Tiny footsteps shuffled around her desk and she grinned at the wide, brown eyes she’d come to adore.
The little boy scrunched his nose and looked up at her carefully before speaking. “Regina…” He stepped closer and reached out to hold her hand. “Is it- Papa and me love you.”
Her heart squeezed happily in her chest. “I love you, too, sweetheart.”
"So," he seemed to gain some confidence and she could see the beginnings of his dimples growing in his cheeks. "So, we’re a family."
The word washed over her in warm waves of hope and life and “Yeah,” she breathed. “We are.”
His almost grin transformed into a full smile and she couldn’t help the answering one in return. He shuffled closer and she pulled him into her lap, kissing the top of his head.
"If we’re a family," he said slowly. "Does that mean I can call you Mama?"
All the air whooshed out of her lungs. “Roland…” She brushed her fingers over his full cheeks, lingering over the dimples she loved so much. “I- I’m not your mother.”
He nodded but wiggled in her lap as if the emphasize how very not done he was with this conversation. “But…you love us. And we love you. And you’re Henry’s mom and I want you to be mine.”
Love, affection, and something that tasted like a second chance burned through her and vulnerability flooded her expression. “Really?”
Roland nodded, hair falling into his eyes, and leaned over to kiss her cheek. “Yes. Let’s go find Papa and tell him.”
He hopped off her lap and tugged on her hand, leading her out of the office and down the stairs. He babbled on about the playground and swords and playing with Henry but her only thought was about how this little bandit had gone and stolen her heart completely.