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Nick woke up early the next morning and instantly thought of the night before; he was thrilled to have this alone time with Emma and he was determined to find a way to tell her how he felt. There was a time limit on her visit and he didn’t want to waste that time beating around the bush. He wasn’t sure how he was going to do it but something needed to change.

After getting dressed, he headed down the hall to her room; the door was wide open and the bed was made. Figuring she was making breakfast, Nick made his way down to the kitchen; he was surprised when he found that empty as well. Looking around the other rooms was making him nervous as he couldn’t find her anywhere. He headed back to the kitchen again and finally noticed a note on the island.

I hope you got some sleep last night. I wanted to take a walk but didn’t want to wake you. I won’t be gone long and we can make plans when you get up or I get back.

Nick started to get anxious; he didn’t know how long she had been gone or which way she went. He ran back upstairs to get his phone, found her number and dialed; hearing ringing in the house, he ran back to the kitchen and saw her phone sitting on the table. Racing back upstairs again, he threw on sweats and booked it down the stairs again. As he was attempting to put on his shoes, he heard the slider in the kitchen close. He jumped up and tore around the corner; he ran right into Emma as she was coming into the living room.

“God damn it Emma! What the hell were you thinking?”

He grabbed her in a tight hug and she could feel his heart racing.

“Sorry,” she said softly, “I thought I would be back before you woke up.”

He pulled her back so he could make sure she was okay and he noticed one of her legs was covered in mud; she saw him staring at her leg and gave a chuckle.

“I went a little too far and kind of wound up in a mud puddle. You know how I am with…”

Emma stopped as she stared at Nick’s face; she couldn’t tell if he was angry or upset but she knew damn well that he wasn’t amused.

“You took a walk in a place you didn’t know and left your phone here on the counter!” Nick yelled, much louder than he was aiming for. “You could have been stuck out there for hours, I didn’t even know which way you went!”

Emma saw his eyes start to well up and she felt awful for putting him through that scare. He pulled her close and leaned his head on hers.

“Please don’t do that again.” he whispered. “Promise me you won’t.”

“I swear.” Emma assured him. “I won’t leave without letting you know and I will keep my phone on me.”

She wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him; she pulled back a moment later and told him she was going to take a shower and would be back down in a few minutes. He released her and watched as she made her way up the stairs; there was no way she could know or understand how scared he was that something would happen and he wouldn’t be there.


Emma came down to the living room about twenty minutes later with her hair wrapped in a turban and wearing a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt. She went into the kitchen and found Nick sitting at the kitchen table reading something in a magazine.

He put it down as soon as he saw her and proceeded to stare at her.

“I know, I know,” she said, breaking the tension, “you don’t have to tell me how wonderful my outfit is. I’m sure it’s going to wind up in Vogue some time soon.”

Nick laughed and watched as she twirled around a couple of times; he loved how he could have this with her. He had never felt at ease with very many people, besides the guys, and it reminded him how much he wanted her to be in his life.

Emma asked him what he wanted to do for the rest of the day and he had to hold himself back from asking her to spend the day in bed with him. He wasn’t considering sleeping together but he wouldn’t have minded a whole day curled up in bed with her.

“I don’t really know, I don’t have many people here so I’m not sure what you’d like to see.”

As soon as Nick said that, the sky opened up and there was a massive downpour. Emma checked the weather on her phone and it showed the potential for an all day storm.

“I guess I got back just in time.” she said as she glanced out the window. “This would have been pretty awful.”

They sat at the table for a few minutes watching the storm before Emma suggested that they simply stay in and make it a movie day. Nick was agreeable to anything that was just the two of them; he suggested that they use the living room TV as the one in his man cave wasn’t working. Emma made the popcorn and joined Nick as he was loading up the TV.

When he was done, he took a seat on the other sofa and asked Emma what she wanted to watch. When she didn’t answer, he looked over to find her sitting there with a quizzical look on her face. She wasn’t saying anything but Nick could tell that she wanted to; they sat like that for a bit before she broke the silence.

“Do I smell?”


“Do I smell?” she repeated.

“No, of course not.”

“Then why are you sitting five miles away?”