CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-FIVE
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?”
“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.”
“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.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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