Updated: Jan 23
by Tiffany Reisz
Published by 8th Circle Press
Prequel novella to The Angel
It's July, a couple months after Nora returns to Søren at the end of THE SIREN, and while in bed, Søren makes a trade with Nora. He'll do something nice for her and she'll do something nice for him. Of course Nora picks something sexual. But Søren surprises her with his "something nice" request.
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RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Erotica Sweet
This is a beautiful novella, showcasing Søren and Nora together again, and Søren's desire to help his Little One let go a little bit, and let him help her. We get some of Nora's lingering heartbreak over Wesley, and some foreshadowing of the something nice Søren is going to give to Nora at the end of The Angel.
Where to Get
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Nora: "It has to be something nice? Could it be something naughty?"
Søren: "Aren't those works synonymous in your vocabulary?"
Nora: "I guess it's your turn. What nice thing do you want me to do for you, my sir?"
Nora: "Hmm ... do you want a blow job?"
Søren: "I just came."
Søren: "Same answer."
Søren: "As nice as that would be, no. My scalpel needs sharpening."
Nora: "Do you want to fist me?"
Søren: "Not at the moment."
Nora: "Do you want me to fist you?"
Søren made a face of utter disgust and Nora giggled. She loved finding Søren's limits and poking them.
Søren: "That is a hard no for the rest of eternity."
Nora: "Why do you hate me?"
Søren: "I love you, Little One. And you'll have a nice time at the picnic, I promise."
Nora: "I'd rather fist a Frenchman."
Søren: "That can be arranged. Now go to sleep. You have a big day tomorrow."
Nora: "Why are you the worst person on the planet?"
Søren: "Because God made me this way."
Nora: "God and I are going to have words one of these days."
Maybe Nora could write a kinky Amish novel. She wondered if he could work the word 'plowing' into the title. She'd run the idea by Zach next time she talked to him. She liked to give him heart attacks.
Mrs. Maywood: "You were always a sweet girl. Even if nobody noticed but me."
Nora: "Eight a.m.? You must be a masochist.
Kelly: "I have four kids. Of course I'm a masochist."
Nora: "Four? Jesus H. Christ. You aren't a masochist. You're nuts."
Kelly: "You're telling me."
Nora: "Thank God for vibrators and dirty minds."
Kelly: "Speaking of vibrators and dirty minds..."
Kelly said, grinning at the unmistakable sound of a Ducati motorcycle engine roaring up the side of the house.
Søren: "You're white as a sheet."
Nora: "I'll go lay on the dock and get some sun. Time to eat yet?"
Søren: "Yes. Everyone's eating. You missing the blessing."
Nora: "Does that mean my food will poison me?"
Nora: "I should go."
Søren: "Say something, Eleanor. Talk to me."
Nora: "I'm drowning here. You threw me in the deep end of the pond and now I'm drowning. There. I talked to you. Now I need to go. People will notice."
She kept walking. Her name was not an order.
Søren: "Eleanor, turn around."
That was an order.
Søren: "I know you're drowning. I'm the reason you're here, the reason you're struggling. Why do you think I want you to struggle?"
Nora: "Because you're a sadist?"
Søren: "Because you need to learn how to depend on me again, to need me again."
Nora: "You want me to be weak. Well, it's working."
Søren: "I would never want you to be weak. It's a fool's errand. But you've been a dominant so long you've forgotten how to submit to me. Even worse, you've forgotten how to trust me. You don't have to take care of yourself anymore. That's my job."
Nora: "We shouldn't even be talking to each other."
Søren: "I'm your priest. We're allowed to talk to each other in public."
Nora: "If I fuck up here, I could ruin your life."
Søren: "You're not going to ruin my life. You never could."
Søren: "I'm not going to throw you a lifeline until you ask for it. If you want to drown, that's your choice. But if you want my help -"
Nora: "Fine. Help me, please."
Søren: "With what?"
Nora: "I feel out of place. I don't have any friends here. I don't know how to talk to anyone. I don't know what to talk about. I'm scared people will judge me. I'm scared people will hate m when they get to know me. This is not my world anymore. It probably never was. I don't know how to belong here. You keep saying I do, and I don't want to disappoint you but I don't. I just don't belong here. And I have no idea how you can help m e with that but you seem to think you can so... prove it."
Søren: "I will."
Søren: "Eleanor, this is Amelia. She wants a ride on my bike. And she won't take no for an answer."
Nora: "Good. My kind of girl."
Nora: "You only have the one helmet, right?"
Søren: "Yes, so be careful. Go down the main road, turn around, come back. Let Amelia have the helmet. Stay under the speed limit. Try not to swallow too many insects."
He reached into his pocket and fished out his keys
Søren: "Also, don't break my duke. Don't break Amelia. Don't break yourself. I'm trusting you."
Nora: "That was your first mistake. You like the beach?"
Amelia: "Love the beach."
Nora: "Then let's go. We can make it to Miami by morning if we leave right now."
Søren: "Bring me my keys back."
Nora: "Too late, sucker."
Amelia: "But ... can we go fast?"
Nora: "You remember what Father S said about staying under the speed limit?"
Nora: "Yeah. Me neither."
Amelia: "Thanks for taking me out. That was really nice of you."
Nora: "Any excuse to steal Father S's bike."
Amelia: "Right? It's so cool. How could such a dork have such an awesome bike?"
Nora: "You think Father S is a dork?"
Amelia: "Maybe more a nerd than a dork. He's got the entire Bible memorized. And the catechism. It's disturbing."
Nora: "Nerd I'll give you. But he's cute, right?"
Amelia: "I guess. For an old guy."
Søren: "Eleanor. Give me my keys back."
Nora: "Say please."
Søren: "Eleanor. Keys."
He snapped his fingers.
Nora: "Keys rhymes with please."
Nora: "Not so little anymore."
Nora: "I'm not short. You're unnecessarily tall."
Nora: "Holy shit."
Nora: "I just realized something. I'm wearing the same shirt I had on that day you started."
Maxine: "You remember what you were wearing the day Father S started to Sacred?"
Nora: "Of course I do. You don't forget the day the new pretty young priest at your church makes fun of your outfit."
Søren: "I did not. I absolutely did not make fun of your outfit. Maxine, that is slander ... Although ... I was very pretty."
Nora: "You did too make fun of me. You said my clothes made me look insane. Oh, and you thought I had mold growing in my hair."
Søren: "It was green."
Nora: "It was green hair dye, not fungus!"
Søren: "You could have fooled me."
Maxine: "You two are funny. I wish I knew Father S when he was young."
Nora: "Did you hear that, Father? When you were young. Implying you aren't anymore."
Søren: "Of course I'm not young anymore. I've been pastoring a church you attend for seventeen years. It's a miracle I still have my faculties intact."
Maxine: "What's a Pearl Jam?"
Søren grinned at her
Søren: "Now who's old?"
The glare she gave him could have melted stone.
Tisha: "Next question - what is your proudest accomplishment from your time as a fill-in-the-blank? Oh, I'm supposed to write 'priest' in that blank."
Søren: "Interesting question. I haven't given it much though as excessive pride is actively discouraged by the Bible."
Nora: "Not that's ever stopped you before."
Søren: "I heard that."
Tisha: "What's the biggest challenge of being a priest?"
Katie: "I bet I can guess."
Søren: "That's only the second biggest challenge."
Katie snorted and Nora had to laugh. Poor Tisha looked adorably bewildered.
Søren: "You can put this answer down. Not having enough time to spend with the people I love - my friends and family."
Tisha: "And what's the biggest joy of being a priest?"
Søren: "Spending time with the other people I love, my church."
The girls: "Aww..."
Maxine: "You're so sweet, Father S."
Nora coughed. The cough quickly turned to choking, Her eyes watered and Diane had to slap her once on the back.
Nora: "Sorry. Choked on a little bit of irony there."
Maxine: "What? What's ironic?"
Nora: "You calling him sweet. Of all the words in the English language - and there are over a million of them - 'sweet' might be the last word I'd use to describe Father Stearns."
Angie: "Why not?"
Søren: "Yes, Eleanor, tell us all - why not?"
Nora: "They don't know, do they?"
Søren: "Know what?"
Nora: "That you're evil."
Søren: "I was hoping to keep that from them."
Maxine: "Evil? Really?"
Søren: "You might as well tell them. I'll be over here drowning my sorrows."
Nora: "Here's the thing girls. Your priest and I have history."
Maxine: "You said he kept you out of jail? That doesn't sound evil."
Nora: "He did, but there was a string attached. And it's still attached. It's safe to say I will be in the doghouse with that man for the rest of my life."
Maxine: "What happened? What did you do?"
Søren: "You're being over dramatic, Eleanor."
Nora: "Am I? Let's let the next generation here decide. So. Girls. When I was fifteen I sort of kind of accidentally on purpose stole five cars. I don't recommend doing that. It's a miracle I didn't spend five to ten in juvie. The judge gave me probation supervised by that guy there. And you better believe he made me suffer for my sins."
Katie: "What did he do?"
Nora: "Quite frankly, he was an asshole."
Maxine: "No way. Father S?"
Nora pointed her beer at Søren
Nora: "Remember when you made me clean the pews with that disgusting wood soap and you jacked the heat up in the sanctuary to ninety?"
Søren: "I merely wanted you to know what Hell was like so you would avoid behaviors that would send you there in the future."
Maxine: "Father S, that is evil. I'm ashamed of you. She could have had heat stroke."
Søren: "Mea culpa."
Josefina: "What's that mean?"
Nora: "It's Latin for 'my bad.' Also, he made me water a stick. A dead stick. But I had to water it. Every single day for six months."
Katie: "Watering a dead stick? What the hell? That's crazy."
Søren: "It's an old trick many convents once employed. It teaches the postulates discipline and obedience, which Eleanor was sorely lacking. Watering a stick is hardly the Spanish Inquisition."
Nora: "Then there was the dog whistling thing.:
Maxine: "What was the dog whistling thing?"
Nora: "Oh, I had done something, I don't remember what. But whatever it was, it pissed him off so much he told me he wasn't going to treat me like a human being until I learned how to act like a human being. So for about a month after that, he wouldn't say my name when he wanted my attention. He'd whistle the way you'd whistle to get your dog to come to heel. That incredibly loud awful obnoxious two-fingered whistle?"
Søren: "Like this?"
Søren whistled and Nora flinched.
Nora: "Like that. And now I'm having flashbacks. I heard that sound in my sleep. For years."
Maxine: "That is a pretty horrible sound. Wow, you're the worst, Father. No offense."
Søren: "None taken. In my defense, however, Eleanor was a horribly behaved teenager. Do you remember that young man you nearly put in the hospital?"
Nora: "Which one?"
Søren: "My point proven. She was a savage then. Still is one."
Nora: "You were no saint either. Remember that night when you and Kingsley got so drink you ended up on the roof of the rectory."
Søren: "No. But only because I was too drunk to remember it."
Maxine: "You know Kingsley?"
Nora: "I know Kingsley."
Søren: "Of course she knows Kingsley. She used to - date him."
Maxine: "Oh. My. God. Tell me everything everything everything about him."
Angie: "Are you his girlfriend?"
Jessika: "Is he a good kisser?"
Josefina: "Why isn't he here? Can you get him here? He's on the soccer team so her should be here."
Søren: "Oh, look, Eleanor. It seems I've made you some new friends."
Nora: "I need another drink for this conversation."
Nora stood up and started toward the deck. She'd only taken ten steps when she stopped in her tracks at the sound of a sudden earsplitting whistle. She spun around immediately and faced Søren.
Søren: "I did have you well-trained, didn't I?"
Everyone was laughing now
Nora: "I have one thing to say to you, Father S. One."
She gave him the middle finger
He held up his empty Heineken bottle
Søren: "One for me too."
Nora: "Yes, master."
She offered Søren his beer. He looked at it, then at her.
Søren: "It's not open."
Nora: "Do I have to do everything for you?"
Nora: "See? Evil. Pure evil."
She fished her key chain out of her pocket, opened the bottle, and gave it to him. This time he took it.
Nora: "Happy now?"
Angie: "How about this? How about you just tell us, like ... what chapter in one of your books we should re-read to know what Kingsley is like, you know, after dark?"
Nora: "Re-read? Does that mean you've already read my books?"
Maxine: "Well. Kind of. All of us. We sort of have an unofficial book club going."
Nora: "Excuse me. I'm going to go call Child Protective Services on myself."
Maxine: "Come on, Nora. Or Ellie. Or Eleanor. Or whoever you are. Just one chapter. One scene. Tell us. We won't bother you anymore after that."
Nora: "I find that hard to believe."
Katie: "Me too. How about The Red? I just read that book. Was it like, you know .... the first chapter when Mona and Malcolm did it? Or was it more like the slave auction chapter? Or maybe the minotaur chapter?"
Maxine: "The one with the nymphs was my favorite."
Katie: "Oh yeah, that was fun. I want to be a nymph."
Maxine: "You're already a nympho."
Nora: "Kill me, God. One bolt of lightning, right here."
Maxine: "Nora. Just pick a chapter already."
Nora: "Fine, fine. The riding crop chapter in The Red."
Maxine and Katie squealed.
Nora: "Happy now?"
Katie: "Very, very happy. I love that chapter. The way he makes her love pain in just one night? That was so sexy."
Nora: "Kink is only sexy when done between consenting adults. So don't do any kink until you're at least eighteen. No, twenty-one. Thirty. Thirty's a good age to start. And do your homework. And stay in school. And don't do drugs. God, I'm a hypocrite. Sometime find me me beer. Please."
Nora: "Kingsley, before you say anything that could land you or me in jail, you should know you're on speaker phone with your fan club. Did you know you had a fan club?"
Kingsley: "Non. But I'm not surprised."
Nora: "I'm at Sacred Heart's summer picnic and it turns out you have a lot of admirers at this church. Say hello to the young ladies of Sacred Heart's Kingsley Edge fan club."
Kingsley: "Bonjour, ladies. I'm honored by your devotion."
Nora: "Kingsley, behave."
Kingsley: "But ... I don't know how."
Nora: "I think I need to hang up right now. I hear the police sirens. They're getting close..."
Angie: "I love you, Kingsley!"
Kingsley: "I love you too, darling. Maitresse?"
Nora: "Yes, King?"
Kingsley: "Is she cute? She sounds cute."
Nora: "She's adorable. And underage."
Kingsley: "You were underage when I met you the first time. And the second time."
The girls screamed again.
Katie: "I'm not underage."
Nora: "Bien. Elle, have that one washed and brought to my tent."
Katie fainted, very possibly for real. Nora rolled her eyes.
Nora: "That's it. Hanging up now. Say goodbye to Kingsley, ladies."
Girls: "Bye, Kingsley!"
Kingsley: "Enchante, ladies. Next time you're in Manhattan, stop by. My address is -"
Nora ended the call.
Søren: "Well, ladies? Did Eleanor give up the goods on Kingsley?"
Maxine: "Yup. As you can see, we are hot messes."
Søren: "I can see that. You do realize Kingsley is forty-five, yes?"
Nora: "I told them."
Angie: "Age is only a number."
Maxine: "So is sixty-nine. Oops. Sorry, Father S."
Søren: "If only I had pearls so that I might clutch them."
Søren: "We are friends. Aren't we? We used to be. Can we be that again?"
She held out her hand and they shook hands. Then he used her shoulder to steady himself as he pushed up off the dock. He patted her head.
Søren: "Good doggy."
Mrs. Maywood: "You were always a sweet girl."
Nora: "Tell that to our priest who accused me of being a savage."
Mrs. Maywood: "I'll tell him. I'll tell him to his face. It's funny about Father Stearns."
Nora: "What is?"
Mrs. Maywood: "How much happier he's been since you came back to the church. He looks ten years younger. Then again, love will do that to a man."
Nora: "He's always worried about me. Too much. He's just relieved he can keep an eye on me."
Mrs. Maywood: "He worries about the people he loves."
Nora: "He's a good priest."
Mrs. Maywood: "That he is. Even if he does have a girlfriend."
Nora met her eyes.
Nora: "Mrs. Maywood, I don't -"
Mrs. Maywood: "It's all right, dear. Your secret is safe with me."
Nora: "I think you're mistaken. We just ... we're friends. I used to -"
Mrs. Maywood: "My husband and I were planning a trip to Belgium five years ago. He's been just diagnosed with kidney disease, and he decided he wanted to see more of the world before he was gone. Father Stearns mentioned he'd been to Belgium, suggested a few places to see, even told my husband about a certain Belgian beer he loved. A Trappist beer, Achel Blond. I made sure to h ave some in the cooler for Father Stearns. He sent you to get hiss beer for him. He didn't say what to bring him but that's what you got. Out of twenty different kinds of beers in the cooler, you picked his favorite. I had my suspicions before, but that confirmed it."
Nora: "I ... I don't know what to say."
Mrs. Maywood patted her hand.
Mrs. Maywood: "I won't tell anyone."
Nora: "Are you disappointed? Angry?"
Mrs. Maywood: "Father Stearns has given his blood, sweat, and tears to this church. If he wants to give a part of him to you, I won't begrudge him. Genesis 2:18 - it's not good for man to be alone. I'm angry at the Church. That's who I'm angry at. The Catholic Church is losing priests left and right - to scandal, to wives, to the Anglican Church. They're closing churches down everywhere because there aren't enough men to serve the faithful. Stubborn old goats in Rome thinking only of themselves. We need healthy priests, joyful priests. Not bitter, overworked, lonely and dangerous priests. So no, I'm not angry at you or him. I'd rather have a happy priest with a girlfriend than no priest at all."
Nora: "Anyway, the good Father and I can't seem to stay away from each other. SO here we are. I don't recomend trying to build a new life on top of the wreckage of your old one."
Mrs. Maywood: "Hard, is it?"
Nora: "Out of the frying pan, into the friar."
Mrs. Maywood: "That pun is a worse sin than dating a priest."
Nora: "I know. I should be ashamed. Sorry."
Mrs. Maywood: "I need a hug before you go. A good one."
Søren smiled and came over to her, hugged her and lifted her gently off her feet before putting her down again.
Søren: "Was that good enough for you?"
Mrs. Maywood: "More fun than Disneyland. You're a lucky lady, Ellie."
Søren's eyes widened.
Nora: "She knows."
Mrs. Maywood: "I know. I might be old but the old eyes can still see 20/20."
Søren: "Well. If you both will excuse me, I need to find a new career."
Mrs. Maywood: "Oh, hush you. I'm no rat. I'm happy for you."
Mrs. Maywood: "I remember when you used to cannonball right off the end of the dock. One year you came up without your swimsuit on. Gave the boys quite a thrill."
Nora: "Thank you for reminding me of that. I had forgotten that humiliating experience."
Søren: "Did I tell you yet today how beautiful you are?"
Søren: "I'll try to remember to do that then at some point then."
Søren: "Let's hope Regina can't see us from the house."
Nora: "She already knows anyway. She said she suspected something was up because you were suddenly a lot happier after I started coming back to church. You're going to have to be less happy so people will be less suspicious."
He shook his head.
Søren: "Not possible. Unless you leave me again."
Nora: "Not planning on ever leaving you again."
Søren: "Then I'm afraid I will be forced to remain very..."
Her kissed the side of her neck
He bit the side of her neck.
Søren: "We put each other through Hell. And it was a Hell of our own making. Perhaps Paradise is of our own making too. Maybe nothing is final, even when it seems like the very end of the world."
Søren: "New game now. You do something nice for me and I'll do something nice for you. This time I decide what nice thing I'll do for you and what nice thing you'll do for me."
Nora: "That doesn't seem fair."
Søren: "All is fair in love and sadism."
Nora: "Okay, I'm in. What something nice am I doing for you?"
Søren: "You're going to make me a promise - a promise that you'll always come back to me."
Nora: "Easy. Especially since I don't plan on ever leaving you again."
Søren: "But if you do, you will come back?"
He met her eyes. He wasn't joking. He wasn't teasing. He was serious.
Nora: "Yes, Søren, my Sir, owner of my heart, master of my body, and keeper of my soul - I promise that I will always come back to you."
Nora: "So what's the something nice you'll do for me in exchange?"
Søren held her tighter, held her closer, kissed her temple, and she closed her eyes, at peace once more. She could feel his strong heart beating against her chest and for a single moment she was back in Paradise.
Søren: "If and when the time comes, you'll know."