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Nathan 120

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Emma expected he’d be angry, but not this level of fury.  Jumping up to place her arms around him she said, “Nathan, it’s not about what could have been but what is.  I’m ok, Harold is ok.  If I’d thought for a second there was an issue at Harold’s I’d have contacted you immediately.  If we’de gone together, it would have created a much more discernable commotion I hoped to avoid.”

Turning, he stared at Emma.  “It’s not about what could have been, Emma, it’s avoiding the likely.  Jessop has far more reason to be anxious that I previously thought.  Now I know partially what he’s involved in, his mindset is obvious.”  He went on to explain what they’d found at the warehouse.  “He has no reason to stop now.  He needs to shut this down at all costs.  He’s not only an opportunist and greedy, but selling arms to the enemy makes him a treasonist.  Your life, my life, anyone’s life is nothing compared to the risk he’ll be exposed to and vilified for.  Will go to prison or perhaps be killed for.”

“Had I known what you were involved in, I wouldn’t have gone.  I had to check on Harold, Nathan.  He was swinging in the breeze on his own, to back me.  His family at risk, he didn’t and wouldn’t stop.  He won’t stop.  He’s in this to the end, whatever that may be.”

Nathan wrapped his arms around Emma kissing the top of her head.  “You scared me more than I’ve ever been scared before.  I’ve risked my life on numerous occasions, I’ve been concerned for colleagues and friends (Jim included) but never like this.  I don’t think you realise exactly what you mean to me.  I don’t think I did.”

“Nathan, you mean worlds to me.  I can’t bear the thought of losing you either.  I’ve factored that into the equation (what you do and why) and though it terrifies me, I applaud you and I’ll stand beside you always.”

“My job is rarely this scary.  This is a first for me.  Usually, it’s a matter of interviewing questioning, spending hours on the phone.  I’m unbelievably grateful you’re here, that you know what to do and you care, willing to risk everything to assist me in finding the truth and more, proving it.  Yes, I know it’s what you do, but you didn’t have to.  You chose to.”

“Had I known about Jessop, I would have entered the fray in any case.  You, on the other hand, are too precious to lose and it’s an unnecessary risk. You can still walk away.”

“I can’t, Nathan.  Like you, I’m involved and I will stick with it until the finish.”

“Then from now on, promise me, you’ll be up front and keep me informed about your plans.  I won’t continue any other way.  This is an ultimatum, Emma, and one from which I will not back down.”

Emma sighed.  She didn’t like ultimatums, but she understood Nathan was driven by concern for her welfare.  Reaching up to touch his face and staring up into his eyes, she said, “I promise, Nathan.  The only way I won’t keep you informed, is if I am unable.  Does that satisfy you?”

“Yes.”

They crawled into bed and cuddled.  Nathan was still too upset to consider romance.  It was the furthest thing from his mind.  More than ever he had to find the clues and connections to Jessop because although until now they had banged heads, Jessop would come for him or worse yet, Emma, directly.  He had nothing to lose now.”

 

 

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