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Tears blinded her, but then Cass was there, taking her in and crushing her to him. "Oh, Cass, our Maddie. Not our Maddie."

There was nothing she could do this time. She couldn't listen, advise, comfort or hold Maddie and make everything better. Maddie was out of her reach. She had been since the attack. At every turn, she'd pushed Robyn's advances of friendship and love away.

Never had Robyn felt this helpless before. Up until now, she'd kept her faith that Maddie would come through and vowed she'd be there for her every step of the way.

The door creaked open behind them and a well-dressed young man with round, wire glasses stepped inside. He introduced himself as Maddie's psychiatrist, Dr. Blomberg. Robyn took a deep breath in an attempt to fortify herself once more. The doctor checked Maddie's chart, then opened her eyes to shine a light into them.

Cass had put his arm around Robyn, and she leaned against him when Maddie's doctor turned to them. "There's no reason to believe Maddie won't come out of this soon," he said optimistically, and Robyn remembered Cass saying almost the same thing in the car. "Her subconscious mind is making every attempt to protect her from further trauma. Hopefully, when she reaches consciousness next, we'll be able to help her work through it before her fear can take over."

Cass murmured something, but Robyn didn't hear him. Her every instinct warned her not to trust Maddie's doctor. He put his faith in books, the so-called logic of scientific reasoning. Maddie was on a spiritual plane he could never attain using that logic.

"You should go home and get some rest, Mr. Christopher. Your daughter is in good hands here. The guard's outside. I'm right upstairs. She has nurses checking on her often. Someone will call you if anything happens."

The drive to Cass's modernized luxury cabin was silent except for the words Cass had uttered upon getting into the car. "Maddie's a Christopher. She's stubborn and she's strong-willed."

As the doctor had, Cass wanted to pacify her. Robyn could only agree with his statement to a certain point. Maddie was both stubborn and strong-willed. But she was also the most fragile person Robyn had ever met. For Maddie, unhappiness equaled depression. Disappointment equaled devastation. Heartache was a form of death.

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