Cameron read the rest of Peter's journal and he still could not accept what he had read. Every word was written in his beloved son's handwriting, but Cameron wanted to find a reason for this to be a mistake. Still he had to know the truth, and there was only one way to get it. So he jumped in the shower, got dressed, grabbed the journal and headed for the hospital. Once there he tracked down Dr. Baldwin and explained his plans for Alexander. Then he gave her the journal. Cameron didn't explain about his relationship with Alexander. He simply told her to read the journal and to find out from Alexander whether or not what was written was true. Then he left.
* * * * *
Zander wanted out. He pressed the call bell until Bobbie came in then he made himself smile at her. "Can I go now?"
Bobbie sighed and sat on a stool next to his bed, then she opened his chart. "We need to discuss a few things first."
"Okay. What things?" Zander would talk about anything she wanted, so long as it got him out of the restraints and out of this place.
"Well...it looks like the drugs are mostly out of your system," Bobbie began.
Zander nodded. "Great." He tugged on the restraints. "So you can take these off now."
Bobbie shook her head. "Not yet. You overdosed, Zander. Your doctor considers that to be a suicide attempt."
"My doctor is a quack!" Zander shot back, fury blazing from his eyes.
"The court sees it the same way," Bobbie interjected.
Zander stiffened. "The court?"
Bobbie nodded. "Just like gunshot wounds have to be reported, so does an overdose. Bottom line, you have two options."
"Which are?" Zander had a feeling he wasn't going to like either one of them.
"Three months in rehab or outpatient counseling here at GH."
Zander was right. He didn't like either choice. "I won't talk to Dr. Lewis," he stated.
Bobbie checked his chart. "Actually, your sessions would be with Dr. Gail Baldwin. She's very good, I think you'll like her."
"Fine. Whatever." Zander tugged on the restraints again, hoping Bobbie would get the hint. "So can I leave now?"
"No. Dr. Lewis has to sign you out. He'll be by later."
Zander cursed under his breath, then he sighed and locked eyes with Bobbie. "Okay. But…can you at least take the restraints off?"
Bobbie frowned then shook her head. "I'm sorry, Zander. Dr. Lewis has to make that decision. He gave us strict orders to keep the restraints on."
"Figures," Zander muttered to himself. No doubt his father was afraid he would hurt someone, because he sure as well wouldn't give a damn if Zander tried to hurt himself. "Can you see if he's around? I really want out of here."
"I'll check for you," Bobbie allowed, rising from the stool. "I'll be back soon," she promised, then she was gone.
* * * * *
Zander had been dozing when he sensed a presence. He opened his eyes to see his father standing at the foot of the bed, watching him. "Gee...thanks for coming," Zander drawled, sarcasm oozing from every pore. "Can I get the hell out of here now?"
Cameron shook his head. "Not until you have your first session with Dr. Baldwin. She'll be in later."
"Great." Zander made to comb his hair out of his eyes but cursed when the restraints held him fast.
"Can you at least take these fucking things off?" Zander tugged at them.
"They stay." Cameron's tone was as cold as his eyes.
Zander glared at his father. "What are you afraid of, dad? Afraid I might try to off myself again on your watch? That would make you look bad....wouldn't it?" Zander snorted. "Hell...makes me half tempted to try."
Cameron locked eyes with his son. "Did you want to die, Alexander?"
"That would make you all kinds of happy, wouldn't it?" Zander shot back. He wouldn't answer his father. No way would he give him the satisfaction, one way or another.
"Answer the question."
Zander smirked then he spoke softly and deliberately. "Go…to…hell."
Cameron turned on his heel and left the room.
When he was alone again, Zander couldn't stop the lone tear that slid down his face.
* * * * *
Gail studied Zander Smith. He was a beautiful young man, not really what she had been expecting. She could see that he was angry, it glittered in his eyes, along with pain and sadness. She felt for him. Especially after reading the journal that Dr. Lewis had given her. Gail knew she had her work cut out for her. "Hello, Zander," she offered in greeting. "I'm sorry I couldn't come sooner but I had some research to do."
"On me?" he shot back.
"Yes. I was reading your hospital files and your police record."
Zander smirked. "Makes for interesting reading, doesn't it?"
Gail nodded. "It does." She watched him fidget with the restraints and she could almost feel how trapped he felt. But she wasn't ready to remove them just yet. "I saw Alexis Davis leaving. She's helped you alot, hasn't she?"
"She's a friend," Zander replied. "I don't get why sometimes, but she is."
"What do you mean you don't get why?" Gail countered. She found that statement interesting.
Zander shrugged. "I'm not easy to be friends with. If she was as smart as she's supposed to be, she'd forget about me."
Gail was intrigued. "Who else do you consider a friend, Zander?"
"I dunno. Elizabeth Webber and I got to know one another. We're not close or anything."
Zander shook his head. "Not really. Look...let's cut to the chase, okay? You tell me what I have to do to get out of here ASAP."
Gail rather liked his bluntness. She would be blunt back. "You have to tell me truth, Zander," She countered. "I'll know when you lie."
"Ask your questions," Zander offered. "I don't have anything to hide."
"Okay." Gail was going to take him up on that. "Let's start with...Did you try to kill yourself?"
Zander shook his head. "No."
Gail held his gaze. She wasn't sure she believed him. "So why did you take all those pills?"
"I just did."
"Not good enough."
Zander sighed. "Look. I was upset, I took some pills and drank some beer. It was stupid. I'm stupid. Nuff said."
Gail had a note pad and she jotted down a few things. "What made you want the pills, Zander? I don't see anything in your files about past drug abuse. So why this time?"
"I told you. I was upset."
"What upset you?"
Zander dropped his gaze to his lap. "Just stuff."
Gail sighed. "You have to be more specific, Zander."
"You know what...I'm done talking to you."
"Fine." Gail stood up. "Then I'll give my report to Dr. Lewis and sign off on the paper work to send you to rehab."
Zander's eyes widened with panic. "No…wait!" His tone was desperate. "Don't send me away."
Gail sat back down. "What scares you about that?"
"It's too much like jail," Zander replied, without hesitation. "People telling you what to do and in control of my life." He laughed, a bitter sound. "Not that I've ever had any real control over it anyway. But it's still my life. Right?"
"It can be," Gail replied, taking his question as something of a challenge. "Answer my question. What made you take the pills?"
Zander rolled his eyes and leaned his head back against the pillows. "Seeing my dad again. It fucked me up."
Gail made a note of that. "Why? Tell me about your relationship?"
"What relationship?" Zander snorted. "He's hated me pretty much from the day I was born. When I left home, he probably threw a party."
"You ran away, didn't you?"
Zander shrugged. "I left. Same difference."
Gail almost pointed out that there was a big difference, but he seemed willing to answer her questions and she didn't want to distract from that. "How old were you?"
"Fifteen. Almost sixteen."
"So it's been six years since you've seen your father."
Zander nodded. "Yep."
Gail shifted gears a bit. "Tell me about Peter." She saw the surprise in Zander's eyes and the way he tried to hide it.
"How do you know about Peter?" Zander countered, anger in his tone.
"Your father told me about him."
Zander laughed. "I'll bet. Let me guess, the conversation went something like this. Alexander killed his brother. He shot my perfect son."
Gail almost flinched at the pain and bitterness in Zander's tone. "He just said that Peter had died six years ago. That it was an accident and you blamed yourself."
"That's rich!" Zander tugged at his restraints again. "Must have killed Dad not to tell you what really happened. What he really feels."
"What does he feel?"
Zander shook his head. "You want to know? You ask him."
Gail accepted that, for now. And she would indeed talk to Dr. Lewis. "Do you miss Peter?"
"Every day." Zander's voice was hoarse with emotion. "He's the only person that really cared about me. And I killed him. End of story." Zander lifted his eyes and glared defiantly. "Are we done now? Can I go?"
"Soon." Gail was taking more notes. "You really loved your brother." It was a statement more than a question. She could tell that Zander loved Pete and that he was in denial about how things had been. Not surprising given the guilt he lived with over killing his own brother. No matter what Peter had done to Zander, no matter the horrific things Gail had read about in Peter's journal. Zander had killed him and in his mind that neutralized anything Peter might have done to him. But Gail wanted Zander to deal with those things. To talk about them. To face the truth about his brother and maybe then he could move past the tragedy and the guilt. Maybe he could rebuild his life and find happiness instead of pain.
Zander blinked back tears. "Of course I loved him. He was my brother. He loved me. He was always there for me. He let me hang out with him and stuff...how cool was that?"
Gail smiled. "Very cool." She closed her note pad. Given the depth of Zander's denial, Gail knew she had pushed enough for one day. "I'll sign your release papers, Zander. You can leave in a few hours. But you have to come back here for sessions. I want to do two a week for the first week."
"How long do I have to do this?" Zander countered.
"Six weeks to start then I'll decide from there if you need to continue." Gail smiled at him. "You did well for your first session. I think we made progress."
Zander looked surprised. "If you say so." He tugged on the restraints. "Can you take these off now?"
Gail nodded. "Of course." She released Zander and she could the tension leave him the moment he was free. She sensed that Zander was used to being trapped in all ways. It was sad. Gail was determined to help him. "I'll talk to you later," she stated, then she left the room, closing the door firmly behind her.
* * * * *
Zander was happy to be free. He found two messages from Alcazar on his cell phone and called him the minute he was out the hospital doors. He explained what happened and listened as Alcazar blasted him for using. Zander promised to stay clean and he promised to be at Alcazar's first thing in the morning for a new assignment. But he had the rest of the night to himself so he headed to Jake's to shower and change, then he went downstairs for a drink and a game of pool.
Three hours later, Zander was a hundred dollars richer, more than a little drunk and heading for his room with a petite blonde chick named Tammi. And while he fucked her he was able to forget about his past. But when he passed out next to her, the past invaded his dreams. And when he woke up screaming, Zander was glad he was alone.
© Shelly 2004