CHAPTER 34: NOW YOU WANT TO BE MOMMY & DADDY...?
ANOUK KADEN GALLERY - FRIDAY EVENING
Lindsay is really trying and I mean really trying! She doesn't quite grasp that as gallery manager she has to muck-in wherever is needed and be proactive about that not waiting to be asked. However, her one redeeming feature is that people seem to like her brand of pushiness when it comes to opinions... well to a degree. I had to put out a potential fire with a regular customer who she got sniffy with.
But we have a busy schedule next week and I need her to be on top of her game.
"Lindsay, may I have a word?" I call from my office.
"Of course." She takes a seat and does that annoying hair-flick-fluff thing. "What can I do for you?"
"As you know we are very busy next week with four showings..."
"Yes I'm looking forward to the Truffaut one. He's one of my favourite modern artists and..."
"I'm glad you said that because it's no longer going to be in New York."
She looks surprised. "Oh where has it moved to?"
"As luck would have it, your hometown of Pittsburgh. So I want you to be our main point of contact for him, making sure that everything runs smoothly. You would need to be there for Monday morning so you'd have to fly out Sunday night. Here is your pack, your tickets are inside; I'm counting on you to do Kaden proud."
She smiles but I know she's unhappy. She wanted to be here for the French Renaissance Show but she has to earn that right and thus far she hasn't.
"I won't let you down."
"See that you don't. Have a good evening and a safe flight."
"You have a good weekend too."
TALON'S CONDO - SATURDAY MORNING
LINDSAY & GRADY'S BEDROOM
She's been in a pissy mood since last night. I know it is work related because when she came in she grabbed a brandy and was muttering about her experience and fucking Anouk.
"Want to talk about it?" I ask, as she comes back into bed with a cup of coffee.
"I wanted to do the Renaissance showing next week but instead I have to go to fucking Pittsburgh for the Truffaut show instead!"
"And why is that bad?" I know the answer but she needs to vent.
"Because it's something a junior person should do, not a gallery manager! My knowledge of Renaissance is better than anyone in that gallery!" She inhales deeply. "But I shall go there and do her proud." She sneers.
"Lindsay, babe, this is a godsend." I tell her smiling but she looks confused. "You're not seeing what else we could accomplish whilst we are out there?"
"We? You're coming with me?" She smiles and curls into my side. "What else could we accomplish?"
"Well, I can get to know my son-in-law for a start." She sits up quickly and stares at me. "Well he is. Matt is my son ergo Hunter is my son-in-law, and besides you could try and build bridges with Gus and Jenny."
"Enough time has passed and you've left them alone. You've changed from who you were before, right?" I reassure her. "Prove that by letting them know; for example, that you've accepted the decision of the courts, which you have but you want a relationship on their terms..."
"What about Michael?"
I contemplate that for a minute. "Bring him with us. I still don't trust him to be alone here."
She nods and settles back down against the pillows. Slowly she begins to smile. "Coming to that backwater town with my own show. Yes this will show them!" She smirks.
BRITIN - SATURDAY AFTERNOON
Justin is trying and failing not to laugh. "Where on earth are Emily and Francine going to put that?"
The family is gathered for our usual Saturday get together and Faal and I are doing show and tell with the BBQ and smoker. Faal got the smoker and I thought I had the perfect BBQ but judging by the silence I'm in the minority.
Zee shakes her head in amusement. "Uh Brian, remember the kitchen has a six foot spit roast fireplace, which can cook a cow? Admittedly it takes about 4 days but it can be done."
"I had forgotten that. So with that in mind, it's too big isn't it?" They all nod. "But it's fucking cool though."
"No, absolutely not! You are not having it here." Alice tells me firmly. "That is going to be hell to clean and you've only just got the last one. It's not even been used yet!"
I huff a laugh and hold my hands up. "Okay I'll send it back and get the next size down."
"Wait hang on. Not necessarily. Cool the evil looks my lig, I was thinking more along the lines of Sol and Menno...when they move to Ohio. It would be great, though it might need to be sunk in so that it can't be taken."
"You beauty." Zee blows him a kiss and he blushes.
"Okay let me send this to them and see what they say..."
"Trust me he'll say yes and Sol will do anything that Menno asks him to do." Faal laughs.
"It's true. They are so in love it makes my teeth ache." Mel snickers. "But at least we don't have to go through the mourning period every three weeks anymore; it was hideous!"
"Uh momma, dad, papa have a look at this." Gus comes in with his phone in his hand.
"What the fuck?" I snarl and hand it to Justin. The room goes quiet and Mel calls for Jenny.
"What's happened?" Carl demands.
"Lindsay texted him to say she's coming to Pittsburgh and wants to take him to lunch next weekend."
Everyone stops and stares at me in shock.
"No fucking way is that happening!" Jenny comes storming in and almost throws her phone at Mel. "That-that-that thing has sent me a text to say..."
"He's in Pittsburgh and wants to take you out for lunch next weekend?" Leda surmises.
"How did...?" She begins and then turns to a shell-shocked Gus. "Did she contact you?"
He nods and I pull him into my arms. "Sonny Boy, what do you want to do?"
"I-I don't know. Part of me wants to tell her to fuck off but the other part wants to know what she's up to." His voice wobbled and I look immediately to Justin. "We'll be right back."
"After all this fucking time! Why contact them? What the fuck is...are they thinking?"
"They're not!" Leda stormed. "And if they are, then it's about themselves."
"Oh fuck, it's work. It has to be that." Hunter sighs. "Wait let them come back and I need to check something, before I can explain further."
Another five minutes and they're back. Gus is looking a little red eyed but more composed, but Hunter looks pissed off.
"Fuck it, I thought so."
"Hunter has a theory." Red tells them.
"There is a the Truffaut Renaissance Show next week and it was supposed to be in New York at Kaden Galleries but because of a certain someone having a fangirling moment, they've moved it to here. When we were in New York and we bumped into Lindsay, I found out where she now works and it's..."
"The Kaden Galleries." Faal sighs. "So what are you going to do?"
"What do you mean by fangirling moment and who are you talking about?" I demand.
"Lydia is an enormous fan of his work and as a birthday treat Melody got him to move it to Pittsburgh."
"Wow. Does Lydia know?" Justin asks. "Truffaut is one of the best modern renaissance artists out there. I have a couple of his pieces. He's related to Francois Truffaut, the late French film director and art critic."
"No she doesn't and this is now going to ruin it for her!" Hunter laments. "What can we do? Mom, anyone, any ideas? Tapping you in here."
"So you're going to be her escort correct?" Jennifer asks and smiles when he nods. "Lindsay's one big weakness is her social climbing, her need to be top bitch. I've got this one don't worry. And you two..." She turns to Gus and Jenny. "I think you should see them for lunch."
"What? Why?" Red demands.
"Because, Michael is the opposite of her in that he's apt to run his mouth..."
"In other words, gather intel!" Jenny is already reaching for her phone.
"Exactly. And Justin, time for your Henry to meet Hunter's Eliza."
THE WEXLER GALLERY - WEDNESDAY EVENING
TRUFFAUT RENAISSANCE EXHIBITION
"What are we doing here Hunter?" I gripe. I've had a long day and all I want to do is hit a bar.
"We won't be long, I just need to pick something up and then we can get some whisky down you."
"Hurry VDT being wasted here!" I grumble, he looks at me. "Valuable drinking time."
"Less than a minute I promise!" He calls over his shoulder.
"Lydia, there you are come with me!" Sarah surprises me and grabs my arm.
"What's going on?" I gasp, as she pulls me to the bathroom.
"You need to get dressed. You can't meet Enrique Truffaut like that!"
"Enrique...? Oh what have you guys done now?!" I catch sight of a grinning Hunter.
Twenty minutes later, Cara and Sarah have got me dressed in my Vera Wang suit and refreshed my make-up...well almost.
"Get the tears out of the way first before I do your mascara." Cara orders.
I take a big sniff and then blink them back. "Ready and once again you're not longer my friend and Sarah you're fired."
Everything looks great, though the pictures could be straighter. I still don't understand why it was moved from such a prestigious place as NYC to here. But, more importantly, Gus and Jenny have agreed to meet us for lunch on Saturday. I can't wait.
As I look round the room, the crowd looks great. I told Grady and Michael not to come after I said I could handle this on my own. Grady said he was going to try and reach out to his former brothers-in-law so that should be an interesting discussion to have when I get back. Not sure what Michael is doing. As long as it isn't anything stupid, then all will be well.
Then I spot Lydia and she's with Hunter. Well now's my chance to show them how a show is done properly!
I make my way over to them. "Hunter, Lydia, what a surprise to find you here." I smile sweetly. "How's business in this little burgh?"
"Fine. How long have you been with Kaden?" Lydia asks, Hunter ignores me.
"A few weeks. Well if you'll excuse me, I must go wait with Enrique for his special guest of honour." I smile and make my over to him only to find him talking to Melody Reichmann!
"Lindsay, how lovely to see you? How's New York treating you? Well I hope."
I'm completely thrown by her change in attitude and for a minute don't speak. "Melody, lovely to see you too. New York is treating me well. If you don't mind, I need to steal Enrique away for a minute. His guest of honour is..."
"Melody, you gorgeous creature!" A man interrupts and I almost faint. It's Guy Tackler Smith!
He and Melody greet each other before turning to Enrique. "Have you met her yet? She's an absolute dream and her...ah there she is! One minute!"
I take a few settling breaths and turn in readiness to greet the person who had the power to move this showing.
"Lindsay, Enrique, please meet the woman of the hour, Lydia Glendale, and her escort Hunter."
My face locks into a rictus grin. "No introductions necessary Guy. Lindsay used to work for me before she went onto pastures new. And Hunter, Melody you are in so much trouble!"
"Well while you beat up Melody, I need to, actually before I do that. Hmmm, I see Stark on your badge. Does that mean you're here in a friend capacity, Hunter?"
"Do you think you could be Hunter Bruckner, darling curator of the art world for one minute? I really do need you to meet Simone Basquiat. Yes that Basquiat, not quite got his touch but someone to watch."
I watch stunned and furious as he waltzes off with Hunter before turning to Enrique, who is smiling for the first time this evening.
"So Lydia, which picture would you like to see first?" He loops her arm into his and takes her away.
It leaves myself and Melody, who smiles at me again. "Lindsay dear, that painting, third from the left is listing badly. You need to fix that."
My heart is racing with rage and embarrassment as I stalk over and order my assistant to fix it and then check the guest list. How did I miss Basquiat?!
I tried to avoid them for the rest of the evening but being the host and her being the fucking guest of honour made it impossible. Finally, this evening is at an end and we've packed up. As I head outside, Hunter calls out to me.
"Need a lift to your hotel Lindsay? It's raining."
I look at him in surprise. "No thank you. I'll just get a cab."
"Suit yourself but it's after eleven and chances are you won't get one."
I sigh and nod, getting in the limo. I'm surprised to find myself alone. He leans in. "We're going with Guy and Enrique to a private club they know. Get home safely."
The door slamming jolts me straight into a migraine.