CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED-FOUR
Tuesday evening — 6:02 p.m.
Nelson felt a wave of cold come over him when his father got out of his car. As Pierre approached, Nelson felt the dark that had consumed his father as if it was an ice shard in his back.
“Papa!” Nelson said.
He turned to wave.
“I hope steak is okay,” Nelson said, in French.
“I brought some of our wine,” Pierre said, replying in their native tongue.
“Our what?” Nelson asked with a laugh. “Wine?’
He hugged his father. In a traditional greeting, he kissed his father’s cheeks. A white mark formed on his father’s skin where his lips had pressed his father’s cheeks. Nelson felt his heart squeeze with worry. Pierre leaned to look at the steaks.
“Don’t worry,” Nelson said. “Blane made the rest.”
“Will he be joining us?” Pierre asked.
Nelson shook his head, “Just us.”
“Good,” Pierre said, clapping Nelson’s back. “It’s nice to see you. I wasn’t sure after the last…”
“You are my father,” Nelson said. “I love you.”
Pierre’s eyes welled with tears. Nelson put the steaks on a plate and nodded Pierre into his carriage house.
“I thought you’d be in the big house by now,” Pierre said.
“I did too,” Nelson said with a nod.
He went into the small kitchen to plate their dinner. He’d already set the table so Pierre opened the bottle of wine and let it rest. He poured a glass of wine from the bottle Blane had already prepared.
“What is happening?” Pierre asked nodding toward the house.
“Oh,” Nelson said with a grin. “Jake went away for a week and came back with this amazing plan. Unbelievable. They’ve nearly completed the tricky parts. Everyone is very excited.”
“When will it be ready?” Pierre asked.
“Two months,” Nelson said. “Maybe more. I’m not sure. It’s going really fast now, but you never know when there’ll be a hiccup.”
“Of course,” Pierre said.
Pierre walked to the other side of the kitchen counter.
“I noticed that some of my maps have vanished,” Pierre said.
Feeling guilty, Nelson blushed and looked up at his father.
“Sorry about that,” Nelson said.
“Mari?” Pierre asked.
Nelson nodded. He had wanted to talk through the quest over dinner so he said little. He could feel his father’s eyes upon him. After a moment, his father sighed. Pierre appeared to weave a bit before grabbing the edge of the counter.
“Are you okay?” Nelson asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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