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; and in part 3, the matriarch, Rosemary Mahoney, uncovers her husband's dirty business deals.
Katie watched as her mother led Orla into the kitchen for snacks. She kept the smile on her face; Carol, the house manager, was watching.
She said, “Please tell my mother I’m just in the library if she needs me.”
Then she collapsed into one of the brown leather wing chairs and tried to relax, rubbing her temples, until she couldn’t take it anymore. She dumped her purse upside down, not caring about the mess, and pulled out her phone. There were 80 missed calls plus 75 text messages and counting. She ignored them all and dialed Tom’s number, saved under “THE HUBBY.” This wasn’t her style, but one of the image consultants had persuaded her to do it. “It’s cute and real,” the bubbly woman had said.
Katie’s call went to voicemail. So did the next one, and the next.
She couldn’t bring herself to click open the Google alerts that were flashing across her screen: SON-IN-LAW INDICTED; WHAT TOM KNEW; SHOCKING TWIST IN MAHONEY CASE. There were other ways to torture herself.
Katie pulled up wickedlocal.com and wrote her name in the search bar. There they were: Dozens of photos of Tom and Katie, looking pressed and golden, on the red carpets leading to various black-tie events. It calmed her to remember what they had looked like together before everything got so complicated.
Her thumb slipped and one of the photos opened to a separate page. Oh lord: the comments.
He’s gay, ChelseaGirl wrote.
Nah, he’s into feet, LynnecityofSin replied.
My cousin says she saw him at the Blue Banana back in the day, said BrocktonBabe69.
Occasionally, someone would write, They are very much in love! And then the commenters would go into a frenzy. Trust me, I know chemistry, and these two don’t have it. I mean, she’s a gorgeous girl, but he always looks like he’s stuck with his grandma when he’s with her.
Katie laughed. How she wished she could tell them. She really wanted to tell them. It wasn’t anything risqué or depraved: Tom simply liked money more than sex.
She’d tried to explain it once to Felicity, a woman she’d gotten close with at 5 a.m. spin class. Katie always took the bike at the front of the room, right in front of the instructor. The class was small — just six bikes — and everyone knew Katie's spot.
But one morning, Katie walked in to see another girl on her bike. She was small, maybe five-foot-two, tops, and wiry. Her ringlets curled perfectly around her face, and her skin was a deep tan — not the kind that came from a bed or a bottle but one that had clearly come from the actual sun.
When Katie walked in, the instructor and the other women in the class watched with nervous amusement. Katie gamely walked around the bike, looked Felicity in the eye and smiled, then settled onto a neighboring bike. You could smell the pH of the sweat in the room change. But Felicity just smiled broadly and held out her hand. “Katie Mahoney,” she’d said. “I’m Felicity Bonas.” Her handshake was strong and firm and almost made Katie yelp in pain.
She hadn’t been able to pin Felicity down — was she brazenly stupid or really that secure in herself that she wasn’t intimidated by Katie? It had been a kind of game, making friends with her, trying to figure it out. Felicity was not from Boston, that was clear. She had grown up in California, “just a beachy hippie kid. Like, I lived at the beach. Like, my mom loved crystals and green juice and now all of a sudden they’re a thing? But that’s just how I was raised, you know, with deliberate consciousness and compassion and stuff, so it’s in my blood. It comes naturally to me.”