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Christmas In The Snow: Taming Natasha / Considering Kate

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NORA ROBERTS is the New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred and ninety novels. A born storyteller, she creates a blend of warmth, humour and poignancy that speaks directly to her readers and has earned her almost every award for excellence in her field. The youngest of five children, Nora Roberts lives in western Maryland. She has two sons.

Visit her website at


The Return of Rafe MacKade

The Pride of Jared MacKade

The Heart of Devin MacKade

The Fall of Shane MacKade


The Last Honest Woman

Dance to the Piper

Skin Deep

Without a Trace


Taming Natasha

Falling for Rachel

Luring a Lady

Convincing Alex

Waiting for Nick

Considering Kate


The Calhoun Sisters

For the Love of Lilah

Suzanna’s Surender

Megan’s Mate


Affaire Royale

Command Performance

The Playboy Prince

Cordina’s Crown Jewel


Playing the Odds

Tempting Fate

All the Possibilities

One Man’s Art

For Now, Forever

The MacGregor Grooms

The Perfect Neighbour



Hidden Star

Captive Star

Secret Star






Night Shift

Night Shadow


Night Smoke

Night Shield


Night Moves

Dance of Dreams

Boundary Lines

Dream Makers

Risky Business

The Welcoming

The Right Path


The Art of Deception

The Winning Hand

Irish Rebel

The Law is a Lady

Summer Pleasures

Under Summer Skies

California Summer

Hazy Summer Nights

Summer Dreams

Dual Image

Unfinished Business

Mind Over Matter

Best Laid Plans

Lessons Learned

Summer With You

Long Summer Days

Summer Desserts

Loving Jack

Summer in the Sun

Catching Snowflakes

Christmas Magic

Time Was

Times Change

This Christmas…

Table of Contents


About the Author


Title Page

Taming Natasha















Considering Kate


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve



Taming Natasha

For Gayle Link. Welcome to the fold


“Why is it that all the really great-looking men are married?”

“Is that a trick question?” Natasha arranged a velvet-gowned doll in a child-sized bentwood rocker before she turned to her assistant. “Okay, Annie, what great-looking man are we talking about in particular?”

“The tall, blond and gorgeous one who’s standing outside the shop window with his nifty-looking wife and beautiful little girl.” Annie tucked a wad of gum into her cheek and heaved a gusty sigh. “They look like an ad for Perfect Family Digest.

“Then perhaps they’ll come in and buy the perfect toy.”

Natasha stepped back from her grouping of Victorian dolls and accessories with a nod of approval. It looked exactly as she wanted—appealing, elegant and old-fashioned. She checked everything down to the tasseled fan in a tiny, china hand.

The toy store wasn’t just her business, it was her greatest pleasure. Everything from the smallest rattle to the biggest stuffed bear was chosen by her with the same eye for detail and quality. She insisted on the best for her shop and her customers, whether it was a five-hundred-dollar doll with its own fur wrap or a two-dollar, palm-sized race car. When the match was right, she was pleased to ring up either sale.

In the three years since she had opened her jingling front door, Natasha had made The Fun House one of the most thriving concerns in the small college town on the West Virginia border. It had taken drive and persistence, but her success was more a direct result of her innate understanding of children. She didn’t want her clients to walk out with a toy. She wanted them to walk out with the right toy.

Deciding to make a few adjustments, Natasha moved over to a display of miniature cars.

“I think they’re going to come in,” Annie was saying as she smoothed down her short crop of auburn hair. “The little girl’s practically bouncing out of her Mary Janes. Want me to open up?”

Always precise, Natasha glanced at the grinning clown clock overhead. “We have five minutes yet.”

“What’s five minutes? Tash, I’m telling you this guy is incredible.” Wanting a closer look, Annie edged down an aisle to restack board games. “Oh, yes. Six foot two, a hundred and sixty pounds. The best shoulders I’ve ever seen fill out a suit jacket. Oh Lord, it’s tweed. I didn’t know a guy in tweed could make me salivate.”

“A man in cardboard can make you salivate.”

“Most of the guys I know are cardboard.” A dimple winked at the corner of Annie’s mouth. She peeked around the counter of wooden toys to see if he was still at the window. “He must have spent some time at the beach this summer. His hair’s sun-streaked and he’s got a fabulous tan. Oh, God, he smiled at the little girl. I think I’m in love.”

Choreographing a scaled-down traffic jam, Natasha smiled. “You always think you’re in love.”

“I know.” Annie sighed. “I wish I could see the color of his eyes. He’s got one of those wonderfully lean and bony faces. I’m sure he’s incredibly intelligent and has suffered horribly.”

Natasha shot a quick, amused look over her shoulder. Annie, with her tall, skinny build had a heart as soft as marshmallow cream. “I’m sure his wife would be fascinated with your fantasy.”

“It’s a woman’s privilege—no, her obligation—to weave fantasies over men like that.”

Though she couldn’t have disagreed more, Natasha let Annie have her way. “All right then. Go ahead and open up.”

“One doll,” Spence said, giving his daughter’s ear a tug. “I might have thought twice about moving into that house, if I’d realized there was a toy store a half mile away.”

“You’d buy her the bloody toy store if you had your way.”

He spared one glance for the woman beside him.

“Don’t start, Nina.”

The slender blonde shrugged her shoulders, rippling the trim, rose linen jacket of her suit, then looked at the little girl. “I just meant your daddy tends to spoil you because he loves you so much. Besides, you deserve a present for being so good about the move.”

Little Frederica Kimball’s bottom lip pouted. “I like my new house.” She slipped her hand into her father’s, automatically aligning herself with him and against the world. “I have a yard and a swing set all of my own.”

Nina looked them over, the tall, rangy man and the fairy-sized young girl. They had identical stubborn chins. As far as she could remember, she’d never won an argument with either one.

“I suppose I’m the only one who doesn’t see that as an advantage over living in New York.” Nina’s tone warmed slightly as she stroked the girl’s hair. “I can’t help worrying about you a little bit. I really only want you to be happy, darling. You and your daddy.”

“We are.” To break the tension, Spence swung Freddie into his arms. “Aren’t we, funny face?”

“She’s about to be that much happier.” Relenting, Nina gave Spence’s hand a squeeze. “They’re opening.”

“Good morning.” They were gray, Annie noted, biting back a long, dreamy, “Ahh.” A glorious gray. She tucked her little fantasy into the back of her mind and ushered in the first customers of the day. “May I help you?”

“My daughter’s interested in a doll.” Spence set Freddie on her feet again.

“Well, you’ve come to the right place.” Annie dutifully switched her attention to the child. She really was a cute little thing, with her father’s gray eyes and pale, flyaway blond hair. “What kind of doll would you like?”

“A pretty one,” Freddie answered immediately. “A pretty one with red hair and blue eyes.”

“I’m sure we have just what you want.” She offered a hand. “Would you like to look around?”

After a glance at her father for approval, Freddie linked hands with Annie and wandered off.

“Damn it.” Spence found himself wincing.

Nina squeezed his hand for the second time. “Spence—”

“I delude myself thinking that it doesn’t matter, that she doesn’t even remember.”

“Just because she wanted a doll with red hair and blue eyes doesn’t mean anything.”

“Red hair and blue eyes,” he repeated; the frustration welled up once more. “Just like Angela’s. She remembers, Nina. And it does matter.” Stuffing his hands into his pockets he walked away.

Three years, he thought. It had been nearly three years now. Freddie had still been in diapers. But she remembered Angela—beautiful, careless Angela. Not even the most liberal critic would have considered Angela a mother. She had never cuddled or crooned, never rocked or soothed.

He studied a small, porcelain-faced doll dressed in pale, angelic blue. Tiny, tapering fingers, huge, dreamy eyes. Angela had been like that, he remembered. Ethereally beautiful. And cold as glass.

He had loved her as a man might love a piece of art—distantly admiring the perfection of form, and constantly searching for the meaning beneath it. Between them they had somehow created a warm, gorgeous child who had managed to find her way through the first years of her life almost without help from her parents.

But he would make it up to her. Spence shut his eyes for a moment. He intended to do everything in his power to give his daughter the love, the structure and the security she deserved. The realness. The word seemed trite, but it was the only one he could find that described what he wanted for his daughter—the real, the solid bond of family.

She loved him. He felt some of the tension ease from his shoulders as he thought of the way Freddie’s big eyes would shine when he tucked her in at night, at the way her arms would wrap tightly around him when he held her. Perhaps he would never fully forgive himself for being so involved with his own problems, his own life during her infancy, but things had changed. Even this move had been made with her welfare in mind.

He heard her laugh, and the rest of the tension dissolved on a wave of pure pleasure. There was no sweeter music than his little girl’s laugh. An entire symphony could be written around it. He wouldn’t disturb her yet, Spence thought. Let her indulge herself with the bright and beautiful dolls, before he had to remind her that only one could be hers.

Relaxed again, he began to pay attention to the shop. Like the dolls he’d imagined for his daughter, it was bright and beautiful. Though small, it was packed from wall to wall with everything a child might covet. A big golden giraffe and a sad-eyed purple dog hung from the ceiling. Wooden trains, cars and planes, all painted in bold colors, jockeyed for position on a long display table with elegant miniature furniture. An old-fashioned jack-in-the-box sat beside an intricate scale model of a futuristic space station. There were dolls, some beautiful, some charmingly homely, erector sets and tea sets.

The lack of studied arrangement made the result all the more appealing. This was a place to pretend and to wish, a crowded Aladdin’s cave designed to make children’s eyes light in wonder. To make them laugh, as his daughter was laughing now. He could already foresee that he’d be hard-pressed to keep Freddie from making regular visits.

That was one of the reasons he’d made the move to a small town. He wanted his daughter to be able to reap the pleasures of local shops, where the merchants would know her name. She would be able to walk from one end of town to the other without those big-city worries about muggings, abductions and drugs. There would be no need for dead bolts and security systems, for “white noise” machines to block out the surge and grind of traffic. Even a girl as little as his Freddie wouldn’t be swallowed up here.

And perhaps, without the pace and the pressure, he would make peace with himself.

Idly he picked up a music box. It was of delicately crafted porcelain, graced with a figure of a raven-haired Gypsy woman in a flounced red dress. In her ears were tiny gold loops, and in her hands a tambourine with colored streamers. He was certain he wouldn’t have found anything more skillfully made on Fifth Avenue.

He wondered how the owner could leave it out where small, curious fingers might reach and break. Intrigued, he turned the key and watched the figure revolve around the tiny, china camp fire.

Tchaikovsky. He recognized the movement instantly, and his skilled ear approved the quality of tone. A moody, even passionate piece, he thought, finding it strange to come across such exquisite workmanship in a toy store. Then he glanced up and saw Natasha.

He stared. He couldn’t help it. She was standing a few feet away, her head up, slightly tilted as she watched him. Her hair was as dark as the dancer’s and corkscrewed around her face in a wild disarray that flowed beyond her shoulders. Her skin was a dark, rich gold that was set off by the simple red dress she wore.

But this woman was not fragile, he thought. Though she was small, he got the impression of power. Perhaps it was her face, with its full, unpainted mouth and high, slashing cheekbones. Her eyes were almost as dark as her hair, heavy-lidded and thickly lashed. Even from a distance of ten feet he sensed it. Strong, undiluted sex. It surrounded her as other women surrounded themselves with perfumes.

For the first time in years he felt the muscle-numbing heat of pure desire.

Natasha saw it, then recognized and resented it. What kind of man, she wondered, walked into a room with his wife and daughter, then looked at another woman with naked hunger in his eyes?

Not her kind.

Determined to ignore the look as she had ignored it from others in the past, she crossed to him. “Do you need some help?”

Help? Spence thought blankly. He needed oxygen. He hadn’t known it was literally possible for a woman to take a man’s breath away. “Who are you?”

“Natasha Stanislaski.” She offered her coolest smile. “I own the store.”

Her voice seemed to hang in the air, husky, vital, with a trace of her Slavic origins adding eroticism as truly as the music still playing behind him. She smelled of soap, nothing more, yet the fragrance completely seduced him.

When he didn’t speak, she lifted a brow. It might have been amusing to knock a man off his feet, but she was busy at the moment, and the man was married. “Your daughter has her selection down to three dolls. Perhaps you’d like to help her with her final choice.”

“In a minute. Your accent—is it Russian?”

“Yes.” She wondered if she should tell him his wife was standing near the front door, bored and impatient.

“How long have you been in America?”

“Since I was six.” She aimed a deliberately cold glance. “About the same age as your little girl. Excuse me—”

He had his hand on her arm before he could stop himself. Even though he knew the move was a bad one, the venom in her eyes surprised him. “Sorry. I was going to ask you about this music box.”

Natasha shifted her gaze to it as the music began to wind down. “It’s one of our best, handcrafted here in the States. Are you interested in buying it?”

“I haven’t decided, but I thought you might not have realized it was sitting out on that shelf.”


“It’s not the kind of merchandise one expects to find in a toy store. It could easily be broken.”

Natasha took it and placed it farther back on the shelf. “And it can be mended.” She made a quick, clearly habitual movement with her shoulders. It spoke of arrogance rather than carelessness. “I believe children should be allowed the pleasures of music, don’t you?”

“Yes.” For the first time a smile flickered over his face. It was, as Annie had noted, a particularly effective one, Natasha had to admit. Through her annoyance she felt the trickle of attraction, and strangely, kinship. Then he said, “As a matter of fact, I believe that quite strongly. Perhaps we could discuss it over dinner.”

Holding herself rigid, Natasha battled back fury. It was difficult for one with her hot, often turbulent nature, but she reminded herself that the man had not only his wife, but his young daughter in the store.

The angry insults that rose to her throat were swallowed, but not before Spence saw them reflected in her eyes.

“No,” was all she said as she turned.

“Miss—” Spence began, then Freddie whirled down the aisle, carrying a big, floppy Raggedy Ann.

“Daddy, isn’t she nice?” Eyes shining, she held out the doll for his approval.

It was redheaded, Spence thought. But it was anything but beautiful. Nor, to his relief, was it a symbol of Angela. Because he knew Freddie expected it, he took his time examining her choice. “This is,” he said after a moment, “the very best doll I’ve seen today.”


He crouched until he was eye to eye with his daughter. “Absolutely. You have excellent taste, funny face.”

Freddie reached out, crushing the doll between them as she hugged her father. “I can have her?”

“I thought she was for me.” As Freddie giggled, he picked up the pair of them.

“I’ll be happy to wrap her for you.” Natasha’s tone was warmer, she knew. He might be a jerk, but he loved his daughter.

“I can carry her.” Freddie squeezed her new friend close.

“All right. Then I’ll just give you a ribbon for her hair. Would you like that?”

“A blue one.”

“A blue one it is.” Natasha led the way to the cash register.

Nina took one look at the doll and rolled her eyes. “Darling, is that the best you could do?”

“Daddy likes her,” Freddie murmured, ducking her head.

“Yes, I do. Very much,” he added with a telling look for Nina. Setting Freddie on her feet again, he fished out his wallet.

The mother was certainly no prize, Natasha decided. Though that didn’t give the man a right to come on to a clerk in a toy store. She made change and handed over the receipt, then took out a length of blue ribbon.

“Thank you,” she said to Freddie. “I think she’s going to like her new home with you very much.”

“I’ll take good care of her,” Freddie promised, while she struggled to tie the ribbon through the yarn mop of hair. “Can people come in to look at the toys, or do they have to buy one?”

Natasha smiled, then taking another ribbon, tied a quick, sassy bow in the child’s hair. “You can come in and look anytime you like.”

“Spence, we really must be going.” Nina stood holding the door open.

“Right.” He hesitated. It was a small town, he reminded himself. And if Freddie could come in and look, so could he. “It was nice meeting you, Miss Stanislaski.”

“Goodbye.” She waited until the door jingled and closed, then let out a muttered stream of curses.

Annie peeked around a tower of building blocks. “Excuse me?”

“That man.”

“Yes.” With a little sigh, Annie waltzed down the aisle. “That man.”

“He brings his wife and child into a place like this, then looks at me as if he wants to nibble on my toes.”

“Tash.” Her expression pained, Annie pressed a hand to her heart. “Please don’t excite me.”

“I find it insulting.” She skirted around the checkout counter and swung a fist at a punching bag. “He asked me to dinner.”

“He what?” Delight showed in Annie’s eyes, before a look from Natasha dampened it. “You’re right. It is insulting, seeing as he’s a married man—even though his wife seemed like a cold fish.”

“His marital problems are no concern of mine.”

“No….” Practicality warred with fantasy. “I guess you turned him down.”

A choked sound caught in Natasha’s throat as she turned. “Of course I turned him down.”

“I mean, of course,” Annie put in quickly.

“The man has a nerve,” Natasha said; her fingers itched to hit something. “Coming into my place of business and propositioning me.”

“He didn’t!” Scandalized and thrilled, Annie grabbed Natasha’s arm. “Tash, he didn’t really proposition you? Right here?”

“With his eyes he did. The message was clear.” It infuriated her how often men looked at her and only saw the physical. Only wanted to see the physical, she thought in disgust. She had tolerated suggestions, propositions and proposals since before she had fully understood what they meant. But she understood now and tolerated nothing.

“If he hadn’t had that sweet little girl with him, I would have slapped his face.” Because the image pleased her so much, she let loose on the hapless punching bag again.

Annie had seen her employer’s temper fly often enough to know how to cool it. “She was sweet, wasn’t she? Her name’s Freddie. Isn’t that cute?”

Natasha took a long, steadying breath even as she rubbed her fisted hand in her other palm. “Yes.”

“She told me they had just moved to Shepherdstown from New York. The doll was going to be her first new friend.”

“Poor little thing.” Natasha knew too well the fears and anxieties of being a child in a strange place. Forget the father, she told herself with a toss of her head. “She looks to be about the same age as JoBeth Riley.” Annoyance forgotten, Natasha went behind the counter again and picked up the phone. It wouldn’t hurt to give Mrs. Riley a call.

Spence stood at the music-room window and stared out at a bed of summer flowers. Having flowers outside the window and a bumpy slope of lawn that would need tending was a new experience. He’d never cut grass in his life. Smiling to himself, he wondered how soon he could try his hand at it.

There was a big, spreading maple, its leaves a dark, dark green. In a few weeks, he imagined they would grow red and vibrant before they tumbled from the branches. He had enjoyed the view from his condo on Central Park West, watching the seasons come and go with the changing trees. But not like this, he realized.

Here the grass, the trees, the flowers he saw belonged to him. They were for him to enjoy and to care for. Here he could let Freddie take out her dolls for an afternoon tea party and not have to worry every second she was out of his sight. They would make a good life here, a solid life for both of them. He’d felt it when he’d flown down to discuss his position with the dean—and again when he’d walked through this big, rambling house with the anxious real-estate agent dogging his heels.

She hadn’t had to sell it, Spence thought. He’d been sold the moment he’d walked in the front door.

As he watched, a hummingbird swooped to hover at the cup of a bright red petunia. In that instant he was more convinced than ever that his decision to leave the city had been the right one.

Having a brief fling with rural living. Nina’s words rolled through his mind as he watched the sun flash on the bird’s iridescent wings. It was difficult to blame her for saying it, for believing it when he had always chosen to live in the middle of things. He couldn’t deny he had enjoyed those glittery parties that had lasted until dawn, or the elegant midnight suppers after a symphony or ballet.

He had been born into a world of glamour and wealth and prestige. He had lived all of his life in a place where only the best was acceptable. And he had relished it, Spence admitted. Summering in Monte Carlo, wintering in Nice or Cannes. Weekends in Aruba or Cancun.

He wouldn’t wish those experiences away, but he could wish, and did, that he had accepted the responsibilities of his life sooner.

He accepted them now. Spence watched the hummingbird streak away like a sapphire bullet. And as much to his own surprise as to that of people who knew him, he was enjoying those responsibilities. Freddie made the difference. All the difference.

He thought of her and she came running across the back lawn, her new rag doll tucked under her arm. She made a beeline, as he expected, to the swing set. It was so new that the blue and white paint gleamed in the sunlight, and the hard plastic seats were shiny as leather. With the doll in her lap, she pushed off, her face lifted skyward, her tiny mouth moving to some private song.

Love rammed into him with a velvet fist, solid and painful. In all of his life he had never known anything as consuming or as basic as the emotion she brought to him simply by being.

As she glided back and forth, she cuddled the doll, bringing her close to whisper secrets into her ear. It pleased him to see Freddie so taken with the cloth and cotton doll. She could have chosen china or velvet, but had picked something that looked as though it needed love.

She’d spoken of the toy store throughout the morning, and was wishing, Spence knew, for a return trip. Oh, she wouldn’t ask for anything, he thought. Not directly. She would use her eyes. It both amused and baffled him that at five, his little girl had already mastered that peculiar and effective feminine trick.

He’d thought of the toy store himself, and its owner. No feminine tricks there, just pure womanly disdain. It made him wince again to remember how clumsy he’d been. Out of practice, he reminded himself with a self-deprecating smile and rubbed a hand over the back of his neck. What was more, he couldn’t remember ever experiencing that strong a sexual punch. It was like being hit by lightning, he decided. A man was entitled to fumble a bit after being electrified.

But her reaction… Frowning, Spence replayed the scene in his mind. She’d been furious. She’d damn near been quivering with fury before he’d opened his mouth—and put his foot in it.

She hadn’t even attempted to be polite in her refusal. Just no—a single hard syllable crusted with frost at the edges. It wasn’t as if he’d asked her to go to bed with him.

But he’d wanted to. From the first instant he had been able to imagine carrying her off to some dark, remote spot in the woods, where the ground was springy with moss and the trees blocked out the sky. There he could take the heat of those full, sulky lips. There he could indulge in the wild passion her face promised. Wild, mindless sex, heedless of time or place, of right or wrong.

Good God. Amazed, he pulled himself back. He was thinking like a teenager. No, Spence admitted, thrusting his hands into his pockets again. He was thinking like a man—one who had gone four years without a woman. He wasn’t certain if he wanted to thank Natasha Stanislaski for unlocking all those needs again, or throttle her.

But he was certain he was going to see her again.

“I’m all packed.” Nina paused in the doorway. She gave a little sigh; Spence was clearly absorbed in his own thoughts again. “Spencer,” she said, raising her voice as she crossed the room. “I said I’m all packed.”

“What? Oh.” He managed a distracted smile and forced his shoulders to relax. “We’ll miss you, Nina.”

“You’ll be glad to see the back of me,” she corrected, then gave him a quick peck on the cheek.

“No.” His smile came easier now, she saw, dutifully wiping the faint trace of lipstick from his skin. “I appreciate all you’ve done to help us settle in. I know how tight your schedule is.”

“I could hardly let my brother tackle the wilds of West Virginia alone.” She took his hand in a rare show of genuine agitation. “Oh, Spence, are you sure? Forget everything I’ve said before and think, really think it through. It’s such a big change, for both of you. What will you possibly do here in your free time?”

“Cut the grass.” Now he grinned at her expression. “Sit on the porch. Maybe I’ll even write music again.”

“You could write in New York.”

“I haven’t written two bars in almost four years,” he reminded her.

“All right.” She walked to the piano and waved a hand. “But if you wanted a change, you could have found a place on Long Island or even in Connecticut.”

“I like it here, Nina. Believe me, this is the best thing I could do for Freddie, and myself.”

“I hope you’re right.” Because she loved him, she smiled again. “I still say you’ll be back in New York within six months. In the meantime, as that child’s only aunt, I expect to be kept apprised of her progress.” She glanced down, annoyed to see a chip in her nail polish. “The idea of her attending public school—”


“Never mind.” She held up a hand. “There’s no use starting this argument when I have a plane to catch. And I’m quite aware she’s your child.”

“Yes, she is.”

Nina tapped a finger on the glossy surface of the baby grand. “Spence, I know you’re still carrying around guilt because of Angela. I don’t like to see it.”

His easy smile vanished. “Some mistakes take along time to be erased.”

“She made you miserable,” Nina said flatly. “There were problems within the first year of your marriage. Oh, you weren’t forthcoming with information,” she added when he didn’t respond. “But there were others all too eager to pass it along to me or anyone else who would listen. It was no secret that she didn’t want the child.”

“And how much better was I, wanting the baby only because I thought it would fill the gaps in my marriage? That’s a large burden to hand a child.”

“You made mistakes. You recognized them and you rectified them. Angela never suffered a pang of guilt in her life. If she hadn’t died, you would have divorced her and taken custody of Freddie. The result’s the same. I know that sounds cold. The truth often is. I don’t like to think that you’re making this move, changing your life this dramatically because you’re trying to make up for something that’s long over.”

“Maybe that’s part of it. But there’s more.” He held out a hand, waiting until Nina came to him. “Look at her.” He pointed out the window to where Freddie continued to swing high, free as the hummingbird. “She’s happy. And so am I.”


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