- Text Size +
Emma awoke the next morning to the sound of banging coming from downstairs. She pulled a sweatshirt over her pajama top, tugged her hair into a ponytail and made her way down to where she thought the noise was coming from. Walking into the kitchen, she found Nick standing in front of the stove trying to break an egg into a frying pan. She waited for a few seconds and then called out.

“What are you doing?”

Nick jumped and whirled around to face her; in the process, he dropped the egg he was holding, causing it to crack open all over the floor. He wanted to explain what he was doing but all he could do was stare. Emma was never able to see it in herself, but Nick thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met. Even dressed in sweats with her hair a mess, he wanted her more than anyone else he had ever been around.

It took a few moments for him to bring himself into the moment and, when he did, he tried to explain himself.

“I was trying to make breakfast,” he told her, “as a thank you for all you’re doing.”

Emma smiled, crossed the kitchen and took the pan out of his hand, leading him over to the breakfast nook.

“While I appreciate the offer,” she said, “I think you should let me handle the cooking for now; you can make me breakfast next week, after the doctor gives you the all clear.”

She cleaned up the mess he made, took more eggs out of the fridge and made an omelet and toast for both of them. They were quiet through breakfast, not used to spending so much time alone with each other.

“What do you want to do today?” Nick finally asked.

“Um… I don’t really know. What do you usually do when you’re here?”

“Write music, play video games and sleep.” he replied with a laugh. “But I’m guessing you’re probably not in the mood for any of those.”

“Definitely not.” She chuckled with a smile. “What is there to do around here?”

“There’s a lot of historic buildings, shops, restaurants and museums that aren’t too far from here. It kind of depends of what you’re in the mood for. If you like historic houses, we can tour the Carter house.”

“I think I got a tour of your house yesterday.”

“Very funny!” he said and tossed a napkin at her. “I meant the historic Carter house.”

“How about a walk?”

“How about some shopping, some dinner and a ghost vampire tour?”

Emma paled, and Nick chuckled.

“There are no clowns involved and I promise nothing will come to get you. I won’t let anything attack you.”

“Your arm is in a sling!”

“I don’t care if I am in a whole-body cast,” he replied, staring her in the eyes, “I won’t let anything happen to you.”

Emma blushed at his stare and she knew he meant it; she remembered how terrified she was the night in Salem and how he stepped in to protect her and keep here safe. She also remembered how close they got that night and the fact that she woke up the next morning in his bed. The clown experience was something she never wanted to face again but, that night was something she wouldn’t mind doing again and again.

They finally agreed to visit a couple of museums, have dinner in Nashville and try out some of the bars with local entertainment. The afternoon passed quickly and before they knew it, they were heading to see some live music at a bar someone had recommended for them at dinner.

Nick and Emma could hear the music playing as soon as they stepped out of her vehicle and headed into the bar. It was beyond crowded and they had to walk single file in order to get to the patio where there was more room. Even that was crowded, and they had to find a place where Nick wouldn’t get his arm slammed into. They found a corner stool and Emma insisted that Nick take it; she didn’t want someone to hit his arm and cause him pain.

Nick felt guilty taking the seat even though he knew it was necessary; he watched Emma be bumped and jostled when people were walking by. He asked her if she wanted to leave but she assured him that she was fine. Someone bumped into her again and pushed her farther against Nick. He wrapped his good arm around her waist and pulled her to him. She didn’t resist and even smiled when she turned to face him.

Looking her in the eyes, he leaned down to kiss her; unfortunately, someone bumped her from behind and it pushed her further into his chest. He told her they needed to leave because he didn’t want her to be hurt if things got a little rowdier. They made their way out and found her car.

The drive home was quiet, and both were too tired to continue that night by the time they got home. Nick walked her up to her room, kissed her on the cheek and headed down to his bedroom. He really wanted to spend more time with her, but he knew that the moment had been interrupted; he was determined to find a time where it was just him and her, so he could tell her how he felt.