Delia's Gift (Delia 3) - Page 106

“And Edward didn’t have any?”

“For Christ’s sake, Mother,” Edward protested.

“Don’t put on that astonished look. I know you haven’t been exactly an angel, Edward, especially the last seven or eight months.”

“I would never offer Delia—”

“No, Tía Isabela. He had nothing, and he offered nothing.”

She nodded. “If you’re lying to me this time, I’ll join the prosecution to have you put away. I promise you both.”

“What is this all about, Mother?”

She stared at us a moment and shook her head. “I think for the sake of authenticity, you won’t be told any more for now.”


“It is very important that Ray Bovio believes what we believe, and if he thinks there’s a conspiracy among us, his back will go up, and he’ll put on a defense that, frankly, might be impossible to pierce. The consequences after that would be severe for both of you.”

She continued, “I know you don’t have much faith in my intelligence, that I have not had your respect as your mother or even as a businesswoman, but you’re going to have to be patient and trusting and believe that I know what I’m doing.”

“I never said you weren’t intelligent, Mother. You’re just not…not a successful mother.”

“Maybe not,” she said. “But I’d like the chance to see if I could still be. Apparently, there was a time, like the time you described, when you loved me. Maybe you could borrow from then and have a little faith.”

Edward glanced at me and looked away before I could see his eyes water. He said nothing. He sipped his drink and looked out the window. The lights from other cars going in the opposite direction streaked by. A pall of silence fell over all of us. I was sure we were all wondering the same thing. Were we on our way, rushing, to another funeral?

Anticipating our arrival, the security guard at the Bovio estate opened the gate as soon as we turned in. He stood back and watched us and Mr. Simon drive through and up to the house.

“Once we enter, neither of you is to say a word unless directly asked a question by Mr. Simon,” Tía Isabela told us. “I want you as meek as mice. Is that clear, Edward?”

“Yes, Mother,” he said.

Señor Garman opened the door for us. Tía Isabela got out first. Edward followed, and then I emerged. I looked toward the stables and wondered if Señor Bovio had learned that Gerry Sommer had provided Amigo for me. I hoped not. I didn’t want to see someone else hurt by my actions.

“Can I ask how you got Ray to permit us to come here tonight, Mother?”

“I made him a promise,” she said.

“What promise?”

“We’ll talk about it later,” she said. “Right now, it’s not important.”

Mr. Simon joined us and nodded at Edward and me. “They understand how I want to conduct this?” he asked Tía Isabela.

“Yes, they do,” she said firmly. “I didn’t give them any details, however. I thought it might be better if they were part of the discovery.”

“Very good. Let’s go do it, then,” he said, and we all walked up the stairs to the front entrance.

Teresa, who had been waiting, opened the door. She avoided looking at me. “Mr. Bovio is in the library,” she said. ?

??I’ll take you to him.”

As we passed through the grand entryway, I looked up at the dome and said a quick prayer. I then looked up the stairway, thinking about Adan Jr. and hoping he was sleeping comfortably. There was no sign of Mrs. Newell. Señor Bovio was sitting sideways at the head of the long table, looking as if he were about to get up and walk away. I saw that he had a glass of brandy.

“I don’t want this to take long,” he said when we entered. “It’s been an unnecessarily long enough day as it is.” He focused his angry eyes on me.

“It shouldn’t take us long,” Mr. Simon said. “Thanks for agreeing to the meeting.”

Tags: V.C. Andrews Delia Horror
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