Hope Love Letters

Chapter 6 Impressions

Eden, Nova Scotia

Nathan looked around. The room looked so very different now from what it had looked like this morning. No cobwebs, no dust, no broken furniture, which was already loaded on John McDonalds' wagon. The pieces waited to be repaired at home, where Nathan had all his tools. The walls shone in a fresh clean white. He had ordered a telephone to be installed here as well as at home in the White Cottage, and some new beds for the two jail cells. If he could find some time the next two days, he thought he would be able to have all the furniture repaired and brought back to finally be able to use in the office. Even the blacksmith appeared to have a look at the cells and locks without being asked to come.

To Nathans' and Johns' surprise, they found a hidden door behind the gun cabinet. The door led to a nice, light room. Even John was astounded when they discovered the door and opened it.

"Wow, I didn't know that room existed. Okay, but it makes sense with the shape of the building", he said scratching his head with his right hand and shaking it in disbelief and surprise, then he looked back to Nathan and continued saying: "Well, more to take care of now, Hermes more cobwebs! Girls more dust, too. Nathan any initial thoughts on what to do with this room?"

They looked around and found an old bed without a mattress, a table with two chairs, and a moth-eaten armchair, that looked like it had provided uncountable generations of moths with sustenance.

"I don't know, yet. I have to think about it. Obviously, it was thought for the Mountie to stay here but as Allie and I are living in the White Cottage, I really have to think about it," Nathan answered and shook his head lightly.

He was surprised by how helpful and kind the people were. He had a feeling that the whole town had come to the open door, introducing themselves, and wanting to know who the new Mountie was. Nathan felt uncomfortable with so much attention directed toward ,him but on the other hand he enjoyed the warm welcome that Eden gave him. It made such a different impression compared to the one Hope Valley once gave him.

The Grants and the McDonalds worked all day long and when they finally called it a days' work, they all needed a thorough clean-up as they were covered with cobwebs, dust, and sprinkles of paint. Nathan thought how prudent Allie was to bring some of his old working pants and a shirt with her, when she came back from her cat family rescue mission. They were all tired and thirsty, as it was a hot day. Right then Emeralda, who had left earlier, came back with a basket filled with bottles of lemonade and an invitation for Nathan and Allie to join the family for dinner.

Nathan was already starting to say a polite: 'No, thank you we cannot…' when John interrupted him and said: "No, Nathan. No is not an option. I know Emi planned to cook her famous Potes Mis Medi, and I know she would be offended, right Emi?"

Nathan had no idea what a 'Potes Mis Medi' was, but he knew he was hungry, he knew cooking was not his strongest suit, and he knew he did not want to offend the mayor and his lovely helping family. He looked at his daughter and saw her pleading eyes saying: 'Please Dad, please. Something properly cooked and delicious…' How could he resist those eyes and wishes knowing his own stomach wanted to be filled too, his own mouth wanted to taste something good, too. So, the only thing he could do was nod his agreement, ask how to find the McDonald home, and check the time when he and Allie should be there.

They all left the jail, and Nathan locked it. Then he turned around and went to Newton. "Sorry Buddy, there was not much of a round today. I promise I will make it up to you." Newton poked against Nathan's chest to show his agreement just as he had understood what his companion had said to him. Then Nathan mounted and started his way home. Allie rode her bike at his side, and they both talked about the eventful day they had.

She told him where she placed the cats in the barn, and Nathan agreed that that was a good and safe spot for the little family. Allie even told him that she already found names for them. Nathan groaned inside: 'Names, names mean a relationship with them, names mean they are at some point going to move into the house, names mean they stay,' he was thinking. Trying not to say his thoughts aloud in order to not hurt Allie.

"Allie…," he started, but Allie seemed not to hear him or did not want to hear him as she enthusiastically started to call the names.

"Dad, I think the mom should be named Queenie, the three little girls are Lady, Duchess, and Countess and the little boy is 'the' Prince. Dad, they are so sweet, and when I gave them some of our leftovers, I could see how hungry Queenie really was, and she drank almost all of the milk I gave her…" Allies words were coming out like a waterfall and Nathan did not see a chance that his daughter would not love those cats and it would be impossible to even try to find a new place for them now or even later.

So, Nathan knew that he had lost that battle already, so he just said to his daughter that she was responsible for them and to take good care of them.

His reward followed directly. Allie whooped loudly and if she could have, she would have jumped into her father's arms and would have hugged him tightly.

Allie was happy and smiling from her heart and Nathan was just very happy for his little girl.

At home, they hurried to get clean and changed and be on their way to the McDonald home.

When they arrived an hour later after they left the Mounties office both of them were astounded by the house, or more accurately the mansion they saw. The McDonald's farm was for sure not a small one.

With the evening hours a soft breeze drew over the island and the warm smell of a good home-cooked meal filled the air and Nathan's and Allie's stomachs began to rumble. Both of them started laughing and speeding up to reach the front door.

Before they even could knock at the door, it was opened, and Athena smiled at them. "So good you arrived, finally. I am starving. Mom did not allow us to eat a tiny bit before you arrived. And you should just know it is my favorite dish and I cannot wait any longer," she was chatting along while leading a wordless Allie and Nathan to the dining room.

It was a huge room, painted in a dark red, with heavy mahogany furniture, three windows going to the west, and the sun was right now beaming through them, bathing everything in a warm light and making all forms appear soft.

With a lot of laughter and chatter, the rest of the family gathered around that huge table and sat down. Nathan and Allie looked out for the empty chairs to take their seats there when Emeralda with a gigantic serving bowl appeared and directed Nathan to sit next to Aphrodite. Aphrodite first looked embarrassed and rolled her eyes then she turned from angry back to embarrassed toward her mother.

"Mother…," was all she could say.

Athena on the other side gladly took the opportunity to leave her big sister's side and take the chair next to Allie starting a conversation immediately. Sitting next to Allie would be so much more enjoyable and fun than sitting next to her grown-up teacher sister. Then she started to shoot millions of peppered questions to Allie. Allie was speechless. Never had anybody talked so much in such a short time to her without catching air, but Allie felt welcomed, accepted, and adopted at the same time.

Nathan did as he was asked to and sat down on the chair he was directed to. A little hesitant and shy he smiled at the women next to him and nodded a greeting.

After everybody was seated and dinner had started, lively conversations arose around the table. Everybody teased, joked, laughed and shared with each other. Nathan and Allie were included and felt that this dinner surely was not the last one they would have with this family at this table, in this house, so welcomed they felt.

Nathan looked around; a pain shot through his heart. This was what he thought a family life and dinner should be. This was how he imagined how life with a family, with Elizabeth, should have been if she only could have said yes to him. If she only would allow her heart to love him. He sighed heavily, closed his eyes for a short moment, and saw the women he loved so much in his mind, smiling at him and then telling him that she was not…. The pain remained for a while longer before he successfully suppressed it, returned his attention back to the table and its chatter, and tried to enjoy dinner and the people around him.

Dinner was delicious and Nathan and Allie couldn't stop eating until both of them thought they were going to explode.

John smiled and said: "Maybe a short break before dessert? Tell me Nathan, you haven't said much so far. Where were you posted before you came to Eden? And why did you want to leave that posting and come here to the far-out east?"

Nathan suddenly felt uncomfortable and looked down at his hands. Then he cleared his throat and answered with a low voice that they lived in the mountains in the west before and that circumstances came up that made him change his environment.

Emeralda looked very thoroughly at him and tried to read the message behind those vague words.

'It must be either something dangerous or a matter of the heart,' she decided.

'Well, with both, he is at the right place. Eden is probably one of the safest places in the world, and if it's a matter of the heart? Well, I am already working on that. Hopefully, Dittie won't interfere with my plans. This Mountie is so much better than…'

John had more questions for Nathan and those he could answer more freely and open. Both men had a feeling that they would be very good friends in the future and even found out they both liked fishing. A bond of friendship started to form between these two men that grew even a bit stronger tonight.

Meanwhile, Allie and Athena had a passionate discussion about some books they both had read. On some, they agreed, and on some, they had differing opinions. For example Allie liked 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' while Athena didn't like the book. They discussed it and Athena promised to reread together with Allie so she might see Allie's point of view. Even though she was not convinced she would change her mind about what she did not like about it. Altogether the girls liked each other and were happy to be able to spend more time together. They arranged to meet the next day at the Mounties office so Athena could show Allie around and introduce her to the other children in town.

For dessert, Emeralda served a Scottish Beer Cake. Very proud she said that this was her families very own and very secret recipe. Nathan and Allie felt so spoiled. Such a delicious dinner they had not had for ages. Okay, when they were eating in the café, but a home-cooked meal? They could not remember when they had one. They felt stuffed, satisfied, and happy. Happier than both had felt in quite some time.

When it was time to leave, Nathan and Allie thanked their hosts and said goodbye. Emeralda insisted that Aphrodite show the two of them the shortest way home. Athena said she would like to accompany Allie for a little while longer, so the two girls could spend some more time together.

The four of them started their way to the White Cottage and while the girls were faster and so deeply immersed in their conversation, they were not aware of their surroundings or that Nathan and Aphrodite followed at a slower pace without talking.

After a while, Aphrodite started." Nathan, forgive my mother for being so… so… so…. It must have been very uncomfortable for you. She has her own mind and sometimes it is just…"

Nathan smiled at her: "Aphrodite, I think it depends on what we make out of this, right? We just can let her do whatever…. And to be honest I do not…"

"Please, call me Dittie!" she interrupted him, "I never became very fond of my mother's choice regarding our names. Yes, you may be right, but I think you should know that…" she started to say but stopped as both heard a joyful whistled melody from behind and wanted to know where and from whom this was coming from. When they turned around, they saw Mack Fraser straying behind them. They stopped walking and waited until he caught up and reached them.

Two of the three adult faces lit up, and one started smiling in understanding.

Nathan got the impression that he did not need to explain anything more about how to handle Emeralda's plans. Instead, he got the impression that he needed to help two people he had already started to like.

Hope Valley

Elizabeth could breathe, finally breathe. She held HIS letter in her hands and felt the relief instantly. Her headache stopped the moment she started to read and as long as she held the letter and read his words she actually felt fine, really fine. Because then she no longer heard those hurtful but true words in her head that HE had left her. Instead, she heard his voice that gently told her that he loved her, she heard how much he was torn between his love, hope, and guilt and she started to understand how difficult all this must have been to him.

But she could not allow herself to think like that. She told herself that she had to stop reading these letters. Stop hearing that he left her and all those words that his soft and gentle voice kept telling her in his letters, in her head. This had to come to an end, but how? How could she continue to live with those words, that truth in her head that caused this horrible headache?

Tears fell from Elizabeth's cheeks down onto the letter. Almost instantly the ink started to color the teardrops blue. Those words, written so carefully and neatly, got covered by the salty sign of her turmoil, and started hiding, disappearing in the blur of ink and tears. As soon as she realized that those precious, but at the same time, dreadful, feared words could disappear she took her handkerchief and tried carefully to dry the blue tears from the paper to preserve the words, leaving blue spots on her handkerchief. Blue signs of the uproar and confusion of her heart and mind. Blue signs of HIS feelings for her, blue signs of HIS words, blue signs of how much they affected her, her heart.

Elizabeth did this without really realizing what she was doing. She did it unconsciously without thinking, and yet so carefully and cautiously. It was all emotion, all a reaction to the fear of losing Him again. Those letters were all she had left of HIM, yet she was not confessing this simple truth to herself. She couldn't.

She was still sitting on the sofa, holding the letter tightly and carefully at the same time. Still, tears were running down her cheeks but finally without that headache and the haunting words: 'Nathan left. Nathan left me. Nathen left because of me.' Instead, HIS soft voice made her remember the days when HE and Allie were new in Hope Valley. When they tried to find their place in the community and had the courage to open their hearts to other people. Their cautious attempts to trust, without getting hurt when HE fell in love with her, when Allie tried to guard her own heart. She remembered her impressions about these two, back then. Seclusive, withdrawn yet so vulnerable in the attempt to find their place in Hope Valley.

Elizabeth indulged in the freedom of not having a headache anymore when she heard a clear knock at her front door. With a sigh, she laid the letter on her coffee table, went to the door, and opened it. It was Rosemary, and she had a determined expression on her face when she without any further words entered the house and passed Elizabeth. Elizabeth wordlessly closed the door. Rosemary already started to head to the settee and said: "Yes, yes, I know you did not expect anyone, but I am not just anyone. And I think we need some time together. I thought maybe a girls' night to…,"

Rosemary stopped talking and looked at the letter and the handkerchief on the coffee table. "So, you decided to read the letters," was all she commented while she sat down on the settee and waited for Elizabeth to join her, eyeing the handkerchief with the blue signs of watered ink.

With hesitant steps Elizabeth crossed the room to take her seat next to Rosemary, avoiding eye contact with her. But Rosemary did not want to let Elizabeth off the hook and started to stare at her friend to force her to answer. Though feeling still troubled and confused, Elizabeth felt the gaze and sighed. After what felt like an eternity, she said: "Yes, I read them, but I don't like to read them. I am just curious. Nothing to talk about. Not that they mean a lot to me."

"Well, Elizabeth…," was all Rosemary said before she continued after a short break: "So, what do you think about a girls' night tonight?"

"Yeah, yes, why not," said a little numb Elizabeth with a low voice. "Would you mind coming here, so I wouldn't need someone to watch Jack? I will prepare some snacks for us."

"Wonderful! I will be here at…let's say 7:30? I might prepare something slightly forbidden for us, too, something chocolaty," and with those words and a scrutinizing look, Elizabeth and Rosemary stood up, then her neighbor left the rowhouse as suddenly as she had appeared.

Jack must have been already awake because right after the front door closed behind Rosemary, he made himself clearly heard with a very loud: "Mama! I awake!"

'Okay, my rest is over for today,' shot through his mother's mind when she made her way up to his room.

Mother and son spent the afternoon together. They went to town to buy all the ingrediets Elizabeth needed for the snacks she intended to prepare for her time with Rosemary. Jack assisted his mother with simple tasks like stirring or tasting batter, crackers, or cheese. And the tasting part was the most important one in his eyes. How could his mom otherwise be sure the food will taste good if he doesn't approve?

Elizabeth also prepared a beef stew for dinner and baked some bread to go along with it. She knew Jack loved that stew and would eat it without any problems or discussions. He would even eat the carrots, although he usually refused to even try them. The onion problem she solved by chopping them so fine that they could not be found in the stew when cooked.

Mother and son had fun this afternoon like they hadn't had for a long time. To be precise: since 10 days, when Elizabeth stopped reading the letters. The time this afternoon flew, and it felt like just a couple of minutes when she realized it was time for Jack to eat his dinner.

The little man ate with a hearty appetite. Two bowls and two thick slices of the still warm bread they had baked together. Elizabeth looked with awe at her son, since the last few days he did not want to eat at all, every meal had been a fight to get some food into him, but today? She could see his little belly becoming bigger, rounder, and fuller. A happy smile was clearly written all over his face. Then suddenly her son's face became serious, and then he asked: "Mama, where is Mountie Natan? Miss Newton."

Elizabeth swallowed hard. She did not realize that Jack missed Nathan, that he has been aware at all that Nathan wasn't here anymore. She shortly closed her eyes and then explained to her son that Nathan and Allie lived now in another town, and he will not see them anymore. But if he wanted to see a horse, they could go and visit Sargant tomorrow. Jack looked very focused when his mama spoke to him and then asked her: "Why did Natan and Allie and Newton leave? Don't they like us?"

This was going to be harder than Elizabeth thought it would be. "No, Jack, no, they do like us. Very much indeed. You know Nathan is a Mountie and Mounties often can't stay at one place for a long time. They must go where they were needed. Hope Valley is a safe place now, and Mountie Nathan went somewhere where people need help, where it is not as safe as it is here in Hope Valley."

Only now did Elizabeth realize what she had just said, when she fully understood that Nathan has chosen unsafety and danger against staying in Hope Valley, safe and sound. When realizing this, her heart stopped beating for a moment, she couldn't breathe anymore. Her headache, and the words that he left her, left because of her, just started to flood back. Haunting her again.

"I hope he gets all the bad guys and comes back soon," commented her little sweet boy before he asked her if he could get one of the cookies, they baked this afternoon.

Elizabeth needed a moment to digest what had became clear for her only now, what her little boy understood but she had refused to see. And the more she understood that Nathan could be in danger the stronger the headache and the louder the words in her head became. But she could not afford to be paralyzed right now, she needed to take care of her little precious son. That last present from Jack, her Jack, that he had made her before he left her forever. Being the hero, he always was. Not leaving her on purpose.

"Of course, you can have a cookie, but only one. Okay?" she smiled at her son. Searching for signs of his father in him.

"Mama? Can we write a letter to Natan to let him know he should come home when he caught the bad guys? And can we send an apple to Newton too? And a cookie to Allie? Where is Allie when Natan cannot be at home?" asked Jack further, causing his mama difficulties to answer, while he nibbled on his cookie.

"I think it is bedtime as soon as you finish your cookie young man," with those words Elizabeth turned around to put the pot on the stove to heat water for doing the dishes. Avoiding answering her son's very valid questions, breathing heavily, feeling her heart tighten.

Jack went to bed without any problems tonight. He was happy, tired, and fell asleep before Elizabeth had finished reading the story he wanted to hear. She kissed him goodnight and sneaked out of his room, closing the door carefully behind her.

Rosemary came later than they had agreed upon. She rushed into Elizabeth's house, having a basket in her hands and started immediately to talk about why she was late. "Someone has been moving into the rowhouse at the other end. Nathan's house. It is a family, as she saw boxes with toys standing around. Of course, being the reporter that I am, I wanted to know the name of the new citizens of Hope Valley and what their business in town would be!"

"Elizabeth, their name is Simpson. A family of three. His name is August, his wife's name is Alberta. Isn't it funny Alberta in Alberta? They have a son, four years old, just like Jack. Alberta and Mitch are coming later. She is with her parents right now…."

The words revolved in Elizabeth's mind, someone moved into Nathan's house. That meant he really was not coming back, he could not move back, his house was now someone else's. Elizabeth tried to breathe in but couldn't. There was no air to breathe, and when she finally managed to catch some air and came back to reality, from all the things Rosemary was telling her, the only thing she remembered was Alberta in Alberta.

Before sitting down, the two friends set the coffee table with all the good things that they had prepared earlier that day. Rosemary inhaled deeply before she came straight to the point.

"Elizabeth, I am worried, Lee and I are worried. You don't seem to be well recently and we wonder what bothers you. On the one hand you are going out and having your romantic dates with Lucas, on the other hand you seem to have a lot of headaches and sleep badly. Dear, what is it? What is troubling you?"

"No, it's nothing. Just a little headache here and there. Nothing to worry about," played down Elizabeth.

Still concerned, Rosemary asked, "Are you sure? Is there anything I can do? Maybe you should go and see Faith."

Elizabeth reached out to take her friend's hand and assured her that everything was fine. "It is a phase with headaches that surely will be over soon."

Rosemary wasn't so sure about that, but kept silent, deciding that from now on she would put her friend on an even closer watch.

They talked about the latest gossip in town when Elizabeth suddenly changed the subject and said: "You know, Jack asked me about Nathan today. Where he is, and if we can go and visit Newton. "

"What did you say?" wondered Rosemary.

"Oh, that Nathan as a Mountie has to move around to the places where Mounties are more needed than in Hope Valley," Elizabeth answered. "Jack actually asked me if we could send Nathan a letter and ask him to come back to Hope Valley once he captured the bad guys."

"And are you two writing a letter to Nathan? Will you answer one of his? I noticed you reading them. How are you feeling now about him leaving?"

"What shall I feel? It was his decision to come to Hope Valley, and it was his decision to leave for his new posting. The letters actually…. Well, I admit, Nathan, leaving town without saying goodbye did hurt me. But I just hope he is fine and that is all that needs to be said about this matter.

"But Elizabeth you cried this afternoon. You are most certainly no…t…," Rosemary tried to reply before Elizabeth harshly said: "No, I am fine. He left, and that was his decision. If he had cared for my opinion or my feelings, he would have talked to me before he left. I would say he did not care about me at all. I am good with it; thank you for your concern."

Rosemary looked really alarmed at her friend but understood that right now it was obviously not the time to talk about Nathan with Elizabeth. At least not in an open and honest way.

"How are things developing with Lucas? Do you think he will propose? How is he doing with Jack?" Rosemary tried to change the subject and get her friend in a better mood again.

"Oh, everything is wonderful. All these romantic setups he creates for our dates. That is so thoughtful of him. I truly can forget everything around me and just feel like a princess. He spoils me in every possible way. I can completely forget being in Hope Valley and all that. That is just so magical, isn't it?" Elizabeth fluted with an almost artificial voice that should have sounded dreamy but didn't.

Rosemary raised one eyebrow, not more. Looking at her friend. Knowing how she had been when she was with Jack. Knowing how true she had been with Jack. Knowing that she had found the solid and positive ground to live her life with Jack while now losing it to live in some kind of fairytale. Not that she was not granting her friend a new love and happiness, but she felt something was not right, and she suspected it had to do with Nathan leaving Hope Valley. Rosemary understood that she would not get any more details than she had ,so she started telling Elizabeth how things were going on with the newspaper.

The evening went on a little further with easy conversations, and the two ladies ate a bite here and there of all the delicious little things on the table standing in front of them.

After a while, Rosemary yawned and said." Oh, my dear, it is late, and my day starts early." She hugged her friend good night, took her basket, opened the door, and went to her home, next door.

Rosemary was not satisfied with this evening. On the contrary she was more concerned than she was before. When she closed her front door behind her, she already heard Lee saying: "You are home early! It is only 9:15. What happened?" He was hidden behind a book but lowered it and raised his gaze to look at his wife.

"Lee, I don't know. I have the impression something is very strange. This afternoon I found her crying over one of Nathan's letters. You remember I told you about that extraordinary wooden box with his letters he left for her? She doesn't want to talk about him. She seems to deny that Nathan means something to her. I am not sure if this is only hurt that he left or something more she cannot admit to herself. And when I tried to talk about Lucas…. I don't know, Lee. This is not the Elizabeth we know."

"Maybe she just wants some privacy and enjoy her time with Lucas for herself a little longer before it becomes too serious, and he proposes," Lee replied.

"No, Lee, I think it is something different. She is different. I am not sure if she is happy," a worried Rosemary answered. "But I think we cannot do anything right now. She doesn't seem to be ready to face her feelings. Whatever they are."

"Come here Rosie," and Lee clapped on the empty space next to him on the settee. "Come into my arms and let us enjoy the rest of the evening." But after Rosemary cuddled into his arms and put her head on his shoulder, she continued: "I am just so worried Lee. I wish I could do something to help her."

"All we can do is wait until she is ready to face whatever she has to and be there for her when it is time," murmured Lee into her ear. They sat there for some more time, silent, enjoying each other's company, when Lee kissed his wife's cheek and then whispered: "What do you think about going upstairs and being happy there, Sweetheart?"

His wife rose her head, looked him into his eyes, stood up, and drew him upstairs with a happy smile on her face.

On the other side of the rowhouse walls Elizabeth still sat on her settee. Her headache had come back, and she heard even louder those hurtful words that she didn't like to hear. HE left, HE left me, HE left because of me. The headache throbbed stronger and stronger and the only thing that could sooth it was reading another letter. A letter like a medicine. Not that she would admit the words meant anything to her, it was just a medicine. And with those thoughts she stood up, went to the precious box, the second time for today, and took out another letter.

Dearest Elizabeth,

I promised you to show you the best of me and now I have shown you the worst

My love, I don't know how to apologize for my behavior tonight. I didn't know that something like this was inside of me. I have to admit I was - I am jealous. I know, I don't have any right to be jealous, but I am. Maybe not my best quality, maybe a sign of my insecurity and desperation, to lose you before I even have the chance that you see me and find your way to me.

When we met today, we met again under circumstances that made me and Allie look less than our best. When I so desperately wanted you to see us, me, in a better light, this happened. It flooded over me, the jealousy. I regretted my words to you immediately, be sure I did. I should not have said them aloud. I should have fought that feeling inside of me. But I also believe my words are true.
I don't trust Lucas Bouchard, not at all. I want you to be safe, unharmed, unhurt. I want you to be happy.
In your eyes he seems to be a trustworthy, book-loving person. It is just - it doesn't appear to me that anything he has done so far was, is selfless, completely honest, and without a hidden agenda.

Will you forgive me? I will try to do better, my love. What I can say is that Lucas Bouchard really does not make it easy for my heart. When I see you with him. You smile at him, he gave you the library, you call him Lucas, you are defending him, he is so smooth with words, so charming, so elegantly dressed. And what, who am I?

I am the Mountie, the man who is responsible for your husband's death. This alone speaks already against me. I am not very charming, not that eloquent, bumble with my manners, not elegantly dressed. I am trying to live an honest life. I am a simple man.

I raise a child who fights with relationships and trust, who is having difficulties finding her place and growing roots. You made that clear to me. I see and understand that now. I ask myself if she learned that from me. Did I not love her enough? Is Allie a victim of the circumstances or did I do something wrong? She lost her mother. Her father does not want to take care of her, and me, her uncle is a Mountie with an unsteady life. A man, that had not found the place, the person to find steadiness, stability, a home, love…until now. I found it when I came to Hope Valley, when I met you. Yet, it seems to be unreachable for me to have you in my life. But I will not give up hope. I will not give up my hope for a future with you. I can't, I won't, I don't want to. I believe love is worth fighting for. I will not give up, my love.

Every time you and I meet, Allie somehow is in trouble, and it always seems to let you see me where I fail, how I do wrong. No matter how much I try to do the right things and no matter how many of the right things I do. It seems all my good virtues don't exist, only my failure speaks for me. Especially when it comes to the reason why I came to Hope Valley.
I don't know, can two people have worse circumstances and a more complicated situation when they meet but still have a chance to find each other, love each other, be happy with each other? I hope, I hope so much.

A haunting cabin, a self-rocking chair? Inspired from a book from the library? 'The Fall of the House of Usher'. I haven't read that yet. Maybe I should, just to see what inspired Allie.

I am so sorry that Opal got hurt and so is Allie. Allie did not foresee the possible consequences of her actions. A prank is only funny and a good one if everybody involved can laugh about it, and that did not happen tonight. At least at first. Allie told me about her apology to Opal in the infirmary. Opal forgave her. And as for Allie? Allie starts cautiously to see Opal as a friend. I would say it is a start. Time and love we said, didn't we?

My dearest Elizabeth, I need to find a way to make you see me, not only as Allie's guardian, uncle and as Hope Valley's Mountie. I would like you to see me as the person who I am and as the man who fell in love with you immediately at the first instant, he met you.

I wish you would look at me as kindly as you look at Lucas Bouchard. I wish you would smile when you see me. I wish you would defend me as you do for him. I wish you would have an open and interesting conversation with me. I wish you would call me by my name, not just Constable Grant. I wish you would not see me as the Mountie that replaced your dead husband. I want to be a person, a man, in your eyes. I want to be the man in your heart.

I dream about how you will say 'Nathan' with your warm and soft voice, formed by your beautiful lips. Alone the thought of it makes my heart beat faster. I will not allow myself to think more than just that thought, although I want to. Everything inside of me wants to dream and hope. I want to dream about talking to you easily, looking into your eyes, getting lost in them, how it feels to have you in my…. No, no, no, I have to stop.

Too hard the reality, too hurtful the awareness that you see me as a cynical man, as someone who sees only the worst in people. I hope time will show you who I am and let you see my true self. Not only the jealous man, or as you think the pessimistic man. I want you to see the loving, giving, hopeful man. I hope I get the chance to show you one day. Time and love, right? Will you give me the time to tell you the truth and show you my true self and I can love for the both of us until you find me?

I cannot give you anything else than my heart. You might not know it yet; but you hold it already. It is yours, yours alone, forever. How do I know? I just know. I feel it. it is a certainty deep inside my heart. I just wish I knew how to approach you, how to make you look at me and see who I really am

Look at me, my love, please look at me. Find me, my love, please find me. Feel the way I do, my love, please love; love me back.

Only My Yearning Shows
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Only my yearning shows
How much I suffer.
Alone and set apart
From every pleasure,
I see the sky at night
That all embraces.
But he who knows my love
Is so far distant.
My senses reel and burn
In such commotion.
Only my yearning shows
How much I suffer. (*2)

Good night my love,

Sweet dreams.

Yours, always


(*2) Poem of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, ‚Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt'
'Only My Yearning Shows', Translation (c) David Paley,

A/N: I know, a long time between the chapters and please forgive me, but I just couldn't do it faster.

As you see, a poem again. I want to thank David Paley from the bottom of my heart for the permission to use his translation and a very nice exchange of letters.