At eleven-fifteen, she distinctly heard people walking past her door, going every direction to the many suites on the third floor. She heard the Marquesa and her maid walking alone, as well as Doña de Flores with their daughter. In time, they had all turned in for the night, and the sounds of the servants ascending to the fourth floor eventually quieted. Veronica understood it would be only moments before she would hear the General’s faithful footsteps creeping down the corridor to find her. The anticipation was agonizing and delightful.
A thought struck her, seizing her with concern. What if Father Mateu would somehow find out the secret? He might hear them, being so close to her room. The walls were unfortunately not as thick as she wished they could be, and Veronica feared he might notice. Of course, the thought that any one of a dozen people passing the hallway might be in a better position to hear hadn’t yet mattered to her. But it would be too much of an embarrassment should the Father call on her to seek out the noise, thinking she might be in distress. But all this was too improbable, considering the amount of wine he had consumed at dinner, as well as afterward. Veronica stomped out these concerns and resolved to wait without accommodating a hundred pointless thoughts to distract her.
Twenty minutes passed as she lay there alone, or was it twenty years?
And then she heard the first step. As heavy as she remembered it from last night, it had the same distinct rhythms. He was coming from his suite on the other side of the house and walking down the corridor towards her, as he had last night.
Her heart would burst from her chest if she could not calm herself. This was not the moment to show fear. This should be her moment; something of triumph should come of this night. But it was too much for the girl. The sounds were now too close for any further preparations, and Veronica simply held her breath as the steps fell before her door.
Without falling from their march, the steps passed her outer door in pursuit of what she now realized must be her aunt’s suite. He had passed her up to first be with Marcelina and left the girl there to suffer further anticipation.
Veronica all but jumped up to rise from the bed, flinging the bed curtains to cross into the outer drawing room, and stood naked before the door, her eyes closed, listening for any sound or indication that he might return. She heard none. She observed the door once more, studying the crevices of the gilded frame and the minor light coming through the key hole.
Her mind raced to find an answer. Of the thousand excuses she chose to entertain, the idea dawned on her that Marcelina might not yet have asked him; the woman might have been waiting all evening for a moment to explain the plan. But as she attempted to convince herself of this, the basis for her reasoning failed to materialize, and the possibility of such a hindrance seemed worthless. A tremendous amount of time had passed, after all, in which she could have commanded him. Marcelina was not the type of person to wait upon the settling of other people’s moods, lovers or no.
She returned to the sheets of the bed and drew the sheer curtains to enclose herself again, as if the flimsy fabric wall of the bed frame might guard her in a fortress of contemplation where questions could be answered. The clock on her dresser chimed. It was already thirty minutes past the hour and Veronica realized that too much time had passed. The tick of the silver antique failed to strike through her fog of thoughts.
Veronica heard a door creak open in the hallway, and within seconds there was the sound of her door swinging on its hinges.
In the dim light, her mouth opened in disbelief to see Father Mateu’s head peer forward. She absolutely did not understand why he had come to her room, but it occurred to her that he might have learned of Marcelina’s plans and terror seized every portion of her body. However, Father Mateu said nothing as he closed and locked the interior door behind him. The nakedness of her body grew warm with shame under the bed covers, which she tightly grasped up over her breasts. She dared not say a word, though her eyes could not be forced from his gaze.
On the other side of her bed, he paused, then began to disrobe. She watched now in utter fascination, still not completely sure of why he would do such a thing. He removed his robe, the black cassock he wore so handsomely. She was struck dumb to look upon his naked body as he stood there, taking such delicate pains to fold and lay his clothing gently on the chair of her vanity. And he had such a beautiful body. It was not large or brooding, but rather lean and compact, revealing a very handsome torso that was devoid of the embellishment that male statues all seemed to rely on to achieve a godly effect. He did not have that absurd appendage between his legs like Don de Flores, but rather a much more believable version, much less of a burden, it seemed, which she entertained might be easier to embrace with the minor soreness she still felt. And becoming aware of her own thoughts in that moment, Veronica finally comprehended what was to happen.
The priest glanced at her again, standing still for a moment, holding his gaze upon her one last time before he gently moved around the bed to sit down upon the edge, pushing back the curtains to see her eyes. He placed his hands upon her leg, hidden under the covers, and she jumped a bit, startled by his touch. Until now, she had fancied him some sort of bizarre apparition that wouldn’t be able to contact her physically. But these stupid fancies were at fault now as he gently stroked her hidden legs. His hands slowly made their way to her breasts, practically thrust outward to meet his touch with the push of her startled inhale. She did not understand her actions, she knew only that it could not be helped. The desire to have them held in his hands was overwhelming. She so desperately wanted the power to touch and explore his body but was rendered lame by his control of her. And she allowed the Father to touch her at his will.
His delicate hands, so gracefully aquiline, brushed her locks away from her small breasts and reached behind her neck to pull her up to him. His lips touched hers, inventing a mad heat that swept from his mouth through her entire body. The sublime pressure of his lips was delightful, relentless, and she felt them open to release his tongue, which Veronica hopelessly opened to receive. A sensation of yearning overwhelmed the girl that she could neither understand nor withdraw from. He kissed her for several moments before he gently pulled back the covers to expose her naked body lying warm and awakened. She closed her eyes as he carefully brought his mouth down to taste her body, starting from her lower neck and falling down towards her breasts, which slightly rose again to meet him. Veronica felt the burning heat in them as his mouth opened to suck her nipples, pulling them into himself and devouring them. The rough stroking of his light beard and soft wetness of his velvet tongue fought each other for dominance over her senses. He spent so much time, she thought, attached to her like a child at its mother, devouring them until there was nothing she could do to keep from vocalizing her joy in a stifled yelp.
This initially brought a startled look from him, only to be tempered by a smile at the honest reaction she was unable to suppress. He adored her all the more for it.
Gathering his focus again, he slowly resumed his consumption, his tasting of her body, her stomach, her navel. Veronica enjoyed the delicious texture of his stubbled upper lip, darting back and forth between her breasts and their light scarlet-ringed nipples. She moved her body to a jagged rhythm against his mouth as he brought his lips between her legs, where he used his tongue to soothe that hard little nugget shamelessly, manipulating it to produce an uncontrollable reaction in her. Indeed, his touch produced such a violent spasm in Veronica that she was not entirely certain he should be allowed to continue. With defeated resignation that such logic was useless, she understood that there would be no stopping him now. He had lost himself in his own passion and continued to knead her body in spite of her hesitation.
Father Mateu rubbed the girl harder and, feeling that she was wet there now, bestowed himself even greater focus of purpose. Impassioned by the smooth dampness, he rubbed harder and harder until his finger slid effortlessly inside her, producing an entirely different sensation, a triumph of pleasure focused in her legs and spine. Her entire body now rocked in time with his hand.
Veronica loved it, everything that he was doing to her, and she lost herself in her rocking until he pulled his finger out and bent down to bring his face to her nether mouth again. He was almost violent in the way he tasted her now, engorging her sex with his hot breath and tongue, lapping at her like a hungry feline at its cream. He licked furiously at her hard little nugget, and Veronica found her way into a state of orgasm that paralyzed every limb of her body. The sensation occluded her vision completely, sending her mind to leave the room and sharply sweep above the moonlit clouds, finding the heavens all too small in their infinite space for her to travel very long. Veronica was lost and she shuddered with the uncontrollable hot spasms, her body tensing and then releasing over and over with the most indescribably lovely pleasure she had ever felt.
After a moment or so, when her breathing had returned to a more normal pace, he brought himself up to lay upon her, his abdomen falling between her legs. The delicious weight of his lean body joined with the brilliant joy of his suckling her breasts again, which quickly became too much for her to endure without moaning out in happiness. His mouth came to hers and his tongue fell in and out of her as he gently moved between her legs, positioning himself to enter her. The heat generating from her body was tremendous and Veronica began to perspire all over.
She felt him slide his hard organ inside of her, and a high-pitched squeal escaped her lips as the pleasure of it intermingled with the lightest soreness there. He pushed now, throbbing in and out of her, and she felt her hips rocking up to meet him, pushing back in turn so that his manhood might venture even deeper into the girl and find a way to fill her more than he physically could.
She loved all of this. Not a moment passed within these few minutes when she thought of where she was or who she was with. All she understood was the pleasure in her body, and it was enough to overwhelm her senses so that nothing of reality might intrude.
Then, in what felt like an acute explosion within her back and mind, she came again in hard spasms, which seemingly lasted forever before ending abruptly as the priest pulled out of her and gripped his organ. As the remaining drive of his rhythm locked in seizures, he shot his warm seed onto her stomach and chest with strong blasts before a visible fatigue overcame him. When gravity finally collapsed Father Mateu’s body down upon her, his labored breath began to resolve itself, as well.
He carefully moved off her and turned over onto his back, his spent body still deathly hot beside her in the bed. Veronica heard him whisper beautiful things to her as his breath evened, but she would remember nothing of them in the future. All that could remain in her mind now was the exquisite sense of content, of being spent, while even more awake and enlivened, and with it the wonderful delight of being completely unafraid. She was amazed.
As the minutes passed and the sweat dried, inviting chills to cool their bodies, Veronica at last felt her faculties returning to her. At that very moment, the priest began to move and sit up in the bed. Slowly, without the slightest fanfare, he lifted himself to the floor and began to replace his clothing. When he was dressed as before, he came around the bedpost to the motionless girl and bent to kiss her good night. It was another of his wet, impassioned kisses and she lay powerlessly still, receiving them as she felt she must, wanting it all over again. With his farewells suddenly at an end, he quietly left her room, opening and closing her door without the slightest sound.
She remained there with only the discordant ticking of her clock to cut through the silence, helping Veronica to concentrate and find the strength to sit up and regain her focus.
Upon pulling back the heavy drapery from her window, the sight of the moon still blazing over the castle returned her mind to the earth. All at once, the sounds and cries of the night grounded her and she understood what she had done. More importantly, she understood who she had done it with, and, even more to the point, that it was over. This clarity of the moment sent her speedily to find her nightgown and steal silently to her aunt’s bedroom.
“Who’s there?” she heard Marcelina say from behind the door.
“Tia, open the door, please, it’s me,” she whispered back, apprehensively.
Through the partially opened door, she saw her aunt’s confused eyes first as they peered out into the darkened hallway to find Veronica. The girl shot forward into her arms and held fast to the woman with violent shivers, not so much from fear but from the terrible cold that overcame her in the corridor.
Marcelina shifted the girl off of her gently and shut the door as quietly as possible. Veronica noticed the interior bedroom doors were shut as Marcelina brought her over to the sofa in her anti-chamber, sat her down, and fetched some wine from a large armoire. Marcelina filled a wide crystal glass halfway to the top with a pink wine and handed it to her.
“Here, drink this,” she instructed warmly. “It will help you to calm down, my love.”
Veronica took the glass without examining it and began to drink. She had seldom tasted wine. Her mother didn’t think it proper at her age, though it was not at all uncommon in her house for any other young girl to be given it at parties or on feast days. She adored the shimmering color of this lovely pink varietal and she was only startled for an instant by the strange, sweet taste that washed down her throat.
“Not so fast, dear. Sip the drink. We don’t want you to fall asleep when we have so much to discuss. There now,” the woman said with a sparkle, “do you feel better?”
Veronica smiled in spite of her fears. In this moment, her aunt again seemed to resemble the astonishing woman she had always thought her to be. The girl was very happy to smile upon her aunt, prompting Marcelina to beam back even more lovely, tears welling in her eyes.
“I’m so frightened, I don’t understand what has happened. I thought General de Flores... I thought he would be the one you’d send. But it was not him, at all. Oh Tia, I don’t understand what just happened. It was Father Mateu who came to my room.”
“And was he sweet with you, dear?”
She hesitated in bewilderment. “Yes, he was very sweet to me, but I don’t understand why he would. I know he cannot do such a thing.”
“And what, dear, did he do with you?”
“He touched me,” she blurted out, “he touched my body all over and then brought himself on top of me and...”
“Did he have sex with you, sex the way I described it?”
“Yes, he did... but no, it was not like you described it, it was nothing at all like that. It was... oh, I don’t know what it was.” Veronica shut her eyes, and in her mind, she saw him all over again, the texture of his face, the sensation of his breath upon her.
“What, dear, what is it? You must tell me, love. Did he hurt you?”
The girl stopped. Her eyes opened swiftly, finding the woman’s worried gaze fixed upon her. “It was as if I died for a moment and knew peace. And I felt this pleasure, this sweet sensation that he brought out of me, and I felt it throughout my body. I didn’t understand it, but I was defenseless to stop it. I didn’t want it to stop.”
Marcelina smiled brilliantly at the girl’s words. “Well then, I will have reason enough to give him thanks in the morning. It seems clear he has done more than I asked of him. And he’s helped you to understand exactly why this conversation began.” She sat back on the sofa and exhaled quietly, her eyes finding nothing distinctive on the wall to stare at. “Good,” said the woman after a moment of glowing silence, “now we can continue.”