FanFic - Other
"Sexual Temptations"
Part 8
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

My beloved turns to face me, the tender skin beneath her eyes darkened from a deficiency of sleep. I cringe with the knowledge that it was my afflictions that painted those stains marring her lovely features. "I never did properly thank you for what you did for me."

Turning away from me, my angel stirs the thick stew that she is preparing for dinner. "I just wish that I could do more for you, Maxwell." She looks at me over her shoulder, the sadness in her eyes speaking volumes to the remorse in my heart. This child of light should never be touched by the oppressive shadow of darkness. "No one with a soul as unadulterated as yours should feel such guilt and sorrow."

I take her slender hand and lead her to sit at the oak table, small crucifixes carved into the wood of the surface and in the high backs of the chairs. "You have done more for my soul than you will ever know, Sister." My Elizabeth nibbles the rosy skin of her lower lip slightly as she tucks her silken hair beneath her scarf.

"But even so, Father, you are a good man. Not even the best of men can perform the duties of a god. I admire your strength of character and envy your sense of morality, yet I would rid you of both if it would lessen your self loathing." She reaches out one of her delicate hands to caress the skin of my cheek. I lean into her gentle touch, covering her fingers with my own.

"I embrace my pains with my whole heart, for they are what have brought me to you. I am a simple man with a simple life. God placed me on this earth for you to redeem." I bring her dainty hand to my lips. Capturing the endless chocolate depths of her compassionate eyes with my own, I kiss the soft curve of her knuckles. "I would pray that my adversity intensify ten fold if it were you who would set my soul free from it's confinement."

An earnest smile spreads across her face, filling her angelic features with the splendor of her soul's exuberance. I feel an immeasurable amount of relief at succeeding to erase her memories of the night, if only for a single moment. Unable to resist the temptation that her luscious lips provide, I lean forward and cover them gently with my own.








I whip around, dropping the handful of small limestone pebbles I gathered along the road onto the ground. "Good God! What are you doing here?" Alexander grins at me, his hands folded behind his back in a practiced gesture of serenity.

"Keeping Maria away from you, by request of her father." His jesting manner rapidly fades into one of concern. "Michael, what on God's green earth are you doing on the Deluca's land? Have you no sense at all? I am aware that you love her, but there is too much at stake for you to be so impulsive."

Light suddenly filters through the rainbow panes of the stain glass window that leads to my immaculate goddess's chamber, casting a kaleidoscope of pigments out into the night. The crimson velvet of the curtains rustle as my shimmering fairy maiden draws them aside to open the window. I push Alexander into the hedge lining the mansion. His arms flail about his head as he struggles to rise, but I give him a hard look. "Not one word."

Maria leans over the wooden frame, her long blond curls pouring over her milky shoulder like a sparkling waterfall of the purest starlight. The soft glow of candles from the room behind her casts her elegant form in an celestial glow. "Michael, what are you doing here? If my father should detect you -- "

"Your father does not concern me, Maria. I would face death to see you." I smile up at her as she tries to hide the curve of exhilaration in her sensuous raspberry lips. "It is worth any punishment to see you. You are the very definition of beauty." Alexander laughs slightly -- as if he does not spout poetry at the sight of a glorious woman himself -- and I give him another look.

My honeyed enchantress smiles tenderly. "Still, you should not have come. Kyle and I will come by soon. It is too dangerous for you here."

"I know. I came to give you this." I produce a small box no larger than my fist from my jacket pocket and toss it up to her. My love catches it with lithe hands.

She turns the gift over in her hands. "May I open it?" At my nod, she carefully opens the box and pulls out a gold ring adorned with a single diamond. Turning it over in her palm, the precious jewel glitters in the faint light

In a vain effort to calm my nervousness, I bury my hands in my pockets. "Will you marry me, Maria?" My magnificent sprite raises her emerald gaze to mine, tears flowing in twin rivers down her roseate cheeks.

"Yes!" She laughs slightly as her voice cracks. "Of course I will!"

Feeling the desire to scale the wall so that I might brush the crystalline drops away, I back away from the window. "I love you more than life itself. Just know that." She straightens her back suddenly as she brushes back her multitude of curls.

"Michael, wait!" Maria disappears into her chamber. I pull Alexander from the bushes and take him away from the light of the mansion.

"I will be along in a moment. Do not let her see you." He gives me another grin and disappears into the darkness.

"Michael!" I follow the sound of her harmonious voice and find her treading towards me with the graceful rhythm of moonbeams reflected on a silver pond. Throwing her arms around my neck, she places butterfly kisses along my jaw and captures my lips in a passionate kiss. I can feel my body sigh as the world melts away into a faded memory.

My beloved releases me from the warmth of her loving embrace all too soon, and it takes the full restraint of my entire existence to prevent me from submitting again to the overpowering lure of her lips. Maria looks into my eyes, her own glowing with the light of a thousand angels. "I love you too, Michael."

I bury my face in the soft ringlets of her hair. "If I don't leave now, I never will." Pulling away from her sweet embrace, I back away at a snail's pace. The exquisite glimmer of her eyes follow my decent into the night.

"It is about time. Do you even comprehend how blessed you are that no one appeared at the window, Romeo?"

My eyes strain to see Alexander's frame hidden in the shadows of the vines. "You would have done the same thing, Father. Her love is worth any price I pay."


"I thought that you were careful."

Kyle walks down the aisle of Henderson's Mercantile, appearing to examine sacks of grain. "I WAS careful, Michael." He glances at me briefly out of the corner of his eye and lowers his tone to a whisper. "I tried my best to make our appearances at your farm seem innocent. Our fathers became suspicious nevertheless. If you had restrained yourself, Maria would not have been so disordered when her father arrived on your farm."

I glare at Kyle. "Aye, but if your fathers were to have come from the west, it would be me giving that lecture to you." I run my hands through my hair, struggling to keep my voice from rising. "This is bad, Kyle. VERY bad. We risk loosing everything."

"I am well aware of that." Kyle sighs and leans on a sack of wheat. "My father tells me that my wedding to Maria is to be advanced to next Monday."

"Don't worry. Alexander is on our side." I turn away from a display of small trowels to face my friend. "But if you lay a hand on Maria, you will live to regret it for a long, long time."

Kyle stands up straight and looks me in the eye. "I could say the same for Tess." I give a half-hearted laugh.

"Aye, you could." I glance around the shop, making certain that nobody has been eavesdropping. Only Henderson himself is in the store, going over his books behind the counter, and completely oblivious to our presence. "What are your intentions with Tess?"

Kyle shrugs. "My love for her is more powerful than I ever thought possible to love another. She is everything I could have wished for and more."

Glancing around another time, I pull Kyle through the doors and into the alley. Walking farther into the shadows, I lean back on the wall of the store. "Do you wish to marry her?" Kyle looks at me in shock.

"Yes, of course I do. I owe the entirety of my happiness to her alone."

I pull a small handkerchief from my shirt pocket. Unfolding the soft cotton gingerly, I reveal to him small golden wedding band. Kyle sucks in a breath. "It was my mothers." Folding the ring carefully back in the handkerchief, I look Kyle in the eye. "I have every intention of marrying Maria. I will do it in secret if I have to."

Kyle shakes himself from his stupor. "When do you plan to do this?"

"As soon as possible." I place the precious bundle back into my pocket. "But first we should see if it is at all possible to delay your wedding. There is still a chance that you will be able to convince your father to let you choose your own wife."

Kyle scratches the back of his head. "I do not think that is likely to happen, Michael. The Deluca's are enormously wealthy and influential. My father would not dare endanger his political career by angering Lawrence Deluca." He grins at me. "It is a trick that would be beneficial for you to master." I smile back.

"Well, I have yet to be accused of being sociable." Walking back towards the entrance of the alley, I look at Kyle over my shoulder. "We should start making our plans reality, Kyle, before it is too late."

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