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Author's Chapter Notes:
A huge thank you to everyone who has been reading and a BIG thank you to Lourdes, smh1105 and Dawn for reading and sending me great feedback. Sometimes it's hard as an author to keep up a story if you're not sure someone is reading and these ladies have been pushing me to keep going! I hope everyone is continuing to enjoy the story!
Nick and Emma went to the doctor’s the next day to get his arm looked at and the bandages removed. The doctor was satisfied with the progress and cleared Nick to use his arm. He told him it may be stiff for the next few days and to continue to take it easy, but he could shower by himself and take care of things around the house.

The two went to lunch to celebrate and, after eating, stopped by the small general store to pick up some things that they needed for dinner that night. They took a walk when they got home, and Nick showed her some of his favorite stops on the nearby trails. Making it back to the house before the sun set, Nick told her there were some things he needed to take care of upstairs and she assumed that he wanted to shower and remove all the bandage adhesive.

He had been gone about ten minutes when he called for Emma from upstairs. She raced up, hoping that he hadn’t hurt his arm or lost his balance and fell. It took her a few seconds to realize he was calling from the bathroom and she bolted into the room.

“Are you…”

Emma stopped quickly when she saw Nick standing there with a smile; she looked around and saw candles lit by the tub that was filled with bubbles. She didn’t know what was going on and she was caught off guard by the situation.

Nick noticed her expression and laughed.

“Don’t worry, this bath is just for you.”

“It smells like…”

“Calgon.” Nick answered. “I found some at the store and I wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done. I figured this would be a good start.”

Emma was touched and smiled up at him.

“I really appreciate it, but you didn’t have to…”

“I know.” Nick said, cutting her off. “But you didn’t have to give up your time and your holiday plans to come and take care of me.”

Nick handed her a towel and walked around her. He told her he would take care of dinner and would give her some time to unwind.

About an hour and a half later, Nick knocked on the bathroom door to tell her that dinner was ready, and he started to leave. He got a few steps when he realized that she hadn’t responded. Not knowing what was happening in there, he opened the door and covered his eyes.

“Emma? Are you okay?”

“Oh shit.” he heard her reply groggily. “I think I fell asleep.”

Nick laughed and kept his eyes shielded; he told her again that dinner was ready and that he would wait downstairs for her.

He had just taken the roast out of the oven when he heard someone padding into the kitchen; he turned to see her in pajamas with a towel wrapped around her head. She smiled at him and he nodded to the table he had already set. Taking a seat, she waited for him to come over so she could talk to him.

“Thank you again for all of that,” Emma told him, “and I’m so sorry I feel asleep. I really did enjoy the bath.”

“I’m just glad I didn’t have to throw in the life preserver.” Nick answered with a chuckle. “I couldn’t have helped with my eyes closed.”

Emma laughed.

“Dinner smells delicious.”

“I hope it tastes as good as it smells, I haven’t really cooked in awhile since I am usually the only one here.”

They ate in silence for a bit before Nick asked her if she was prepared to go to AJ’s over the holiday. Since she was going to be with Nick, AJ offered for her to come along as well and had even paid for her ticket as a thank you for taking care of his brother.

“I think so.” Emma replied. “Are the holidays crazy out there?”

“You would be surprised by how low-key they are.” Nick answered her. “It’s really just him, Ro, Ava, his parents and the in-laws. It’s actually pretty cozy.”

Emma was glad that it wasn’t some over the top celebration with too many people; it would be nice just to spend some time with her friends and their families. She missed AJ and Ro; she had always only had one female friend in Addie but once she met AJ’s wife, she realized how much she was like her. It made it easier for her to talk to someone when Addie wasn’t around, and she appreciated the couple always making her feel welcome.

“When do we leave?” Emma asked as she ate.

“What?” Nick asked with feigned shock. “Are you saying you’re getting bored with me? Or is the tattooed one just more fun?”

Emma laughed and threw her napkin at Nick.

“No, being here with you is great, I was just wondering when I should pack.”

“Tonight,” he answered, “we’re actually leaving pretty early.”

Emma and Nick finished dinner and she helped him clean up after wards. They both went to their rooms to pack and met back downstairs twenty minutes later. Nick had suggested a movie and they both curled up on the couch, careful to not get too close but also not to have too much space in between. Neither one knew what to call what was happening but they both felt like it was the right thing; they both realized they needed to keep it at a slow pace and, as hard as it was for both, it needed to be this way.