CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SEVENTY-SIX
“You know all of this,” Blane said. “What’s going on?”
“I don’t know,” Nelson said. “The last time was bad. Horrible. I don’t want to go back there.”
“Neither do the folks from French antiquities,” Blane said. “This time is not the last time. You’re going with a huge group of humans and another group of magicals.”
“Paddie and Katy,” Nelson said.
“Which gives you access to every Titan,” Blane said.
“Do you think any of them were killed in the Titan purge?” Nelson asked.
“No,” Blane said. “But you didn’t hear it from me. I think there are likely ones like Cleo the cat.”
“Asteria,” Nelson said.
“I want . . .” Nelson said. He shook his head. “I love our family. I wasn’t sure that I would love this house and I’ve never felt more at home. Like all of me belongs right here — with you, our kids, our family. I will miss you so much.”
“Then go and come back,” Blane said. “We’ll be here — yelling at the kids, worrying about Covid, dealing with bullshit, wallowing in the imperfect joy of our actual lives.”
Nelson gave a nod.
“We’ll miss you too,” Blane said. “I was sent out here because Heather’s a mess. Tres, too. We don’t want you to go as much as you don’t want to go.”
“That feels nice,” Nelson said.
Blane grinned at him.
“Go,” Blane said. “Take care with yourself so that you can come home to us. We’ll be here.”
“Thanks,” Nelson said. “Wait, isn’t Hedone going with me?”
“Not with the gorgon there,” Blane said. “She needs to watch the things that the gorgon keep an eye on. She’d rather you had them.”
Nelson swallowed hard.
“She will be there if you need her,” Blane said. “She’s pretty confident that you won’t need her.”
“Mari?” Nelson asked.
“She’s going,” Blane said. “Alex. Hecate. The gorgon. Paddie and Katy. Athena. I think Artemis is going too. The French antiquities folks. The media company.”
Nelson nodded. Nelson and Blane hugged.
“Just come home,” Blane said.
“I will,” Nelson said. “I promise.”
Nelson let go. He looked through the wall of glass to see Heather, Mack, and Wyn waving at him. Tanesha, Jeraine, and Jabari waved. Tres waved. Nelson waved back.
“Time to go,” Nelson said, and disappeared.
Blane sighed. The plan had been to blip Nelson, Paddie, and Katy to Alex’s house where they’d drive to the airport. Blane had thought it would be easier if Nelson went that way. It certainly wasn’t easier for him. Blane walked into the house.
“He’s gone,” Blane said.
They hugged each other.
“When do the kids get here?” Blane asked.
“An hour,” Tanesha said. “I haven’t had a chance to check. Did Jake finish the rooms?”
“They’re all set,” Blane said. “Let’s take a look.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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