Before she could finish the sentence, Nathan wrapped her close and moved in, “you know where this is going, Emma.”

“I might want this, but I also have a job to do.”

“Let’s get that out of the way, then. It won’t be hanging over our heads.  I appreciate the work ethic and I have limits.  Let’s sit,” he pointed to a secluded seat.

They headed for the seat and he moved closer, laying his arm across her shoulders.  “What do you want to know?”

“Without violating your personal interests and space, I have some concerns.  Out of the blue my fax machine went off yesterday, and when the documents were finished, I saw disturbing pictures, of you dressed in fatigues, weapon in hand, running on a dock somewhere in the world. I couldn’t tell where.  The caption read, “Your friend in action.  Check him out!” and I admit I was stunned.”

“Emma, you are going to have to take an extended coffee break.  What I have to tell you will take time, and it’s not public information.  It’s serious, it’s deadly, and you need to know now, up front, if you become involved with me, will most definitely involve you.  You will have to take my word for what I say, and accept my protection because simply being near me, but especially knowledge of what I am about to tell you it could put your life at risk.”

Emma blanched.  Her shocked expression hurt him. Rubbing her arms to warm her up, since he could see the effect his words had on her, she was chilled and goose bumps ran up her arms. “We’re at a crossroads, Emma.  If your in, your in all the way.  If not, everything ends here.  Ends now.  Information, association, where we could be headed, and protection.  In truth, it would be safer, wiser, for you to walk away.  If I were honourable, responsible, and caring, I’d tell you to walk.  I’d turn my back and walk no run the other direction to keep you safe.  Your safety matters.  It matters more than being with you.  That says a lot, because I want you.  I want to be with you, I want you in my life and in my bed.  I want to know everything about you from what you look like when your sleeping to the expression in your eyes including your desires when we make love.  I want it all.  I’m giving you the opportunity to think this through, and if you so desire, walk away.  It’s serious stuff, Emma.  I’m not playing games.  This situation is bigger than me and you.”

All Emma could think to ask is, “You’re not part of an organized crime syndicate, are you, Nathan?”

For the first time since his opening dialogue, he smiled, unsure whether she was serious or making light of what he’d said.  “No, Emma, I’m not into organized crime.”

“Then I don’t see the problem.  However, I will take a couple days to make up my mind, consider what you’ve said, what I want to do about it.  I’ve never allowed my heart to rule my head, and with you, I lean that direction.  It may not be wise, or safe, or appropriate.”

Standing she continued, “I will get back to you in a couple days.  Give me this time, to think this through.”

Nathan watched her walk quietly away, uncertain what her answer would be.  He’d laid everything at her feet. The decision was hers.  He wouldn’t force the issue or make demands.  It wasn’t the time for either.  If she became a part of his life, became his, she would be welcomed under his umbrella and he would protect her at all costs, his own life included.

Page 23                                                                                       Page 21

 

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Nathan 23

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