Pairing if applicable: EdwardxBella
Title: Vigilate et Orate
Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
Brief Summary:
A single noise late one night turns into a spiraling compulsion. A desire to serve God overtaken by the need of flesh. A Fetlife at Twilight contest entry.

Psalm 6

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.

As my eyes close, I take in the silence of this old house. I've lived in my rented room since I began my theology studies two years ago. Two other students from my college live in this house. A third student moved in this morning since the new semester would start soon. The room next to mine was always empty.

It was always my calling to become a priest and it wasn't until I started my classes that I felt like I fit in. None of my peers in high school understood my devotion to God and why I remained celibate. It was often joked about and I was singled out many times, but I felt like it was part of the journey God intended for me. These were part of the trials and tribulations that would shape and prepare me for my calling.

Kneeling beside my bed, I hold my rosary against my hand and begin my nightly reflection. My muscles are weary from the day and I roll my head from side to side, letting the tension dissipate. The pads of my fingers rub over the familiar surface of the beads as I bow my head. Even though the motions are routine, my heart is sincere as I begin my evening ritual.

In the name of the Father...and the Son...and the Holy Spirit...my right hand follows the motions to my forehead, my chest, my left shoulder and then my right; completing the sign of the cross.

Clearing my mind, I meditate in silence. While I enjoy my studies and hanging out with my classmates, my favorite part of the day is the one-on-one time that I spend with my Creator.

Eternal Father, I desire to rest in Thy Heart this night.

I make the intention of offering to Thee every beat of my heart...

My concentration falters as I hear a noise from the room next door. Squeezing my eyes shut tighter, I continue my prayer.

...joining to them as many acts of love and desire.

I pray that even while I am asleep, I will bring back to Thee souls that offend Thee.

A moan from the next room startles me. My eyes fly open as I look to the beads in my folded hands.

I ask forgiveness for the whole world, especially for those who know Thee and yet sin.

"Mmmmmmm." A soft female voice interrupts. I shake my head to block out the noise, desperate to forget that I can hear my new neighbor.

I offer to Thee my every breath and heartbeat...

I attempt to concentrate on the words of my prayer, but I'm acutely aware of the contrast between the serene house and the heavy breathing from the next forehead drops to my folded hands as a silent string of "Hail Mary's" runs through my head.

"Oh God!" The same female voice terminates my benediction. Even though I practice a strict life of celibacy, I'm familiar with the sounds coming out of her mouth. My brother had an affinity for pornographic movies, often watching them with his door wide open. I sometimes think he knew I could overhear and wanted to make me uncomfortable.

Opening my eyes, I turn to stare in the direction of the offending noise and wish that someone had not moved into that room. The breathy panting increases in pace, interspersed with calling out the name of my Savior and moans of her sinful act.

When I close my eyes again, my mind conjures up an image of what she may look like - long flaxen hair spread out on her pillow, lips parted and a light sheen of sweat covering her forehead and upper lip.

"Oh...oh...yesssss!" She gasps from the other side of the wall.

And with that, she falls silent. My heart pounds inside my chest. The pain in my hands draws my attention back to my abandoned devotions. Looking down, I realize that I've been clutching my rosary beads to the point where my knuckles have turned white. I relax my hands, letting the beads slide between my fingers to see the imprint of them on my palms.

Tears sting my eyes as the disappointment washes over me. I've failed my Creator and let my weak flesh overpower the sacrifices that I chose to make for my calling. Quickly, I begin to make my atonement, yearning to be cleansed from the shame of my lustful thoughts.

"Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint..."

Psalm 102

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.

Days have passed since my new roommate has moved in. I attend confession every day, examining my conscience and repenting for my lustful thoughts. The priest's words of absolution ease the guilt that I wake up with each morning. I go to my classes without fail, paying strict attention to the course material. I study in the library, closed off by myself in a cubicle and buried deep in the teachings of my Lord and Savior.

Nothing prepares me for what I feel each night as I kneel next to my bed. It's usually her voice. Last night she spent half an hour on the phone with her mother. As hard as I try not to listen, there's something that keeps her in the forefront of my mind when I enter the house.

Some days I fear running into her and on those days I walk to my room with my head down, shutting the door behind me. Other days, my thoughts dwell on what she looks like. If she is anything like I imagined the night I heard her pleasuring herself. On those days, I linger in the common areas of the house, such as the kitchen. Or I take longer to get from the front door to the door of my bedroom, hoping to catch a glimpse of the girl.

It's an internal war that I have had to battle since the day she moved next door. I'm familiar with the church's stance on masturbation and lust. They are both sins in the eyes of God.

Hearing the sounds coming from her room that one night has fueled a rapidly increasing obsession. There are days where she is all I think about, even though I don't know her name or what she looks like. Today is a day where I don't rush behind the locked door of my bedroom. My compulsion to see her overrides years of sacrifice. I take my time walking down the hall. I make a snack and eat at the kitchen table. My two other roommates come in, giving me odd looks as they grab quick bites before heading out. I take my time cleaning up, washing dishes left behind by the others, hoping that she will return soon. As the sunlight begins to fade, I resign that tonight is not the night and head to my room.

Perhaps it is divine intervention, saving me from a downward spiral of lust-filled thoughts. God is calling me back to Him, showing me that He is my constant. With a renewed determination I set about my studies for the evening, locked behind the door of my room. My earbuds in place, I find solace in the classical music on my iPod.

I study until my eyes become weary and decide to call it a night. Standing, I stretch in my chair and feel the knots in my back from hunching over my desk for hours. My towel in hand, I open the door to my room and step into the hallway.

My body collides with another and I reach my hands out to steady the person I nearly trampled to death. Looking at the petite figure standing before me, I realize that this must be the girl from the room next door.

Pale skin, brown eyes and long brown hair frame a beautiful face. Her cheeks redden as I realize that my hands are still firmly grasping her shoulders. Her startled eyes leave my face, looking towards the ground where my towel is resting between us.

"Excuse m-m-me," I stutter. "I wasn't watching where I was going."

She looks up at me through thick lashes. Warning bells sound off in my brain telling me to pick up my towel and continue down the hall. My mind tells me to run, but my body has other ideas. My feet remain planted on the ground with no intention of moving.

"It's fine," she starts. "I was beginning to wonder when I'd finally meet the person who lives behind this door."

An awkward chuckle escapes my throat as I remember the days where I lingered outside my room, determined to meet her.

"By the way, my name's Bella," her sweet voice brings me back to the moment. With a smile on her face, she extends her hand towards me.

"Edward," I reply, reaching out to shake her small hand.

Her fingers are delicate and I notice the way my own dwarf them. Her skin is smooth and warm, pleasing to the touch. Without thinking, I look down at our joined hands and imagine her pink polished fingers trailing down her flat stomach, passing her belly button...

"I-i-it was nice to meet you." I pull my hand away from hers without being rude. Bending down, I pick up my towel from the floor and continue down the hall to the bathroom. As tempted as I am to turn around, I resist and don't look back. I don't want the same fate as Lot's wife.

Once I safely shut and lock the door behind me, I rest against it, letting my head drop back onto the punishing wood.

Standing under the spray of the shower, my eyes close as I offer my silent penitence; washing my body and my soul:

I lie awake; I have become

like a bird alone on a roof.

All day long my enemies taunt me;

those who rail against me use my name as a curse.

Drying off, I feel a renewed calmness. After dressing for bed, I return to my room feeling at peace. I know my God and I know that He is a forgiving God.

I kneel before my bed, preparing myself for my nightly routine, when I realize that I had forgotten to retrieve my rosary from my dresser. As I rise, I hear it. I hear her.

Whimpering.

Moaning.

Panting.

Immediately, my eyes snap shut, envisioning her beautiful mouth creating those depraved sounds. I wonder what she is doing to allow herself to vocalize such euphoric pleasure. My mind tells my feet to walk to the dresser and reach for my rosary, however my feet act of their own accord. Instead of walking the two steps to the dresser, they walk the four steps to the vent. And my knees? They resume their kneeling position. Only this time, I kneel beside the vent; putting my ear that much closer to the symphony she creates.

For the first time, I allow myself to open my eyes. I stare down at the rusted metal, focused on nothing and everything all at once. I continue with this focus, listening and imagining her noises, until my eyes betray me. They peer through the metal grate.

I see her.

Spread out on her bed.

Her pale skin nearly blinding me as her limbs move uncontrollably; twitching, seizing.

No.

Stop.

I throw my body backwards, stumbling into my bed, as my chest heaves.

I'm stronger than I thought.

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

Tonight at dinner, I slip. I have purposely avoided her, not allowing my body to be tested with the temptation. After spending the past ten nights eating alone in my room, I brave the kitchen table. I thought I had her schedule memorized. I thought...but I was wrong.

As I clear the table of my dinner plate, I hear the front door slam shut. Knowing that my other two roommates are in their rooms, and have been for several hours, tells me that it has to be her. My body freezes as I mentally prepare myself to greet her.

"Bella, what are you doing home early?" I slip, the words flowing out of my mouth before my brain catches up.

I get nothing in return but a confused face as she locks the door behind her. Walking to the sink, I drop the dishes into the warm soapy water; thankful for the distraction that interrupts our silence. My fingers reach for the dishtowel while I think of an appropriate way to fix what I have just done to myself.

"I mean...last night you came home late. I heard your door slam after I had gone to bed. I assumed...late hours at work or a night class."

Relief washes over her face.

Don't be frightened of me, Bella. I memorized your schedule, but it was only for your own good. So that I can watch you and protect you - I would never harm you. I've tried, but I can't deny my obsession with you. The Lord is always with us, and like him, I am always with you.

I wait as she collects her mail and walks toward the stairs. Perhaps she has already eaten? I would love nothing more than to offer her dinner and watch her eat. Her lips wrapping around the fork; her tongue darting out to catch stray morsels of food.

But, no. I know my limits. And this? This would be too much for me. Rather, anything with her would be too much for me. And this is why I watch her...why I fantasize about her...why I want to know her inside and out.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

But she will never know.

Because I hide in the darkness. In the shadows where she would never suspect my fascination with her. I smile and carry on mundane conversation to assure her that I am normal. That I can be trusted. That any suspicions she might have of me are ridiculous.

"...and we got to leave after we completed the test. So, even though I think I bombed that one, at least we got out of there before eight, right?" Her voice brings me back into the conversation and away from the battle inside my head.

Putting the pieces together from what fragments of the conversation I caught, I reassure her, "I'm sure you did much better on the test than you thought. What are you doing with your free time? Going out tonight?"

Yawning, she shakes her head no. "Nah, I'm beat. Going to do a load of laundry and call it a night. Take care, Edward."

After wishing her a good night, I meticulously finish cleaning the kitchen. It takes every ounce of self-control I have not to rush to my room and press my ear against the vent. I need to remind my body that I can resist. That I can stop if I want to.

But I know there is nothing to stop me. That I am doing nothing wrong. I watch...I listen. I send praises and thanks to God for creating such a beautiful creature. I do not touch. I merely appreciate and admire the work of my Creator.

Blessed be thy name.

I methodically turn off the light switches and lock the door before walking toward my room. And more important, toward her door. Something catches my eye in the hallway. Something white. Something lacy. Something that is definitely not mine.

But I can't deny the urge to make it mine.

My eyes scan the hallway, making sure the coast is clear. I feel my heartbeat speed up - I have never been daring and rebellious before. I think I like how it makes me feel. The fear of getting caught...the excitement of what I'm about to take...

And before I know it; it's mine. I kneel down, my fingers wrapping around the cotton fabric, and concealing my prize in the palm of my right hand. I reach for the doorknob with my left just as I see movement in my periphery.

"Night again, Edward. See you later." Bella smiles at me while balancing her empty laundry basket on her hip.

"Good night, Bella. Sleep well." My fisted hand tightens its hold around the fabric as I swing the door open. I shut the door and rest my head against the wood. I take a few calming breaths as I twist the fabric in my hand.

Once my nerves settle and my heart slows down, I allow myself to enjoy my prize. Taking three steps across the room, I sit on the edge of my bed; the springs creaking with my weight. Turning my palm up, I slowly release my grip and allow my eyes to finally appreciate what I have been feeling for the past few minutes. What has been burning a hole in my hand, searing the skin.

I have never laid eyes on a pair of women's panties, let alone touch them before. I hold them up, my mind imagining how they would look on Bella. Where the lace would rest against her hips; how she would grip the sides to slide them off. These aren't new; they are worn and the frayed seams are proof.

I wonder if it was Bella that did this. Or was this from a former lover? Did he pull them and damage them?

As my mind fills with questions, I rub the pad of my thumb across fabric that would rest against her feminine parts. And that is when I realize that these aren't clean. And I can see...and feel...that they are soiled.

My eyes focus on the discolored area as I drag my fingernail across it; back and forth. Small pieces flake off of the crusted spot and I bring my finger up for closer inspection.

The idea of having a part of her on me is suddenly too much and I rush to the bathroom, scrubbing the skin raw.

Save me from bloodguilt, O God,

the God who saves me,

and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

I have overstepped the personal boundary I set for myself. This fascination, this need, to know everything about her has become too much. I pray for guidance to control myself. I put all my faith in the Lord to guide me on the right path.

This night, that path ends back in the kitchen where I grab a Ziploc bag, the new home for my prize. Instead of praying for forgiveness, I pray for them to forever smell of her.

Psalm 32

Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

"Mmmmmmm," Bella's voice carries through the silence in my room.

I don't have the willpower to fight the urge any longer. Where I was once strong and steadfast in my faith, I now crumble and waiver under the increasing lust I feel for Bella. As the noises continue from the next room, I slip out of my bed. Crossing to my dresser, I pull out the Ziploc bag with my prized possession.

Sinking down on the floor next to the vent, I palm her panties in one hand and look through the gaps in the metal grating. The sight before me takes my breath away. Her head is thrown back on her pillow, back slightly arched off her bed with one of her hands down the front of her sleep pants.

Caught up in the moment, watching this beautiful woman pleasure herself, I don't notice that the metal is digging into my cheek. I press myself even closer, needing to see as much as I can. My fingers rub over the crotch of her panties, almost the same way they count the beads on my rosary during prayer.

Guilt tries to creep into my heart, but my flesh rationalizes the behavior. I tell myself that it's okay because I'm not touching her. And although coveting is a sin, it is all I am guilty of. There's no commandment that says Thou shalt not watch, right?

My eyes close for a moment but the increasing rhythm of her breathing and the louder moans draw me back to the moment. I rise up on my knees and lean forward, fingers clutching onto the grate as she climaxes.

I continue to watch as she shudders from her self-gratification. When she gets up from the bed, I back away from my vantage point. I notice the uncomfortable tightness across the front of my pants as my erection presses up against the zipper. Although this isn't my first erection, it's the first time I've had a lust-driven one since I was a teenager.

Telling myself that it's my body's normal physiological response to stimuli, I attempt to assuage my growing guilt. For years I've been able to maintain a pure mind, body and soul. The weight of giving into the obscene desires of my body disgraces me.

Carefully, I place the panties back into their hiding place. Falling onto my knees, I pick up my rosary and begin praying for forgiveness.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.

I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord and you forgave the guilt of my sin."

Even though I felt contrite over watching her masturbate, I couldn't stop. It became a need. A compulsion. Something I looked forward to each night that she did it. And it was also a disappointment on nights that she fell asleep without touching herself.

I established new habits while I watched. The way I would watch her through the holes in the vent, my body bent in the customary position that I use to pray each night. The way my fingers would stroke over the fabric of her panties, back and forth across the spots that also touched her most intimate places. The way my heart and breathing would pick up as she worked herself into a frenzy as she would arch her back during her orgasm. The way my erection would feel uncomfortable as I continued to watch.

No matter how much guilt consumed me after her act, I couldn't stop.

I tried to find a pattern to her behavior, but there was none. It wasn't every night. Or every other night. Some weeks she went days without making the noises that my heart desired to hear. Other times, she would touch herself two nights in a row.

As the weeks passed, I still had not seen her completely unclothed. She often finished the act in various states of undress.

A bra on top and a hand down her pants.

Under her covers right before she went to sleep.

And my favorite to date was the time she wore her robe right before she was going to take a shower. That night I was able to see the rosy flesh of her hardened nipple, which she teased with the fingers of her other hand.

I continued to pray each night after I watched. I was able to ask for forgiveness and complete my nightly devotions at the same time. Over time I had convinced myself that it wasn't the worst sin that I could commit.

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

Tonight I tried to distract myself with my studies, but my concentration was lacking. Where I should be focused on the Acts of the Apostles, my ears tune in to the noises coming from the next room. When I finally hear the familiar creak of her bed, I know she is settling down for the night.

With the first audible moan, I scramble from my seat to grab my rosary and her panties. Sinking down to my knees, I press my forehead against the cool metal and squint. I fight to keep from making any noises tonight when my eyes settle on the glorious figure on the bed.

Spread out like an angel from heaven, the pale moonlight reflects off her bare skin. Tonight she isn't wearing a single stitch of clothing and I can see all of her. The swell of her breasts. Her flat abdomen and the gentle curve of her hips. The toned lines of her long, slender legs.

I shift my position on the floor, my erection already uncomfortable in my sleep pants.

As she continues to run her hands over her breasts she shifts on the bed, propping her feet against the mattress and letting her knees drop to the sides. A series of whimpers escape her full, parted lips as she strokes the bare flesh between her legs with two fingers. They circle and slide back and forth before she buries those two fingers inside of herself.

There is a noticeable wet spot on the front of my pants. I push the fabric down over my hips and notice the liquid seeping from the tip of my erect penis. Leaving the bunched up fabric around my knees, I continue holding onto my rosary in my left hand.

My eyes never stray from Bella's activities as her fingers continue to pump in and out of her aroused flesh. The desire I feel from watching her overtakes any aspirations I have for leading a pure life. I feel my chest heaving as I stare, unable to take my eyes away from the hand buried between her legs. A low groan escapes my throat before I can contain myself. Afraid of drawing attention to my secret viewing spot, I curl her panties in the palm of my right hand before stuffing them into my mouth.

Now with my hand free, I wrap it around my throbbing erection and begin to stroke myself. Subconsciously, my rhythm matches the one she uses. In. Out. Up. Down.

I force my eyes to remain open, not wanting to miss a single second of the act in front of me. My hips begin thrusting into my hand as Bella's begin to rise off the bed. I've watched enough to know that she's starting to get close. I feel a tightening in my lower abdomen and wonder if she feels the same thing before she climaxes.

The fingers of my left hand rub over the beads of my rosary. The cool feeling of them in my hand is a sharp contrast to the heat in my other hand. My grasp tightens on both objects and I'm thankful for the fabric in my mouth that muffles the noises that I would not have been able to contain. With a final pump of my hand, I feel my erection twitch before my hand is covered in a sticky liquid.

As I watch Bella's back arch off the bed, I'm surprised by the sound that leaves her mouth as she reaches her orgasm.

"Edward," she whines.

Two simple syllables bring the guilt crashing down on me as I stare at the contents in my hands - my rosary and my softening penis.

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.
For your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down upon me.
My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.


Vigilate et Orate = Watch and Pray