Have you talked to Archer or Joe about this? he asked.
But if it took too much longer, it wouldn’t be. I’d known friends who went through this, the grim tracking of the ovulation cycle, the way making love becomes insemination, as romantic as a turkey baster. One of my college friends, in fact, had said she preferred the turkey baster. I don’t have to pretend that way, she’d said.I’d bought a six-pack of pregnancy tests. Hadn’t really envisioned needing more. My periods had always been regular; a good sign, the doctor said. But now, there was just one lonely test left, since last month, because I hadn’t believed the negative test, I had repeated it the next day.
The lights went off. I jazz-handed, and they came back on.Next month, I said, my voice bouncing off the tile of the bathroom. Then I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled until it felt real. I was lucky. Nathan was great. If we couldn’t get pregnant, we’d adopt. We’d already talked about it.I imagined my sister, Ainsley—my half sister, really—would get knocked up the first month she tried. She rarely had to work for anything. Happiness just fell in her lap.
Well. Sitting in the bathroom wasn’t going to make me feel better. Coffee would, and now that I knew I wasn’t pregnant, I could have another cup. I left the bathroom and made my way downstairs. It seemed like a five-minute walk.Nathan’s bread and butter came from designing high-end homes—faux Colonials and Victorians and Arts and Crafts bungalows that were 4,800 square feet on half an acre of landscaped perfection. Westchester County, just north of Manhattan, couldn’t seem to get enough of them.
We lived in an older neighborhood of Cambry-on-Hudson, Nathan’s hometown, the same town where my sister and parents lived. Nathan had torn down a house to build his masterpiece on this lot—a vast modern house with walls of glass and dark wood floors and minimalist furniture. He’d built it just after his divorce, thankfully; I didn’t want to live in a house where another wife had made her mark.
But I needed a couch for flopping. The one drawback to living in this architectural jewel was the lack of a flopping couch. Yes. We could get rid of a couple of those angular chairs and replace them with my squishy pink-and-green couch from Brooklyn.‘It’s not about laziness.’ Well, actually it was. ‘It’s about what makes sense. Even a Third Level witch would need to sleep for several days after performing the kind of spells you’re talking about. Hence, the sceptre must still be in building.’
Winter gritted his teeth. ‘It cannot still be in the building. That’s impossible.’‘It’s a big place,’ I argued. ‘It could have been hidden away anywhere.’
‘To what end?’I was getting irritated. I didn’t have all the answers. ‘How the hell should I know?’