Dawn debated this trip, but after recent events, she couldn’t ignore that something was wrong. When Kevin looked up with a smile and waved her in, she felt an ounce of relief. Maybe there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“I know I should have called first and I definitely shouldn’t have barged in, but no one was at the front desk.”
Kevin came from behind his desk to give her a warm hug. “You don’t have to apologize for stopping by.” He reached behind her and closed the door. “I get the feeling this isn’t a social visit.”
She ran a hand through her wayward ponytail and nodded. “I wish. I’m at the end of my rope and I didn’t know where else to go.”
“You came to right place.” He guided her to the sofa and sat beside her. “I heard about Dom. I’ve stopped in a few times. Has there been any change?”
“Nothing. Specialists have been in and out and still nothing.” She blinked. Her eyes were dry from crying. Besides, tears wouldn’t save her son. “They’re all afraid to say that they don’t have a clue what’s wrong with him. No one does.”
“Is that why you’re here?” The psychiatrist patted her shoulder. “Forgive me for saying this, but you look exhausted. Are you sleeping?”
A joke rested at the tip of her tongue, but she was long past the need to hide behind humor. She shook her head. “Not really. I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like.”
“Usually, I’m against prescribing medication, but—”
“No! Um, no thank you. I don’t want anything like that. I kinda tried an alternative method, but I’m not sure about the results.”
He frowned. “What do you mean by alternative?”
She reached inside her purse and pulled out the CD that Griffin had given her. “Someone gave this to me. He said it would help me sleep.”
Kevin took the CD and looked it over. “Did it help? Sometimes soothing sounds calm the subconscious.”
“I slept, but it wasn’t normal. When I woke up this morning, I came straight here. I can’t go on like this. My family needs me.”
“You’re putting too much strain on yourself. You have a wonderful extended family who can take up the slack. You just need to relax—”
“I can’t!” She stood and began to walk around his office. It was nice and comfortable and completely complemented its owner. Kevin Collins was one of the nicest and most comfortable people she’d ever met. He was also very professional and if she was in the midst of a breakdown, he was the best to help her through it.
He moved to her and rested his hands on her shoulder. “You can. Tell me what else is going on.”
“Great. Where do I begin? Um, let’s see. Nikolas and I are in a weird place. Noelle hates me. Dominik is in a coma. I don’t sleep and when I do, I have bizarre experiences. I can’t say they’re dreams, because dreams are nice and relaxing. I go to weird places. Places that seem familiar, but not quite. I’m losing it, aren’t I?”
He guided her back to the sofa. “I hate to sound like Sigmund Freud, but tell me about your dreams. What do you remember?”
She sat and waited until he grabbed his notepad and pencil before she said, “They’re not clear. It’s more like feelings, impressions. I get the sense that this place isn’t foreign to me.”
“Like Port Charles or Greece?”
“No, someplace unpleasant. Do you remember when I was abducted when I was pregnant with Dominik?”
“Of course. It was your birthday and Nikolas planned an incredible party.”
She gave him a half smile. “I’ve heard how great it was. He invited the cast and crew of The X-Files. When I think about how giving he is and how much we’ve shared, it’s hard to accept this chasm between us. But I’m getting off track...”
“Maybe the dreams come because of the distance you feel from Nikolas.”
“The dreams started before we fell apart.”
“We’ll come back to that,” he said. “You said something about your abduction.”
“I think I dream about that place and those women who kept me. Me and Lorenzo. He was there, too. I feel his presence and... I think my mind has gone back to that time. I thought I’d work through all that, but it’s coming back. How can I make it stop?”
“Would you consider hypnosis?”
“I’ll do anything to make my world make sense again. When? Now?”
“I want you to think about it, and call me later. We can start as soon as you want. You may to want someone to join you, to understand what you’re going through.”
“You mean Nikolas.”
Kevin shook his head. “No, not necessarily. I’ll leave that decision up to you.”
Evangeline weighed her options before driving to General Hospital. The Cassadine Prince’s illness was all over the news. Her friendship with his aunt compelled Evangeline to do something. She couldn’t imagine what his mother was going through. If her twins ever had an illness like that... She wouldn’t let herself complete the thought. After losing their father, she couldn’t bear the thought of losing either of them.
She took the elevator to the ICU. Dara stood a few feet away. Evangeline went straight to her and the two friends hugged.
“Hi, you didn’t have to come,” Dara said.
“I know. Where’s Dawn?”
“We sent her and Nikolas home last night. We hope they’re still resting.”
“So, she and Nikolas are okay?”
Dara shrugged. “I don’t know. I know she came to talk to you and I would never ask you to crack the code of confidentiality. Dominik’s illness has put a lot of things on hold for them. I don’t know where they’re headed. We’re all praying for miracles, coming and going.”
“I hear ya.” Evangeline glanced into the Dominik’s room. The curtains were pulled back and revealed a frail young man. “Do the doctors know what’s wrong with him?”
Dara shook her head. “They’ve run every test on him known to man.”
“Would you mind if my brother-in-law examined him?”
“Maybe I should clear it with Dawn or Nikolas first?”
“I’m Nikolas.” He walked so quietly that Evangeline hadn’t noticed his arrival. He extended his hand. “You must be a friend of Dara’s.”
“Evangeline Williamson-McBain,” she said, shaking his hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“The same here. I wish the circumstances were different. Is your brother-in-law a doctor?”
“Yes, Michael left his traditional practice to do research on alternative forms of treatment. I would be happy to call him.”
“If he diagnosed my son and made him well again, I’d be forever grateful,” Nikolas said. “Thank you.”
He turned to Dara. “Have you seen Dawn?”
“Not since yesterday. Didn’t she go to Wyndemere?”
“Yes, but she was gone before I woke up. I need to speak with her.”
“Have you tried her cell phone?” Dara asked.
Evangeline stepped away as the in-laws conversation became more personal. She dialed Michael’s number. His wife answered the phone.
“Hi, Layla. What are you doing home?”
“The show closed earlier than expected,” her sister said. “What’s going on?”
“Is the doctor in the house?”
“He and Mikey are playing basketball. Hold on.”
A few minutes later, Michael came on the line. “Hey, E. What’s shaking?”
“Can you come to Port Charles?”
“If you or the twins need me, you know I’m there. I can be there tonight.”
“Thank you. The sooner, the better. And it’s not for us, my friend’s nephew is really sick. They could use your expertise.”
“Oh, okay. I’ll be there.”
“Don’t mention it.”
Nikolas’s conversation with Dara left him feeling empty and worried. The shame of attacking Dawn hadn’t left him either and they had yet to fully discuss what happened. Talking with Lorenzo should have reassured him, but that left him with more questions than answers. And the biggest one of all revolved around Dawn calling for Lucky in her sleep.
What was the pull to his brother?
Dawn stepped out of the elevator. A few candystripers asked for her autographed. She signed their CDs with a smile. Then, he watched as she spoke to their family and friends. Evangeline stepped to her and the two women hugged. Were they friends? If so, why didn’t Nikolas know?
He needed to talk to her. He couldn’t let the cloud of that night darken things between them. With a strong stride, he moved toward them. Bits of their conversation floated to him and he stopped in his tracks to listen.
“I haven’t heard from you so I’m hoping the divorce is on the back burner,” Evangeline said softly. “Is it?”
“It’s on hold right now,” Dawn answered. “Dominik is more important than anything else. Nikolas and I will have to deal with the state of our marriage later.”
“I hope everything works out.” Evangeline patted her arm. “I also hope Michael will be able to help your son.”
“Thank you so much for calling him. We’ll appreciate anything he can tell us.”
“It’s no problem.” Evangeline glanced at her watch. “The twins have soccer practice. I’d better go.”
“Maybe your kids and my little boy could play together sometime,” Dawn suggested.
“Maybe so. We’ll have to arrange a time. I’d be more than happy to have Adrik over.”
“Thanks again. I’ll ask him. He always likes making new friends.”
The two women hugged and Evangeline left. Nikolas stepped forward. Dawn looked surprised to see him.
“I’m glad you’re here,” she said. “We need to talk.”
“Is this about the divorce?” Bitterness hardened his voice. How could she talk to someone else without discussing this with him first? They hadn’t drifted that far apart, had they? “Do you want to sit down and work out the details?”
“No, I want you by my side when Kevin Collins hypnotizes me. Will you do it?”