Three Ladies and a Stone (Part 2)

OFF: This is not a challenge post, but a continuation of the stories already in progress to bring the reader to a better understanding. This is the time period wherein Avakhon has come to the end of the agreed-upon time for his client to return, seeking answers.

ON:
The door swings wide and SHE walks in. His client of a recent acquisition, the Ice Queen. Her face is one of concern and yet unfathomable doubt. She enters, sees him sitting there, and comes
towards him.
"I was given a message that you have news for me? Have you found her? I hope you have good news as I am getting somewhat doubtful of finding her now. It's been nearly two months now."

"MY news is one of uncertain presence. I am unsure of what it is you refer to?" and he played innocent as best he could. Knowing the letter's content would give him away, but not wanting to find him on the end of her wrath, should she take it to heart what the writer has alluded to.
"I was simply told that you had a message for me and that I should come right away.
The messenger stated that all would be revealed to me when I arrived, nothing more."
"Well I have been working the streets, so I have not been to my office for a couple of days now, as evidenced by this pile of correspondence here on my desk. Mayhap there's something here that is of interest to you?"
She looks over the pile and sees familiar handwriting amid the letters. She also sees it's addressed to HER. Snatching it up and examining it closely, she asks,
"HOW long has this been here detective? It's still warm, it seems from the sun perhaps, earlier in the day?" and she eyes him suspiciously. He looks sheepishly back at her and replies.
"I've only just returned, and as I see no postmark on it, I can only presume it to be recently delivered, by parties unknown to me. As YOU were summoned to meet me here, and you are now here, please be my guest and open it." as he watches her, she slides her delicate finger under the seal,
lifting and breaking the seal, wherein the contents, letter, money and all fall onto his desk.
"MY STARS that's a wad of bills!" she exclaims," I'd have to have dozens of clients to make this much money! What is this letter?" she picks it up, reads it to herself then eyes him even more suspiciously.
"Says here that YOU are more inquisitive than you look and should already know what it says in the letter. Any chance you want to tell me, something detective? Perhaps an explanation is due."
"Good lady, I assure you, I just entered the building a moment prior to your arrival. IF I had, would not my desk be more appropriately adorned and neater? Were I of nature to beguile you, I'd be the innkeeper to the Lady's Grace and not a detective whom YOU have hired to find someone now would I?" and he glares at her, through the mask his eyes become red and begin to glow. Seeing this, and taking a moment to think of his words, she says,
"Well I do see a mound of clutter here and it does look in disarray as if not having been attended for a while, so I suppose what you say is true. It's simply that the letter spoke of your being so determined to know it's contents that it was a foregone conclusion that you'd already read it. As I broke the seal myself and it wasn't done so already, I would suppose I must trust that you speak the truth to me now. Very well, then I must thank you for your services. What do I owe you for them? I am instructed to pay you for them out of this that's included in this gift."
"Good lady, the money you've already advanced me is more than enough to cover my services so far. Would I take anymore from you I would do you an ill service and that would benefit neither of us? Especially as your with child and need all of it for that reason."
"BASTARD! I thought you said you didn't read the letter! HOW would you know of my condition if not for that?" and she leers at him, contemptuously.
"Calm yourself, good lady, the letter was not of whence I came of this news. I am a detective you know. The FIRST rule of a good detective, KNOW your client so it doesn't come back to haunt you. My investigations led me to speak to some of those who inhabit your domicile, and they, with the proper persuasions, told me of some times when you were unable to perform some duties due to sudden illnesses, which seemed to pass at mid-day or after some reasonable curdled milk was eaten.
THIS is a prime indicator of what's known as morning sickness, an ailment of those who are with child. Your last visit, I noticed you were hiding certain areas of your body from view, purposefully. Normally I would say nothing of it, but it seems to be a matter of great concern to you as it impacts your 'business' prospects considerably and thereby forcing you to other career choices. A wetnurse is not a bad choice, but it usually means the death of your own to nurse the one that's employing you. NEITHER is acceptable in my mind."
"Detective, I apologize. I had not thought that you would look into MY background to find Sunshine. Now that I consider it, who else would you speak to about her? MY own, who would sell their own mothers for the right price. Curse me for the sot that I am, I doubted you, and for that, I ask you to forgive me. Here, this is fair for your time and services." she hands him a ten-pound note.
"All I have done is find you and your secret, the lady you seek is elsewhere still and I
have come no closer to finding her for you than I was when we met. I cannot accept funds when I have not met with the job's requirements." he hands her back the bill.
"Through you, I have found her and that's enough for me detective. Keep it and send your next client a letter of thank you in my name is all I ask of you now. Now if you'll excuse me, I must be off, I have other business to attend to, and a future to plan with Sunshine throughout the rest of my days."
"As you wish good lady, I will see it done for the next soul who darkens my doorway."
Detective Avakhon Khinsharri
Avakhon Khinsharri

Zazi, The ICE Queen, a lady of the evening
Corliss

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