CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-NINE
“That went well,” Sam said.
Pierre raised his eyebrows to Sam, and they both laughed.
“Prejudice is just a way of saying ‘I don’t know you,’” Jeraine said.
“That’s good,” Aden said. “Are you quoting someone?”
“The great songwriter Jeraine Wilson,” he said. He sang the line from the song. “Know him?”
Aden shook his head as if he’d never heard of Jeraine, and everyone laughed.
“Come in,” Delphie said.
As she did every night, Delphie encouraged the dinner stragglers to move closer together now that the children, studiers, and others had left. Because her school didn’t start for a few more days, Jill was able to stay. She moved with Valerie, Mike, and Jeraine closer to Delphie. Pierre picked up Nelson’s tea and cupcake, as well as his own, and carried them across the room to where Delphie was sitting. Jill, Sandy, and Aden moved in closer as well. Heather and Blane sat next to Nelson’s empty chair. Jacob came in with a pitcher full of water and a thermos decanter of decaffeinated coffee.
They filled their cups. Jacob returned with hot water and a selection of tea bags. He sat down next to Jill.
“I believe that Pierre has something to tell us,” Delphie said.
Surprised by her words, Pierre looked at Delphie. She gave him an even smile.
“I wondered how you were doing,” Sam said. “Burying your father could not have been easy.”
“Well …” Pierre said.
“Going back to France for the first time since your wife was killed,” Blane added.
“That was harder,” Pierre said. “Yes. Uh … Well, as you can imagine, I was welcomed with open arms and ready knives. A kind of ‘Glad you’re here, when are you heading back?’”
“Why is that?” Heather asked.
“Oh,” Pierre said with a sigh. “As the husband of the heir to the head of the order, I technically can take over the Templars.”
“Do you want that?” Valerie asked.
Pierre gave her a long look. He shook his head and didn’t respond.
“You aren’t sure?” Heather asked.
“Oh, I know that I don’t want to be head of the Templars,” Pierre said with a laugh. “I just … well, there’s Nelson to think of. If I walk away completely …”
“I am capable of making my own decisions,” Nelson said as he walked into the room.
“You want to be the head of the Templars?” Pierre asked.
“Not a chance,” Nelson said with a laugh.
Everyone laughed at his tone and quick reply. Pierre smiled.
“What is on your mind, Pierre?” Delphie asked.
The room became very quiet. Nelson sat down next to his father. He reached for the hot water to warm his tea.
“There is a lot,” Pierre started.
“English, Papa,” Nelson said softly.
“Oh, I am sorry,” Pierre said. “I have been so wound up … But you don’t need to burden your life with this. Please …”
“This is how we do it,” Sam said. “We make an effort to talk through things. If anyone has a difficulty or decision to make, we sit here and talk it through. I can assure you that if any of the people who left wished to speak, they would be here.”
“You talk through everything?” Nelson asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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