Certainly, nothing could have prepared Emma for Nathan’s stunning revelation. On one had it caught her off guard, on the other, it went hand in hand with the younger man she’d known so long ago. Even then his bent had been to protect the underdog, or in her case, the lame duck other’s had often picked on.
“So this ‘work’ you’re involved in, is on the up and up? By that I mean, the right side of the law?”
“I am not affiliated with any government organization, although I have contracted out to a government agency on occasion.”
“How large a staff do you have?”
“I have fifteen men and women who work directly with me. All are highly skilled and very capable.”
“You mentioned mistakes have been made. How did that happen?”
“We were fed bad or faulty intel that led to a couple of incidents where another household member was injured during a mission. Although the incident didn’t result in any deaths, it was certainly lamentable and absolutely unacceptable on my part. On occasion, even the best-laid plans can go awry. Even though my goal is to minimize the possibility, such is the nature of the beast.”
“Have any of your family or friends been actively targeted? Is that why the extra precaution?”
“Yes. My brother’s wife was murdered in front of their home. Luckily the children weren’t home to see it, but that doesn’t negate the loss we all feel. Consequently, I take this far more seriously and realize that when someone has an agenda, they will carry see it through.”
“I can assume then, that your staff here, Jim in particular knows the situation, might even be involved in working with you?”
“Jim is highly trained. He’ll be with you almost entirely. He’s been given the task of protecting you from this moment until the case I’m working is closed.”
“You seriously think I may be a threat to someone?”
“Very possibly, yes, if only by association. In an attempt to get to me, they have tried friends of friends and people I rely on in protecting the young ones I take out of abusive homes.”
“From what you’ve mentioned, I take it most of the people involved are wealthy or rich?”
“I have an in that no one else has. I run in similar circles and it is possible to infiltrate organizations, companies, and my art often provides that in.”
They talked for another couple of hours regarding several aspects of the work Nathan did. He provided her with pictures of some of the men women and children he’d saved from certain death or extremely intolerable situations.
“You’ve given me a great deal of information and a lot to think about. Surprised, yes, I admit I am but only in the scope of what you do. It must take a great deal of effort, organization and planning to attempt many of the rescues you’ve pulled off.”
“Have you ever been injured?”
“Once, badly, but I made it out and managed to meet with my team who I am eternally indebted to for saving my life.”
As Emma sat in the limo on the return ride home, she was figuring out a plan. Obviously she couldn’t write about what Nathan had spoken of. It certainly put his and other lives in danger. She had a lot of fact checking to do and she’d be burning the midnight oil on the information she’d received. Very careful examination, without raising any red flags. That was a given.