Sarah and Jake arrived amid great fanfare.  They were loving the relaxed atmosphere of the limo and then the tour of Nathan’s house.  “My god, Emma, Nathan’s paintings are exquisite and the grounds, well they are a gardener’s paradise.  I could sit out there forever.”

“You haven’t seen all of them yet.  There are more.”

“More?  The front landscaping is exquisite beyond measure.”

“I know, right?  I stood on the path when I first arrived, closed my eyes, and just breathed.”

“I know I couldn’t do the garden justice, and I realize he has a fleet of gardeners attending it, but it’s so magnificent it just takes you over.”

“What a beautiful home.  It’s welcoming.  I was a tad nervous when we first arrived, but well, I couldn’t feel more at home if I tried.”

“Jenna, my darling girl, how are you?  Looking exceedingly happy I see.” Jenna filled her in on the events at the wine tasting club and how she’d felt and how supportive Jim was.

“I take it there’s something pretty special going on between the two of you.”

“Indeed there is mum.  I couldn’t be happier.”

Sarah hugged Jenna close.  “I couldn’t be happier for you!  You deserve this, Jenna.”

They settled down in front of the puzzle and coffee in hand began working on it together.  Their discussion varied and moved between the events they’d attended and what was going on personally for both of them.

Meanwhile, Nathan, Jim, and Jake settled into Nathan’s den so Nathan could brief Jake on what had happened, where they were going and what they were hoping for.

“You think he’ll try to make another move on any of you, of us?”

“I would imagine so, although if he has his ear to the ground, he should know that would bring a load of trouble down on his head.”

“Seems to me, that gives him all the more impetus to end this.”

“Possibly, but I have more resources at my disposal than I believe he does.  He might have friends in low places, but I have friends to counter those friends and a lot more besides.”

Jake breathed a sigh of relief.  “Good to hear.  I can’t say it hasn’t been on my mind.  I’ve been worried.  Could have picked up the phone called and got the low down, but I wanted to see Seattle personally.”

“Quite the set up you have here.  Jim this is your area of expertise?”

“I know my way around, yes.  Nathan and I have worked together for years, we’re a team.”

Nathan made his excuses and wandered off to make dinner arrangements and give the two men time alone.

Jim quickly made his case.  “Jake, I’m in love with Jenna.  I want to marry her.  Thought it only right to mention it up front.”

“I’m not surprised, I noticed how things were going when you met.  I’m happy for Jenna, she deserved someone special, and I think you fit the bill rather nicely.”

“That means a lot, Jake.”

“I suppose it doesn’t mean much these days, what parents think.”

“It does to me, Jake.  I’m not old fashioned in many regards and I can go with the flow, but this is something that is important to me.  Rest assured, I’ll take care of her, give her all the love I have to give and I’ll protect her at all costs.”

Page 136                                                                                              Page 134

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