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       The Saint, p.37

         Part #5 of The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz
 

  coat, put his arm in her arm and force marched him down the street. “Let’s talk about something else.”

  “Can we talk about your lips?”

  “They’re lips.”

  “I bet they taste like strawberries and poetry.”

  “What does poetry taste like?”

  “I don’t know. But I’d love to find out.”

  Wyatt stopped walking and stood in the light under a streetlamp. The snow whirled like a dervish around him.

  “I walked right into that line,” she said. “I’m smarter than that. I don’t fall for lines.”

  “You want to fall for it. Fall for it, Elle.”

  She stood outside the circle of light. Wyatt pulled his hand out of his pocket and crooked a finger at her.

  Søren was across the ocean and Wyatt stood there right in front of her surrounded by light and snow. And he had a smile on his face and tattoos on his hands of German fairy tales. He loved writing so much he’d inked words into his very skin. That alone deserved a kiss. But only one.

  She stepped into the light.

  The kiss started soft and careful, as if he feared shattering the moment by touching too much of it at once. She gripped the front of his distressed leather jacket and pulled him closer. The kiss deepened and Wyatt slipped his tongue between her lips and wound his fingers through her hair. The kiss went on a long time, longer than she should have let it go on. It went on long enough she almost forgot who she belonged to, almost forgot about the white collar with the lock in the back and the man who gave it to her. Wyatt kissed nothing like Søren did. Wyatt explored with his kisses. Søren conquered with his.

  The snow fell all around them and yet she didn’t smell winter.

  She broke away and took a step back.

  Wyatt took a deep breath and the air turned white around him.

  “Damn,” he said. “I was wrong.”

  “About what?”

  “You don’t taste like poetry. Poetry tastes like you.”

  And at that Eleanor knew he had her.

  So it began. Since she’d told Wyatt sex was off the table, he didn’t even ask. He didn’t do anything but kiss her every chance he had their first five days together. She made sure to give him a lot of chances. He met her after class and they did homework together. They ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together. They went to a party together. They hung out in his dorm room with a couple of his friends and watched TV together. They fought over the popcorn so vociferously Wyatt’s two friends got up and left, saying they couldn’t watch TV with so much sexual tension in the room as it interfered with the reception. With the room to themselves they made out for two hours on Wyatt’s bed. He lay on top of her and she slipped her hands under the back of his T-shirt. She loved the way his skin felt, so soft and smooth. He didn’t have Søren’s lean muscle mass or his height. She and Wyatt were far more evenly matched than she and Søren. He felt like an equal, a friend. But then he started to lift her shirt and all feelings of friendliness jumped out the fourth-floor window to their deaths.

  “Wyatt …”

  “Please?”

  One please and she gave up the fight.

  “Okay.”

  Wyatt pulled off her shirt. He unhooked her bra and slowly slid it off her arms.

  He stared at her naked breasts, and she lay there letting him look at her. She waited for him to say something, expected him to say something. Instead he put his mouth to better use. He brought his lips down onto her right nipple and gently sucked. As he kissed her nipples, licked and teased them, she watched him and grew more and more aroused. She dug her fingers into his hair as she felt this overwhelming feeling of tenderness for him. He seemed so young to her, so innocent. She wanted to hold him to her breasts, keep him safe, protect him. He should be naked and underneath her while she teased his body the way he teased hers. With him on top of her, she couldn’t help but push her hips into his. He pushed back and soon Eleanor felt her climax building. She shuddered in his arms as a wave of pleasure crashed over her and through her.

  “Did that happen?” Wyatt asked, holding himself up over her.

  “Did what happen?” She decided to play innocent.

  “Did you come?”

  “I take the Fifth.”

  “Elle …” Wyatt gave her a serious, almost pleading look.

  “Yes, I did.” She laid her hand on the side of his face.

  “That was the sexiest thing that has ever happened to me.” Wyatt pressed his forehead to hers.

  She grinned and kissed him quick. “It happened to me more than you.”

  “It happened to us. With us. I like saying us. Can I say it some more?”

  “Wyatt, he’s back in three days.” She dreaded the conversation she and Søren would have about Wyatt, but not telling him seemed unthinkable.

  “I don’t care about him. I care about us. We weren’t even having sex and you came underneath me. It was so fucking sexy, and I’m about to come from talking about it.”

  “You can come if you want.”

  “Do you want me to?”

  “You’re asking my permission?”

  “You’re the woman. You make the sex rules.”

  She grinned up at him. She made the sex rules? She kind of liked the sound of that.

  “You can. I want you to.”

  “Yes, ma’am.” He brought his mouth down to hers again and kissed her with a roughness that shocked her. She wrapped a leg around his back and pushed her breasts into his chest. He moaned in the back of his throat as he ground his pelvis into hers. She turned her head to give him access to her neck. The sight of his tattooed hand and forearms against the sheets made her question her “sex off the table” rule. Right now she wanted him—on the table or off.

  Wyatt’s breathing grew ragged as he moved against her. God, she wanted to push him onto his back right now and hold him down. She’d love to pin those tattooed forearms to the bed. She’d work her hips against him, bring him close to coming and then stop … bring him close to coming again and then stop again…. She’d torture him like that until he begged her to let him come. And maybe if he begged enough, she’d let him.

  Instead she held him as his body trembled from his own orgasm before going still. He lay on top of her, barely moving, only lightly kissing her neck as he caught his breath.

  “I am going to fall in love with you,” Wyatt whispered. “Right … now.”

  He closed his eyes and she said nothing. What was there to say?

  She shimmied out of her jeans. With him in nothing but his boxers and her in nothing but her panties and his Smashing Pumpkins T-shirt, they spooned in his bed and slept together. She’d known Søren for almost four years, and she’d never slept in his arms. She’d been with Wyatt five days and she’d fallen asleep in his arms and woken up still wrapped up in them. She’d felt so cherished and so wanted and so … normal—for once—that it killed her to leave his arms and his bed. Since she was fifteen she’d felt Søren’s love for her like a blessing. That morning in Wyatt’s bed was the first time loving a priest felt like a burden.

  That Friday evening she went to Kingsley’s like always. She and Søren would stake out the music room and Søren would talk to her about various aspects of S&M she needed to understand. He also made her write for him. He wanted to know what she most desired when she imagined them as lovers. Those were her favorite homework assignments he’d given her—writing out sexually explicit fantasies of erotic bondage and torture. She loved their Friday-night training sessions, counting down the minutes until she could be with him again. But Søren had been in Rome for three weeks now. She came to Kingsley’s tonight simply to be alone with her thoughts, her fears, her terrifying feelings for Wyatt.

  Wyatt had asked her to go out with him that night, but she’d lied and said she had to work. Some sort of dinner party was happening in Kingsley’s dining room. Eleanor avoided it, hiding out in the music room. She sat near the piano, hoping to feel closer to Sø
ren. It didn’t work. From her backpack. she pulled Søren’s most recent letter to her.

  My Little One,

  I wish you could be here with me. I strolled through the Galleria Borghese today and tried to imagine all the inappropriate remarks you would make about the statues in their various states of undress. It’s a special kind of torture to be without you among great beauty. I’ve seen the statues before and marveled at them. What I missed today was seeing you seeing them. This city is old and tired, but it would become young again in your eyes. I don’t know if we could ever come to Rome together, although I dream of such a day. I have friends here. I seem to bump into them wherever I go. The city is crawling with priests. After a feast day, sometimes literally.

  I hope your classes are going well. I’m sorry I had to be gone so long. I think of you every day, every night. I hope you aren’t too lonely and that Kingsley is behaving himself in my absence.

  I passed some graffiti today I knew you’d find amusing—cloro al clero. You see it painted near Vatican City. It means “poison the clergy” but please don’t let it give you any ideas.

  My trip here has been successful. I left you as Rev. Marcus Stearns, SJ. I’ll return to you Rev. Dr. Marcus Stearns, SJ. You are under orders never to call me Reverend, Doctor or Marcus. You may call me Father Stearns at church, Sir in your collar and Søren when I’m inside you.

  I’m spending the evening with several Jesuits I went to seminary with. I should go now. Soon I’ll be home to you. Home, in case you were wondering, is not Denmark nor New York nor Wakefield nor any city, state or country. I’m home when I’m with you.

  Jeg elsker dig. (Yes, I know how much it turns you on when I speak Danish.)

  The letter was signed with an ornate S with a slash through it, Søren’s private signature. As she looked up from the letter she saw Kingsley watching from the doorway to the music room.

  “What’s his name, Elle?” Kingsley asked from the doorway.

  “Who?”

  Kingsley walked over to her and pulled the collar of her shirt down. She knew he touched the slight red mark Wyatt had left on her chest from last night’s kisses.

  “Tell me everything right now.”

  “Kingsley, I’m in trouble.”

  “Pregnant?”

  “Worse.”

  “What’s worse than pregnant?”

  She brushed tears off her face with the back of her hand and took a deep breath.

  “I think I’m in love.”

  28

  Eleanor

  KINGSLEY TOOK THE NEWS BETTER THAN SHE EXPECTED. He listened and asked no questions, not even when she finished her tale.

  “He’s in love with me, King. I never expected anyone other than Søren would ever fall in love with me. He must be a masochist,” Eleanor said with a grim and mirthless laugh. “I guess anyone in love with me would have to be a masochist.”

  Kingsley laughed behind his tumbler of Scotch.

  “You said it, not me. But I doubt he is one. Or even a submissive.”

  “Then why does he want to do everything I tell him to do?”

  “Because he is a vanilla teenage boy desperate to please, desperate to keep you. A male submissive submits out of desire, not desperation. And a man in love with a woman in love with another man is the secondmost desperate creature on earth.”

  “What’s the first?”

  “A man in love with a man in love with another woman.”

  Eleanor laughed. Kingsley didn’t.

  “I didn’t know I could feel this way. It’s not like I love Søren any less. I feel like I have this second heart I didn’t know was there until I met Wyatt. I didn’t know you could do that, could care about two people that much at the same time.”

  “Welcome to polyamory.” Kingsley sat his drink down.

  “Polyamory?”

  “Poly means multi. Amory means love. It’s common in our world, having more than one lover. I don’t mean lover in the sexual sense alone. I mean loving two people.”

  “Sounds like a nightmare.”

  “Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who said there were two great tragedies in life—getting what you want and not getting what you want? Polyamory is the tragedy of getting everything you want all at the same time. Still, anything’s better than monogamy, oui?”

  “I feel … horrible.” She buried her face in her hands before looking up to stare at the piano. “But I can’t stop. Every day I tell myself, ‘Okay, I’ll break it off with Wyatt today.’ And every day, I don’t. We fooled around last night. We slept together, even. I’ve never done that with any guy before—slept in the same bed. No sex, but I wanted to. I wanted to tie Wyatt down and make him beg for it….” She exhaled through her nose. “Shit, did I say that out loud?”

  Kingsley only grinned.

  “You did.”

  “Sorry.”

  “Don’t be sorry. No one in this room can judge you. I’ve fucked two different people today. And likely a third before the night is over.”

  “That should help me feel less horrible, but it doesn’t. A little jealous, though.” She tried to smile.

  “This should make you feel less horrible. He knew this would happen. I would say he wanted it to.”

  “Søren wanted me to fall for someone else?”

  “You think he is making you wait so long for him for no other reason than to torture you?”

  “Well, yeah.”

  “It’s part of it.” Kingsley sat back and threw his long booted legs up on the back of the sofa and crossed his ankles. “But the truth is he loves you. And he’s a Catholic priest. And he can’t marry you. And he can’t give you children. And he can’t hold your hand while you walk through Washington Square Park and kiss you under a streetlamp in the snow where all the world can see you. And if that’s something you want, he wants you to have it. Sex will seal you to him. You spend a night in his bed and you will never want to leave it. If you are going to get out, you need to do it now before it’s too late.”

  “I want them both.”

  “If le prêtre would allow that, would your boy allow it?”

  She shook her head.

  “No. He’d hate that. The first day he wanted to know everything about Søren. Now he flinches if I even mention him.”

  “Then you have a choice to make. But make it soon and make it clean.”

  “Make it clean?”

  Kingsley sat his drink on the side table and, with adroit fingers, quickly unbuttoned his white shirt. He pulled the fabric to the side to bare a large scar that looked recently healed.

  “Bullet wound,” he said. “Nearly killed me. Not the shot, however. The bullet shattered on a rib. They had to dig out thirty pieces of silver. You want to shoot someone? Have the decency to make it clean. In and out, straight through. No hope.”

  “No hope? That’s brutal, King.”

  “You say he’s an aspiring writer. Break him, then.” Kingsley sipped his Scotch and laughed to himself. “It’ll be good for his art.”

  He started to button his shirt, but Eleanor stopped him with a hand on his chest. She pressed her hand against the scar tissue. He didn’t seem surprised when she touched his chest. Not surprised and not at all displeased.

  “This nun at my school always said Hell was the absence of hope,” Eleanor said, tracing the hard line of the scar. She couldn’t imagine how much pain Kingsley had suffered, how he’d even survived such a wound. But it was beautiful in a way, this scar of his. She almost wanted to kiss it.

  Kingsley covered her hand with his.

  “Then your nun was never in love with someone she couldn’t have. If you care about this boy at all, give him no hope.”

  He raised his hand and traced her bottom lip with his thumb.

 
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