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Sweat trickled down between my breasts as I awkwardly jogged through the departures terminal, scanning the waiting areas for my gate number. Something pointy in my backpack was digging into my side with every step, and I hitched the bag higher, dodging around a Korean family. I finally got to my gate and rushed up to the woman at the podium, panting and holding out my crumpled boarding pass.
She glanced at it and then gave me a disapproving look, her eyes lingering on the tattoo on the side of my neck. “This plane has finished boarding, Miss. I’m afraid you’re too late.”
“Are you sure I can’t still get on?” I gasped, my heart sinking.
She pulled a walkie-talkie from under the podium and said something into it. She was answered by a staticky voice on the other end. “I’m afraid the plane has already left the gate. If you go to the airline counter they’ll assign you another flight.”
I dropped my backpack on the floor and considered lying down next to it. I was so tired. After taking a moment to come to terms with my new situation, I heaved the heavy backpack over my shoulder and made my slow way back to the airline counters. It was already 9pm and the next flight to New York didn’t leave until 7 the next morning. Of course. A night in the airport would certainly be the cherry atop the ice cream Sunday this week had already been. Maybe if I was lucky I’d get a cold too.
I tucked my new boarding pass away and wandered off to find my gate; I would not miss this next flight. The airport was already emptying out fast. Most of the red-eye flights had already left, and though the airport was still technically open all night, only a skeleton crew of employees remained in the building.
At the gate for my 7am flight I found a cozy corner with a long padded bench. I’d spent the night in worse places. I settled down with my iPod and a book and used my backpack for a pillow. The book I’d chosen to read on the plane was one of my favorite romance novels. It had a pretty tame cover, so unless someone recognized it, they wouldn’t know I was reading smut in public. I liked that; pretending it was just any novel when I was secretly getting slippery between the legs turned me on even more.
I was just getting into the story when a man wandered into the nearly empty gate area, looking up at the gate numbers. He was older than me but not by much, maybe thirty. He was wearing a black dress shirt tucked into black pants and pulling a rolling suitcase. His face was handsome but rather earnest-looking for my taste.
I watched him over the top of my book and hoped he wouldn’t invade my private corner. He sat down on the bench opposite me. “Hello,” he said, smiling at me. “I’m Matthew.”
I rested the book face-down on my stomach and reached across the aisle to shake his hand. “I’m Francesca. Frankie.” He was cuter up close. I’d always had a thing for blue eyes. But ever so innocent looking. Not the type of guy who’d fuck me against a wall and pull my hair.
“Did you also miss the plane to New York?” he asked.
I nodded. “This is pretty good spot to sleep, though.”
He nodded absently. “I think I’m going to try to find some dinner before everything closes. Would you care to join me?”
I wasn’t very hungry but I agreed anyway. What else was I going to do with my evening? We gathered our bags and set off in the direction of the main terminal. “So what are you going to do in New York?” my new best friend Matthew asked.
I cleared my throat around the lump that immediately formed there at his words. “Family stuff,” I said, brushing the words aside with my hand. “I’m from there, but I’ve been living out here for a few years.”
“What about this place?” he said, pointing to an open shop. “It looks like they have sandwiches.” We purchased some rations to see us through the night. “Should we eat here?” Matthew asked, “Or go back to our gate?”
“Let’s go back,” I suggested. “That corner feels like home already.”
“One thing I hate about airports,” Matthew said, as we trudged back the way we’d come, “is that you have to drag your stuff with you wherever you go.”
“They should have lockers or something,” I agreed.
“Or if people could be trusted not to steal…” he said.
“Well yes, obviously,” I laughed. “If human nature were different that would certainly solve a lot of pesky problems.”
“Don’t you think humans are inherently good?” he asked as we sat down on our benches again.
“Of course not. Do you?” I asked incredulously, unwrapping my sandwich on my knees.
“I believe all people are born good.”
“That’s some enlightenment thinking shit,” I scoffed. “‘Tabula Rasa’ and all that. I’ve read a lot of psychology; I don’t think you’re correct.” I took a bite of my sandwich and he did the same. We chewed quietly for a minute. “Gods this is nasty,” I laughed. “Airport food, right?”
“Gods?” he asked quietly.
“Whichever ones are listening.” I hoped I hadn’t offended my only airport friend too badly. I could ankara escort come on strong when the topic was something I was passionate about. The subjects of science and religion were particular passions of mine.
We ate quietly for a while. I rejected my sandwich for a bag of chips, but Matthew devoured everything he’d bought. “You can have the rest of my sandwich if you want,” I offered. “I’m not going to finish it.”
“Are you sure?” he asked before reaching over and taking it.
“So what are you doing in New York?” I asked, hoping to get the conversation rolling again on a neutral topic.
Matthew chewed and swallowed. “I’ve been assigned to lead a congregation there.” I raised my eyebrows. “I’m a Catholic priest.”
“Well.” I said. That’s one way to kill a conversation, Frankie. I ate some chips.
“I’m guessing you’re not a believer?”
“You’d guess right,” I smiled. “Atheist and proud.”
There was another long silence. I thought about listening to my music. If he didn’t want to sit with me he could move. I was here first.
“Did you ever believe?” he asked quietly. He looked sad, staring at me with those big blue eyes.
“When I was a kid, I guess,” I said, winding a strand of long black hair around my index finger. “My parents told me about god but we never went to church. It wasn’t much of an issue until I was in in my twenties and I started really reading stuff. The more I learned about how the world works, the less the myth made sense.”
“Do you think you’ll ever come back to the church?” he asked. I wondered if he was excited. The chance to convert a real life atheist and he had all night.
“I’d need compelling proof,” I stated bluntly, letting the strand of hair fall from my finger in a spiral curl. “The laws of physics and nature make sense to me and they can be tested and proven.” I sat up to face him and smirked. “What have you got?”
“Well the Bible is the word of God—”
“The Bible is a circular argument,” I cut him off. “You only think it’s the word of god because it says it’s the word of god. What else?”
He looked a little ruffled. “Well,” Matthew said, leaning back and relaxing into his seat. “For me, God is a feeling.” His eyes took on a far-away look. “When I think about God I can feel his power, like a warm light in my soul.” He placed a long-fingered hand in the middle of his chest and smiled. “I know he’s real because I can feel his presence.”
“That’s nice for you,” I said, trying not to make it sound mean. “Really. But a feeling you feel isn’t going to convince me.”
“If you don’t want to hear from the Bible then I have no other proof. I see God’s hand in the goodness of people and the beauty of nature.”
“Beauty and goodness are subjective,” I smiled sadly. “But I’ll admit your way of thinking is more romantic. A beautiful lie.”
Matthew smiled back. “It just makes me sad that you don’t have what I have.”
I laughed, “It makes me sad that you don’t have what I have! Your lifestyle has so many rules…Wait you said a Catholic priest?” he nodded. “Are you celibate?” I asked incredulously. He nodded again. “Jesus,” I breathed, slumping back in my seat. “Now you’ll never convince me you have the better deal.”
“I choose to be celibate,” he said, somewhat defensively. “I honor God with my abstinence and it helps keep me focused on my calling.”
I shook my head. “I don’t care what kind of warm fuzzies you get from your god,” I said, placing a hand in the middle of my chest, like he had. “It can’t compare. There’s something so primal about sex, so animal. You lose yourself in your body and the connection with another body.” My hand drifted unconsciously upwards to cup around my throat and Matthew’s eyes followed it. “You don’t have to think then, or be a person. You can just feel and experience and your body knows exactly how to do that.”
Matthew was listening to me, leaning forward, his lips slightly parted. I looked at him, my skin a little flushed. “Have you ever?” he looked blankly. “Had sex with someone?” He lowered his eyes and shook his head. “If you did,” I said, “hypothetically, would it be woman?”
He cleared his throat and raised his eyes to meet mine. “Yes,” he croaked.
I propped my boots up on the bench and rested my head on my backpack again. “I think I might read for a bit.” I said, smiling sweetly at him.
“Ahem. Yes.” Matthew shuffled through his belongings. “Me too.”
I knew the story by heart already—like I said, it was one of my favorites—but the sex scenes still affected me the same way. For me it’s a whole-body experience. As I read, the skin of my cheeks and chest flushed slightly. My lips parted and felt plump and warm. I licked them lightly and from the corner of my eye I saw Matthew sneak a glance.
As the scene heated up my nipples hardened and my breath became deeper, shallower. I could feel the hot air rushing through my parted lips and making my chest rise and fall. I was getting slick between my legs. This was etimesgut escort the point when, if I were at home, I would slip a hand into my panties. If Matthew hadn’t been there I might have done it in the empty airport terminal.
I hadn’t moved an inch or made a sound, but I knew Matthew had noticed my arousal. I could see his eyes over the top of his book. He was watching me more than the page.
“What are you reading?” he asked, pretending nonchalance, his nose in his book.
“It’s called ‘The Pirate and the Princess,'” I replied, putting the book down. I was glad to have a break, actually. I needed to cool down.
“Is it good?” he asked, turning a page very casually.
I smirked. “Very good. It’s one of my favorites. What are you reading?”
He met my eyes over the top of his volume. “The Bible.”
“Is it good?”
I smiled wickedly and picked my book up again. Now that I was so turned on, I was more acutely aware of Matthew’s presence so close to me. He may have been a priest but he was still a man. A handsome man. I wasn’t sure, but I thought I could smell him. Nothing bad, just an almost subconscious, unmistakable male odor. It made me hot all over.
I looked at my watch. It was almost 11 but I wasn’t sleepy. All of a sudden the florescent lights above us turned off, plunging the whole terminal into semi-darkness. I could still see enough to move around but not enough to read.
“Well,” I said, marking my page and putting the book down. “I guess its lights out at 11 around here.”
We sat in the dark together in silence, listening to one another’s breathing. I had sex on the brain and couldn’t stop thinking about Matthew’s celibacy. “Do you ever regret it?” I whispered. It seemed wrong to talk loud in the darkness. “Becoming a priest?”
“Sometimes,” he replied softly. “I always assumed I’d have a family. But I received a call and I couldn’t refuse.”
“Why do you believe in your god?” I asked. I didn’t want to start an argument but I didn’t actually have many opportunities to speak frankly with religious people.
“I told you already,” he said. “About the feeling.”
“No,” I said. “Why do you believe in your god? How do you know that feeling you feel is coming from Yahweh and not Zeus or Odin or a million others?”
He was silent for a while. “I guess I don’t know.”
“That’s my whole thing,” I said. “There might be something. I don’t think there is, but there might be. But it seems presumptuous to claim to know exactly what it is.”
He was quiet for a while. “I don’t know. I guess that’s why I have faith.”
“Belief without proof,” I mused. “Do you ever wonder if you’re wrong?” I whispered. “If you’re wasting your life on something that isn’t real? As a priest there’s a lot you won’t be able to experience.”
“I think about it all the time,” Matthew whispered back.
“Sorry,” I whispered, looking up at the darkened ceiling. I hadn’t meant to ruin his night. Or his life. We sat in silence for a few minutes. I could hear Matthew breathing across the small space. I got to my feet and swung my backpack over one shoulder. “I’m going to the bathroom.”
“I’ll watch your bag if you want.”
I smiled in the dark. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, but I need my toothbrush and stuff.”
“Ah, of course.” He was smiling too.
In the bathroom I peed and brushed my teeth. I took off my bra and changed my jeans for yoga leggings. I looked at myself in the mirror wondering, not for the first time, how others must see me. As a good-for-nothing punk, probably. I thought I looked cool but people were sometimes put off by the tattoos and dark clothing. Nah! I gave myself a rakish grin. I looked cool.
I returned to Matthew’s and my little home away from home and watched his stuff while he used the bathroom. Alone in the dark with nothing to distract me, my thoughts turned to why I was here. I thought of my mother’s face the last time I’d seen her. She was stressed and angry and tired of fighting with me. I wished that wasn’t my last memory of her, or her last memory of me.
When Matthew came back I was crying quietly into the sleeve of my hoody.
“Frankie?” he whispered, sitting down on the bench next to me. “Are you alright?”
“It—it’s nothing,” I hiccupped, embarrassed. But the tears wouldn’t stop. He put his arm around me gently and I couldn’t hold back anymore. I hadn’t cried when I’d heard the news but now that I’d started I couldn’t stop. I lay with my head in Matthew’s lap and sobbed while he stroked my hair.
It felt like hours but it was probably minutes later when the tears finally stopped flowing and I could breathe again. I felt drained and empty and I didn’t have the energy to raise my head. Matthew’s fingers in my hair were soothing and it felt good to be close to someone, touching someone.
“My mother died,” I whispered. “That’s why I’m going home.”
“Oh Frankie, I’m so sorry.” His voice sounded genuinely sympathetic. Not everybody can pull that ankara etimesgut escort off. He must me a good priest.
“If you say anything about Heaven I’ll punch you,” I giggled blearily.
I heard him chuckle above me in the darkness. “OK.”
We stayed like that for a while, his hands absently playing in my hair and me calming down, my head resting on his warm thigh. It felt good there, we fit well together. That got me thinking about other ways we might fit well together.
“Matthew?” I said, shifting onto my back so I could look up at his face in the dimness. “If you sin and repent your god will forgive you, right?”
“That’s right. But it’s better to not sin in the first place.”
I paused, feeling goosebumps rise on my arms. I wondered if I had the courage to ask him. “If you kissed me would that be a sin?”
He blew out a sigh and resumed stroking my hair. “Not in and of itself, probably. But the lustful feelings I would have would be sinful.”
“That’s so sad,” I mused. “We have these beautiful bodies, capable of feeling amazing pleasure and you choose to deny yourself. Why would your god have done that, do you think? Given you these thoughts and feelings and forbid you from acting on them? It seems cruel.”
Matthew sighed again. “Maybe to test us. To see if we love Him enough to resist temptation.”
“What a dick.” I whispered, smiling.
Matthew snorted. “Don’t call God a dick, Frankie.”
I made a decision, quick and reckless, like all my best. I sat up and climbed onto Matthew’s lap, straddling his hips. He immediately tensed up and tried to pull away. “Frankie, please,” he said, voice husky in the darkness. “We can’t do this.”
“Just one kiss,” I murmured. “You should know what you’re giving up before you give it up.” And I leaned in close. I could feel Matthew’s warm breath on my lips, inches away, and I could feel his heart beating under my palm. I leaned towards him slowly and at the last moment he moved forward to meet my lips.
The kiss was soft, gentle. Maybe what I’d like my first kiss to have been. As I caressed his lips with mine I could feel Matthew’s hands tightening around my waist, pulling me closer. I snaked one hand behind his neck and curled my fingers into his soft hair.
I didn’t want to stop. Kissing him felt so good and my body wanted to do more than just kiss him. But I had said just a kiss so I pulled away and our lips parted. Matthew’s breath was coming a little faster and he still held my body close against his.
“How was that?” I whispered, meeting his eyes in the dimness.
“Good,” he breathed. “Really good. I see what you mean about the animal taking over.” He slowly and consciously removed his hands from my waist. “I feel like the part of my brain that usually makes decisions was…not in control.”
“We could do it again, if you want,” I said, running my thumb over his cheekbone and making him pull in a shuddering breath.
“No,” Matthew said, disentangling himself further. “I think that was enough.”
I sighed and climbed off of his lap and back to my own bench. We both removed our shoes and lay down, ready for sleep. I punched my backpack into a more comfortable shape and tried to settle down. “Goodnight Matthew,” I called softly to him.
I closed my eyes and tried to let my mind drift to sleep. But my body had other ideas. I was aroused again. I’d never gotten off after reading my sexy book and then that kiss…I couldn’t stop thinking about Matthew’s mouth, his hands.
I tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable. I could feel how slippery my pussy was and my clit was swollen and pulsing like a heartbeat. I knew I’d never fall asleep like this. “Matthew?” I whispered as loud as I dared. “Are you still awake?”
“Yes.” He whispered back.
“I can’t sleep. What are you thinking about?” I asked.
He sighed. There was a long pause. “Kissing you.” He sounded defeated.
“Me too,” I whispered back. I paused for a moment, wondering if I had the courage. “I’m so turned on. That’s why I can’t sleep.” I whispered.
I heard his intake of breath from the other bench. I turned my head and I could see his shape, staring up at the dark ceiling. He didn’t reply.
I got up and crossed the aisle to lay down on the bench beside him. The bench was narrow and I had to rest my head on his shoulder and throw an arm over his body to keep from falling off. I felt Matthew stiffen under my touch and his breathing change, but after a moment he relaxed again and put his arm around my shoulders.
I breathed in the scent of him and traced my fingers lightly over his ribs through his shirt.
“Alright,” he breathed into the darkness. “Just once. To see what I’m giving up.”
I rose up on my elbow to look at his face. “Are you sure?” He met my eyes and nodded. I nodded too, then bent to kiss him. This time, committed to his sin, Matthew relaxed into the kiss right away. When my tongue delved into his mouth he met it with a moan and kissed me back fiercely. He brought his other hand up to cup the side of my face.
The priest wriggled around so he was leaning over me and broke the kiss, breathing fast. “I actually have no idea how to do this,” he confessed.
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