As soon as Carlo left I phoned Ms Engel, asking when she could come to my office. She replied that she'd be free in an hour, which worked for me. I used the time to go get lunch. Without Ricky, unfortunately. When I called to see if he could get away he groaned dramatically and told me "Not in this lifetime." It was tax season and the end of his company's fiscal year so he was up to his neck in work.
Then I offered to pick up something and bring it over to him.
His immediate response was, "I'll love you forever if you do."
"I thought you already did," I pointed out with a laugh.
"Well yeah. And tonight I'll show how much, if you bring me sustenance now." I could picture him leering.
That was an offer no sane man in love could refuse. So I ate lunch then picked up something for him. When I got to his company, he dragged me—well not literally—into his office and thanked me with a kiss that bordered on the erotic, to put it mildly.
When we broke apart I said, "You must have been starving."
"Still am," he said, opening the bag I'd managed to set down on his desk. "Sandwiches out of a machine…? Well I wasn't that desperate." He took out the Styrofoam container, opened it and moaned, "I think I've died and gone to heaven."
He grinned. "Sometimes."
He kissed me again and then I left. I had my appointment with Ms Engel, and he needed to eat and return to his spreadsheets. Or do both at the same time knowing him.
I made it back to the office five minutes before Ms Engel appeared.
The look on her face when she sat down beside my desk was hopeful. "You found him?"
"No. I don't think that will be possible. I'm sorry. I've tried every route but, as I think I warned you to begin with, adoption records are sealed." Then I lied with a straight face. "I contacted the Spears-Clemens agency. They let me know in no uncertain terms that they could not, and would not, tell me anything about any child they had had in their system. Nor would they tell you."
"There must be something more you can do," she said, gripping my hand. "Please tell me there is. I so want to make things up to him for what I did." She looked at me beseechingly. Damn she was good. I almost believed her. Almost.