The smell of something sweet baking in the oven filled the family’s summer cabin.
“Love and forgiveness is always right, meanness and pettiness is always wrong.” Roxanne quoted.
She’d choked on her own words, but got them out. Her tone was firm, but voice weak. Her chapped tear-stained cheeks and swollen eyes did nothing to empower her hopes. Her sister Maeve took breathe to ask tartly if Fanny Flagg’s rule applied to absolut e evil, but out of the love and respect the dark haired woman made no reply. Roxanne’s brother-in-law wore a tear-stained face twisted with rage. Her own husband, her rock, was stone faced.
Roxanne took her sister’s unblemished left hand. Her grasp was not tenative. Turning to her brother-in-law she said, “The most important thing for you John is to help Benny and his wife take care of your brave little grandson.”
The brown haired man took a breathe. As he exhaled it was as if the storm was swept from his features. “Yes, he agreed.” As though her words had settled everything. “ A little hypnosis should help there.” He rocked forward in his chair as if departing on his mission until he say the still murderous look in his wife’s dark eyes and thought better of leaving. He didn’t have to look at his wife’s brother-in-law. As he resumed his seat at the kitchen talbe his right hand settled onto Stan’s left thigh to insure the big man seated next to him stayed seated.
“Dearie!” Roxanne continued with a false cheeriness. Everyone looked up at her. She was speaking to her husband. “You need to go and impress upon Benny and his brother’s that the law is handling this situation. And handling it well.”
Normally, John dealt with the parenting of the children they’d all raised together, but Rugen had been a special case. Roxanne was staring pointedly at Stan’s clenched right fist laying on the table before him. Its veins pulsed.
He relaxed his massive shoulders enough to reassure his red-headed wife. “I can handle that.” He agreed pleasantly. He nodded to John and they rose from the table
Maeve’s fair brow twisted a little, preplexed over her sister’s new found strength in this crisis.“What about me?”
“I am making Swedish Tea Rings. You and I are going to take one over there to that poor woman and her children.”
“That poor woman should have known.” Maeve began hotly. “Should have known what her husband was capable of.”
Roxanne’s dough encrusted right hand squeezed Maeve’s hand. “None of us knows what dark things could lie in the heart of the people we love.” Roxanne whispered this kindly and innoncently, then gazed into her sister’s soulless black eyes.
Maeve burst into futile tears for the first time.