It was two years from the date that his second daughter was born. Christened, Madeline Jane, she’d shuddered, chest heaving through her gown, as the priest muttered blessings and sprinkled holy water upon the crown of her smooth, pinkish head.
Earlier this morning, the small family had celebrated her second birthday with a simple cake. They’d laughed as the child smeared vanilla frosting across her lips, watched as her window on the world opened a teensy bit wider.
There were no guests or relatives in attendance. Their families weren’t the close-knit types and the road between his mother and Jacquie had grown longer. It began in a hospital nursery, three years earlier, with the birth of Annie. It was once more repeated as his mother inadvertently cast a spell upon the forehead of Madeline Jane.
“That woman. Once again, she has the nerve to tell me, ‘had you a boy, I wouldn’t have come to the hospital for a look-see,’ ” Jacquie fumed. “Bolt the door. I hope she never comes back.”