A Centaur's Love Ch. 03byAMY_Monaco©
Author's Note: This one's a bit short, so my apologies. Sorry also, about the long waits between installments, but I do like to see how everyone reacts to each chapter before I go ahead and submit the updates. This way I can change any mistakes, etc. Well, happy reading!
Rose was restless that night. The child was kicking an awful lot and she was forced to shift in her seat more than once during their evening meal.
"I don't think I can go to the ceremony tonight. I won't be able to stand so long." Rose said. She shifted again, her hand resting on her large stomach, hoping it would soothe the child. "Our son is so restless tonight."
"It must be the night air." Then Thayer smiled. "Our daughter is just anxious to come out." He covered her hand over hers and rubbed her stomach slowly, his gaze coming to rest where their hands met. "She's quieting down now."
Sure enough, the kicking came to a stop.
"We will stay here tonight." Thayer replied.
"And just keep your hand right here. I'll be able to get some rest."
He sent her a dangerous smile. "I thought it was my arousing you that kept you up late at night." He bent his head down for a deep kiss. "If you want I will keep both my hands on you." He rested his other hand on her stomach and pulled her closer.
"I love it when you hold me so close." She smiled lazily. Lately she was getting more tired, feeling more clumsy from all the weight of her swelling stomach.
"I hope it will all work out between Lila and Callum." She said a long time later. Their food had been forgotten and in the comfortable cozy warmth of longhouse, he continued to hold her.
"He is probably with her now at the ceremony."
"Callum is resisting her. He shouldn't, not when she loves him so much."
"My brother has had much tragedy in his life. It will take time for him to heal."
She looked up at her mate. "Just watch. Lila will be the one. You should have seen the way her eyes lit up when she spoke of him. She barely knows him, but she's fallen so in love. Lila will help him heal."
Supper was ready by the time Callum returned. He'd washed the day's sweat from his body and tied his hair back with a string of leather. He walked right up to her and thrust a huge bundle at her. She wiped her hands on a towel and looked down at the item before looking up at his questioningly.
"It's for you." He said simply.
As she held it up, she realized it was a coat, a heavy woolen one lined with fur, with a small hood attached. She hugged it to herself.
Callum seemed uneasy, he looked away and began piling his plate with food. "One of the centaur's wives was a seamstress and she often provides these things...I told her you needed a something warm for the cold. I promised I would see to a table for her in exchange."
"Thank you, Callum. I love it."
He grunted. She settled into her meal and tried to fight the smile on her face. But the fact that he'd been thoughtful enough to provide her a warm coat filled her with happiness.
"There will be a mating ceremony at midnight." He announced.
"Laura and Rose mentioned it. Am I allowed to go see it?"
Callum looked up, his brooding gaze holding hers. His long, dark lashes swept shadows over his intense stare, nearly stealing her breath away.
"You are, but the scenes you will witness may shock you." His voice grew husky.
The way he said it made her blush. "H-How so?"
"How old are you, Lila?"
"Eighteen." She frowned. "What does that have to do with it being shocking?"
"When a centaur takes a maiden, he may bed her beforehand. But to be united officially, the centaur must take his woman in front of the entire camp at midnight, as sacred words are spoken to bind them together."
She tried to picture it, yet the image was vague for she'd never seen an aroused man before, let alone one who would be making love to a woman. "But...it's so cold outside."
Callum let out a dry laugh. "I doubt the couple will mind once they have started."
"So the man..."
"Fucks his woman in front of a crowd? Yes. It adds another dimension to it, to have others watch your sexual prowess with your mate."
She was taken aback by his blunt words. "There's no need to be crude, Callum."
Suddenly anger flashed in his eyes. "I'm not being crude, Lila, merely being truthful. Centaurs are usually driven more by lust than love when they steal away a maiden. You have seen our camp, there are no female centaurs. Our need for women grows strong when there are none to ride our cocks."
"Stop it, Callum." Lila was no longer hungry. She hated to see the fury and pain in his eyes. She knew the cause of it now, yet couldn't help but feel the one to blame somehow.
"You are old enough to know the ways of men and women. Many care for nothing but a woman to warm their beds and sate their bodies."
"You don't care about love?" They no longer spoke of the ceremony.
Callum's face hardened. "If you are to make your life here, than I should warn you. Love is not these fairytales and myths you grew up with. A centaur protects his family, provides for them, but to love leaves him weak. It makes him a fool. And no centaur is a fool."
"You cannot believe that. Look at your brother Thayer. He loves Rose." Lila replied strongly, forcing her voice to project. "Surely you could – "
"It must be this way if you are to live here." He shouted. Lila jumped from the loudness of his words.
"I may not plan to live here forever." She answered quietly.
Callum's hands fisted and he looked away to hide the pain. Of course, she wouldn't stay here for too long. He would be foolish to assume she would. When it was safe, when the weather was warm enough, she would move on, perhaps make her life in a faraway town where her fiancé wouldn't find her.
There, she would wed herself to a man – a human – someone who was worthy to give her warmth and sons and daughters. He was only a blacksmith, a centaur. He could offer little, but his craft, his protection and name. With him, there would be no chocolates and feathery hats, or servants – all things Katerina had lamented about.
They both fell silent. Ten minutes had passed and still she hadn't picked up her spoon. She just sat there, staring down at her bowl.
Callum broke off a piece of his bread and offered it to her, a peace offering. She slowly took it.
"The food will help keep you warm when you go to the ceremony."
Lila put hew new coat on as they prepared to go to the ceremony. While they walked to the center of the camp, Callum quietly explained about the bed the bride would lay on when her centaur takes her and the meaning behind it.
But as they drew closer, the sight that greeted her surprised her. Instead of a bed set out in the open as she had originally thought, a canvas tent covered it. Only the silhouette of the bed was visible, shown through by four lit torches.
Though the crowd was large, the couples stood apart from others. The elders looked on as a centaur and his maiden was brought forth. Lila craned her head and saw a curvy woman with pale blond hair enter the tent. Her mate, a youthful looking centaur with blond hair soon joined her. A loud drum began to beat steadily. One of the elders, Polonius, stepped forward and began speaking.
Lila watched, wide-eyed as the centaur stepped toward his mate and began kissing her, caressing her naked skin. The silhouette offered enough of a real image in her mind. It was such an intimate act yet the couple didn't seem to notice or care that everyone was watching. The woman's robe was pushed off and discarded. Then she spread her legs.
Without thinking, Lila stepped close to Callum, who stood behind her. The night suddenly didn't seem to be so cold. In fact it felt a little warm with her coat on.
The scene before her made her stomach tingle strangely and she felt moisture build between her legs. Lila watched the centaur take the woman's nipple into his mouth as his mate threw her head back. The woman reached down and as she spread her legs wider, Lila saw the centaur's cock, straining against his mate's hand. The image was slightly vague, but it did not deter from the arousing effect it had on Lila.
The centaur groaned as his mate pumped her hand over his member. Lila was breathless. She'd never seen a man's erection before and it was intensely fascinating to her. She felt her face burn from shame at watching such an intimate act, yet she couldn't tear her eyes from the couple.
She gasped when she saw the centaur thrust his fingers into his mate's slit. The woman cried out and abruptly, the centaur flipped his mate onto her stomach, spread her legs and thrust his cock into her.
"Oh!" Understanding hit Lila as she watched the woman arch to meet her mate. So this was how two people made love.
The woman moaned, encouraging her mate. Lila's heart was pounding and her coat became too warm. Her stomach clenched when she felt Callum's hand come to rest on her shoulder.
Movement to her left caught her attention. She saw another couple – this one from the audience – start to kiss. A few whispered words were exchanged and they were gone, moving away from the crowds. Another couple's attention strayed from the ceremony.
It seemed that not only was the ceremony to celebrate the coming together of a new couple, but to enliven those who'd already had their mates. All around her, couples started to disappear, either into their homes or into the woods for privacy.
Their words, the images around her, it all proved too strong for Lila. She wanted to feel what they were feeling. The wet slapping sound from the celebrated couple echoed in Lila's mind and she bent her head to Callum's hand as he moved it over her shoulder, kneading gently.
Lila's eyes grew heavy as she watched. The sensual abandon they displayed was something she'd once heard in stories told when she was younger. Of how the gods and mythical creatures like fauns and centaurs made love recklessly and passionately. There was the god of wine and entertainment who made it a decadence not to be denied to oneself.
The woman cried out, a guttural sound as she went still. Her mate moaned her name as he came hard.
Lila slowly turned to Callum. He wasn't watching the couple, but her. His long lashes hooded his eyes, and with his dark hair framing his handsome face, he looked dangerous.
Emboldened by what she'd just seen, she touched his bare chest and felt his muscle flex beneath her searching fingers.
"Callum." She whispered. She felt his chest rise and fall rapidly, as if he strained for breath.
Suddenly he grabbed her by the hand and led her from the crowd. She had to run to keep up. When they arrived at his home, he pushed her in. Her coat was pulled off and thrown to the ground.
"Callum?" She whispered. He was staring at her fiercely, breathing hard. He pushed her against the wall and before she could protest, he quieted her with his uncontrolled kiss. She didn't fight him. She imitated the way he kissed, having no experience, wrapping her arms around him, raking her fingers through his hair.
"By the gods, Lila," He said harshly. And he kissed her again, tangling his tongue with hers, breathing in her scent. His cock strained against her, aching painfully.
"Please, Callum," She whimpered. She wanted what those women experienced. She wanted to be branded by him.
To be continued...