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citricoslarubia > The Manhattanites: Unscrupulous > Part 26
With a hug, she offered, "Vive's flying back from Chicago today. We're here for you. We'll go with you to see Irma, if you want. And if you decide not to contact her, we'll support the decision. Mom told me to tell you she'd be more than happy to call Irma back and tell her to drop dead."

"I must see what she wants."

"Okay...Vive suggested hosting a girls' night at her place when you get off work. I've already ordered the f.u.c.k-it buckets filled with our favorite Dylan's candy." Lex's route to peace and happiness existed in filling large plastic containers with Swedish Fish, Sour Watermelon Gummies and Mini Gummy Bears.

"I love you guys." She pulled Lex in close to hide her tears.

"We're here for you." Lex gave her a squeeze. "It's about time you leaned on us for a change."

"Thanks."

"Vive and I can handle it. We wonder what the h.e.l.l Irma wants. You haven't seen her in how long?"

"Since the emanc.i.p.ation hearing."

A beep from her desk's intercom sounded. "Miss Brill?"

"Yes?"

"Neve Adele is on line four. I'm putting her through."

I miss Kiki to field client drama. "Be right there." She dropped her voice and said to Lex, "Let me take this."

Lex nodded in agreement. "I'm headed back to the showroom. I'll see if I can get more dirt from my mom about Irma." She handed Taddy a note. "This is the number Irma gave Birdie. She asked you call her-today."

Taddy glared at the paper. Why wasn't I good enough for my mother's love? Taking the paper, she read the number, though she didn't have to. Taddy knew the seven digits by heart.

Suddenly, she remembered the last time she'd called that line. Taddy had spoken to Irma on her sixteenth birthday. She'd called home to tell her mother she'd filed the legal paperwork separating herself from her parents. Helpless, her mother hadn't said a word. She'd just held the line and sobbed. When Taddy heard her father shouting in the background, Irma hung up. The line went dead as had their communication.

She placed the note on her desk as a reminder but knew she didn't need anything to prompt her to call home today. "I have to put on my poker face and best PR voice for Neve. Will you excuse me?" Another tear fell down her face. She felt it bead over her chin.

Her friend nodded, knowing not to step closer and hug her again or for sure she'd lose it. Lex cupped her hands over her lips and slowly blew a kiss to Taddy.

Taddy sat at her desk and answered her phone. "Neve, darling, how are you?" Her mind wasn't on Neve. As selfish as it seemed, Taddy didn't give two s.h.i.+ts and a f.u.c.k as to how this beauty queen, who wanted to be a handbag designer, felt. Countess Irma Brillford wanted to see her. She glanced at the time. It was 10:18 a.m. in New York, which meant it was 5:18 p.m. in France. Warner's meetings should be wrapping up. Taddy couldn't figure out why he hadn't called.

Neve's voice broke through her subconscious. "h.e.l.lo? Taddy? Are

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