Aurora 06 - A Fool And His Honey

Aurora 06 - A Fool And His Honey by Charlaine Harris

Book: Aurora 06 - A Fool And His Honey by Charlaine Harris Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charlaine Harris
That’s something she can do with the kids in the car,” she said. Mother smiled briefly, and I saw with a kind of unworthy pang that she had become very fond of Melinda, Avery’s wife.
    “What’s the prognosis?” I asked, dreading the answer. Behind her back I noticed Martin standing in the doorway. I didn’t know how long he’d been there.
    “We don’t know yet,” Mother said quietly. “He’s been conscious, off and on. He’s in some pain.”
    “Don’t worry about us, Aida,” my husband said. He moved until he was by Mother’s side, and he gripped her shoulder. Her hand came up briefly to cover his, and then they both retreated back into more comfortable personas. “We’ll be fine, we just have to get this straightened out.”
    “Roe,” Mother said, as she picked up her purse and went to the door. “This is just an awful lot of trouble at one time.”
    I realized she was half apologizing for focusing on her husband, or at least extending her regrets that my trouble was not her only concern.
    “We’ll all get through it,” I said briskly, trying not to cry. “I’ll be checking with you later.
    Tell John I’m thinking of him.”
    She nodded. She’d scrawled John’s hospital room phone number on a sheet of paper, and she handed it to me. I stuck it on the refrigerator with one of the magnets Martin loathed.
    After Mother left I sank down into a chair and put my head in my hands. If the baby started crying, I just couldn’t bear it.
    The baby started crying.
    I forced myself up and to the refrigerator, thinking (as I pulled a bottle from the shelf and popped it into the microwave) that I was almost willing to forgive Regina for everything if she would just return and leave again with the baby.
    Martin had made coffee. I noticed he was dressed in khakis and a sweater, about as casual as Martin gets in day wear. He was staring out the window sipping from a mug, looking like a Lands’ End ad. I was still in my velour robe, my hair was trailing down my back in a cascade of waves and tangles, and I was in a very tense mood. Hayden, still dressed in the same red sleeper and a diaper that was undoubtedly dirty, was yelling.
    “Pick up the baby,” I said to Martin.
    “What?” he said, turning to me with an automatic smile. “I can’t hear you, the baby’s crying.”
    I hadn’t had a cup of coffee.
    “Pick ... up ... the ... baby,” I said.
    Martin was so surprised he put down his mug, picked up the baby.
    I took the bottle from the microwave and shook it. I tested some formula on my arm. It was the right temperature, as far as I could tell. I handed the bottle to Martin, who had to free his left hand to take it.
    I left the room.
    I stomped across the hall, or at least I tried to, but stomping is uphill work in fuzzy slippers. I stuck John’s hospital phone number by the desk telephone. I flung myself down sideways on the red leather sofa, my back braced against one armrest, and stared out the window at the nasty gray cold windy day. That was exactly how I felt inside, I fumed, nasty and cold and gray. Maybe not windy . . . Then all my rage turned into something much more immediate as a head appeared between the back of the couch and the window. It was the head of a young man, a blond and handsome young man, and his expression was groggy.
    “Hey,” he said. “You’re Aunty Roe? I thought you’d be old. Where’s the kid?”
    I shrieked and set a record for bounding off red leather couches.
    Martin was hampered in his rescue attempt by the baby. He looked ready for action when he appeared in the doorway, but the effect was spoiled by the feeding Hayden. Martin shoved baby and bottle into my arms and stood waiting. He was spoiling for a fight, which the young man was just perceptive enough to see.
    “Hey, man, it’s okay, didn’t Regina tell you I was here?”
    We stared at him.
    It gradually sank into his dim consciousness that something was drastically wrong.
    “So, where’s

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