July 31

“That’s just it, Phillip,” she sobbed. “We didn’t do anything. We had him, we had the proof, and we just…” She waved with her hand, letting it too flop uselessly to the desk. “We let him go, Phillip.”
“What did you want to do?” he shouted. “Rip him from his parents’ arms?”
“That was not his father!” she fired back, sitting upright. He almost wished that she was back face-down, given the glare on her face. “No decent human being could ever treat their child that way!”
“We have no proof!” Phillip said. “All we have is our own conjecture, our own hypothesis, and our own motives for wanting it to be that way!”
“Isn’t that enough?” Chloe slumped back into her high-backed executive chair, her features softening. “If caring and compassion aren’t enough, then what is?”
Phillip stepped closer. “We know, that’s certain enough,” he said. “But we can’t prove it to anyone without introducing our own bias into it. So we should just step back and let the police see it for themselves. That’s not the end of the world.”
“It might as well be,” Chloe said. “Phillip, we were already trading on our reputation before this. We had nothing but a spotless record to this point, and it was because of this that we were able to get the loans and grants we did. Once word gets out that the police are seriously investigating us in connection to a child abduction– a child we were actively pursuing– we can kiss our spotless reputation goodbye.”

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