tagNonHumanAn Inhuman Love Ch. 01

An Inhuman Love Ch. 01

byNovusAnimus©

Author's Notes:

Each chapter in this series will be a stand-alone novelette, meant to be read and enjoyed in a single sitting. Expect a monster/human pairing in each chapter, with all the juicy details included.


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Being alone sucks!

Menala walked the road between Sparta and a nearby village, picking bits of forage from the plants near the worn path. The sun was high, she was sweating through her long, white chiton, and her sandals were doing little to keep her feet from getting sore from constant walking. But it was better than returning to an empty home, at least.

Forests guarded both her sides, thicker than in most areas, but that's where the berries and other edible plants could be found, so that's where she went. With a basket over her shoulder, she scooped up a few things, picked a few others, and accumulated quite the supply of food over a day's work. The walk back wouldn't be fun, but this close to the city she should be safe.

She took a few moments to readjust herself. She was of a normal height for a Spartan, but unlike her lean and strong sisters, she was a softer creature, with large breasts and wide hips. They teased her for it of course, but when her husband was alive, she knew damn well he preferred her voluptuous curves to their hard edges.

It's been years, Menala! Stop thinking about Jonal. He died with honor, move on.

With a heavy sigh, she started to comb her long dark hair with one hand, and kept the basket steady with the other while she walked. The sun was beginning to set, and in her attempts to stay away from her empty home, she'd stayed out well too long. It'd be dark by the time she got back. Wonderful.

Snapping twigs and shuffling feet made her jump back. A man dove in front of her — he must have been hiding in the trees — and raised a sword to point at her. He was dirty, his tunic nothing but rags, and his sinister smile exposed missing teeth.

"Hello," he said.

Her heart picked up, and her eyes started looking around in a panic. People didn't just jump out of bushes to say hello. Or point swords.

"I... let me pass."

"No." He laughed at her, clicked some of his damaged teeth together, and took a step forward.

She stepped back just as much, but more noises made her turn around. Another man had jumped out from the brush, a taller fellow but just as ragged and vicious looking. He had a dagger, and he stepped toward her the same as the other man did.

She held out her basket of freshly picked food. "I have no money. Please, if you let me pass, you can—"

The first fellow got close enough to breath on her, and he swiped away her basket with a hand. Her food fell to the ground, and they made no efforts to gather it. Hours and hours of effort scattered into a mess by the drooling, disgusting heap of vileness before her.

"We don't want money, or food. We want you."

Oh gods.

"Ch'yeah. Been some time since we found a lone girl this late." The tall one fondled his crotch through his torn tunic with his free hand, and he flipped the dagger a few times in his other. He had the look of certainty in his eyes; they had done this before.

A third man stepped out from the brush, a bow in his hand and a quiver of arrows on his back. He looked just as lecherous and vile as the other two. How many more were there? Were they really out at dusk just to... hunt... women?

"You... no, please. You can't." She looked around, panic rising, eyes wide and breath coming faster. If this were nearer the city, she'd call for help, and these ruffians would die on Spartan swords. But she knew no one would be this far out this late, and she herself had no sword to defend herself.

"Can't we?" the first brute said. He reached for her then, and grabbed one of her large breasts through the thin fabric of her chiton.

Like a snap of fire, panic vanished and fury replaced it. She drove her fist into his ugly face hard enough to break off one of his teeth and knock him onto his ass. She was a Spartan! She would not be manhandled by these disgusting brutes.

Of course, for all her courage, it didn't matter much when the tall man behind her grabbed her offending hand, pulled it behind her by the wrist, and brought his dagger up to her neck.

"Do that again and we'll start cutting off fingers."

She grinded her teeth together hard enough to hear her jaw click. At least she'd managed to hurt the one who touched her bosom, that would impress her sisters. But it was useless, any further attempt to move would mean a sliced throat. With another sigh, she turned her head to the side and grimaced in waiting.

"That's better."

"Arg, that really hurt!" The bastard on the ground got up and rubbed his jaw. He probably didn't even notice he'd lost a tooth, ruined as his mouth already was. "I'm going to rough you up something good." And again he approached her, grabbed one of her breasts, and squeezed, hard. She made no noise; she would not let them have the privilege of hearing her pain.

The archer just snickered, and the one with the blade on her throat tightened his grip on her wrist.

"You've got some pretty big tits for a Spartan. God damn, look at these." He lifted the heavy breast with a hand and cupped it so it filled his palm. She stared at anything else but the ugly bastard, the bushes, the trees, her dropped basket, anything so she wouldn't have to see his snickering face.

More sounds. More twigs snapping. Louder, and louder. The man groping her looked up at his friend, and then behind him at his other friend, confusion etched on his brow. They all turned to face the sounds, her included.

It sounded like a herd of boar were charging through. The sound got louder, and louder, and turned into crashing. She could feel the gallop of hooves underneath her feet; what fool would take a horse through dense forest? But, as the sound grew closer, she could hear the trot of what were unmistakably hooves, and the silhouette of a horse and rider against the shadows of the trees. Great, another ruffian.

"Who goes there? Sp—"

Time froze, branches broke away, shattered by impact, and a massive shadow emerged. A wall of muscle erupted from the dark forest, and smashed down onto the vile creature in front of her with so much weight and force, he flew back and smacked into a tree. It was just a blur of speed and power until the newcomer slowed his charge. He walked over to the downed assailant, stabbed forward with a long spear, and drove the dory weapon into the sick bastard's head. The villain's death was instantaneous.

A man! Someone wearing no clothes, and riding a horse. Riding a horse? The man had no legs, but — a centaur!

Oh gods no.

"Run!" The man behind her let go and darted in the opposite direction.

The centaur did not hesitate, and galloped past Menala with spear in hand. So close, for just a brief moment she could see the body of him as he passed, with only the final rays of dusk along the canopy to light his skin.

He was massive, even his human half was big for a human, with spiraling tattoos that circled his thick arms. His dark hair was long, his beard short, and his hazel eyes were glaring with a need for the kill. There were scars across his body, battle scars, and the horse half of his body that followed was no different. The inhuman half's hair was as dark and beautiful as the hair on his head, and it was just as large as any war horse they had in Sparta. When it rushed past her, she could feel the air it moved with its size.

A loud scream, and then silence. The man who tried to get away was dead a moment later, with a fresh hole in the back of his neck. No struggle, no fight, just a fast jab with the spear that was flawless. How could this huge beast have such aim and strength while moving about so quickly?

Another thing whizzed past her head, and this time she recognized the sound. An arrow. With a meep, she threw herself to the ground and off to the side of the road. The archer, more courageous than his friends, had fired a shot.

The centaur roared, a deep and inhuman sound. The arrow was sticking out of his hind quarters, and he had to twist and reach back to just barely grab its shaft and yank it free. No grace or subtly, the monster just ripped it clear of his body with a splatter of blood to follow.

"Monster! Monster!" Again the archer fired a shot, but Menala could see he was panicking; the arrow went wide.

The centaur turned, and charged him. So heavy, Menala could feel the ground shake underneath her with each harsh trot of his hooves. But the archer managed another shot, and it landed squarely in the beast's shoulder.

The centaur didn't seem to notice this one. He raised his spear, arrow injury and all, and threw it like a javelin. It landed in the archer's chest hard enough to lodge into his sternum and send him flying back. He landed on his back with an audible thud, and groaned in pain while clutching at the huge stick jammed into his body pointed at the sky.

"Gods," Menala said, and she raised a hand to her lips as the centaur walked over to the ruffian. He yanked the spear from his chest, and stabbed him once again in the head, like a hunter mercy killing a wounded animal. Clean, fast, no words or boasts or delight in his actions, just pure ruthless efficiency. Then he turned to face her.

Blood was dripping down his throwing arm, across his broad chest, and dripping from his fingers. His movements were slow, calculated, and he looked at her with hard eyes like a stalking lion. From a distance, she thought for a moment he would throw the spear at her too, but instead, he watched her. She felt very much like prey in his gaze.

She gulped. Escaping those three criminals would have been nearly impossible, but a centaur? That was impossible. There was no escape, and the realization of that struck her blood cold. With shaking hands and trembling fingers, she stood back up, and watched him. Her heart beat so fast, she could feel it crashing against her ribs.

The giant beast walked to her, spear held upright, and stopped with only ten feet between them. With his free hand, he yanked the arrow from the shoulder of his throwing arm, grunted, and chucked it aside. More blood flowed down his body and onto his abs. Now that he was holding still, she couldn't keep her eyes off the mass of muscle that was his body — he put Spartan warriors to shame! Rugged, powerful, a stallion, he truly was a handsome beast.

Beast, Menala. Beast! Her stance wavered, and she took a small step back. Centaurs were not known for their kindness, they raped and pillaged and went to war with more enthusiasm than even the humans did.

"I... um... thank you," she managed to say at last. He had just saved her, right?

He grunted, and started to walk past her. Thank the gods, he hadn't saved her only to have her for himself. He was so tall, so very tall with his human half sitting high atop his stallion body. As he passed, she noticed the wound near the rear of his horse half, high on the rear leg.

"You're injured." The words came out on their own, and she brought a hand up to her lips in dismay for it. Don't provoke him. Leave him be.

He stopped, now only a couple feet from her, and turned his human half to look at her and where she pointed.

"It will heal." His voice was deep, gravelly, but he kept it as quiet as a hunter's; as a killer's. It sent chills down her spine.

"W-why did you help me?"

"I need no reason to help someone." He rotated his injured shoulder a few times.

So he really was helping her. She thought perhaps she was trading one assailant for the next. Again he started walking off, with every intention of leaving just as abruptly as he'd arrived.

"Wait, wait it'll... it won't heal safely. I could clean it, let me—"

"I'll be fine." He started walking again, but she could see a limp in his step.

"You won't be fine. Can you even reach that wound yourself?" She walked after him, and frowned up at him when she got beside him. Dumb woman, liable to get yourself killed pestering the beast. But she couldn't just let him walk off, she owed him.

He glared at her, and she stopped dead in her tracks. But, the centaur did at least try and reach the wound on his hind quarter, to no avail. He grunted, tried again, but each attempt proved fruitless. It did do a good job of getting him angrier though, and he scowled at her with the eyes of a barbarian.

She stood her ground. Her knees were shaking, but she stood her ground nonetheless.

"How far away is your tribe?" she said.

"... they ride North of Athens."

"That's days away! Why are you so far from your tribe?"

He glared again, but this time he looked away after a while, and rumbled discontent deep in his horse chest. No answer, but the body language was clear; he didn't want to talk about it.

"Ok, you're coming back with me."

"... to Sparta?"

"Yes."

"A human city."

"Yes."

"... you must be joking."

It was her turn to frown. "Sparta has no issues with centaurs, we're not Athens. As long as you're with me, it'll be fine. And... and I want to repay your kindness."

He blinked at her, and slowly turned his whole body to face her, horse half included. "You would be seen with me."

"I would." She gathered up her courage, stepped a bit closer to him, and did her best to turn her frown into a glare. Her husband used to say she was the softest Spartan he'd never known, and judging from how her glare was only making the centaur smirk, it was true.

"Then lead the way."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They walked side by side in dead silence. She looked up at the brawny thing beside her, but he kept his eyes on the road. She probably should have been too, she had just been attacked after all, but she kept glancing at the creature in the corner of her eye.

He was huge. She had seen a couple centaurs in her life, but none of them were this big, with such broad shoulders or a defined stomach. His tanned skin, covered in scars as it was, had all sorts of little bumps of muscle definition she couldn't ignore. She blamed Spartan upbringing for her wandering eyes! They valued strength, and this centaur was definitely strong. The tattoos of spirals that circled many parts of him were enchanting, and his long dark hair was deliciously rugged.

She shook her head and poked herself in the temple. Stop it stop it stop it. He's a centaur, what's the matter with you?

"So... I'm Menala," she said.

"... Nevren, son of Balker and Kallenren." He didn't turn to look at her, and walked with his spear in hand like he was ready to stab any would-be attackers the instant they appeared.

"Well, Nevren, I am glad you showed up when you did. I'm surprised such villains are this near the city!" There, she found her voice again. She may not have been a good fighter like her sisters and friends, but she could talk circles around them. The small kernel of pride she found in that made her smile.

He did turn to look at her this time, and he had a quirked brow. "... you are several miles from the city."

"Miles!?" She threw her hands up and rubbed her eyes in her palms. "I... I wasn't paying attention at all." Ugh. She shook her head some more until her hair was hitting her shoulders, her small kernel of pride destroyed. She was a good talker, and an airhead.

"It will be halfway through the night before we reach the city."

"I know!" she said. "Hallea is going to berate me until I'm red all over, and Homen will forbid from going out alone again, and—"

"Do all your friends treat you like a child?"

"Hey!" She frowned up at the dark beast and shook her head. "No, but... ever since Jonal died, people have been protective of me."

"Jonal?"

"My husband. He died in a skirmish with Thebes."

Nevren's step faltered for a split moment — he tried to hide it but she saw it — before he continued walking and looking straight ahead.

"... my sympathies," he said. "Did he leave you with children?"

She shook her head. "No. We had two children before, but they were harsh winters, and... and I'm not the strongest woman. My children weren't strong enough." Saying it so straightforward really, really hurt. She wasn't cut out to be a Spartan, for multiple reasons.

When she looked up at Nevren again, he was still looking straight ahead, but she could see he was frowning. Or was that a grimace?

"You speak of such things plainly."

"My children were only weeks old, and that was five years ago. Jonal, three years ago." She nodded and squeezed her hands into tiny fists before relaxing them. It'd been years, she could talk about it. She could at least do that. "It... it still hurts, but it was long ago."

"Not that long ago."

She blinked at the giant next to her, and she made her tiny fists again. She didn't need another person feeling sorry for her, not another one!

But when she opened her mouth, Nevren turned to look at her, and their was a small smile there, hidden in his short beard.

"And I saw you hit that man. You seem plenty strong to me." His gravelly voice carried no sarcasm or humor, he just stated it like it was a fact.

Just a few words, and her emotions flipped. She beamed with pride, and smiled the biggest smile she'd had in ages.

"Yeah! It was!" She took a few fake punches at the air. Bamf, bonk, kapow!

The centaur beside her let out a deep laugh, a powerful voice that she could feel next to her like Zeus himself was rumbling a laugh her way. That huge body of his was just so... huge! It made everything he did so massive in comparison to her.

"You have spirit, like a young girl."

"Thank you." She smiled at him. The conversation had taken a delightful turn, and so quickly! She netted her fingers behind her and walked with a bit of a hop in her step. This was fun.

She jogged a few steps ahead and turned around so she could walk backward and face the centaur. "You came out of the woods so quickly, it sounded like thunder. And the way you took those ruffians down, you must be trained. So fast, and so precise, just like a Spartan warrior. I'm going to have to brag about this to my friends; I'm sorry but I have to. It was so surprising!" She was rambling, she knew it, but she didn't care. It'd been so damn long since she'd been excited about anything.

"I was hunting, and I saw those three from deep in the woods." He shrugged, and groaned with pain when the action caused another trickle of blood to leak from his wound. He took the spear in his bad hand, so his good hand could press against the hole in his flesh.

Fun destroyed. How could she forget he was bleeding, from two wounds, for her? "You're losing blood."

"I am," he said, but he just shrugged it off and kept walking. "It will heal eventually."

"It could get sickly, or you'll lose too much blood and become ill, or...."

Nevren sighed, but she could see a hint of a smile on his stern face again. "Were you in my tribe, we would call you a clan shaman."

"Clan shaman?"

He nodded, and pressed his hand to his shoulder. Blood seeped between his fingers and down his chest.

"One who takes care of the clan's wounds. If we were all warriors, who would take care of us when we do stupid things like charge three armed criminals?"

She giggled. "B-but I'm no healer, I just... I just know how to bandage a wound." She fell back in step — as much as one can with a horse — beside him, and looked down at her hands. Growing up, she always treated the wounds of the other boys and girls in the city. It just never dawned on her to pursue it as a way of life.

Nevren grunted, and stopped. She knew that grunt, that was a 'I'm in pain but I'm a man so I won't say anything' grunt. With an eye roll, she took a step back toward his hind quarters. There was more blood, a lot of it. But he was a huge beast, so a decent amount of blood was to be expected. Right?

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