In celebration of Father’s Day, an unedited morsel from Book 3 featuring Max, Simon, and Theodorus.
After purchasing a delicious assortment of cheeses, sausages, bread, and pickled olives at the snack bar, the three returned to the shoe shop and climbed the wooden stairs to Theo’s flat three floors above. He opened the lock with an iron key and pushed open the creaking door; the brick apartment building across the street dominated the view from the one large window in the opposite wall. His modest but tidy domicile consisted of two rooms: a larger gathering lounge with a table, chairs, lamp stands, and two cupboards, and off to the right, a smaller but bright bedroom separated by white woolen curtains suspended from hooks at the top of the door frame.
Theo’s home. His to lock and open; his to decide who entered and who didn’t.
And apparently Theo brought work home; a set of bronze foot forms and a pair of half-finished sandals rested on a shelf in the larger cupboard.
Simon strolled across the room and picked up one of the metal feet. “Whose big foot is this monster?”
“You don’t recognize those toes?” Theo chuckled as he carefully pulled the mold from Simon fingers and gently placed it back on the shelf. “That’s Commander Fabius’s right foot. And there’s his left. A few seasons ago, I had his feet cast so that I could craft spare boots and sandals for him while he was away on campaign. I sent three separate shipments of new shoes to Dacia that year.”
With an eyebrow raised, Max interjected, “He’s rather particular about his shoes.”
“Obsessed might be more accurate.” Theodorus winked before depositing the sack of bar food on the table. “Have a seat, gentlemen. I’ll fetch plates and napkins. And a dear jug of Rhodian wine I’ve been saving for a special occasion.”