Furious with his wife, Robert turned down the offer for him to join Ella and Michal outside on the deck. Instead he went back to work on the computer, even more determined to find the cure so that Michal could go back to his life in Paris and leave he and Ella alone.
Ella was very concerned about Michal and asked him what exactly was going on with him. He seemed surprised when he found out that Robert had not shared very much with Ella concerning his condition. He debated whether he should tell her anything. But she seemed genuinely concerned about him, and for some reason it felt very good to know that someone really cared about him..even though deep down he knew that he did not deserve it. He deserved nothing good.
In a moment of weakness, Michal found himself pouring the whole sordid tale out to Ella.
She sat quietly listening. Many hours into the night they sat there talking. She tried her best to hide her reactions to what he said, and Michal told her that he understood if she wanted him to leave and never come back..but Ella surprised him when she assured him that in order for him to have any chance at a cure, he must remain there with Robert, so he was welcome to stay as long as he needed.
When he asked about their young daughter, he notice Ella brighten up at the mention of Ophelia. She explained that she was staying with friends for the week, but she would love to introduce her to him if he is still there when she returned.
He sensed the hesitation in her voice as she spoke about his meeting her child..and he understood. The power of a mother's love and protection was not something to take lightly.
it made him think of his own mother again. Oh how he wished she could protect him from all that was happening now! How he longed to see her even one last time. That thought brought him some clarity regarding the invitation to stay with them there.. Michal politely declined, stating that he had already made appropriate accommodations at a place in town. He needed special sleeping arrangements, as well as a dark and quiet place in which to hide from peering eyes." Besides", he said, "Little Ophelia mustn't be away from her pretty Mama for so long."
Trying to hide the blush that crept up to her face at his words, Ella agreed to call for Ophelia to come back home the next day. She admired such thoughtfulness in the midst of his own pain and need.
the next morning Robert unleashed his fury onto Ella!
How could she be so stupid as to talk Michal into staying elsewhere while under his care!
Didn't she realize how dangerous he is?
Oh..of course she didn't, he stormed on: Not the way she was practically throwing herself at him all last night..and how they spent hours together outside long after he himself had gone to bed!
"Good Grief, Ella..How could you even stand to be so near that monster?"
And he informed her that there was no way that his daughter would even be in the same town as Michal, let alone in the same house awhile he was here.
"And"..he added, "He must be kept in my immediate care at all times while he is here!" Robert wanted to make it clear to her that if anything happened to anyone in this town..it would be all on her because of her lack of judgement.. so she was to call Michal and ask him to come back to the lab where Robert had arranged a safe place for him to stay while he underwent treatment.
After Robert left for the lab, Ella tried calling Michal's cell. She wondered if he was asleep during the day hours. Perhaps she should pay him a visit? After all, Robert was angry enough at her. She did not intend for him to come home and find that she had not followed his orders to ensure that their guest was safe and sound under their roof. She had already called and cancelled Ophelia's early return home. But she sure missed her baby girl!
Ella hoped that Robert's experimental treatments would work, and life could return to normal..or at least what she knew as normal. But she also knew that whether she lost her friend to the illness, or if he was cured and returned to France..She would dearly miss him too. So she hoped against hope that he would be well, and maybe decide to stay close.
If only her husband would soften his heart, and stop blaming her for his unhappy life.
If anyone should be bitter, it should be her. But Ella swallowed her heartache, and day after day she endured for Ophelia. And now she must do the same for her dear childhood friend..So that is why she decided to visit the place where Robert was staying, and persuade him to come back with her before Robert returned home that night.As She approached the old funeral home, Ella hesitated before going inside. Was she doing the right thing in coming here alone? Should she wait until Robert came home and ask him to come back with her? or maybe just try calling Michal once more?
No..Ella knew she had to check on her friend. The nightmares she suffered the night before where unbearable..she knew somewhere deep in her spirit that he could never hurt her.
Inside the old stone building it was dark and quiet. She called out for Michal, but got no response.
Sitting down at the old church organ, Ella recalled the one they had in her father's church back home. Closing her eyes she began to hum one of the old familiar hymns from her youth and smiled as she remembered her and Michal standing with the other youths before the congregation performing the beloved Christmas nativity program..She played Mary, and Michal had created many of the background props...but her Mom was the one who insisted they make Michal the angel Gabriel..and she could not contain a giggle now as she recalled how just as he announced to Mary that she was having the baby Jesus, the rope holding him up broke free from the rafter, and he fell right on Ella!
Just then he appeared from the corner. How long had he been standing there watching her. He could have told her, if she'd asked..Now Michal was smiling himself as he watched Ella sitting at the old organ smiling as she was undoubtedly lost in some memory..Man, how he hoped it was not the one about that Christmas program that he ruined! He remembered how embarrassed he was and how angry she was when whomever was supposed to tie that rope did not do a very good job of it..and it was not that other guy who got all the blame for it..it was Michal, and he an innocent victim too!Michal sat down in the pew and listened to Ella asking him to return to the house as Robert was insistent upon starting the treatment immediately when he got home that night. He didn't reply to her request, instead he only asked her to sit down so that he could talk to her.
Michal explained to her that he would return to the house, but only if she and Ophelia were not there. And as he had already discussed with Robert, Michal would need to be locked up while there too, in fact Robert had already built a holding cell in the lab before Michal had even arrived. Ella was appalled at the thought of her husband doing such a thing as holding another human being prisoner in their basement!But Michal did his best to convince Ella that if he did not do so, what he himself was capable of was far more severe than whatever Robert needed to do to him.In fact, he went on to explain..he had a friend back in Paris, a surgeon, install a sort of feeding port straight into his stomach in which he could receive bags of blood delivered straight into his system...but Robert was quick to disagree with that method, and had insisted upon Michal fasting for the first day before treatment.
So although he was enjoying Ella's visit, he really needed to return to his resting place downstairs until the thirst could be dealt with. In fact..he was very surprised Robert would have even allowed her to visit him, especially alone!
When he excused himself and bid her Good-bye, he assured her that he would return to their house upon nightfall, as the illness made him very sensitive to the radiation from the sun.
When Michal quickly ran from the room holding his side, Ella followed after him..She could not just allow Michal to run off alone when he was in such pain! What if he collapsed and did not return to the house! Robert would somehow blame her if anything happened!
She discovered Michal in a small room He had fallen down and she was sure he was in trouble! As she reached for him, he startled at her touch, and for a second she seen his eyes flash as he grabbed her in a steely grip!
That was the last thing she remembered...and as she drifted from consciousness she thought she heard him say: "Why? Why would that fool have sent you here!"