CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FIFTY-THREE
Tuesday afternoon —5:05 p.m.
Standing in his living room, Nelson poured an inch of whiskey into a tumbler. He gave it to his father.
This was one of the things they’d practiced when Nelson was a child. If his father drank the whiskey, even just a sip, there was nothing to worry about. If Pierre set the drink down, Nelson should be on guard.
Pierre nodded to Nelson, but set the drink down.
“Whiskey?” Nelson asked his aunt. “This is made right here in Denver.”
Martine nodded to Nelson. He poured an inch of the amber liquid into a tumbler and gave it to her.
“You are not drinking?” Martine asked.
“I don’t drink,” Nelson said. “I never really developed a taste for alcohol. Blane is sober, so it’s pretty easy.”
“Blane?” Martine asked. She looked at Pierre. “Do we know this Blane’s family?”
Pierre gave Martine a vague look before nodding. He glanced at Nelson to see the angry set of his son’s eyebrows.
“He is the consort of Hedone,” Pierre said.
Martine’s eyebrows rose in surprise. She took a drink of her whiskey.
“Father to her children,” Pierre continued.
“I had heard that Eros found his Psyche.” Martine looked at Pierre and then at Nelson. “He gave his assignment to his daughter.”
Because of his father’s drink sat untouched, and only because of that, Nelson didn’t respond.
“You have nothing to say?” Martine asked.
“Are you asking something?” Pierre asked.
Martine didn’t respond for a moment.
“Why are you here?” Pierre asked.
“I came to drop off the swords,” Martine said.
“And to kill my son,” Pierre said.
“Those were my orders,” Martine said. She gave Pierre a vague smile. “It appears that he is well protected.”
She took a fast step toward Nelson, and Mari appeared in front of him. Mari sneered at Martine. This time, Martine stood her ground. After a moment, Martine sighed and turned away from Nelson.
“Yes, the little fairy,” Martine said. Switching to French, she said, “You consort with fairies, Pierre?”
“My son has many friends,” Pierre said, mildly in French. “Some of them are my friends. Some I’ve just met.”
Pierre nodded to Mari. She gave him a wide, beautiful smile that sent sparkles around the room.
“Have you ever wondered why there is a ban on fairies?” Mari asked in French. “Why do the Templars hate fairy-kind?”
“They’ve met them?” Nelson asked mildly.
Mari laughed, and Nelson chuckled.
“I was serious,” Mari said. She looked at Pierre. “Why is there a ban on fairies?”
No one replied.
“They are not creatures of God,” Martine said finally.
“How would you know?” Mari asked. “Fairy-kind has been here long before your order or Bernard or even Olympia. We have been here long before humankind crawled her way out of Africa.”
Martine looked uncomfortable. She glanced at Pierre. He shrugged.
“She is correct,” Nelson said. “I’ve run her DNA. It’s similar to a part of the backbone of human DNA which makes them likely to be an ancient ancestor. At least, the line of Fand.”
“Your Bernard kept a fairy consort,” Mari said.
“How dare you!” Martine said.
Mari shook her head.
“Why are we wasting time on this person?” Mari asked.
“She came to kill my son,” Pierre said. “If she’s unable to accomplish this task, they will send another.”
“Who will fail,” Mari said.
Mari walked toward Martine until she stood just inches in front of Martine.
“Why do you wish to kill your kinsman?” Mari asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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