: These characters are not mine. I'm only playing with them.
Greg never told his coworkers about his father. It’s hard to tell what you don’t know. When he was younger, he used to make up stories about his dad, to cover up that he didn’t have one. When he was little, his mother wouldn’t talk about his father. When he was a teenager, old enough to understand a few things about the world, his mother had finally relented and admitted that he was the product of a one-night stand. Spring break her senior year of college. One of the few crazy things the otherwise steady, responsible young woman had ever done. She’d realized she was pregnant two weeks before graduation.
His last name was made up, part of a story she’d told her parents about a boyfriend who hadn’t stuck around- she hadn’t been able to face them with the truth. His whole life, Greg had been surrounded by a loving, supportive family. Papa Olaf had been his father figure, Nana Olaf had doted on him, and his mother had been and still was fiercely protective of her only child. He wanted for nothing. Nothing except the one thing she couldn’t give him, anything at all about his father.
Now that he was in Vegas, he looked up to Gil Grissom. Grissom acted like he imagined a father would, steering him clear of trouble, giving him good advice. Looking out for him. He’d long since put the teenage notion of finding his father behind him. Which was why he was currently staring at Mandy in shock.
“Say that again?”
“One of the DNA sources from that scene just off the Strip came up as a family match for you. Father, by the looks of it.” She handed him a folder with the DNA analysis printouts.
Greg could only gape at it. The DNA wasn’t from a suspect, but from one of the witnesses at the scene. He’d given the victim first aid, so they’d needed his DNA to exclude him. Greg remembered because he’d been the one who interviewed the guy.
An older man, British. A historian, specializing in mythology and religious beliefs from the prehistoric era to the Middle Ages, who did some appraisal work for museums, art galleries, and the like. Greg had been curious and asked some extra questions about his work when the official interview was over. He’d with a group about Greg’s age who were in town on vacation. “To keep them from doing permanent damage to themselves, their bank accounts, or Las Vegas” was his given reason for accompanying them. It had been said with an air of much-tried patience, but fondness underneath it. He wasn’t related to any of them, but seemed to look after all of them. Like a father.
Greg knew he could potentially get in big trouble for using the man’s contact information for something that wasn’t, strictly speaking, police business, but it might well be the only chance he’d ever have to speak to his father. There was no guarantee the man would want further contact with him…or any contact at all. Now that he actually had found him, Greg wasn’t sure if he was brave enough to go talk to him.
He took a deep breath and picked up his cell phone.
“Mr. Giles? This is Greg Sanders calling from the Las Vegas crime lab…”