Fifteen minutes later Dr. Harvey’s assistant opened the door separating the waiting room from the exam rooms in the back. Frown lines crossed her forehead and she was biting her lip. “Mr. McKay, would you please come with me?”
Garrett went into red alert. Something was wrong. He followed the woman past rooms filled with dental x-ray machines, examining chairs, and trays filled with equipment Garrett associated with torture.
She stopped before the doorway of a darkened room. The only light in the room focused its powerful rays on the small man in the reclining chair. Dr. Harvey’s form blocked Garrett from seeing anything else as the man in a long white coat stepped out of the room.
“Garrett, it’s good to see you.” The man held up his latex covered hands. “I would shake your hand, but we need to keep things sanitary.”
Garrett nodded before demanding, “What’s going on with Tolliver?”
“Well, to be honest, I’ve never seen anything like it.” The doctor glanced over his shoulder before looking back at Garrett. “I can assure you, Tolliver is comfortable. He’s not in any pain and is asleep.”
“Okay.” It was all Garrett could do, not to lift the doctor to the side and rush to Tolliver’s side. “So what’s the problem?”
The hair on Garrett’s arms stood on end. His wee one was crying and they were stand in the hall?
“You need to step aside doctor.” Garrett’s voice wasn’t raised, it didn’t need to be. Every word was laced with deadly intent. The doctor jerked to the side. He was a smart man.
Tolliver’s head was highlighted by the strong light. He was lying back in the chair with his mouth spread open by wire attached to his tender lips. A plastic mask covered his nose. In Garrett’s experience laughing gas was dispensed from one of those. Tolliver wasn’t moving around or making any noise. He indeed looked sort of comfortable. Except there was a steady stream of tears flowing down the sides of his face.
Helpless. Never before had Garrett felt such a hollow feeling. It swamped his system until he forced himself to dig deep and gathered his wits about him.
An invisible string drew Garrett across the room to Tolliver’s side. “Do not cry, Tolliver.” Garrett snagged a chair sitting next to the wall and pulled it over, before sitting on it. “You aren’t tied down.” Garrett lifted Tolliver’s hand sandwiching it between the two of his. “You’ve wanted so badly to be able to eat and smile. Be brave, my wee one.” Garrett took the soft towel the assistant handed him and gently wiped away Tolliver’s tears. “I’m here, Tolliver. I won’t leave you. Listen to my voice. We will get through this together.”