"One question, before you bring him in," my employer said. "I need to understand one thing better than I do now. Mr. Prescott, exactly what do you want me to do?"
He frowned. "I want you to find my son. I thought that was obvious."
"I understand that, but let me make my question clearer. Do you want me to locate him, or do you want me to bring him back? Do you want me to confront him, or just figure out where he is?"
He nodded slowly. "I understand. Yes, that is a good question. Miss Sleet, I want to know where he is, and I want him to be out of immediate danger, if he's in any."
"Do you think he's in danger?"
"Miss Sleet, are you a parent?"
She nodded. "Yes, I am."
That stopped him. His question had been rhetorical, and he was thrown off his stride by her answer, which clearly contradicted his research on her.
She waited a beat, until he had figured out how to reply, then she said, "We have a daughter. She's adopted."
He was tempted to assert that the bond between parent and child is different when blood is involved, but politicians are trained not to make those sorts of statements. The adopted-parent segment of the population could be key in a close election, after all.
He shrugged. "The detective is out in the hall."
Since nobody else was moving toward the door, I went and opened it, motioning him in.