FanFic - Other
"Sexual Temptations"
Part 7
by Jez
Disclaimer: I don't own a thing (but if I did, I wouldn't share Michael =0P)
Summary: In the mid 1800's, Father Maxwell Evans arrives in America...
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Based Nehal's Sexual Temptations Challenge
As I wake up, I feel the weight of my love pressed against my back. Sliding from his arms, I rise from the bed quietly. He looks so peaceful in his sleep. Like the image of some child who has been blessed with the purity of heart and soul. Although I have no doubts that his psyche is unblemished by sin, faint lines of torment and remorse untimely crease the expanse of skin on his forehead. I run my fingers along his eyebrows as he yet again knits his brow in some trepidation of misery.

He is so young to carry the burdens of the world. I kiss his forehead gently as I leave him to his slumber. I have always prided on the release from anguish I have brought into the lives of God's children, and yet it seems that the one vexed man whom I wish to relieve of affliction with the whole of my heart's desire is enclosed from my touch.

I walk through the church as quietly as I can as to not disrupt the many souls harboring within the convent. Although there is still many in need within these walls, more than half of the new arrivals have found work on plantations and vineyards. Mr. Deluca himself was good-hearted enough to hire fifteen skillful men. Nevertheless, there are still many in need of employment.

I walk out into the morning air, inhaling in the rich fragrance of a new day born. I find Father Whitman at his morning prayers in the garden, the light of the rising sun placing a heavenly glow around his slim form. "Father?" He turns away from the marble statue of the Virgin Mary, his kind blue eyes troubled with some vast dilemma to which I know I will never be enlightened. I know Alexander well enough to leave him to combat his own turmoil alone. "I must speak to you about Father Evans."

Alexander rises from the ground and makes his way farther into the safety of the gardens. The faint smell of lilac dances on the morning breeze as he motions for me to sit beside him on a large stone bench. "Tell me what is wrong, Elizabeth."

I brush some wandering strands of my black hair behind my ear. "Alexander, he is just so troubled! He takes the pains of this life so deeply into his soul that he has lost faith in himself." I take a deep breath. "Sometimes I wonder if he has faith in our God at all."

Alexander takes my hand in his own and smiles gently. "Elizabeth, you have often told priests and nuns alike that the job of the devoted is not to save the world, but simply to try. It seems that you have yet to follow your own advice. Maxwell will come into his own if you give him time."

"But how do you know, Father? How can you be sure that he can find his way back to God without guidance?"

"Because I know the man. He will open himself up to the Lord once he knows himself and what he must do. Give him time."


"So you see, Father Whitman, I am rightly concerned about the intentions that Michael Guerin retains towards my daughter."

Mr. Deluca glares at Michael and his newfound family seated in a pew. Father Evans is performing the service splendidly -- the sermon he assembled this morning when he awoke is marvelous. "Mr. Deluca, I feel that this is a matter that you should discuss with your daughter. Perhaps her intentions towards Kyle Valenti are not what you would like. It seems to me that God's will may be distracting her from the marriage to which she has been promised."

Mr. Deluca turns his glare to me, the dark brown irises deepened into an inky inferno of blazing ebony. "Father, are you questioning my daughter's honor?"

I raise my hands in a gesture of peace. I should have know that my comment would only succeed to agitate the man further. "Sir, you misunderstand what it is that I am saying. I was merely suggesting that your daughter's heart does not belong to Mr. Valenti. Mr. Guerin is an honorable man. He would never take advantage of Maria. Perhaps this suspicion of yours is the Lord's way of revealing to you that this is not the life that He has planned for your daughter."

The infuriated man growls low in his throat. "I decide what is right for my daughter, Father. And I do know the intent of that. . . degenerate towards her is not one that I approve of." Mr. Deluca looks towards the front pew, where his wife and daughter sit next to the Valentis. Although the tension has lessened, both Maria and Kyle avoid contact with each other with the same vigilance. "I would like to ask a favor of you, Father."


Mr. Deluca turns to look at me, his eyes hard and determined. "Speak to Maria for me. Find out the state of her mind and turn her head away from this Guerin boy. I have tried to direct her on course, but she is tremendously headstrong. Perhaps she will listen to a man of God."

Thoughts fly through my head, creating turmoil on an already troubled vessel. If I refuse this man, then the church can no longer look forward to his generous and very sizable donations. With the onslaught of Irish immigrants, his charity is even more imperative than ever. But if I take this offer, I will be forced to influence a virtuous woman against her will. "I will speak to her, but do not establish your expectations too high. Maria is a conscientious, devout girl, but God articulates to her through her heart, not through me. I can only guide her to receive the message He has left in her soul."


"Father, how can you say I should marry Kyle Valenti?!? I do not love him! I cannot stand in front of God and country and pledge myself to a man I do not love! It is completely unfathomable! I fear my father has taken ill in his mind, for he would never have arranged this marriage if he were right in the head. He has been infected by sheer madness!"

I tune Maria out as she rambles on, her eyes flashing in anger. I knew from the start I would not be able to sway her from her selection of beau. Glancing around the churchyard, I cannot help but notice a tall, statuesque woman -- no, a vision of perfection -- roaming through the crowd. She glides past a group of children, her hair cascading down in a golden mane to frame her dazzling face. I am certain that she has never been here before; as the head of St. Patrick's Cathedral, I am acquainted with nearly every soul within miles. This angel of God who has only just landed in Ravensport walks up to Maria and I, and I cannot help but feel a shortness of breath.

"Good morning, Father." The divine beauty breaks out into a smile more dazzling as a sunburst. Before I can answer, one of Michael's children, Thomas, approaches.

"Miss Maria, I have learned a new poem. Would it pleasure milady if I were to recite it for you?"

Maria's face lights up with the radiance of a thousand moonlit roses bejeweled with sparkling dewdrops. "That would be wonderful, Thomas." The young boy flashed a victorious grin.

"Stars, you are unfortunate, I pity you,
Beautiful as you are, shining in your glory,
Who guide seafaring men through stress and peril
And have no recompense from gods or mortals,
Love you do not, nor do you know what love is.
Hours that are aeons urgently conducting
Your figures in a dance through the vast heaven,
What journey have you ended in this moment,
Since lingering in the arms of my beloved
I lost all memory of you and midnight."

If it is as all possible, Maria's smile grows even wider with enchantment. I pat the boy on the shoulder. "That was excellent, my son. Where is it that you have learned to charm young women so well, Thomas?"

The boy stiffens slightly, but recovers almost instantly. "The charm is my own, Father Whitman. The poem is written by one Johann von Goethe. Tess and my da are teaching me to read it."

"Goethe?" The angel beside me laughs slightly. "I suppose your da has a fancy for Shakespeare as well, laddie?" He nods his head. "Where is your da? I think that we should go and compliment him on his choice of poetry."

The boy pointed to the other side of the courtyard where Elizabeth and Michael are engaged in conversation. Smiling brilliantly, the young woman took towards Michael with Thomas in tow. I turn to Maria. "I think we are in order to give thanks as well. Shall we follow?" Maria nods.

"ISABEL!" Michael stands in shock as the exquisite seraph throws her arms around his neck. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he lifts her from the ground and twirls her around in a circle. "Dear God, girl, where on earth did you come from?"

Laughing, the golden child pulls herself from his embrace to take in the form of the man before her. "My ship landed in Maryland not more than a week ago." Wrapping her arms around Michael again, she tangles her graceful fingers in his shirt. "It is so good to see you again. Ireland was not home without you."

Giving Isabel one last hug, Michael turns to his curious audience. "Isabel, this is Father Whitman, Sister Mary Elizabeth Parker, Maria Deluca, and my son, Thomas O'Brien. Everyone, this is my sister, Isabel Guerin."

Part 6 | Index | Part 8
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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