Chapter Fifteen

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It was early when she woke to the sound of running water coming from the bathroom and the faint sound of his melodic humming. It only took her a minute to recognize the tune -- one of Dale's greatest hits. In less than two hours he and Joss would leave for the airport. Her thoughts cart-wheeled back through the last few hours and she smiled. His hands, his touch, his very breath on her skin. The softness of every word he spoke to her. She'd been lost and found all at the same moment, wrapped inside his quiet, familiar comfort.

She gave the toes on her injured foot a wiggle and was met with a pleasant surprise. The excruciating pain she'd felt to this point had subsided greatly. Sitting up, she turned and let her legs dangle off the edge of the bed. Her eyes zeroed in on his boxers and plain white t-shirt, lying in a rumpled heap on the floor. She was struck with an enticing thought of joining him in the shower when the bathroom door opened. Nolan peeked out and shared a sly but loving smile. She instantly smiled back at him.

"Morning." He said softly.

"Good morning." She answered.

The stubble on his chin was thick and beginning to grey. He'd always kept his face clean shaven though everyone joked he could grow a full beard overnight. His hair was a mess but he still had plenty of it. Standing there in his robe, he looked way younger than his years.

"Going somewhere?" He inquired.

"No, but I think I've turned a corner."

He moved down to inspect her ankle. "You're not ready for a 5K just yet, but your swelling has really gone down. And I've got something that will make you feel even better."

"What's that?"

"A little surprise."

"What kind of a surprise? You have to leave pretty soon."

"We've got time." He assured her.

A soft knock on the door halted their conversation. Gwen entered with a tray of coffee and a selection of pastries. The enormous smile on the woman's face said everything. It was silent yet resounding approval of the previous night's sleeping arrangements. She was barely out of the room when Nolan parked himself on the bed beside his first wife. He selected the most appealing item on the tray and held it to her lips. She took a small bite, never taking her eyes off him.

"You never surprised me with breakfast in bed when we were married."

"I've grown up since then. Trying to make up for lost time. How'm I doin?"

He brushed a crumb off her bottom lip before pressing his mouth to hers. He'd played it safe all night though he'd wanted nothing more than to lose himself in her. When he finally pulled away, he found her smiling.

"I'd say you're doing just fine." She confirmed.

"Are you ready for your surprise?"

"There's more?"

"I'm full of surprises."

"You're full of something..." She joked. "But I thought this was the surprise."

"A continental breakfast doth not a surprise make." He stood and held out a hand to her. "Come on."

"Where are we going?"

"Not far." He glanced down at her ankle once more. "In fact..." He moved the tray aside and carefully slipped his arms around her.

"Nolan Crawford, don't even think about it." She commanded. "You'll end up with a broken back."

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