(Paranormal- Mildly Erotic)
Reverend Michael Pandora sipped cold tea and smiled, tipping his head in a vague attempt to appease the wrath of the church warden: Mrs Muriel Kite. Her living room was stifling and oppressive. The urge to remove his dog‑collar and loosen the top two buttons of his shirt coaxed him, but he persevered. No doubt Mrs Kite would take the unveiling as an effrontery to their faith.
The gawdy, flame-coloured carpet drew Michael’s attention. Please, don’t tempt me.
‘Of all the heinous things, Reverend. A female priest, I ask you. Well, the Lord will be turning …’ She trailed off, patting blue-rinsed hair into place with arthritic-looking fingers.
If she’d gone on to finish her sentence, Michael’s blue eyes surely would have given him away. He suppressed the impulse to laugh out loud. ‘Now, Muriel, we live in modern times.’ He leaned toward her, the sagging sofa groaning beneath him. ‘As a member of the fairer sex, I’d have thought you would be happy with the change in attitude; after all, why should women be excluded from—’
The look came from Hell.
‘Pope Paul II said, and I quote: “The Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women.” She continued to glare at him.
The hair on Michael’s nape bristled. ‘With all due respect, Muriel, the Pope is head of the Catholic Church and—’
‘He’s a man of God.’
Breathe. ‘Muriel, Muriel,’ he placated, returning his cup to the saucer and the saucer to the table. ‘I for one am proud of the Anglican Church’s approach to the ordination of women’—her mouth set into a thin line—‘please, let’s give the woman a chance.’
‘Why St John’s, Reverend? That’s what I want to know.’
‘Why not St John’s?’
Mrs Kite sighed; her shoulders relaxed. She stared directly into Michael’s eyes – something she never did. He shifted uneasily in his seat, her gaze turning his stomach.
‘You’re right, of course, as always. Where is my Christian soul today? I fear it has deserted me. I promise I will do my utmost to make our new female priest very welcome.’ Her lips sealed into a forced smile as she picked up the ceramic pot. ‘More tea, Reverend?’
Sunday evening services concluded, Michael inhaled deeply. Muriel’s fussing was driving him to insanity. He sent her home, amicably, to prepare herself for the arrival of St John’s “new female priest”. Smiling to himself – though the thought of what might transpire tomorrow gave him nothing to feel joyous about – he sent out a prayer: Please let it go without event. With Muriel’s involvement, it might require a miracle. He needn’t worry, his boss was good at those.
Michael reached for the candle snuffer, but before he could apply the implement all four candle flames flickered and died. A murmuring breeze ruffled his hair. Tingling ran the length of his spine. Breath caught in his throat. Michael rested the extinguisher on the altar and slowly turned.
His chest thumped as if his heart were attempting to leave the protection of its ribcage. He took another breath. ‘Yes.’
She carried a small suitcase which she set down before extending an elegant hand towards him. ‘Christina Evergreen.’ Her hand remained in greeting. ‘Your new priest?’ Green eyes twinkled with curiosity.
Pulling himself together. ‘Yes, yes, of course. Um … you’re early … I mean, I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow.’
Brushing back strawberry-blonde hair, she jiggled her outstretched hand. He took it and – the silkiest, smoothest skin combined with his, generating a sensation in his groin he hadn’t sought for nigh on ten years – Camilla Stronghorn, you were my undoing. The spontaneous thought collided with another: Mrs Kite is going to have a fit.
He disentangled his hand from hers.
Eyelashes fluttered. ‘Yes, I am a little early. I hope it’s not going to cause you a problem only …’ she paused.
‘Something unforeseen cropped up and I had to vacate my lodgings …’ she stopped, then, ‘May I stay at the vicarage tonight? My room at the B&B is being cleaned. Mrs Fornals suggested you might be able to accommodate me.’
Did he imagine the flash of violet in her eyes?
‘Hmm, yes, Mrs Fornals is a stickler for hygiene.’
Almost verging on OCD. The proprietor hadn’t done Michael any favours by suggesting he house Ms Evergreen.
Wide eyes played with his.
He had no choice. ‘Yes, of course, you may stay at the vicarage.’ With me. The instinctive musing caught him unawares. His cheeks heated.
‘It won’t be a problem?’ Her mouth curled.
No, not if Mrs Kite doesn’t find out. ‘One night won’t hurt.’ He half-smiled. ‘I’ll just lock up and we can …’ he didn’t finish the sentence.
The Vicarage was a mess. Michael showed Christina to the guest bedroom then busied himself in the kitchen, placing dirty plates and mugs into the dishwasher. You’re still a slob ten years on.
That same whispering breeze caught his hair, seizing dark curls with abandon. Michael straightened and turned. Christina stood in the doorway, smiling, and wearing a silk dressing gown. The sight left nothing to the imagination. Nipples, inviting and ready for tasting, pressed against sleek fabric. Jesus, forgive me.
‘I, er, suspect you’re hungry?’ he stammered.
‘Famished,’ she said, advancing towards him. The gown parted, revealing long, shapely legs. “And thirsty.’ She licked her lips. Violet eyes held his. ‘You’re going to make love to me tonight, Michael, aren’t you?’
Michael agreed with her suggestion and removed his dog-collar. Shirt buttons loosened, exposing his throat. She rose on tiptoe and caressed his throbbing pulse with her tongue.
‘Take me to your bed.’
Unable to resist, he led her to his bedroom.
‘Undress for me.’
Michael disrobed and stood naked before her.
‘Mm, you’re very well endowed – for a priest.’ Pushing him onto the bed she released her gown to the floor and lowered herself onto him. ‘Shall we’—her eyes flashed; her mouth opened; canines glinted—‘party like you’ve never partied before?’
‘Yes … please.’ The voice his, but not.
A drawing sensation in his neck connected with his groin. Hands stroked, up and down, her touch firm and unyielding. Hard nipples beneath his searching fingers brought a hot breathy ‘go on’. He entered her wet, warm cavern. She growled. Michael moved in unison with the rhythm. Embraced it. Such a long time. He closed his eyes, pushed upwards into Heaven. Surrendered. Dear, God, that feels so good.
The sun shone on the stained-glass windows of St John’s. Mrs Kite arranged white calla lilies and stocks inside large, ceramic vases. The air rippled. She turned.
‘Christina Evergreen, St John’s new priest.’ The young woman tipped her head.
Mrs Kite managed a smile. He could have at least been here to introduce us. ‘Where’s Reverend Pandora?’ she asked.
‘Oh, he’s feeling a little under the weather today, so I told him to rest.’
Mrs Kite’s eyes widened.
‘He asked me to make the visits today.’
Violet eyes flashed.
‘Of course. I’ll get you the list.’
‘And please, Muriel’—Mrs Kite stopped—’call me Christa.’
Copyright (2020) M J Christie