THE MARRIAGE TRUCE SARA CRAVEN MILLS AND BOON2Jenna shrugged. 'Why not? She's capable of anything. And I presume she's been invited?' 'Well, yes, but we never thought she'd come. We thought she'd still be in Australia.' Mrs Penloe ran a hand through her greying curly hair. 'Oh, what amess. Why couldn't Christy have chosen a June wedding instead? Ross would be long gone by then. And the weather would have been better, too,' she added, momentarily diverted by the threatening sky with its ragged, hurrying clouds framed bythe drawing room window. 'Not that it matters, of course, compared with the sheer embarrassment of Thirza's behaviour. 'Surely she could have found a good nursing home somewhere—and don't tell me that Ross can't afford it, for he earns a fortune and probably has the best health insurance money can buy. Or she could havelooked after him in his own home—wherever that is now. Anything rather than this.''Maybe it isn't too late for that, even now,' Jenna said slowly. 'Do you thinkUncle Henry would talk to her— persuade her?' 'Darling, that was the first thing Ithought of. All he said was that Thirza might be his cousin but she was a law unto herself and always had been.' She drew a long breath. 'Also that he had enough on his plate with the bills for the wedding, and that as you and Ross had been divorced for two years it could be time for you both to move on.' She paused,giving her niece another pleading look. 'And I suppose, in a way, he does have apoint.' 'I'm sure he's right,' Jenna said. 'But, unfortunately, it's a point- Ihaven't reached yet. Because it wasn't just the divorce...' She slopped, bitingher lip. 'I know, dearest, I know.' Mrs Penloe hunted for a handkerchief and blew her nose. 'So much sadness—and no one could expect you to forget...' 'Or forgive.' Jenna's voice was stony. She got to her feet, reaching for her brown suede jacket. 'I'm going for a walk, Aunt Grace. I need to think, and some fresh air might help.' 'Fresh air?' Mrs Penloe echoed. 'It's blowing a force eight gale outthere.' But her protest fell on deaf ears. Jenna was already heading out of theroom, and a moment later Mrs Penloe heard the front door bang shut. She sank back against the sofa cushions and indulged herself with a little weep. She had every sympathy with Jenna, but she was also the mother of a beloved daughter who was getting married in three days' time, and who might find herself walking up theaisle of the village church without her only cousin in attendance behind her. ‘Iwant to find you back at square one for the sake of a family wedding.' Jenna lifted her hands. 'That's all in the past, I promise. Now all I care about is the present—and the future.'