Gently lifting her and placing her across his lap he said, “It’s way more than that. Above and beyond, lovely one.  The sex is passable, but….”

Emma punched him on the arm.  “Hey!”

Nathan laughed at her.  Leaning closely he whispered, “Truthfully, the sex is out of this world beautiful!”

“What I’m talking about, though, is the woman  you are, housed in a sexy body with a sinfully wicked smile and sparkling eyes.  She’s strong, determined, forthright, honest.  When you add in the sexy, alluring, playful beauty, I’m hooked.”

“Then, I guess we both are.”  Emma looked unflinchingly into his eyes and drew closer and closer, watching his eyes dilate and his lips part in anticipation.  She felt her own heartbeat quicken, the anticipation, along with desire that rose so quickly where he was concerned.  “I want more, Nathan, on every level.”

“Tonight, I can’t lead you on or play romantic games, as much fun as they are, because I couldn’t do our love making justice. I want it all, to drift away on the headiness, feel completely sated and give both in return.” Emma was very sincere and honesty threaded through her voice.

“Then we’ll both have to settle for as much as we can have, for the moment, even if it requires a couple of cold showers afterward.”

It seemed like moments, but hours had passed and Emma wasn’t sure what woke her.  Looking for Nathan, she noted he wasn’t there.  Easing up off the bed, she slowly pulled her dressing gown on and headed for the connecting living room.

She spotted Nathan and stopped.  He was deep in conversation with a man she’d seen at the park.  Now she knew he worked for Nathan.  Obviously, he was never alone, there could be a small army of men around him.  It seemed, that included her as well.  When he said he’d protect her, he meant it.  Emma felt disconcerted, even agitated at the thought.  Is this how dignitaries felt?  Like their life wasn’t their own, and they were always on display whether they realized it or not?  The only true ‘alone’ moments they’d had so far were when they were here or at her place.  Feeling more upset than she realized, she headed to the kitchen.  She needed time to wrap her mind around this idea. It was a snug fit at best.  After all, she wasn’t royalty nor was she rich.  She wondered if her life her existance seemed mundane in comparison.

Nathans  work placed him in dangerous situations, that was something else she’d have to think through.  It was going to take a little time to come to terms with all this.   Although it had played peripherally around her mind, it was staring her directly in the face now.  Her first real hard reality check. Was it going to present a problem for her or not?  She honestly wasn’t sure.  She was used to her privacy, coming and going as she liked, without eyes and ears seeing all, hearing all.

Her growing affection for Nathan, and appreciation for who he was warred against the type of lifestyle he was forced to live, whether by design or circumstance.  If she continued in his life, it would all apply to her.  She’d heard the words, understood the words, but it still felt like a slap in the face.  The reality was harsh.

What’s more, she wasn’t sure she could let him go, now.  She knew she was well on her way to falling in love with him.  She was trying to hold back the emotions the feelings that filled her when they were together, but truth was truth.

Although she was quiet, she must have disturbed someone, because suddenly a man appeared, racing into the kitchen from the side door.  “Hello, Miss, what can I get for you?”

“Oh, oh, no, I was just hoping for a cup of tea.  If you’ll show me where the kettle and makings are, I can do it myself.”

“No, mam, that’s my job.”  He smiled proudly.  “I make the best tea this side of the Mississippi.  You’ll see.  Have yourself a seat.  I’ll go see what types we have on hand.  Which would you prefer?  English, European, what?”

“Just good old fashioned tea.  I’m not a gourmet by any means.  I simply enjoy a great cup of tea now and again.”

“Ah, strong, bold flavour, with milk I’d say.”

“How did you know that?”

“I read people, Miss, it’s a game, it’s what I do, and I’m good at it.”

“Be right back, missy.”

“Certainly.”  Emma smiled and shook her head.  ‘Wow that was something she wasn’t used to.’  hmm, well.  Sitting carefully on the bar stool at the counter, she leaned on her elbows.  Ok, that didn’t hurt too much.  Her gaze wandered the kitchen.  It was every bit as beautiful and formidable as she remembered from her tour.  She could cook a variety of food, but this kitchen, it was daunting.

“Here you go miss.  Try this, see what you think.”

Emma sipped carefully, closing her eyes.  “Yes, it’s absolutely perfect!”

“Good.   That’s what your face told me.”

“Thanks …”

“Harold.  I’m Harold.”

Page 49                                                                                     Page 47

 

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