CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-FOUR
“I shall answer your question,” Hecate said. “Heather and I have been friends since she was a child.”
“You are older than she is,” Jeraine said.
“That’s correct,” Hecate said. “Her grandmother often asked me to watch her. We had such fun. I am unable to have children, and honestly no one knew what to do with this half human, half God child. So she was given to me.”
“Where have you been?” Jeraine asked. “Miss T met Heather when she was a child. Where were you?”
“Good question,” Hecate said. “I … well …”
Jeraine glanced at her and took the chocolate from the stove.
“Well?” Jeraine asked as he got out the soft butter and started mixing it with powdered sugar.
“You know that Heather’s mother was able to reset Heather’s human body to that of a child,” Hecate said.
“Miss T told me,” Jeraine said. “We grew up with Heather but she was really thousands of years old. Like an old soul.”
“Like an old soul,” Hecate said. “Well put.”
“You were going to tell me about you,” Jeraine said. “If you’re Heather’s friend, I want to know about you.”
“Why?” Hecate asked.
“Heather and Miss T are best friends,” Jeraine said. “We all live together now. Heather and Blane are family to me. Their kids, my Jabari — they are like siblings. They take care of Miss T when I’m on the road and …”
Jeraine looked at her and nodded.
“If you’re here now, you’re likely to move in,” Jeraine said. “Just the way things seem to go. I figure I’ll get a jump on it so I can tell my brother, Blane, all about you.”
“I …” Hecate looked at him. She sighed. “I used to spend a lot of time around people and then …”
Hecate swallowed hard. Jeraine gave her some space to talk.
“Many of the humans I knew, was close to, died,” Hecate said.
“Plague?” Jeraine asked.
“Fire,” Hecate said. “Burned alive. Hanged. Tortured. Drowned. Assaulted to death.”
“Witches,” Jeraine said.
“Right,” Hecate said. “I’m responsible for the witches. Witchcraft.”
Jeraine didn’t respond. He kept working on the frosting. A timer rang and he took the brownies out of the oven. He set them on the counter to cool.
“I used to use drugs,” Jeraine said. “A lot of drugs.”
Hecate watched his face.
“I’m a singer,” Jeraine said. “Popular. I used to do drugs and lots of women. I’d get in front of thousands of people and …”
His eyes flicked to her. Their eyes locked.
“It’s kind of like being a God,” Jeraine said. “Without the immortality and the powers.”
“It is an amazing feeling,” Hecate said with a soft smile.
“What is?” Jeraine asked.
“Standing in front of a crowd of humans who love you,” Hecate said.
“Intoxicating,” Jeraine said. “I lost myself completely. Lost my mind. Literally injured my brain.”
“I’m sorry,” Hecate said.
Her voice was so sweet and kind that Jeraine looked up at her.
“I don’t know what that was — spell or whatever — but thanks,” Jeraine said. “That felt nice. I am still finding myself.”
He shook his head as if to clear it.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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