Chapter Two: Memories
Ariel sat in the chair beside the couch in Luka’s doctor’s office and watched as the man hypnotized her husband.
“You can talk to them now, Mrs. Gunnar,” the doctor said as he looked at Ariel.
“Call me, Ariel,” she said as she smiled at the man, “my mother-in-law is Mrs. Gunnar.”
The man nodded as he motioned towards her husband, who laid silently on the couch. Ariel took a deep breath as she scooted down the seat, so she was closer to the sofa.
“Luka?” She whispered.
Ariel smiled, “hello, Lukas.”
“What have you got for me today?” Lukas asked as a smile formed on his handsome face.
“I’m with the doctor today,” she said as she brushed her hand over his hair.
“Don’t touch him, Lukas doesn’t like to be touched,” the doctor said as he reached out to stop her.
Ariel continued to touch her husband’s hair as Lukas turned his head towards her touch.
“Well, I’ll be. You seem to have some power over them,” the doctor said as he sat back in his seat and wrote in his pad.
“Of course, she does, Doc. She’s our wife,” Lukas said with a wicked grin.
The hypnotherapist looked up at Lukas, his eyebrows furrowed.
“Lukas,” Ariel whispered.
“Can we talk to Lizzie?”
Lukas smiled, “for you, anything.”
“Hello, Lizzie,” Ariel said with a smile as she touched her husband’s cheek.
The doctor looked up when the child spoke.
“She has never talked to me,” the doctor said as he wrote more notes into the notepad.
“She’s a little shy,” Ariel said with a smile, “Lizzie, sweetie, do you think we can talk to the doctor?”
“Am I sick?” Lizzie asked with a frown.
“No, sweetie. He’s a hypnotherapist…”
“I Don’t Wanna!”
“Sorry about that, Sweetheart,” Lukas said with a heavy sigh, “she will talk to you, but she’s terrified of the Hypno dude.”
The doctor laughed at Lukas’s reference to him.
“Lizzie, sweetie, I know you can hear me,” Ariel said as she brushed her husband’s hair out of his face, “I will be here the whole time. You have nothing to fear. If it gets scary, I promise I will make him stop, and we will go get ice cream.”
“Promise?” Lizzie asked with a pout.
Ariel chuckled, “I said I promise, didn’t I?”
Lizzie huffed, “okay. But only if you stay here…”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Ariel assured her as she got to her knees at the couch and took hold of both her husband’s hands.
Lizzie nodded, “okay, then.”
“Excellent,” the doctor said with a smile.
Ariel smiled as she continued to hold on to her husband’s hands.
“First things, first,” the doctor said as he moved off his chair and helped Ariel off her knees and back onto the chair beside the couch. “Always, safety first.”
“Where did Ariel go?” Lizzie asked with a cry.
“I’m still here, Lizzie. I’m sitting right here.”
“But, I want you by me…”
“Lizzie, we need to protect Ariel and the baby…”
“Okay,” Lizzie said with a pout as she nodded, “Lukas wouldn’t be happy if they got hurt.”
“No, I’m sure he wouldn’t be,” the doctor said as he sat back in his seat.
“I’m still here,” Ariel said as she placed her hand on her husband’s head.
Lizzie nodded with a sigh.
“Now, Lizzie,” the doctor said as he watched the large man on the couch, “we are here to find out why you didn’t grow up with Luka and Lukas…”
“I was asleep,” Lizzie said with a frown.
“So was Lukas,” the doctor said as he wrote in his notepad.
“I didn’t want to,” Lizzie said with a pout.
“I see,” the doctor said as he looked at his patient. “How about now? Do you want to be an adult like Luka and Lukas?”
Lizzie shook her head. “No. I like being little.”
“I see,” the hypnotherapist wrote a few notes into his notepad, then set it on his desk and moved to the couch. “Maybe if we brought back some memories, you will want to grow up.”
“No!” Lizzie said with a cry.
“It’s okay, Lizzie. I’m right here,” Ariel soothed as she brushed her husband’s hair.
“But I don’t want to go back,” Lizzie said as she pulled away from Ariel and the doctor.
“Lizzie,” Ariel said with a stern voice, “listen to the doctor. If anything happens that you dislike, I will have him pull you back, okay.”
Lizzie sighed with a nod as she moved back to her position on the couch.
“Okay,” the doctor said as he stood over Lizzie, “I will count to five, and as I do, you will go deeper and deeper.”
Lizzie took a deep breath as she laid still.
Ariel watched the doctor and her husband, her hand still soothing Lizzie.
“One,” the doctor said as he watched his patient, “two.”
Ariel watched as the doctor counted to five, and her husband became even more relaxed.
“Okay, Lizzie. Can you see where you are?”
“I’m in the cabin. Howie is here!”
“Good,” the doctor said with a nod as he sat back in his chair, “what else do you see?”
“I see the man. He’s asleep in the bed.”
“Where are you and Howie?”
“We’re chained to the floor in front of the fireplace, laying in our dog beds.”
Ariel’s free hand went to cover her mouth as she gasped. Luka doesn’t remember much of his time in that cabin, so she doesn’t know what happened there. But apparently, Lizzie remembers.
“What are you and Howie doing?” The doctor asked as he wrote in his notebook.
“Howie is asleep. But I’m awake watching the man sleep.”
“Are you Lizzie or Luka?” The doctor asked.
“Lizzie,” Lizzie said with a nod, “Luka is asleep.”
“I see. Did you watch the man often?”
Lizzie shook her head. “Only this one time.”
“Why is that?”
“Because he woke up,” Lizzie said with panic in her voice.
“What happened when he woke up?”
“The man is waking. He’s looking at me. He’s getting to his feet and coming over to me. He knows I’m awake and watching him. He has that smile on his face. No, don’t come near me. No.”
“Lizzie, what is he doing?” The doctor asked as he watched his patient.
“He is unlocking my chain. No! He thinks I’m a dirty boy!”
“What is he saying?”
“He says that I must want him if I stay awake to watch him, no, no, don’t unlock the chain!”
“Lizzie, stay calm; it is only a memory. What does he do when he unlocks the chain?”
“He’s dragging me to the bed! He throws me onto the bed and jumps on top of me. I scream, but he covers my mouth, he’s hurting me!”
Ariel covered her ears when Lizzie screamed and bucked on the couch.
“Lizzie, you will come out of the memory, in three, two, one.”
Lizzie settled back onto the couch, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Oh, Lizzie,” Ariel breathed as she fell to her knees and took her husband into her arms.
“Ariel, I don’t want to remember anymore,” Lizzie said with a cry.
“I see why Luka doesn’t remember much of that time in the cabin,” the doctor said as he took more notes.
“I could have told you that,” Ariel said as she held onto her crying husband.
“I needed to hear it from Lizzie. She’s stuck in that time,” he said as he looked at his patient and his beautiful wife.
“Can you pull her out of it?” Ariel asked as she looked at the doctor.
The doctor sighed, “I have a feeling not. This is our first session with Lizzie fully co-operating, but she has sketched herself into that time.”
“Lukas,” Ariel whispered.
The crying stopped, and the arms around Ariel tightened. “Hey, Sweetheart.”
Ariel sighed as she held onto him.
“Interesting,” the doctor said as he watched them.
“What?” Ariel asked without looking at the doctor.
“How easily you can pull the alters forward. I’ve never seen anything like it,” the doctor said as he wrote in his notebook.
“Are we done here, Doc?” Lukas asked as he held onto Ariel.
“Just about,” the doctor said with a nod.
“Lukas, is Lizzie okay?” Ariel asked as she looked at her husband.
Lukas sighed, “she will be. I think bringing forward that memory shook her.”
“Ariel, can you please move back to your chair so that I can wake your husband?”
Ariel nodded as she moved back into her seat.
“Mr. Gunnar, you will wake in, five, four, three, two, one.”
Luka’s eyes opened, and he looked at the doctor.
“How do you feel?” The doctor asked as he watched Luka.
“I saw it,” Luka said as he looked at Ariel, “I saw what Lizzie went through for me.”
“Oh, Luka,” Ariel cried as she watched her husband.
“That is part of my hypnotherapy,” the doctor said with a nod, “it lets you see what your alters saw.”
“I didn’t want to see any of that,” Luka said with a frown.
“You needed to,” the doctor said as he watched his patient, “to understand them better.”
“Luka,” Ariel breathed.
Luka reached his hand out to her. She took it and held onto it.
“I don’t want to see anymore,” he said as a tear slid down his cheek.
“Then you don’t have to,” Ariel said as she moved from the chair to the couch.
“That’s a mistake,” the doctor said as he watched them. “If you want her to grow up, we need to see what is keeping her a child.”
“If Lizzie wants to stay a kid, who am I to change her?” Luka asked as he held onto his wife.
“The Core Personality, that’s who,” the doctor said as he stood, “Ariel, you need to move back to the chair so that we can try again.”
“Look Doc, if Luka doesn’t want to change his alters, who are you to force his hand?”
The doctor stared at Lukas’s red eyes with shock. He has never seen this man’s alters while he was awake.
“Lukas,” the doctor said with a nod.
“I think it’s time I take my wife home,” Lukas said as he got to his feet and pulled Ariel up with him.
“Don’t you mean your core’s wife?” The doctor asked as he watched the couple stand.
“No, Doc, I mean my wife.”
“But she’s married to your core, not you…”
“Actually, I’m married to both,” Ariel said with a smile.
“Don’t think about it too hard, Doc,” Lukas said as he slapped the man on the shoulder. “And by the way, this is our last session for a while. We’re going on an extended vacation.”
“Thank you for everything, doctor,” Ariel said as she shook the man’s hand, “we understand now why Lizzie hasn’t grown up. Maybe one day, she will set herself free. But we won’t force her. Thanks again.”
The doctor stood in his office with his mouth gaping open, as he watched the couple leave. He has never seen alters like this before. When he had had the sessions alone with the man, he had only talked to the one alter, and he had always seemed so angry.
But with Ariel around, he seemed calm. Maybe there is something about the beautiful woman who had tamed the wild beast.
Ariel smiled as she watched Lizzie dig into the ice cream sundae. She deserved it after what she had just been through.
“Is it good?” Ariel asked with a chuckle when Lizzie licked the bowl clean.
Lizzie set the bowl down with a nod and grinned at her.
“We need to get you cleaned up before we go see Kaison.”
“Right,” Lizzie said as she wiped her mouth with her sleeve.
“Don’t do that,” Ariel said, then grunted when she saw the mess on Luka’s nice shirt.
“Sorry,” Lizzie said with a frown.
“Go to the bathroom and clean up,” Ariel said as she shook her head.
Lizzie’s frown deepened. “You’re mad at me.”
Ariel sighed, “I am not mad at you.”
“But, I was bad,” she said as she looked up at Ariel.
“Wiping your mouth doesn’t make you bad…”
Lizzie shook her head. “I wouldn’t let the doctor help me.”
Ariel sighed, “Lizzie, sweetie. We are all in agreement. If you want to stay six, you can stay six. We were only trying to help. Luka saw what you saw, the block on that memory is gone now, and Lukas and I don’t like that.”
Lizzie nodded, “I was protecting, Luka.”
“We know,” Ariel said as she reached out and took hold of her husband’s hand. “And we love you even more for it,” she said with a smile, “if that’s possible.”
Lizzie smiled as she held onto Ariel’s hand.
“Now, let one of the guys out so they can go clean up.”
Lizzie giggled, then her eyes turned to a darker blue.
“Hello, love,” Luka said with a smile.
Ariel laughed, “You may want to go clean up. She had a bit of fun with the sundae.”
Luka sighed as he got to his feet and walked to the bathroom.
Ariel laughed when she heard her husband cursing in the bathroom. She had noticed people watching them ages ago and didn’t give one iota.
“That child needs to learn how to eat properly,” Luka grumbled as he returned to their table.
“We need to get moving if we want to catch Kaison before he goes home for the day,” Ariel said as she pulled herself out of the booth.
Luka helped her stand, then pulled her into his arms.
“Thank you for being there for us,” he whispered as he held her close.
She smiled as she held onto him. “Always and forever, remember?”
He sighed, then pulled back and kissed her. “You are amazing; you know that Mrs. Gunnar?”
She laughed as she looked up into his beautiful blue eyes.
“You’re not half bad yourself, Mr. Gunnar.”