Disclaimer – This is based off of the Television Series "Bones". The story is mine. The characters belong to FOX)

A/N: This is my first Bones Fic. I'll try to be quick, but I don't get much time to write these days.

Burnt Offerings

Prologue - Inspiration

Confession is good for the soul, right? That's what they say. It's what she had said many times herself, when advising others. After years of maintaining her secret, the initial revelation felt good. There was no one in the world she trusted more than Father Thomas. He was a good priest – an honorable man whom she could trust with her secret. Or so she'd thought.

When suddenly he was upon her, it took her by surprise. He'd said something, but it made no sense to her. He'd pushed her down and yanked at her corset. When he'd failed to get his hands under, he'd instead grabbed her crotch. She supposed she'd expected castigation – but there had been none. There had been disbelief, but it was momentary. His advances turned sexual, predatory, and vile.

Dana scrambled from his clawing grasp in desperation, her mind unable to understand what was happening. There was never a moment when she thought, hit him with the candlestick. It just happened. It met his skull with a sickening, wet crunch and he fell away.

She was breathing in explosive gasps, fighting the urge to flee. Any other woman would have run, she supposed. But she had to know – what would happen to her now? She forced herself to look at Father Thomas, but he hadn't moved. His eyes were glassy and fixed. As if the signs of her sin had been predicted, his positioning perfectly mirrored that of the stained-glass window above him: hands now spread in a welcome gesture, one leg crossed behind the other as if he'd taken a step forward. And like the window, he was not breathing.

Dana grabbed the candlestick and shoved it through the sacristy door, before she fled the scene. She never imagined that there had been a witness to it all. He'd watched without making a sound, transfixed by the sudden violence. After Dana had gone, the watcher calmly walked down to look at the body. He admired the way it lay beneath the window, so perfectly mirroring that depiction of Christ. It was a work of art, he thought – one which should be set in a more eternal pose. So he drenched the body with the wine he'd brought with him, then he picked up a candle from the prayer bay and touched the flames to Father Thomas' clothing.

The watcher left the church just before the blaze began to grow. He was unnoticed.

Tempe was asleep, dreaming a lovely dream that would escape her the second her mind understood that her cell was ringing. And though she usually was able to wake instantly and talk coherently, this time her greeting was more of a grunt. "Lo?"

"Bones, we have a body."

"Booth?" It was almost a croak.

"I'm sorry to wake you, but this just can't wait until morning."

Booth didn't usually sound frantic. It was important to get as much evidence as possible from a scene, but Tempe's part usually wasn't so time-sensitive. Most of her job was gathering evidence from a tissue-less corpse when no other evidence was present. Tempe didn't question him though. There was something in his voice that she couldn't put her finger on; something that made her think he needed her to help without asking why.

"Where should I meet you?" she asked. She was much more coherent now, and she stood to pull on clothes, her head crooked against her shoulder to hold the phone in place, while she switched on the light and shook free of her nightgown.

"Saint Patrick's on Tenth Street. But I should meet you a block or two away. There's a lot of press here." Booth sounded weary and perhaps sad.

"Saint Patrick's? Your church?"

"It was," he said before he disconnected.