The shavings curled off the plane as it glided along the curve of the wood. Each one dropped to the floor of his workshop with the silence of snow, collecting around his ankles in a drift.
Philip glanced up at the clock as he worked, checking the minute hand as it swept towards midnight. He needed to get this finished and he needed to do it right.
He fit the joints together, and they married perfectly. The craft was right and the pieces slotted in place. He assembled the box with swift ease and then wiped it over with an oil-soaked rag until it shone. Another rag and another wipe and the box was finished.
A layer of red silk and a moment more to insert the gift, and it was complete.
He carried it out of the workshop and into the house just as the clock started to strike.
Margaret was waiting on the sofa as instructed, her eyes closed.
"Is that you?" she asked as he approached.
"Who else would it be, ya daft thing?" he replied and placed the heart-shaped box into her hands.