CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and TWELVE
“You’ve got one hell of a nerve,” Patrick Hargreaves said from the doorway.
Patrick took a step toward Perses before seeing Ares. Patrick stopped short. Sizing each other up, men gave each other the long, assessing glare of warriors.
“Paddie?” Dr. John Drayson asked, slipping past Patrick to the boy. In a rush of language, he said, “An bhfuil tú ceart go leor? Cad atá á dhéanamh agat?”
In the way of worried adults, he asked if the child was okay, and what he was doing at the same time. John lifted Paddie from Ares arms and hugged him tight.
“We’re okay,” Paddie said, giggling at the attention.
John looked at Paddie for a moment, and then shook his head at Perses. He shifted Paddie to his hip. Without saying another word, John grabbed Katy from Perses’s arms. He strode across the lawn the house next door and went inside. John closed the door on Patrick, Ares, and Perses.
“Who are you?” Patrick Hargreaves said.
“I am Ares,” the man said. “And you?”
“Ares …” Patrick said. He squinted at Perses for a moment. Perses lifted his eyebrows and nodded. “Have we met before?”
“I can’t be certain,” Ares managed after a moment.
“You look like …” Patrick’s voice faded out.
Patrick turned to squint at Perses.
“You gave us quite a fright,” Patrick said. “Colin and Alex are gone. Julie told us that Paddie was likely on an adventure with Katy. She even said that Paddie and Katy were feeling adventurous yesterday so they stayed home from school. They played all day in the backyard with the crew at the Castle.”
His eyes flicked to Ares before turning back to Perses.
“She said that since that wooden sword was gone, he had to be on an adventure,” Patrick said. “What kind of business could you possibly have with a six year old?”
“You must know that he is not an ordinary child,” Ares said, mildly.
Not knowing who he was, Patrick sneered at powerful Ares. The God of War grinned at the man.
“I tried to set them back,” Perses said. He nodded his head toward the house next door. “The doctor is coated in an energy that blocked us.”
“You will tell me about the wooden sword,” Patrick demanded. For emphasis, he pointed his finger to the earth. “Now.”
Ares blinked at Patrick to keep from laughing out loud. Perses shrugged.
“It’s a wooden sword,” Perses said, with a nonchalant shrug.
Ares burst out laughing. Perses scowled at the God of War.
“Who are you?” Patrick asked.
“I am Ares,” the God said.
“Hey!” Cian Kelly yelled from the door of the house next door.
Patrick whipped around to look at the man.
“If you want breakie, you’d best get inside before these banshees eat it all,” Cian said, in a thick Belfast accent. “Kiss and make up. There’s no fighting at my table.”
“Who is that?” Ares asked Perses.
“Cian Kelly,” Patrick Hargreaves answered.
“Dangerous man,” Ares said.
“He’s a cook,” Patrick shrugged. “Owns a bakery. He was in the IRA, but that’s in the past.”
“Sure,” Ares said. He patted Patrick’s shoulder. “Now, I never miss an invitation to a table. If it’s all the same to you, shall we go?”
Ares gestured toward Cian’s back as the man turned to head into the house. Perses and Ares took a step toward the house. Patrick didn’t move for a moment. Shaking his head, he went around the men to block the door.
“Whoever you are, this is a human residence,” Patrick said. “They are not up for any hijinks.”
“If you say so,” Ares said with a nod.
“Any bullshit and …” Patrick said.
“Do not threaten him,” Perses ordered. “You won’t like what happens.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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