Chapter 26

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Twenty minutes later headlights filled the window of the kitchen door.  Nathan had arrived.  Abby gave Will a thirty-second warning and told him that if he was counting on any surprises to forget about them altogether.  Ignoring her comment, he came into the kitchen to greet their guest.

Nathan made his way to the door in a quick jog with his head bent, his long sandy blonde hair covering his face, and his sneakers splashing through the slush accumulating in the driveway.  Abby held the door for him as he entered.  Will stood behind her not quite sure of what he was seeing.  Abby had not described to Will the guest coming to dinner.  Will just knew the guest was supposed to be someone to turn his life upside down.  Will’s forehead furrowed and a pleasant smile crossed his face.  This was not somebody’s old wet nurse at the door.  Nathan was just a kid not even thirty and Will would have no problem driving him out.

The first thing Nathan did as he walked in the door was hand Abby a bouquet of mixed ranunculus and anemones.  “These flowers were the best I could find at the florist,” said Nathan.  “ I was lucky.  I didn’t know they closed so early.  I was the last customer of the day.”

Abby took the flowers, “Nathan, they’re lovely.  These ranunculus are beautiful. Thank you so much.”  Will could not wait for Abby to finish thanking Nathan, he stepped up and introduced himself, “Hi, I’m Will, can I take your coat?”

“Sure,” Nathan started to remove his denim jacket and hooded sweatshirt beneath it, “I’m Nathan, pleased to meet you.”  Nathan’s thin-framed glasses began to fog over.

“Let me help you with that,” said Abby in a low tone as she took the back of Nathan’s jacket with her free hand so he could remove the coat easily.  She decided she needed to distract Will before he could do any damage by unsettling Nathan.  “Will, I think the beans might be burning.  Can you check them please?”  The beans were fine of course yet now Will was subdued.  Abby added, “And could you take a peek at the risotto too while your there?  I’m afraid it’s drying out.”

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