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 Chapter 07: About Ten Years Too Late
Posted: Nov 24 2007, 02:51 PM

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When Enrico came home late that night from a long night at the lab Wren was waiting up for him. It had always pained him to lie to her about his job, but how else could he explain the missing money? He felt tired and worn out from all the deception, but the further it had gone the harder it had been to come clean.

Maybe it was time.

Wren slapped him hard across the face the minute he crossed the threshhold. She was an athletic woman and he nearly lost his footing.

Apparently the cat was out of the bag.

"What I can't forgive," Wren said, through clenched teeth, hurt emanating from every pore, "is all the lies about your job. She was blackmailing you, wasn't she."

He nodded.

"You could have told me," she said, with a sob. "You could have just told me you'd slept with that witch. I would have forgiven you, eventually. But my daughter wears clothes my sister buys for her. I haven't bought a brand new pair of jeans in years. But even that's not so bad.

"Don't you understand, Rico? By lying to me you've been keeping half of your life a secret. Dr. Monty. Dr. Monty who people beg to have speak at their bloody conferences!" She threw the letter at him. "You're sleeping on the couch, Mister. For possibly the rest of our marriage."

"You mean, you're not kicking me out?" he whispered.

"How can I? Our daughter loves you and I will not break her heart by telling her her daddy's a liar. I want you to go upstairs and tell her about her sisters. Tonight. Sugar coat it anyway you like and I will stand behind your story."

Enrico stared at her, unable to believe his good luck.

"And spend time with your other daughters," she said. "Heaven knows the parenting they're getting from that harpy. How dare you abandon them!"

"I didn't want to."

"Then you should have been a man, Enrico, and stood up to her. You should have been a man and told me the truth ten years ago. I would have been able to take it. I'm a big girl. But you, you're a coward, and right now I'm not even sure who I married, or why. Now go upstairs and tell your daughter about her siblings. I'm taking the dogs for a walk."

She pulled on her coat and stormed out of the house, Tempest the foxhound and Greymalkin the Saluki at her heels.

And Enrico, realizing for perhaps the first time just what a terrific woman he had married--too late, you idiot--went upstairs to face his child.

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