Why did staring into his eyes send shivers down her spine?
In her twenty-eight years Emma had faced off with schoolyard bullies, abusive foster parents, and criminals of all shapes and sizes. She was proud of her ability to cope with any situation life threw at her, relying on intelligence, quick action, and an innate ability to read people's weaknesses. Even Henry's bombshell hadn't thrown her too far off. It was only natural that she wanted to make certain the boy was safe and well, cured of his childish fantasies, even if that meant taking down the Mayor.
Everyone seemed so afraid of Regina, but Emma wasn't scared of her. Not one bit. The woman's insecurities were too obvious, as were her manipulations. Emma could see right through it all. Regina was nothing. Emma could handle her. Emma could handle anything.
She could even handle him…
He was immaculately dressed and perfectly poised. A silky fall of brown hair framed angular cheekbones and strikingly intense, dark eyes. His features were not classically handsome but intriguing. He held himself with assurance, moved with a predatory grace that wasn't hampered by the cane held lightly in his elegant, long-fingered hand. He was not tall, but he radiated the kind of presence that made bigger men fade into the background.
His voice remained quiet, softly-accented with a musical quality that made her envision green hills and rocky shores. Ireland – no – Scotland - a sweet lilting tone that only emphasized the granite certainty, the iron determination, which lay beneath. A satin-sheathed dagger expertly wielded.
He remained utterly calm, even as she seethed. He never uttered a threat. He never raised that molten voice, forcing her to listen more carefully than she ever would have if he had yelled or blustered.
It was like beating her fists against a smoothly-polished marble wall. There was nothing she could clutch at: no handholds, no cracks, no apple trees she could attack with a chainsaw.
And that made her rage rise and surge, sparkle from her sapphire eyes. She would not stop.
But the one promise that echoed back at her from the bottomless depths of his eyes was that he would never give way.
The irresistible force meets the immovable object
So let the battle begin, she vowed mentally, letting her intention radiate from her entire being.
His only response was a lift of an eyebrow and a quirk of amusement on his lips, but she would have sworn she heard him laughing as she stalked away.