While Emma set up preparing for the interview, Nathan was cogitating on how best to sidetrack her without making it obvious.
“Since this is a more in-depth interview than I have previously intended or indeed have given, I thought you might be interested in my portfolio.”
“Portfolio on what?”
“Some of my better pieces of art, now scattered through the world. Particularly in France, England and Switzerland.”
Although this wasn’t the direction she wished the interview to go, she was game. “Certainly. Your work here is brilliant, it’s difficult to imagine it could be any better.”
Nathan walked to the credenza at the far end of the room and brought out a computer and set it up on the coffee table and settled beside her. Within moments his lap top was open and his work was displayed with a heading that read, “Nathan Armstrong in Retrospect”.
“Yes, I thought so too.”
Sliding the lap top closer to her, so she could control the pages and movement, he sat back and awaited her reaction. Emma stared intently at each page, taking in details and asking questions regarding where when and why. At the turn of each “page” she inched closer and closer to the edge of the chesterfield. He was both intrigued and genuinely touched by her avid interest. She flipped through page after page silently drinking in his work.
Mesmerized, she stopped and looked intently at Nathan, “I’m overwhelmed. These are, well words fail me, beyond exquisite, beyond beautiful, they are so incredible, words couldn’t do them justice. They literally are in the category of a “picture is worth a thousand words”. I couldn’t possibly write anything that could equal the beauty you’ve captured.”
“I don’t know much about art work, other than what interests me and I love and what might not interest me but is fascinating to that which I abhor.”
“Do you have a favourite?”
“Nathan, you might as well ask me to stop breathing! Each time I see another, it becomes my favourite, and then the next and the next. It must be incredibly difficult to give up, to walk away from, it would be like giving away a part of your soul.”
“That is probably the most insightful response I’ve ever heard. You are wrong, your words do indeed do the work justice. You encapsulated everything that I feel in your expressions and with words. It is giving up a piece of me each time I finish a piece and it sells.”
“Most often, the work flows easily and it’s as if my arm and hand has a mind of its own and the picture is complete before I’m ready for it. At others, its blood sweat and practically tears as I can’t quite capture what I’m aiming for.”
“Still, humour me, if you had a choice, which would you prefer to peer at on a daily basis?”
Emma took a few moments and ran through the portfolio again. Although she hadn’t seen all of his work, the pergola with its cascading flowers had captured the moment she’d first arrived, and though she couldn’t explain it, it was the piece of art that spoke volumes. “I believe I love this one the most.” Laughing at herself she said, “That could change at moment’s notice however as I haven’t seen all your work, and I’m quite sure that with the trend I see here, next is going to always become “better”.”
Nathan badly wanted to wrap her in his arms and kiss every inch of her mouth, her face, her body. The teetering scale of need desire and hunger for her was already precariously unbalanced, but her words and obvious delight tipped him over the edge.
Standing to walk away and catch his breath, he stood peering outside before turning back to walk toward her. “I hadn’t expected when I invited you that I might have to cut the evening short, but alas I must. We’ll have to continue our discussion at a later date, Emma.”
Although she realized he was undoubtedly a busy man and had squeezed the interview in, she was disappointed. Professionally, there was more to ask, and personally, she was enticed into a desire to know him more fully, everything about him. From what he did on a daily bases to how he spent his free time.
“I’m sorry we have to call it quits. I was really enjoying our visit. Perhaps next time, we can schedule an hour or two in advance.”
“I will endeavor to do just that.”
Emma gathered her things together and headed to the door. “I’m afraid I can’t even take enough time to drive you home, I’ll have to leave that in Jim’s capable hands.”
Finding her bearings, Emma headed to the kitchen. Quickly hurrying inside she walked to the center of the kitchen. “Uum, excuse me.” All heads turned in her direction as they suddenly stopped their clean-up. “I wanted to congratulate you all on an excellent dinner. It was heaven. The flavour, texture, aroma, beyond delicious. Thank you.” With that, she headed toward the pergola and disappeared.
Nathan was left standing staring after her. To say she had surprised him was an understatement. Few had managed that feat. Definitely an interesting woman. Raising his hand in a mini salute, he followed her out the door.