She had changed in so many ways. Conrad could appreciate her attempts. He trusted her again which was dangerous, but Natalie wasn't the only culprit into the times this relationship had fallen apart. They were an open book now. No secrets. No holding back on things the other deserved to know. He had messed up to, but he hoped they were both in more control for the road ahead wherever it took them.
The house smelled of fresh pine. There was a little tree no higher than his knee seated on the living room table with two special gifts under the tree. One was Emma's. The other Natalie's. An estranged daughter did a lot to open his eyes. Life was always more important when there were people still there to pick you up when you fell.
He had dressed in simple slacks and a skinny deep red satin tie and white shirt. He wasn't nearly as festive as Natalie when he opened the door, Moritz skating over in happy greeting.
"Out-doing me as always Natalie." He gave her a swift kiss. "I don't clean up nearly as nice." He let her inside a fresh bottle of wine set out on the kitchen counter with two glasses. Dinner was in the oven. "I am glad you could come. I got worried there when you said you might be flying out Christmas Eve. It totally would have ruined my surprise."