Prelude (An Alec Winters Series, Book 1)

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Chapter 15

Alec nodded, and then, followed his grandfather to the trolley line. They rode together towards Audubon Park. Once they neared St. Charles Street, Alec and his grandfather got off the trolley just as Danaé Chisholm waited to get on.

“Hello, Mr. Saguache. Hiya Alec,” Danaé smiled a pleasant greeting.

The two men both nodded a reply to the attractive young woman. As they stood aside, Alec admired the slender, clad-in-jeans hips as Danaé climbed onboard the trolley car. Since the school dress code was such that girls wore dresses or skirts, and only boys wore pants, he’d never noticed the curve of her thighs before.

“The Chisholm girl is very pretty. I guess you know her from school,” Grandfather’s comment pulled Alec’s attention back on course as he led the way.

“Yep,” Alec responded. He looked back once more to catch a glimpse of Danaé’s golden blonde hair and appealing curves. “How do you know her?”

“The Saguache family has known the Chisholm family for as long as anyone can remember.” Martin surmised.

“Ok, but how did she see you?”

“New Orleans is filled with mysteries, Alec,” Martin stated matter-of-factly. “All in good time, all in good time.”

Alec followed his grandfather to a dive bar on Royal and Toulouse. Bars usually have a front entrance and backdoor, but this corner establishment was open on two sides. Alec and Martin could easily see the patrons inside the smoke-filled business. The bartender stood behind a polished slab of wood on the right. A pool table was in use on the left side of the bar. More nervous than he cared to admit, the loud crack made when the cue ball struck the racked balls, startled Alec.

Although he was too young to enter the bar, Alec scanned the crowd. Three of the customers sitting at the bar stood out as if a flashing arrow pointed to them. Alec and his grandfather closely watched the two men who were inside drinking and flirting with an attractive female customer. The men were close to the same age, height, and build; however, the slightly taller, younger one was all personality while the other man put off a negative vibe. The pretty woman, younger than both of the men, suffered from low self-esteem and she seemed flattered by their attention.

“You’ve spotted them. Now, take a big breath,” Martin instructed as the formal training began.

Alec complied and inhaled deeply.

“Now, what do you see? What stands out to you?” his grandfather asked.

“I see what seems to be a lot of red…lots of red lights around all three of them,” Alec cautiously replied as he allowed his finely keen senses freedom to explore.

Understandably, he was nervous. Cassidy had already explained the concept of auras, but it was more complicated that his mother had imagined. Now, as he looked over the many patrons, he noticed various shades and shadows, many tints and properties of the seven major colors she’d introduced. Yes, there were plenty of the basic aura colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, turquoise, and purple. However, all those colors had many hues and tones when scattered among the considerable number of customers in the bar. Each slight variance told a different story. Alec, bogged down by the abundant energies he witnessed, faltered.

“It will help immensely if you only concentrate on the three people you first noticed, Alec. Ignore the other patrons. Focus on the energy that first grabbed your attention and continues to swirl around them. What else do you see? What does that energy tell you?” Martin coached.

“My instincts tell me that the reds indicate normal passions and interests, that they’re sexually attracted to each other,” Alec carefully elaborated.

“Look closer. Who is attracted to whom? Is it really normal?” Martin quizzed.

“It looks like the woman is responding to the taller one. He’s younger, more her age, and fit. She’s open to his advances. Her aura actually merges with his, but she doesn’t really want anything to do with the other guy,” Alec explained. “With him, her energy field is a blockade or wall. She isn’t receptive to him in any way. It also looks like the two men, well that can’t be right,” he halted with the assessment and looked at his grandfather.

“You think men can’t be attracted to each other or have sex?” Martin jokingly chided.

“Oh,” Alec responded thoughtfully. “Then, I guess that makes sense.”

“What are their names?” Martin prodded. “You’ve got this.”

Alec stared at his grandfather as if he was indeed loony, but then the answer came to him. “The younger one is Dwight. The older one is Maroky. They’re cousins and products of incest.”

“Good job!” Martin exclaimed. “You can get all the information you want…you just have to tune into it.”

“Wait. There’s more,” Alec quickly advised. “Maroky is jealous of his younger cousin. He’s angry that Dwight always gets the girl. It makes him even more vicious and dangerous.”

“Very good,” Martin praised. “Now, concentrate on the woman. What do you understand about her? What does her energy tell you?”

“She’s a single mother. She lives at home with her own mother. They have a tough life, but depend on each other.” He paused and then said, “How on earth am I getting this information? I don’t know her! I don’t know any of them! This is crazy…it’s utter bullshit!” Grandfather Saguache remained silent while quietly observing his grandson, waiting for Alec to continue. “Come on! Alec suddenly exclaimed. “I feel like I’m full of crap for coming up with this. Am I making it up?”

“Trust me, you’re not,” Martin chuckled. “It’s an additional benefit of your gift. Now, accept that and get on with it. What else do you know about the woman? And, you do know it, Alec. Trust that knowledge. Let it come to you.”

“This is the first time she’s been out in many months,” Alec slowly continued as he allowed the information to flow to him. “She’s worried that she’ll get a little crazy, but she honestly needed a break from the overwhelming responsibilities of a stressful life. She works two jobs to support a young daughter. She’s normally very responsible and would never pick-up someone in a bar. She has mixed emotions about the entire thing…she’s wrestling with her desire to be with Dwight and the worry that she is being foolish and rash.”

“Excellent, Alec,” Martin admired his grandson’s accomplishment. “You’re a natural and I’m proud of you. We’re done for tonight.” His grandfather turned to go, but Alec didn’t follow.

“Wait…I’m picking up even more details. I still don’t understand how this is possible. It feels as if I can see their entire lives,” Alec added.

“Follow the information,” his grandfather advised, returning to his position beside Alec.

“Something devious is going on between the two men. They’ve done this before and the woman is in danger,” Alec edited.

“What have they done in the past?”

“They trick women into thinking Dwight is asking for a date. His charming, animalistic attraction draws women in, but he’s the worst kind of predator. Next, he tells the woman that they’ll drop off Maroky on their way to have dinner, but they never do. It’s only a ruse to get her to leave with them. Instead, both of the men take the woman to an isolated place where they rape her. Oh, God. This is awful stuff. I see everything. They’ve done this dozens of times…I feel sick!” Alec exclaimed.

Never before having been exposed to the deepest part of humanity’s darkness, bitter bile rushed into his mouth. The worst thing Alec had witnessed so far was the acknowledgment that his father was a pedophile. He tried hard to fight the nausea, but only had time to turn away before it spilled out of his mouth.

“Don’t look at the men right now,” Martin advised. “Instead, concentrate on the woman. Soon, you’ll learn to control the waves of revulsion that often accompany the knowledge you receive from these despicable predators. The evil deeds of humans can be disgusting and difficult to swallow. That’s why you must stop them.”

Alec followed his grandfather’s advice and returned his focus to the woman. As he watched her, a crushing amount of information flooded to him. Her name was Sarah…She was a good person…she had a difficult life…she usually listened to her mother’s advice because it had never steered her wrong. Now, she worried about what her mother would say if she knew about the current situation. Alec felt compassion and kindness towards Sarah, desiring to help and protect her. As he did, tinges of light began to emanate around him. The beautiful energy attracted Sarah’s attention causing her to look in his direction for the first time.

“Oh my God!” she gasped.

“What is it?” The men echoed, desiring to know what had startled Sarah. Following her gaze, their own bodies stiffened in disbelief, fear, and shock.

“Jesus! Do you see that?” Dwight hissed at Maroky. He rubbed his eyes in disbelief and then looked again. Sure enough, there was a huge, red-eyed devil just outside the bar. Martin placed a calming hand on Alec’s arm to ward off the premature transformation.

“Yeah, I see it,” Maroky responded shakily. Before they could react, Sarah jumped to her feet.

“I have to go,” she unsteadily announced. Dwight reached out in an attempt to grab her arm, but she shook it off with more determination. “No!” she said forcefully. “I have to go. Leave me alone!” Sarah exclaimed as she fled the bar.

“What happened, Alec? Why is she leaving?” Martin demanded. “You’re into this now. Follow it all the way.”

“She caught a glimpse of my angel form. Her mother and grandmother always told her that angels protect you. She remembered their teachings and realized that she was in danger. She knew I was here to make sure she was safe. She understood that if she stayed with these two men, she was in great peril,” Alec wearily finalized. He felt overwhelmed and drained by the ordeal.

“Very good for your first time at this, Alec,” Martin praised. “In the beginning, you’ll feel depleted after using your gift. You’ll get used to it and that side-effect will soon subside. As to those two bastards, they’ll be back on your radar soon enough. For now, this has been a good introduction into your new life. We’ll head back now.”

Alec, quiet and thoughtful, accompanied his grandfather back to the Carrollton Avenue home. Martin didn’t have much to say either. Because he had been the previous angel and devil of the Saguache family, he knew his grandson had experienced an emotional rollercoaster-ride while tapping into the scene at the bar. He also knew that there wasn’t any easier way to train his grandson. Alec had to jump in with both feet because the city overflowed with evil, destructive forces. It was once again time for a redeemer and avenger. He was certain that his grandson was up to the task and felt immensely proud of him.

“Didn’t I need to protect Sarah?” Alec finally asked.

“You did protect her,” Martin replied. “Even a glimpse of your presence reminded her of what she already knew.”

“What about the men…Did I need to do anything about them? Did I need to stop them?” Alec worried. “They’ll continue to do this until they’re stopped.”

“You aren’t yet ready for that, but you will be,” Martin promised. “Go on inside so your mother doesn’t worry anymore. I’ll visit you again real soon.”

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