Beatriz's absence left a void. Nora felt strangely more alone.

"Evan Banks, you're under arrest."

"No!" she yelled, grabbing at the sleeve of the man in charge. "You're wrong, you're wrong. Evan, tell him he's wrong. Tell him, Evan!"

The suit brushed her off like a fly.

Why wasn't Evan saying anything?

One of the suits had climbed the stairs and was leading Evan by the elbow back toward the bedroom. He wedged his hands under his armpits at the door and watched as Evan disappeared into the room. The suits in the foyer looked around, oblivious to the muddied rainwater spreading out from their feet. One on her right rested his hand on his Glock. "Nice place," he said, not bothering to look at her. "Bet he had to steal a lot to afford this!" She looked away from him. Evan emerged in jeans, a blue sweater, his olive rain jacket, and those boots he wore when they went hiking. His lips were tight. He had not combed his hair. It stuck up like a crest at the back. The suit outside the door patted him down. Her hand clutched her throat. Words that would no longer come were tearing at it from the inside. On the way down the stairs Evan looked at the carpet. It was then she registered that none of this seemed a surprise to him. At the bottom of the stairs, the head suit told Evan to put his wrists behind his back. A pair of handcuffs snapped around them. The wrists were her husband's. Just hours ago they were wrapped around her in bed.

A suit started to lead Evan out. Evan raised his head and looked at her, terror and sadness in his eyes. He did not take his eyes off her. Tears streamed down her face.

He said defeatedly, "Call my criminal attorney, Jarvis Finch. His number's in my cell phone."

He had a criminal attorney? She bit her bottom lip.

And then Evan was pushed so roughly toward the door that he stumbled.

He looked back for a moment and said, "I love you, Nora."

The suits then formed a tight semicircle behind him and stepped off the porch.

She started to follow them out.

"Stay inside, ma'am." The head suit was looking back at her. Her arms were now wrapped about her body to hold herself up. Her nightgown flapped like sails behind her in the wind. He then smirked as he added, "Don't worry, we'll have him back to you in twenty years."

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From The Summer Kitchen by Karen Weinreb. Copyright © 2009 Karen Weinreb. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.


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