Natalie sat up straight like a puppet whose stings had just been yanked. She turned to look directly at her older sister, her voice quivering but surprisingly strong. “I’m tired of listening to you attack what I believe in, Jessica. How about your lifestyle? Let’s look at that for a moment. During the day all you do is play tennis, lunch or shop. At night, you screw any man you can get your hands on. At least I’m trying to understand myself and the meaning of life. You’re nothing but a whore!”
“Shut-up!” Philip said as the waiter approached with their drinks. All three picked up their menus while the waiter set down another gin and tonic for Philip, a Perier with lime for Jessica, and a Rim Rock water for Natalie.
After they ordered and the waiter left the table, Philip leaned forward on his elbows and gave the two women a hard stare. His tone was even, measured.
“Look. I don’t give a good goddamn about either of you. As far as I’m concerned you can both go to hell, but we’re in this together. Your father made a change in his will about a year before he died, probably while he was in one of his remorseful periods. Prior to that, she was never included in the will. The pre-marital agreement Kathleen signed prevented her from getting anything from the estate.”
Jessica squeezed the lime into her drink. “So...what’s the strategy to cut Kathleen out?”
“To prove your father was an alcoholic and not in his right mind when he changed the will.”
Natalie shook her head and Jessica rudely laughed. “And you’re the one who’s talking about perceptions! People in this community aren’t going to take that one lightly.”
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