CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY
Wednesday evening — 6:10 p.m.
Even though he had a key, Blane knocked on Nelson’s door. Nelson opened the door and stepped back to let Blane in. Nelson’s hair was wet, and he was just tying his tie.
“I just need a minute,” Nelson said.
Blane lifted his hands to show that he was carrying two grocery bags.
“I wondered if you might be interested in staying in,” Blane said. “I thought I could cook something, and we could talk.”
Nelson’s cheeks flushed with color and his eyes welled. He gave a quick nod. He let Blane pass into the kitchen.
“You don’t wish to be seen in public with me,” Nelson said, softly. “After what happened at the gym …”
“No. Not at all.” Blane scowled and shook his head. He set the bags on the counter. “I just didn’t want the Baeckcoffe to go to waste.”
Nelson’s mouth fell open.
“My favorite dish. You remembered,” Nelson said. “But it takes two days …”
“I started it yesterday between things,” Blane said. “I thought I’d make it to thank you for taking care of the little ones. Then you talked about going out for dinner and …”
Blane gave Nelson a bright smile. He took two warm baguettes from off the top of the bag and carefully pulled a covered casserole dish out. He turned on Nelson’s oven.
“Surprise!” Blane said when he turned back to Nelson.
Nelson laughed. Blane opened the lid of the covered casserole, and Nelson swooned a bit.
“It’s been cooking all day,” Blane said.
“But Jeraine said that Hades and Lucifer were over! Didn’t they …?” Nelson asked.
“The Castle has a kitchen in every apartment,” Blane said. “I used Sandy and Aden’s. They have the most complete kitchen.”
“Makes sense since Sandy bakes so much,” Nelson said.
“Exactly,” Blane said. “I also made some cookies and a few other things for the kids and Aden. To help.”
“How are the Wild Bunch?” Nelson asked.
“The toddlers are still sick, of course,” Blane said. “Now that Sandy’s out of the wood, their mothers have set up a rotation to care for the children, as well as, Sandy. Plus Val’s back from her trip to LA.”
“Heather set that up?” Nelson asked.
“Jill,” Blane said. “Jill is the hyper-organized one. Well, second to Sandy, that is.”
“The tweens and teens are at O’Malley’s,” Blane said. “I checked in on them this morning when I gave O’Malley a treatment. They are …”
“Upset?” Nelson asked.
“Teenagers,” Blane said with a smile. “Morose, angry, feeling sorry for themselves — the usual.”
“I also made …” Blane said. He took a covered pie pan from the bag. “ …a clafoutis.”
“But how?” Nelson asked.
“I cheated a bit,” Blane said. “We froze cherries after our trip to the Eastern Slope early spring last year. It looks good, though.”
Blane took the cover from the pie pan.
“Oh wow,” Nelson said. “Just the smell …”
Nelson grinned at Blane, and it was Blane’s turn to blush.
“I just …” Blane said. “I …”
He sighed. Nelson intense ability to listen caused Blane to continue.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to speak to you about love,” Blane said. “I say ‘I love you’ to my children. Sometimes, I’ll say, ‘Love you, too’ when Heather says that she loves me. Sometimes. The words hurt me.”
Blane put his hand to his heart. Nelson opened his mouth to say something but Blane held up his hand.
“But I can cook,” Blane said. “For you. I made this for you.”
“Last night, I really needed … comfort,” Blane said. “You were lovely. Exactly what I needed. The children were so happy to be here. You and Pierre — you were real family to them. I am grateful. And …”
“I see what you are, and I …” Blane grimaced and shook his head. He managed, “Am grateful.”
Nelson hugged Blane. For a moment, they just stood there. Blane sighed and stepped back.
“Are you hungry?” Blane asked.
“Famished,” Nelson said. “Dad was able to stay today so I went into work this afternoon. I missed lunch and …”
“It’s all ready,” Blane said with a smile. “Let’s eat.”
Denver Cereal continues next week…
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.