His Mouth is Sweet to Kiss
Sister Charlotte watched parishioners file out of the church, wishing her goodbyes to some familiar faces, before she began to slowly inch her way towards the sacristy where Father Cristiano had disappeared. She was hoping to catch a minute alone with him, she had something that had been weighing on her mind for quite some time now.
She surveyed the empty church one last time to ensure that no one was around before she went and stood in the doorway of the sacristy. She watched Cristiano take off and neatly put away his vestments until he remained in his cassock, observing the tenderness and reverence that lay in his touch.
The Portuguese had beautiful hands and Charlotte often watched them carefully when he wasn't paying attention. Those same hands had blessed countless souls, absolved sins, offered solace and comfort when needed, and gently held the Eucharist within their grasp. Oftentimes Charlotte wondered what his touch would feel like on her bare skin. Would he touch her with the same tenderness, the same reverence that he touched their Lord and Saviour with? What ecstacy could his hands make her feel? These thoughts were always followed with admonishments for thinking of her friend and blaspheming in such a way.
Charlotte admired the slope of Cristiano's shoulders and back. The strength in them spoke of his youth in rural Portugal where he had lived in a small village aiding his family on their farm. Cristiano often told her about his family and life back in his home country and she kept such information close to her heart. Likewise, she would tell him the particulars of her upbringing and her day-to-day life and he listened to her with an a slight smile and an enigmatic look in his eyes.
The sunlight shining in from the sacristy window caught in his ebony hair. She wondered how soft his hair was and longed to run her fingers through it, if he would allow it. He always kept it neatly combed but he had a stubborn cowlick that refused to lie flat at any given time. Charlotte found it endearing.
Finally Cristiano turned around and saw her in the doorway. He startled then quickly recovered his composure and smiled warmly at her.
"Sister Charlotte! I wasn't expecting to see you here, is there something I can do for you?"
Torn out of her revere, Charlotte scrambled to collect her thoughts and returned the smile.
"There's something I wanted to talk to you about, if you're not busy."
"Of course, why don't we go to my office?"
They left the sacristy, and made the short walk over to Cristiano's office in the back of the church. Cristiano's office was a familiar sight and Charlotte had lost count of how often she had been here to talk to her beloved friend.
Charlotte took a seat in the chair in front of Cristiano's desk and gripped the armrest. One of her legs bounced up and down repeatedly with little thought as she watched Cristiano sit down and rest his hands on the surface of his desk.
She realized that what she about to tell Cristiano could spell the end of their friendship and that her feelings she had for him were unbefitting of one in the consecrated life. Nonetheless, keeping such thoughts to herself was beginning to wear on her nerves and she couldn't stand lying to herself or her friend any longer.
Cristiano frowned and tilted his head. "What's wrong?"
Charlotte froze, suddenly too fearful to speak. This was a big mistake, she shouldn't have bothered with him.
"I don't even know if I should tell you...."
"You needn't fear judgement Charlotte," Cristiano said gently. "You can tell me anything."
"I'm afraid of what this'll do to our friendship but I feel I should be honest with you."
Cristiano looked at her with a concerned expression, waiting patiently for her to continue.
"I must admit that in recent times, I've come to realize that what I feel for you isn't appropriate but I...." Charlotte's courage died midsentence and she cut herself off.
She quickly glanced Cristiano's way and blurted out. "I love you."
The priest didn't speak at first, his expression difficult to read, which led to Charlotte interpreting his silence as rejection. Her face flushed a bright scarlet and she mumbled a clumsy apology before she stood up to leave. Her stomach twisted itself into knots as she thought about the damage she had just dealt to their relationship. She had no intention of imposing on Cristiano and was appalled at the thought that she had made him uncomfortable.
Cristiano quickly got up and grabbed her upper arm to stop her from leaving. "Wait, Charlotte."
Charlotte turned and faced Cristiano. He held her by her elbow with one hand and with the other, Cristiano placed his fingers under her chin and tilted her head up to face him. She looked into his eyes and was relieved to see nothing but a fond acceptance of what she had told him.
"You were going to run off before I even had the chance to respond!" Cristiano laughed softly.
Charlotte blinked at him, a surprised look on her face. "What?"
"Have you never noticed the way I look at you?" Cristiano said. "I never said anything because I didn't want to make things awkward and so I kept trying to repress whatever I was feeling."
"This whole time you...." Charlotte trailed off. "Since when?"
"For well over a year now." Cristiano admittedly sheepishly.
Relief flooded Charlotte's body and she nearly laughed out loud. Of course she had always noticed the fondness in which Cristiano regarded her but she never would have presumed anything. She carded her fingers through Cristiano's hair (it was as soft as she imagined) and pulled him to her. Due to her nervousness, she kissed him chastely on the lips and moved back to gauge his reaction.
The priest placed his hands on her waist to turn her around and backed her into the desk. Surprised but thrilled at his response, she allowed him to maneuver her as he wished. She cupped his face in her hands, her thumbs running over those high cheekbones that she had always admired from a distance.
Cristiano closed the gap between them and kissed her passionately. Both softly moaned as they caressed each other's bodies and an overwhelming heat spread through Charlotte's body and into her loins. She vaguely wondered if they should stop before they got too carried away.
Eventually, they reluctantly parted from the kiss. Cristiano's pupils were blown open and Charlotte wondered if hers looked the same. Her head was spinning as she rested her hands on her beloved's shoulders. Cristiano's arms tightly wound around her helped keep her from swaying on her feet.
"I love you, Cristiano." Charlotte repeated breathlessly.
"I love you too, sweetheart." Cristiano replied, his voice a little hoarse. He took one of her hands and kissed her knuckles, his expression holding a tinge of melancholy.
Charlotte knew Cristiano was no fool. No doubt the weight of his vows and the predicament they were in was bubbling to the surface but mercifully he made no mention of God or any of their vows. Like her, he probably wanted to revel in the newfound realization that their feelings for each other were mutual. They could deal with how to navigate this strange, new territory soon enough.
She embraced him and rested her head on his shoulder, taking in the scent of his cologne. Cristiano ran a hand up and down her back in a soothing manner. Feeling his strong body so close to hers rendered her torn between utter contentment and excitement.
Their encounter had gone better than Charlotte could have anticipated. Her eyes became misty as she was overwhelmed with a plethora of emotion. She blinked rapidly in a vain attempt to make them go away and calm herself.
Cristiano pulled back and noticed the unshed tears in her eyes. "What's wrong, sweetheart?"
The term of endearment made her heart flutter. "Nothing, dear, I'm just happy."
She was anxious too but didn't want to ruin the moment. What they just did and would likely do in the future with each other was sinful but she couldn't find it within herself to take back her words. She had meant what she said and for that she had failed God. They both had failed.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Nicole ArmasWrite a Review