‘She said that?!’
‘Yes she did.’ Bea has just finishing telling Serena about her fall out with her mother-in-law. Three hours into the flight and she doesn’t feel any better about it. The fight with her mother-in-law was always going to happen. Since marrying Edward she indulged the woman, turned a blind eye or deaf ear when she would behave in a way that undercut her or say things to disrespect her. Especially when she came over to the house, which she did frequently, uninvited.
‘What did Ed say?’
‘He just told her not to talk to his wife like that. He doesn’t appreciate it.’
‘You wanted him to say more?’
‘Of course I did. Which is why I said if she doesn’t appreciate me in her son’s life then I might as well not bother coming around.’
‘Bea, that’s his mother-’
‘And I’m his wife. He needs to pick sides in this battle. She cannot turn up to my house and disrespect me in this way. If she doesn’t like that I am married to her son, and not some jumped village tart then she is not welcome there’
Serena couldn’t argue with that. She understands how Bea must feel and that explains her erratic behaviour over Bella’s elopement. ‘I’m sorry Bea.’
‘I’m sorry for being melodramatic and not just dramatic.’
Serena laughs, ‘you’re probably reacting for all of us because mom will most definitely kill her. I don’t know where her head is at but it needs to come back down to earth. I did some digging.’
‘I knew you would, gah! We are so invested in each other’s lives.’
‘I wouldn’t have it any other way. Look at mom, she lost most of her family on the way to finding a better life. She was eight years old and had been through more than any human being should have to. Sometimes I understand why she is mad at Sloane-’
‘I don’t. Sloane is her daughter and she has done really well for herself, Masters or not, it doesn’t make her any less a daughter. Mom should not hold it against her. She doesn’t come home because she doesn’t need mom lording it over her with ever little look or word, and I don’t blame her.’
‘True. Still I don’t think she is going to come home this time because you’re right mom will find a way to make it her problem.’
‘That’s why we have to convince her to come home. After she gets mad at us and forgives us our sins for barging in on her.’ Bea laughs. Sloane will not find this little trip of theirs funny.
Serena doesn’t want to think about that just now. One drama at a time please. ‘Anyway back to what I was saying, I did some digging.’
‘Yes. What did you find?’
‘Bells is in trouble. Financially.’
‘How do you mean?’
‘When was the last time she paid your invoice?’
‘Not the last three, I didn’t think anything of it to be honest, she’s my sister. Is the paper in trouble?’
‘As her attorney I am not allowed to divulge that information but as her sister, yes the paper is in trouble.’
‘Trouble we can solve or its right up shit’s creek without a paddle?’
‘That’s I am not sure about.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I stopped looking because what I saw was not encouraging and her accountant clamed up once he caught on to what I was doing and he wouldn’t send me any more info.’
‘Oy…so what now?’
‘Well we wait to hear what she has to say for herself and meet this husband of hers.’
‘Not to be extreme but you think she married him because he could help her out?’
‘Don’t say that, Bells is not a user.’
‘I know she’s not but what if he could help her out… financially I mean.’
‘She’s not broke, the paper is. She has been using her portion of the estate to pay wages and all that but the family accountants would’ve started asking questions.’
‘Why wouldn’t she come to us for help, we work together.’
‘Because she’s not wired like that. You know Bells, she would’ve tried everything to salvage her paper until she couldn’t and then she’ll bury her head in the sand.’
‘You think the wedding is the sand?’
‘That’s what I don’t know. If it is the sand it is some crazy shit. I understand being in trouble but I don’t understand getting married to solve your problems unless it was for money which she doesn’t need.’ Serena concludes before leaning back. She looks out the window, high up in the clouds, she was so looking forward to the evening with her husband; they are both desperate to get out of the fog that covered their marriage for a while. They were getting there and tonight was one of those times but of course, sister duty calls.
‘How about you? How are you and Gabriel doing?’ Beatrix asks her sister.
‘We’re doing okay. You know, slowly trying to get there. Its hard.’
‘I’m sorry. I had to drag you into my drama overdrive.’ Bea hadn’t thought about it much, and she mentally punches herself in the head for not stopping to think, she really ought to do that. Serena and Gabriel have had a tough year, and springing her away from him when they are trying to get back to themselves is not fair.
‘It wouldn’t be you without the drama Bea so hey…’ Serena squeezes her sister’s hand. ‘Let’s hope whatever is going on with Bells is something we can all solve and I won’t hold Gabriel dumping me over her.
‘You think he’ll dare do that?’
Serena smiles, ‘I hope not. I don’t want to think about that any more. Happy thoughts. We are going to get to New York and Sloane will not be mad at us and everything will be well.’ She has to think happy thoughts because the alternative bears no thinking. She couldn’t possibly think about life without Gabriel and her children. It would be too devastating for words. She loves him so.