Carlo's mouth tightened in disgust. "Another lie. She was supposedly on the pill when I met her. And maybe she was until she decided I would be a good catch because my parents were well-off."
"Were?" I asked.
"My father died about six months ago from a heart attack. His will divided everything equally between mom, me and any children I might have." He frowned. "If Coleen found that out…"
"If she learned of his death then she might have looked at the probate records. He didn't name Ben specifically?"
"No. He made out his will while I was still in high school, according to his lawyer, and never revised it." Carlo smiled. "That was dad. Do it once, do it right, then leave well enough alone."
"Not to put too find a point on it, but is Ben's third of the inheritance enough that she'd think it was worth her while to find him?"
"Yes. But to what end?"
"She undoubted believes she can pull off being the repentant mother who has always regretted giving him up, and wants to make it up to him. Convincing him that's the truth because it's her saying it." I chuckled wryly. "Hell, she almost had me believing she truly was remorseful for what she'd done. I probably still would if she'd done things a bit differently. Somehow her coming on to me, in the middle of everything else, sort of made me wonder at the validity of her…emotions."
Carlo snorted. "That's Coleen. To paraphrase—any man in a storm. But that's beside the point. If we're right and she does know about my dad's will—and if you had found Ben and told her—what then? Does she think she can show up at his door, tell him who she is then say "Oh, and by the way, you've inherited a great deal of money"?"
I almost laughed. "I suspect she'd be a little more subtle. She didn't strike me as stupid."
Carlo cocked an eyebrow at that. "You figured out what was going on."
"True, but I have no emotional involvement. If Ben actually had been placed with a family through the adoption agency, or into foster care, and she suddenly came back into his life…"
"He'd probably be pissed as hell that she gave him up."
"That or very happy that she went to great lengths to find him again. You better believe she's come up with some story about why she had to give him up. Something that paints her in a very good light."
"Like what she told you," Carlo commented tightly.
He tented his fingers, tapping them together. Finally he said, "Would you be willing to let me hire you, or would that be considered a conflict of interest?"
"Not after I let her know I wasn't able to find Ben, and terminate our contract. What do you want me to do?"
"I'm not certain. I need to give it a bit more thought. I'm just... No, I'll tell you when I make up my mind if it's worth it. I'll call you either way, if that's all right with you."
"Of course." Smiling, I told him, "Now you've piqued my curiosity."
He chuckled. "Sorry, but I'm not someone who rushes into things until I'm certain they'll work." He stood, holding out his hand. "It was good to meet you."
We shook, and then I escorted him to the door, telling him, "I'll be waiting for your call."