Emma was excited at the prospect of returning to work, since really, she had no reason not to. As long as she was careful, the bruising didn’t bother and they were beginning to fade nicely. She wasn’t as excited at leaving Nathan’s home, for he’d made her stay fun, warm, welcoming and well sexy (need she say it)? After all the heady days, nights, morning, and afternoon delights, she was going to miss their playful romping. Alas at some point she had to return to the real world.
He hadn’t answered when she’d suggested he return with her for Christmas to her family. Since he usually painted disappearing to Italy or France for the Holidays, secretly, she hoped he would accompany her so she could introduce him to her family and get her father’s read on all that was Nathan.
He drove her home and assisted her inside with her bags. “You don’t have to do this, Emma. You know you can stay.”
“I could, your right. However,” tracing his face with her fingertips and locking her hands behind his neck she continued, “I doubt I’d get much work done. There are…distractions at your place.”
“It’s easy to turn your back on the garden, in fact, I moved the chairs. The only distraction is the beautifully decorated tree.” His gentle but deepening kiss punctuated the very distractions she had suggested and so enjoyed.
Returning to earth she said, “Unfortunately, I don’t get paid to be distracted. I get paid for journalistic integrity. And yes, we did manage to make some headway on the story in question, but I’m sure my boss has a list of stories awaiting my return.”
“Since I’d rather be ahead of the game, not behind it, as I really really want to leave for my holidays on time, I must dig in and get serious.”
“I’m looking forward to distracting you more this evening. I’ll have Jim pick you up around 7:00 and we’ll have dinner together. I have something special in mind for you.”
“A surprise? What surprise?”
“You’ll have to wait and see.”
“Now that’s deliberately mean. I didn’t think you had it in you.”
“It’s worth the wait, you’ll see,” Nathan promised with one last earth-shaking kiss.
Heading out the door, well aware that one of his men Harold and his wife Gracie, were the detail assigned to watch over Emma and would accompany her at all times from the moment he left. He’d given them explicit instructions regarding procedure. At this juncture, he was sure she was safe enough at the newspaper office. Once she was out in the field anything could happen. Nathan swapped out his operatives every second day so that neither (in this case Emma) or anyone following her would catch on. The likelihood was minimal at least.
Jim had given him the perps name from the Zoo and his follow-up suggested he was a freelancer, taking money wherever for whatever. He was without scruples. Nathan’s investigation through other sources suggested he had a violent background, but nothing seemed to stick. Although the police departments in Vegas knew he was involved in several cases they couldn’t fabricate facts and the evidence was either tainted or he’d covered his tracks well enough to leverage charges. Unfortunately, while there was enough evidence to suggest he’d been involved and probably masterminded the incidents in question, nothing pointed the finger solidly in his direction.