Christina stepped back wiping tears from her cheeks. “Don’t tell mom! She’ll worry if she knows I’m upset.” Paul smiled, ‘like mother like daughter’.
“I think the telling should be yours, Christina. She needs to know that her life matters to you and perhaps she’ll be less inclined to take unnecessary risks.”
“I know, that thought crossed my mind too. I could see her offering herself up as bait just to catch this creep. I’m afraid of, more than anything.”
“I’m watching her closely, Christina. I won’t allow her to do that. We have the situation under control. We pushed the process along, further and earlier to force his hand. She’s completely surrounded by law enforcement, whether she realizes it or not and she can’t make a move we won’t know about. Should this creep get close enough, we’ll take him down.”
“Thanks, Paul. I appreciate that more than I can say.” Paul smiled warmly before adding, “We have you covered too, Christina, and Andrew. I won’t let anything harm you.”
“I know you’ll do your best Paul. And by the way, I think your good for mom. I’m glad you came into our lives. I see good things for you two. More, I want good things for you two. Mom deserves someone special, who cares about her. She hasn’t had that, probably never if I’m honest.”
“She has you, Christina.”
“I know, but I meant on the romantic side of things. Gives me hope too.”
As conversations went, this was as touching and encouraging as it gets, Paul thought. One hurdle down. Now, if only Andrew felt the same, it would be a real bonus.
Eilea walked in toward the end of the conversation and heard Christina’s remarks about her and Paul and what she’d observed regarding her mom’s needs.
Wrapping her arms around him from behind, she hugged him close. “Perceptive, isn’t she?”
Turning, Paul agreed. “She does you proud, Eilea. Incredibly observant, she cares about her family, and is moved deeply by your current situation.”
“I’ve felt honoured on more than one occasion by each of them. I’m not sure I can take credit for it, as they are individuals who have made choices. Good choices so far. I take comfort in knowing I may have assisted with a guiding hand, but they are now young adults and the choices and decisions they make are their own.”
“Well, I beg to differ. I’ve seen young people act out and commit unspeakable acts of cruelty, steal, lie, cheat raised by caring parents and others that practically raised themselves because their parents were indifferent, uncaring, or too involved with their career to consider the results to a child. At some point, it is about individual choices, but I really believe they copy your outlook actions and expectations more than make choices. Eventually, they feel comfortable and strong enough to make them by themselves.”
Eilea sighed contentedly. “She’s right about one thing, you are not only important to me, but I didn’t realize exactly what was missing until I met you. You’re pretty special.” She sealed the thought with a heart-stopping kiss that set him back on his heels.
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