Sins of the Confessional
The plane drifted in the sky, a buzzing gnat over the sun-soaked landscape of Southern Italy below us. Next to me, my mother was wringing her hands. We were going to live with Nonna for the summer, her mother, a woman she hadn’t seen in thirty years. There’d been bad blood between them when mom left to live in the states. Nonna couldn’t imagine why her daughter would give up living on the Amalfi coast for the soggy wetlands of the Pacific Northwest. She’d never visited, had sworn to never set foot in Oregon until her daughter returned and signed onto Nonna’s will, agreeing to inherit and care for the small stucco house that had been a part of our family for five generations. Mom was clearly anxious. I, however, was elated. A summer on the coast of Italy? A vineyard next door and turquoise waters cliffside? Yes, please. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t come before this. I pictured three months of antipasti, gallons of Chianti, and delectable Italian studs to romp the night away with. I was twenty-five and had agreed to spend the summer with my mother and grandmother in a remote village, after all. I definitely had to find a way to have a bit of fun.
The train ride to Praiano was a two-hour ordeal, and by the time we arrived in town night had fallen. The sky was an inky blue, and the Milky Way stretched long above us.
“Mom, how come you’ve never taken me here before? I can’t even see anything in the dark and it’s already the most beautiful place I’ve been.”
She didn’t answer me. Her brow was furrowed, and she seemed elsewhere as we approached the small house. Before we could knock, the front door was flung open and a tiny woman busted out of the dark. She was wearing only a light nightgown, and she threw her arms up above her head. She was crying. Mom and she embraced, and then I was wrapped in, squeezed deeply. It was my first time meeting Nonna, and I was emotional too. After staying up for an hour chatting, mom acting as translator for Nonna’s limited English and my nonexistent Italian, we were given squares of marzipan and sent to bed with a splash of grappa.
The next morning I was ready to explore. I’d packed hiking boots and a bathing suit into a bag, and was heading out to begin my day when Nonna interrupted me.
“Noemi, basta! É Dominica!” She was waving her arms and had positioned herself between the door and me. A cheeky grin was spread over her face, and she gestured for me to turn around and go back in. My mom stood in the background with her arms crossed over her stomach and a tiny cup of espresso in her hand. She was laughing.
“What is she saying?” I asked.
Nonna looked at me. “Sunday! É Sunday!” She was patting me on the back, more or less pushing me further into the house now.
Mom smiled. “It’s Sunday, Noemi. I didn’t raise you with it, but in this house, there’s no way of getting out of Mass. Just accept it.” She turned around and disappeared into the kitchen. My stomach dropped. This wasn’t going to be the summer I had planned on.
An hour later I was regretting my bratty reticence to attend church with Nonna. We were standing outside of centuries old Basilica San Gennaro, and church bells echoed throughout the expanse of blue sky. A blue and white tiled dome with canary yellow supports arced overhead, and to our right the Tyrrhenian Sea twinkled under the sun.
We entered and attended the service, an extraordinarily traditional affair that lasted two hours and had me lost at the collision of Latin and Italian. It was sparsely attended, something that surprised me given how much of a fixture the church seemed to be. Afterwards, Nonna and mom went home for lunch, but I decided to stay and poke around this part of town a bit more.
I slipped down a narrow path that wound around the back of the Basilica. It was flanked by a large plaster wall, and was fully in shadows. I had the feeling this was a path reserved for laypeople of the congregation, but I was intent on getting to a little garden area I’d spotted earlier, and this seemed to be the way. As I skirted next to the back wall of the church, I was stopped in my tracks by the unmistakable sounds off…no, there was no way that was what I was hearing. I took another step, brushing off the moment as an overactive imagination, when the sound shot through the air again, and there was no denying what was happening.
Someone was moaning. Not just moaning, but ardently keening with pleasure. My ears pricked at the yelps and ecstatic groans that were ping ponging around me. I was frozen, mouth agape, when another voice joined the first and it became undeniable that I was eavesdropping on two people who were passionately, furiously, fucking the brains out of one another. I looked around me, expecting to see a little cottage somewhere, but no, there was only the church. It was the only possible place the noise could be coming from. I crept further down the path toward a small window that was recessed into the plaster wall. It was a bit above eye level, and I rose up on my tiptoes to peek inside.
“Holy shit!” I gasped to myself. Through the dirty plane of glass, I could make out two bodies and at first I didn’t believe what I was seeing. Beyond the fucking, the most compelling part of the situation was…they weren’t naked. One was quite clearly wearing a priest collar, and the other…was that a habit? I dropped to the ground, afraid they would see me. But after a moment of second guessing myself and resolving that there was no way, just no way, a priest and a nun were doing the nasty inside of that Basilica, I decided to take one more look.
Slowly peering over the edge of the windowsill, I caught the face of the priest. A young man, seemingly in his late twenties, I recognized him from the mass I had just attended. Padre Aronne. His large amber eyes were rimmed with dark lashes, and the squareness of his jaw was offset by a mound of springy, black curls that fell in ringlets over him temples. His face was contorted in ecstasy, and his priest’s collar sat firmly around his neck. The woman’s back was to me, but her long hair was spilling out of a haphazard wimple, and besides her headpiece, she was naked. Pert tits with bronze nipples bounced rhythmically along with the priest’s motions, and she was digging her fingers into his naked ass. The entire scene was so much to take in I collapsed onto the ground, hyperventilating.
Shame flooded through me. Had they seen me? Was I a creep for looking? Was I a criminal for taking a second look, a peeping tom? Was that punishable here? I broke into a run and jogged down the remainder of the path, which spat me out into a little cobblestone alleyway at the edge of the sea. My head was spinning. I’d just listened to that man sermonize on the ills of promiscuity and impure thoughts. Well, maybe. Nonna told that was what Padre Aronne had been talking about in Italian. But she also had been tugging down on the length of my shorts and gasping at my tank tops since I’d been here, so I suspected she had other motives and may have been exaggerating the father’s message. Still. He was a Roman Catholic priest for fuck’s sake. And why, why on god’s green earth was that exciting me as much as it was at this moment?
An unmistakable tingling was happening between my legs. Priests had never been my “thing,” too orthodox of a kink to get me going. I knew it was what did it for a lot of people though. Was I one of them now? I clenched my thighs together and my clit hummed. It was begging me for a little play. I tried to ignore it, wandered around and got an espresso at a cafe, bought a wheel of cheese to bring home to Nonna. But the images flashing through my head were intensifying – the nun’s wimple askew, her tanned legs wrapped around the priest, his curls bouncing, collar gripping his sweating neck. My body was throbbing. It was too much. I needed to remedy this.
I made my way back to Nonna’s house and barely greeted my mother in the kitchen before I ran upstairs and locked myself in the little guest room I was staying in. I collapsed on the bed and traced my hands over my thighs, down my pants. My underwear were slick with my wet, and my fingers slid inside of me easily. I ran my thumb over my clitoris, massaging it, feeling it slip beneath my fingertips. Pleasure swam through my muscles, contracting, releasing. I closed my eyes and pictured the two of them. Tangled in passionate lovemaking on a church pew, spread eagle in front of a wall of votive candles, pinned against the facade of the Basilica, her habit cinched high around her hips, his ass exposed and thrusting into her. I could hear Nonna and my mom downstairs talking in Italian. I turned my head to the side and bit into the pillow as I came and a loud groan rose up my throat. I decided then. I was going back to that church. And I was going to find a way to be with the Father one on one.
The next morning Nonna was thrilled that I wanted to go to daily Mass with her. She clapped her hands over the Bialetti stovetop espresso maker that was sizzling away, and kept turning around to pinch my cheek, exclaiming, “Dio ti bendica, mia nipotina!”
Mom was eyeing me from the breakfast nook, buttering bread and pursing her lips.
“Since when did the holy spirit light you on fire? You’ve always been a huge critic of the Catholic church.”
“Mom, I know. Look I’m not converting or anything. No way. I just…want to know where I came from, you know? And the Basilica is gorgeous. Who wouldn’t want to spend time there?”
“Not me,” she muttered under her breath. Nonna swept towards us and slapped me on the butt, giggling. It was like someone had told her she won the lottery.
“Look how happy it makes Nonna,” I said.
“Yeah, the idea of saving someone from eternal damnation tends to have that affect.”
“I’m going. That’s all.”
“Alright. If they make you go to confession don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
I squeezed my legs together with excitement. God, I hoped I got to step into a confession box with Padre Aronne.
Monday morning Mass was sparsely attended, and afterwards I lingered with Nonna to have a word with the Father. She pulled him to the side and they exchanged a friendly banter in Italian, obviously familiar with one another. Nonna was gesturing to me, grinning, and I stood looking at them, unable to keep up with what was being said. Thankfully, Padre Aronne switched to English, and the accented lilt to his words nearly incinerated me where I stood it was so sexy.
“Noemi, your grandmother tells me this is your first time to Italy. Welcome.” His dark eyes gazed sincerely into my own, and as he spoke he tucked a stray curl behind his ear. I was blushing furiously, certain my crimson face was a dead giveaway to my desire.
“Uh, yes,” was all I could muster in response.
“She also tells me you’ve made the decision to convert to the Catholic Church.” He was grinning, a sly expression in his eyes.
I gulped. “Oh, no, no. I mean, I don’t know. I haven’t thought about that at all. I just wanted to spend time here with Nonna.”
Padre Aronne was laughing, and he leaned in closer to me, as though what he was about to say was a secret between us. “Don’t worry, nobody is trying to convert you.” He gestured toward my grandmother, “Benedetta has been coming for many years, and she talks about you all the time. I’m sure she’s just excited.” He smiled at me kindly, and gave a gentle squeeze on my elbow.
My stomach was turning circles. How was it permissible for a priest to be so hot? Surely it was an occupational hazard. How were parishioners supposed to focus on redemption and atonement with this sexy fucker staring them down from the pulpit? All I could think about was tearing his robes off and mounting his thick cock, having him plow my insides until the bells chimed for evening Mass.
Nonna was muttering to the Father quietly, eyeing me as she did so. She was up to something. Padre Aronne laughed.
“Well, Noemi, Benedetta is suggesting you attend a confession with me. Of course that is your choice. No, uh, how it is you say, no presh.” His eyes were twinkling. Wild horses would not stop me from piling into that booth with Padre Aronne.
I tried not to seem too eager when I responded, “Oh, well, if it would make Nonna happy…why not?” Nonna clapped her hands, giddy. She said something again in Italian and the Father translated for me.
“She says she is going home to make panna cotta to celebrate your first confession.”
“Oh, well that’s…lovely.” Nonna tottered away down the hill, and I followed Padre Aronne inside to partake in my first Catholic rite.
As we approached the box, Padre Aronne said, “Now, technically since you haven’t been baptized into the Catholic Church certain rites are supposed to be unavailable. But, it’s 2019, and more and more people are making exceptions for what Catholics can and cannot do.”
I gulped. What did he mean by that?
We stepped inside the small wooden box, and he sat behind a honeycombed screen. My palms were sweating.
“Now, just repeat after me.” Padre Aronne led me through the script, and soon it was time for me to confess. One event burned bright at the front of my mind.
“I, um. There is one thing in particular I have to tell you. But I’m nervous.”
“Christ knows no sin that cannot be forgiven.”
My heart was pounding in my chest. “See, the thing is Padre Aronne, I…Well I saw you yesterday. Around back of the Basilica. Through the window. With the uh, with the nun?” I said it as a question and suddenly I was flooded with doubt. What if I’d been wrong? What if it had been another priest, and not Padre Aronne? What if it wasn’t even sex, what if it was some bizarre rite I had stumbled upon? The silence from the other side of the screen was excruciating.
A full minute passed, and I opened my mouth to speak again when finally Padre Aronne answered me.
“Have you told anyone of this?”
“No, of course not.”
The screen was pulled back, and his face peered earnestly at mine through the darkness. “You must not. What you witnessed was the natural consequence of the celibacy rule that priests and nuns are expected to ascribe to. I am not proud.” He hung his head.
“Padre Aronne, don’t worry. I don’t care. If anything…I, well, I found it exciting.”
I paused, unsure if I should continue. But I reached through the opening, placing my hand over his. “Yes. Exciting.” We looked at one another for a moment. A shiver ran down my spine and all at once shame flooded my body. What was I doing to this poor man? It was obscene. Nonna would be repulsed. My eyes widened with horror at what was happening, and I wrenched my hand back. Throwing open the door of the confession booth I ran out into the empty nave of the church. I heard a clamor and Padre Aronne appeared behind me.
“Noemi, wait!” I turned around, flush with embarrassment. He approached me and took my hand in his. “Perhaps I am the one who has a confession to make.” He paused, looking at my hand in his. I noticed he was sweating. “You see, I feel I am too human for this role. My desire, though I try to wrestle with it…so often I lose.” He looked up at me, eyes wide and brimming with sincerity. “I wonder if I took this vow too young, if it is unnatural for a young person to cloister themselves in holy robes without ever knowing the possibilities their body holds.” His thumb was running over my palm, tracing the lines of it. “I am thinking of leaving the church. Please do not tell your grandmother.”
My mouth opened in surprise, and before I knew what I was doing, I was stepping toward him, intending only to hug, but when his mouth met mine I leaned into him. My hand drifted up his back and tugged at the edge of his priest’s collar, hooking a finger inside of it. Aronne wrapped an arm around my waist and began to walk further into the church, guiding me. He led me to the altar, where we sunk down onto the carpet behind the tabernacle. Here we were secluded from view should someone come in, though Christ himself looked on from a looming crucifix overhead.
We sat cross-legged for a moment, his hands in my hair, my palm against his cheek.
“When I saw you sitting next to your grandmother in Mass yesterday, it was quite the distraction.” He laughed, his accent somehow adding a sexy lilt to that too. “You’re beautiful, Noemi. More than beautiful. I want to do so many things to you.”
I gasped as he leaned in and kissed my neck, his breath hot against my throat. I leaned my head back, letting him have more of me. My eyes were closed, and when I opened them I noticed for the first time the mural painted overhead. Stars and clouds spun over the ceiling, angles playing small harps, planets. I sighed and lay all the way down, pulling Aronne on top of me.
“You ever fuck that nun here, ass up on the altar?”
“Sister Berta?” He blushed. “No, she would never. We’re very discreet.”
“Well. Apparently not enough.” I winked at him and rolled on top, pinning him to the floor beneath me. I began grinding my hips down against his, and through his black slacks I felt him harden. He moved his hands over the small of my back, down over my ass.
“You might be the baddest priest ever.” I kissed him, biting his lower lip.
“Seriously? Have you read about what Catholic priests have done over the centuries?”
I ground my hips harder into him, making him wince slightly. I whispered, “Shut up,” against his ear, and gave a little lick on his neck. I thought to myself, ‘He tastes like prayer,’ but really it was sweat and I thought about him sweating under his garments while blessing the Eucharist, how hot those robes must be. I let a hand float down and work his belt buckle open. We were kissing, necking, sucking face. The stubble along his cheeks rubbed against my lips, making them red, swollen. I was panting with desire, my body feeling like it was absolutely dripping with longing. Surely I was melting.
I unzipped his pants and his cock sprang into my hands, girthy, and with a bulging vein running down one side.
“Now Father,” I teased him, “this is too beautiful a cock to remain cloistered in a vow of celibacy for all eternity.” He groaned as I began to stroke him. The head of his dick was flushed and pink, the skin there stretched taut with his hardness. I bent down and brought my mouth against him, letting my lips glide over the length of his cock. I parted them and let him feel my teeth, not biting, just giving him a little thrill by reminding him that they were there. He shivered underneath me and uttered something in Italian.
“What was that?”
“Mi stai facendo morire. It means…you’re killing me.” He sighed, arching his back beneath me.
At that I buried him in my mouth, and I tasted the little droplets of precum that had been leaking out of his tip since I began touching him. Sweet and bitter. I felt him at the back of my throat, filling my mouth, gagging me. My tongue felt the ridges of his erection, and when I pulled away to catch my breath, a long strand of viscous saliva connected us. I slurped it up and went back in, licking lightly, playfully, then sucking with a ferocity I noticed was a particular turn-on for him. My hand wandered toward his balls and I squeezed them gently before making my way there with my mouth. I took one testicle, rolling it over my tongue, licking the crease between. His groans escalated, and I worried someone would hear us.
I sat up suddenly, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. His was spread eagle on the floor, his dick pointing upwards out of his pants. Otherwise he was comically clothed. The high-buttoned black shirt, the white collar around his neck, the prim black slacks tapering down towards a pair of shiny black loafers. Christ, I would need to loosen up also.
I lifted my own shirt up over my head, and I heard him murmur something in Italian at the sight of my breasts. They’d always been on the smaller side, and I was wearing a strapless lace bra that pushed them together and gave me a little bump of cleavage. He sat up and reached around my back, unhooking it with a smooth finesse that made me think he’d undone many more bras in his time than a Catholic priest should have. I untucked his shirt and began unbuttoning it maniacally, rushing, desperate to get him naked. I pulled it open, and a triangle of chest hair greeted me. I leaned forward and kissed it. He worked his shirt off up over his head, and reached to undo his collar, but I stopped him.
“No, leave this on.”
He looked at me, coy, a flash of shyness. But then that was gone, and he had my breasts in his hands and was running his palms over the rise of them, squeezing my nipples, pinching them. I groaned and pushed my tits forward, into his face. He bit them gently, sucking. I was straddling him, my crotch buried against his dick. I wore a skirt, and the head of his cock was edging up against the lining of my panties, which were already soaked with cum I was so turned on. I pushed his face harder against my chest, smothering him.
When he reached down and slipped my panties to the side I let him, and when he began working a finger over my clit I realized he knew far more about how to fuck than he was letting on. He slipped a finger inside of me, and while kissing my neck found my G-spot and pushed against it while still working my clit. My back arched and I raised my head, mouth open. Above me the starry mural rose, and for the first time I thought I knew what people meant when they said they could feel God.
When he lifted my ass to adjust my hips over his, I could feel his dick hot beneath me, and when he lowered me down over the tip of it I felt my pussy stretch to hold him. When I began bouncing up and down on him, each new thrust made me gasp. His fingers were digging into my ass, moving me up and down over his shaft. I looked down and caught a glimpse of it, glistening, disappearing into me.
Suddenly he pushed me back, and I was spread eagle on the carpet. The altar was to my left, and from underneath it I could see the door of the church. If anyone were to walk in surely we would be seen.
Aronne tore my underwear off of me, actually ripping them, and began eating me in a way that seemed voracious, starved. His tongue lapped with a deftness I knew was going to make me come if he kept it up, and when he began to alternate by sucking gently on my clit, that sealed the deal. My orgasm bore through the core of me, and as I came I wrapped my hands around the back of his head and buried his face against my pussy. He burrowed in, rubbing his cheeks side to side against my slick opening. When my body finally shuddered and relaxed, I let him go, and his face was alight with a sheen of my cum.
We looked at each other then, eyes wide. My legs were still spread, my pussy open before him. He leaned down and kissed it, slipped a finger inside of me. I was still tingling from my orgasm, and when he touched me my eyes rolled back in my head.
“Padre Aronne,” I murmured, “My grandmother is probably wondering where I am.” When he began to lick me again, I snapped my mouth shut, and then he was on top of me, pushing into me, his cock making my pussy brim with sensation. I gripped him around the back of the neck and we fucked powerfully, foreheads pushed against one another, faces contorted with effort and ecstasy. My nails dug in around his jugular. The carpet tore against my ass, the force of our fucking rubbing my cheeks raw over the floor of the sanctuary.
When he came, he shuddered backwards, and as he pulled out of me his cock shot creamy cum down his pants, over the floor. He fell back, hands in his hair, panting.
We were both still collecting ourselves when there came a loud knock at the front door.
“Oh Dio mio, ho dimenticato. I forgot, Noemi. A confessional appointment.” We were scrambling, his cheeks pink and sweat streaming down the back of his neck. He was wiping furiously at his pants with a cloth that had been covering a chalice. The dainty fibers weren’t doing the trick, and I pushed him to the side, out of view of the doorway.
“You can’t be seen like this. I can’t be seen like this!” I looked around me, frantic a devoted parishioner would bust in at any moment. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted the heavy linen robes he wore during mass, hung behind the tabernacle.
“Your robes, quick!” I darted over and threw them in his direction. He scrambled into the set while I pulled a stray cloth over the cum stain on the floor. I hoped it wasn’t a sacred shroud or something. It would have to do for now.
I began running toward the back exit when Padre Aronne caught my hand and swept me up in a kiss. His hands held the back of my neck, and I tasted myself on his lips.
“Noemi, next Sunday…”
“I’ll be here.” I cut him off, happy to see the pleased smile that swept over his face. I turned around and burst out into the sunlight. Father Aronne had a confession to attend to.