When Father John had asked him to fill in for him while he visited his sick sister, Jacob had been only too happy to help. Services has progressed smoothly and Jacob had now been in the confessional box for forty-five minutes and only seen one teenage boy who’d been thrust through the door by his angry mother. Jacob had advised the boy to make sure his bedroom door was locked in future.
He’d been ready to call it a night when he’d heard footsteps echoing on the stone church floor, prior to the door on the other side of the confessional box opening and closing.
“I don’t really remember how to do this, Father.”
Bodie. He’d know that voice anywhere. What is he doing here?
“I was dragged up Catholic in a manner of speaking, not that my mum did a very good job of getting me to church. I haven’t made confession since I was thirteen. The things I’ve seen in my life haven’t made a believer of me, to be honest, in fact I’d come to the conclusion that religion poisons everything and that a dash of sin can sweeten things... Still, things have changed a bit recently, an old friend has made me start to see things differently and I picked this church on impulse, as I was passing. Can I just talk to you, Father?”
“Yes, if something’s troubling you.” Jacob murmured, hoping to disguise his voice.
“See there’s this man, Father... You don’t shock easily do you?”
“No, go on.”
“I’ve known him for years. We used to be in C— work for the government together. I always had feelings for him but nothing came of it. He left without warning and I didn’t see him again. Well, until a couple of weeks ago. It was like we’d never been apart. To skim over a few details I’m sure you’d much rather not hear about, it’s become a sexual relationship.”
“And you think that’s wrong.”
“No, it’s good, very, very good."
“He thinks it’s wrong.”
“No, he’s encouraging the relationship”
“Encouraging it? Are you sure you haven’t misunder—"
“I’m sorry if that shocks you Father. He’s pretty irresistible, very submissive—”
“—and can’t get enough of me. We’re older now and his hair’s not black anymore—”
“—Like it was, but he’s still tall and handsome and Murphy’s—”
Jacob was facing Bodie before he even realized that he’d moved from his side of the confessional box, wrenching open and closing two doors in the process. He wrapped his hand into Bodie’s coat, dragging him to his feet.
“You bastard, you fuck me, get feelings stirred up in me I thought were long since dead and all the time you’re fucking Murphy?”
Bodie wrapped his hand around the fist Jacob had pulled back before using it to drag Jacob in closer.
“I see your temper hasn’t mellowed any with age, Ray. Murphy’s married with four grown up kids, he lives in Croydon.” Bodie kissed him quickly. “I just had to know how you really feel.”