A sudden, sharp knock at the door startled both men. Before Elijah could respond, the door swung open. Geraldine Short stood framed in the doorway.
“I'd like a word with you, Dr. Webb,” she announced. Her eyes, hectic with blue diamond sparkles, cut to Leo. “In private, if you please,” she added.
Both men rose. Elijah didn’t miss the Native American’s grimace of a smile. “Hello Mrs. Short.”
“Mr. Black Elk.” Her eyes darted away from him, but a responding smile twitched at her mouth. She peered up at him through the fringe of her hair and her tongue peeked out to wet her lips.
Elijah’s eyes widened. Was she flirting with Leo?
Leo looked at him, his eyes hopeless. He tried for a casual tone and almost made it. “Thanks for the diagnosis, Doc. You've been a big help.”
“Any time.” Elijah felt Geraldine's strange eyes boring into him. “Make sure you stop by again soon. I'll want to keep informed on, uh, your situation.”
“Sure. Mrs. Short.”
Leo gave the Rock’s leader a wide berth as he passed by. He closed the door behind himself, and she stared at the door as his echoing footsteps receded. She turned to Elijah, who sat back down behind his desk.
“Is he ill?”
“Not really.” He leaned back, feigning ease. “Just a recurring condition.”
“What would that condition be?”
He kept his voice light. “Now Mrs. Short, I'm sure you've heard of doctor-patient confidentiality.”
She crossed her arms over her chest and frowned. “If it concerns the well-being of the Rock, then it becomes my business. The United States of America and its laws are only a memory.”
Elijah adopted a professional manner. “I assure you, Leo is no threat to the health of the people here. He's not contagious.”
Geraldine’s eyes narrowed. “I wonder, Dr. Webb. You’re close friends, aren’t you? Unless Mr. Black Elk heeds God’s mandate, I think any association with such a man could be very dangerous to your health.”