“You ever been raped doing this?”

“Good morning to you too. Do you always start conversations this way?”

“What, you want me to blush or something?”

Truth was, Marc knew very well his question was shocking. That was precisely why he asked it point blank like this. What he wanted, more than the actual answer, was to see her reaction. If she blinked, he’d know to probe further.

He added a packet of sugar to his allongé, what they call Americano to help tourists figure out which espresso drink is safe enough for people used to drinking weak slop. In Montreal, everyone was expected to know what espresso drink to have. Besides, allongé had the virtue of describing what you were asking for; you add water to an espresso in order to elongate it, hence the word. Allongé. It shouldn’t be this complicated. Anyway.

People, no matter how PR-trained, always betray their emotions when talking to reporters or investigators. There’s always some way to tell. Hands start sweating, prompting nervous pant rubbing. Faces get flustered, pupils dilate. Nobody except psychopaths can control or hide their bodies’ primary responses.

Marc was pretty sure Sophie was not a psychopath, although you never really did know. His question only elicited a slightly amused smile, like she would flash at the mother of a little boy trying to suffocate her with his hugs.

She wasn’t shocked to be asked. And didn’t look like someone who was trying to hide shameful information. This could only mean one thing.

But he had no idea what it was.

“Is that a yes or a no?” Might as well be direct.

“Of course,” she said. “But not the way you think.”