"What? Why? Do you think I'm lying?" The sudden rise of emotion in him has me on edge too, and the panic that I'm scaring my only ray of light to escape away. He appears to be running away, but as he turns to me, to close the door, the tear I catch in his eye silences me and he pauses, taking a deep breath and lowering his hands. The open door between us keeping us a couple of feet apart, but his sadness overwhelms me.
"Eight years of silence… eight years watching her sleep. Eight years hoping that one day the things she said, I'd accept that my friend had lost her mind completely. Eight years…. and I convinced myself that her visions and stories were that of a mad woman, broken by battle which convinced her that her mate was an evil player in some bigger plan, and her confinement here was a betrayal to silence her. Eight years justifying that she was better asleep, than to be tortured by her own illness of the mind." I don't know if he's saying it to me, or to himself, his eyes not on me, just glazed and distant as a single tear rolls down his cheek and I'm so very confused.
"I don't understand. You said she was fine… upstairs…. She's been here longer than eight years…. Colton said nine." Or was that including the war… when he didn't see her in that timeframe because he never saw her when she came home at all. I don't know. Oh god, please don't tell me she really is broken, and this is all for nothing.
The thought crosses my mind, things not adding up to what he said, and going around in circles, unable to piece it together logically. Maybe Sierra really was sick, but then what the hell is he saying? The doctor smiles at me sadly, his pale grey eyes finally landing on mine, and gives me a watery half smile.
"If she was crazy…. then how could she tell me that one day a solitary she wolf from the west would come to save us all from something that was coming. A future leader of her people, joined to her blood by the fates. Maybe it's coincidence, maybe it's not. Maybe it's wishful thinking and guilt because I've let her lay there for eight long years. Don't you see?" he's almost babbling, but I pick out the points I think he's trying to connect.
"I came East from where I was, and I'm linked to her son." I repeat robotically, still looking at him with a quizzical expression on my face and trying to figure out what his vague statements mean. He's lost in his own head.
"Tell me…. What does the name Marina mean to you?" He narrows his eyes on me, leaning in as though telling me a secret of the utmost importance, and her name falls off his tongue like a lead rod that stabs me in the heart.
I gasp at the utterance of it on this man's lips, my blood running cold as he says it, and I openly stifle a sob such is the unexpected pain of hearing it. A name that died when she did, and no one has uttered it in a decade.
"She was my mother…." I whisper it painfully, that same rise of heartache anytime I begin to think of her and have to stop my own tears from breaking free.
The doctor clasps a hand to his mouth as though I've uttered something sinful, his eyes widening in alarm and he begins to breathe heavily. Backing away from me as something seems to click into place.