Landon drives Jamie home that night. He is not sure how she feels about him, although he knows she has figured out that he had made a big contribution to the orphans’ funds. As they drive home, she asks him whether he ever thinks about God. He says he does sometimes. She asks him whether he ever wonders why things turn out the way they do. She admits that sometimes she does not understand what God’s plan is. Landon makes a reply that surprises even him, saying that it is not always possible to understand, which means that what is necessary is faith. She likes this answer. Changing the subject, Landon invites her over to his house for Christmas dinner. He takes hold of her hand to complete the perfect evening, although when they get out of the car and go to her door there is no opportunity for Landon to kiss her goodnight because her father can see them.
Landon picks Jamie up at five on Christmas Day, and they have a four-course dinner at his home, with Landon’s mother and father. After dinner Landon and Jamie walk around the garden. Jamie says she likes his parents, and she asks about his grandfather. She has heard about the unethical way he created his fortune, and hints that Landon should want to give it back. Landon protests that she is making him feel guilty, even though it was not he who accumulated the money. But he also feels she may be right. He changes the subject, asking whether her father likes him. Jamie replies that he does. When Landon takes her home, he asks her if it would be all right if he visited her sometimes, and she says it would be. But there is not much enthusiasm in her response, and he is unclear about what she feels for him. The following day he visits her. Her father is not at home, and they kiss for the first time.
Landon speaks about faith for the first time, but only in response to something that Jamie says. He still has no interest in religion and is more concerned about getting an opportunity to kiss Jamie than with thinking about God. He is puzzled by her lack of wild enthusiasm for him, and there are several hints that something is going on which he is not aware of—it is seen for example in her father’s weariness and apparent sadness, and Jamie’s odd responses sometimes to questions Landon asks or topics that come up between them. There is also the explicit statement (inserted to make sure that the reader does not miss the implication), “But it wasn’t until later that I learned her secret.”