She decided to hire a detective. She wanted pictures, proof, actual data. And that’s what she got, an envelope of photos showing the couple meeting at a hotel, embracing, kissing. The photos were accompanied by a detailed report listing times and places. There was no way of pretending to herself that Lynn and Nate weren’t having an affair. What to do? She could have gone and flung the photos in Nate’s face, but she counseled herself to take things slowly, visit a lawyer, work out a solid plan. There was a lot of money involved. And then the hurricane happened.
By then she had missed a period and her body felt heavy and swollen, breasts tender to the touch, and a constant low level nausea that made her feel limp and unmotivated. Pregnant or not, she was done with Nate. He had cheated on her with her best friend — why Lynn of all people? — and she couldn’t come back from that. So she used the hurricane to her advantage and fled to Austin, where she could lick her wounds and figure out what to do next. She was careful to bring the detective’s report with her. She put her little dog in a shelter till she could find a place for them both, but kept her records and paperwork close. All this she discussed with Janet.
She discussed other things, too. Her family in Romania. How she feared and hated her mother, Maria, who had hit her as a child and who seemed to have witch-like powers. How she had loved her poor, sweet father, dead of a heart attack at fifty-two when Sabina herself was only fifteen. She was very bitter about that, claiming her mother’s violent temper and difficult ways had caused the death. Janet had a lot of questions for her, particularly about her childhood and what she knew of her ancestry. She was in a hurry for answers. Eric Schindler was breathing down her neck, calling and emailing that Sabina couldn’t stay in Victor’s old house long for fear of attracting attention to the greenhouse in the backyard. The bad guys (that’s what I’ll call them for want of better words) were probably looking everywhere for Sabina — no need to lead them back to Victor’s where they’d already committed a heinous crime. Why not? I thought as Janet was filling me in on the story. It would be a perfect trap to catch them. But I already knew the answer. No one was to be allowed near the dirty old shed with its life giving secret in the well-tended garden behind Victor’s old house.