Don't miss all of Daughter, First: In part 1, we meet the Governor's daughter, Katie Mahoney Brown; in part 2, the attorney who's going to take down the administration digs into the family secrets; in part 3, the matriarch, Rosemary Mahoney, uncovers her husband's dirty business deals; in part 4, Katie's marriage begins to unravel; and in part 5, the federal prosecutor has second thoughts as she closes in on the Mahoney family.
Big Jim was enjoying his dinner alone at his desk when Tom stepped in the door.
“You look like hell,” Jim said.
Tom sad-sacked across the room, his pale-pink button-down damp at the armpits, his tie yanked loose around his neck. “Do you know how many hours they kept me in that interrogation room?”
“You must be starving.” Jim held up what was left of his KFC drumstick. “Chicken?”
Tom shook his head, dropped into the chair across from Jim’s desk. “It’s real this time,” he said. “They have us.”
No, Jim thought. They have you.
“I said as little as I could,” Tom said. “I tried to follow the script, but …”
“I know everything. I already talked to the lawyer.” Jim stared into Tom’s too-symmetrical, freakishly boyish face, with those damn freckles across his pointy little nose.
“There will be no immunity deal from this prosecutor,” Jim said, louder than he’d intended. He took a breath and forced himself to continue in a calmer voice. “No immunity deal. We knew that, we discussed that. I told you what my guys on the inside said about this Dia Morgan, whoever she is. For whatever reason, this is personal for her for. She’s out for blood, yours as much as mine.”
Jim was pleased with himself for remaining cool and composed when he’d much rather wrap his thick hands around the boy’s skinny neck and squeeze him back into submission. Tom had not, in fact, said as little as he could. He had not followed the script. He’d come undone in that interrogation room and tried to throw Jim under the bus. If not for the fact that Tom’s lawyer was on Jim’s payroll, the Feds might’ve been in Jim’s office right now.
Tom sat rigid in his chair, even in his current state of exhaustion. How did the boy manage to be so stiff and yet so floppy all at once? He was so clearly inferior to Jim’s Katie. Though, in fairness, Katie did set a high bar. Unlike snot-nosed Jim Junior, or knuckleheaded Patrick, or inconsequential Mary. Rose was a loyal wife — Jim loved her for that, and she’d been a real looker in her younger days. But, let’s be honest, she was never the brightest bulb on the porch. Katie alone was perfect.
Jim could be hard on Katie, tough on her, and it only made her stronger. He had tested her countless times, since she was just a little doll in pigtails, and she’d always come through for him. The older Katie got, the more perceptive she became, until she could intuit exactly what Jim needed from her in any situation. It had been this way between Jim and his own father, too, but Katie succeeded at making Jim proud in ways Jim never could with George.
Hell, Katie may have actually been smarter than Jim. But even when they disagreed, Katie wouldn’t dare contradict him in public. She understood family and fealty like no one else.
“I did my best,” Tom said. “But this prosecutor already knows everything. What we did with Katie’s store, how we laundered the money. She’s not going to stop until someone, maybe both of us, are behind bars.”