“I’ve never met braver, sweet Emma. You bravely press on when others stop. I read some of your articles. Your honest, straight as an arrow, you never waver and you fight the good fight. It’s apparent in all of your work.”
“I suppose, I never really looked at it that way. It was a matter of fighting for those unable to stand and fight back. There is power in the written word. Good and bad. I chose the good.”
“It’s a choice, Emma. You could have chosen a different path, just as easily.”
“No, Nathan, I couldn’t. It wouldn’t have been within my purvue. So it really was a choice, but not at the same time. I couldn’t look myself in the face if I did anything else.”
“You up for a walk, Nathan?”
“Let’s get some fresh air.”
“Anywhere in particular?” he asked, assisting her to her feet.
“I’d love a leisurely walk around your gardens.”
They wandered through the fragrant flowers along the casual meandering path consisting of a mixture of gravel and mulch with its magical tone set by a variety of subtle lighting. “I love this garden, Nathan. It’s magically mystical.”
Nathan pulled her closer to his side and kissed the top of her head. “It’s meant to be, Emma. I haven’t placed a fountain on the grounds yet. I’ve been watching the night sky and the sun to determine placement.”
“Personally, I think it would be a beautiful addition to the back gardens at the far end of the walk, with a circular path around it leading back the way you came from and intersecting through the middle.”
“You may be right at that. I’ll have to give that idea some in depth thought.”
Although it was late, they circled the expansive garden a second time before heading indoors. “I’m taking time off for Christmas and I’ll be at my families from the 23rd until January 2. I was hoping you’d come stay with us so we could enjoy Christmas together.” Emma’s suggestion surprised Nathan.
“I am. I think they’d love you. I know they would.”
“That reminds me, I’d like to do some Christmas shopping tomorrow. You up for that?”
“With you? Most certainly.”
“Good, then I think we should retire early so we aren’t too tired to enjoy the experience.” Her words belied her movements as she pulled his head down and watched his twinkling eyes flame as she nipped his lower lip and then deepened the kiss.