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Lost Girl in Christmas

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“Dammit” She threw open the car door and popped her hood open. A cloud of smoke hit her face and she coughed and waved it away, her engine was shot, there was no way she could fix this on her own. “Piece of shit.” She kicked her wheel in anger but that was the wrong thing to do. She swore and hopped on one foot while clutching the other.

What a disaster, she would like things in her life to go well for freaking once.

 

She pulled out her phone and the ‘no signal’ sign blinked mockingly in her face and she nearly threw her phone. But no, she needed to breathe, keep calm, her phone was her only lifeline to society right now, throwing it away would not be the smart thing to do.

 

There’s literally nothing around her but trees right now, and she hasn’t seen any other cars for the past hour. Why the hell her friends how to settle in the middle of bumfuck nowhere is beyond her but the problem is that they did and now she had to go to them to celebrate christmas and the new years. Which is just great really.

 

She sighed, the sun is setting early and she hates her life. She starts to walk.

 


 

The bell at the door rings violently when she barges into the establishment.

 

“Emma!”

 

“Hey Rubes.” She weakly smiles and had barely enough to brace herself before the brunette barrelled into her.

 

“I was getting so worried when you didn’t arrive in time and you wouldn’t pick up, god you’re so cold, hold up, I’ll get you some hot chocolate.”

 

She sighs in relief, wanting to cry, she’s been walking for an hour and she’s freezing. At least Granny’s was warm. “Yeah, my car broke down on the freeway so I had to walk the rest of the way.” She picked a random booth and sat down, revelling the feeling of being off her feet.

 

“Jesus, Em.” Ruby comes back with a piping hot cup and Emma grabs at it eagerly. She definitely burns her tongue when she goes to take a sip but the pain is drowned out by the feeling of warm drink going down her throat, she moans out in appreciation and Ruby laughs.

 

“Oh yeah, you happen to know if there’s an AAA here that will get my car?”

 

Ruby scoffs and laughs. “Hah! Like they would be willing to travel that far! No, I’ll ask the mechanic to tow it back here for you.”

 

Emma stares at Ruby in confusion, she didn’t know mechanics towed cars now. Although, maybe it was the unfortunate side effect of having a small town - small, from what she could tell anyway - and there’s probably only like one person that deals with cars in the entire town.

 

She doesn’t understand how Ruby or Mulan can stand such a small town, she feels stifled. It’s quiet, too quiet.

 

The bell on the door jingles and she turns to look on habit. A gorgeous woman stands there, sharp eyes, beautiful jawline, and flawless hair. The woman shivers and glares as if the diner was personally responsible for this cold.

 

“Madam Mayor, welcome, what can I get you?” Ruby stands immediately and tries to accommodate the brunette. The Mayor though? She both wouldn’t have guessed but also would have guessed at the same time, the woman does seem like a reliable person.

 

“Coffee as usual, Miss Lucas,” the mayor sighs out, “you would think after coming here for years, you would remember that I refuse to order anything other than coffee from this dingy diner.”

 

Oh wow, what a bitch . Emma’s seen these types of people in Boston, the overly entitled, pompous assholes that think they own everything. She immediately takes back all the compliments she previously gave the woman and shakes her head at herself.

Their eyes catch and the woman narrows her eyes at her. “If you have something to say, you should say it.”

 

Emma didn’t realize she scoffed aloud, but she’s not one to back down from a challenge, “If I were working here I’d have spat in your coffee by now.”

 

“Excuse me?” The woman thunders across the diner and towers her. Emma hates that she thinks the woman looks even hotter when she’s angry.

 

She rolls her eyes at the woman which infuriates her more. “Not clear enough for you, lady? How about this, ever thought about not being such a bitch to the people that are giving you service?”

 

She could see the anger in the woman’s eyes as well as feel the air flare up like an inferno. The woman got even closer, until they were practically nose to nose, staring each other down like two lions. “I don’t know who you think you are but-”

 

“Okay! Here’s your coffee, Madame Mayor! Have a nice day!” Ruby actually squeezed in between them to break their eye contact, trying to mitigate any potential fights. She can take this woman, there’s no way Miss Pencil Skirt and Blazer really knows how to throw a punch, though she wouldn’t put it past her for being scrappy.

 

The woman backs up and scowls at Emma, looking her up and down in disgust. “Miss Lucas, you may want to rethink your personal relationships and choose people a lot less… unsavory.” Oh, those are fighting words . She’s about ready to get up and deck this bitch but Ruby is keeping her down.

 

“Don’t mind my friend, Madame Mayor, she’ll only be here for the holidays.”

 

“Well,” the mayor starts as she straightens out her blazer, “ do enjoy our idyllic little town here and be careful on your drive out .” The woman struts away and she hates that she’s momentarily transfixed at the way that skirt clings to that woman’s backside like a second skin.

 

When the bell on the door rings again and no one else is left in the dinner she turns to Ruby and asks incredulously, “Who was that?”

 

That , my friend,” Ruby finally deflates and relaxes, sitting back down at the booth, “is HBIC herself, Regina Mills.”

 

“Yikes,” she says as she takes a sip of her rapidly cooling drink, “how the hell did she get elected?”

 

Ruby tilts her head, “Well, you remember how I grew up here right, then left because it was such a dump and nothing ever happened?” Emma nods, vaguely remembering the times Ruby mentioned her Granny and a small town in Maine . “Turns out, Regina moved in, saw the state of the town, and worked the projects to make it so much better. Storybrooke no longer has trash lying around or that weird smell because of Regina Mills. People couldn’t vote for her fast enough.”

 

Emma gave a resigned sigh, she actually could see that happening. However pompous the woman seemed, she definitely looked capable and Mayor actually suited her more than Emma liked.

 

“Plus, she’s a hot piece of ass.”

 

She inhaled suddenly and the hot chocolate went down the wrong pipe. She hacked and coughed, tears in her eyes and she hopes this is not the way she would go, nor did she want those words to be her cause of death. She choked out a, “What?”

 

“Oh, don’t lie, I saw both of you checking each other out.”

 

“I don’t-” she sputters, “You know what, I don’t care, it’s late, I’m going to sleep.” She stands up for a moment but doesn’t actually move from her spot. She stares at Ruby who looks at her expectantly. “So, where am I sleeping?”

 


 

Another creak.

 

Someone’s snoring three rooms down.

 

Yeah, there’s no way she can fall asleep here, she’s just going to have to load up on coffee the next morning.

 

She’s up when the sun hits her window, languidly rolling out of bed despite not sleeping. And she’s met with surprise when she gets downstairs. Ruby’s already up and bustling around the diner and Mulan is sitting at a booth.

 

“Hey, you’re up early.”

 

It’s just like Mulan to give her the most casual greeting ever after a six month absence. She goes and sits across from the woman. “Yeah, slept like a baby.”

 

Mulan hums, “Couldn’t sleep because of the creaking could you?”

 

She chuckles low and shakes her head. “Hell no, it was so bad.”

 

Mulan frowns sympathetically. “You could stay at my place for a bit if you want.”

 

“No, no, you just moved in and got engaged with Marian, I don’t wanna get in your way.”

 

Before Mulan could insist some more Ruby shoves into the booth. “Morning!” She chirps at Emma, which causes her to inwardly wince, Ruby then turns to Mulan. “Hey, have you heard about that Christmas party the Mayor’s hosting?”

 

“Yeah, I have actually. Me and Marian are going to bring gyouza.”

 

Emma raises her eyebrow at that. “Isn’t that Japanese food?”

 

Mulan takes a sip of her tea, trying and failing to hide her smirk. “It’s fun to confuse people.”

 

Emma throws her hands up. “This is why we mix all the asians up!”

 

Mulan grins and points, “now that’s racist.”

 

“White people aren’t allowed to say stuff like that, Em.” Ruby joins in on the teasing while Emma groans.

 

“Whatever,” Emma mutters. “So, if the Mayor’s such a bitch, why are people going to her party?”

 

Mulan frowns and Ruby clears her throat then, both averting her eyes. “Well…” Mulan starts and looks at Ruby who just gives a shrug in reply. “The Mayor’s house isn’t exactly… modest.”

 

“It’s a fucking mansion!” Ruby cuts in but is silenced by Mulan’s glare.

 

“And the thing is,” Mulan continues, “despite how homey these small towns are, it’s easy to be excluded when you don’t know anyone before moving here. I was lucky enough to know Marian as well as Ruby, which helped introduce me to new people, but from what I know, the Mayor moved in without knowing anyone.”

 

“Yeah, and she’s all alone in that big, giant house.” Emma wants to tell Ruby that big and giant are the same thing but she’s too preoccupied with the thought of that headstrong woman being all alone in an empty mansion. The image doesn’t bode well for her, considering her personal, crippling fear of being alone, and she thinks it’s nice that people would attend a party despite the host being rude and mean.

 

She’s here mainly to celebrate with Mulan and Ruby, and because she also didn’t want to be by herself on Christmas, so she can kinda relate.

 

They continue planning their party as well as the Mayor’s party, but when the lunch rush starts streaming Ruby has to get up and actually work and Mulan has to go to her job as well. Which just leaves Emma, and her crippling loneliness.

 

She looked around and found herself out of place from all the people around her so she stepped out of the diner. Nothing else she can do but look around really. She couldn’t help but recall the words idyllic while wandering the streets. It was a small town, with one main street, one bar, a few hobby shops and a bunch of side roads for the residential area. It really was a small town.

 

The only familiar thing she had was her bug so she walked over to the mechanic to check in on her car. It’s a one garage building, small, like the rest of town but at this point she’s not even surprised anymore. There’s a pretentious little mercedes parked on the sidewalk. Sleek, black, looks well maintained, and she thinks whoever owns the car is probably high maintenance.

 

“Oh, sorr- Oh, it’s you.” She goes to enter the building only for the door to open on its own and she nearly bumps into someone. She recognizes that husky voice though, she can recognize it anywhere now. And really, she should be annoyed, actually, she does feel rather irritated at the immediate hostility she’s being shown right now, but she figures if she’s going to be here, and going to the woman’s house party, she might as well be somewhat cordial.

 

So instead she smiles, or tries to, and awkwardly shrugs with a tiny, “Hi.” Which just seems to make Regina look taken aback and also frown and narrow her eyes like she doesn’t trust Emma. And that just irritates her more because she heard her; the woman was about to apologize until she knew it was Emma so this refusal to be anything but nice is meant for her and her alone. “Nice day, isn’t it?” She gives it one last try.

 

“What are you still doing here? I thought I told you to leave.” Oh, for the love of- Actually, whatever, she tried, there’s just some people not worth giving a damn, and she doesn’t know why the bitch being mean to her was bothering her anyway.

 

She sighs and shakes her head, making to walk past her. “I give up, see you at the party then.”

 

Regina looked startled at that. “I heard you didn’t plan on staying that long.”

 

Damn small towns and their grapevines. She turns around and faces the mayor again. “Yeah, well,” she shrugs, “I decided to stick around a little longer, got a problem with that?”

 

Regina’s eyes narrowed once more, but then she leaned back and gave a gleaming smile with all teeth and went, “No, of course not. Well, I look forward to seeing you there then.” It’s one hundred percent fake pleasantry, she knew that, Regina knew that she knew, but Emma could see how the woman became mayor.

 

And then the woman nods and starts to struts away, the nerve of her and her shapely ass- Nope! She really needs to just turn around and let this go. But she can’t let go, not when her ego’s been bruised and this woman has been a pain since they’ve met. She sighs and turns back to the woman. “You know what, lady?”

 

Regina turns back to her and raises a perfectly plucked eyebrow which just infuriates her more because everything about this stupid woman is perfect. “I don’t know what your deal is, I tried being nice, but you’ve just got one big stick up your ass -”

 

Excuse me?

 

“-And whatever, you know? But I’m gonna be in town for at least another week and like it or not, we’re gonna bump into each other again. So do me a favour and stay the hell away from me and I’ll stay away from you.”

 

If Emma thought that vein on Regina’s forehead could not get any more defined, she was sorely wrong. It looked like it was about to explode with how pronounced it got with each breath the mayor took. “ Oh, I am going to enjoy the day you leave. Maybe I’ll even have a mariachi band there to celebrate you leaving, have a town wide holiday even.”

 

At this point, Emma’s rolling her eyes and turning around, walking briskly into the mechanic’s place in the middle of the conversation because that is one spiteful bitch and she doesn’t have time for that. Her heart thuds though, when she hears the clear angry stomping contact between pavement and heels chasing after her as she escapes. And she nearly runs from fear but decides to hold her ground and glare when she’s spun by the arm and is met with brown fiery eyes.

 

“Miss…”

 

“Swan. Emma Swan.”

 

“Well, Miss Swan , it is rude to walk away while I’m talking.” They’re inches away from each other, their noses nearly touching as they glare each other down. Emma thinks she can see a tiny glint in the other woman’s eyes but she thinks it’s just her imagination.

 

“Well, I’m done talking so.” Another glare down, this time much more fierce. Regina looks like she’s about to pounce and Emma’s just prepping herself to throw a punch if need be.

 

There’s a cough from behind her and they both immediately step away and she turns to see the mechanic awkwardly shuffling his feet there.

 

“Uh, Madam Mayor, good to see you back so soon.”

 

The mayor in question opens and closes her mouth for a moment, grappling for something to say, but the moment’s lost and it was time to make a swift retreat. “I was just leaving.” They manage to share eye contact for a moment, eying and sizing each other up one last time before the mayor turns back to the mechanic. “Good day, Mr. Tillman.” Regina turns and struts away for good this time and Emma doesn’t call her back again.

 

Something about that fight has her adrenaline going through, and staring at the mechanic who greets her cautiously just confuses her because she doesn’t know what to do with all that energy. She hasn’t felt so alive in months, hell, years now and she hates that this is all caused by some petty fight with an equally petty mayor.

 

She shakes it off though, asking to see her bug since that was the point of her visit, and she sees the first familiar thing in a long while causing a burst of anxiety and tension to release from her shoulders. The diagnosis from the mechanic is that the parts are old and the engine’s shot so it’s going to take a bit of tinkering to get a makeshift engine up and running. It should be enough to have her drive home and go to an actual car shop to get actual replacement parts. Which sounds good enough in her book.

 

She steps out of the mechanic’s and sees that daylight’s still going strong so she decides to take a stroll in the park. Now that she’s relieved from the status of her car and the adrenaline finally wore off, she feels calmer now, more at peace with everything. And she sees it, the peacefulness of a small town, she can actually hear her thoughts and not be bogged down by the hustle and bustle of big city life.

 

She’s never actually seen a park so empty. There’s usually always a runner or someone homeless strolling about in the parks she’s been to, so this is a surprising change. There is someone walking their dog, a dalmation she thinks? But they’re far from her and she hopes it stays that way.

 

Sitting on a bench, she finds that she’s been a little sad that the two friends she made last year left her, but she can kinda understand now, the appeal of this town. Ruby with her Granny means she was always going to come back. She only temporarily left to travel. And Mulan met Marian who was originally from this town so that was inevitable as well. That doesn’t mean she’s not sad though, she hardly makes friends and making two that she managed to get along with so well only for them to leave her was just a punch in the gut.

 

“Emma!” She was just about to stand up and leave when someone called out to her. She turned and saw Marian; she didn’t expect to bump into someone she knew, but small world, with an even smaller town.

 

“Hey, how are you?” She tries to muster up as much enthusiasm as she’s showing her but she’s not one to be excited about meeting people. Marian is someone she knows purely by association and rather than a friend, Marian’s always been kind of a ‘friend of a friend’ as they’ve never actually hung out.

 

The other woman is with a stroller and a baby boy staring at her like she’s some sort of alien, which- okay, that’s fair. She’s not around kids a lot but they always stare , and she doesn’t know if she should stare back. Her eyes always seem to catch large brown round ones and she doesn’t want to keep eye contact in case she causes the kid to cry. She definitely doesn’t know how to deal with kids when they cry.

 

“I’m doing great, Roland actually finally stopped being fussy at night.” Marian informs her, which shows that she has indeed been staring at the baby. The kid is cute though, if she’s willing to admit; there’s a start of a dimple forming in his cheeks and he’s got big eyes with curly black hair. It’s no wonder he was adopted.

 

She gives a small smile. “That’s good to hear.” There’s a lull in conversation then, both too unfamiliar with each other to really know what to say. Instead, Marian gestures with her head to start walking with her and she follows.

 

“I heard you couldn’t sleep well at Granny’s.”

 

Ah, dammit Mulan. She shrugs knowing the next words Marian’s going to say. “It’s fine, I’ll get used to it.”

 

Marian frowns and says the words she dreads. “You can stay over at our place for the next few weeks instead.” She hates imposing so she shakes her head and gives her the same response she gave Mulan. Marian didn’t look convinced but it mollified her for now.

 

Truth be told, she knows she’s going to be an outsider there. She can just see what they’re like at home, sweet and loving to each other and their kid, and she just doesn’t want to intrude on that, actually, what’s worse is that she doesn’t intrude on that and it just makes her feel like she’s on the outside looking in. Like she can never touch their family bubble. That makes her feel worse than a few house creaks.

 

They manage to stroll their way to main street and they part ways from there. She’s starving but she managed to dodge her way out of eating dinner at Marian’s place. When she steps into Granny’s she briefly wonders where Regina was eating dinner. Was she all alone, sitting at a long dining table in a big empty mansion? Granted, she hasn’t seen said mansion, so she’s probably exaggerating the size of the house, but she trusts that Regina Mills wouldn’t settle for a house that wasn’t larger than life so it seemed appropriate.

 

It’s busy inside the diner, Ruby’s bustling about and it takes awhile before she notices Emma. “Hey Em! Just sit down, I’ll be right with you.” Emma nods in reply and she looks around and decides to sit on the stools at the counter. There’s menus and she takes it so Ruby doesn’t have to bother with her and she finds it appropriate that they’re all easy foods.

 

She already knows what she wants so she puts down the menu and looks around. It’s ridiculously packed inside and she contemplates coming in later, maybe around the same time as yesterday when there was hardly anyone. She thinks she knows why the mayor came in for a coffee so late in the day yesterday.

 

“Sorry, Em, it usually gets pretty crowded around this time. Did you wanna order something?”

 

She doesn’t want Ruby to have to pay special attention to her. “Don’t worry about me, I’ll just have a grilled cheese to go.”

 

“Coming right up!”

 

Emma watches her friend prance around the diner and taking orders with a familiarity that could only be gained by working here over the years. She’s happy for Ruby, taking over the family business and knowing what she wants to do. She recalls Ruby telling her that she left Storybrooke just to see what it was like outside, and then she breaks the news that she thinks she’s seen what she wants to see and it was time to head back. Emma admires Ruby’s sense of responsibility.

 

“Here you go!” Ruby comes back with a paper bag with a styrofoam container inside; she catches a whiff from the grilled cheese and it smells heavenly. “I’ll talk to you later okay?”

 

“Sure” Emma shrugs and waits for Ruby to turn and occupy herself with another customer before sliding off the stool and heading upstairs to her room.

 

It’s not soundproof, not one bit, but the sounds from the diner is at least somewhat muffled and she sits on her bed with a sigh. She takes out and unwraps her dinner, biting into the cheesy goodness and moans unabashedly at the sensation on her tongue. This is good, she can do this. She’s fine being by herself.

 

She finishes her food, does her nightly routine and falls asleep, not waiting for Ruby.

 


 

A knock wakes her up abruptly and she sits up on her bed suddenly. “Whuh-huh?” It’s quiet, and she listens for a moment, thinking she imagined the sound but then hears another knock on her door.

 

It’s probably Ruby, though it’s awfully early and she knows that Ruby knows she doesn’t function well in the morning, especially not without coffee.

 

“Miss Swan.” Is what greets her instead when she opens the door and she is not equipped to be dealing with the mayor when her brain isn’t quite firing on all cylinders. Regina looks her over and raises an eyebrow. “Do you greet all your guests this undressed?”

 

She looks down and sees she’s not wearing any pants but doesn’t want the other woman to see her flustered so she just shrugs. “Why not?”

 

Regina looks like she’s resisting the urge to roll her eyes. “I see. May I come in?” Emma inwardly sighs, yeah, sure why not , and steps aside for the mayor without a word. Regina steps in and looks around without hiding her distaste and Emma’s trying boot up her brain a little faster so she can find her snark.

 

“I wonder if Miss Lucas is open to the idea of renovating her grandmother’s bed and breakfast.”

 

“Cut the crap, why are you here?” Regina turns around to look at her while she crosses her arms, not willing to take any bullshit.

 

“Well,” Regina clicks her tongue, “I am here proposing a truce , considering you will not be in town for long and you more than likely would like your stay here to be… comfortable, to say the least.”

 

Emma finally rolls her eyes at all the diplomatic bullshit coming from this woman’s mouth right now. “What do you want?”

 

Regina smiles like a shark then. “At least you’re not an idiot.” She unrolls a piece of paper which Emma snatches out of her hand to read it. “Sign this contract and I will not hassle you, in exchange, you will be my… date up until the 26th, after my christmas party.” Regina steps in close until she’s right in Emma’s breathing space and her smile turns mischievous. “Personally, I find this a win-win for you, Miss Swan, it will be imperative that you sign this.”

The mayor dances fingers along Emma’s collarbone to her shoulders and then brushes a hand lightly down her arm. She regrets just wearing a tank and underwear now because she feels exposed with her shivering slightly at the feel of the hand. Her brain’s not quite working right now, but her built-in lie detector is pinging hard pun unintended at the woman’s words so she knows something’s off.

 

“What’s in it for you?” She sees Regina about to speak and she appends, “And don’t tell me this bullshit about how this is all for my benefit. I know this is about you, so what’s in it for you?”

 

Regina leans back and frowns, contemplating for a moment whether to come clean and Emma makes the decision easier for her. “Either tell me what this is all about or you can leave right now.” She opens the door and gestures for the other woman to leave.

 

The brunette mayor looks lost, as if she hadn’t accounted the fact that Emma would rebuke her like this or her seduction tactic to fail, and Emma almost took pity on her.

 

“Fine.” Emma gives her a look. “ Fine ” and Regina gives in, “My family will be attending my party and they have been a nuisance in regards to having a significant other. They know everyone in town, hell I know everyone in town, and I doubt they will be convinced if I suddenly choose a partner from anyone here.”

 

Ah , there it is , she thinks, there’s the caveat, and it’s more than clear that Emma would be doing Regina a favour than the other way around. “But I’m new so it’ll be easier to convince.”

 

“Yes,” Regina raises her nose haughtily and points at the sheet of paper, “and if you look at number three, you would see that we should ‘ date ’ in the week prior to the party to convince the town that we are indeed dating .”

 

Emma finds it hard to keep her mouth from quirking up every time Regina says the word ‘date’ with heavy disdain. Now that they’re not fighting with each other, she can fully appreciate the woman’s looks and her sass innuendo wordplay also unintended. There’s just something about this woman that she just can’t help but admire. Like she’s fighting everything against her and somehow still managing to come out on top.

 

“I’m not gonna agree to being at your beck and call, by the way.”

 

“What?” The brunette looks startled and didn’t expect Emma to say that at all.

 

“Here,” Emma points to a paragraph on the paper, “ signee agrees that in signing - yada yada yada - that they must dress nicely for all agreed appointments, arrive at the intended party’s house to bring them to all agreed appointme- Jesus, just call them dates - and must listen to any and all requests set by the intended party. ” She then looks at Regina with a raised brow, “So if you tell me to jump off a cliff, I gotta jump?”

 

Regina scowls in response, “I suppose that might be misconstrued as such, and I can see where that might pose a problem. I was only considering the fact that I require you to behave when I ask or do something when plans change.” The mayor then sucks on her tongue in thought. “We may discuss that point further at a later time and allow a compromise but at the moment I need you to sign it.”

There’s urgency in her voice and Emma stares at her in silence, thinking, contemplating. Regina doesn’t stare back for once, looking around in her form of fidgeting.

 

Emma breathes out, “Yeah, sure, okay.”

 

Both of Regina’s eyebrows raise up at that, “What?”

 

She smirks. “I said, yeah, I’ll sign it, gimme a pen.”

 

Regina looks like she’s about to deny the fact that she has a pen but thinks better of it and reaches inside her handbag, brandishing a stylish black pen —because of course she does. Emma keeps eye contact with the other woman, the both of them once again in a standoff, while she signs the document with a flourish, her hand flying off the page with dramatic flair. “Here you go.” Emma says smugly, because despite the fact that she gave in to Regina’s demands, she still feels like she won.

And Regina sniffs and snatches the document away, slipping it into a folder and fixing invisible creases to pretend the awkwardness isn’t there.

 

“Well,” Regina keeps on her tongue, “I suppose I will… arrange something for us tomorrow, do try to dress nice, Miss Swan.”

 

And the woman straightens up, nods and struts out; Emma’s getting the idea that the mayor just leaves a room this way, turning heads and walking in and out of places like she owns it. She wonders what she signed herself up for, literally.

 

She lays down on her bed with a huff; why did she accept? She figures it was because she saw the woman behind the mask for just a split second, and in that second she saw someone like her, lonely, defiant, the need for acceptance. She saw a little girl that wanted her family’s approval and she can’t tell if she’s talking about the mayor or herself and she thinks that regardless what happens, she’s going to tough it out and help the woman out.

 

Her phone pings from her pocket and she takes it out, surprised to find that she has an email from Regina Mills:

 

Miss Swan,

 

Please find the signed copy of the agreement attached to this email. Reply if you have any questions regarding any of the rules listed and I will explain. If you have any issues you may bring them up and we may discuss with a possibility of a compromise as per agreement. But otherwise, you have signed the contract, Miss Swan, it is too late to withdraw now.

 

Regina Mills

Mayor of Storybrooke

207-XXX-XXXX

 

Her first thought was, how in the world did this woman get her email? Her second thought was to read the document a little more thoroughly than her original once over. Aside from the point she brought up before, it was an otherwise unremarkable set of rules ranging from knowing what flowers to bring and food allergies to bring up. There’s even a rule to “act in accordance to couples in a loving relationship”, she shakes her head, how else did Regina expect her to act?

 

Either way, she knows she’s in for a long week.