Father Diego walked slowly down the long dark corridor to his cell. Upon entering, he knelt in front of the small alter dedicated to the Virgin, and prayed fervently.
He had been given to the monastery as a young boy since as a second son; the laws of primogeniture had prevented him from receiving an inheritance. Now a mature man, he had not felt as troubled, in all his years as a prior, as he did tonight.
Seeing Paeolo after so long had sent him reeling. For he was not just another soldier, unbeknownst to everyone else on the planet, Paelolo was Father Diego’s son.
Paeolo’s mother had been a scullery maid in the local lord’s manor. They had been childhood friends before Diego had been sent to the monastery and he had secretly had taught her to read when they were teenagers.
Alandra had not been what most people would call beautiful. She was small in stature, and had walked with a slight limp. Diego, however, had always found her irresistible. Her eyes sparkled with intelligence and he could tell her his darkest secrets, and she would understand.
The only time they were intimate was the night that Paeolo was conceived. It also was the night that Diego lost his virginity and the only experience he had with a woman.
As he remembered heat rushed to his loins and tears came to his eyes. Her family had been outraged and had demanded for her to reveal who the father was. Alandra however, had protected him, and remained silent.
She had died in childbirth, and Paeolo had basically had to fend for himself and joined the military at a young age. Diego had taught him to read and write, and served as his confessor, where he often listened with a heavy heart as Paeolo lamented being a bastard, but Diego had never revealed the truth.
It had been many years since their paths had crossed. Now, with the knowledge that in the morning Paeolo was heading into battle with the Moors and he might never see him again, Diego was plagued with whether or not to claim his son.
Separated by mere stonewalls, the distance between them was infinite.