"Should I be?"
"They're a little outrageous."
Anything would pale in comparison to Irma. Warner felt at a loss for words. There was nothing he could say to ease her pain from what'd happened with her mother. He could be there for her. Let her speak and love her. But that was it.
"I texted my brother, Sheldon, who wants to meet you. He'll be here shortly." Warner remained confident Sheldon would win at the shocking game.
"This is our home away from home." Taddy walked into the cigar bar.
Living downtown, Warner had never set foot in Club Macanudo. An Upper East Side inst.i.tution with lithographs along the walls, the interiors looked posh with Art Deco-styled leather couches stationed around the lounge with gla.s.s-and-marble c.o.c.ktail tables. In a city where smoking indoors was prohibited, here it was not only permissible but deemed fas.h.i.+onable. This social establishment thrived as a secret gem.
He sat with Taddy as they talked about Irma's behavior. Taddy confessed she'd almost given in. She felt a strong urge to help her mother. "Thank you for pulling me away from her, Warner. I'm still tempted to give her the money though."
"So you can learn who your birthfather is?"
"No, I don't care about that. It won't change who I am. There's a part of me that will always have hope. Hope that my mother and I can have a real relations.h.i.+p. I'd give anything for that-including money." Taddy sighed. "I sound desperate."
Warner's heart broke as he heard her say this. "Not desperate. You're a good person with so much to give. And from what I've seen, you give a lot to others. Maybe too much." He was impressed with her ability to endure. It became obvious the worst in Taddy's life had pa.s.sed years ago. A strong urge to protect and love her even more came over him. It wasn't pity or a savior complex. Rather, he admired her resilience.
From the entrance came a thin Scandinavian-type woman wearing her bleached white hair in a bob. She beelined it for their table. Warner tried not to make eye contact with her, but she looked familiar. He didn't want to be rude. Then it hit him where he recognized her from. She was the woman he'd seen on the security video with Taddy at Secrete de St. Barth. As she closed in, her long gold nails pointed at him.
"Big f.u.c.king Daddy indeed," the woman shouted.
"You must be Viveca." Hands down, Taddy won for most eccentric friend with this one. A cross between a Las Vegas showgirl and a socialite auctioning her gold nuggets at Sotheby's, he'd never seen a friend such as Miss Farnworth in his life.
"It's Vive and don't I get a kiss?" she flirted.
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