"That's a pretty flower," he said, taking a cigarette out of the pack. A rose. I wonder why she has roses on the table. Did somebody send them to her?
He didn't care much for that possibility. He patted through his pockets. He had matches in here somewhere.
He remembered . . . Mother had been a great gardener. She loved the flowers more than her children. We had roses everywhere in the garden of the priory, back when I was seven
A few red petals had fallen from the bouquet onto the white tablecloth. They were the color of blood.