She doesn't know what to expect when the door lurches open and the woman standing before her is... well, ungodly pretty, for one. Judging by the fancy mansion and somewhat egotistical description when she checked the ad on craigslist, Emma kind of expected someone more prudish.
And leaning closer to her forties, not that Emma ever really had an issue with age in the past.
But the woman is far from the vision Emma's formed in her head - from the soccer moms to the straight rich ladies who get a kick out of cheating on their husbands and sleeping with women. Instead she's about Emma's age and height - maybe a little taller with those ridiculous designer heels she has on - with short, perfectly coiffed hair and pretty eyes and Emma just knows she's screwed from that moment on.
An eyebrow quirks up when she takes in Emma's red leather jacket and worn boots.
"Are you an Emma S?"
"You're late," the woman says dryly. "Come in and leave your shoes by the closet. I'll go ahead and make us some drinks before we discuss business."
And that's all the woman says before she whirls around in her tall heels and Red Valentino dress - Emma only knows this because she's seen it once on a trip down in Manhattan and it cost more than a month's worth of rent.
And yeah, so it's rude and basically screams bitch. But the dress does its job and Emma's left staring after an ass that is at least nice to look at.
She should've known better than to try her luck on craigslist.
"Would you prefer water or juice? I also have cider if you'd rather day drink."
There's a condescending edge to her voice when she says this. Emma resists the urge to roll her eyes and vows to make this as short and painless as possible.
Several minutes later when they're seated in the parlor and Emma's stuck with a bottle of purified holy water, she shifts nervously when the woman - who still remains nameless as far as Emma knows - studies her from the seat across.
"I never did catch your last name, dear."
"Swan," Emma says and clears her throat. "Emma Swan."
"Very well Miss Swan," the woman replies. "My name is Regina Mills."
Before Emma can respond, Regina stands and observes her with a more critical eye, like she's some sort of scientist and Emma's the unwilling lab experiment.
"Yes," Regina murmurs after a moment. "Yes, you will do. I'll expect you back here this coming Friday morning at 8. We can discuss payment adjustments on the way to Las Angeles."
It takes a second longer than usual to gain her bearings, but immediately Emma feels herself go into defensive mode.
"I'll be sending you a list via email on what to bring. However I'll be the one providing you with a dress."
"Seriously?" Emma says. "Listen, lady. I get that this whole thing is just a transaction to you, but you still haven't told me what I'm supposed to be doing."
Regina glares at her, as though it's her fault Emma has no idea what's going on.
"Didn't you read the ad before you decided to barge into a stranger's home?"
"Yes," Emma grits out. "Saying that you need a female, preferably blonde and decently attractive, to pretend to be your date for a weekend isn't a whole lot of information to work with."
"That's all the information you need to know."
At Emma's firm look, Regina sighs and suddenly her shoulders are sagging, and it's the most human Emma has seen her in the last twenty minutes.
"My sister, Zelena," she spits out the name like it's poison, "Is getting married this weekend in California. My mother is potentially the biggest pain in the ass when it comes to who I take in as lovers. I need someone who will aggravate her to no end and keep her from meddling in the future."
Emma blinks. "Why me?"
"My mother hates blondes."
"Oh," Emma says slowly, and god. She gets the feeling she's signed herself up for one fucked up family reunion. "Cool."
Regina looks at her and manages a small smirk that makes Emma's heart thump quickly in her chest.
Fuck. That's not good.
"Cool? That's all you have to say?"
"What else do you want me to say?" Emma answers unsurely. "I mean, are you even into women?"
That seems to throw Regina off guard for a moment, like she doesn't expect the question and doesn't necessarily know how to answer it.
"Of course not," she says, and Emma's lie detector beeps loudly. "Why do you think I've chosen a female to carry the job? Are you?"
She says it in true Emma Swan awkward fashion - she doesn't come out a whole lot unless people ask, or she's trying to push away guys she has no interest in. She's slept with her share of men in the past, though. And like all other times it doesn't quite compare to a woman's touch. Or the ability to make her orgasm eight times in one night.
Or the way Regina doesn't look all that surprised at this revelation, but instead offers her a look that is both disinterested and kinda predatory.
"Good. Then you shouldn't have any problems making it believable."
And that's the moment Emma realizes she's just sold her soul to the devil.
Friday comes much faster than Emma anticipates and all too soon she finds herself seated in first class for the first time in her life, an apple martini in one hand and she's sticking out her pinky like she's fancy or something. But really her clothes are still kind of raggedy, not to mention she doesn't know the first thing to etiquette or how to hold a fucking martini glass like she hadn't been raised in an orphanage her entire childhood.
"You look ridiculous," Regina comments beside her. "No one acceptable holds a glass like that. It's an abomination."
They're sitting side by side, with Regina's elbow taking up her end of the arm rest. Normally this would be the time to reap her claim - the least they can do is share - but Regina did end up paying for her plane ticket. The closer she leans over, the more Emma can smell her perfume, so really she has no right to complain when Regina smells that good.
"I thought the purpose was to piss off your mom," Emma says, putting the glass down.
"Good point," Regina mulls it over. "In that case, keep doing what it is you're doing. It's certainly annoying me."
"Most things I do annoy you."
"Which is why you're perfect for the job."
It stings a little, as much as Emma refuses to admit it. But she's learned not to take things for granted and see it for what it is - a job. Despite the crush she's got harbored for the stiff woman, she needs to set her hormones to the side and concentrate on the task at hand.
"Why bother getting me a ticket for first class, anyway? It's a waste of money."
"Because I don't settle for anything mediocre and I needed you by my side in case you decide to escape."
"Escape where? To my untimely death forty thousand feet in the air?"
"You're a valuable investment, Miss Swan. I don't simply let go of investments," Regina offers.
"Okay, several things. First, if we're going to be fake dating, that means you've gotta treat me as a human. None of this investment crap. I'm not your doormat," Emma says.
"I never said you were."
"Well you sure as hell have a way of showing it," Emma counters defensively.
Regina stares at her long and hard, as though she's trying to pinpoint the exact moment she should wring her hands around Emma's neck.
"Very well," Regina agrees reluctantly.
"Second, my name is Emma. Miss Swan sounds like something you'd pull out of the bedroom and tie me up for."
At that Regina's gaze sharpens and flicks over Emma's face in a mischievous manner. "Oh really? Is that another addition to our terms, Emma? Handcuffs and rope?"
Nearly choking on her drink, Emma sputters. "Okay, you know what. Let's get back to the list."
She ignores the bout of amusement swirling in dark eyes - and definitely the wave of heat boiling in her stomach - as she points to picture of a young redhead in the files Regina had given her.
"Is that your sister?" she asks, and at Regina's terse nod, says, "She's hot."
She feels Regina tense beside her and knows it was the wrong thing to say when the woman's face visibly darkens. In dislike, Emma's sure, but she can't help but feel like there's a touch of jealousy in there somewhere.
"You're hotter," Emma says, because she never knows when to keep her mouth shut and this is one of those moments. "Like, hella."
It's an even stupider thing to say, but Regina doesn't seem to mind at all. Her cheeks turn pink and she peers away with a shy smile.
She figures if it gets Regina smiling like that, Emma would say all the stupid things in the world.
"So tell me more about this crazy family of yours."
They make it their hotel by mid afternoon- like the plane ride, it's sleek and rich and again Emma feels totally out of place. But Regina simply strides on forth like she owns the place and Emma would've found it a little amusing if she wasn't so turned on by it.
"This is the presidential suite," Regina informs her when she notices Emma's eyes bulging out of their sockets. "A bit of special treatment when your mother owns the hotel."
"Your mother owns the hotel?"
"That's what I just said," Regina rolls her eyes, but only looks on amusingly as Emma wanders through the room like she can't believe her luck.
Going on craigslist had been the best decision she'd ever made.
She stops short in front of the bedroom, the wide expanse of space serving as another distraction until she notices the bed.
"Uh... Regina. There's only one bed."
"Hmm," Regina hums as she brushes past her, but not before tossing her a sly glance. "Looks as though we're going to have to share."
Alright, Emma thinks. The bed is massive. There's more than enough room for the two of them to sleep in comfort, that's for sure. Except for the tiny little issue that Emma tends to cuddle anything in a near vicinity and wake up with a raging lady boner almost every morning.
She decides not to let that part slip.
"I'm going to take a shower," Regina calls out from the bathroom. "Feel free to call for room service. Or whatever it is reformed bondsmen do."
"Bondsperson," Emma corrects her, not that it matters when the door slams shut and she has a mental image of a naked Regina officially imprinted in her head.
Taking a deep breath, Emma figures the best way to release any pent up tension is by working out. So she dresses in her workout gear (which really only consists of a sports bra and some capris, because she usually sleeps naked and this had been the first pajama set that came to mind when she packed) and snags one of the hotel cards on the counter before making her way to the hallway.
There's a gym on the second floor that's spacious and everything she's ever dreamed of when she was an angry fifteen year old teen with only a broken elliptical in her foster mom's basement to work out some steam.
She spends the next forty minutes biding her time then, trying out the new machines until she's worked enough of a sweat to be gasping for breath. She has the urge to try out the bar in the lobby, maybe crank in another drink to get through the rest of the day, but it's still early in the afternoon.
She can already hear Regina silently judging her.
So she goes back to the hotel room a sweaty mess, but at least she feels good about herself, only to stop abruptly at the sight of Regina's sister sitting on the couch.
Regina's on the other side, dressed in a silky white bathrobe that outlines the shape of her body, and Emma doesn't know what to look at first.
"About time," Regina greets her. She doesn't sound too happy. "Emma, this is my sister, Zelena. Zelena, this is Emma. My...girlfriend."
Oh no. Oh shit. They're playing the part. That isn't supposed to happen until tomorrow.
"Uh, hi," Emma says.
"Pleasure," Zelena says dully. Just like her sister, she doesn't sound happy at all. In fact, she barely spares Emma a glance before turning back to Regina, "Mother isn't going to be happy you've turned into a lesbian, you know."
"Zelena," Regina sighs.
"And she's blonde. Regina, what the hell were you thinking?"
"I was thinking that mother no longer has any control over my life. Or who I choose to see. Come to think of it, I thought you couldn't care less if I dated a toothpick."
"Well at least a toothpick has its uses. Unlike some bimbo you picked off the streets."
"Hey, yeah, that bimbo you're talking about? She's standing right here," Emma interrupts, more than a little irritated. "And I wouldn't talk much there, carrot top."
"Babe, I got us some dinner if you're hungry. It'll be here in twenty minutes." She didn't really, but it's worth seeing the look of disbelief on Zelena's face when she crosses the room and places her hand on the small of Regina's back. The kiss on the cheek is for added effect, but she honestly can't complain about that either.
"I'm sorry, Zelena. Was there something you needed?" Emma asks.
Zelena's glare could cut through steel, but there's something else there that Emma can't quite decipher. It looks a bit like admiration.
"Never you mind. Just make sure you and my sister are ready by four tomorrow. I will not have my wedding ruined by a pair of idiots, homosexual or not," Zelena offers in the same bitter tone, slightly muffled by a newfound respect when she gazes at them both.
When she leaves, Emma realizes her hand is still on Regina's back, palm pressed into the warm silk of her robe and she can easily tell Regina is wearing nothing underneath it.
That and her nipples are totally visible through the material.
"Your sister's a piece of work. I'll give you that."
"Sorry," Emma quickly swallows and removes her hand. "That kinda got out of hand."
"You did well," Regina says.
She's not staring at Emma's face when she says it, though, but rather down below, to Emma's abdomen where her sports bra doesn't do much to cover her skin. The gaze is heated and a tad bit surprised, like Regina hadn't expected Emma to have such rockin abs, but heated nonetheless.
It makes Emma warm up and suddenly she's feeling self conscious.
"I'm... gonna go take a shower," she mutters before slipping away.
It's ten minutes later, when she's in the shower and pushing past her embarrassment to shove a hand between her legs, that she realizes that Regina isn't very straight at all.
It's either that or she's doing a good job pretending not to be.
They spend the rest of the day going over facts about her family that normally Emma wouldn't give two shits about, but in reality she finds herself more interested in Regina's life than she should be.
It's dangerous territory, one she shouldn't touch even with a ten foot pole, but the fact remains Emma is lonely. Has been since her last relationship two years ago, if one can call it that. This job is starting to feel less like a job and more like real life, and if that isn't a cause to run away as fast as possible, she doesn't know what is.
They order food like any good old fake couple would do, while Emma rocks the boat just a little further and places her head on Regina's lap.
Regina peers down at her from over her plate. "What do you think you're doing?"
"Resting my head on your lap."
"I can see that. Why?"
"Because I'm less likely to get slapped than if it was your boobs."
She waits for the moment where Regina shoves her off, tells her to stop being so crude when they're not actually a couple, and so far have only pretended to be for two minutes just to get rid of Zelena. But it never comes. Instead Regina scoffs and entwines her fingers in Emma's hair, letting her nails brush over her scalp. It feels so good that Emma doesn't notice her head rolling to the side until her face is smack against Regina's stomach.
"Idiot," Regina says affectionately.
And shit. That's about as relationshipy as it gets.
She wakes up the next morning on the bed, with Regina nowhere in sight and her side of the covers folded neatly even though Emma's knows she hadn't been alone.
She's glad she is this time, because Emma's pretty sure she wouldn't have been able to stop herself from groping Regina midsleep.
Emma finds her in the kitchen drinking from a mug and staring intently at a section of a newspaper with a pair of reading glasses sitting at the bridge of her nose.
She barely has time to pick her jaw off the floor before Regina states, "If you're done gawking, dear, your dress is laid out on the couch over there."
The dress. If you want to call it that.
It's short and black and all around sinful. Precisely the kind of thing Emma would wear.
At a nightclub. As a stripper.
But a conservative wedding?
"Regina," Emma rasps. "You seriously can't expect me to wear this to a wedding. Your sister would kill me."
"Perhaps not Zelena," Regina mutters as she takes a sip from her coffee and glances up with a cunning smirk. "But my mother? Probably."
Damn, Emma thinks. She's sold her soul to the devil and now she's going to die for it.
At least she'll look hot when she goes out with a bang.
"People are staring at me."
She'd take it up as paranoia if that were the case, even though she hardly feels paranoid when she has a good number of eyes on her. But today it's as though she's walked into a Republican foundation and she's the one liberal hippie.
"Don't pay any attention to them. They're just a bunch of old hags. Like my mother," Regina assures her from the side.
Oddly enough that calms her down, at least enough to ignore the old woman's piercing glares from across the room. They're standing by the doorway, in a house large enough to hold the three hundred and up guests and still look like a giant ballroom.
"I'm going to get us something to drink," Regina says, and oh no. Emma's not ready to be left alone. "What would you like?"
"Whatever you're getting," Emma numbly replies and it seems to be the right answer because Regina leaves a second later.
But then she's not alone anymore.
A man slides up beside her, wearing a grey suit and a pretentious smile that almost makes her want to punch him in the face right then and there.
"Now what's a beautiful girl like you doing in a place like this?" he asks. His accent is thick and, Emma figures, Irish.
"Seriously?" Emma grits out. "That's the best you got?"
"Well I could always woo you in wholly different manners, of course. But I assume the polite thing to do would be to introduce myself first," he says and he's leaning over now, grasping her hand in his and placing a kiss over the back. "Killian Jones at your service."
Emma snatches her hand back. "Yeah, that's great and all, but -"
"There you are," a voice interrupts her. Emma never thought she'd be so happy to hear Regina's voice again. "I got your drink, dear."
It's Regina that slides up beside her this time, so close that Emma can smell her perfume as though she has her face pressed up against Regina's neck. The brunette's hand shifts to Emma's waist. She doesn't have the slightest clue how to react when Regina's hot breath brushes over her ear.
"I got you your favorite," she husks.
She takes the drink without looking at it. "Cool," Emma squeaks.
In a harder tone, Regina turns to Killian and says, "Jones."
"Regina." He glances between them, a mixture of surprise and excitement flickering over his expression. "I see you two are quite... close."
"Oh yes," Regina agrees and squeezes Emma's side. In an even huskier tone, she says, "Very close. Isn't that right, darling?"
At this point Emma's face is as red as a tomato. "Hm? Oh yeah. The sex is mindblowing."
Two pairs of eyes widen at her before Killian enthusiastically asks, "Really now?"
"Oh for God's sake. Leave, Jones," Regina barks and Killian quickly scrambles away.
Regina doesn't move away when he does, not that Emma minds. At all. But she doesn't think Regina is even aware of what she's doing and Emma's not the type to take advantage of people unless they're bounties.
"Your hand's on my ass."
It would be funny how fast Regina's possessiveness falters when she tears her hand away, if it isn't more than a little disappointing. Flustered, Regina steps away and smooths over the planes of her dress - which is a dark shade of purple and looks impossibly good on her.
"You did well, dear. I might even consider paying you extra," Regina says.
And just like that Emma's heart sinks, because she forgets this is a job and maybe Regina's jealousy had been a part of the act after all.
"Time to meet my mother."
Regina's mother is a lot smaller than Emma had anticipated, but no less scary. If anything she's more of a dragon lady than she'd originally envisioned and that's pretty damn impressive. Emma's met a ton of dragon ladies in her life - from the foster mother who would shove her into the linen closet and lock her there to ones who'd demand to see her manager in the days she worked in retail.
But this one? This one takes the cake.
Cora's eyes are stone hard when she spots Regina, hidden beneath a mask of false affection.
"Regina, darling! Oh it's so good to see you."
Enveloping her daughter in an awkward embrace, which Regina tenses under and frigidly hugs back, she turns her cold, cold eyes to Emma. And all hell freezes over.
"Now who might I ask is this young... thing?" she asks tersely.
"Mother," Regina inhales shakily. Emma immediately places a hand over her lower back to calm her down, which seems to help. Until Cora's snake-like gaze follows the movement.
"I'd like you to meet my girlfriend... Emma."
"I beg your pardon?"
Emma winces. That doesn't sound too good.
"Emma Swan. She's my -"
"I heard you the first time, dear. Don't be ridiculous. No daughter of mine is a lesbian," Cora snaps, as though the word itself is venom.
She feels Regina tremble beneath her touch. It's the first time she's ever contemplated the notion that she might actually be scared of her mother, and that's more than enough reason to drop the politeness.
"Actually, Mrs. Mills. She seemed pretty gay to me when she screamed my name out last night," Emma offers.
Cora whips around to face her. "And what makes you think you have any right to speak to me, you little harlot -"
"Regina, I beg of you to reconsider your life choices. I brought a man here with me. His name is Robin and you two would make such a fine pair. Better than this tasteless liberal."
"I voted Obama, actually," Emma informs her.
"How dare you?"
And that is how Emma's first meeting with Cora Mills goes.
"Note to self, never mention politics again," Emma mumbles to herself as she wipes off her chest. The wine had spilled into her bra and is going to be a pain to dry.
Some time in the five minutes she's managed to piss Cora off, the woman had chugged a glass of wine down her dress. She had been about a centimeter away from getting into a fist fight with an old woman had Regina not held her back. It grounded her enough to take a step back when Regina asked her to, and now she's here. Wiping off the remnants of alcohol from her skin while Regina's probably going off on her mother.
"Vicious old snake," Emma angrily mutters.
"That sums her up pretty well."
She turns to see Regina walking up to her, and she lets her arm dangle to the side as Regina picks up a cleaner rag from the table and dabs it where Emma had left off.
"How are you?" Regina asks softly.
"Shouldn't I be asking you that?"
Regina simply shrugs. "The usual. More arguing, only she's more bitter than she normally is. Can't imagine why."
She gives Emma a meaningful look, to which the blonde smiles blandly.
"I'm getting paid to piss off your mom, right? Guess that means I'm doing my job right."
Regina's movements slow down until they stop, but her hand remains on the rag, which is still pressed up against Emma's chest. She stares at Emma silently as though debating what to do next, before she pulls her lip between her teeth.
"She's trying to set me up with someone named Robin Locksley. He's the son of a corporate manager my mother's been trying to get her hands on for the last year."
"What? Your mom was actually serious about that?"
"Of course," Regina says dryly. "She's been doing it my whole life."
Emma's brow wrinkles in disbelief before she sees the object of their conversation on the other side of the room, speaking to a well dressed man with more scruff than Emma would ever know what to do with.
Speak of the devil.
"Is that him over there?" Emma gestures.
"Hm? Oh, yes. Needs a bit of a clean up, doesn't he? Certainly not my mother's usual type."
"Huh," Emma murmurs as she tries to retain the jealousy bubbling in her gut. The man in question looks awfully fearful when he's speaking to Cora, but then he turns and starts heading in their direction.
"He's coming over here."
"Wonderful. Excuse me while I go the other way."
"Hey, wait." Emma gently grabs her wrist before Regina can leave and pulls her back until they're close again, until she can hear Regina's breath hitch slightly at the vicinity. "Do you trust me?"
"That depends, dear. What are you -"
Emma doesn't give her the chance to answer when she tugs Regina closer by the waist, closing the remaining distance between them.
Rest in peace, me.
Taking the plunge, Emma kisses Regina, letting her lips mold into fuller ones. She feels rather than hears Regina's breath snag sharply in her throat, but she doesn't pull away. If anything her hands slide into Emma's hair and tug her closer, a muffled moan spilling from her lips.
Emma's had sex with enough women to know that wasn't fake.
Heat coils in her stomach like a raging - and thoroughly horny - fire, and she pulls back before she does something even more stupid like lift Regina up on the table.
"I think it worked," Emma whispers when she sees a flustered Robin turning away and proceeding to the front of the room.
She turns back to Regina, who looks a little dazed but luckily not murderous.
"How was that?" Emma asks.
Regina shakes her head, appearing somewhat lost for a moment before she says, "The kiss?"
"Well... no. The act. You think your mom saw it?"
"Sloppy. And overall modest. Next time kiss me like you mean it," Regina sniffs with a roll of her eyes and grabs Emma's hand. "Now come. The ceremony's about to start."
Emma's far too disoriented to argue. All she can think is -
The ceremony is grand and over the top, with white flowers dangling from every inch of the room, including against Emma's ass. She's literally sitting on a bouquet of flowers.
Emma wonders why Regina hadn't been the maid of honor, or at the very least one of the bridemaids. When she asks, all she gets is a stern glare that says 'mind your own business.' But then Regina huffs and admits that she had rejected the role.
"Zelena's practically a monster when it comes to organizing events," she explains. "Imagine her as Bridezilla."
Yeah. That makes perfect sense.
The groom is some typical white dude with dark hair and shiny teeth. His name is Rob, according to Regina, and he seems like a nice enough guy.
"He's as boring as they come. I don't see how my sister's going to handle doing missionary the rest of her life," Regina mutters.
Emma just gazes at her and realizes that Regina definitely isn't as vanilla as she likes to pretend.
When the ceremony's over, it's time for the wedding reception and Emma knows she can't back out of this one. For one, Regina still has a tight grip on her hand as she drags her off to a table, and she's fairly sure she wouldn't survive if she tried gaining control of her hand again.
That, and she might as well try the free food.
They're seated at a table near the brides' area. Around her are a few elderly women she hasn't met yet, Killian - who continues to leer at her from over the table - Robin, and to her horror, Cora.
"Well isn't this just wonderful!" Cora exclaims. "Now we can make some proper introductions. Robin, this is my daughter, Regina."
Emma grips her fork tighter than necessary, but manages not to say anything as she angrily stuffs a piece of chicken in her mouth.
Regina sighs. "Mother..."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Regina," Robin says and he smiles, uncomfortable and rugged and his stupid face is actually kind of handsome this close.
It makes Emma even angrier.
"And I'm Emma," she pipes up cheerfully. "You know, the girlfriend."
"And that's a whole lot of nonsense," Cora says. "I can assure you Regina's not a lesbian."
"I've never met a lesbian before," one of the elderly ladies adds.
"Oh, you definitely have," Emma assures her. "You wouldn't believe it, but they're like normal people. You never know who's going to come out as queer. Your best friend, your brother, your mom. Hell, even your daughter."
"Well this certainly has been a lovely conversation," Cora interjects, but not before shooting a withering glare in Emma's direction. "Who wants some salad?"
She feels Regina's hand clasp around her own. Emma startles and peers down to see she had laid her hand on Regina's naked thigh at some point. The skin is hot against her palm, soft and silky and it doesn't help that Regina's fingers are rubbing gentle circles over the back.
Face growing warm, Emma tries to slide her hand away, but Regina keeps a firm grasp on it. If anything the movement causes her hand to shift up higher, closer to the hem of Regina's dress where it had hiked up to the tops of her thighs.
"So, Emma. What is it that you do for a living?" Robin asks politely.
"I'm a bounty hunter," Emma responds shakily. "Uh... reformed. I'm taking a break for now."
She hopes no one can hear her heart thumping frantically in her ribcage, or see the way Emma's eyeballs practically pop out of her skull when Regina's thighs part, leaving a gap from Emma's hand to the apex of her legs.
"Bounty hunter, huh? That sounds like an adventure."
"Oh, you know me. Always up for an adventure," Emma chuckles breathily.
The conversation ensues, and all the while Emma attempts to retain her calm as her fingers slowly brush up the inside of Regina's thigh of their own accord, but at Regina's subtle insistence. She can feel the heat radiating from beneath the dress the closer she gets, until she's so close that Regina's grip tightens around her wrist and Emma gives up the extra inch to press her fingers against warm, and most definitely damp, underwear.
Regina inhales sharply.
"Are you alright, dear?" Cora asks with narrowed eyes. "You look a little... flushed."
"Yes, yes of course," Regina insists.
Moments later Regina shifts further towards the edge of her chair, giving Emma more reign as she spreads her legs a little further and clamps her hand over Emma's, pressing it harder against her. Emma takes the opportunity to shift the material away and slide a finger through slick folds.
"Oh gods..." Regina whispers.
Cora's head shoots up in suspicion. "What was that?"
Emma inwardly snickers as she continues to eat from her plate with an air of indifference. She casts her gaze across the table, making sure that no one can see the motion of her hand hidden away by the table cloth. Except she catches Killian's eye last minute, whose lecherous grin tells her more than she needs to know.
Her fingers glide from Regina's slit and settle over her clit, and it's then that Regina jerks into the table with a raspy -
"Regina!" Cora says sharply. "I will not have you use such foul language. If you're going to insist on acting like some streetrat, then I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
"There's no need, mother," Regina grits out and she's standing up, brushing her hands over her lap. "Emma and I have some important business to attend to."
Emma awkwardly wipes her fingers against her dress.
And oh, she's coming alright.
"Are you going to kill me?" Emma asks once Regina practically shoves her into one of the bathrooms.
She's only half kidding. The other half is very much fearful for her life when Regina makes sure to lock the door behind them and whirls back around with the most ravenous look on her face.
And Emma really doesn't want to die tonight. She was just starting to have a good time.
But Regina simply rolls her eyes and shoves her into the sink.
"Shut up," she says, and slams her lips onto Emma's.
The kiss is hard and hungry, nothing like the gentle press of lips right before the ceremony to convince everyone else of their attraction.
No, the kiss is heavy and wet and messy and Emma loves every second of it, to the way Regina's tongue flicks over her lips to the greedy hands digging into her scalp.
She twirls them around and positions Regina over the sink this time, where the brunette hikes up her own dress and guides Emma's hands directly where she wants them.
"Are you going to finish the job, Miss Swan?"
Emma's voice is muffled against the other woman's neck as she thrusts two fingers into her, kissing the moan that vibrates from Regina's throat.
"I thought you said you weren't into women."
"Yeah, no kidding," Emma grunts and follows the words with another thrust.
Regina, for her part, isn't quiet during sex at all. She moans and curses and fuck, is it hot. But they're still in a very public setting and so Emma is forced to use her spare hand to clamp over Regina's mouth.
Emma on the other hand, is mostly silent during sex, even the good kind. Even with her legs spread apart and Regina's head tucked between them. Even when Regina is inside her and aims her fingers upward and just right -
So maybe Emma is a screamer.
"You know, I didn't have my sister bring a date just so you can fornicate in the bathroom."
Emma nearly spits out her drink in her haste to turn around. But when she does she swallows thickly and faces Zelena.
"You heard that?" Emma asks.
"Please," Zelena says and flicks an imaginary hair from her gown. "Everyone within a mile's radius heard it. And I thought Regina was bad."
Emma blushes from the tips of her ears to her neck. "Oh God."
"No worries," Zelena shrugs. "If the plan was to horrify our mother, it worked. She left twenty minutes ago with a migraine."
"That's... that's not we -"
"Let me finish," Zelena stops her and takes a step forward. Emma may or may not have taken a step back when Zelena continues, "Yes, I know all about my sister's scheme. I'm married, not stupid. Though I suppose they go in one. The point is I see the way she looks at you. And I think I kind of like you, Emma Swan."
"You do?" Emma says dumbly.
"Yes," Zelena says. "Now I know I may not be as close to Regina as we were as children, but I care, believe it or not. Break her heart and I will destroy you. Is that understood?"
Emma's mouth goes dry before she jerks her head in a nod.
"Good." Zelena smiles then and waves her fingers in a departing motion. "Ta ta, dear."
When she leaves, Emma's left feeling gobsmacked and wondering if it's a good thing that she was threatened on Regina's behalf. She thinks it is. While potential bodily harm doesn't sound all that appealing, at least someone in Regina's family cares enough about Regina to do it.
Regina returns with their coats after that and glances over to where her sister had departed.
"What did Zelena want?"
"To threaten to destroy me if I ever hurt you," Emma says. "And to tell me she likes me."
"Zelena doesn't like anyone."
"I guess I'm an exception," Emma shrugs and smiles goofily when Regina's response is a scoff. She steps forward, eyeing Regina's lips as she says, "You've got some lipstick -"
Emma uses her thumb to wipe it off, but then her eyes catch Regina's and her breath catches again and -
Emma leans over and kisses her, while Regina smiles into the kiss and grabs Emma by the collar of her jacket to pull her closer.
"We can stay in the city for a little while longer if you'd like," Regina murmurs into Emma's neck, because they're hugging now and it's all obnoxiously romantic and Emma's loving every second of it.
"I - I can pay you for next few days as well. That won't be a problem -"
Regina face drops. "No?"
"I'm not letting you pay me. Like at all. I did this because I wanted to. And I'm going to keep wanting to for the inevitable future when you agree to be my not-pretend girlfriend."
"I think the word you're looking for is 'real', dear," Regina chuckles and brings Emma's face in for another kiss. "And okay."
Emma grins. "Okay?"