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Sugar Rush

Chapter Text

Emma was sitting alone in the booth in the back of the bar, trying to remain unnoticed as she drank away her sorrows. She had tears slipping down her pale cheeks and her eyes were bloodshot from all the crying she’d done that day. There was an unrelenting pain in her chest, no doubt from the tear in her heart.

She had her trembling hands around a chilled glass of beer, now half-empty. She didn’t exactly like the taste of beer, but she had found that it always helped to take the edge off. Tonight, however, it didn’t seem to be working.

She had her head down and her eyes locked on her drink, thinking about everything and yet nothing all at once. She could hear voices in the background, but she didn’t listen to what they were saying. It was only when saw someone in her peripheral that she raised her head.

When she did, she found herself staring up into the concerned, smoky eyes of a brunette with olive skin and a faint smile gracing those painted lips. At first, she thought the woman was a waitress, but it soon became clear to her that this was not the case.

The woman was clearly older, but that didn’t make her any less beautiful. She seemed to possess a certain wisdom, given the way she spoke to the tearful blonde before her.

“What’s your name, Miss?” asked the brunette.

Emma hesitated, visibly uncertain. “Emma,” she said quietly, tightening her grip on her glass.

“I don’t mean to intrude, but you look like you could use some company.”

This stunned the blonde. “Um, okay,” she said reluctantly. She avoided the brunette’s gaze, but could still feel the woman’s eyes on her.

The stranger took a seat across from her. “I’m Regina,” said the brunette, “I’m sorry if I’ve interrupted anything. My date stood me up, so I was about to leave, but then I saw you and thought you might like some company. Did you have someone bail, as well?”

Emma let out an uncontrollably sob. “Yes,” she confessed, “but not on a date. My boyfriend, Killian. He left me today. We were together for a little over two years now. He left me for another woman.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” said Regina.

Emma believed she was genuine, which came as a surprise. Most people couldn’t have cared less about someone else’s problems. The brunette locked eyes with her and offered a comforting smile.

“Have you ordered anything yet?”

“Just a beer,” Emma said, gesturing to the half-empty glass.

“How about I buy you another one?” Regina offered, “Along with dinner.”

Emma shook her head. “You don’t have to do that, but I appreciate the offer.”

“Please, I insist,” said the brunette, “You’re clearly upset. I want to help you feel better, Miss Emma.”

“Just call me Emma,” the blonde told her, “and you really don’t have to buy me dinner.”

“You’re right. I don’t have to do anything,” said Regina, “but I feel that I should. It seems like the right thing to do in a situation like this.”

“Why are you doing this? You don’t even know me.”

Regina’s smile widened. “True,” she said softly, “but I’d like to.”

Emma’s brows furrowed a bit. “A— Are you flirting with me?” she asked, bewildered and just a tad insulted.

“I suppose it depends on your interpretation,” said Regina, “but as for my intentions, the answer is no. I simply want to do something nice for you, Emma. You deserve to be happy.”

Emma sighed heavily, taking a long, slow sip of her drink. “And you think buying me dinner will make me happy?”

“It’s a start, isn’t it?”

The blonde shrugged awkwardly. “I guess so.” She skimmed the menu briefly before locking eyes with the woman across from her, who was just giving her a knowing smile.

“Find what you want?” Regina asked her.

“I’ll probably just get a steak or something. Maybe a salad. I don’t know yet.”

“I recommend the sirloin,” said Regina, “but whatever you choose, I’m paying for it.”

“Can’t we just split the bill?”

“No,” Regina said adamantly, “I told you, I’m paying.”

“But—”

“Emma. I’m. Paying.”

Emma sighed. “Fine.”

Regina just grinned at her. “Wonderful.”


 

Emma was currently cutting into a sirloin, medium rare (as all steaks were meant to be), while Regina enjoyed a nice salad, watching the blonde intently.

“Good, isn’t it?”

Emma nodded as she swallowed. “Yeah,” she said quietly.

Regina’s smile widened. “What did I tell you? There isn’t much that I’m good at,” she confessed, “but I do know a thing or two about cooking, and which steaks are the best.” She eyed the strawberry daiquiri next to Emma’s plate. “You’ve hardly touched your drink. Do you not like it?”

“Oh, it’s good,” said Emma, “I just can’t drink too much of it at once, or I’ll get a brain freeze. Besides, I want to enjoy this steak for as long as I can.”

Regina chuckled. “Understandable.”

They ate in silence for the longest time before Emma confessed, rather unexpectedly, “Today’s my birthday.”

Regina blinked in surprise, but smiled brightly. “All the more reason to have someone buy you dinner,” she said, “Forgive me, but it seems awfully cold to break up with a woman on her birthday.”

Emma let out a bitter laugh. “Yeah,” she muttered. She just sighed and took a slow sip of her drink. “Tell me about it.”

Regina sat back for a moment, not saying a word. She ate more of her salad in silence before thinking of a response. “Tell me something, Emma,” she said, staring deep into the blonde’s sea-green eyes.

“Okay,” Emma said hesitantly, “What do you wanna know?”

A smile tugged at the brunette’s lips, and she leaned in as if to confess a dark secret. What she said was not at all what Emma was expecting (though to be fair, Emma wasn’t exactly sure what to expect at this point).

“I want to know if you would like to make this an everyday occurrence,” Regina said softly.

Emma’s eyes became wide. “What? You mean, buying me dinner?”

“If you want,” said Regina, “but it could be more than that. So much more.”

Emma’s brows furrowed, and she sat back, staring at the brunette with uncertainty. “What is this, Regina? Are you trying to, what, buy me?”

“Not you, dear,” Regina assured as she sipped her drink, “Just your company.”

The blonde grit her teeth in anger. “If you think for a second that I’m some kind of whore—”

“Emma,” Regina said firmly, “No. You misunderstand me. What I want has nothing to do with sex. Of course, if you want sex, that’s perfectly fine. We can always discuss that later, but what I want, Emma, is someone to take care of. Someone to spoil with lavish gifts. Someone to pamper.”

Emma blinked at her, unsure of how to respond. “In exchange for what, exactly? Where’s the catch?”

“The only catch, my dear— if you can even call it that— is that I want you to spend time with me. I am quite lonely, you know.”

“No,” Emma said quickly, “No, I don’t know. This is insane. I don’t even know anything about you. We just met, like, an hour ago, and you’ve already offered to pay for my dinner and now you’re— Christ— what is this, Regina? What do you want from me? Are you just gonna mug me the second we walk out of here?”

“Of course not,” said Regina, “I don’t want or need your money, Emma. I only want your company.”

Emma was quiet for the longest time, but finally, she asked, “Why?”

Regina’s smile returned. “Because I knew the moment I saw you that you needed this as much as I did.”

“And how’d you come to that conclusion?”

“You were crying alone in the back of a bar. I’ve never seen anyone more in need of this than you, dear Emma. Besides,” said Regina, “Today is your birthday, as you said, and you deserve to be treated like a Queen.”

Emma just sighed, shaking her head. “This is insane.”

Regina laughed softly. “I suppose that’s one word for it.”

“So you wanna buy me all these expensive things just so I’ll hang out with you? Don’t you think that’s kind of— you know— sad?”

“Sad? I suppose it’s just how you look at it. I see it as an opportunity for two lonely, broken souls to come together and heal.”

This came as a surprise to Emma. “Did you lose someone, too?”

Regina’s smile fell, though she forced herself to maintain it. “Is there anything else you’d like to order? We can stay here as long as you like.”

Emma was mildly concerned when the brunette suddenly changed the subject, but decided to worry about it later. “I’m good,” she said quietly, “I need to get home before it starts raining. I heard it was gonna get bad tonight.”

“Very well,” said Regina, “Let me give you my number before you go.”

She retrieved a pen from her purse and a napkin from the table, quickly jotting down her phone number. She smiled at Emma as they locked eyes, and in one swift motion, she kissed the corner of the white napkin, leaving behind the scarlet imprint of her plush lips. She handed it to Emma without a word, and their hands brushed together— only for a moment— as the blonde took it reluctantly.

Emma stared at the napkin in a mix of wonder and disbelief. “You’re really serious about this, aren’t you?”

The brunette’s smile slowly returned. “I am,” she said softly, “Will you at least consider my offer?”

“What happens if I don’t?” asked Emma.

“Then I would still like to be your friend, regardless.”

“So, this whole thing would be more than friendship?”

“Only if you want it to be.”

“Do you want it to be?”

Regina’s smile widened. “I’m not sure yet.”

“If this isn’t just friendship, and not about sex, then what is it?” asked Emma.

“If you decide to take me up on my offer, then I suppose that would make me,” Regina paused, peering at Emma over the rim of her glass as she took another drink, “your Sugar Mama.”

Chapter Text

Emma stared at her phone with uncertainty. She had the napkin with Regina’s number on her nightstand, having bailed from the bar shortly after Regina paid for her meal. She still felt ashamed, letting some stranger buy her dinner and drinks, but the truth was, she didn’t have the money for it, so at the same time, she was immensely grateful. She decided she should at least thank the woman, and so she reluctantly added Regina’s number into her contacts, but as she went to type out a quick message, she froze.

What if this wasn’t really Regina’s number? What if ‘Regina’ wasn’t really Regina? What if it was all just one elaborate prank? A big scheme with Killian pulling the strings in an attempt to break Emma down even further! The thought made her ill. Her hand trembled, and she struggled to keep a steady grip on her phone, not wanting to drop it on her face (it wouldn’t have been the first time).

She wasn’t so sure about the whole ‘Sugar Mama’ thing, but the least she could do was thank the woman. And so she did.

Thanks for dinner.

She received a reply less than a minute later.

You’re more than welcome dear. Have you considered my offer?

Emma hesitated to respond. I need time.

Of course. Take as long as you need. I hope that in the end, we can still be friends.

I guess we’ll just have to see, won’t we?

Yes, I suppose we will.


 

Emma awoke suddenly, not realizing she’d even fallen asleep, and got ready for the day. As she often did, she ate a Hot Pocket on her way to the small pet store just down the street from her apartment. She tossed her trash into the dumpster in the alley before heading inside. Her manager and friend, Ruby, was already inside (as always).

“Hey, Em. You seem awfully happy. Did you meet someone new?”

“Someone— oh. Yeah, actually.”

Ruby’s eyes lit up as she heard this. “What’s his name?”

Emma chuckled. “Her name,” she said, “is Regina.”

“Regina what?”

“Regina— actually, she never did say.”

“Well, how did it go?”

“It was strange,” said Emma.

“In a bad way?” asked Ruby.

“No, not bad,” Emma told her, “Just— well— strange.”

“Okay, I need details. Spill.”

Again, Emma laughed. “She just kind of appeared. I didn’t even hear her walk up. She said she noticed me crying in the corner, so she came over and asked to sit down. You’ll never believe this, Rubes.”

Ruby grinned. “Try me.”

“Well, first, she insisted on buying me dinner,” said Emma, “and then she told me she wanted it to be an everyday thing.”

“That is pretty strange,” said Ruby.

“Just wait until you hear the offer she made me,” Emma said, clearly piquing her friend’s interest, “She straight up told me she wanted to be my Sugar Mama.”

Ruby’s eyes nearly burst from her skull. “Oh my God!”

“Yeah, I know, it’s—”

“It’s awesome, is what it is!” Ruby declared.

Emma was taken aback by this. “Wait, what?”

“What did you tell her?” asked Ruby, “Please tell me you accepted!”

“I haven’t given her an answer yet,” said Emma, “and are you seriously encouraging this? She wants me to keep her company and buy me all these expensive things, for no reason. I don’t get it, Rubes.”

“You’re not supposed to ‘get it,’ Emma! If I were you, I’d do it in a heartbeat!”

“Well, I guess it’s a good thing you aren’t, isn’t it?” Emma countered, “I don’t wanna rush into anything. I just met the woman, and she already wants to have this kind of relationship. She kept saying it wasn’t about sex, but I have my doubts.”

“It can be,” said Ruby, “but that doesn’t mean it has to.”

“Are you saying you’ve done this kind of thing before?”

“No, but believe me, I’d love to have a Sugar Daddy. I want a nice, rich man to spoil me and treat me like I’m his Queen.”

Heat rose to Emma’s cheeks. “That’s what Regina told me. She said I deserved to be treated like a Queen.”

Ruby grinned at her. “You like her, don’t you?”

Now Emma was red in the face. “I don’t know, Ruby. I guess I do. I mean, she did buy me dinner, so that has to count for something, right?”

“Yeah, but I mean you like her. Like, really like her.”

“And how would you know?” Emma huffed.

Ruby laughed, poking the blonde’s face playfully. “You’re blushing, Swan.”

Emma’s eyes widened in realization, and she swiftly turned away. “I’m gonna go feed the fish.”

Ruby snickered. “Sure you are. Go and tell them how much you wanna be a Sugar Baby.”

Emma tensed as she disappeared to the other side of the store, out of Ruby’s line of sight. While Ruby was her friend, the brunette could also be a real pain in the ass from time to time, but Emma chose to just accept it, for Ruby was the only friend she had— the one person she felt she could confide in that actually gave a damn about her problems and her feelings.


Eventually, the time came for Emma to go on her lunch break, and she opted to get something from the taco truck down the street. She got herself a soft taco with extra cheese and sat down on a bench close to the pet store. As she enjoyed her taco, she pulled her phone out of her pocket and realized she’d missed a text from Regina, clearly from the night before.

Goodnight, Emma.

She typed out a reply. Hey, sorry for not answering. I guess I was already asleep when you sent that, and I didn’t really look at my phone until just now.

Regina’s response came surprisingly quick. Don’t worry about it, Emma. I understand. Have you thought about my offer?

I have.

And?

I think I’m starting to warm up to the idea.

Wonderful! Why don’t we meet at the Ritz-Carlton so we can discuss it further?

The Ritz-freaking-Carlton??

Of course! I’m covering the bill— and don’t even think about arguing!

*Ugh* Fine. Are you sure talking is the only thing you wanna do?

For now, yes. I promise, Emma, I won’t force you into anything you don’t want. I’m not that kind of person.

What time should I show up?

Do you even want to?

Yeah. Just to talk.

Alright. Is 6:00 good for you?

Yeah, that’s fine.

Wonderful. I’ll see you tonight, Emma ;)


 And now, here they were, sitting in an extravagant hotel room that Emma knew she would never be able to afford with her salary. Regina’s ability to whip out a credit card without knowing— or perhaps just not caring— how much was on it was astounding to the blonde. Emma felt like a meager ant in the shadow of this wealthy socialite. She was pulled from her thoughts when she saw Regina set a black briefcase on the foot of the bed, opening it up to reveal a number of documents, along with a shiny black pen. She arched an eyebrow at this, looking to Regina in confusion.

“What’s this? A gag order?”

Regina chuckled. “No dear. This is the contract that will seal our agreement. Whether or not you choose to sign it will determine which direction our relationship goes. Do you just want to remain friends? Or would you rather live a life of luxury, having everything handed to you on a silver platter? And it could be, quite literally, if you wanted. All you would need to do is ask.”

Emma was in shock. “I— I’ve never just had anything handed to me before,” she confessed, “I’ve always had to work to get what I wanted. Even as a kid, I did everything I could to survive.”

Regina seemed confused as well as concerned. “Survive? What do you mean?”

Emma sighed, hanging her head in shame. “I was in the foster system all my life. You know, going from one house to another when the families thought I was too much to handle, or if they had a kid of their own and decided to send me back. There were other reasons, too. Let’s just say it was rough.”

“I’m sorry,” said Regina, “I can’t say I know what that’s like, but to be quite honest, I don’t think I’d like to.”

Emma let out a bitter laugh. “You wouldn’t,” she muttered. She shook her head. “Anyway, let’s look at this contract of yours.”

Regina smiled faintly. “Of course.” She slid the briefcase closer to Emma. “Be sure to read the whole thing. Never sign a contract without reading it first.”

“Yeah. Thanks for the advice.”

Emma did as she was told, and found that the contract was fairly short and to the point.

I hereby agree to allow Regina Mills to look after me, buy me nice things, and take me out to dinner whenever and wherever I please. I will also receive one-hundred dollars for each hour that I spend with Ms. Mills. In exchange, I agree to spend time with her and to keep her company each and every day. I have every right to sign a different contract that will nullify our agreement, should I decide that I no longer wish to engage in this relationship. I promise to tell Regina if and when I am uncomfortable, upset, or apprehensive, for any reason, so that she can do whatever it takes to comfort me. All I need to do is sign on the dotted line.

Emma slowly raised her head, locking eyes with Regina in bewilderment. “A hundred dollars? For real?” she asked.

Regina nodded, still smiling. “For real,” she said.

Emma checked the back of the paper for fine print, but found it blank. She looked at the briefcase, but there were just more copies of the contract. She stared at the paper in her hands, visibly unsure.

“You don’t have to sign it, Emma,” Regina assured her, “but I believe it would be beneficial for both of us if you did.”

Emma sighed. “Why are you so adamant about this? Last night, you changed the subject on me when I asked if you’d lost somebody. If I sign this, will you tell me who it was?”

Regina pursed her lips. “Perhaps,” she said, “but there’s only one way to find out.” She picked up the pen from the briefcase and handed it to the blonde. “Here,” she said softly, “I do hope you accept my proposal.”

Emma’s heart nearly skipped a beat at the brunette’s choice of words. “A proposal? Is that what this is? One elaborate scheme to get me to marry you?”

Regina laughed. “Not that kind of proposal, dear,” she said, “And as for marriage, I’m not quite ready for that kind of relationship.”

“But you’re saying you could be? In the future?”

“Darling, I’m many things, but a psychic isn’t one of them.”

Emma was quiet as she read over the contract once more. “Fine,” she said at last, “I’ll sign your contract. I just hope this doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass.”

“It won’t,” Regina told her, “but perhaps I will.”

Emma stared up at the brunette in disbelief, and Regina let out a rich laugh. She knew right then that she would do anything and everything to hear this beautiful woman laugh like that again.

“I’m only joking, dear. I told you, I wouldn’t pressure you into a sexual relationship,” said Regina, “Unless, of course, that’s what you want. If so, I can very well make it happen.”

Emma swallowed. “I’m not quite ready for that kind of relationship,” she quipped.

Regina smiled. “I understand.”

Bringing the pen to the dotted line, the blonde reluctantly signed her name. Emma Swan.

“Swan,” murmured Regina, “How fitting.”

“And why’s that?”

“Because, dear,” said the brunette, “like a swan, you are both beautiful and graceful.” She took the pen and contract from Emma and put them back into the briefcase, closing it gently. “Since we’re here, is there anything you would like? Room service? A movie? Or we could go somewhere else, if you’d like?”

“Here is fine,” Emma told her, “Um, is there a menu?”

“Yes, in the drawer.”

Regina opened the drawer of the nightstand between the two beds and retrieved a small menu, handing it to Emma. Emma looked over it quickly, and as she did, her stomach roared with hunger.

“You must be starving,” said Regina, “Have you eaten today?”

“Just a Hot Pocket and a taco.”

“Well, you choose whatever you like from the menu— as much as you want— and of course, I’m paying.”

Emma sighed. “Of course,” she said, offering a faint smile, “I think I’d like to have another steak.”

Regina chuckled. “Excellent choice. Anything else?”

“No, that’s all.”

“Alright then. I’ll make the call. You just make yourself comfortable.”

As Regina ordered room service, Emma kicked off her shoes before lying back on the bed and closing her eyes. She must have dozed off, because when she opened her eyes, she found Regina gently shaking her awake.

“Our dinner is here,” the brunette murmured.

Emma struggled to open her eyes. “Huh? Oh. Cool.”


 After the pair enjoyed their dinner together, they just lied down on the same bed, even though there were two. Emma didn’t question this. She didn’t ask Regina to move, as Regina didn’t ask her to move. It was strange, sharing a bed with a stranger, but at the same time, it felt nice. It felt right.

“Emma?” Regina asked softly, staring up at the ceiling.

“Hm?”

“I’m glad you signed the contract. It really means a lot to me.”

Emma turned to look at the brunette, who in turn looked at her. They just stared into each other’s eyes for what seemed like an eternity. “Will you tell me now?” Emma whispered, “Who it was that left you?”

Regina hesitated, averting her gaze. She went back to staring up at the ceiling. “My husband,” she said quietly, “Err— ex-husband— Leopold.” She spoke his name with obvious disdain.

“Oh. I’m sorry,” said Emma.

“No. Don’t be,” Regina said quickly, “To be honest, I’m glad he left. He’s not the reason I feel lonely. I felt more alone when I was with him than without.”

“Then who…?”

Emma couldn’t bring herself to finish that sentence.

A sullen sigh escaped the brunette. “My son,” she said, “Henry.” She was quiet for a moment, looking like she was struggling not to break down into tears. “He died three years ago. He would have been eleven this December.”

Again, Emma said, much more quietly this time, “I’m sorry.”

With a quiet sob, Regina wordlessly slipped her hand into Emma’s, squeezing it gently. “I hope you don’t mind,” she rasped, “It’s just hard to cope.”

Emma shook her head. “I don’t mind,” she promised, “I really am sorry about your son. I can’t imagine what that must be like.”

Regina was quiet for a moment. “He had cancer,” she said, “There was a tumor in his brain. He kept complaining of headaches, but I thought it was just his sinuses acting up. Looking back, I wish I had done something sooner, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.” She sighed heavily. “By the time I figured out what it really was, it was too late.”

Emma swallowed. “Is, um,” she paused, “Is that why you want someone to take care of?”

“I’d say that’s a big part of it,” said Regina, “but it’s also because I don’t want to be alone.” She offered a faint smile. “I don’t want you to be alone, either, Emma.”

“Why do you care so much about me?” Emma asked her, “I mean, we barely know each other.”

“Because soon— very soon— that’s going to change,” said the brunette, “and because you seem like a kind, sweet woman who deserves to be happy.”

“Kind? Maybe,” said Emma, “but I’ve always found that people who call themselves kind are usually the worst.”

“But when others are saying it about you, then all is well,” Regina told her.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Emma relented. She fell silent for a bit. “Do you think this will make me happy?”

“Of course. You signed the contract, didn’t you?”

Emma just stared up at the ceiling as she processed the strange situation. “I guess this is it, huh?”

“It is,” said Regina, “unless you sign another contract to get you out of it.”

Emma shook her head. “Why do you even need a contract?”

“As proof that I have your explicit consent,” said Regina, “I never move forward without it.”

“That’s cool,” said Emma, “I doubt most people would think twice about it.”

“You’re probably right,” Regina told her, “but as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I am not ‘most people.’”

Emma laughed. “Oh, I’ve noticed, alright.” She looked over at Regina with a soft smile. “And you wanna know what I think?”

“What?” asked the brunette.

Emma’s smile widened, just a little. “I think you’re pretty cool.”

Regina chuckled. “The feeling is mutual, dear.”

And Emma felt a distinct fluttering sensation in her chest.

Chapter Text

Time passed, and life seemed to get better, not just for Emma, but for Regina, as well. The two began spending more and more time together, going out to dinner at least twice a week, and when they weren’t doing that, they were enjoying some quiet time at Regina’s mansion, where the brunette would cook delicious meals, promising that Emma would never need to eat Hot Pockets or tacos from food trucks again.

One night, while at the mansion, Emma was sitting at the counter with a glass of wine (the taste of which, admittedly, had taken some getting used to) while Regina was at the stove, preparing spaghetti with Italian sausage. Her mouth was watering, though to be frank, she wasn’t sure if it was from the delicious aroma or the sight of the brunette alone.

She was shocked at this realization, but blamed it on the wine. Sure, Regina was a beautiful woman— there was no denying that— but Emma wasn’t so sure that she was ready to jump into another relationship. It may have been two months, but her unexpected breakup with Killian was still fresh on her mind, and she highly doubted the pain would be going away anytime soon.

“Have you ever cooked spaghetti, Emma?”

“No. I’ve never been that great of a cook. Just fast food and TV dinners is all I’ve ever lived on.”

Regina paused suddenly, ceasing to stir the sauce, but didn’t turn around. After a moment, she continued stirring. “I could teach you to cook,” she offered, “if you like.”

“That sounds nice,” said Emma, “Is there anything you wanna show me?”

“Well, I’ve done most of the work here,” said Regina, “but another night, I plan on making homemade sushi. Do you like sushi, Emma?”

Emma shrugged. “It’s alright. I guess it just depends on what’s in it.”

“My favorite has always been the crab and cream cheese roll, battered in tempura,” said Regina, “Would you like me to teach you to make it?”

“Sure. Sounds cool.”

Emma didn’t need to see the brunette’s face to know she was smiling. “Wonderful,” said Regina, “I’ll head to the store in the morning. Would you like to join me?”

Emma smiled. “Yeah.”

Regina turned to her with an even wider and brighter smile. “Perfect,” she said, “Dinner’s almost ready.”

“Awesome. I’m starving.”


 

Following the delicious meal, Emma went with Regina into the den and they sat on the couch, sipping red wine in relatively comfortable silence. The longer Emma sat there, however, the more uncomfortable she began to feel. Regina seemed to take notice of this almost immediately.

“Emma? Are you alright?” the brunette asked softly.

Emma sighed. “I just feel guilty,” she confessed.

“About what?”

“About, you know, this. Eating your food, drinking your wine,” said the blonde, “and just being in a situation where I can want for nothing. I’ve never had that before, and I’ve had to work hard just to get by. It makes me feel pathetic, to be honest, and I don’t think I deserve any of it.”

Regina placed a hand on the blonde’s shoulder. “Emma,” she murmured, “you do deserve to live happily and comfortably. From what you’ve told me, it seems like you’ve had a rather difficult life. I just want you to be happy, and to feel appreciated— which you most certainly are.”

Emma bore a look of uncertainty. “You appreciate me?”

“Absolutely,” said Regina, “and all that you’ve done for me.”

“What have I done for you? You’re the one who’s been buying me dinner and drinks and other things.”

“You’ve upheld your end of the bargain, dear Emma,” said the brunette, “by keeping me company, which is why I must ask you something important.”

“What is it?”

“I wanted to know if you would like to move in with me.”

Emma’s eyes grew wide. “What? But, I—”

“Think about it, Emma,” said Regina, “You’re almost always here nowadays. You practically live here already.”

“I mean, yeah, I guess you’re right,” Emma said reluctantly, “but I don’t wanna be in your way.”

“You’re not going to be in anyone’s way, dear,” the brunette assured, “There is more than enough room in here for both of us.”

Emma was clearly skeptical about this. “Are you sure?”

Regina nodded. “Absolutely,” she said, “I would love to have you here with me, Emma. Even though we haven’t known each other long, I feel a strong connection with you that I’ve never felt with anyone else before.” She rested her hand atop the blonde’s, squeezing it ever so gently. “I want you to do what makes you happy, because if you’re happy, then so am I, my dear.”

Heat rose to Emma’s cheeks. “Is there a contract for this?”

“For moving in with me?” Regina shook her head. “No.”

“Will there be any more contracts?”

“I don’t know yet,” said Regina, “but anything is possible.”

Those were the words that stayed in Emma’s mind for the rest of the night as she lied awake in bed. She couldn’t sleep, she realized, so she got up to use the bathroom and tried to ease herself into dreamland, but her efforts were in vain.

With a heavy sigh, she climbed back out of the guest bed and made her way down the hall, where she approached Regina’s room. She paused as she noticed the door was ajar and a dim light was on inside. Before she could even think to say anything, Regina called out to her.

“You can come in, Emma.”

Swallowing, Emma did so reluctantly. She slowly pushed the door open and found Regina sitting up in bed with a book. The brunette set the book aside on the nightstand and pulled back the covers, patting the mattress gently.

“You don’t have to be shy, dear,” said Regina, “There’s plenty of room.”

Emma could only nod. She made her way into the room reluctantly, closing the door and approaching the bed without a word. She circled the bed and lied down next to Regina with a look of uncertainty masking her face.

“Emma?” the brunette asked softly.

Emma locked eyes with her almost instantly, whispering, “Yeah?”

“Thank you for having faith in me. I care about you a lot, and I want to make both our lives better,” rasped Regina, “so, thanks for giving me the opportunity, darling. It means so much to me, having you by my side.”

She switched off the lamp and lied down, and once her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she turned and moved closer to her blonde companion with a soft smile. Emma just stared back at her in complete silence. She brought a tentative hand to the blonde’s waist and kissed the younger woman oh so sweetly.

“Goodnight, Emma,” she rasped.

A shaky breath escaped the stunned blonde. “Night,” she whispered.

And then there was silence.

Chapter Text

Emma was silent on the way to the store, and mostly so while she was inside, just following aimlessly after Regina like a lost puppy. It hurt her dignity, but at the same time, she felt comforted by the brunette’s presence. It was only when she and Regina got back in the car with the groceries that Emma initiated and held a conversation, though she did so with great reluctance.

“Um, Regina?”

“Yes, dear?”

Emma hesitated. “I— I liked waking up beside you,” she confessed quietly, “and I, uh, liked going to sleep next to you, too.”

A wide smile spread across Regina’s beautiful face. “I’m happy to hear that, Emma,” she said, “Thank you for telling me.”

Though her eyes were on the road, she brought a hand to Emma’s and stroked it lightly with her thumb, which caused Emma to shiver uncontrollably. Of course Regina noticed this, but said nothing about it, not wishing to make the blonde feel self-conscious.

“I feel the same way,” she said, “I really enjoy spending time with you. Is there anything you’d like to do today? We can do whatever you like.”

Emma bit her lip, which Regina noticed immediately. “

Come on,” the brunette murmured, “You can tell me.”

“Um,” Emma hesitated, “I’ve always wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty. I just never have.”

“I could take you,” Regina offered, “Just tell me when.”

“Tomorrow, maybe? Or the next day? It doesn’t matter when.”

“Don’t feel bad, Emma. I promised you, I would give you whatever you wanted. You signed the contract. If you want to see Lady Liberty, then by God, I’m going to take you.”

Emma was quiet for a moment. “Regina, can I ask you something?”

“Anything, dear.”

“How did you become so rich?”

“Saving, inheriting,” said Regina, “but mostly by earning my way to the top. I work for my family’s aluminum business. You’d be surprised at just how much money aluminum brings in.”

“And how much is that?” Emma quizzed.

Regina just smiled. “More than you can imagine.”

A slight smirk crept onto Emma’s lips. “I can imagine quite a bit,” she quipped.

Regina chuckled. “Alright, Captain Solo,” she said as she pulled into the garage, “Let’s put you in the cargo hold.”

“Didn’t take you for a Star Wars buff,” said Emma.

A sigh escaped Regina. “I’ve seen the movies more times than I can count,” she said, “I used to watch them with Henry. Those were always his favorites.” She pulled the key from the ignition. “I haven’t seen them since he left.”

Emma wanted to say, ‘Since he left?’ But she didn’t, because it clicked almost immediately. She knew what Regina meant. Instead, she said:

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be,” Regina said softly, “You don’t have to be sorry. There’s nothing anyone could have done.” She cleared her throat and opened the door. “Anyway, do you mind helping me take these groceries in?”

Emma shook her head. “Not at all.”


 

Once everything was where it needed to be, Regina went to lounge in her indoor hot tub, right next to the indoor pool. She pressed a button on a small remote and the panels on the high ceiling opened up, letting the sun shine down on her. She sipped some red wine as she flipped through one of her many playlists, settling for classical. Emma saw her and walked in. “Hey, Regina, I— oh. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were—”

“Naked?” asked Regina, “Sorry. I hope you don’t mind. I just find that it feels so much better to skinny dip in the hot tub. Especially with the jets.” She gave a suggestive little wink (or at least, she attempted to, which made it that much cuter). “Would you like to join me?”

“I— I don’t like being naked,” Emma confessed.

Regina seemed genuinely surprised by this. She cocked her head in confusion. “And why is that, dear?”

“I just have never really liked looking at my body, or having anyone else look at it. It, um, makes me really uncomfortable.”

“Well, I have some bathing suits in the plastic tub by the door, if you want to get in,” Regina offered, “There’s a bathroom in the corner.”

Emma just gave a small nod. “O-Okay.”

She found a red one-piece and headed into the bathroom to change. She took her time, but once she was ready to step back out, she set her dry clothes— neatly folded— on a chair close to the hot tub.

Regina smiled as she watched Emma step down into the bubbling water. “How does it feel?”

“It’s nice,” said Emma, “Perfect, actually.”

“Good,” said Regina, “I’m glad. I will settle for nothing less than perfection for you, my dear. You deserve to live like royalty.”

“I don’t know about that,” Emma told her, “but I appreciate all that you’ve been doing for me, Regina.” She was quiet for a moment. “Can I tell you something?”

“Of course. I’m very good at keeping secrets.”

“I think the reason Killian broke up with me— or at least part of it, anyway— is because of my body-image issues. He wanted to have sex. Like, a lot. He never forced me into anything, but he always made it perfectly clear that he wanted it. Sometimes I did it just to make him happy, but I never got any sleep after I did, and I felt bad afterwards.” Tears slipped down Emma’s cheeks. “He— He left me because I couldn’t give him sex.”

Regina placed a gentle hand on Emma’s shoulder. “Relationships are about more than sex, Emma. Sure, sex can be fun, but only if both parties are in the mood for it. You shouldn’t have sex just to make someone else happy. You should do it because it makes you both happy. Don’t blame yourself for this, darling. There is nothing wrong with you, Emma Swan. He left because he couldn’t see just how special you truly are.”

Emma was quiet for a bit as she contemplated all of this. “Thanks, Regina,” she said softly, “That really means a lot to me.”

“You are more than welcome, dear.”


 

Later, Regina was showing Emma how to prepare and cook sushi with tempura batter. It was somewhat complicated, but not nearly as difficult as Emma imagined it would be. What came as more of a challenge to the blonde was trying to master the use of chopsticks, something she had never been good at. She was amazed at just how easily Regina used them, but when she took a shot at it, she failed miserably.

“I don’t think I can do this,” she fussed.

“Don’t worry, Emma. You’ll get the hang of it,” Regina assured her, “I believe in you.”

When the brunette kissed her on the cheek, Emma’s face grew beet-red and she was suddenly blessed with newfound confidence. She picked up a piece of the warm sushi with her chopsticks, and for once, she didn’t drop it back on her plate. For once, she was able to bring it up to her mouth and take a bite. She felt her heart melt when she saw the bright smile Regina was giving her, and she knew then that she would do anything to make the brunette smile like that again.


 

When they went up to bed for the night, the two women lied down together in comfortable silence, and at some point, just as Emma was beginning to drift off, she swore she felt an arm drape across her midriff and a warm body behind her, holding her close. She closed her eyes and fell asleep with a soft smile.

Chapter Text

Lady Liberty was absolutely stunning— especially up close, Emma realized— but upon glancing between the towering statue and Regina, she found that the latter was far more beautiful. Only God could have made such an amazing human being, not just regarding Regina’s outer beauty, but also her charm and wit, and her bewildering generosity.

It was said that it was easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than it was for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, but in Emma’s mind, sending Regina Mills anywhere but beyond the pearly gates would be the gravest of sins.

“Are you having a nice time, dear?” Regina asked softly.

The grin that spread onto Emma’s face proved to be contagious. “It’s incredible,” she said enthusiastically, “I never realized just how amazing this was.”

The two of them thoroughly enjoyed their day, exploring the Statue of Liberty for a while before venturing back into the city to eat at Eleven Madison Park. When it was all over, they headed back to Regina’s mansion and each of them sipped a nice glass of red wine while twirling steaming spaghetti on their forks.

Emma’s eyes slipped shut and she let out a soft moan as the flavor and the aroma overwhelmed her senses. She swallowed and took another sip of her wine.

“This is amazing, Regina. Seriously, I’ve never had spaghetti this good. You’re an amazing cook.”

Regina smiled. “Thank you,” she said softly. “Where’d you learn to cook like this?”

“Years of practice,” said Regina. She drank more of her wine before setting the glass down on the table. “I was thinking of going for a dip in the pool after dinner. I feel like I need to cool down a bit. Would you like to join me?”

Emma smiled. “Sure,” she said, “Sounds nice.”

And it was.


 

Later, as Emma stepped down into the pool in a spare bathing suit from the plastic tub, she was pleasantly surprised to find that it was the perfect temperature. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right. She assumed there was some kind of machine that controlled the heat of the water, but she didn’t ask.

She closed her eyes and just leaned her head back against the edge of the pool for a bit, and a short while later, Regina entered. Just like the last time, the brunette was stark naked, holding nothing but a towel. Emma didn’t want to make the woman uncomfortable, so she averted her gaze.

Regina laughed as though this amused her. “Don’t worry about staring, Emma. I don’t mind it. I’m completely comfortable around you. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be strutting around in the nude.”

Setting her towel down next to the pool’s edge, she walked towards the deep-end, smiling brightly before diving head-first into the water. Her dark hair seemed to ebb and flow like the tides as she swam towards Emma. She seemed to noticed the blonde staring, and suddenly, there was a look in her eyes that left Emma feeling a little on-edge.

“Regina?”

“Yes, Em-ma?” the brunette purred.

Upon hearing this, it occurred to Emma that she was incredibly wet, and not because of the pool. Regina moved closer to her, and Emma suddenly felt like she couldn’t breathe. Their faces were now inches apart.

“Do you want me?” Regina husked.

“W-What?”

“I want you, Emma Swan.”

Emma blinked quickly, and suddenly, Regina was back at the opposite end of the pool, diving into the deep water. This puzzled her. How was this even possible? Had she really just imagined that whole interaction?

“Something the matter, Emma?”

The blonde hesitated, swallowing nervously as Regina locked eyes with her. “I, um,” she paused, “Forget it, it’s stupid.”

Regina seemed visibly concerned. “And why is that? You can tell me, Emma, if you want to. I’m sure it’s not ‘stupid,’ like you claim.”

“Um, well, I guess it was a daydream,” Emma said quietly, “I imagined that you came up to me in the pool just now and tried to seduce me.”

Regina’s concern turned to curiosity, and she swam up to Emma in silence. “Is that something you would be interested in, Emma? Our minds often try to tell us that we desire certain things, even if we don’t realize it.”

She placed a gentle hand on Emma’s shoulder.

“Maybe deep down, you do want to have sex with me, but you’re too afraid to acknowledge those feelings, and that’s perfectly fine. Know that I want you to be honest, not just with me, but also with yourself. Can you do that?”

Emma nodded. “Yeah,” she whispered, “I can do that.”

Regina smiled. “Wonderful.”

Her fingers lifted Emma’s chin gently and she stared into the blonde’s eyes as if searching for silent permission. At Emma’s slight nod, Regina pressed her lips to her new lover’s.

“We can take this slow,” she rasped.

“Okay,” Emma whispered. She moaned softly as the brunette’s lips began kissing at her neck, and later, her chest. Feeling Regina’s mouth on her breast, she bit her lip in a futile attempt to stifle a groan of pleasure.

“Don’t hold back, Emma,” Regina murmured, “Don’t hold anything back. Not with me.” She kissed Emma’s lips sweetly. “If you ever want me to stop, just tell me, and I’ll stop. No questions asked.”

Emma seemed uncertain. “Promise?”

Regina smiled reassuringly and nodded. “I promise,” she said, and Emma knew her words rang true.

“Okay,” the blonde said once more.

Regina’s hand slipped beneath the water. “Let me take care of you now,” she husked.

Chapter Text

Regina was tender in the way she touched Emma. The contact was equal-parts erotic and affectionate, which left the blonde puzzled, but at the same time, it was addicting. It was like a rush of adrenaline. Almost like a drug, even. That was the best way Emma could describe it.

Regina’s fingers stroked Emma’s hair, her face, her breasts, and of course, the slick heat between her thighs. Emma didn’t remember leaving the pool and settling into the hot tub, nor did she remember slipping out of her bathing suit. She was in a sexual haze, and in that moment, all she knew was Regina.

She could see nothing else. Only Regina.

All she felt, aside from the wet heat pooling in her core, was Regina’s lithe fingers, curling deep within her.

All she heard was Regina’s smoky tone, rasping naughty things into her ear and making her moan.

All she smelled was Regina’s sweet perfume and the feminine arousal wafting through the air.

And when Regina kissed her, she could taste the wine on the brunette’s lips.

Emma let out a blissful sigh as Regina kissed along her jawline and up to her ear.

“Do you like that, Em-ma?”

“Yes,” Emma rasped, “God, yes.”

Regina’s fingers pumped into her at a steady pace, but with enough power to make her shiver and groan in delight.

“Come for me,” Regina husked.

It wasn’t much longer before Emma did just that. She gasped and moaned, struggling to catch her breath as she reached her climax. As she came down from her orgasmic high, everything became clearer, and she rested her head upon Regina’s shoulder.

“How do you feel?”

Emma gave a soft hum of approval. “Amazing,” she whispered.

Regina smiled and pulled her fingers away, drawing Emma into a warm embrace. “Good,” she said, “I’m glad.”

When their lips met, both their eyes slipped shut, and in that moment, they knew they were perfect for each other.


 

Later that night, as Emma was sleeping, Regina watched her with a loving smile before climbing into bed as quietly as she could. She didn’t want to wake her lover. When she crawled under the covers, she felt Emma’s hand meet her waist and pull her closer.

“Emma? I’m sorry, I thought you were asleep.”

Emma’s eyes slowly opened, and she smiled. “I almost was,” she whispered.

“I’m sorry,” Regina said again, “I didn’t mean to—”

“Regina,” Emma said quietly, yet firmly, “It’s fine. Actually, it’s perfect. I was hoping to fall asleep next to you. Your timing couldn’t have been any better.”

Regina’s expression turned from puzzled to delighted, and she pressed her lips to Emma’s in a sweet kiss.


 

The next morning, Emma awoke to find herself alone in bed. She looked around, confused in her half-conscious haze, but Regina was nowhere in sight.

“R’gina?” she muttered.

No answer.

She slowly crawled out of bed and made her way downstairs. There was a delicious aroma emanating from the kitchen, where she found Regina at the stove. The brunette turned to look at her and smiled.

“Good morning, dear.”

“Morning,” said Emma, “That smells amazing.”

“Thank you. I hope it tastes just as good.”

“I’m sure it does.”

And Emma was right.


 

Days later, Emma was walking away from the pet store after closing up shop for the night. As she made her way down the sidewalk to her car, she was approached by none other than Killian. He touched her shoulder, startling her. She spun around swiftly, gasping and tightening her fists in preparation to swing. She faltered when she saw that it was him.

“Killian? What the hell?”

“Emma, I wanted to apologize—”

“NO!” Emma snapped, “You don’t get to say you’re sorry! You left me, you son-of-a-bitch! And on my fucking birthday! I don’t want to hear anything you have to say!”

“Emma, please—”

“Fuck off! I mean it! If you follow me, I swear to God, I’ll call the fucking cops!”

“I can explain!”

“And I don’t wanna hear it!”

A policeman happened to be heading for his cruiser when he noticed the commotion. “Is there a problem here?” he asked them in an Irish accent.

“Yeah, this asshole won’t leave me alone! I want nothing to do with him!”

“Sir, are you bothering this woman?”

“I’m just trying to talk to her!”

“Well I think it’s clear that she doesn’t want to talk to you.”

“Thank you, officer,” Emma said as she picked up her pace.

Killian tried to follow, but the policeman stopped him.

“Don’t even think about it. I don’t know what’s going on between you two, but it clearly isn’t good.”

“She was my fiancée,” said Killian.

The policeman arched an eyebrow. “Was?”

Killian scratched the back of his head awkwardly. “Yeah, I, uh, screwed up.”

“Clearly.” The officer opened his car door. “Don’t let me catch you anywhere near that poor woman again. Understand?”

Killian muttered a quiet curse. “Fine,” he said before turning and storming back the way he came.

The officer climbed into his cruiser and sighed, pulling his phone from his pocket and dialing a number. He brought it to his ear and waited. He didn’t have to wait long.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Miss Mills. This is the Sheriff. I’ve been keeping an eye on Emma like you asked.”

“Did something happen?”

“Nothing major, I don’t think. There was just some scumbag bothering her on the sidewalk. He said she used to be his fiancée.”

“Did he put his hands on her?”

“He just touched her shoulder. That was all I saw, anyway.”

“Shit. Is he still following her?”

“No, Miss Mills.”

“See to it that he doesn’t.”

“Yes, Miss Mills.”

“Goodnight, Sheriff.”

“Goodnight.”


 

When Emma returned to the mansion, she found Regina sitting in the living room sipping wine. Seeing the look of distress on the blonde’s face, Regina frowned in concern.

“Emma? Are you alright?”

Emma was visibly-shaken. “I— I had a run-in with Killian,” she said bitterly, “He was trying to tell me why he did what he did, but I told him to fuck off. I didn’t want to hear it, and he just— he—”

She broke down into tears, and Regina stood up, pulling her into a warm embrace.

“Shhh,” the brunette cooed, “Everything’s going to be alright now, Emma. I won’t let him bother you anymore. I promise.”

Her touch brought Emma a sense of immense comfort and reassurance, and soon, the blonde was asleep in her arms.