No one noticed as several near mirror-image gentlemen circulated through the crowded nightclub. The men had a job to do, and they were more than dedicated to seeing it done correctly for their assignment, their mission was no less than to watch over the first. The blessed, risen one They would give their lives if it kept him safe as he learned to live as a whole man once more. In their eyes Alex Krycek was a perfect man. An innocent who had no idea of how beautiful he was.
Vic Mansfield settled on the bar stool next to Philip Padgett and ordered soda water with a twist of lime, lots of chipped, not cubed, ice.
Padgett raised a brow. "Not drinking?"
Mansfield grinned, sipping his drink and taking a moment to enjoy the burn of carbonated bubbles across his tongue before saying, "Not tonight. Want to keep a clear head. Alex has a lot of enemies in this town."
"Don't you think they might be a little confused if they were to come upon him?" Padgett's grin was infectious as he added, "And the rest of us."
Mansfield's chuckle bubbled up. "Alex likes to live dangerously. Always has."
"As if the brothers could ignore that, hey?" Chris Bezich had slipped up to join them. "I asked him to keep a low profile, but," he shrugged. "Dying and coming back did nothing to sooth his stubborn streak."
Alex Krycek was on edge. Something....Someone was near. He could feel the danger crawling like ooze over his skin. The sense of being watched drove him. From the safety of the temple. From the discreet watchful attentions of his brethren. Into the smokey, liquor drenched air that hung heavy in the dimly lit club
Too dimly lit.
He swished and undulated his way to one of the brightly lit cages. His lean body was a sensuous siren, drawing eyes magnetically.
Anson Green was suddenly dancing against him. He sighed, closing his eyes as his brother's hands found the hem of his shirt and slid under.
A murmur of something elicit moved like a tide from the crowd that was gathering to watch the two.
The blood began as a trickle over Alex's brow. A jagged line like barbed wire had been thrust into vulnerable skin. Or a crown of thorn.
Alex didn't feel the pain at first. Not until his eyes slid open to see the blood swelling in the palms of his hands. The pain, when it hit, brought a dark cloud of unconsciousness with it. The brethren would often whisper among themselves that that faint could only be the hand of God, blessing his child.
"Jesus," Mansfield's voice was loud as a bullet, drowning out the exquisite scream that poured from Alex' throat. He was across the dance floor, scooping up Alex before his body impacted.
"It's the stigmata." Philip Padgett proclaimed. "Alex is most certainly the chosen one. God decrees it."
Around the brethren, the witnessing crowd dropped to their knees, imploring blessings and forgiveness. Healing and salvation.
The brethren ignored them, surrounding Mansfield and hustling the limp body out of the club and into the night.
end part 1