“Yes, yes you did,” Zach said. His voice sounded shaky.
“Fowler, its been more than ten years. Its not his fault that Gavin crashed his car and killed his wife,” Ms. Donna said.
“A Stewart looks out for a Stewart,” Mr. Stewart growled. “Its all his fault that Gavin is sitting in jail right now.”
“Its not my fault that your son drove like a maniac, crashed his car, killed his wife, and lied to the police about it,” Zach said with a little bit more confidence in his voice.
“A Stewart looks out for another Stewart,” Mr. Stewart repeated.When you found the wreckage you should have come to be first before calling the police!”
“I thought I was helping when I found Tami’s body in a car in the woods,” Zach said. “I had been told that she had gone missing after Gavin got into a brutal attack.”
Mr. Stewart growled.
“Why are you back? I told you to never come back to Berkshire County after the trial so why are you back?” Mr. Stewart asked.
“Fowler!” Ms. Donna shouted. “He’s a grown man. He can do whatever he wants!”
Mr. Stewart gave a laugh that scared the life out of me.
“We’ll just see about that,” Mr. Stewart said with a smile on his lips. “Donna, I want a Sea Food Salad to go.”
Ms. Donna quickly made him his salad and Mr. Stewart left.
“You’re a Stewart?” Abby asked Zach.
“I’m NOT a Stewart!” Zach shouted. “So what if my mother is his niece and my grandmother’s maiden name is Stewart? The name Stewart is not on my birth certificate so therefore I’m NOT a Stewart.”
“Zach,” Abby said. “You can’t deny what’s in your blood. Mr. Stewart is your great-uncle.” Zach looked angered.
“You know each other?” I blurted. Abby nodded.
“I designed a building for his company last Spring,” Abby said. She looked sadden at the mention of last spring. Zach too looked sad at the mention of Spring.
“I’m not a Stewart,” Zach said. “I refuse to be. I refuse to be part of a clan of thieving, dirty, and tricky people!”
Zach ran up the steps and Abby looked sad. Jaci sighed.
“He has to learn to overcome the fact that he’s been born into such a line,” Jaci said.
“No. He has to realize that he’s a Stewart,” Timmy said. “But he’s not like the rest.”
Jaci smiled at Timmy.
“Who’s hungry?” Ms. Donna asked. I had a feeling this wasn’t going to be mentioned the rest of the night but one way or another I was going to find out what this was all about.
“Momma?” I asked the next day after school.
“Yeah?” Momma said looking up from the table she was cleaning.
“Can I visit the Rivers?” I asked.
“Sure. Why not? Tell Joan that I want her to be a bridesmaid no matter how fat she is,” Momma said to me as I put on my coat.
I promised her that I would tell her and hobbled out the door towards the Rivers’ cabin.
“I was just wishing for some company,” Mrs. Rivers said when she opened the door. Mrs.Rivers hadn’t gained a lot of weight in the past couple of months but she starting to show.
I smiled at her and hobbled into the house.
“So what brings you here?” Mrs. Rivers asked as she took my coat.
“Ms. Donna has a new boarder. His name is Zach Davis,” I said.
“Zach Davis is back in town? Mr. Stewart won’t be happy about that,” Mrs. Rivers said taking out some brownies.
“He saw him yesterday at the B&B. He said that he had told him to never come back to Berkshire County,” I said.
“Mr. Stewart and Zach don’t get along too well. They never did. Zach hated the fact that he had any relation with the Stewart family. Mr. Stewart tried his hardest to make him like being a Stewart and nothing worked. And after Zach told the police about finding Gavin’s car in the woods there was no hope of a relationship between the two of them,” Mrs. Rivers said getting out some hot chocolate.
“Why did Mr. Stewart want to make Zach a Stewart? I mean he was born into the Davis family right?” I asked.
“True but Mr. Stewart wanted Zach to help him out at the law firm,” Mrs. Rivers said. “When Zach told him that he wanted to work with children, Mr. Stewart was disgusted.”
“No wonder he doesn’t like to be called a Stewart,” I said.
“Its sad but if you’ve ever had any relationship with a Stewart present or past people can be a little prejudice. I should know,” Mrs. Rivers said getting out some marshmallows.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“In high school I went out with Gavin,” Mrs. Rivers said.
“You did?” I asked. Mrs. Rivers nodded.
“Tom hadn’t come to Massachusetts yet and well Gavin was popular. He was known for driving fast to impress a girl and all sorts of crazy stuff. For two months in my junior year of high school I lived the fast life. Sneaking out at night, going to wild parties, asking Gavin to drive dangerously over the speed limit. It took a long talk to get me out of it,” Mrs. Rivers said. “To think I could have been the one in that car. I could be dead by now.”
I sat and thought about this for a minute.
“Why is Gavin in jail. That’s what I don’t understand,” I said.
“He was driving way over the speed limit on an icy day. He crashed his car and killed his wife. He was nervous and worried that the police would think he murdered her that he went to the police and told some story about taking a drive and some people pulling them over. He said he got in a bad fight with them and that’s what his scares were from. He said that they had taken his car and his wife,” Mrs. Rivers said. “When Zach found the car crashed and knowing Gavin’s reckless driving history, the police got curious. It was soon relieved that Gavin’s scares and injuries were from a car crash.”
“But why does Mr. Stewart hate Zach so much? Its not his fault that he found the car. He had been told that someone stole the car. He would be thinking he was helping and not hurting,” I said.
“Mr. Stewart needed a good reason to be angry at Zach. He never really did like him and it gave him a good reason to give him a job in Boston,” Mrs. Rivers said. “Mr. Stewart is a purebred Stewart. They have more grudges then everybody in Massachusetts.”
“How does Mrs. Stewart feel about her nephew?” I asked.
“She loves and adores him more than her own son. Zach was always so well behaved. Gavin was always getting into trouble. Who could blame her? Zach was defiantly the perfect ‘son’,” Mrs. Rivers said.
Mr. Rivers came bursting through the house.
“There’s a terrible accident on the Mohawk Trail!” Mr. Rivers shouted. “They need all the help they can get.”
“Where’s the accident at?” Mrs. Rivers asked.
“Right around the area where Gavin crashed his car. That place is a crash magnet,” Mr. Rivers said.
I felt like crying. Nobody had to tell me that Zach was in that car. I had a strange feeling that this was in connection with my father’s car crash and my mother’s recent one.