A/N: This chapter proved a bitch to write. I don't know why... So I hope it's not too bad, 'cause I'm not certain I like it... ^^
And keep asking questions!
And a shout-out to all the French-speakers out there! Don't bother reviewing in English, darlings, parlez-moi en français, c'est aussi marrant comme ça! ;)
32. Eighty-fourth sunset
That evening, Regina decided to pay a visit to Elsa at the hospital. She knew Jefferson would have left her side some time during the day to take care of Grace, and she did not want her friend to feel too alone.
So she was really surprised when she realised Elsa was not alone at all.
For when she entered the Frozen Queen's room, Tinkerbell was sat next to her bed, chuckling and nipping on a sandwich that looked awfully like it came from Granny's.
"Regina!" Tink grinned from ear to ear.
The Queen's eyes widened. "Hey Tink. What are you doing here?"
The fairy shrugged. "I thought our friend here would appreciate to eat something else than jelly for once. I brought sandwiches. There's enough for three, if you want one."
Regina nodded. "I don't mind if I do." She closed the door behind her and took her coat off, going to sit by Tink in the second and last chair of the room.
Elsa seemed better, if still tired. But she was wide awake when her hand closed around Regina's on the platter. "Tink told me about this morning. I'm sorry Robin had to learn it this way."
Regina shook her head, smile fading. "He'd have had to learn about it one day, what with all happening around me for the moment..." Her hand went to her belly. "But he doesn't know it's his."
Tink's brow furrowed. "He doesn't? What he is, thick?"
Regina sent her a warning glance. "He thinks it's Jefferson's."
There was a pause, then Tinkerbell started chuckling darkly. "Really? Oh my God, he truly is thick!" She snorted. "Anyone with a brain and a pair of eyes can see Jeff has it hard for Elsa here!"
That sent a blush to Elsa's cheeks. "I'm not he, uh, 'has it bad' for me, Tink..."
The fairy made a face. "Yeah right. Anyway," she looked back at Regina, "your archer has been taking some serious drugs if he can't see what's right in front of him..."
Regina looked down at her hands, then nodded. "Perhaps it's better this way."
"Better for the man you love, your True Love at that, to think you have replaced him by a man who pines over another woman, than to tell him the truth? Well...welcome back, Regina Mills! You haven't changed! Still afraid to take a pace forward rather than two backwards!"
"Tinkerbell, don't you dare!"
"I dare, and I will dare until you realise this whole secret is stupid to keep in the first place."
"It's not stupid..." she whispered back.
They ate in silence for a few minutes, then Elsa's eyes fell on Regina again. "Why don't you want him to know, really?"
The Queen didn't answer right away, instead finishing her sandwich, willing to avoid to answer even though she knew both her friends would not let her go without an answer, and a long one at that.
She sighed. "Because of his wife."
"Marian?" Elsa blushed under the sudden scrutiny of both her companions for the evening. "She's the one who's taken care of me. She's a kind woman. But she's...well...not happy."
Regina sighed. "I realise that. I don't want Robin to leave her, something he'd surely do if he learnt the truth. Roland deserves to have his mother close."
"Roland can have his mother close even if his parents are not living together anymore..." Tink sent her way.
"She still loves him. Imagine the pain she'd be in when she learns her husband has been courting the woman who was supposed to kill her in the first place and conceived a child with her?" She shook her head. "I used to be that cruel, but I dare say I'm not anymore."
Tink huffed. "And I think you'd better talk this through with Robin before he goes out there and tries to murder Jeff. Elsa would not be pleased if he attempted murder on our handsome Hatter..."
Elsa let out a squeal. "Tink! Stop that!"
"What? He is handsome, isn't he? I have eyes, I'm not blind!"
Regina chuckled, soon followed by Elsa, then Tink... "As much as I would like to avoid admitting that, Tink is right. Jefferson is quite the figure. Has always been. Even when he liked guy-liner a little too much."
"Jeff wore guy-liner?" Tink's eyes widened. "Wow. That's a sight I want to be met with before I die..." she looked over at Elsa, "no offence, darling."
"None taken" the Frozen Queen chuckled. "It is that obvious, then?"
"That you two send each other bedroom eyes most of the time? Oh yeah..."
Regina's brow furrowed. "I never noticed."
"That's because your mama condition dictates your life."
Regina rolled her eyes.
There was another comfortable silence, then a smirk formed on Regina's lips, and she turned to Tinkerbell.
"You have been talking about our love lives too much, my friend. Now you get to talk." She leaned in conspiratorially. "What was with you and Milo earlier?"
Elsa's brow furrowed. "Who's Milo?"
"Kida's brother. We met him this morning. Not a very talkative man, but he sent rather interesting glances at our fairy here..."
Tink rolled her eyes, but a faint blush rose to her cheeks. "There is nothing to say."
"Oh yes there is. I know that face!"
Elsa sat straighter. "I'm interested now. You have been awfully alone since I met you. It'd be nice if you found someone."
"But it'd be nicer if that someone I'd meet wasn't coming from another realm, did speak a bit, and didn't have a nasty habit to speak through people's minds..." Tink rolled her eyes.
"What? He spoke through your mind?"
Tink nodded. "Kida told us he was kind of a telepath, right? Well, apparently, I'm interesting to him because I feel funny." She snorted. "Jackass."
"You feel funny?"
"He said he'd scanned every person present, but that I was different. Because I felt it, for one." She looked at Regina. "Did you?"
The Queen shook her head. "No, I did not."
"Well, I did. And I was pissed. He found it very funny. I would have stuck his spear through his skull if I could have... Ugh!"
Elsa smirked. "You like him."
"I do not!"
"You do. Is he handsome?" She looked at Regina for that question.
The Queen nodded. "If you like the whole silver-haired thing, he's not that bad."
"Except he's a jackass."
"You love jackasses!"
"Okay, I want this conversation to end now!"
Regina and Elsa chuckled. "You've asked for it."
Tink had just launched herself in a heated monologue about how she'd wish to teach the following year, even if something silly like art, when there was a knock on the door.
Elsa answered by a soft 'Come in!' and all eyes widened when Marian entered the room, carrying a small tray with a glass of water and a goblet of pills.
Her eyes fell on Regina at once, and if she showed surprise, there was also something close to determination on her face, something the Queen was not certain she was relieved to see there.
The nurse walked to Elsa's bed and put the tray in her lap. "Last medicine of the day. Two painkillers, and something to help you sleep."
Elsa nodded. "Thank you, Marian."
The nurse nodded back, then looked over at Regina. "Can I have a word with you?"
Regina's eyes widened at the request, but she nodded, standing at once. "Of course."
She followed Marian through corridors to an empty furniture room.
The nurse locked to door behind them and turned to her, her determination suddenly replaced by uneasiness.
"I'm sorry to do this here, but I wanted to make sure no one else heard..."
Regina nodded her understanding but remained silent, her blood freezing in her veins in expectation.
"Robin told me this morning..about you being pregnant."
Regina let out a gasp. "Ah."
"Yes..." Marian let out a nervous chuckle. "I can't say I didn't see it coming. You've been coming here too often for it to be related to a two-months-old blow to the head..."
Regina nodded. "Yes, I was afraid you'd realise that excuse was crap." She paused. "But I still don't understand why-"
"Don't think me stupid, Regina, please. I thought we had reached an understanding" she sighed. "This child is Robin's."
Regina's first reflex was to shake her head, but Marian didn't let her speak.
"He thinks it's the Hatter's, but I've seen the way he looks and talks to Elsa. I know you would not bind yourself to a man who does not love you." She paused. "My husband loves you." She chuckled darkly. "I was blind for far too long, but now I see it as plain as day. Robin and you started a relationship while I was supposedly dead. And I don't blame you for that. Far from it... But...Regina...why hide this from him?"
Regina sighed and sat on an upturned bucket. "He hasn't cheated on you."
"I know. Magic, right?"
Regina was once more amazed at how clever the other woman was, and she waved her hand over her belly, revealing it to Marian, who didn't even bulge. "I don't want him to know...because of you."
"I'm going to leave him."
"What?" Regina's eyes widened. "Why?"
"I love my husband, and he loves me. But I can't remain blind to all things. We are not in love with each other anymore. And if by remaining bound to him I'm hurting you and your child, then it's better I leave."
"Marian, I don't-"
"I know. I've thought this through. Long and hard. This is for the best." The nurse knelt so her eyes were levelled with Regina's. "You have changed. You are not the same woman who sentenced me to die so long ago. And if Robin is the cause of that, then...I bow down to you."
She straightened back up and chuckled darkly again. "I can't say I ever imagined I'd be the one holding the Evil Queen's happiness in the balance one day..." Her smile faded. "Tell him. He really isn't happy right now. And if I know something about my husband, is that he is a good father."
And with those words, she left the room, and Regina behind.
A/N2: Soooo! This is a promote part! Keep reading, because if you don't, I'll hunt you down Taken-style. :p
I told you a while back now that I've been asked to be a part of Dream Team, a group of writers for all over the world that has started writing an original fiction featuring our one and only Lana. It is called In The Shadows, and the first instalment can be found here: www . fictionpress s / 3201980 / 1 / In-The-Shadows
And here is a teaser! I'm sure you'll like it! ;)
There was no other way to describe spring break – it was delicious perfection. Eva reached a blind hand to her left, picking up the cocktail next to her. She grinned when a group of guys whistled at her bikini-clad figure and took a large sip of her drink – a Tequila Sunrise.
Her smile widened when the broad shoulders of Jake Anderson came into view and she pushed herself up on her elbows. Quarterback Jake Anderson was without a doubt the hottest guy in high school and the fact that he was on Spring Break with them was exciting enough. The fact that he appeared to be interested in her was almost too good to be true. Eva flashed him a signature smile and winked.
"Hey Jake. How's the water?"
He moved his dripping wet shoulders and sat down next to her, covering her body with drops of water as he shook his head wildly.
"Cool. Why are you lying here in the sun? Shouldn't you get in the water too?"
Eva inspected her skin with a grin and shook her head.
"No way. I totally need to get some sun before classes start – at this rate, no one will believe I'm a Ramirez!"
She swallowed as Jake ran a hand up her bare midriff, her heart jumping wildly.
"Is that Spanish pride talking?"
Eva threw her head back as she laughed, her dark eyes twinkling with delight.
"Nope; Dominican pride. That's much more intense."
His laughter joined hers and he sat down next to her, his blue eyes sparkling.
"I see. Well, you'll have to…"
His voice was interrupted by her phone ringing, and Eva looked at it with a sigh. The screen displayed her sister's name and she scowled, showing the phone to Jake.
"My sister. She's probably checking up on me."
He shifted closer to her and her breath hitched in her throat. She could feel his warm breath on her cheek and for some reason it made her heart beat uncontrollably.
For a minute she considered listening to him, but loyalty won out over lust and she pressed the phone against her ear with a sigh.
"Isabella, what's up?" Eva said with an eye roll, frowning when she got no response
"Hello? Izzie? Are you there?" Eva asked again, a slight fear creeping in.
"Isabella what's-" Eva began, though it wasn't her sister's usual calm voice that greeted – instead, Abran's calm voice took over. His voice was detached, clipped and to the point.
That's how long it took for her entire world to come crashing down around her.
"Eva...your father died this morning…"
Here it is! If you want to learn more about the casting and/or read the rest, go on Fictionpress! :)