Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ's side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
and with Thy angels
Forever and ever
I stay, planted firmly in my seat, silent after quietly reciting the prayer to myself.
Head bowed. Reverent. Eyes closed. Hands folded.
For her to stay away.
For her to come.
For these sinful thoughts to fade like clouds in the height of summer.
"Father." I'm urged to get up. To get going. To lead my congregation.
I manage to stand and make my way to the pulpit. I focus on breathing. I focus on the Gospel in front of me. I rehearse today's homily to myself. I listen to the murmurs of anticipation from the church members reverberate against the walls.
Do they know?
I steady my legs. I nod to the organ player and give the children in the choir a small grin.
Cautiously, I peer up at my parishioners. I'm filled with awe at their loyal attendance. At their faith in me to guide them through the week ahead. Their eagerness to listen to what I have to say. Their belief that I know what I'm talking about.
I have no idea what I'm talking about.
I thought I did.
But that was before.
My eyes glance around and stop… just there… front row, right side, five in.
My breathing ceases altogether as I take in the sight of her.
Jeans, t-shirt. Leather jacket.
Legs crossed. Hands by her sides. Eyes on me, lit with fire.
There is no friendly smile on her lips. No word of God in her hands. No shame in her reasons for being here.
And she is magnetic.
That look on her face. A simple dare in her silent rebellious expression.
I've forgotten my sermon all together.
I've forgotten my vows.
Promises made to men much holier than I. Promises to God.
I can't even remember what those promises were now.
I can only remember her.
Eyes, Lips, jaw, neck.
A whisper. A secret. Just between us. And God.
I let my eyes close for a moment.
I blink them open again.
I'm pulled away from dark thoughts with a cough from the crowd. I tug at the collar around my neck, symbolizing my conviction, my position. My failures. It used to comfort me. Now it's suffocating.
And I see the looks on everyone's faces. Waiting, wondering, suspecting.
A/N: Prayers are not ours. They belong to the Catholic church. We're just borrowing them. As are we borrowing Stephenie Myers' characters. We'd also like to note that neither of us are Catholic but both have studied it a bit - Okay, Googled. A lot.
This fic is brought to you by inspiration drawn directly from "Fleabag" and its hot fucking priest… and maybe Hades. A little bit. Please don't take it too seriously. And if you're Catholic, you may want to consider scheduling confession after each chapter.
Many many thanks to SueBee for her beta skills, Chrisann for pre reading, Lizzie Paige for our inspiring banner and you all for reading.
Chapter 1 will post on Friday. Hope we see you there.