CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-EIGHT
Nine hours later
Monday night — 9:15 p.m.
Nelson groaned when he stepped out of the taxi.
“You okay?” the cab driver asked in French.
“Just old,” Nelson replied in French.
The cab driver was from French speaking Ivory Coast.
“What does that mean about me?” the cab driver laughed.
“Bonne nuit!” Nelson said.
Nelson grinned at the man and stepped back. The cab driver waved to Nelson and headed toward Sixteenth Avenue. Sighing at his own fatigue, Nelson started down the path to his home. His mind was bleary from the long day on his feet. His boss, Ava O’Malley, and the rest of the team had presented their evidence to the DA’s office in a crazy and complicated crime involving finger bones and casinos.
He was just glad to be home.
As he reached the door, he noticed a small someone was sitting on the bench outside the front door. He folded back his left wrist and a thin red knife slid into his hand from his wrist.
“Show yourself,” Nelson said.
The person stood up and turned toward Nelson.
“Jill!” Nelson said, pressing the knife back into the holder. “Please, come inside. Why aren’t you inside?”
“I was too angry,” Jill said, through her face mask. “I wanted some time to collect my thoughts.”
“Angry?” Nelson checked that his face mask was in place as he neared the door. He stuck his key into the lock. He turned his head to her. “Why are you angry?”
“Oh, just something about a prophesy and the French asshole who hasn’t said even one word about it,” Jill glared at him.
“Prophesy?” Nelson asked. He lifted his shoulder in a shrug. “Please. Come inside. We’ll figure out whatever this is. If you wish to kill me when we’re done, I won’t fight you. I’m way too tired for that.”
Nelson gestured to the door. Glaring at Nelson, Jill went inside. The house was dark and silent.
“Everyone is already asleep. Let’s go down to the big kitchen,” Nelson said. “I’ll make us some tea and we can talk.”
Jill sniffed at him and walked down the stairs to the large open kitchen. Jill took a seat at the table while Nelson made a pot of mint tea.
“Would you like something to eat?” Nelson said. “I find myself to be peckish.”
Jill reached out and touched his arm. She shook her head.
“No Covid?” Nelson asked. “That’s good to know.
Nelson quickly made himself a sandwich from left over salmon and grabbed a tin of cookies.
“Chocolate chip,” Nelson said setting down the tin. “I do have a secret stash of croissants. Would you like one?”
Jill shook her head.
“Why were you so late?” Jill asked.
“We just finished this big and super stupid case,” Nelson said. “We presented all day and most of the night to the district attorney and then the state attorney. They are trying to figure out how to prosecute and who’s going to do it.”
“Is this the one where Ava was shot?” Jill asked.
“We call it ‘Freddie the Freeloader,’” Nelson said with a nod. He took a bite of his sandwich. “We finished it a while ago but the DA wanted to wait until Ava was back to talk about prosecution for the case at large. Are you sure you don’t want some? It’s perfect.”
Jill looked at him for a long moment.
“I know that you don’t eat when you’re angry,” Nelson said. He gestured to the bread. “I made this bread from my family’s sourdough. It’s. . . mmm. There’s more salmon. Looks like Heather made it. She has some Olympian magic with fish. I have no idea what she does but it’s magical.”
“Sure,” Jill said. “I could use some magic.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
Curious about Freddie the Freeloader? This is a new Seth and Ava novella coming out December 7, 2021. Here's the link or it's available everywhere you buy books. I can't give you a discount because it's in pre-order. Sorry.
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