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Author's Chapter Notes:
Thank you to everyone who has been reading and reviewing. I'm glad you all the story and I hope to keep that going. I appreciate all your comments!
Five hours later, they had everything moved out of the storage unit and moved into the new house. Nick had offered to buy dinner for everyone but Howie and Addie just wanted some quiet time with each other. They thanked him for the offer and he walked them out. He closed the door behind them, made his way down the hall to Emma’s room and knocked on the door.

“Can I come in?”


Emma was unpacking some clothes and Nick offered to help her hang them. He really wanted a chance to talk to her about this afternoon.

“I’m sorry Emma.”


“I’m sorry about this afternoon.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for.”

“I shouldn’t have put my hand over your mouth or said what I said.”

“You just caught me by surprise Nick. It’s not a big deal.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” Emma answered with a smile and pushed him to the door. “Now go call for some takeout. I’m hungry.”

Nick grinned and headed down to the living room. The previous owners had added some rooms onto the back of the house and this was one of them. It was one of those sunken rooms and it had a couple of steps on two of its sides leading up to the kitchen and a den. The third and fourth sides were wall to wall windows. There was an amazing view of the ocean and Nick felt at peace here. He got so lost in the view that he didn’t hear Emma come up next to him.

“Did you call?” Emma asked startling him.

“No, sorry, not yet. I was enjoying the view.”

Emma smiled and nodded. “It’s pretty amazing.”

Nick watched as she walked up into the kitchen and headed for the sliding glass doors. She opened them and followed Della outside. The dog loved the new backyard and the bench access. Nick called for the food quickly and then joined the two of them out on the beach.

“It’ll be here soon.”

“Good.” Emma replied, wrapping her arms around herself. “I’m starving.”

“Me too.”

They were both quiet for a few minutes before Emma spoke again.

“Thank you Nick.”

“For what?”

“For convincing me to do this. I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place or a nicer person to share it with. I truly appreciate what you’re doing and I’ll find a way to make it up to you.”

“You don’t need to do anything. I mean it.”

“Ok but I’ll still find a way.”

“You’re so stubborn.”


Nick headed back into the house and returned a minute later. He had grabbed his sweatshirt off the couch and handed it to her. She thanked him and slipped it over her head. Nick chuckled and sat down on one of the patio chairs.

“Why are you laughing?” Emma asked, sitting opposite him.

“That sweatshirt is a little big for you.”

Emma looked down and saw all the extra space. She pulled it tightly against her.

“I guess a little. It’s really warm though.”

The part she didn’t mention was that it smelled exactly like him. She loved his cologne and had to hold herself back from breathing in the scent. It would look funny and she didn’t want to freak him out.

“It looks cute on you. Even if it looks like a dress.”

Before the moment could get awkward, the doorbell rang. Emma raced inside and grabbed her wallet; there was no way Nick was paying for dinner. They almost collided trying to be the first to the door but Emma managed to beat him.

“Ha, ha.” she whispered before opening the door.

Emma paid the delivery guy and handed the food to Nick. She made her way back to the kitchen and starting pulling out silverware and napkins. Remembering the plates she had put away earlier, she pulled out the step stool and climbed up to look for them. Nick was just setting down the food when he saw Della run by the stool to get to him. The dog slammed into one of the legs and the stool tilted causing Emma to lose her balance and fall backwards. He got over just in time to catch her and the plates.

“I’m gonna start charging you.” he teased as he helped her down.

“For what?”

“Keeping you upright. Addie was being polite when she said you weren’t graceful.”

Emma swatted Nick and pushed him away. “You think you’re so funny Carter. Just wait till you need help.”

“I don’t think you can catch me if I fall!”

“You know what? I won’t even try. I’ll let you fall on your butt.”

Emma brought all the utensils over to the table while Nick dished out the food onto plates. He set hers down in front of her and sat down across from her.

“I think we need a toast.” he said as he raised his water bottle.

Emma giggled and raised hers. “To what?”

“To this whole situation. I hope that it works out for the best.” He paused. “For everyone.”

“I agree.”

The pair tapped their bottles and started dinner. They had no problem finding things to talk about and it was late before they finished. Emma knew Nick was tired from doing all the heavy lifting and she offered to do the dishes. He agreed, only out of exhaustion, and headed down to his room. Addie had some air mattresses she lent them until the furniture arrived the next day. A few moments after setting his head down, he was fast asleep and Emma smiled as she checked on him before she went to bed.