Her husband had apologized, and clearly he meant it.
That did not change the state of things, however. There was still a body in his office, all that was left of their dear cousin.
With the grass over Costin's grave still only a mound of dirt, at that.
Nadezhda considered his words, considered the girl in the chair. Varya had always been cold, but she had been family, and she was still one of God's children. This had not been the life she would have liked for her, but it was still a life. They had nothing in Russia, and Nadezhda had urged Adrian to take them in, to offer her something. She had almost seen a spark of life in Varya's eyes after the debt had been cleared, but... something else was always there. A shadow.
And all of that was besides the matter of her being with that woman. A girl, really. Always so bright and young.
Nadezhda had been unfairly cruel to her, she realized now. Perhaps her shred of humility had come from seeing her cousin's wife at his funeral just a week before, so unsure of herself and where she was supposed to go from here.
"There had to have been another way," Adrian's wife insisted, her mourning showing as anger in her voice.
"Somewhere else, at least. Not here, not like this. Where does this end? What does this solve, to have this in our own home? Where we raise our children, our grandchildren? And if Anastasia had been home..."
The older woman covered her mouth again, closing her eyes as she shook her head. She was sure her husband had planned things this way, so that their youngest daughter would not be present, but that did not forgive what he had done.