B etrayal.

That was the only word for what Aviva was feeling. She’d never felt so betrayed in her life — and to think it had come about through her own husband.

She was reminded of that day Naama had dropped by the clinic. Zevi had never really understood her family — how deeply her mother affected her, how much of who she was had been shaped by the woman who would be walking through her door any minute.

That was the only possible justification she’d been able to muster for Zevi’s epic act of betrayal. Although it wasn’t quite enough to get her to speak to him again for a very long time — at least until the baby was born. Or married.

Zevi, to his credit, had seemed to recognize at least a small portion of his mistake. The overwhelming panic that had taken hold of her had been kind of hard to miss. And the fact that her instinctive reaction was to jump off the couch and race for her mop appeared to give him at least an inkling of how his scheme had backfired. With no choice, he’d grabbed the mop from her hands and set to work cleaning.

Well, if it had been a miserable 24 hours for him, let that be just a fraction of penance for the misery he was about to inflict on her.

Mommy had not mentioned how long she was planning to stay, which sounded ominous. She was perfectly capable of moving in for the duration of the pregnancy — and weeks after it as well — if she suspected Aviva couldn’t manage without her.

Aviva’s mother didn’t work; she’d spent the better part of her life being the perfect homemaker and mother. Once her children left, she had no career to fall back on, so she’d taken to volunteering instead. Aviva had often suspected that her mother regretted never having invested in a career. Someone with her energy level must find her quiet house stifling. That was probably why she’d encouraged her daughters so strongly in building their own careers.

Aviva glanced around the room. Zevi had certainly not done anywhere near the cleaning job she would have done, but it was at least passable. And it would have to do. Besides, she knew very well that the moment Mommy stepped through the door, she would have her gloves and apron on, polishing the house until it shone. Yes, she had no doubt her house would fare well over the next few weeks.

The question was whether she would survive.