Chapter Seven

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Michael knew Angelique said she would be there to relieve him in the morning it was now nine-thirty and he was getting worried

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Michael knew Angelique said she would be there to relieve him in the morning it was now nine-thirty and he was getting worried. He had picked up the phone to call her when he heard Alice talking to someone in the outer office.

"I'm sorry sir, but she's not in."

"Look, I appreciate your loyalty, but I know she wouldn't be somewhere else. She'd never leave this place unattended. So, if you don't mind telling her I wish to speak with her, I would be eternally grateful."

Alice was normally a very patient person, but something about the man's attitude just set her off this morning.

"I don't care what you think. I am telling you, she is not here. Outside of creating a miracle, I cannot make her materialize for you."

"I really don't have time to play games with you this morning. I am a very busy man."

Something about the man's voice sounded very familiar to Michael. Just as he was about to place the voice, the door of the office swung open and both parties seemed surprised to see the other. John recovered first. "Well, hello brother."

Alice pushed past the intruder to get herself inside. "I'm sorry Deacon. He wanted to see Ms. Angel. I told him she wasn't here but ..." looking over to John with a look of disgust, "he wouldn't listen."

Michael stood up from behind the desk. "That's not surprising."

Although younger, Michael was the taller of the two. However, where Michael was timid, tall, and lanky, his brother was bold, powerful, and determined.

Alice looked from one man to the other, feeling the noticeable tension in the room. Michael walked around to the other side of the desk and put his arm around her. "Not to worry, Alice. It's alright. I got this. Could you do me a favor and make sure the older ones are up? It's about time to get breakfast started."

"Yeah, sure Deacon."

Michael had guided her to the door, shutting it tightly behind her. As he turned to face his brother, he had noticed he had taken up position on the corner of the desk, sitting there, casually smirking at him.

"So, big brother, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?"

Lifting one eyebrow, John looked his younger brother over from head to foot. Michael felt the disappointment radiate from John as if it were a tangible thing and immediately felt annoyed at being looked down upon as if he were inferior.

John let out a short laugh. "I didn't come to see you."

"Didn't expect you did but I'm the one you have to deal with." Michael felt totally unprepared, as he did most times around his brother.

"Where is she?" John asked.

"Hiding under the desk from you. Where do you think she is? At home," Michael said his frustration levels rising. Michael had a temper but since his brother had disowned him for going into the seminary, he had learned that no one could bring him to that level of anger, no one besides John.

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