CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and TWENTY-THREE
Wednesday early morning — 5:30 a.m.
In their new home, Blane turned the corner and stopped short. They had said they would install the large kitchen yesterday and, like magic, he was looking at kitchen cabinets. He blinked and looked down. The floor people must have put this floor in sometime earlier this week.
Where had he been?
He’d come through here three times a day but he never saw a thing.
His head jerked up at his name. Nelson was sitting in a chair at a small round table set next to the window. Nelson wore pajamas and a thick bathrobe. He was framed in early morning blue light reflected through the windows to the courtyard..
“Nelson?” Blane asked. “Are you… I mean… Uh…”
“I’m okay,” Nelson said. “Or okay-ish.”
“How?” Blane asked.
“Mari stopped by with Otis last night,” Nelson said. “With the acupuncture and Abi and Jill… well, everything… I’m okay.”
Blane walked across the wide open, now oak floored space, to Nelson. He picked up Nelson’s left wrist and then his right.
“Tongue?” Blane asked.
Nelson stuck out his tongue. Blane read Nelson’s tongue. He shook his head.
“Wow,” Blane said. “You’re so much better. So much. It’s amazing.”
“Otis said that I was nearly there,” Nelson said. Nelson reached up to hold Blane’s hand. “Thank you. Without your help, I would be lingering in a hospital — alone and… “
“You’ve saved me,” Nelson said. “Again.”
“It sounds like Otis and Bathsheba saved you,” Blane said.
“Don’t do that,” Nelson said. “If I didn’t have you to come home to, Bathsheba would never have been able to reach me. Otis told me that the acupuncture had detoxified me. That’s mostly what’s been wrong with me. I took in so much toxic shit being at war for years. Your work flushed all of that way, healed me, so that I could use what he gave me. He said that.”
Blane blushed. He started taking breakfast out of the reusable bag he’d brought.
“I’m so grateful for you,” Nelson said. “You and this weird and wonderful family you’ve included me and my father in.”
“Breakfast burritos,” Blane said, setting down a burrito for Blane and one for himself.
“Jake’s?” Nelson asked.
“It was kind of a group effort,” Blane said. “Children keep showing up at the Castle. There’s a gang of teenagers and about a billion kids under 10 years old.”
“Really?” Nelson asked, with a laugh. “A billion?”
“I kid you not,” Blane said. “Jake got up and made about a hundred breakfast burritos. You know Troy?”
“Olivas?” Nelson said. “The genius?”
“Him,” Blane said. “His boys are here. With Charlie and Nelson, they eat like locusts. You would notbelieve the number of eggs we use. Yesterday, Delphie raided their chickens for eggs. She’s decided that we need our own flock.”
“Please sit down,” Nelson said.
“Where’s the nurse?” Blane asked.
“The doctor dropped by this morning and sent her home,” Nelson said. “I’ll have a nurse tonight but if I’m better than I don’t need it. Today, I’m to read and rest. Ava and the team are video calling me at noon to talk about cases.”
Smiling, Blane sat down in a chair across from Nelson.
“I feel almost normal,” Nelson said. “This place looks amazing. Everything will be all set very soon. It’s exciting.”
“What?” Nelson asked.
“What do you mean ‘What’?” Blane asked.
“You look like you’re not asking me something,” Nelson said.
“When do you leave again?” Blane asked.
“For the treasure?” Nelson asked.
“To save your father’s life,” Blane said, softly.
“I don’t know,” Nelson sighed. “I…”
Nelson shook his head.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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