A Not So Cold War
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Enzo had adopted Mariella’s kids—seventeen-year-old Julia and eight-year-old Sina—and loved them as if they were his own. Two-faced Julia had pretended to return his affection mainly so she could coax presents and cash out of him. Sina had been another matter. Allegra had never seen anyone as starved for love as the unhappy little girl.

Mariella’s narrative was that her ex-husband, an artist named Brian McIntyre she’d married when she got pregnant with Julia, had deserted the family. It suited Mariella to be seen as the victim and to have people think she and her children had been abandoned.

It had never dawned on her how that story would affect her sensitive youngest child. Sina believed that she was the reason her father had left, and Mariella had never bothered to correct...

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