7

He'd forgotten the stench of jail until he made it to the fresh air. On the top step, he paused to take a deep breath when he heard a familiar voice sighing, "My, my, my, my." He turned, and there was the redheaded Foxx, sitting on the stone steps, the humungous shoulder bag beside her.

"Foxx," he said, aware that he must really look stupid. With this woman, the extra crease on his forehead was worth a thousand words.

"Have a seat, Jack. You look a bit shaky."

Not sardonic but sympathetic this time. Her soft smile was blessed by the morning sun. What was she doing here? Not that he was surprised, not really. She was Foxx, who always knew more than she said, unlike others who always said more than they knew. She was here, obviously, because she'd known he was coming. No big secret, was it. She was inside his head again, poking around to stir things up.

"It gets messy, doesn't it," she offered, an acknowledgement of her own confusion as well as his.

It stopped him. He didn't walk off as he'd first intended; he confessed.

"She looked at me like I was a cockroach!"

She nodded. "She didn't kill Cyrus, Jack."

"I know, I know."

"But you tried to get her to cop a plea, didn't you?"

"For her own good. For a deal."

"Jack, Jack . . . that marks her for a murderer. That says to the world what the courthouse gang says she is. It insults her marriage, her hus

-59-

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