What was I doing? Was I really going back to Regina's house? I barely know her, but she seems to care about me, more than anyone ever has. Even Neil, who claimed to love me, never stood up for me the way Regina did tonight. He never once showed that much emotion when I got hurt. More often than not he was the one hurting me. Even so, I can't help think how strange this is. I have known this woman for barely two weeks, and yet here I am, going back home with her.
It's strange how comfortable I feel right now, the drive to Storybrooke is an hour, and for the most part we haven't spoken, yet I feel completely comfortable. I hate those silences where you feel like you need to say something, because it just feels awkward sitting there without talking. Not with Regina though, I feel quite comfortable just sitting, staring out the window as we head out of the city and towards her hometown. Every now and then one of us will say something, either pointing out something or asking if the other was hungry or needed a bathroom break.
For a long time I just watched her, until I got caught staring that is. Before that though, I just watched her. At first I pretended to look out the front window, sneaking glances at her from the corner of my eye. After everything that has happened today, all the craziness, and the fact that it's almost midnight, she still looks absolutely beautiful. Her hair is slightly curlier and a little messier than earlier, she has makeup stains on her blouse (my fault) and her outfit is slightly crinkled, but she still looks as beautiful as the first day I saw her. Everything is different now though. These feelings I have for Regina, or what I think are feelings, can't happen anymore. Everything has changed now. I'm pregnant now. Not that I thought I had a chance with her before. I mean, I'm me, and she's… Regina. She's beautiful and smart, and funny, and sassy and sarcastic and the freaking Mayor of Storybrooke! Me? I'm just me. There's no way it would work, and besides I'm pregnant now. I have to think about the baby. I can't play with the idea of being with Regina, when there is no chance of it actually happening.
"Something wrong dear?" Regina startled me out of my thoughts with her question, her voice piercing through the silence. She turned her head quickly to look my way, a concerned smile on her face. I hadn't noticed until now that I had unconsciously turned my whole body towards her, and had probably been staring at her like this for who knows how long. So much for subtlety.
"Uh.. no sorry I'm fine. Just day dreaming, didn't mean to stare…" I respond quickly, turning in my seat to face out the window, trying to hide the blush I can feel creeping across my face. I hear her laugh softly before once again we return to a comfortable silence.
For a long time there is nothing but trees and empty land, but eventually I start to see the outline of a small town. The town is fairly dark, most of its occupants already in bed, with only the street lamps creating enough light for me to see. Shops lined the streets, as well as a diner and library. Soon enough we were heading through a small neighbourhood and up a lonely street. At the end of the street, overlooking the town, was a large white mansion. Obviously the Mayor's. It was dark outside, now being almost one o'clock, but I could make out a large tree in the middle of the yard. It stood out from everything else, and I couldn't help but wonder if that was the apple tree Regina had talked about in one of our conversations.
I felt the car finally stop and I slowly got out, taking in my new surroundings. This place was huge, and beautiful and amazing. I walked over to the edge of the drive, looking out onto Storybrooke. It looked beautiful. The dim lights softly lighting the streets, made the whole town look magical. I knew in this moment, that this was where I needed to be. This town, Regina, all of it, it felt right. Almost like a new start.
"Are you coming dear?" I heard behind me. I turned to look at her, her cheeks now slightly flushed from the cool wind. She smiled, holding out her hand towards me. I took it without a second thought, and was led into her house. Her hand felt cool against the warmth of my own. It was strange, but a good strange. Neil had always been so warm, a lot like myself, but Regina's hand was cold, her fingers slightly tingling my own at the contrast. As we enter the house I notice my bags already sitting in the hallway. When had she put them there? She releases my hand, grabbing the bags and gesturing for me to follow her. I rush forward, not wanting her to have to carry my bags, but she simply brushing my hand aside.
"I've got it dear." I love the way she calls me that, 'Dear'. I know she's not actually meaning to call me that, and it is probably just something she says to everyone, but I can't help but get butterflies every time I hear it.
We make our way through the house towards the stairs. I can't help but notice there are no personal photographs anywhere. No photos of family or friends. Even I had a small collection of photos back home of old friends and places I've been. It's not a huge collection, as I was never able to afford a camera, but I still have them. It's hard to believe that the Mayor of Storybrooke didn't have any photos. Maybe they were in an album somewhere? I had this bad feeling though, that maybe she didn't have photos because there was never a reason to remember anyone.
She led me down a hallway and to a room at the end, opening the door and gesturing me inside. The room was huge, to me that is, I'm sure it was quite average for Regina, compared to the house she lives in. It was at least twice the size of my own room back at my apartment. There was a queen size bed, which was probably as comfortable as it looked, covered in a deep blue quilt, with an arrangement of pillows, bedside tables, chest of drawers, a vanity table and desk, as well as a small sitting area in the corner of the room next to the window. This room was better than my whole apartment… probably cost a lot more than my whole apartment actually.
"You can put your things in the draws, there's also a wardrobe if you wish to hang anything up. There's a bathroom straight across the hall. I have my own so you don't have to worry about sharing. Was there anything else you needed?" she asked sweetly, waiting for me to answer. I didn't know what to say, this was incredible, this was… crazy. Why was she being so nice to me?
"Regina… this is… I mean…" I stutter, not knowing how to comprehend how grateful I am.
"Is the room not okay? I have another if this doesn't suit?" I can see the concern on her face.
"No. Regina, this is amazing. This room… it's perfect." I can feel myself getting worked up again, as I try to explain how I feel. I sit down on the bed, needing something to hold myself up. My eyes start to burn as I try to fight away the tears that are threatening to fall. Biting my lip I stare up at the ceiling, trying to compose myself.
"Emma…" she's sitting next to me now, her hands once again seeking my own. "What's wrong?"
"I just don't understand why you are being so nice to me? We barely know each other, and yet you've stuck with me all day, making sure I was never alone… and now you have invited me into your home. Why do you care so much?" I can't help the tears that now fall down my cheeks, but I still stare at the ceiling, refusing to look her in the eyes. She gently removes one of her hands from my grip, and I feel as she places it softly onto my cheek, bringing my face down to look at her. I close my eyes, not wanting her to see me, worried that she will be annoyed at the fact that I am crying again, for the millionth time today, worried that she'll too realise how bizarre the situation is and ask me to leave. My hands are now empty as she brings her other hand up, and brushes a piece of hair behind my ear.
"Open your eyes Emma." She says softly. "Look at me." Opening my eyes I see her staring back at me. Eyes full of compassion and kindness. She brings her hand once again to my face and gently wipes away the tears still on my cheeks. "I don't know." She begins, carefully wiping away the last of the tears and then moving a little closer, hands once again entwined with mine. "I don't know why I care so much. I just know that I do. I know that even though we have known each other for two weeks , that I care about you more than I have cared for anyone in a really long time, and I'm not going to turn my back on you. I can't explain it. There's just something, this feeling inside me…" She reaches up and places her hand on her chest, "I don't know." Shaking her head and smiling, she shrugs slightly. We stare at each other for a while, before Regina finally begins to say goodnight. "If you need anything, I'm right down the hall." She looks at me hesitantly, before leaning in and wrapping her arms around me. "Everything is going to be okay. I promise." She whispers in my ear before standing and leaving the room.
I lie back on the bed, too exhausted to change into my pyjamas. Just as I thought, this bed was heavenly; it had to be the most comfortable bed I had ever slept in. It wasn't long until I could feel sleep beginning to overtake me, the last thing on my mind being the soft whisper of Regina promising me it will all be okay.
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