Chapter 21

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Emma's P.O.V

She keeps mentioning names and I just say no every time. Eventually I feel as if she is just saying random male names.

"That's everyone I can think of! You must be lying." Snow scoffs and I just laugh. I pour myself some more wine and shrug.

"I'm not lying! You did not say their name." I say and notice Ruby just thinking away beside me. Suddenly she gasps and I look at her in surprise.

"It's Regina."

"Wait what?" Snow asks.

"You have the hots for the mayor." Ruby says and I take a long sip from my glass.

"No way." Snow gasps and Ruby giggles gleefully.

"I don't know how I couldn't see it sooner. I could tell you were completely head over heels but I had no idea it was her." Ruby says. She takes a big drink of water and Snow grabs herself a soda. How I didn't realize she wasn't actually drinking makes me laugh to myself.

"Well now you know the big secret." I say with a shrug.

"How long has this been going on?" Snow asks.

"Technically nothing is going on. I mean something almost happened and then Regina rejected me." I shrug.

"Why would she do that? I mean, look at you!" Ruby exclaims and then winks at me. I laugh and she rubs my arm.

"She claims that even thinking she might have had feelings for me was a lie and that she's with Robin." I sigh.

"I think she's lying to you about all of that. She's probably just scared of coming out of the closet. I've never seen her so friendly and happy since you came to town." Ruby tells me.

"But this past week and a bit she's seemed extra down on herself and closed off. I even met with Tiffany and she says she barely leaves her office during the day." Snow tells me. I knew it.

"I'm trying to win her over and I feel like it might be working but I don't know." I admit.

"That's understandable. As of right now I wouldn't worry. I can tell she likes you more than she likes Robin." Snow says.

"It's just so hard to have her push me away. And I know Henry misses her a lot."

"Did you guys hang out a lot?"

"Yeah actually. But then we got into a huge fight and she told me she never wanted to see me again. So I've been trying to weasel my way back into her life."

"So is it working?" Ruby asks.

"I'm not sure. I hope so."


When Day Twenty-Three of Operation Gina comes to an end I begin to lose hope. I've done so much to try to get her to leave Robin for me but I feel like I'm drowning. I decide to go for a walk after dropping Henry off at a friend's house. I think I've wandered around in the cold for about an hour when I make my way to main street. I go into Granny's and order a large hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top. I'm scrolling through Facebook on my phone when I get tapped on the shoulder.

"Neal?" I gasp, a little too loudly. My voice rings out through the quiet diner over the low music. A few heads turn to look at me and I grin sheepishly.

"Hey Emma." My ex-boyfriend smiles ever-so-charmingly. My mouth opens and closes as I try to speak but nothing is coming out. I think my brain has hit a dead end.

"Can we go somewhere to talk?" He asks and I just nod. I grab my hot chocolate and follow him to his car. Once we get in he turns it on and warm air blows across my pink cheeks.

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