The rising sun woke him. He pulled off the beard, showered and dressed. Tight jeans, muscle shirt, hair minus the gray streaks and tied at his nape completed his transformation from drunk to punk. He pulled on biker boots and checked the pocket for the slim stiletto. After surveying the street he sauntered to the subway.
Thoughts of the flyer he’d transferred from his other clothes arose. If only those words were true. He retrieved the paper and read the message again.
Why not? How well they fit his current mood. He entered the number in his phone. Not yet, he decided. If a need arose he would take a chance and speed dial.
He swung off the car, drew a deep breath and slid into the right persona. After coffee and a doughnut at a bodega he entered the center. A martial arts session filled the gym with shouts and thuds.
“Will you spar with me?”
Seth turned and grinned at the teenage girl. Her dark hair and eyes plus her olive complexion showed her Middle Eastern heritage. “Maybe later, Amara. Any idea where Father Joe might be?”
She shrugged. “Didn’t see him this morning.” Her eyes held a glint of wariness.
Seth sat on a bench and pulled off his boots. “Then we’ll spar.”
After a short session when he showed her how to kick and flip using the wall to propel himself behind her, he patted her shoulder. “You’re coming along. Let’s find the kitchen for some juice.”
They walked down the hall pass the offices. Voices sounded behind them. His skin prickled warning him of danger. He pulled Amara into a side corridor.
Moments later he knew he’s been right to hide. One of Ramos’ boys followed the priest into his office.
Amara clutched Seth’s arm. “Don’t like him. Don’t let him see me.”
“Makes two of us. Just be careful.” Seth slipped into the hall. How could he learn what was going on?