In the end it took nine weeks for him to join them in St. Louis. Long enough for the detectives to lose her trail. Long enough for her doubts to grow along with her belly. Emmett and his wife were kind enough but that couldn't be depended upon to last forever. And then one night he was there and all was as it should be. On his way to a parley with New York, he switched trains in Penn Station and headed west instead. She wondered once what fate they thought had befallen him but he only laughed and said damned if he knew.

They stayed in St. Louis long enough for the baby to be born (a boy as it turned out and Margaret smiled to herself to see the pleasure and wonder on his face) before settling in Seattle. There were jobs to be found in the offices of the timber barons and that was honest enough work for a reformed gangster. The green and the damp and the hills were close enough to home to suit and they didn't see the Atlantic again until 1968.

Eventually he would tell her about the night he saw Joe Masseria enter a New York City bathhouse and walked away, a pull in his gut calling him back to her. And eventually she would tell him about how once she had been afraid all the time of God and men and life until she wasn't anymore. Eventually. But not in those first days when the novelty of no longer being Mrs. Thompson and Mr. Sleater was still new enough to make them smile just to hear their given name upon the other's lips.