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Emma spent her whole life running. Running away from foster homes, poor decisions, boring one-night stands and bad relationships. Chasing dreams, bail jumpers and the next train to the next new town. But if there was one method of escape she lived for, it was running on the beach.
Every morning before the beach patrons emerged and two hours before the tide, she soaked in the peaceful serenity of the atmosphere. She felt like a weightless cloud drifting alongside the ocean, the gentle breeze soft on her skin and the sand cool at her feet. Keeping a steady pace, the mist of the ocean spray cooled her face and the smell of the salty air engulfed her senses. She watched the waves roll in a rhythmic pattern, enjoying the sound of the water crashing along the sandy shore. It was like Emma’s roommate, Ariel, told her the day she moved to the sleepy, southern town; jogging barefoot on the beach was quite the religious experience. And indeed it was.
Before Emma came to Storybrooke, South Carolina she used the pavement to jog. Watching the cars go by and listening to her IPod, trying to tune out the roaring sound of lawn mowers and noisy neighbors. After a bit of coaxing from her roommate, her mornings were instantly better when she started jogging by the Ocean. Shedding the stress of the world from her shoulders and throwing her cares to the wind was actually quite freeing. She had to walk for a month barefoot in the sand first to allow her ankles to strengthen and adjust to a more natural gait but after that, it was one of the best things she had ever tried.
When Ariel first told her about barefoot running on the beach, constantly droning on about it, Emma thought it sounded a bit insane and a little dangerous. What if there was glass in the sand or rocks or other jagged objects that she could cut her feet on? It turned out, Storybrooke had one of the cleanest beaches Emma had ever come across. And the sand was smooth as silk.
The colors of the sky were broken, reflecting off of the ripples of water as Emma took in the view of the sun rising over the horizon. It was quiet and peaceful and she was the only one there this early in the morning. (It was a pretty secluded beach anyway because it was near the outskirts of town.) She normally rose before dawn and showed up while the sand on the shore was hard enough to run on and almost like pavement with a little bit of cushion. The mornings when the sunrise came during that perfect time before the tide, were a blessing.
Emma thought about her plans for the day, her job and all of the other important things that eventually became steady in her life when she decided to settle in one spot for a change. She went from a bail bonds person to a deputy literally overnight before eventually being elected as Sheriff after the tragic death of the former one; she still wasn’t sure how that happened, but she wouldn’t take it for granted. Storybrooke had slowly started to feel like home and at least now she didn’t have to leave town to catch criminals.
She could feel the energy sap from her body as she made her way, falling into a slightly slower pace to save her strength. Her heart was thumping in her chest as her feet landed softly into the moist sand, beads of sweat forming at her forehead. Even this early in the morning, the small southern town was still a bit warm and muggy in June.
Continuing her journey towards home, she gazed over the ocean, vaguely catching a glimpse of a dark figure in the water. Emma looked down at the Fitbit on her wrist, seeing that it was six o’clock in the morning. Of course it was. Because that was around the time the sun rose. So apparently there was someone who was crazier than her. The water wasn’t freezing but it was still too cold to be taking a dip in the water at this hour.
Emma eventually caught a better view of the mysterious, moving figure in the ocean; dark hair and strong arms swimming parallel to the beach. There was quite a range of ocean between them, but as Emma gained more distance, she could see that it was a man who started emerging from the water and heading towards the beach. Soon she could make out the face of the swimmer. A very handsome face. Emma’s eyes traveled down every inch he was exposing as he trudged towards the shore, ocean water cascading down his heavenly form.
Every step revealed more of his body; broad shoulders, damp hair matted to his toned chest, biceps bulging and glistening from the reflection of the sun as he lifted his hands, running them through his wet, inky black hair. As the waves crashed around him, a sheath of water dripped down his body, outlining the ripples of his abs as he walked, a thin happy trail led her curious eyes from the navel of his stomach to the treasure hidden behind a rather small pair of trunks.
Emma bit back a moan at the sight. The man was drop dead gorgeous. His toned legs were almost fully revealed as he swung his hand, splashing water in front of him before approaching the shore. demetevler escort He bent down and Emma’s eyes followed his movements, realizing there was some clothes and a towel folded neatly in the sand. He grabbed the towel, drying his body, scrubbing the material through his chest hair before dressing.
He turned so his back was facing her and pulled on a pair of jean shorts, zipping and fitting the button through the loop, latching his belt buckle over the front. She was fixated on him the whole time and at some point he craned his head, most likely sensing the pair of eyes that were burned into his back, and he caught her staring at him. Before she could amend her brazenness, she caught a glimpse of his stunning blue eyes, getting lost in them before he took them away, looking ahead again.
He paused momentarily before bending down to grab his black shirt, giving her a nice view of his ass. The intense heat of the sun could not compare to how hot she became; and it wasn’t because of the warm sun or the strenuous exercise she had engaged in. As he came back up, pulling the sleeves of his shirt over his arms, he looked at her again, a little longer this time. His eyes connected with hers, flashing her a boyish grin as he buttoned his shirt from the top to the bottom. Emma felt flushed, convinced that her cheeks were pink with blush as she reached for the thick strap of her tank top, clutching on to it and pulling it away from her skin as though it were suffocating her. She was certain he was drinking her in with hungry eyes before he stopped himself and reverted his gaze back to the ocean.
When he adjusted his collar and finally turned around to face her, there were four things Emma had not noticed before that moment – scratch that – five things. She had not realized that she had no longer been jogging, just standing there ten feet in front of him and watching him shamelessly. Her mouth was hung open. Eyes unable to blink. And despite having ran for five miles, her breathing had stopped. Oh and she also had not realized he was a priest.
The clerical collar gave him away and she had been too entranced to notice that he had even put it on. To say that she was highly disappointed at this revelation was an understatement. She quickly removed her hand from her tank top and shifted awkwardly, standing up straighter as though she would be chastised for her posture.
She had heard that there was a new priest in town but she was not a church-goer so she hadn’t really cared enough to find out who he was. And it was a good thing, she rationalized. She couldn’t even imagine showing up to mass every Sunday and having to stare at this man while he delivered the sermon from the pulpit, speaking words of praise. She would probably find herself worshiping the priest instead of God himself; she would certainly fall to her knees for him. Dear Lord, it’s been far too long since she’s been with a man.
Emma somehow managed to gather her wits and cursed the heavens above as she began doing stretches, tearing her eyes away to cover up the fact that she had not just stopped in her tracks to gaze at the man of God before her.
He collected his towel and started to walk towards her with a sparkle in his eyes as their gazes met again. Approaching, he gave her a friendly nod as the close proximity offered her a better view of his face. His chin and perfectly chiseled jaw were covered in scruff that her fingertips were itching to touch, and his crystal eyes were just as blue as the ocean behind him. She was guessing he was in his late twenties, around her age. It really should have been a sin to be a priest and look that good.
She bent her left knee back and reached behind her to grab her foot, stretching out her leg, trying her best to maintain balance with her other foot, despite the strong intensity of his stare.
Holy hell. His accent was British and the sound rippled through her, settling in her gut. She had to release her foot, planting it back in the sand to keep herself from falling like an idiot as she nodded back, speaking quietly.
“Morning Father.” She winced at how she addressed him but her thoughts were at war with herself. On one hand, she was wishing he was not a priest, but at the same time she was imagining ways she could make him break all of his oaths as she addressed him as ‘Father’ in the throes of passion. “So you’re the new priest I’ve heard about?”
“Aye. Just moved here from England,” he informed her, extending his hand. “Killian Jones, father of St. James Catholic Church at your service.”
Emma was practically swooning at the fluent words as her eyes dropped briefly before darting back to his, summoning the strength within her to speak. “Emma Swan. Sheriff of Storybrooke at your service,” she introduced with a light playfulness to her tone as she shook his hand, feeling sparks from his touch. His grip was strong and his fingertips were calloused and she melted, escort demetevler conjuring images of all the ways he could make her beg for mercy with those hands of his. She shuddered at the impure thoughts and shrugged them off as she removed her hand from his grip.
He seemed perplexed at this information and cleared his throat. “Pleased to meet you Sheriff,” he spoke formally, his eyes never leaving hers.
“Likewise.” There was a pause and he seemed to fumble for words as he scratched behind his ear. Which was odd for a priest, since he spoke in front of large groups of people attending his service. “So, how do you like it here?” she asked, breaking the silence.
“It’s nice. The residents here are friendly and so far I’m adjusting quite nicely. I certainly love living near the ocean and being able to get my morning laps in.”
“I know what you mean. I don’t know what I’d do without my morning jogs.”
He nodded understandingly and looked down at her feet. Do your normally run without shoes?” he asked curiously, a glint of amusement in his eyes as he looked up at her again.
“Yeah, it’s actually a great workout and strengthens the smaller muscles in your lower body and improves balance and coordination. But it is a bit challenging at first before you get used to it.”
“Ah, I see. Maybe I’ll have to try it sometime. I do love a challenge.”
“You’re more than welcome to join me,” she offered a little flirtatiously.
He blushed and smiled shyly. “I’ll think about it.” Good God, this man was trying to kill her. Could he be anymore adorable? “I have to say I haven’t seen you at one of my services since I’ve moved here.”
She laughed a little at the thought of going to church. Not that she had anything against it. She just wasn’t religious. “Yeah, I’ve been busy trying to protect the town of Storybrooke. You know, battling my own demons in the form of criminals and drunks.”
He chuckled softly, flashing her a small smile. “Ah, of course, but you can never be too busy to worship the lord.”
“Right.” Emma smiled sheepishly. If the circumstances were different she’d probably scowl and argue with him, but she didn’t wake up at five in the morning and put on a small pair of shorts and a tank top to be chastised for not going to church by some young, ridiculously handsome priest.
“No pressure. But if you ever felt like it, I would love to see you there.”
Yeah, no pressure her ass. “I’ll think about it.”
“Fair enough. Well I should let you get back to your jog.”
She nodded as he waved her goodbye before walking off. And she couldn’t help but watch him leave, her eyes following his ass. She would certainly be praying tonight. Praying to have a certain priest between her legs, worshipping her with his tongue. A devilish smile fell upon her lips as she took off running along the beach. God help her, she was going to hell.
Killian loved the ocean. He loved being one with nature; one with God. He was in his element with effortless strokes, feeling the ocean sway around him as he slid through the water. He started swimming since he was five and ever since then it’s been his escape. It made him feel free and weightless in a world filled with hatred, sins and transgressions. He could pray and think and just be himself with no one judging him, except his brother whom he knew was looking down on him from heaven.
He may have been a priest but he wasn’t perfect. And the death of his brother reminded him of that everyday. He and his brother were raised Catholic and their father was a priest so naturally they had taken the same path. Killian had always wanted to be a man who his father could be proud of, who his brother would be proud of. And now, who has he become? A man on his own with nothing but the church, the Ocean and God of course. He had tried to convince himself that the boat crash two years ago while he was behind the wheel was not his fault but it didn’t work very well.
Killian shot up, feet kicking below him until he broke the surface with a gasp, hair clinging to his forehead as he dunked his head back into the water and swam towards the shore. Once his feet found the ocean floor, he steadied himself, running his hands over his face and through his hair. Making his way to the beach, the coolness of the air blew through him, sending shivers down his spine. He splashed the water in front of him, feeling the ocean between his fingertips one last time before he stepped out and reached his clothes.
The sun was beaming down, fully risen in the sky as Killian dried himself, thinking about his next sermon and other things he had planned at the church for the day. He still hadn’t finished unpacking since he arrived in Storybrooke a few days ago, so that was another thing on his to-do list.
In his peripheral, he could see someone jogging. Normally he swam when no one else was on the beach. He would have loved to have shown up demetevler escort bayan there earlier, it was much later in England but he had to follow the curfew of the beach so he tried his best to adjust to the time change. He didn’t lift his eyes because he was a bit embarrassed from the fact that whoever this jogger was has now seen the priest in nothing but his trunks. He was afraid of who it might be and hoped that they would just pass by and not think to approach him.
Killian turned towards the ocean and began dressing, but he couldn’t help but feel a pair of eyes burn into his back. Couldn’t a man dress in peace at six in the morning? He finally looked behind him to see who in the bloody hell was insistent upon getting a show out of watching him getting dressed. When his eyes fell across her, he gulped and quickly peeled his eyes away, not quite believing what he saw.
Jesus Christ, she was breathtaking. Like an Angel had fallen from heaven. He had to steady his breathing before he continued to dress himself.
He had to look again, this time giving her an appreciative stare, taking in all of her exquisite features. She was jogging and had her hair pulled back into a ponytail and she was only wearing a white tank top and a small pair of shorts.
She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid his eyes on.
Her emerald green eyes sparkled in the sunlight, her cheeks flushed from running and her pink lips were parted slightly as she stared back at him.
His eyes drifted over her chest and the swell of her breasts peeking out from the top of her shirt and bouncing lightly as she ran. Unconsciously he groaned under his breath, willing his eyes to continue down her form. Her flat stomach, soft curves. A pair of long legs that were toned and tan, luscious thighs. Killian tore his eyes away again, swallowing thickly as he looked over the ocean to calm himself a bit. He was lucky that he was wearing trunks underneath his jeans that would hopefully help contain the bulge in his shorts.
He should have just walked away, not looking back. He should have just forgotten about her. He should have not tried to tempt fate. But it would of have been rude to ogle her and then not approach and introduce himself. He was a priest and it was his belief and obligation to treat every person with respect and kindness.
When he turned around, he was surprised to see that the lass had stopped jogging. She seemed perplexed. And if she were trying to catch her breath, she was doing an excellent job at hiding it. He approached her holding a smile and greeted her when he realized what a mistake he had made. She was even more striking up close. She was panting softly, her breasts heaving and he could see her erect nipples poking out from underneath her shirt. She was wearing a sports bra underneath but it did nothing to hide them.
Emma was dripping with sweat and sin. Much like a temptress trying to challenge his faith and beliefs.
He introduced himself and shook her hand, his heart racing as he brushed his fingertips along her skin. Learning that she was the Sheriff intrigued him, although he didn’t know why. Maybe it was because she was a person of authority, someone the town looked up to; he hoped to gain that status with the people of Storybrooke some day. Or maybe it was the way she told him “at your service” and way she batted her eyes and smiled at him.
Killian felt like a bleedin’ fool, he was always so cool and collected, speaking with confidence; his brother always told him to use a captain’s voice when preaching, but somehow this woman’s gaze left him inept. He managed to keep his voice steady as he spoke, and everything seemed to go smoothly after that until he brought up church and she seemed off-put. He was never one for forcing people to go to church, that was not his forte.
He was really trying to gauge whether or not she would ever be attending his service so that at least he could try to be prepared for her presence. But something told him he could never really be prepared for her. He certainly wasn’t prepared the first moment he laid eyes on her. By the end of the conversation, he was confident that he didn’t creep her out or derail her from going to church altogether. When he walked away, heading towards the road where his car was parked, he waited until she started running before he turned to watch her.
As if her front wasn’t deliciously tempting enough, then there was her behind. Her strong thighs were on full display underneath the material she used as shorts and her ass was so round and perfect, he had to turn and look away, his arousal becoming too much. He cursed himself as he walked away. When he got home, he had to take a cold shower to cleanse himself of any sinful thoughts that the striking blonde temptress had initiated.
The next few weeks, Emma followed her normal routine, jogging when she wasn’t patrolling the streets or throwing criminals in jail. Whenever she showed up to the beach at six o’clock, he was there, but thankfully he stayed in the water, at least until she was gone. It was better that way. She already had dirty thoughts of him as it was. She didn’t need to continuously see the hot priest emerging from the ocean, showing off his perfect form every time.
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