“My boy, my beautiful boy,” Joe said, mashed bananas dribbling from his mouth.
“What, Grandpa?” Finnegan asked.
“Hi, Daddy,” Finnegan heard a voice say from behind her. She turned to see her father. “What are you doing here?” she asked coldly.
“I’m here to see my Daddy,” Hunter said.
“My boy!” Joe said and stood up slowly, wobbling, holding the desk for support. Finnegan backed away as her father rushed forward to hug the frail figure.
“You aren’t supposed to be here,” Finnegan said, taking off her apron and dropping it on the floor. She looked at the Secret Service alarm on the wall.
“He can visit anytime he wants,” Joe said, pale yellow tears forming in his eyes.
“No one saw me come in,” Hunter said to Finnegan. “I used the tunnels.”
“What tunnels?” Finnegan asked.
Joe clung to Hunter and covered him in wet, long kisses.
“The tunnels, the tunnels,” Hunter said. “There are miles of them under the White House.” He smiled and showed his crooked and rotting teeth. “That’s how I used to get in here to smoke Barry out on his bad days.”
“My boy,” Joe said again.
“Tunnels,” Finnegan said slowly, sliding toward the alarm.
“Once you get past the spider, they are pretty easy to get around in,” Hunter said. He smoothed Joe’s thin hair against his scalp and kissed his dusty head.
“The spider,” Finnegan said dourly.
“Yes, the giant spider,” Hunter said. “You answer his riddles three and you can pass.” Hunter propped Joe against the Resolute desk and caught his daughter’s hand as she slapped at the button.
“No, no,” he said, holding her against the wall, his breath thick with the sweet burning plastic smell of crack. “I’ll be going soon. I just wanted to remind Daddy about my art sale. I didn’t want him to forget to make bids and remind all his friends to do the same.”
“Launder money for you, you mean,” Finnegan said.
“So, you’re not going to take your cut?” Hunter asked. “I’ve been the bagman for this family for years now. You’re just his wetnurse.”
“You bastard,” Finnegan said hoarsely.
“We both do the dirty work,” Hunter said, kissing his daughter on her lips. “I just accept it.”