Emma was a little dispirited when she arrived home. She felt conflicted. Common sense, on one hand, annoyance on the other. She appreciated Harold’s concern. It didn’t help that she couldn’t tell him the whole story or why she felt both safe and secure with Nathan’s assistance. Unable to divulge information that would have put his mind at ease she understood his immediate and overwhelming agitation. Still, he should have known she was a woman of her word that she said what she meant, and she meant what she said. She was going to follow through with or without sanctioning from him or the paper.
Something told her when she talked to Nathan later, he’d be well aware of the episode at the theater and undoubtedly orchestrated the response of the man and or woman involved.
Deciding a luscious soak in the tub was in order both to quell the aches and pains and lessen the frustration she was feeling she added aromatic Epson salts to the bathwater and undressing slid into the water’s soothing warmth. Allowing her mind to wander, she wondered what the surprise was Nathan had in mind. If they were staying in, she could wear jeans and a sweater, but if it were something more, she’d require appropriate clothing. She was sure Nathan intended the entire evening as a surprise so she doubted he’d give her any clues.
The water had cooled considerably so Emma stood and grabbing a fluffy bath towel, dried off. If he wasn’t going to give her even a hint of what was taking place, he would have to accept what was.
Donning a sexy set of lingerie Emma dressed in jeans and sweater and added a pretty set of silver filigree earrings that served the purpose. Applying fresh make-up she primped and fussed with her hair and was adding a pretty pair of high heels when the doorbell rang.
When she reached the door, she peered outside and saw Jim standing there. Quickly glancing at her watch, she was shocked to find the time had really slipped on by. Opening the door with a swish she said, “I’ll be right with you, Jim. Just have to grab my purse and coat.”
“No rush, Emma. We’re good.”
Although she thought about pumping Jim for information, she finally decided to let it be. Whatever Nathan had in mind he’d determined as special and her eagerness to know would only upset the surprise.
Arriving at Nathan’s she was led in through the main entrance. This was a surprise in itself since they’d always used the quarters nearest the kitchen. The moment she entered, her eyes were drawn to the staircase festooned with pots of poinsettias one plant per step rising all the way to the top. Each pot glistened with a shimmering light and it was literally a staircase to heaven.
“Well. This is interesting.”
Jim’s gesture indicated she was expected upstairs, so she obliged.
In the main bedroom off to the left, Nathan awaited her, dressed in a beautiful Armani suit. “Wow, don’t you look handsome. Seems one of us has under or over estimated the dress code.”
“Hello, my beautiful Emma. Come inside.” He held out a hand and taking hold of hers, encouraged her to enter a bedroom she’d seen on the walk through on her first visit. Laying on the bed was a shimmering red full-length gown with a cap sleeve, the other covered with sequins that followed the neckline. It was simply gorgeous and took her breath away. Nathan led her to the bed, “I’ll leave you to get dressed.”
Emma stared wordlessly at the gown after his departure. Alongside the exquisite gown were a pair of matching high heels and evening bag. When she’d finished dressing, she twirled in front of the full-length mirror. It was a little cinderella like, but she couldn’t resist.
Heading out the door, she found Nathan leaning against the newel post at the bottom of the stairs. “You are a vision, Emma.”
“Thank you, Nathan. I take it this is part of the surprise?”
“Indeed, plenty more to come,” he assured her with a dazzling smile.
They turned left and headed toward the opposite wing they’d hitherto spent their time in and Nathan drew her into the dining room. A Christmas elf had visited here as well and poinsettias graced the dining table and side tables.
She wasn’t seated for more than two minutes when food trays were brought in under silver covered domes. The aroma had Emma drooling. Wine was poured and the food covers removed. Without delay, Emma began loading her plate. As soon as the wine was poured, the servers disappeared.
Instantly double sided french doors opened to reveal a small but beautiful orchestra comprised of an electric bass, electric violin, woodwind instruments, and piano. The music was incredibly beautiful comprised of Bach, Beethoven, then moving into modern renditions equally wonderful.
They ate in near silence while listening to the amazing renditions that followed.
Taking Nathan’s hand in hers, she pressed a kiss to the back of his hand and held on firmly then whispered with tears filling her eyes, “This is incredible. Beyond exquisite. I’m lost for words.”