But what the reporter said next stopped him cold, even as an uneasy sensation rippled up his spine. He reported mother and child being listed in stable condition and that Marley’s apparent captivity had not harmed her pregnancy. The reporter offered only the guess that she appeared to be four or five months along. Other details were sketchy. No arrests had been made, as her captors had escaped.
“Theos mou,” he murmured even as he struggled to grasp the implications.
He stood and reached for his cellular phone as he strode from his apartment. When he broke from the entrance of the well-secured apartment high-rise, his driver had just pulled around.
Once inside the vehicle, he again flipped open his phone and called the hospital where Marley had been taken.
“Her physical condition is satisfactory,” the doctor informed Chrysander. “However, it is her emotional state that concerns me.”He simmered impatiently as he waited for the physician to complete his report. Chrysander had burst into the hospital, demanding answers as soon as he’d walked onto the floor where Marley was being treated. Only the statement that he was her fiancé had finally netted him any results. Then he’d immediately had her transferred to a private room and had insisted that a specialist be called in to see her. Now he had to wade through the doctor’s assessment of her condition before he could see her.
“But she hasn’t been harmed,” Chrysander said.
“I didn’t say that,” the doctor murmured. “I merely said her physical condition is not serious.”
“Then quit beating around the bush and tell me what I need to know.”
The doctor studied him for a moment before laying the clipboard down on his desk. “Miss Jameson has endured a great trauma. I cannot know exactly how great, because she cannot remember anything of her captivity.”
“What?” Chrysander stared at the doctor in stunned disbelief.
“Worse, she remembers nothing before. She knows her name and little else, I’m afraid. Even her pregnancy has come as a shock to her.”
Chrysander ran a hand through his hair and swore in three languages. “She remembers nothing? Nothing at all?”
The doctor shook his head. “I’m afraid not. She’s extremely vulnerable. Fragile. Which is why it’s so important that you do not upset her. She has a baby to carry for four more months and an ordeal from which to recover.”
Chrysander made a sound of impatience. “Of course I would do nothing to upset her. I just find it hard to believe that she remembers nothing.”
The doctor shook his head. “The experience has obviously been very traumatic for her. I suspect it’s her mind’s way of protecting her. It’s merely shut down until she can better cope with all that has happened.”
“Did they…” Chrysander couldn’t even bring himself to complete the question, and yet he had to know. “Did they hurt her?”
The doctor’s expression softened. “I found no evidence that she had been mistreated in any way. Physically. There is no way to find out all she has endured until she is able to tell us. And we must be patient and not press her before she is ready. As I said, she is extremely fragile, and if pressed too hard, too fast, the results could be devastating.”
Chrysander cursed softly. “I understand. I will see to it that she has the best possible care. Now can I see her?”
The doctor hesitated. “You can see her. However, I would caution you not to be too forthcoming with the details of her abduction.”
A frown creased Chrysander’s brow as he stared darkly at the physician. “You want me to lie to her?”
“I merely don’t want you to upset her. You can give her details of her life. Her day-to-day activities. How you met. The mundane things. It is my suggestion, however, and I’ve conferred with the hospital psychiatrist on this matter, that you not rush to give her the details of her captivity and how she came to lose her memory. In fact, we know very little, so it would be unwise to speculate or offer her information that could be untrue. She must be kept calm. I don’t like to think of what another upset could cause her in her current state.”
Chrysander nodded reluctantly. What the doctor said made sense, but his own need to know what had happened to Marley was pressing. But he wouldn’t push her if it would cause her or the baby any harm. He checked his watch. He still had to meet with the authorities, but first he wanted to see Marley and said as much to the doctor.
The physician nodded. “I’ll have the nurse take you up now.”
Marley struggled underneath the layers of fog surrounding her head. She murmured a low protest when she opened her eyes. Awareness was not what she sought. The blanket of dark, of oblivion, was what she wanted.There was nothing for her in wakefulness. Her life was one black hole of nothingness. Her name was all that lingered in the confusing layers of her mind. Marley.