Tori had been missing for five days before Ambassador Franklin Fairchild even knew his daughter was missing. The last time anyone had seen her was when she had made a scene at his benefit. Not that she had never disappeared for a few days before, but this time his staff had failed to inform him of her status. He still wouldn't have known anything was wrong, but Nicholas, Tori's little brother, had gotten worried at her lack of calls.

His chief of security assured him that they were simply trying to allow him to go about his job without undue stress. She'd always turned up in the past, usually splashed across the front of a sleazy tabloid in various stages of intoxication or on the arm of some dimwitted musician. Sometimes she'd call from halfway across the world not entirely sure how she'd ended up out of country, but damn sure she needed money. And, despite her contempt for him and his politics, he always brought her home.

She was his little princess, after all.

His wife barely bothered to look up from their itinerary for the Provence trip, simply huffing that perhaps 'the girl' wouldn't embarrass them until after they returned. When Tori had hit her rebellious phase, Diane hadn't taken it well and each continuing escapade had made her more and more angry. Now she barely acknowledged that she had a daughter, instead choosing to focus on Nicholas, a freshman at Georgetown. From afar that is.

Not all mothers were the cuddly type.

Still, despite all assurances, he worried. His career had left him with a not insignificant number of enemies, many of whom would have no qualms about coming after him through his daughter.

If she hadn't turned up by the time they returned from Italy, he'd make some discrete inquiries. He sighed, thinking he would doubtless find she'd taken up wit some sleazy loser and had simply holed up with him in a disreputable area where there were no paparazzi lingering around.

He tried not to think about the fact that that was the scenario he took comfort in.