blouses and unfasten the hidden buttons of tailor-fitted pants to slip her fingers beneath the lacy undergarment she was sure to find there.
Lost in thought, Emma didn’t notice that the lights to the mansion had begun to burn a little brighter because of movement at the front of the house. A knock on the passenger side window of the patrol car had her jolting out of her inappropriate thoughts.
Emma hastily rolled down the window. Regina leaned just barely through the open space. “Car problems, Sheriff?”
“No, I uh—.”
The passenger side door opened and Emma was greeted with a brisk blast of night air as Regina slipped inside the car. “I hope you’re not stalking me.”
“S-stalking?” Emma stumbled on the word. “Of course not.”
“Then I wonder what could be the reason for this unexpected late-night visit. Keeping careful watch over the Evil Queen to make sure she’s not getting ready to enact her revenge?”
“I’m just patrolling,” Emma insisted.
“Always so noble and dedicated to your job,” Regina hummed. “I wonder if you’re as thorough with other things as you are with police work.” She wet her dark, stained lips.
A ghost of a smile played at Regina’s red, painted mouth. “That’s a fancy necklace, Sheriff. Did you get that out of a cracker jack box?”
Emma self-consciously touched the badge that now hung around her neck instead of at her hip. “I thought I’d try something different.”
Regina reached across the center consol and curled her fingers around the metal beaded chain. She pulled the metal chain past Emma’s ears and hair, her fingers ghosting against the blonde’s skin as she did so. “But that’s not how Heroes wear their badges.”
"No?" Emma felt frozen under the attentions of the brazen brunette.
Regina separated the badge from its leather pouch. "No, dear. Besides, if it’s not broken, why fix it?”
Emma held her breath when Regina's hand came to rest on her hip. She tugged lightly on the heavy leather belt cinched around Emma’s waist as she slid the badge's back fastening between leather and dark denim. The badge rested snug and secure at Emma’s hipbone.
"Much better, I think," Regina practically purred in Emma’s ear.
Emma released an uneasy breath. “R-regina.” Her voice wavered on the name.
“Come on, Miss Swan,” Regina cooed. She ran a long fingernail down the column of Emma’s pale throat, leaving a pink line in her wake. “Tell me this isn’t what you had in mind when you decided to park in front of my house.”
“I wasn’t thinking about anything,” Emma weakly protested.
“And perhaps, my dear, that is precisely why we do this.”
Regina lifted her backside off the leather passenger seat. Her hands slipped beneath her robe, causing the silk material to part, exposing miles of olive-toned thigh. Emma’s eyes bulged and she jerked her head to stare purposefully forward rather than at the woman currently wiggling out of her underwear.
“I think there’s just enough room.”
Leather creaked and noised its protest, but Emma could not do the same as the Regina crawled over the center console to settle on her lap, one knee on either side of her thighs.
Regina rested her arms on Emma’s shoulders and idly played with the wavy blonde curls at the nape of her neck. “Well, Sheriff?” Her tone was low, but taunting, challenging Emma to make the next move.
If this was a game of seduction chicken, Emma was sure to lose. She swallowed hard. Of their own fruition, her eyes fell to her lap where Regina sat. She found herself breathing heavier than usual as she drank in the parted thighs and the flimsy robe material, the only thing that separated her from what she suspected was a glorious view.
“I’m starting to sense that voyeurism is your thing,” Regina husked.
There was little else they could do in the front seat of a squad car, especially with all the radio equipment crowding the center consol area. Emma didn’t think that Regina was the type for a quick fuck in the backseat of a police car, the backs of her naked thighs sticking to the leather seats and a seatbelt digging into her tailbone. Yet, here she was, Emma marveled, straddling her in the front seat, leaning against the steering wheel.
Emma slipped a hand between their bodies. She tugged at the sash around Regina’s slim waist, causing the sides of her robe to fall open. Beneath the robe she discovered a dark violet shift that matched the underwear Regina had so deftly cast off. Her hands betrayed the warning signs flashing inside her head as she cupped Regina’s breasts through the delicate material, feeling nipples immediately responding.
She let her fingers trail down the center of Regina’s chest, feeling the fine bones of her breastplate and then her ribcage beneath her fingers, down to the soft skin of a flat stomach. She dallied with the bottom hem of Regina’s lingerie top, indecisive.
Emma slid both hands beneath the soft material, letting it bunch up at her wrists as she inched the short sleep dress further up Regina’s toned thighs until she was rewarded with a view of her shaved folds.
Emma wet her bottom lip and circled her thumb against Regina’s clit briefly before sliding solidly into her with two fingers. Regina released a soft cry and her head fell back. Her back bumped into the steering wheel, pressing long enough to sound the horn. They were isolated on the street, however, with no one to hear or draw attention to their activities.
Regina’s hands never strayed from the lapel of Emma’s jacket. She rode the sheriff’s fingers while Emma’s seatbelt remained fastened and her clothing undisturbed.
“Harder, Miss Swan,” Regina demanded. “Make me feel it.”
Emma wrapped her free arm around Regina’s waist, only so happy to oblige. She watched in fascination of the view of her fingers piercing Regina’s swollen sex, illuminated only by the full moon. Every time Emma thrust into her, Regina’s body lurched backwards and her back knocked into the car horn.
Emma clumsily rubbed the pad of her thumb against Regina’s clit, bumping into her with each solid thrust. Regina’s breathing became more shallow and she rolled her hips as she bounced faster and harder against Emma’s fingers. It was all Emma could do to keep up with Regina’s frenetic pace.
Regina’s head fell forward so her lips were brushing against the blonde’s ear. It was the closest they’d come to kissing since the night Emma had given her a ride back to her home. Emma closed her eyes and focused on the texture of Regina’s soft lips against the shell of her ear and the ragged intake of air every time she bottomed out.
"So close." Regina’s words spurred her on. "So fucking close, Emma."
Emma gripped Regina tight around her torso so she could better control the pace and angle of her fingers. She curled her middle and index fingers and Regina gave a strangled gasp.
"Kiss me," Emma commanded. She curled her fingers a second time.
Regina’s hands left the lapel of Emma’s jacket and moved instead to cradle the blonde’s face. Emma gasped from the simple intimacy of the gesture. Regina’s mouth was soft and careful, a far cry from the bruising pace she demanded elsewhere.
Regina swabbed her tongue against Emma’s lower lip and along her straight teeth. Emma quietly groaned against her lipsticked mouth. The kiss was filled with such tender emotion that Emma nearly forgot what her right hand was supposed to be doing. She curled her fingers again and Regina’s body stiffened. Her dark eyes snapped shut and she held onto Emma’s ears and breathed a gasp into her open mouth.
"Cum for me, Regina," Emma coaxed. She corkscrewed her fingers inside her.
Emma held Regina close as her orgasm struck her like hundreds of tiny electric shocks. When her body finally sagged against her, Emma gently eased saturated fingers out of her sex and wrapped both arms around Regina’s waist.
Regina was still breathing hard when their foreheads pressed together. Emma stroked her hands in the small of the former mayor’s back.
"Thank you, Sheriff,” Regina clipped in her most mayoral voice.
Emma frowned at the formality. What had happened to the breathy murmur of ‘Emma’ just moments before?
“You were very thorough as expected.” Regina extricated herself from Emma’s lap to return to the passenger seat. She flipped the sun visor down and wiped at the smudged lipstick at the corners of her mouth and raked her fingers through slightly mussed black hair.
Emma blinked in wonder at the woman who had just come undone by her hands only seconds before as she calmly collected herself.
Regina remained silent and without another look in Emma’s direction, she opened the passenger side door and slid out into the night.
Emma watched after her as she strode up the concrete walkway and pulled the sash of her robe more tightly around her waist. The front lights came on more brightly, sensing movement, and she disappeared inside the house without looking back.
Emma’s head snapped up and she sucked in a deep, gasping breath. A knocking at the passenger side window had woken her up.
“Miss Swan?” Regina’s voice sounded muffled through the closed passenger side window of the Storybrooke police car. Her features were marked with visible annoyance. “Would you mind telling me why you’ve been parked in front of my house fast asleep?” She pulled tighter at the belt of her robe when a stiff wind fluttered the material of her silk robe.
Emma rolled down the window. “I, uh, s-s-sorry,” she stammered.
Regina’s eyes narrowed in contemplation. “Is everything okay? You look a little flushed."
Emma turned the key in the ignition and the squad car roared to life. “Sorry. Gotta go.”
She pulled the vehicle out of park and drove away, leaving the former mayor standing on the curb.