|Primary Characters:||Carole, Jerome, Thomas, Stephane|
|Spoilers:||It’s a movie, what did you expect?|
|Warning:||m/m sex referred to, rape and violence referred to|
|Description:||Carole knows Thomas and Stéphane love each other more than they love her. In this story, she decides to give Jérome another chance, but what’s happened to him? Can she do something to make him feel better? She finds her ex has changed a lot in a short time and this time around, he’s more understanding of her situation.|
It was a long way to the airport, but Carole felt that she needed to talk things through with Jerome. When she thought about never seeing him again, there was a strange feeling of emptiness inside her. During the course of their relationship, there had been times when she’d hated him, but more than anything, she had hated herself for being the weak one. If she’d been a man, like Thomas or Stephane, a man who fell in love with men, but who still, physically and mentally was a man, she’d have been able to fight back.
Being a man? Where did that thought spring from? Surely she didn’t want to change herself so that Thomas and Stephane would want her, more for herself than for the baby she was going to have for them? She shook her head to clear it from that ridiculous idea. Hadn’t she always been happy as a woman? In fact, many times she’d laughed inwardly at the immaturity of men.
Immaturity. Jerome. She was thinking about Jerome. Now, that the relationship seemed to be all but over for good, she could vividly recall the times he hadn’t been so exasperating. Before the frustration had led to violence and all the rest of their troubles. There had been times when he’d been just like a little boy. Too young, too immature, too spoiled by his rich daddy.
But still, underneath all that, on some days, or nights, the real Jerome had come shining through, and that was really the guy she had loved. He’d had a way of looking at her, with those deep brown eyes, with such devotion, she’d get a shiver down her spine.
But those good times had turned bad, as she discovered just what a spoiled little brat he’d become since his mother had left. And in retrospect, Carole realized how wrong she’d been to fall into the trap of trying to change his behaviour. She’d been far wiser to leave. That, at least, had shown Jerome she was serious.
And that pretty much brought her up to date. Despite everything, being with Thomas and Stephane made her happier than she’d been in a long time. She could hardly remember the last time Jerome had made her smile. But she couldn’t let him go without at least trying to explain what was really on her mind. That would have meant denying all they had meant to each other.
At this hour, there was no one about, and her rather scanty attire didn’t elicit much attention, until she entered the air terminal. The huge room seemed even larger at this time of the night, or rather the morning, without all the bustling crowds. Where was Jerome? She walked back and forth, trying to locate the gate he’d be waiting at.
The plane for Martinique wouldn’t be leaving until later in the morning, but she had a feeling that he would be here, pacing impatiently. She had to smile, as she remembered Jerome’s impatience. He couldn’t bear to wait for anything and back home, he usually didn’t have to. Not for long. With a father who owned most of the island, there was nothing he couldn’t have for the asking.
He turned slowly to face her, as if he couldn’t quite believe she was there. For a second, a faint look of hope flew across his features, then that hope died as he took in her unconventional appearance.
Carole looked down at herself. Oh. Was she really only wearing a sweater and nothing else? What had she been thinking? She would have felt the embarrassment more acutely, if she hadn’t just now noticed the change that had gone over Jerome since she’d last seen him, bringing that unbelievable present.
How in the world had he ever managed to get a hold of a giraffe? A real, live one too, not a squeaky toy as the one Stephane loved to tow around. But that memory died, as she took in the bruises on his face, and the haunted look in his face. What had happened to him?
And that voice, was that really Jerome’s? Even when he was angry with her, he never sounded this desolate. There was a numb apathy there that scared Carole. Had she done that to him? Or was it something else? She had to know.
“Jerome, what’s wrong? What’s happened to you?”
His eyes darted away furtively. Something was wrong, really wrong, and he was going to lie about it.
“No. Don’t lie. If you don’t want to tell me, don’t. But don’t lie about it. Not after -”
“Alright. I guess you won’t believe me but – I was – There was this -”
And incredibly, Jerome was crying. The discussion about their relationship would have to wait. More softly than she’d intended, Carole encouraged her ex to go on.
“I will believe you.”
Struck by a sudden thought, Carole put a hand to her mouth in horror. Surely Thomas couldn’t have sneaked away during the night to inflict this kind of punishment on the young man who had abused her? No. Thomas wasn’t violent or vindictive, though she knew he and Stephane had both been outraged when they’d learned what had gone on in her and Jerome’s relationship towards the end.
“Jerome, it wasn’t Thomas?”
“Thomas? No. Why would he – Oh. I told him I was sorry. That I’d never do anything like that again. And I meant it, Carole. I’m so sorry. Now – I guess I never knew how helpless you must have felt. I wasn’t thinking at all. Everything you said about me is true. I am a spoiled brat.”
“Then what happened?”
Again, she noted the strange unwillingness to confide in her. But she had to make him tell her. Suddenly, despite everything, that felt extremely important.
“It wasn’t Thomas or Stephane. Just one of their kind. Carole -”
His voice had dropped to a tormented whisper and now more than ever, he sounded like a little hurt boy. Her own sadness forgotten, she reached out and pulled him into her arms, and was distressed to find him tensing up, and seemingly about to withdraw from her. But eventually, he relaxed a little and let her hold him. Her fingers traced the bruises marring his face.
Not Thomas or Stephane, but one of their kind. No. A gay man who had – If she was right, this was something she would never have wished on Jerome, no matter how many times she’d hoped someone would teach him a lesson. But not a lesson this hard.
And she read the reply in his eyes, that seemed to be suspicously moist. So she’d been right in her guess. And she was filled with a burning hatred towards the pervert who had hurt her boy. No. Not her boy anymore. She sighed. Life had become so complicated. So much had changed since she’d walked out the sea like a modern version of Botticelli’s Venus.
And in a way, she’d really been born again when she’d met Thomas and Stephane. She’d never met a man quite so handsome as Thomas. Or one as kind and gentle as Stephane. They had made her feel safe, and provided her with an escape route. With an effort that earned Jerome a new respect in her eyes, he pulled himself together and managed to stop the tears from overflowing.
“Yes. Now I know exactly how I must have made you feel when I hit you. Believe me, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Knowing there was no way out. But I don’t want to talk about that. I’m so glad you came. Carole, I know you won’t be able to forgive me, but I’d just like to say, if I could, I’d go back and change what I did to you. It serves me right -”
“How can you say that?”
“No. Not that. I mean, you leaving me for those two queers. Even a couple of fags are treating you better than I was. Do they really make you happy, though, Carole?”
“Happy? Happier than I’ve been for a long time. But I know they love each other more than they love me. Still, I guess at this point in my life, I need them and the security they’re offering.”
She had spoken without thinking how that word would come out. Security. Too late, she realized how Jerome would interpret that particular word. He flinched as if from a blow and the sadness in his eyes become more tangible. She hadn’t been safe with him. Now she was. Of course she’d prefer being with Thomas and Stephane.
“I understand. I guess there’s not much more to say. Can I ask you something? Did you ever love me? Or did I ruin everything before we had time to -”
Tears welled up in her eyes and she felt her throat contract. Why did he have to ask that question? It would make it so much harder to part with him. And part they had to do. The way their relationship had ended had made her need some time to herself. His life was over there. On that island, in the sun, underneath the palm trees and the constantly blue sky.
Not like here. Bordeaux was a cold and rainy place. At least to someone who was used to the almost ceaseless sunshine of Martinique. She felt Jerome’s gaze bore into her, pleading for an answer. And after all they’d been through she owed him that much.
“Oh, Jerome, you don’t know how much.”
Yes, this made everything even worse. She’d loved him and he’d killed that love by his childish stupid tantrums. Merde. Whatever had happened to him in this dull, grey place he’d had it coming to him.
“I see. So I guess it would be useless asking you to come home with me? Things will be different now. We don’t have to – I mean, if you come back, I’ll leave you alone. If you don’t want to have anything to do with me, I’ll understand. Especially now.”
“That’s not it, Jerome. How can you say so? I just – I’m sorry. I have to stay here. Jerome -”
“You’ll go and see a doctor back home, won’t you?”
“Are you crazy? Dr Durand’s an old friend of dad’s. If I went to see him, dad would find out. I’ll be ok.”
“Are you sure?”
He didn’t reply. How could he be ok after what had happened to him?
“There are other doctors back home, I know. Jerome, go and see one of the new guys. The ones catering to the tourists.”
He mumbled something barely audible. With a feeling of hopelessness, Carole let the topic go. She couldn’t bear to see him so distressed.
“Jerome, I wanted to try and explain to you what it is about Thomas and Stephane that -”
“That’s ok. I think I understand. You don’t have to feel guilty about it. I’m the one who -”
“That’s all in the past, Jerome. If I can let it go, so can you. We’ll wipe the slate clean and let something new begin. Maybe one day – ”
He looked at her so intensely, she wondered if she’d made a mistake, and was somehow leading him on, letting him hope when there was no hope. But he appeared to understand what she was really saying. And despite everything, her words seemed to have made him feel just a little better. It was time she returned to Thomas and Stephane. Perhaps they’d be awake by now and worrying about her.
“I should get back to the house. Once people start moving about, I’ll be attracting a bit of attention in this -”
It was as if Jerome hadn’t noticed what she was wearing until now. And the hesitant smile playing on his lips reminded her of the old Jerome.
“I think you look fine. If these boring Frenchmen have a problem with the way you look, they can just -”
“But you’ll be careful, won’t you? So you don’t run into any creep -”
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. At this hour. Jerome – I’m terribly sorry about -”
“Yes, yes. Never mind. Go. Your gays will be missing you.”
Carole got up, still reluctant to leave Jerome looking like this. Again, she held him for a while, saddened by the tension she felt in him. She got the impression he was only just holding himself together by sheer desperation.
“You too. And if those fags don’t treat you right, please call me. I can catch the next plane”-
His voice trailed off uncertainly. He didn’t think he’d be at the top of her list of people to call when she was in trouble.
“Ok. And you’ll keep in touch, won’t you? Please.”
“If you want me to.”
She let go of him and turned to leave. When she turned again to watch him, she saw that he had started walking too, in the other direction, towards his gate. But it was hours until it would open and the staff would let people onto the plane. He looked so young and vulnerable. The scared little boy underneath the strived for tough exterior had come to the surface again, whether only because of what had happened to him, or maybe because of her. Suddenly, Carole wanted to run after him. She couldn’t let him go like this.
Her voice seemed to echo in the great hall. A few heads turned, but she was indifferent to the attention she was attracting. The one person whose attention she wanted seemed not to hear her.
Finally, he turned again. He looked tense, his features closed, as if not wanting to allow himself to hope.
“Please stay with me. Come back to the house.”
It was as if he couldn’t hear her, or not believe what she was saying.
Slowly, he began to walk towards her, a desperate hope beginning to show on his bruised face. It seemed to take him forever to cross the distance between them. What would she tell him? How could she explain her sudden change of heart? Struggling to find the words, she held out her hands to him. And after a moment’s hesitation, Jerome took them.
“I’ve been thinking – Thomas and Stephane have each other. Now they have me too, but who do I have?”
Her heart was beating painfully hard, as she awaited his reply. Would he even consider this weird proposition? Who ever heard of something like this? A menage a quatre? But suddenly, she knew what she’d been missing. Not someone to love, but someone to be loved by.
“You have me. Carole, you’ll always have me. I – I still love you. Maybe one day you could -”
“Thanks. I couldn’t bear to see you go.”
Hand in hand, they walked back to Thomas and Stephane’s house. Though she hadn’t noticed before, she had been miserable, as well as happy, when she thought about the love Thomas and Stephane shared. They gave her a little of that love, but most of it was for each other only. Jerome was filling a void in her heart she had told herself she didn’t have.
She let herself back in through the patio door, half hoping to find her lovers waiting for her. But the house was quiet. Disappointment surged through her. They had never cared as much about her as they did each other.
Having Jerome at her side was reassuring. Even if the house was empty, he was here for her. Knowing she’d intended to crawl into bed in between Thomas and Stephane, Carole was glad she didn’t have to. Pride might not be a luxury she could afford, but she would enjoy it anyway.
“My room’s upstairs. Do you need anything?”
“Not right now. Of course, all my stuff’s on its way home by now, or will be before long. Maybe your friends might be able to loan me something. Thomas seems to have quite good taste in clothes.”
“Then let’s have breakfast.”
“No, thanks. I’m not really hungry.”
“Some orange juice?”
But Jerome didn’t look enthusiastic, and suddenly, Carole became aware of how tired she was. Emotions could be just as exhausting as physical exertion.
“Alright. Come on.”
She led him by the hand up the stairs. Unresistingly he followed like an obedient child. Outside Thomas and Stephane’s bedroom, Carole paused and looked inside. They were asleep, holding each other. Even in sleep you could tell how close they were. Not only physically, in every way. Jerome kept his face averted. The sight of two gay men lying in bed together was not one he’d relish right now.
Carole dragged him on to the guest room that was now her room. Like everything else in the house it was spacious and luxuriously decorated. By now, she recognized Stephane’s touch. Of course, leave it to a gay man to have impeccable taste in interior decoration. For the first time, she resented that.
But Stephane was the kindest, sweetest person in the world, and when he’d made love to her, it had been a precious moment in her life. Still, she couldn’t resist fondly dwelling on Jerome’s colour-blindness and total disregard for what went with what. It was endearing to catch those childish idiosyncracies.
Gently, she stretched up to undress Jerome. He tensed up, but submitted to her care. When she caught sight of the extensive brusing all across his torso, she caught her breath and pressed her hand to her mouth in horror.
“Not now, Carole. Let’s not talk about it right now. Please. Let’s just sleep.”
He must have fought to defend himself, but the other man must have been much stronger. Carole could still remember the strength in those fists. But she forced hersef to leave the matter alone for the time being. In the morning she’d take Jerome to see a doctor. For now, he needed the rest as much as she did.
Contenting herself with ruffling his hair, she pulled him down onto the bed beside her. She took care not to cause him pain by bumping into any of the worst bruises. Eventually, he settled down, his head resting on her chest, an arm around her waist. When she heard his breathing slow down, and she knew he’d fallen asleep, she placed a light kiss on his hair. He didn’t move. Soon, she too, drifted off to sleep.
Exhaustion had overcome them so totally, that they heard nothing when the owners of the house woke up and belatedly began to look around for Carole. They didn’t stir, when Stephane called to his lover to come and take a look.
“Would you look at that. This must be that brute Jerome.”
“Unless Carole got lucky last night after she left.”
“Hmph. A fine way of treating us.”
“What? You’re jealous?
“Yes. No. Yes. Aren’t you? She said she was going to -”
“She was going to give us a son. Did she ever promise to love and stay faithful to us? But I guess I’d been thinking -”
Regretfully, Thomas recalled how it had felt to hold that round, full figure in his arms. The scent in his nose. So different from Stephane. And of course it was weird. But still – Like Stephane he had begun to take Carole’s devotion to them for granted.
“Besides, who would have thought she’d forgive him just like that?”
“Exactly. We don’t own her, but just look at what that brute had done to her. How can she just jump into bed with him again, after all that?”
“I don’t know.”
Secretly, Thomas resented that spoiled rich kid. He’d had a woman like Carole, but he obviously hadn’t appreciated what he had and he’d treated her badly.
“Come on. I’ll make you breakfast.”
“Will you now? That’s so sweet, Thomas, but I think I’d better do it. Burnt toast and -”
“Burnt toast? Are you saying you don’t like my cooking?”
“Cooking? What cooking?”
“Now listen here.”
Thomas made a grab for his lover but Stephane dogded him easily and set off down the stairs, the mystery of Carole’s inexplicable partiality to her ex temporarily forgotten. After breakfast was successfully over, Stephane began to gather cups and saucers and put them onto a tray. Brute or not, the young man upstairs was their guest and Carole certainly deserved breakfast in bed.
“I suppose I’d better serve them breakfast. And when they’ve finished with that, I think they owe us some explanations.”
“To say the least. Alright. I’ll stay down here.”
“If you like. I’ll be right back.”
Stephane stopped in the doorway and looked inside at Carole. She was the first woman he’d ever slept with. Who would have guessed it would be so – special? For as long as he could remember he’d been attracted to other guys, but from the moment he’d seen Carole walk out of the sea, he’d experienced strange emotions.
He still loved Thomas, and nothing had really changed. Still, there was a part of him that wanted to keep Carole to himself. Sharing her with Thomas was different. They loved each other. Naturally they shared everything.
But this kid. How dared he come back into Carole’s life? Stephane could still remember the horror he’d felt when he’d seen the bruises on Carole’s back and ass. A man had done that to her. This man, who was now lying in her arms, looking like an innocent little boy. Funny. Those dark shadows on his face, were they just stubble or could they be bruises? What was going on?
He coughed loudly to stir the two sleepers. It certainly was late enough. Past 11. Carole made a funny little sound and shook the hair out of her face, eyes still closed.
“Oh. Thanks. I’ll just be a minute.”
“No. It’s nearly noon. Come on. Rise and shine, sleepy head. And your – uh – guest too.”
For a second Carole didn’t move. Then she opened her eyes and glanced over towards the doorway, then back at the young man in her arms.
“Oh, Stephane – This is -”
At the mention of his name, Jerome looked up and recoiled. It looked as if he was trying to hide behind Carole. One of those, huh? Homophobic on top of everything else. Strange though. There were definitely bruises on his face.
“Yes. Look, Stephane, we need to talk.”
“You’re not leaving?”
“No. Not if you won’t make me leave. It’s just that – I asked Jerome to stay.”
“You did? I see. Well, I guess – If that’s the way you want it.”
Stephane sounded hurt.
“I’m sorry. It’s just that you and Thomas have each other. I need someone too.”
That was true enough. Maybe he’d been selfish to hope that things could have gone on the way they did. But a part of Stephane still resented the change in their relationship. And this guy of all people. The one who had caused Carole to flee Martinique in the first place.
“We’ll talk later.”
“Yes. Thanks, Stephane.”
After one more disapproving look in the boy’s direction, Stephane departed to give his lover an update on the situation. Half an hour later, Carole and Jerome walked down the stairs to meet their hosts.
Thomas noticed at once that something had happened to the arrogant rich guy. Bruises all over his face, just like Stephane had told him. But there was far more to it than that. His entire posture had changed from defiance to defeat. Why? He’d won. Carole was back by his side. Yet, here he was looking like his best friend had died. Or like he’d had a bad shock.
There was a story behind this, Thomas was sure of it. But he had no idea if he was going to find out what it was. Judging by the kid’s look, probably not. Homophobic would have been Thomas’ first guess as well, but something told him that wasn’t the whole truth. Right now, Jerome looked as if his own shadow would frighten him.
“Thomas, Stephane – I asked Jerome to stay. For good.”
“Yes. Stephane told me. I thought you were happy with us.”
“I was. But then again, I wasn’t. You love Stephane, don’t you?”
“And you, Stephane, you love Thomas?”
“Yes, of course. But -”
“Who’s going to love me?”
Thomas felt trapped. She was right. They didn’t love her like they loved each other. How could they? She was a woman. Someone who meant a lot to them, but still, they didn’t love her as much as she deserved. Carole needed someone too.
But like Stephane, Thomas strongly felt that a guy who’d already had a chance with her and who had ruined the relationship by beating her, wasn’t the right guy for Carole. If she really needed someone else, why couldn’t she start dating here, in Bordeaux?
“And you do?”
“Jerome doesn’t have to answer to you. We’ve talked things through and I’m giving him another chance. The question is, do you still want me here under those circumstances?”
Thomas sighed. Of course they did. And not only because Carole could give them the only thing they couldn’t have on their own. A child.
“You know we do. Stephane?”
“Oh, but naturally we do. Do you still want to go on with – the arrangement?”
“To have your baby? Of course. And even if I didn’t, it would be a little late for that. I skipped last time.”
“You mean -”
“Yes, I think I’m pregnant.”
Stephane rushed over to embrace her. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Jerome shy away, as if he feared a blow. Sure, he wasn’t exactly their favorite person, but how could he expect them to be that hostile? Besides, Stephane guessed Jerome would have the advantage over him if it came to a fight. What was wrong with that guy?
“This is great news. Did you hear that Thomas? We’re pregnant. I wonder if he’ll have my eyes?”
“Your eyes? What makes you think that? I think he’ll take after me.”
“You both did it with her?”
Jerome stared from one to the other of the two gay men in distaste. He’d never imagined they’d actually go so far as to have sex with a woman. If he’d considered the strange arrangement at all, he’d have expected there to be some kind of insemination done. His reaction wasn’t motivated by jealousy or possessiveness.
“Why not? We’re fully functional.”
To Thomas’ astonishment, that statement caused Jerome to turn as white as a sheet.
“There’s no need to go into details. Leave Jerome alone.”
“I wasn’t – If I offended you, Jerome, I’m sorry. But I don’t see how it can be any of your business what Carole did after the two of you broke up, can you?”
“No. Of course not. I didn’t mean -”
“That’s alright, Jerome. Listen, Thomas, do you think Jerome could borrow some of your clothes until his own stuff gets sent back from Martinique?”
“I suppose so. Help yourself. I’ll show you where I keep them.”
“Thanks. Could I use the phone? I need to call dad and explain.”
“Make yourself at home. Feel free to make any international calls, or whatever you like.”
“I’ll make it collect. Dad will pay -”
“I didn’t mean anything by that. One phone call isn’t going to bankrupt me.”
This was a new development. Jerome apologizing. Thomas would love to know the reason for this change, but he didn’t expect Jerome would feel like confiding in him. Maybe he’d find out eventually.
“I’ll tell you what. Carole can come and pick up the stuff you’ll need, while you make that call. And if there’s anything else you need, just let me know. Or you can tell Carole and she can let me know.”
An amused smile lingered on Thomas’ lips. It gave him an unworthy sort of satisfaction, this edge he had over the rich kid. Just his being gay apparently caused that reaction. For a second, Thomas even felt an urge to lunge for Jerome and say boo. He was betting the guy would fall apart if he did anything like that.
“I’ll get Carole that stuff. It will give me a chance to discuss the baby. This is going to be so much fun. What do you think we’ll need for the nursery?”
Happily chattering, Stephane took Carole by the arm to lead her into his and Thomas’ bedroom. There was a touch of proprietary pride in the gesture. Carole was reluctant to leave Jerome alone in this new place, but she knew he wouldn’t want to set foot inside their hosts’ bedroom, so she’d better be the one to pick up whatever he needed. Jerome was staring at Thomas as if he expected the veterinarian to bite him in at any minute.
“Oh, for crying out loud. I wasn’t going to listen in on your conversation with daddy. Look. I’m going. There was just one thing -”
Guardedly, Jerome fixed his gaze on the Frenchman, awaiting his next words.
“If I ever see anything like what I saw on Carole’s skin when we first met, you’re not going to be welcome in this house. Is that clear? You’ll never hurt her again.”
“You don’t need to say that. I’d never do that to her. Not after -”
Expectantly, Thomas watched Jerome, hoping for an explanation of his complete change of heart.
“Carole and I have talked about everything, and I gave her my word nothing like that would ever happen again.”
“Good. Then we understand each other.”
Somehow, Jerome seemed to gather all the strength he had left.
“What’s it to you anyway? You don’t love her.”
Now it was Thomas’ turn to feel slightly disconcerted. The kid was right and he knew it.
“I care about her.”
“Not like I do.”
“Ok. We’ll see how it goes. Anyone Carole wants here is welcome.”
Thomas stepped out from behind his desk, intent on leaving Jerome to make his phone call. On his way out, he had to pass quite close to the islander. The reaction was instant. Jerome recoiled violently and retreated into a corner, making sure not to turn his back on the Frenchman.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake. What’s wrong with you, boy? What did you think I was going to do? Rape you?”
This time, the reaction was even more startling in its intensity. It was as if Jerome’s legs suddenly gave out under him and he began to slide to the floor, holding his arms up above his head as if to avert a blow.
Rape. So that was it. Thomas closed his eyes for a second. Merde. How had that happened? But he had to admit that it explained a thing or two. And it must have been something very recent. The last time he’d faced this rich, spoiled brat, the guy had still been so sure of himself. Sure in his knowledge of his wealth, his father’s position and his own good looks. Now – this wreck of a human being bore little resemblance to that magnificent creature.
“Jerome, I’m sorry. I had no idea. Please forgive me. If I’d known, I never would have made that stupid remark.”
Thomas held out his hand to help Jerome to his feet, then thought better of it.
“I’ll go get Carole.”
Inching by, making sure he didn’t get too close to Jerome, Thomas fled up the stairs to find the one person who might be able to offer Jerome some consolation.
“Carole. I just found out – I’m sorry. He’s in a bad way. I made a tasteless remark and he just collapsed.”
“Oh, no. Would you put the clothes in our room, please? I’ll go and look after him. Do you know any doctor that might – A woman, I mean.”
“Yes. Marthe. She’s the best anyway. We both see her for our annual checkups. Middleaged, maternal looking woman.”
“Would you call her for me? Does she make housecalls?”
“She will when I’ve explained this to her. How did it happen?”
“I don’t know. He wouldn’t tell me anything. But it must have happened very recently.”
“Yes, I guessed that. Right. I’ll call Marthe. She’ll sedate him and -”
“Thanks. I appreciate it.”