"As I said, there's really is nothing more I can do. I'll have my secretary make up your bill."
Ms Engel hissed in what I presume was frustration then asked snidely, "Can you recommend another investigator who might be better trained at finding missing persons?"
"It has nothing to do with training," I snapped before reining in my anger. "There are laws surrounding adoptions."
She paused then looked at me slyly. "What if you found his father so both of us could approach the agency together?"
I resisted the urge to tell her to get out. Instead I replied calmly, "Since I don't know his name that would be difficult. I doubt, even if I did locate him, and you were able to convince him to help you, that it would make a difference. As I said…"
"Yeah, laws are laws. Still, his name is Giancarlo Donati. Just…in case." She sighed. "I'm sorry; I shouldn't have said what I did about training and all."
"It's okay. You're upset right now. If there was anything more I could have done, I would have."
"I know. Thank you for trying." She rested her fingers on my arm, stroking it gently. "You're a good man."
I wasn't sure what she based that on, but I didn't say so. I figured I probably didn't want to know where her thoughts were heading. Instead, I smiled. "I was just doing my job. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get ready for another client."
She stood, headed to the door then paused, looking back. "This is way off… everything, but you look like you must work out. If you want, I can get you a couple of free passes to the gym where I'm a personal trainer. Just come by any time."
What could I say to that other than thank you?
She smiled and left. Hopefully she remembered to get her bill from Chelsea. If not, it would be mailed to her.
With that bit of business concluded, I called Carlo---despite the fact we'd left it that he would call me when he'd made a decision about hiring me. He was surprised to hear from me.
"Still, I'm glad you called," he said. "It didn't take as long as I thought it would to make up my mind about things. I'll be coming back through the city tomorrow morning. If possible, can I make an appointment for around ten? That is if you work on Saturdays."
"I generally do, at least during the morning, so that would be fine. I'll see you then," I replied. We hung up and I got back to what was next on my agenda—the meeting with another client. About that at least, I hadn't lied to Ms Engel.