In part two of my Memory Keeper series (Once Upon A Time fanfiction), The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, young Meriel Jones has to go back in time to defeat a curse levied by Triton against her family. The timeline was drastically altered by this curse, and Emma has to find her parents and get them back to true love’s kiss – no easy feat since they’ve now lived very different lives and are different people because of it.
In this scene, Killian Jones has been hunting down the elusive Emma ever since she robbed him of his carriage and he managed to steal a kiss in which she was a very willing participant. She’s on the run from Queen Cora’s forces, and he’s determined to keep an eye on her.
She’d just reached the corner of the tavern, and with a quick glance to assure her that the alley behind it was empty. she started to loop around the back to check it out. She leaned out once again, peeking around the low wall separating it from the boarded up cobbler’s house next door when something came down over her head, completely obscuring her view. She fought with everything she had, but whoever he was, he was stronger. He half-dragged her from the street into a recessed doorway nearby.
A moment later, he pulled the bag off her head, and she saw exactly who’d accosted her.
She let out a groan. “Not you again.”
“Hello, love.” He smiled down at her. “Told you I’d find you.”
“Is this about the carriage again?” she asked, staring daggers at him.
“Partly. I’m still quite offended over it, if you must know. But I couldn’t wait around in the hopes that your guilty conscience got the better of you, so I procured another.”
“Uh-huh.” She gave him a smirk. “So now what? Are you going to throw me on the ground again?”
His eyes held hers with unnerving focus. “Do you want me to?”
“Would it matter if I said no? You’re a pirate.” She tried to pull away, but he held her fast, with one arm wrapped tightly around her waist.
“That’s right, I’m a bloody pirate,” he said with an unrepentant grin. “And I know all about you, Emma.”
She froze at the sound of her name, her eyes growing wary. “What do you know?”
He looked down at her smugly. “I’d be happy to discuss all of it, but in a much more private location. My ship is at the end of the dock.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you.” She pulled against him again, trying to wrench herself free of him, but it was no use.
“You might as well stop struggling, love. You’re good and caught and that’s an end to it.” He shrugged, still smiling that infuriating smile. She wanted to smack it off his face. She settled instead for a solid head-butt to his jaw, staggering him and throwing him back against the doorjamb, giving her enough time to try to make a run for it.
She hadn’t even gone two steps before he was yanking her back in, hard, whirling her around and slamming her back into the door behind her. She started to open her mouth to say something and he forestalled her with a hand across her lips.
“Shhhh.” He pushed himself into her, covering her with his body as a trio of guardsmen wearing the royal colors made their way into the tavern. One of them cast a cursory glance at Killian, but from behind he looked like any man, taking advantage of a bit of company in the alleyway.
“Don’t say a word,” he whispered low in her ear. “They’re guardsmen.” His breath caused an involuntary shiver down her spine.
She nodded, and Killian slowly released his hand. He glanced over his shoulder, checking to see if they were clear. He leaned back into Emma, giving her a very slight shake of his head to indicate that they were still under scrutiny, then he slowly brought his hand up to her waist and made a show of nuzzling his face into her neck.
Emma stood, unresisting, trying hard not to think about the fact that she could be caught at any moment, and with a price on her head and children to see to, that would be a very, very bad thing. Unfortunately, it was hard to string two thoughts together with him pressed up against her like that and his lips were doing some very interesting things along her jawline and just under her ear.
“Best look like you’re enjoying this, love,” he whispered again. “We don’t need them swooping in to rescue you.”
He was right. Damn.
Her hands slid up the front of his chest, working their way into the vee of his shirt, her fingers curling into his chest hair as he worked his way across her jaw and his mouth settled on hers in a long and lingering kiss.
She made a startled sound, clutching him tightly. Killian let out an appreciative chuckle as his lips moved back to her neck, trailing soft, sucking kisses down and across her collarbone.
“Are they gone yet?” she gasped quietly, tilting her head to give him better access.
“Who?” he asked, still planting kisses.
She gave him a hard shove, looking past him. There was no one around.
“Is it my fault they went straight into the tavern? I never said they were definitely watching.” He gave her a cheeky grin. “And besides, I had to find out if kissing you was as good as I remembered.”
Emma tried to get past him out of the doorway. “Let me go.”
He stepped back, raising his hands in a peaceful gesture. “I only came here to warn you.”
“Warn me?” She eyed him with distrust.
“You have people looking for you. A man and a young woman – they claim to be brother and sister, but it’s not likely, the way they were looking at each other. They know your name and they’ve got a damn good description of you that they’re spreading about.”
Emma’s smiled coldly. “And let me guess: they hired you.”
“They tried. I haven’t decided if I’m taking the job or not.”
“Then let me make your choice perfectly clear,” she said, putting her hands on his shoulders. He guessed her intent a second too late. Her knee came up and he was on the ground, rolling to his side in a blinding pool of agony, feeling like he was going to puke from it.
By the time he managed to get to his feet, she was long gone, and apparently, so was his coin purse. He staggered a bit, walking with a slight limp back down the dock to his ship. Once he’d gotten aboard and stripped out of his tight black leather breeches, he felt a bit better. It would still be days before the soreness went away after being laid low like that.
He pulled the cork of his flask of rum and settled himself gingerly into a chair, drinking deeply. That should help. Whoever Emma was, she’d obviously been alone and on the streets for a good portion of her life. That certainly explained her hard exterior and her exceptional dirty fighting skills.
The thought of being grouped in her mind with every other rutting bastard that had ever taken advantage of a starving girl made him feel sick to his stomach. He took another long drink of rum, shifting again to find a comfortable position.
That woman was trouble, plain and simple.
And for some strange reason, he wished he could have the night to do over again.
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (and the entire Memory Keeper trilogy) can be found on Fanfiction.net or Archive of Our Own.