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They sat next to each in absolute silence. Emma was still looking at her in that concerned sort of way that in turn made Regina concerned. Regina tightened her left fingers around her right wrist. Of course, it was February fourteenth. Monday would be the 17th, or so the tax forms she’d been filling out claimed it would be. She’d completely forgotten about it. They hadn’t celebrated it in the enchanted forest and it wasn’t like Valentines day was a holiday in which everyone decorated their house for a month so there was some indication of it. Not to mention she’d never had a valentine before, except for Graham, and he’d never been worth the headache of a fancy dinner date during tax season.

“I’d forgotten,” she said, her voice reverting back to that of the mayor. Emma reached over and squeezed her hand. 

“It’s okay, not a big deal. You know now right? We can still enjoy it,” she said softly. Regina pulled away from Emma and stood quickly. This was just one reminder in a long list of reminders the she was not made for a relationship and all the things that came with it. She felt her walls coming back up, the air constricting in her lungs, but she didn’t try to stop it. She deserved it.

“I’ve never celebrated Valentines Day before,” she said dully, “Never had a reason to.” Emma tried to hide her frown, but she wasn’t perfect. When one of them relapsed the other tended to follow. At least they’d started saying the right things when they couldn’t stop themselves getting angry. Their mouths were what got them into trouble in the first place, after all. 

“Well, I’ve never celebrated it either, so we’re even,” Emma said angrily. Regina turned to Emma in surprise. Emma’s announcement only served to make things worse. It was their first valentines day together, but it was also Emma’s first EVER and Regina hadn’t even… 

“I didn’t get you anything,” she stated bluntly, more because she was just realizing it herself than because she really cared as little as it sounded. Emma looked at the floor. 

“Doesn’t matter,” she shrugged, but she couldn’t hide the hard edge in her voice any more than she could hide the anger in her eyes. Regina frowned. Of course Emma would take that to mean she didn't want to spend Valentines day with her. That was three times now she'd rejected Emma's vision of the holiday with her. Regina, realizing she was very close to causing something very bad, walked swiftly back to the bed and sat down. She thought for a moment before beginning to unbutton her blouse. It was a long shot, and it was stupid, but she felt terrible and she couldn’t think of anything else. She couldn’t leave and go get Emma something. That would be tacky. She needed to use what she had on hand.

“What are you doing?” Emma asked in exasperation. Regina didn’t respond, but she did plunge her hand straight into her chest. When she brought it out, her still beating heart was resting in her palm. It was scarred in places, permanently black in places, but it was still her heart.

“Here,” she said gruffly, shoving the heart towards Emma. Emma recoiled immediately.

“What the fuck, Regina?” Only she said it the same way she would say it to Henry when he did something weird like shove fried banana in her face (not that she was allowed to swear in front of Henry anyway). Regina continued to hold it out to her.

“It’s all I have to give you, and technically you already have it, so,” the formal way she said it made it even cheesier. Emma started laughing, but paused at the disgruntled look on Regina’s face.

“Doesn’t that make all your emotions go..?” she waved her hands around in a loose “poof” gesture. Regina rolled her eyes at her. 

“Not as long as I’m holding it. Your heart takes on the feeling of whatever it’s in. My mother didn’t have any emotions because her heart was inside an enchanted box. Even then, there’s only a connection because I’m holding my own heart. If I was to hold someone else’s I’d have to will my own presence into it,” she gestured to the heart in her hand, “this is just existing.” Emma stared at the heart in stunned silence. She was getting used to its presence now, hovering a little closer. She had to admit that it was fascinating.

“What happens if I touch it?” she asked, “I’m made of true love and you’re…” Regina smiled faintly.

“Don’t worry dear, you’ve already broken my curse,” she said. Emma nodded thoughtfully as they stared at the heart between them.

“You can still hold it if you’d like,” Regina said after a moment. Emma reached out a tentative hand and put one finger on the heart. Regina felt it, like a comforting weight settling softly against her. That was strange. She’d never known that to happen before.

“It’s dry, and really warm,” Emma commented, “not like in biology class.” Regina snorted at that and rolled her eyes. She was relaxing again, finally.

“It’s magic, dear,” she reminded her dryly. Emma cupped the heart softly in her hands and lifted it up. Regina fought the urge to drift off to sleep right then and there. The feeling of her heart in Emma’s hands was just that comforting. Somehow she could still feel everything. Perhaps it was because they were linked by their magic. 

“So if I want to make you feel something I just…” Emma trailed off.

“Well, it depends. If you want me to feel what you’re feeling, just direct the emotion at the heart like you would with a targeted spell. If you want me to feel something else, just whisper it against the side,” Regina explained. She didn’t honestly believe Emma would do anything awful with her heart. For one, Emma loved her and for two, she still had that look on her face like she was somewhere between amazed and scared shitless.

Something flickered in Emma’s eyes and all of a sudden Regina felt an explosion of warmth in her chest that spread across her entire body and settled very specifically in her lower belly. She gasped and fell back on the bed. It was beyond anything she’d ever felt before; warm and crushing but so gentle that she almost couldn’t stand it. Part of her wanted to claw at her skin and another part wanted to run a marathon. All she could do was clutch at the blankets beneath her fingers and groan in frustration. She’d never been so turned on in her life. What the hell had Emma done?

“Regina?!?” Emma whispered in terror. The feeling cut off suddenly and Regina took a deep steadying breath. When she finally got her bearings she reached out for Emma’s knee and rubbed it soothingly. Very slowly she sat up again.

“What was that?” she asked gently, so as not to scare Emma away. Emma looked down at the heart.

“It… It was love,” she said finally, “It was how I feel about you.” Emma’s confession sent another stirring of warmth to Regina’s core and she groaned again. She wasted no time in leaning forward to kiss Emma over and over again. Emma seemed to catch on quickly after that. She let Regina guide her onto her lap and held the heart out behind Regina’s head so she could drape her arms across her girlfriend’s shoulders. Regina tangled her hands in Emma’s hair immediately. When Emma was sure Regina was stable, she started ever so slightly stroking the heart beneath her fingertips. Regina fell apart in a slur of gasps and groans, shuddering against Emma in the most delicious way. Emma grinned into the kiss.

“Strip,” she said roughly, careful that her command didn’t extend to the magical organ in her hand. She was already seriously aroused and if this was going to work like she wanted to, the clothing needed to be gone. Regina pulled her shirt over her head and Emma stood to allow her out of her slacks and panties. When she was completely naked, Regina gripped Emma’s hips and pulled her back towards the bed.

“Mine too,” Emma smirked. Regina smirked right back and pulled the boy shorts down over Emma’s bare legs. Once upon a time she might have been embarrassed by how wet she was already, but not now. Regina flushed at the sight, her own arousal growing with every second. Emma left the button up on so she didn’t have to let go of the heart, and climbed back onto the bed.

“Lay down please,” she said cheekily. Regina laughed but obeyed. When she was situated with her head on the pillows and her legs spread for Emma’s viewing pleasure, Emma finally scooted closer. She pushed Regina’s knees to her chest and settled over the backs of her thighs, hanging just over the other woman’s entrance. It was almost impossible not to grind down on Regina’s clit. It was right there. Regina was breathing heavily, waiting for Emma to do something. Emma looked up at her with dark eyes.

“Touch me,” she said. Regina’s hand immediately snaked down between their thighs and probed gently at Emma’s center. Emma hissed in pleasure, grinding down on the hand and subsequently brushing Regina’s knuckles against her own clit. Regina sucked in a breath and pushed two fingers into Emma almost as if she couldn’t help herself. Emma began to ride the fingers slowly, circling her hips in a pattern that she knew Regina would like. The pressure in her pelvis was building and building. Carefully she raised Regina’s heart to her lips and started stroking it again. It pulsated obscenely between them as the connection renewed.

Regina’s backed arched off the bed impressively as Emma poured all her love and arousal into her. She almost couldn’t stand the burning of Emma’s building orgasm on top of her own, but at the same time it was so wonderful she could hardly believe she was still breathing. A strange calmness settled over her chest and with a start she realized Emma was whispering words against her heart at the same time as she shared what she was feeling. Regina struggled to breath as the intensity burned through her veins and short-circuited her brain. She was so so close. Her hand pumped vigorously between their bodies. Emma faltered against her heart as Regina hit a particularly good spot and that was it. She was falling away.

The orgasm swept through her body more deeply than ever before, almost as if it was exploding through her very soul. She heard Emma groan from above her so loudly she thought the neighbors might hear. A rush of wetness coated her fingers and she smiled. Then Emma’s orgasm crashed into her too and that was the end of that. She let out a strangled cry and for a moment she double. Her lungs burned as she fought to suck air in through her nose past the pure ecstasy pouring into her from every direction. Above her Emma was still whispering words into her heart. She saw Emma mouth the word “safety” and then “content”.

As the aftershocks ebbed away, Emma leaned down to kiss her. The hands holding her heart came up to her chest and she felt as the organ slip back into its rightful place. She intertwined her fingers with Emma’s now empty ones and nuzzled her girlfriend’s cheek.

“Did you know…” Emma panted. 

“I didn’t,” Regina answered. She’d never done anything like that with a heart before. She’d always used them to kill or harm. Never for pleasure, though in hindsight it made sense.

“Happy Valentines Day,” she said absentmindedly. Emma laughed and laughed and laughed.