Denver Cereal Denver Cereal

Chapter Five Hundred and forty-six : Facing forward (part three)

CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-SIX

(part three)

Gando swallowed hard. He wasn’t sure why, but he felt like he wanted to be her “right person.”

“Why do you ask me this?” Hecate asked.

“I … uh …” Gando said.

For all that he was and all that he wasn’t, Gando Peaches was brave, even with his heart. He girded himself for possible rejection and continued.

“I would like to spend what is left of my life, as much as I can, with you,” Gando said.

Hecate raised her eyebrows with surprise.

“That surprises you?” Gando asked.

Hecate nodded.

“Why?” Gando asked.

“No human has ever said that to me, I guess,” Hecate said. “I am not the one who is usually ‘wanted.’”

Shocked, Gando raised his eyebrows in surprise.

“Feared. Hated. Loathed for being powerful,” Hecate nodded. “I …”

She caught his eye, and they looked directly at each other.

“I cannot promise to spend every moment of every day …” Hecate said.

Gando waved his hand.

“I wouldn’t tolerate that,” Gando said. “I grew up with strong independent women like my grandmother and my sister. I like powerful women. Admire them. Trust them.”

Hecate nodded. She didn’t say anything for a long moment. He thought that maybe this was her way of turning him down.

She looked back up at him.

“I will be your life mate, Gando Peaches,” Hecate said.

“Do I need to ask your father?” Gando asked.

“Perses,” Hecate said.

Perses arrived to stand next to his daughter.

“Daughter?” Perses asked with surprise. Seeing Gando, he hopped over the fire to say “hello.” “How are you, Ganny?”

“I find myself wanting to spend my human life with your daughter,” Gando said.

Perses laughed. He looked at Hecate.

“You remember me telling you about a human I met who I wanted you to meet?” Perses asked.

“Many times,” Hecate said. She looked at Gando. “My father has been trying to get me out of isolation for a long time.”

“I have told you about Mike’s friend,” Perses said. “The one I thought you would like?”

He nodded to Gando and then to Hecate.

“Be happy,” he said and disappeared.

“That’s it?” Gando asked.

“That’s it,” Hecate said.

“What about your mother?” Gando asked.

“I’m not sure where my mother is, actually,” Hecate said. “She is lost to the world. Many Titans have been killed. My father and I were informed that she was killed. My heart tells me that she lives somewhere — safe and free. But it’s possible that this is a fantasy.”

Gando gave her a small nod.

“I thought of asking the Oracle,” Hecate said. “Surely she knows. The truth is that I don’t want to know. I’d rather imagine that she is free and safe.”

Hecate gave him a small smile.

“And you?” Hecate asked.

“My grandmother may want a ceremony,” Gando said.

“Your grandmother may have whatever she wishes,” Hecate said.

“I’m in the middle of this new business and …” Gando said.

“I just came back from more than a thousand years hermitage,” Hecate said. “Hedone will never tolerate me hiding out, even in this more precious and sacred spot. You do not wish to enrage Hedone.”

He raised his eyebrows in surprise, and she laughed. Hecate got to her feet.

“There are some rules,” Hecate said. “But we can get to those. Would you like to consummate our commitment?”

Gando hopped to his feet. She extended her hand, and he took it. He led her to the soft bedding in the sleep area they’d prepared earlier.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…


Chapter Five Hundred and forty-six : Facing forward (part two)

CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-SIX

(part two)

Gando felt a blanket of sorrow come over him.

“What is it?” Hecate asked.

“I want you for myself,” Gando said. He lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “Every relationship I have been in — since I was a boy, really — I have been the one who felt smothered. ‘Get a life of your own,’ I’d say. ‘You cannot count on me as your sole source of love.’ Or always, ‘I need you to have things in your life that you love as much or more than you love me.’”

He paused, watching her watch his face. There was something about her look that felt compelling. He felt her eyes on his lips.

It hit him out of the blue.

He’d never even kissed her. Yet here he was, feeling sad that he would not be her entire universe. He laughed at himself. She gave him a soft smile.

“I don’t know what we will have,” Hecate said. “I …”

“Do you want children?” Gando surprised himself by the question.

“I cannot have children,” Hecate said.

“Oh,” Gando said. “I can’t have children either. Accident. Military.”

Hecate nodded.

“I saw … uh … antiqua mater saum,” Hecate said.

Gando translated the Latin to ancient mother.

“Abi?” Gando asked. “We call her ‘Áltsé Asdzáá’. First woman. In the Diné Bahamé. Uh, the Diné story of creation and the people.”

“Your native language is very similar to Abi’s original language,” Hecate said with a nod. “It would make sense if you were her first people.”

“You were speaking of Abi?” Gando asked.

“She was unable to have children,” Hecate said. “Most of her life. She has children with her fairy prince. She believes it’s fairy magic so …”

Hecate shrugged.

“My father is the only Titan who has had children since … well, many, many thousands of years,” Hecate said. “So, I don’t know.”

Gando shrugged.

“Did you want children?” Hecate asked.

“I thought that, if I found the right person, I would adopt children,” Gando said. “There are Diné orphans who could use a loving home. They can only be adopted within the tribe, so there is a great need.”

Hecate nodded.

“Do you …?” Gando asked.

He was so ashamed of his need for her that he had the urge to throw himself onto the fire. He could not meet her eyes.

“Are you asking me if I can have intercourse with a human male?” Hecate asked. “I can. Have you heard the story of the women who have so much intercourse with a human male that the male dies?”

Keeping his eyes on the fire, he gave a quick nod.

“That’s a story of my mother,” Hecate said with a smile.

“Oh.” Gando’s head jerked up to look at Hecate. “Really?”

“Most certainly,” Hecate said with a laugh.

He laughed. He looked across the fire, and she grinned at him.

“Are you monogamous?” Gando asked. “Or is that a human thing?”

“Titans are monogamous, in general,” Hecate said. “There weren’t human beings when I was a child. We form long lasting connections with the right people. Both of my parents have done this. My father has always been loyal to my mother, still is, even after she let him go. He deeply loves his current wife, Anjelika.”

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…


Chapter Five Hundred and forty-six : Facing forward (part one)

CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-SIX

(part one)

Friday night — 10:05 p.m.

Private ceremonial grounds, Navajo reservation

“Thanks for letting me know,” Gando Peaches said into the satellite phone. “And really, Jake, thanks for the last week.”

“See you in a few weeks,” Jacob said.

“Yeah,” Gando said. “That will be good.”

“Nah,” Jacob said. “You’re going to be fine. You can always call if you have any trouble. We’re not so far away.”

“Thanks, man,” Gando said.

“Oh, Mike said to tell you …” Jacob said.

“Fuck off, Ind’n,” Gando and Jacob said together.

Laughing, Gando hung up the call. He looked up. Hecate was sitting across the fire circle from him. She was holding a stick and poking at the joyous fire she’d created. The golden-orange light of the fire cast one side of her face in light while the rest of her face was in shadow.

Unfamiliar with telephones, she didn’t look up when he finished his call. He was slightly offended the first time she’d done this. Didn’t she want to know what was said? Didn’t she want to be included in his conversation? She’d laughed away his concerns.

“You have a lot to teach me, young one,” Hecate said. “But you may have your own conversations and thoughts. I will never ask. I will never listen in.”

“Why?” He’d asked.

“If I listened in on everything said to or by a human, even one I care about, I would go mad,” Hecate had said. “I would rather listen to the wind, the dance of the stars, the echoes across the water. This planet chants a precious song. It is my preference to hear her melody.”

She’d shrugged.

“Would you prefer that I listen in?” Hecate had asked. “Hedone tells me that there are women today who check their partners phones for texts and other infidelities. How do they have time to listen to the melody of the sun? The decadent sound of the movement of the planets that resonate in the song of your own human heart?”

His heart had squeezed in a way that he’d never felt before.

“If you need this, you will not ever have it from me,” Hecate had said, mildly.

“I don’t need it,” Gando had said. “I’m just … acculturated to it.”

Feeling his eyes upon her now, Hecate looked up from the fire. Her curious eyes scanned his face.

“Why did you laugh?” Hecate asked.

“Mike,” Gando said.

“My brother?” Hecate asked.

“He …” Gando pointed at her. “You said you didn’t listen.”

She gave him a broad smile.

“You laugh every time before you turn off your conversation,” Hecate said.

“I do?” Gando asked.

She gave a quick nod.

“What has my brother done?” Hecate asked.

“He tells me to ‘fuck off,’” Gando said. She gave him a confused look. “It’s a swear. He …”

“He has my father’s aggression with his human humor,” Hecate said with a smile. “I don’t know my father’s other family. I am looking forward to getting to know them.”

Gando felt a blanket of sorrow come over him.

“What is it?” Hecate asked.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…


Chapter Five Hundred and forty-five : Shifting wind (part six)

CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-FIVE

(part six)

Hecate hadn’t been that close to a human man in nearly a thousand years.

Curious she watched him on the ground. She was about to call Hedone to her side when he jumped to his feet and went to her.

“Are you okay?” he said.

Not sure of what to say, she continued to watch him.

“I really creamed you,” he said. “I’m so sorry. I was talking to my friend and didn’t see you there.”

He reached out and his hand cupped her elbow. She felt that heat ignite inside her again.

“Did I hurt you?” His concern was palpable. “Are you injured?”

She felt more than saw his body respond to hers.

The tall thin warrior woman that Hedone had called “Alex”, her gorgeous husband, and their two children walked passed. This Alex took one look at the man and started to laugh. He looked at Alex but didn’t let go of Hecate’s elbow.

He did not move away. It was like his hand was locked onto her elbow.

The man looked back at Hecate.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am Hecate,” she said, evenly. “Who are you?”

“Gando Peaches,” he said. Clearly flustered, he said, “I heard that you arrived during that mess with the Templars. To help protect the kids. Right? That’s why you came?”

Hecate gave a quick nod.

“You’re a friend of Heather’s?” Gando asked. “I know them from when I’m in Denver. My brother’s daughter lives with … Uh …”

He stopped talking. His dark eyes looked into hers. For a moment, they just looked at each other.

“We haven’t met before,” he said.

“I don’t think so,” Hecate said.

“But you’re a friend of Heather’s?” Gando asked. “Blane? Tanesha?”

“I have known Heather since she was a child,” Hecate said. “I just met Jeraine and Tanesha. Blane, too. While I have seen Heather, I hadn’t met their children yet. What a treat! I like them. Do you know them as well?”

Gando nodded.

“What’s a Gando?” Hecate asked. “Are you from this place? Or from Denver?”

“I am a member of the Navajo Nation,” Gando said. “We call ourselves the Diné.”

She nodded. He gave her a soft smiled.

“Why don’t you have breakfast with me?” he asked. “We can talk.”

She blushed.

“Are you Perses’s daughter?” Gando asked. “He’s my friend Mike’s father too. I’ve known Mike since the Army.”

“In fact, I am,” Hecate said. “Different mother.”

“You don’t look like him,” Gando said.

“I take after my mother more,” Hecate said.

Gando nodded. He had such beautiful brown eyes that she couldn’t tear her gaze away. In his eyes, she saw his ancestors echoing back through time to the first humans. She saw that he was a shaman, a warrior, and a scholar. They looked at each other for a long moment.

“You’re sure we haven’t met before?” Gando asked.

“I am sure,” Hecate said.

The minutes seemed to tick by as their gaze extended. He held out his elbow.

“I would very much like to …” Gando shook his head. “Sorry, this is so unlike me. Alex was just telling me that I was ‘ripe’ for finding … That’s why she laughed. And then here you are. It’s …”

“Odd,” Hecate said. “Shall we start with breakfast?”

Hecate put her arm through is elbow. They walked toward the dining room together.

“I can’t place your accent,” Gando said. “It sounds both familiar and also unfamiliar.”

“My homeland is near Greece,” Hecate said.

As if to protect her from the cold, Gando pulled her a little closer.

She smiled.

Denver Cereal continues on Monday…


Chapter Five Hundred and forty-five : Shifting wind (part five)

CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-FIVE

(part five)

Friday morning — 7:01 a.m.

Kayenta, Arizona, at the hotel on the Navajo Reservation

After reviewing all they’d done this week, the early morning leadership crew determined that today would be a day of socializing and packing up to go. Everyone was coming to the hotel for a big breakfast this morning and then the Navajo crew were taking the Denver group out sightseeing. The crew from Denver would head home Friday evening or Saturday morning.

Jeraine, Blane, and Tres took over the kitchen while Heather, Tanesha, Jill, and Sandy went to the market. The men were so joyful that the girlfriends left them to their joy. By 7:00 a.m., people began to arrive.

Because the dining room was near the back, Heather sent her friend Hecate out to the front of the hotel to direct people toward the dining room.

“Excuse me,” FBI Agent Rodriguez said to Hecate.

“Yes?” Hecate asked.

“I’m wondering if you can point me in the direction of Blane Lipson,” Agent Rodriguez said.

She pointed to two larger, male FBI agents. Hecate scowled. She didn’t know what this F. B. I. did but in her experience, anything written in big letters on clothing was not a good thing.

“Are you a friend of his?” Hecate asked.

The agent snorted.

“Just tell me where he is,” Agent Rodriguez said.

Hecate reached out and touched Agent Rodriguez’s elbow. It was a light touch. The agent didn’t notice it.

Agent Rodriguez looked away from Hecate. Her eyebrows furrowed for a moment and then she looked at Hecate.

“Can you point me in the direction of Blane Lipson?” Agent Rodriguez repeated her question as if she’d never asked it.

“Are you coming from breakfast?” Hecate asked.

“He invited us,” Agent Rodriguez said. “I’ve heard he’s a good cook.”

“He and Jeraine have been working all morning,” Hecate said.

“Jeraine? As is the pop star?” Agent Rodriguez asked. “Is Miss T here too?”

“She’s right there,” Hecate said. “Tanesha?”

Tanesha looked up from where she’d been directing people to breakfast.

“She would like to have some breakfast,” Hecate said.

Tanesha took in the FBI jackets and then gave Hecate a hard look. The Titan gave Tanesha a smiled.

“She just asked if you were here,” Hecate said. “Miss T?”

Agent Rodriguez looked a little star struck. Smelling magic in the air, Tanesha gave Hecate a side look. Hecate just smiled.

“Ma’am,” Tanesha said. “Let me show you the way.”

Agent Rodriguez gestured to the two other men and they followed Tanesha down the hallway.

Chuckling, Hecate watched them go.

With her eyes on the agents, a human male was able to walked right into her.

She felt him a fraction of a second before he hit her. For the briefest moment, she felt his chest against her breasts. His hips moved against her pubis.

She felt an instant heat inside her core.

She felt a heat rise inside him

Like all Titans, she was immovable. He bounced off her and fell to the ground.

She missed him the moment he was gone. Her entire being longed for him as he fell through the air. She felt his spirit long for her as well.

They were like two ends to a magnet. Instant attraction. Instant repulsion.

Hecate hadn’t been that close to a human man in nearly a thousand years.

Curious she watched him on the ground. She was about to call Hedone to her side when he jumped to his feet and went to her.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…


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