Every day begins with prayer, which helps burn away the dreams like morning mist drying in the early sunlight. I watch him from the mirror, meditating over him as he does his Savior. I cannot affect him in the house of the Lord but, I can here, yet I have no need to take action. I only need to see him. To watch him make his decisions, to see his inner workings produce fruit and to ponder what lies beneath.
I have been with him for a very, very, very long time. Why, I’m one of his oldest and dearest friends, though he knows not my name. I knew him before he fell in love. I knew him before he was tested by the Powers That Be. I knew him before that dark tragedy emerged and tried to consume him. I knew him before he was brought low by men. I knew him before he knew what true pain was.
As an inhuman entity, I am fascinated by the species and the working of their minds. I found this specimen and became enthralled by his existence. Such a virtuous humble being. I at first meant to do what we are made for: to bring him to temptation and distract another good person from doing too much good. I came to see he had a lot of interesting turmoil on the path of his future. The possibility of living to 100 yrs old without aging past his 30s. The possibility of loss of life, memory, and possessions. The possibility of being driven insane. The possibility of losing his left arm, twice. Yes, he is Job of the modern era.
I had never heard of such things happening to a human before. The age of technology has brought forth a new level of suffering to the world and I had a prime view of some of the most unprecedented human strife. I felt compelled to join him on his journey where ever it lead and vowed to never interfere with him directly until my calling drove me to enter his life in a more physical manner.
It looks like my time has finally come…
He still wakes up crying. He wishes he could remember more but he can’t. He just knows that he once found love, true love, the kind you read about, the kind they can’t seem to stop making movies about and now he can hardly remember their name. His love returns to him in dreams in brief flashes of emotion. He’s very sure it was a man, someone strong and warm that he wanted to protect and he misses him so very much. He never remembers their face or eyes, can not recall the ethnicity even, of the love of his life.
What he knows about Steve is very complicated. He has no memory of how they were together, of what Steve was like. He just knows he once loved someone and he misses him every day that goes by. He feels cold and alone when he thinks about how it could have been.
Jim recites, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…” Each day you must acknowledge your sins as you accept the sovereignty of the Lord. For him, it starts early most days. The things he dreams he cannot separate out from the vague and few between memories, out from fantasies, out from conditioning, so he’s chosen to put it all into God’s hands so he can move forward and enjoy what he does have.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”
He doesn’t believe in the way some people do. Well, then again maybe he does. There is a little bit of the old him that still kinda believes entirely that there is evil and good and man is capable of both, but mostly it’s just that he knows it so well from the past. It’s one of the last things that have remained the same.
He needed faith to free himself from the things they taught him between Switzerland and Russia. He needed a way to forget so he could feel normal. Using the rigid rules of the faith to structure his life has worked out very well. He was quickly surrounded by support and friends, he’d gone back to school and learned to take care of himself again. Without the use of the 12 step program, he may be in any manner of trouble instead of building a life out of the rubble of Shield and Hydra.
When he clips his clerical collar on, he becomes something more than a terrorist and mass murderer. He feels truly human once he separates from that world and the identity of being a weapon. He may never be normal and that’s ok. The point of all this is to feel like a person again. It’s been six years, but he’s starting to feel genuinely good about himself and his place in this town. He doesn’t know when, but it’s started to feel like home.
He makes tea with toast and after a quick breakfast makes his way off to work. He’s got a meeting with the local librarian about a birthday party for Dale, one of the elderly men living at Martenson’s. Dale hasn’t got much family in town, so Jim just wanted to throw a little something together for the guy, show him someone cares.
Once morning mass is over, he heads to the library. Tina Stephano is going to Martenson’s to see her nana and said she could bring over some food and decorations. Popping in to help her load and unload everything is on his way so he figured he’d ask for a ride up there.
When Father Jim walks into the library, the lights seem to dim by several shades. A chill rolls over his flesh as does a spark of deep sexual arousal. It’s fast and dissipates quickly but he knows what he’s feeling. He stops in the revolving door and looks around. His blood vessels down below are pounding and it aches something awful.
He is shaken to the core by the person behind the counter at the library. A very muscular man, about 6'2, blonde and with blue eyes. The man wears a dark blue button up with a pair of jeans. Jim just stares across the room. 'That man is dead…this person isn't...it can't it just can't be. Is this some kind of agent, an Enhanced, who is this and why do I feel this way?' His heart is racing and his hand is sweaty within moments.
“Good morning. Welcome to Jansenhaven Library. May I help you?” The man says. He pushes his aviator wire frame glasses up on his nose absently as he places the book he’s looking at the Dewey decimal code card of down.
“Oh, I uh, I’m looking for Tina? We’re supposed to meet about organizing the luncheon up over at the Martenson old folks home?”
One of Jim's favorite things is working with the elderly. They click with him on certain levels that he knows are just good for him, good for his soul.
But right now he’s feeling out of place; he puts his left arm just behind him, out of the blonde’s direct view. He doesn’t even know he feels self-conscience. The big blonde man doesn’t take notice.
“Oh, right. You must be Father Jim. Well, I’m Shane Devereux. There’s been a personal emergency so, I’m filling in for Tina.” Says the man scratching his forehead with his thumb and then putting out his right hand.“ Maybe I can help you, I’ve got Tina’s schedule & I’m up to speed about Dale Davis’ birthday and the festival next weekend.”
Jim takes it and shakes quickly. There’s some kind of…shift of air that passes between them he supposes. A shiver rattles up his spine and he feels warm all of a sudden. “Aha, ok, yeah. You guessed it, I’m Jim. Do you have a few minutes now or…?”
“Hey, I got you covered. Tina brought the stuff over to my apartment the last night, so the potato salad, spaghetti, and cake are all ready to be taken over there. I just loaded them up in my truck not ten minutes before you walked in. If you hang on, Jessie’s about to take over and then we can get this party going.” Says Shane with a smile. And what a smile. It's like the very heavens have opened up and shined down into the library and does Jim sense a tiny bit of flirt? You bet your cassock he does.
Shane walks around the service desk just as Jessica Wellspring comes from down the left hand hall. She meekly gets behind the counter and Shane says "Okay, dear hold down the fort and I'll be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail."
"Y-ye-yes, Mr. D-d-devereaux." The young lady stammers going beet red.
"Shall we?" Shane says gesturing to the door with his keys in hand.
"Sure." Jim says. He looks at the poor girl behind the service desk thinking 'My sentiments exactly.' about her reaction to being spoken to by Shane.
They exit the Library and Shane angles for a 68 F 100. It looks well worn and has a thick blue tarp over the back end. Jim is always a little excited by cars, would have been a bit of a gearhead if life had taken it's ordinary course and appreciates any rides he can get. Usually getting around is no problem in the town proper. But it is handy when lots of things need to go from point a to point b quickly. He doesn't own a car himself because though he could probably afford it he just hasn't taken the time to get one. Getting a car would mean a lot of headaches he's just not ready to go through.
"You believe I got this truck for 40 bucks?" Shane says popping the driver's side open.
Jim opens the passenger and hops up. "What? Was that some kinda bet you win?"
In the small space, Shane seems even bigger. Sitting so close Father Jim can smell his aftershave and feel the warmth of him even though they are separated by about six inches of seat. Jim is aware of how enamored with the physicality of Shane he is and wonders how he's going to make this ride without saying or doing something utterly embarrassing. It's been a long time since he was this stricken with such a strong attraction to someone else. It feels good but at the same time, he can't just ...let himself like Shane that way. He's falling in lust and is very unprepared for these feelings. He also doesn't want to become that priest to the town folk.
"A little. A friend of mine said," and here puts on a rather funny voice almost sounding like a pirate, " 'I'll let you take 'er off my hands for free if you can drive her out here.' So I got to poking around and wouldn't you know, ol' Dotty's carburetor was shot. Choke was seized up. I go down to the auto mart, pick up some stuff, take apart the carb, clean it & 7 hours later that same day, drove her home." Shane says with a mischevious smirk.
Once a spy, it's become second nature to keep up appearances, Jim throws all these worries into the back of his mind (as far as they'll go anyways) and turns on the amiable nice guy charm he just has the knack for presenting to other people."Ha ha ha, man. The guy on the other end of that deal musta been kickin' himself in the pants about that one." Jim laughs as they pull out of Shane's parking space. "And Dotty?"
"I know. It's just a personal quirk. Some of the things I come across, I instantly get a name in mind for them and it just sticks. You think that's weird, you should take a walk around my place meeting Fred the fern, Dilbert the tackle box, Charleen the sofa..." Shane says absentminded yet focused on the road.
"That's cute. Hey, nothing wrong with being a little eccentric, I hear it's all the rage nowadays." Jim says with a smile. He tries to play down how he's imagining his hand creeping across the seat and into Shane's lap. He takes his own glasses off and cleans them with a handkerchief from his shirt pocket out of nervous habit.
"Pfft!" Shane says, "You should tell my older sister that. She's been calling me a doofus for ages for it."
Jim feels a little pang of loss. He had siblings. He can't really remember them but he's read about that too. But he's used to these moments. What he's not used to is his strong attraction to Shane. It goes unchanged by his momentary melancholy.
Shane glances at Jim turning his head a bit then turning back to the road. The split second their eyes meet the arousal spikes up and Father Jim is hit yet again with a thud of deep sexual longing. He can hardly think straight and even as he changes subjects knowing it'll look a bit odd to Shane but honestly in no shape to be in charge of his own mouth Jim says," I hear ya. So how do you like Jansenhaven so far?"
"I kinda love it. I don't have many friends and I'm pretty social so it won't really start feeling like home until I start having people to chat with at the grocery and gas station. You know, that whole community vibe." Shane says and looks back at Jim again.
"UUuh-h!-ehem! Well, I guess that makes me special because I already consider you a friend." Father Jim replies, playing it cool once more. When really what's happened is Shane laid those baby blues on him and Jim felt a pounding below the belt that signaled the threat of a hard on in progress. He stealthily glances down at his crotch relieved to see no sign of such bodily betrayal.
He is kicking himself on the inside internally screaming 'Idiot! Why did I say that?! It's simple really, I make bad decisions...' because what he has said and of how flustered Shane makes him feel, how he would really like to keep these feelings to himself are all in such opposition.
"Gee, really? I've been so bored in the evenings, maybe we can grab a bite or play some Scrabble some time." Shane answers excitedly.
Jim has a flash of fantasy in his head at this. It's an image of himself climbing across a table pulling Shane up by the collar and kissing him as their board and pieces clatter to the floor. In this image, Father Jim's shirt is mostly unbuttoned and hanging from his shoulders, his own clerical collar in other hand.
'This exactly is why I should not be trying to spend more time with this man.' Jim thinks, unimpressed with his own ability to find what's attractive about pretty much anyone. He has no idea how his cock & preferences haven't gotten him killed yet.
They pull up to Martenson's and Shane asks if he needs any other help, but Jim say’s “No, no, there are plenty of people to pitch in, but thanks for the offer."
“All righty then.” says Shane in slightly higher spirits after making friends with Jim. He pulls out a pen, turns to Jim and asks if he’s got some paper. Father Jim does, he keeps a lot to of notes reminding him of the little things that help get him through the day. He hands a blank page to Shane who writes his number and address & gives it to him as Jim glances at a reminder for 7-4-8 breathing. He hops out of the truck and walks around back to open the tailgate. “You need a ride after? Or anytime Father? I’m pretty available, so if you need anything give me a call or stop on by.”
Some of the staff come out and help Jim transport the party supplies, most of which are in a large cooler in the bed of Shane's truck, indoors.
“You’re very kind, son. But I think I’ll walk back to the rectory. Work off some of the pasta I'm about to eat. I'll give you a call when I've got some time, though.” The whole time he’s saying this, perplexed by what he feels and how now sadly, selfishly, he can’t wait to get alone on his own again. He’s no longer got his heart in it for this party. He's got something different in it for Shane... but he mentally gives himself a brisk slap across the cheeks.
"Okey Dokey, Father. See you around then!" Shane calls out as he gets back in his car.
Shane drives back to the library and Jim hosts a party.
They play lots of big band tunes and orchestra, they play nonalcoholic flip cup. The loser with the least bingo markers tries to perform a tongue twister for a penalty and Father Jim dances with many a flirty old lady. Everyone eats, they all forget their problems for a bit and then Jim helps clean up.
He thinks of Shane over and over. Going over every word spoken to one another, visualizing everything about him. Those eyes, that face. He knows it better than his own for some reason and yet can’t pull up a single thought or memory together about the man or the one he looks so alike. He wants to be cautious about Shane, about getting close, about letting anyone in after all this time, but he can’t. He's always lost battles with his body since the conditioning. He thinks about what Shane must look like in his underwear instead. Did Jim used to think about Steve this way or were they just friends as all written accounts of their history has it?
He quickly gets going after chatting with Dale a bit. Father Jim returns as fast as he can and doesn’t even go to the rectory, he needs to be alone immediately but he just doesn’t go there even though it makes more sense. His head is buzzing and he just needs to go while he can still think at all. He goes to the church, finds the most underpopulated area and opens a door, steps into a random room. It’s a broom closet no one seems to use much since there’s one closer to the chapel and one upstairs.
His chest feels like it wants to implode and then he remembers to breathe. It has been hell forcing himself to keep calm and keep from showing any signs of what he’s feeling. Maybe he was gonna pray in seclusion when he first felt the need for privacy but something else happens.
It’s slow at first. He hasn’t been sexually active in a long time because once he got it out of his system, he's been fine.
When he first got out of Hydra, something about his trauma made it his first coping mechanism, for a while it was all he did. Eat breakfast, masturbate, smoke a cigarette, masturbate, watch tv, masturbate. It was the only way to prove to himself something good could happen to him, his only way to prove to himself it was his body and if he wanted he could hurt, but mostly he just wanted something to feel good, to prove something still could feel good. Anytime he wanted to feel good, he would promptly excuse himself from life in general and masturbate till satisfied, in the bathroom, in his hospital room, in any closed off place he could be alone.
He masturbated so much, he had to force himself to start separating the amount of time he spent doing it and how often. He had never done drugs really not even refer, but he felt somehow he might be addicted to it and needed to get a hold of himself asap. He couldn’t get started living normally if he couldn’t stop touching himself. It wasn’t inappropriate, he didn’t do it in front of others (unless they asked to see in a consensual manner) or in public (unless asked to do it in a consensual manner), he just felt this hypersexuality could take a nasty turn if he let it. He lets work fill him up every day and only goes to bed when he’s tired so he knows he will sleep instantly. It’s been months since the last time, hell, years actually about two years. Once he got himself straightened out, he fell off from it and had been consumed by simpler more wholesome pleasures, like baking peach cobbler or having a long nap.
But it’s like riding a bike, as they say. Jim’s hands take over as his brain takes the backseat and he just indulges in it. Any guilt or misgivings fall away for a few minutes.
He does all the little things that make it worth the effort. He spits into his hand, forms a firm fist and essentially fucks it, keeping it wet by spitting into his hand every now and again. He holds his breath and is sure not to make a sound, the whole while hips thrusting fast, rhythmically and hard. He's not sure if this makes it worse or better all he's sure of is the experience intensifies to a fever pitch and holding his breath just makes him want to be loud anyway. He leans against the back wall of the closet with his right arm up bent at the elbow upon the wall, biting into his own wrist, trying to withstand the storm of arousal and gratification in his head. He breathes into the wet cotton and sucks in air through it slowly. He licks his metal fingers and rubs the meatus of his glans.
The immediate relieving pleasure makes him dizzy. Internally, he says ‘Oooh, fuck! Oh, just the tip, just wet it there, UUUHMFFF! Fuck, FUCK!! Feels so good, feels so–ahh, hahn!’ He squeezes his thumb and forefinger into a tight ring that he forces the head of his cock through again, again and again. He pants, trying for the quietest he’s ever been in the small space and when he’s ready, he positions his right hand a little under and over the front of his cock and catches the hot stream of cum in his palm. The orgasm leaves his legs shaking as the power of it washes out to his limbs. He forces himself silent lest someone hear.
He stands in the broom closet, now motionless. Stupefied, he lifts his hand and stares at it like he’s never seen it before.
‘Why did I do that?’ he thinks. ‘What was I thinking?' images of huge deltoids and biceps flitting through his mind.
This was not like him. This is…almost a destructive behavior. Masturbating in broad daylight in a closet at a church!? When you are a priest at said church!?!? He thought he knew to steer clear of abhorrent behavior. Unhealthy coping mechanisms can lead you down a long, dark and twisted path.
Cum in hand though, a dark desire flourishes inside him and he licks, slowly then greedily he eats it off, no longer concerned with getting rid of the evidence. It is all about doing these dirty things in a dusty closet that anyone could open any moment and see. They’ll open the door and see him lick cum off his hand like a hungry animal, see his dick hanging out of his unzipped pants, see him perverting something he is unjustly using for his own gain. The crossing the line of this taboo feels amazing to him. He's been living this impossibly squeaky clean life and is now aware, he's not a machine. He's a human and they make mistakes and bad decisions and soon he comes to feel admittedly horrible. Jim sometimes looks at himself and all he sees is a bad man. Good people just don't masturbate in a church. 'Well, if I'm going to hell, guess I'll earn it on my own dime.' He thinks.
I return to the library. I suggest Jessie stay at the front desk, she turns a bit red but has no idea she is encountering the supernatural. I go to the office, open it’s closet and shut the door. I lay my enchantments and return to work. When it’s time, I just know, have a clock in my head that tells me when someone nearby is having a sexual experience. Jim is thinking about me, it’s as good as summoning me. I say I’m taking a bathroom break and head back to the office, once more opening the closet. I step into the portal there and become pure spirit. I transmute myself to his location.
I hang over his shoulder whispering to him. “My face captivates you, no? You remember my beautiful eyes? My lovely blonde hair? The way my shirt can hardly contain my chest? Don’t you want to see me as soon as you can? Do you want me? I’m sure you must…. How about undressed? Naked and on my knees? It will be so sweet and you’ll never get enough.” I’m seducing but not for my original purpose, I have other plans in mind.
I follow him the whole while and when he leaves the house of the elders I follow.
I sidle up close, floating unseen as he walks to the rectory, I whisper in his ear.
“Go home, go to bed and think of me. Become as aroused as possible and when you can’t get off, I’ll come for you. When you wish, I shall appear. Give yourself, give to me. I want you now.” I know how he’ll respond but I love seeing it anyways no matter how many times I’ve seen it before.
Because of how his mind has been altered, he now has the ability to instinctually fight any attempt outside of the rigid programming in his psyche to override his own free will. God himself couldn't make this man do as He says now. Not if He doesn't read the ritual commands first. But that's not how I want to get what I want.
He immediately turns on a heel and heads for the church where I can not follow. I stay out to watch him run and hide. I know exactly where he is in there, I know exactly what he is doing. This is going to be a fun challenge. He’s quite stubborn these days. I will get to him soon enough.