CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-SEVEN
“Aren’t we retreating now?” Nelson asked.
“Nah,” Blane said. “We’re just making another choice.”
He pulled into the Castle parking lot.
“Come on,” Blane said. “We can finish our work out or join the chaos. No one will be offended if we do one or the other or both.”
For a moment, Nelson didn’t move.
“Or you can just go home,” Blane said.
Nelson looked at Blane for what felt like a long time.
“Why did they show up?” Nelson asked.
“Jacob has this thing where he seems to know when something’s wrong with me,” Blane said. “I told him I was going to try this gym again, so he was probably on guard. Mike is always up for a fight and Aden … well, he’s a loyal friend.”
“Welcome to the family,” Blane said.
“Thanks,” Nelson said.
Blane got out of the truck and went around. He opened Nelson’s door and they walked toward the Castle. Half way there, Nelson took Blane’s hand. Blane grinned at Nelson.
“Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” Mack raced out of the door.
He took Blane’s other hand and they walked into the Castle together. And … there was a whirlwind of children and laughter which led to a heart pounding, muscle building uproarious workout that ran into a fantastic dinner, fascinating people, and way too much wine and story-reading to little kids and …
Around midnight, Nelson and Heather were sitting on the main living room couch next to a waning fire.
“I want to ask you something,” Nelson said. “Blane told me that when you are Hedone, you cannot lie.”
“That’s correct,” Heather said.
“I need the truth,” Nelson said.
“Okay,” Heather said.
“Was it me?” Nelson asked. He gulped back a breath. “Did I kill Chet? I mean, he raced over to me. He attacked me. He called me all those names and … Did I kill him?”
Heather looked at Nelson for a long time.
“You can tell me,” Nelson said. “I can take it.”
“I wasn’t wondering if you could take it,” Heather said. “Or what to tell you. I was wondering why you feel so guilty and carry so much shame.”
Nelson’s mouth opened and closed for a moment.
“You know that you didn’t kill Chet,” Heather said. “The people who put that thing in his head killed him.”
“But I triggered it,” Nelson said.
“No you didn’t,” Heather said. “The device was set up so that Chet’s own physiology triggered the device. Without knowing it, Chet’s body killed him.”
“But he was reacting to me!” Nelson said.
“What?” Nelson asked.
“If being around handsome fit young men was deadly, I’d have died decades ago,” Heather said with a smile.
Nelson’s head popped up and he looked at her. Whether it was the wine or a spell or possibly just the truth, Nelson laughed out loud.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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