It was so quiet that my footsteps echoed over the tile as I walked through the entryway. I paused, because Tía Isabela was sitting on the chair that faced the front, just the way she often sat in her own hacienda. Señor Bovio, sipping a glass of red wine, sat on her right. He turned to look my way.
“Hola, Tía Isabela,” I said, deciding to be civil. “Como es—”
“Don’t even begin your performance,” she said.
“I know you just had a secret meeting with Edward, and you’ll both be sorry.”
Señor Bovio, although obviously quite angry himself, leaped to his feet immediately and became a wall between Tía Isabela and me.
“Wait!” he cried at her, holding up his hand. “Mrs. Newell,” he called.
She came quickly down the corridor.
“Take Delia up to her room, please, and see that she is comfortable.”
“Comfortable,” Tía Isabela practically spat at me. “You’re worried about her comfort?” She pointed at me when I started to step away. “Don’t think you two pulled anything over on me. Edward will pay for this deception. He’s not as independent as he thinks. He’s in for some big surprises.”
“Isabela, you promised to let me handle this,” Señor Bovio said.
She swallowed back her torrent of threats and curses and looked away. “Then handle it,” she told him with a backhand gesture in my direction.
“Mrs. Newell, please,” he told my nurse.
She actually took my arm to turn me toward the stairway. Stunned, I began to walk and then stopped when I fully realized what had happened. I turned back to them.
“What did you do, have me followed?”
“No,” Señor Bovio said. “No one follows you.”
“Then…what did you do, Tía Isabela, hire a private detective to follow your own son? Or was Sophia responsible for this as well? What has she been doing, hiding in the bushes, waiting to pounce?”
“Sophia had nothing to do with it,” mi tía Isabela said, still not looking directly at me. “She hasn’t had anything to do with her brother since you deceived this family and he was sent back to school. You’re poison to this family.”
“I’m poison? You broke your parents’ hearts. How low can you sink before you stink, Tía Isabela?” I said.
“Delia!” Señor Bovio shouted. Then he calmed. “Please, go upstairs,” he said before I could continue. “We must talk when everyone is calmer. It’s not good for you now. Go on, por favor.”
I pulled my arm from Mrs. Newell’s hand. “I’ll walk myself, thank you.”
I went up the stairway, feeling as if my baby had been cringing inside me. Mrs. Newell followed a few feet behind me and saw to it that I changed and went to bed.
“You need a nap,” she said. “I can see it in your face. I can just imagine what your blood pressure is. If you don’t do what I say, you could bring on a miscarriage.”
The word spun me around to face her. Anger smothered any fear.
“Is that what happened to you? You miscarried because you were emotionally upset?”
Her face became so bloodred that she nearly glowed.
“We do not have now and never have had anything in common,” she replied in sharply pronounced consonants and vowels. “Concern yourself only with yourself.”
I didn’t respond. I turned away and closed my eyes. Mrs. Newell wasn’t really what concerned me at the moment, anyway. Instead, I wondered what sort of new trouble Tía Isabela would make for Edward. If it truly wasn’t Sophia who had told her about us, how did she find out? Why couldn’t she just leave us alone? Why was this so important to her?