“Has anyone notified the secretary general?” Joseph asked, glancing at the altar.
“He should be here soon,” replied a tall monk, his face hidden within the shadows of his cowl. He stood across the altar from Joseph. The penetrating stare of his gray eyes came into view as he eased the hood back onto his shoulders.
The merciless look in Brother Michael’s eyes made Joseph’s stomach climb into his throat. With the exception of the secretary general, few people within the Order knew anything about the Frenchman. He walked through the monastery’s gate ten years ago a calloused, withdrawn man, and little about him had changed since that day.
Rumors about his past abounded, but those had grown beyond reality as all stories do with time. Closely cropped salt and pepper hair, a jaw set with granite firmness, Michael’s chiseled body bore scars he refused to explain. He kept his right forearm covered as best he could to conceal a patch of marred skin, the product of a crude attempt to remove a tattoo. Enough ink remained, though, to display fragments of a wing and a dagger, the symbols of a Legionnaire—or mercenary.
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