Loving Emma

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Chapter 15

What followed were some of the best days Emma had ever had. They quickly got into a routine. They would wake up and then get some coffee. After that, they would swim, followed by breakfast. After that, a long walk on the beach, lunch out, maybe walk around a few stores. Home then lay on the beach reading or just talking. Followed by dinner and a movie.

And sex. Lots of it.

Her feelings for Can were growing every day. They’d been at the beach house for a total of six days. And they had been magical. It bothered Emma a little that they hadn’t had anything but fun. No arguments or bickering. It seemed almost too perfect.

Then again, they had shut themselves away from the rest of the world. And had nothing to deal with except the two of them. It was probably easier to keep calm and happy when the main thing that would come up during the day was where to go for lunch, and what to order for dinner. Maybe she should have been more concerned if they’d had an argument over those decisions.

There was one thing, though. Can had been a little bit moody today. Emma could tell that there was something on his mind. He was a little bit more emotional than normally. A little bit more…intense.

That was the word she was looking for. He was more intense. And that applied to their lovemaking as well. Not that she was complaining. But there was a desperation within that need, she hadn’t felt before.

It wasn’t until this afternoon that she actually remembered that tomorrow, they would have been here for a week. Can, was supposed to tell her about the call with Mr. Langham tomorrow. Maybe that was what was bothering him. The funny thing was she had utterly forgotten about it. The main reason she came here in the first place, and she had forgotten. That just went to show how big of an effect Can had on her. She hadn’t thought about the coffeehouse or her life for that matter, for a single minute of the last three days.

And she didn’t want to. Not yet. She wanted to stay cocooned in this little bubble with Can, and just enjoy life with him. The way they had been doing. This was the reason she was standing down by the beach waiting for him, life jacket on, ready to go on a kayak ride. She wanted to get him out of his own head, and if there was one thing, he loved it was water and exercise. And her. She was giving him a holy trinity in the hopes that he would start to relax.


Can looked at her standing by the kayak waiting for him. He had not been himself today. He was starting to feel a quiet desperation within himself. Tomorrow was the day he was going to tell her the truth. And he feared for what was going to come from it. He had even in some of his darker moments decided that maybe he should just lie. Not tell the truth. She didn’t remember it anyway.

But he couldn’t do that to her. He would have to be truthful, and with that truth, he knew there was a chance he could lose her. And that had played on his mind all day. No matter how much he had tried to distract himself, his mind always came back to this one thought.

What the hell would become of him if he lost her again?

He didn’t have the answer to that. He was almost certain that she had fallen for him. She acted like it anyway. But he didn’t know for certain, wouldn’t have felt as nervous if he did. The truth was, he’d been scared to ask. Sometimes it was easier to just sit in the unknown. That way, you could pretend and make reality into what you wanted it to be in your mind, instead of being faced with truths and realities you didn’t know how to handle. It was a coward’s way to deal with things. And he’d never considered himself a coward until now.

He looked down at his watch, it was five o’clock already. What was the point in waiting for tomorrow? He couldn’t handle the uncertainty anymore.

‘Do you really want to go kayaking?’

Emma looked at him, laughter in her eyes.

‘Want is a pretty strong word. I want you to be happy, and I thought maybe a kayak ride with your favourite girl would do the trick.’

He loved her. Absolutely loved this woman. If he had the power to do so, he would place them both on a deserted island and live out his days with her there. Undisturbed and alone.

‘All you have to do, to make me happy, Emma, is be with me. That’s it. Nothing more. Just stay with me.’

‘You’ve seemed down today.’

‘I’ve had a lot of things on my mind.’

‘I know. I just realised this afternoon that we’re supposed to have our talk tomorrow. I figured that’s what got you upset.’

That completely threw him.

‘You forgot?’

She smiled at him and just shrugged her shoulders.

‘What can I say. You have that effect on me. Everything, including mind and reason, sort of goes out the window.’

‘I see.’

‘So, are you ready to go?’

He didn’t want to go kayaking anymore. He wanted to talk to her.

‘Let’s take a walk instead.’

‘Can. Can’t this wait? I can tell you want to have a serious discussion. But can’t it wait until tomorrow?’

‘Why are you scared?’

‘I wouldn’t call it scared. I just don’t want reality to intrude yet. I just want to be with you.’

‘Nothing has to change Emma. Nothing I say has to change anything.’

‘Look. I already know what you’re going to say.’

‘I doubt that.’

‘I do. You are going to say that I agreed to sell the place lock stock and barrel to Mr. Langham. And then you’re going to ask me how that feels. And I’m going to tell you that it feels not great, but that I have come to understand that I fell in love with you, and that’s why I decided to give it up. And even though I think that was rash. And possibly, a not very thought-through decision to make after three weeks of acquaintance. I have learned that I am not very rational or logical when it comes to dealing with you or my feelings for you.’

‘Emma- ’

‘And then you’re going to start grilling me about my plans. And I don’t want to talk about the future yet. I want to stay in the now, with you. Happy. So again, I say, can we please just go kayaking? Please.’

She didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. She was wrong. But something else stuck in his mind.

‘What are your feelings for me?’

‘If I tell you, will you bench this conversation until tomorrow and just go out on the ocean with me?’

So here it was, she was bargaining with him now.

‘Yes.’

She walked up to him and put her arms around his waist, drawing him closer. He bent his neck as she went up on her toes to kiss him while whispering.

‘I love you, you idiot. Did you really not know?’

She loved him. He had managed to make her fall in love with him again. If that wasn’t a testament to the fact that they were destined to be together, he didn’t know what was. The happiness that he felt was slightly dimmed by what was to come. But at least he knew he had a leg to stand on. She wouldn’t just automatically ditch him and go when she found out the truth. Like she would have done a week ago.

She loved him, she would pause and consider them in all this, just like she had last time. She had to. But it could wait until tomorrow. He didn’t want to ruin this moment. That he’d been waiting for, for so long with arguments and discussions. He wanted to savour it, and her.

Can lifted her up and carried her back to the house. They never made it out on the water.


The moment of truth. That was all Emma could think when Can sat down with her for their morning coffee. He wasn’t going to let her escape from this anymore.

‘So, tell me about the call.’

He just looked her directly in the eyes and said.

‘He lied.’

Emma didn’t quite know how to take that information on board.

‘He lied?’

‘Yes. He lied. You never told him you would sell him anything. You agreed to a two-year lease with the possibility of extending after that.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes. I was not only in the room when you’d made that call, but we’d also argued quite a bit about it before you made it.’

‘Why? I mean, why did we argue? If I was willing to lease the building, that meant that I had, at the very least, decided to give up Hometown Café. Isn’t that what you wanted?’

‘No. I wanted you to give it up completely.’

Emma didn’t understand him sometimes. He should have been happy with her decision, not arguing with her about it.

‘Why was it so important to you that I give it all up? I don’t see you throwing your entire life away for my sake.’

‘We had decided I would take a break. I had told the production company that I was bowing out of the tv series I made last year. So, I did give something up. I agreed to pause my life, as well.’

‘What were we going to do?’

‘Whatever we wanted. Spend time together. Have some adventures, I don’t know. Just be together.’

‘And then what?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘I get what you’re saying. You were going to have a break, and we were going to take time out of normal life to have time for just us. I get that. What was the plan after that? Or did you imagine us hiding away cocooned in this bubble for the rest of our lives?’

‘We could have if we wanted to. We can afford to never work again if that is what we choose. We have a lot of money.’

He was too much sometimes. How was that a plan for life? Never working again and hiding away?

‘You have a lot of money I don’t.’

He just gave her a look that said he wasn’t going to get into a discussion like that.

‘That’s just semantics.’

He took another pause and then continued.

‘Love like ours happens once in a lifetime. I wanted us to take time and treasure it.’

She didn’t like him saying that. She’d had a deep and meaningful love before.

‘I’ve had it twice, so it can happen more than once.’

The look he gave her rankled her already fraying nerves. She was reeling from all of this. Nothing was as she thought it was. He was getting pissed himself, she could tell.

‘I’m not going to comment on your marriage.’

‘Good. Since you weren’t there for it, that would probably be for the best.’

‘Are you saying that how you felt for Brad is comparable to how you feel for me? Because I won’t believe it.’

She was getting angry herself. She knew that what she had felt for Brad, was not at all, as powerful as what she felt for Can. But to have him sit there and openly mock her relationship with her husband. Make it out to be something inferior.

Well, that just pissed her off.

Maybe it was the guilt she had felt at knowing there was a grain of truth to that statement. But Brad had still been a part of her life for six years. She had loved him, and he had loved her. And Can had no right to pass judgement or make remarks about something he knew nothing about. Brad wasn’t here to defend himself, but she damn well would.

‘I don’t particularly care what you believe. There no comparison whatsoever. I was with him for six years, and I’ve been with you for a week.’

‘Four.’

‘What?’

‘You’ve been with me for four weeks. Just because you can’t remember them doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. And time is immaterial when it comes to feelings.’

‘It is not immaterial.’

‘This right here. This is why I wanted you to give all of it up. Just sell it off and be fucking done with it. It’s a part of your life with Brad. And we were starting a new life together. I didn’t want him a part of that. Why can’t you understand that? You never did.’

‘Well, like you just said, I can’t remember us talking about it before. But I can tell you that right now, all you sound like is a jealous asshole. Intent on tarnishing the memory of my dead husband to make yourself feel superior to him. Like it’s a fucking competition as to who I loved more. It’s childish.’

She could tell his agitation level had reached his high because the hands were going like crazy and he was shouting. Something she’d never actually heard him do before.

‘I am jealous.’

‘Well, I find that rich coming from a man that seems to have been intent on fucking everything with a pulse. That you would begrudge me and be jealous over my one previous lover.’

‘He was special to you, you married him. I didn’t care one iota for any of those women.’

‘Do you think that somehow reflects well on you?’


Can knew it didn’t reflect well on him, and he hated that the conversation had veered onto this path. This happened the last time as well. It was his own fucking insecurities that made him lash out. He knew that, and yet he couldn’t stop himself. He was jealous of a dead man. He would have to admit that, to himself if not to Emma. But that was his problem, and he was trying to make it hers again, and that wasn’t fair.

‘Look, we are getting off track here. This is not what this conversation should be about. I’m sorry I said anything about Brad. I’m jealous. No matter if you think it’s reasonable or not. I am. You loved him, and you married him. And I have a hard time dealing with that sometimes. Especially when I feel like you, and I know this sounds fucking stupid, but you take his side.’

He saw her take on board what he had said. And it seemed the fact that he had calmed his tone down made her do the same.

‘I wouldn’t feel the need to defend him if you didn’t attack him in the first place. I know it was different, but I need you to respect that he was very important to me. You can’t compare. I’m learning to deal with that. You need to as well.’

‘I know. I brought him up because it was one of the main reasons for me wanting you to sell in the first place. I wanted a clean start. That’s all.’

‘I understand that. But apparently, I didn’t agree.’

‘No.’

‘You move so quickly, Can. Sometimes you have to give people a chance to catch up.’

‘I know. I know that. But it’s hard.’

‘Why? You constantly seem to want more and more, why can’t you just be happy with what you have?’

‘Are we talking about us now or before?’

‘Right now, I’m talking about the us before. If I was willing to give up Hometown Café and be with you. Why wasn’t that enough? Why do you push for more so quickly?’

‘I don’t know.’

That wasn’t true. And he had to be truthful. He had glossed over things last time, hadn’t wanted to say things out loud because it made him look pathetic and weak. Needy was what his mother had applied to him a year ago. He would have to take it on the chin and just say what he felt. The second time around, he didn’t want to make the same mistakes again.

‘That’s not true. I know why I push. My main problem is I’m scared of you not committing to me one hundred percent. That means in my mind that you’re not sure of us. And if you’re not sure, Emma? There’s a chance we won’t end up together. And that, I just cannot fucking deal with. It is the one thought that makes me lose it. I can’t see a future without you, Emma. That you would or even could entertain the idea of one without me? Even for a minute, makes me feel angry and insecure and like I’m about to be left behind. And I don’t know how to deal with that. So, I lash out, and I complain about Brad. Because I know he is a part of why you don’t commit to me fully. You still feel a bond with him, some sort of loyalty to his memory. And I hate it. I’m sorry, but I do.’


Emma heard the self-loathing in that statement, and she felt bad for him. She really did. She didn’t know how this conversation had gone last time, but she was guessing it wasn’t much different than the one they’d had today. They both had issues to deal with. Can’s was fear, and hers was fear mingled with guilt.

Again, she didn’t know what she felt like last time, but in this instance, right here right now. She could imagine a future without him. But she didn’t want to. She had fallen in love with him. There was no question about that in her mind. She loved him. And she had to admit that having him stand there, baring his soul to her, wasn’t making her feel anything other than more love. He looked so large and fierce and insecure. It was humbling for her.

To have someone love and want her like this.

But she still had things she needed to think through. She would have to make some choices again. She had thought she was walking into a fait accompli, but that wasn’t the situation at all. The thought she had a week ago struck her again. It might have been easier if that’s what had happened. But she got what she wished for. Understanding and insight as to where her mind had been a year ago. She couldn’t be sorry.

She needed to think. She looked at Can.

‘I understand where you’re coming from. I do. But I think for both of our sakes right now, we take a break from this conversation. I love you, and you love me. That we know. How this is going to play out with everything else around it, I don’t know. But we have both been granted a do-over. I suggest we take some time to figure out how we are going to play this out. Both of us.’

‘You might be right.’

Emma couldn’t help it. But as soon as she felt they were on the same page regarding taking a little breathing room from their discussion about their relationship and plans for them. Emma felt the anger at Mr. Langham return tenfold.

‘I cannot believe that fucker tried to lie and take advantage of me when he knew I’d been in an accident. And he’s getting someone to perjure themselves for him as well. And he sounded so sincere on the phone when he called to apologise for taking me to court. I really did not see this coming. At all.’


Can knew she didn’t. Emma always assumed that people were decent and honest. It didn’t occur to her that in life, most people tended to look out for themselves before they considered others.

They hadn’t really gotten anywhere in this conversation. But he agreed with her. Talking while tempers were flying high, and right as she was trying to process this, would be a mistake. Like she said. They loved each other. They would make it work somehow.

‘I have to call my lawyer.’

He was brought out of his own thought quickly by that statement.

‘And say what?’

‘That he lied. That I haven’t agreed to sell, and he’s trying to cheat me out of my building.’

‘I think you should give it a little time before you make that call.’

She looked at him like he was crazy.

‘Why?’

‘Because until you’ve decided on what to do, I don’t think it’s good to make any statements or make any decisions.’

‘Can, both you and I have to think about what to do about us. When it comes to that man, I don’t have to think about anything. I’m going to expose him for the liar he is.’

He didn’t want to go another round with her. But he didn’t want her to be hasty either.

’I understand why you would feel like that. But if you expose Mr. Langham as a cheat and a liar. Then he won’t be leasing or buying the property. And that leaves you with a going concern that needs your time and attention in England. All I ‘am asking is that you take a little bit of time to think things through before you go off and blow the deal completely.’

Again, she looked at him like he’d lost his mind.

‘Do you think there is a chance in hell that I would want to deal with someone who would treat people this way? That would be like rewarding terrible behaviour. Saying hey, I know you are a lying piece of shit, but here. I’ll give you exactly what you’ve been wanting anyway.’

He just continued to look at her, he didn’t have an answer for her. He knew she would feel like that. If it happened to him, he would probably feel the same. Then she asked.

‘Will you write a statement, confirming what you’ve told me here today? Make it official?’

‘Yes. Of course, I will. If that’s what you want.’

‘I’ll take the day to think about it since you asked so nicely.’

He just gave her a small smile. And then turned his back and started walking towards the stairs down to the beach. He needed some air. She halted him with her question.

‘Why didn’t you lie? You could have, and I wouldn’t have known any different?’

He turned back to look at her again and saw her looking at him like she was trying to figure out a riddle.

‘You would have gotten exactly what you wanted. Hometown Café and the ghost of Brad, out of our lives forever. A clean, fresh start, like you, have wanted since last year. I even told you I was starting to find peace within that decision. Why did you tell me the truth?’

‘Because I love you. I know you think I rush things, and you, for that matter. I want too much from you too quickly. I’m demanding and jealous, and I want you all to myself. But I would never trap you with lies. Take away your choices. I’ll always tell you the truth, Emma. Always.’

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