Chapter 4 :: The Temple of Amor (part 1)
Published: 18-09-04 - Last update: 18-09-04
Comments: Bonne lecture !! Et s'il vous plait dite moi ce que vous en pensez !!!
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The Temple of Amor
I was afraid when I was told that I was being given to the Temple of Amor, the God of Love and Passion. I knew from my lesson that qualifying them as Ďwhoresí was to mild a term to describe their philosophy. In my whole life I had only been asked out twice, both times before I hit puberty and each time it had been a joke of which I had been the butt. After that no boy ever took an interest in me except to play pranks on me or to get some homework done for him. I ? I who had never been kissed ? I who had never even had a boyfriend ? I who blushed at the mere mention of a sexually connoted word ? I was being given to a bunch of sex-driven weirdoes !?! I felt my legs wobbled under me while all the blood drained from my face. Had they told me sooner I would have tried to escape. Better to face the humiliation of loosing my freedom and all chance of a decent life, than going into the Temple of those sex-lunatics !
Unfortunately a priest of Amor entered the room just as they finished telling me and before I could react the man grabbed me by my elbow, and was guiding me out the Temple to a waiting chariot where we took place and drove off. By the time I had regained my senses we were already out of town, driving at high speed and I was locked between the man and the driver. Unless I wanted to risk a certain suicide, I couldnít escape my fate, and Death was not an option I was willing to take. I wanted to return home, not take a one-way trip to the underworld.
We travelled the whole day long, stopping only long enough to change horses and relieve ourselves. Eating was done on the road. Just before sundown, five hours later, we arrived at a small village situated in the hills. But instead of stopping there we continued to a group of buildings located a bit outside of the settlement. We had only just stopped when a group of children emerged from every exit of the buildings, screaming in joy and running to the two men. Laughing the two caught them in their arms and played with them for a moment before sending them off. An older girl had come out behind the children and greeted the two men when everything had finally calmed down. She saw me and smiled a greeting before herding the children back in the building. The man who had taken me away from the Temple turned around and for the first time that day smiled at me.
- Well here we are then! Welcome to the Temple of Amor, young one. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Lucius and Iím the Head of the Temple. Please accept my apologies for the rude behavior of the children, they are usually better manered but I admit itís the first time I have been gone this long. Come on, young Sara, Iíll introduce you to my family as well as the rest of the Temple.
It stood rooted in place from surprise. It was the first time since my arrival in this world that someone had apologized to me or had been so courteous to me. I had expected a lot from the People of Amor, but apologies was not amongst them. Blinking in surprise and confused by his greetings, I followed him into the same building the children had gone in and was surprised to discover it was a home and not a Temple. Inside the children were eating at a long table, as were other people and even more children. The priest gestured to a servant to bring two plates and seated himself at the end of the table, inviting me to the place next to him.When we had both finished our generous portions, taken a refill, and finally refused a third helping, Lucius pushed his plate further on the table and leaned back.
- SoÖ You donít like the Temple of Amor, do you ?
I looked up when he began talking and immeadiately flinched at his words. All the well-being I had felt minutes before from the meal, the watered wine and the fire, evaporated in seconds as fear and apprehension settled themselves in my stomach.
- Yes, I noticed your body language when I came in to get you. Tell me Sara, what do you know about the Temple of Amor ? And I mean know, not heard or overheard. What do you know to be true about us ?
When formulated like that I had to admit, at least to myself, that nearly everything I knew about the Priests of Amor, which wasnít much, I had learned from the other novices or overheard from conversations in the alleys of the city. The only thing I knew for certain was related to the God Himself, not his Priests. Reluctantly, I anwsered Lucius truthfully.
- Not much.
- Ah wellÖ Then let me tell you a bit about us. It is true that we are different from the other Temples. For one we donít preach loyalty to oneís partner although it is encouraged. But then one never knows when Amor will enflame your senses do we ?
When I heard those words, I felt all my blood drain from my face. Was this man telling me that rape was not only tolerated but encouraged ?!?
- No ! We do NOT tolerate rape !
I donít know how he knew what I was thinking but when he cried those words and I saw the anger and outrage on his face, I felt a little better. Taking a deep breath, Lucius continued, a bit more calmly.
- We donít tolerate rape nor do we encourage it. On the contrary, we actively hunt and punish rapists. Our God represents Love and Passion, not sexual torture or abuse. We heartdely disaprove of any contact whatsover that is not wanted by one or the other partner.
I opened my eyes wide when I heard those words.
- No, you havenít misheard. Nobody in the Temple will touch you unless you agree to it. A relationship must be one of give and take, not one of just taking. Does that make you feel better ?
- Yes. Yes it does.
- Would you feel even better if I told you that there is a record of one of our Priest that remained virgin until her death ?
- Really ?
- Indeed. It is said that she was a very good Priest but that she had been disfigured by a fall a birth. She claimed she would never bed a man out of fear that he would die of a heart attack when he woke up the day after.
The smile on the corner of his lips indicated that both he and the long dead priest had meant the remark as a joke, so I didnít restrain myself and laughed.
- Knowing this, do you feel more confortable joining our Tempe ?
- Yes, I do.
- Very well then, and again be welcome here. Let me explain our situation. When we first established our Temple here, we had a big building in the village itself. However over the years we started staying more and more with the local inhabitants than in our Temple. So when one of us married a local girl her family invited us to join them on this farm. Since it was by far more cosy than our Temple, we accepted and gave our Temple to the village as a community gathering hall. Since then our number hasnít increased so much that we feel the need to relocate ourselves somewhere else. Besides the cooking is ten times better than what we had.
Again Lucius broke out in a laugh. His laugh was so free of restraint, so infectuous, so warm, that one couldnít help but join in. Curiously his laugh made me trust him a lot more than the words he had spoken to me. My mother had once told me that you could learn a lot from someoneís laugh, and today I agreed with her. In comparison with the Temple of Jupiter, this place felt incredibely like home. No priests looking at you when you speak a bit loudly, nobody to speak a sharp word when you laugh. I had thought myself comfortable in Jupiterís Temple but I now realise that it was a false comfort.
Seeing that the Ďseriousí business between us was over, other people sat themselves down next to us and introduced themselves to me. This is how I met the three other priests of the Temple, the six acolytes and the five other novices. Again it hit me that these people where indeed very different from the other priests. Never would a priest of Jupiter have allowed a mere novice to be so familiar with him and he would certainly never have started a fight with an underling over the last piece of honeycake.
All this familial atmosphere reassured me greatly but these few months in this world had taught me to remain cautious no matter what. So in the end I agreed to a trial period of a month, the time by which I had to decide to either join the Temple of Amor or return to the Temple of Jupiter and remain a novice for ever. I knew that if I wanted to go home, I couldnít remain a novice and thus choose to go back. But neither did the Temple of Amor seem attractive to me. At least I wasnít forced into my choice.
After a month of joining the People of Amor in their duties and studies I had to make my choice. I had observed them. I had talked to the other novices and acolytes, I had even talked to the children, but nothing of what they revealed to me gave me reason to be alarmed. I hadnít seen a single orgy, not a single obscene behaviour or misplaced word, and not a single proposal had been made to me. Nothing. At the end of the month I had to remind myself that I still hadnít made my choice and that I still had the opportunity to leave this peaceful farm, those friendly and open people. But the fact that I nearly had forgotten I hadnít made my choice made me realize that I had actually already made it. And so I decided to stay in the Temple of Amor and I have never regretted making that choice.
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