His beauty was loin-tingling and breath-taking all in one glimpse. The impact of his beauty was overwhelming: pale, almost luminous skin on a slender frame of perfect proportion; intelligent eyes set like dark jewels under delicate brows and long lashes; a proud, straight nose with slightly flared nostrils; a wide, mildly upturned mouth framed with rose-tinted lips, strong in expression but gentle in form, a mouth that expressed a voice both silky in timbre and harmonious in tone. His was the voice of an angel, sublime and enchanting.
Just twelve years of age, his eyes hinted at the wisdom of the ages. His slight stature and pale complexion belied a presence that flooded any room he entered with a sense of mirth, joy, and youthful promise. At this moment his mouth was gasping open with silent shrieks of despair, his eyes clenched tightly shut, his naked body wracked with spasms and cramps as he was flung forwards and back, helpless in the grip of a violent rape. Again.
The priest was hugely powerful, from the grey stubble of his closely-cropped hair to the gnarled toes that, like oak-roots, clenched the soles of his sandals and braced against the thrusts of his massive legs. His slab-sided face, square and teutonic under its bulbous, profusely sweating forehead, was tilted sharply back in orgasmic abandon, his mouth open and gasping, grunting, sucking air in great gulps, his hooked nose flared like a bulls nose, angry and florid. His thrusting buttocks clenched and unclenched with savage thrusts, impatient to their goal; his hands, great grasping butcher's hands at the end of muscular arms, roped with tendons and thick rippling muscles, clenched the boys hips, slender pale legs obscenely spread and flailing helplessly, a limp doll thrust backwards and forwards, crushing against the priest's pubic mat, soaked and dark, seen only as a thicker pad against the thickly matted, sweat-soaked mass of hair that ranged from his neck downwards, down the massive barrel of his body, down the thick tree-trunk legs, down even almost to the high-straining arches of his stained and heavily-calloused feet.
A loosely-woven robe of coarse brown fabric hung from the rutting priest's shoulders, entirely open in the front, a knotted waist cord hanging tangled down each side. A crucifix, bearing the carved figure of a weeping and crucified man, flopped and danced wildly from the priest's neck, its repeated impacts against his chest ignored. Beads of sweat fell upon the crucifix and were scattered away like so many tears wept by the carved figure thereon.
She was, without doubt, an angel. Everyone agreed. No one remembered such a lovely creature who combined the qualities of grace, intelligence, charm, and sweet disposition in one so young. Such a pity, they said, that she was so lowly born. Surely she had a father, but who that might be was lost to memory. Even her mother, who served in the Priest's household as cook and scullery maid, could not remember who of the many passing stable boys and draymen might have sired the girl fourteen years ago. Obviously the God, of whom the master of this house piously claimed to be an humble servant, possessed a cynical humour to place a child so rare in beauty and disposition so slightly above the class of the basest born. Little in life was hers to have or hold or claim, except one small thing: she was loved, unreservedly and passionately, silently and softly, secretly and fearfully, for the love was forbidden and if known would destroy her and he who loved her. She was loved by the boy, and she loved him, for his kindness and his gentle nature and his wise eyes.
"It is delicious, warm and filling. Thank you," he murmured to her as he slowly spooned the rich broth into his bruised mouth. He aroused just sufficiently to acknowledge her, and her gift of the small wooden bowl of soup from her mother's kitchen. All else was black, hidden, unspeakable. Only the blessed light of her presence and her gift of food was allowed to enter his tortured mind.
"It is so little," she murmured, her soft blue eyes gazing into his dark, half-lidded eyes, sunken into his pale, tear-streaked face. "Please take this bread, also; I will return after evening vespers with more if ma-ma allows." She crept away, leaving his small chamber.
Dreams came, throngs of upthrust faces, voices strident and hoarse with shouted cheers and praises, the tumult rising and blending into a cacophony of surging sound, beating, throbbing, flooding in a deluge, a vocal avalanche inundating him and those who stood with him upon the small shelf high above the sea of humanity. The torrent crashed again and again against his senses. His dream spun and whirled into a chaos of golden objects and fluttering white banners. His mind sought anchorage, meaning, relevance, yet again he was submerged in a maelstrom of confusion.
Kneeling in the sanctuary of the massive stone church, grasping the weeping figure carved upon his silver crucifix secured by the sweat-darkened leather cord about his neck, the Priest intoned one of his many supplications:
"From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, O Saviour.
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected..."
Light in the confessional stall was dim, veiled, the illumination barely able to cast shades or patterns. The Priest knew the voice and the man on the other side of the screen. He had heard that arrogant voice raised many times in the city chambers as it commanded the riches of that vast center of commerce: the High Lord Mayor, as much a servant of the townspeople as the Priest; the one to direct their worldly affairs; the other to direct their feet to heaven.
"Forgive me my sins, Father, for I feel prideful and lustful. I am but a weary servant and my days are burdened with demands I scarce have time or strength to fulfill."
"Pride is blindness that leads us upon the Satanic path," the Priest intoned. "Lust is our baser self seeking distraction from service to His holy cause. Submerge your pride in humility; tell me of your lustful indulgences that I might offer suitable dispensations," the Priest continued. The Lord Mayor offered confession in detail, his enthusiasm to expunge his conscience growing measure for measure with his expansive account.
The Lord Mayor concealed a weakness for flesh, very young flesh, flesh innocent of carnal awakenings. The Lord Mayor had "awakened" many young innocents to sobbing and shrieking awareness in his own household and in the secret chambers below the stone church. The innocents were selected by the Priest to receive instruction and sanctification. In return, these submissions would entitle their parents to certain favors from more highly placed patrons of that sacred institution.
It was indeed a bargain struck between two pillars of civil and sacred authority. It seemed imperishable. Where lust was hungering, power would provide.