before the altar

She wakes up just before dawn, swimming slowly up out of sleep, and blinks for awhile at the ceiling overhead, the stone ribs of the vaulted Norman nave criss-crossing her vision like vestiges of half-remembered dreams. The sky outside the small, round-headed windows is just a little lighter than the stone that frames it, but there’s a blush rising behind the stained glass of the easternmost one, set up in the wall behind the altar —

ah! the altar!, and in a moment her brain shifts awake and yes, she remembers, they’re in a church, halfway through a camping holiday, trying out a new thing she’d heard about from a friend – ‘champing’, the internet seemed to want to call it, paying a fee to spend the night on your own bedding under the roof of a rural medieval church long abandoned. The idea seemed whimsical, fun, and now here they were – out in the middle of Kent, miles from the nearest motorway, in a little church from the 12th century. Or so the plaque outside had said, anyway.

She’s on her back, now, and Rob’s lying beside her, top of the sleeping-bag mostly kicked aside, wearing just a tshirt and briefs. The shirt’s ridden up over his tummy and his cock is swollen thick in his shorts, half-hard already. She run one hand up the length of it, through his briefs, and he jerks up against her palm, reflexive. She keeps her fingers there, gentle, rolling her wrist just enough that the heel of her hand rocks a little over his shaft.

‘Hey,’ she says, soft, and rolls her body up over him, presses kisses along his collarbone, her lips a little tacky still with sleep.

‘Heey.’ He blinks awake, his hand sliding heavy over the small of her back, fingers slipping lazy down the curve of her ass. She puts one leg over his waist and straddles him, leaning close down with one of her hands braced beside his neck, and she kisses the thin skin on the underside of his jaw, the place where his pulse flutters. When she reaches behind her to drag Rob’s briefs down over his thighs he helps her, lifts his ass in the air and then pulls her up over his body, far enough that his cock jerks against her inner thigh. She’s breathing harder, a warm blush washing up her chest and over her tits, and she slips one hand between her legs and presses a thumb down over the root of his cock, wriggles a bit so her cunt slips easy and wet around him and she presses down, slow, exhales hungrily as she settles flush against him.

He makes a noise quiet in his throat and tips his head back, drags one hand through his hair and puts it behind his head. She moves a little, tightens her knees on either side of his hips, their bodies singsonging with urgent ache for the other. For a few minutes she rolls her hips, riding him, neither of them speaking, the first milky light from the windows behind them washing over the gentle surge of their bodies. When she starts to pant roughly Rob gets an arm around the small of her back, half sits up and flips her over. She lets her thighs fall apart and he pushes inside her again, he’s thrusting, deep, hard, and his forearms are braced tight over her shoulders, back bowed a little. His face is inches from hers and he’s breathing heavy, warm, and star-clusters start to spark along her spine.

‘Rob,’ she says, between breaths, ‘Rob, fuck,‘ and arches against him, bucking under his hips, and he puts his head down into her shoulder and pumps into, once, twice, holds and holds, his flanks quivering as he comes inside her.

Afterwards they lay there while the sky framed in the round-headed windows turns pearly grey-pink and then into a washed-out robin’s egg blue. There’s birdsong somewhere nearby and the church is utterly still — just their breathing and the rustle of the sleeping bag underneath them, and she lies there playing with Rob’s hair and thinks that it’s like the ghosts of all those who used to stand here are hovering, holding their breath, standing round to watch them: monks in long robes, women in Tudor dresses, nuns with covered bodies and cloistered passions, peasants, politicians, lovers.

‘Rob,’ she says, suddenly, ‘will you – I wanna – um, c’mere.’ She gets up, naked, her thighs still sticky with slick, and the light from the stained-glass window plays rippling over her body, like she’s some wanton Madonna, flesh painted bright against the stone. She steps up to the altar and Rob watches her for a moment and then gets up, follows. Whatever English Heritage employee arranged the church for its nascent champing career left a couple of bench-pews ranged in front of the altar; she nudges one of them up a little closer, so it’s almost touching the altar rail, and turns, steps up close to Rob’s chest, not quite touching him, looks up into his face.

‘Father Rob,’ she says, and bites her lip, glances up from under her lashes. ‘I need to – to pray, to seek the Lord’s forgiveness. I wonder if you’d — lay hands on me, while I do. Let the divine blessing, uh, penetrate me as I pray.’

She’s standing close enough she can feel Rob’s dick start to harden, shift up against her thigh.

‘Do it, then,’ he says, just a flicker of a smile so she knows he’s on board. ‘Kneel down, child.’

She turns and kneels in front of the bench, grabs hold of the altar’s rail so her hips and belly are bent a little forwards, over the bench, and turns her face up towards the big window. She can feel Rob getting down on the stone-flagged floor behind her and she feels a surge of adrenaline, arousal washing just under her skin like a warm blurring inkblot. Her nipples pebble and her breath gets faster, shallow. She’s waiting, waiting for him to touch her, and then, and then

‘Pray, child,’ he says, husky, and she does, mouth dry, the blood pulsing hot between her legs.

‘Our father-‘ she begins. Rob touches her then, puts one hand flat on the small of her back so she tips up further forward and pushes two fingers steady up into her cunt, lets the pad of his thumb brush over her asshole as he thrusts with his fingers. She lurches forward a little on her knees, grips the rail of the altar hard enough that her knuckles go white. A frisson skitters over her nerves, up her spine, and a feverish pink stains her tits where they hang trembling, almost brushing against the front of the altar. She grinds her hips down, opens her thighs and bears down hard, trying to take Rob’s fingers deeper. He can feel her cunt tighten warm and hungry around his knuckles.

‘Keep praying,’ he says, bending so she feels his breath against the shell of her ear and his cock presses hard against her tailbone, slick with precum. ‘Pray, girl, and be cleansed.’

‘Ahh,’ she gasps, shakes a little’- give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us…’

Halfway through her second recitation Rob can’t wait any longer, reaches to grip the rail of the altar, too, curls his body in over her naked form and pushes his cock up into her. She chokes on the words of the prayer, moans, presses back into him, and her forearms strain taut and shaking a little, holding on. He thrusts deep and regular, breathing harsh in the morning stillness, his palm slipping a little on the rail with his sweat. His other hand drags up her body, cups one breast and tightens, squeezes till his fingernails dig into her skin. Her nipple catches between two of his knuckles and she groans, deep and involuntary, almost sobbing now. Then she gathers herself, tries again, tries to catch her breath.

‘-on earth as it is in heaven,’ she says, lets go of the rail with one hand and slips it down between her legs, rubs over her clit. ‘Our father who art – father, oh, fuck, Rob, fatherfather –‘ and she comes there in front of the altar, cunt fluttering around his fingers, body convulsing in his arms.

before the altar

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