Backpacking through Eastern Europe had seemed like an adventure. But lost in the hills of Transylvania, tired, and alone Julia was thinking that this trip had been a bad idea. She’d made a wrong turn somewhere, and the bus had never arrived. She started down the road until she’d spied what she thought was a building in the distance. Once she got closer, she could make out the old gothic hulk against the setting sun.
When the bells chimed, she realized she was making her way to a church. It was full dark when she reached the church, and she was tired, filthy, and whispering a prayer to every god she knew that whoever was at the church would let her stay the night.
The heavy wooden doors weren’t locked, and Julia poked her head in, concerned that she may be interrupting evening services. The hall was empty of people, and oddly, she thought, any obvious religious icons. The space above the altar had clearly been designed to hold some sort of image, but was now bare.
“Hello?” She called into the flickering candle light. A shadow filled the nave and Julia jumped.
“I’m sorry to startle you, child” a voice rose out of the darkness, followed by a young, and in Julia’s opinion, far too handsome priest. His robes made a soft swoosh over the stone floor as he moved toward her. “How may I help you?”
Julia forced herself to stop gaping at the man, “I seem to have gotten lost, and I need a place to stay tonight.”
He inclined his head toward her, “Come,” he nodded.
Julia followed by him, wondering just how blasphemous her thoughts could get.
“My church is very old,” he said, like he was giving a tour. “It is built over the ruins of a Roman temple, when this land was still called Dacia.” Julia felt a tingle run up her spine, wondering if she had gotten lost accidently after all. “The baths are still here.” The priest continued as they descended a stone staircase and exited in a large stone chamber, dominated by a large steaming pool of water. He gestured at the pool, “Please wash and rest from your trek. I will return with linens and perhaps dinner,” He looked toward her, and she nodded.
Alone in the chamber, she quickly shed her clothing and gingerly lowered herself into the pool. The water was heavenly on her tired muscles.
She wasn’t surprised to catch glimpses of ghosts, not the disembodied soul types, but the memory of the place. She watched misty figures using the pool for millennia. Distracted by the figures, she didn’t immediately notice the priest return. He was still beautiful, but she squinted seeing a second figure hover over him. The second figure wore a crown of leaves and vines and a loin cloth of some animal pelt. She thought she saw horns peeking out of his shaggy hair.
She blinked in the steam, but the image remained. She stood up in the water, and noticed that the man of god did not look away from her naked flesh. In fact, his dark eyes actively traveled over her form. “Genius loci,” Julia said to him, knowing that she was naming him for what he truly was. “No priest, not even human at all, although you fake it well.”
The priest shrugged and set the towels he carried on a small table next to her clothes. “Witch,” he replied, naming her as well. “No common lost traveler at all. I could smell the magic on you when you entered the nave.”
Julia moved through the water nearer to him. She had no quarrel with local spirits, and wasn’t seeking to start a quarrel with one. When she’d been a young witch, she inadvertently offended a genius loci in Ireland, a leprechaun to be exact. While his punishment had been enjoyable, she wasn’t going to risk offending this unknown genius loci. “I told the truth. I was lost and seeking shelter.” She thought he may be a faun, lucky enough that his grove and spring became the location for this church, letting him stay and protect it.
His eyes once again traveled over body, noting her tattoos – the ones of the moon’s phases that stretched from between her breasts to her pubis seemed the most interesting to him. “You serve the Bendis, the Goddess of Moon and of Forest and of Magic?”
Julia had never heard of Bendis, and cursed herself for not studying the gods of ancient Transylvania before coming here. “I am sworn to the Goddess of the Crossroads, but for me she bears another name.” Julia climbed out of the pool, the water sluicing off her naked flesh. “She is a goddess of the moon and of magic, like your lady.”
The priest smiled, and Julia saw his sharp teeth. He was no faun, like she had first thought. This Bendis was older than the Romans, and perhaps more feral. “Will you worship with me, this night?” he asked.
Julia found herself nodding, and the water dripping from her wet hair echoed in the chamber. She stepped toward the priest, and took the towel he offered. She wasn’t cold. The chamber was warm with steam from the pool. As she dried off, the priest removed his cassock, revealing his true form. He was something akin to a faun, with cloven feet and goat-like legs, but his horns were far closer to those of a stag.
“Come” he said and led her away from the pool, into a dark passage. Julia walked behind him the dark, following the tap of his hooves.
She gaped as the passage opened into a stone walled piece of a forest. She knew the place wasn’t a garden; its wildness filled her blood. She wasn’t sure if the walls were manmade or natural. Looking at her guide, she couldn’t imagine anyone witch or human building walls to imprison him. He was too wild, to feral, and fierce. But as the clouds shifted she saw the grooves in the walls, and knew that someone had walled in his grove, and by doing so had imprisoned him as well. “Oh, I am so sorry,” she whispered, but her voice still echoed around the stone walls.
He turned his dark, wild eyes on her. “You see; you understand.”
Julia nodded, and wondered how many others had not seen and had not understood.
He began the rite, striding with confidence to the altar. He spoke in some ancient tongue, Dacian or perhaps Thracian. Julia listened, and recognized the cadence of an invocation. As he spoke, Julia felt the power in his words, the magic of them. The very earth under her feet seemed to warm, to breathe. She watched and listened as he poured some libation into a bowl. He splashed it over the altar, and Julia caught the scent of herbs. He poured again; turning toward her, he raised the bowl and drank deeply.
For the first time, Julia saw him clearly. He was no faun; no, he was the king stag of the forest, the horned god of these small woods. He was, she realized, magnificent. She dropped to her knees in front of him as he lowered the bowl.
He smiled, once again revealing sharp teeth and offered her the bowl. She drank, tasting the herbs, some she knew and others she could not name. The herbs had been steeped in some local liquor, and it burned down her throat. She whispered her own prayer to the goddess, before handing the bowl back.
She reached for him them, guiding him toward her. She flicked her eyes up at him, seeking his consent for this. He smiled and wrapped his hand around his cock, already hard and pointing toward her. He stroked his length while she watched. Julia shifted forward, opening her mouth, and ran her tongue of his cock.
She licked and inhaled his musky scent, before wrapping her lips around his cock. The priest groaned, and once again spoke in his ancient tongue. Julia felt the magic in the words, but still didn’t understand them. With one hand, she reached out and cupped his heavy sac in her hand. Julia felt their warmth in her hand, and kneaded softly at first, increasing the pressure as he began to thrust his cock into her mouth.
Julia sucked and licked at his cock, listening to his unceasing litany to the goddess. Finally, he grasped her shoulders, pushing her gently back from him. He offered her his hand, and she rose on shaky legs. The liquor had finally hit her, and the stars seemed to swim overhead, and she could not see the moon.
Her hand clasped in his, he led her to the altar, and laid her upon it. She watched the stars wheel overhead, and opened her thighs to his mouth. His tongue explored her, slipping through her wetness, while his hands caressed her thighs. She began her own invocation, punctuated by her gasps and moans of delight. This was not simply raising energy or even for sexual release – he worshiped her sex as if it belonged to the goddess herself.
Julia edged closer to orgasm, her body tensing, the energy coiling within her belly, but before she reached her climax, the priest stopped. She looked down at him, his mouth glistening with her wetness, as he positioned his cock between her thighs and waited.
She nodded at him, tilting her hips to allow him greater access to her. His cock plunged into her cunt and they both cried out. He was as feral as she thought, thrusting fast and hard into her, and she wrapped her legs around his back and cried out for more. Her nails carved furrows into his back, as she met his thrusts.
Neither of them could keep up their prayers or invocations, they panted and moaned and cried out in broken voices. Julia felt the swell of her orgasm, and let it wash over her as she released a shrill cry of pleasure.
He smiled down at her, his dark eyes showing enjoyment that she had found her release. He shifted plunging deeper inside her. “Again?” he growled at her, his lips finding her neck and biting hard enough to bruise, but not so hard as to break the skin.
“Yes,” Julia panted and felt his hand on her clit, “Oh god, yes” she gasped out. His delighted chuckle at her words, rumbled through his chest. His fingers teased her clit, as he continued to slide his cock into her. He moved his head lower, capturing a nipple in his teeth, biting and sucking hard at her flesh.
Once again, Julia felt herself near orgasm, and this time her cries echoed off the stone walls. The priest also found his release, pressing deeply inside her, and finally stilling his frantic thrusts. His cries, she noticed didn’t echo the way hers had, but she was too lost in her own orgasm to think much of it.
He shifted to lie next to her on the altar, his arms draped loosely around her, as she rested her head on his chest. A beam of moonlight burst from the cloud cover, and crossed their tangled limbs. Julia watched the silver glow travel over their bodies, and down the altar to the floor of the woods. It traced a path toward the stone walls.
She blinked, her vision still swimming from the liquor and the orgasm. She sat up, and the priest frowned at her, concerned. His eyes followed hers, and they saw together that the eastern most walls had cracked and crumbled. Not open, at least not yet.
She looked at the priest, his dark eyes wide with comprehension. “Again?” she whispered in the woods, and he laughed with the joy of one soon to be freed.