End of the Age: Final Deception HTML version

Chapter 6
Everyone stopped talking when Jesse walked in the living room. She looked
around at faces watching her. To her right, Rachel sat on the long sofa with her parents.
Emma and her grandmother smiled from matching chairs across the room and to her left
Gabriel stood talking to two teenagers sitting on the small sofa.
“Here she is now,” Gabriel said, crossing the room to guide Jesse toward the
teenagers. Standing, the boy’s button down shirt fell over his loose-fitting jeans. Blue
eyes sparkled from smooth, pink skin that had the natural appearance of being freshly
scrubbed. Holding out a hand, Jesse smiled before a look of surprise splashed across her
face when Gabriel introduced the boy as Pastor Jonas Wagner.
Pastor? Had she heard that right? “Nice to—to meet you, Pastor?” Too late, she
realized her voice lifted, turning the statement into a question.
His tilted smile told Jesse he was amused by her reaction. “It’s nice to meet you
too, Jesse,” he replied.
When Gabriel introduced the young woman with shoulder length hair as Olivia,
the Pastor’s wife, Jesse stared unblinking. Were these teenagers married? Was the boy
really a preacher?
“It’s good to meet you, Jesse,” Olivia said in a sweet, almost childlike voice.
Taking Olivia’s hand, Jesse paused, looking into soft brown eyes. She had never
sensed such gentleness and humility in a person before. “Olivia, you have a beautiful
Olivia blushed lightly. “Thank you. I was named after my grandmother.”
Selecting a chair near the corner of the room, Jesse sat down to ponder such a
surprising revelation. How could a teenager become the pastor of a church? A pastor was
the leader, an elder, the person other church members looked to for guidance. Did her
grandmother and Gabriel take the young man seriously? Surely, the Pastor and his wife
were older than they appeared. Careful not to stare, she looked at the young couple,
noticing the Pastor’s glow. Was the bright quality of his face owed to his ruddy
complexion or something else?
The Pastor rubbed his cheek, thinking. “We know several devil worshippers are
in the area. Other than terrorizing innocent people like Mr. Drake, we don’t know what
their intentions are.”
Victoria’s fingers splayed out like a fan against her breastbone to ask, “Was Mr.
Drake attacked by devil worshippers?”