This chapter is going to start with a birthday. Candy was marveling over her onlychild’s final moments as a toddler. Although she would miss being able to hold herbaby, she was more than ready for the new experiences Noel’s being a child willbring.
Jack strode into the kitchen after missing his son’s birthday and was caught offguard by the head of silver and blue hair. He paused, waiting patiently for aview of his youngest’s face. When Noel turned around Jack’s heart skipped abeat.
He never wondered what Candy would look like if she were a man but he wassure that he would find out the older their son got. He hoped and prayed thathis son would grow up without the same problems that he did, but Noel hadrolled the loser trait so in the years to come Jack would receive more than onedose of his own medicine.
The downside to having another child outgrow a crib was that the kids’ room wascrowded, much to Snowie’s discomfort, she used to have her privacy while herbrother was out on the town, but she was sure that Noel would be in the room allthe time.
Candy threw a fund raiser party the next day, which upset Snowie for more than onereason. She hated crowds and the house was filled with people and she was expectedto be there to support Candy when she really wanted to hang out with Thornton. ForClaus it was like being in heaven, he loved being surrounded by people and conqueredhis sister’s best friend, forcing the poor girl to dance with him, hypnotizing her with hisbedroom eyes.
The next day Agnes’ children finally laid her to rest beside the love of her life, finallyshe would be at peace. Both began to cry and neither were sure of the reason fortheir tears, Snowie hardly remembered her mother and Claus didn’t at all.Claus pulled himself together first, “Come on.” Claus told his sister, “There’s somepeople I want you to meet.”
“Claus and Snowie, nice to finally meet you. Aunt Aggie told me so much about you,you would think that she was the only person in the world with children.” He mused.“Mortimer Goth.” Snowie said slowly. “You’re my mother’s nephew, the one shewrote about in her book.”“You got it then?” Mortimer smiled. “I mailed that years ago, after you never showedup I thought…”
“In the book it says that you have some information…concerning Mom’s death.”Snowie looked at her brother. “I had planned on coming once I was older and me andClaus were out of the house.” Snowie looked absently at the TV. “The arguments…youthink Daddy killed her don’t you?”Claus looked at his sister in shock. “What? No…no that’s…Mortimer?”Mortimer shrugged. “Who’s to say, nobody was there but Jack.”
Mortimer sighed. “Perhaps when you were older would have been a better,maybe…”“No.” Snowie said.“Well the wedding was not a good one, as you probably saw from the book. Auntyalways thought that something would happen to her, she said that if anything didthen it was not an accident. Naturally we blamed Jack, but there’s no evidence.”“And there won’t ever be any.” Claus stood. “My father did not kill my mother, thatbook is as bogus as everything that Mortimer is saying.”
“I must agree with my brother.” Snowie said. “Or father has been nothing but lovingand caring. He dotes on us and he’s very affectionate to Momma…I mean Candy.”Snowie sighed heavily, “I just don’t know who to believe, the picture that our motherpaints of Daddy is completely different from the man my brother and I know.”
“But I can attest to Aunt Aggie’s coming to this house needing some peace of mind.I heard her crying to my mother and father. On her last visit she uploaded some filesto Father’s computer, they were the same notes as can be found in the book.”Mortimer shrugged, “Jack never put his hands on her, that’s for sure but whoknows, perhaps something happened that night. One thing’s for sure, there wereonly two people who know exactly what happened, we’ve heard Jack’s side of thestory but we’ll never hear Aunty’s.”
Claus’ genius brain went into overdrive, perhaps there was a way to find out hismother’s side of the story. In the mean time though, he was very confused. He hadthis image of his father, his role model, the man who he had been very close to hisentire life, now Mortimer and Snowie were painting a different picture of JackWinter. “This is bullshit.” Claus finally decided.
“Or not.” Mortimer finally remembered something, “My father’s research foundthat although Jack didn’t have a history of violent crimes, there is a ratherextensive criminal record.”
“Just shut the hell up Mortimer!” The boy shouted at his older cousin, suddenly hejumped up and raced out of the house. Claus ignored Snowie’s cries for him tocome back. Claus was in over his head, the reality check rocked him and he had noidea how to handle all this new information.