As Nathan drew near, all the emotion he’d suppressed bubbled to the surface. Even as a teenager, she’d captivated him. Now as a woman, she was entrancing. Her perfume was subtle but smelled as she looked womanly, secretive yet vulnerable. He couldn’t take his eyes off the woman she’d become.
Her evening gown was impeccable, her walk slow, elegant, a saunter that arrested. There was nothing overtly sexual about her movements, they were simply a part of her.
Reaching out to her, he gathered both of her hands in his, caressing gently with his thumbs before kissing each in turn, gently, savouring the moment. That unbelievably beautiful smile appeared, filled with hints of allure, warmth, and promise. Again, nothing about it was contrived. It was simply part of who she was. He remembered those occasions when someone had mistreated her and he’d been there to stop the incident from escalating; that smile, that unbelievable heart stopping smile. She’d never lost it. His Emma! He’d always thought of her as his.
Emma looked up into those rich brown eyes imbued with seductive entreaty, “Nathan!” she whispered, “It’s wonderful to see you again.”
“The pleasure is all mine. How are you, Emma? And what brings you to the gala? If I were an egotist, I’d assume it was on my behalf, but since we haven’t crossed paths for many years, that can’t be it.” He didn’t let go of her hands but gently pulled her close into a warm embrace, guiding her onto the dance floor, waltzing to and fro oblivious to the sudden interest directed their way.
“The magazine I work for is covering the event. I was the fortunate recipient of the assignment.”
A fleeting stiffness, nearly imperceptible tightened his features and as quickly disappeared. “Ah yes, I remember reading an article you’d written regarding the theft at the Ackerson’s Christmas event intended to provide dinner and toys for families suffering financial displacement.”
If it hadn’t been his dear face was forever emblazoned in her mind, she might have missed it. “That was a beginner’s piece and caught the eye of the editor. I’ve moved on since to cover other high-profile events such as this, including musicals, opera, a gamut really.”
“Covered with great aplomb no doubt.”
“I’m always honest in my writing, Nathan. It’s who I am.”
“I don’t doubt it for a second,” he assured her. That warmth, that inner glow as she thought of it, had returned. She allowed herself to be gathered closer in his arms and swayed to the music, losing herself in the moment and his warm embrace.