Chapter 4

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“You know, I’ve been thinking.”

Emma turned to him, dropping the bundle of sails she’d carried up from below.

“What about? How the storm was hell and you’re glad we’re pulling into port tomorrow? How we can get a room at that inn we always stay at? How we can leave Henry with Gibbs for a few hours?”

Killian smirked as Emma sauntered over to him, swaying her hips in time with her sultry words.

“Aye, love. Now that’s what I’m thinking about.” His hand automatically went to her hip, stroking the soft linen of her tunic and slipping his thumb underneath. He brought his hook around to pull her even closer to him, grinding his hips against hers. His cock strained against it’s leather confines, aching with need for his woman.

He shook his head slightly, ridding it of those dirty thoughts as he pulled away from her. Killian cleared his throat as she laughed, clearly enjoying the effect she had on him.

“Well, now I’ve all but forgotten what I wanted to talk to you about, Swan. Bad form, bad form…”

Her hearty laugh chased him as he retreated below deck, trying to escape the maddening influence of her wily charms.

The next day they docked in a small port city about two days ride from Emma’s parents. Henry was giddy, the chance to be on land a rarity in his meager three years of life. Emma and Killian chuckled as they walked through the dusty streets, hands woven together as they watched their son’s awestruck face as he ran from place to place.

A few blocks from the docks they came to The Poisoned Apple-the cleverly named and family owned inn. Emma’s cousin ran it, doing the cooking and barkeeping while his daughter did the cleaning.

Henry ran through the door ahead of them, slamming the door behind him. Emma giggled as she heard the “Oi!” as a crash sounded. Killian rolled his eyes, hooking his fingers into the handle and yanking the swollen wooden door open.

She stepped through, scooping up her son and handing him upside down to his father, Henry’s black hair falling in wild disarray as Killian bounced him.

“I should’ve known the little hellion was yours! Welcome back, cousin!”

Emma rushed to her cousin’s side, helping him right the benches and chairs Henry had apparently knocked over.

Straightening, she grabbed the other man for a hug. “Jefferson! It’s so good to see you!”

A small waspy girl bustled in from the kitchen, pausing as she caught sight of the newcomers.

“Aunt Emma?!?”

“Grace?!?”

The girl dropped the mop she’d been carrying, the women rushing toward each other and embracing in a clash of fabric and squealing.

Jefferson ambled over to Killian, knocking his shoulder gently. “So, how’s life on the high seas, mate?”

Jefferson smiled as he looked over at the reformed pirate Captain. Killian had a lightness about him that Jefferson had never seen in all the years he’d known him. Even when he’d been with Milah, there’d always been a certain reserve he’d hidden behind-but not any longer. Killian’s face was open and free, the lines that had accumulated in years past miraculously gone.

“Life is…ah, gods. Life couldn’t be better. This here-” he shook the giggling boy in his arms at his long time friend, “-is Henry. The little mischief maker that has turned my crew into a bunch of simpering ninnies. I swear they play tea party more than work anymore.”

Grace laughed as she and Emma wandered over to the men. “So, you’re the little cousin I’ve heard so much about?”

Killian righted Henry, setting him on his feet where he swayed for a moment before hiding behind his father’s legs.

Grace giggled, throwing an arm around Killian lightly. “Where is all this shyness coming from? Neither of you are shy-at all.”

Emma laughed and Killian rested his hook lightly on his son’s head. “He’s faking. He’s hoping you’ll offer him a cookie or something.”

Henry’s eyes lit up and he poked his head around Killian’s leg, a small smile highlighting his adorable face.

“Aw, well how can I say no to that, huh?” Grace reached forward, scooping the child into her arms. “Let’s go grab some sweets. And then you and I can have a real tea party. I’ll even get Papa to join us.”

Jefferson groaned, dropping his head. “Might want to get out of here mate. She’ll have you joining as well.” He pulled a large silver key out of the pocket of his apron, passing it to Killian as he reached towards Emma for another hug. “Go on, have some fun. Your room is ready whenever you come back.”

“Come fetch us if he’s a bother.” Emma gnawed on her lip , the worry of leaving her son for the first time eating at her now that she was faced with their departure.

“He’ll be fine, love. Look, Grace has already got him enamored. Let’s go have a bite, huh?”

Killian nipped her ear, waving his hook at Jefferson as he tugged on her arm. Sighing, she let him drag her out the door, taking a deep breath once she was outside.

They wandered down the street, stopping at a shop or a cart here and there, nodding at the crew members they passed along the way. Emma shuffled along, not paying attention to their destination until the shade of the forest sheltered her from the sun.

“Where are we going?” She cast a nervous glance back toward the inn.

Killian pressed a soft kiss against her forehead. “Trust me, love. I’d never lead you astray.”

She smiled, linking her arm with his as he tugged her further into the trees.

About twenty feet in, Killian broke away and pulled out a worn black cloth he kept on his person, pulling it over her eyes.

“Is this really necessary?” She huffed.

“Patience is a virtue, love. Not one that you possess in spades, but it’ll have to do.”

She could hear the smile in his voice as he led her carefully forward, stopping in a small patch of sunlight. She felt the warmth seep into the bare skin of her arms and soak into the leather of her pants. She felt his lips brush her bare shoulder, skimming over the seam that rested just underneath her collarbone as his hook worked the knot behind her head. The black fabric fell away, her eyes opening to see a gorgeous clearing with a blanket nestled in the center.

“Oh, Killian…”

He led her to their picnic, settling her down on the blanket as he pulled the basket of goodies over to him.

He sprawled out next to her, hand feeding her everything his crew had managed to procure-grapes that spurted juice as her luscious lips closed around them, bread that was still warm and fragrant from the oven, cheese that flaked as he ripped small pieces off.

They laid together, softly stroking exposed skin, unlacing leather, unbuttoning shirts, peeling fabric away from flesh-all as the sun shined down on their little corner of paradise.

Their breaths came in short, shallow pants as they finished, collapsing next to one another as he wrapped his arm around her middle.

Her ass ground into his spent cock, though he felt a telltale twitch as it stirred to life again.

“Marry me, love.”

She froze. Then she turned in his arms, her fingers tangling in the hair of his chest, her brilliant emerald eyes seeking out his ocean blues.

“I love you more than anything. And I’d be very honored if you’d marry me-your highness.”

He guffawed as she reared back, smacking him lightly on the shoulder. Her smile lit the clearing more brilliantly than anything the sun could hope to match. And as her lips skimmed over the thin skin of his neck, he had his answer.

“Yes.”

x . x . x . x . x

“There has to be another way.”

Mary Margaret watched as Emma paced the length of the loft, her arms waving frantically as she spoke.

“Emma-” she started, momentarily puzzled. “You’ve made it clear how you feel about Hook. Why the sudden need to save him?”

Her daughter’s head whipped around, her green eyes glaring in her direction. “Why do I need to SAVE him? Seriously? The precious and virtuous Snow White asks me why I need to save the man who has done nothing but try to help me? He came for me in New York. He helped rescue Henry in Neverland. He’s been right by my side this entire time while we fought Zelena…and you’re asking me why I need to save him?”

Mary Margaret grimaced. “It’s just-well-you said yourself that you were going back to New York. Why would he want to wake up, if that’s all you’re going to do?”

Emma reeled back as if she’d been slapped, her eyes wide and her mouth open.

“It’s just-listen to me, Emma.” She stood, calmly taking her daughter’s hands in her own as she squared off against her. “That man loves you. He’s given you his whole heart time and time again. And you’ve done nothing but stomp on it. I know what happens in a normal sleeping curse-and so do you. Henry told you. But I talked to Regina. This curse is different. He’s not in pain. He’s not heartbroken or sad-he’s trapped in a fantasy world where his greatest heart’s desire is real.”

Emma yanked her hands away roughly, stumbling back and sinking down into the chair she’d occupied for the last three days. Her eyes shot to her pirate’s prone form. Was that really what was happening? Was that why he wasn’t fighting to wake up?

She raised her eyes to her mother’s, silently seeking-something, though she couldn’t have said what.

Snow knelt down in front of her, grasping her hands again. “Think hard Emma. Think about what you want and what you think Killian wants. Think about whether it would be a cruel fate to know exactly how it feels to get everything you’ve ever wanted only to have it ripped away or whether it’d be kinder to just let him go.”

She left Emma where she was, staring blankly into space as she gathered her coat, shutting the  door gently behind her. Mary Margaret quickly wiped away the lone tear that had managed to escape, nearly stumbling down the stairs as more tears blurred her vision.

“WAIT!”

Emma’’s voice echoed in the stairway, halting Mary Margaret in her tracks. She looked up at the landing where Emma leaned over the balcony.

“You called him Killian.”

Mary Margaret’s eyebrow raised. “Yes. That’s his name.”

“No! I mean-” Emma’s footsteps clattered over the worn steps as she nearly ran to catch her mother. “You always call him Hook. You’ve never called him Killian.”

Her face softened as she took in Emma’s tortured expression. “He’s a good man. He deserves to be remembered as a hero-as Killian Jones.”

She shrugged, continuing her descent, pushing through the door into the frigid air outside.

“How’d it go?” David asked, pushing off the wall that had been holding him up for the last hour.

“I don’t know. The look in her eye though…you were right. She loves him. She just needs to realize it.”

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