Connor was much calmer by the time we reached the wing where the infirmary was located. “Please don’t take me in there,” he pleaded.
“And why not?” I asked. “You attacked the emperor. Frankly I’m surprised he hasn’t had you locked up somewhere.”
“I can’t help it. I get so mad at him sometimes. He makes mother cry. I thought it might be better after he made that…him…go away, but its not. He hit her last night. He…”
“You tried to kill her. Does that make you any better?”
He looked up at me. “I…”
I wanted to pity him. He looked so confused. I pinned him up against the wall of the hallway and brought him up a few inches to eye level. “You almost killed me. I have no love for you and I don’t trust you. If you weren’t the emperor’s son, you would have died back there in the office without so much as a whimper. You like to inflict pain; you don’t know the meaning of the word, and showing you wouldn’t help. If you want love and respect, you have to earn it.” I dropped him back to the floor and allowed him to stagger before gripping his shoulder and propelling him ahead of me into the doctor’s office.
At our unceremonious entrance, a nurse paged Dr. Makusic. We waited in the center of the room until he came to get us. When he entered the room, he smiled. I couldn’t see why; a guard was bringing him the emperor’s son and this was not a pleasant visit.
He escorted us back to his office. “I have just spoken to the emperor. I’m glad you have found your way back to us, Liam. The emperor is hoping you might be able to help in this situation.” He chuckled. “By the time you and I are done, you might just as well become a doctor yourself.”
I was confused. “I don’t understand.”
The doctor continued to explain for me while Connor sulked in his chair. “The young master here has been on medication since he was brought here. Tests have shown that his brain chemistry is unstable and the medication helps, but there are times when he manages to avoid taking it. That is when he turns violent and flies into rages. The emperor is hoping you might be able to do something about it much like you did with your young friend when you first arrived here.”
I looked from the doctor to Connor, who was doing much the same thing looking from him to me. “You want me to monkey with his brain. That’s a lot more complicated than bones and muscles.”
Connor sat up in alarm. “What are you talking about?”
I rested a hand on his shoulder. “Calm down,” I turned back to the doctor. “There’s nothing wrong with his brain, at least nothing I can fix.”
“Tests show otherwise. Please try. That’s all the emperor asks.”
I looked at Connor. Drugs he was used to; this was very different. He was terrified. His doctor was handing a guard a butcher knife and telling him to do brain surgery. I stood up and stepped behind Connor’s chair. “Give me some time. Tell the emperor we’ve gone back to the mountains. I’ll stay in touch.”