This is a sexually explicit story (at times) involving homosexuality. By continuing to read, you affirm under penalties of perjury that you are not a minor or in the company of a minor and are entitled to have access to this story.
The following is a fictitious story with no real basis or credibility. It is solely for the enjoyment of the reader. It's all just fun. It does not imply anything about the sexual preferences or lifestyle of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrity mentioned in the story.
Father Nico stared in disbelief.
"How did you know?"
Michael remained silent.
"You are Artanga's successor?" Antonio stuttered.
Nico looked at his younger brother.
"Yes, Tio. I was chosen through the secret Aurelia Trials. I carry the faith and love of Artanga. I am the twenty third Aurelian leader."
Antonio knelt in front of his brother.
"I follow you and her faith, brother."
Nico looked at Michael.
"It is not I you shall follow, Tio. We both should kneel to him."
Nico began to kneel, Michael putting up his hand.
"Cousins, stand with me."
The two stood again, looking into Michael's golden eyes.
"The wealth of the family Tavarro began with the abandoned gold that Gaius left. That gold was the spoils of his father's old campaigns. Marius had hidden it all in Spain, to return one day and reclaim it. He died by Adrian's hand before he could do that. Gaius returned to reclaim it. To save his own life, he abandoned it. It fell into Adrian's hands."
Michael looked at his grandfather, smiling.
"And Adrian gave that wealth to those that needed it most. The poor, the sick and the destitute. But the wealth was immense. The town gave Adrian full reign in its coffers."
Alberto smiled, pride beaming for the giving heart of Adrian, his ancestor.
"From him to me all our leaders have followed the same cause. To help those that need it."
"His first act was the building of St. Aurelia's, a church to show her faith and love. She lays entombed within it."
Father Nico looked shocked.
"That's impossible, Michael! There are no crypts in that church! I know every inch of it!"
"She lays entombed under her statue, Father Nico. The inlaid cross on the floor marks her tomb. Artanga lays there by her side. Adrian entombed them together. Artanga died three weeks after he'd killed Gaius, two days after he'd returned to Adrian. He'd given over to his tiredness of chasing ghosts for so many years. Adrian honored both of them as true followers of faith."
Everyone looked totally awed.
"And the other cross? The one on the floor in front of the wooden cross?" Antonio asked, knowing the church well.
"That marks a special place of faith." Michael said quietly.
He looked at Justin, Justin seeing the tiredness in Michael's golden eyes.
"Something lays there. Silent until the moment of destiny."
Everyone stared at Michael, seeing the tiredness in his half-closed golden eyes.
Lynn stood up, going up to him.
"You are a remarkable storyteller, Michael. You had all of us wrapped in your rich voice. Your family is destined in faith and love."
Michael smiled, Lynn hugging him gently.
"But now I see the darkness of sleep threatening in your eyes. It's time you retired."
Justin nodded, his arm slipping around him.
Michael nodded, looking towards the standing Tavarro men.
"What lays in that church of Aurelia's peace cannot be summoned. Only one thing shall ignite it. And that moment will be shown soon. Until then, let's focus on this coming weekend. I'll sleep better tonight knowing all this is now known."
The men smiled, Antonio walking toward Michael.
"Alright, Michael. The future will reveal itself. I'm happy that I arrived in time for this weekend. Something tells me it will be most beautiful."
Michael smiled, hugging his cousin.
"Welcome home, Tio."
Antonio smiled, looking into those tired, golden eyes.
"Until tomorrow, Messenger."
Michael let Justin walk him into the house.
Everyone stood watching them go.
"A revealing evening, Grandfather." Antonio said, Alberto smiling at him.
"Yes, Tio. Very revealing. Come, sit down. We all want to hear of your adventures."
"That can wait until tomorrow, Poppa. You and all of us are tired. Come, my friends. Let's journey to our beds." Father Nico said, everyone agreeing.
They all began walking into the house.
The veranda lights were extinguished, the doors closed.
No one saw a lone person sitting quietly on the stone railing, staring into the slowly dying lights of the home.
Matthew sat quietly, a small smile on his face.
"Thank you, Mikey. Now they knows. Freddy bad."
The little boy began to slowly disappear, then he suddenly stopped.
He looked out into the darkness of the night.
A shadow walked out of the darkness.
Matty smiled, running down onto the wet dewy grass.
He began crying as the shadow gently picked him up, hugging him with love.
The shadow's face turned upward to the balconies above.
"Sleep well, Michael. Your trial begins now."
Michael awoke, finding an arm wrapped around him.
He smiled, feeling the warmth of Justin's body against his back, the two spooned together.
He felt movement, then a gentle moisture on his neck.
"Good morning, my Mico. You slept well last night." Justin's soft voice in his ear, his lips kissing Michael's neck.
"Morning, Timby. Love ya."
Justin smiled, his arm tightening around his lover.
Michael felt Justin's hardness pushing against his backside.
"Love you more, angel of life."
Michael smiled, turning his body, the two looking into each other's eyes.
"Five days, my love. Five days until we are united in God's love. I can't wait."
Michael stared into Justin's blue pools of happiness.
"Yes, Jus. Are you ready for what that entails?"
"All that entails is that we are together forever. Nothing changes but our happiness. Soon we'll be husbands, then after that hopefully legal fathers. Our family will be as one. And this all will be over. And then we can go on with our life of happiness."
Michael kissed Justin deeply, Justin lost in the tenderness and passion in this kiss.
"My angel, I love you with all my heart."
Justin rolled Michael over on top of him, staring into his lustful golden eyes.
"Then show me how much."
Michael's hands and lips began their need.
The two became lost in the passion, in the beauty of their bodies and their love.
An hour later, the two lay snuggled together, having come down from their heights of passion.
"A morning beginning with deep love. It's going to be a wonderful day!" Justin said, smiling.
Michael nodded, quietly playing with Justin's right nipple.
"Penny for your thoughts, my love?"
"Oh, I was just thinking about last night."
"A lot was revealed, Mico. You now know your family's past. You can go forward on the path of your destiny."
Michael looked up into Justin's blue eyes.
"I know what lays beneath that second cross, Justin. And there is only one way to summon it. I've known for a long time."
Justin sat up, looking quietly at Michael.
"Do you want me to know, Mico?"
Michael sat up beside him, wrapping his arm around him.
"Before the final moment, I will tell you all that I know, Justin. I love you, and I will not allow you to walk into this blind."
Justin kissed his lips, the two bonded in love.
"I love you, Mico. I will accept all that you will say. But I will not accept anything less that you being with me forever."
Michael kissed Justin deeply, the two lost in their love.
"Make me feel your passion again, my love." Justin softly moaned.
Michael smiled, looking into his blue eyes.
"I'd like nothing better, my love. But unfortunately, we now have an audience."
Justin looked to the right side of the bed, seeing three small sets of eyes looking around.
Darian smiled, as did Shauna.
Noah's head was moving around, his senses alert.
"Good Morning, our little angels." Michael smiled, moving off of Justin, grabbing his robe, then standing up beside the crib which lay in the morning sunshine.
Michael smiled down at the little ones, his vision of beauty in Justin's line of sight.
"Morning Papa!" Darian smiled, his little hands reaching upwards.
Michael leaned down, lifting the little boy, kissing his cheek and walking back to the bed.
"Morning, Dada! Me's plays with you, too?" Darian said, Justin and Michael both chuckling.
Michael deposited the squirming little bundle onto Justin's naked chest, Darian giggling when Justin started kissing him.
Michael went and picked up Shauna, setting her down on the bed as well, she joining her brother in Justin's arms.
Noah smiled from the crib, hearing their joyful laughter.
Michael smiled, picking the last little treasure up.
"Sleep well, little Noah?" Michael said, sitting on the bed beside his three loves.
"Yep. Darry and Shauna snuggled withs me."
Justin smiled, the little boy's hand now on his face.
"Morning, Unky Jus! Morning Unky Mikey!"
Both men smiled, both kissing Noah's cheek.
"Morning our third angel."
A light tapping came to the door, Noah's head lifting.
"Come in, Josh." Michael smiled, Josh's head popping into the room.
"How'd you know it was me?" he smiled, Noah smiling as well, his little arms reaching out.
"Morning, Daddy!" he said, Josh smiling, sitting on the bed, picking up his son from Michael's lap.
"Morning, little one. Sleep well?"
"Yep, me's sleep with my fwiends."
Darian and Shauna smiled, cuddled on Justin's chest.
Josh smiled, looking at Michael.
"You slept well, Mikey?"
Michael smiled, kissing Josh's cheek twice.
"There's one for both of you. Thank Lance for sending in his scout."
Josh blushed, turning his head.
"You always know everything, Mikey. We were both worried about you."
"I'm fine, Joshy. Why wouldn't I be? In a few days I'm marrying my Jus. Then I'm going on a surprise honeymoon. Why, I think I must be practically glowing!"
Justin smiled, as did Josh, both feeling Michael's happiness.
'What's on the agenda today, Mikey?" Josh asked, Noah playing with the necklace around his neck.
"A day of relaxing for all you kiddies. Maybe a tour of the town for most of you. Jus and I are confabbing with Grandfather, laying out the designs we want for the gardens."
Justin nodded, sitting up, his angels now in his lap.
"We've come up with a nice idea. Or actually, Mico has."
Michael smiled, kissing him.
"You are my inspiration, my love."
Josh smiled, seeing the deep love and tenderness between the two.
"Well, I've been sent up to tell you breakie is in about half an hour."
Michael smiled, picking up Shauna.
"Just enough time for a family shower. Come on my angels."
Justin grinned, as did Darian.
Justin stood up, Josh turning his head, seeing his best friend was naked.
"Wewax, Unky Josh. Dada's bootiful." Darian smiled at him.
Justin smiled, walking into the bathroom.
"That he is. That he is." Josh said, smiling.
Michael smiled at him.
"What am I, chopped liver?"
Josh laughed, standing up.
"You're the cream of them all, Mikey."
Michael smiled, walking towards the bathroom, Shauna giggling in his arms.
Josh smiled, walking out of the room with Noah, the two heading to find their third.
The family foursome walked into the dining room, Michael smiling at everyone.
"Morning, everyone." Justin said, guiding Darian to his highchair.
"Morning, Jus. Morning, Mikey. Morning little ones." everyone said to them, all smiling.
Antonio sat between Marco and Nico, the three brothers smiling at Michael.
"A family united, in its love and its faith." Michael said, smiling at all three.
They smiled wider, Michael sitting down beside his grandfather.
"I hope the morning finds you well, Poppa?"
"I am very well, my surprising grandson."
Michael kissed his grandfather's cheek, Alberto squeezing his shoulder.
"A remarkable evening last night. We discussed a lot this morning."
Michael nodded, helping Shauna with her drinking cup.
"There you go, sweetie. Yes, Poppa. A remarkable turn of events. I hope I've shed some light on our past."
Father Nico looked up, staring at Michael.
"Shed some light?? My God, Michael! You've ignited the fires of our faith, and our family! You've shown us the faithfulness that our great ancestor had. And you've renewed my own faith in all this being the work of God."
Michael quietly looked around at everyone.
"The past was molded from the hand of God. Events of the present are the acts of one person. One person who'll be called to justice for what's he's done. But there is another tale to be told in regards to all this."
Antonio looked at his cousin.
"Can you tell us?"
"No, Tio. That tale is for the Guardian to tell." he quietly said, looking down at his little girl.
Justin's eyes were on Michael.
"The Guardian?" Antonio said, quietly looking at him.
"The Guardian of Truth shall reveal the trueness of my existence." Michael said, taking a bowl of scrambled eggs and filling Shauna's plate, then handing it to Justin.
Antonio looked confused.
"There are four corners of truth, Tio. Four men who shall aid me in my quest. The Guardian, Singer, Carrier and Commander of Truth. The Commander shall rule the Tavarro family as its new leader."
Alberto smiled, a reluctant smile.
"There is friction in the masses already, Michael. Victor is gathering support." Alberto said quietly.
"He is not even a Tavarro!" Antonio said, irritation in his voice.
Michael looked at them both.
"I shall proclaim the next leader of faith. And he shall rule unchallenged. For in his hand, he'll hold the secret."
"The Stone of Vengeance?" Marco said, looking in awe at Michael.
"Yes, Marco. What lays in the Stone will be the tool that the Commander shall guide our family with. His word shall go unchallenged until he's old and ready for his final journey. I see a great future for all of us. For all the Tavarro dynasty. Evil will be cleansed from our hearts, and goodness and faith shall live in all of us."
Alberto was in tears, Doris quietly looking at him.
"That day will be a joyous one, Michael. For all of us will have you to thank."
"No, Poppa. You only need thank yourselves, for accepting what shall be shown. It truly will inspire a generation."
Everyone remained quiet for a few moments, Justin looking around.
"How do the Stavros' come into this, Michael?" Emile asked, remembering their prophecy and family significance.
Michael smiled at him, looking around.
"Aurelia and Artanga had a child. A strapping healthy boy. Aurelia had left him in the care of a dear friend. For she knew the vision she'd had would bear fruit. She knew that she somehow would die at the end. After her death, and an allotted time, the child was brought to the Tavarro home. Artanga loved that child. Their little son, Stavros."
Justin smiled at Michael.
"Adrian raised that child as his own, caring for him while Artanga roamed the world doing faith's work. The boy came to love Adrian as a father. But Adrian instilled in the boy his love and faith. The boy was thirty when Artanga came home to die. He was the beginning of the Stavros dynasty. Petronilla vanished from that lineage, replaced with the name of Stavros."
Everyone nodded, seeing the connection now.
Justin sensed Michael's wanting to end all this.
"So what does everyone have planned today?" he said, trying to dispel the mood of the room.
Michael smiled at him, Justin smiling back.
"We were thinking of going into town. Unless you need us?" Lonnie said, Rachel smiling at him.
"No, that's a good idea, Lonnie. Why don't all of you take in the sights? Jus and I are doing a little planning with Grandfather, then we may join you later."
Everyone agreed, Marco smiling at Emile.
"You'll love Zamorra. It's a piece of heaven!"
Emile smiled, kissing his cheek.
Antonio smiled at his brother.
They'd had a long talk last night, Marco telling him everything about his life.
Antonio had held him, Emile looking on, as Marco told him of his tragic rape. Antonio's heart was hardened even more against Fredrick.
But through it all, Antonio felt the deep bond of Michael in his brother.
Michael had given Marco his life back.
Antonio looked across the table at his cousin, his mind lost in his thoughts.
You are he, Michael.
You are the messenger foretold.
But I also sense you're something more.
Antonio looked down at the tattoo on his own right hand.
The mark of Aurelia.
The double cross, an old symbol of Adrian's life.
No one knew its original meaning, only that Adrian had given it to Artanga as a symbol to mark their order.
Nico had shown Antonio his last night, it tattooed on his shoulder.
It still surprised him that his own brother was his leader.
The leader of the Order had always been reclusive, only showing himself when warranted. His election was a pact of secrecy and mystery. His own predecessor choosing him.
Antonio smiled at his older brother, seeing the faith, love and deep conviction in his noble face.
This man of faith was so much more.
Antonio sighed, thinking of his own life.
A life he'd given over to helping others.
To protecting the faith of his family.
It had, on several occasions, almost cost him his life.
And it had cost him his own destiny.
Antonio had put aside his own needs and wants to devote himself to the faith.
Now so close to the realization of that destiny, he felt suddenly alone.
Michael looked at him from across the table, the two staring at each other.
"Destiny is close. For some of us that entails a new life of faith and love."
Everyone smiled, Michael smiling at Justin.
They all dove into their breakfasts, Antonio smiling at Michael.
He didn't know it , but Justin and Michael were talking quietly in their minds.
The group parted after lunch, most going into town, Justin and Michael remaining with Alberto and Antonio.
Antonio left them to take care of some things.
Justin and Michael walked with Alberto in the main garden, their little ones running around and playing on the grassy lawn.
Justin played with them, Michael walking with Alberto.
He show him sketches that Justin had drawn up, Alberto amazed at what they wanted to do.
"My word, Michael, this is incredible! It will be so beautiful. You have your father's eye for beauty."
Michael smiled, putting his arm around his grandfather.
"We thought it would be more intimate and loving to be surrounded like this."
Michael swept his hand around in a circle, Alberto nodding.
"Hidalgo, my groundskeeper will be here shortly, we'll show him what you propose."
Michael nodded, sitting down on a stone bench with his grandfather.
"The main altar will be in the center of the garden, the seating in a circular arch so everyone can see the center."
"Wonderful, a closed in circle of love." Alberto smiled, loving the idea.
"Yes, Justin and I surrounded by our friends and family. There will be two paths leading into the center, one for each of us to walk."
Alberto nodded, seeing what they were thinking.
Michael put his hand on his grandfather's shoulder.
"Poppa, I would like you and Uncle Silas to give me away to Justin?"
Alberto looked totally surprised, tears forming in his eyes.
"Michael, I.... I would be honored."
Michael smiled, kissing his cheek.
"Justin will have his parents to give him away. I want my grandfather and uncle, two sides of my loving family to give me away."
Alberto was in tears, Justin looking up at them from across the lawn, Darian in his lap.
Justin smiled at Michael, knowing what had brought Alberto to tears.
"My parents aren't here to give me away, and I believe with all my heart that you two are the next best thing."
Alberto smiled, kissing Michael's cheek.
"It will be a journey of wonderful happiness for me, Michael."
Michael smiled, going back to the drawings in his hands.
"Alright, so there will be lots of flowers all around, compliments of our two gardeners of love, and two arches over each path."
Alberto nodded, looking up as a man walked across the lawn towards them.
"Ah, Hidalgo, just in time."
The man smiled, Alberto introducing him to Michael.
Michael shook his hand, the older man smiling at him.
The three men set to work, looking over the couple's plans.
Justin walked into the discussion on and off, his eyes on their two little ones.
The two tots ran around laughing and playing, Michael smiling at them as well.
Within an hour, all the plans were laid. Alberto giving Hidalgo full reign to get everything set up.
A crew of workers would begin the next morning.
Alberto and Hidalgo went back into the house to arrange those plans.
Michael and Justin returned as well, but only to change into their swimming attire, the little ones wanting to swim.
They all walked through the shaded path going through the hedges, walking out into the morning sunshine, the large pool in front of them.
Michael smiled, seeing Antonio floating on the top of the water, below Michael's statue.
"Come on in, the water is wonderfully refreshing!" the young man smiled.
Justin removed his t-shirt and shorts, wearing only a Speedo.
He dove into the pool, surfacing a few moments later.
Michael smiled, removing the little ones' shirts.
"Wawa cold, Dada?" Shauna asked, when Justin swam to the pool's edge in front of them.
"No sweetie, it's warm." he smiled at her, Justin helping her into the pool.
He swam over to the shallow end, Shauna in his arms.
Michael climbed down the ladder on the pool's edge, Darian giggling in his arms.
"Ready for some wetness, little man?"
"Jump in Papa! Me wants wet."
Michael smiled, falling back into the water, Darian screaming with glee, both submerging.
Michael came up quickly, his little boy laughing.
"Nice, Papa. Me goes to Shauna!"
Michael nodded, the little boy beginning to paddle in the water, Michael staying right beside him.
The little boy swam all the way over to them, Justin and Shauna smiling.
"Go Darry! You's fishy!" Shauna laughed, Justin laughing as well.
Within moments, the little boy was in his father's lap, Justin smiling at him.
"Way to go, my little fish!" he said, high-fiving his son.
"Tanks, Dada. Me's good swimmer."
"Yep you are, and so is Shauna. We got two fishies for kids."
Both little ones giggled, Michael sitting beside Justin, smiling.
"Yes, you're good swimmers. But you never swim alone." Michael said, smiling at them both.
"Yes, Papa. No fun alone. We likes swimming with Daddies."
Both men smiled, playing with the children.
Antonio quietly swam over to them, standing up in the water.
Justin and Michael both smiled at him, looking at the muscular vision in front of them.
Antonio was toned and muscled, almost a double for Marco.
Same beautiful physique.
Justin's eyes fell upon Antonio's right leg.
A long scar ran down it, a vicious mark of cruelty.
Michael saw where Justin's gaze was directed.
"You wear a mark of honor, Tio. That must have been very painful."
"Yes, Michael it was. As I see a mark upon your back. Honor is earned, torture is unwarranted."
Antonio had seen the scar on Michael's back when he stood on the ladder picking Darian up.
He'd also seen the beauty of his toned, muscled body.
And the equally–if not more–beautiful body of his lover.
Justin Timberlake was nothing if not more beautiful than his photographs.
Antonio felt a feeling in his center, his trunks beginning to fill out.
He quickly sat down beside the two men and their children.
"I'm sorry that you had to suffer for your faith. For the cause you have embarked upon."
Antonio smiled at Michael, feeling his deep feelings of love and friendship.
"I suffered as I had to. I have never regretted what I took upon myself."
Michael smiled at him.
"For that, and for all that you have endured for your faith, I give you something Tio."
Michael's hand went under the water, it settling gently on the young man's thigh.
Immediately a blue glow appeared under the water, everyone quietly watching.
Darian smiled in his father's lap.
"Papa makes it better." he said, Antonio looking on in wonder.
The blueness faded, Antonio standing up.
The scar was completely gone.
He stared down in disbelief.
His leg was scar free, as beautiful as it had been in his youth.
Michael and Justin smiled at each other, Justin's gaze going somewhere else.
He saw the largeness of Antonio's center, it visible now in the outline of his trunks.
Michael saw to where Justin's eyes were scanning.
"My God, I am healed. You....you are a healer?"
"Yes, my Tio. I am that and so much more."
Darian giggled, Justin smiled, his eyes now directed to his son.
"Papa wonderful. He so special."
Michael smiled, kissing his son's forehead.
Antonio was in tears, sitting down beside Michael again.
Antonio looked into Michael's golden eyes, tears in his own.
"I healed Marco's soul after Fredrick invasion, I now heal your body after his attempt to destroy you. You are whole again, Tio. You walk forward with a free heart."
Antonio cried, Michael's arm going around him.
Justin saw the love and friendship Michael was showing this young man.
The three stayed together, watching the two children playing.
Antonio calmed down, drawn into the world of childhood merriment.
After a relaxing swim, the three men drove into town to join their friends.
Michael noticed the still remaining paparazzi outside the gates of Villa Tavarro, cameras going off when they drove out.
They were followed for a bit, Antonio increasing their speed, losing them eventually.
"You have enlivened the atmosphere of this quaint, small community, cousin." Antonio smiled, Michael sitting beside him in the Land Rover, Justin and Alberto, along with the kids, in the back seat.
"Yes, and it's only the beginning." Michael quietly said.
Antonio looked in the mirror, Justin staring back at him.
They met everyone at a quaint little restaurant in the downtown core, Michael having called Lance to find out where they were.
Everyone settled into a joyous meal, relaxing in the outdoor bistro.
Michael noticed that all the employees quietly gazed at him, their glances moving when he looked back through his sunglasses.
The waiter filled all their glasses with ice cold lemonade, Alberto the first to be filled.
"Thank you." Alberto said, looking at the young man.
"My pleasure, Senor Tavarro. Praise be with you."
Alberto smiled, the young man looking sideways at Michael, then leaving.
Michael looked at his grandfather, Alberto quietly eating his meal.
"I seem to amuse the locals. Their watchful gaze is somewhat daunting."
Alberto looked at Michael.
"Your coming has been waited upon with great longing, Michael. This is a bona fide establishment of faith. The owner and his staff are all followers."
Michael looked up at the people standing at the back of the sheltered bistro.
"I see. Am I to be stared at constantly?" Michael said, removing his sunglasses.
"The owner of this restaurant is the second son of my brother's son. This is a house of Tavarro. They worship what you represent, Michael."
A young man walked out onto the terrace, having been summoned by his staff.
Michael smiled, standing up, the now smiling owner staring into his golden eyes.
"It is an honor to dine with family, albeit distant." Michael said, bowing toward the man, the man walking forward.
The man bowed, Michael extending his hand.
"I am Jarod Tavarro. An honor to have you partake of my humble nourishments." the young man said in a heavy Spanish accent.
"A joy to meet you, cousin. I am Michael Tavarro, son of Ramon Tavarro, grandson of Alberto."
Michael's glowing smile put the man at ease.
His eyes remained glued to Michael's soulful ones.
The man introduced Michael to all his staff, Michael shaking all of their hands.
Everyone stared at him with awed wonder.
"Relax, all of you. I am but a man. I have returned to my family home to spread love and hope. All of you will reap of that."
They all smiled, Michael's calm words and voice soothing their hearts.
All Michael's family and friends remained quiet, watching him spread his heart.
"Jarod, the fare was delicious as usual." Antonio said, smiling at his cousin.
Antonio stood, the two men hugging each other tightly.
Jarod grinned back, putting his hand on Antonio's shoulder.
"A joy to see you fit and happy, Tio. It has been too long."
Michael smiled, seeing a bond between these two young men.
"Jarod and Tio are childhood friends. They were inseparable when young." Alberto smiled.
Both young men smiled, Michael smiling at both.
"It is a joy to see another branch of my family tree, Jarod." Michael said, introducing the man to all the people around the table.
Jarod shook hands with everyone, his face blushing when introduced to Justin last.
"My congratulations on your upcoming union." Jarod said, bowing to him.
"Thank you. It will be a day of joy for my heart." Justin said, smiling at Michael, Michael smiling back.
"Please all of you, relax. Trego, bring coffee and desserts." Jarod said, summoning the young waiter again.
Michael sat down, Jarod joining the group at Michael's request.
He sat down beside Antonio, the two smiling at each other.
"This is a beautiful town, Jarod." Emile said, Marco's arm around him.
"It is home. And home is always beautiful. Especially when an angel returns."
Justin smiled, surprised when seeing Jarod's eyes were on Antonio, not on Michael.
The conversation flew among them all, Jarod telling them of the town's history, and of his own.
He smiled at Alberto, Alberto smiling back at his brother's grandson.
"How is my brother Alexander?" Alberto asked, Jarod smiling.
"He is well, flourishing at father's vineyards." Jarod smiled.
"Alex always blossomed with a wine glass in his hand. It warms his soul." Alberto laughed, Michael smiling.
"He shall be at the Council tonight, along with Father." Jarod said, Alberto nodding.
"My younger brother of four years is a faithful man. His heart is as my own." Alberto smiled, Michael nodding.
"I am sorry my father holds not the same traditions." Jarod said quietly, not looking at his great uncle.
Alberto put his hand on Jarod's shoulder, looking at him.
"Each of us holds our own beliefs. I see your heart filled with your grandfather's love."
Jarod smiled, Michael quietly watching.
Alberto looked towards Michael.
"My nephew, Theo, Jarod's father, has joined the Enclanada, the right wing sect of the Council. He walks with Victor's teachings in his heart."
Michael nodded, seeing the sad look upon Jarod's face. Antonio's hand was on his shoulder, Michael seeing him trying to comfort him.
"We cannot always stand by our father's decisions, but we still must have hope that the right path shall come into view again. I learned that with my own father." Michael said, Jarod looking at him.
"The stories of your hardships have filtered into the heart of the Tavarro clan, Michael. I am in awe of your courageous heart." the young man said, Michael smiling at him, genuinely liking the young man.
"I did what had to be done. I went on with hope and love in my heart. Remember that, my friend."
Jarod smiled, Antonio smiling at Michael's sage advice.
They enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, Jarod acting as tour guide, leaving the restaurant in his manager's hands.
He showed them all the sights of Zamorra.
The ancient ruins, religious sites and breathtakingly beautiful gardens.
Before anyone knew it, they'd returned to the bistro, Jarod insisting they all dine there for supper.
Everyone heartily agreed.
It was only a short trip from there to the church of St. Aurelia.
The council meeting was scheduled for seven, a short two hours away.
They all dined together, Jarod a joyous host.
Justin and he had hit it off wonderfully, the younger man in awe of Justin's status.
"A singer in my restaurant, and a star also." Jarod had said, in awe.
"I'm just Michael's fianceé, nothing more. I'm soon to be family." Justin said, smiling at the young man.
Jarod and Antonio were twenty two, four years younger than Michael and Justin.
Paulo and Marco smiled, remembering the deep friendship that Antonio and Jarod had once shared.
It seemed unchanged, both men alive in each other's happiness.
Michael also smiled, quietly watching.
Justin snuggled beside him, their two little ones in their laps.
Dinner was over around six o'clock, everyone thanking Jarod for the rich food and enlightening atmosphere.
"You have dined on the Tavarro hospitality. It works wonders on the heart." he said, Antonio smiling at him.
Everyone climbed into the rented vehicles, Justin, Michael and Alberto remaining.
Doris and Rachel took the children, both little ones snoozing softly.
Michael smiled, looking into one of the vehicles.
"You can put them with the other contented children. "
Doris smiled, seeing Jonathan, Stevie and Lonnie sitting with their eyes shut, apparently tired from their long day of sightseeing.
Rachel leaned into the vehicle lightly kissing Lonnie's cheek.
Lonnie opened his eyes smiling.
"Too much food and walking." he said, making everyone smile.
Antonio and Jarod decided to stay as well, volunteering to walk with the others to the church.
Everyone waved goodbye, heading back to Villa Tavarro.
The five men quietly walked down the cobblestone streets towards the church standing on the rising hill.
Michael noticed people glancing his way, all of them staring in awe.
He saw several older people crossing themselves.
Others bowed and curtseyed, Jarod and Antonio exchanging looks.
Justin's hand went into Michael's, Michael feeling his soothing love.
Justin felt Michael's reluctance at being the center of attention.
Those old feelings were there for Justin to feel.
Justin smiled at him, Michael quietly smiling back.
Justin looked ahead, seeing the church rising out of the late day sun.
He focused his mind on what lay ahead.
He felt in his heart that he would be called upon to defend Michael.
To defend their love.
He smiled, his mind focused on doing just that.
They all entered the church through the front doors, Father Jericho greeting them at the entrance.
"Hello, Alberto. And hello, Michael. I am surprised to see you here. You were not expected."
"You must come to expect the unexpected in regards to my grandson, Jerry." Alberto said, the two old friends hugging.
"The Council awaits. Everyone is here. We need to take our places, Alberto." the older priest said, Alberto nodding.
Alberto quietly talked to Michael, the four young men sitting down in the rectory.
They waited there patiently after Alberto and Father Jericho walked into the church.
A half hour later the door opened, Father Nico walking out.
"They wish to see you, Michael and Justin."
Father Nico smiled at Jarod, his cousin hugging him.
"You two may enter, just stay in the background." he softly spoke.
The four young men followed the priest, Michael and Justin first.
Michael looked around, seeing a large table set up at the front of the church.
It was situated in front of the altar, below the Stone of Vengeance.
Around the table sat eleven men.
Michael and Justin followed Father Nico.
Two chairs were waiting in front of the large table.
Michael and Justin sat down in the two armchairs, Michael looking quietly ahead.
Father Nico took his seat at the table, now twelve men seated in front of them.
Three of them were Nico, Father Jericho, and Alberto.
Alberto sat in the middle, his position as the head of the family central to this council.
To his right sat another distinguished-looking gentleman, Michael immediately identifying him as Alberto's brother, Alexander.
His looks were similar to Alberto's, their heritage standing out on their weather-worn faces.
The other eight Michael had never seen before.
One man seated on the left side beside Father Jericho, was staring at Michael intently.
Michael met his gaze, seeing an angry soul beaming out of his brown eyes like daggers of hate.
He immediately identified this man as Victor Falisca, Alberto's granddaughter's husband.
Alberto stood, looking around the table.
"I welcome as head of this council, with great honor, my son Ramon's only child, Michael."
There were several murmured voices around the table, Alexander quietly staring at Michael.
"Welcome, Michael Tavarro, to the Council of Odisa. It is good to finally meet you." Alexander said, a smile of quiet awe on his face.
He was staring into Michael's golden eyes.
Michael bowed his head, acknowledging the greeting.
"It is an honor to finally meet the authority behind the family of Tavarro."
The men all stared at him, no smiles coming forth from most of their faces.
"We are the Council of Odisa. We control the power of the Tavarro Clan. And we control the destiny of all that claim lineage to that name." Victor said, glaring at the man seated in front of him.
Michael stared at him, the man remaining still.
"Some of us claim it with no real right."
Victor's face changed, his anger more evident.
"And just what does that mean?" he said, Alberto and Alexander exchanging looks.
Michael stood up, looking at each of the twelve men sitting in front of him.
Justin rose, standing beside his lover.
"It means that here, in the center of the family's power, in the beating of its collective heart, I sense the evil that has taken hold of my family."
The men talked quietly, Victor glaring at Michael.
"You have no right or claim to say such words, Michael." one man said, looking at him.
"I have the right of faith, Theo Tavarro. And the right of destiny."
Theo Tavarro looked surprised, wondering how Michael knew his name.
Jarod, who sat beside Antonio in one of the front pews, looked towards his father seated beside Victor.
Michael's head turned slowly, each member of the council meeting his golden gaze.
"My name is Michael Augustus Tavarro. I am the foretold Messenger of God. And I will destroy what I sense here! Fair warning to all that cling to that evil: I shall rip it out of all of you!!"
Victor was on his feet in a flash, pointing at him.
"You are a renegade bastard brat of dubious lineage! Do not stand in this sacred place and claim boastful words! The messenger does not exist!"
Every door in the church slammed shut, most of the men jumping up out of their seats.
Alberto and Alexander remained seated, staring in quiet wonder.
Justin's hand went to Michael's shoulder, sensing his sudden anger.
Michael's golden eyes were glowing, slowly looking into Justin's blue eyes.
He immediately calmed down.
But not before his golden eyes had the designed affect on the council.
"Your eyes. . .they glowed?" one man said, looking on in wonder.
"Yes, Xavier Tavarro, nephew of my grandfather. I am he that was foretold."
Michael sat down again, Justin returning to his seat.
The silence in the church was smothering.
The council members slowly sat down, all their eyes directed towards Michael.
Victor remained standing.
"You come into this room with your devilish magic tricks and expect us to open our arms in worship? What are you after? Do you seek the wealth of this family?"
Michael stared at him, his gaze determined and steady.
"Do not talk to me of power and greed, Victor Falisca, husband of my cousin Gina! Your heart is filled with both!!"
"I shall not stand here and be insulted! I am a member of the Odisa, you shall bow to my authority!"
Several of the council members nodded, looking at Michael.
Michael stood, staring at them all.
"All my life I have bowed in torture and hatred! Here, now, I shall stand tall. For I am your fate, and I am your salvation."
"You lie! You expect us to believe such foolishness??"
"Calm down, Victor." an older man said, Victor reluctantly sitting down again.
Michael looked at the man, seeing the Tavarro looks on his face.
"I am the oldest member of this council, Michael. With that comes respect." the man said calmly, quietly watching Michael.
"I do respect you, Lorenzo, cousin to my grandfather. In you, is much wisdom and righteousness."
Lorenzo Tavarro nodded, looking at his cousin.
"Your grandson has the heart of fire of your father, Alberto. In him, I see much strength and purpose."
The man stood now, Michael's eyes on him.
"There is much concern and worry, Michael, about what you symbolize and what you may do to this family. Already the press and media are swarming into our small paradise. You have stirred much unrest among the townspeople. What is the purpose of this visit? If you are who you say you are, our history dictates that that moment of destiny is not for a few more weeks. Must we endure the trouble for that long a period of time?"
"I come here this week for a single purpose. My grandfather has granted me the right to marry in my father's gardens on the Tavarro land."
Victor laughed, smugness on his face.
"You call what you and this man are doing marriage? It is an abomination to our faith!"
Justin stood up, Michael looking at him.
"Michael and I have come here to join our love in the sight of God. Those gardens mean a lot to my Mico. For his own father grew them and planted the seed of love that transcends the Tavarro landscape. I will do all in my power to see him have the day of his dreams. No one, not even his own family, shall stop me from showing my Mico my deep love!!"
Michael teared up, Justin taking his hand in his.
"As a Tavarro, and grandson of the leader of the family, Michael has earned the right to marry upon Tavarro land. You all talk of faith and family. Honor him and my lost son with this day. Nothing will stop this. So you might as well end this trial now. I will see my grandson married in the garden of Adrian." Alberto said, Lorenzo turning and looking at him.
"Alberto, as leader you have many rights. Even this is your right. But we judge not the rights of our family, we judge the sanctity of what this means. For centuries, we have waited for the prophesied soul that will proclaim our final truth. For that man to be gay, and to marry another man, it just doesn't make sense.It goes against the faith of our ancestors."
Alberto stood, walking around the table, walking up to Michael and Justin.
"Before me and before all of you, I see two people in love. A greater love I have never seen. My grandson's heart is filled with a love that's unbelievable. It will be my greatest honor to give him to the man who loves him beyond his own self!"
Justin and Michael both had tears in their eyes, Alberto looking back towards the council.
"They shall marry on Saturday, in the garden of Adrian. As one of my last acts as leader of the Odisa and patron of St. Aurelia, I seal this fate. It shall be done."
"You are a fool, Alberto! To allow such debauchery and evilness into your ancestral home! Your dynasty will be the laughing stock of the Tavarro history!" Victor said, others nodding.
Michael stared at the man, Victor smirking.
"You talk of debauchery and evilness, I know the secrets of your heart, lost one. I know who guides you and gives you your dreams."
Victor looked nervous, looking quickly around.
Michael turned looking at the other council members.
"I am sorry if you feel that my life and my choices do not meet your standards of faith and family. I know in my heart that that means nothing to me. What's important to me is that my family, my friends, and most importantly, the man I love, believe in me. That love will surround me on Saturday. I had hoped that all of you could rejoice in that love, but it worries me not. Those I love and care for shall be there. I am leaving, I've nothing more to say."
Michael turned, beginning to walk down the aisle, Justin beside him.
"Run, coward." he heard behind him.
He stopped, then turned, Justin stopping as well.
Michael stared into the eyes of Victor Falisca.
"I give you fair warning, Victor. Watch your back. For he that you trust shall plunge the knife into it. And you will awaken in the hell you yourself have created."
Michael walked out of the church, all the doors flying open.
Alberto stood in front of the table, turning to look at his cousin and brother.
"The council is dissolved. No further discussions shall pass my ears. In two weeks, I shall no longer head this family. I hope the Commander of Truth sheds a greater light upon your troubled minds."
He walked down the aisle, Father Nico following him.
End of Chapter 155
And so Michael announces his birthright.
The Tavarro family council now knows he claims ownership to the Messenger title.
But it looks like the family is very divided in his beliefs.
More drama to come.
And the wedding preparations are under way.
What does Michael and Justin have planned?
On vacation the next week, the chapters will continue, as will my writing.
Read on and I hope to make you feel a moment of intense romance.
I couldn't do their joining any other way.
Walking the path of love, Angel.