The Tempting of Neely J: Chapter Fourteen – Fallen Angel


Neely forgot Jasmine’s personality-glitch as her own clouds of moral confusion returned to hover over her all the way to the café. She threw herself into work, chattering to customers as distraction from a swarm of thoughts which buzzed like her new toy. Thankfully Leo didn’t ask about the birthday gift. Her other job, her real job was haunting her as well, chiefly the planned lunchtime meet with Jonas. What a frame of mind in which to finalise Sunday week’s premier ‘sexual ethics’ workshop. How could she discuss it with any integrity?By the time she arrived at The Ship, Jonas’ favourite pub by the harbour, she had turned it all around. This wasn’t a gauntlet to be run, it was a God-sent opportunity—to reinforce her values, to gain strength in solidarity with her partner-in-the-faith.“Neelers! Club sandwich and a pint of Carlsberg. Your shout.”She smiled broadly at the familiar laddish grin and gel-spiked hair. Her comrade-in-spiritual-arms, his irreverence masking the seriousness with which he held his beliefs. She loved that. And she loved him, like the brother she’d always wanted. “You ready to whip these young reprobates into shape?” Jonas asked cheekily.“Sure am.” She hugged him. “And buy your own damn sandwich.”They had one of their cheerfully productive working-lunches. Ideas were ping-ponged back and forth, Scripture passages and quotations from their favourite spiritual thinkers were sought out, then spliced in their heads with relevant visuals: music videos, film clips and advertisements. Key points and discussion frameworks were scribbled down, as they worked through all that they wanted to cover in each session.“It’s much better to have broadened it like this,” Neely said. “Looking at relationships as a whole, not simply the sex part. Focus on all the things we can be developing and exploring, rather than the … the … the ones we shouldn’t be doing. Aren’t doing.” Her thoughts recovered from near derailment at the recollection of Ray’s thrashing tongue. Jonas, it appeared, hadn’t noticed.“Yeah, totally agree. Look, I’ll put all the materials together tonight,” he assured, “in the IT suite.” Neely laughed at the reference—the church’s former junk cupboard, which her colleague had converted into a computer-room-cum-editing-suite. “I’ll have the stuff for the first session really spot-on before the evening’s through.”“Lonely evening for you,” Neely said.“No, Leona’s going to come along and help me out.”“Wow. You really know how to romance a girl. She’s going to sit and watch in wonder at your tech skills. Maybe I should come rescue the poor thing.”“She loves that stuff. Better at it than I am. It’s a whole section of her media course.”“Oh, right. I wondered what you two had in common.” Neely was so used to Jonas’ ribbing, she preferred to get her jibes in first. “Cradle-snatcher.”“Hey!” He dipped his fingers and flicked her own water at her so that she flinched. “I expect that from some of the other guys, that’s why we keep it low-key, but not from you. Leona’s a very mature nineteen.”“Very pretty nineteen.”“That too. Anyway, you’re the one dating the heathen hack.”“All right, all right, touché.” Neely glared at him, but her smile quickly broke through. “Looks like we’re both conducting relationships on the QT.”“Hey, Neels, don’t sweat it,” he reassured. “You’ll have him converted to the faith in another month.”“Maybe,” she said quietly, doubt flickering once more. “We’ll see.”How Neely envied Jonas what he had with Leona. What was a few years’ izmit escort age-difference when you had a basic Christian compatibility as well as getting along? She envied Jasmine and Leo too, pursuing their respective love-lives free of faith-imposed constraints. Everyone on the same page, whether the book was the Bible or the Kama Sutra. But what of poor souls trying to reconcile conviction with desire, when their partner shared only the former?She carried the thought away from her lunchtime meet, spent all afternoon steeling her resolve, trying to think her relationship with Ray into similar terms to those she’d be advising the young people. Fit it back into the box marked ‘chaste’. By early evening she’d convinced herself she’d succeeded. Then her work was all but undone.She met Ray outside Bristol’s Old Vic Theatre. He reverted to his pre-birthday self, greeting her with a brief kiss on the lips. It was enough to make her burn with memory.“Missed you,” he told her, and the sentiment was mutual. She’d missed his body close to hers and the reined-in passion of his touch. And the deft work of his tongue, holy heavens had she missed that. Walking in with him, flirting in the bar over a pre-show drink, nestling next to him in the stalls—it all made her yearn for more of what she’d had and everything she’d not.They relaxed into a performance of David Auburn’s Proof, his clever, moving tale of madness, mathematics, and love. It was erotic as well, disconcertingly so, in the scene where the maths prodigy offered up her cherry to her father’s PhD student. She appeared in the follow-up scene bath-robed and glowing, a girl radiantly popped. This was a dramatic element Neely could have passed on, one which stuck with her till the actors took their bows and beyond. Perched on a stool in the theatre bar, she attempted to steer the conversation and her feelings somewhere safe.“I was surprised to get your text about church. I didn’t think you were much interested in it for itself.”Ray looked slightly embarrassed. “Well I’m not sure to what extent I am. But I think I need to establish some balance.” He leaned across the table as he spoke, and she tried to look in his eyes rather than fixate on the light chest-hair visible past the unbuttoned part of his shirt.“What kind of balance?” His after-shave was a sea-salt tang in her nostrils. She endeavoured to focus on his words.“The type you always talk about. To remind myself of the whole of you, all your interests and aspects, not just the side I got carried away with on your birthday.”“I don’t want you to worry about that. Please let’s talk about something—”“It does worry me. It worries me that something I did to make you feel good on your birthday, to make you feel special and sexy, had the opposite effect.”“It didn’t.” Emotion for him swelled and she wished that she could reassure fully. “Okay, it … it did make me feel those things.” She couldn’t look at him. “Sexy and special I mean. Only, you know how much of a conflict it is for me. I can’t give in to those … feelings.”“It’s a conflict for me too.” His voice was low and earnest. The tone arrested her, and she looked at him again. “I wanted you so much, Tuesday night. I’m not apologising for what I did, because I think you deserve to feel how that obviously made you feel. You’re this beautiful passionate girl with a lust for life and I don’t see that God or man could accuse you of doing anything wrong in … in enjoying that gift.” Neely instinctively went yahya kaptan escort to explain how it wasn’t simply a matter of feeling accused by God, it was about adhering to priorities, priorities tied to a whole system of belief, but he stopped her. “Look, Neely, that doesn’t mean I intend to try and push anything else on you. I promise faithfully to myself every day that I won’t. I haven’t forgotten anything you’ve said on the subject, and it doesn’t make less sense than it did. It’s …”“It’s what?” Neely asked with trepidation. She didn’t need Ray going back on his avowal.“I’m not sure this is the place to talk about it.” Proximity of other theatre goers was making her self-conscious as well, it was true. “Maybe wait till we’re in the car?” She agreed and tried to relax back into chat, keeping her mind away from all the associations that went with lovers in cars driving their way to secluded places.They sat in Ray’s BMW shortly after. Neely was shielded from the public, but more exposed to him somehow. “What I was trying to say back there …” Ray continued, and her toes curled in fear and fascination. “It’s why I thought of the church thing. Discover more about why you believe what you believe. Get to know some of your church friends a bit better. Because I need to get a handle on what I’m feeling here.”“And … what are you feeling?”“I … Damn, I shouldn’t even tell you this stuff. It’s probably not helpful.”“No, Ray, you should. We need to be honest with each other. I need to know what you’re thinking.” It scared her, but she was sure this was the right move.“I’m trying to get some perspective on my feelings, my frustrations. Not only,” he added hastily, “frustrations about the physical aspect of sex. It’s way more than that. I’ve never met anyone like you before, Neely. There’s a difference between wanting to have sex with someone because they’re physically attractive and give you the horn. Which you are and do—” He squeezed her jean-clad knee to reassure. She giggled, scared and flattered. “…And wanting to make love to them because of who they are. Because you want to experience this amazing person in that way.” Neely was as moved as she was aroused. Ray’s expression darkened. “I have such dreams about you.”“You do?” Against her better judgement Neely wanted to know.“You have no idea.” He looked away, shamed by his confession. “Crazy dreams. I shouldn’t even be saying this.”“I …  I…” Neely kind of agreed with the latter comment but didn’t like to stem the thoughts to which he was giving vent. “No, it’s better you say it.”“I wake up and my head’s full to bursting with images of making love to you. How amazing that would be. With you. Tender, passionate, but not that alone. It’s not like I think you’d break. I see … I sense so much passion in you and I think I know how intense it would be. How wild you would drive me, the things I would … The ways … Jesus … Sorry, shouldn’t swear like that. And shouldn’t be such a … a typically horny guy I suppose.”“It’s okay, it’s okay.” Neely stroked Ray’s arm as she always did when he agonised, but she too felt horribly tormented, and her panties were as soaked as they had been on their birthday date. “You’re not typical.”“If I care about you, then I need to respect what you believe. Not fixate on that one aspect of our relationship.”“Yes, I know that. But you’re a guy, you’re allowed to feel frustrated, I need to understand that too.” Flaming hell. Like I’m not frustrated? “We gebze escort need to be able to talk it out.”“Yes, well sometimes talking makes it harder.” He smiled ruefully. “Pun intended.” Neely glanced inadvertently at his trouser crotch, which was indeed under considerable duress. “Caught you,” he said, and she looked up to see him grin. She burst into laughter with him, her face flaming at the same time. “Look,” he told her, “let me get you home before I say something even more inappropriate.”Her brilliant thought occurred as they set off through the dusk. Maybe Ray did need the society of some of her Christian friends to help re-jig his perspective. And Alton Bridge was helpfully on their route. “Ray, is it okay if we stop off at the church? Jonas is round there finishing off some stuff for the workshop we’re doing, and I’d love to have a look at what he’s come up with. If it’s not too late for you.”Ray looked surprised but went with the flow. “Sure. He seems a good guy. What’s he up to, audio-visuals?”They chatted off-topic of sex all the way to Alton Bridge—a considerable relief. All the lights were off when they arrived at the church, but she recognised the lone vehicle in the car park as Jonas’ Ford Mondeo. Ray pulled up on the kerbside.“You can go inside,” Neely pointed out. “You weren’t cooked by a lightning-bolt the last time.”“I’ll wait here. You go say hello.”“No, come on, it’d be nice for you to meet some of the guys again.” She hopped out of Ray’s BMW, and he followed her through the gates towards Jonas’ car. Drum-and-bass was pumping out of it. Neely ran up to the Mondeo’s semi-steamed windows and wondered too late if she had stumbled on her colleague and his girlfriend making out.The “Hey” was out of her mouth the same instant she recognised that much more was going on. Jonas was not set to drive; he was sprawled on the rear seat as good as stripped, his body a streak of lean muscle. Coffee-skinned Leona was straddling him in a crouch, butt-naked and proud, mid-fornication. She wasn’t simply riding Jonas’ cock, she had a double-grip on the back seat and was impaling herself on him repeatedly and hard with the brisk motion of her plump ass. This girl looked determined to take her boy right up inside her on every connection. The slick black frizz of her hair was dancing all over her shoulders and her generously curved young body was glazed with perspiration. Jonas had hold of her waist, but had no need to aid her movement, so committed was she to the fuck. His head was flung back, face stretched in a grin like he couldn’t believe his luck.Then he saw Neely and his expression turned to one of horror. Leona looked back and squealed, halting mid-slide down her boyfriend’s shaft, and grabbing a blouse with which to cover up her breasts.“Oh my! Oh God!” Neely recoiled in an embarrassment which mirrored theirs, bumping into Ray who had walked up behind.“Everything okay?”“What? Yes! Please, let’s go. Bad timing. Bad timing.”She spun around and set off at a trot for Ray’s car, face burning and heart beating at an accelerated thump. She did not stop till she got there, then stood frantically waiting for Ray to let her inside.“You all right?”“Yes, yes, I’m fine. Just get me home. Please.”“God,” he said, once they were inside. “You caught them fucking, didn’t you?”“Yes!” She snapped the word in a fury and looked away, eyes tearing with loneliness and confusion. “Yes. I’m sorry. Ray, can you please take me home?”The journey was silent. Neely’s mind was numbed by the vision to which she had been privy. When they arrived outside her apartment block, Ray laid a consoling hand on her arm. “There are worse things, sweetheart,” he said. “For a moment back there, I thought the Church Car-park Killer had offed another couple.”