“I’m just not sure about this,” Alex sighs. “Something about this whole situation just . . . doesn’t feel right.”

Medea smiles in return. “That is perfectly fine, Alex. If you don’t feel that this is the right course of treatment for you at this time, then we can explore some methods of managing your symptoms rather than treating the underlying causes.”

“And we can talk again about this crystal you’re prescribing any other time?” Alex asks. “If my symptoms worsen? Or if I just change my mind.”

“Yes,” Medea nods. “You can come back here and we can talk about this again any time you’d like.”

She slides the crystal egg back inside the hidden pockets of her long white medical gown. Somewhere far beyond the uncanny warmth of her nurturing eyes, Alex sees a cold, clinical stare scraping data from the secret recesses of his tired soul.

“Just know this, my dear,” Medea frowns. “Without my prescription, your symptoms will soon get much worse.”