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.
The crowd again knelt as one, seeing Alberto kneeling on the top steps.
Out of the church came his six grandsons, carrying on their shoulders a large wooden cross.
Paulo and Antonio were at the front.
Nico, Marco, Zach and Justin were lined up behind, the body of the cross resting on their shoulders, Justin at the end.
"God is all! God is love!" The crowd chanted.
Alberto rose again, smiling.
He put his hand on Tomas' shoulder.
"Come, my grandson. We walk the Trek of Faith."
Tomas smiled, walking beside his grandfather down the steps.
The six men followed behind them, carrying the symbol of Adrian's faith.
The crowd rose as one, all with tears in their eyes.
Alberto and Tomas walked off the steps, and turned, walking towards Villa Tavarro.
The crowd opened up, giving them their path.
People bowed, and crossed themselves, seeing before them their faith.
The cross bearers walked behind the two men, the Council of Ordisa following behind the cross.
Behind them walked Christina, Tanisa and Sandaria.
Jarod joined them, smiling at the three women.
Behind them walked the rest of the Tavarro family in rows of six people wide.
Christina's eyes were on the back of Victor Falisca's head.
She'd seen in his eyes a gleeful happiness.
And that could mean only one thing:
Michael was in great danger.
They heard them before they saw them.
For the song they sang was carried across the hillside.
Michael and his friends and family stood on the balcony looking towards the gate.
"What a beautiful hymn." Lynn said, Noah in her arms.
"The hymn of his heart." Michael said quietly.
His eyes were glowing a soft golden hue.
Everyone looked past the gates, still seeing no one.
But they did see that the paparazzi were running towards the coming masses, the song guiding them.
"It will be a few minutes more, they are over a mile away." Silas said, sitting in a chair, smiling at Michael.
Gregory stood beside his chair, his arms folding.
"Where will Alberto feed all these people?" Kevin asked, sitting on a couch with Seth.
"The south lawns are all set up. Over two hundred tables are ready." Michael said, pointing to the far side of the balcony.
Everyone rose, walking over and looking in the direction Michael had shown.
They could just make out the large expanse of white covered tables.
Seth smiled, seeing what stood out the most.
Bright splashes of color were abundant everywhere.
"From here I see so many flowers!" Seth said, pointing at different patches.
"Yes, Alberto's gardeners have been busy all week, as have the groundskeepers. It's all ready. This Feast of Redemption will be the most spectacular." Michael said, returning his gaze to the front gates.
Lynn walked up to him, putting her arm around him, Noah climbing into his arms.
"Darry back soon?"
Michael smiled, kissing his cheek.
"Yes, Noah Daniel. Your wonderful Darry will be back soon. Listen to the singing. He's right in the center of it."
Noah smiled, his ears perking up.
"Me hears it! Me likes it!"
"Here they come, I think." Randall said, pointing to the distance.
Everyone walked up to the stone railing, looking out.
Over the hill and towards the front gates of the Villa Tavarro walked the Tavarro clan.
Alberto and Tomas walking at the head of the family, Tomas beside him, carrying the Stone of Vengeance.
He was surprised by its weight.
For marble it was incredibly light.
He still felt the warmth of its glow, the heat of God calming his soul.
He wore a smile of complete happiness.
He now had a family.
Behind him walked over two thousand of his brethren.
He felt Alberto's hand go to his shoulder.
Tomas turned his head, looking into his golden eyes.
"To have a family is to have the world. I am happy you are part of mine, Tomas."
Tomas teared up, kissing his grandfather's cheek.
Behind them the voices of the Tavarro clan echoed in joyous song.
Thou my everlasting portion,
more than friend or life to me,
all along my pilgrim journey,
Savior, let me walk with thee.
Close to thee, close to thee,
close to thee, close to thee,
all along my pilgrim journey,
Savior, let me walk with thee.
Not for ease or worldly pleasure,
nor for fame my prayer shall be;
gladly will I toil and suffer,
only let me walk with thee.
Close to thee, close to thee,
close to thee, close to thee,
all along my pilgrim journey,
Savior, let me walk with thee.
Lead me through the vale of shadows,
bear me o'er life's fitful sea;
then the gate of life eternal
may I enter, Lord, with thee.
Close to thee, close to thee,
close to thee, close to thee,
all along my pilgrim journey,
Savior, let me walk with thee.
The hymn was again repeated, the voices as one.
Jarod was walking beside Christina.
In front of them, Shauna and Darian were walking on either side of Becky, the girl holding both their hands tightly.
They all saw the gates of the Villa Tavarro come into view as they came over the rise.
They saw all the paparazzi flashing cameras, police lining the road.
Alberto stood proud walking towards his home.
Michael saw the pilgrims walking up the road towards the opening gates of the Tavarro lands.
He saw his grandfather and Tomas walking at the front, seeing the Stone of Vengeance in his cousin's hands.
"That's Tomas!" Seth said, pointing in awed wonder, seeing his lover at the head of the procession.
"And look who carries the cross. All the guys, including Justin and Zach!" Josh said, looking on in respectful awe.
Michael saw his husband and Zach at the end of the cross, a tear falling down his cheek.
He knew in Alberto's eyes Justin and Zach were now his grandsons.
Gregory looked out upon the pageantry of the procession, seeing the faith and respect being shown.
"Your family walks in faith, Michael."
Michael turned, looking at his cousin.
"Both our families are entrenched in faith and love, Gregory."
Gregory smiled, Michael smiling back.
"When are the Stavros' scheduled to arrive?" Lonnie asked, looking at the two men.
"We wanted the Tavarros to have some time with themselves. This is their moment of Redemption. The Stavros' shall be here at six o'clock."
"Another procession of faith?" Lynn asked, Paul now with his hand around her, both looking out at the procession.
"We shall walk together, to meet our Warrior." Gregory said, Michael staring at him quietly.
"My family, both sides of it, are welcome always." he said, looking back towards the front gate.
Everyone's eyes were riveted to the gate, seeing the throng of people beginning to walk through.
The hymn still echoed across the land, the throng's voice as one.
Alberto and Tomas walked forward, leading them forward, turning to the left, heading towards a platform that was erected on the Villa's front lawn.
The crowd surged around them, spreading out into a semi circle around the platform.
Alberto walked to the platform, Tomas following.
The six grandsons lowered the cross to their waists, waiting for what was to come next.
On the platform, a duplicate of the white marble Altar of Monguestra stood.
Tomas walked around it, standing behind it.
Alberto remained quiet, listening to his family's one voice of devoted love.
The hymn finally ended, Alberto smiling outward to his family.
"Welcome, brethren, to your ancestral home. To Adrian's house of faith and love."
Cheering and dignified clapping were heard all around him.
"Come forth my grandsons of love. Bring forth our symbol of faith."
The six men smiled, carrying the wooden cross up onto the platform.
Father Nico guided them, the six raising it up on its axis, setting one end into a wooden base.
The men separated, Nico, Marco and Zach standing on Alberto's right.
Justin, Paulo and Antonio on Tomas' left.
"Behold our Stone of Vengeance, resting upon the land of its origin! Behold the symbol of our faith, standing on the land of its creator!"
Everyone in the throng knelt as one, people removing their hats, and crossing themselves.
Alberto raised his hands, his head moving upward.
"We, your chosen children of faith, gather to praise your truths, dear Lord. We join as one, one family of faith and truth. Welcome us into our center, into the center of our destiny."
"God is all! God is love!!" the crowd chanted, the words echoing upward, all their heads raised.
Michael stood on the balcony watching the crowd.
He saw a lot people who didn't seem overly enthusiastic with his grandfather's devotion.
His eyes of destiny saw the red tinge of color in their auras.
"The redness threatens to glow. Grandfather's words fall on deaf ears."
Lance looked at Michael hearing his words.
"The evil is present? You see it?"
"It has always been here, Lance. It is the wound on my family's heart." Michael said, walking away from the balcony's railing, sitting down on a lounge chair.
"Don't you want to watch the rest of the devotion?" Josh asked, Michael laying his head back, closing his eyes.
"I can hear it all from here. And I see it all in my mind's eye."
Everyone quietly looked at him, returning their eyes to the scene below, but not before looking at each other.
"My children, my brethren of faith and family, today is the mid day of our week of Redemption. Today marks the Feast Day, the Feast of Redemption."
Everyone smiled and clapped, all of them now standing, looking towards their patriarch.
Alberto looked out at everyone, folding his hands in front of him.
Justin looked at him, sensing something in his pose.
"This year is especially momentous in our history. For this week is the final week. The final week of our destiny. The Messenger has come."
To say the place turned into pandemonium would do it no justice.
People were screaming, some joyous in their vocalness.
Others stared in shocked wonder.
Still others were shaking their heads.
The loudness of the chattering voices that now began was heard even above them on the distant balcony.
Arguments and accusations were rising above the noise.
"That didn't go over very well." Lonnie said, putting his arm around Rachel.
Everyone looked towards Michael, his eyes remaining closed.
They turned back, seeing the mounting tension.
"Silence, children of Adrian!!!!"
The large audience went completely silent.
The voice had been thunderous in its intensity.
Everyone was staring upwards, having heard the voice from above.
Justin looked around, looking towards the balcony.
He saw his family and his friends, but no Michael.
The people were murmuring, talking quietly, looks of awed confusion at their brethren.
The council of Ordisa was crowded together, their heads looking upwards as well.
Victor's eyes were staring towards the platform, glaring at Alberto.
Alberto looked upward, scanning the heavens.
"So sayeth the voice of God. We are the children of Adrian. A man devoted to faith and goodness. And he has given us our destiny. We, the children of Adrian, must spread the word of faith, must live in goodness. Let us join together today as a sign of that faith. We are family. Let all of us put aside our concerns. All will be rectified this Sunday. The Messenger is among us. Our family shall return to its faith!"
Alberto turned, putting his hand upon the Stone of Vengeance.
"I swear, with all the remaining life in myself, that my family shall prevail! Ours is the hope of goodness, ours is the faith of destiny! Come, brothers and sisters, the Feast is upon us!"
Alberto crossed himself, Tomas taking his arm.
They walked off the platform, his other six grandsons following him.
Alberto bowed to the council, Victor standing with folded arms.
"Tricks or magic will not save you, Alberto! It is time for new blood to lead us!" Victor said quietly, glaring at him.
Alberto's brother Alexander shook his head in defeat, Alberto's eyes momentarily looking at him.
"You are correct, Victor. And that new blood will be unbelievable in its faith!" Alberto said, his voice calm and determined.
Victor looked taken aback for a moment, Justin staring at him.
"Come, Grandfather. Our family is famished from its walk." Tomas said, Alberto's smile returning.
The two men walked out among the family, everyone shaking his hand, welcoming Tomas to the family.
Michael opened his eyes, standing up.
Lance and Josh turned, looking at him, Michael walking up to the balcony railing.
He saw the crowd mingling, the slow motion of them all moving towards the south gardens and the prepared meal.
"Was that you, Michael? That voice?" Randall said, Lisa standing beside him.
"No, Dad. It wasn't me. I heard it as well."
Michael's eyes picked out Justin easily, seeing him walking with Father Nico towards the gardens.
Michael saw Christina and the three little ones with Justin, Darian's hand in Justin's.
"How are you doing, love?" Michael said in his mind.
"I'm fantastic, Mico! This has all been so moving! It's like I feel God all around us!"
Michael smiled, Lance knowing Michael was talking to Justin.
"So how is my son doing? I see the little ones around him." Lynn said, smiling.
She too had seen easily Michael's stance, knowing he was communication with Justin.
"He's fantastic. He's surrounded with love."
Lynn and everyone else smiled, Michael sighing.
"I need to get changed. I suggest you all head down and meet up with all of them. I'll see you soon." Michael said, kissing Noah's cheek, Noah in Lance's arms.
"Need help, Michael?" Josh said, smiling at him.
"Thanks, Joshy. But I'll be fine. I have to do a couple of things first."
Josh nodded, everyone watching Michael quietly walk off the balcony, going into the house.
"I will return later, everyone. I need to meet my brethren in Zamora." Gregory smiled, Kevin taking his hand.
"See you later, Kevy." Seth said, kissing his brother.
He then kissed Gregory, the Grecian smiling at him.
Everyone left the balcony, heading out onto the lawn.
Michael walked into the resting room, closing the door behind him.
He looked around, seeing the room quiet and empty.
He walked over to the fireplace looking up at his ancestor's portrait.
He smiled, seeing the beauty and graceful elegance of Adrian's masculine features.
"You are a man of greatness, Grandfather. I look around this house and these grounds and I see that greatness. They are here finally. And I shall do what was asked of me. For him, it's become necessary. I hope you walk with me, great one. The path begins."
Michael's eyes glowed, the portrait rising upward.
In Michael's hand he held a wooden box, setting it on the stone shelf when it came into view.
He looked at another box which sat upon the stone shelf.
He pulled it down, opening its ivory lid.
The parchment lay rolled up in the box.
The true prophecy of the Tavarros.
He sighed, closing the lid and returning the box to its hidden tomb.
The portrait lowered, the shelf again concealed to seeking eyes.
Michael closed his eyes, securing the hidden spot behind its wall of protective love.
Michael looked around the room, sensing out what he knew once lay here.
He looked at a closed door walking over to it.
He opened the door, finding a small storage closet.
He looked around, seeing the telltale marks of something being moved, a light scattering of dust marks.
He sighed, looking around.
"So you have set the game in play. For all of them I do this. I take this pain for them." Michael said, closing the door.
He looked back towards the fireplace, seeing the eyes of both lions tearing.
He walked back, standing in front of both lions, seeing small droplets of water in both lion's eyes.
He thought for a moment, looking again at the portrait.
A voice came into his mind.
"You shall warrant redemption, my son."
Michael looked up at the portrait, seeing Adrian's eyes glowing golden brown.
The portrait's face had changed, a small smile upon it.
Michael smiled back, adjusting his clothes, walking quietly out of the room.
He stopped in the foyer, looking at himself in the full-length wall mirror.
He wore a black suit, the same one he'd worn in Greece.
His golden cross lay upon his chest.
The golden and wooden rings of Peter were upon his left hand, his wedding band on his right, on the stubbed finger, beside his silver ring of faith.
The ring of Justin's love against their ring of faith.
He smiled, seeing all that he was.
All that this day would bring.
Including the pain.
The pain that he would have to bear to make the future come alive.
Michael took a deep breath, walking through the front door, heading to his destiny.
Victor Falisca sat at his table with the other members of the council.
He looked around, seeing all the people surrounding him.
He looked towards the central three tables.
They reminded him of three rings of a circus.
But where was the clown?
Michael's absence troubled Victor.
He'd thought for sure that Michael would have been front and center in the middle of all these religious fanatics.
He looked at the three tables, seeing the honored central guests.
At the left table sat Justin, along with his family and close friends.
Justin sat with his band members, his two children sitting in his lap.
Justin was looking towards Victor.
Victor stared at him, seeing the man for what he was.
A stunning portrait of male beauty.
Victor thought he'd taste delicious.
Perhaps Fredrick would reward him with this morsel of beauty.
Victor smiled at Justin, Justin turning his eyes away.
Victor scanned the other tables, feeling the hatred boiling inside him.
The table on the right contained more of Alberto's family and friends.
Alexander, Jarod and Zach, along with Doris, Rachel, Lonnie, Nick and Trevor, as well as Jake, Silas, Uncle Derrick and Seth.
Victor's gaze fell upon the central table.
Alberto sat at its key place, surrounded by his nine grandchildren.
Tomas, Paulo, Antonio, Christina, Nico, Tanisa, Sandaria, Marco, and Ginella.
Victor's eyes passed over his wife, not caring that she sat away from him.
He actually laughed inside thinking how so out of place she was at that table.
A thorn in the middle of roses.
Roses of stupid, fanatic, religious foolishness.
Victor shook his head at their stupidity.
They couldn't see the writing on the wall.
Victor also noted one empty seat right beside Alberto.
Perhaps Michael was here.
Victor smiled, a smile of menacing purpose.
The large family sat on the south garden lawns, in rows of circular tables, all covered in white linen.
Flowers were everywhere, each table holding a floral display of exquisite beauty.
Looking from every table you could see the central tables, the patriarch of the family sitting proudly surrounded by his family.
Waiters scrambled around, filling wine glasses and putting out baskets of rolls.
The meal was prepared, the fleet of servers standing at the ready.
People were quietly talking, the earlier moment of surprising wonder upon all their minds.
Justin sat at his table, Darian in his lap.
Shauna had climbed into Josh's lap beside Justin, his daughter smiling up at him.
"Where Papa, Dada?" she asked, Justin smiling at her.
"He'll be here soon, sweetie."
Justin smiled, looking around.
He'd noticed Victor looking at him, not liking the leering look upon his face.
"Where are you, Mico?" Justin thought in his mind.
"I am coming Justin. Let Grandfather know I am ready."
"Are you, Mico? I don't like some of the people surrounding us."
"Relax, my love. I shall be there soon to protect all of you."
Justin got up slowly, Darian still in his arms.
Justin walked over to the central table, leaning in and whispering in Alberto's ear.
Justin returned to his seat, sitting back down.
Alberto stood up, the crowd surrounding him quieting down quickly.
"Brethren of faith, children of love. Welcome to the Feast of Redemption. Today, we dine together in faith and happiness. For we seek redemption in the eyes of our Lord. On Sunday, our redemption will be at hand. For the Messenger is here. He walks among us. He was lost to us, for generations. But God has sent him here to see our family made whole again. For too long I have seen the evil that has entered our soul, that has tainted the deep faithful heart of this family. You see the empty seat beside me. It waits for him. I have searched for years for the man, for the lost part of my heart. A short eight months ago on the holiest of days I looked into his golden eyes, and saw the truth. The truth of who he is, and what he means to myself. For he is my grandson, lost to me for many years. His father was taken from me by the evilness that surrounds us. But the goodness of God has returned his son to me. And I–as you all will–will bask in his loving kindness. For this loving man is also our Messenger. And his message we all must hear. This family is on a path of destiny, all of us knowing of the prophecy. Behold the one that was foretold! Behold the Messenger of God! I give you with faith and love, my grandson, Michael Augustus Tavarro!!"
Alberto's hand pointed to the western entrance.
The garden was in dead silence, all eyes focused on its western entrance.
The entrance that lead directly to the central tables.
What stood there surprised all of them.
There, standing in the bright, late afternoon sunshine stood a lone figure.
The sun was behind him, its rays surrounding him.
Everyone stared in stunned silence, seeing a man wrapped in God's light.
The man moved forward, the sun receding from his features.
There, standing alone, was a physically astounding, strikingly beautiful man.
He was young, his features smooth and masculine.
And his most striking feature was the two golden orbs that stared back at all of them.
He began to walk forward, walking towards the central tables.
Every set of eyes were upon him, Michael's calm demeanor surprising them.
Justin stared in emotional love.
To his eyes, his Michael was stunning.
He wore his black Armani suit.
His golden cross lay upon his chest, its gleaming goldenness matching his eyes.
People whispered to each other, still staring at him.
To all of them, it seemed that his eyes glowed.
Michael walked forward, each step calm and steady.
He looked at each table, nodding his head, a small smile given to staring eyes.
Some lowered their heads, others stared deeply into his eyes.
Others crossed themselves, some even standing up.
A few were even beginning to kneel.
Victor stood at his table, the other council members standing around him.
All their eyes were upon Michael.
Michael didn't even acknowledge them, walking to his grandfather's table.
He stood in front of it, bowing deeply.
"Praise to you, Patriarch of the Land of Tavarro. I am honored to be welcomed here in my family's heart." Michael said, smiling at his grandfather.
Alberto was in tears, hearing the deep respect and love coming from Michael's words.
"Welcome, my grandson. Sit now beside me, dine with thy family. Let them know now of our lost one."
Michael smiled, walking around the table, smiling at everyone, his eyes falling upon Ginella.
"So you are Michael Tavarro? You're not what I pictured." Gina said, staring at him.
Michael sensed fear in her.
"I surprise a lot of people. Faith has a way of doing that."
Gina looked over at her husband, seeing a look of hatred upon his face.
"I rely more on power and standing than on faith, lost one." she said, turning her eyes away from him.
Alberto looked sadly at her, Michael putting his hand on his grandfather's shoulder.
Alberto looked into his eyes, seeing the light of love in them.
"Please, everyone, let us sit and enjoy this wonderful meal." Alberto said, Michael sitting down at his side.
Alberto remained standing.
He lifted his hand, the servers walking forward.
They carried trays of food, each table laden with rich Spanish fare.
The family's eyes were diverted from Michael's appearance to the rich food now laying on their tables.
Once the tables were all filled with food, Alberto's voice filled the silence again.
"My grandson, Father Nicholas, will honor us with the prayer of thanksgiving."
Alberto sat down beside Michael, Father Nico standing, looking out at his family.
"Let us all bow our heads in prayer."
The people lowered their heads, some remaining motionless, Victor being one of them.
He was staring intently at Michael, whose head was lowered.
"He walks as if he owns all of us! I'll show him where his place is!" thought Victor.
His face hardened.
"Blessed God in the highest, we your children gather here to worship your faith in us. Guide us forward, dear Father, to our destiny. For one more time we break bread together as a family. A family divided. Heal us, oh Lord. Hear our cry of faith. You, today, have sent him to walk among us. Let him show us our place in your divine plan. We walk with you in our hearts, and we shall heed his words as if they were yours. Bless all of us, and our love for one another. Amen."
"Amen." the crowd spoke in unison.
Father Nico sat down, smiling at Michael.
Michael raised his head, everyone seeing a tear in his golden eyes.
"Very moving, cousin. Very moving."
Everyone dined on the wonderful food, waiters and servers walking around to each table.
The mood at Alberto's table was one of calmness.
Through the meal Michael talked with everyone, finally returning his gaze to Gina.
"Why are you here, Michael? You know this is all foolishness. Leave before you regret it." she said, looking towards Victor, her husband.
Michael followed her gaze, looking at Victor.
Victor stared back at him, Michael seeing the look of contempt and hatred in his brown eyes.
"There is nothing for me to fear, Gina. From you or from anyone. I walk in God's embrace. The sooner you realize that, the better."
Gina stared at him with shock, looking into his golden eyes.
Michael continued with his meal, eating it quietly.
Gina's eyes were glued to him, the others watching both of them.
The meal progressed, everyone enjoying the richness of the food and the sweetness of the wine.
Several toasts were given throughout the meal, joyous responses received.
Michael was toasted by his distant relatives, Michael standing and bowing his thanks.
But his voice remained somewhat quiet.
Alberto sensed Michael was waiting for something.
He felt in his heart he might be waiting for the gauntlet to be thrown down.
Alberto glanced at Victor and the council, seeing them in discussion.
The atmosphere had calmed somewhat, but people continued to draw their eyes towards Michael's table.
His beauty and calming presence affecting a lot of them.
Justin stared at the man he loved with all his heart.
He saw Michael in the center of a storm.
Darian got off his father's lap, running over to his other father's table.
Michael leaned down, picking up his little boy.
"You eating, Papa! Food's good!" Darian said, Michael smiling at him.
"Yes son, I saw you eating too. You're full?" he said, tickling Darian's belly.
Darian giggled, everyone smiling at him.
"Me's still hungy."
Michael laughed, kissing his cheek.
"Then run back to Dada, he's got food for you."
Darian grinned, climbing back down and running back to his father.
Darian climbed back into his arms, grabbing a sausage off his father's plate.
Justin smiled at Michael, Michael winking at him.
An hour later, the meal was ending, everyone remaining at their tables, drinking coffee and eating rich desserts.
Michael had made eye contact with a lot of them, his reassuring calmness and golden-eyed beauty settling a lot of their hearts.
Michael sensed the moment of his destiny was approaching.
He saw a movement at Victor's table, seeing all of the council staring at him.
Victor had stood up, a glass in his hand.
"My friends, my family. I wish to propose the next toast." he said, looking around at his wife's family.
The conversations ended, everyone's eyes turning to Victor.
In their mesmerizing looks, Michael saw his bewitching presence on them.
He truly thought himself the next leader.
And he'd guided a lot of his family to his side.
Michael remained quiet, looking at Victor.
"My friends, today is a new beginning. Today, we thrust off the shackles of our past, of the old ways. Today begins the newness of our clan. Alberto is retiring, his focus on tradition and lost superstitions going with him. You, as a whole, have suggested that I take on the responsibilities of leading this clan. Soon, God willing, I shall take the mantle of power, and a new era of greatness will descend on the family Tavarro."
Victor smiled a smile of corrupted truth, his brown eyes glaring at Alberto.
"So now I ask that we all raise our glasses in one final token of respect to Alberto Tavarro. Not the respect for his leadership but to the fact that he's leaving before more can be done to undermine our destiny. Your time is over, Patriarch. Now our time of prosperity begins."
The people all stood, not sure what to do.
Alberto looked on the verge of anger, Michael's hand going to his shoulder.
Michael stood up, staring only at one man, everyone seeing his eyes were softly glowing.
"You stand there and toast my grandfather with an insult? Who are you to say such disrespectful things to a great man like him? You are not even a Tavarro! In most homes, the dog remains silent at dinner!!"
Silence enveloped the landscape, no one moving.
Victor glared at Michael.
"I am a Tavarro by marriage! The people look to me for leadership! Who are you but a bastard son of a disillusioned man?? A man who wouldn't stand by his own father! Who ran away in fear when his family needed him most! Ramon Tavarro was a coward! And I see that trait alive in his own bastard son!"
Justin's anger was brewing, seeing the man berating Michael.
He knew how hurtful those words were.
Josh and Lance both put their arms around Justin, all three kids in their laps.
Michael stood still, staring at Victor.
Michael picked up his glass of wine, pouring its contents on the ground.
He turned the glass upside down, placing it on the table.
"I will not toast an insult to my grandfather. And all that do shall live to regret it."
A lot of glasses went down, some remaining in their owners' hands.
Victor raised his glass, then downed its contents.
Others did as well, their fellow Tavarros looking at them with worry.
All of Alberto's grandsons stood, looking at Victor.
"Sit down, my brothers."
They all looked at Michael, reluctantly sitting down.
Michael walked around the table, standing in front of his grandfather's table.
"Do you really want to do this, Victor? Do you want to open up the truth?"
Victor threw his glass on the ground in front of Michael.
"You walk into the center of your family, putting on airs of contemptuous boasting! It was you that rigged that voice out there on the lawn, wasn't it? A voice of your engineering to panic your brethren! To fool them into believing you are some kind of prophet or saviour!" Victor barked at him.
Michael stared quietly at him.
"Is there a woman named Rosario Chavallo here?"
The crowd murmured, looking around.
At a table on the left side, an older woman stood up, looking tentatively at Michael.
"I am Rosario Chavallo." she said in a quiet voice.
Michael looked at Victor for a moment, then turned towards her.
She looked at Michael, seeing in his eyes warmth, deep love and compassion.
"Such is the love of a mother. You have great courage, madam. To come here today with so much sorrow in your heart."
She looked at Michael with surprise, others looking at him in confusion.
"Who are you, Michael?" she said in a soft voice.
"I am the one, Rosario. The one you've prayed for. But I am sorry that I have not come in time to save your family."
She looked at him, her whole body trembling.
"You know of my hurt?? Of my pain??"
Michael's face changed to a face of deep compassion.
"Yes, dear lady. Daughter of the well-respected Mason Tavarro. Your father was a great man. One of our guiding lights of law. A respected scholar and teacher. His life instilled in all of us a need to learn. He shall always be remembered for that."
She smiled, remembering her father, who'd died several years ago.
"But that cannot be said for your sons."
She teared up, looking at this man standing before her.
"You gave them all your love, all your hopes and dreams. But a child must go his own way in this life. I'm sorry that they both chose the wrong path. The path to Victor."
Victor stared at him, his face a face of deep anger and hatred.
Michael looked around, seeing all eyes were upon him.
"Bastian and Marcus Chavallo joined forces with evil. The same force of evil that this self-proclaimed leader has taken to his heart."
Victor walked with a forced desperation up to Michael.
"You insult me to my face?? You self-absorbed faggot!" Victor spat into Michael's face.
"You are not a Tavarro! You have no right or claim to the leadership of my family. Only one man has that claim! The Commander of Truth! And I shall proclaim him! I will show all of you that truth!"
"You are a fanatic, bastard son of this tainted mess! No one believes your self-absorbed fantasies! On Sunday I shall claim our family's honor!"
Michael's demeanor was calm and determined, Victor was becoming an emotional wreck.
"We are not your family, Victor! You are not a Tavarro!"
Victor's hands went into fists.
"Say that again and I'll knock you down, pissant!"
Michael smiled at him, looking around.
"Calmness, Victor. You are showing your true colors."
Victor looked around, stepping back.
He calmed a bit, staring at the man in front of him.
Michael stared at him for a moment, then turned to the woman standing to his left.
"I am sorry to tell you their fate, dear mother. Your sons have passed into the light. They walked the path to destruction. You have my heartfelt sympathy."
A sob issued from the woman, two men putting their arms around her.
"My boys? They are dead?"
Michael turned, looking into Victor's now shocked face.
"Ask Victor the truth in that statement."
Victor looked trapped, looking around at everyone.
"I know nothing of what you speak of! I've never met her sons!"
Michael looked at the table behind him, picking up an empty dinner plate.
"We all here, today, have dined on a great feast of delicious fare. Tell me, Victor. Of what did you dine on last night? Was its flavor exquisite? Was the vitality of that youthful meat delicious?"
Victor stared in shock, and heard gasping around him.
He turned, seeing every set of eyes around him staring at him.
"I... I don't know of what you speak. I ate at my favorite restaurant last night."
Michael tossed the plate at the feet of Victor Falisca.
His eyes were glowing golden, his face a mask of deep anger.
"Leave now, vile monster! Before I unleash all of the truth!"
Victor's face was white, his boastfulness gone.
He looked around, seeing all the council staring at him with shocked silence.
"I am the leader, I am he who shall lead! Sunday will decide that! And today will decide your fate, bastard son of Ramon!" Victor screamed, walking away towards the front gates.
A few men followed him, his backing supporters leaving as well.
Michael watched them go, his eyes turning and seeing the weeping woman.
She pushed away from her surrounding family, walking up to Michael.
Michael took her into his arms, the woman weeping against his chest.
"My little boys! My lost little boys! They're gone! How? How has this happened?"
Michael's eyes were tearing up, feeling the deep loss in this woman's soul.
He looked at his own children, feeling what he'd feel himself at the loss of his children.
"You shall learn of it soon, dear lady. Worry not your heart about it. Life goes forward. Hold onto the family you have left, let them guide your heart. Bastian and Marcus are out of pain, and God shall judge them. As he shall judge us all."
She looked up into his golden eyes, seeing deep love and faith in those golden mirrors.
"I loved them. They were my boys."
He nodded, kissing her forehead.
Her family walked up to her, taking her in their loving arms.
Michael looked around seeing many people in tears and everyone looking quietly at him.
"I will say no more of Victor Falisca or his claims. That shall play out on the final day of Redemption. I now have only one thing to talk of."
Michael walked back around the table, putting his hand on Justin's shoulder, kissing his two little angels.
He needed to feel their love.
He smiled at all three, leaning down and kissing Justin.
He felt what his heart needed.
He looked at Lance and Josh.
Noah sat in Josh's lap.
His small arms reached upward, Michael smiling.
Noah went into Michael's arms.
Lance and Josh smiled at Michael.
Michael looked over at his grandfather's table, smiling at his grandfather.
Then he looked out at his silent family, their eyes still upon him.
"In my arms is a special child. He's blind, but his heart sees all. His heart is full of the love of his two new parents. For he's found all the love he's always needed in them. The same love my two adopted children have found in myself and Justin. We are a family. United in love. As I look around, I see another family that's lost that united love. For in its heart lies an evil. An evil that wants to take over it. I cannot allow that. I will not allow that!"
Michael smiled at Josh, giving Noah back to him.
When Josh took Noah out of Michael's arms, something fell out of his small hand.
Michael noticed it falling to the ground, seeing its gleam almost immediately.
His picked up the small item and turned to the little boy.
"Noah, sweetie, where....where did you get this?" Michael asked.
"Oh, Unky Mikey! Adwian gave that to me when I saw him at the circwus!"
Suddenly it clicked.
Michael remembered The Circus Magica, the place only he and the little ones knew of.
Almost as suddenly, his mind was flooded with many memories.
Memories of lost childhoods.
Michael looked at the token that lay in his hand.
It was a golden coin token.
On one side was a picture of Adrian.
On the other side, a written saying:
Good for one ride on Destiny
Michael's golden eyes instantly glowing white.
Everyone stood up at their tables, staring in shock at the glowing whiteness coming from Michael's once golden eyes.
"Do not fear me, children of Adrian. I now see the truth."
Michael walked out from the table, walking into the dead center of the gathering, in front of his grandfather's table.
"I am your Messenger. And I am a Warrior. I now realize it isn't a war of anger and hatred that I fight. It is a war of truth. And the truth begins in all of your hearts. You are the children. That's what I didn't see before. You are the children of Adrian. When I was a child of ten, my Nana gave me a wondrous gift. She gave me the gift of hope. And she gave that to me in a magnificent way. She took me to a circus."
Michael's eyes were now golden again, then changed quickly to blue, then to a deep hazel.
Everyone murmured and moved closer to him.
They stood at their tables.
All eyes upon him, all ears listening to his moving words.
"A circus of love I entered that day. And that circus was of our ancestor's doing. The Circus Magica was the gift of Adrian to all his children. I was just engulfed here today with a sudden onslaught of childhood memories. I now realize that they are your memories. The memories of all of you. Adrian came to all of you in your youth, taking each of you to that circus. But here now, most of you are adults. We've lost the heart of the circus. We've lost the love. Our lives of childish happiness have moved on."
Michael removed the cross from around his neck, putting it down on the table behind him.
"I give all of you now a sense of wonder, of that lost love. That is my gift to all of you right now. It will show all of you that I am who I am. That I am your Messenger. And that it is now time for all of us to take the final journey. Behold Adrian's gift. The Child's Gift."
Michael's hands came together, a ball of white light in their center.
People stared in shock, stepping back.
The ball was growing.
It left Michael's hands, moving upward.
It flattened out, moving across the area, covering the sky above all of them.
"Do not fear the light of Adrian's love. It shall show you wonders."
Michael walked back to Justin's table, Justin handing him Shauna, Darian in Justin's arms.
Both little ones were smiling with glee.
"We go to circus?" Darian asked.
"Yes, little Darry. We go to the magic circus." Justin said, looking at Michael with awed wonder.
"It's perfectly safe, my love. Adrian's love has always been safe."
The white light descended immediately, the gathering lost in its brightness.
When the light cleared, everyone gasped.
Before them was a scene of mirthful happiness.
People couldn't help but smile, seeing the circus atmosphere that surrounded them.
Music played, all of them looking in silent wonder.
Animals roamed all around the tables, doing magical acts of wonder.
People began to laugh, seeing flying trapeze artists flying above them.
Clapping erupted, as acts of wonder began to play out in front of their eyes.
Michael looked beside him, seeing his cousins and grandfather laughing at a trio of monkeys on top of their table doing tumbling tricks.
He looked towards the table of the council, seeing a sword swallower standing on top of it, the men looking up in wonder.
Everywhere he saw the light of childhood happiness in all their eyes.
They were all lost in the memories of childhood happiness.
Their hearts were flooded with the love of innocence.
In the center of the gathering, three elephants of enormous size were doing acrobatic tricks.
Clapping erupted more loudly, as did laughter.
Noah laughed loudly as a little pony licked his cheek, Darian laughing as well.
"Lot's of animals, Noah! We's at the circus again!" Shauna said, clapping her hands.
Michael smiled, walking around, seeing all of his brethren lost in the beautiful, heartfelt, childlike atmosphere surrounding them.
He stopped at his grandfather's table, picking up his golden cross again, putting it around his neck.
He instantly fell the coming moment.
The Circus Magica wonder went on for over an hour, Michael finally spotting a man standing at the far end of the gathering.
He wore the suit of the ringmaster.
Michael smiled at the man, walking through the gathering.
Justin was watching Michael, seeing him walk up to the man.
The two men hugged each other, exchanging words of smiling happiness.
The man smiled, then began to walk around, looking at everyone.
One by one, each table looked on in wonder at the man who talked with them.
He left each one with a look of deep bliss upon their face.
Justin looked into his eyes when he came to their table.
The man's eyes were golden like Michael's, and the love behind them was breathtaking.
When he'd visited each table, he walked into the center of the gathering, Michael quietly waiting there for him.
He looked at Michael, Michael's eyes full of tears.
The man smiled widely, bowing to Michael.
Then he instantly vanished, as did all the wondrous things surrounding everyone.
The gathering looked around, all the wonders gone.
Michael stood where he'd stood before, his eyes full of tears.
All eyes again were upon him.
"All of you have just walked in the Circus Magica. All of you have returned to a moment from your childhood. And all of you have felt the wondrous love of the ringmaster. I believe you all know in your heart now who that loving ringmaster is."
As one, the whole gathering began to tremble and tear up.
"Adrian has walked among us. We now know he's real. We know the prophecy is real. And I am real. For I am the Messenger. And I am here to judge all of you. "
They all knelt, looking at Michael in wonder.
Michael looked around, his eyes falling on his husband.
Justin's eyes were full of tears.
For in Justin's heart, he saw the truth of what lay ahead for Michael.
He'd seen it in Adrian's eyes.
The truth of what Michael was.
End of Chapter 168
And so Michael has shown himself to his lost family.
The Tavarros have met their Messenger.
And Michael has met face to face a dangerous enemy.
What will Victor do now?
Why did Michael show them all their childhood memories?
Will they now accept him for who he is?
What was Michael sensing in the resting room?
And why were the lions crying?
Hope this isn't getting too ominous or confusing.
I'm just building up a little drama.
Up next: A sudden flash of reality.
Hold on, the end will justify the means.