**EDIT Sept 19**
Release date has been pushed back to May 27, 2014.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~All these The Mistress status updates are making me excited for this!"You call her Little One?"
"I always have. She was a teenager when we met. A very ill-mannered teenager. She demanded to know why I was so tall. She insinuated I had grown this tall simply for attention."
"Only Nora could be rude and flirtatious at the same time."
"I explained to her that I was tall so I could hear God's voice better. And since I was taller and could hear Him better, she should always listen to me. That didn't sit very well with her. She retorted the next day with a verse from Psalm 114. 'The Lord keeps the little ones.' Her biblical proof that God prefers short people. I started calling her Little One after that..."~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~"Eleanor, you're supposed to be in school." He didn't even look up at her from his work as he squatted on the ground and covered the roots of the sapling in black earth.
"It was a life-or-death situation. If I stayed in school, I would have killed myself."
"As suicide is a mortal sin, I'll absolve you for cutting class. But you know you are also not supposed to be at the rectory." He didn't sound at all angry or disappointed, only amused by her as usual.
"I'm outside the fence. I'm not at the rectory - I'm just near it. What are you doing anyway?"
"Obviously, but why? Are the two million trees around us not enough for you?"
"Not quite. You can still see the rectory from the church."
"Is that a bad thing?"
Søren stood up and walked over to the fence. Nora remembered how her heart had hammered at that moment. She thought for certain he could hear it beating through her chest.
Face-to-face with only the fence and a fourteen-year age difference between them, Søren pulled of his sunglasses and met her eyes.
"I like my privacy." He gave her a conspiratorial smile.
"It'll take years before you get any." Søren arched an eyebrow at her, and she'd blushed. "Privacy, I mean. Trees take forever to grow."
"Not these. Empress trees and this particular species of willow are some of the fastest growing."
"In a hurry for your privacy?"
"I can wait."
Something in his eyes and his voice told her that they weren't talking about the trees anymore. I can wait, he'd said and looked at her with a gaze so intimate she felt as if it was his hand on her face and not just his eyes.
She summoned her courage and returned the gaze.
"So can I."