This is the final post in the Settings Series, not because I saved the best for last, but more like because this is the most difficult one to write. Certainly, the description of The Twins condo is quite straightforward, that’s not the problem. Rather it is explaining how that setting fits into the Ro saga.
The Twins are not even introduced until the second Ro novel, “The Celtic Riddle,” and then it is only in a few paragraphs of flashback. They are not mentioned at all in the third book, “Losses,” but make their reappearance in the fourth book, “Twists and Turns,” and will be featured prominently in that and subsequent books as I am now envisioning them.
Even though it would seem they have only a passing appearance in the first few books, the fact is they are a constant presence, not like a ghost, but more like what at first would seem to have been a forgettable routine life incident, but that later proves to have a lingering if unseen influence on Ro. I know I’m being more than a little cryptic here, but this is a case where I feel like I need to walk a tightrope between talking about them, but at the same time not revealing too much (spoiler alert).
Ro was introduced to The Twins in the fall of 2000, when she was an eighteen-year old freshman at Mississippi Valley Community College over in Grand Island on the Illinois side. Ro goes to visit her best friend, Atti Mehra, who is in the computer graphics program at Columbia College in Chicago. Atti sets-up a double date with these two rich guys known as The Twins, not because they are related but because they do everything together.
This is during what Ro later comes to think of as her Year on the Wild Side, when she explores partying and sex. Knowing her friend’s liberated attitudes, especially about sex, Ro assumes she’ll be expected to sleep with her date, which she kind looks forward to, broadening her sexual experience and so forth. Which literally turns out to be the case, as she and Atti switch beds and partners in the middle of the night. She even returns the following spring for a second encounter with The Twins.
The Twins’ real names are Tag Halvorson and Luke Comadai; both are independently wealthy and are big-time players in the party scene around Chicago. Their “killer” two-bedroom, luxury condominium is on an upper floor of a high rise on East Randolph St., looking down over Grant Park – when Ro visits for the first time they are watching the construction of what will later become Chicago’s Millennium Park – the lakefront is to the left and the Michigan Avenue skyline is on the right.
(The tall center building in the photo above is the Aon Tower; Tag’s and Luke’s condo is on an upper floor of the high-rise two buildings to the right.)
Although the condominium has a first-class kitchen – as well as an impressive wine cabinet – neither of the Twins cooks, so if they are having dinner guests of any kind they have a list of private chefs who they call to come over to cook for them; most of the time, though, they eat out at restaurants, rarely just the two of them.
Next to the kitchen is a large, casually furnished living room with sliding glass doors leading to a balcony and the spectacular view of the harbor, Millennium Park and Michigan Avenue.
Tag and Luke each have their own master bedroom suite on opposite sides of the kitchen-living room, each with a king size bed, a hot tub, its own bathroom and floor-to-ceiling views.
Of course, the young and still relatively naïve eighteen-year old Ro Delahanty was awe-struck by the understated opulence of The Twins ultimate bachelor’s seduction pad and their casual attitudes about spending money, but the recollection of her visit would linger and slowly take on significance over time because of how wonderful a lover Tag Halvorson had been. While all sorts of life circumstances would get in the way, it would be five years before Ro and Tag reconnect in “Twists and Turns.”
Next: I will be introducing “Sniper’s Day,” a novella.
© 2019 Dave Lager