Sam scuffed the bottoms of his boots on the step outside the door and peered in through the kitchen door. Empty.

“Aaaaall right…” he tried to remember if Emma had said anything that morning before he left. “Honey?” He pulled his hat off and stepped back down the steps, heading for the garden. “Emma?”

Emma was bent over a bed of newly planted seedlings, her hair pulled back from her face so that the sun warmed her complexion. Sam had to take a moment to catch his breath. Life with Emma certainly wasn’t anything he’d been expecting.

He’d expected it to be awkward at times, learning to live ‘around’ another person. To see the same face at the dinner table every evening and to fall asleep beside the same person every night. After his first wife had died he’d known… known deep down inside that he’d never feel that connected to another woman ever again.

Then he’d met Emma Shannon.

He watched as she gently set a seedling into the ground, folded the deep brown earth over its tender roots and poured a little water around the base of the plant. She said something, her lips smiling.

“What is it?”

She started, her laughter bubbling as her covered her heart with a shaking hand. “Sam Cain… you are going to give me more gray hair!”

“More?” He ambled over, brushing the dust off his hat as he went. “I don’t see a single one to begin with.” Sam stopped and crouched down beside her. “All I see is a head of golden curls.”

Emma laughed and poked a finger in the center of his chest. “My father told me to watch out for men like you.”

“Oh? Devastatingly handsome? Amazingly-”

“Full of blarney.”

He paused and smiled at her. “Your Irish roots are showin’.”

Emma pushed her hands through her errant wisps and the tips of her fingers touched the green velvet ribbon in her hair. Her lips curved up in a wistful smile. “I guess I’ll always have that of my father… I’ll always have those moments when I say something that sounds like it would’ve been straight out of his soul.”

She looked down as Sam took hold of her hand. “I wish I could’ve known him.”

“You would have liked him, Sam. You would have kept him on his toes.” She wiped at a few tears and smudged dirt across the bridge of her nose.

Sam kept his mouth shut long enough to give her a lingering kiss. “The real question is, would he have liked me?”

She gave him a smile. “He would have seen the green in your soul, Sam.” Emma leaned against his shoulder and touched her hand to his heart, “and yes… he would have like you… a lot.”

*written for Destardi's Live Journal challenge - prompt - A Promise Kept

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