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; in part 5, the federal prosecutor has second thoughts as she closes in on the Mahoney family; and in part 6, Big Jim and his son-in-law Tom go head-to-head over the prosecution.
Katie typed out the curt text — Here — but didn’t send it. Not because she had any hesitations.
She unzipped her purse, located her tube of Chanel Longwear concealer, and dotted it under her eyes with the pad of a finger. It had been an hour and half’s drive in horrific traffic to her father’s stately Boston home, and a hell of a day before that. From the back window of her SUV, there was no sign of paparazzi, but enough pictures of her family had surfaced over the years for her to know that the most enterprising photographers prefer to get their money shot from the bushes. Katie knew the last thing her family needed was an image of her looking haggard on the day her husband was indicted on federal charges of racketeering, conspiracy, bribery, and extortion. Hence, the concealer.
“Thank you, Sully,” Katie said, as her driver opened the door. That’s when she sent the text — but not to her husband.
“There she is,” Big Jim said when Katie appeared in the doorway of his study. He leaned back and draped his hands across his generous stomach, wearing a satisfied expression on his face as though he had just eaten a great meal. By the looks of the greasy KFC bucket on his desk, he had.
Tom, in comparison, looked like he could use some sustenance. Sitting in the chair across from Big Jim, her husband appeared drawn, tired, and even paler than usual. Unlike Katie — unlike her father — his guilt was showing. His features were even more pinched than usual.
Tom stood, slowly, unsteadily, as Katie approached. When she opened her arms and hugged him, his relief was palpable. For a half-second, Katie felt sorry for him.
“Hi, Dad,” Katie said, locking eyes with Big Jim over Tom’s shoulder.
Dad. Not Daddy. Something in the room shifted — almost imperceptibly, instantaneously. The name hung in the air between them.
“Thank you for coming,” Tom said, giving Katie a squeeze before releasing her. Katie took a seat — Tom’s seat — so he had to settle for standing beside her, one hand resting awkwardly on her shoulder. The last time they’d been this affectionate was for an interview with 60 Minutes. That had been weeks ago. Months.
“I’m here,” Katie said to Big Jim with the same flat affectation she usually reserved for the journalists who had the gall to ask about her father’s affairs. She went on, “So what do we need to talk about that isn’t already on the landing page of every major news outlet in the country?”
Big Jim didn’t answer immediately, though he did take a great big inhale, snuffling a wad of his own phlegm. Tom felt queasy when his father-in-law swallowed it.
“Katie,” Big Jim spoke at last, “your husband has been offered immunity in exchange for his testimony against me. He wants to take the deal.” Katie tried not to flush — the man she had promised to love and support for all the days of her life had revealed himself to have no backbone. Still, she vowed to support him.