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Nathan 42

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Nathan had observed Emma’s retreat into the kitchen.  He’d also witnessed the nearly indecipherable look upon her face.  Aaron’s presence had disturbed her.  He needed to know why.  When their conversation was finished, he joined her in the kitchen.

“Thirsty, my love?” He stood behind her, enclosing her body with his arms as he leaned over her both hands on the counter on each side of her.

Emma leaned back into him.  “A little.  I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided a cup of tea was in order.”

“Have you been up long, Nathan, I see you’re dressed.”

“A couple hours or so, not long.  I had some business to discuss that couldn’t wait.”

Emma dropped her eyes to her half-finished cup of tea.  “I noticed that guy, in the park.”

“Yes, Aaron works for me.  Does that upset you?”

“No, and yes.  It’s a reality check, Nathan.  When you said I’d require protection, and it would be provided, I said I was all in, until this moment I don’t think I understood the full implication of what you meant and what was involved.”

“It’s necessary, Emma.”

“I suppose it is.  It takes a little getting used to, living in a fish-bowl.  There are men and women I presume, surrounding us each time we leave the house, am I right?”

“Yes, Emma, they are discreetly surrounding us, but they are there.”

“I see.  I guess I need to be a little more circumspect in my actions then.  I feel as though I’m living in the fishbowl and I’m the main feature.”

“My people aren’t here to observe us, just to protect us.  They are busy with other things, such as scanning and observing anyone close to us.  Their interest isn’t on us.”

Dropping her head she remarked, “I can think of a couple occasions where we must have given them an eye full.”

“You were comfortable and relaxed and you were you, Emma.  That doesn’t and won’t change unless you allow it.  I’m hoping it won’t.  You are a free spirit.  Your emotions, your delightful charm, your freeness of expression, affectionate nature have enchanted and dazzled me.”

“If my men know what’s good for them, they’ll keep their eyes off of you.”  Emma smiled in response, which was a good sign.  “Come to think of it, perhaps I should have them replaced with the women on my staff.”

Emma laughed outright at that.  “Ah, no, that’s ok, I think I’ll manage.”

“You finished with your tea?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Ok, then let’s head back to bed, see if we can catch a couple more hours sleep.  It’s not quite seven.  I don’t have anywhere I’d rather be than by your side, and I believe your calendar is free for the day?”

Emma rose and though she winced, slowly wrapped her arms around his neck, looking up into those amazing eyes.  “You must have read my mind.”  It didn’t stop her from standing on tip-toe to gently and tenderly kiss his lips.  “I could get used to this.”

Nathan secretly hoped she did.

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