I said nothing. He looked as handsome as ever, even with his eye patch. My eyes were filling so quickly with tears I was afraid I would just stand there and bawl like a baby. He laughed and came quickly to hug me. I held on to him a moment longer than he held on to me. Fani was standing to the side with a wide grin smeared over her lips.
“Are you sure you’re gay, Edward?” she teased.
“If I weren’t, you’d be the first to tell everyone,” he replied, and she laughed.
“I’ll leave you two to renew old bonds. I have a maid to terrorize below working on our lunch. Enjoy yourselves,” she said. “I’ll be back in a half hour, unless you need more time.”
“No, that’s fine,” Edward said.
She nodded and left, closing the door behind her.
“You look well, Delia. Pregnancy makes you blossom.”
“That’s what Señor Bovio has been telling me. I don’t feel like a blossom. I feel like a stuffed tamale.”
He laughed and led me to the sitting room, where we sat on one of the sofas.
“You know, I tried to see you a while ago, and that caused a small hurricane at my house.”
“Yes. I saw you and tried to get to you before you drove away.”
“We would have been talking to each other through bars, I’m afraid. When I got home, my mother had called a friend of hers at the district attorney’s office. They sent over an assistant district attorney to reveal to me that our international incident, such as they call it, has not been officially closed.”
“Yes, I was surprised but not sure if my mother was just calling in some favor and getting him to tell me that. I wasn’t about to challenge her, however. I let her whip me with her threats and then returned to college.”
“I’m sorry, Edward.”
“It’s not your fault.” He paused. “I’ve been feeling guilty about deserting you ever since we returned from Mexico and I overheard Sophia confess to getting us in trouble. I haven’t spoken to her since, not that it bothers her too much.”
“It was never my intention to cause such turmoil in your family. I am sorry I didn’t tell you my secret about Ignacio, but I was afraid to burden you with it.”
“I know. I never imagined that you didn’t trust Jesse and me.”
“Fani has told me about you and Jesse no longer being together.”
“I don’t blame him. I’ve been impossible to live with these past months. No fun.”
“Something else that’s my fault,” I said.
“You can’t blame yourself for how other people behave. We all make our own choices and bear responsibility for ourselves. Now, tell me about life at the Bovio estate,” he said, sitting back.
I began slowly, describing my reasons for moving in and telling him about all of the attention and all of the gifts Señor Bovio had lavished on me.
“I’m glad of that,” he said. “I do feel sorry for him. It’s a nice thing you’re doing.”
“Sí,” I said.
Edward was always able to read me well. He stopped smiling. “What’s wrong?”
I began to describe Mrs. Newell, but as I did, I realized that anyone who didn’t live under her supervision might easily interpret it all as simply good and prudent care.
“Well,” he said when I was finished, “at least you don’t have much longer to go.”
“A little less than eight weeks,” I said.
“And then what?”