CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-THREE
Saturday evening — 5:15 p.m.
“So you’re in?” Teddy asked Sissy. “If you say ‘yes,’ I’m going to announce it.”
“Masks required,” Sissy said.
“Of course. We’re not idiots,” Teddy said. “But, you’re in, right?”
Sissy gave him a slight nod. She and Ivan were sitting at a table in the backyard. After a successful Harvest Day, people were milling around. Jacob and Mike were working the bar-be-cues on the back deck. Food was laid out on the tables on the deck. If people weren’t eating, they were wearing masks. The tables were set apart with only a few seats. Everyone was doing their best to keep each other safe.
“Yes!” Teddy said, with a fish pump.
Teddy grabbed his phone and jogged to where Nash was standing. The boys cheered and rushed inside the Castle.
“Would you mind if I joined you?” a woman with long dark hair asked. “Seems like the tables are either full or filled with kids. I could use a quiet meal with adults. Do you mind?”
“Please,” Sissy said, gesturing to a chair at their table. “I’m Sissy Delgado. This is my fiancé, Ivan.”
“Jennifer Kearney,” the woman said with a smile. “I’m one of the Fey Wives.”
“Like Honey?” Sissy asked.
The woman nodded. She took a bite of potato salad.
“I love this stuff,” Jennifer said, gesturing to the potato salad. “Honey’s husband is on the current team. My husband, Dean, was on the original team.”
“He was a wonderful man,” Ivan said, softly. “So kind.”
Jennifer gave him a long look.
“Did you know my husband?” Jennifer asked.
“They rescued me from the gulag,” Ivan said. “Charlie carried me out on his shoulder. Your husband kept me alive until we were out of Russia. He said to me, ‘The worst is over now. Nothing is going to be as bad as where you’ve been.’ I think of that often. He was accurate.”
Jennifer’s eyes welled with tears. She gave Ivan a quick nod and looked away to gather her emotions.
“He would have loved this,” Jennifer said with her face away from them. She turned back to assess Ivan. “Are you ill now?”
“Cancer. Blood,” Ivan said. “From gulag.”
Jennifer nodded. She sighed and pointed to where a teenaged boy and girl were standing.
“My teens,” Jennifer said. “I have a baby too, but he’s off with the younger kids. They are wild. He’s absolutely in love with every one of them.”
“Everyone calls them the ‘Wild Bunch,’” Sissy said with a smile. “That’s accurate.”
Jennifer gave her a brief smile. To regain her composure, she focused on her meal.
“It’s lovely to see so many careful people,” Jennifer said. “I love that they are keeping everyone so safe.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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