Saving Sins — OUT NOW!



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Together they mounted the steps, into the vestibule, and the snow followed them in flurries, melting in the warmer air. Once inside, Michael’s hand extended toward the holy water. Then he paused. Then, very slowly, he retreated. “Tara,” he said, “why did you decide to come back here?” And that was it. The big question. She could lie and say it was because she wanted to give back, could say it was because she felt indebted to him and wanted to help, could say she felt a tinge of that famous Catholic guilt for living while others fell. But she didn’t. “I wanted to see you,” she said. He turned and stared at her. “I wanted to see you as well,” he said. His brows furrowed, and he suddenly looked older, and sad, and tired. “Did you know that you are the only girl I have saved?” he asked. “Of all the women, in all my years… you are the only one.” She couldn’t speak. Didn’t even know what to say. That faith, the faith she was so sure had anchored him, no longer existed. She could feel him being swept out to sea. She wanted to save him. And then she didn’t know who moved first, only that one moment they stood apart in the vestibule, and the next she was in his arms and his lips were on hers and she was moaning, aching, writhing. The world melted away, receding as dark recedes from a blaze. The pounding of her heart roared in her ears as he pulled her to him. When she was young, their kiss had been untidy, frantic, but now, with the weight of longing and time behind it, it consumed her. His hands were everywhere, as though he could taste her in his fingertips, and her lips thrust against his, her tongue flicking over his mouth, begging him to open to her, to let her inside, to let her past the austere priestly garb, the solemn vows, the dark sadness that shrouded him, and with a moan he complied. She tasted him. She was overcome, overwhelmed. He pushed into her, forcing her back and back, until her body hit the heavy wooden doors with a teeth-rattling jar, and he trapped her in the cave of his body, his mouth plundering hers, drinking from her like a man in the desert dying of thirst. He smelled of coffee and snow. The cold clung to his coat, and as she reached up her chilled fingers grazed his cheeks, sampling the cool skin there. “Please,” she begged him as he broke away, his ravenous mouth traveling down her jaw, tracing a path to her ear. Hot breath curled in her head as he panted against her. “Tara,” he whispered hoarsely. “Tara, I’ve wanted this, Tara, I shouldn’t, please, Tara—”