Saturday Evening - 7:10pm 12/20/86 HQ

The boys invaded the Laberman kitchen for Eric’s famous French toast. The rest of the day was spent resting and discussing plans for the future. Visions of what the Black Watch would become took shape in colorful banter about the new Citadel’s design, decor, bells and whistles.

Around 3:00pm, Anthony drops Jacob and Caleb off at the Meade House. Landon meets them at the door as the Beast rumbles back to its fortified home.

“Jacob, Caleb. Thank you for coming. Frank would be so happy to have you praying over him at this time. You mean the world to him.”

He hugs the boys with whatever strength he can still muster. The periphery of the yard is guarded by a full contingent of Sentinels. Boo Boo and Tino walk the fence shared with the Dideo compound with armored vests and shotguns. Fortunately the snow has stopped and the temperature’s risen to a near tropical 23 degrees. As Landon turns toward the house, the front door opens with Damien standing to the side.

“Hi guys. Thank you for coming.”

The house greets them with a welcoming warmth. Incense permeates the air with hints of ancient ritual. As they climb the stairs, Luca Fazio stands at the door to Frank’s room with an armored vest and twin pistols at his sides.

“Buonasera, gentlemen.”

He opens the door. As they walk in, the room is shrouded in white linen. Two brass urns of poinsettia rest on either end of the heavy mahogany dresser. The matching incense brazier exhales thick smoke of a bygone era. Landon follows them in, leans over Frank and kisses his forehead. He whispers to his husband in a soft tone.

“I love you.”

Landon then turns to Jacob.

“If you need me, I’ll be downstairs in the living room. Father Marco Romano and Nona Sofia will be coming at ten for the Catholic Rosary and blessings. Come down when you need a break...or a drink.”

The second the door closes, Frank opens his eyes. His glance shows no emotion as he scans the room. Suddenly, panic washes over his face. He thrashes and jerks at the arm restraints as he cries out in a hollow, barely human voice.


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