The girl with Neil was wearing a black T-shirt and sneakers now, in addition to her miniskirt, and she looked thoroughly miserable. Spence stood up and offered her his chair, and she sat down and immediately burst into tears.
"Spence," Dr. Lee said, "we'll continue later." He nodded and left, though I could tell he wanted to stay.
"What is your name?" Dr. Lee asked the girl after a few moments.
"Your real name," my employer added.
She wiped her face and blew her nose. "Mindy Parrish, ma'am," she replied. "I'm from Missoula, Montana. Mr. Ashford calls me Marisa, but my name is Mindy."
"And why are you here?"
"I'm scared I'm gonna get into trouble, ma'am. Mr. Ashford didn't tell you the truth. That woman you described, she was there, at his house, about a week ago. She was there for a few hours. He showed her around, and then they talked for a while. I don't think she ever came back, but I don't see everybody who comes and goes."
"You did the right thing in coming to us," Jan said.
"Have you been staying there, at Ashford's?" Dr. Lee asked her.
"Are you going back there now?"
She made a face. "I don't know. That woman, you said she was bloody and everything, what happened to her?"
"We don't know," Dr. Lee said. "Her name is Åsa, and she says she's fine, but we can tell she's been hurt, repeatedly. We know she'd been visiting Ashford, for at least the last two nights, but we don't really know what's going on."
"Not yet," my employer added.
"Mindy, would you be willing to see her?" Dr. Lee continued. "Just to make sure it is really the same woman? That would help us a great deal. Then, if you're still uneasy about going back to Ashford's, you can stay here tonight, or longer, until you're sure what you want to do."
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