An emotional, heartwarming story from New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand about a grieving family that finds solace where they least expect it.
Celebrity chef Deacon Rowe is struggling with addiction, depression, and not one, but two scandals. As summer nears, he travels to the idyllic Eastern bluff of Nantucket, where he takes his own life. In the shocking wake of Deacon’s suicide, his first wife and childhood sweetheart, Laurel Rowe, sets out to gather Deacon’s far-flung family—including Deacon and Laurel’s son, and Deacon’s other ex-wives and children—on the island. Here’s to Us brings together three very different, resilient women and their children, who start out not only as strangers, but as bitter rivals, each wanting to claim the prime place in Deacon’s life. Secrets are revealed, confidences are shared, and improbable bonds are formed as this unlikely family says goodbye to the man they loved.
Release date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Print pages: 416
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Here's to Us
John Buckley had performed some astonishing feats in his thirty years as an agent, but nothing compared to the miracle of assembling Deacon Thorpe’s entire family at the house on Nantucket so that they could spread Deacon’s ashes and discuss the troubling state of his affairs.
Buck realized he should be parsimonious with his self-congratulation. He hadn’t gathered the entire family. Scarlett had stubbornly chosen to remain in Savannah, where she would stay, Buck supposed, until she realized the money was all gone. At some point in the near future, Buck assumed, she would look down, like Wile E. Coyote in the old cartoons, believing himself to be standing on solid ground but seeing nothing below him but thin air. They were sure to hear from her then.
Six weeks had passed, but John Buckley still couldn’t believe that his first-ever client and his best friend, Deacon Thorpe—the most famous chef in America—was dead.
On May 6, a call had come to Buck’s cell phone from an unfamiliar number, and, since Deacon had been incommunicado for nearly forty-eight hours, John Buckley took the call, thinking it might be his friend. He was in a chair at the Colonel’s, the last old-time barbershop in New York City, where cell phones were expressly not allowed.
Buck knew he would never be granted an appointment with Sal Sciosia (the colonel, Battle of Khe Sanh, Vietnam) again if he took the call, but he had no choice.
An unfamiliar number could have meant anything. Most likely: Deacon had gone on another bender, even though he had promised, he had sworn, he had practically pricked his index finger and matched it with Buck’s own in a solemn vow, that he would never again have an episode like the one two weeks earlier. That rager had most likely cost Deacon his marriage. Scarlett had withdrawn Ellery from La Petit Ecole, one of the most prestigious private schools in New York City, and taken her down to Savannah, leaving Deacon contrite and chastened, a new passenger on the wagon.
But people were going to act exactly like themselves. If Buck had learned one thing from thirty years of agenting, it was this. Now this call would either be from the NYPD or from the bartender at McCoy’s, where Deacon had passed out facedown on his tab.
Buck had to answer.
“Mr. Buckley?” a voice of authority said. “My name is Ed Kapenash. I’m the chief of police in Nantucket, Massachusetts.”
“Nantucket?” Buck said. Deacon owned a huge, ramshackle summer cottage on Nantucket called American Paradise, a name that Buck secretly considered ironic. “Is Deacon there?” His voice conveyed more impatience than he wanted it to, and probably not the full respect due to a chief of police. “Sir?”
“Yours was the number we found on his phone listed under his emergency contact,” the chief said. “I take it you’re a friend…? Of Deacon Thorpe’s?”
“His agent,” Buck said. And then, sighing, he added, “And yes, his best friend. Is he in jail?” Deacon had never gotten into any kind of trouble while on Nantucket, not in all these years—but as far as Deacon was concerned, there was a first time for everything.
“No, Mr. Buckley,” the chief said. “He’s not in jail.”
Buck had walked out of the Colonel’s half-shaven.
His best friend of thirty years was dead.
“Massive coronary,” the chief said. “An island man named JP Clarke found him early this morning and phoned it in. But the M.E. put the time of death about twelve hours earlier—so maybe seven or eight o’clock last night.”
“Had he been drinking?” Buck asked. “Doing drugs?”
“He was slumped over at the table on the back deck with a Diet Coke,” the chief said. “And there were four cigarette butts in the ashtray. No drugs that we found, although the M.E. is going to issue a tox report. You have my condolences. My wife was a big fan of the show. She made that clam dip for every Patriots game.”
Condolences, Buck had thought. That belonged on Deacon’s Stupid Word List. What did it even mean?
“I’ll leave it to you, then, to contact the family?” the chief asked.
Buck closed his eyes and thought: Laurel, Hayes, Belinda, Angie, Scarlett, Ellery.
“Yes,” Buck said.
“And you’ll handle the remains?”
“I’ll handle… yes, I’ll handle everything,” Buck said.
Massive coronary, Buck thought. Diet Coke and four cigarettes. It was the cigarettes that had done it in the end, Buck guessed. He had told Deacon… but now was no time to indulge his inner surgeon general. Deacon was gone. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right.
“Thank you, Chief,” Buck said. “For letting me know.”
“Well,” the chief said, “unfortunately, that’s my job. My thoughts to the family.”
Buck hung up and watched his arm shoot into the air. A taxi put on its blinker and pulled over. Everything was the same in the world, but then again it was different. Deacon Thorpe was dead.
The death had been devastating enough, but as the executor of Deacon’s estate, Buck was then required to delve into the paperwork that inevitably followed. He started with the obvious: Deacon’s will. He had left the restaurant to his daughter Angie, which made sense, although Harv would continue to run it for the foreseeable future. And Deacon had left his other major asset—the house on Nantucket—to the three women he had been married to, Laurel Thorpe, Belinda Rowe, and Scarlett Oliver, to be owned in thirds, with time split in a fair and just manner, as determined by the executor.
Great, Buck thought.
As Buck sifted through Deacon’s marriage certificates to Laurel, to Belinda, to Scarlett; the divorce agreements from Laurel and from Belinda; the deed to the Nantucket house, which turned out to be encumbered with three mortgages and two liens; the LLC paperwork for Deacon’s four-star restaurant, the Board Room, in midtown Manhattan; the contracts with ABC (ancient, defunct) and the Food Network; and his bank and brokerage statements, he’d been thrown into a tailspin. All Buck could think was, This has to be wrong. He rummaged through every drawer of Deacon’s desk at the restaurant and meticulously checked the apartment on Hudson Street, a task much more easily accomplished without Scarlett around. Every piece of paper Buck found served to make the situation worse. It was like a game of good news, bad news, except this version was called bad news, worse news.
Deacon hadn’t paid any of the three mortgages on the Nantucket house in six months, and he was three months behind on the rent for his apartment on Hudson Street. Where had all of Deacon’s money gone? Buck found a canceled check for a hundred thousand dollars made out to Skinny4Life. Skinny4Life? Buck thought. A hundred large? This sounded like one of Scarlett’s “projects”; there had been the purses made by the cooperative of women in Gambia and, after that, an organic, vegan cosmetic company that absconded with fifty thousand of Deacon’s dollars before going belly-up. Before Scarlett decided she wanted to go into “business,” she had studied photography. Deacon had spent a small fortune sending her to University College downtown—which, Buck had pointed out numerous times, was neither a university nor a college. Deacon had built Scarlett a state-of-the-art darkroom in the apartment and bought her cameras and computers and scanners and printers, the collective price of which could have paid for a Rolls-Royce with a full-time chauffeur. All of the equipment now sat dormant behind a locked door.
Buck found another canceled check, this one for forty thousand dollars and made out to Ellery’s school, along with a check to the co-op board of Hayes’s building in Soho. Buck had wondered how Hayes had been able to afford such a place, and now he knew: Deacon had paid for it. From the looks of things, Deacon had also been cutting a check to Angie every now and again—three thousand dollars here, twelve hundred dollars there—with a memo line that read Buddy fun money. And there was a canceled check for thirty thousand dollars made out to someone named Lyle Phelan, which also went in the question-mark pile.
Even with all that cash out the door, Buck was puzzled. Deacon took only one dollar in salary from the Board Room in order to keep down operating costs, which were, famously, the most outlandish of any restaurant in the country. But the residuals from Deacon’s two TV shows—Day to Night to Day with Deacon and Pitchfork—should have kept him solvent despite all his expenses.
Then Buck came across the wire transfer, dated January 3. A million dollars from Deacon’s brokerage account with Merrill Lynch to… the Board Room, LLC, the company that owned the restaurant. Buck remembered Deacon telling him at Christmastime that he’d had an investor pull out; it had been Scarlett’s uncle, the judge from Savannah. The judge—Buck had met him ten years earlier at the wedding—had gone to the Board Room for dinner, and apparently something had gone awry. Deacon had never told Buck exactly what happened, but the judge had called the very next day, saying he wanted his money back, pronto. And Deacon hadn’t argued.
Deacon had seemed panicked about the funding, but the following week he’d called Buck and said he’d found a new investor who shared Deacon’s vision. This guy is all in, Deacon had said. Vested.
The guy, Buck now knew, had been Deacon.
Buck discovered a life insurance policy worth a quarter of a million dollars, with Scarlett and Ellery named as the beneficiaries. That would probably pay the rent on the Hudson Street apartment and the tuition at Ellery’s school for a couple more years. But Deacon’s beloved Nantucket house was going into foreclosure; the bank would repossess it at the end of the month unless the estate could come up with $436,292.19, the sum total of the amount overdue on the three mortgages, plus the liens. And then, even if someone paid what was owed in arrears, there was still a $14,335 monthly payment to grapple with.
Buck had never seen such a mess!
He had contacted Laurel and Hayes, and Belinda and Angie—and he’d left a detailed message for Scarlett’s mother, Prue, to pass along to Scarlett, who refused to take Buck’s calls. They would gather on Nantucket to spread Deacon’s ashes in Nantucket Sound, and then it would be Buck’s job to inform Deacon’s family that unless someone stepped forward to save the house, the halcyon days of their island summers were coming to an end.
3. half sister (brother)
10. doggie bag
New York Post, Saturday, May 7, 2016
Nantucket, Massachusetts—Deacon Thorpe, 53, chef-owner of the Board Room, in midtown Manhattan, and host of the popular Food Network program Pitchfork, died of a heart attack at his summer cottage Thursday evening, according to Nantucket police chief Edward Kapenash.
Thorpe arrived on Nantucket Island on a Thursday-morning ferry, officials at the Steamship Authority confirmed. He was found by island resident JP Clarke on Friday morning.
“I stopped by to pick him up,” Mr. Clarke said. “We had plans to go fishing.”
Mr. Clarke said that the front door to the house, named American Paradise, was standing open and that after calling numerous times for Mr. Thorpe, he entered. He found Mr. Thorpe’s body slumped over a picnic table on the back deck. Mr. Clarke called 911. The island’s medical examiner concluded that Thorpe had died of a heart attack sometime the evening before.
Deacon Thorpe graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in 1985. After serving in externships at the Odeon and the Union Square Café in New York City, Thorpe landed the chef de cuisine position at Solo, the landmark restaurant that helped turn the Flatiron District into the dining hotbed it is today. Thorpe worked at Solo from 1986 to 1988. During his tenure, he was offered a half-hour late-night television show on ABC entitled Day to Night to Day with Deacon, which is widely considered to be the forebear of reality TV. Day to Night to Day with Deacon ran for thirty-six episodes, from 1986 to 1989. In 1989, Thorpe left New York for Los Angeles. In 1990, he became the executive chef of the Raindance restaurant chain, overseeing outposts in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. While at Raindance, Thorpe developed the recipe for his signature clams casino dip. In 2004, it was named recipe of the year by Gourmet magazine. In an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, Thorpe made the dip, and Letterman said, “I literally cannot stop eating this. What’s in it?” To which Thorpe famously replied, “A teaspoon of crack cocaine.” This elicited an angry statement from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America accusing Thorpe of “glamorizing drug use.” Thorpe later apologized. In 2005, Thorpe was tapped to host a show on the Food Network entitled Pitchfork, and in 2007, the show was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Culinary Program. Also in 2007, Thorpe opened his own restaurant, the Board Room, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which was distinguished in Bon Appétit as being the most expensive restaurant in America. The nine-course menu changes weekly according to what is fresh and available from the twenty-seven local purveyors hand-selected by Chef Thorpe. Over half the courses are cooked over a hardwood fire—Chef Thorpe preferred using majestic hickory from Nova Scotia, which cost him north of five thousand dollars a week. Other signature touches at the Board Room include six-hundred-dollar cashmere throws available for each diner, and a menu of eighteen handcrafted cocktails created by his mixologist, David Disibio, who holds a doctorate in botany. The prix fixe nine-course dinner costs $525 per person, or $650 per person with cocktail and wine pairings. Frequent diners included George Clooney, Derek Jeter, and Bill Clinton.
Deacon Thorpe was nearly as famous for his life away from the stove as he was for his life behind it. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Laurel Thorpe, from 1982 to 1988. The couple has a son, Hayes Thorpe, 34, who works as the hotels editor at Fine Travel magazine. In 1990, Thorpe married Academy Award–winning actress Belinda Rowe; the couple’s daughter, Angela Thorpe, 26, worked for Mr. Thorpe at the Board Room in a position unique to the restaurant called the fire chief. After divorcing Rowe in 2005, Thorpe married Scarlett Oliver, causing a tabloid sensation, as Ms. Oliver had for many years served as Chef Thorpe and Ms. Rowe’s nanny. The couple has a nine-year-old daughter, Ellery Thorpe.
Mr. Thorpe’s agent and longtime friend, John Buckley, issued a statement on Friday afternoon that said, “Everyone who knew Chef Thorpe is shocked and saddened by the news of his death. The country has lost not only a culinary genius but also a cultural icon. The friends and family of Mr. Thorpe ask simply for privacy and respect during their time of mourning.”
SERVES 4 TO 6
8 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of minced or chopped clams (fresh or canned and drained work)
2 blocks cream cheese, 8 ounces each, softened and cubed
8 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spray a 9-inch round baking dish at least 3 inches deep with nonstick spray.
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is completely crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain excess grease.
Keep the skillet with the bacon grease over medium-low heat and add the peppers and onions. Add in the smoked paprika and black pepper. Stir well to coat and cook until the vegetables are soft and golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the chopped clams and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables and clams with a slotted spoon and add them to a large bowl. Add the cream cheese, grated cheeses, and bacon into the bowl. Use a large spatula to mix, and stir until everything is combined, distributing the cream-cheese cubes as you go. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately with the herb-butter baguettes.
1 large ciabatta baguette, sliced into ½-inch rounds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup freshly chopped herbs (I used cilantro, basil, thyme, and oregano)
½ teaspoon flaked sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spread the softened butter on the baguettes. Cover the butter with the assorted herbs (use whatever herbs you like!). Bake until the baguettes are warm and golden and toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the flaked salt. Serve immediately.
It was her eleventh day back working as fire chief, although she tried not to think in those terms—eleven days back at work, forty-three days since Deacon had died. Instead, Angie tried to think of it as just another Friday night at the Board Room, the busiest night of the week. The world had been shocked silly by her father’s death, and so Harv, the general manager—the only one with the stones to make the tough decisions—had closed the restaurant for a month. The front windows had been sheathed in black curtains, which Harv felt was appropriate. People—customers, fans of the shows, random New Yorkers—dropped off bouquets of flowers and hand-lettered signs, poems and stuffed animals, candles and crosses. When Angie saw these offerings, her throat ached. She wanted to cry, but the tears wouldn’t come. She was bone-dry.
Angie had thought that the restaurant’s popularity might wane or that it would veer off course like a ship without a captain. The Board Room was Deacon’s creation and vision—from the wild-strawberry caprese salad, which was sourced from a boutique farm upstate and which he’d put on the menu two days before he died, to the gleaming copper tables and the caviar sets made especially for the restaurant by a descendant of one of the Russian czars, to the limited-edition Robert Graham shirts he liked Dr. Disibio to wear behind the bar. But bizarrely—or maybe not; Angie wasn’t a great judge of human behavior—the frenzy for reservations had more than doubled, which hardly seemed feasible. The wait for a table was six weeks already.
Angie was grateful to be busy. Bring on the weeds, ticket after ticket piling up: the pineapple-and-habanero shrimp, the smoked maple-glazed salmon, the “sexy” scorched octopus. The Friday-night pace had just ratcheted up from screaming breakneck to white-hot roller-coaster ride when Joel came up behind Angie and whispered in her ear, “I’m telling her tonight. I’m leaving, baby.”
Angie grabbed hot tongs instead of cool ones and burned the bejesus out of her hand. She sucked the webbing between her thumb and index finger. “Can we talk about it later?” she asked.
Tiny, whose job it was to stoke and tend the cooking fire, keeping it at just the right level and heat for Angie at all times said, “Buzz off, Joel. We’re in the middle of feeding people here.”
He was telling her tonight. He was leaving.
Angie couldn’t concentrate on work; her tickets piled up until she was buried and Julio, the expediter, swore at her.
Tiny said to her sotto voce, “Are you okay, Angie? Did Joel say something to upset you?” Tiny was a gentle giant, nearly seven feet tall. He had been the one in charge of taking Angie’s emotional temperature since the restaurant reopened.
“I’m fine,” Angie whispered.
Joel had said the words Angie had been waiting to hear since they had slept together after the restaurant’s Christmas party, six months earlier. He was going to leave his wife and make his relationship with Angie official. Angie’s emotions kited all over the place, soaring, zooming, catching wind, then dipping suddenly.
The night that Deacon died had been an unseasonably warm Thursday in May, one of those spring days that make people think about the joys of summer—strolling through the park, eating alfresco. Deacon had played hooky from work. He’d told Harv he was going up to Nantucket for a few days to fish and clear his head, which Angie had thought was a good idea. Scarlett had gotten fed up with Deacon’s drinking and recreational drug use, and she flew back home to Savannah—for good, she said. She had pulled Ellery out of school and everything. Angie had reassured Deacon: they would be back. Scarlett was prone to tantrums—Angie secretly thought this was because she didn’t consume enough calories to inspire reason—and besides, she had taken only two suitcases. That wouldn’t last her more than two weeks, and it had already been ten days. Deacon had said, I messed up again, Buddy… marriage number three, and I torched it. It’s all my fault. Everyone leaving has always been my fault.
Angie had nearly said that marriage the institution seemed to have been invented in order to trip Deacon up, but she refrained. He was extremely upset, which Angie, frankly, found strange. His marriage to Scarlett wasn’t much more than a pretty shell. Every Tuesday night, when the restaurant was closed, Deacon had dinner with Angie because Scarlett went to bed at eight o’clock, and she didn’t eat anything, anyway. But when you didn’t want to spend your one night off with your wife? Well, that pretty much spoke for itself.
* * *
On that Thursday night, Joel had driven Angie home from work, as had become their routine. They’d had a drink after service with the rest of the staff, as usual, and then, as usual, Joel said good-bye first, and Angie followed five or six minutes later, meeting Joel on the corner of Sixtieth Street and Madison, where she climbed into his Lexus and they headed uptown to Angie’s apartment. They made love quickly and then, after Angie poured them each a cognac, once again more slowly.
When Joel had risen to leave on that Thursday, Angie had clung to him and begged him to stay.
“Hey now,” Joel had said. “You know I can’t.”
Joel lived in New Canaan, a place that Angie had never seen but that she imagined as hill and dale, a place where bunny rabbits nibbled the emerald grass in front of a white clapboard house with black shutters. She suspected that everyone in New Canaan was white. If Angie ever showed up at Joel’s house on Rosebrook Road—and she fantasized about this all the time—the neighbors would think she was there to clean, or to clean them out.
“Please?” Angie said. She wasn’t sure where the desperation was coming from. For twenty-six years, Angie had lived as an emotionally carefree, blissfully independent soul. She had worked in kitchens with men since she was eighteen and had slept with a few, but no one who mattered after ten o’clock the next morning. Angie had fallen in love with Joel Tersigni the instant Deacon hired him, two years earlier. Joel was handsome in a way that seemed custom tailored to Angie’s tastes—the dark hair, the goatee, the sly smile, a voice with a smoky, seductive edge. He had a commanding, charismatic presence. He knew exactly what to say to each person who walked in the door, whether it was Kim and Kanye or a school janitor from Wichita, Kansas, about to spend his life savings on dinner.
And after seven or eight cups of Dr. Disibio’s double-dare dragon punch at their Mandarin-themed holiday soiree, Joel had led Angie by the hand into the dry pantry and charmed the pants right off her.
More than four months had passed. They had their “things” now: inside jokes, catchphrases, gestures. Every Saturday, Angie paid a Jamaican woman from the prep kitchen fifty bucks to do her cornrows, and every Thursday, Angie took them out and gathered her hair in a frizzed ponytail. Joel loved the ponytail. She was exotic to him, she knew, being half-black. Joel had grown up in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; his parents had operated something called the Biblical Dinner Theater. Joel had escaped to Manhattan, which his parents thought of as a city of sinners.
“I have to go, Ange,” Joel said. She loved the way he said her name, she loved that he called her Ange. The only other person who called her Ange, was her brother, Hayes. Angie gave Joel a long, luscious kiss that made him groan but would not, she knew, make him stay.
After she closed the door behind him, she’d thought, I would give anything to make him mine.
Buck had called the very next morning.
Your father…? Buck had said. Deacon… your dad…
Angie said, Yeah, what’s up?
He went to Nantucket…, Buck said.
I know, Angie said. Harv told me. He went to fish. She had thought briefly of fresh striped-bass fillets marinated in a little olive oil and chili powder, thrown onto the hickory fire until just opaque, and then drizzled with lemon juice. Sheer perfection.
Angie, Buck said. He had a heart attack. He’s dead.
Angie hung up without a word, as though Buck were a crank caller.
Her eleventh night ended without fanfare. Or maybe there had been fanfare and Angie hadn’t noticed. The bandanna she had tied around her head felt like a crown of fire, her feet had turned to bricks in her clogs, and her stomach felt like a ball of rubber bands. She flung a salmon fillet onto the fire but was too distracted to savor the hiss, or the cloud of sweet maple smoke.
Joel was leaving. But maybe she had misheard him or misinterpreted the meaning of “leaving”?
“Are you okay?” Tiny asked.
“I’m fine,” Angie whispered.
Joel seemed edgy in the car, overhyped—he was probably coked up. He sometimes partook with Julio, the expediter, in the dry pantry, she knew, even though Harv had instituted a new, zero-tolerance drugs rule upon reopening. We’re going to clean things up around here, he said. But, as Angie knew only too well, people were going to do what they were going to do.
Joel said, “I’m telling her as soon as I walk in the door. I’m finished, we’re through, I want a divorce.”
“Yes,” Angie said. “Okay.” She tried not to think of the phrase “home wrecker.” Joel was miserable with his wife, Dory, who worked as a mergers-and-acquisitions attorney a few blocks south of the restaurant, a career that paid for everything, as Dory reminded Joel on a daily basis. Joel was ten years younger than Dory, and he had adopted her twin sons, Bodie and Dylan, who were now teenagers who played lacrosse on the manicured fields of New Canaan High School.
“We haven’t had sex in three months,” Joel said. “She’s never home. We have no quality of life.”
Three months? Angie thought. So… Joel and Dory had gone at it in bed, even after things had started between him and Angie? Angie touched the tender blister that had formed on her hand. Joel probably felt okay telling her now because it was accompanied by the news of his imminent departure.
“Why tonight?” Angie asked. “Did something happen?”
“She’s been acting funny,” Joel said. “Like she might already know. I want to leave before I get caught. There is a difference, you know.”
“I know,” Angie said. For the past four months, she had lived in mortal fear of getting caught, not only by Dory, but also by Deacon. Deacon would not have approved of Angie dating Joel, and that was the understatement of the year. Deacon would have gone profane Dr. Seuss—Apeshit batshit catshit bullshit—if he’d found out that Joel and his daughter were sleeping together. His first objection would have been that Joel was married. His second objection would have been that Joel worked at the restaurant, and if things went belly-up, it would be awkward for everyone. There would probably have been a third objec. . .
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