Lara noticed her Papá patiently waiting just outside of their destination. He looked fit and trim in his off white linen suit and his graying hair, trimmed but on the longish side. Lara noticed the women admiring him as they passed him and turned their heads to get the alternate view, but they were not being too discreet about it.
Thiago clucked his tongue as Lara gave him a quick hug and a brief kiss to his cheek. He murmured, “Do you have to look so spectacular, causing all these men to stop short when they see you reach me? Where is that delightful man of yours? He would certainly minimize your entourage.”
Lara laughed and retorted, “Me! You are the one that the women are getting whiplash from, trying to capture your attention as they crane their necks to see you from all sides.
“I wanted a nice lunch with you, Papá, and Carlos has been busy working on something he has refused to share thus far.”
As she slightly frowned at the statement, he took her arm and tucked it into his. Thiago negotiated the door for them as they waltzed inside the building and zeroed in on the Speranza. Thiago was greeted by name and shown to his reserved table. The noise level was tolerable, with random laughter in intermittent intervals. During the business day, there were, of course, no children which also kept the noise levels subdued.
“This is a wonderful place, Papá! I was thinking of the pizza I should order all the way here. Do you think they still make the cheeseburger kind you introduced me to when I was younger? I haven’t had it in such a long time.”
Thiago grinned at that fun memory. He had taken care of Lara for so long and they had shared so much. He once thought she could take over his business, and she still could, but her Destiny Fashions kept her busy as she won award after award. He was so proud of her.
“Yes, my darling daughter, I am certain you can have that and even a bowl of ice cream if you wish. Now though, what would you like to drink?”
At that moment the waiter appeared, and they ordered their beverages and pizzas which they decided they would share. Moments later the waiter returned with their drinks, and Thiago offered up a toast to a good day, which Lara smiled at as their glasses touched.
“Do I need to call Carlos and ask him to join us? I was not trying to be remiss.”
Thiago waved her off with a gesture and smiled as he replied, “Not necessary. I just feel he may want to help you if you agree to take on my small task. It should only last a Friday and possibly into Saturday morning.”
Lara wrinkled her brow in confusion and asked, “Why do I get the impression you are trying to set us up for something.”
Thiago laughed then answered, “Because I am, of course. To be honest, business is a bit down, and instead of selling some of my boats, as I first thought, I have advertised for leasing them. Six people will be coming to the docks on the coast Friday to put bids in on leasing six of the tankers. I was hoping you and Carlos might meet with them and negotiate the contracts.”
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