Darkest Fear Page 24

Win and Myron headed to Master Kwon’s office. At the entrance, both men bowed deeply.

“Please in,” Master Kwon said.

The desk was fine oak, the chair rich leather and orthopedic looking. Master Kwon was standing near a corner. He held a putter in his hands and wore a splendidly tailored suit. His face brightened when he saw Myron, and the two men embraced.

When they broke apart, Master Kwon said, “You better?”

“Better,” Myron agreed.

The old man smiled and grabbed his own lapel. “Armani,” he said.

“I thought so,” Myron said.

“You like?”

“Very nice.”

Satisfied, Master Kwon said, “Go.”

Win and Myron bowed deeply. Once in the dojang, they fell into their customary roles: Win led and Myron followed. They started with meditation. Win loved meditating, as we already graphically witnessed. He sat in the lotus position, palms tilted up, hands resting on knees, back straight, tongue folded against the upper teeth. He breathed in through his nose, forcing the air down, letting his abdomen do all the work. Myron tried to duplicate—had been trying for years—but he had never quite gotten the hang of it. His mind, even during less chaotic times, wandered. His bad knee tightened. He got fidgety.

They cut down the stretching to only ten minutes. Again Win was effortless, executing splits and toe touches and deep bends with ease, his bones and joints as flexible as a politician’s voting record. Myron had never been a naturally limber guy. When he was training seriously, he could touch his toes and complete a hurdle stretch with little problem. But just then, that felt like a long time ago.

“I’m already sore,” Myron said through a grunt.

Win tilted his head. “Odd.”


“That’s precisely what my date said last night.”

“You weren’t kidding before,” Myron said. “You really are another Red Buttons.”

They did a little sparring, and Myron immediately realized how out of shape he was. Sparring is the most tiring activity in the world. Don’t believe it? Find a punching bag and pretend-box with it for one three-minute round. Just a bag that can’t fight back. Try it, just one round. You’ll see.

When Esperanza came in, the sparring mercifully ceased and Myron grabbed his knees, sucking wind. He bowed to Win, threw a towel over his shoulder, grabbed some Evian. Esperanza folded her arms and waited. A group of students walked past the door, saw Esperanza, did a double take.

Esperanza handed Myron a sheet of paper. “The birth certificate of Davis Taylor né Dennis Lex.”

“Lex,” Myron repeated. “As in …?”


Myron scanned the photocopy. According to the document, Dennis Lex would be thirty-seven years old. His father was listed as one Raymond Lex, his mother as Maureen Lehman Lex. Born in East Hampton, New York.

Myron handed it to Win.

“They had another child?”

“Apparently so,” Esperanza said.

Myron looked at Win. Win shrugged.

“He must have died young,” Win said.

“If he did,” Esperanza said, “I can’t find it anywhere. There’s no death certificate.”

“No one in the family ever mentioned another child?” Myron asked Win.

“No one,” Win said.

He turned back to Esperanza. “What else you got?”

“Not much. Dennis Lex changed his name to Davis Taylor eight months ago. I also found this.” She handed him a photocopy of a news clipping. A small birth announcement from the Hampton Gazette dated thirty-seven years ago:

Raymond and Maureen Lex of Wister Drive in East Hampton are delighted to announce the birth of their son, Dennis, six pounds eight ounces on June 18th. Dennis joins his sister Susan and his brother Bronwyn.

Myron shook his head. “How could no one know about this?”

“It’s not all that surprising,” Win said.

“How do you figure?”

“None of the Lex family holdings are public. They are fiercely protective of their privacy. Security around them is around-the-clock and the best money can buy. Everyone who works with them must sign confidentiality agreements.”

“Even you?”

“I don’t do confidentiality agreements,” Win said. “No matter how much money is involved.”

“So they never asked you to sign one?”

“They asked. I refused. We parted ways.”

“You gave them up as clients?”


“Why? I mean, what would have been the big deal? You keep everything confidential anyway.”

“Exactly. Clients hire me not only because of my brilliance in the ways of finance but because I am the very model of discretion.”

“Don’t overlook your startling modesty,” Myron added.

“I don’t need to sign a contract saying I won’t reveal anything. It should be a given. It’s the equivalent of signing a document saying that I won’t burn down their house.”

Myron nodded. “Nice analogy,” he said.

“Yes, thank you, but I’m trying to illustrate how far this family will go to maintain their privacy. Until this inheritance feud erupted, the media had no idea how extensive Raymond Lex’s holdings were.”

“But come on, Win. This is Raymond Lex’s son. You’d know about a son.”

Win pointed to the top of the clipping. “Notice when the child was born—before Raymond Lex’s book came out, when Lex was just a typical small-town professor. It wouldn’t make news.”

“You really buy that?”

“Do you have a better explanation?”

“So where is the kid now? How can the son of one of America’s wealthiest families have no paperwork? No credit cards, no driver’s license, no IRS filings, no trail at all? Why did he change his name?”

“The last one is easy,” Win said.


“He’s hiding.”


“His siblings perhaps,” Win said. “As I said before, this inheritance battle is rather nasty.”

“That might make sense—and I stress the word ‘might’—if he’d been around before. But how can there be no paperwork on him? What is he hiding from? And why on earth would he put his name in the bone marrow registry?”

“Good questions,” Win said.

“Very good,” Esperanza added.

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