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2.54 – Conversations: Maria and Red

May 4, 2015

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Red pulled Maria in close for a squeeze. His wife was so beautiful he could hardly believe his luck. Beautiful, and talented, and a great mom, and just so easy and comfortable with all of it. Which was why he knew this was going to be a tough conversation no matter what he did. Red took Maria’s hand and snuggled her gently in the new garden hammock.

They swung for a bit in blissful silence and enjoyed the perfect day – sun shining, not a cloud in the sky, gentle breeze blowing. The boys were at school and Maria’s dad was tinkering in the garage. Red hated to wreck the moment.

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“So I told Bianca I’d remodel her kitchen for her,” he began.

“That’s nice, love,” Maria said almost absentmindedly, eyes closed, head turned toward the warmth of the sun.

“And I think you should come along, spend some time with Allie.”

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“What? why?”

Moment gone.  Maria’s pleasant warmth had turned ice cold, just like that. Red was amazed by her ability to shift gears so suddenly.  Hot – cold. Love – Suspicion. Anger.

“Well,” began Red, “Bianca mentioned Allie’d been different lately. Distant. Working long, strange hours.”

“She is a cop, you know,” muttered Maria.

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“But she was working days, light duty and all that, at a nice safe desk.  Or she could be dispatching – that’s exciting, but still safer…now that the baby’s here…” Red’s voice trailed off when he caught Maria’s look. I really should learn to shut up and enjoy a perfect moment when it comes along, he thought.

“You think Allie would be happy working 9-5 at a desk?”

“No,” Red said. “I know she wouldn’t, but there’s more than her to think of now. She’s the heir, and she needs an heir…”

“And baby Aniello is a boy,” finished Maria. “And the heir must be female.”

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“Right,” said Red. “We just need to make sure her priorities are straight, you know?”

“Hmmph,” said Maria.

“So, you’ll come along?” asked Red.

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“I’ll come along,” said Maria, “but I won’t like it.”

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