In my Once Upon A Time fanfic, Mr. Jones, Killian Jones is swept away by a cursed magical instrument and has lost all memory of his former life. Now working as a desert tour guide in New Mexico, he’s more than intrigued by his new neighbor – a woman named Emma . . .
“Emma. . .” he began. “Do we know each other?”
“I live next door,” she reminded him. “We met yesterday.”
He gave a short laugh in response. “I know I told you I’ve had a head injury, but my memory isn’t that bad. I remember yesterday. It’s just that you seem familiar somehow.”
“Have you ever been to Maine?”
Killian looked at her blankly. “I really don’t know,” he said. “It’s possible. But I don’t think so. I know I was in New York at one time.”
“New York?” she looked intrigued. “How do you know about New York?”
“They ran my fingerprints. I was falsely arrested, apparently.”
“No, I mean, who tried to press charges?”
He looked nonplussed for a moment. “That’s a very good question. D’you know, I never asked.”
“You don’t remember anything else?” Emma’s eyes searched his face, but he only looked confused.
“Sorry, don’t mean to pry. It’s just. . .you seem familiar, too.”
Killian forced a smile. “Perhaps I knew your husband?”
Emma dropped his hand and started walking. “Don’t have one,” she called back over her shoulder.
He picked up his pace and fell into step beside her.
“He’s been out of the picture for a while.” She wasn’t looking at him, but he heard the catch in her voice.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I just assumed. . .well, a woman as beautiful as you. . . and -”
“It’s okay,” she said, waving a negligent hand. “I’m used to being on my own. I can handle it.”
“I believe you.”
“That it?” she gestured to where the path seemed to widen, and the others of the group were slowly coming into view.
“That’s it – the top of the mesa. Come on, I’ll show you the best spot.”
He reached for her hand once again, reveling in the feel of it. He tugged her along to a spot on the western side, and then he moved his fingers to her chin to nudge her gaze just to the left.
“Wow!” she gasped. “The colors!”
“I know,” he said. “Everyone thinks the desert out here is just reddish brown with patches of tan, but add the rays of a waning sun and. . .magic.”
He added the last word in a hushed tone, and Emma whispered it again for good measure.
“Magic,” she breathed. “It’s pink over here,” she pointed off to the left, then moved her arm to point to the canyon off to their right. “And purple over here.”
Killian smiled, nodding. “And as the sun sinks further, that purple deepens to a dark blue, almost as if you’re looking into the depths of an endless sea. This is my favorite mesa, for exactly that reason. This canyon becomes something wondrous.”
“The way the shadows hit over there,” Emma said, moving a little closer. “It’s almost a wave-like pattern.”
“From the way the rock juts out,” Killian said, coming up behind her and moving her pointing arm with his hand, his arm running down along the length of hers. “Just there.”
She looked back over her shoulder as his arm slipped around her from behind and her eyes widened at the feel of his breath on her lips.
“Don’t want you going over the side,” he murmured. “You’re still not too steady on your feet.”
“No,” she whispered, staring at his lips. “No, I guess I’m not.”