"What the hell? Well I'll be damned," Vic said in surprise when Paddy appeared in the middle of his office. "Uh-oh, don't tell me someone's after me for some reason."
Paddy laughed, shaking his head. "Nope, not after you or Evan."
Vic sighed with relief. "Then why are you here?"
"I need your expertise," Paddy told him.
"Have a seat and tell me how."
Paddy did. Then he rattled off the license plate number he'd memorized from Mr. Keefe's car. "Can you trace it?"
"This is me you're talking to. Off course I can." Vic turned to his computer, opening a web site, and entered the number. He grinned at Paddy. "Don't ever tell anyone I can get in here. Some people would not be happy if they found out."
"Like who would I tell? Evan? I know he's more than aware of your special talents."
Vic waggled his eyebrows while he waited for the information he was seeking. "Let's just say some of my 'special talents' lay in other things not the least bit computer related."
Paddy shook his head in amusement. "I take it that means you two have moved into a permanent relationship."
"Given that I'm living at his house now, I'd say that's a yes."
"Great!" Paddy eyed the computer. "Is it finding anything?"
"It is. The car was registered just over two weeks ago to a company called Keefe Investigations, owned by one John Keefe." Vic frowned. "They must be new in town since I've never heard of them." Picking up a pen, he wrote down the address.
"Interesting," Paddy said.
"The young man I'm assigned to protect? His father died a month ago, but not here in the city. Mr. Keefe is trying to find Mike."
"Mike's your charge?"
"Yes. He's twenty-one, and works at a shelter for street kids. This Keefe guy showed up there today claiming Mike's father had hired him to find Mike."
"He thought he'd be there?"
"What I picked up from Mike's thoughts, the man said he was visiting all the shelters in the city. Mike ran away from home when he was seventeen. Presumably Mr. Keefe figures he might have stayed at one or more of the shelters to get off the streets for a night or two. He's undoubtedly hoping someone recognizes him from the pictures he's flashing, and can tell him where Mike is now."
"That's sort of stupid. After four years Mike could be anywhere in the country."
"True, but if you were looking for him, wouldn't you start out the same way?"
Vic nodded. "I suppose so, and hope someone remembered him and maybe knew enough about him to know if he was still around." Vic tilted his head in question. "If Keefe knows Mike's name, and has pictures of him, why didn't he recognize him? Or didn't they actually meet?"
"They met. He didn't recognize him."
"Okay. A person can change a lot in four years, especially at that age, and if Mike did live on the streets the changes could be major." Vic leaned back, looking at Paddy. "So now what are you going to do? And why are you here, not with him? Never mind the last question. You can sense if he's in danger."
"Yep. As far as what I'll do next, I'm still debating that. Can you run a check on Keefe Investigations and find out if they're legit?"
"You bet." Vic returned his attention to the computer.