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“Reverend!“ Catherine Cawood bellowed the title the same way she might have the order to drop a deadly weapon. The effect was similar: it made Reverend Jane Oliver jump, even in the comfort of her own church.

God, I really hate this place… Catherine thought as she strode forward, past the empty pews, recalling Becky’s funeral service. She hadn’t expected to come here again any time soon and certainly not as regularly as she did these days. Yeah but it’s not for spiritual guidance or any of the other bullshit you’re selling. 

“Sergeant,“ the vicar responded in kind though her voice was far more mellow. She watched the police officer come towards her and Catherine enjoyed the way her eyes remained fixed on her, almost like a deer in headlights. 

Thank God they replaced the old vicar. What a bastard. She still recalled his choice words about the Church’s view on suicide. Ignorant, narrow-minded arsehole. What sort of a way is that to comfort a grieving mother? 

The new priest couldn’t be more different, even at first glance. This, of course, wasn’t the first time they’d met. That had been weeks ago when some teenage idiots had torched the bins at the vicarage over some newspaper article on the vicar’s past.

Can’t help who we fall in love with… even if they are an illegal immigrant, drug-addicted and half your age… Maybe that’s why they shipped her up 'ere, should feel right at home with what’s going on in the Valley… But she really just doesn’t look the type to have a checkered past, does she? 

Jane Oliver was a short, unassuming woman, middle-aged with light brown hair that was tied neatly in a bun. The white dog collar stood out against her plain grey shirt, displaying her profession and convictions to the rest of the world.

“Can I have a word?“ The sergeant asked, her voice challenging and authoritative as always when she was in uniform. 

“Catherine, love, what are you doing here?“ That was when Catherine realised the vicar hadn’t been alone. On the pew next to her, right at the front, sat Alice Hinch: nosy local pensioner and the last thing Catherine needed right about now. 

I haven’t got time for this. Took ages just getting here with traffic. 

“Oh Alice, hello love,“ the policewoman managed a smile as she came to stand beside her. She crossed her arms in front of her chest, against the heavy duty vest and high-vis jacket her job required. She only unwillingly averted her eyes from Jane, who remained a silent observer to their conversation.  

“Are you lost?“ Alice asked, looking up at her. 

“Why’d you say that?“ Catherine retorted, raising her eyebrows. 

“Well, we haven’t seen you in ‘ere in years! There’s not been any trouble, has there?“ the pensioner asked. She leaned forward onto her walking stick. 

“Just need to have a quick word with the good vicar ‘ere.“ Catherine gave her a kind smile, then turned her attention to the reverend again.

“Well, do you want to…“ Jane started, indicating towards the back room, but Alice interjected:

“Ohh. Did something happen?“ 

Curious as ever, sticking your nose where it don’t belong, Catherine thought, but did her best to smile and remain patient:

“Nothing for you to worry about, love, but would you mind giving us some privacy?“ Her voice turned a bit firmer, hoping to give her a hint. 

“She’s not in any trouble is she? You know she’s best thing to happen to this community since…“ Alice actually reached for the policewoman’s hand while pointing to Jane who looked thoroughly uncomfortable with the pensioner’s meddling. 

I guess she has been, yes… everyone says so. Helping at the mission, reaching out to the vulnerable, she’s even started that bloody grief support group that Clare keeps banging on about…

“Well, that depends on whether she can give me a minute of her time now,“ Catherine carried on, her voice left no room for discussion which prompted the vicar into more decisive action. 

“Please excuse us, Alice.“ She put her hand to the pensioner’s shoulder, to end her interference. 

Thank the bloody Lord for that , Catherine thought, but kept her blasphemous musings to herself. Instead, she focused on Jane, who was indicating for her to follow. 

“This way, Sergeant.“ 

“Sorry love, this will take a minute, you might want to come back later,“ Catherine added towards Alice before following the vicar.  

“You’re not arresting her, are ya?“ Alice called after them, struggling to her feet. 

Now there’s a headline… though I suppose Reverend Oliver has had her fill of being in the spotlight. 

“Bye now, Alice, mind how you go,“ Catherine shot back and held the door open for the vicar, indicating for her to walk through first.

“You can’t talk like that, she thinks I’m in trouble now,“ Jane whispered as she closed the door behind them and turned to face the sergeant. 

“You are in trouble,“ Catherine stated plainly, before she pushed her back against the door and kissed her firmly. Jane gasped, which the sergeant took as an invitation to deepen the kiss. She slipped her tongue inside her mouth and her hands down her body. She grabbed her hips and pinned her to the wood behind her.

“Catherine…“ Jane breathed, pulling away at last. She looked up to the policewoman, eyes wide with surprise. 

“What? Would you rather there were awkward questions about what a committed agnostic such as meself - who hasn’t been seen in church in years as Mrs Hinch kindly pointed out - is doing seeing the vicar?“ Catherine hummed with a smirk creeping onto her features. 

No, I really don’t need that kind of hassle right now. All I want is some bloody peace and quiet so I’m not gonna risk anyone finding out about this, not now. I just want to get through this shitty week… And it’s not like you’re not enjoying it, Jane, that’s pretty obvious.  

The vicar was breathing more heavily than before, her expressive eyes had darkened with dilated pupils, Catherine only had to raise a hand to her neck, feeling the thundering of her pulse under her fingertips, to draw surefire conclusions. 

Am I that great a kisser? Noted, Reverend. 

It didn’t take a police officer to pick up on her arousal.

“What are you doing seeing the vicar?“ Jane asked, her voice a little unsteady and she gnawed her bottom lip. The picture of temptation, as far as Catherine was concerned. 

“Thought that were pretty obvious…“ The policewoman growled, curling her hand around the back of her neck. She leaned down, kissing the side of her throat, leaving a wet trail up to her ear. “But I can be more specific if you like…“ She hummed and Jane grabbed on to her heavy vest, looking for something to hold on to. 

“Catherine…“ The way she whispered her name shattered the last bit of self control Catherine had. It prompted her to pull off her hat and shed her coat, the vest with radio and full of equipment followed.

Only gets in the bloody way, it’s my lunch break anyway.

Jane watched with bated breath until Catherine’s attention was fully back with her. 

“See, Reverend…“ the sergeant hummed as she stepped close again and brought her hands back to the vicar’s hips. “I woke up with some incredibly sinful thoughts this morning…“ She pushed her hands underneath her shirt, one to the back, pulling her close, on to the front, feeling her way up.

I didn’t really. I woke up to the memory of that terrible crashing sound of John hitting that car when he threw himself off the bridge but I’m here to forget about that, so best not bring it up. That would be a mood killer.

“Have you?“ Jane smiled sheepishly, relaxing a little, as she pushed her hands into Catherine’s hair while the policewoman kissed the side of her neck again.

“And I’ve tried and tried not to think about you like that anymore but then, I remember how much I like it when you moan my name in that posh London accent of yours…“ she smirked and dragged down the cups of her bra under her shirt. “And I just can’t help myself.“ 

I really can’t. There is just something about you…

“Catherine…“ Jane gasped, when Catherine palmed her breast and rolled her nipple between her fingers.

“Yeah, see, just like that, only a little more breathless, a little more desperate, but I’m getting ahead of meself, aren’t I,“ the policewoman grinned, delighted by her response. Jane dug her nails into her shoulders, her breath was hot against Catherine’s neck. She loved being that much taller than her.  

“So what- what were those thoughts you were…“ the vicar mumbled, obviously curious. Catherine captured her lips in a searing kiss. 

“You wanna take my confession, Reverend?“ she grinned as she pulled her hands from under Jane’s shirt. There was a flash of disappointment across the vicar’s face, but when Catherine brought her hands back to her hips, to the waistband of her jeans - jeans and converses on a priest, God help us - she was reassured as to her intentions. 

“Must have been quite something to make you rush over here during your shift,“ Jane stated, looping her arms around the sergeant’s neck, pulling her in for another kiss. 

It’s because I’ve had an incredibly shitty week and you make me forget about that. Everybody else just makes me feel even shittier. They think I’m messed up, a lost cause, and even though they might not say it, I can see it in the way they look at me. You don’t, ever, even though I’m a complete mess. Truth is, I like the way you look at me and being with you makes me feel a little less broken. I need that more than I need lunch right now. 

Of course Catherine wasn’t ready to say that, not yet, but at least she was able to admit it in her own head. She kissed her more fiercely, used her size against her and pinned her to the door again. She grabbed a fistful of her hair - sorry about your hair-do - and pulled her head back. Jane whimpered, looking up at her with pleading eyes. 

It’s also that you’re not scared of me, not really, not like so many of the others. Maybe that’s cause you believe in something bigger than yourself and that makes you strong. Stronger than I could ever hope to be. I can act like the hard-arse police sergeant but that’s all it is, an act. I’m only in control cause you let me. 

The dog collar was all the more prominent from this angle and for a moment, Catherine considered actually undoing it. Jane had done so before - they hadn’t all been fully clothed shags in the church hall - but for some stupid reason, the police officer couldn’t bring herself to cross that particular line. There was a stillness about Jane Oliver, a quiet confidence and calmness that she craved.

Catherine snapped back to the present when Jane’s hands found their way to the waistband of her trousers. Decisively, the sergeant grabbed her wrists, pulled her hands away and pinned them to the door at shoulder height. 

“See, I woke up from this dream in which I arrested you, and the idea of putting you in handcuffs did something for me… but that’s not going to happen, is it, you’re far too good a person to get yourself into trouble,“ Catherine whispered, leaning in close to her lips but without kissing her. Projecting confidence was something she was very good at.

“I don’t have to get myself arrested to end up in handcuffs, you carry them all the time…“ Jane managed a quick, breathless reply.

God yes, next time, definitely. If only we had the time. 

“Yes, but I’m only on me lunch break and I didn’t account for good old Alice muscling in for as long as she did,“ Catherine’s voice was regretful, as she released her wrists. “So for now, I think repenting for my many sins would be best thing to do.“ With that, the policewoman reached down and undid the vicar’s trousers. She pushed the tight fabric down and knelt between her legs.

“Fuck…“ Jane breathed, leaning against the door, watching Catherine repeat the action with her pants.

As much as I love hearing a priest swear, I wonder if I can make you lose control enough to say something blasphemous. She's always on about that…now that’s a challenge I’ll enjoy. 

“That was the idea, yeah…“ the sergeant smirked and leaned forward. She pushed her tongue between her legs and wrapped her arms around her thighs. 

“Catherine…“ the vicar gasped and knotted her fingers into her blonde mane for something to hold on to. Catherine lost herself in the experience too. She closed her eyes relying on her other senses. She parted Jane’s hot wetness with her tongue and the way she trembled against her was oh so satisfying. She had grown to love the sound of her whimpers, moans and gasps in response to every sharp flick or long stroke. She hadn’t been this confident the first few times around - relationships or even flings had been few and far in between since her marriage had broken down -  but she was making up for lost time and certainly getting practice now. She brought her hand up between her legs and pushed inside her. 

“Oh- fuck…“ 

Catherine smirked as she pulled her clit between her lips and continued thrusting into her. It didn’t take long after that. Soon she felt Jane tightening around her, tensing and shaking and Catherine held her through it, lapping up her wetness and helping her down from her high. 

I hope Alice did actually go home…how many people drop by church this time of day? Anyone could have heard us. 

The policewoman pulled away at last. She reached for her coat on the floor next to her, looking for, and succeeding in, finding tissues in her coat pocket. Best not get anything on the uniform, that could be one awkward conversation when I’m back at the nick. Catherine stood, as gracefully as she could manage, while Jane pulled up her trousers. 

“Sorry if I… took you by surprise a bit…“ Catherine said, keeping a more respectable distance now, as the vicar pulled her hair back into a bun. 

“No, well, that’s… fine…“ Jane gave a little laugh. 

“Is it?“ 

I think you’re just saying that. It’s really not fine. Not to mention unprofessional. Of both of us. 

“Well, I’m hardly in a position to complain…“ The vicar blushed a little, smoothing her shirt down. 

“Right, well, I uh…“ Catherine picked up her vest and pulled it back on, just for something to do. 

Just ask her. Just bloody ask her out, it’s not hard, Catherine. You can’t keep doing this, it’s been three weeks, someone is gonna notice eventually, there’s only so many excuses you can come up with to come here. And Clare has noticed something is up. You like her. Just ask her out. Look at those puppy-dog eyes, she’s bound to say yes.

“Reverend…“ Catherine cleared her throat but didn’t meet her eyes. 

“Jane,“ the other woman corrected her and Catherine felt the change in the air. Using the professional title made her feel safe, reserved even, as if she was this alluring ideal rather than a real person with their own feelings and wants. 

“Okay, Jane…“ the sergeant took a deep breath. “I was, well… sorry… It’s just… been a really shit week.“ 

“You know we can just… talk… we don’t have to…“ Jane took a step towards her and reached for her hand that rested on her belt, absentmindedly fiddling with her work gear. 

“I thought you liked it…“ Catherine’s eyes shot up to hers. 

“Oh I do, I mean…“ the vicar stammered quickly.

“Do you want to stop?“ 

Of course she does. Why is she even bothering with you? It’s just something that happened, not like there is something more to it, for her, probably… she could get in trouble over this. Church doesn’t like that type of thing, do they, and Christ, we’re even in the church doing it… 

“No, please, I mean… I…“ Jane reached out, cupping her hand to Catherine’s cheek, a soft gesture the sergeant barely knew what to do with. It did one thing: hold her undivided attention. “I just meant it doesn’t have to be all we do…“ 

“Right…“ Catherine swallowed her feelings down. “Well, like I said, Reverend…“ she retreated back behind the title and pulled away. “It’s been a pretty shitty week, this bloke from work just turned out to be a killer and then he’s only gone and topped himself and I tried to talk him down and failed. And there is this thing with me grandson and…“ 

Sure, lay it all on her, why don’t you, that’s one way of ruining this for yourself. Make her run for the hills…

“You have a lot on, I understand…“ Jane averted her eyes, crossing her arms in front of her chest and her body language was easy enough to read, even without police training: she probably felt like Catherine was blowing her off and she was protecting herself from disappointment. 

“Sorry…“ was all Catherine could think to say. 

Bloody well done, Sarge. Stellar work as usual.

“No… it’s fine… I’m sure there will be other lunch breaks, or whatever…“ Jane put on a brave front and a fake smile. She pushed away from the door and walked further into the room, over to a desk, trying to make herself look like she was getting back to work.

Coward. You’ve got the bloody Queen’s Police Medal for Bravery, whatever happened to that? 

Catherine stepped up to the door, curling her hand around the door handle. 

Better to just go back to work now before I’m late… done enough damage here. I can always text her later and apologise. Apologise over dinner, perhaps… that would be best…

“Do you cook?“ The words tumbled over Catherine’s lips in haste as she looked back to Jane who was busying herself with papers in the desk. 

“Sorry?“ The vicar looked up, surprised, and Catherine let go of the door handle again as she carried on, turning back:

“Because I can cook but I think it might be a bit much if you came round my house cause with me sister there and me son and grandson and everyone and you know…And going to the pub, like, you’re not exactly inconspicuous with that collar round your neck and I’m not sure if I’m ready for people to start gossiping just yet and…“

“I can cook,“ Jane interjected quickly with a nod, interrupting her long-winded justification. 

“Right.“ Catherine blinked, surprised at the ease with which she’d responded. There was the quiet confidence again, the calmness that was so reassuring. 

“Well, barely, probably not well enough to woo you, but I’ve been told I make great tea and I know how to work the phone to order takeaway,“ the vicar admitted sheepishly and Catherine actually laughed. She hadn’t laughed - properly laughed - in so long. It was such a liberating feeling. 

“Sarge? You back off your break yet?“ Shaf’s voice came across the radio, making both of them jump. 

“I best get going,“ Catherine sighed, grabbing hold of the radio in order to respond and Jane nodded. 

“Look after yourself, Sergeant.“ 

I’ve got to now, haven’t I, can’t let you down now that we’ve got a date…

“See you later, Reverend.“