CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and TWENTY-THREE
“Can it be someone who is dead?” Nelson asked.
Assuming that Nelson was thinking of his mother, Hedone gave him a soft smile.
“I would like …” Nelson took a deep breath. “Jackson Theriot.”
“Jax?” Hedone asked in surprise. “From the Fey Special Forces Team.”
“He was like a brother to me,” Nelson said. “If you have sex with your brother, which only really happened a couple of times but it felt weird because he really was like a brother to me. Plus, he got serious with Roger and … M.J.’s dad … You know Michael? He introduced us. Jax was there with me every step of the way when I was at Georgetown and then he and Roger were there when I was in medical school and… I see Roger every year when …”
“October 8,” Hedone said.
Nodding, Nelson began to cry.
“My name …” Nelson looked at Hedone. “Nelson. It means ‘son of Neil.’ It was Alex Hargreaves’s idea because Jax’s middle name was Neil. He was like my friend and brother and father, all rolled into one. When I got sick, Roger came to Denver take care of me because we promised to be each other’s family since Jax was gone.”
Nelson sniffed without making a dent into the snot and tears running down his face.
“Roger gave me …” Nelson held up his right middle finger where he always wore a gold band. “It was Jax’s. He wore it every day. He was wearing it when he was killed. Roger got the wedding ring that I helped Jax get him, so he figured I deserved this one.
“I … miss … him.” Nelson said. “He would know just what to do with all of this. He’d love Blane and Heather and the kids and … Can you?”
“I can try,” Hedone said.
“Give me a minute,” Hedone said.
Nelson stumbled to sit on a nearby stool. Bending forward, he cried into his hands. A minute or maybe a couple of years later, Nelson felt a hand on his back. Nelson looked up. Jackson Theriol stood next to Nelson as really as life. Seeing his friend, Nelson stood up into Jax’s arms. The men held each other tight for a long time while Hedone watched. Jax broke off first.
“What are you wearing?” Jax asked.
Jax was wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and a light orange zipped hooded sweater. He plucked at the inexpensive suit that Nelson was wearing. He pointed to Nelson’s thick glasses and shook his head.
“Glasses? Again? Really?” Jax asked. “Those are you back up glasses. Don’t deny it.”
Nelson shook his head.
“What happened to your hair?” Jax asked
Jax plucked at Nelson’s glasses. Nelson opened his mouth to defend himself, but Jax continued.
“Did you buy this suit?” Jax asked Nelson.
“Yes, why?” Nelson asked defensively.
“No, you actually spent your hard earned money on … this?” Jax asked.
Jax tipped his head to the side. Jackson pointed to Nelson’s face. Nelson took out a handkerchief and wiped his face.
“You got that suit at the Good Will,” Jax said. “Those shoes, too.”
“Uh …” Nelson said and blushed.
The men laughed.
“Do you ever get laid?” Jax asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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