Destiny

Free Destiny by Alex Archer

Book: Destiny by Alex Archer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alex Archer
may see you.”
    Brother Napier stepped from the shadows. He wore hiking clothes, tattoos and piercings, and looked like any young man who prowled the Parisian streets.
    â€œYes, Brother Napier,” Brother Gaspar inquired.
    â€œI did not mean to bother you while you were at your letter,” the younger monk stated.
    Brother Gaspar put his pen in the inkwell with slow deliberation. “But you have.”
    â€œFor good reason, master.”
    â€œWhat is it?”
    â€œThe woman has found something.”
    â€œThe American?”
    â€œYes, master. She found La Bête’s cave.”
    Angry and frightened, Brother Gaspar surged to his feet. He leaned on the desk and his arms trembled. “It can’t be.”
    Kneeling in supplication, Brother Napier held up his hands. Sheets of papers containing images rested on them. “It is true, master. I saw the cave myself. But only for a short time. The earth closed back over it.” He looked at Brother Gaspar. “I saw it, master. I saw the Beast of Gévaudan. The stories were true. ”
    Of course they were, the older monk thought. Otherwise we would not all be trapped here.
    Rounding the desk, Brother Gaspar took the papers from the young monk’s hands. He stared at the pictures. They showed the young American woman on the mountaintop and apparently running for her life. Other pictures showed motorcycles chasing an SUV.
    â€œYou saw La Bête?” Brother Gaspar asked.
    â€œYes.”
    â€œWas it—” he hesitated “—alive?”
    â€œNo. It was dead. Very dead. A warrior killed it.”
    â€œA warrior?” Excitement flared through Brother Gaspar. The old stories were true. The knowledge offered validation for all the years he had spent at the monastery. “How do you know a warrior killed it?”
    â€œBecause he was still there.”
    â€œThe warrior?”
    â€œYes, master.”
    â€œHe was dead, as well?” Brother Gaspar doubted the man could have been in any other shape, but just knowing the story was true and knowing all the arcane things connected with it, he felt compelled to ask.
    â€œYes, master. It looked as though he and La Bête had fought and killed each other.”
    Brother Gaspar felt the air in the cave grow thicker than normal. “Did you examine La Bête’s body or that of the warrior?” he asked.
    â€œI did. But only for a short time. The cavern was shaking. The earthquake was still going on. Luckily, I got out before the cavern closed.”
    â€œIt closed?”
    â€œYes, master.”
    â€œYou could find this place again?”
    The young monk nodded. “But it would do no good, master. The earth has sealed the cave tightly.” He paused. “Perhaps a quake another day will reveal it again.”
    â€œWe will watch for this, then,” Brother Gaspar said. His hand caressed his throat. “When you looked at the warrior, did you see anything?”
    â€œYou mean the necklace?”
    Brother Gaspar’s heart beat sped up. “Yes,” he replied in a hoarse whisper.
    The necklace was the greatest secret of them all.
    â€œThe American woman carried a necklace from the cave,” the young monk said.
    â€œYou followed her?” Brother Gaspar asked.
    â€œAs far as I could,” the young monk agreed. “She was pursued.”
    â€œBy who?”
    â€œLesauvage’s men.”
    That announcement poured ice water into the old monk’s veins. “How did they get there?”
    â€œThey followed the woman. I only happened to be in the mountains when I saw her with the old man.”
    â€œWhat old man?” Brother Gaspar was alarmed.
    â€œI do not know, master.”
    Brother Gaspar went through the sheets of pictures. “Is he in these?”
    â€œSadly, no. I thought I took his picture, but when I developed the images, I found I had not.”
    Brother Gaspar, whose life had been so

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