Emma Swan is in terrible pain and hates the dentist. As a foster kid, no one ever took her in for regular cleanings, and she’s paying the price as an adult. The amount of discomfort a simple cleaning causes leads her to steer clear of the dentist unless it’s an emergency, and she has to admit, she’s not going to get through this agony without a professional.
Killian Jones is a well liked dentist. While he, of course, flirts with any of the lovely women who come into his office for frequent, very frequent, cleanings, he also is exceptionally good at what he does and truly cares for his patients.
When Emma Swan enters the office, he thinks she’s another one of the women there to look at his pretty face, and turns on the charm.
But when he realizes how much pain she’s in, and finally takes a look in her mouth, he sees so much more. This is the mouth of someone whose childhood was nothing but neglect. It’s a story he knows, as it’s his own.
His manner changes. Emma appreciates that there is no pity when he realizes how much work there is to do. Nothing more than a straightforward assessment of what needs to happen today, and what could help stave off future problems.
For the first time, Emma makes follow up appointments, again and again. She can’t talk as she sits in Dr Jones’ chair with her mouth full of dental instruments. But she listens as he tells her about his life. Being abandoned. Joining the navy in his brother’s footsteps. His brother’s death. The navy paying for dental school. How much he enjoys his work when he’s truly helping people.
By the time Emma’s teeth were healthy, several having been replaced, she realized how much she would miss Dr. Jones. His stories. Him calling her love. His casual flirting.
He had once said, “I can tell a person’s whole history by looking in their mouth.” And she was sure he had guessed about hers. If she were to tell him her past, he would never judge her. Emma was brave when it came to running down a fugitive in the street, but never if it meant letting her guard down.
But something about Dr. Jones made her feel like it was worth it.
As she was leaving his office after her last required appointment, he said he would look forward to her six month cleaning. The thought of not seeing him for six months sealed it, and Emma took a chance.
“Would you like to have dinner sometime?”
She blurted it out as though it was one word all together.
Dr. Jones smiled wide.
“It’s about time, love. Your turn to do all the talking,”