This is the beginning of the main story from Maddy's point of view! It takes place the day before Maddy and Declan meet up after summer vacation starts. There's a little foreshadowing about some things that may come in the future, but I'll leave that part a secret for now.
There may be typos or other mistakes in this story, as it has not been fully edited yet. These will be fixed in future updates. Please enjoy it for what it is! ❤
(Updates are planned for every Sunday afternoon/evening)
Stepbrother Religion: I'm a good girl, I swear
“Do you need me to do anything else, Father Patch?” I ask him.
“No,” he says with a smile. “I should be all set. Thank you, Maddy. You've been a great help.”
“I… alright,” I say, stumbling for words.
“Declan's coming home today, isn't he?” he asks me, a faint twinkle in his eyes.
“Oh! Yes. It'll be late, though. I'm not sure when he'll be getting in. I might be sleeping already. I think his flight arrives at around ten. He said he would take a taxi from the airport so we didn't have to worry about picking him up.”
“Can I leave a note for you to give him?” Father Patch asks me. “I was thinking since he'll be back here for the summer he might want to help me with some things around the church. It'd be good practice for once he graduates from seminary school, don't you think?”
I hesitate, unsure what to say. I mean, yes, of course I'll give Declan a note, but…
“Wait right here a moment,” he says with a smile. “I wrote the note earlier, but I think I left it in my office. I'll only be a second.”
I smile and nod and wait, because what else can I do? I know this isn't exactly God's will or anything, because it's just a note, but I am in a church, and I was asked to do a favor by a priest, so…
I sit down on one of the pews up front and fold my hands in my lap. Looking up at the ceiling, I stare at some of the higher stained glass windows. It almost seems like there's another world entirely out there. Maybe the colored glass makes it so that there's another world entirely in here instead? I wonder which one God prefers. Does he like the quiet, inner sanctum of the church with all its cozy comfort, or does he prefer the wide open expanse of sky and the vast forests, the deep oceans and lakes, the wild animals, and… just the world.
I hear footsteps behind me coming up the aisle. Turning over my shoulder, I smile to greet the newcomer.
“Hello,” I say, before seeing who it is.
“Hello, Maddy,” Paul says, smiling at me in a way that somehow seems the incredibly sinister.
I freeze and try to look away, but my eyes stay stuck on his. He walks closer to me until he's right beside me, then he sits down next to me.
“What brings you to church?” I ask him, swallowing hard.
“I thought I'd take confession with Father Patch,” Paul tells me. “Is that why you're here? Have you been having many impure thoughts lately?”
“It's nothing to joke about, Paul,” I say. He inches closer to me on the bench and I scoot a little further away.
“No, I didn't mean it like that. I just meant… are you still going to reject me, Maddy?” he asks.
“I haven't rejected anyone,” I say, tossing him a sidelong look. “I don't know what you're talking about.”
He shakes his head and laughs. “I guess I should be more upfront. I'd like to take you out on a date sometime, Madelaine Hamilton. What do you say?”
“No,” I say. Well, he asked, didn't he? That's my answer!
“See?” he says with a smirk. “Rejected again.”
“I'm not rejecting you,” I tell him, except, no, I am. “I don't believe in dating casually, Paul. I want to find something serious with someone.”
“And who's to say I don't want to date you seriously, Maddy?” he asks me. “How do you know I don't want to marry you some day?”
“Paul, please. Just don't even joke about things like that.”
“I'm not joking, Maddy,” he says, sly. “I really think we would make a good couple. I'm more devoted to God than I've ever been. I may have strayed here and there in the past, but that's why I need a devout woman at my side. You could be that woman, Maddy. You could help me with these impure thoughts of mine, so maybe I wouldn't have to come to confession so often…”
Oh, yes, like that's a great idea. As great of an idea as it was when he basically said the same things to Bella. When Paul says he may have strayed here and there in the past, he means he took her virginity without a care in the world, promised her that he meant it, that it wouldn't matter since he planned on marrying her, and then a few weeks later he told her he had a change of heart.
He blamed it on God. You can't blame things on God, Paul. Yes, maybe God wants you to stay pure before marriage, but he doesn't make us lie to girls to get in their pants.
Paul puts his arm around me, or he tries to. I try to gently move away from him, but he grabs onto my shoulder and slides closer to me on the pew bench. I stiffen and look at him, glaring, but he doesn't back away.
“What's that look for, Maddy?” he says, grinning. “You're so cute when you're angry. I might just–”
“Oh, Paul,” Father Patch says, louder than necessary, his voice echoing through the church. “To what do I owe the honor?”
Paul flinches and pulls his hand away from my shoulder. As soon as I'm free, I stand and put some distance between us. I head to Father Patch, who has a closed envelope in his hands. He gives it to me with a gentle smile.
“Just make sure Declan gets this, alright?” he asks me.
“I will,” I say. “Thank you for today, Father. I'll stop by again soon. I'd really like to help you reorganize the library next week if I can.”
“We'll see, Maddy,” he says, smiling. “It's your summer break and I don't want to steal too much of your time.”
I shrug. He comes in to give me a hug and I hug him back. It helps wash away the angry feelings from what I just experienced with Paul. I don't know how many times I can say no to him.
I don't know how many times I can say no to everyone. I don't date. There's plenty of nice boys who have asked me, or plenty of mothers who have tried to set me up with their sons. I've gone to more family dinners than I can count, but I usually do it just to be polite. I don't have any interest in them.
Sometimes I've thought about becoming a nun. A real one, I mean. In a convent and everything, maybe somewhere high up in the mountains. If Declan is going to be a priest, I don't see why I can't be a nun.
Maybe we can do God's work in the same church together.
Or maybe not. That might be a terrible idea. I don't know yet.
Father Patch takes Paul into the confessional booth, which means it's time for me to go. Not only is there nothing else to do here, but I don't want to be around when Paul comes back out. He seems to think that confessing his impure thoughts means he's free to have them again afterwards, but I'm pretty sure that's not how it works. I think we're supposed to try and do better the next time, not just fall back into bad habits over and over again.
I'm one to talk. I've confessed the same thing to Father Patch at least once a year for the past five years. And, no, I'm not going to tell you what it is. That's between me and him. Sorry.
I step outside the church into the open air. It's a really nice day out today. I think I'll go for a walk before heading back home.
A little girl swings on one of the swings on the playground across the street. She smiles and waves at me as I walk down the path towards the sidewalk and the street. I smile back at her and wave a little, but my heart leaps for a second. It's nothing serious, it's just…
“Hi, Maddy!” she yells from across the street.
“Hi, Carly!” I shout back to her.
She waves again, frantic and excited, but then she goes back to swinging without a care in the world.
Yes, I definitely want to go for a walk.
And there you have it! Maddy's point of view for the introduction. There's going to be a lot more happening soon, and some craziness ensues. I don't know if Maddy is good or not. I think she's doubting herself a little bit, but for reasons that are probably not what you might expect. We'll find out more in the future, though!
I have some quick updates for you, too!
I finally managed to figure out some of how Wattpad works, so I wanted to talk a little about that. I have my profile all set up, and I would love if you would sign up and follow me there. It helps out a lot, and you can read a bunch of other people's stories there, too. I'm hoping to build a little author community there with some of my friends, and there's already a lot of great newer authors there, as well, so I think it'll be fun.
One main difference in regards to Wattpad is that I will be censoring the stories a little compared to what I have here, and I'll also be refraining from posting any steamier scenes there, as well. It's just a different sort of atmosphere there sometimes. I'll have the steamy scenes available here exclusively, so you can still read those, but if you want to check out things in a different sort of format and setting, I definitely recommend checking Wattpad out. It's got a really cool commenting system and it's a lot of fun.
I'm working on setting up Patreon still. It's going well, but I want to make sure I have good tiers and prizes for everyone, so it'll be extra worth it for you. I'd rather take a little more time to figure that out than to just start with something kind of confusing or not so great. I promise it'll be amazing, so keep an eye out for that!
And, if you'd like to support me with this story, I'd love if you used my Amazon affiliate link the next time you buy anything on Amazon. All you have to do is click the link first, and Amazon will give me a bonus for that. It'll cost you the same no matter what you buy, so you aren't paying anything extra. If you'd like to do that, here is my link!
I'll see you next week with more. I hope you like the story so far. Let me know what you think!