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have happened so fast, it's hard to accustom to the thing."
"I know," she mused, working over the meal.
He looked at her steadily. "Beth? When did you last see me?"
"Thirteen months ago."
"No, no. I mean, where was I going, what was I doing?"
"You were going up to the cabin to repair the fireplace and build some
lawn furniture. You were going to stay over night and come back the
evening of the second day. When you didn't come back, Nolan took me up
to look for you. Your car was there, but you were gone."
She shook her head. "Nothing. We thought you might have wandered off
into the woods and injured yourself; but I couldn't accept that. You
were always a good woodsman, even in desolate country like that."
"Secluded, huh?" He asked.
"Some of the worst country in the state. We bought the place so we could
get away from the mess in the city."
He smiled at her. Apparently they had gotten away from one mess merely
to fall victim to another.
She sliced him a huge piece of pie and set it before him, the same brave
smile still fixed upon her lips. Then she fixed the coffee for him,
black with a lump of sugar. He forked some of the pie into his mouth and
felt a little sick, along with the headache. A stranger feeding him and
loving him, and who knew more about him than he did. He bolted the pie
and gulped the coffee hurriedly. When he had finished, he glanced at the
electric clock above the pink refrigerator. 9:15.
"Tired, dear?" She asked.
He nodded dully. Now, he thought, I suppose I'm to crawl into bed with
her! He felt trapped, suddenly panic stricken at the thought; but she
was his wife. He'd married her. He'd probably slept with her thirteen
months before. Why the horror?
"We'll go to bed now," she decided. "I usually turn in early. Have to
work, you know."
"I'll sleep on the sofa," Nick mumbled.
She blinked at him. "You'll do no such thing. You'll march right
upstairs to bed, Nick Danson."
And the die, he figured, was cast...
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