"And we have liftoff," I said under my breath as I ran another search. This time for Mr Donati. There was, unbelievably, only one Giancarlo Donati in the whole country. More amazing as far as I was concerned, he was the right age. At least I wouldn’t have to take a trip to Italy, where there were hundreds. Or rather, I hoped I wouldn't. Working backwards from the information I found on this particular young man, I was able to establish that he had enrolled at Chathington in September of nineteen ninety. The following September he was in school at another college several hundred miles away, majoring in business. That made sense, if his family had put pressure on him to get far away from Ms Engel.
"So who was your family and why did they care?"
"Whose family?" Chelsea asked, coming into my office.
"Carlo Donati's. He's the father of Ms Engel's son, according to her."
"You have doubts?"
"Not really, but she wouldn't give me his name."
"Then how did you figure it out?" I explained and she nodded. "Why keep it a secret though, if she wants to find Benjamin?"
I leaned back, running a hand through my hair as I thought about that. "Perhaps she doesn't want me contacting him. Although why she thought I would, when she made it clear he was out of the picture, is the question. Then again"—I frowned—"maybe he wasn't. Maybe she kept in touch with him. Or he did with her, wanting to know about the baby."
"Or he tried to, and she wouldn't have anything to do with him if he walked out on her."
"Which he did, she said, under pressure from his family. I wonder what the reason was behind that."
I cocked an eyebrow at her. "According to her, his parents told him they'd quit paying his tuition unless he changed schools and, one would presume, left her behind."
"Maybe there was more to it than their not wanting him tied down by a girlfriend and an illegitimate child. Or a wife and child if he decided to do the right thing."
"Possibly. The question is what? And before you tell me to ask him, I was already planning on tracking him down to find out if he's behind Ms Engel's wanting me to find Benjamin."
"Then get on it," she said with a grin. "Oh, by the way, the reason I came in here in the first place? You're appointment for tomorrow canceled. She said something about she'd finally heard from the, as she put it, 'the sperm donor'."
I chuckled. "Undoubtedly an apt description. Just like for Mr Donati."
She left at that point and I went back to finding out more about Carlo Donati.