Jeff sat in the arm chair near Missy’s bed. He rested his elbows on his knees and covered his face with his hands.
Am I right?
Am I wrong?
Am I just lashing out?
“Sir?” Raven’s voice was subdued. “Sir, if Missy regains consciousness, do we still have your permission to marry?”
“What if she’s brain damaged?” Jeff lowered his hands, but he kept his head bowed.
“What if she is no longer the bright, sparkling young woman you fell in love with? What if she needs around the clock care?” He raised his head and glared at the vampire. “Can you do that for her? Can you be up all hours attending to her needs?”
Jeff sat up straighter. “Or will you consider her to be an unnecessary burden? Will you dump her? Will you abandon her to die alone while you run off with some pretty, undamaged thing?”
Raven didn’t respond with the fast and easy and expected answer. He looked like he was seriously thinking about it.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
I want him to say yes. I want to believe that his love for her is true love. That it isn’t just limited to superficial appearances. That there is depth to it. That he will stay with her. That he will take care of her even when it is difficult and inconvenient.
But if he snapped out a quick and easy yes, would I believe him? Would I assume he’s just saying what needs to be said to get him from Point A to Point B? Would I trust him?
Should I trust him?
“Yes, sir. I would take care of Missy, no matter the difficulties.”
Jeff stood. “Oh, yeah? What about during the day when you’re too day exhausted to function? Huh? What then?”
“I would hire someone to care for her in my place. I will not abandon your daughter, sir. I swear upon my honor and good name I will care for her.”
“If she is brain damaged, will you decide to put her out of her misery?”
“No! How could I sully my hands with her blood? I could not, sir. I will not. No matter what.”
Jeff took a breath to ask another question, but he was interrupted by a knock on the door. “Come in.”
The doctor and his nurse entered the room.
Sarah released Raven’s arm and retreated to the chair by the window.
“Well?” Jeff asked. “What’s the verdict?”
The doctor took off his glasses, folded them, and put them in the breast pocket of his lab coat. “Well. I talked to our Integrity Officer and to our Ethics Manager.”
“What did they say, sir?” Raven asked.
The doctor hesitated. “It isn’t an ideal solution, but they agreed to have you sign a LR form.”
The nurse handed Jeff a clipboard with at least ten papers attached to it.
“LR form? What is that?”
“It stands for limited resuscitation. It grants you the right to choose whether or not to resuscitate her. Of course, this is good only until she wakes and is able to voice her own opinion. I do recommend you having her sign a living will after she leaves here.”
Raven perked up. “After she leaves here? Do you believe that she will regain consciousness, sir?”
The doctor smiled and handed Jeff a pen. “I believe in hoping for the best.”