CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FORTY-SIX
“It’s okay,” Nelson said. He put his hand on Chris’s arm. “They scare the crap out of me too.”
“Heh,” Chris said with a snort. “I don’t usually meet new people.”
“We aren’t people,” Athena said in mild reproach.
“Oh right,” Chris said. He saw Hecate. “Hey! I know you.”
“You’re a friend of Gandy’s,” Hecate said of her partner. “I am Hecate.”
“The Titan,” Chris said, under his breath. He saw Heather and grinned. “You go to our church. You’re Blane’s wife!”
“I am,” Heather said. “I’m Hedone. My father is Eros. I go by Heather.”
“I knew that,” Chris said with a grin. “Okay, this isn’t so freaky. Who are you?”
“I am Athena, as you well know, Christopher Blanco,” Athena said in mild reproach.
Chris’s eyes welled with tears.
“I. . . wasn’t sure. . . I. . .” Chris’s eyes flicked to Alex and then back at Athena. “Thank you.”
“You are most welcome, young man,” Athena said. “I am excited to see what you’ve brought us.”
“Oh right,” Chris said.
He took a tablet computer out of his bag. He gave it to Alex, who started tapping on it.
“Can we sit close here?” Chris asked. “At the table, I mean.”
“Face mask?” Alex asked.
Chris scrambled to find a facemask in his bag. He put it on.
“Why don’t you sit on the end next to Athena?” Heather asked when he had on his mask. “She’s actually very happy to see you.”
“She is?” Chris asked seeming surprised.
Chris’s eyes flicked over to the goddess. She gave him a strong look.
“This is how I look when I’m happy,” Athena said.
Grinning, Chris sat down next to Athena.
“Alex, why don’t you sit on the end across from me?” Heather said. “Leave your mask on. Nelson?”
Nelson sat down between Heather and Hecate. Josie put back on her face mask and sat next to Hecate.
“Show me,” Nelson said.
Alex set the tablet down on the table. A 3-D world floated over the table. Alex spun the world until she found what she was looking for.
“Okay,” Alex said. “It seems like it’s here.”
“Did you say something about pastries?” Nelson asked.
“Oh, my bad,” Chris said.
He jumped up and ran to his vehicle. He returned with cups of coffee and French pastries. While the humans struggled to eat and wear masks, the goddesses drank their coffees and laughed. For the next hour, they went through maps, directions, and plans. When they finished, they looked at Nelson.
“What do you think?” Heather asked.
“I’m surprised at how excited I am,” Nelson said. “When do we go?”
“As soon as we build a crew,” Alex said. “The French are ready for us to leave as soon as we’re ready. They have a few people to add to our crew but you have a right to refuse a few of them. Some, we’re stuck with.”
Smiling from ear to ear, Nelson nodded.
“Yea!” Chris said, cheering. “We’re going to have so much fun.”
He looked from face to face to see everyone cheering. For the first time in a very long time, he felt confident about something in his future.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday...
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