“Okay Jack, I need answers. Jacques is what then?” The doctor asked with more interest than condescending disbelief.
Jack contemplated his next words carefully.
“One of the oldest of his kind.” Jack Said knowing he was being vague. He was gauging every one of her reactions to each piece of information slowly and systematically.
“Some would call him one of the Vilkacis.” Jack waited to see if the term meant anything to the doctor.
“You’re telling me he’s a Werewolf?” Emily asked.
“Not one of your more commonly used words. May I ask where you learned it?” Jack said
“I seem to recall it from one of my European Folklore classes.” She said.
“Do you believe what I have just told you?” Jack said studying.
“I believe that you believe it.” She said using her text book standard doctor answer.
“Fair enough. Do you feel less comfortable around me now?” Jack said seriously.
“I’m fine. Why do you ask, are like Jacques?” The doctor asked.
The fact that she didn’t start the sentence with ‘do you think’ was not insignificant.
“No, of course not. Jacques is quite unique” Jack said, dismissing the question as silly.
“Whew.” The doctor said as she put her hand to her chest in mock relief. “Do these wolves turn into anything? You know, like actual wolves, or hairy two legged creatures you see in the movies.” She asked.
“I’m afraid not. Nancy could be a wolf and you wouldn’t know it.”
“Sometimes I think she could be. You should work with her when she’s in a mood.”
Jack smiled. “She is not, in case you were genuinely wondering.”
“Good to know.”
Though Emily believed that Jack’s story was fantastic and bordering on the ridicules, she did not immediately write him off as psychotic or delusional. Maybe she was being swayed by his confidence and intelligence, or a small part of her wanted to believe him. Who wouldn’t want to live in a fantasy world where things like werewolves were possible? The reality was that this is the real world and those things are not possible.
Maybe Jack was telling this fictional tale to see what sort of response he would get from her. But why? Was he some sort of a plant to test her? She wouldn’t put it past Kaufland to set her up and try to sabotage her right before she left, but she didn’t think that was it.
The best course of action in any case was to just keep going, treat him like any other patient, and see where it takes her. She would work it out eventually as she always did. There was a reason she was sought after. She was good.
“What about Viktoria and Bili? Are they like Jacques? Because…” She started to say, hoping to get some answers this time.
“I’m getting to that doc.” Jack said cutting her off. “You wouldn’t buy a book and start reading in the middle would you?”
“No, of course not, but you said you would start to answer some questions. I think it would be an important step to go over a few things before we went further.” She said.
Jack was about to responded before he fell silent and sat back in his chair.
“What is it?” She asked.
A few seconds later the door to Jack’s room opened and man walked in.
“Dr. Richards, can I see you for a minute please?” The man said, not waiting for an answer before walking back out into the hallway, letting the door shut behind him.
The aggravation and disdain was written all over Emily’s face.
“Sure Dr. Kaufland, be right there.” Emily said sarcastically, knowing he was unable to hear her.
“Everything alright?” Jack asked.
“Fine. Sorry for the interruption Jack. I’ll be right back.” Emily said.
She set her files on the floor and walked out into the hall where Dr. Kaufland was waiting with an irritated look.
“You mind telling me why you interrupted me in the middle of a session with a patient?” Emily said.
“I’m still your superior, so watch the tone. You want to tell me what the hell you were doing in the Medical Wing? I received a complaint that you were over there earlier questioning the medical staff like some sort of half-ass detective or something.”
Emily knew damn well that no one made a complaint. This was some sort of power play and Kaufland was using it as an excuse to berate and question her.
“I was trying to get some answers to accurately treat my patient, the same one you couldn’t get a word out of. As you can see I’m making excellent progress.” Emily said as smugly as she could possibly sound. She was past the point of caring what this man thought.
Spencer was fuming with anger, but did not let his temper get away from him. He knew he was walking a fine line and he had to be careful.
“You just keep out of the medical wing, and if you have any questions, you bring them to me and I will contact the supervisor of the medical staff. Understand?”
“Yes sir.” She said mockingly like a new army recruit. The only thing missing was a salute and clicking of her heels.
“Aren’t you leaving soon anyway? Why are you bothering with this patient? Let the staff handle it.”
What he was really saying is that now that Jack was talking he wanted another chance to work with him. Jack was becoming a popular patient and word was spreading throughout the hospital. The fact that Dr Kaufland couldn’t get anywhere with him was also getting around.
“He’s my patient and I will see to his treatment. Is there anything else doctor?” Emily said. Now she was starting to get angry.
Dr. Kaufland was about to say something, but thought better of it. He held his tongue and walked off with purpose. Emily knew that she hadn’t heard the last of this by a long shot, but she didn’t care.
Emily went back to Jacks room trying to shake off her aggravation.
“What an asshole.” Emily muttered under her breath just as she was opening the door.
Emily walked back to her chair and sat back down. Jack was still seated in the chair across from her.
“Sorry about that.” She said.
“Why? He is an asshole.”
“I meant about the interruption...you could hear that?” She said, looking back at the door as if trying to work out the how.
Jack motioned upward toward the ceiling with his eyes and Emily followed.
“Ventilation vents.” Jack said.
Emily saw the small vent that allows the A/C into the room. She had never noticed it before.
Emily could have sworn that all of the rooms were fairly sound proof, though she had never tested them herself.
“Your right, but I really shouldn’t be talking like that about another doctor. It’s not professional. But I think we can make an exception just this once.”
They shared a smile, helping Emily snap out of her mood that Spencer put her in.
“I know you have lots of questions doc, but if you let me continue on I think we may answer some, as well as bring up several others. And I will say this before I go on.” Jack said, and then paused.
He had a way of creating suspense and curiosity like no other patient Emily had ever encountered.
“What?” She pressed.
“I’m well aware that my story seems beyond unbelievable and you are humoring me by not calling me out on some of these outlandish claims I’m making.”
This was a tricky position. He was forcing Emily to either agree with him that she thinks he is lying, or tell him that she believes everything he is saying, which he would see as condescending right away.
“If you know this, then tell me what you think I should believe?”
Jack gave Emily a look of appreciation.
“Well done. That was best non-committal answer I’ve ever heard.
Emily wasn’t sure if Jack was being sarcastic or not.
“How do you propose we get past this then?”
“Funny you should ask. My story may in fact get even more farfetched, as it were. Rather than you stopping me, as most psychiatrists might when hearing such ridiculousness, to confront a possible issue, you listen to its entirety as if it’s all true. That doesn’t mean I don’t expect you to ask questions, I encourage it, but if it’s to explain why I think this or that is possible it would ruin the flow.”
Rather than go into the fact that Emily didn’t treat her patients in that manner, because she knew some did, she thought it easier to move forward.
“Okay Jack. Let’s continue.”